Here's all New York Times Crossword answers for 20 October 2023, Friday (10-20-23). Find all answers and solutions here.
We've also tries to explain why the answer is the correct solution for each clue.
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Clues and answers
Clues followed by answers and an explanation underneath.
A.C. converter : DIODE
The answer "DIODE" is the right solution because a diode is an electrical component commonly used in A.C. converters to convert alternating current (A.C.) into direct current (D.C.). It allows the flow of current in only one direction, making it an essential part of the conversion process.
Active ingredient in Off! : DEET
The active ingredient in Off! is "DEET" because it is a commonly used chemical compound that repels insects, including mosquitoes.
Actress Greta of “Camille” : GARBO
The answer is "GARBO" because Greta Garbo was a Swedish actress who starred in the film "Camille."
Adage for the risk-averse : SAFETY FIRST
The phrase "Safety first" is an adage that encourages people to prioritize safety over other considerations. It is often used to advise caution and risk aversion.
Awesome, in modern slang : FIRE
The word "fire" is commonly used in modern slang to mean something is excellent, amazing, or awesome.
Backup plans : OUTS
The answer to "Backup plans" is "OUTS" because in sports, particularly in baseball, "outs" refer to the number of opportunities a team has to make a play and end the opposing team's turn at bat. In this context, "backup plans" can be seen as alternative strategies or options to rely on when the original plan fails, similar to how teams have a limited number of outs to achieve their goals.
Banksy work : MURAL
The answer to "Banksy work" being "MURAL" is because Banksy is a renowned street artist known for creating large-scale artworks on walls, buildings, and public spaces. These artworks, often depicting social or political messages, are commonly referred to as murals. Therefore, "MURAL" is the correct answer for a Banksy work.
Big name in pest control : ORKIN
The answer to "Big name in pest control" is "ORKIN" because Orkin is a well-known company that specializes in pest control services.
Bookbinding leather : ROAN
The answer "ROAN" is the right solution because it is a type of leather commonly used in bookbinding.
Centers of some centers : ATRIA
The word "centers" in the clue suggests that we are looking for a plural noun. "Centers of some centers" means that we need to find a word that refers to the centers of certain places. The answer "ATRIA" fits this description as it refers to the central open spaces found in some buildings, such as shopping malls or hotels. These central spaces are often called atria, making it the correct answer to the clue.
Central Asian savory pastry : SAMSA
The answer to "Central Asian savory pastry" is "SAMSA" because samsa is a traditional pastry commonly found in Central Asia. It is typically filled with savory ingredients such as meat, onions, and spices.
Cousin of a wolverine : OTTER
The answer is "OTTER" because otters are a type of carnivorous mammal that are closely related to wolverines. They belong to the same family, Mustelidae, making them cousins in the animal kingdom.
The answer "MOM!" is the right solution because during an argument between siblings, it is common for one or both of them to cry out for their mother for help or intervention.
D.I.Y. booster seats : PHONEBOOKS
The answer "PHONEBOOKS" is the right solution because phonebooks can be used as makeshift booster seats in a do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) situation. They can provide a temporary height boost for a child to sit higher and safely in a car or at a table.
Dales : GLENS
The answer "GLENS" is the right solution because "Dales" is a synonym for valleys or low-lying areas, and "GLENS" is a word that means exactly that.
Dance in a ring : HORA
The dance in a ring is commonly known as the "Hora," making it the right solution to the crossword clue.
Drive, with “on” : EGG …
The answer to "Drive, with 'on'" is "EGG" because when you drive a car, you step on the gas pedal, which is often referred to as "giving it some gas" or "giving it the egg".
Eschewing help : SOLO
The answer "SOLO" fits the clue "Eschewing help" because it means doing something alone or without assistance.
Exchange words, in a way : SPAR
The word "SPAR" can mean to engage in a verbal exchange or argument, which is a way of exchanging words. Therefore, "SPAR" is the right solution for the clue "Exchange words, in a way."
Frontier direction during frontier times : WEST Down 1 Distinction not used in the military
The answer to "Frontier direction during frontier times" is "WEST" because during frontier times, people were moving and exploring towards the west.
Gift for guests : GOODY BAG
The answer "GOODY BAG" is the right solution because it refers to a small bag filled with treats or small gifts that are given to guests at parties or events.
