1206-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Dec 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Tony Orbach
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Get Out of Here!

Themed answers are common phrases with the word “OF” removed from the middle:

  • 23A Archaeologist’s assertion about a finding? : BONE CONTENTION (from “bone of contention”)
  • 33A Swim team guru? : STROKE GENIUS (from “stroke of genius”)
  • 40A Hire Phil Collins’s longtime band for a gig? : BOOK GENESIS (from “Book of Genesis”)
  • 51A The Serengeti, e.g.? : PRIDE PLACE (from “pride of place”)
  • 63A Knowing everything that’s available to view on Netflix? : STREAM CONSCIOUSNESS (from “stream of consciousness”)
  • 77A Amenity offered at an internet cafe? : FREE CHARGE (from “free of charge”)
  • 84A Bit of reading at a bar mitzvah? : RITE PASSAGE (from “rite of passage”)
  • 90A Stand-up’s bombs? : COMEDY ERRORS (from “Comedy of Errors”)
  • 106A Art shop worker’s manual? : FRAME REFERENCE (from “frame of reference”)

Bill’s time: 16m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Impromptu musical get-together, informally : JAM SESH

The use of “jam”, meaning an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

8 Counting tools : ABACI

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

25 Jackson not in the Jackson 5 : LATOYA

The Jackson 5 singing group were originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers continued to perform, using the name “The Jacksons”, after Michael went solo.

26 Benchmark: Abbr. : STD

A benchmark is something that serves as a standard used to measure others. The original benchmark was a point of reference used by surveyors. Literally, a benchmark was an angle-iron driven into the ground as a support (or “bench”) for a levelling instrument.

27 Members of the genus Lepus : HARES

Hares belong to the genus Lepus. Young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

30 Common vinaigrette ingredient : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

31 Russian pancakes : BLINIS

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

33 Swim team guru? : STROKE GENIUS (from “stroke of genius”)

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

40 Hire Phil Collins’s longtime band for a gig? : BOOK GENESIS (from “Book of Genesis”)

English musician Phil Collins is best known for his work as drummer with the rock group Genesis, as well as for his solo career. In fact, Collins is often grouped with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, two other artists who had tremendous solo success after careers with very well-known bands.

The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and Abraham. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

44 Brand that comes out a head? : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name “PEZ” comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

51 The Serengeti, e.g.? : PRIDE PLACE (from “pride of place”)

A group of lions is known as a pride. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “praeda” meaning “prey”.

The Serengeti is a region in Africa located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

54 TV journalist Curry : ANN

Television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

58 Speck : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

62 Shadow during an eclipse : UMBRA

A shadow usually has three distinct parts called the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, with the terms most often used with reference to the shadows cast by celestial bodies. The terms can also be used to describe the levels of darkness in sunspots. The umbra (Latin for “shadow”) is the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The penumbra (“almost shadow”, from Latin) is a lighter part of a shadow, where part of the light source “leaks” around the body casting the shadow. The antumbra phenomenon is experienced when the object casting the shadow is sufficiently far away from the viewer so that it appears smaller than the light source, with an annular ring around it. When the eye is in the shadow cast by an object that has light passing around it, the eye is in the antumbra.

73 A/C measures : BTUS

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Unit (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

74 Hwy. offense : DUI

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

79 Nickname for baseball great Ernie Banks : MR CUB

First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored. Banks was known for his catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two!”, a reference to his love of the game, always wanting to play a doubleheader.

83 Yes, in Brest : OUI

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

84 Bit of reading at a bar mitzvah? : RITE PASSAGE (from “rite of passage”)

A Jewish girl becomes a bat mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become bar mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

86 Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

89 Deconstruct for analysis : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

90 Stand-up’s bombs? : COMEDY ERRORS (from “Comedy of Errors”)

William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is the shortest of all his plays, and one of his earliest. It’s all about two sets of identical twins who are separated at birth. Hilarity ensues …

98 Actor Rutger of “Blind Fury” : HAUER

Rutger Hauer is a Dutch actor, famous in the US for his Hollywood roles. He was born in Breukelen in the Netherlands, which is the town that gave its name to the borough of Brooklyn in New York City.

