1025-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: At the Halloween Play …

Themed answers are phrases related to a play, but they have been clued with a reference to Halloween play:

  • 23A At the Halloween play, when the black cat appeared, the ___ : AUDIENCE HISSED
  • 36A … the skeleton gave a ___ : BARE-BONES RENDITION
  • 48A … Frankenstein had ___ : A VARIETY OF PARTS
  • 68A … the critics loved the witch’s performance, ___ : WARTS AND ALL
  • 85A … the ghost had ___ : NOBODY TO ACT WITH
  • 92A … the vampire never ___ : REFLECTED ON HIS ROLE
  • 117A … the mummy was a hit ___ : AT THE WRAP PARTY

Bill’s time: 19m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Ruler divisions: Abbr. : MMS

Millimeter (mm)

18 Homes staffed with butlers, say : MANORS

A butler is the head servant in a household. The butler is often in charge of the wine stores in the house. The term “butler” comes from the Old French “boteillier” meaning “officer in charge of wine”, which in terms comes from the Old French “boteille”, the word for a “bottle”.

22 Snapple competitor : NESTEA

Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

27 Collectibles like ticket stubs and matchbooks : EPHEMERA

“Ephemera” was originally a medical term used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were short-lived, and by the end of the 18th century ephemera were any things of transitory existence.

30 “Critique of Pure Reason” philosopher : KANT

Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. Kant published “Perpetual Peace” in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in the US!

31 Enemy of Bowser in video games : MARIO

Bowser is a turtle-like character who is the main antagonist in Nintendo’s “Mario Bros” video games. Bowser’s son is Bowser Jr.

33 Music producer Gotti : IRV

Irv Gotti is a record producer, and the founder of the The Inc record label. Gotti was born Irving Lorenzo, and took the name Gotti after the Boss of the Gambino crime family.

35 Fr. religious title : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

43 Belle of a ball : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

46 Bradley or Patton: Abbr. : GENL

Omar Bradley graduated from West Point in the class of 1915, along with Dwight Eisenhower who also attained the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the last person to hold the rank of a five-star commissioned officer, and he was the first general to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was struck by a quotation from Bradley from later in his life:

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

General George Patton was a notorious leader of US forces during WWII. He was also quite the athlete in his day. Patton placed fifth in the modern pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Most famously, he was given command of the US Third Army in 1944. That army had resounding success, liberating more territory in less time than any other army in the history of the world. Patton barely survived the war. He was killed in a car accident outside Mannheim in Germany in December of 1945.

47 Citrus fruit with a portmanteau name : TANGELO

The fruit called a tangelo is a hybrid between a tangerine and either a grapefruit or a pomelo (which gives it the name). A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. The Jamaican form of tangelo is known as the ugli fruit.

48 … Frankenstein had ___ : A VARIETY OF PARTS

Not only did Mary Shelley pen the famous novel “Frankenstein”, she also edited the works of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was her husband.

53 One of the kids on “Stranger Things” : LUCAS

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

57 Most common U.S. street name, surprisingly : SECOND

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen. By the way, the second-most common street name is “Third Street”.

58 Scarecrow portrayer : BOLGER

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow, Bolger’s most famous role. At the end of the original script, Bolger (in the guise of a farmhand) heads off to agricultural school with Dorothy, hinting that there might be a romance in their future. All that was cut from the film before shooting started.

59 Blanket that’s worn : SERAPE

“Serape” is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

61 Pitcher Satchel in the Baseball Hall of Fame : PAIGE

Satchel Paige pitched baseball in the Negro leagues and then the majors, before retiring in 1966. When he moved to the Major League, Paige was 42 as he pitched his first game, making him the oldest ever “rookie” to play Major League Baseball. And when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, Paige was the first person to be so honored from the Negro leagues.

63 Chow : EATS

“Chow” is a slang term for “food” that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

72 Dragon roll ingredient : EEL

A dragon roll is a sushi dish made from eel, cucumber, seaweed, rice and avocado. I am sure it’s delicious … without the eel!

