0321-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Julian Kwan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Mores

Themed answers sound like common phrases, but with an “ay” sound added at the end:

  • 23A Nod off at a self-serve restaurant? : SLEEP IN THE BUFFET (from “sleep in the buff”)
  • 34A Fancy flooring for an R.V.? : TRAILER PARQUET (from “trailer park”)
  • 50A What the prestigious ice sculptor had? : COLD HARD CACHET (from “cold hard cash”)
  • 69A “Let everyone else get some steak before taking seconds!” : YOU’VE HAD YOUR FILET (from “you’ve had your fill”)
  • 88A “We should stall!” : LET’S MAKE A DELAY (from “let’s make a deal”)
  • 103A Why no one hangs out in actors’ dressing rooms these days? : BACKSTAGE PASSE (from “backstage pass”)
  • 117A Bathroom fixture that one never asked for? : UNSOLICITED BIDET (from “unsolicited bid”)

Bill’s time: 19m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 SAT section eliminated by the College Board in 2021 : ESSAY

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

6 Firth person? : SCOT

“Firth” is a word used in England and Scotland for an inlet. It tends to be used in the same way as “fjord” is in Scandinavia.

10 Best-selling book of all time : BIBLE

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with annual sales running at about 100 million copies.

19 Sister-in-law of Prince William : PIPPA

Pippa Middleton is the younger sister of Kate Middleton, aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Pippa has been chased by the media ever since she appeared as the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding to Prince William.

23 Nod off at a self-serve restaurant? : SLEEP IN THE BUFFET (from “sleep in the buff”)

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

Buffe leather was commonly used in the 1500s, leather taken from the original buffalo, a type of ox. This concept of “buffe” as a hide or skin led to the phrase “in the buff”, meaning “in the nude”.

26 Jupiter, exempli gratia : DEUS

Jupiter, also known as Jove, was the king of the gods in the Roman tradition, as well as the god of sky and thunder. Jupiter was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus.

The Latin “exempli gratia” means “for the sake of example”, and is a phrase we often use in English. “Exempli gratia” is almost always shortened to “e.g.”

28 Sooner, informally : OKIE

The 1889 Indian Appropriations Act officially opened up the so-called Unassigned Lands, land in Oklahoma on which no Native American tribes had settled. Once the Act was signed, those lands became available for settlement. Those people who settled the same lands illegally, prior to the date specified, were termed “Sooners” as their situation was defined in the “sooner clause” of the Act. “Sooner State” is now a nickname for Oklahoma.

30 Get down and dirty, in dialect : RASSLE

“Rassle” is a slang word meaning “wrestle”.

34 Fancy flooring for an R.V.? : TRAILER PARQUET (from “trailer park”)

Parquetry is a geometric pattern using pieces of wood. It is often seen in flooring, but also in some items of furniture.

38 Home of Etihad Airways: Abbr. : UAE

Etihad Airways is the second largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after the airline called Emirates. “Etihad” loosely translates from Arabic as “union”, a reference to the union of emirates making up the UAE.

41 Hoops grp. : NBA

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

44 Like universal blood recipients : TYPE AB

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

50 What the prestigious ice sculptor had? : COLD HARD CACHET (from “cold hard cash”)

“Cachet” is a French word that we use in English for an official seal, usually one applied to a document. We also use the term figuratively. When we say that something has “a certain cachet”, we are implying that it has a certain level of prestige, as if some authority has given it a seal of approval.

61 Grammy-winning singer Cash : ROSANNE

Rosanne Cash is the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash, and is a successful singer in her own right.

63 Certain elite school : IVY

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

65 Back in the U.S.S.? : AFT

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

66 Org. to which Taft was elected president after serving as U.S. president : ABA

American Bar Association (ABA)

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The future president had served as dean and professor at the Cincinnati Law School. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

69 “Let everyone else get some steak before taking seconds!” : YOU’VE HAD YOUR FILET (from “you’ve had your fill”)

A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term “fillet” comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently, we applied the term to food because the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

77 Grand Central info : ETA

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the largest railroad station in the world in terms of the number of platforms (44). Those platforms are all underground, and on two levels. The official name for the facility is “Grand Central Terminal”. The name “Grand Central Station” is very common, and is actually the name of the facility that the terminal replaced in 1913.

