1029-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Oct 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Kurt Weller
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Not Now

Themed clues make sense when we drop the letters T and W, when there’s “NO T, NO W”:

  • 71A “I’m busy!” … or, if read in four pieces, an aid in solving several clues here : NOT NOW … or, NO “T”, NO “W”
  • 1A Twice over : FREEZE (ice over)
  • 17A Tallowy : AMALGAMATE (alloy)
  • 37A Tawny : NO MATTER WHICH (any)
  • 62A Twin bed, perhaps : FAST ASLEEP (in bed)
  • 2D Wariest animal : RAM (Aries animal)
  • 12D Wrought : COARSE (rough)
  • 47D Wrote : CAVIAR (roe)
  • 64D Freudian “wit” : EGO (I)

Bill’s time: 10m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “Mass in B Minor” composer : BACH

Perhaps the most famous mass in classical music is J. S. Bach’s “Mass in B minor”, which was completed just before he died. It was one of the last of Bach’s compositions, although much of the music was composed earlier in his life.

16 Sunburn aid : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

20 Fijian or Samoan, e.g. : ISLANDER

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

26 Sign before Virgo : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

27 Percy Bysshe Shelley, for one : ODIST

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called “A Vindication of Natural Diet” in 1813.

32 Locales for speakers and honorees : DAISES

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

34 Samuel Adams, for one : BEER

Samuel Adams beers (sometimes ordered as “Sam Adams”) are named in honor of the American patriot who played a role in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams came from a family associated with the brewing industry, mainly involved in the production of malt.

36 Like all prime numbers besides one : ODD

A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.

42 Kind of charger : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

43 Dinar : Iraq :: ___ : Chile : PESO

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

49 Flying horse of Greek legend : PEGASUS

Pegasus is a white, winged stallion of Greek mythology. Pegasus was sired by Poseidon and foaled by Medusa.

52 “I love,” long ago : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

54 Bug’s sensory appendage : PALP

Palps are appendages found near the mouth of many invertebrates, including mollusks, crustaceans and insects. They are used to help in feeding, but can also assist in locomotion.

55 Colosseum “hello” : AVE

The Colosseum of Rome was the largest amphitheater in the whole of the Roman Empire in its day, and could seat about 50,000 people. The structure was originally called the “Amphitheatrum Flavium” but the name changed to “Colosseum” after a colossal statue of Emperor Nero was located nearby.

56 Jackie Chan police film : SUPERCOP

Jackie Chan is an actor from Hong Kong who is noted for his action and martial arts films. When Chan was 17-years-old he featured as a stunt actor in Bruce Lee movies. He also starred in the 1982 Hong Kong action film “Dragon Lord” which includes a fight scene that required an amazing 2900 takes, a record in the movie industry.

60 Money in Oman : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

66 Film performer Diggs : TAYE

Taye Diggs is an actor most associated with the Broadway show “Rent”, in which he played the nasty landlord Benny. He then co-starred on the television show “Private Practice”. Diggs’ given name is “Scott”, and the nickname “Taye” comes from saying the given name as “Scottay”.

67 Surgery locales, in brief : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

69 Son of Zeus : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Down

1 Federal vaccine agcy. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

2 Wariest animal : RAM (Aries animal)

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

6 Series finale : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

7 Classic Alan Ladd film : SHANE

The classic 1953 western movie “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

The last few years of actor Alan Ladd’s life were pretty rough. In 1962, he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

9 Shoe accessory : TREE

A shoe tree (or boot tree) is an adjustable, foot-shaped device that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape. Shoe trees are often constructed from solid wood that absorb odor and wick away moisture from the shoe’s leather.

10 Diamond-selling Michael Jackson album : BAD

The song “Bad” was written and sung by Michael Jackson, and released in 1987. The song is about being tough on the streets, being “bad”.

13 Serfs of olden days : HELOTS

The helots were a population of poorly-treated slaves who served the citizens of Sparta.

23 Four clubs, for example : BID

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

28 Conn of “Grease” : DIDI

Didi Conn, born Edith Bernstein, played a great character named “Frenchy” in the “Grease” films. Conn also played Stacy Jones in the children’s television show “Shining Time Station” in the late eighties-early nineties.

32 Use a divining rod : DOWSE

Dowsing is the practice of divining, not just for water but also for buried metals and gemstones. Often a dowser will use a Y-shaped or L-shaped rod as a tool, which can also be called a dowser. Here in the US, the tool used might be referred to as a “witching rod”, as it is usually made from witch-hazel.

35 House member, in brief : REP

The number of seats in the US House of Representatives has been 435 since the year 1913, although there was a temporary increase to 437 seats at the time of the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union. The number of representatives assigned to each state is proportional to that state’s population, except that each state is guaranteed a minimum of one delegate by the US Constitution.

