1130-23 NY Times Crossword 30 Nov 23, Thursday

Constructed by: Jeffrey Martinovic & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Time Travel

Themed answers come in pairs, side by side in the grid. One element of each pair requires us to remove a (circled) unit of geologic TIME, and have it TRAVEL to the other element:

  • 57A Science fiction concept depicted three times in this puzzle : TIME TRAVEL
  • 19A Make do : MANAGE (MAN + AGE)
  • 20A Unfold, as a series of events : PLAY OUT (PAGE LAYOUT – AGE)
  • 33A Astonishes : SHOCKS (SHOE RACKS – ERA)
  • 37A Clearing, as device storage : ERASING (SING + ERA)
  • 43A Armada ship : GALLEON (GALL + EON)
  • 45A Unscripted comedy : IMPROV (IMPROVE ON – EON)

Bill’s time: 14m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 The class of ’26 in ’24, say : SOPHS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

6 Its approval is often sought, in brief : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs for specific conditions. It is quite legal for a healthcare professional to prescribe an approved medication for a use that is different to the FDA-approved indication. This usage of the drug is described as “off-label”.

26 ___ Gorbachev, former Soviet first lady : RAISA

Raisa Gorbacheva was the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. There’s no doubt that Raisa’s charm and personality helped her husband as he worked to change the image of the Soviet Union.

38 Fish in a dragon roll : EEL

A dragon roll is a sushi dish made from eel, cucumber, seaweed, rice and avocado. I am sure it’s delicious … without the eel!

42 Org. in the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour” : NSA

“Citizenfour” is a 2014 documentary about Edward Snowden and his leaking of classified NSA information. Much of the film consists of footage that director Laura Poitras shot while interviewing Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong before the story broke.

43 Armada ship : GALLEON (GALL + EON)

Galleons were large sailing ships found in major fleets in Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. They were huge vessels with multiple decks and at least three masks.

The most famous armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

47 French region known for its rieslings : ALSACE

Of the 27 regions of metropolitan France (i.e. the territory of France within Europe), the smallest is Alsace. Alsace sits at the very east of the country, right on the border with Germany. The political status of Alsace was disputed by France and Germany for over three centuries, and was formally handed over to French control after Germany’s defeat in WWII.

The riesling grape variety originated in the Rhine region of Germany, and is used to make wines that are often described as fruity and aromatic. The wine generally has a high level of acidity which makes it ideal for aging, with some examples being proclaimed as excellent at over a hundred-years-old.

50 1978 Nobel Peace Prize recipient : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978, along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

51 Deserved comeuppance : KARMA

Karma is a religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, one’s future life, or one’s afterlife. And, bad deeds have bad consequences.

54 Enterprise Holdings holding : ALAMO

The third-largest car rental company in recent years is Alamo, which was founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.

63 Big name in digital documents : ADOBE

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

64 War of words, in a sense : RAP BATTLE

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

67 Opportunity on Mars, e.g. : ROVER

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity. The China National Space Administration landed its first rover, named Zhurong (“Rover” in English), five months after Perseverance started its mission on the planet.

Down

1 Word of distinction on a diploma : SUMMA

When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

  • cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
  • magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
  • summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

2 7’1″ four-time N.B.A. champion : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

3 Cylinders like the 20,000+ housed in London’s Musical Museum : PIANO ROLLS

A player piano is a piano that plays itself. The original Pianola, a brand introduced in the early 1900s, used a pneumatic mechanism to depress the keys. The tune itself was stored on a paper roll that had carefully positioned perforations.

4 Not chilly, like chili : HOT

The spiciness or “heat” of a serving of chili is often designated by an unofficial scale ranging from one-alarm upwards.

5 Forte and Strong once worked on it, for short : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

6 Bean in Egyptian cuisine : FAVA

The fava bean is also known as the broad bean. “Broad bean” is used “broadly” (pun!) in the UK, whereas “fava bean” is common in the US. “Fava” is the Italian name for the broad bean.

7 Bottom-of-the-barrel material : DREGS

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

10 Chemical kick-starters : ENZYMES

The names of enzymes usually include the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

11 Aoki of golf : ISAO

Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers. Aoki’s best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

12 Wise guy : GURU

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

13 What Tupperware containers do, helpfully : NEST

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal” that provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

21 Sixth notes? : LAS

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

24 ___ Scouts : GIRL

The Girl Guides of America organization was founded in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. That first meeting formed a troop consisting of eighteen girls. There are now almost 4 million girl scouts. Just one year after its formation, the group changed its name to the Girl Scouts of the United States and moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C.