82 Like many characters in Alison Bechdel cartoons : LESBIAN

American cartoonist Alison Bechdel introduced what’s now known as the Bechdel test in 1985. The test is used to highlight gender inequality in works of fiction. To pass the test, a work must feature at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a boy or a man. Apparently, only half of movies made meet this criterion.

84 Nintendo release of 2006 : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

85 Show runner : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

86 2013 Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical : PIPPIN

“Pippin” is a stage musical by Stephen Schwartz that was first produced in 1972, on Broadway. The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, for which work Fosse won two Tony Awards in 1973. The title character’s father in “Pippin” is named Charlemagne. The father-son characters are inspired by the Holy Roman Emperors Charlemagne and Pepin.

91 Long-stemmed mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

93 Egyptian god of the afterlife : OSIRIS

Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

94 Llama’s head? : ELS

There are two letters L (els) at the head of the word “llama”.

101 Target of the heckle “What game are you watching?!” : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

103 Why no one hangs out in actors’ dressing rooms these days? : BACKSTAGE PASSE (from “backstage pass”)

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

112 Part of lifeguard training : CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. I hear that nowadays, emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

113 Navigation app : WAZE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

115 Lucky charm : MOJO

The word “mojo”, meaning “magical charm, magnetism”, is probably of Creole origin.

116 American ___ (century plant) : ALOE

“Century plant” and “American aloe” are common names for the flowering plant Agave americana. The century plant lives for maybe 10-30 years (not a hundred!). It flowers only once, towards the end of a long life. It dies after flowering.

117 Bathroom fixture that one never asked for? : UNSOLICITED BIDET (from “unsolicited bid”)

“Bidet” is a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word “bidet” originally described a small horse or a pony. The bidet bathroom fixture was so called because one straddles it like a horse in order to use it.

Down

1 ___ salt (magnesium sulfate) : EPSOM

The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which the Epsom Derby is run every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across “Epsom salts” from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

2 Mixed martial arts great Anderson : SILVA

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.

4 Brief summary : APERCU

An apercu is a first view, a glance. By extension, the term “apercu” can also be used for a detached view, an overview or a short synopsis. “Aperçu” is French for “perceived”.

9 ___ the line : TOE

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

10 Trinket : BAUBLE

Trinkets and baubles are small ornaments, and often pieces of jewelry.

12 Many a maid of honor, informally : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

15 Marvel group led by Hercules : GOD SQUAD

Marvel Comics was founded in 1939 as Timely Comics, before becoming Atlas Comics in 1951 and eventually Marvel Comics in 1961. The “Marvel” brand had existed from day one, and Timely Comics’ first publication was “Marvel Comics #1” in October 1939. That first comic featured the superhero the Human Torch.

16 ___ monkey : RHESUS

The rhesus macaque is also known as the rhesus monkey. As it is widely available and is close to humans anatomically and physically, the rhesus macaque has been used in scientific research for decades. The rhesus monkey was used in the development of rabies, smallpox and polio vaccines, and it also gave its name to the rhesus factor that is used in blood-typing. It was also rhesus monkeys that were launched into space by the US and Soviet space programs. Humans and macaques share about 93% of their DNA and had a common ancestor about 25 million years ago.

17 Lucky charm : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

25 Cheese sometimes paired with fig jam : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry with fig jam.

31 Subject of the Iran-contra affair : ARMS DEAL

I think that there’s a slight typo in the clue; “Contra” should be headed with an uppercase letter C.

The Iran-Contra affair (also called “Irangate”) came to light in 1986. The “Iran” part of the scandal was the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration, initially to facilitate the release of US hostages. This was done in secret largely because there was ostensibly a US arms embargo in place against Iran. The “Contra” part of the scandal arose when the man in charge of the operation, Oliver North, took funds from the arms sales and funneled the cash to the Contra militants who were fighting to topple the government in Nicaragua.

35 Jessica of “L.A.’s Finest” : ALBA

Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

“L.A.’s Finest” is a police-drama series that first aired in 2019. It is a spin-off of the “Bad Boys” action-comedy film franchise. The movies starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the TV show stars Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union.

36 Believer in Jah : RASTA

“Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah”, and is a name often associated with the Rastafari movement.

