0101-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 21, Friday

Constructed by: Milo Beckman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: 2021

Happy New Year, everyone! Themed answers make use of the numbers 2021 in the center of the grid:

  • 37A A fifth : 20 PERCENT
  • 39A Fast-fashion retailer : FOREVER 21
  • 19D Inescapable bind : CATCH-22
  • 38D First graduates of the new millennium, informally : ‘01 ALUMS

Bill’s time: 14m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Part of N.A.A.C.P.: Abbr. : ASSN

The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moskowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. The date chosen for the founding of the NAACP was February 12th, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the man most visibly associated with the emancipation of African-American slaves.

16 Do a vet’s job on : SPAY

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

17 German conjunction : UND

“Und” is German for “and”.

20 Prefix with -graph : EPI-

In the world of literature, an epigraph is a few words at the beginning of a composition that sets forth a theme, and is often a quotation. The term “epigraph” can also be used for an inscription on maybe a building or a statue.

23 Résumé asset, in brief : MBA

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

26 Animal known to “juggle” rocks : OTTER

Sea otters actually hold hands while sleeping on their backs so that they don’t drift apart. When sea otter pups are too small to lock hands, they clamber up onto their mother’s belly and nap there.

36 Test with a Social Studies sect. : GED

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of four tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

43 Outdoor apparel chain : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

44 Title heroine of a James Joyce story : EVELINE

“Dubliners” is a collection of 15 short stories by Irish author James Joyce, published in 1914. The stories illustrate middle class life around the city of Dublin in the early 1900s.

51 Passé : SO LAST YEAR

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

54 Work on software : DEBUG

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

55 Need for protein synthesis : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

56 Things shortened at bitly.com : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

69 Patriarch Stark of “Game of Thrones” : NED

Ned Stark is the protagonist in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, although his character doesn’t exactly come out on top by the end of the story. Stark is played by actor Sean Bean in the HBO television adaptation of the novel.

70 ___ Park Corner (London tube station) : HYDE

Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London. A famous element in Hyde Park is Speakers’ Corner, which is located in the northeast corner of the park. Speakers’ Corner was the site of the infamous Tyburn gallows that was used for public executions in centuries past. Today, Speakers’ Corner is a site for public speech and debate, and a center for public protest. Some say that the tradition of allowing free speech at the site dates back to the condemned man being allowed to say his final words prior to execution at the Tyburn gallows.

Down

5 Small Pacific salmon : COHO

The Coho salmon is dark blue with silver along the side of its body, but only during the phase of its life while it is in the ocean. When spawning and heading up into a freshwater river, the Coho has bright red sides.

11 12/31 : NYE

New Year’s Eve (NYE)

12 Onetime Bravo series or its Netflix reboot : QUEER EYE

“Queer Eye” is a reality TV show that was launched in 2003 as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Each episode features a panel of gay professional experts in the fields of fashion and design giving a makeover to a straight man.

13 Term for a censored dissident in “1984” : UNPERSON

George Orwell’s famous novel actually has the title “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (as opposed to “1984”), with the date spelled out.

14 Censors, say : EDITS OUT

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

19 Inescapable bind : CATCH-22

“Catch-22” is a novel by Joseph Heller set during WWII. The title refers to absurd bureaucratic constraints that soldiers had to suffer. Heller’s “Catch 22” was invoked by an army psychiatrist to explain that any pilot requesting to be evaluated for insanity, to avoid flying dangerous missions, had to be sane as only a sane man would try to get out of such missions. The term “catch-22” has entered the language and describes a paradoxical situation from which one can’t escape due to contradictory rules; one loses, no matter what choice one makes.

23 Dashboard abbr. : MPG

Miles per gallon (mpg)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

30 Movie villain with a signature pinky gesture : DR EVIL

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

31 Pulitzer-winning poet W. H. ___ : AUDEN

Noted poet W. H. Auden was born and raised in England, but eventually became a US citizen. As well as hundreds of poems, Auden also wrote librettos for operas, including Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress”.

35 Cops’ targets : PERPS

Perpetrator (perp)

38 First graduates of the new millennium, informally : ‘01 ALUMS

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

41 Refused to accept the status quo, say : REVOLTED

“Status quo” translates from Latin as “state in which”, and in English is used to mean the existing condition or state of affairs.

46 Crowning event? : PAGEANT

Marian Bergeron was the 1933 winner of the Miss America Pageant, held in Atlantic City. Bergeron was from Connecticut, and is the only New Englander to have won the contest. Also, she was only 15½ years old when she won, making her the youngest Miss America in history.

54 Only one of the Seven Dwarfs without a beard : DOPEY

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

59 Best Supporting Actor winner for “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 film that tells the real-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof. Woodroof smuggled unapproved AIDS drugs across the US border into Texas in opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The movie won the Best Actor Oscar for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

