0125-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Jan 21, Monday

Constructed by: Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: You’re Fired!

Themed answers each end with a synonym of “FIRE, dismiss”:

  • 62A Dreaded cry from a boss … or a hint to the ends of 18-, 23-, 40- and 53-Across : YOU’RE FIRED!
  • 18A Oscar the Grouch’s home : GARBAGE CAN
  • 23A Old weapon in hand-to-hand combat : BATTLEAXE
  • 40A Result of a football blitz, maybe : QUARTERBACK SACK
  • 53A Bit of fashionable footwear : ANKLE BOOT

Bill’s time: 6m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Modern Persia : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

5 Arnaz who loved Lucy : DESI

Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

14 “Finding ___” (2003 Pixar film) : NEMO

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

16 Name said twice before “Wherefore art thou” : ROMEO

In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

17 In vogue : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

18 Oscar the Grouch’s home : GARBAGE CAN

Oscar the Grouch is the Muppet that lives in a garbage can. Oscar’s persona comes from various sources. He is named after Oscar Brand who was one of the board members of the Children’s Television Workshop, the backers for “Sesame Street” as the Muppets were being developed in the sixties. Oscar’s personality was inspired by an angry waiter that once served Jim Henson (father of the Muppets). The voice was modeled on a grumpy New York cab driver encountered one day by Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who brings Oscar to life.

20 International Court of Justice location, with “The” : … HAGUE

“Den Haag” is the Dutch name for the city in the Netherlands that we know in English as “The Hague”. Even though the Hague is the seat of the Dutch parliament and is where Queen Beatrix resides, it is not the country’s capital city. That honor goes to Amsterdam.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is commonly referred to as the World Court, and is based in the Hague in the Netherlands. Housed in a building known as the Peace Palace, the ICJ is the main judicial branch of the United Nations. One of the court’s functions is to settle disputes between UN member states. The US no longer accepts the jurisdiction of the ICJ, after the court’s 1986 decision that the USA’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law. The UN Security Council is charged with enforcing the ICJ rulings, and so the US used its veto power on the council in the Nicaragua v. United States case.

22 Bulls in a bullfight : TOROS

We translate the Spanish phrase “Plaza de Toros” as “bullring”, and bullfighting is known as “corrida de toros” in Spain. Bullfighting can also be seen in Portugal, southern France and in parts of Latin America.

33 Emergency call in Morse code : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

39 With 60-Across, one of two U.S. vice presidents to resign from office : SPIRO …
(60A See 39-Across : … AGNEW)

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

John C. Calhoun served as Vice President of the US for both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Calhoun became the first US vice president to resign, when he did so three months before Andrew Jackson’s administration ended. The resignation was a tactical move, allowing him to run for the office of US Senator representing South Carolina.

40 Result of a football blitz, maybe : QUARTERBACK SACK

In football, a blitz (also “red dog”) is a maneuver by players in the line of scrimmage designed to quickly overwhelm the opposing quarterback.

45 Exercise that might be done on a mat : YOGA

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

47 Like vinegar : ACIDIC

Our word “vinegar” comes from the French “vinaigre”, which means the same thing. “Vinaigre” comes from the French “vin” meaning “wine” and “aigre” meaning “sour”.

52 English channel, informally, with “the” : … BEEB

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

58 Home in the shape of a dome : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

68 Texas ___ (school NW of Houston) : A AND M

Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (hence “A&M”) and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

The city of Houston, Texas was named for General Sam Houston, who served as President of the Republic of Texas and then as Governor after Texas was annexed as a US state in 1845. As the city is home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston was officially given the nickname “Space City” in 1967.

70 It’s a plot! : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

72 Rival of Harvard : YALE

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

73 Wood for boat decks : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

Down

9 Best Picture winner set in 1-Across : ARGO
(1A Modern Persia : IRAN)

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

10 Swims at the Y, say : DOES LAPS

The YMCA (the Y) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

11 “The Walking Dead” network : AMC

“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show made by AMC that is based on a comic book series of the same name. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be caught “dead” watching it …

12 Cause of a sleepless night for a princess, in a fairy tale : PEA

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all lived happily ever after …

19 Greek counterpart of Mars : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

24 Zap with a light beam : LASE

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

27 Classic work that’s the basis for Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” : ILIAD

William Shakespeare wrote his tragedy “Troilus and Cressida” in 1602. The play was inspired by “The Iliad”, and is a retelling of events during the Trojan War leading up to the death of Hector.

29 Not having two nickels to rub together : BROKE

The 5-cent American coin known as a nickel is actually made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The first nickel was introduced in 1866, and was named the Shield nickel due to the shield design on the front of the coin. The current design is the Jefferson nickel, which was introduced in 1938.

33 Fledgling pigeon : SQUAB

A young bird is said to have fledged when its wing muscles and feathers have developed enough for it to fly. The term “fledgling” is used for a bird that has fledged, but is still reliant on a parent for food and protection. The verb “to fledge” means “to acquire feathers”. We use the term “fledgling” more generally to describe any person who is inexperienced.

