1107-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Nov 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins & Paolo Pasco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 18m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Many a bug : HEXAPOD

An insect is a six-legged arthropod, i.e. a hexapod.

20 Chain restaurant … or what a kangaroo might say? : IHOP … I HOP

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests.

31 Aegean Sea island : SAMOS

Samos is an island in the eastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece. Samos is the birthplace of the famed mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos. The latter was the first person known to have proposed that the Earth revolves around the sun.

33 Cartoon character whose last name is Szyslak : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

35 Impala, e.g. : 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.

The Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1957. “Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”.

36 Chapati alternative : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

Chapati is an unleavened flatbread that is associated with India. The name of the bread comes from the Hindi word “chapat” meaning “flat”.

38 Curry powder ingredient : CUMIN

Cumin is a flowering plant native to the region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to East India. Cumin spice is made from the dried seeds and is the second most common spice used in the world (only black pepper is more popular). Cumin is particularly associated with Indian cuisine and is a key ingredient in curry powder. Lovely stuff …

Curry powder is a mixture of spices used in South Asian dishes. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine. The term “curry” is an anglicization of the Tamil “kari” meaning “sauce”.

39 Sloughs off : MOLTS

To slough off is to cast off, especially when one is talking about the skin of a snake or other animal.

45 Fragrant tree type : BALSAM

The Balsam fir is an evergreen tree that is native to eastern and central North America. The Balsam is commonly used as a Christmas tree, especially in the northeastern US.

52 Intentions : AGENDAS

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

54 Marathon runner’s wear : RACE BIB

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

58 Eponym of the N.H.L.’s points leader award : ART ROSS

Art Ross was a Canadian who played professional hockey from 1905 to 1918. Ross then worked as a game official on the ice, before launching a second career as coach and general manager of the Boston Bruins. In 1947, Ross donated the Art Ross Trophy to the NHL that is awarded annually to the league’s highest scorer.

Down

3 Some travelers along the Oregon Trail : OXEN

The Oregon Trail was established by fur trappers and traders as early as 1811. The first migrant wagon train traveled the route in 1836, starting off in Independence, Missouri and going as far as Fort Hall, Idaho. In the coming years, the trail was extended for wagons as far as the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

7 Connection inits. : DSL

The initialism “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is a technology that allows Internet service to be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

8 Showing a bit of gray hair, say : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

12 Sci-fi race mirroring the bourgeoisie : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

15 Punctuate a killer performance : DROP THE MIC

A mic drop takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …

23 Priory of ___ (group in “The Da Vinci Code”) : SION

In the preface of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code”, the Priory of Sion is presented as a secret society that does in fact exist. However, there is a lot of evidence that the priory was an invention, and created in forged documents in the sixties. Regardless, Dan Brown’s book is a really enjoyable read, in my humble opinion …

“The Da Vinci Code” is an excellent yarn (although much panned), written by Dan Brown. Brown’s first book to feature the character Robert Langdon was even better in my opinion, namely “Angels & Demons”.

26 Pixar character with a pet cockroach : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie that was released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot named WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who also falls in love with a robot named EVE.

28 What a dot on a map might represent: Abbr. : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

31 Blueprint bit : SPEC

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

35 ___ La Table (high-end cookware retailer) : SUR

Sur La Table is a chain of retail stores selling high-end kitchenware products. The company name translates from French as “on the table”. The first Sur La Table store opened in 1972 in Seattle’s celebrated Pike Place Market. Today, Sur La Table is the main competitor to Williams-Sonoma.

38 What some handles are created for : CB RADIO

A CB’er is someone who operates a Citizens Band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

One’s “handle” is one’s name, especially one used on a CB radio.

39 Look inside, say : MRI SCAN

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

42 Materials for some chests : CEDARS

Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

45 ___ Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out” group) : BAHA

The Baha Men are so called because they hail from the Bahamas. Their big hit was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” That song once ranked third in a list of the world’s most annoying songs!

