1009-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 20, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Buchbinder
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 17m 27s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ARMATA (Arsata)
  • I’M SO MAD (I’m so sad … because I got this so wrong)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Direct kind of fight : MANO A MANO

“Mano a mano” is Spanish for “hand-to-hand”, and is used in English to mean “face-to-face”.

18 Burton who hosted “Reading Rainbow” : LEVAR

Actor LeVar Burton is very much associated with two iconic roles on television, i.e. young Kunta Kinte in “Roots” and Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Burton also hosted the children’s PBS show “Reading Rainbow” for many years. His portrayal of Kunta Kinte in 1977 was Burton’s first acting job. Indeed, Burton’s audition for the part was the first in his professional career!

19 Dating app blurb : BIO

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

25 1/768 of a gal. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

30 ___ Flakes (old Post cereal) : OAT

C. W. Post decided to get into the cereal business after visiting the Battle Creek Sanitarium operated by John Harvey Kellogg. Post was interested in the chemistry of digestion and was inspired by the dietary products offered by Kellogg at his sanitarium. The first breakfast cereal Post introduced was Grape-Nuts, way back in 1897.

40 Look for people to scam online : PHISH

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PINs, etc.”

46 Obituary word : NEE

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

50 Round-bottomed vessel : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

52 Batik artist, e.g. : DYER

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

53 Shirt protector : BIB

The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

54 Beckett title character : GODOT

“Waiting for Godot” is a play by novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett that premiered in 1953. Irishman Beckett actually wrote the piece in French, under the title “En attendant Godot”. He then translated the play into English himself.

57 Hwy. through St. Paul, Minn. : US-TEN

US Route 10 is a highway that used to run from Detroit, Michigan to Seattle, Washington. Dating back to 1926, interstates have replaced some of its length, so that now US-10 runs from Bay City, Michigan to West Fargo, North Dakota. There’s a ferry service connecting Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin across Lake Michigan. That ferry service is an officially designated section of US-10.

63 Locale of the Île de la Cité : SEINE

There are two famous “îles” (islands) in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most renowned of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre Dame.

66 They provide a clearer picture : HD SCREENS

High-definition (HD)

Down

2 Printed cotton fabrics : CALICOES

In North America, calico is a brightly printed cloth made from cotton material. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, calico is a plain white cotton cloth.

4 Mo. for Guy Fawkes Day : NOV

Even when I was a kid living in England in the 1960s, we would make up an effigy of Guy Fawkes to parade around the streets in the runup to Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th. Guy Fawkes was the man who led the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British king and Parliament on November 5, 1605. We kids would use the effigy to raise money from strangers by approaching them with the phrase “penny for the guy”. The money collected was used to buy fireworks that we’d shoot off on Bonfire Night, the name given to the evening of Guy Fawkes Day. The effigy known as “the guy” gave rise in the UK to the use of “guy” to describe a poorly-dressed man. By the mid-1800s, the term “guy” was adopted into American-English to mean simply “fellow”.

5 Astronaut Jemison : MAE

Mae Jemison was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 1992 mission, and as such became the first African-American woman to travel in space. She is also a big fan of “Star Trek” and appeared on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. That made Jemison the first real astronaut to appear on any of the “Star Trek” shows.

6 Boomer at a concert : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

12 Where Colin Kaepernick played college football : NEVADA

Colin Kaepernick was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. In high school, Kaepernick was known as a baseball pitcher rather than a football player. He was a two-time California all-state baseball player and received several offers of baseball scholarships. Kaepernick finally received an offer of a football scholarship by the University of Nevada, Reno.

31 Mimicking : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

38 Zero : NARY A ONE

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

43 Prez with the same initials as an N.Y.C. landmark : GW BUSH

President George W. Bush (GWB) is named for his father, George H. W. Bush. The “W” in the name of both father and son stands for “Walker”. Walker was the family name of President George H. W. Bush’s mother, Dorothy Walker.

New York City’s George Washington Bridge (GWB) spans the Hudson River and links the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan with Fort Lee in New Jersey. When the bridge was opened in 1931 it had one deck, allowing six lanes of traffic to traverse the river. The bridge’s designer allowed for the construction of a second deck under the first, and this was added in 1946. Today, the bridge carries 14 lanes of traffic, which is more than any other suspension bridge anywhere. As a result, the GWB is the world’s busiest vehicular bridge. Some locals refer to that second deck as “Martha”, a reference to the president’s wife.