99 Keister : REAR

Back in the early 1900s, a keister was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that “keister” was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, “keister” appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

104 Peninsula shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia : ISTRIA

Istria is a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea that is shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. It is the largest peninsula in the whole of the Adriatic.

Down

2 Bushels : A LOT

In the imperial system of weights and measures, a bushel is a unit of dry volume made up of 4 pecks. In the US system, a bushel is a dry volume of 8 gallons. We have used the term “bushel” to mean “large quantity” since the 14th century.

4 Geneviève, for one: Abbr. : STE

Ste. Geneviève is the patron saint of Paris, in the Roman Catholic tradition. In the year 451CE, she led what was termed a “prayer marathon” that many believed saved Paris from being sacked by Attila the Hun.

6 M.I.T.’s business school : SLOAN

MIT’s School of Management is named for MIT graduate Alfred P. Sloan, a former chairman of General Motors.

9 ___ E. King, singer and co-composer of “Stand by Me” : BEN

“Stand By Me” is a marvelous song co-written and first recorded in 1961 by Ben E. King. King and his partners actually wrote “Stand by Me” for the Drifters, but they passed on it. Over 400 cover versions have been recorded, including one by by Muhammad Ali (when he was using the name Cassius Clay) and even one by Stephen King!

10 River islet : AIT

Aits are little islands found in a river. Aits aren’t formed by erosion, but by the deposition of silt over time. As a result, aits often have a long and narrow shape running parallel to the banks as the sediment builds up with the flow of the water. Many of the islands in the River Thames in England have been given the name “Ait”, like Raven’s Ait in Kingston-upon-Thames, and Lot’s Ait in Brentford.

11 Ye olde news announcers : CRIERS

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

13 Knee part, for short : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

15 Like “alter ego” and “alma mater” : LATIN

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

16 Prayer hands, for one : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate.

18 Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : TRANS

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

24 Your: Fr. : TES

In French “tes” means “your”, when referring to a single individual and multiple items. The plural of “tes” is “votre”.

29 “When the country was fallin’ apart, Betsy Ross got it all ___ up” (“Maude” theme lyric) : SEWED

The seventies sitcom “Maude” stars Bea Arthur as the title character Maude Findlay. “Maude” is a spin-off of “All in the Family”, as Findlay is a cousin of Edith Bunker.

Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

32 Albanian coins : LEKS

The official currency of Albania is the lek. The first lek was introduced in 1926, and was apparently named after Alexander the Great.

34 TV’s Burrell and baseball’s Cobb : TYS

Actor and comedian Ty Burrell is perhaps best known for playing Phil Dunphy on the great sitcom “Modern Family”. Off the screen, Burrell is the co-owner of two bar/restaurants in Salt Lake City. Named Bar-X and Beer Bar, Burrell’s establishments are actually located side-by-side, with connecting doors.

Baseball player Ty Cobb was born in Narrows, Georgia and died 74 years later in Atlanta, Georgia. He was nicknamed “The Georgia Peach”. Cobb was one of the richest baseball players of all times. When he retired, Cobb was a major stockholder of the Coca-Cola Corporation. By the time he passed away in 1961, Cobb had an even bigger investment in General Electric. He left an estate after his death worth about $86m (in 2008 dollars). The most common nickname associated with Cobb during his career was “the Georgia Peach”.

36 Band that won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest : ABBA

“Waterloo” is the song that effectively launched the astounding career of Swedish band ABBA. They performed “Waterloo” in 1974 as the Swedish entry in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and walked away with the competition (I remember it well!). The contest has been running since 1956, and “Waterloo” was chosen (in 2005) as the best song in the competition’s history.

