0926-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Kristian House
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 16m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Classic makeshift solution : DUCT TAPE

What we tend to call “duct” tape today was originally known as “duck” tape. In its first form, duck tape was rubber-based adhesive applied to a duck cloth backing, hence the name. Cotton duck cloth is a canvas-like material, a plain woven cotton fabric. The name “duck” comes from the Dutch “doek” meaning “linen canvas”. Duck tape started to be known as “duct tape” in the fifties, as it was commonly used to wrap air ducts in the construction industry.

9 Side dish at a Korean restaurant : KIMCHI

Kimchi is a traditional dish from Korea. The original kimchi is made from fermented vegetables, and is pretty strong stuff …

16 Some spuds : IDAHOS

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me …

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

17 Luxuriating in the great outdoors : GLAMPING

“Glamping” is “glamorous camping”, camping with comforts and amenities.

18 George who directed “Night of the Living Dead” : ROMERO

George A. Romero is a film director noted for making satirical horror films such as “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead”. Ugh …

20 Alveolus, e.g. : SAC

The alveoli are the air sacs in the lungs, and as such are the basic units of respiration. They are hollow cavities around which the alveolar membranes perform the gas-exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. That gas exchange surface is about 800 sq. ft. in the average human.

24 San Diego’s ___ Institute : SALK

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher who developed the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US. It killed thousands and left even more with disabilities, and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim. That quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

32 Pro Bowl team that wears blue jerseys : NFC

National Football Conference (NFC)

The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game, and is played towards the end of the season around the time of the Super Bowl. The rules for the Pro Bowl differ from normal NFL games, in order to make the game safer. Apparently, NFL owners don’t want their players getting injured when they’re not playing for their own team.

34 Game played with beanbags : CORNHOLE

Cornhole is a game in which contestants throw bean bags towards a tilted-up platform with a hole in it. Bags that land in the hole score 3 points, and bags that land on the board score 1 point.

35 Gas pump abbr. : REG

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

38 Megan who was Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year : RAPINOE

Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player and a star on the US national team. One of Rapinoe’s many claims to fame is that she is the only player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner kick in an Olympic Games.

40 Impetus for a rescue mission : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

41 Unbiased opinion, e.g. : OXYMORON

The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron. It is derived from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

43 Asheville-to-Knoxville dir. : WNW

Samuel Ashe was the Governor of North Carolina from 1795 to 1798. North Carolina’s Ashe County and the cities of Asheboro and Asheville are named in his honor.

Knoxville is the third largest city in Tennessee, after Nashville and Memphis. It was also the state’s first capital, serving as such from 1796 until 1817. The city was named for Henry Knox, who was a general in the Revolutionary War and the US’s first Secretary of War.

47 Caesar dressing ingredient, familiarly : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

54 Rachel ___, seven-season TV role for Meghan Markle : ZANE

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is a former actress, and an American-born member of the British royal family. As an actress, Meghan Markle (her birth name) is best known for playing Rachel Zane on the legal drama “Suits”. Markle met her future husband, Prince Harry, on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in 2016.

55 Collection of seeds? : BRACKET

“Bracketology” is a term used to describe the process of predicting which college basketball teams will advance in a bracket in the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament. President Barack Obama famously participates in an ESPN segment called “Baracketology” in which he predicts the outcome of the tournament, game by game.

60 Prime meridian std. : GST

Greenwich Sidereal Time (GST)

Astronomers use sidereal time to know where to locate given stars in the night sky. Sidereal time is a time scale that takes into account the Earth’s rotation relative to stars with a fixed location in the night sky.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course the line of longitude that is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

61 Finance reporter Ron : INSANA

Ron Insana is a TV commentator, reporter and host in the world of financial news programs. He made a name for himself during the days of the Bush administration as he pulled off two exclusive interviews with President George W. Bush in which they discussed the economy.

64 Kind of roll : KAISER

The Kaiser roll was invented in Vienna, Austria. It is thought that the “Kaiser” name was applied to the crusty roll in honor of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

65 Drain : ENERVATE

To enervate is to drain of energy. “Enervare” is the Latin for “to weaken”.

Down

3 Home in the mountains : CHALET

“Chalet” is a Swiss-French name for an alpine cottage.