49 ___ Scott College, one of the Seven Sisters of the South : AGNES

Agnes Scott College is a private school in Decatur, Georgia. It is a liberal arts women’s college.

51 Tribe that traditionally spoke Chiwere : OTOES

Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as by the Missouria and Iowa.

55 Trade gossip : DISH

To dish the dirt is to talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information). To be dishy is to be given to gossip.

58 Period, with “the” : … END

The punctuation mark used to terminate a sentence is called a “period” in American English, and a “full stop” in British English. The same punctuation mark has no symbol in Morse code, so the word STOP is used instead in telegraphy.

60 Japanese electronics giant : NEC

“NEC” is the name that the Nippon Electric Company chose for itself outside of Japan after a rebranding exercise in 1983.

61 Y.M.C.A. course : CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

The YMCA (the Y) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

62 Norma McCorvey’s alias in a famous court case : ROE

Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Student who might take a crash course? : ECON MAJOR
10 Chills : HANGS
15 Direct kind of fight : MANO A MANO
16 Apply : EXERT
17 Leftovers from a Greek salad : OLIVE PITS
18 Burton who hosted “Reading Rainbow” : LEVAR
19 Dating app blurb : BIO
20 True : LOYAL
22 “Yesterday, I ___ a clock. It was very time-consuming” (groaner joke) : ATE
23 Bad marks for a high schooler : ACNE
25 1/768 of a gal. : TSP
26 “Haven’t the foggiest” : NO IDEA
28 Silently acknowledges : NODS TO
30 ___ Flakes (old Post cereal) : OAT
32 Hide : MASK
33 Winter airplane need : DEICER
34 Darts : FLITS
36 Homes all over the planet? : SPACE STATIONS
40 Look for people to scam online : PHISH
41 ___ di Mare (Italian fashion label) : ARMATA
43 Up (or down) for something : GAME
46 Obituary word : NEE
47 More warm, in a way : NEARER
48 Slangy response to a knock at the door : WHO DAT?
50 Round-bottomed vessel : WOK
52 Batik artist, e.g. : DYER
53 Shirt protector : BIB
54 Beckett title character : GODOT
56 Bruiser : APE
57 Hwy. through St. Paul, Minn. : US-TEN
59 Gymnastics rings feat with arms fully extended : IRON CROSS
63 Locale of the Île de la Cité : SEINE
64 “Take some time to think” : SLEEP ON IT
65 Minds : HEEDS
66 They provide a clearer picture : HD SCREENS

Down

1 Taking Back Sunday or Dashboard Confessional : EMO BAND
2 Printed cotton fabrics : CALICOES
3 Party bowlful with a sour cream base : ONION DIP
4 Mo. for Guy Fawkes Day : NOV
5 Astronaut Jemison : MAE
6 Boomer at a concert : AMP
7 Puts away : JAILS
8 Elated : ON TOP OF THE WORLD
9 Promising : ROSY
10 Pick-up line? : HELLO
11 ___ throwing (faddish sport) : AXE
12 Where Colin Kaepernick played college football : NEVADA
13 Hazards for high heels : GRATES
14 Zoom : STREAK
21 Kind of missile : ANTI-TANK
24 Got out : ESCAPED
25 Verbally attacked : TORE INTO
27 >:-( : I’M SO MAD!
29 Stock market sector, for short : TECH
31 Mimicking : A LA
35 Part of many a tree swing : TIRE
37 Chicago-to-Indianapolis dir. : SSE
38 Zero : NARY A ONE
39 Infuses with : STEEPS IN
42 Parts of a record : ARRESTS
43 Prez with the same initials as an N.Y.C. landmark : GW BUSH
44 “It all makes sense now” : AH, I SEE
45 Connection to the underworld : MOB TIE
49 ___ Scott College, one of the Seven Sisters of the South : AGNES
51 Tribe that traditionally spoke Chiwere : OTOES
55 Trade gossip : DISH
58 Period, with “the” : … END
60 Japanese electronics giant : NEC
61 Y.M.C.A. course : CPR
62 Norma McCorvey’s alias in a famous court case : ROE

15 thoughts on “1009-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 20, Friday”

  1. 22:23, no errors. I spent a long time in the lower left corner, where I initially wanted “PARIS“ instead of “SEINE” and “TEND” instead of “HEED”. Then, for a while, I had “OH, I SEE” instead of “AH, I SEE”, making it hard to come up with “GAME”. At the end (surprisingly 😜), it was “G. W. BUSH” who came to the rescue, and “BIB” (which I’d been thinking of all along) finally slid neatly into place. Comedy of errors.

