0109-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Jan 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 26m 22s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Coltrane’s rendition of “My Favorite Things,” for one : JAZZ WALTZ

John Coltrane was a jazz saxophonist who also went by the nickname “Trane”. John’s son Ravi Coltrane is also a noted jazz saxophonist.

17 Marked by stately beauty : JUNOESQUE

Something described as “Junoesque” has a stately bearing, is likened to the goddess Juno.

19 Accessory that might have a netsuke attached : OBI

Netsuke are small Japanese sculptures. The original netsuke were both decorative and functional, serving as a small container as well as a fastener at the top of a robe’s sash.

20 Move fast, as clouds : SCUD

To scud is a move swiftly as if propelled forward. The term is often used with reference to clouds, scudding across the sky.

22 Modicum : BIT

A modicum is a small portion, with “modicum” coming into English from Latin, via Scottish. “Modicum” is Latin for “a little”.

26 North Carolina county near the Tennessee border : ASHE

Samuel Ashe was the Governor of North Carolina from 1795 to 1798. North Carolina’s Ashe County and the cities of Asheboro and Asheville are named in his honor.

35 ___ Crawford, the N.B.A.’s all-time leader in four-point plays : JAMAL

Jamal Crawford is an NBA basketball player from Seattle. In 2017, he broke the record for the most number of four-point plays in a single season.

38 Senior member : DOYEN

A doyen (feminine form “doyenne”) is the senior member of a group or class. The term is Middle French in origin, in which language it meant “commander of ten”.

42 V.I.P. of industry : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

44 Travelers from a faraway place, for short : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

45 Crow’s home : TEEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

The Crow Nation historically lived in the Yellowstone River valley in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. Most of the Crow people today live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana.

51 Biblical character who lived to be 912 years old : SETH

According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel. Adam and Eve had several children, but Cain, Abel and Seth are the ones mentioned by name. According to the Book of Genesis, Seth was born after Cain had slain his brother Abel.

55 Singer on the album “Live Peace in Toronto 1969” : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

59 Result of a clutch hit, maybe, for short : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

60 Sea serpent in the night sky : HYDRA

The Hydra of Lerna was a mythical sea snake that had multiple heads. Heracles had to slay the Lernaean Hydra as the second of his Twelve Labors. We now use the term “hydra” figuratively to describe a complex problem that presents new obstacles once one facet is resolved.

61 Sazerac garnish : LEMON PEEL

The classic New Orleans cocktail known as a Sazerac is a mixture of rye, absinthe, bitters and sugar. The use of rye is a little incongruous, given that the cocktail is named for Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac that was originally the base spirit.

64 How Prince Harry met Meghan Markle : BLIND DATE

Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, “Prince” Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”. In January 2020, Harry and Markle stepped back from their official duties, resulting in Harry losing the “Prince” title, and becoming plain old “Harry, Duke of Sussex”.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is a former actress, and an American-born member of the British royal family. As an actress, Meghan Markle (her birth name) is best known for playing Rachel Zane on the legal drama “Suits”. Markle met her future husband, Prince Harry, on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in 2016.

Down

1 Southwestern shrub that yields a cosmetic oil : JOJOBA

Jojoba oil is produced from the seed of the jojoba plant. The oil is used in the cosmetic industry as a replacement for the now banned whale oil. Jojoba oil is also a natural fungicide and is used to control mildew.

2 Wolf-headed god of Egyptian myth : ANUBIS

“Anubis” is the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian deity called “Inpu”, a god associated with death and mummification. Anubis’s role was to protect the dead and their tombs.

3 Summit : ZENITH

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

5 Obtain by force : WREST

The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The term comes from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

6 “Hit the bricks!” : AMSCRAY!

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

7 Plumlike fruits : LOQUATS

A loquat is an evergreen plant grown for its fruit and leaves, and as an ornamental. The fruit is orange when ripe, and tastes of peach, citrus and mango. The leaves are used to brew a tea known as “biwa cha” in Japan. The loquat also goes by the names Japanese plum and Chinese plum.