74 Prepare, as mushrooms : SAUTE

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

76 Cassandra, for one : TROJAN

I think Cassandra is such a great name, translating from Greek as “she who entangles men”. The Cassandra of Greek mythology was so beautiful that Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. There is another story though, that she gained her gift as a seer by spending the night in Apollo’s temple where snakes licked her ears clean so that she could hear the future. Ugh …

81 Hooded jacket : ANORAK

Anoraks really aren’t very popular over here in America. Everyone has one in Ireland! An anorak is a heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur (or fake fur), and is an invention of the Inuit people.

84 Great Lake name : HURON

Lake Huron takes its name from the Huron Native-American people that lived by its shores. Early French explorers often called the lake “La Mer Douce”, which translates as “the freshwater sea”.

88 Amazon, for one : E-TAILER

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

91 No-go area, in brief : DMZ

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The centerline of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

92 … the vampire never ___ : REFLECTED ON HIS ROLE

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defines where the body should be pierced. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

99 “Evil Woman” group, for short : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

100 Most common English letter, in Morse code : DOT

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

101 Joyce Carol with two O. Henry Awards : OATES

Joyce Carol Oates is a remarkable writer, not just for the quality of her work (her 1969 novel “them” won a National Book Award, for example) but also for how prolific her output is. She published her first book in 1963 and since then has published over fifty novels as well as many other written works.

106 Send emojis, say : TEXT

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate.

108 Southern shade trees : LIVE OAKS

The oak is the state tree of several US states:

  • Oak tree: Iowa
  • Northern red oak: New Jersey
  • White oak: Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland
  • Live oak: Georgia

112 It gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 : ERITREA

Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, and surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for anatomically modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

115 Source of some tweets : AVIARY

An aviary is a large cage that houses birds, and something described as avian is bird-like or bird-related. “Avis” is Latin for “bird”.

117 … the mummy was a hit ___ : AT THE WRAP PARTY

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to wrap, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

121 Certain Bach compositions : MOTETS

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text that is usually sung without accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

122 Fitting anagram of ANGER + E : ENRAGE

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”

123 In the style of : A LA

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

124 G.I.’s chow : MRE

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

125 Artoo-___ : DETOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2 (also “Artoo-Detoo”). R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 ft 8 ins tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

Down

2 Oscar winner Dern : LAURA

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

6 Title for Emma Bovary: Abbr. : MME

“Madame Bovary” is the most famous novel written by Gustave Flaubert. The title character is a doctor’s wife named Emma Bovary, who lives a luxurious life beyond her means and has many adulterous affairs. The novel had a rousing reception, including an attack by public prosecutors who labeled it as obscene, which I am sure later helped “Madame Bovary” to become a bestseller.

9 “As I Lay Dying” father : ANSE

“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream-of-consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

10 Two of Us? : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

12 Them’s fighting words! : EN GARDE!

“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning (meaning “on guard!”), it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

13 “It’s Raining ___” : MEN

“It’s Raining Men” has been labeled as a dance anthem, gay anthem and a classic female anthem; whatever anthem you relate to, it’s a fun song. It sounds very “disco”, and was indeed written in the late disco era. The Disco Divas like Donna Summer passed on it so it was only in the early eighties that it surfaced, when it was recorded by the one-hit wonder act called the Weather Girls. Geri Halliwell came out with a version in 2001, which is the version that I actually prefer, largely because of it’s featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary”.

14 “This minute!” : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

15 Formal admission : IT WAS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I (who called)
  • It was he (who did it)
  • It is we (who care)

17 Glossy gown fabric : SATEEN

Sateen is a cotton fabric. It has a weave that is “four over, one under”, meaning that most of the threads come to the surface to give it a softer feel.

19 “30 Rock” was inspired by it, for short : SNL

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey plays an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.

21 Apt thing to wear during allergy season? : A SHOE

“A shoe” sounds like “achoo”.

24 Mortar = sand + water + ___ : CEMENT

The terms “cement”, “mortar” and ”concrete” are related, and tend to get confused at times. Cement is a binder that hardens over time and binds other materials together. Cement mixed with a fine aggregate forms mortar, a workable paste used to bind building blocks together. Cement mixed with sand and gravel forms concrete, a pourable slurry that hardens into an extremely robust building material.

38 Bassoon attachment : REED

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

39 Buck : STAG

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

40 Like royal flushes : RARE

The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, jack, queen, king and ace, with all in the same suit.

43 Article of Cologne? : DAS

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Köln” in German.

