0930-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Sep 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Erik Agard & Andy Kravis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Foul Language

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “Foul”:

  • 62A Profanity … or what 17-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across start with? : FOUL LANGUAGE
  • 17A They’re the opposite of consummate professionals : RANK AMATEURS
  • 24A Disgustingly wealthy : STINKING RICH
  • 36A Wonderfully high number of years to have lived : RIPE OLD AGE
  • 52A Arm-flapping dance of the early 1970s : FUNKY CHICKEN

Bill’s time: 6m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Chess whizzes, for short : GMS

“Grandmaster” (GM) is a title held for life that is awarded by the World Chess Association (FIDE). The only FIDE title higher than Grandmaster is World Champion. Despite the masculine appearance of the title, it is awarded to both men and women.

19 Cable’s ___TV : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

21 Berry often blended and served in a bowl : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

32 Mont Blanc’s range : ALPS

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

40 Kind of ring-shaped cake : BUNDT

Here in the US, what we know as bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

50 Something spotted on a safari : CHEETAH

The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes into English from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

56 Mrs., in Mexico : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

59 Religion in which suras are recited : ISLAM

A sura is any one of the 114 chapters of the Koran.

66 Hathaway of “Ocean’s 8” : ANNE

Actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film that I particularly enjoyed.

2018’s “Ocean’s 8” is the fourth in the “Ocean’s” series of films made by Steven Soderbergh. The lead character in the original trilogy is Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. The lead character in “Ocean’s 8” is Danny’s sister Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock. The gang of “8” thieves is an all-female troupe played by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.

68 Work of Horace : ODE

One of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets was Quintus Horatius Flaccus or “Horace”, as we tend to know him. Horace’s most famous work is probably his collection of Latin lyric poems titled “Carmina” (the Latin for “Odes).

69 Mosquito guards : NETS

Mosquitoes have a relatively short life cycle. Males live a matter of days, and females just a few weeks. In order to reproduce, male mosquitoes form large swarms, usually late in the day. Female mosquitoes fly into the swarm when ready to mate.

70 What “radio wave,” “foregone” and “main event” all hide : STATES

“Iowa” is hidden in “radio wave”, “Oregon” is hidden in “foregone”, and “Maine” is hidden in “main event”.

Down

1 From Qom, e.g. : IRANIAN

Qom (also Qum) is a city in Iran located about 100 miles southwest of Tehran. Qom is a holy city in the Shi’a Islam tradition, and a pilgrimage destination.

2 Like “Cleopatra,” among all Best Picture nominees : LONGEST

The 1963 movie “Cleopatra” really is an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earning seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly, as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.

3 ___ Bryan, “American Idol” judge : LUKE

Luke Bryan is a country music singer/songwriter. Bryan’s first success came with writing songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington, who were school friends.

“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016, the show “jumped ship” and moved to ABC starting in the 2018 season.

8 Neighbor of Oahu : KAUAI

Because the Hawaiian island of Kauai is one of the wettest places on earth, all the rainfall has helped to carve out magnificent canyons and left superb waterfalls. The island is often used as a backdrop for movies. The facilities at the island’s Lihue Airport reflect the pleasant climate enjoyed by the Hawaiian Islands. Check-in takes place completely outdoors!

12 Country whose flag is solid red with an emerald pentagram : MOROCCO

The country of Morocco is located in North Africa, but lies just 9 miles south of Spain. Spain and Morocco, and hence Europe and Africa, are separated by those 9 miles across the Mediterranean Sea known as the Straits of Gibraltar.

14 Italian brandy : GRAPPA

Grappa is an Italian brandy that is made by distilling the skins, pulps, seeds and stems that are left over from winemaking after the grapes have been pressed. .

18 Color of peanuts : TAN

I have to say it, but it drives me crazy. Peanuts aren’t nuts. They’re legumes, a plant in the bean and pea family. The flowers of the peanut plant last only one day and then wither. The fertilized ovary develops an elongated “peg” that grows downwards, pushing the ovary down into the soil. The ovary develops underground into a mature peanut pod containing between one and four seeds, which we call “nuts”. But they aren’t nuts. Did I say that already …?

22 High bar? : TRAPEZE

The circus act known as the “trapeze” is so called because the shape defined by the crossbar, ropes and ceiling of the tent is a “trapezium”.

25 Lint collector : TRAP

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

29 Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Ellington : SIR DUKE

“Sir Duke” is a song written and recorded by Stevie Wonder, released as a single in 1977. The song is a tribute to Duke Ellington, who passed away in 1974.

39 He was named 1992’s Sportsman of the Year, despite retiring from tennis 12 years earlier : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African-American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

40 Sacred creature to many Native Plains people : BUFFALO

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

41 Unrightfully seized : USURPED

To usurp is to seize and hold by force. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

51 Puzzle : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

55 Berkeley school, for short : CAL

The University of California, Berkeley (Cal) is the most difficult public university to get into in the world. It opened in 1869, and is named for Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.

63 Ice Bucket Challenge cause, for short : ALS

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral phenomenon in which participants were challenged to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured over their heads. Each participant then got to nominate up to three other people to do the same. Usually the nominees were given a day or two to comply, but could make a charitable donation if they wanted to avoid the icy shower. Happily, many participants opted to take the challenge, and also make a donation.

