1111-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Alex Bajcz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Doubleday

Themed answers each comprise TWO DAYS:

  • 62A Big name in American book publishing for 120+ years … and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : DOUBLEDAY
  • 18A *Four-time heavyweight champ nicknamed “The Real Deal” : HOLYFIELD (holy day & field day)
  • 23A *Gift that comes with a hitch? : WEDDING PRESENT (wedding day & present day)
  • 38A *Place that honors those who’ve served : VETERANS MEMORIAL (Veterans Day & Memorial Day)
  • 51A *Producer of a lot of suits? : BUSINESS SCHOOL (business day & school day)

Bill’s time: 10m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Converted into fuel, as coal : COKED

Coke is coal that has been baked at very high temperatures to drive off volatile constituents such as water, coal-gas and coal tar. The resulting coke looks like coal, but is grey, porous and much lighter.

6 Former gridiron org. for the Memphis Maniax and Orlando Rage : XFL

The XFL was an American Football league that only survived for one season. The intention of the league was to provide football fans with something to watch in the off-season, but the fans didn’t bother. There was discussion when the league was founded that “XFL” would stand for “Extreme” Football League, but the decision was made to let the “X” stand for nothing at all. The XFL was revived in 2020.

18 *Four-time heavyweight champ nicknamed “The Real Deal” : HOLYFIELD

Evander Holyfield is a professional boxer from Atmore, Alabama. Holyfield was Undisputed World Champion twice over, once as a cruiserweight and then as a heavyweight. Since retiring, Holyfield has stayed in the limelight. He competed in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2005, and “Celebrity Big Brother (UK)” in 2014.

20 Role in “The Matrix” : NEO

Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films.

21 Prefix with skeleton : EXO-

An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

34 Narrow estuary : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

35 Thanos, to the Avengers : FOE

Thanos is a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. Thanos was portrayed by Damion Poitier in the 2012 movie “The Avengers”, and by Josh Brolin in several subsequent movies including 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

38 *Place that honors those who’ve served : VETERANS MEMORIAL (Veterans Day & Memorial Day)

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

The US’s Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who fell serving their country in the armed forces. The holiday is held on the last Monday in May. It was originally known as Decoration Day and was established after the Civil War to commemorate both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. Memorial Day is also the traditional start of the summer season, with the end of the season being Labor Day.

44 Laugh like a Stooge : YUK

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

45 Japan’s oldest religion : SHINTO

It is perhaps best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a “spirituality of the Japanese people”, a spirituality that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, “Shinto” translates literally as “Way of the gods”. Most people in Japan who are described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.

46 ___ Pilate : PONTIUS

Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However, a block of limestone was found in 1961 in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

50 Corporate raider Carl : ICAHN

Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo! Icahn has a reputation as a corporate raider, a reputation that dates back to his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. He made a lot of money out of that deal, before being ousted in 1993 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

55 Cary of “The Princess Bride” : ELWES

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.

56 “I, ___” (Langston Hughes poem) : TOO

Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

57 Humanities subj. : ENG

The academic studies of human culture are collectively called the humanities. Subjects included in the humanities are languages, literature, philosophy, religion and music.

62 Big name in American book publishing for 120+ years … and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : DOUBLEDAY

Doubleday, the publishing company, was founded in 1897 by Frank Nelson Doubleday and Samuel McClure. As a result, the company was originally known as Doubleday & McClure.

65 Mistakes : ERRATA

“Errata” is the past participle of the Latin word “errare” meaning “to err”. We use “errata” (singular “erratum”) to describe a list of errors that have been noted in some publication.

66 Epithet for Jesus in some church names : OUR SAVIOR

An epithet is a word or phrase used in a name to describe the quality of the person or thing bearing that name. For example, King Richard I was also known as Richard the Lionheart. The term “epithet” can also describe a word that is disparaging or abusive.

Down

1 Sammy with four Oscars : CAHN

Sammy Cahn wrote for them all, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Doris Day. Cahn’s most famous song was probably “Three Coins in the Fountain”. He also wrote “All the Way”, made famous by Frank Sinatra.

2 Instrument heard in “I Got You, Babe” : OBOE

“I Got You Babe” is a duet that was released in 1965 by Sonny & Cher. The lyrics and music for the song were written by Sonny Bono himself. In 1993, Sonny and Cher did a version of the song with the animated characters Beavis and Butt-head. One has to ask, “Why …?”

