0921-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Sep 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Joon Pahk & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 19m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Villain who says “What you know, you know” : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

20 A symbol of Australia : OPAL

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

21 The Taj Mahal or Great Pyramid : TOMB

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and yet it is the only one of the Wonders that is basically intact today. Egyptologists believe that the structure took ten to twenty years to complete, and that it dates back to around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made structure in the world for nearly 3,900 years, until it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in England in 1311 AD.

24 Baby buggy? : LARVAL

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

26 Very rich : CALORIFIC

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as it is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be think in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

31 Biblical mount : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

43 Spot starter? : TEAKETTLE

I guess the reference here is to the oft-quoted English phrase “a spot of tea”. Mind you, I’ve only ever heard that said in jest …

46 James who is more than a little forward? : LEBRON

Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

49 Sun bloc? : WNBA

The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun joined the league as an expansion team in 1999 as the Orlando Miracle. The Miracle moved to Uncasville, Connecticut in 2003, changing their name to the Sun. For several years, the Sun were the only WNBA franchise that didn’t share the local market with an NBA team. That distinction ended when the NBA’s Supersonics relocated, leaving the WNBA’s Storm as the only professional team based in Seattle.

50 Island off the Tuscan coast : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

55 What results from an ace on a deuce : AD IN

In tennis, if the score reaches deuce (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces “ad in” or more formally “advantage in”. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

58 City near Sparks : RENO

Sparks is a city in Nevada that lies on the eastern side of Reno. The city was called Harriman originally, after a Southern Pacific Railroad president, and then renamed Sparks after a Nevada State Governor. The first non-Native American settlement in the area developed mainly from cattle trading. Cattle that were driven from Missouri and bound for California would stop in the area now known as Sparks, resting up before the arduous trek across the Sierra Nevada mountains. A business grew that involved trading cattle weary from the first part of the journey, swapping them for fresh animals. The tired beasts were then rested and fattened up to be traded again the following year for the journey on to California.

59 Role for which LeVar Burton was nominated for an Emmy : KUNTA KINTE

Actor LeVar Burton is very much associated with two iconic roles on television: young Kunta Kinte in “Roots”, and Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Burton also hosted the children’s PBS show “Reading Rainbow” for many years. His portrayal of Kunta Kinte in 1977 was Burton’s first acting job. Indeed, Burton’s audition for the part was the first in his professional career!

61 Hoi polloi : THE MASSES

“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term that translates literally as “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

Down

1 Noted film festival site since 2002 : TRIBECA

“TriBeCa” is a clever little acronym that expands into “TRI-angle BE-low CA-nal Street”. The name of the New York City neighborhood was developed by local residents who basically copied the naming technique used by residents of the adjacent area of SoHo, with “SoHo” being short for “SO-uth of HO-uston Street”.

2 Suckerfish : REMORAS

Remoras are also called “suckerfish”, which name is descriptive of one of the fish’s basic behaviors. One of the remoras dorsal fins is in the shape of a “sucker”, allowing it to take a firm hold on a larger marine animal, hitching a ride.

4 Performer in the first U.S. public radio broadcast, 1910 : CARUSO

Enrico Caruso was an Italian tenor from Naples, famous as one of the first opera singers to embrace the phonograph technology of the early 1900s. He made 290 recordings that were released between 1902 and 1920, and today they’re all available on CD or as digital downloads.

7 Italian menu palindrome : OSSO

“Osso” is the Italian word for bone, as in the name of the dish “osso buco” (bone with a hole), which features braised veal shanks.

9 Flare way up? : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

10 What a representative represents : DISTRICT

A member of the US House of Representatives is referred to either as a representative, a congressman, or a congresswoman.

15 Kind of grant : PELL

Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government to students in financial need so that they can attend college. The grant is named for Claiborne Pell, the US senator who sponsored the bill that introduced aid for students.

23 Actress Christina : RICCI

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

29 Salsa legend Cruz : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world, Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

33 Blues venues? : RINKS

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

34 TV Guide’s “Best Series of All Time,” with “The” : … SOPRANOS

“The Sopranos” is an outstanding television drama made by HBO that is a story about Italian-American mobsters in New Jersey. “The Sopranos” is regularly cited as one of the best TV series of all time. It’s “must see TV” …

35 Froyo mix-in : OREO

Frozen yogurt (“froyo” or “fro-yo”)

36 Apple worms, say : MALWARE

Malware is software and program code that is created to intentionally disrupt and exploit computer systems. Viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware are all covered by the term. “Malware” is short for “malicious software”.

40 Having a little chewiness : AL DENTE

The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.

