1108-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Nov 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Evan Kalish & Caitlin Reid
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Wait, What?

Themed answers are common phrases with at least one ay-sound (as in “WAIT”) changed to an uh-sound (as in “WHAT”):

  • 22A Compliment to a runway model? : YOU GOT THAT STRUT (from “you got that straight!”)
  • 31A Easily offended by foul language? : CUSS-SENSITIVE (from “case-sensitive”)
  • 45A Question to a tantrum thrower? : WHY THE LONG FUSS? (from “why the long face?”)
  • 63A Relics proving how Noah steered his boat? : RUDDERS OF THE LOST ARK (from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
  • 83A Prepared for a field trip? : LOADED THE BUSES (from “loaded the bases”)
  • 95A Masters of slapstick? : MUCK-UP ARTISTS (from “makeup artists”)
  • 109A Title for an oral surgeon’s handbook? : THE NUMB OF THE GUM (from “the name of the game”)

Bill’s time: 20m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Dev of “Slumdog Millionaire” : PATEL

Dev Patel is an actor from Harrow in England. Patel is best known for playing the lead in the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also stars in a lovely 2012 film called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” alongside an incredible cast that included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson. Patel also had a regular role in the marvelous HBO drama series called “The Newsroom”.

15 Part of a prairie skyline : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

24 Low card in Texas hold’em : DEUCE

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

In the card game called Texas hold ‘em, two hole cards are dealt to each player, and five community cards are dealt face up on the table. The community cards are dealt in the three stages. The first three cards are dealt in one stage (the flop), then the fourth card is shown (the turn), and finally the fifth card (the river).

27 Starting piece on a1 or h8, say : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

28 ___ Slam (tennis feat) : SERENA

The term “Serena Slam” is a reference to tennis star Serena Williams. It describes the winning of four major tournaments in a row. This compares with a “Grand Slam”, the winning of the four major tournaments within the same season.

40 Axel ___, protagonist of “Beverly Hills Cop” : FOLEY

“Beverly Hills Cop” is a fun 1984 action comedy movie starring Eddie Murphy as Detroit cop Axel Foley who heads to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of a friend. It was the biggest hit of 1984 at the box office, and spawned two sequels.

41 X : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our letter X.

42 Japanese roadster since 1989 : 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”.

49 Costly cuts : T-BONES

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

51 First two words of “Green Eggs and Ham” : I AM …

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

52 ___ fixe : IDEE

An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession

55 Wet-Nap, for one : WIPE

“Wet nap” is a term commonly used for a wet wipe, a manufactured paper tissue that comes pre-moistened. Wet naps are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think that “nap” is short for “napkin”, and that “Wet-Nap” is a brand name.

63 Relics proving how Noah steered his boat? : RUDDERS OF THE LOST ARK (from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”)

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg’s first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in “Star Wars”, and also appeared in Lucas’s “American Graffiti”). Tom Selleck was offered the role but he couldn’t get out of his commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” Eventually Spielberg got his way and Ford was hired, a good thing I say …

69 Pacific island ring : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

70 Neil with the hit “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” : SEDAKA

Neil Sedaka has been performing and composing for well over 50 years. His list of hits includes classics such as “Stupid Cupid”, “Oh! Carol”, “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”.

73 Actor Elwes of “The Princess Bride” : CARY

Cary Elwes is an English actor who is perhaps most noted for appearing in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride”. He also played the title role in 1993’s “Cary Elwes”. Cary is the son of a celebrated English portrait painter, Dominick Elwes.

“The Princess Bride” is a novel by William Goldman written in 1973. Famously, the book was adapted into a 1987 film of the same name directed by Rob Reiner that has become a cult classic.

79 Driver’s org., no matter how you slice it? : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

87 Bygone forensic spinoff : CSI: NY

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

89 Android alternative : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

91 Org. that awards the Safer Choice label : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

92 World capital established in 1535 : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

93 Jackanapes : IMP

A jackanapes is an impudent person or an impish child. The term originated with William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The Duke was a bit of an upstart, a member of the nouveau riche who rose into noble ranks from the merchant class. The de la Pole family had a collar and chain on its coat of arms, a symbol that was associated with monkey leashes in those days. As a result, the Duke was given the derisive name of “Jack of Naples”, a slang term for a monkey at that time. This was eventually shortened to “Jackanapes”.

