1104-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Nov 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jack Murtagh
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Letters Out Loud

Themed answers each start with a word that sounds like two letters of the alphabet, the leading letters of the two-word clue:
17A Euro, Zloty : (EZ) EASY MONEY
26A Indigo, Cerulean : (IC) ICY BLUE
40A Macaw, Tern : (MT) EMPTY NESTER
54A Noon, Eleven : (NE) ANY TIME
66A Satellite, Pulitzer : (SP) ESPY AWARD

Bill’s time: Not recorded … watching election results roll in

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Change from “Gojira” to “Godzilla,” say : DUB

If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s. The term has been extended to describe the adding of sound to an otherwise silent film or tape.

The terrifying monster Godzilla is a Japanese invention. The first in a very long series of “Godzilla” films was released way back in 1954. The original name in Japanese was “Gojira”, but this was changed to Godzilla for audiences outside of Japan. “Gojira” is a combination of “gorira” and “kujira”, the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, apt because Godzilla is a big ape-like creature that came out of the deep.

13 Jobs creation : IPAD

When Apple chose the letter “I” prefix for the iMac in 1998, that letter “I” stood for “Internet”. Steve Jobs and his marketing team followed up with the message that I also stood for “individual, instruct, inform and inspire”.

16 Group whose teens go through rumspringa : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

17 Euro, Zloty : (EZ) EASY MONEY

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

The zloty is the currency of Poland, with the word “zloty” translating into English as “golden”. The zloty has been around since the Middle Ages. The contemporary zloty is divided into 100 groszy.

19 ___ Motel : ROACH

Figuratively speaking, a roach motel is a low-priced lodging facility that is in a pretty dilapidated state. There is also a Roach Motel trademarked brand of cockroach traps that is owned by Black Flag. Despite the trademark protection, the term “roach motel” is commonly applied to any device that uses bait to lure cockroaches into a compartment fitted with a sticky trap.

20 Frolicking river mammals : OTTERS

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

21 Salon competitor : SLATE

“Slate” is an online magazine that was founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

23 What many students look forward to: Abbr. : FRI

We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for these “planets” during the Roman era:

  • Sun (Sunday)
  • Moon (Monday)
  • Mars (Tuesday)
  • Mercury (Wednesday)
  • Jupiter (Thursday)
  • Venus (Friday)
  • Saturn (Saturday)

26 Indigo, Cerulean : (IC) ICY BLUE

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

Cerulean is a blue color, with the name probably coming from the Latin “caeruleus” meaning “blue”.

35 Skull and Bones members : ELIS

Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, founded in 1832. The society is well-funded, and even owns a 40-acre island in Upstate New York that members and alumni use as a retreat. Noted members of Skull and Bones included William F. Buckley, Jr., President Bush (both father and son) and Senator John Kerry. And President William Howard Taft was the son of one of the society’s founders. “Bones” was a male-only society right up until 1991, when alumni voted to accept female members.

37 Keebler cracker brand : ZESTA

Zesta is a line of saltine crackers made by Keebler.

40 Macaw, Tern : (MT) EMPTY NESTER

Macaws are beautifully colored birds native to Central and South America that are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaws are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

43 Reward for a successful defense, in brief : PHD

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

48 Subject of many articles in Allure and Seventeen : BEAUTY

“Allure” is a magazine published by Condé Nast in New York that was founded in 1991 by Linda Wells. “Allure” contains articles on beauty, fashion and women’s health.

“Seventeen” is a monthly magazine aimed at teenage girls that was first issued in 1944.

54 Noon, Eleven : (NE) ANY TIME

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

56 Sky safety org. : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

58 Ming in the Basketball Hall of Fame : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

59 In ___ (developing) : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

63 Minute Maid Park pro : ASTRO

Enron Field, as it was known, is a retractable-roof ballpark that was built next to Houston’s old Union Station. Enron paid $100 million to get its name on the field, and then when the world found out what a scam Enron actually was, the Astros bought back the contract for the name, for a mere $2.1 million. The stadium became Astros Field for a few months, until the Coke people paid $170 million for a 28-year contract to rename the stadium Minute Maid Park. A good deal for the Astros, I’d say.

66 Satellite, Pulitzer : (SP) ESPY AWARD

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

The Satellite Awards have been presented annually since 1997. Awarded by the International Press Academy, the Satellites recognize excellent contributions in film, television and new media.