40 Home in Havana : CASA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

41 U-___ : HAUL

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

45 Hieroglyphic figure : ASP

The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics” (meaning “sacred carving”), the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

46 Land of bygone Peloponnesus : SPARTA

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

47 Wrote : CAVIAR (roe)

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

50 Mini-program : APPLET

“Applet” is the name given to a small application that runs within a larger computer program.

57 Causes of some 911 calls : UFOS

In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

58 Large urban area in Normandy, France : CAEN

Caen, on the River Orne, lies in the Calvados department of France in the northwest of the country. Caen is famous for the WWII Battle of Caen that left the town practically destroyed. Caen is also the burial place of Norman King William I of England, also known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

61 Picasso’s “___ Demoiselles d’Avignon” : LES

“Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (“The Young Ladies of Avignon”) is an oil painting created by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in 1917. The painting is generally regarded as having a profound influence on modern art and is hailed as the most important proto-Cubist work. You can go see “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

63 Flying fisher : ERN

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

64 Freudian “wit” : EGO (I)

Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The superego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

65 Parishioners’ place : PEW

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Twice over : FREEZE (ice over)
7 Lush : SOT
10 “Mass in B Minor” composer : BACH
14 “Doggone!” : DARN IT!
15 Biblical companion of Moses : HUR
16 Sunburn aid : ALOE
17 Tallowy : AMALGAMATE (alloy)
19 Face of a clock : DIAL
20 Fijian or Samoan, e.g. : ISLANDER
22 Dude : BRO
23 Concern for a poll : BIAS
26 Sign before Virgo : LEO
27 Percy Bysshe Shelley, for one : ODIST
29 Place in office : INSTALL
32 Locales for speakers and honorees : DAISES
33 Preceder of “com” : DOT
34 Samuel Adams, for one : BEER
36 Like all prime numbers besides one : ODD
37 Tawny : NO MATTER WHICH (any)
42 Kind of charger : USB
43 Dinar : Iraq :: ___ : Chile : PESO
44 Like some minor-league baseball : AAA
46 Denounce harshly : SCATHE
49 Flying horse of Greek legend : PEGASUS
51 Check receiver : PAYEE
52 “I love,” long ago : AMO
54 Bug’s sensory appendage : PALP
55 Colosseum “hello” : AVE
56 Jackie Chan police film : SUPERCOP
60 Money in Oman : RIAL
62 Twin bed, perhaps : FAST ASLEEP (in bed)
66 Film performer Diggs : TAYE
67 Surgery locales, in brief : ORS
68 Surface : EMERGE
69 Son of Zeus : ARES
70 Many a dorm room, in a manner of speaking : STY
71 “I’m busy!” … or, if read in four pieces, an aid in solving several clues here : NOT NOW … or, NO “T”, NO “W”

Down

1 Federal vaccine agcy. : FDA
2 Wariest animal : RAM (Aries animal)
3 End of an ___ : ERA
4 Sign up : ENLIST
5 Begins some evasive maneuvering : ZIGS
6 Series finale : ET AL
7 Classic Alan Ladd film : SHANE
8 Surpass : OUTDO
9 Shoe accessory : TREE
10 Diamond-selling Michael Jackson album : BAD
11 Excuses : ALIBIS
12 Wrought : COARSE (rough)
13 Serfs of olden days : HELOTS
18 Long-handled hammer : MALLET
21 Driving nuisance : ROAD HOG
23 Four clubs, for example : BID
24 Close ___ (approach) : IN ON
25 Concerning, in a memo : AS TO
28 Conn of “Grease” : DIDI
30 Embarrasses : ABASHES
31 Leave alone : LET BE
32 Use a divining rod : DOWSE
35 House member, in brief : REP
38 Sound off? : MUTE
39 Paper handed in for school : REPORT
40 Home in Havana : CASA
41 U-___ : HAUL
45 Hieroglyphic figure : ASP
46 Land of bygone Peloponnesus : SPARTA
47 Wrote : CAVIAR (roe)
48 Deckhand’s response : AYE AYE!
50 Mini-program : APPLET
52 In pieces : APART
53 Like some breakups : MESSY
57 Causes of some 911 calls : UFOS
58 Large urban area in Normandy, France : CAEN
59 Odor: Prefix : OSMO-
61 Picasso’s “___ Demoiselles d’Avignon” : LES
63 Flying fisher : ERN
64 Freudian “wit” : EGO (I)
65 Parishioners’ place : PEW

24 thoughts on “1029-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Oct 20, Thursday”

  1. 15:18 Though I didn’t understand why at all. But I got the jingle. Several answers didn’t make sense until I came here and had Bill explain it to me.

