Edited by: Will Shortz
There’s a note accompanying today’s puzzle:
When finished, this crossword grid will have 25 things that complete a set, in the order indicated by the clues.
And what is that sequence? Each of the listed answers hides a pair(s) of adjacent letters from the alphabet. By using the numbers in the relevant clues, we can put the pairs of letters in alphabetical order:
- 1D. Persona non grata to a striker  : SCAB (hiding “AB”)
- 45D. Pre-A.D.  : BCE (hiding “BC”)
- 6A. Things in jewel cases  : CDS (hiding “CD”)
- 7D. He “made me do it,” with “the”  : DEVIL (hiding “DE”)
- 24A. Book borrower’s penalty  : LATE FEE (hiding “EF”)
- 51D. Act ___  : OF GOD (hiding “FG”)
- 69A. Euphoric states  : HIGHS (hiding “GH” and “HI”)
- 26D. Part of Oceania  : FIJI (hiding “IJ”)
- 35D. Creator of Hogwarts  : JK ROWLING (hiding “JK”)
- 14A. Painter Paul  : KLEE (hiding “KL”)
- 52D. ___ d’Or (Cannes award)  : PALME (hiding “LM”)
- 9D. Mark for demolition  : CONDEMN (hiding “MN”)
- 27D. Hydroxyl group compound  : ENOL (hiding “NO”)
- 50A. Classroom surprise  : POP QUIZ (hiding “OP” and “PQ”)
- 43D. Pitmaster’s offering  : BBQ RIBS (hiding “QR”)
- 39A. Some trackgoers  : BETTORS (hiding “RS”)
- 32D. Early Beatle Sutcliffe  : STU (hiding “ST”)
- 44A. Capital of 26-Down  : SUVA (hiding “UV”)
- 23D. Golfs, e.g.  : VWS (hiding “VW”)
- 62A. Line of upscale German autos  : BMW X SERIES (hiding “WX”)
- 54D. Like Playboy models  : SEXY (hiding “XY”)
- 17D. Patrick of “Dirty Dancing”  : SWAYZE (hiding “YZ”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Wall Street index, for short : S AND P
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company, famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to to AA+.
6. Things in jewel cases  : CDS
It seems that the derivation of the term “jewel case” (CD box) is unclear. One suggestion is that initial prototypes weren’t very successful, so when a workable design was found it was dubbed the “jewel” case.
9. Vena ___ (major vessel) : CAVA
The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.
13. County north of Limerick : CLARE
One of my favorite counties in Ireland is Clare. Clare is home of the Burren, a beautiful and desolate landscape, as well as the world-famous Cliffs of Moher that greet the Atlantic Ocean.
14. Painter Paul  : KLEE
The artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.
15. Patron saint of Norway : OLAF
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.
19. Cry from Scrooge : BAH!
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.
20. Hindu ascetics : SWAMIS
A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.
22. Bird-related : AVIAN
“Avis” is the Latin word for “bird”, giving rise to our adjective “avian” meaning “relating to birds”.
26. Green Monster’s ballpark : FENWAY
The left field wall in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, is the tallest encountered in Major League ballparks. The wall was built that high to prevent viewing of games from outside of the park for free. The height also prevents home runs that would be possible in other ballparks, and so, given its color and reputation, it is called the Green Monster.
28. Wenders who directed “Buena Vista Social Club” : WIM
Wim Wenders is a German movie director and producer. Wenders has served as the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin since 1996.
34. Pear variety : ANJOU
The Anjou pear is a cultivar of the European Pear. The Anjou pear is thought to have originated in Belgium or France (Anjou is a province in the Loire Valley of western France).J
38. Diner cupful, slangily : JOE
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.
44. Capital of 26-Down  : SUVA
(26D. Part of Oceania  : FIJI)
Suva is the capital city of Fiji, and is located on the island of Viti Levu. Suva is the largest city in the southern Pacific Ocean.
45. Scottish hillside : BRAE
“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.
46. What A.L. pitchers normally don’t do : BAT
In baseball, designated hitters (DHs) may replace the pitcher (P) at bat.
54. Muscular strength : SINEW
Sinew is another name for a tendon. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.
56. Curator’s workplace : MUSEUM
The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.