Godawful : GRIM
The word "grim" means extremely unpleasant or horrifying, which aligns with the clue "Godawful" that suggests something terrible or dreadful. Therefore, "grim" is the right solution for this crossword clue.
The answer "FOIL" is the right solution because foil is a material often associated with being used to wrap and protect food. In this context, it is humorously suggested that paranoid individuals might wear a hat made of foil to protect themselves from perceived threats.
Have faith : RELY
The answer "RELY" fits the clue "Have faith" because it means to trust or depend on someone or something.
Help : AVAIL
"AID" is the right solution to the clue "Help" because "AID" means to provide assistance or support to someone in need, which is synonymous with the meaning of "Help".
In an atmosphere of : AMID
The word "amid" means "in the middle of" or "surrounded by." It is a preposition that is often used to describe being in a particular situation or environment. In the context of the clue "In an atmosphere of," "amid" fits perfectly as it signifies being within a specific atmosphere or amidst certain conditions.
Irreverent Christmas tune : SANTA BABY
The answer "SANTA BABY" is the right solution because it is a well-known Christmas song that has a playful and irreverent tone.
It clearly divides people : PLEXIGLASS
The answer "PLEXIGLASS" is the right solution because it is a material that is transparent and often used to create physical barriers or partitions. It is commonly used in various settings to clearly divide people while allowing visibility.
Jerk : ASS
The answer "ASS" is the right solution for the clue "Jerk" because "ass" is a slang term for a rude or obnoxious person.
Lamenting words : AH ME
The answer "AH ME" is the right solution because it is a common expression used to express sorrow or regret, which fits the clue "Lamenting words".
The word "bendy" describes something that is flexible and can be easily bent. An adjustable drinking straw is designed to be bent into different angles to make it easier to drink from. Therefore, "bendy" is the right answer as it accurately describes the characteristic of an adjustable drinking straw.
Makes the case : ARGUES
The word "argues" is the right solution because it means to present reasons or evidence to support a particular position or opinion, which is what someone does when they "make the case."
Misoneism, n. : Hatred of anything ___
The answer is "new." Misoneism means a hatred or fear of anything new. The clue mentions "hatred of anything," indicating that we are looking for a word that represents the opposite of new. Therefore, "new" is the correct answer.
Nasty : VILE
The word "vile" is a suitable answer to the clue "nasty" because it means extremely unpleasant or morally repugnant. It accurately describes something that is offensive or disgusting.
Occasions to read the Haggadah : SEDERS
The Haggadah is a Jewish text that is read during the Passover Seder, which is a special meal and ritual that commemorates the Israelites' liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. Therefore, "Occasions to read the Haggadah" refers to SEDERS, as they are the specific events where the Haggadah is read.
Oh, the humanities! : LIBERAL ARTS
The phrase "Oh, the humanities!" is often used to express admiration or appreciation for the study of various academic disciplines. "Liberal arts" refers to a broad range of subjects such as literature, philosophy, history, and more, which fall under the category of humanities. Therefore, "LIBERAL ARTS" is the right answer.
OK, in Oaxaca : BUENO
The answer "BUENO" is the right solution because it means "OK" in Spanish, and Oaxaca is a city in Mexico where Spanish is spoken.
One with bright and dark sides : EVIL GENIUS
The answer "EVIL GENIUS" is the right solution because an evil genius is someone who possesses both bright and dark sides. They are highly intelligent and cunning, which represents the bright side, but they also have malicious intentions and engage in unethical behavior, representing the dark side.
Particle : IOTA
The answer "IOTA" is the right solution for the clue "Particle" because an "iota" is the smallest possible quantity or particle.
Pithy remark : MOT
The answer "MOT" is the right solution because it is a common abbreviation for "motto," which refers to a pithy or concise remark that expresses a guiding principle or belief.
Preening sort : FOP
The term "fop" refers to someone who is excessively concerned with their appearance and grooming. They are often seen as preening or fussing over their looks. Therefore, "fop" is the right answer for the clue "preening sort".
Pretends : FEIGNS
The answer "FEIGNS" is the right solution because it means to pretend or to fake something.
Rocky road ingredient? : PEA GRAVEL
The answer "PEA GRAVEL" is the right solution because it is a type of small, rounded rock that is commonly used to create rocky roads or pathways. It fits perfectly with the clue as it refers to an ingredient that can be found in a literal rocky road.