3 Units on an electric bill : KILOWATTS

The kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of energy, made up of the product of power (kilowatts – kW) and time (hour – h). We see “kWh” all the time, on our electricity bills.

4 Ron of Tarzan on 1960s TV : ELY

Ron Ely is most famous for playing the title role in the “Tarzan” TV series in the sixties. Years later, Ely hosted the 1980 and 1981 “Miss America” pageants right after longtime host Bert Parks retired, before the job was taken over by Gary Collins. And Ely is a successful mystery novelist. He wrote “Night Shadows” and “East Beach” in the mid-nineties, both of which featured his private eye Jake Sands.

8 Inspiration for the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” : LSD

The Beatles released the song “Day Tripper” at the end of 1965 for the Christmas market. The flip-side featured the song “We Can Work It Out”, and the record was the first one ever to be described as “double A-side”.

9 Venmo, e.g. : APP

Venmo is a smartphone payment app that is now owned by PayPal. The first version of the product was introduced in 2009 by two entrepreneurs who had met as freshman students at the University of Pennsylvania. They sold the company in 2012 for over $26 million, and then PayPal acquired it the following year for a whopping $800 million. I wonder if PayPal ever buys blogs …

14 Reznor of rock’s Nine Inch Nails : TRENT

Nine Inch Nails is the name of a rock band that was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988 by singer-songwriter Trent Reznor. Reznor chose the name “Nine Inch Nails” mainly because it abbreviated easily and succinctly, to “NIN”.

24 Relative of a foil : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

27 Ballet move : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

28 Paper units : REAMS

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

30 About half of all binary code : ONES

In a numeral system, the radix is the number of different digits that are used to represent numbers. For example, the decimal number system that we use has a radix of 10, because we use the ten digits 0, 1, 2 …. 9. The binary system has a radix of 2, as it uses only the digits 1 and 0.

33 Taylor who sang “Tell It to My Heart” : DAYNE

Taylor Dayne is the stage name of singer-songwriter Leslie Wunderman. Dayne’s best-known record is probably “Tell It to My Heart”, released in 1988.

37 Musk who co-founded PayPal : ELON

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

41 Home to the Cedar Point amusement park : OHIO

Cedar Point is an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio and is the second-oldest such park in the country that is still operating (the oldest is Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut, which opened in 1846). Cedar Point specializes in roller coasters.

42 “___ Suave” (1991 hit) : RICO

Here’s a 2002 list of one-hit wonders that VH1 dubbed the top-10 greatest of all time:

  1. “Macarena” – Los del Río (1996)
  2. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell (1982)
  3. “Come on Eileen” – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
  4. “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred (1991)
  5. “Mickey” – Toni Basil (1982)
  6. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” – Baha Men (2000)
  7. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice (1990)
  8. “Take On Me” – A-ha (1985)
  9. “Rico Suave” – Gerardo (1990)
  10. “99 Luftballons” – Nena (1984)

51 Under siege : BESET

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

54 Goblins, in folklore : HOBS

A hobgoblin is a mischievous spirit of folk lore. Perhaps the most famous character labeled as a hobgoblin is Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

58 Lye, in chemistry class : NAOH

Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic salt, with the chemical formula NaOH. Often referred to as “lye”, sodium hydroxide is also known as “caustic soda” because of its caustic properties.

61 Skosh : TAD

“Skosh” is a slang term meaning “a little bit”, and was originally military slang that came out of the Korean War. “Skosh” derives from the Japanese word “sukoshi” which translates as “few, little, some”.

62 Female caribou : DOE

“Caribou” is the North American name for “reindeer”.