27 ___ Paulo : SAO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

30 One getting into a cab, perhaps : WINE TASTER

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

32 Jennifer who wrote “A Visit From the Goon Squad” : EGAN

Jennifer Egan is an author who grew up in San Francisco. Egan’s 2010 work “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Usually termed a novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is structured in such a way that it is sometimes described as a collection of linked short stories.

33 Gaming company with the Yakuza franchise : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out in 1940 as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, which at that time was a city in the US Territory of Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

35 ___ Seok-jin of K-pop’s BTS : KIM

BTS is a boy band from South Korea with seven members. The initialism “BTS” stands for the phrase “Bangtan Sonyeondan”, which translates literally as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. BTS is the best-selling musical act in the history of South Korea.

40 Org. sued by the State of New York in 2020 : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

41 Club mixer : SODA

We call carbonated water “club soda”, because “Club Soda” used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, and is owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …

46 ___-de-Marne (French department) : VAL

Val-de-Marne is a department in France located southeast of Paris that takes its name from the Marne river.

52 Actress Sokoloff of “The Practice” : MARLA

Marla Sokoloff is an actress from San Francisco, California. Sokoloff’s best known roles are Lucy Hatcher on TV’s “The Practice”, and Gia Mahan on the sitcom “Full House”.

55 Disney title role for Liu Yifei : MULAN

2020’s “Mulan” is a live-action remake of the 1998 animated Disney film of the same name. Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei plays the title character, a woman from Chinese legend. The movie was received well by the critics, but fans of the animated original were largely unimpressed.

56 Takes in the paper? : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

57 Besmirches : TARS

“Besmirch” is a derivative of “smirch”, with both words meaning to “make dirty”. In particular, to besmirch is to sully someone’s reputation.

60 Bit of sporting gear with a bell guard : EPEE

The hilt of a sword consists of a grip and a guard (sometimes “bell guard”). One grasps the sword with the grip, and the guard is a metal shell that is designed to protect the fingers.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 The class of ’26 in ’24, say : SOPHS
6 Its approval is often sought, in brief : FDA
9 Sit on the throne : REIGN
14 Evidence that one is going into labor? : UNION CARD
16 Result : ENSUE
17 Unlikely patron of a vegan restaurant : MEAT LOVER
18 High-level advisers : CZARS
19 Make do : MANAGE (MAN + AGE)
20 Unfold, as a series of events : PLAY OUT (PAGE LAYOUT – AGE)
22 Beside : ALONG
25 Sudden contraction : SPASM
26 ___ Gorbachev, former Soviet first lady : RAISA
29 Toddler on “Family Guy” : STEWIE
33 Astonishes : SHOCKS (SHOE RACKS – ERA)
37 Clearing, as device storage : ERASING (SING + ERA)
38 Fish in a dragon roll : EEL
39 Tanner’s applications : LOTIONS
42 Org. in the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour” : NSA
43 Armada ship : GALLEON (GALL + EON)
45 Unscripted comedy : IMPROV (IMPROVE ON – EON)
47 French region known for its rieslings : ALSACE
50 1978 Nobel Peace Prize recipient : SADAT
51 Deserved comeuppance : KARMA
54 Enterprise Holdings holding : ALAMO
57 Science fiction concept depicted three times in this puzzle : TIME TRAVEL
62 “Yo” : SUP
63 Big name in digital documents : ADOBE
64 War of words, in a sense : RAP BATTLE
67 Opportunity on Mars, e.g. : ROVER
68 Is yet to come : LIES AHEAD
69 Zippers on a snowy day : SLEDS
70 Bartender’s serving, perhaps : ALE
71 Orchestra section : HORNS