58. Fleur-de-___ : LYS
“Lys” (also “lis”) is the French word for “lily”, as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.
61. Citrus named for its appearance : UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.
62. Line of upscale German autos  : BMW X SERIES
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.
64. Bausch & ___ (lens maker) : LOMB
Bausch + Lomb is an American company headquartered in Rochester, New York. It is a major supplier of contact lenses and associated eye-care products. As one might guess, the company was founded (in 1853) by two German immigrants, John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb. Bausch was an optician, and Lomb was the “money man”. The company was originally set up to manufacture monocles.
65. “Buy It Now” site : EBAY
eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!
66. Salvage ship’s detection system : SONAR
The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …
67. Fruity quaffs : ADES
“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).
1. Persona non grata to a striker  : SCAB
We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.
A persona non grata (plural “personae non gratae”) is someone who is not welcome. The phrase is Latin for “an unacceptable person”. The opposite phrase is “persona grata”, meaning “acceptable person”.
2. Letter before bravo : ALFA
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
3. Hawthorne who created Hester Prynne : NATHANIEL
The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.
4. Rap’s Dr. ___ : DRE
“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.
5. Shah’s domain until 1935 : PERSIA
Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.
6. Chowder flavor : CLAM
The type of soup known as “chowder” may be named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.
10. Distant : ALOOF
I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that is has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?
14. Wrathful “Star Trek” villain : KHAN
In the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” William Shatner played James T. Kirk, and the evil Khan was played by Ricardo Montalbán. Leonard Nimoy didn’t want to appear in the sequel, and only agreed to do so when the producers agreed to “kill off” Spock at the end of the story (but he comes back … and back … and back …).
17. Patrick of “Dirty Dancing”  : SWAYZE
The celebrated 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray, who were both relative unknowns at the time of filming. “Dirty Dancing” had a relatively low budget but was destined to earn over $200 million. It became the first movie to sell more than a million copies on home video. There was a prequel made in 2004 called “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”, that wasn’t a good film at all. Patrick Swayze was paid $200,000 for his 1987 performance, and received $5 million to make a cameo in the prequel.
23. Golfs, e.g.  : VWS
The Volkswagen Rabbit is a small, front-wheel drive car that is sold as the Volkswagen Golf outside of North America. There is a very popular GTI version of the Golf that was introduced in 1976. The initialism “GTI” stands for Grand Tourer Injection.
25. Aunts, in Andalusia : TIAS
Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.
26. Part of Oceania  : FIJI
The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.
The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
27. Hydroxyl group compound  : ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, and so is part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.
31. “Star Wars” extras, for short : ETS
32. Early Beatle Sutcliffe  : STU
Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.
33. “Mazel ___!” : TOV
“Tov” is the Hebrew word for “good”, as in “mazel tov” meaning “good luck”.
35. Creator of Hogwarts  : JK ROWLING
The author of the amazingly successful “Harry Potter” series of books is J. K. Rowling. Rowling wrote the first book when she was living on welfare in Edinburgh in Scotland, and in longhand. She would often write in local cafes, largely because she needed to get her baby daughter out of the house (she was a single mom), and the youngster would tend to fall asleep on walks. Within five years, the single mom on welfare became a very rich woman, and is now worth about $1 billion!
36. Stickup man on “The Wire” : OMAR
I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ending up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing a few years ago. It’s is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.
37. Plays for a sap : USES
“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words derive from “sapwood”, which is the soft wood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.
39. Steady guy : BEAU
A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.
40. Wheel spoke, essentially : RADIUS
“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?
45. Pre-A.D.  : 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.
50. TV journalist Zahn : PAULA
Paula Zahn has worked as a journalist and news anchor with ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN. She is currently the host of a true crime show on the Discovery Channel called “On the Case with Paula Zahn”. Outside of her work on television, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has even played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.
52. ___ d’Or (Cannes award)  : PALME
The “Palme d’Or” (or “Golden Palm” in English) is the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or goes to the director of the film selected as the best shown at the festival that year. The palm was selected as an emblem for the award as there is a palm featured on the coat of arms of the Commune of Cannes.
57. ___ bag (event handout) : SWAG
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.
60. They became independent in 1991: Abbr. : SSRS
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).
63. Le ___ Soleil (Louis XIV) : ROI
Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.