41 Longtime procedural set in Washington, D.C. : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

43 Pass up? : ALLEY-OOP

An alley-oop is a play in basketball in which one player lobs the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

46 “All in the Family” mother : EDITH

Archie Bunker’s wife Edith was played by Jean Stapleton on the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family”. By 1980, Stapleton was growing tired of playing the role and appeared in fewer and fewer episodes. When the show’s spin-off series “Archie Bunker’s Place” premiered, the storyline revealed that Archie Bunker had just lost his wife, setting the tone for the new show.

47 Tissue that’s prone to tearing, for short : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

49 Italian car since 1907 : LANCIA

Vincenzo Lancia formed his car company in Turin, Italy in 1906. Lancia Automobiles is now part of Fiat, and has been so since 1969.

52 Sticks in a box? : CRAYONS

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

53 Style of women’s leather handbags : HOBO

A hobo bag is a rather unstructured-looking, crescent-shaped bag with a long strap and soft sides that tends to slump when set down. It’s called a hobo bag because the shape resembles that of the bundle carried by archetypal hobos on the ends of sticks resting on their shoulders.

54 Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

56 Piece with a title like “10 Best Places to …” : LISTICLE

A “listicle” is a form of writing used by some journalists and bloggers that is basically a list, but which is fleshed out with extra information for each list item. Typically, listicles have title such as “10 Ways to …”, “The 100 best …” or “The 10 Most …” The term “listicle” is a portmanteau of “list” and “article”.

57 First mate? : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

65 Johnson & Johnson skin care brand : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

The medical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was founded in 1886, not by two brothers as the name would suggest, but by three. Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson formed the company initially to manufacture ready-to-use surgical dressings.

70 Initial problem for a storied duckling : UGLINESS

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many fairy tales, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and is simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

75 Golden ratio symbol : PHI

The golden ratio, sometimes called the “golden mean” and denoted by the Greek letter phi, is a mathematical constant that often turns up in the world of art. Phi is approximately equal to 1.61, and is represented by the two distances, a and b, where (a+b)/a = a/b. Somehow we perceive the ratio of 1.61 as “pleasing” so it appears in many works of art and in building design. For example, many aspects of the Parthenon in Athens have a ratio of 1.61 (width compared to height). Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man also illustrates the golden ratio in the proportions of the human body, where he shows that the distance from the foot to the navel, compared to the distance from the navel to the head, is 1.61.

79 Actress Patricia of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” : NEAL

Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing a middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years’ later, she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child, but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a 1958 novella written by Truman Capote. Truman’s colorful protagonist in the story is Holiday “Holly” Golightly, who was played so very, very ably by Audrey Hepburn in the marvelous 1961 movie adaptation. It must be said that the film is a rather loose interpretation of Capote’s novella.

83 Gaudy jewelry : BLING

Bling-bling (often simply “bling”) is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

84 Word in obituaries : WAS

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

85 Eponymous member of the Ford family : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

89 Fictional establishment selling Duff Beer : MOE’S

The regulars on “The Simpsons” hang out at Moe’s Tavern, which is named for and run by Moe Szyslak. The most popular beer at Moe’s is Duff Beer. The name “Duff” is a reference to the real-life Duffy’s Tavern that used to be East 13th Street in Eugene, Oregon. “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening used to frequent Duffy’s regularly, and Moe’s looks very much like Duffy’s in terms of decor and floor plan.

92 Campsite org. : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

95 Antacid brand : MAALOX

Maalox is a brand of antacid that has been on sale since 1949.

96 Forms of some mythological sea creatures : OCTOPI

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

99 Bob hopes? : APPLES

Bobbing for apples is a game played on Halloween. Participants must hold their hands behind their backs and grab apples floating in a large basin of water, using only their mouths.

100 Garment worn with a choli : SARI

A choli is a blouse worn by women in the Indian subcontinent. It is a relatively short garment, and is usually worn along with a sari.

103 Make a goat : BLAME

A scapegoat is a person chosen to take the blame in place of others. The term comes from the Bible’s Book of Leviticus, which describes a goat that was cast into the desert along with the sins of the community.

104 Heavies : THUGS

Murderers and robbers given to harassing travelers in India were known locally as “thuggees”, from the Hindi word for “thief”. This gave us our contemporary word “thug”, meaning “brute”.

105 “Pearls Before ___” (comic strip) : SWINE

The comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” is written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis. Pastis used to be a lawyer in San Francisco. Quite a career change, huh? The title of the strip comes from the Bible. According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus states in the Sermon on the Mount:

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

108 Sculptor with a dedicated museum in Philadelphia : RODIN

Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor who was known for realistic representations of the human form. Two of Rodin’s most famous works started out as details from a larger work called “The Gates of Hell”. One of these details is “The Thinker”, and the other “The Kiss”.

