1227-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Dec 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Daniel Grinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Partnerships

Themed answers are phrases in the format “X AND Y”, and reinterpreted as common PARTNERSHIPS:

  • 23A Law partners : JUDGE AND JURY
  • 39A Silent partners : PEACE AND QUIET
  • 45A Writing partners : PEN AND PAPER
  • 64A Partners in crime : BREAKING AND ENTERING
  • 82A Business partners : BOOM AND BUST
  • 89A Romantic partners : HUGS AND KISSES
  • 110A Domestic partners : ROOM AND BOARD

Bill’s time: 17m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Venomous snake : MAMBA

Mambas, and most famously black mambas, are highly venomous snakes that used to be responsible for a great number of fatalities before anti-venoms became available. Mamba venom is a deadly mix of neurotoxins that attack the nervous system and cardiotoxins that attack the heart. A bite, if left untreated, causes the lungs and the heart to shut down.

16 Extinct flightless bird that once grew up to 12 feet : MOA

Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man. Moa were huge creatures, measuring up to 12 feet tall with their necks stretched upwards.

22 Kid’s refrigerator display : ART

Refrigerator magnets … I can’t stand them! But, there is something interesting about their structure. If we place two fridge magnets back to back, and slide them slowly against each other, then we can feel an alternating attraction and repulsion. This is because they are manufactured with alternating north and south poles on the back side, and do not have two distinct poles. Who knew …?!

28 ___ learning : REMOTE

There’s a lot of that going on these days …

29 Richard of “Chicago” : GERE

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

30 Mount ___, workplace of the Cyclopes in Greek myth : 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”.

31 Having a very high body mass index : OBESE

The body mass index (BMI) is the ratio of a person’s height to his or her mass.

33 Singer with the 2020 album “A Holly Dolly Christmas” : PARTON

Dolly Parton is a country music singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. Parton has written over 3,000 songs, my favorite of which is “I Will Always Love You”, which was a huge hit for herself and for Whitney Houston.

35 Problems with streaming : LAGS

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

39 Silent partners : PEACE AND QUIET

A silent partner in a business relationship is one who shares in profit and losses but is uninvolved in management of the business. Usually, a silent partner’s main role is to provide capital.

43 Leigh who played Scarlett : VIVIEN

“Vivien Leigh” was the stage name of English actress Vivian Hartley. Leigh’s two most famous roles were probably Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” and Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, for which she won her two Best Actress Oscars. Leigh’s second husband was fellow English actor Laurence Olivier.

As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett O’Hara was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his preference for Leigh despite a lot of protests.

44 Train ticket info, for short : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

48 Spaceman Spiff and Stupendous Man, for Calvin in “Calvin and Hobbes” : ALTER EGOS

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

54 Red ___ : SEA

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

55 Who “can get in the way of what I feel for you,” in a 2007 #1 Alicia Keys hit : NO ONE

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

56 Business suits? : CEOS

Chief executive officer (CEO)

57 Famous bed-in participant : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. A few weeks after the marriage, Lennon adopted the middle name “Ono” by deed poll.

63 Salmon and sturgeon delicacies : ROES

When young salmon (born in freshwater) are at the smolt stage, they become adapted to saltwater and head for the sea. They return to freshwater to reproduce, often traveling long distances upstream.

Several species of sturgeon are farmed for their roe, which is made into caviar.

64 Partners in crime : BREAKING AND ENTERING

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

69 Modern meeting method : ZOOM

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

71 “See ya” : ADIOS

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

72 Requests at security lines : IDS

Identity document (ID)

76 First dynasty of imperial China, 221-206 B.C. : QIN

The Qin Dynasty was established in 221 BC after the state of Qin conquered six other states. The Qin was China’s first imperial dynasty, and lasted until 206 BC when the Han Dynasty wielded power.

94 Tight-fitting suits : SPEEDOS

Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

97 Core principles : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

98 Bake, as an egg : SHIRR

Shirred eggs are eggs that have been baked without their shells in a flat-bottomed dish. The term “shirred” comes from the name of the dish that was traditionally used for the baking.

99 Evil Kermit or Grumpy Cat : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

100 How Phileas Fogg traveled : AFAR

“Around the World in 80 Days” is a wonderful adventure story written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as the protagonist Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, and is perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg’s trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never uses a balloon at all.

101 Money in coins rather than bills : SPECIE

Coined money, as opposed to paper money, can be referred to as “specie”.