68 Reeves of “The Matrix” : KEANU

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”.

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

70 Pennsylvania’s Flagship City : ERIE

Erie is a port city in the very north of Pennsylvania, sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

72 Vehicle with a medallion : TAXI

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

Down

3 In France it’s “le 14 juillet” : BASTILLE DAY

The Bastille is a former fortress in Paris that was used as a prison by the kings of France. On 14 July 1789, an angry mob stormed the Bastille during the French Revolution. The mob was actually after the stores of gunpowder in the fortress, but while inside the building freed seven prisoners and killed the Bastille’s governor. The storming of the Bastille became a symbol of the French Revolution and has been celebrated in France on every July 14th since 1790. That celebration is referred to as “la fête nationale” (the national day) in France, but in English-speaking countries it is usually known as “Bastille Day”.

In French, “juillet” (July) is a month in the “été” (summer).

5 F-, for one : ION

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

9 Tiny organism : AMOEBA

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

11 F1 neighbor : ESC

On many computer keyboards, the escape key (Esc) is located beside the first function key (F1).

18 TV personality who once said in an ad, “The only thing bolder than Fuze Iced Tea is ME!” : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

22 Facebook offerings: Abbr. : ACCTS

Account (acct.)

25 N.W.A member known as “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap” : EAZY-E

“Eazy-E” was the stage name of rapper Eric Lynn Wright. Eazy-E had a pretty liberal lifestyle, fathering seven children with six different women. In 1995, he died due to complications from AIDS when he was only 32 years old.

28 Game akin to crazy eights : UNO

The card game called Crazy Eights is named for the former military designation “Section 8”. Section 8 referred to a category of discharge from the US military, reserved for personnel deemed mentally unfit for duty.

29 Medium strength? : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

31 Cook of Apple : TIM

Tim Cook was appointed as Apple’s CEO in 2011, when he succeeded Steve Jobs. Cook had joined the company back in 1998 as senior vice president in charge of worldwide operations. He came out as gay in October of 2014, making Cook the first openly gay CEO of a company on the Fortune 500 list.

38 Roman font feature : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

41 Minty herb : THYME

In ancient Greece, thyme was burned as incense and used in baths as it was believed to be a source of courage.

43 Grp. concerned with gutters and pins : PBA

Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)

51 Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls : PAPYRI

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered over a period of years, between 1947 and 1956, in eleven caves on the shores of the Dead Sea. The scrolls are believed to have been written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although this has been called into question recently. Many of the texts are copies of writings from the Hebrew Bible.

60 Factory-inspecting org. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

64 D.C. V.I.P. : SEN

Senator (sen.)

65 It must do it : TAG

You’re tagged, you’re “it”.

67 “___ et Lux” (motto for Tufts University) : PAX

“Pax et lux” is Latin for “peace and light”. The phrase is used as the motto for Tufts University in Massachusetts, and in several other schools.

Tufts University is a private school in the city of Medford, near Boston. The school was built in 1852 on land donated by Charles Tuft a local businessman. One of the early benefactors of the school was P. T. Barnum who funded the Barnum Museum of Natural History located on the college grounds. This museum is home to the stuffed hide of Jumbo, the famous elephant. Jumbo is also the school’s mascot.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Change from “Gojira” to “Godzilla,” say : DUB
4 Options when picking locks? : WIGS
8 Covers a lot, in a way : PAVES
13 Jobs creation : IPAD
15 Laugh riot : HOOT
16 Group whose teens go through rumspringa : AMISH
17 Euro, Zloty : (EZ) EASY MONEY
19 ___ Motel : ROACH
20 Frolicking river mammals : OTTERS
21 Salon competitor : SLATE
23 What many students look forward to: Abbr. : FRI
24 0-0, say : TIE
26 Indigo, Cerulean : (IC) ICY BLUE
30 Pool table surface : FELT
32 Recharge, in a way : NAP
34 Many major retailers : CHAINS
35 Skull and Bones members : ELIS
37 Keebler cracker brand : ZESTA
39 Conk : BOP
40 Macaw, Tern : (MT) EMPTY NESTER
43 Reward for a successful defense, in brief : PHD
45 “Rumor has it …” : I HEAR …
46 Trade : SWAP
48 Subject of many articles in Allure and Seventeen : BEAUTY
50 It may get a light gloss : LIP
52 Slips : ERRS
54 Noon, Eleven : (NE) ANYTIME
56 Sky safety org. : FAA
58 Ming in the Basketball Hall of Fame : YAO
59 In ___ (developing) : UTERO
61 Serene : PLACID
63 Minute Maid Park pro : ASTRO
66 Satellite, Pulitzer : (SP) ESPY AWARD
68 Reeves of “The Matrix” : KEANU
69 Singe : CHAR
70 Pennsylvania’s Flagship City : ERIE
71 Sentiment in a teenager’s diary : ANGST
72 Vehicle with a medallion : TAXI
73 Trophy case locale : DEN

