0919-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Sep 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Titular woman of classical music : ELISE

“Für Elise” is a beautiful piece of solo piano music by Beethoven that is also known as “Bagatelle in A Minor”. “Für Elise” simply means “For Elise”, but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

16 Kraken, for one : SEA MONSTER

Kraken are huge sea monsters of legend that were reputed to live off the coasts of Iceland and Norway. It’s possible that the kraken legend was inspired by real-life giant squid.

18 Wedding ring : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also “horah”) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

25 Contents of a certain pouch : ROO

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

28 Org. concerned with choppers : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

32 Shot required for international travel : PASSPORT PHOTO

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

34 Classic couples’ retreat? : ARK

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

37 Angkor Wat, for one : TEMPLE

Angkor Wat is a temple in Cambodia that was built in the 12th century. The beautiful building is iconic in Cambodia and is even featured in the center of the country’s national flag.

47 Kind of bean on the Big Island : KONA

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

The largest island in the state of Hawaii is named Hawaii, and nicknamed “the Big Island”. Of the Hawaiian islands that I’ve had the pleasure to visit, the Big Island is definitely my favorite.

49 Meany of fiction : OWEN

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” is a novel by John Irving that was first published in 1989. Although Irving’s work is an independent story, it is written as a homage to “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass.

50 Georgia who played Georgette on 1970s TV : ENGEL

Georgia Engel was a very funny comedy actress who is best known for playing Georgette Baxter, wife of Ted Baxter, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Engel’s father was a vice admiral in the Coast Guard, and her sister was Miss Hawaii for 1967.

Down

2 Freezable products sold in pouches : ICEES

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

4 Blood pigment : HEME

Heme (also “haem”) is an organic structure containing iron, and is a component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports primarily oxygen around the body. It is the “heme” in “hemoglobin” that binds the oxygen atoms. A plant-derived version of heme is the magic ingredient in the famous Impossible Burger that has become so popular on vegetarian menus.

6 Colleague of Kent and Lane at the Daily Planet : OLSEN

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

7 Pocket that isn’t full of rye? : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

10 Opposite of kitsch : GOOD TASTE

“Kitsch” is a German word, and is an adjective that means “gaudy, trash”.

12 TV “FYI,” of a sort : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

17 Three-star picture? : ORION’S BELT

A subset of three particularly bright stars in the constellation of Orion is named “Orion’s Belt”. The three bright stars sit almost in a straight line and are about equidistant. They’re usually the easiest way to spot the constellation of Orion in the night sky.

20 Historic sites in Hot Springs, Ark. : BATHHOUSES

Hot Springs National Park is the smallest national park in the whole country. It is located beside the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas and actually includes bathhouses found in the downtown area that use the springs’ hot water.

24 Follower of Martin Luther King Jr. : DAY

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

27 Some quotes: Abbr. : ESTS

Estimate (est.)

40 “Camelot” composer : LOEWE

Frederick Loewe was a composer who was best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady”, “Gigi” and “Camelot”.

“Camelot” is a Lerner and Loewe musical based on the legend of King Arthur. The show was first shown on Broadway in 1960 and ran for 873 performances, with Julie Andrews and Richard Burton starring. “Camelot” was made into a very successful film version that was released in 1967 starring Richard Harris as King Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere.

42 Product whose name comes from the Greek for “digestion” : PEPSI

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

44 Wax off? : WANE

The verb “to wax”, in phrases like “wax lyrical” and “wax poetic”, means “to grow”. “To wax” is the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”. We are probably most familiar with the “waxing and waning” of the moon.

45 Eldest sister in Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” : OLGA

Olga, Masha and Irina are the “Three Sisters” in the play by Anton Chekhov. The three title characters were inspired by the three Brontë sisters, the English authors.

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

46 Unlikely serving at a Michelin-starred restaurant : GLOP

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin stars.

47 Roadside initials : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

48 Like the latest, in the past : HEP

The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It’s often made along with a birthday cake : WISH
5 Freshen, as a drink : TOP UP
10 Interruption : GAP
13 Smart relative? : ACHE
14 Titular woman of classical music : ELISE
15 They go around in circles : COGS
16 Kraken, for one : SEA MONSTER
18 Wedding ring : HORA
19 “Don’t you worry” : NEVER FEAR
20 Commanded : BADE
21 Russian letter in the spelling of “tsar” : TSE
22 ___ blaster (weapon for Emperor Zurg) : ION
23 Ran rapidly : DARTED
25 Contents of a certain pouch : ROO
26 Fresh : PERT
28 Org. concerned with choppers : ADA
29 “Whoa now, let’s think about this for a minute” : DON’T BE SO HASTY
32 Shot required for international travel : PASSPORT PHOTO
33 Collection of precious texts : RARE BOOKSTORE
34 Classic couples’ retreat? : ARK
35 Symbols of hope during the American and French Revolutions : ELMS
36 Where many connections are made : HUB
37 Angkor Wat, for one : TEMPLE
39 ___ publica : RES
40 Prune : LOP
43 Blockhead : DOLT
44 Miserable : WOEBEGONE
47 Kind of bean on the Big Island : KONA
48 On one’s way out, say : HALF ASLEEP
49 Meany of fiction : OWEN
50 Georgia who played Georgette on 1970s TV : ENGEL
51 Admits, with “up” : OWNS …
52 This, that or the other : ANY
53 Beauty : PEARL
54 Treatment during “sandal season,” informally : PEDI