53 Letters often meant to be read from afar : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Flatten like a bug : SMOOSH
7 Was long and boring : DRAGGED
14 Many a bug : HEXAPOD
16 Tart taproom offering : SOUR ALE
17 Mistaken : IN ERROR
18 Down the road : LATER ON
19 Many a saint, originally : NUN
20 Chain restaurant … or what a kangaroo might say? : IHOP … I HOP
22 “Actually, I just realized something …” : NO, WAIT …
23 Secure with a click : SNAP IN
25 Faux Fighters or Dread Zeppelin, e.g. : PUN
26 It’s administered for shedding : WEIGHT LOSS PILL
31 Aegean Sea island : SAMOS
32 ___ Green a.k.a. the Witch of Wall Street : HETTY
33 Cartoon character whose last name is Szyslak : MOE
34 Design : PLAN
35 Impala, e.g. : SEDAN
36 Chapati alternative : NAAN
37 Hebrew name meaning “ascent” : ELI
38 Curry powder ingredient : CUMIN
39 Sloughs off : MOLTS
40 Star attraction? : CELEBRITY CRUSH
43 Off the ___ : AIR
44 Cry from behind a door : COME IN!
45 Fragrant tree type : BALSAM
48 Subtle endorsements : NODS
49 Big whoop : ADO
52 Intentions : AGENDAS
54 Marathon runner’s wear : RACE BIB
56 “Wish me luck!” : HERE I GO!
57 Rubber production? : ERASURE
58 Eponym of the N.H.L.’s points leader award : ART ROSS
59 Bumptious : SNOTTY

Down

1 Guard’s place : SHIN
2 Word with dinner or dollar : … MENU
3 Some travelers along the Oregon Trail : OXEN
4 Sporting blade : OAR
5 Presents unexpectedly : SPRINGS
6 Fuss : HOO-HAH
7 Connection inits. : DSL
8 Showing a bit of gray hair, say : ROAN
9 Final exam? : AUTOPSY
10 Started acting responsibly : GREW UP
11 Mix-and-match children’s clothing brand : GARANIMALS
12 Sci-fi race mirroring the bourgeoisie : ELOI
13 Sign of progress : DENT
15 Punctuate a killer performance : DROP THE MIC
21 Really didn’t hold back : PILED IT ON
23 Priory of ___ (group in “The Da Vinci Code”) : SION
24 “That’s no longer the case” : NOT ANYMORE
26 Pixar character with a pet cockroach : WALL-E
27 Something turned off on vacation : EMAIL ALERT
28 What a dot on a map might represent: Abbr. : STN
29 Not inclined : LOATH
30 Point of view, metaphorically : LENS
31 Blueprint bit : SPEC
35 ___ La Table (high-end cookware retailer) : SUR
36 Feast or famine : NOUN
38 What some handles are created for : CB RADIO
39 Look inside, say : MRI SCAN
41 Cartoonist Will who popularized the term “graphic novel” : EISNER
42 Materials for some chests : CEDARS
45 ___ Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out” group) : BAHA
46 Smoking or drinking, e.g. : AGER
47 Newsstand display, informally : MAGS
49 Neighbor : ABUT
50 Gossip : DIRT
51 Evil hypnotist’s directive : OBEY
53 Letters often meant to be read from afar : SOS
55 “Cómo es ___?” (Spanish “Why?”) : ESO

20 thoughts on “1107-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Nov 20, Saturday”

  1. DNF Got the 1/2 way signal after 25 minutes, 3/4 signal after 55 minutes. Just bogged down in NE and SW corners. Had about 1/2 of NE and 1/3 of SW. Then started looking things up.
    Doing this at midnight – should have slept on it and maybe my sleeping lizard brain would have figured it out. Had a weight loss DIET, then PLAN, but not a PILL. Got stuck on 8D, 10D, 11D, and 45A, 52A, 58A, etc. Definitely seemed like some tough clueing.

    @Jeff – I put a late comment about “junge” and “alte” on the 11/6/20 puzzle in response to your pondering.

  2. 55:38(!), no errors. For me, this puzzle had no easy section, though it was the upper left and the middle right where I really got hung up. I came very close to giving up and cheating a couple of times, but stuck it out until the lights came on. Now, after the fact, all the answers make perfect sense and most of the puzzle doesn’t look all that hard, though I’d never heard of GARANIMALS and I never knew MOE Syzslak’s last name, so the “M” at the intersection was an educated guess.