64 Trivial objection : NIT

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “You’ve got THAT right!” : I’LL SAY!
7 Distort : SKEW
11 Chess whizzes, for short : GMS
14 Band follower : GROUPIE
15 Prefix with legal or military : PARA-
16 “Intriguing!” : OOH!
17 They’re the opposite of consummate professionals : RANK AMATEURS
19 Cable’s ___TV : TRU
20 Ire : ANGER
21 Berry often blended and served in a bowl : ACAI
22 Worst poker pair : TWOS
23 It might have a lattice crust : PIE
24 Disgustingly wealthy : STINKING RICH
28 Quarterbacks, e.g. : PASSERS
30 Hurried look : GLANCE
31 Opposite of pro- : ANTI-
32 Mont Blanc’s range : ALPS
35 Some buns : UPDOS
36 Wonderfully high number of years to have lived : RIPE OLD AGE
40 Kind of ring-shaped cake : BUNDT
43 Gives a new color : DYES
44 Makes a sharp turn : ZIGS
48 Patriotic chant : USA! USA!
50 Something spotted on a safari : CHEETAH
52 Arm-flapping dance of the early 1970s : FUNKY CHICKEN
56 Mrs., in Mexico : SRA
57 Liberate : FREE
58 “And there you have it!” : TA-DA!
59 Religion in which suras are recited : ISLAM
61 Right on the money : APT
62 Profanity … or what 17-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across start with? : FOUL LANGUAGE
65 Call from a chair umpire : LET!
66 Hathaway of “Ocean’s 8” : ANNE
67 Not widespread, as a film release : LIMITED
68 Work of Horace : ODE
69 Mosquito guards : NETS
70 What “radio wave,” “foregone” and “main event” all hide : STATES

Down

1 From Qom, e.g. : IRANIAN
2 Like “Cleopatra,” among all Best Picture nominees : LONGEST
3 ___ Bryan, “American Idol” judge : LUKE
4 Few and far between : SPARSE
5 Gamer’s asset, maybe : AIM
6 Congressional approval : YEA
7 Bit of dust : SPECK
8 Neighbor of Oahu : KAUAI
9 Making the wrong choice : ERRING
10 “What had happened ___ …” : WAS
11 Learned (of) : GOT WIND
12 Country whose flag is solid red with an emerald pentagram : MOROCCO
13 Chides into silence : SHUSHES
14 Italian brandy : GRAPPA
18 Color of peanuts : TAN
22 High bar? : TRAPEZE
25 Lint collector : TRAP
26 Dot of land : ISLE
27 Water cooler noise : GLUG
29 Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Ellington : SIR DUKE
33 Pack of whales : POD
34 Foxlike : SLY
37 Teeny : ITSY
38 Punch out : DECK
39 He was named 1992’s Sportsman of the Year, despite retiring from tennis 12 years earlier : ASHE
40 Sacred creature to many Native Plains people : BUFFALO
41 Unrightfully seized : USURPED
42 Hit 2018 Netflix stand-up special for Hannah Gadsby : NANETTE
45 “Wow, look at the time! I should really be going” : IT’S LATE!
46 Auto-tune sites? : GARAGES
47 Embarrassed : SHAMED
49 Start of a play : ACT ONE
51 Puzzle : ENIGMA
53 Frequent hangout spot : HAUNT
54 Loafs : IDLES
55 Berkeley school, for short : CAL
60 Job for a lawyer … or outfit for a lawyer : SUIT
62 Enthusiast : FAN
63 Ice Bucket Challenge cause, for short : ALS
64 Trivial objection : NIT

12 thoughts on “0930-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Sep 20, Wednesday”

  1. 11:36. A couple early miscues – ONEHUNDRED vs RIPEOLDAGE, LEOPARD vs CHEETAH, AYE vs YEA. And who would like to never be reminded of the FUNKY CHICKEN??

  2. 14:09, no errors. Another slow day for me, but only 6 seconds slower than Tuesday. Everything seemed to be in slo-mo today. Couldn’t get traction in the NW and ended up finishing at what is usually my starting point.

  3. 12:28. The very first word I filled in was LONGEST – on a complete guess about “Cleopatra”. Made a lot of the same errors as Ron – AYE before YEA and I wanted LEOPARD before CHEETAH, but I already had conflicting letters. Overall not a bad Wednesday grid.

    I never thought of GRAPPA as Italian brandy. I always thought of GRAPPA as GRAPPA. Brandy is distilled wine. GRAPPA is distilled refuse. I always found GRAPPA to be nasty stuff.

    Best –

    1. Re: “Distilled refuse” … 😜😜😜! Many years ago, I sampled grappa and had the same reaction: nasty stuff! (A little later, on the same trip, I sampled ouzo, with a similar reaction.)

  4. 19:07 no errors…I know it’s only Wednesday but this might be a personal best for me with an Eric Agard (and partner as always) puzzle.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens despite COVID and injuries.

  5. No errors. Great puzzle, I thought. Difficult enough to make me have to dig but not so hard that I couldn’t finish successfully. Probably the most interesting to me was 70-Across with the hidden STATES. That surprised me. The old, long-time solvers probably knew this one right away.

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