44 She raised Cain : EVE

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

45 Hit ABC dating show, with “The” : … BACHELOR

“The Bachelor” is a US reality television show that first aired in 2002 on ABC. I’ve avoided this one like the plague …

49 Component of béchamel sauce : ROUX

A roux is a mixture of wheat flour and clarified butter (or other fat) cooked together until it can be used as a thickening agent.

Béchamel sauce is a roux made from butter and flour cooked in milk. It is sometimes known simply as white sauce. Béchamel is also considered the “mother sauce” in French cuisine as it is the base of other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce is béchamel with cheese.

50 Celebration of a life, for short : OBIT

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”.

54 Spam filter, of a sort : CALLER ID

The basic technology behind caller ID was developed in Athens, Greece by “Ted” Paraskevakos in the late sixties and early seventies. The man should be made a saint …

55 Capital of Samoa : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

56 Lentil, e.g. : SEED

The Latin name for the lentil plant is “lens”. Because the first lenses were double-convex shaped like a lentil, the glass structures were given the name “lens”.

59 Card’s place: Abbr. : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team plays at Busch Stadium. Busch Stadium is the third stadium in the history of St. Louis to have the Busch name. The first two were named for Gussie Busch, the brewing magnate and former Cardinals team owner. The current stadium is named for the brewery though, and not Gussie per se.

61 Good thing to make or break : PAR

That would be golf.

66 Late-night host Meyers : SETH

Seth Meyers is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best-known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), for which program he served as head writer. Meyers now hosts his own late night talk show on NBC.

69 Quaint “not” : NARY

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

77 Billy in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : JOEL

Billy Joel is the third-best selling solo artist in the US, after Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Joel’s name has been associated with two supermodels in his life. He dated Elle Macpherson, and wrote two songs about their relationship: “This Night” and “And So It Goes”. Joel’s second wife was Christie Brinkley, to whom he was married from 1985 to 1994. Brinkley appeared in the title role in the music video for “Uptown Girl”.

80 Fatty tuna, in Japanese cuisine : TORO

In a sushi restaurant, the dish called “toro” is the fatty tissue from the belly of the bluefin tuna.

81 Lead-in to phobia : ACRO-

Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

83 AM radio abbr. : KHZ

The unit of frequency measure is the hertz (Hz). It is the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. The unit is named for Heinrich Hertz, the German physicist who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves.

85 Capone contemporary : NITTI

Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

87 Like some Coast Guard rescues : AIR-SEA

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

89 Superfan : ACOLYTE

The word “acolyte” comes from the Greek “akolouthos” meaning “companion, attendant, helper”. In the Christian tradition, an acolyte is an individual who assists some way in a ceremony, by lighting candles for example. In more general terms, an acolyte is a devoted follower or attendant.

95 ___ ark : NOAH’S

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

107 “United States of ___,” show for which Toni Collette won an Emmy : TARA

“United States of Tara” is a comedy-drama that aired for a couple of years on Showtime. Star of the show is the talented Australian actress Toni Collette. The character she plays is Tara, a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder.

Toni Collette is a marvelous actress from Australia who really started to garner the public’s attention playing the title role in the 1994 film “Muriel’s Wedding”. She went on to take major roles in films like “Emma” (1996), “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “About a Boy” (2002), all of which are favorites of mine. Collette also played the lead in the excellent Showtime comedy-drama “United States of Tara”.

109 Cow, in Cádiz : VACA

Cádiz is a port city in southwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz is a remarkable city geographically in that it sits on a thin spit of land that juts out into the sea.

