0102-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Jan 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Some “M*A*S*H” characters : ASTERISKS

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

19 Mauna ___ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

23 Show one’s humanity, perhaps : ERR

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.

25 ___ Sword (night sky sight) : ORION’S

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

27 Vessels for vintners : TUNS

A tun is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 252 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

31 Merck work, for short : PHARMA

“Big Pharma” is a nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The monker comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Merck & Co., Inc. is a US company, once a subsidiary of the German company known today as Merck KGaA. The US subsidiary of the German firm was confiscated in 1917 during WWI, and set up as an independent company that grew into the giant that it is today.

36 Noted relationship in physics : E EQUALS M C-SQUARED

In Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc², “E” stands for energy, “m” stands for mass, and “c” stands for the speed of light.

41 Word sometimes followed, mysteriously, by an ellipsis : UNLESS

An ellipsis is a series of dots (usually three) used to indicate an omission in some text. The term comes from the Greek word “élleipsis”, which means “omission”.

44 Sci-fi leader of the Resistance : LEIA

In the first “Star Wars” movie, Princess Leia hides plans for the Galactic Empire’s Death Star in the droid named R2-D2. She also records a holographic message, so when it is played we can see Princess Leia as a hologram, asking for help to destroy the Death Star:

I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

45 So-called “People of the Sun” : AZTECS

The Aztec people of Central America dominated the region in the 14th – 16th centuries. Two traits of the Aztec people are oft cited today. They built some magnificent pyramids, and they also engaged in human sacrifice. The two traits were linked in a way … for the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.

47 Philharmonic sect. : STR

An orchestra (orch.) has a string (str.) section.

50 Euro forerunner : ECU

The European Currency Unit (ECU) was an interim unit of account used in the European Community for just over ten years before the Euro was launched in 1999. The ECU existed alongside the legacy European currencies as the Community worked to stabilize exchange rates in the run-up to the Euro’s launch.

57 Caribbean locale across the water from Morro Castle : OLD HAVANA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

Morro Castle (“Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro” in Spanish) is a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana Bay in Cuba. The castle was built by the Spanish in 1859. The name “Morro” means “rock visible from the sea”.

60 Like much Halloween candy : BITE-SIZED

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

62 Shanghai or Mumbai : PORT CITY

Shanghai is a major city on the east coast of China that is home to the busiest container port in the world. The name “Shanghai” translates as “Upon-the-Sea”.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

Down

2 Paper, vis-à-vis scissors : LOSER

Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people, at least here in North America. Back in Ireland we called the game “scissors-paper-stone”, and another name encountered around the English-speaking world is “roshambo”. The game is often used as a way to choose between two options or two people.

4 Browns, in brief : CLE

The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl. And, the Browns are the only NFL team without a logo on their helmets.

5 Actress Russell of “The Americans” : KERI

Actress Keri Russell’s big break in television came with the title role in the drama show “Felicity” that ran from 1998 from 2002. The lead character in the show is Felicity Porter, a young lady introduced to the audience with a head of long curly blonde hair. Famously, Russell cut her hair extremely short at the start of the second season, an action that was associated with a significant drop in the show’s viewership. Russell had to grow out her hair over the season. I haven’t seen “Felicity”, but I really do enjoy Russell playing one of the leads in the entertaining Cold War drama called “The Americans” that is aired by FX.

“The Americans” is a very engaging drama series set during the Cold War that features two KGB spies living as a married couple just outside Washington, D.C. The show was created by Joe Weisberg, who is a novelist and former CIA officer. The lead roles in “The Americans” are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

6 Rap sheet, so to speak : CRIMINAL RECORD

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

8 Capital on the Cape Verde peninsula : DAKAR

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

10 Musica, for one, in ancient Rome : ARS

In Latin, “musica” (music) is an “ars” (art).

11 Like some exotic drinks at tiki bars : SET ON FIRE

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

14 “Family Feud” airer : GSN

Game Show Network (GSN)

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even have a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

26 “Très chic!” : OO LA LA!

“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

28 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

30 Smidges : TADS

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

31 Simon of the “Mission: Impossible” movies : PEGG

Simon Pegg is an English actor and comedian who has hit the big time in Hollywood in the past few years. He played “Scotty” in a couple of “Star Trek” movies and tech wizard Benji Dunn in some of the “Mission: Impossible” films.

33 Dance-based class in a pool : AQUA ZUMBA

The exercise program known as “Zumba” was developed in the mid-nineties in Cali, Colombia by dancer and choreographer Beto Perez. Along with two partners, Perez introduced a series of fitness videos that they sold using infomercials. The name “Zumba” is just an arbitrary brand name.