    (I also paused over the “M” of “MAD” and “ARMATA”, but finally made the right guess. Otherwise, like Bill, I’d have been very sad … 😜)

  2. Coming in from left field today…finished in 25:24, 3 seconds shorter than the live version of Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells“ that I was listening to while solving. My only hitch was “oh” instead of “ah I see”, because “gome” made perfect sense…not!

  3. 27:31. Same error(s) as Bill. It sure looks like a sad face to me… Biggest waste of time was reading 15A as “Direct kind of fLight”. Hilarity ensued.

    I also had VOTE before GAME and TEND before HEED which led to our famous ex President VW Bust. What?? We had a Volkswagen for president?? I eventually fixed that area, but it wasn’t easy.

    Pretty easy Friday puzzle I made difficult on myself. Only other issue is I had NO IDEA how to answer 26A…

    Best –

  4. 26:53 Same error as Bill. Not familiar with either the across or the down and also figured that emoticon was SAD. I was 26A with both – NOIDEA

  5. 29:20, same errors as Bill and Jeff. Surprised I got any of this after my first pass yielded almost nothing. Perseverance!

  6. Don’t time my games but this must have been a sub-20:00 for me. I do worse on Tuesday’s. Just kinda took ths one on Mano-a-Mano.
    Love the blog and comments and now have a hankering for onion dip, maybe I’ll just sleep on it…

  7. No errors.. But I’m not a sub-15 minute kind of guy.. I’m still about a 45-minute with pen and paper.. No distractions.

    For 1D, I paused when I saw Dashboard and the first thing that came to mind was ” Paradise by the Dashboard light”.. Thinking “Dashboard Confessional” was the real name. Anyone remember that song? All I could think when I came up with EMOBAND was “I don’t think so!!”.. So I had to look up the song and lo and behold there is a song by what looks like a 20 year old singing EMO style.. That kid probably doesn’t even know who Meatloaf is.. That song debuted 44 years ago !! Holy crap!! Who knows, one of these crossword guys will have That clue Someday and I’ll ace it!! … Someday.

  8. Had to work my way from the bottom up. First entry was ROE and then CPR, which led to IRONCROSS. I knew batik involved dying; and I took a shot at NARYAONE and things flowed pretty easily from then on. Northeast and southwest corners were last to fall. Had STREAM for Zoom briefly, as I’ve been involved in Zoom meetings lately that I figured were “live-streamed”.
    Tried to make Hide a PELT, but that wouldn’t work anywhere.

    Can’t grasp SPACESTATIONS for homes all over the planet.

    1. @JRH … An astronaut may make his or her “home” in a space station for months at a time, but the position of that “home” is, literally, “all over the planet” all the while. (At least, that’s my take on it.)

      And … I’ve been going nuts for several days, trying to figure out why I’m suddenly getting dozens of phone calls (mostly from real estate agents). It turns out that my “new” phone number (as of eight months ago), belonged to someone else before that and (for reasons I still don’t fully understand) a bunch of people are suddenly deciding to contact him.

      Modern technology is great … except when it isn’t … 😳.

  9. 45:09 with the same error as Bill and others…imagine that , another foreign clue…also couldn’t come up with 43A.
    Did not enjoy this one at all👎
    Stay safe
    Go Ravens😀

  10. 27:18, no errors. I had a sneaky suspicion that today’s constructor was very dialed into current slang. Looked up his bio, turns out to be a 9-12th grade history teacher. Interesting that his last name Buchbinder translates from German as bookbinder.
    Same difficulties as others. OH I SEE made perfect sense to me, as did TENDS. Initial guess at 27D was I’M ANGRY. Expected 41A to be ARMANI, so I was lucky to get the ‘M’ for I’M SO MAD.

  11. So 1 wrong letter equals 2 errors? I’ve been following for a couple of months now and it’s the first time I’ve seen Bill with an error (or 2). I guess that’s 2 errors for me as well, although it took me nearly twice as long to make them! (32:12)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.