118 It might start with “I-“: Abbr. : RTE

The US Interstate System is more correctly known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, a nod to President Eisenhower who championed the construction. The President had come to recognise the value of the German autobahn system in his experiences during WWII, and resolved to give the US a similar infrastructure. In real terms, the US Interstate construction project is said to have been the largest public works project since the Pyramids of Egypt.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Reposed : SLEPT
6 Ruler divisions: Abbr. : MMS
9 Objective : AIM
12 Source of stress for a returning vacationer : EMAILS
18 Homes staffed with butlers, say : MANORS
20 Heartburn relief brand : MYLANTA
22 Snapple competitor : NESTEA
23 At the Halloween play, when the black cat appeared, the ___ : AUDIENCE HISSED
25 Really bother : GNAW AT
26 Sound of a candy wrapper : CRINKLE
27 Collectibles like ticket stubs and matchbooks : EPHEMERA
29 Glassy square? : PANE
30 “Critique of Pure Reason” philosopher : KANT
31 Enemy of Bowser in video games : MARIO
33 Music producer Gotti : IRV
35 Fr. religious title : STE
36 … the skeleton gave a ___ : BARE-BONES RENDITION
43 Belle of a ball : DEB
46 Bradley or Patton: Abbr. : GENL
47 Citrus fruit with a portmanteau name : TANGELO
48 … Frankenstein had ___ : A VARIETY OF PARTS
53 One of the kids on “Stranger Things” : LUCAS
57 Most common U.S. street name, surprisingly : SECOND
58 Scarecrow portrayer : BOLGER
59 Blanket that’s worn : SERAPE
60 Follow closely, as the curb : HUG
61 Pitcher Satchel in the Baseball Hall of Fame : PAIGE
63 Chow : EATS
65 “Of course I remember you!,” often : LIE
66 Glasses, in slang : SPEX
68 … the critics loved the witch’s performance, ___ : WARTS AND ALL
71 Tickled : GLAD
72 Dragon roll ingredient : EEL
73 Friendly : WARM
74 Prepare, as mushrooms : SAUTE
75 Vexation : IRE
76 Cassandra, for one : TROJAN
78 Vocal critics : HATERS
81 Hooded jacket : ANORAK
84 Great Lake name : HURON
85 … the ghost had ___ : NOBODY TO ACT WITH
88 Amazon, for one : E-TAILER
90 Old-timey title : SIRE
91 No-go area, in brief : DMZ
92 … the vampire never ___ : REFLECTED ON HIS ROLE
99 “Evil Woman” group, for short : ELO
100 Most common English letter, in Morse code : DOT
101 Joyce Carol with two O. Henry Awards : OATES
102 Slumps : SAGS
106 Send emojis, say : TEXT
108 Southern shade trees : LIVE OAKS
112 It gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 : ERITREA
115 Source of some tweets : AVIARY
117 … the mummy was a hit ___ : AT THE WRAP PARTY
119 Try to make out : PEER AT
120 Tot’s spot in a lot : CAR SEAT
121 Certain Bach compositions : MOTETS
122 Fitting anagram of ANGER + E : ENRAGE
123 In the style of : A LA
124 G.I.’s chow : MRE
125 Artoo-___ : DETOO

Down

1 Kiss : SMACK
2 Oscar winner Dern : LAURA
3 Finish with : END IN
4 Final destination, perhaps : POINT B
5 Long haul : TREK
6 Title for Emma Bovary: Abbr. : MME
7 Appreciative cry : MY HERO!
8 Arrive unnoticed : SLIP IN
9 “As I Lay Dying” father : ANSE
10 Two of Us? : ITEM
11 Fashioned : MADE
12 Them’s fighting words! : EN GARDE!
13 “It’s Raining ___” : MEN
14 “This minute!” : ASAP!
15 Formal admission : IT WAS I
16 Simple shelter : LEAN-TO
17 Glossy gown fabric : SATEEN
19 “30 Rock” was inspired by it, for short : SNL
21 Apt thing to wear during allergy season? : A SHOE
24 Mortar = sand + water + ___ : CEMENT
28 Gymnastics event : RINGS
32 With skill : ABLY
34 French towns : VILLES
37 What you’re doing at every moment : AGING
38 Bassoon attachment : REED
39 Buck : STAG
40 Like royal flushes : RARE
41 Beg : ENTREAT
42 Museum offering : TOUR
43 Article of Cologne? : DAS
44 She raised Cain : EVE
45 Hit ABC dating show, with “The” : … BACHELOR
49 Component of béchamel sauce : ROUX
50 Celebration of a life, for short : OBIT
51 Clouds (up) : FOGS
52 Tickled : PLEASED
54 Spam filter, of a sort : CALLER ID
55 Capital of Samoa : APIA
56 Lentil, e.g. : SEED
59 Card’s place: Abbr. : STL
61 Good thing to make or break : PAR
62 One of two for a tee : ARMHOLE
64 It might be pale or amber : ALE
66 Late-night host Meyers : SETH
67 Indiana city that’s 100 miles west of Lima, Ohio : PERU
68 Pale : WAN
69 Quaint “not” : NARY
70 Tidy up … or make less tidy : DUST
71 Produce on a farm : GROW
73 Poster heading : WANTED
75 Spy’s collection : INTEL
77 Billy in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : JOEL
79 Not up : ABED
80 Fatty tuna, in Japanese cuisine : TORO
81 Lead-in to phobia : ACRO-
82 Common sight at a cash-only bar : ATM
83 AM radio abbr. : KHZ
85 Capone contemporary : NITTI
86 Bone: Prefix : OSSE-
87 Like some Coast Guard rescues : AIR-SEA
89 Superfan : ACOLYTE
92 Do another take of : RETAPE
93 Number of sides on a hendecagon : ELEVEN
94 More crafty : FOXIER
95 ___ ark : NOAH’S
96 ___ Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus : HAKEEM
97 Them’s fighting words! : IT’S WAR!
98 Will matter : ESTATE
103 Stop, in France : ARRET
104 Reach : GET TO
105 Have the final word : SAY SO
107 “United States of ___,” show for which Toni Collette won an Emmy : TARA
109 Cow, in Cádiz : VACA
110 Bibliography abbr. : ET AL
111 ___ vez (again, in Spanish) : OTRA
113 Record speed, for short : RPM
114 Gadget that once came with a click wheel : IPOD
116 Rip (on) : RAG
118 It might start with “I-“: Abbr. : RTE

