1013-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Oct 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Amanda Rafkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Win-Win Situation

Themed answers each include the letter sequence WIN, twice:

  • 57A Circumstance that’s good for everyone … with a hint to 17-, 25- and 44-Across : WIN-WIN SITUATION
  • 17A Bob Dylan song that was a #2 hit for Peter, Paul & Mary : BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
  • 25A Sly signal : KNOWING WINK
  • 44A Device for pulling a vehicle : TOWING WINCH

Bill’s time: 7m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Parent of Shopping.com : EBAY

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

Shopping.com is one of those comparison shopping websites. It allows you to compare prices for the same product at many different online retailers. It’s very useful for those of us who prefer online shopping to visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

5 Stage that may have bugs : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

14 Composer Bartók : BELA

Bela Bartók was a composer and a pianist. After Liszt, Bartók is considered by many to be Hungary’s greatest composer.

15 The “Iliad” or the “Odyssey” : EPIC

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

17 Bob Dylan song that was a #2 hit for Peter, Paul & Mary : BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

Bob Dylan wrote the famous song “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, apparently taking all of ten minutes to finish the whole composition. “Blowin’ in the Wind” has been covered many, many times, with a Peter, Paul and Mary version in 1963 the most commercially successful.

The birth name of singer Bob Dylan was Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman changed his name to “Dylan” partly because he was influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Peter, Paul and Mary were a folk-singing trio who got together in 1961. The group’s members were Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. Peter, Paul and Mary’s big hit was 1963’s “Puff, the Magic Dragon”.

20 Aid for making signs : STENCIL

A stencil is a sheet of impervious material with perforations in the shape of letters or a design. The stencil is placed over a surface to be printed and then the printing medium is applied, so that the medium only attaches to the surface beneath the perforations.

33 O’Brien of late-night TV : CONAN

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”. While attending Harvard, O’Brien was president of “The Harvard Lampoon”.

34 Angsty music genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

40 Resource from a bog : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

43 Requirement for a background check, for short : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

49 Ephron who co-wrote and directed “Sleepless in Seattle” : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a lovely romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, released in 1993. The film’s storyline is based on the excellent 1957 movie “An Affair to Remember”, and there are numerous direct references to the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr classic throughout the “remake”. The lead roles in “Sleepless …” are played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

50 Canadian dollar coin : LOONIE

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

52 Some musical compositions : SONATAS

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

62 “Gypsy” composer Jule : STYNE

Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

“Gypsy” is a 1962 musical film based on the book by Gypsy Rose Lee titled “Gypsy: A Memoir”. Stars of the movie are Natalie Wood as Louise Hovick (Gypsy’s real name) and Rosalind Russell as Gypsy’s mother Rose Hovick. By the way, the real-life Gypsy Rose Lee became a fiction author in 1942 when her mystery thriller was published called “The G-String Murders”. The novel was adapted into a movie a couple of years later and released as “Lady of Burlesque” starring Barbara Stanwyck.

64 Take a Tinder match offline, say : MEET

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

Down

2 It’s a cinch : BELT

The term “cinch” was absorbed into American English from Spanish in the mid-1800s, when it was used to mean a “saddle-girth”. “Cincha” is the Spanish for “girdle”. In the late 1800s, “cinch” came to mean a ‘sure thing”, in the sense that a saddle-girth can provide a “sure hold”.

3 Burn soother : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

6 Last words : EPILOG

Our word “epilog” (also “epilogue”) applies to an addition at the end of a play or other literary work. The term ultimately comes from the Greek “epi-” signifying “in addition”, and “logos” meaning “speech”.

7 ___ Woodman (visitor to Oz) : TIN

Actor Jack Haley played the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz”. Haley was the second choice for the role, as it was originally given to Buddy Ebsen (who later played Jed Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies”). Ebsen was being “painted up” as the Tin Man when he had an extreme, near-fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup that was being used. When Haley took over, the makeup was changed to a paste, but it was still uncomfortable and caused him to miss the first four days of shooting due to a reaction in his eyes. During filming, Haley must have made good friends with the movie’s star, Judy Garland, as years later Jack’s son married Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli.

25 Single-serve coffee holders : K-CUPS

A K-Cup is a single-portion cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in which the beverage is prepared in situ. K-Cup packs are used with brewing machines made by Keurig, a manufacturer of coffee brewers based in Reading, Massachusetts. Personally, I use a Nespresso machine …

28 Part of a witch’s Halloween mask : WART

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

29 Global financial org. : IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

31 End of an era? : ONE BC

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

35 Surrealist Salvador : DALI

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

37 Frédéric who composed the “Revolutionary” Étude : CHOPIN

Frédéric Chopin was a Polish composer who spent most of his life in France. He was most famous for his piano works in the Romantic style. Chopin was a sickly man and died quite young, at 39. For many of his final years he had a celebrated and tempestuous relationship with the French author George Sand (the nom de plume of the Baroness Dudevant). Those years with Sand may have been turbulent, but they were very productive in terms of musical composition.

38 Like steak tartare : RAW

Steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s. Back then, the dish went by the name “steak à l’Americaine”, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was dubbed “steak tartare”. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat. There are now similar “tartare” dishes made with raw salmon, or raw tuna.