Second half? : ALTER EGO
The answer "ALTER EGO" is the right solution because in this context, "second half" refers to an alternative or different version of oneself, which is what an alter ego represents.
The answer "AQABA" is the right solution because it is the name of the city where a battle takes place in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia."
The answer is "GLESS" because Sharon Gless is the actress who starred in "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill".
Sole supporters : GEL INSERTS
The answer "GEL INSERTS" fits the clue "Sole supporters" because gel inserts are commonly used in shoes to provide support and cushioning for the soles of the feet.
Some nudes : BODY DOUBLES
The answer "BODY DOUBLES" is the right solution because it refers to individuals who are hired to stand in for actors or models in scenes requiring nudity.
Sound from the satisfied : SIGH
The answer "SIGH" is the right solution because when someone is satisfied, they often let out a deep breath accompanied by a sound, which is commonly referred to as a "sigh."
Spikes, for example : SHOES
The answer "SHOES" is the right solution because spikes are commonly found on the soles of shoes, particularly in sports like track and field.
The answer "PARTY FOUL" fits the clue because it refers to a social mistake or inappropriate behavior that can happen at a party. Spilling a drink on someone or dancing on a host's sofa are examples of party fouls.
Stingy sort? : BEE
The term "WASP" is an acronym that stands for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant", which is a stereotype for a wealthy and privileged person who is often associated with being stingy or frugal. Therefore, "WASP" is the right solution for the clue "Stingy sort?".
The answer "AS IS" is the right solution because in a seller's market, where demand is high and supply is low, sellers have more negotiating power. They often include an "AS IS" stipulation in the sale, meaning the buyer accepts the property in its current condition without any guarantees or repairs from the seller.
Stops along the way, say : MOTEL ROOMS
The answer "MOTEL ROOMS" is the right solution because when we are on a journey or a road trip, we often need to make stops along the way to rest or sleep. These stops are commonly found in motels, where travelers can rent rooms for a short period of time. Therefore, "MOTEL ROOMS" perfectly fits the clue "Stops along the way, say."
Struck down : SMOTE
The word "smote" is the past tense of the verb "smite," which means to strike or hit forcefully. Therefore, "smote" is the appropriate answer to the clue "struck down."
Tabloid pair : ITEM
The answer to "Tabloid pair" is "ITEM" because in tabloid newspapers, the term "item" is often used to refer to a romantic couple or a celebrity pairing.
Testing grounds for aspiring politicians : DEBATE TEAMS
The answer "DEBATE TEAMS" is the right solution because debate teams provide a platform for aspiring politicians to practice their public speaking and argumentative skills.
The answer is "SEX" because the clue is referring to the undertone or hidden meaning in Cole Porter's song "Let's Do It." The song is a playful and suggestive exploration of various creatures and their mating habits, making "SEX" the appropriate answer.
Vacancy sign : TO LET
The answer "TO LET" is the right solution because it is a common phrase used on vacancy signs to indicate that a property or space is available for rent.
What red might indicate : DEBT
The answer "DEBT" is the right solution because when something is "in the red," it means it is in a negative financial state or owes money. Therefore, red might indicate debt.
Worries over small details : FUSSES
The word "FUSSES" is the right solution to the clue "Worries over small details" because "fusses" means to be excessively concerned or worried about trivial matters. It perfectly captures the idea of being preoccupied with minor details, making it the correct answer.
The answer is "AUDIE" because Audie Cornish is a former co-host of the radio program "All Things Considered."
___ rights : EQUAL
The answer to "___ rights" is "EQUAL" because it refers to the principle of treating all individuals the same, without discrimination or bias based on factors such as gender, race, or religion.
The answer is "HANS" because Hans Zimmer is a well-known and Oscar-winning composer who worked on the soundtrack for the movie "Dune."
“Heck, yeah!” : DARN TOOTIN’!
The phrase "DARN TOOTIN’!" is a colloquial expression that means "Heck, yeah!" or "Absolutely!" It is a playful way of expressing strong agreement or affirmation.
“My deepest apologies” : I’M SO SORRY
The answer "I'M SO SORRY" fits the clue "My deepest apologies" because it is a common phrase used to express sincere regret or remorse.
The answer "DALIS" is the right solution because both "Venus de Milo With Drawers" and "Lobster Telephone" are famous works of art created by the surrealist artist Salvador Dali.