Down

1 Word of distinction on a diploma : SUMMA
2 7’1″ four-time N.B.A. champion : O’NEAL
3 Cylinders like the 20,000+ housed in London’s Musical Museum : PIANO ROLLS
4 Not chilly, like chili : HOT
5 Forte and Strong once worked on it, for short : SNL
6 Bean in Egyptian cuisine : FAVA
7 Bottom-of-the-barrel material : DREGS
8 One who sells space or time, informally : AD REP
9 Find another person to play : RECAST
10 Chemical kick-starters : ENZYMES
11 Aoki of golf : ISAO
12 Wise guy : GURU
13 What Tupperware containers do, helpfully : NEST
15 Admit (to) : COP
21 Sixth notes? : LAS
23 Scot’s refusal : NAE
24 ___ Scouts : GIRL
27 ___ Paulo : SAO
28 Opera piece : ACT I
30 One getting into a cab, perhaps : WINE TASTER
31 “Not ___ many words” : IN SO
32 Jennifer who wrote “A Visit From the Goon Squad” : EGAN
33 Gaming company with the Yakuza franchise : SEGA
34 Recover : HEAL
35 ___ Seok-jin of K-pop’s BTS : KIM
36 Soaks (up) : SOPS
40 Org. sued by the State of New York in 2020 : NRA
41 Club mixer : SODA
44 Salt flat, once : LAKE BED
46 ___-de-Marne (French department) : VAL
48 Indulges, with “to” : CATERS …
49 Stray : ERR
52 Actress Sokoloff of “The Practice” : MARLA
53 Be of use : AVAIL
55 Disney title role for Liu Yifei : MULAN
56 Takes in the paper? : OP-EDS
57 Besmirches : TARS
58 More than a favorite : IDOL
59 “Don’t just sit there!” : MOVE!
60 Bit of sporting gear with a bell guard : EPEE
61 Scale abbr. : LBS
65 “I’m in heaven!” sound : AAH!
66 E’en if : THO’

8 thoughts on “1130-23 NY Times Crossword 30 Nov 23, Thursday”

  1. 10:56, no errors. I didn’t fully understand the theme. In each theme entry (as I saw them), to get the answer that fits the clue, one has to “travel forward in time”, skipping past the period (AGE, ERA, EON) indicated by the circled letters. So I didn’t notice the paired entries MAN(AGE), (ERA)SING, and GALL(EON). A very clever gimmick (and, once again, I can say, “Me … not so much … 😳”). Kudos to Bill for superior insight … 🙂.

    1. Interesting (and disturbing). I began to wonder how I could possibly have missed the paired entries, so I just reread the clues for them and, I now realize, I didn’t miss them! (For example, like Bruce, I remember seeing the word “GALLEON”.) I did the puzzle last night, just before going to sleep, after a very tiring day; apparently, by this morning, I had forgotten parts of how the gimmick worked. Incidents like this, involving a failing short-term memory, are becoming all too common for me and I’m beginning to worry a lot about them (to the extent that I recently discussed them with my doctor). Maybe I should write my posts immediately after finishing the puzzles.

      I hate being old … 😳.

  2. 15:56, no errors. One of the rare occasions when I recognized the gimmick before finishing the puzzle (GALLEON was my ‘aha’ moment.

  3. 20:42. MAN(AGE) was my aha moment, although initially I wrote that off to “Can you MAN the controls?” and thought it was ok as a stand alone.

    Overall cool theme but not surprising considering two guys named Jeff constructed it. I wonder if they’re left-handed too??

    Couldn’t think of what a PIANO ROLL is until I came here. I had a neighbor growing up who had a player piano. I thought – “what an easy way to learn how to play the piano…”. I’m not exactly gifted musically.

    Regarding EGYPTIANS from yesterday. To Dave’s point, it’s not that writing the word itself is overly difficult. Anyone who can write CAN do it. It’s that it doesn’t flow very easily…at all. You have the loopiness (is that a word?) of the E followed by the G where you have to come backwards to finish it. Same thing with a Y and even a little with the P. Then you have to come back and cross a T and dot an I ….FIVE HUNDRED TIMES!! It’s that trying to write it 500 times is much more onerous than some other random word.

    That “ASSignment” (for being an A**) was in 6th grade, and I still remember it vividly. Just to be even more difficult, I wrote it all 500 times on one side of a page – which was no small feat.

    Best –

  4. 22:42 how did that happen for me on a Thursday? And I recognized the gimmick early.

    Dave Kennison, I know getting old is not easy and often not fun, but not getting old is far worse… I enjoy your commentary and puzzle insight, keep flying the flag and I’ll keep saluting it👍

  5. Didn’t see the COMPLETE theme. Missed the pairing.

    Although I MANaged to get 2 of the themes (by accident), I failed miserably on one. SHOCK was SHELLS. … the errors ensued.

    Happy new year!

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