0924-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Sep 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spelled Out

Themed clues are three-letter words that sound like a letter followed by “e.g.” That letter with “EG” form three-letter words that define the corresponding themed answer:

  • 63A Explained in great detail … or what four of this puzzle’s clues are? : SPELLED OUT

18A Kay, e.g. : BEER BARREL (Keg)
22A Elle, e.g. : DRUMSTICK (Leg)
38A Pea, e.g. : CRIBBAGE MARKER (Peg)
57A Bee, e.g. : PANHANDLE (Beg)

Bill’s time: 11m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 One whose charges are sarges : LOOIE

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer) such as a “sarge” (sergeant).

21 Squid organ : INK SAC

Octopodes and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopoda) and is stored in an ink sac. The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

25 Nebraska senator Fischer : DEB

Deb Fischer is a US Senator from Nebraska who has been serving since 2013. She is a member of the Republican Party.

27 Pop singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

28 Dead head? : DEE

The head of the word “dead” is a letter D (dee).

29 Many a flat-screen : LCD TV

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

31 Altiplano locale : ANDES

The Altiplano is a part of the Andes mountain range in South America, an area of high plateau (“Altiplano” is Spanish for “high plain”). The highest navigable lake in the world is located in the Altiplano, namely Lake Titicaca.

34 Dry Spanish wine : RIOJA

Rioja wines come from the province of La Rioja in Northern Spain. In my days living back in Europe, Rioja wines were noted for their heavy oaky flavors and it wasn’t uncommon to order a “rough Rioja” when out for dinner of an evening.

38 Pea, e.g. : CRIBBAGE MARKER (Peg)

Cribbage is a great card game that originated in 17th-century England. It was a creation of the poet Sir John Suckling. One of the unique features of the game is that a cribbage board with pegs is used to keep score. Here in the US, cribbage is very much associated with the submarine service, as it is a favorite game of submariners of all ranks.

44 Supermodel born Melissa Miller : EMME

Emme is the highest-paid plus-size model in the world. Emme was born Melissa Miller in New York City, and was raised in Saudi Arabia.

45 Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their sexual orientation.

53 Greek goddess of the earth : GAIA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (also “Gaia”, and meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

56 Twitter titter : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

57 Bee, e.g. : PANHANDLE (Beg)

To panhandle is to beg. The term “panhandle” has been in use since the very early 1900s and probably comes from the sticking out of one’s hand and arm, like the handle of a pan.

60 Blob on a slide : AMOEBA

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

Microscope slides are thin pieces of glass on which are mounted samples for examination. Often a “cover slip”, a smaller and thinner sheet of glass, is placed on top of the sample. Originally called “sliders”, such specimens would “slide” into the gap between the stage and the objective lens on a microscope.

62 Closing bid? : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

65 Eurasia divider : URALS

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

66 Roger ___, second-longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court : TANEY

Roger B. Taney was Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1836 until 1864 (when he passed away). Taney’s most notable decision was in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which he delivered the majority opinion that African Americans could not be considered citizens of the US. Taney was the second-longest serving Chief Justice (Chief Justice John Marshall served for 34 years, from 1801 to 1835).

69 Minnesota W.N.B.A. team : LYNX

Both Minnesota professional basketball teams are owned by billionaire businessman Glen Taylor. The Timberwolves play in the NBA, and the Lynx in the WNBA.

Down

1 Vet-assisting legislation of 1944 : GI BILL

What we commonly refer to as the GI Bill is more correctly called the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.

4 Land of Opportunity? : MARS

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

5 Track bet : PLACE

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

7 Largest employer in metro Detroit : FORD

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

11 “The ___ for 50 enemies is one friend”: Aristotle : ANTIDOTE

Aristotle was actually a student of Plato in ancient Greece (and in turn, Plato was a student of Socrates). Aristotle’s most famous student was Alexander the Great.

13 Line of athletic footwear : PRO-KEDS

Keds is a brand of athletic shoe first introduced in 1916 by US Rubber. The shoe was originally marketed as a rubber-soled, canvas-topped sneaker. Keds celebrated the company’s centennial with a “Ladies First Since 1916” campaign that focuses on female empowerment.