100 Retinal receptor : ROD

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cells in the retina that are sensitive to light, called rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

102 “To live without ___ is to cease to live”: Dostoyevsky : HOPE

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s most famous novels are “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov”. Dostoyevsky was arrested in 1849 and sentenced to death by Tsar Nicholas I for being part of a liberal intellectual group. He endured a mock execution before being told that his sentence was commuted to four years hard labor and exile in a camp at Omsk in Siberia.

103 Sign of summer : LEO

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

104 Stow cargo : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

114 Italian automotive hub : TURIN

Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.

Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.

115 Subject of many an off-season rumor : FREE AGENT

In sports, a free agent is a player whose contract has lapsed with a team, and who is free to sign with another team.

116 “Young Frankenstein” character played by Teri Garr : INGA

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

118 4th order? : FIREWORKS

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

Down

1 ___ Rudolph, portrayer of Kamala Harris on “S.N.L.” : MAYA

Comic actress Maya Rudolph got her break as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live”. Rudolph’s mother was singer Minnie Ripperton, who had a big hit in 1975 with the single “Lovin’ You”.

5 El Dorado treasure : ORO

The original El Dorado was a Muisca chief who was covered with gold dust in a tribal ritual and then dove into Lake Guatavita in present-day Colombia. Later, “El Dorado” was adopted as the name for a mythical “Lost City of Gold” that became a quest from many Spanish Conquistadors who explored the Americas.

9 Org. that sponsored the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial : NEA

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC was designed by Maya Lin. Lin is a Chinese American born in Athens Ohio, and is an artist and architect. She was only 21-years-old when she won a public design competition in 1981 to create the memorial. Although her design is very fitting, sadly Lin was not a popular choice for the work given her Asian heritage. As she said herself, she probably would not have been picked had the competition been judged with the knowledge of who was behind each submission.

10 MXN, on a currency chart : PESOS

ISO 4217 is an international standard that lists currency designators, e.g.

  • Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Pound sterling (GBP)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • Mexican peso (MXN)

13 Part of a dean’s address : EDU

The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

15 Shooting sport : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

17 Farm-to-table consumer : LOCAVORE

A locavore is someone who limits his or her diet to food that is produced locally, often within 100 miles of its point of purchase. There’s a great memoir by the author Barbara Kingsolver that discusses the experiences of her and her family with the locavore lifestyle called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” An excellent read …

21 Elba who played Macavity in 2019’s “Cats” : IDRIS

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”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. “Cats” is the second longest-running show in Broadway history (“Phantom of the Opera” is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it …

23 One end of the PolitiFact meter : TRUE

PolitiFact is a project in which reporters and editors primarily from the “Tampa Bay Times” fact-check statements made by politicians and related parties. Statements can be graded from “True” at one extreme, to “Pants on Fire” at the other.

31 Loonie or toonie : COIN

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

“Toonie” is the familiar name for a two-dollar coin in Canada. The toonie was introduced in 1996, and gets its familiar name from the one-dollar coin known as a “loonie”.

33 Stately street liners : ELMS

The Ulmus laevis deciduous tree that is native to Europe is commonly referred to as the European white elm, spreading elm and stately elm.

34 Coat from a goat : MOHAIR

The Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. On the other hand, Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

35 High point of Greek civilization? : OLYMPUS

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

36 Emeritus: Abbr. : RET

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

40 “Just sayin’,” in shorthand : FWIW

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

42 Mississippi ___ pie : MUD

The chocolate-based dessert called Mississippi mud pie probably originated in the state for which it is named. It is said that the gooey mass resembles the banks of the Mississippi River.

47 World No. 1 tennis player between Navratilova and Seles : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

Martina Navratilova is a retired tennis player who is thought by many to have been the greatest player of all time. Navratilova won the Wimbledon singles title a record nine times, which is one of many records that she holds. She was born in Czechoslovakia but asked for political asylum in the US in 1975 at 18 years of age. Navratilova was granted temporary residency in the US and as a result was stripped of her Czech citizenship. That Czech citizenship was restored in 2008, making her a dual citizen.

