0113-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Jan 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Matthew Stock
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): B-(Ball)Rated Movies

Themed answers are celebrated movies that have been clued with reference to NBA team players:

  • 20A Address by a Sacramento N.B.A. player? : THE KING’S SPEECH
  • 35A Game notes for a New Orleans N.B.A. player? : THE PELICAN BRIEF
  • 46A Charlotte N.B.A. player in charge of recycling? : THE GREEN HORNET

Bill’s time: 7m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Mary Lincoln’s maiden name : TODD

Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

9 Some drought-resistant plants : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

14 James of jazz : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

15 Leader in a kaffiyeh : EMIR

The kaffiyeh is a traditional headdress worn by Arab men and some Kurds. The kaffiyeh is fashioned from a square scarf usually made from cotton. The headdress takes its name from the city of Kufa. Although it has been worn for over a century, the kaffiyeh gained prominence when it was adopted by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

17 “Smile!” : SAY “CHEESE!”

Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese” to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” to achieve the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and many Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

19 Like tomes, typically : THICK

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

20 Address by a Sacramento N.B.A. player? : THE KING’S SPEECH

The Sacramento Kings are one of the oldest basketball franchises still operating, having been founded way back in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams. The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985 from Kansas City, Missouri.

“The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. “The King’s Speech” is the most successful British independent film of all time.

22 Padre’s hermana : TIA

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “padre” (father) is your “tia” (aunt).

23 Expansive septet : SEAS

The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

  • The North Pacific Ocean
  • The South Pacific Ocean
  • The North Atlantic Ocean
  • The South Atlantic Ocean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Southern Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean

29 Concern of the Citizens United decision, for short : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

32 Sharp-shooting Curry : STEPH

Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

34 Around 16 mg of niacin, e.g. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease pellagra. Pellagra is often described by “the four Ds”, the symptoms being diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death.

35 Game notes for a New Orleans N.B.A. player? : THE PELICAN BRIEF

The New Orleans Pelicans joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte. The team had to play two seasons in Oklahoma City due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, and played as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. After several years back in New Orleans, the franchise was renamed to the Pelicans, a nod to the Brown Pelican that is the Louisiana state bird.

40 “I give!” : UNCLE!

To say uncle is to submit or yield. This peculiarly American use of “uncle” dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

41 Surgery sites, for short : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

46 Charlotte N.B.A. player in charge of recycling? : THE GREEN HORNET

The Hornets are the NBA team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets were established as an expansion team in Charlotte in 1988, but moved and became the New Orleans Hornets in 2002. The NBA returned to North Carolina in 2004 with the establishment of the Charlotte Bobcats. The New Orleans franchise rebranded itself in 2013, becoming the Pelicans. As a result, the Charlotte Bobcats were able to change their name to the Hornets in 2014.

56 Wetlands denizen : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

57 TV show that launched more than 200 songs onto the Billboard Hot 100 : GLEE

The TV show “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

58 Work of cartography : ATLAS

Cartography is the art of producing maps.

Down

2 Home of the Anasazi State Park Museum : UTAH

The Ancient Pueblo Peoples were Native Americans who lived in what is now called the Four Corners area of the US. Archaeologists sometimes refer to these ancestral Pueblo peoples as the Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning “Ancient Ones”. The Pueblo name was given by early Spanish explorers in reference to the villages that they found. “Pueblo” is Spanish for “village”.

3 Ocular woe : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

6 Rolex rival : OMEGA

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon, Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that James Bond has been wearing an Omega watch in the movies since 1995.

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

9 Totally adorable : CUTE AS A BUTTON

We use the phrase “cute as a button” over here in North America. When I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic, we said “bright as a button”. I believe both phrases have the same meaning.

12 Silicon Valley specialty, familiarly : TECH

The Santa Clara Valley, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, is better known as “Silicon Valley”. The term “Silicon Valley” dates back to 1971 when it was apparently first used in a weekly trade newspaper called “Electronic News” in articles written by journalist Don Hoefler.

18 Make an effort to get swole : HIT THE WEIGHTS

I know, I know. “Swole” means nothing to me either …

25 Thin air : ETHER

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets. We’re still using the term “ether” with a similar meaning.

30 Best-selling musical artist whose album titles represent ages : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

31 Sights along Paris’s Champs-Élysées : CAFES

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where the righteous went after death, according to Greek mythology.

36 Hybrid feline : LIGER

The tiger is the largest species in the cat family. Tigers have been known to breed with lions. A liger is a cross between a male lion and female tiger. A tigon is a cross between a female lion and a male tiger.

37 Messenger molecule : 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.

43 Coarse-grained rock that splits easily : SCHIST

Schists are a family of metamorphic rocks. The name “schist” comes from the Greek word “schízein” meaning “to split”, and is a reference to the ease at which schists can be cleaved. Back in the mid-1700s, miners tended to use the terms “slate”, “shale” and “schist” interchangeably.