110 Domestic partners : ROOM AND BOARD

A board is a piece of sawn lumber that is significantly longer than it is wide. Centuries ago, the term “board” was extended to mean “table”, and later “meals served on a table”. That’s where we get our phrase “bed and board” meaning “food and a place to sleep”.

114 Magazine bestowing Best of Beauty awards : ALLURE

“Allure” is a magazine published by Condé Nast in New York that was founded in 1991 by Linda Wells. “Allure” contains articles on beauty, fashion and women’s health.

119 S-shaped moldings : OGEES

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically, it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

Down

2 What San Diego and Tijuana do : ABUT

The name of the California city of San Diego dates back to 1602, when Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno named the area after the Catholic Saint Didacus. Saint Didacus was more commonly referred to as San Diego de Alcalá.

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

3 Airplane ___ : MODE

When one switches a smartphone or similar device to airplane mode, all processes that cause the transmission of radio waves are disabled. As such, Bluetooth, telephony and Wi-Fi are shut down. GPS may work in airplane mode as it works without sending out radio signals.

4 “Notorious” rap nickname : BIG POPPA

“The Notorious B.I.G.” was the stage name of rap star Christopher Wallace, who also went by the names Big Poppa, Biggie Smalls and Biggie. While at the height of his fame, Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, a murder case that has never been solved. The 2009 movie “Notorious” is about Wallace’s life and stars fellow rap artist Jamal Woolard (aka Gravy) in the title role.

7 Snapchatter’s request : ADD ME

Snapchat is a messaging system that allows users to send photos and video clips to a limited list of recipients. The photos and clips, called “snaps”, can be viewed for only a few seconds before they are deleted from the recipient’s device, and from the Snapchat servers.

8 1981 Stephen King thriller : CUJO

“Cujo” is a Stephen King horror novel, which means that I haven’t read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

11 Vegan milk source : SOY

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

12 Still being debugged : IN BETA

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

16 Cocktail with rum, curaçao and fruit juice : MAI TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

17 Like monarch butterflies : ORANGE

The monarch butterfly has very recognizable orange and black wings, and is often seen across North America. The monarch is the state insect of several US states and was even nominated as the national insect in 1990, but that legislation was not enacted.

18 Debut album for Etta James : AT LAST

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

24 Apollo’s half brother : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of the goddess Artemis. Among other things, Apollo was worshiped as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, as well as healing and plague.

29 Sweet red dessert wine : GRENACHE

Grenache is a red wine grape variety, and the major constituent of wines from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region in France (my favorites). Grenache is also used to make rosé wines in the Cotes du Rhone region (also a favorite of mine).

32 Representatives’ term lengths : BIENNIA

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection. Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms, with elections taking place every even year.

36 Unfortunate events, old-style : HAPS

I’m not sure that “hap” does refer to an “unfortunate event”, and so the clue may be wrong. Or, I could be wrong, which is probably more likely …

One’s “hap” is one’s luck. So, to be “hapless” is to be out of luck, unfortunate.

37 C.I.A. whistle-blower Philip : AGEE

Philip Agee was a CIA case officer who left the agency and then wrote a tell-all book in 1975 about his experiences “Inside the Company”.

39 Subject of a Magritte work (or not?) : PIPE

Belgian artist René Magritte was a surrealist. His most recognized work may be “The Son of Man”, a painting he created as a self-portrait. It is the work that shows a man in a bowler hat with his face covered by an apple. The image features prominently in a great movie, the 1999 remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair”.

“The Treachery of Images” is a painting by René Magritte. It is a very simple image of a pipe that one might smoke, with the words below (in French), “This is not a pipe”. Magritte’s point was that that the painting wasn’t a pipe, but rather an image of a pipe.

40 Simple palindromic reply to “Madam, I’m Adam” : EVE

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

43 Ryder ride : VAN

The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

46 Dweeb : DORK

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

47 Rihanna or Mariah Carey : POP IDOL

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. “Rihanna” is her stage name, as she was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

Mariah Carey produced her first album in 1990 under the guidance of Tommy Mottola, an executive at Columbia Records. Mottola and Carey must have hit it off, because they were married three years later (although Mottola is now married to a different singer …).

50 Deep-fried tortilla dish : TOSTADA

In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla

51 Group of heavies : GOON SQUAD

The term “goon” was coined by American humorist Frederick J. Allen in a 1921 “Harper’s” piece titled “The Goon and His Style”. The article defines a good as “a person with a heavy touch” someone lacking “a playful mind”. The term was popularized in the “Thimble Theater” comic strips featuring Popeye. The first use of “goon” to describe a hired thug was in 1938, with reference to strikebreakers.

