1103-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Nov 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Amanda Chung & Karl Ni
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Handy-Dandy

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first bounded by H AND Y, and the second by D AND Y:

  • 64A *Very convenient … or, when read in six parts, a hint to the answers to the starred clues : HANDY-DANDY … or H AND Y, D AND Y
  • 18A *Classic TV show starring a cowboy puppet : HOWDY DOODY
  • 40A *Nursery rhyme character seen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” : HUMPTY DUMPTY
  • 11D *Industrial-strength : HEAVYDUTY
  • 35D *Peachy-keen : HUNKYDORY

Bill’s time: 6m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Australian avians : EMUS

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

17 Company with a spokeslizard : GEICO

Gecko is the “spokes-lizard” for GEICO. When Gecko was introduced in 1999, he was voiced by actor Kelsey Grammer of “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame. Since then, Gecko has been voiced by British radio presenter Dave Kelly and most recently by actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning on the British soap opera “EastEnders”.

18 *Classic TV show starring a cowboy puppet : HOWDY DOODY

“Howdy Doody” is a children’s TV show that originally aired from 1947 to 1960. The show featured live actors as well as a whole host of puppet characters. There was also the Peanut Gallery, an invited audience of about 40 kids who sat on bleachers on stage while the show was airing.

20 Hazardous gas : RADON

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

21 Country whose stamps use glue that’s certified kosher : ISRAEL

According to Jewish dietary laws, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

24 Sailor’s song : CHANTEY

A sea shanty (also “chantey”) is a song sung by sailors, often when they are working away on some repetitive task.

26 Kind of card for a phone : SIM

Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for “Subscriber Identity Module”.

27 Harvard rival : YALE

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

30 “How you doin’?” : SUP?

I think that “sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

31 Opus ___ : DEI

Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic institution that was founded in Spain in 1928, and officially approved by the church in 1950. In 2010, Opus Dei had over 90,000 members, mostly lay people. The institution’s mission is to promote certain aspects of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Opus Dei was portrayed as a sinister organization by Dan Brown in his novel “The Da Vinci Code”.

39 Smooth-talking : SUAVE

The Latin word “suavis” translates as “agreeable, pleasant to the senses”. “Sauvis” is the root of the English word “suave” that describes someone who is gracious and sophisticated, and perhaps somewhat superficial. “Sauvis” also gave us the English word “sweet” meaning “pleasing to the taste”.

40 *Nursery rhyme character seen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” : HUMPTY DUMPTY

Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme. He is usually depicted as an egg, although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

42 Proust title character : SWANN

Marcel Proust was a French writer famous for the enormous and much respected novel “In Search of Lost Time”. Graham Greene called Proust “the greatest novelist of the twentieth century”, and W. Somerset Maugham dubbed “In Search of Lost Time” as the “greatest fiction to date”. “In Search of Lost Time” is a very, very long novel. It is divided into seven volumes and was first published in 1913-1927. The first of the volumes is called “Swann’s Way”.

44 Ex-spousal support : ALIMONY

In its most common usage, “alimony” is a payment made by one spouse to another for support after a legal separation. The term derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

45 Designer dog that crosses a Pomeranian and terrier : PORKIE

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

Most terrier breeds of dog originated in Britain and Ireland. Terriers were developed as working dogs, with the job of controlling populations of rats, rabbits and foxes by rooting them out above and below the ground. The name “terrier” comes via Middle French from the Latin “terra” meaning “earth”, a reflection of the breed’s habit of burrowing into the earth looking for its prey.

48 Flavor-boosting additive, for short : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

52 Opal or onyx : GEM

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, i.e. about 80%.

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

58 Asinine : IDIOTIC

The adjective “asinine” means “stupid, obstinate”, and comes from the Latin for “like an ass”.

61 Country between Venezuela and Suriname : GUYANA

Guyana’s official name today is the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana. Guyana is located on the northern coast of South America. The country used to be a British colony, with the name British Guyana, but it achieved independence in 1966. It is now the only member of the British Commonwealth (now called the Commonwealth of Nations) that is on mainland South America.

