1126-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Nov 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Neville Fogarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Long

Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving, everyone. Themed answers each start with “LONG”, which is portrayed in the grid using double squares for each letter:

  • 71A Word interpreted literally in completing four of this puzzle’s answers : LONG
  • 18A Oboe or flute sound : LONG VOWEL
  • 29A Home to around eight million Americans : LONG ISLAND
  • 47A Circumlocutory : LONG-WINDED
  • 61A Some winter wear : LONG JOHNS

Bill’s time: 9m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 2019 voice role for Beyoncé : NALA

In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

9 Gym leader? : SOFT G

The leading letter in the word “gym” is a soft letter G (gee).

14 Operating system from Bell Labs : UNIX

Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969. The initial name for the project was Uniplexed Information and Computing Service (Unics), and this evolved over time into “Unix”.

Bell Labs dates back to the days of Alexander Graham Bell. The first Bell Labs building was in the carriage house of Bell’s father’s house in Washington, D.C.

16 Basic skateboarding trick : OLLIE

An ollie is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I could do that …

18 Oboe or flute sound : LONG VOWEL

The first letter O in the word “oboe” is a long O. The letter U in the word “flute” is a long U.

20 Experiencing agita : UNEASY

“Agita” is another name for “acid indigestion”, and more generally for “agitation, anxiety”.

24 Aloof group : SNOBS

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

26 More than calls : RAISES

That might be the card game poker.

29 Home to around eight million Americans : LONG ISLAND

New York State’s Long Island is the largest island in the 48 contiguous states. The western end of Long Island is home to Brooklyn and Queens, two of the five boroughs that comprise New York City. As a result, most of New York City’s residents live on Long Island. The population of the whole island is over 7 million, making it the most populous island in the 50 states.

33 Big-tongued comics character : ODIE

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

34 Something you have up your sleeve : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

35 1992 biopic starring Jack Nicholson : HOFFA

“Hoffa” is a 1992 biographical film about the life of Jimmy Hoffa, the colorful leader of the Teamsters Union. The title role is played by Jack Nicholson, and the movie was directed by Danny DeVito De Vito also played the supporting role of Bobby Ciaro, Hoffa’s close friend and confidante.

Jimmy Hoffa headed off to meet with two Mafia leaders at a restaurant in a suburb of Detroit on July 30, 1975. The two men he was supposed to meet denied any appointment was made, and they were seen in public in other locations far from the restaurant. Hoffa was spotted by passers-by in the restaurant parking lot, the last time he was ever seen. His wife reported him missing later that night, and the resulting police investigation failed to find Hoffa or his body. Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982, seven years after he disappeared.

40 Celebrated Thanksgiving, say : FEASTED

Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

42 Deli supply : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

43 Sight at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade : SANTA

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has been held every year since 1924, with a brief suspension from 1942-1944. The parade was halted during WWII as there was a need for rubber and helium to support the war effort.

47 Circumlocutory : LONG-WINDED

“Circumlocution” is the use of more words than are needed to address a topic, a “speaking around” or indirect way of talking.

50 Early TV network that competed with NBC and CBS : DUMONT

The DuMont Television Network started broadcasting in the US in 1946, only a few years after NBC and CBS went on the air. DuMont only lasted for ten years, having struggled to make money from day one. One of the network’s most famous shows was “Cavalcade of Stars”, which was the precursor of “The Jackie Gleason Show”.

54 Funder of New York’s Strawberry Fields memorial : ONO

Strawberry Fields is a memorial in Central Park in New York City. The memorial is a triangular piece of land found directly across from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered. At the center of the triangle of land is a circular pathway mosaic of stones with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, contributed over one million dollars to help pay for the memorial’s design and upkeep.

55 Publisher of the World Factbook, in brief : CIA

“The World Factbook” is a publication produced by the CIA. It is intended primarily for use by government employees but, as it is in the public domain, it is now used by just about anyone. The first edition of “Factbook” came out in 1962 and, as it was classified, it had limited distribution. It was decided to make “Factbook” public in 1975, and it has been freely available on the World Wide Web since 1994.

61 Some winter wear : LONG JOHNS

The long underwear known as “long johns” were likely named for the heavyweight boxer John L. Sullivan.

66 Place of refuge : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

68 Former Expos and Giants manager Felipe : ALOU

Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

69 Refine, in a way : SMELT

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

70 Aphorisms : SAWS

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

An aphorism is a short and pithy statement that embodies a general truth or insightful observation. Some great examples are:

  • Life is a journey, not a destination (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • The average person thinks he isn’t (Larry Lorenzoni)
  • To err is human, to forgive divine (Alexander Pope)
  • Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one (Albert Einstein)
  • Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton)

Down

1 Whiz : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

2 Mystery writer, for short : ANON

Anonymous (anon.)

