1120-20 NY Times Crossword 20 Nov 20, Friday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 32

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Catchphrase on “The Simpsons” : AY, CARAMBA

Bart Simpson apparently uses the expression “Ay, caramba!” when he is positively surprised about something, often something related to a female I am told …

14 Love poet of old : TROUBADOUR

A troubadour was a composer and musician of the Middle Ages whose works dealt mainly with chivalry and courtly love. Troubadours were usually men, and a female troubadour would have been called a trobairitz, a lovely word …

15 Stage honor : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

16 Experts in determining the exact shape and size of the earth : GEODESISTS

The term “geodesic” originally applied to the shortest route between any two points on the Earth’s surface. In this sense, a geodesic is an arc, a segment of a great circle that goes around the whole of the Earth. A geodesic dome is a structure that gets its strength from an interlocking network of triangular elements. The sides of those triangles are geodesics, arced segments of great circles that encompass the dome.

17 Court seat : BANC

“Banc” is the French word for bench or seat.

18 Crisp, picturewise : IN HD

High-definition (HD)

19 Place name in Manhattan : ASTOR

Astor Place is a neighborhood around a two-block street in Manhattan, New York City that bears the same name. Astor Place is named for John Jacob Astor who was once the richest person in the country.

21 CARE, e.g., for short : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

The Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) is a humanitarian agency that was founded in 1945 in the US as a conglomerate of twenty-two charities with the aim of delivering aid to Europe after WWII. The acronym originally stood for “Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe”.

31 Avalanche : BARRAGE

In its original sense, the word “barrage” described the act of barring, of creating a barrier. In WWI, the French coined the phrase “tir de barrage” meaning “barrier fire”, artillery and mortar fire that was intended to isolate and objective. It was from this sense that we now use the term “barrage” to describe a massive delivery of gunfire, or figuratively, a concentrated outpouring of speech or writing.

38 Off the ___ : GRID

To be off-the-grid is to adopt a lifestyle that eschews the support of remote infrastructure, such as the electrical grid and public sewer system. My personal observation is that more and more people in the West are striving to live off-the-grid, although not many seem interested in breaking the link to the Internet …

40 Discontinued grocery chain that was once the U.S.’s largest retailer : A AND P

The supermarket chain commonly known as A&P is more fully called the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. The company started out selling tea directly from plantations in China in 1859, and by cutting out the middleman became very successful selling tea at lower prices. A&P moved into groceries, still with the philosophy of undercutting prices, building large stores and even getting into legal trouble for using predatory pricing tactics. The company completely dominated the retail grocery market until competition ate into their share starting in the seventies.

50 Counter offer, for short? : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

55 Spanish opposite of odio : AMOR

In Spanish, the opposite of love (amor) is hate (odio).

In Spanish, the opposite of “amor” (love) is “odio” (hate).

57 “Little Rhody,” with “the” : … OCEAN STATE

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody”), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

60 ___ lives : NINE

In the English-speaking world, the myth is that cats have nine lives. In Spanish-speaking cultures, cats are said to have seven lives. They are less fortunate in Turkish and Arabic cultures, as the number of lives is limited to six.

61 Classic Buster Keaton film set in Civil War times : THE GENERAL

Buster Keaton was a comic actor who was most famous for his work during the silent era. Keaton starred in and co-directed the 1926 silent comedy “The General”, lauded by some as the greatest movie of all time.

Down

4 Fiver : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

5 Some campus V.I.P.s : RAS

A resident assistant/adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

7 Spanish ___ : MOSS

Spanish moss is seen growing all over larger trees, particularly in the southeast of the US. Also known as beard lichen, Spanish moss is neither a moss nor a lichen. Rather, it is a flowering plant, although the flowers are tiny and difficult to spot.

11 Many workers on Wall Street, informally : IBANKERS

Investment banker (ibanker).

12 Slips and such : LINGERIE

“Lingerie” is a French term. As used in France, it describes any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

14 Weekend warrior’s cry : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote to me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

23 Requests made to latecomers, in brief : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

24 Game in which the object is to end with zero points : DARTS

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

26 Psst! Don’t pass it on! : CHAIN LETTER

Exactly … please don’t pass it on …

28 Burgeoned : GREW

To burgeon is to sprout, to put forth new buds. The term can also be used more figuratively to mean to grow or develop rapidly.

29 Old English dialect : SAXON

Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons (sometimes simply “Saxons”), as these tribes came to be called, held sway in the country until the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:

  • The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name “England”).
  • The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
  • The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.

32 “An Officer and a Gentleman” star, 1982 : GERE

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

“An Officer and a Gentleman” is a 1982 film starring Richard Gere as a candidate in the US Navy flight school who meets up and falls in love with a local girl played by Debra Winger. Despite the love shown on the screen between the characters played by Gere and Winger, it is fairly well known that the two leading actors did not get on well at all during the making of the film. At one point, Winger referred publicly to Gere as a “brick wall”.

37 Queens’s ___ Field : CITI

Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

38 Dolce’s partner in fashion : GABBANA

Dolce & Gabbana is an Italian fashion house based in Milan, It was founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985.

41 One parent of a mixed-breed “poxer” : PUG

The pug is a dog breed of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, and is a good-looking mutt!

43 German leader after Adenauer : ERHARD

Ludwig Erhard was the Chancellor of West Germany from 1964 until 1966. Prior to taking charge of the country, Erhard had been instrumental in West Germany’s economic recovery, serving as Minister of Economics under Konrad Adenauer.

Konrad Adenauer was the first Chancellor of West Germany after WWII, taking office in 1949 at the age of 73. Adenauer was 87 years old when he left office. Understandably perhaps, his nickname was “Der Alte”, German for “the old man”. Adenauer spent much of WWII in prison, courtesy of Herr Hitler.

