1026-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Oct 20, Monday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Get Cracking

Themed answers are each a person to whom one might say “GET CRACKING”:

  • 62A Apt command to an 18-, 28- or 47-Across : GET CRACKING!
  • 18A One reading secret messages : CODEBREAKER
  • 28A Professional joke teller : STAND-UP COMIC
  • 47A Health professional who has your back? : CHIROPRACTOR

Bill’s time: 4m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Hall-of-Famer Banks a.k.a. “Mr. Cub” : ERNIE

First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored. Banks was known for his catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two!”, a reference to his love of the game, always wanting to play a doubleheader.

17 ___ sauce (sushi condiment) : SOY

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. Charming …

22 Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE

Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

26 Goddess who lent her name to the capital of Greece : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

32 Half-___ (java order) : CAF

Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from then.

33 Karl who co-wrote a manifesto : MARX

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

The “Communist Manifesto” written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels contains the phrase “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” (“Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” in German). This evolved into the English saying “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” The words “Workers of all lands, unite“ are written on Karl Marx’s headstone in Highgate Cemetery in London.

41 Collectible animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

42 Swiss Army ___ : KNIFE

Swiss Army knives are multi-tools made by the Swiss company Victorinox. The device was first produced in 1891 when Victorinox’s predecessor company was awarded the contract to supply the knife to the Swiss Army. The name “Swiss Army knife” was actually an American invention as it was the term used by American GIs during and after WWII as an alternative to pronouncing the more difficult German “Schweizer Offiziersmesser” (Swiss Officer Knife).

43 Point of connection : NEXUS

A nexus is a means of connection, or a center where many connections come together. “Nexus” is a Latin word meaning “that which ties or binds together”. The Latin “nexus” is the past participle of the verb “nectere” meaning “to bind”.

46 Org. that might ask you to remove your shoes : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

47 Health professional who has your back? : CHIROPRACTOR

Chiropractic is a type of alternative medicine that largely involves the adjustment of the spinal column. The term “chiropractic” was coined in the US in the late 1800s and comes the Latinized Greek “chiro-” meaning “hand” and “praktikos” meaning “practical”.

54 Title woman in songs by the Beatles and the Spinners : SADIE

“Sexy Sadie” is a song written by John Lennon and released by the Beatles in 1968. Lennon wrote the song in India, and its original title was “Maharishi”.

56 ___ Vegas : LAS

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

59 “Amen to that!” : I AGREE!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

65 Actress Mendes : EVA

I am most familiar with actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie “Hitch”, in which she played opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

66 Hilo hello : ALOHA

Hilo is the largest settlement on the Big Island of Hawaii, and has a population of over 43,000 (that’s not very many!). I love the Big Island …

67 Home made of hides : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

68 1980s gaming console, in brief : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

69 Mortise’s counterpart : TENON

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

70 Department store that once had a noted catalog : SEARS

Richard Sears was a station agent on the railroad. In the late 1800s, he bought up a shipment of unwanted watches that was left at his depot and sold the watches to other agents up and down the line. He was so successful that he ordered more watches and then came up with the idea of using a catalog to promote more sales. The catalog idea caught on, and his success allowed Sears to open retail locations in 1925. By the mid 1900s, Sears was the biggest retailer in the whole country.

Down

2 ___ vera (cream ingredient) : 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.

8 Idris of TV’s “Luther” : ELBA

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

“Luther” is a British television series starring Idris Elba in the title role as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. There has been talk about developing a US version of “Luther”, and a Russian version first broadcast in 2016 using the title “Klim”.

10 Item rolled to the curb for a pickup : TRASH CAN

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

13 Sealy competitor : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

19 500 sheets of paper : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

25 Orthodontic device : SPACER

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry dealing with the straightening of teeth. The name comes from the Greek “orthos” meaning “straight” and “dontia” meaning “teeth”.

29 Set to zero, as a scale : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

30 Words to live by : CREDO

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

31 Yellow flowers in the primrose family : OXLIPS

The plant known as the oxlip is more properly called Primula elatior. The oxlip is often confused with its similar-looking cousin, the cowslip.

35 Conclusion a die-hard might stay for : BITTER END

The “bitter end” is a conclusion of a difficult situation. The phrase is nautical in origin. “Bitts” are pairs of posts on the deck of a ship or on a wharf around which mooring lines are wound to secure a vessel. The “bitter end” of a cable or rope is the part at the extremes of the line that is wound around the bitts.

39 Hombre-to-be, perhaps : MUCHACHO

In Spanish a boy is a “niño” or a “muchacho”. One can also call an adult male a “muchacho”, as in “one of the boys”. Calling an adult male a “niño” would be an insult.

40 Tennis great Arthur : 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.

48 Gran Canaria or Mallorca, por ejemplo : ISLA

Gran Canaria, or Grand Canary Island, may be grand but it isn’t quite as big as Tenerife, the largest island of the group and the most populated. The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas, which was a port of call for Christopher Columbus in 1492 on his way to the Americas.

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

50 Nicotine source, informally : CIG

Nicotine is an alkaloid stimulant found in the nightshade family of plants, most notably in the tobacco plant. The alkaloid takes its name from the tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum). In turn, the plant takes its name from French diplomat Jean Nicot. Nicot was the ambassador to Portugal from 1559 to 1561. When Nicot returned to Paris from his assignment in Lisbon, he brought with him tobacco plants, and introduced the French court to snuff.