34 Weight whose abbreviation ends in a “z,” oddly : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

35 “Sexy” lady in a Beatles song : SADIE

“Sexy Sadie” is a song written by John Lennon and released by the Beatles in 1968. Lennon wrote the song in India, and its original title was “Maharishi”.

37 Blood grouping system : ABO

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

38 Hole-some breakfast food? : BAGEL

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

41 Nickname for the Cardinals, with “the” : REDBIRDS

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

43 Zoo enclosure : CAGE

The world’s first zoo opened in Britain in 1820. Now known as “London Zoo”, the facility was referred to back then as the “Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London”. The term “zoo” is a shortening of “zoological”.

50 Lawyers’ org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

55 Land with a demilitarized zone : KOREA

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The centerline of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

63 Regatta implement : OAR

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

66 Dr. of hip-hop : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Modern Persia : IRAN
5 Arnaz who loved Lucy : DESI
9 Become acclimated : ADAPT
14 “Finding ___” (2003 Pixar film) : NEMO
15 Alternative to a wood, in golf : IRON
16 Name said twice before “Wherefore art thou” : ROMEO
17 In vogue : CHIC
18 Oscar the Grouch’s home : GARBAGE CAN
20 International Court of Justice location, with “The” : … HAGUE
22 Bulls in a bullfight : TOROS
23 Old weapon in hand-to-hand combat : BATTLEAXE
26 Place for a nest : LIMB
30 Digital picture, maybe : SCAN
31 Less fresh : STALER
33 Emergency call in Morse code : SOS
36 Wild guess : STAB
39 With 60-Across, one of two U.S. vice presidents to resign from office : SPIRO …
40 Result of a football blitz, maybe : QUARTERBACK SACK
44 Completely anesthetized : UNDER
45 Exercise that might be done on a mat : YOGA
46 Cover gray, perhaps : DYE
47 Like vinegar : ACIDIC
49 “Holy moly!” : EGAD!
52 English channel, informally, with “the” : … BEEB
53 Bit of fashionable footwear : ANKLE BOOT
58 Home in the shape of a dome : IGLOO
60 See 39-Across : … AGNEW
62 Dreaded cry from a boss … or a hint to the ends of 18-, 23-, 40- and 53-Across : YOU’RE FIRED!
67 Listing in a travel guide : SITE
68 Texas ___ (school NW of Houston) : A AND M
69 Dealer in futures? : SEER
70 It’s a plot! : ACRE
71 News media : PRESS
72 Rival of Harvard : YALE
73 Wood for boat decks : TEAK

Down

1 Not give an ___ (be stubborn) : INCH
2 Give a makeover, informally : REHAB
3 Spanish girlfriend : AMIGA
4 “Hey, don’t jump in front of me in the line!” : NO CUTS!
5 Insult : DIG
6 Time span sometimes named after a president : ERA
7 Rather, informally : SORTA
8 Where work may pile up : INBOX
9 Best Picture winner set in 1-Across : ARGO
10 Swims at the Y, say : DOES LAPS
11 “The Walking Dead” network : AMC
12 Cause of a sleepless night for a princess, in a fairy tale : PEA
13 Whole bunch : TON
19 Greek counterpart of Mars : ARES
21 Yadda, yadda, yadda : ETC
24 Zap with a light beam : LASE
25 Contest attempt : ENTRY
27 Classic work that’s the basis for Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” : ILIAD
28 “Goodness gracious!” : MERCY!
29 Not having two nickels to rub together : BROKE
32 “For shame!” : TSK!
33 Fledgling pigeon : SQUAB
34 Weight whose abbreviation ends in a “z,” oddly : OUNCE
35 “Sexy” lady in a Beatles song : SADIE
37 Blood grouping system : ABO
38 Hole-some breakfast food? : BAGEL
41 Nickname for the Cardinals, with “the” : REDBIRDS
42 Prefix with -pod or -partite : TRI-
43 Zoo enclosure : CAGE
48 Foal : mare :: ___ : cow : CALF
50 Lawyers’ org. : ABA
51 Took care of someone else’s pooch : DOGSAT
54 Loud : NOISY
55 Land with a demilitarized zone : KOREA
56 Delayed : ON ICE
57 Four: Prefix : TETRA-
59 Insets in a crown : GEMS
61 Line on a calendar : WEEK
62 Talk, talk, talk : YAP
63 Regatta implement : OAR
64 French “a” : UNE
65 Wriggly fish : EEL
66 Dr. of hip-hop : DRE

10 thoughts on “0125-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Jan 21, Monday”

  1. 6:22. Monday puzzle. I do them only to get me to the later week puzzles.

    It’s Monday, and it’s cold and rainy here in Las Vegas so I’m feeling a little like Oscar the Grouch today.

    Best –

  2. No errors.. Noone ook issue with 62D? YAP?
    Isnt YAP a noun referring to the mouth vs the act of talk, talk, talk which is YAK??
    It’s monday..

    1. According to Wiktionary YAP has several meanings:
      1. The high-pitched bark of a small dog, or similar.
      2. Casual talk; chatter.
      3. The mouth, which produces speech.
      4. A badly behaved child; a brat.

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