1012-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Oct 20, Monday

Constructed by: Joe Hansen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Flower Garden

Four sets of circled letters in the grid spell out the names of FLOWERS. They also represent those flowers visually, as if they are in a GARDEN:

  • VIOLET
  • DAHLIA
  • AZALEA
  • ORCHID
  • 5D With 50-Down, place that this puzzle grid represents : FLOWER …
  • 50D See 5-Down : … GARDEN

Bill’s time: 6m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Winning a blue ribbon : BEST

A common award for winning first place in a competition, especially at a fair, is a blue ribbon. In Canada and the UK, first place is usually recognized with a red ribbon, and blue ribbon is given for second place.

5 San ___ (California city, informally) : FRAN

Acceptable nicknames for the California city of San Francisco are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. Locals usually just refer to it as “the City” but never, never “Frisco”.

15 Toy that hurts when you step on it barefoot : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

16 Defendant’s excuse : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

19 Kind of snack chip : NACHO

The dish known as “nachos” was supposedly created by the maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The name of the maître d’ was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.

20 Letter container: Abbr. : ENV

An envelope (env.) might hold a letter (ltr.).

22 When a plane is due to leave, for short : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

29 Like movies with considerable sex or violence : RATED-R

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

31 “___ a stinker?” (Bugs Bunny catchphrase) : AIN’T I

Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”, while addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd.

33 Kind of cherry : BING

The bing cherry is the most widely grown sweet cherry in the US. The cultivar was created in Oregon in 1875 by Seth Lewelling. Lewelling was a horticulturist, and he named the cherry for his Chinese foreman Ah Bing.

34 Electrical adapter letters : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

39 Mash-up : AMALGAM

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

45 Stout and porter : ALES

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s. It is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

46 Protein builder, informally : AMINO

Proteins are synthesised in the body from amino acids, which are linked together in specific sequences that are determined by the genetic code. The language of the code is a sequence of nucleotides. The nucleotides are arranged in groups of three called “codons”, with each codon determining a specific amino acid.

55 Seoul-based automaker : KIA

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

58 College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa : COE

Coe College is a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that was founded in 1851. Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Iowa. It is named for rapids on the Cedar River on which the city is located. The river itself was named for the red cedars growing along the river’s banks.

61 They were released from Pandora’s box : EVILS

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

66 Special Forces headgear : BERET

The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear … green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform. They had to wait until 1961, when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

69 “Get Yer ___ Out!” (Rolling Stones live album) : YA-YAS

“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a live album that the Rolling Stones released in 1970. The title “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a slang phrase exhorting one to live life to the full.

70 School founded by Henry VI : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

71 Auto license issuers, for short : DMVS

In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver’s licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are “variations on the theme”. For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

It took me years, years to stop using the term “driving license” after I moved to the US. We call a driver’s license a “driving license” back in Ireland.

Down

2 Actress ___ Rachel Wood : EVAN

Actress Evan Rachel Wood’s most famous role to date is playing one of the leads in the 2003 movie “Thirteen”. Wood’s private life draws a lot of attention, especially as she was romantically linked for some time with the “outrageous” musician Marilyn Manson.

6 Descartes who said “I think, therefore I am” : RENE

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”. Anything pertaining to the philosophy of Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

9 One holding people up : BANDIT

Our word “bandit”, meaning “lawless robber”, dates back to the late 1500s. We imported the term from the Italian “bandito”, which has the same meaning.

10 Pie ___ mode : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

13 Detroit pro team : LIONS

The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that play home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

23 Polynesian kingdom : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors.

The term “Polynesia” was coined in 1756 by author Charles de Brosses when he used it to describe all the islands in the Pacific. This usage was later restricted to what we now refer to as a subregion of Oceania.

27 Brand of Irish cream liqueur : BAILEYS

A “cream liqueur” is one that includes dairy cream. The most famous example is probably Baileys Irish Cream, that is made from cream and Irish whiskey. A crème liqueur, on the other hand, is one that includes a lot of added sugar, but no dairy cream. Examples are crème de cacao (chocolate-flavored), crème de menthe (mint-flavored) and crème de cassis (blackcurrant-flavored).

28 ___ Fáil (ancient crowning stone) : LIA

The Lia Fáil is the coronation stone that is found on the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Ireland. “Lia Fáil” translates from Irish as “stone of destiny”.

30 Bullets and such : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

33 United States symbol : BALD EAGLE

The bald eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.