4 Pro ___ : TEM

“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

5 Music of the night? : TAPS

“Taps” is played nightly by the US military to indicate “lights out”. It’s also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” as it is a variation of an older bugle called the “Scott Tattoo”, arranged during the Civil War by the Union Army’s Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The tune is called “Taps”, from the notion of drum taps, as it was originally played on a drum, and only later on a bugle. The whole tune comprises just 24 notes, with there only being four different notes within the 24, i.e. “low G”, C, E and “high G”. Minimalism at its best …

6 Alternatives to Nikes : AVIAS

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

9 Soprano ___ Te Kanawa : KIRI

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is an outstanding soprano from New Zealand who was in great demand for operatic performances in the seventies and eighties.

10 Fetishized one : IDOL

At the beginning of the 19th century, fetishism was the worship of “fetishes”. Back then, a fetish was an object that was revered and considered to have mysterious powers. A few decades later, the usage of the term “fetish” was extended, probably by New England Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to describe an object of blind devotion. The concept of sexual fetishism arose at the end of the 19th century.

12 The surface tension of milk makes them stick together : CHEERIOS

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

14 Atoms that have the same number of neutrons : ISOTONES

Atoms with the same number of neutrons and a differing number of protons are called “isotones”. The term comes from the related word “isotope”, but with the “p” in “isotope” replaced with “n” for “neutron”.

21 Home of Minor League Baseball’s RubberDucks : AKRON

For much of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fastest-growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.

The Akron RubberDucks is a Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team name is a reference to Akron’s long association with the rubber industry, having been home to Goodyear, Firestone, Goodrich and General Tire.

25 Grammy-winning folk singer Williams : LUCINDA

Lucinda Williams is singer-songwriter who was dubbed “America’s best songwriter” in 2002 by “Time” magazine.

28 Zac of “17 Again” : EFRON

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

36 Like contractors vis-à-vis employees : EXTERNAL

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

37 Settings for pep rallies : GYMNASIA

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

46 Flammable compound with two carbons : ETHANE

Ethane is the second largest component of natural gas after methane. Ethane’s main use is in the production of ethylene, a compound that is widely used in the chemical industry.

48 Auto whose engine is apt to purr? : JAGUAR

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

57 Wearable Disneyland memento : EARS

Walt Disney came up with the idea of building Disneyland after visiting other theme parks with his daughters in the thirties and forties. He started building the park at Anaheim, California in 1954, and the facility opened just one year and one day later. The total cost of construction was $17 million. Opening day did not go smoothly, largely because over 28,000 people visited the park compared to the 11,000 people expected at the invitation-only event. The opening day went so badly that for years Disney executives referred to it as “Black Sunday”.

62 Knights of ___ (“Star Wars” order) : REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

63 HSN alternative : QVC

The QVC shopping channel was founded in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company now has operations not only in the US but also in the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. That means QVC is reaching 200 million households. The QVC initialism stands for Quality, Value and Convenience.

The Home Shopping Network (HSN) was the first national shopping network, and was launched locally as the Home Shopping Club in Florida in 1982.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Classic makeshift solution : DUCT TAPE
9 Side dish at a Korean restaurant : KIMCHI
15 Sent : IN HEAVEN
16 Some spuds : IDAHOS
17 Luxuriating in the great outdoors : GLAMPING
18 George who directed “Night of the Living Dead” : ROMERO
19 ___ Evans, many-time collaborator with Miles Davis : GIL
20 Alveolus, e.g. : SAC
21 What’s got you down? : AILMENT
22 Just got (by) : EKED
24 San Diego’s ___ Institute : SALK
26 “… ish” : … OR SO
27 Make more secure, in a way : RETIE
29 Cleansing of the soul : PURGATION
32 Pro Bowl team that wears blue jerseys : NFC
34 Game played with beanbags : CORNHOLE
35 Gas pump abbr. : REG
38 Megan who was Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year : RAPINOE
40 Impetus for a rescue mission : SOS
41 Unbiased opinion, e.g. : OXYMORON
43 Asheville-to-Knoxville dir. : WNW
45 Convenience store sign : ATM INSIDE
47 Caesar dressing ingredient, familiarly : DIJON
51 Spots for wet bars : DENS
52 Man’s name that rhymes with a number : NATE
54 Rachel ___, seven-season TV role for Meghan Markle : ZANE
55 Collection of seeds? : BRACKET
58 “You thought!” : HAH!
60 Prime meridian std. : GST
61 Finance reporter Ron : INSANA
62 Click the “X” when vexed, maybe : RAGE-QUIT
64 Kind of roll : KAISER
65 Drain : ENERVATE
66 Sends : ELATES
67 Something you might earn by having a long crossword-solving streak, informally : NERD CRED