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

54 Pipes at some bars : HOOKAHS

A hookah is a water pipe, a device for smoking tobacco in which the smoke is passed through a water basin before it is inhaled.

58 Downfall in many an Agatha Christie novel : POISON

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

62 Stops harping on something : DROPS IT

To harp on something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

74 Instruction for a course? : RECIPE

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. “take (the following)”. This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

81 Certain monkey … or monk : CAPUCHIN

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an order of Roman Catholic friars, an offshoot of the Franciscans. The order split from the Franciscans back in 1520, and were forced to go into hiding from church authorities. The new order was helped by the Camaldolese monks, and in recognition of their assistance, the breakaway monks adopted the Camaldolese hood, known as a capuccio. It is this “capuccio” that gave the order its name, and indeed ultimately gave the name to the Capuchin monkey. The cappuccino coffee is named for the coffee-and-white colored habits worn by Capuchin friars.

83 One needing new, unburned pants? : LIAR

The full rhyme used by children to deride someone not telling the truth is:

Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Hang them up on the telephone wire.

The rhyme is the source of the title for the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy “Liar Liar”. “Liar Liar” is an amusing film about a lawyer who finds himself only able to tell the truth and cannot tell a lie, all because his son made a birthday wish.

85 Oil-rich state, for short : UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

93 Fashionable pair : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

94 Cover for “little piggies” : BOOTEE

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

96 “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk” is the last short story he wrote : KAFKA

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia and today the capital of the Czech Republic. Kafka is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is “kafkaesque” is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka’s fame came after his death when much of his work was published.

98 Kind of chemical bond in salts : IONIC

An ionic bond is formed between two oppositely-charged ions. A common example is the bond between positively-charged sodium atoms and negatively-charged chlorine atoms to form table salt (NaCl). A covalent bond, on the other hand, is formed when two atoms share electrons. Atoms sharing electrons tend to be stable, so they prefer to stay together rather than apart.

99 Vivacious quality : SPUNK

We’ve been using the word “spunk” to mean “pluck, courage” since the late 1700s. Prior to that it was a Scottish word meaning “spark”, a word that we absorbed into English.

100 What a meta clue might do to itself : REFER

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

104 Brick made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

Styrene is a sweet-smelling, colorless liquid that is used to make the plastic called polystyrene, and the synthetic rubber called styrene-butadiene (SBR).

105 New ___ : AGER

The New Age Movement is a western philosophy with roots that date back to the early 1800s. The movement focuses on achieving the highest human potential as an individual and embraces many traditionally eastern spiritual practices, but eschews all religious doctrines. New Age music is composed with the intent of supporting this philosophy. It tends to be very minimalistic, very tonal and harmonic. It is often used as a backdrop for relaxation or meditation.

106 Showy basket : DUNK

In basketball, a player makes a slam dunk by jumping up and powering the ball downward into the basket with his or her hands over the rim. The term “slam dunk” was coined by Chick Hearn, an announcer for the L.A. Lakers. The NBA even holds an annual Slam Dunk Contest.

107 Lifesavers, for short : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

108 Piece of equipment for gold medalist Lindsey Vonn : SKI

Lindsey Vonn is a World Champion alpine ski racer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is one of the few women to have won World Cup races in all five alpine racing disciplines: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined. In fact, Vonn is the most successful US ski racer in history.

110 Marauder of old : HUN

The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.

