1215-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Dec 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Adam Vincent
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Prep. the Paper

Themed answers are in the format “(preposition) the (newspaper)”:

  • 20A Where one might find Boston news reporters? : AROUND THE GLOBE
  • 37A Where a Baltimore news reader’s desk might be found? : UNDER THE SUN
  • 56A Beaten to a news scoop in Los Angeles? : BEHIND THE TIMES

Bill’s time: 7m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Bag with an NPR logo, maybe : TOTE

National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

15 Comic Fields on old Ed Sullivan shows : TOTIE

“Totie Fields” was the stage name of comedian Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie”, and was the nickname she was given as a child.

Ed Sullivan’s most famous television role was as host of the “The Ed Sullivan Show”, which ran from 1948 to 1971, a total of 23 years. In that final year, a new set of CBS executives wanted to update the image of the network and announced the cancellation of most of the “old” shows including “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Sullivan was so mad at the decision that he refused to make a “farewell” episode.

18 Stars-and-stripes land, informally : US OF A

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.

20 Where one might find Boston news reporters? : AROUND THE GLOBE

“The Boston Globe” is a daily newspaper that was founded in 1872 as a morning daily. “The Boston Evening Globe” followed a few years later, although it ceased publication in 1979. Today you can read the online version of “The Globe” at Boston.com.

23 “You crack me up,” in a text : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

30 Bronze finisher’s place : THIRD

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

32 British rule in India : RAJ

The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

33 PBS-funding org. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

37 Where a Baltimore news reader’s desk might be found? : UNDER THE SUN

Maryland’s largest-circulation newspaper is “The Baltimore Sun”. “The Sun” has been around for a long time, having been founded in 1837.

43 Org. for Kings and Senators : NHL

The Los Angeles Kings hockey team was founded in 1967 and joined the NHL as an expansion team. The Kings played their home games at the start of the first season not in Los Angeles, but rather in neighboring Long Beach, at the Long Beach Arena. Team owner Jack Kent Cooke built his own arena for the Kings called the Forum, which opened for business later in the season. The Kings called the Forum home for thirty-two years, until they moved to the Staples Center at the start of the 1999-2000 season.

The Senators are the NHL hockey team based in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917, and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

44 U.N.C. and Clemson are in it : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte was founded in 1946 as a center of education for veterans returning home after WWII. The center merged with the UNC system in 1965.

Clemson University was founded in 1889. The school takes its name from the town in which it is located: Clemson, South Carolina. The athletic teams of Clemson University have been called the Tigers since 1896 when football coach Walter Riggs arrived from Auburn University. Riggs was an admirer of the Princeton Tigers, so he gave his new school the tiger mascot.

45 Lowest workers : PEONS

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

47 Talk show queen named after a figure in Ruth : OPRAH

What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.

51 Bit of animation : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

53 ___-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

56 Beaten to a news scoop in Los Angeles? : BEHIND THE TIMES

The “Los Angeles Times” newspaper started out life in 1881 as the “Los Angeles Daily Times”. The paper has a turbulent history, especially in the early 1900s when management and unions were at loggerheads. In 1910, two union members bombed the “Los Angeles Times” building causing a fire that killed 21 newspaper employees.

60 Bright part of Rudolph : NOSE

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

63 The ugly duckling, eventually : SWAN

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many fairy tales, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and is simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

68 One of 28 in Monopoly : DEED

There are 28 deed cards in the game of Monopoly. There are deeds for 22 properties/streets, 2 utilities, and 4 railroads.

Down

1 H.S. math for some college-bound students : AP CALC

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

3 Cal Ripken, for his entire major-league career : ORIOLE

Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

4 Indian ox : ZEBU

Zebu cattle are most often seen on the Indian subcontinent. They’re the sub-species with the fatty hump on their shoulders, droopy ears and a large dewlap (flap of skin under the neck).

6 Sticky note : POST-IT

The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was the discovery of a super-strong adhesive.

7 “But then again …,” in a text : OTOH …

On the other hand (OTOH)

10 ___ Bell : TACO

Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny. Taco Bell has been using the “Live Más” slogan since 2012, with “más” being the Spanish word for “more”.