37 Corp. V.I.P.s : CEOS

Chief executive officer (CEO)

41 Actress Robbie of “I, Tonya” : MARGOT

“I, Tonya” is a 2017 comedy biopic about the life of figure skater Tonya Harding, with a focus on the 1994 attack on Harding’s rival Nancy Kerrigan. Harding is played by Australian actress Margot Robbie. I haven’t seen this one, but it’s on my list as I hear good things …

44 Cartoon “devil,” informally : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

52 Skin care brand since 1911 : NIVEA

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

57 Lead singer for U2 : BONO

Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner who was born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Winning a blue ribbon : BEST
5 San ___ (California city, informally) : FRAN
9 Trite : BANAL
14 State as fact : AVER
15 Toy that hurts when you step on it barefoot : LEGO
16 Defendant’s excuse : ALIBI
17 Some deep voices : BARITONES
19 Kind of snack chip : NACHO
20 Letter container: Abbr. : ENV
21 Have debts : OWE
22 When a plane is due to leave, for short : ETD
24 Sweetie : HON
25 Her: Fr. : ELLE
27 Parts of gas stoves : BROILERS
29 Like movies with considerable sex or violence : RATED-R
31 “___ a stinker?” (Bugs Bunny catchphrase) : AIN’T I
32 Friendship : AMITY
33 Kind of cherry : BING
34 Electrical adapter letters : AC/DC
38 “Dee-lish!” : MMM!
39 Mash-up : AMALGAM
42 Paris street : RUE
43 One who’s well-versed in the arts? : POET
45 Stout and porter : ALES
46 Protein builder, informally : AMINO
48 Sharp or sour in taste : ACIDY
50 Fireplace log holders : GRATES
51 Where touchdowns are scored : END ZONES
54 Prefix with business or culture : AGRI-
55 Seoul-based automaker : KIA
56 Pretty ___ picture : AS A
57 “Dude” : BRO
58 College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa : COE
61 They were released from Pandora’s box : EVILS
63 “That was fortunate” : GOOD THING
66 Special Forces headgear : BERET
67 One of several on a superhighway : LANE
68 Analogy phrase : IS TO
69 “Get Yer ___ Out!” (Rolling Stones live album) : YA-YAS
70 School founded by Henry VI : ETON
71 Auto license issuers, for short : DMVS

Down

1 Sweetie : BABE
2 Actress ___ Rachel Wood : EVAN
3 Be in jail : SERVE TIME
4 Prefix with cycle : TRI-
5 With 50-Down, place that this puzzle grid represents : FLOWER …
6 Descartes who said “I think, therefore I am” : RENE
7 Grow older : AGE
8 Some facial jewelry : NOSE RINGS
9 One holding people up : BANDIT
10 Pie ___ mode : A LA
11 Limited kind of market : NICHE
12 Despise : ABHOR
13 Detroit pro team : LIONS
18 “See? What’d I say!” : TOLD YA!
23 Polynesian kingdom : TONGA
26 Tennis do-over : LET
27 Brand of Irish cream liqueur : BAILEYS
28 ___ Fáil (ancient crowning stone) : LIA
29 Skatepark feature : RAMP
30 Bullets and such : AMMO
33 United States symbol : BALD EAGLE
35 “You did it all wrong!,” e.g. : CRITICISM
36 Hill on a beach : DUNE
37 Corp. V.I.P.s : CEOS
40 Important pipes : MAINS
41 Actress Robbie of “I, Tonya” : MARGOT
44 Cartoon “devil,” informally : TAZ
47 Damage in appearance : MAR
49 The U.S. has East and West ones : COASTS
50 See 5-Down : GARDEN
51 Barely make it : EKE BY
52 Skin care brand since 1911 : NIVEA
53 Milk and cheese products, collectively : DAIRY
57 Lead singer for U2 : BONO
59 Airing : ON TV
60 Self-identities : EGOS
62 Meadow : LEA
64 Feedbag tidbit : OAT
65 Placed so as not to be found : HID

6 thoughts on “1012-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Oct 20, Monday”

  1. 7:14 Never know if the answer to a clue like 14A is AVER or AVOW. Always need crosses. Had ACRID before ACIDY. Otherwise no issues

  2. 8:46. Relatively elaborate theme for a Monday but not too difficult. I didn’t notice it until after I had finished.

    Pandora let out all the evils of the world but managed to keep hope all bottled up? Those ancient Greeks were cynics even way back then.

    Best –

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