118 Food service industry lobby, for short : NRA

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) was founded in 1919. Perhaps the most famous name associated with the association is Herman Cain. Cain ran for US president in 2011, with his 9-9-9 tax plan at the center of his platform. He passed away in 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

120 Male swan : COB

An adult male swan is a cob, and an adult female is a pen. Young swans are swanlings or cygnets.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 SAT section eliminated by the College Board in 2021 : ESSAY
6 Firth person? : SCOT
10 Best-selling book of all time : BIBLE
15 Get the attention of : GRAB
19 Sister-in-law of Prince William : PIPPA
20 Lead-in to pilot : AUTO-
21 Stick on : AFFIX
22 “Goodness gracious!” : OH ME!
23 Nod off at a self-serve restaurant? : SLEEP IN THE BUFFET (from “sleep in the buff”)
26 Jupiter, exempli gratia : DEUS
27 [Turn the page] : [OVER]
28 Sooner, informally : OKIE
29 Diamond stat : RBI
30 Get down and dirty, in dialect : RASSLE
32 Bovine disease : MAD COW
34 Fancy flooring for an R.V.? : TRAILER PARQUET (from “trailer park”)
38 Home of Etihad Airways: Abbr. : UAE
39 Eyeball creepily : LEER AT
40 Requirement : MUST
41 Hoops grp. : NBA
44 Like universal blood recipients : TYPE AB
48 One layer of a seven-layer dip : SALSA
50 What the prestigious ice sculptor had? : COLD HARD CACHET (from “cold hard cash”)
55 Unable to think clearly : ADDLED
59 Goes nowhere, say : IDLES
60 Word with holy or heating : … OIL
61 Grammy-winning singer Cash : ROSANNE
63 Certain elite school : IVY
64 Appear : SEEM
65 Back in the U.S.S.? : AFT
66 Org. to which Taft was elected president after serving as U.S. president : ABA
67 “Yes, that’s clear” : I CAN SEE
69 “Let everyone else get some steak before taking seconds!” : YOU’VE HAD YOUR FILET (from “you’ve had your fill”)
74 Mooches : SPONGES
76 Mate : BRO
77 Grand Central info : ETA
78 Surreptitious bit of communication : WINK
81 “What have we here!” : OHO!
82 Like many characters in Alison Bechdel cartoons : LESBIAN
84 Nintendo release of 2006 : WII
85 Show runner : EMCEE
86 2013 Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical : PIPPIN
88 “We should stall!” : LET’S MAKE A DELAY (from “let’s make a deal”)
91 Long-stemmed mushroom : ENOKI
93 Egyptian god of the afterlife : OSIRIS
94 Llama’s head? : ELS
95 Button clicked to see the rest of an article : MORE
97 Not out, say : ON BASE
101 Target of the heckle “What game are you watching?!” : REF
103 Why no one hangs out in actors’ dressing rooms these days? : BACKSTAGE PASSE (from “backstage pass”)
107 Played obnoxiously loudly : BLARED
111 At 10 or 11 p.m., say : LATISH
112 Part of lifeguard training : CPR
113 Navigation app : WAZE
115 Lucky charm : MOJO
116 American ___ (century plant) : ALOE
117 Bathroom fixture that one never asked for? : UNSOLICITED BIDET (from “unsolicited bid”)
122 Their heads get dirty : MOPS
123 Dirt : GRIME
124 Typos for exclamation marks if you fail to hit Shift : ONES
125 Opposite of neat : ON ICE
126 ___ strategy : EXIT
127 Fills to the max : SATES
128 Set (on) : BENT
129 Bathroom door sign : GENTS