11 John D. Rockefeller, for one : OIL BARON

John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist whose biggest success came with the Standard Oil Company that he founded and ran for over 25 years. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world, and America’s first billionaire.

22 “Acid” : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

27 Record spinners, informally : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

29 Diarist Frank : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

34 Greece/Turkey separator : AEGEAN SEA

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

37 Bearded figure in a classic poster : UNCLE SAM

The Uncle Sam personification of the United States was first used during the War of 1812. The “Uncle Sam” term was so widely accepted that even the Germans used it during WWII, choosing the code word “Samland” for “America” in intelligence communiques.

The famous “I want YOU for the US Army” poster dates back to 1917. It depicts Uncle Sam pointing to the viewer, encouraging young men to report to the nearest recruiting station. The poster was designed by J. M. Flagg and is based on the similar British poster showing Lord Kitchener that was first issued three years earlier.

40 Cheese go-with : 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.

45 Hawaiian taro dish : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

46 Sharp split : SCHISM

A schism is a split or division, especially in a religion.

48 Like “A Star Is Born,” repeatedly : REMADE

“A Star Is Born” is a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as an upcoming Hollywood actress. “A Star Is Born” was remade three times, in 1954 with Judy Garland playing the lead, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.

49 One of 17 in Monopoly : AVENUE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

54 Actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from Britain and Ireland, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

58 Cutting board wood : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

59 Surface competitor : IPAD

The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.

Microsoft Surface is a series of portable computing devices that includes a line of 2-in-1 detachables, which are crosses between tablets and laptops.

60 Source of information leaked by Edward Snowden, for short : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

Edward Snowden is a former NSA contractor who leaked several top secret NSA documents to the media beginning in June 2013. After disclosing his name as the source of the leaks, Snowden tried to seek asylum in Ecuador. While travelling to Ecuador he had a layover in Moscow. While in Moscow, the US government revoked his passport, which effectively left him stranded in the transit area of Moscow Airport. The Russian government eventually granted him annually-renewable temporary asylum.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 All-encompassing : A TO Z
5 Wear, as something snazzy : SPORT
10 Bag with an NPR logo, maybe : TOTE
14 Parisian priest : PERE
15 Comic Fields on old Ed Sullivan shows : TOTIE
16 Well-ventilated : AIRY
17 Sleeping spot for a baby : CRIB
18 Stars-and-stripes land, informally : US OF A
19 Something dropped in a mystery novel : CLUE
20 Where one might find Boston news reporters? : AROUND THE GLOBE
23 “You crack me up,” in a text : LOL
24 With 25-Across, “___ saying …” : AS I …
25 See 24-Across : … WAS
26 Use a “+” sign : ADD
28 Sound from a floorboard : CREAK
30 Bronze finisher’s place : THIRD
32 British rule in India : RAJ
33 PBS-funding org. : NEA
35 “___ be an honor!” : IT’D
36 Crab traps : POTS
37 Where a Baltimore news reader’s desk might be found? : UNDER THE SUN
40 Go for the gold? : MINE
42 Prefix with political or physics : GEO-
43 Org. for Kings and Senators : NHL
44 U.N.C. and Clemson are in it : ACC
45 Lowest workers : PEONS
47 Talk show queen named after a figure in Ruth : OPRAH
51 Bit of animation : CEL
52 What a boater might have hands-on experience with? : OAR
53 ___-Magnon : CRO
55 Annual video game competition, for short : EVO
56 Beaten to a news scoop in Los Angeles? : BEHIND THE TIMES
60 Bright part of Rudolph : NOSE
61 Welcome at the door : SEE IN
62 Short, quick breath : PANT
63 The ugly duckling, eventually : SWAN
64 Start over on a blackboard : ERASE
65 Together, in music : A DUE
66 Donations to the poor : ALMS
67 “___ anything” : ASK ME
68 One of 28 in Monopoly : DEED