63 Most popular U.S. dog breed, familiarly : LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

64 Actress Mendes : EVA

I am most familiar with actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie “Hitch”, in which she played opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Converted into fuel, as coal : COKED
6 Former gridiron org. for the Memphis Maniax and Orlando Rage : XFL
9 Maximally : AT MOST
15 Superheroes’ specialties : ABILITIES
17 “For richer, for ___ …” (vow words) : POORER
18 *Four-time heavyweight champ nicknamed “The Real Deal” : HOLYFIELD
19 Download without paying, say : PIRATE
20 Role in “The Matrix” : NEO
21 Prefix with skeleton : EXO-
22 Like “aurum” for gold and “ferrum” for iron : LATIN
23 *Gift that comes with a hitch? : WEDDING PRESENT
29 Lose it : GO APE
31 Holes in shoes : EYELETS
32 Paid to play: Var. : ANTEED
34 Narrow estuary : RIA
35 Thanos, to the Avengers : FOE
38 *Place that honors those who’ve served : VETERANS MEMORIAL
43 Twisty curve : ESS
44 Laugh like a Stooge : YUK
45 Japan’s oldest religion : SHINTO
46 ___ Pilate : PONTIUS
50 Corporate raider Carl : ICAHN
51 *Producer of a lot of suits? : BUSINESS SCHOOL
55 Cary of “The Princess Bride” : ELWES
56 “I, ___” (Langston Hughes poem) : TOO
57 Humanities subj. : ENG
60 “Cut that out!” : STOP IT!
62 Big name in American book publishing for 120+ years … and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : DOUBLEDAY
65 Mistakes : ERRATA
66 Epithet for Jesus in some church names : OUR SAVIOR
67 Like many returning spring breakers : TANNED
68 Relatives of “ums” : ERS
69 Take a soak : BATHE

Down

1 Sammy with four Oscars : CAHN
2 Instrument heard in “I Got You, Babe” : OBOE
3 Units on an electric bill : KILOWATTS
4 Ron of Tarzan on 1960s TV : ELY
5 “What’s the ___?” : DIF
6 Mandarin “thank you” : XIEXIE
7 Tax evasion, e.g. : FELONY
8 Inspiration for the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” : LSD
9 Venmo, e.g. : APP
10 Where you’re actually going when you “see a man about a horse” : TOILET
11 Quagmire : MORASS
12 Speechify : ORATE
13 Take effect : SET IN
14 Reznor of rock’s Nine Inch Nails : TRENT
16 Knotted (up) : TIED
24 Relative of a foil : EPEE
25 Road sign animal : DEER
26 Start of an idea : GERM
27 Ballet move : PLIE
28 Paper units : REAMS
29 Collapsed, with “in” : GAVE …
30 About half of all binary code : ONES
33 Taylor who sang “Tell It to My Heart” : DAYNE
35 Last task before sending to print : FINAL EDIT
36 “Solemn” words : OATH
37 Musk who co-founded PayPal : ELON
39 Trail mix ingredients : NUTS
40 Goes on a run : SKIS
41 Home to the Cedar Point amusement park : OHIO
42 “___ Suave” (1991 hit) : RICO
46 It’s found beneath the crust : PIE PAN
47 Like some job training : ONSITE
48 Series of bookings across America : US TOUR
49 Combs : SCOURS
51 Under siege : BESET
52 Super- : ULTRA-
53 ___ to secrecy : SWORN
54 Goblins, in folklore : HOBS
58 Lye, in chemistry class : NAOH
59 Move in a spiral : GYRE
61 Skosh : TAD
62 Female caribou : DOE
63 Most popular U.S. dog breed, familiarly : LAB
64 Actress Mendes : EVA

19 thoughts on “1111-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 20, Wednesday”

  1. 17:05 after finding and fixing a one-square error (that I finally used Dr. Google to get right): the “X” at the intersection of XFL (which I’ve probably heard of at some point in my life, but had certainly forgotten) and XIEXIE (which I actually should have known and might have remembered if I had spent a little more time on it, but I got impatient). It is what it is … 😜.

    1. Nonny – I knew XIEXIE from a movie I saw recently although I didn’t know its spelling. It’s pronounced like our pronoun “she” as in “she-she”

      1. @Jeff …

        Once I got the initial “X”, I actually remembered the pronunciation of a Chinese word for “thank you” (from a conversation with a friend) and I think it was more like “shuh-shuh”. It also seems to me that I have seen such a word in print (perhaps in another crossword puzzle), but with a somewhat different spelling; I could be wrong about that. The clue is careful to say that the word is Mandarin; maybe what I’ve encountered before was in a different dialect, like Cantonese?

  2. 13:12 Just spaced on the 3×3 in the upper NW corner for about 2 minutes. Unfamiliar with Sammy CAHN, didn’t know about the OBOE in “I Got you babe”, and totally tanked on KILO – don’t know why. Started with ERRORS vs. ERRATA and a couple fat fingers. Grid had CAHN and ICAHN and WordPlay indicated this is a 16×15 grid.