9 This is the end : ZEE

The letter named “zed” has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation “zee”, used in America today, first popped up in the 1670s. The spelling and pronunciation “zed” is still used in Britain and Ireland.

10 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks, in legend : ARGO

The Symplegades (usually “Clashing Rocks” in English) of Greek mythology were a pair of rocks encountered and defeated by Jason and the Argonauts. The rocks protected the Bosporus by clashing together and destroying vessels attempting to pass through the strait.

12 Anthem of the European Union : ODE TO JOY

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” has to be one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the classical repertoire. “Ode to Joy”, based on the final movement of the work, is now the anthem of the European Union. If you’d like to see a fictional tale that explores Beethoven’s life at the time he was writing the “Ninth Symphony”, I highly recommend you take a look at the 2006 movie “Copying Beethoven”. Ed Harris plays Beethoven, and the soundtrack is superb.

14 Finding a four-leaf clover, they say : GOOD OMEN

Clovers are species of flowering plants in the pea family. Famously, clover leaves are trifoliate, have three leaflets. There are about 5,000 three-leaf clovers for every 1 four-leaf clover, leading to the association of a four-leaf clover with good luck.

24 Acknowledgment of a debt : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

35 Everyman : JOE SCHMO

“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, and comes from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

37 Ice age beast : MASTODON

Mastodons were large mammals that were related to the modern elephant. Mastodons roamed the forest of North and Central America until they became extinct about 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. Their extinction is believed to have come about due to a rapid change in climate.

43 Master of meditation : ZEN MONK

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

46 ___ Hayden, actress who voices Milhouse on “The Simpsons” : PAMELA

Milhouse Van Houten is a character on the animated TV show “The Simpsons”. Milhouse is Bart Simpson’s best friend, and has a crush on Bart’s sister Lisa.

48 Doctor in an H. G. Wells novel : MOREAU

“The Island of Doctor Moreau” is an 1896 novel penned by H. G. Wells. The book tells the story of a shipwrecked man who ends up on the island of Doctor Moreau. Moreau engages in vivisection and creates new beasts (the “Beast Folk”) by combining different species. The novel was adapted into at least two films of the same name: in 1977 with Burt Lancaster and Michael York, and in 1996 with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.

49 Still being tested, say : IN BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

52 Head of cabbage? : HARD C

The starting letter of the word “cabbage” is a hard letter C.

57 Danny who played Walter Mitty : KAYE

Actor Danny Kaye was a big hit in his native US, but also in France. Kaye was the first ambassador-at-large for UNICEF and the French awarded him the Legion of Honor in 1986 for his work.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story by James Thurber that was first published in 1939 in “The New Yorker”. The story was made into a film in 1947 with Danny Kaye in the title role. The Danny Kaye film was remade in 2013 with Ben Stiller playing Mitty. Mitty is a mild-mannered man with a very active fantasy life.

61 Great Society monogram : LBJ

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

The Great Society was a social initiative launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-sixties. The initiative had the goal of eliminating poverty and racial injustice. Some of the Great Society programs still exist today, including Medicare and Medicaid.

62 “Stat!” : PDQ!

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Coltrane’s rendition of “My Favorite Things,” for one : JAZZ WALTZ
10 ___ friends : AMONG
15 A nonzero amount : ONE OR MORE
16 Word with car or talk : … RADIO
17 Marked by stately beauty : JUNOESQUE
18 Roman leader? : GRECO-
19 Accessory that might have a netsuke attached : OBI
20 Move fast, as clouds : SCUD
21 Like some letters and lines : DOTTED
22 Modicum : BIT
23 Very unfortunate : TRAGIC
25 C-worthy : SO-SO
26 North Carolina county near the Tennessee border : ASHE
28 Dined with a menu, say : ATE OUT
30 Quandary : JAM
31 Beams : RAYS
33 In heaven : UP ABOVE
35 ___ Crawford, the N.B.A.’s all-time leader in four-point plays : JAMAL
38 Senior member : DOYEN
39 But not that exactly : OF A SORT
42 V.I.P. of industry : CZAR
44 Travelers from a faraway place, for short : ETS
45 Crow’s home : TEEPEE
47 Release : EMIT
51 Biblical character who lived to be 912 years old : SETH
53 Gets down : LEARNS
55 Singer on the album “Live Peace in Toronto 1969” : ONO
56 Hoarse : CROAKY
58 Crib cry : MAMA!
59 Result of a clutch hit, maybe, for short : RBI
60 Sea serpent in the night sky : HYDRA
61 Sazerac garnish : LEMON PEEL
63 In a swing state? : MOODY
64 How Prince Harry met Meghan Markle : BLIND DATE
65 Modicum : OUNCE
66 Zip : JACK SQUAT