52 Universal donor’s blood type, in brief : O-NEG

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

53 Brand of pads : SOS

S.O.S is a brand of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

62 Investment options, for short : CDS

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

63 Setting for Hitchcock’s “Notorious,” informally : RIO

“Notorious” is an interesting Hitchcock film made in 1946 starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I find it interesting as it is such a different dramatic role for Cary Grant, and a more gritty role for the lovely Ingrid Bergman, and the great Claude Rains is in there for good measure. It’s a story of espionage, love and intrigue set in Rio de Janeiro where there is a group of German Nazis hiding out after WWII. Definitely worth a rental if you’ve never seen it …

65 Emperor who ruled for more than 13 years, dying at age 30 : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and towards the end of his reign participated in the Olympic Games in the year 67. The Roman leader raced in a ten-horse chariot, of which he lost control and nearly perished after being thrown from the vehicle. Acting and singing were Olympic events back then, and Nero also took part in those competitions. By all accounts, Nero performed badly in every event in which he vied, and yet somehow still managed to win Olympic crowns that he paraded around Rome on his return from Greece.

66 More eye-catching : GLITZIER

Our word “glitz”, meaning “showiness”, is the Yiddish word for “glitter”.

67 Anthony ___, 1950s British P.M. : EDEN

Sir Anthony Eden served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary during WWII, and then as Prime Minister from 1955-57. I think it’s fair to say that Eden doesn’t have a great reputation as a statesman. He was proud of his stance in favor of peace over war, so his critics characterized him as an appeaser. His major stumble on the world stage occurred with the Suez Crisis in 1956. Egypt’s President Nasser unilaterally nationalized the Suez Canal causing war to be declared on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Within a few months political pressure from the US and the USSR caused the allies to withdraw, bolstering Egypt’s national reputation. Eden never recovered from the loss of face at home, and it is felt that the stress even affected his health. Eden resigned in January 1957.

68 Villain with the “real” name Edward Nigma : RIDDLER

The Riddler is a supervillain from the Batman universe. He first appeared in “Detective Comics” in 1948. The Riddler’s real name is “Edward Nigma”, who became obsessed with solving puzzles and winning prizes by cheating at school. He uses his puzzle-solving skills to cheat customers at a carnival, and eventually dons the guise of the Riddler to take on Batman.

69 Teen’s woe : ZIT

The slang term “zit”, meaning “pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

74 This is what it sounds like when doves cry : COOS

Taxonomically, doves and pigeons are the only members of the order Columbidae. The terms “dove” and “pigeon” are often used interchangeably. Scientifically speaking, dove species tend to be smaller than pigeon species. Colloquially though, many refer to doves as the white or nearly white species in the family.

77 Kindergarten comeback : IS SO!

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

81 Canoodling in a crowd, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

To canoodle is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

82 Prominent feature of the Who’s “My Generation” : BASS SOLO

“My Generation” is a 1965 song by the Who that is sometimes hailed as an anthem of the mod counterculture that was at its height in the mid-sixties. Reportedly, Pete Townshend was inspired to write the song after the Queen Mother had his 1935 Packard hearse towed off the street as she was offended by its presence as she drove through the neighborhood.

83 Cheer for Real Madrid : OLE!

Real Madrid is a professional soccer team based in Madrid, Spain. The team name translates as “Royal Madrid”. Real Madrid is often ranked as the world’s most valuable soccer team, and is one of the most widely supported sports teams on the planet.

84 Drinking game that requires aim : BEER PONG

The game of beer pong is also known as “Beirut”. Beer pong apparently originated as a drinking game in the fraternities of Dartmouth College in the fifties, when it was played with paddles and a ping pong net on a table. The origin of the “Beirut” name is less clear, but it probably was coined while the Lebanese Civil War was raging in the late seventies and eighties.

87 Winter setting in N.Y.C. : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

102 Sport with saddles : POLO

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back then primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

103 Bevy : quails :: mob : ___ : EMUS

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

“Bevy” is a collective noun used for a number of types of bird, including quail and swans. “Bevy” is also sometimes used as a collective noun for ladies.