The country name “Venezuela” originated with the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci saw stilt houses around Lake Maracaibo that reminded him of the city of Venice, leading him to call the region “Veneziola” meaning “Little Venice”. Over time, “Veneziola” evolved into “Venezuela” as a result of Spanish influence.

The Republic of Suriname is located on the northeast coast of South America, and is the continent’s smallest country. What is now Suriname fell under Dutch rule in the late 1600s, gaining independence in 1975.

62 National mammal of the United States : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

68 Sight on the back of a jeep : TIRE

The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

69 Some TVs and cameras : SONYS

Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The two partners met in the Japanese Navy during WWII.

70 Sharply dressed : NATTY

A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term “natty” may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.

Down

2 Chinese stir-fry with pork, eggs and mushrooms : MOO SHU

Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

4 Four-door, maybe : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

7 Jordan’s Queen ___ : NOOR

Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. She was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

8 Fellas : DUDES

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

13 Umberto who wrote “Foucault’s Pendulum” : ECO

Umberto Eco was an Italian writer who is probably best known for his novel “The Name of the Rose”, published in 1980. In 1986, “The Name of the Rose” was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

25 Gossipy meddler : YENTA

“Yenta” (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

28 Washroom, in Worcester : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

Worcester is a city in the West Midlands of England. The magnificent Worcester Cathedral overlooks the River Severn, on which the city is located. Here in North America, Worcester is perhaps best known as the namesake of Worcester, Massachusetts, and as the home to Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.

29 London ___ (tourist attraction) : EYE

The London Eye is a very large Ferris wheel that sits right beside the River Thames in London. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and was the tallest in the world when it was constructed in 1999. The London Eye is the most-visited paid tourist attraction in the whole country.

32 Pastoral poem : IDYL

An idyll (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word “idyl” comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

34 Place to get highlights : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named their children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

35 *Peachy-keen : HUNKY-DORY

Surprisingly (to me), the term “hunky-dory” has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. Nobody’s really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

38 Alexandre who wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo” : DUMAS

Alexandre Dumas, pere (father) was the famed author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”. Alexandre Dumas, fils (son) was also a noted writer.

40 Last name of two U.S. presidents : HARRISON

President William Henry Harrison died in 1841, after only one month in office, simply from complications arising from a cold. Harrison was the oldest person to assume the office of US president, until President Reagan in 1981. He was the first president to die in office, and served the shortest tenure.

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States. President Harrison is the only US president to be the grandson of a former president. Benjamin was the grandson of the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. One of the things that President Benjamin Harrison’s administration is remembered for is bringing the level of federal spending to one billion dollars for the first time.

49 ___ Oh, first Asian woman to host a major awards show : SANDRA

Canadian actress Sandra Oh is very much associated with the role of Dr. Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy”, and more recently with the role of Eve Polastri on “Killing Eve” . However, my favorite of Oh’s performances are in the movies “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Sideways”.

53 Actor Hawke : ETHAN

Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke used to be married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

54 Mazda sports car : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan. The name “Miata” comes from an Old High German word meaning “reward”.

56 Alternative to the pill, briefly : IUD

It seems that it isn’t fully understood how the intrauterine device (IUD) works. The design that was most popular for decades was a T-shaped plastic frame on which was wound copper wire. It’s thought that the device is an irritant in the uterus causing the body to release chemicals that are hostile to sperm and eggs. This effect is enhanced by the presence of the copper.

“The Pill” is more correctly called “the combined oral contraceptive pill”. The formulation is a combination of an estrogen called estradiol and a progestogen called progestin.

57 Marriott competitor : HYATT

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at the Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