Down

1 Southwestern shrub that yields a cosmetic oil : JOJOBA
2 Wolf-headed god of Egyptian myth : ANUBIS
3 Summit : ZENITH
4 State of madness : ZOO
5 Obtain by force : WREST
6 “Hit the bricks!” : AMSCRAY!
7 Plumlike fruits : LOQUATS
8 Proceed wearily : TRUDGE
9 This is the end : ZEE
10 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks, in legend : ARGO
11 Selling points : MARTS
12 Anthem of the European Union : ODE TO JOY
13 Sarcastic response to backpedaling : NICE SAVE
14 Finding a four-leaf clover, they say : GOOD OMEN
21 Certain bra spec : D-CUP
24 Acknowledgment of a debt : IOU
27 Things sometimes named for kings : ERAS
29 Finish line? : TA-DA!
32 Scores : A LOT
34 Put to sleep : BORE
35 Everyman : JOE SCHMO
36 “Go ahead” : AFTER YOU
37 Ice age beast : MASTODON
40 Hinge (on) : RELY
41 Something shot from a cannon nowadays : TEE
42 Kind of tile : CERAMIC
43 Master of meditation : ZEN MONK
46 ___ Hayden, actress who voices Milhouse on “The Simpsons” : PAMELA
48 Doctor in an H. G. Wells novel : MOREAU
49 Still being tested, say : IN BETA
50 Can : TOILET
52 Head of cabbage? : HARD C
54 Does some shop class work : SANDS
57 Danny who played Walter Mitty : KAYE
61 Great Society monogram : LBJ
62 “Stat!” : PDQ!

7 thoughts on “0109-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Jan 21, Saturday”

  1. 20:16. One lookup at the end. Would have never guessed JAZZWALTZ. Pretty good time for a Saturday…for me.

  2. 27:43 with a cheat so really DNF. NW killed me with LOQUAT, JAZZWALTZ, ANUBIS, and JUNOESQUE all together like that. Ouch. Had to look up LOQUAT, and the Q helped me with JUNOESQUE. So one lucky lookup really. Tough one.

    10 mins, Nonny? Kudos

    Best –

  3. About 25 minutes with a couple breaks to get coffee. Excellent for me for a Saturday. Makes up for yesterday’s DNF (NE corner had me completely stumped). Also, this is the first time in weeks that I had no letter changes.

  4. 30:05. Similar to @Jeff. I was done in 15 min. except for NW corner, where I had a letter here and there. Did a lookup for 2D (never heard of ANUBIS) and was thinking of something like JOCANDA for 1D (too long, of course). Thought 1A might be JAZZ something but just couldn’t work it all out.

    At least I did today’s WA Post puzzle in 13+ minutes w/o any lookups or grid checks.

    Second the KUDOS to @Nonny.

  5. Well folks….1:04:36, this has been a painful week for me, crossword puzzle wise, but compared to events in the real world, it was a party. Just a party for turtles in molasses in January….

  6. Thanks for the kudos, guys (though I prefer Oreos 😜). This solve was very odd for me. I won’t go into all the sordid details, but … I did it at the end of a frustrating afternoon and evening, when I wasn’t all that happy with myself (or anything else) and I badly wanted to just get ‘er done and go to bed … and I guess, for once, my subconscious agreed, because I almost felt as if my “crossword lizard brain” were dictating the answers for me to type in. A strange (and, actually, not entirely pleasant) experience … 😳. (Weird things, gray cells … 🤪.)

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