105 Fill with freight : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

110 Piano tune : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Venomous snake : MAMBA
6 “To be honest …” : FACT IS …
12 “My goodness!” : I SAY!
16 Extinct flightless bird that once grew up to 12 feet : MOA
19 Like the water in a whistling teakettle : ABOIL
20 Puzzled remark : I DUNNO
21 A student may pass it : NOTE
22 Kid’s refrigerator display : ART
23 Law partners : JUDGE AND JURY
25 Booty call? : BUTT DIAL
27 How-to manual component : STEP
28 ___ learning : REMOTE
29 Richard of “Chicago” : GERE
30 Mount ___, workplace of the Cyclopes in Greek myth : ETNA
31 Having a very high body mass index : OBESE
33 Singer with the 2020 album “A Holly Dolly Christmas” : PARTON
35 Problems with streaming : LAGS
36 Puller of strings? : HARPIST
39 Silent partners : PEACE AND QUIET
42 Noticeably amazed : AGAPE
43 Leigh who played Scarlett : VIVIEN
44 Train ticket info, for short : ETD
45 Writing partners : PEN AND PAPER
48 Spaceman Spiff and Stupendous Man, for Calvin in “Calvin and Hobbes” : ALTER EGOS
54 Red ___ : SEA
55 Who “can get in the way of what I feel for you,” in a 2007 #1 Alicia Keys hit : NO ONE
56 Business suits? : CEOS
57 Famous bed-in participant : ONO
58 Nest noise : CHIRP
60 For example : SUCH AS
63 Salmon and sturgeon delicacies : ROES
64 Partners in crime : BREAKING AND ENTERING
69 Modern meeting method : ZOOM
70 Some U.S. space launch rockets : DELTAS
71 “See ya” : ADIOS
72 Requests at security lines : IDS
73 Chicago mayor Lightfoot : LORI
74 Gave up : CEDED
76 First dynasty of imperial China, 221-206 B.C. : QIN
79 Flier trier? : TEST PILOT
82 Business partners : BOOM AND BUST
85 Commotion : ADO
86 Fervent believer : ZEALOT
88 Walker’s need : LEASH
89 Romantic partners : HUGS AND KISSES
94 Tight-fitting suits : SPEEDOS
96 Apartment, in real estate talk : UNIT
97 Core principles : TENETS
98 Bake, as an egg : SHIRR
99 Evil Kermit or Grumpy Cat : MEME
100 How Phileas Fogg traveled : AFAR
101 Money in coins rather than bills : SPECIE
104 Earnest request : PLEA
108 Like some vinaigrette : BALSAMIC
110 Domestic partners : ROOM AND BOARD
112 Sponge off of : USE
113 Calendar row : WEEK
114 Magazine bestowing Best of Beauty awards : ALLURE
115 Not a big studio film : INDIE
116 Take possession of : GET
117 Makes a typo, say : ERRS
118 Gave a boost : GOOSED
119 S-shaped moldings : OGEES