14 thoughts on “1025-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 20, Sunday”

  1. 25:02, no errors. First encounter with the word HENDECAGON, I believe. (Where has it been for the last 77 years?! … 🤪)

      1. 😜😜🤪!

        Actually, given “hen-decagon” and “do(e)-decagon”, one begins to wonder about “nanny-decagon”, “mare-decagon”, and “heifer-decagon”. Do “hen-decagons” lay eleven-sided eggs? Ten-sided? What a strange word … 😳!

  2. 41:49. My usual Sunday in the forties. I liked the Halloween theme. As usual, I had to search for a single wrong letter.

  3. 29:59 Including a couple minutes looking for a Fat finger. I had APUA, corrected to APIA and somehow it reverted to APUA. Also never heard of a HENDECAGON or ANSE.

    I also always seem to get AGRO for my phobia instead of ACRO. I must be conflating with AGORA phobia.

    1. Agrophobia” definitely needs to be a word. As a nerdy, bookish kid growing up on a farm and dreading the prospect of having to make my living that way, I can relate … 😜.

      And … since I’m here: Today’s Washington Post crossword, by Evan Birnholtz, is a corker! Maybe I was just having an attack of snail mind when I did it, but it took me almost 48 minutes to finish with no errors and another ten minutes or so to fully understand the gimmick. (To be fair, part of my problem was being unfamiliar with a couple of TV-related names.)

      1. I’m going to give that Birnholz puzzle a go later today or tomorrow. Kind of scared off a bit when the online version tells you it’s better solved on paper. Makes one wonder. Sometimes his are not too tough and other times – as you say, a Corker. We’ll see how this one goes.

  4. 37:47. Tripped my way through this one. Very seldom got any momentum. I’m really a Halloween version of Scrooge. I always make sure I’m out Halloween nights so I don’t have to answer my door.

    At least this puzzle’s mandatory Star Wars reference was so easy even I got it.

    I’m just not buying A SHOE for 21D. Uh uh. In retrospect, I should have left that blank and taken a DNF.

    How’s this for an anagram: marital and martial. Synonyms too…

    Best –

  5. 113:57 no errors despite the foreign junk.
    If you had to pay by the word to post on this blog someone would have to get a reverse mortgage.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens

    1. @Jack …

      If you had to pay by the word to post on this blog someone would have to get a reverse mortgage.

      Yeah, I know. It’s awful, but there’s just no stopping some of these guys! … 😜

  6. fairly straight forward fill except for a few quirky fills “ASHOE”? and “SPEX”.. maybe not SPEX because i put SPEC which gave me ROUC for 49D but thats ok.. i’m not perfect!!! HA! Then there was “STL” for a cards place…
    Interesting read on ACOLYTE.. did not know that was a “SUPERFAN”.. just thought it was the kids lighting the candles at church.. i’ll remind them of that later..

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