44 Car company founded in 2003 : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

45 Writer Nin : ANAIS

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

49 Dungeons & Dragons and others, for short : RPGS

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a complex role-playing game (RPG) introduced in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my youngest son …

50 4,100+ mile river that drains 11 countries : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

51 One-on-one Olympic event : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fair : JUST
5 Mary Lincoln’s maiden name : TODD
9 Some drought-resistant plants : CACTI
14 James of jazz : ETTA
15 Leader in a kaffiyeh : EMIR
16 Two- or four-seater, maybe? : USHER
17 “Smile!” : SAY “CHEESE!”
19 Like tomes, typically : THICK
20 Address by a Sacramento N.B.A. player? : THE KING’S SPEECH
22 Padre’s hermana : TIA
23 Expansive septet : SEAS
24 Make bubbly : AERATE
28 Hibernation stations : DENS
29 Concern of the Citizens United decision, for short : PAC
32 Sharp-shooting Curry : STEPH
33 Mass ___ : MEDIA
34 Around 16 mg of niacin, e.g. : RDA
35 Game notes for a New Orleans N.B.A. player? : THE PELICAN BRIEF
38 Officiate, informally : REF
39 😉 😉 😉 : WINKS
40 “I give!” : UNCLE!
41 Surgery sites, for short : ORS
42 Things that sometimes clash in orchestras? : EGOS
43 Amounts at risk : STAKES
44 Top ___ : TIER
45 Variety show segment : ACT
46 Charlotte N.B.A. player in charge of recycling? : THE GREEN HORNET
53 “Oof, that was bad” : YEESH
54 Gutter attachment : DRAINPIPE
55 Write an ode about, perhaps : EXALT
56 Wetlands denizen : IBIS
57 TV show that launched more than 200 songs onto the Billboard Hot 100 : GLEE
58 Work of cartography : ATLAS
59 Tree house? : NEST
60 Appear : SEEM

Down

1 Not be serious : JEST
2 Home of the Anasazi State Park Museum : UTAH
3 Ocular woe : STYE
4 Add (on) : TACK
5 ___-weenie : TEENIE
6 Rolex rival : OMEGA
7 Put-down : DISS
8 Impersonating, in a way : DRESSED AS
9 Totally adorable : CUTE AS A BUTTON
10 Grateful? : ASHES
11 Trendy : CHIC
12 Silicon Valley specialty, familiarly : TECH
13 Get to : IRK
18 Make an effort to get swole : HIT THE WEIGHTS
21 Corral : PEN IN
24 ___ Blaster (classic arcade game) : ASTRO
25 Thin air : ETHER
26 Some barriers to entry in the shipping business? : REEFS
27 Candy Crush or Angry Birds : APP
28 Places for aces : DECKS
29 Pierce slightly : PRICK
30 Best-selling musical artist whose album titles represent ages : ADELE
31 Sights along Paris’s Champs-Élysées : CAFES
33 Studied secondarily : MINORED IN
36 Hybrid feline : LIGER
37 Messenger molecule : RNA
43 Coarse-grained rock that splits easily : SCHIST
44 Car company founded in 2003 : TESLA
45 Writer Nin : ANAIS
46 Bit of typing by someone who’s all thumbs? : TEXT
47 Recover : HEAL
48 Flavorers in Italian cookery : ERBE
49 Dungeons & Dragons and others, for short : RPGS
50 4,100+ mile river that drains 11 countries : NILE
51 One-on-one Olympic event : EPEE
52 Overflow (with) : TEEM
53 “Up” vote : YEA

12 thoughts on “0113-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Jan 21, Wednesday”

  1. 16:15. Not quite in sync with this one. Doing it at 1:00 a.m. in the middle of a rain and wind storm. power cycled once already and internet dropped once. Guess I’m awake for a while.

    Misread 54A as “Guitar” attachment and could only think of RPGS as weapons. Unfamiliar with ERBE.

  2. Well, after a poor couple of days, I was in sync today. 11:03 and no real problem areas. Maybe it was my granddaughter’s viola practicing that soothed the savage beast!

  3. 12:30 Did you know “penguin” and “pelican” both fit? Did you know that “penguin” really messes up the entire solve for a minute or two? Did you know I don’t follow hockey or basketball closely? Now you know these things… 🙂

  4. 12:06. Doing this one several weeks late but still before it goes to syndication. The reason: I don’t remember why I didn’t do this one when it came out…

    The Russians don’t say anything when getting their pictures taken as they never smile in photos. I believe Kodak started the tradition of smiling in photos circa WWII…ish. I guess people seldom if ever smiled in photos before that. I heard that once so it must be true.

    Alaska Steve – I believe it’s …hath charms to sooth the savage bReast.

    As an addendum to that, I’ve read a recent study that suggests listening to music that makes you feel good can actually increase bloodflow in your arteries. In fact, the bloodflow increase is similar to that what takes place after aerobic exercise. Interestingly, music that annoys you has the exact opposite effect. So music has (hath) power either way.

    The study also said laughter has similar bloodflow benefits to the point that some cardiologists recommend diet, exercise, feel-good music and laughter to help prevent heart attacks.

    I seem to be rambling today..

    Best –

  5. 23:57 no errors…the SW corner was the last to fall.
    We have been getting so real crappy weather in Md. but we’re lucky compared to some of you guys.
    Stay safe😀

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