Down

1 Officers above capts. : MAJS
2 What San Diego and Tijuana do : ABUT
3 Airplane ___ : MODE
4 “Notorious” rap nickname : BIG POPPA
5 It may be blond, brown or ginger : ALE
6 Of the utmost quality : FINEST
7 Snapchatter’s request : ADD ME
8 1981 Stephen King thriller : CUJO
9 Certain bolt holder : T-NUT
10 Being fixed, as a car at a garage : IN REPAIR
11 Vegan milk source : SOY
12 Still being debugged : IN BETA
13 Turn against : SOUR ON
14 Event organizer’s count : ATTENDEES
15 ___ to come : YET
16 Cocktail with rum, curaçao and fruit juice : MAI TAI
17 Like monarch butterflies : ORANGE
18 Debut album for Etta James : AT LAST
24 Apollo’s half brother : ARES
26 Fool : DELUDE
29 Sweet red dessert wine : GRENACHE
32 Representatives’ term lengths : BIENNIA
34 A thing in poker? : ACE
36 Unfortunate events, old-style : HAPS
37 C.I.A. whistle-blower Philip : AGEE
38 Encountered by chance : RAN ACROSS
39 Subject of a Magritte work (or not?) : PIPE
40 Simple palindromic reply to “Madam, I’m Adam” : EVE
41 Fiscal year div. : QTR
43 Ryder ride : VAN
46 Dweeb : DORK
47 Rihanna or Mariah Carey : POP IDOL
49 Have a preference : LEAN
50 Deep-fried tortilla dish : TOSTADA
51 Group of heavies : GOON SQUAD
52 Universal donor’s blood type, in brief : O-NEG
53 Brand of pads : SOS
59 Sewing 101 assignment : HEM
60 Didn’t go anywhere : SAT
61 Spanish article : UNA
62 Investment options, for short : CDS
63 Setting for Hitchcock’s “Notorious,” informally : RIO
64 Portend : BODE
65 Emperor who ruled for more than 13 years, dying at age 30 : NERO
66 More eye-catching : GLITZIER
67 Anthony ___, 1950s British P.M. : EDEN
68 Villain with the “real” name Edward Nigma : RIDDLER
69 Teen’s woe : ZIT
73 Big game changer? : LION TAMER
74 This is what it sounds like when doves cry : COOS
75 P.D. or F.D. worker : EMT
77 Kindergarten comeback : IS SO!
78 Indefinite degrees : NTHS
80 Sweetness and sourness : TASTES
81 Canoodling in a crowd, for short : PDA
82 Prominent feature of the Who’s “My Generation” : BASS SOLO
83 Cheer for Real Madrid : OLE!
84 Drinking game that requires aim : BEER PONG
87 Winter setting in N.Y.C. : EST
89 Deceptive talk : HUMBUG
90 Perturbation : UNEASE
91 Small hole-drilling tool : GIMLET
92 Obstinate sort : DEFIER
93 Talents : KNACKS
94 Really stood out : SHINED
95 Patchy in color : PIED
98 Close call : SCARE
102 Sport with saddles : POLO
103 Bevy : quails :: mob : ___ : EMUS
105 Fill with freight : LADE
106 Lake largely fed by the Detroit River : ERIE
107 Lemon or lime drinks, informally : ADES
109 Wonder : AWE
110 Piano tune : RAG
111 Words accompanying a headshot, in brief : BIO

11 thoughts on “1227-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Dec 20, Sunday”

  1. 34:23 Including a couple minutes to find my misspelling of VIVIEN (went for the more typical VIVIAN spelling). Unfamiliar with SHIRR and SPECIE. Also started out with 1A as ADDER and 1D as ADMS (was thinking of naval captains being exceeded in rank). Not a good start.

  2. 30:24 after (like Ron) finding and changing VIVIAN to VIVIEN. Earlier, I also had ADDER and ADMS before MAMBA and MAJS (plus a host of other missteps). For me, this was one of those times when so many entries have plausible alternates that I spend as much time taking incorrect things out as I spend putting correct things in. Oh, well … life continues … 😜.

  3. And … another comment: Today’s (12/27/2020’s) Washington Post puzzle is of interest (though I “recommend” it with serious reservations). It’s a 23×23 and not all that difficult: I finished it last night in 30:14, with no errors, and my aim was not to whiz through it, but to finish with a minimum of write-overs, so as to tackle the metapuzzle it contains. Today, after finishing up other things, I tackled the metapuzzle and it took me at least two hours, even after I figured out what the gimmick was. In any case, it’s an amazing construction!

    1. I did do the WA post puzzle – it was very straightforward and I finished in 25 minutes. But did not take the time to figure out the whole meta puzzle. Kudos to you for your perseverance.

      I’m awed by Birnholz and previously Merle Reagle – RIP – who also constructed a Sunday sized puzzle, week after week.

  4. 31:21, and like Ron and Nonny, tripped up on VIVIEN vs VIVIAN. And that was after putting ACE in. Forgot to cross check after filling in VIVIAN. D’oh.

  5. 50:48 my daughter told me of the correct spelling of “Vivien”, then I squandered 12 minutes looking for error #2: “Defier” vs. “Denier”….sigh

  6. 20:22, no errors. The VIVIEN never threw me because I’m not a film buff. I did briefly have POPSTAR for 47D, figuring 70A was TITANS, so that slowed me down momentarily.

    Relatively uneventful Sunday puzzle, easier for me than average.

  7. 1:00:33 and also had the Vivian thing but unlike the rest of you I failed to change it(the story of my life).
    95% of this puzzle was easy enough but the other 5% , all in the SW corner ,was frustrating.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  8. 33:32, 3 errors: VIVI(A)(M); AC(A); GRE(M)ACHE. As a pencil/paper solver, I don’t get error or almost there messages. I, too, went with VIVIAN (the ‘M’ was a write-o-graphical error). Should have caught all with a second proof reading.

  9. I’m disappointed that Bill did not explain 39D. He went off on a tangent and didn’t come back to the answer “Pipe”.

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