42 Swahili “sir” : BWANA

Swahili is one of the many Bantu languages spoken in Africa. There are hundreds of Bantu languages, with most being spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

48 Comic Atkinson of “Bean” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” : ROWAN

Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian and actor who is most famous for playing the title role in the comedy shows “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder”. In the world of movies, Atkinson had memorable supporting performances (in my opinion) in the Bond film “Never Say Never Again”, and in the romcoms “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually”. A very talented man …

51 “SportsCenter” network : ESPN

“SportsCenter” is the flagship program of the ESPN television network, and has been on the air since 1979. Original versions of “SportsCenter” appear on multiple times during the day, so that there have been over 50,000 episodes broadcast to date, more than any other show on US television.

53 Something of little matter? : ATOM

Atomism is a philosophical concept based on the idea that the physical world is composed of atoms, indivisible fundamental units pieces of matter. The term “atom” comes from the Greek “a-” (not) and “tomos” (cutting), giving the “atomos” meaning “uncut, indivisible”. The pioneers of ancient Greek atomism were Leucippus and his pupil Democritus in the 5th century BCE.

54 Proctor’s call : TIME

A proctor is a supervisor, and especially a person overseeing a school examination or a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, and is a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

57 Director Anderson : WES

Film director Wes Anderson’s most famous movie is probably “The Royal Tenenbaums” that was released in 2001, and is not my favorite film by any stretch. However, Anderson’s 2007 release “The Darjeeling Limited”, that I enjoyed.

58 Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Parent of Shopping.com : EBAY
5 Stage that may have bugs : BETA
9 Untrue : FALSE
14 Composer Bartók : BELA
15 The “Iliad” or the “Odyssey” : EPIC
16 Online business : E-TAIL
17 Bob Dylan song that was a #2 hit for Peter, Paul & Mary : BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
20 Aid for making signs : STENCIL
21 Dishes created at restaurant “bars” : SALADS
22 Power-hungry people have big ones : EGOS
24 Achy : SORE
25 Sly signal : KNOWING WINK
30 Casual hellos : YOS
33 O’Brien of late-night TV : CONAN
34 Angsty music genre : EMO
35 Result of a fender bender : DENT
36 Person with log-in information : USER
37 Quilting or embroidery : CRAFT
39 Between ports : ASEA
40 Resource from a bog : PEAT
41 Sarcastic laugh syllable : HAR
42 Some shapes on lab slides : BLOBS
43 Requirement for a background check, for short : SSN
44 Device for pulling a vehicle : TOWING WINCH
47 Release, as a single : DROP
49 Ephron who co-wrote and directed “Sleepless in Seattle” : NORA
50 Canadian dollar coin : LOONIE
52 Some musical compositions : SONATAS
57 Circumstance that’s good for everyone … with a hint to 17-, 25- and 44-Across : WIN-WIN SITUATION
59 D sharp equivalent : E-FLAT
60 Dicing food or turning on the oven, e.g. : PREP
61 Prefix with potent : OMNI-
62 “Gypsy” composer Jule : STYNE
63 Snoozes : NAPS
64 Take a Tinder match offline, say : MEET

Down

1 Flows’ opposite : EBBS
2 It’s a cinch : BELT
3 Burn soother : ALOE
4 [That is so boring!] : [YAWN!]
5 Harmless : BENIGN
6 Last words : EPILOG
7 ___ Woodman (visitor to Oz) : TIN
8 Things separated by intermissions : ACTS
9 “How ya holding up?” : FEEL OK?
10 Battling all out : AT WAR
11 Looked at : LAID EYES ON
12 Things confessed during confession : SINS
13 Bygone days, old-style : ELD
18 Strand during a winter trip, say : ICE IN
19 Lacks : HAS NOT
23 Administer an oath to : SWEAR IN
25 Single-serve coffee holders : K-CUPS
26 Snoops (around) : NOSES
27 Perfect partner for life : ONE AND ONLY
28 Part of a witch’s Halloween mask : WART
29 Global financial org. : IMF
31 End of an era? : ONE BC
32 Target for a drug-sniffing dog : STASH
35 Surrealist Salvador : DALI
37 Frédéric who composed the “Revolutionary” Étude : CHOPIN
38 Like steak tartare : RAW
42 Swahili “sir” : BWANA
44 This evening, in commercialese : TONITE
45 Warning on an airplane wing : NO STEP
46 Trios, quartets, etc. : GROUPS
48 Comic Atkinson of “Bean” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” : ROWAN
50 Follower of face or fork : -LIFT
51 “SportsCenter” network : ESPN
53 Something of little matter? : ATOM
54 Proctor’s call : TIME
55 Top-of-the-line : A-ONE
56 Red state? : SNIT
57 Director Anderson : WES
58 Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

5 thoughts on “1013-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Oct 20, Tuesday”

  1. 12:06 Had “towing hitch” before getting the reveal. And then there was “blowing” instead “blowin’”. Just a couple of goofy mistakes that held things up.

  2. 8:24. Looked at the theme once I was finished.

    It might not be a theme, but there was at least a motif of music in this puzzle: BELA Bartok, Bob DYLAN, EMO, SONATA, STYNE, CHOPIN, IRA Gershwin, EFLAT….Sheesh.

    Best –

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