5 Along with gold, one of the team colors of the Midshipmen : NAVY BLUE

The Navy Midshipmen football team went undefeated during the 1910 season, and didn’t even have a point scored against them. They didn’t win every game though .. their record included one scoreless draw.

6 Often-muddy transport, for short : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

7 Places to go in England : LOOS

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

8 Wildly : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

11 Hound dog hounders : FLEAS

Fleas are flightless insects, but they sure can jump. Their very specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies.

12 Spanish accent : TILDE

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

13 Fixes, in a way : GELDS

To geld is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

21 Lead-in to la : SOL

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

25 Deli slice : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

27 Cause of some impulsive behavior, in brief : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

31 Actor Williams of “Happy Days” : ANSON

Anson Williams plays the lovable Warren “Potsie” Weber character on “Happy Days”. After “Happy Days” finished its run, Williams moved into directing and has directed episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Xena: Warrior Princess”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, “Melrose Place”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and other shows. But Williams’ true claim to fame has to be that he is the second cousin of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the Heimlich Maneuver!

The fabulous sitcom “Happy Days” originally ran for 11 seasons, from 1974 to 1984. That makes it the second longest-running sitcom in the history of ABC (behind “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”). “Happy Days’ spawned several spin-off shows, two of which became very successful. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams played two characters who later featured in “Laverne and Shirley”, and Robin Williams first played Mork from Ork on a “Happy Days” episode, which led to “Mork & Mindy”.

32 Swimming : NATANT

Something described as natant is floating or swimming. The term “natant” comes from the Latin “natare” meaning “to swim”.

38 Eighty-sixed : AXED

To eighty-six something is to eject it, to throw it out. The origin of the term is unclear. One story is that it originated in the days of prohibition in the West Village of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Whenever there was a scheduled raid on the establishment called Chumley’s, an informant would call ahead and tell the bartender to “86” his customers i.e. to send them out the door on 86 Bedford Street. The cops would then turn up at the entrance on Pamela Court.

40 Babe in the woods : FAWN

A fawn is a young deer, usually one less than a year old.

50 Places to learn to fight : DOJOS

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

52 Classic Abercrombie & Fitch logo : MOOSE

Ezra Fitch and David Abercrombie were co-founders of the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. It is Ezra Fitch who gets the credit for introducing the Chinese game of mahjong into the US. Fitch bought up as many mahjong sets as he could find in villages all over China and sold them through Abercrombie & Fitch outlets.

57 ___ of Arendelle (Disney heroine) : ANNA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

59 Betty Boop, e.g. : TOON

Betty Boop made her first appearance on the screen in 1930, in a cartoon called “Dizzy Dishes”. Her character was modeled on the It-girl, the sexy Clara Bow of movie fame. Back then Betty Boop was a sexy poodle and it wasn’t until 1932 that she morphed into completely human form. Betty was quite the risqué figure, but her vampish ways only lasted a few years. When the Production Code of 1934 came into force, Betty started to dress more modestly and toned down her behavior.

62 Word with baby or snake : … OIL

There is actually a real snake oil, a Chinese medicine made from fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term “snake oil” became associated with any cure-all potion.

63 Former presidential inits. : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Info for an air traveler : GATE
5 2019 voice role for Beyoncé : NALA
9 Gym leader? : SOFT G
14 Operating system from Bell Labs : UNIX
15 One tiny bit : ATOM
16 Basic skateboarding trick : OLLIE
17 Play like a puppy : ROMP
18 Oboe or flute sound : LONG VOWEL
20 Experiencing agita : UNEASY
22 Precursor of rocksteady : SKA
23 Put in : ADD
24 Aloof group : SNOBS
26 More than calls : RAISES
29 Home to around eight million Americans : LONG ISLAND
33 Big-tongued comics character : ODIE
34 Something you have up your sleeve : ULNA
35 1992 biopic starring Jack Nicholson : HOFFA
39 -: Abbr. : NEG
40 Celebrated Thanksgiving, say : FEASTED
42 Deli supply : LOX
43 Sight at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade : SANTA
45 Cry of lament : MOAN
46 Needle maker : PINE
47 Circumlocutory : LONG-WINDED
50 Early TV network that competed with NBC and CBS : DUMONT
53 Features of housewarming parties : TOURS
54 Funder of New York’s Strawberry Fields memorial : ONO
55 Publisher of the World Factbook, in brief : CIA
58 Pushes out of bed : ROUSTS
61 Some winter wear : LONG JOHNS
65 “Just be patient” : SOON
66 Place of refuge : OASIS
67 Take a ___ : KNEE
68 Former Expos and Giants manager Felipe : ALOU
69 Refine, in a way : SMELT
70 Aphorisms : SAWS
71 Word interpreted literally in completing four of this puzzle’s answers : LONG