Down

1 Go extinct : DIE OFF
2 High and dry : UP A TREE
3 In France it’s “le 14 juillet” : BASTILLE DAY
4 “Anybody up for it?” : WHO’S IN?
5 F-, for one : ION
6 Takes a turn, in a board game : GOES
7 13-Across accessories : STYLI
8 Top choices for one’s birthday? : PARTY HATS
9 Tiny organism : AMOEBA
10 Itinerary word : VIA
11 F1 neighbor : ESC
12 “Silence!” : SHH!
14 Stock at a salon : DYE
18 TV personality who once said in an ad, “The only thing bolder than Fuze Iced Tea is ME!” : MR T
22 Facebook offerings: Abbr. : ACCTS
25 N.W.A member known as “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap” : EAZY-E
27 Something in a book lover’s wallet : LIBRARY CARD
28 Game akin to crazy eights : UNO
29 Medium strength? : ESP
31 Cook of Apple : TIM
33 Of prisons : PENAL
36 “Tell me already!” : SPIT IT OUT!
38 Roman font feature : SERIF
41 Minty herb : THYME
42 She may be ruminating : EWE
43 Grp. concerned with gutters and pins : PBA
44 Lady bird : HEN
47 Midwest expanse : PRAIRIE
49 Results of some drivers’ mistakes : U-TURNS
51 Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls : PAPYRI
53 Dripping : SODDEN
55 At attention : ERECT
57 In the manner of : A LA
60 Factory-inspecting org. : OSHA
62 Something a magician may conjure : AWE
63 Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor ___ Lorde : AKA
64 D.C. V.I.P. : SEN
65 It must do it : TAG
67 “___ et Lux” (motto for Tufts University) : PAX

12 thoughts on “1104-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Nov 20, Wednesday”

  1. 14:10 Figured out the theme about 2/3 thru and that definitely helped. Several clues with a bit of misdirection. Did this late on Tues evening as a diversion.

  2. 12:07, no errors, curious theme (which I got last night as I did the puzzle, but had totally forgotten by this morning, so I guess I was also a bit distracted 😳).

  3. 9:32 Did not get the theme at all while solving and after reading the explanation it still took me a few minutes to understand what was going on. But I liked the puzzle. Some nice long answers.

  4. 15:39. I figured out the theme a few minutes after I finished the puzzle. EMPTY NESTER was my aha moment because I remembered an old kids joke. “Point at your head and abbreviate mountain” M-T…or “empty” was the joke – as in their head was empty. Kids are cruel.

    I never thought of Godzilla as apelike or whalelike. He seems much more reptilian than anything. Has anyone conducted any DNA studies on the matter?

    True to my word, I watched not one minute of election returns last night. I watched a few things on Prime Video and went to bed.

    Best –

  5. 16:26, 4 errors: N(E)P/E(E)ZY E; (A)HD/(A)BA. Intended to go back and correct NEP to NAP, just forgot. Severely bogged down in the NE corner; initially entered FUNNY HATS, which didn’t help.
    Minor nit @Bill: 3D “la fête nationale” translates as “the national celebration”.

  6. 27:02 no errors but never got the theme and filled in a lot of answers via crosses…guess it’s time to bone up on rappers and rap to be a good solver.
    Stay safe😀
    The Ravens got by the Cowboys but the Browns are next.

  7. No errors. This was pretty difficult for me. NE was the last area to fall. I had seven erasures before everything came into sync. I confidently finished and did not see the “Letters Out Loud” theme. In retrospect the solving would have been simplified greatly if I had grasped the theme early.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.