60 Honorifics that can be repeated to indicate higher status : SRIS

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

65 Special gift, for short : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pirates : HIJACKS
8 Part of N.A.A.C.P.: Abbr. : ASSN
12 “___ rico!” (“Delicious!”: Sp.) : QUE
15 Start of a haughty declaration : I FOR ONE …
16 Do a vet’s job on : SPAY
17 German conjunction : UND
18 Like some mushrooms : PSYCHOACTIVE
20 Prefix with -graph : EPI-
21 You might get a kick out of this at a restaurant : HOT SAUCE
22 Parts of the body that are slightly larger in the evening than morning : FEET
23 Résumé asset, in brief : MBA
26 Animal known to “juggle” rocks : OTTER
27 Chokes, say : ERRS
28 Did a hook spin or knee swing : POLE-DANCED
32 “It’s true!” : ARE SO!
33 Backdrop for the Compromise of 1850 : GOLD RUSH
34 “I don’t care either way” : UP TO YOU
36 Test with a Social Studies sect. : GED
37 A fifth : 20 PERCENT
39 Fast-fashion retailer : FOREVER 21
43 Outdoor apparel chain : REI
44 Title heroine of a James Joyce story : EVELINE
45 Modern marketplace : APP STORE
50 Party hearty : REVEL
51 Passé : SO LAST YEAR
53 Opposite of petit : GROS
54 Work on software : DEBUG
55 Need for protein synthesis : RNA
56 Things shortened at bitly.com : URLS
57 Some instant breakfast packets : OATMEALS
61 Complete a lap? : SIT
62 Star student’s goal : A-PLUS AVERAGE
66 Emotive verse : ODE
67 Isn’t oblivious : SEES
68 Isn’t oblivious : NOTICES
69 Patriarch Stark of “Game of Thrones” : NED
70 ___ Park Corner (London tube station) : HYDE
71 Basic dance move : TWO-STEP

Down

1 In : HIP
2 Cases to consider : IFS
3 Delight : JOY
4 Principal : ARCH
5 Small Pacific salmon : COHO
6 Metaphor for a tricky problem : KNOT
7 TV sets? : SEASONS
8 Hard to fool : ASTUTE
9 Enlivened : SPICED UP
10 Screen ___ : SAVER
11 12/31 : NYE
12 Onetime Bravo series or its Netflix reboot : QUEER EYE
13 Term for a censored dissident in “1984” : UNPERSON
14 Censors, say : EDITS OUT
19 Inescapable bind : CATCH-22
22 Unrestrained violence : FEROCITY
23 Dashboard abbr. : MPG
24 Appropriately named ghost in Nintendo games : BOO
25 More than most : ALL
29 Without borders : EDGELESS
30 Movie villain with a signature pinky gesture : DR EVIL
31 Pulitzer-winning poet W. H. ___ : AUDEN
32 Still : AT REST
35 Cops’ targets : PERPS
38 First graduates of the new millennium, informally : ‘01 ALUMS
39 Missouri setting of 2014 civil rights protests : FERGUSON
40 Countermand : OVERRIDE
41 Refused to accept the status quo, say : REVOLTED
42 Made more waterproof, maybe : RESEALED
46 Crowning event? : PAGEANT
47 Poetic contraction : O’ER
48 Took off : RAN
49 Timeline division : ERA
52 Thickheaded : OBTUSE
54 Only one of the Seven Dwarfs without a beard : DOPEY
58 Say frankly : AVOW
59 Best Supporting Actor winner for “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO
60 Honorifics that can be repeated to indicate higher status : SRIS
62 Traditional source of fertilizer : ASH
63 Do one’s part? : ACT
64 “Hadn’t thought of it like that” : GEE
65 Special gift, for short : ESP

13 thoughts on “0101-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 21, Friday”

  1. 20:21. Now wouldn’t that be something for a time!! Actually 31:44. Had trouble gaining traction early and mostly worked my way from the bottom up. Took a while to think there would be numbers in the answers but the 20% and then CATCH22 solidified it. NW corner last to fall because I had MAIN for a long while vs ARCH.

    I looked back at the 01/01/20 puzzle (a Weds.) and it had Y2K in its center entry as well as Dr. “xxxx” as an entry. Will DR EVIL be a recurring theme in New Years Day puzzles?

    Happy 2021 to all!

  2. 18:42, no errors, and it just struck me that this was a 16×16 puzzle – almost 14% larger than normal! Let’s hope this is a good omen for a bountiful New Year! (And yes … I’m grasping at straws here, but … after the train wreck of a year that was 2020, I think I can be excused … 😜.)

  3. 28:30. Ron, In 809 years that will be a great time to have on New Years Day….

    More missteps than I can list here, but I was able to overcome them.

    Love how they worked in 2021. Very clever. And putting – – PERCENT for “A fifth” was a kind way of letting us in on it. I have to admit I was looking for something to do with a fifth of booze, but it was just NYE after all.

    Once again good riddance, 2020, and welcome 2021.

    Best –

  4. Aaaaand last place for the first puzzle of 2021 goes to me(surprise!) with 58:02! Had most of it done in 30 minutes or so, but the northwest took almost an equal amount of time. “Arch” for “Principle”? Please explain… I knew Mike Meyers was the actor, but finally solicited my daughter’s input for “Dr. Evil”. Happy New Year to y’all!

  5. Oh man did I get bedazzled… I actually figured out the CATCH 22 and nd 20 percent and the FOREVER 21 but completely failed to see 2021 and Happy New Year.. maybe because it’s now february… thats what I get for not subscribing.

    Quite a puzzle. It took me awhile.. about 45 minutes

  6. 1:23:35 in what seemed like 3 hours and I had forever 20 for 21.
    I guess the only rule for setters is their are no rules👎
    Stay safe😀

  7. I would really have liked to ace this one as I initially didn’t think I had a chance. Ended up one square off due to 00ALUMNS/FOREVER20.
    Difficult otherwise and it took some effort to insert numbers into the grid.

  8. 23:21, 2 errors: FOREVER 2(0)/0(0) ALUMS. Agree with Anon Mike, today’s gimmick would have been more apparent on Jan 1st.

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