23 Liturgical reference book : MISSAL

Missals came into being in medieval times and were used primarily by priests and ministers. A missal is a book containing all the texts necessary for the celebration of Mass through the liturgical year. Nowadays missals are used by the congregation and not just by the celebrants. The term “missal” comes from the Latin for “Mass book”.

26 Cabo’s peninsula : BAJA

The Baja California Peninsula lies in the northwest of Mexico. It is bounded on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, and on the northeast by the Gulf of California. The border city of Mexicali sits at the north of the peninsula, and the resort city of Cabo San Lucas sits at the southern tip.

35 Novelist Patrick who wrote “Master and Commander” : O’BRIAN

Patrick O’Brian was an English novelist best known for a large series of books about an English naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars. O’Brian’s “Far Side of the World” gained some extra notoriety in 2003 with the release of the excellent Peter Weir film “Master and Commander”. The movie’s storyline was loosely based on the novel and starred Russell Crowe as O’Brian’s hero, Captain Jack Aubrey.

38 Buddy : COMPADRE

“Compadre” is Spanish for “godfather”.

39 Language in which “Hello, how are you?” is “Salut, ce mai faci?” : ROMANIAN

Romania sits just east of Hungary and north of Bulgaria in Europe. Romania was formed from the union of two principalities in 1859, Moldavia and Wallachia. The Kingdom of Romania grew larger in size after WWI with the addition of three new regions, including the “vampirish” Transylvania.

40 Mendes of “2 Fast 2 Furious” : EVA

I am most familiar with actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie “Hitch”, in which she played opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

“2 Fast 2 Furious” … and 2 many “Fast and Furious” movies 2 watch for me …

41 Rudolph with a parody of Kamala Harris on “S.N.L.” : MAYA

Comic actress Maya Rudolph got her break as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live”. Rudolph’s mother was singer Minnie Ripperton, who had a big hit in 1975 with the single “Lovin’ You”.

Kamala Harris has been a US Senator for California since 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.

42 Electric guitar innovator : LES PAUL

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

49 Enthusiastic flamenco cry : OLE OLE!

Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word “flamenco” isn’t clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that “flamenco” is the Spanish word for “Flemish” and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

53 Magnetic induction unit : GAUSS

Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist, by all accounts a child prodigy and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He did a lot of work in the field of magnetism in his latter years, and for this the metric system’s unit of magnetic induction was given the name “gauss”.

55 Sepals of a flower, collectively : CALYX

The calyx is the collective name for the sepals of a flower, which form the outermost whorl that forms the flower (the pretty part!).

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

59 Playground rhyme starter : EENY …

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

64 “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman : LEN

Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman was head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars” until 2019, and was head judge on the original UK version of the show called “Strictly Come Dancing” until 2017.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Start of a 14-Across : GERM
5 [Just … disappeared!] : [PFFT!]
9 Part of a necklace : CLASP
14 Creative nugget : IDEA
15 One whose charges are sarges : LOOIE
17 ___ system : HONOR
18 Kay, e.g. : BEER BARREL (Keg)
20 Introduction to physics? : ASTRO-
21 Squid organ : INK SAC
22 Elle, e.g. : DRUMSTICK (Leg)
24 “I’ll be there in five minutes,” often : LIE
25 Nebraska senator Fischer : DEB
27 Pop singer Brickell : EDIE
28 Dead head? : DEE
29 Many a flat-screen : LCD TV
31 Altiplano locale : ANDES
33 “You said it!,” in slang : WORD!
34 Dry Spanish wine : RIOJA
36 Union members : STATES
38 Pea, e.g. : CRIBBAGE MARKER (Peg)
42 Knockout : LOOKER
43 Merit : VALUE
44 Supermodel born Melissa Miller : EMME
45 Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY
48 Noise at night : SNORE
52 Day ___ : SPA
53 Greek goddess of the earth : GAIA
54 Charade : ACT
56 Twitter titter : LOL
57 Bee, e.g. : PANHANDLE (Beg)
60 Blob on a slide : AMOEBA
62 Closing bid? : ADIEU
63 Explained in great detail … or what four of this puzzle’s clues are? : SPELLED OUT
65 Eurasia divider : URALS
66 Roger ___, second-longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court : TANEY
67 Instead : ELSE
68 Gives conditionally : LENDS
69 Minnesota W.N.B.A. team : LYNX
70 Goes down : SETS