111 Lifelong bud, slangily : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Aid for a small business : MICROLOAN
10 Dev of “Slumdog Millionaire” : PATEL
15 Part of a prairie skyline : SILO
19 Strict commitment : ADHERENCE
20 Sidestep : ELUDE
21 “Way ahead of you” : I KNOW
22 Compliment to a runway model? : YOU GOT THAT STRUT (from “you got that straight!”)
24 Low card in Texas hold’em : DEUCE
25 Some donations : ALMS
26 Stable supply : HAY
27 Starting piece on a1 or h8, say : ROOK
28 ___ Slam (tennis feat) : SERENA
30 Drain : SAP
31 Easily offended by foul language? : CUSS-SENSITIVE (from “case-sensitive”)
34 Kind of high ground : MORAL
37 Trial : WOE
38 Breaks down : ROTS
39 Spanish “sun” : SOL
40 Axel ___, protagonist of “Beverly Hills Cop” : FOLEY
41 X : CHI
42 Japanese roadster since 1989 : MIATA
44 Residence that might be named for a donor : DORM
45 Question to a tantrum thrower? : WHY THE LONG FUSS? (from “why the long face?”)
49 Costly cuts : T-BONES
51 First two words of “Green Eggs and Ham” : I AM …
52 ___ fixe : IDEE
53 Malbec and syrah, e.g. : REDS
54 Role model : HERO
55 Wet-Nap, for one : WIPE
57 Friend with a rhyming description : GAL PAL
59 Sighting aptly found in “Are you for real?” : UFO
61 “Anything you’d like to ___?” : ADD
63 Relics proving how Noah steered his boat? : RUDDERS OF THE LOST ARK (from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”)
68 Something to do for recovery? : SUE
69 Pacific island ring : LEI
70 Neil with the hit “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” : SEDAKA
71 Carries out : DOES
73 Actor Elwes of “The Princess Bride” : CARY
75 Trade blows : SPAR
77 Mild : TAME
79 Driver’s org., no matter how you slice it? : PGA
80 Relent : ACCEDE
83 Prepared for a field trip? : LOADED THE BUSES (from “loaded the bases”)
86 Interjections akin to “Yeah, su-u-ure!” : HAHS
87 Bygone forensic spinoff : CSI: NY
89 Android alternative : IOS
90 Quits at the last minute : BAILS
91 Org. that awards the Safer Choice label : EPA
92 World capital established in 1535 : LIMA
93 Jackanapes : IMP
94 Rap producers’ favorite vegetables? : BEETS
95 Masters of slapstick? : MUCK-UP ARTISTS (from “makeup artists”)
100 Retinal receptor : ROD
101 Drink after drink? : CHASER
102 “To live without ___ is to cease to live”: Dostoyevsky : HOPE
103 Sign of summer : LEO
104 Stow cargo : LADE
108 Get into gear : SHIFT
109 Title for an oral surgeon’s handbook? : THE NUMB OF THE GUM (from “the name of the game”)
113 Certain sexual preferences : KINKS
114 Italian automotive hub : TURIN
115 Subject of many an off-season rumor : FREE AGENT
116 “Young Frankenstein” character played by Teri Garr : INGA
117 Tee type : V-NECK
118 4th order? : FIREWORKS