Eurovision is a TV network that was founded in 1954 in Geneva. The network encompasses dozens of broadcasting organizations, not only in Europe, but around the world. Eurovision was set up initially to facilitate the exchange of TV programming. Today, the Eurovision brand is mainly associated (to the public) with multinational competitions that are arranged with a host broadcaster. The best example of such an event is the Eurovision Song Contest that is held annually. Another Eurovision event that was huge in Europe from the sixties through the nineties was “Jeux Sans Frontières”, a multinational TV game show.

37 Minnesota’s state bird : LOON

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

41 Role for Patti LuPone and Madonna : EVITA

“Evita” was the follow-up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). “Evita” was made into a film in 1996, with Madonna playing the title role and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Juan Perón.

Singer Patti LuPone won Tonys for playing Eva Peron in “Evita ” and Rose in “Gypsy”.

44 Spotted bean : PINTO

Pinto beans are so-called because their skins have a mottled (“pinto”) appearance.

45 “Well, I’ll be,” to a Brit : BLIMEY

When I was a kid in London, a pretty common expression of surprise was “gor blimey”, a euphemism for “God blind me”.

47 Taiwanese PCs : ACERS

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

48 Big butte : MESA

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

52 It can help you get a grip : ROSIN

Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.

58 Van Gogh painting that once fetched a record amount at auction ($53.9 million) : IRISES

Van Gogh painted his “Irises” while he was in an asylum in the south of France the year before he committed suicide. The original owner was a French art critic and supporter of van Gogh who paid 300 francs to purchase the painting. “Irises” was bought for $53.9 million in 1987, making it the most expensive painting sold up to that point. But, the buyer didn’t actually have the necessary funds, so it had to be resold in 1990. It was picked up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where you can see it today.

59 Hair pattern protector : DO-RAG

Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags (also “durags”) today, but they have been around for centuries. The etymology of “do-rag” is pretty evident, i.e. a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

60 ___ nous : ENTRE

In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).

63 Dubbing need : SWORD

Kneel, and a monarch might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

65 ___ pants : CAPRI

Capri pants first became popular on the island of Capri, apparently. They were invented in Europe in 1948, but only became stylish in the US in the sixties. Mary Tyler Moore often wore Capri pants on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and to some extent she sparked a fashion trend. After a lull in the seventies and eighties there was a resurgence in sales after Uma Thurman wore them (and danced in them) in “Pulp Fiction”.

66 Take a dive, maybe : SCUBA

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

67 Digital imaging company that used to make film : AGFA

Agfa was founded in Germany in 1867 as a company focused on the manufacture of dyes. The full name of the enterprise was Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation, shortened to Agfa, and translated as “Corporation for Aniline (a dye) Production”. Agfa merged with the Belgian company Gevaert in 1894, getting them into the photographic business. Agfa 35mm film hasn’t been produced for a few years now, but there is still inventory out there and purists are buying it when they can.

73 Dating notation: Abbr. : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

75 “Fluff Yeah” slipper sandals, e.g. : UGGS

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

78 Helical bit : AUGER

An auger is a drill, a boring tool [yawn].

80 GPS calculation: Abbr. : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

81 Exam for H.S. jrs. : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

84 Original tale of robot rebellion : RUR

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

87 Biblical mount : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

90 Spanish term of affection between young women : CHICA

In Spanish, a “niña” is a young girl, a child. The term “chica” applies to an older girl or perhaps a young woman. The term “muchacha” applies to girls in general, I think …

91 Spring in northern Africa : 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.

93 Gooseflesh-inducing, maybe : EERIE

The terms “goose bumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

94 Some coin tossers : REFS

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

96 Liquor store purchase : FIFTH

A fifth is an American unit of volume used for liquor. It used to be equal to one fifth of a US gallon. Since the seventies, we’ve been using a “metric fifth” that is equal to 750 mL, the standard size for wine bottles around the world.