Down

1 Vet-assisting legislation of 1944 : GI BILL
2 Heavenly : EDENIC
3 Stank to high heaven : REEKED
4 Land of Opportunity? : MARS
5 Track bet : PLACE
6 Supporting : FOR
7 Largest employer in metro Detroit : FORD
8 Like most parking garages : TIERED
9 Go after : CHASE
10 Perplexed : LOST
11 “The ___ for 50 enemies is one friend”: Aristotle : ANTIDOTE
12 Practitioner of the dark arts : SORCERER
13 Line of athletic footwear : PRO-KEDS
16 Shake, as one’s tail : ELUDE
19 Uneasy feeling : BAD VIBE
23 Liturgical reference book : MISSAL
26 Cabo’s peninsula : BAJA
30 Playground wheels : TRIKE
32 Ride hard : NAG
33 Arouse : WAKEN
35 Novelist Patrick who wrote “Master and Commander” : O’BRIAN
37 “Have I ever steered you wrong?!” : TRUST ME!
38 Buddy : COMPADRE
39 Language in which “Hello, how are you?” is “Salut, ce mai faci?” : ROMANIAN
40 Mendes of “2 Fast 2 Furious” : EVA
41 Rudolph with a parody of Kamala Harris on “S.N.L.” : MAYA
42 Electric guitar innovator : LES PAUL
46 Thick : MIDST
47 Ladies’ night attendee : GAL PAL
49 Enthusiastic flamenco cry : OLE OLE!
50 Hearty : ROBUST
51 Gives a lift : ELATES
53 Magnetic induction unit : GAUSS
55 Sepals of a flower, collectively : CALYX
58 Retained … or detained : HELD
59 Playground rhyme starter : EENY …
61 Some tributes : ODES
64 “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman : LEN

21 thoughts on “0924-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Sep 20, Thursday”

  1. 19:09 with a lookup for the “E” in TANEY cross LEN (Goodman). Not familiar with either. Once finished, I stared at the reveal and just didn’t get it. Thanks to Bill for the explanation.

  2. I will lay claim to last place this morning at 47:35 🙁 I completely missed the theme, even after getting the reveal. Even after getting “panhandle”, I still missed it. Tough one for me today, but I enjoy the challenge. And someday, someday I will recognize a theme…..maybe

  3. 20:57, no errors, no lookups, no fat fingers. Yesterday it was the fill that got me. Today it saved me. I got SPELLEDOUT but the theme eluded me until I saw Bill’s explanation. With partially filled in theme letters, the answers just popped into my head. I was just a few seconds slower than Wednesday. Go figure. 😉

  4. 29:02. One of those puzzles I thought I’d never finish. It has an awful lot of proper names and current cultural references I simply don’t know, and that made it particularly challenging. Some great cluing in this one.

    I completely whiffed on the theme while solving. Once I finished, I went back and looked at it for a while. Mentally, I had ignored the “e.g.” part of the clue, and once I realized that and noticed that the clues were letters (K,B,P) I finally figured it all out after the fact.

    See you in 3 hours….

    Best –

  5. 41:50 no errors…I also could have stared at this one for 3 days and still not get the theme👎
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens😊

  6. At the point that I got CRIBBAGEMARKER, for the clue
    PEA, I thought my paper had a misprint for PEG, not noticing the
    e.g. already in the clue. Got the other theme answers through crosses but never got the aha moment.

  7. 17:30, no errors. Challenging clues; totally obscure and worthless theme. I’m happy that my solving time does not include getting the theme, or I would still be ‘on the clock’.

  8. Didn’t particularly care for today’s theme, either. ELLE is the phonetic equivalent of the letter ‘L’. When you put it together with the e.g. in the clue you get L.e.g. which apparently represents the SPELLED OUT word ‘Leg’. The leg of a turkey or chicken is a 22A DRUMSTICK.

    1. @Pat … But it is the sound of “kay”, “elle”, “pea”, or “bee” that is used to form the “real” clue, not the first letter of it! The “pattern” is the same for all four.

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