1224-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Dec 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Billy Ouska
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Can’t Find the Time

Themed answers are common phrases, but we CAN’T FIND THE “TIME”:

  • 52A Is unable to get away, say … or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across? : CAN’T FIND THE TIME
  • 17A Spill a shipment of bowling balls? : LET THE GOODS ROLL (from “Let the good times roll”)
  • 24A Works during a slow day at the restaurant? : WAITS FOR NO ONE (from “Time waits for no one”)
  • 40A Go on a date with a honeybun? : TAKE ONE’S SWEET (from “Take one’s sweet time”)

Bill’s time: 10m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 With 5-Down, some emergency bulletins : AMBER …
5D See 5-Across : … ALERTS

The acronym in the AMBER alert system stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response”. Despite the abbreviation, the system was named in memory of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996.

14 Piece by Puccini : ARIA

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

16 Native language of 50 million citizens of India : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

21 Kind of engine : DIESEL

There are two main types of internal combustion engine. Most cars in the US use spark injection engines (gasoline engines) in which a spark plug sparks in order to ignite the fuel-air mixture. A diesel engine, on the other hand, has no spark plug per se, and uses the heat generated by compressing the air-fuel mixture to cause ignition.

Rudolf Diesel was a German engineer, and the inventor of the diesel engine. Diesel died under mysterious circumstances, having disappeared from a passenger vessel sailing from Antwerp to London. Whether death was due to an accident, suicide or murder is the subject of much speculation.

31 “Paradise Lost” and others : EPICS

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

34 “The Game of Strategic Conquest” : RISK

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

35 Word with rule or tackle : SLIDE …

The slide rule was invented in the early 17th century, with the design building on the work by John Napier on logarithms. As such, slide rules were introduced primarily to carry out multiplication and division. Here in the US, the device is sometimes referred to as a “slipstick”.

38 Piece of curling equipment : STONE

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

43 Body part that’s also a woman’s name : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

44 SOS response : AID

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

56 French setting for Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

59 Half of a 1960s folk/pop group : MAMAS

The folk group called the Magic Circle renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren’t a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. “Monday, Monday” was written by John Phillips, one of “the Papas”, and it was to become the only number one hit for the group. Here’s a shocker … when it hit number one in 1966, it was the first time that a group made up of both sexes topped the American charts!

Down

4 Series of goals : HAT TRICK

A hat trick is the scoring of three goals by the same player in a game of say, soccer or hockey.

6 Makes a duck face, say : MUGS

The verb “to mug” means “to make an exaggerated facial expression”. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

7 Part of an Instagram profile : BIO

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

19 Separates, in a sense : SILOS

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

30 High-quality French vineyard : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

33 Start of this clue : ESS

The start of the word “start” is a letter S (ess).

35 Endurance of hardship without complaint : STOICISM

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

36 Polar bear, to seals : PREDATOR

Polar bears are close cousins of brown bears, and are thought to have evolved from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle, and live mainly on seals that they capture near the edge of ice floes.

38 Font flourish : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

39 How often Bette Davis won Best Actress : TWICE

I must confess that I have a problem watching movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something.

41 Baby rabbit : KITTEN

An adult male rabbit is called a “buck”, and an adult female is a “doe”. A young rabbit is a “kitten” or “kit”.

42 Pageant identifiers : SASHES

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

46 Dish that might be seasoned with adobo sauce : TACO

In Spanish and Mexican cuisine, a dish prepared “adobo” has been marinated in a mixture containing paprika, oregano, salt, garlic and vinegar. “Adobo” is Spanish for “marinade, seasoning”.

47 Actress Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA

Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

“Pitch Perfect” is an entertaining musical comedy film released in 2012. It’s all about an all-female college a cappella group competing to win a national competition.

48 It destroyed the town of Mascali in 1928 : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

49 What benchwarmers ride, with “the” : … PINE

Scrubs and benchwarmers are players of a sport who aren’t on the first team.