44 Exuberant cry : EUREKA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

45 Some Caribbean islanders : TRINIS

A Trini is someone the island of Trinidad, located off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean that largely comprises the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Something related to Trinidad is Trinidadian.

47 Make out : NECK

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

52 ___ mi (Vietnamese sandwich) : BANH

The French introduced the baguette into Vietnam in the days the country was a French colony. Today, a single-serving baguette is known in Vietnam as “bánh mì” (meaning “wheat bread”). The term has been extended, particularly here in the US, to describe a Vietnamese sandwich.

53 Uffizi Gallery holding : ARTE

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest art museums in the western world and is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The Palazzo was built in 1560, intended to house the offices of the Florentine magistrates. This original usage gave the gallery its name, as “uffizi” is Italian for “offices”.

57 Houston, for one : SAM

Sam Houston was the first President of the Republic of Texas, a US Senator for Texas, and governor of the state. Houston was also Governor of Tennessee in his earlier life and is the only person in US history to have been governor of two different states. The city of Houston is named for Sam, and the nearby city of Huntsville boasts a statue of Houston that’s the largest freestanding statue of any American.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Obtain with difficulty : TRACK DOWN
10 You can’t make one by yourself : DEAL
14 Place where you pay for what you break : REPAIR SHOP
16 Villain who says “What you know, you know” : IAGO
17 “Wow” : IMPRESSIVE
18 See 19-Across : STEW
19 ___ bourguignon (variety of 18-Across) : BOEUF
20 A symbol of Australia : OPAL
21 The Taj Mahal or Great Pyramid : TOMB
22 It usually leaves crumbs : ERASER
24 Baby buggy? : LARVAL
26 Very rich : CALORIFIC
30 Not level with : LIE TO
31 Biblical mount : ASS
32 Group that’s on the take? : CAMERA CREW
34 Left, and then some : SOCIALIST
36 Reading, to Brits : MAJORING IN
39 Show dejection, in a way : SAG
42 Yawning, but not from boredom : AGAPE
43 Spot starter? : TEAKETTLE
46 James who is more than a little forward? : LEBRON
48 “You got that right!” : SURE DO!
49 Sun bloc? : WNBA
50 Island off the Tuscan coast : ELBA
54 Tenderer, maybe : RIPER
55 What results from an ace on a deuce : AD IN
56 Making rough : COARSENING
58 City near Sparks : RENO
59 Role for which LeVar Burton was nominated for an Emmy : KUNTA KINTE
60 Rowers’ workout machines, informally : ERGS
61 Hoi polloi : THE MASSES

Down

1 Noted film festival site since 2002 : TRIBECA
2 Suckerfish : REMORAS
3 Reacts to losing one’s hearing, perhaps : APPEALS
4 Performer in the first U.S. public radio broadcast, 1910 : CARUSO
5 Actor Sutherland : KIEFER
6 Profs, often : DRS
7 Italian menu palindrome : OSSO
8 First object made by humans to break the sound barrier : WHIP
9 Flare way up? : NOVA
10 What a representative represents : DISTRICT
11 Have dinner at a friend’s : EAT OVER
12 Contemporary : AGEMATE
13 “That was uncalled for” : LOW BLOW
15 Kind of grant : PELL
23 Actress Christina : RICCI
25 “I’m afraid …” : ALAS …
27 Barely perceptible : FAINT
28 Something that might need polishing : IMAGE
29 Salsa legend Cruz : CELIA
33 Blues venues? : RINKS
34 TV Guide’s “Best Series of All Time,” with “The” : … SOPRANOS
35 Froyo mix-in : OREO
36 Apple worms, say : MALWARE
37 Like some nonbinary people : AGENDER
38 Poking vigorously : JABBING
39 Laceless footwear : STEP-INS
40 Having a little chewiness : AL DENTE
41 1960s-’70s French president Pompidou : GEORGES
44 Exuberant cry : EUREKA
45 Some Caribbean islanders : TRINIS
47 Make out : NECK
51 Lug : LOUT
52 ___ mi (Vietnamese sandwich) : BANH
53 Uffizi Gallery holding : ARTE
57 Houston, for one : SAM

3 thoughts on “0921-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Sep 19, Saturday”

  1. 31:16, 2 look ups. Agree with Dave – not as hard as I thought it might be. Fewer neologisms and pop references than the usual.

    I thought the grammar for “Baby buggy” and LARVAL didn’t mesh until I realized that they’re referring to being like a baby bug not the nounn, a carriage…

    A+ for the clues for WHIP and CARUSO.

    Best –

  2. 56:54 Fortunately it’s Sunday, so not likely anybody will see this. This one was tough…as in tough, difficult, not tough al dente….now on to Sunday’s puzzle…

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