Down

1 H.S. math for some college-bound students : AP CALC
2 Misbehaving toddler : TERROR
3 Cal Ripken, for his entire major-league career : ORIOLE
4 Indian ox : ZEBU
5 Male calendar figures : STUDS
6 Sticky note : POST-IT
7 “But then again …,” in a text : OTOH …
8 Permeated by : RIFE WITH
9 Locale for an outdoor Japanese party : TEA GARDEN
10 ___ Bell : TACO
11 John D. Rockefeller, for one : OIL BARON
12 “Yup, absolutely right” : TRUE DAT
13 See 21-Down : … EYE
21 With 13-Down, means of viewing sans telescope : NAKED …
22 “Acid” : LSD
27 Record spinners, informally : DJS
29 Diarist Frank : ANNE
31 Try to pick up : HIT ON
34 Greece/Turkey separator : AEGEAN SEA
36 Part of orange juice that’s not juice : PULP
37 Bearded figure in a classic poster : UNCLE SAM
38 Stocks up on again : REORDERS
39 “Darn it!” : SHOOT!
40 Cheese go-with : MAC
41 Nickname for the 1967 N.F.L. Championship Game, famously played at about -15° : ICE BOWL
45 Hawaiian taro dish : POI
46 Sharp split : SCHISM
48 Like “A Star Is Born,” repeatedly : REMADE
49 One of 17 in Monopoly : AVENUE
50 Threw, as a party : HOSTED
54 Actress Zellweger : RENEE
57 Female grouses : HENS
58 Cutting board wood : TEAK
59 Surface competitor : IPAD
60 Source of information leaked by Edward Snowden, for short : NSA

14 thoughts on “1215-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Dec 20, Tuesday”

  1. 7:57 Glossed over two clues so I had PEEL vs PULP (easy to fix) and REMAKE vs REMADE – tougher to find as I’m not familiar with the crosser ADUE. Also not familiar with ZEBU.

  2. 9:13. Nice theme. I miss regular newspapers. I know they still exist, but they aren’t what they used to be. That said, I’ll still take them over Twitter, Facebook or yahoo for news any day.

    Never heard of a ZEBU. Apparently the meat from the hump is the best meat in the world with a similar taste to caviar or truffles. I’ll let someone else verify that claim. If I’m ever invited over to someone’s house to eat ZEBU, I’m stopping at Taco Bell on the way there.

    Best –

  3. 13:58 Why? Well “zebu” got me in one direction and “atoz” in the other. “Atoz? What the heck is an “atoz”? That can’t be right!” Then after some more time in personal reflection and contemplation….”a to z” Some days I’m dumber than others…. 🙂

  4. @duncan. A to Z..

    I even missed it.. didn’t know ZEBU and I never came back to it to finish. I left it blank and didn’t realize it until I was done.

  5. 16:55 no errors…Oprah got her start here in Baltimore as a reporter for WJZ-TV and it was always my understanding that her mother or father was a big fan of Harpo Marx and named her after him (Harpo spelled backwards)…shows you what I know.
    Stay safe.😀
    Wait til next year👍

  6. I’ve seen ATOZ numerous times in various crosswords so why was I staring blankly at _TO_ for the longest time? Finally had my “Doh!”
    moment and finished clean. Sometimes the easier they are, the harder they are.

    1. I also got tripped up by ZEBU. I used an N for the Z and yielded A TON for the 1-Across. A TON was sort of in the ballpark as an answer so I went with it.

      I kept thinking that I had heard the word ZEBU somewhere. It occurred to me that it was the name of a character recently in the “Luann” comic strip. Zebu taught an art class that Luann was enrolled in. “Luann” appears on the same page as my NYT puzzle in my local paper. It is one of the better comics available nowadays.

      I agree with Jeff above. Print newspapers are not what they used to be. My local subscription to the print edition comes only as part of a package that includes a full suite of online services. Even the print edition is duplicated exactly online. Sometimes I wonder what I am getting out of it. But I do it for two reasons. First, for the puzzles. And, two, as loyalty to our delivery person. She has been perfect in her duties for over 40 years. She works hard and doesn’t make much money for her effort. I can’t betray her by canceling.

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