Down

1 ___ Rudolph, portrayer of Kamala Harris on “S.N.L.” : MAYA
2 Role model : IDOL
3 Amigo : CHUM
4 Rules’ partner, for short : REGS
5 El Dorado treasure : ORO
6 Like apple seeds, if eaten in huge quantities : LETHAL
7 Fresh from a keg : ON TAP
8 Sore : ACHY
9 Org. that sponsored the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial : NEA
10 MXN, on a currency chart : PESOS
11 Adele and Cher, e.g. : ALTOS
12 ___ and Caicos : TURKS
13 Part of a dean’s address : EDU
14 “I’d rather pass” : LET’S NOT
15 Shooting sport : SKEET
16 All together now : IN UNISON
17 Farm-to-table consumer : LOCAVORE
18 Word that sounds like its first letter : OWE
21 Elba who played Macavity in 2019’s “Cats” : IDRIS
23 One end of the PolitiFact meter : TRUE
29 Willing subject : ESTATE
30 “Don’t be rude … greet our guests!” : SAY HI!
31 Loonie or toonie : COIN
32 Some are named for kings and queens : ERAS
33 Stately street liners : ELMS
34 Coat from a goat : MOHAIR
35 High point of Greek civilization? : OLYMPUS
36 Emeritus: Abbr. : RET
37 “It’s me … duh!” : WHO ELSE?
40 “Just sayin’,” in shorthand : FWIW
41 Needless to say : CLEARLY
42 Mississippi ___ pie : MUD
43 Released : ISSUED
44 Thingamabob : DOODAD
46 Brink : EDGE
47 World No. 1 tennis player between Navratilova and Seles : GRAF
48 Lived in a blue state? : FELT SAD
50 One might be hard to sit for : BRAT
54 Pipes at some bars : HOOKAHS
56 Brings out : EDUCES
58 Downfall in many an Agatha Christie novel : POISON
60 Buzzed hairstyle : FLATTOP
62 Stops harping on something : DROPS IT
64 Like a sparsely attended party : DEAD
65 See 66-Down : … HERE
66 With 65-Down, “Ditto” : SAME …
67 Pelvic exercises : KEGELS
72 Give attitude : SASS
74 Instruction for a course? : RECIPE
76 Earnings : PAY
78 Drew back : EBBED
80 “Sorry to intrude …” : AHEM …
81 Certain monkey … or monk : CAPUCHIN
82 “Jackpot!” : CHA-CHING
83 One needing new, unburned pants? : LIAR
84 De-lights? : DIMS
85 Oil-rich state, for short : UAE
88 Appliance with apps : SMART TV
92 Yearns (for) : LUSTS
93 Fashionable pair : ITEM
94 Cover for “little piggies” : BOOTEE
96 “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk” is the last short story he wrote : KAFKA
97 “Take that!” : THERE!
98 Kind of chemical bond in salts : IONIC
99 Vivacious quality : SPUNK
100 What a meta clue might do to itself : REFER
103 Chicago mayor Lightfoot : LORI
104 Brick made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene : LEGO
105 New ___ : AGER
106 Showy basket : DUNK
107 Lifesavers, for short : EMTS
108 Piece of equipment for gold medalist Lindsey Vonn : SKI
110 Marauder of old : HUN
111 Lifelong bud, slangily : BFF
112 Partner of hem : HAW

13 thoughts on “1108-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Nov 20, Sunday”

  1. 49:53 including about 5 minutes to find a fat finger. I had INGE vs. INGA (never sure which it will be) and when I filled in KAFKA, did not pay attention to the trailing A since E of INGE filled the square. Was about 90% done in about 30 minutes but just pondered three of the long entries, especially 31A with the triple S. Also had LONGS vs. LUSTS for a “long” time (get it) and that was one of the spots I pondered my navel for quite a while as well.

  2. 23:42, no errors, no complaints, minimal omphaloskepsis, though I had to get two of the theme answers before I understood the gimmick well enough for it to help me.

  3. 47:21. Tougher than average for me.

    Some of the cluing was off the charts, e.g. “One needing new, unburned pants?”. I’ll add the clue for LEGO to the list, but I won’t attempt to try to spell it here. I also don’t know how to spell BOOTiE which slowed me down a little.

    As is often the case, I disregarded the theme, then I got it, then I leaned on it, then I realized I might not have finished without it.

    Best –

  4. 47:17, worked/finished it while watching New Orleans beat down Tampa Bay. I could see there was some kind of play on words for a theme, which helped the solve, but didn’t really “get it” until reading the blog. I’m sorry, but “bootee” is way beyond a stretch, is either “bootie” as in a shoe, or “booty” as in pirate treasure or the human posterior, which in some cases is also a pirate’s treasure…. 🙂

  5. I guess this is so late that no one will ever see it, but it’ll make me feel better to write it down. — I really deplore clues like 80 Across, which try to link two words that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Accede is to agree to something, and relent is to take back something bad. You may as well clue accede with “persevere” — or “rhubarb.” It just looks like the setter didn’t know the meaning of the words. Clever misdirection is one thing, but …

    1. @Lela …

      It’s incorrect to say that “relent” and “accede” have “absolutely nothing to do with each other”. Try Googling “synonyms of relent”; one of the words that comes up for me – as being “similar”, which, admittedly, is not quite the same as being “synonymous” – is “accede”. So I don’t think the clue is totally out of line. (In any case, the crossing entries made it pretty easy to fill in the intended answer.)

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