Acrostic Solution for Sunday, October 11, 2020

by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon


C(HARLES) C. MANN, FOURTEEN NINETY-ONE — [T]he Olmec... lived in cities and towns centered on temple mounds. ... They invented... systems of writing, established... trade networks, tracked the orbits of the planets,... and recorded their histories in... "books" of fig tree bark paper.

Full quote

Pride of place must go to the Olmec, the first technologically complex culture in the hemisphere. Appearing in the narrow "waist" of Mexico about 1800 B.C., they lived in cities and towns centered on temple mounds. Strewn among them were colossal male heads of stone, many six feet tall or more, with helmet-like headgear, perpetual frowns, and somewhat African features. the last of which has given rise to speculation that Olmec culture was inspired by voyagers from Africa. The Olmec were but the first of many societies that arose in Mesoamerica in this epoch. Most had religions that focused on human sacrifice, dark by contemporary standards, but their economic and scientific accomplishments were bright. They invented a dozen different systems of writing, established widespread trade networks, tracked the orbits of the planets, created a 365-day calendar (more accurate than its contemporaries in Europe), and recorded their histories in accordion-folded "books" of fig tree bark paper.

Clues and answers

A.Tool whose Mayan version starts with PopCALENDAR
B.Participants in an alien invasion, you might sayCOLONISTS
C.Brit's "central reservation," to American driversMEDIAN
D.Train between New York and MontrealADIRONDACK
E.1503 Amerigo Vespucci coinage, in English (2 wds.)NEWWORLD
F.Fort ____, where Colonel George Washington led (and lost) his first battleNECESSITY
G.Steps taken in tune with tradition (2 wds.)FOLKDANCE
H.Self-sufficient, energywise (hyph.)OFFGRID
I.Johnny-come-lately, arrivisteUPSTART
J.Part of a karmic cycleREBIRTH
K.Portable camp sheltersTEPEES
L.Competitive festival of Welsh music and poetryEISTEDDFOD
M.Field where Jackie Robinson played at homeEBBETS
N.The Cotton Club, the Copacabana or CBGBNIGHTSPOT
O.Stinging plantNETTLE
P.Tending to raise one's blood pressureIRKSOME
Q.What Boreas represented to ancient Greeks (2 wds.)NORTHWIND
R.Washington port on Puget SoundEVERETT
S.Wisconsin's position in order of statehoodTHIRTIETH
T.Place called "Ahwahnee" by its Miwok inhabitantsYOSEMITE
U.Watch, regard; commemorateOBSERVE
V.Polite turndown (2 wds.)NOTHANKS
W.Table of astronomical dataEPHEMERIS
This acrostic © 2020, The New York Times.   XWord Info © 2007-2021, Jim Horne.