50 1815 novel made into films in 1996 and 2020 : EMMA

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

53 Org. whose vision is “a great public school for every student” : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wild party : BASH
5 With 5-Down, some emergency bulletins : AMBER …
10 Certain break-dancing move : SPIN
14 Piece by Puccini : ARIA
15 Lover of Giorgetta in Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” : LUIGI
16 Native language of 50 million citizens of India : URDU
17 Spill a shipment of bowling balls? : LET THE GOODS ROLL (from “Let the good times roll”)
20 Gets down cold : MASTERS
21 Kind of engine : DIESEL
22 Person not to be trusted : RAT
23 “I knew I was going ___ when it was taking longer and longer to wash my face”: Harry Hill : BALD
24 Works during a slow day at the restaurant? : WAITS FOR NO ONE (from “Time waits for no one”)
30 Hidden drawback : CATCH
31 “Paradise Lost” and others : EPICS
32 Certain deposit : ORE
34 “The Game of Strategic Conquest” : RISK
35 Word with rule or tackle : SLIDE …
36 Advantage : PLUS
37 Do drugs : USE
38 Piece of curling equipment : STONE
39 Poker slang for three of a kind : TRIPS
40 Go on a date with a honeybun? : TAKE ONE’S SWEET (from “Take one’s sweet time”)
43 Body part that’s also a woman’s name : IRIS
44 SOS response : AID
45 A bit of resistance : STATIC
48 Gets away : ESCAPES
52 Is unable to get away, say … or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across? : CAN’T FIND THE TIME
55 One target of doxycycline : ACNE
56 French setting for Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” : SEINE
57 “This round’s ___” : ON ME
58 Sad sound : MOAN
59 Half of a 1960s folk/pop group : MAMAS
60 Run over : READ

Down

1 Lip ___ : BALM
2 Concentration : AREA
3 Plops down : SITS
4 Series of goals : HAT TRICK
5 See 5-Across : … ALERTS
6 Makes a duck face, say : MUGS
7 Part of an Instagram profile : BIO
8 Part of one’s mental life : EGO
9 “Good ___!” : RIDDANCE
10 “You got that right about me!” : SURE DO!
11 Advantages : PROS
12 Not going anywhere : IDLE
13 Zero : NULL
18 Tract of low-growing vegetation : HEATH
19 Separates, in a sense : SILOS
23 There are more of these in the U.S. in October than any other month, surprisingly : BRIDES
24 Pants measure : WAIST
25 Adrift : AT SEA
26 Cons : FELONS
27 Speak out : OPINE
28 “Honest!” : NO LIE!
29 Not hold back fury : ERUPT
30 High-quality French vineyard : CRU
33 Start of this clue : ESS
35 Endurance of hardship without complaint : STOICISM
36 Polar bear, to seals : PREDATOR
38 Font flourish : SERIF
39 How often Bette Davis won Best Actress : TWICE
41 Baby rabbit : KITTEN
42 Pageant identifiers : SASHES
45 Kind of artist : SCAM
46 Dish that might be seasoned with adobo sauce : TACO
47 Actress Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” : ANNA
48 It destroyed the town of Mascali in 1928 : ETNA
49 What benchwarmers ride, with “the” : … PINE
50 1815 novel made into films in 1996 and 2020 : EMMA
51 Provide initial funding for : SEED
53 Org. whose vision is “a great public school for every student” : NEA
54 Barely perceptible, say : DIM

13 thoughts on “1224-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Dec 20, Thursday”

  1. 12:42. Several early miscues – RAVE vs BASH; EDGE vs PLUS; TREYS vs TRIPS; ORATE vs OPINE. At the end I was surprised that my ____ (a 4-letter word that I just can seem to find) was as quick as it was.

  2. I seem to be getting slower every week. 24:56. Trying to do this with screaming grandkids running around is a little difficult. But worth it.

  3. Once again I rightfully claim last place with a screaming 45:42. A couple of fat fingers that went unnoticed until the end, pretty much the same early miscues as Ron, but obviously much much slower on fixing them. Had trouble accepting the lone “S” in 17 across. Happy Christmas Eve, y’all!!

  4. 23:13 including a couple of minutes to find an error. I originally had FILES for “Separates, in a sense”. I did change it to SILOS, but left the F. That took a while to find for some reason.

    Best –

  5. No errors, got the theme early and that helped me a lot.

    Did not know doxycycline worked on acne. I’m taking it now due to a different internal infection. Must be a multi-purpose drug.

    I smiled when I read Bill’s reluctance to watch Bette Davis movies.. as she got older, she could play a mean role pretty good.

    1. A move in soccer in which the defender goes to the ground
      ( ala a baseball slide ) and extends a leg in order to disrupt
      the play or get possession of the ball. At some levels of play,
      slide tackles are illegal.

  6. 15:49, no errors. 19D fortunately recalled hearing the expression from work: In business, organizational silos refer to business divisions that operate independently and avoid sharing information. It also refers to businesses whose departments have silo’ system applications, in which information cannot be shared because of system limitations.

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