    First puzzle I think I’ve done with an answer in Mandarin

  3. 9:49 Slowest part for me was the top left corner. I also had errors before errata. Didn’t really get the theme until I came here.

  4. 16:20, same as Marc regarding the theme, spent a good 4 minutes thinking “gyre” was wrong until I realized that I had “Eli” instead of “Ely”….guess I need remedial Tarzan lessons….

  5. 15:37. I didn’t see the theme until I got the reveal which was nearly the last word I got for the entire puzzle.

    Five bucks to anyone who can pronounce the setter’s name correctly on the first try.

    Surprisingly that gray porous coal called COKE(D) makes quite a good soft drink. I prefer Pepsi anyway.

    The Stooges, namely Curly, actually laugh with a “nyuk” not a YUK. I cry foul and will file a complaint with the FCC (Federal Crossword Commission).

    Happy Veterans Day. I’m embarrassed that before today I didn’t know its direct link to WWI.

    Best –

  6. 24:23. ERRORS before ERRATA. Same as others on the theme…got it coming here. Worked around clockwise finishing in the NW which was pretty much blank for awhile.

  7. Got the theme, but like others messed up on 6A.. totally forgot about the XFL but I remember the WFL so I went with that..

    @glen.. any chance you can share any of your examples (your handwritten ones)?? Like a link or something? I’ve been coming here off and on for about 10 years.. learned most, if not all, my tricks from blog entries from you and others. I still consider myself a student of this ‘hobby’?? The good news, I feel good about my progress. I thought this would pass but I’m still addicted.. I keep tabs on the AFCT and others.. appreciate your insights.

    1. @Anon Mike
      Really don’t know what purpose it would serve, but if you want to see, here you go. Mostly, if you’ve followed a lot of my comments across of both of Bill’s blogs, a lot of crosswords seems to be doing them in an efficient way as much as having skill in picking out the answers from the clues/grid. Figuring out a lot of that has been trial and error for me. Of course, you see the biggest thing I talk about for hand-written stuff in that image (using lower-case letters), and yes I had to train my mind and hand to start doing that. Coincidentally, this is probably the only thing you’ll find in crossword material about the actual act of filling the grids out.

      Part of my problem is that I typically have typed a lot more over the years than hand-write, leading the former to be stellar while the later skill atrophied. So I had to work on it a lot to get it where I could do puzzles legibly (within reason) without my writing hand hurting (mentioned that happening a couple of times over the years, especially on 21x21s).

      I mentioned before there’s a couple of things I need to fix and you can definitely see one of them in the image, namely not holding the paper down well and having it shift on me while I try to write. The other big problem – using too much pressure on the writing instrument – probably contributes to the other one. It doesn’t show as much on that paper because I used a flat hard surface with a single printed piece of paper. But the interesting thing is I can see when I do something on a stack of papers, like a puzzle book, that I actually etch the paper (or rip it in the case of newsprint). That makes it so I really can’t use certain instruments because I break them, too. Of course, if you remember physics, more force = more friction = more effort = slower in doing the task.

      Of course, for both typing and handwriting, a lot of it involves form and learning it properly. I could go a lot longer on that for the material I’ve found on both. Sad part for handwriting is that a lot of written material is on how to teach 5-6 year olds to write than it is proper form or correcting problems, but I did pick up a couple of things from that.

      Don’t know if any of that helped or not, but just some general thoughts on the issue…

      1. Holy cow, its completely legible.. congrats.. it even has a hint of those APFT sheets you see on the big board. I’m just surprised how legible it is.. now I guess I have a goal. Thanks for sharing…

  8. 27:52 no errors…same as everybody else on the theme.
    After finishing I checked “my notes” and found Xiexie in them so it must have been used at least once in a previous puzzle.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  9. I loved Ron Ely’s “East Beach”. The protagonist is the most over-the-top super-macho crime-solver wrong-avenger etc. etc. etc.
    An unbelievable caricature . . .
    And he bad guy meets his fate in a way that’s new to me.
    And it’s set in Santa Barbara and truer to the geography than Sue
    Grafton’s Santa Theresa.

  10. 11:14, no errors. Bill’s explanation for 45A SHINTO, reminds me of the story of the Dalai Lama going into a Pizza Parlor and asking them to: “make me one with everything”.

  11. 62 down

    Female Caribou

    Although technically part of the deer family, female caribou are called cows and not referred to as a doe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.