52 One-named singer of 2011’s “Someone Like You” : ADELE

“Someone Like You” is a 2001 Adele song that was the artist’s first number-one hit in her home country, the UK. It’s about a boyfriend who broke up with her.

53 New Jersey’s ___ Hall University : SETON

Seton Hall University is a private, Roman Catholic college in South Orange, New Jersey. The most famous of the school’s sports programs is men’s basketball, played by the Seton Hall Pirates.

58 ___-Ball : SKEE

Skee-Ball is the arcade game in which you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

60 Penultimate word in many fairy tales : EVER

The stock phrase “Once upon a time …” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.

64 Hoppy beer choice, briefly : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “That ___ a close one!” : WAS
4 “Fingers crossed!” : I HOPE!
9 Numbers for sports analysts : STATS
14 Everyone : ALL
15 A physicist or a fashion designer might work with one : MODEL
16 Hall-of-Famer Banks a.k.a. “Mr. Cub” : ERNIE
17 ___ sauce (sushi condiment) : SOY
18 One reading secret messages : CODEBREAKER
20 Edible casing in a stir-fry : PEA POD
22 Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
23 Narrow cut : SLIT
24 Vends : SELLS
26 Goddess who lent her name to the capital of Greece : ATHENA
28 Professional joke teller : STAND-UP COMIC
32 Half-___ (java order) : CAF
33 Karl who co-wrote a manifesto : MARX
34 Home that may be made of logs : CABIN
38 Pleasant smell : AROMA
41 Collectible animation frame : CEL
42 Swiss Army ___ : KNIFE
43 Point of connection : NEXUS
44 Revise, as text : EDIT
46 Org. that might ask you to remove your shoes : TSA
47 Health professional who has your back? : CHIROPRACTOR
51 Quick races : DASHES
54 Title woman in songs by the Beatles and the Spinners : SADIE
55 Brainstorming output : IDEA
56 ___ Vegas : LAS
59 “Amen to that!” : I AGREE!
62 Apt command to an 18-, 28- or 47-Across : GET CRACKING!
65 Actress Mendes : EVA
66 Hilo hello : ALOHA
67 Home made of hides : TEPEE
68 1980s gaming console, in brief : NES
69 Mortise’s counterpart : TENON
70 Department store that once had a noted catalog : SEARS
71 Like deserts and some humor : DRY

Down

1 The “murder hornet” is one : WASP
2 ___ vera (cream ingredient) : ALOE
3 Quite cunning : SLY AS A FOX
4 “Brrr!” : I’M COLD!
5 Ruffian : HOODLUM
6 Peculiar : ODD
7 Person equal to you : PEER
8 Idris of TV’s “Luther” : ELBA
9 “Believe me now?” : SEE?
10 Item rolled to the curb for a pickup : TRASH CAN
11 Joint below the knee : ANKLE
12 Cross-promotion : TIE-IN
13 Sealy competitor : SERTA
19 500 sheets of paper : REAM
21 Farm enclosure : PEN
25 Orthodontic device : SPACER
27 Target of a camper’s scalp-to-toe inspection : TICK
28 Digitize, in a way : SCAN
29 Set to zero, as a scale : TARE
30 Words to live by : CREDO
31 Yellow flowers in the primrose family : OXLIPS
35 Conclusion a die-hard might stay for : BITTER END
36 “Should that be the case …” : IF SO …
37 Close by : NEAR
39 Hombre-to-be, perhaps : MUCHACHO
40 Tennis great Arthur : ASHE
45 Fitness coach : TRAINER
48 Gran Canaria or Mallorca, por ejemplo : ISLA
49 Wise sayings : ADAGES
50 Nicotine source, informally : CIG
51 Try to unearth : DIG AT
52 One-named singer of 2011’s “Someone Like You” : ADELE
53 New Jersey’s ___ Hall University : SETON
57 Headings in a playbill : ACTS
58 ___-Ball : SKEE
60 Penultimate word in many fairy tales : EVER
61 “No sweat!” : EASY!
63 Went on, as errands : RAN
64 Hoppy beer choice, briefly : IPA

12 thoughts on “1026-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Oct 20, Monday”

  1. 5:50 With just one fat finger. Otherwise no issues. Unfamiliar with OXLIPS. I suppose if my wife ever calls me OXLIPS, I better start worrying!!

    @Nonny – I tried the Birnholtz puzzle from 10/25. Gave up after about 1:15 with 4 down answers that were at least 1/2 filled in but I could not figure them out fully or their associated rebuses. I “mostly” had the idea. I had one other set of rebuses in the wrong across answer – one answer above where they should have been. I called it a night and found his solution page.

    1. @Ron F …

      Our experiences on the Birnholz puzzle are similar, I think, though I was apparently a bit more stubborn. I’m still trying to decide if I actually liked the puzzle or if I’m just pleased that I finally conquered it. (I guess the bottom line is that I didn’t end up with quite the same sense of admiration that I so often have for a Birnholz puzzle.)

  2. 9:36, a welcome relief from Saturday’s DNF and Sunday’s one hour plus. I’m a glutton for punishment: is there a link to the infamous Birnholz puzzle?

  3. 7:35, no errors. One of my many weak areas is current (in the last 20 years) celebrities. Surprising how many of their names I know, solely from doing crosswords: EVA Mendes; Idris ELBA; ADELE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.