1128-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Nov 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Nam Jin Yoon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Wolverine, for example : X-MAN

In the Marvel Comics universe, Wolverine is a mutant with keen animal-like senses and an ability to regenerate body parts after injury. He usually appears as a member of the X-Men superhero team. On the big screen, Wolverine is regularly played by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

19 Originator of parody ads for 5-hour Empathy and Tylenol BM, in brief : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

21 Author Donna who wrote “The Secret History” : TARTT

Novelist Donna Tartt won a Pulitzer for her 2013 novel “The Goldfinch”. That same novel was adapted into a 2019 film, which sadly bombed at the box office.

28 Firm requirement, for short? : MBA

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

30 Juice (up) : SOUP

To soup up an engine is to increase its horsepower. The verb probably derives from the older slang term “soup”, which was a narcotic illegally injected into racehorses to make them run faster.

32 Extra in “The Lord of the Rings” : ORC

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is the second best-selling novel ever written, with only “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens having sold more copies around the world. Remarkably I think, the third best-selling novel is “The Hobbit”, which was also written by Tolkien.

34 4-Down, for CBS : LOGO
(4D See 34-Across : EYE)

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

35 Alters, as a pop singer’s voice : AUTO-TUNES

Auto-Tune is a proprietary audio process that is primarily used to alter pitch in a recorded track. One of the main uses of Auto-Tune is to correct voice tracks that are slightly off-pitch, which probably explains why even professional singers tend to sound better on a recording than they do live. More extreme levels of Auto-Tune adjustment are now quite common, creating a sound effect that distorts vocals. Such sound effects really took off with the release of Cher’s 1998 hit song “Believe”, in which you can really notice the vocal distortion.

39 Library workspaces : CARRELS

A carrel is a nook located near the stacks in a library. Such a space is usually partially partitioned off to allow private study.

41 Arthur with two Emmys and a Tony : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

42 “Middlemarch” novelist, 1871 : ELIOT

“George Eliot” was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

George Eliot’s novel “Middlemarch” was first published in installments in 1871-72. The storyline is set some fifty years earlier, in the fictional English Midlands town of Middlemarch.

43 Nos. representing years’ worth of letters : GPAS

Grade point average (GPA)

45 Mo. that the Anglo-Saxons called Winterfylleth : OCT

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

53 Official drink of Puerto Rico : PINA COLADA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term that translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

55 One who passes the bar? : TEETOTALER

Teetotalism is the practice of abstaining from alcohol. The teetotalism movement started in England in the 1800s.

Down

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5 Fabled beneficiary of a nap : TORTOISE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

6 Running backs and defensive ends : RUSHERS

That would be football.

9 Triage pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

13 They’re on the tip of your tongue : TASTE BUDS

There are 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on the human tongue, and together they detect five different tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Taste buds have a short lifetime, and are replaced about every ten days.

21 Blue Jays or Raptors, for short : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

The Raptors are the NBA basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The franchise was founded, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, when the NBA expanded into Canada in 1995. However, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, leaving the Raptors as the only Canadian member of the league. The selection of the name “Raptors” in 1995 was strongly influenced by the popularity of the movie “Jurassic Park in the mid-nineties.

22 ’90s exercise fad : TAE BO

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

25 Fabled beneficiary of a kiss : FROG PRINCE

“The Frog Prince” is a fairy tale about a princess and her encounter with a frog who magically turns into a prince. In the version that is most common today, the prince appears when the princess kisses the frog. In the original Brothers Grimm version of the tale, the transformation takes place when the princess throws a gold ball against a wall in disgust at seeing the frog. In even earlier versions of the tale, the frog changes into the prince when it is allowed to spend a night on the princess’s pillow.

30 Air traveler in early winter : SANTA

The North American Defense Command (NORAD) isn’t just a US operation but is a cooperative arrangement between Canada and the United States. The two countries entered into an agreement to establish NORAD in 1958, mainly due to the concern that there would be little or no warning of a missile attack from the Soviet Union that came over the North Pole. NORAD also tracks Santa Claus coming from the North Pole every Christmas, and these days publishes Santa’s location on Christmas Eve on its website. The tracking of Santa started into 1955 when a local Sears store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper with a phone number that could be used to call Santa Claus. The newspaper accidentally printed the number for the Continental Air Defense Command (a precursor to NORAD). The officer on duty instructed his staff to give all children who called a “current location” for Santa. Today, NORAD gets about 120,000 phone queries about Santa’s location every year, and the website gets about 20 million visitors.

31 Study pills : PLACEBOS

A placebo is a medical treatment that is ineffective, but that is deliberately formulated to deceive the patient into thinking it is real. Placebos can be given as control treatments in trials, and so the level of deception can be relatively low, as the patients are aware of the possibility of being given an ineffective treatment. The term “placebo” is the Latin word for “I shall please”. The idea is that the treatment is given more to please than to benefit the patient.

36 Ingredient added to a Bloody Mary : TABASCO

Edward McIlhenny created Tabasco Sauce in 1868. He recycled old cologne bottles as a container for the sauce so that he could present it to friends, and when he went into business he ordered new cologne bottles for the commercial product. Even today, the Tabasco Sauce bottle bears a striking resemblance to the bottle used to distribute 4711 cologne.