Down

1 ___ salt (magnesium sulfate) : EPSOM
2 Mixed martial arts great Anderson : SILVA
3 What a hiree should be brought up to : SPEED
4 Brief summary : APERCU
5 Gab : YAP
6 Knocked in a pocket, in pool : SANK
7 Handle a job satisfactorily : CUT IT
8 Additional : OTHER
9 ___ the line : TOE
10 Trinket : BAUBLE
11 Less certain : IFFIER
12 Many a maid of honor, informally : BFF
13 Create an account? : LIE
14 Not included : EXTRA
15 Marvel group led by Hercules : GOD SQUAD
16 ___ monkey : RHESUS
17 Lucky charm : AMULET
18 Plague : BESET
24 “My treat next time!” : I OWE YA!
25 Cheese sometimes paired with fig jam : BRIE
31 Subject of the Iran-contra affair : ARMS DEAL
33 Requirements for witnesses : OATHS
35 Jessica of “L.A.’s Finest” : ALBA
36 Believer in Jah : RASTA
37 Book fair organizer, maybe, in brief : PTA
41 Longtime procedural set in Washington, D.C. : NCIS
42 Foreshadow : BODE
43 Pass up? : ALLEY-OOP
45 Declare : PROFESS
46 “All in the Family” mother : EDITH
47 Tissue that’s prone to tearing, for short : ACL
49 Italian car since 1907 : LANCIA
51 Enemy in the game Doom : DEMON
52 Sticks in a box? : CRAYONS
53 Style of women’s leather handbags : HOBO
54 Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn : ESAU
56 Piece with a title like “10 Best Places to …” : LISTICLE
57 First mate? : EVE
58 Recolor : DYE
62 Comparatively neat : NIFTIER
65 Johnson & Johnson skin care brand : AVEENO
68 Moniker after a lifestyle change : NEW ME
70 Initial problem for a storied duckling : UGLINESS
71 Man’s nickname that sounds like consecutive letters of the alphabet : ABIE
72 “Phooey!” : DRAT!
73 Japanese “energy healing” : REIKI
74 Bread for dipping : SOP
75 Golden ratio symbol : PHI
79 Actress Patricia of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” : NEAL
80 Phone, wallet, ___ (traveler’s mental checklist) : KEYS
83 Gaudy jewelry : BLING
84 Word in obituaries : WAS
85 Eponymous member of the Ford family : EDSEL
87 Most cheerful : PERKIEST
89 Fictional establishment selling Duff Beer : MOE’S
90 Option for an overnight guest : AIRBED
92 Campsite org. : KOA
95 Antacid brand : MAALOX
96 Forms of some mythological sea creatures : OCTOPI
98 Turn into : BECOME
99 Bob hopes? : APPLES
100 Garment worn with a choli : SARI
102 Something Pharaoh’s dream foretold in Genesis : FAMINE
103 Make a goat : BLAME
104 Heavies : THUGS
105 “Pearls Before ___” (comic strip) : SWINE
106 Put away : EATEN
108 Sculptor with a dedicated museum in Philadelphia : RODIN
109 Throw out : EJECT
110 Showers attention (on) : DOTES
114 Lemon bar ingredient : ZEST
118 Food service industry lobby, for short : NRA
119 Command to a dog : SIT
120 Male swan : COB
121 Slow (down) : BOG

9 thoughts on “0321-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 21, Sunday”

  1. 17:06. Smooth solve. So-so theme. I thought “sticks in a box” for CRAYONS was a pretty contrived clue.

  2. 46:26. I struggled with some of the smaller fills. Got the longer ones and the theme. Never heard of APERCU. Got it with crosses.

  3. 28:29, with a one-square error: At the end, I guessed the “I” at the intersection of “PIPPA” and “SILVA” (neither of which I actually knew). Or, at least, I thought I guessed the “I”. When the timer didn’t stop, I went back through the vowels and, when I finally got back to an “I”, it worked. So it’s clear that I managed to enter something other than an “I” at first … 😳. My age (or something worse) is showing … 🤪.

  4. 35:08. One square error at the “I” where REIKI and OSIRIS meet (??). I guessed “A” as the vowel.

    Some good cluing in this one. “Create an account” for LIE and “Bob hopes?” for APPLES to name two..

    Did anyone else get ABIE right away simply because you started going down the alphabet and hit it right away?

    Best –

  5. 1:24:03 got distracted by my insistence that all the gimmick clues had to end in “et”, since the first three did. Add to that having “Opie” instead of “Abie” and I was even slower than my normal slowness….

    1. Duncan – I thought of OPIE after the fact instead of ABIE. At least you didn’t have Volkswagen (VW)…..

    2. @Duncan…I too thought all the theme clues would end in “et” but some how I worked it out with no errors in 1:07:18…If you and I were Dr Seuss characters we would be SLow 1 & Slow 2 but we get it done!
      Happy Easter to all😀😀😀

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