38 Sea urchin in sushi : UNI

Sea urchins are globular, spiny creatures found just about everywhere in the ocean. The “roe” of a sea urchin is eaten as a delicacy in several cuisines around the world. In a sushi restaurant, the sea urchin roe is called “uni”. The term “roe” normally means “fish eggs”, but in the case of the sea urchin it refers to the gonads of both the male and female.

43 Mortal mother of Dionysus : SEMELE

Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

44 Stopped a ship using the wind, in nautical lingo : LAID TO

A sailing vessel that is “hove to” is pointed into the wind, with the foresail “backed” so that it tries to push the bow away from the wind. At the same time, the mainsail works to push the bow into the wind. The end result is that the vessel remains relatively stationary. Another technique used to stop a sailboat is to “lie to”. A vessel “lying to” is usually pointed about 45-degrees off the wind, with the sails let loose, just flapping.

46 Fluorescent bulb, maybe : TULIP

We usually associate the cultivation of tulips with the Netherlands, but they were first grown commercially in the Ottoman Empire. The name “tulip” ultimately derives from the Ottoman Turkish word “tulbend” that means “muslin, gauze”.

47 Language of southern Africa : SWAZI

The Kingdom of Swaziland is located in southern Africa and is a nation almost completely surrounded by South Africa. Swaziland is quite a small country, only 120 miles long from north to south, and 80 miles from east to west.

48 2020 Christopher Nolan sci-fi thriller : TENET

British director Christopher Nolan is best known for “rescuing” the floundering Batman movie franchise. In that series, Nolan directed “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”. He was also at the helm of a couple of sci-fi movies that I really enjoyed, namely “Inception” (2010) and “Interstellar” (2014).

50 Bit of work : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

58 Trader ___ : VIC

The “Vic” in “Trader Vic’s” is Victor Jules Bergeron Jr, the founder of the chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants. “Vic” started with just $500 of borrowed money in Oakland, California in 1934, taking over his first establishment. He changed the name to Trader Vic’s, and introduced the Polynesian theme. By the time the sixties rolled round, he had 25 Trader Vic’s restaurants up and running all round the world.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Delicacy also known as sablefish : BLACK COD
9 Band for an awards ceremony, maybe : SASH
13 It has wheels and flies : ROLLER BAG
15 Work one’s way through, as a maze : THREAD
17 Some “M*A*S*H” characters : ASTERISKS
18 Speed up : HUSTLE
19 Mauna ___ : KEA
20 “That wasn’t just talk on my part” : I MEANT IT
22 Canceled : OFF
23 Show one’s humanity, perhaps : ERR
24 Where the flash drive was invented: Abbr. : ISR
25 ___ Sword (night sky sight) : ORION’S
27 Vessels for vintners : TUNS
29 The lion’s share : MOST OF IT
31 Merck work, for short : PHARMA
34 Aren’t wrong? : AIN’T
35 Actress/YouTube star Koshy : LIZA
36 Noted relationship in physics : E EQUALS M C-SQUARED
39 Bond : GLUE
40 Pirate’s activity : RAID
41 Word sometimes followed, mysteriously, by an ellipsis : UNLESS
42 Artificial object in orbit? : GLASS EYE
44 Sci-fi leader of the Resistance : LEIA
45 So-called “People of the Sun” : AZTECS
46 Shade from the sun : TAN
47 Philharmonic sect. : STR
50 Euro forerunner : ECU
51 Milk, slangily : MOO JUICE
54 “He hath but a little ___ face”: Shak. : WEE
55 Child’s one-piece outer garment : ROMPER
57 Caribbean locale across the water from Morro Castle : OLD HAVANA
59 Become incapable of parting? : GO BALD
60 Like much Halloween candy : BITE-SIZED
61 “You’re ___!” (reproof) : LATE
62 Shanghai or Mumbai : PORT CITY