The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite cocktails, perhaps because it seems to taste so differently depending on who makes it. It has numerous ingredients above and beyond the requisite vodka and tomato juice, and has been described as “the world’s most complex cocktail”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Move to a later date, say : TIME TRAVEL
11 ___ noche (tonight: Sp.) : ESTA
15 “Any interest in doing this?” : ARE YOU GAME?
16 Wolverine, for example : X-MAN
17 ’80s work wear with shoulder pads : POWER SUITS
18 Kind of tense : PAST
19 Originator of parody ads for 5-hour Empathy and Tylenol BM, in brief : SNL
20 Better ___ : THAN
21 Author Donna who wrote “The Secret History” : TARTT
22 What you might test the waters with : TOE
23 Ink absorber : BLOTTER
25 “Them’s the rules” : FAIR’S FAIR
28 Firm requirement, for short? : MBA
29 Style guide? : DRESS CODE
30 Juice (up) : SOUP
31 Really dig : PROBE
32 Extra in “The Lord of the Rings” : ORC
33 Takes care of the rough spots, in a way : SANDS
34 4-Down, for CBS : LOGO
35 Alters, as a pop singer’s voice : AUTO-TUNES
37 Something you might describe as touch-and-go? : APP
38 Show of self-sorrow : PITY PARTY
39 Library workspaces : CARRELS
41 Arthur with two Emmys and a Tony : BEA
42 “Middlemarch” novelist, 1871 : ELIOT
43 Nos. representing years’ worth of letters : GPAS
45 Mo. that the Anglo-Saxons called Winterfylleth : OCT
48 Household organizers : BINS
49 Says too much : OVERSHARES
52 Previously : ONCE
53 Official drink of Puerto Rico : PINA COLADA
54 Recognized : SEEN
55 One who passes the bar? : TEETOTALER

Down

1 Designates : TAPS
2 Shellfish have lots of this : IRON
3 Little cry : MEWL
4 See 34-Across : EYE
5 Fabled beneficiary of a nap : TORTOISE
6 Running backs and defensive ends : RUSHERS
7 Líquido vital : AGUA
8 Given to self-reflection? : VAIN
9 Triage pro : EMT
10 “___ Enfants du Paradis” (classic W.W. II-era film) : LES
11 An American in Paris, say : EX-PAT
12 Capital invested by experts : SMART MONEY
13 They’re on the tip of your tongue : TASTE BUDS
14 Some pest control products : ANT TRAPS
21 Blue Jays or Raptors, for short : TOR
22 ’90s exercise fad : TAE BO
23 One of a pair of interrogators : BAD COP
24 “Not gonna ___” : LIE
25 Fabled beneficiary of a kiss : FROG PRINCE
26 Ones who watch sports for a living? : SCOUTS
27 Beer purchase in a large bottle, informally : FORTY
29 Write : DROP A LINE
30 Air traveler in early winter : SANTA
31 Study pills : PLACEBOS
33 It can’t miss : SURE SHOT
35 Afflict : AIL
36 Ingredient added to a Bloody Mary : TABASCO
38 ___ name : PET
40 Nevada senator Jacky : ROSEN
43 Good name for a biology teacher? : GENE
44 Boob, on the Tube : PRAT
45 Like some contracts and contraceptives : ORAL
46 Opposite of annex : CEDE
47 Onetime title for Bulgaria’s Simeon II, the last person to use it : TSAR
49 Go (for) : OPT
50 Go (for) : VIE
51 Like : A LA

16 thoughts on “1128-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Nov 20, Saturday”

  1. 14:05, no errors. Did it last night and remember little about it because I then tangled with the “Saturday Stumper”, from Newsday, which I finally finished, just now, with no errors, but a total elapsed time of 9:18:17! Mind you, part of that time was spent (thankfully) asleep … 😳. About as hard a puzzle as I’ve ever actually finished (and I don’t know whether to call it an ego buster or an ego booster … 😜).

  2. 19:19 I had the entire right half done in about 12 minutes and nothing in the left other than SNL and TOE. Scratched my head a bit thinking I was in for a long haul, got a couple educated guesses and the rest fell quickly into place for my best Saturday that the app has tracked. Go Figure!

  3. 26:12. One square error – PEN name and therefore ELION for the author of “Middlemarch” . A lot of issues getting started with this one, but once I got going it was a smooth solve.

    I thought for certain “Study pills” would be No Doz or Vivarin. Those were certainly my study pills in college and grad school.

    What a crazy way for NORAD to get involved in Santa tracking.

    Best –

  4. I woke up yesterday with a song from 1966 running through my head. Parts of it do indeed capture, for me, the temper of these trying times (and my reaction to those times):

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bSpX9PtxwH0

    (I find it odd that I remembered this song, given my ineptitude with all things musical; I think it must be that my subconscious is trying to send me a message … 😜.)

  5. 19:18 A time I’m happy with for a Saturday, and I finished with 24 minutes to go before midnight…on to Sunday!

  6. No errors for my Fri/Sat sweep. Other than needing a logical guess for the R in ROSEN, things seemed to flow today.

  7. 28:51 no errors…here’s something you may never hear me say again…for a Saturday puzzle this seemed fairly easy.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  8. 17:01, no errors. Very few misfires today. Had 38D PEN name and 33D SURE FIRE. The R in the CARREL/ROSEN cross was a complete guess.

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