1127-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Nov 20, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Supermarket chain inits. : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

9 Shortly, for short : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

16 Classic British rock group : STONEHENGE

The magnificent Stonehenge monument in the south of England was built from 3000 to 2000 BC. “Stonehenge” has given its name to “henges”, a whole class of earthwork monuments that are circular in form with an internal ditch surrounded by a bank. Paradoxically, Stonehenge doesn’t qualify as a henge by this contemporary definition, as its earthen bank is surrounded by an external ditch.

18 Vivacity : BRIO

“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language the term means “vigor and vivacity”. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

19 Pioneering reggae artist whose name is an exclamation : EEK-A-MOUSE

Eek-A-Mouse is a Jamaican reggae artist born Ripton Hylton. Hylton took the name “Eek-A-Mouse” from a racehorse, one on which he frequently placed bets.

21 Alternative to mushrooms : LSD

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

29 Singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

30 Thanksgiving dinner preference : LEG

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.

31 ___ Ren of “Star Wars” : KYLO

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

35 Part of H.R.H. : HER

His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

37 Wise guys? : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

39 Heavenly halo : CORONA

The external part of the sun is made up of ionized material at a very high temperature and a very low density. This external aura is known as the solar corona, with “corona” being Latin for “crown”. The corona is best observed during a solar eclipse, when the bright light from the sun’s main body is blocked by the moon.

45 Chihuahua is a Mexican one : STATE

Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, earning it the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

46 Attire for some traditional dancing : HULA SKIRT

The hula skirt is a grass skirt.

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

53 “Bloom County” character whose vocabulary consists mostly of “Thbbft!” and “Ack!” : BILL THE CAT

“Bloom County” is a comic strip that originally ran from 1980 to 1989, and which was drawn by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. Breathed resurrected the strip in 2015, distributing it via Facebook. The main protagonist in the storyline is Milo Bloom, a 10-year-old newspaper reporter.

55 Little creatures recurring in Dalí paintings : ANTS

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

58 Underground org. in N.Y.C. : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

59 Famed Miami golf resort : DORAL

The Doral Golf Resort in Doral, Florida has five championship golf courses, including one called the Blue Monster.

Down

1 Feature of Notre-Dame supported by flying buttresses : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them. Well, you used to be able to, until the tragic fire of 2019.

4 “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

6 Discoveries of Michael Faraday : IONS

Michael Faraday was a scientist from England who discovered electromagnetic induction among other things. It was Faraday who first observed that a conductor carrying an electric current has an associated magnetic field. Amazingly, the sum total of Faraday’s formal education was little more than a seven-year apprenticeship as a bookbinder and bookseller.

7 Type-A type : GO-GETTER

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

11 Common character in “The Far Side” : ALIEN

“The Far Side” is a cartoon series drawn by Gary Larson. It ran from 1980 to 1995, and continues today in reruns in many papers. A lot of “The Far Side” cartoons feature animals, often in outrageous, human-like situations. Larson was so popular with people working with animals that in 1989 a newly discovered insect species was named Strigiphilus garylarsoni. How cool is that?

17 Old Testament prophet : HOSEA

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. The Twelve Prophets are also known as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

23 Apt ticker symbol for Harley-Davidson : HOG

The Nasdaq has some descriptive symbols to represent companies. Here are some examples:

  • HOG – Harley-Davidson
  • HEINY – Heineken
  • ROCK – Gibraltar Industries
  • GRR – The Asian Tigers Fund
  • BEN – Franklin Resources
  • TWNK – Hostess Brands

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

24 Zero on the Beaufort scale : CALM

The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

27 Michelin offering : RADIAL TIRE

Radial (actually “radial-ply”) tires are so called because the cord plies embedded in the rubber are arranged radially from the centre of the tire. This means that the plies are at right angles to the direction of travel. In older tires the plies were criss-crossed over each other, at angles of 60 and -60 degrees from the direction of travel. Such tires are cross-ply or bias tires.

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin stars.

28 Echo responder : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

33 Midwest colleague of Representative Ocasio-Cortez : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

38 Pasta in a cheesy dish, informally : MAC

Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we know today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.

41 Hillary Clinton ___ Rodham : NEE

Hillary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham (a businessman in the textile industry) and Dorothy Howell (a homemaker). Hillary was raised in a conservative home, and she campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. The following year, she served as president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. Our former First Lady left the Republican Party expressing disappointment at what she witnessed at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, citing “veiled” racist messages prevalent at that time.

42 Perches for houseplants : SILLS

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

43 Pilot’s place : STOVE

A pilot light is a small gas flame, one using a relatively small amount of fuel that remains lit as an ignition source for larger gas burners.