44 Tempur-Pedic alternatives : SERTAS

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

47 Actor/comedian ___ Baron Cohen : SACHA

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m wasn’t a fan, but I must admit that I really enjoyed 2020’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”.

53 Saltimbocca ingredient : SAGE

Saltimbocca is a dish from southern Europe made of veal topped with prosciutto and sage, and then marinated in perhaps wine. The name “saltimbocca” is Italian for “jump in the mouth”.

59 ___-Cat : SNO

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Catchphrase on “The Simpsons” : AY, CARAMBA
10 Not so hot : MILD
14 Love poet of old : TROUBADOUR
15 Stage honor : OBIE
16 Experts in determining the exact shape and size of the earth : GEODESISTS
17 Court seat : BANC
18 Crisp, picturewise : IN HD
19 Place name in Manhattan : ASTOR
21 CARE, e.g., for short : NGO
22 Got : FOOLED
25 Satisfied the munchies : SNACKED
27 Digital identifiers : TOE TAGS
30 Startled response to “Eek, a mouse!” : WHERE?!
31 Avalanche : BARRAGE
34 Parched : ARID
35 Common activity in couples therapy : TRUST EXERCISE
38 Off the ___ : GRID
39 Like presidents with Bibles, maybe : SWORN IN
40 Discontinued grocery chain that was once the U.S.’s largest retailer : A AND P
42 Snuggles : NESTLES
45 Hearty har-hars : BIG YUKS
48 Like stadiums : TIERED
50 Counter offer, for short? : BLT
51 Goes “Grrrr” : GNARS
54 “Kiss Me ___ the Phone” (2009 #3 hit) : THRU
55 Spanish opposite of odio : AMOR
57 “Little Rhody,” with “the” : … OCEAN STATE
60 ___ lives : NINE
61 Classic Buster Keaton film set in Civil War times : THE GENERAL
62 Cut : AXED
63 Some terms set by consenting partners : SAFE WORDS

Down

1 Childish denial : ARE NOT!
2 Attention getter : YOO-HOO!
3 Someone to snuggle with : CUDDLE BUDDY
4 Fiver : ABE
5 Some campus V.I.P.s : RAS
6 ___ Barnes, W.N.I.T.-winning basketball coach : ADIA
7 Spanish ___ : MOSS
8 Ashtray fill : BUTTS
9 Burning issue : ARSON
10 Swarm : MOB
11 Many workers on Wall Street, informally : IBANKERS
12 Slips and such : LINGERIE
13 Cracked, in a way : DECODED
14 Weekend warrior’s cry : TGIF!
20 Uncut : RAW
23 Requests made to latecomers, in brief : ETAS
24 Game in which the object is to end with zero points : DARTS
26 Psst! Don’t pass it on! : CHAIN LETTER
28 Burgeoned : GREW
29 Old English dialect : SAXON
32 “An Officer and a Gentleman” star, 1982 : GERE
33 German philosopher Bloch : ERNST
35 Hiker’s bagful : TRAIL MIX
36 Annoying thing to hear in a movie theater : RINGTONE
37 Queens’s ___ Field : CITI
38 Dolce’s partner in fashion : GABBANA
41 One parent of a mixed-breed “poxer” : PUG
43 German leader after Adenauer : ERHARD
44 Tempur-Pedic alternatives : SERTAS
46 Gut feelings? : KNOTS
47 Actor/comedian ___ Baron Cohen : SACHA
49 Face-off : DUEL
52 Shipwreck site, maybe : REEF
53 Saltimbocca ingredient : SAGE
56 Strawberry, raspberry or cherry : RED
58 Inside the box? : NEW
59 ___-Cat : SNO

9 thoughts on “1120-20 NY Times Crossword 20 Nov 20, Friday”

  1. 24:20 As seems to be normal of late with Fridays, my first pass gets me very little and I chip away. Only fill-in on the acrosses was 38A CUFF which gave me CABBANA for 38D. Took a bit to get to GRID and GABBANA. Then I had all of the bottom half and almost nothing of the top. Unfamiliar with ADIA and I had to guess at the leading A to get the jingle, as I thought it was CARUMBA.

    Didn’t realize that A&P was such a big retailer and also didn’t know that you want to get to zero in DARTS. I always learn something from Bill’s explanations. How much I retain is another story.

  2. 40:20 NW was last to fall, slight distraction from solving and watching Seattle/Arizona game. Have only seen a couple episodes of “The Simpsons”, thought the only catch phrase was “don’t have a cow, man”…needless to say, that didn’t fit….

  3. 22:06. I had “cawabunga” for 1A, thinking I was really intuitive. My certainty of BUTTS made me back out of that…pardon the pun.

    A&P stores live on in that Eight O’Clock coffee was originally the A&P coffee brand. It has actually won several tasting awards. I mix it with Starbucks Espresso Roast in the morning (about 5 parts Espresso to 2 parts Eight O’Clock) and it’s spectacular coffee that way.

    Those who say “The General” was the greatest film ever made obviously never saw the movie “Jackass”. Sheesh. I’ll never understand some people…

    TGIF

    Best –

  4. 20:43 I liked this puzzle but had some trouble in the NW. I’m a huge sports fan and I have to say, being the coach of a team that wins the WNIT is pretty obscure. Especially when it’s crossing a word (AYCARAMBA) that could easily have a “u” in it. Fortunately I eventually got it. TGIF indeed!

  5. @Best Actually did see “Jackass”…. I still laugh after the Rent-A-Car demolition derby….some of the other stuff, not so much 🙂

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