    Maybe I was just having a bad night: I spent over an hour and a half on the “Saturday Stumper”, from Newsday, and I’m still unsure of four squares, so I’m letting it marinate in my mental swamp until later (in hopes that one of those crossword lizards will come swimming by and make any necessary corrections for me 😜).

    1. And … my crossword lizard brain came to the rescue: as a result, I changed one letter in the “Stumper” and recorded an initial time of 1:34:50, an overnight walkaway, a single late correction, and no final errors. A difficult puzzle … 😳😜🤪.

  3. 26:00 The first two things I put in the grid were DROPTHEMIC and GARANIMALS which helped me get the middle and east pretty quickly. Most of my problems came in the northwest. SMOOSH didn’t seem right to me, I really wanted squish there but the Q didn’t seem right for 2D. I hesitated for a long time with NUN at 19A because I didn’t think 2D would end in U. Further down I had the LL in 25D so I confidently wrote in Belle (from Beauty and the Beast). Of course that’s not even a Pixar film and it wouldn’t really make sense for her to have a pet cockroach. But I went with it which made figuring out 25A very difficult. I also thought that was supposed have something to do with shedding skin not weight. Anyway, after lots of entering and deleting I finally figured it all out.

    1. Similar to you I started with SQUASH and also doubted the Q for 2D. But the H in SQUASH and later SMOOSH left me with 6D at HUBBUB for a l-o-n-g time.

  4. 32:57. Definitely a lot of tricky spots. I too had GARANIMALS (although at first I had GRRANIMALS) and MOE right off the bat. In fact almost all the long answers came pretty easily. Final issue was the NW getting the X for HEXAPOD which begat OXEN which begat SMOOSH and I was done. Great puzzle.

    Ron – I did see your explanation for ALTE yesterday. It’s odd (or perhaps it isn’t) that they would clue something foreign that involved that level of minutiae of the language. I can see “Good in German” or something for a clue but this is a more complex situation than you see in most crosswords. Interesting nonetheless – whether it’s crossword-worthy or not.

    Best –

  5. 27:49…but with hints and lookups. I’d consider this a DNF, but looking up a few answers got a lot of additional solves. So it’s all part of the learning experience.

  6. Another Saturday, another DNF…just couldn’t come up with the NW. Kept trying to fit in “squish” or”squash”, but “smoosh” wasn’t even on the radar in my wheelhouse… 🙂

  7. I think we all know what curry, IHOP, and agendas are, but I’ve never heard of Hetty Green, Will Eisner, Garanimals, or the word bumptious.

  8. Oh wow, like others I had a tough time.. after an hour started looking things up.. Went from SQUASH to SMOOSH, from WEIGHLOSSPLAN to WEIGHTLOSSDIET, to WEIGHTLOSS PILL!! That was a rough section for me. Also didn’t know ART ROSS so I was slow to go there.. Never heard of AGER as a reference to SMOKING or DRINKING..

  9. 24:33, I had more-or-less the same sort of fill pattern as Jeff. This one was a bit harder than a typical Saturday for me. I originally had “DISH” for 50D and “SNAPON” for 23A, both of which complicated matters for a little bit. GARMANIMALS I remembered from my childhood.

  10. Real close but no cigar. A couple of incorrect crosses spelled doom
    for 26-A although in hindsight I should have seen it as it’s one of the more obvious fills. A bit short in the north west, as well.

  11. 2 puzzles worked today and 2 DNFs…when I see a two setter puzzle on a Saturday I should know better but that’s me.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  12. 31:02, no errors. In spite of my efforts to the contrary, today’s setters elicited an effort beyond my expectations. This looked like a ‘Did Not Start’ for a long time, until I guessed at IHOP; and then felt really clever guessing at AUTOPSY. Then it looked like a ‘Did Not Finish’, right up until I entered the last answer. I, too, wanted SQUISH/SQUASH in 1A. The Northwest corner was the last to fall. Finally remembered that an OAR in crew is referred to as a ‘blade’.

  13. Worst puzzle in long time, hated it.
    I too have never heard of Hetty Green, Will Eisner, Garanimals, or the word bumptious as well as celebrity crush, chapati, samos, and como es eso.
    UGH

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