Down

1 Whiz : GURU
2 Mystery writer, for short : ANON
3 It’s commonly used to make a product : TIMES SIGN
4 Tract : EXPANSE
5 Along with gold, one of the team colors of the Midshipmen : NAVY BLUE
6 Often-muddy transport, for short : ATV
7 Places to go in England : LOOS
8 Wildly : AMOK
9 Female on a farm : SOW
10 Stadium cheer : OLE!
11 Hound dog hounders : FLEAS
12 Spanish accent : TILDE
13 Fixes, in a way : GELDS
19 Caution : WARN
21 Lead-in to la : SOL
25 Deli slice : SALAMI
27 Cause of some impulsive behavior, in brief : ADHD
28 “What can ___?” : I DO
29 They move in a charged atmosphere : IONS
30 It’s a thought : IDEA
31 Actor Williams of “Happy Days” : ANSON
32 Swimming : NATANT
36 Goes it alone : FLIES SOLO
37 Like some farewells : FOND
38 Eighty-sixed : AXED
40 Babe in the woods : FAWN
41 Gets behind : ENDORSES
44 A pair : TWO
46 Examination : PERUSAL
48 Medical symptom, maybe : ITCH
49 Pair : DUO
50 Places to learn to fight : DOJOS
51 Free of blocks : UNJAM
52 Classic Abercrombie & Fitch logo : MOOSE
56 Cartoonists’ supplies : INKS
57 ___ of Arendelle (Disney heroine) : ANNA
59 Betty Boop, e.g. : TOON
60 Close-fitting : SNUG
62 Word with baby or snake : … OIL
63 Former presidential inits. : HST
64 Darn, darn, darn! : SEW

11 thoughts on “1126-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Nov 20, Thursday”

  1. 21:08 When I had VVOO for the start of 18A I knew something was up. Then got the NNDD at the tail of 29A and figured that was going to be Long ISLAND. That helped fill in the rest of the double letters. But still a number of early miscues and I felt as if I solved this more like a Fri.

  2. 11:21, no errors. However, I have a confession to make: Yesterday, before starting this puzzle online, I happened to look at “xword.com” (just to see if today’s puzzle was available yet) and happened to see this note: “In the print version of this puzzle, every two squares in 18-, 29-, 47- and 61-Across are joined as one.” That gave me a little heads-up about what to expect from the puzzle and undoubtedly helped me to solve it.

    Curiously, I just checked and found that the note is not readily available from the “info” icon in the NYT crossword app (an icon that I never check before starting the puzzle, anyway) – an odd inconsistency between the paper version and the online version.

  3. 20:25. Indeed the puzzle would have been a little easier if I’d seen the double squares on the print version.

    Biggest problem was 37D. I read the clue as “Like some firewalls”…Nothing made any sense there including FOND. Sheesh.

    Happy Thanksgiving all. And Happy New Year’s Eve to all the syndicated crew. Is there anyone who won’t be happy to see 2020 come to an end??

    Best –

  4. 28:12 Since I’m still pretty much a rookie solver, I questioned my answers when I started seeing double consonants in a number of adjacent squares. After seeing the reveal, “Long Island” was the giveaway. NW was the last to fall thanks to my entering “queasy” rather than “uneasy”. Oops. Happy Thanksgiving to everybody, please stay healthy and safe, and Jeff beat me to it: Happy New Year to all the syndicated solvers 🙂

  5. Took a long time to get a footing.. figured out early on about the double letters but I didn’t get the LONG part until later… I still had a hard time mentally closing in on half the letters.. eventually got.. having NATANT? in the middle of it didn’t help..

  6. 36:30 no errors but I had to google 52D…just when you think you’ve seen it all………
    Stay safe😀
    Have a happy but sensible new year👍
    Go Ravens 🙏

  7. In my print version the double letters were 2 squares joined with no separator so I was able to grok the trick early which made for a relatively easy solve. Natant was a new word for me.

  8. 16:29, no errors. In my syndicated print version, the applicable, themed, across boxes are double wide (covering 2 columns), I think this made the solve easier.
    Grew up in Queens, NYC. Before driving out to visit my Great Aunt on LONG ISLAND, my mother always sent me to the Jewish DELI to pick up a half pound of belly lox.

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