Down

1 Slow down : BRAKE
2 Paper, vis-à-vis scissors : LOSER
3 Promising area : ALTAR
4 Browns, in brief : CLE
5 Actress Russell of “The Americans” : KERI
6 Rap sheet, so to speak : CRIMINAL RECORD
7 Dwell (on) : OBSESS
8 Capital on the Cape Verde peninsula : DAKAR
9 “That’s enough out of you!” : SHUT IT!
10 Musica, for one, in ancient Rome : ARS
11 Like some exotic drinks at tiki bars : SET ON FIRE
12 Fits in between? : HALF-SIZES
14 “Family Feud” airer : GSN
15 Drink that you could really use : THIRST QUENCHER
16 “Hi” follower : -DEF
21 Arthur and Garfield, for two : TOONS
26 “Très chic!” : OO LA LA!
27 Level best? : TRUEST
28 Actress Thurman : UMA
29 “___ Up” (N.F.L. feature with in-game dialogue) : MIC’D
30 Smidges : TADS
31 Simon of the “Mission: Impossible” movies : PEGG
32 Do-o-ope : HELLA COOL
33 Dance-based class in a pool : AQUA ZUMBA
34 German : Freundin :: French : ___ : AMIE
37 Go-ahead : SAY-SO
38 Sea urchin in sushi : UNI
43 Mortal mother of Dionysus : SEMELE
44 Stopped a ship using the wind, in nautical lingo : LAID TO
46 Fluorescent bulb, maybe : TULIP
47 Language of southern Africa : SWAZI
48 2020 Christopher Nolan sci-fi thriller : TENET
49 Primed : READY
50 Bit of work : ERG
52 Bit of work : JOB
53 Three o’clock, so to speak : EAST
56 Back stroke? : PAT
58 Trader ___ : VIC

22 thoughts on “0102-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Jan 21, Saturday”

  1. 43:21 With one lookup. SE corner was my bane. Stared at it for at least 15 minutes and added a letter every now and then. Why I could not come up with TULIP for 46D having T??IP, JOB for 52D, having ??B I just don’t know. Seems so obvious now.

  2. 34:01, no errors. I spent a good bit of time on three “Down” entries in the lower left (HELLACOOL, AQUAZUMBA, and SEMELE); crossing entries finally came to the rescue. (And, actually, the rest of the puzzle wasn’t all that easy … 😜!)

  3. 25:16 after changing HELLAGOOD to HELLACOOL. Took a few minutes to find that. Last solve with my son, so look for my times to slow back down. 😢

  4. 29:56. For some reason I didn’t do this puzzle back when it came out on Jan 2 so I’m doing it with the syndicated crew. A lot came to me quickly in this one except in the SW. Pretty much the same experience as Nonny there.

    Rock-paper-scissors reminds me of the “Monty Python” skit when they were seeing who gets left behind to take “the other way out”:

    Stone, stone, stone and scissors. Now scissors cut everything, right?
    Not stones, sir.
    They’re very good scissors…

    It’s funnier in context.

    Best –

  5. DNF – Had 2 lookups. Off to a good start in upper left.. got part of middle left ten stuck. Couldn’t get a foothold. HELLACOOL? and AQUAZUMBA were way too elusive. I had HELLA and AQUAZ but couldn’t finish. Made several versions of 55A. ONESIE DIAPER JUMPER and finally ROMPER.

  6. Very odd, I printed the grid and the the third row from the bottom was double height. I figured it was some kind of a gimmick , but it was just some glitch with my printer.

  7. All of the so called Tiki drinks, with one exception, were invented by Trader Vic or Don the Beachcomber. The exception, a Doctor Funk, (a real doctor who was RLS’s doctor) invented it in Samoa to help Stevenson survive the heat. This is one of my favorite drinks to make at home, any time of the year.

  8. Close, but a couple of unknowns that I couldn’t fill with crosses.
    I really enjoyed 17-A and 42-A. Another Fri/Sat 0-fer-2.

  9. Flummoxed by grid layout starting at 55A. All spaces are double sized vertically, suggesting some sort of double letter or double word entry. Was this just an aberration of the STLPD or did other papers have the same thing?

  10. First puzzle I’ve given up on in years. Newspaper version had double sized squares for the entire 55 across line. I was thinking it was a world record rebus.

  11. 1:12:10 with 3 errors all in 32&33D…it’s very disheartening to work hard at a puzzle only to err on two “never heard of” clues.
    55&57A were double sized in the paper version of this one for no apparent reason.
    Not a fun puzzle at all 👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  12. 47:27, no errors. Ready to toss in the towel many times; persistence paid off. Went down the same ONESIE/JUMPER/ROMPER rabbit hole as several others. GLASS EYE was the last entry to fall for me. My problem was entering AMIS (friends) in 34D, which would correspond to the German freunden; as opposed to AMIE (girlfriend) which corresponds to the German freundin. Worthy Saturday challenge.

  13. My print version also had over sized spaces in the third from bottom row. It must be some trick none of has grokked yet. I hope some one has the answer. I’ll check back tomorrow or Monday to see if any one can explain.

  14. I’m also intrigued by the double depth row. Has it got anything to do with the grid being 16×15 instead of the usual square?The double depth row does square up the overall size of the grid.

  15. Read too many comics when I was young
    Screwed myself with Asterixes

    Typical: Never heard of “roller bag” : not discussed???

    Also Double height at 55a in print: WHY?

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