100 Where Shiraz is located : IRAN

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

108 Green of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” : EVA

Despite the English-sounding name, Eva Green is a French actress. Green played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in the 2006 movie “Casino Royale” opposite Daniel Craig.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a 2016 film based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. The movie was directed by Tim Burton. I don’t do Tim Burton …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Impromptu musical get-together, informally : JAM SESH
8 Counting tools : ABACI
13 Most up to the task : ABLEST
19 Not much : A LITTLE
20 Oddball : WEIRDO
22 Commotion : CLAMOR
23 Archaeologist’s assertion about a finding? : BONE CONTENTION (from “bone of contention”)
25 Jackson not in the Jackson 5 : LATOYA
26 Benchmark: Abbr. : STD
27 Members of the genus Lepus : HARES
28 Some overseas seasons : ETES
30 Common vinaigrette ingredient : DIJON
31 Russian pancakes : BLINIS
33 Swim team guru? : STROKE GENIUS (from “stroke of genius”)
36 Geri ___, late jazz pianist : ALLEN
38 Authority : SAY-SO
39 Used to be : WAS
40 Hire Phil Collins’s longtime band for a gig? : BOOK GENESIS (from “Book of Genesis”)
44 Brand that comes out a head? : PEZ!
45 Explosive sound : BLAM
49 Curtain call actions : BOWS
50 One of 32 in the Thai alphabet : VOWEL
51 The Serengeti, e.g.? : PRIDE PLACE (from “pride of place”)
54 TV journalist Curry : ANN
55 Long : PINE
56 Press : IRON
57 Covers with goo : SLIMES
58 Speck : IOTA
59 Quits : DESISTS
62 Shadow during an eclipse : UMBRA
63 Knowing everything that’s available to view on Netflix? : STREAM CONSCIOUSNESS (from “stream of consciousness”)
67 Look forward to : AWAIT
68 Clay-based : EARTHEN
69 Unpleasant : ICKY
70 Clishmaclaver or bavardage, to use some fancy language : GOSSIP
72 Trim : PARE
73 A/C measures : BTUS
74 Hwy. offense : DUI
77 Amenity offered at an internet cafe? : FREE CHARGE (from “free of charge”)
79 Nickname for baseball great Ernie Banks : MR CUB
81 Gets out in dodgeball, say : PEGS
82 Sticks in : ADDS
83 Yes, in Brest : OUI
84 Bit of reading at a bar mitzvah? : RITE PASSAGE (from “rite of passage”)
86 Director Lee : ANG
87 Entertain : AMUSE
89 Deconstruct for analysis : PARSE
90 Stand-up’s bombs? : COMEDY ERRORS (from “Comedy of Errors”)
95 Keys near G’s : A-FLATS
98 Actor Rutger of “Blind Fury” : HAUER
99 Keister : REAR
100 Less friendly : ICIER
101 Assistance : AID
104 Peninsula shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia : ISTRIA
106 Art shop worker’s manual? : FRAME REFERENCE (from “frame of reference”)
110 Urbanize : CITIFY
111 Spit it out! : SALIVA
112 Part of a canopy : TREETOP
113 The plus side : ASSETS
114 Cuisine that specializes in beef barbecue : TEXAN
115 No-parking-zone fixture : HYDRANT