47 Big cosmetics chain : ULTA

Ulta Beauty is an American chain of beauty stores that was founded in 1990 and headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois. I am not part of the company’s target demographic …

48 It’s a numbers game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

50 Hindu deity of virtue : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

51 Equivalent of “cya” in a text : TTYL

Talk to you later (ttyl)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ others : AMONG
6 Supermarket chain inits. : IGA
9 Shortly, for short : ASAP
13 Part of a fireplace set : POKER
14 Onetime court figure : FOOL
15 Lacking vivacity : DULL
16 Classic British rock group : STONEHENGE
18 Vivacity : BRIO
19 Pioneering reggae artist whose name is an exclamation : EEK-A-MOUSE
20 Response to an air offensive? : BLEEP
21 Alternative to mushrooms : LSD
22 Confused : THROWN
24 Still has feelings (for) : CARRIES A TORCH
29 Singer Grande : ARIANA
30 Thanksgiving dinner preference : LEG
31 ___ Ren of “Star Wars” : KYLO
34 Imparts : LENDS
35 Part of H.R.H. : HER
36 1000 in the military : TEN AM
37 Wise guys? : MAGI
38 Be sociable : MIX
39 Heavenly halo : CORONA
40 Fruity dessert with a rum-flavored sauce : BANANAS FOSTER
43 Prime : SELECT
44 Word that may or may not be a contraction : I’LL or ILL
45 Chihuahua is a Mexican one : STATE
46 Attire for some traditional dancing : HULA SKIRT
52 “Me neither” : NOR I
53 “Bloom County” character whose vocabulary consists mostly of “Thbbft!” and “Ack!” : BILL THE CAT
54 Having moved on from : OVER
55 Little creatures recurring in Dalí paintings : ANTS
56 ___ lines : ENEMY
57 Word that may or may not be a contraction : WE’RE or WERE
58 Underground org. in N.Y.C. : MTA
59 Famed Miami golf resort : DORAL

Down

1 Feature of Notre-Dame supported by flying buttresses : APSE
2 Speck : MOTE
3 “Enough! I get it!” : OK OK!
4 “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA
5 1984 comedy horror film that contributed to the creation of the PG-13 rating : GREMLINS
6 Discoveries of Michael Faraday : IONS
7 Type-A type : GO-GETTER
8 Blond in a bar? : ALE
9 Spot removers : AD BLOCKERS
10 “Hmm … all right, I’m in!” : SURE … WHY NOT?!
11 Common character in “The Far Side” : ALIEN
12 Make a splash : PLOP
14 Longstanding disputes : FEUDS
17 Old Testament prophet : HOSEA
20 Chill response : BRR!
23 Apt ticker symbol for Harley-Davidson : HOG
24 Zero on the Beaufort scale : CALM
25 Sphere : AREA
26 Page seen in a wedding album : RING BEARER
27 Michelin offering : RADIAL TIRE
28 Echo responder : ALEXA
32 Part of a track : LANE
33 Midwest colleague of Representative Ocasio-Cortez : OMAR
35 Comment that pretends to be subtle, but isn’t : HINT HINT
36 Structure near a bed? : TOOLSHED
38 Pasta in a cheesy dish, informally : MAC
39 Harpist’s home key : C-FLAT
41 Hillary Clinton ___ Rodham : NEE
42 Perches for houseplants : SILLS
43 Pilot’s place : STOVE
45 Blanket that won’t keep you warm? : SNOW
47 Big cosmetics chain : ULTA
48 It’s a numbers game : KENO
49 Cake topper : ICER
50 Hindu deity of virtue : RAMA
51 Equivalent of “cya” in a text : TTYL
53 [Just like that!] : [BAM!]

14 thoughts on “1127-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Nov 20, Friday”

  1. 31:20 Several false starts – typical Friday for me. ELAN vs. BRIO; IOTA vs MOTE; OKAY vs. OKOK, WELL vs SURE (start of 10D); AURORA vs CORONA; WONT vs WELL vs WERE (did I run the gamut of contractions starting with W?). Unfamiliar with ULTA and like @Bill, I suspect they are not targeting me.

    In retrospect, actually seems pretty straightforward for a Friday, could it be a turkey and sparkling cider hangover?

  2. 15:33, no errors. Did it yesterday and don’t remember it too well, what with everything else going on. However, I do recall pausing over “CYA”: to me, it’s an acronym for “Cover Your … (Ahem 😜)”, but I guess it has now been repurposed as a (slightly) shorter way of typing “see ya”.

  3. 15:49. I always seem to do better on these when I do them in the morning with a (relatively) clear head.

    Once again the 99 Luftballons mafia strongarms its way into another crossword…

    Best –

  4. No errors.. never heard of 53A BLOOM COUNTY… also never heard of 19A EEK A MOUSE. Got a kick out of that name..
    Happy new year.

  5. 26 minutes. No errors look up’s etc. Should have been a little faster. A couple of the longer Answers were not that difficult.

  6. 36:46 no errors in what looked like a DNF for sure but worked out ok or okay or ok ok .
    Happy New Year to all.😀
    One to go Ravens🙏

  7. Slow start due to two early incorrect entries; SOUNDSGOOD for 10-D
    and AURORA for 39-A. Got those cleaned up and finished with no errors. I’ve been coming up just short on the Fri/Sat offerings so I needed this one. My clue of the day? 16-A

  8. This is a test. (An earlier post this morning appeared instantly and I’m curious to know if the built-in delay has gone away.)

  9. 25:32, no errors. Happy New Year! Glad to get a clean fill today. Fell into many of the traps described by previous posters. ELAN meshed nicely with WELL WHY NOT. Upper right corner was the last to fall. Entirely blank except for ALE in 8D, I took a wild stab at DEEP PURPLE in 16A. Paid dearly for that guess.

  10. 20:16 and one error (no idea of NENA or EKAMOUSE, so I guessed wrong). The NE took me a while, because I got fixated on ASEC for 9A, which bogged me down.

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