Down

1 “That ___ so bad!” : WASN’T
2 Freezable products sold in pouches : ICEES
3 Paradoxically, a close one might be hair-raising : SHAVE
4 Blood pigment : HEME
5 Staff you wouldn’t want to employ? : TEN-FOOT POLE
6 Colleague of Kent and Lane at the Daily Planet : OLSEN
7 Pocket that isn’t full of rye? : PITA
8 Kind of ID : USER
9 So says : PER
10 Opposite of kitsch : GOOD TASTE
11 Went along with : AGREED TO
12 TV “FYI,” of a sort : PSA
15 Get burnt : CHAR
17 Three-star picture? : ORION’S BELT
20 Historic sites in Hot Springs, Ark. : BATHHOUSES
23 Blow it : DROP THE BALL
24 Follower of Martin Luther King Jr. : DAY
25 Thorny subject : ROSE
26 Free coffee, wellness programs, local discounts, etc. : PERKS
27 Some quotes: Abbr. : ESTS
29 Campaign contributions that are given anonymously : DARK MONEY
30 [There you have it!] : [BOOM!]
31 Choice between two options : A OR B
32 Streamline, maybe : PARE DOWN
33 Double-crosser : RAT
38 Something avoided by a person with teleophobia : PLAN
39 Send elsewhere (to) : REFER
40 “Camelot” composer : LOEWE
41 Upright : ON END
42 Product whose name comes from the Greek for “digestion” : PEPSI
44 Wax off? : WANE
45 Eldest sister in Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” : OLGA
46 Unlikely serving at a Michelin-starred restaurant : GLOP
47 Roadside initials : KOA
48 Like the latest, in the past : HEP

14 thoughts on “0919-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Sep 20, Saturday”

  1. 11:09, no errors. Curiously, I had exactly the same results on today’s LAT, to the second. Some kind of mysterious message from the universe, I suppose … 😜.

    Now, let’s see if this posts … 🤨

  2. Embarrassingly poor performance today. Started out fast and eventually stalked out. 32:24 with a few lookups. Sad after yesterday’s performance. 😥

  3. 36:03. I really crashed and burned on this one. Took me much longer than it should have to get a few easy ones – e.g. PASSPORT PHOTO.

    Seattle is getting an expansion NHL hockey team in 2021. Their chosen name is the Seattle Kraken. That’s the only reason I knew what a kraken was, and SEA MONSTER was therefore an easy one.

    It’s a normal sunny 103 degree day here in Las Vegas, but there is an overwhelming aroma of smoke in the air. The California fires are apparently smoking up Las Vegas now.

    Best –

  4. 54:48 with two lookups. Definitely not in the zone today. SOOOO many missteps and did not trust some of the correct answers I did have. Did a number of D’ohs once I realized the answers. Seemingly much more than HALFASLEEP at the keyboard today.

    As an aside – it’s amazing to me that when the app says I am 1/2 done, there seems to be an ocean of white space still left to fill in.

    Bill – I know you’re not up on sports, but another tidbit for your database – Seattle is getting a new pro hockey team that may start playing sometime in 2021 and their mascot is the KRAKEN.

  5. 55:48 with two lookups. This is two difficult Saturdays (at least for me) in a row, definitely not for Bill or Nonny. Definitely more than HALFASLEEP at the keyboard. Had several correct answers that I didn’t trust and erased them several times. One of those days.

    It’s amazing when the app tells you you are 1/2 done what an ocean of white space there still seems to be when you’re struggling on a Sat.

    Bill – a database update for you, knowing you’re not much into sports. Seattle got a pro hockey team in the last year or so and will potentially play in 2021 if the arena remodel is done. The team mascot is KRAKEN.

    Had trouble posting again. This comment again seemed to go into the ether. Clearing cache, rebooting, even trying M/S EDGE browser vs. my normal Chrome to re-view before posting this showed NADA.

  6. 55:48 with two lookups. This is two difficult Saturdays (at least for me) in a row, definitely not for Bill or Nonny. Definitely more than HALFASLEEP at the keyboard. Had several correct answers that I didn’t trust and erased them several times. One of those days.

    It’s amazing when the app tells you you are 1/2 done what an ocean of white space there still seems to be when you’re struggling on a Sat.

    Bill – a database update for you, knowing you’re not much into sports. Seattle got a pro hockey team in the last year or so and will potentially play in 2021 if the arena remodel is done. The team mascot is KRAKEN.

    Had trouble posting again. This comment again seemed to go into the ether. Clearing cache, rebooting, even trying M/S EDGE browser vs. my normal Chrome to re-view before posting this showed NADA.

    PS this posted via M/S Edge.

  7. Got stuck in SE corner., wasn’t convinced WOE BE GONE was right because SLOP sounded so much better than GLOP.. and that meant WANE for Wax off?? That didn’t sound right…. But alas, …

    I’ll go TOP UP my drink.. Or is it TOP OFF??

  8. No errors so I got my Fri/Sat double. No issues except for the OWEN/PLAN cross.
    Inserted N as the only logical choice for that square; Voila.

  9. 43:19 and I had dark moles for dark money but what else is new?…I’ll just go top up my drink and move on to the next one.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens😀

  10. I’m with @Anon Mike for TOP OFF instead of TOP UP. Also a passing thought that PANDEMIC PHOTO would be more telling than the common PASSPORT PHOTO.

  11. 26:44, no errors. One of our favorite vacation getaways is the Kona Coast. Perhaps I’m overthinking this, but never considered KONA as a ‘type’ of bean. Coffee beans grown in the Kona area are primarily arabica beans.

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