Down

1 Pokes : JABS
2 Bushels : A LOT
3 “Whoa!” : MIND BLOWN!
4 Geneviève, for one: Abbr. : STE
5 Imprinting indelibly : ETCHING
6 M.I.T.’s business school : SLOAN
7 Mathematician Poincaré with a famous conjecture : HENRI
8 Flabbergasts : AWES
9 ___ E. King, singer and co-composer of “Stand by Me” : BEN
10 River islet : AIT
11 Ye olde news announcers : CRIERS
12 “Same here!” : I DO TOO!
13 Knee part, for short : ACL
14 Fan group? : BLADES
15 Like “alter ego” and “alma mater” : LATIN
16 Prayer hands, for one : EMOJI
17 “… or ___ think!” : SO YOU
18 Part of L.G.B.T.Q. : TRANS
21 Short race, for short : ONE-K
24 Your: Fr. : TES
29 “When the country was fallin’ apart, Betsy Ross got it all ___ up” (“Maude” theme lyric) : SEWED
32 Albanian coins : LEKS
33 Something that’s often rigged : SAIL
34 TV’s Burrell and baseball’s Cobb : TYS
35 Looks longingly : GAZES
36 Band that won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest : ABBA
37 Minnesota’s state bird : LOON
38 Orlando-to-Miami dir. : SSE
41 Role for Patti LuPone and Madonna : EVITA
42 Brand X : NO-NAME
43 Flock member : EWE
44 Spotted bean : PINTO
45 “Well, I’ll be,” to a Brit : BLIMEY
46 Offspring of a 43-Down : LAMBS
47 Taiwanese PCs : ACERS
48 Big butte : MESA
51 A dime a dozen, say? : PRICE
52 It can help you get a grip : ROSIN
53 Drops (down) heavily : PLUNKS
55 Beautifully worded : POETIC
56 Joe Jackson’s “___ Really Going Out With Him?” : IS SHE
58 Van Gogh painting that once fetched a record amount at auction ($53.9 million) : IRISES
59 Hair pattern protector : DO-RAG
60 ___ nous : ENTRE
61 Get in gear? : SUIT UP
63 Dubbing need : SWORD
64 Used a stun gun on : TASED
65 ___ pants : CAPRI
66 Take a dive, maybe : SCUBA
67 Digital imaging company that used to make film : AGFA
71 Apt rhyme for “baloney” : PHONY
73 Dating notation: Abbr. : BCE
74 Start of a seasonal request : DEAR SANTA …
75 “Fluff Yeah” slipper sandals, e.g. : UGGS
76 “Gotcha” : I SEE
78 Helical bit : AUGER
79 Be off the mark : MISS
80 GPS calculation: Abbr. : RTE
81 Exam for H.S. jrs. : PSAT
84 Original tale of robot rebellion : RUR
85 Boxed a bit : SPARRED
86 Untethered : ADRIFT
87 Biblical mount : ARARAT
88 Team spirit : MORALE
90 Spanish term of affection between young women : CHICA
91 Spring in northern Africa : OASIS
92 Many rescues : MUTTS
93 Gooseflesh-inducing, maybe : EERIE
94 Some coin tossers : REFS
95 Serve well? : ACE
96 Liquor store purchase : FIFTH
97 Suspicious : LEERY
100 Where Shiraz is located : IRAN
102 Pic to click : ICON
103 Corp. division : DEPT
105 Exclamations of regret : AYS
107 Combine : MIX
108 Green of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” : EVA
109 Always, in verse : E’ER

12 thoughts on “1206-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Dec 20, Sunday”

  1. 24:11. Got the theme very early. And considering it’s a Sunday, only 1 fat-finger to hunt for. The other day my screen saver showed a beautiful park in Slovenia, between Austria and Italy. Did not know the peninsula was called ISTRIA – had OYS for 105D, so it took a bit of guessing to get ISTRIA

  2. 24:06 after finding and fixing a one-square error: I had OYS instead of AYS and realized that ISTRIO didn’t look right, but neither did ISTRIA (a name I’ve somehow never encountered). Very easy puzzle except for that square. (C’est la vie … 😜.)

  3. 29:45. It’s been a while since I have been under 30 mins on a Sunday. I also got the theme early. Never heard of ISTRIA, but it fit.

  4. 37:54 Don’t worry folks, last place is mine! SW corner took me down…a lot of failed guessing and finally broke down and had to look up “istria” 🙁

  5. 59:50 with one error…I had JAMSESS FOR JAMSESH (where is the letter H in session?…I never heard of pride of place and how is ay an exclamation of regret?
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  6. 20:40, I error (had “oy” instead of “ay” for 105D). Was zipping right along until the SW corner, probably cost me a couple minutes. Like many here, I’d never heard of “Istria”

  7. @Jack and @JRH …

    “Ay” also occurs in the English phrase “ay me” which various dictionaries describe as being archaic or peculiar to the north of England.

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