60 Site with tech tips : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

62 Undergrad degs. : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

65 E, in Morse code : DIT

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”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Australian avians : EMUS
5 Absolutely delights : SENDS
10 “I didn’t see you there!” : OH, HEY!
15 ___ it down a notch : TONE
16 “Too rich for my blood!” : I’M OUT!
17 Company with a spokeslizard : GEICO
18 *Classic TV show starring a cowboy puppet : HOWDY DOODY
20 Hazardous gas : RADON
21 Country whose stamps use glue that’s certified kosher : ISRAEL
22 Take over responsibilities from : RELIEVE
24 Sailor’s song : CHANTEY
26 Kind of card for a phone : SIM
27 Harvard rival : YALE
30 “How you doin’?” : SUP?
31 Opus ___ : DEI
33 Path between buildings : PEDWAY
35 Doggedly pursued : HOUNDED
39 Smooth-talking : SUAVE
40 *Nursery rhyme character seen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” : HUMPTY DUMPTY
42 Proust title character : SWANN
44 Ex-spousal support : ALIMONY
45 Designer dog that crosses a Pomeranian and terrier : PORKIE
47 Neutral shade : TAN
48 Flavor-boosting additive, for short : MSG
51 A little off : AWRY
52 Opal or onyx : GEM
55 “That’s what they tell me, anyway” : SO I HEAR
58 Asinine : IDIOTIC
61 Country between Venezuela and Suriname : GUYANA
62 National mammal of the United States : BISON
64 *Very convenient … or, when read in six parts, a hint to the answers to the starred clues : HANDY-DANDY … or H AND Y, D AND Y
66 Decorate : ADORN
67 Had dinner at home : ATE IN
68 Sight on the back of a jeep : TIRE
69 Some TVs and cameras : SONYS
70 Sharply dressed : NATTY
71 The apostrophe in :’-( : TEAR

Down

1 House ___ Committee : ETHICS
2 Chinese stir-fry with pork, eggs and mushrooms : MOO SHU
3 Open, as a gift : UNWRAP
4 Four-door, maybe : SEDAN
5 Approached furtively : SIDLED UP
6 Rock subgenre : EMO
7 Jordan’s Queen ___ : NOOR
8 Fellas : DUDES
9 Apple Pencil and Microsoft’s Surface Pen, for two : STYLI
10 Fairy tale baddie : OGRE
11 *Industrial-strength : HEAVY-DUTY
12 Treehouse or blanket fort, perhaps : HIDEAWAY
13 Umberto who wrote “Foucault’s Pendulum” : ECO
14 Hither and ___ : YON
19 So far : YET
23 Mischief-maker : IMP
25 Gossipy meddler : YENTA
28 Washroom, in Worcester : LAV
29 London ___ (tourist attraction) : EYE
32 Pastoral poem : IDYL
34 Place to get highlights : ESPN
35 *Peachy-keen : HUNKY-DORY
36 Prefix with potent : OMNI-
37 Polish before publishing : EDIT
38 Alexandre who wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo” : DUMAS
40 Last name of two U.S. presidents : HARRISON
41 Practice of males mating with one female, but not vice versa, as in bees and ants : MONOGYNY
42 Health resort : SPA
43 “Incredible!” : WOW!
46 A braggart has a big one : EGO
48 Scoundrel : MEANIE
49 ___ Oh, first Asian woman to host a major awards show : SANDRA
50 Not as sunny : GRAYER
53 Actor Hawke : ETHAN
54 Mazda sports car : MIATA
56 Alternative to the pill, briefly : IUD
57 Marriott competitor : HYATT
59 Road trip accommodations : INNS
60 Site with tech tips : C|NET
62 Undergrad degs. : BAS
63 Wedding vow : I DO
65 E, in Morse code : DIT

10 thoughts on “1103-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Nov 20, Tuesday”

  1. 7:39. I partially got the theme that it was two words beginning with H and a D. Bill gave me the “full” explanation, which is not too much different from last Thursday’s “No T, No W”. Unfamiliar with SWANN, PORKIE and this spelling of CHANTEY.

  2. 17:06 I just seem to be in a crossword funk the last two weeks…gettin’ ‘em done, but boy has it been an effort!

  3. 6:47. I had a hint of the theme while I was completing the puzzle, but I had to stare at it for a minute or so after I was finished to understand what it was doing.

    I never would have made the connection between our words “suave” and “sweet” before today’s blog.

    Election Day today so I’ll be watching a Bugs Bunny marathon or something this evening. Wake me when it’s over.

    Best –

  4. PORKIE, SWANN, SANDRA Oh, and PEDWAY were all new to me. Crosses saved the day. I thought this puzzle was right in the pocket as representative of a Tuesday level. No errors.

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