Down

1 Construction site sight : DIGGER
2 Change of heart on Facebook : UNLIKE
3 Home in the mountains : CHALET
4 Pro ___ : TEM
5 Music of the night? : TAPS
6 Alternatives to Nikes : AVIAS
7 Ink saver : PEN CAP
8 Subtitles option: Abbr. : ENG
9 Soprano ___ Te Kanawa : KIRI
10 Fetishized one : IDOL
11 Ginormous : MAMMOTH
12 The surface tension of milk makes them stick together : CHEERIOS
13 Bit of jazz improv : HORN SOLO
14 Atoms that have the same number of neutrons : ISOTONES
21 Home of Minor League Baseball’s RubberDucks : AKRON
23 Hubbub : DIN
25 Grammy-winning folk singer Williams : LUCINDA
28 Zac of “17 Again” : EFRON
30 Bloom or balloon : GROW
31 Bring to ___ : AN END
33 Dealers have lots of them : CARS
35 Transport not meant for trails : ROAD BIKE
36 Like contractors vis-à-vis employees : EXTERNAL
37 Settings for pep rallies : GYMNASIA
39 Gist : POINT
42 Wrong for the role : MISCAST
44 Virtuoso, informally : WIZ
46 Flammable compound with two carbons : ETHANE
48 Auto whose engine is apt to purr? : JAGUAR
49 Opposite of remote : ON-SITE
50 Cleared : NETTED
53 Hot to trot : EAGER
56 It’s a real bender : KNEE
57 Wearable Disneyland memento : EARS
59 Collective : HERD
62 Knights of ___ (“Star Wars” order) : REN
63 HSN alternative : QVC

7 thoughts on “0926-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 20, Saturday”

  1. An embarrassing encounter for me. Early on, I had typed in PENCIL instead of PEN CAP, so I ended up with SILK and LURGATION. For whatever reason, these errors were more or less invisible to me, but (after much flailing about and a couple of consultations with Dr. Google) I finally fixed the errors, at which point the timer read 27:45.

    Were I a Roman gladiator of old, I would approach the emperor and ask to be allowed to fall upon my sword, but, this being the 21st century (and my tools of battle being insufficient to such a gory task), I shall have to fall back on the wise words of my mother (may she rest in peace): It Is What It Is! … 😜.

  2. 33:51 Spent a lot of time staring at this, once again doubting valid entries and doing a lot of “UNLIKE” (2D) of my answers, erasing, before RE-liking and re-entering them. Obviously many miscues.
    Had the entire left half done with almost nothing on the right half. At that point several “reasonable” guesses helped me out – the SE corner being the last to be completed. Instead of doing a RAGEQUIT, I took a few pauses and those seemed to help. Did not gain any NERDCRED on this one today.

  3. After an embarrassing Monday through Wednesday, the last half of my week was great. I flew through the top half and slowed way down on the bottom half. Still, a Saturday of 25:23 with no errors or look ups made me happy. Like @Nonny, I started with PENCIL but figured out PENCAP fairly early. I wonder if I have a minimum time it takes to put all the entries in making easier puzzles seem slow? Thursday – Saturday seemed pretty fast for me this week. I’ll wait for Karma to strike me diwn😝

  4. 28:21. Exact same issues as Nonny. I was actually quite amused that a PENCIL could be an ink saver. Oh well. Whipped through this one for the most part, but there were a couple of sticking points where I had to hunt down something I could fill in.

    I wonder if Ron INSANA has ever been teased about his name?

    KIRI? I think if “Sopranos from New Zealand from the 70’s and 80’s” were a category on Jeopardy, I think I’d pass.

    Best –

  5. Unfortunately Ms.Te kanawa’s vocal range is not what it used to be so I guess the best she can do is a “Kiri Elaison!”

    I finally gave up and refused to use outside aid.

  6. Looks like the PENCIL made its mark on this one. I too fell for it. But I figured that one out later… But I also did a couple of lookups.. REN and KIRI.. Once I got those, things fell fast… I learned about GLAMPING just in the past year.. That word explains a lot for those that aren’t really CAMPING.. They won’t admit what they are doing because they really like to say they are going CAMPING… Right!! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

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