    @Bill – Your first line of explanation says “when we drop the T and N”, but you mean T and W.

    Unfamiliar with PALP, OSMO, DIDI, and DOWSE but crosses helped me there.

    Also discovered the last few days – normally I search for this site with a URL that is “mmdd-yy crossword” but several times I got no result from Google, tho occasionally from Edge. Then I saw that Bill also uses “nyxcrossword.com”. The AHA moment came when I realized that if there are not yet any comments then the “mmdd-yy crossword” fails UNTIL one leaves the initial comment then this site will index it accordingly such that the mmdd-yy will then work. AHA!!

  2. Look like I have to clarify my AHA moment from 5 minutes ago. BING DID find the “mmdd-yy crossword” reference but Google still has not even after posting a comment. I guess at some point it will catch up. So if I don’t find this blog that way I’ll just use the “nyxcrossword.com” for the current day search.

  3. 12:13, no errors. For me (also), a mystifying themeless. The revealer was the next-to-last thing I filled in and I figured out the gimmick after the fact. (Another one that might have made more sense to do from the bottom up, but old habits die hard … 😜.)

  4. 35:15 Had CDC to start, figured it to be FDA as I progressed. Would never have figured out the theme, ever, without reading Fearless Leader’s blog. I solved “caviar” with the acrosses and still couldn’t figure out how “wrote” = “caviar” without the blog….

    1. I totally agree on the “theme”. I got all the themed answers with crosses but had no idea what they meant until I read the explanation.

  5. 16:28. What Nonny said. I had the same experience.

    I can’t see the word “hieroglyphics” without remembering a teacher of mine that constantly referred to poor penmanship as “lowerglyphics”. Being left-handed I was especially sensitive to that. To this day when I can’t read my own handwriting, that word still comes to mind.

    Best –

    1. Also being left handed, I took great umbrage in high school Latin class when I learned that Latin for left was sinister and for right was dexter (dexterity). And later learning a similar thing from the French for left “gauche” (what we take to mean out of place) and for right “droit” wherein adroit to means clever or capable. AH, language.

      1. Well, I’m right-handed, so of course I don’t see a problem with the Latin and French terms … 😜.

        Actually, from my parents and grandparents, I heard a lot of horror stories about left-handed kids being forced, in school, to use their right hands as they learned to write. Awful!

        One more memory: When my daughter was only a couple of months old, I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that she was left-handed. (My son was right-handed and I predicted that, too, but his “preference” wasn’t quite as obvious.)

  6. I’m with @Nonny, @Jeff and @Ron, I got all the answers with no errors in 17:43. But I needed @Bill to explain the gimmick after the fact.

    1. @J Cavanaugh … The clue for 36-Across is “Like all prime numbers besides one [meaning except for one]”. The number 2 is the “one” which is different: as you say, it is even, while all the rest of the prime numbers are odd.

  7. No errors but even after I got the theme I had to pause in several places and let the NO T, NO W , play out..
    @jeff “lowerglyphics”.. ha! Love it.

    Never heard PALP before either.

    Ref:66A and the reference to RENT.. Is it just me or have there been several references to this movie over the last several days in both the NYT and LAT? Looks like I’m going to have to watch the movie.

  8. 25:50 no errors thanks to crosses but if my life depended on getting this theme then this would be my obituary 👎
    Stay safe😀
    The Ravens almost pulled off the upset of the century, almost.

    1. We live 15 minutes from the Penn State stadium and have had season tickets for years. My husband is a grad. We got to see Mc Sorely to Barkley. But what happened to the team this year? They have imploded! But never mind – We Are !

  9. My understanding is that there is a gene for right-handedness.
    If you have the gene you’ll be right handed. If you don’t have the gene then the outcome is based on some random event in your life. Like your first hit in T-Ball came batting from one side or the other. Or some nun dictated that you be right handed. My wife and I don’t have the gene. Neither do our two children. All four of us are ambidexterous.

  10. I picked up the theme fairly early when I had COARSE for 12 down Wrought and knew something was up! At that point I scanned for a reveal clue and 71 across delivered. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t timing myself but just trying to have fun helped me discover the theme.

  11. 19:20, no errors—a personal best! Figured out the theme, but didn’t notice it in 12D or 64D until Bill pointed it out. Thanks for the explanation of 36A, A Nonny Muss.

  12. 18:50, no errors. A lot of blank squares in the top third, until I got to the last clue. Then was able to finish filling in 1A and 17A.

  13. Can someone explain “wrote” to me? Even after the explanation given here I can’t see how it’s connected to “caviar” google and the dictionary were not helpful in this endeavor.
    Also “et al” for “series finale”
    How does its meaning of “and others” connect?

    Haven’t been playing long, just out here trying my best!
    Thank you

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