0402-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Apr 21, Friday

Constructed by: Kyra Wilson & Sophia Maymudes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Veiled satire on Joseph Stalin : ANIMAL FARM

“Animal Farm” is a 1945 novella written by George Orwell, a satire of life in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Orwell had trouble getting his novel published in his homeland of the UK during WWII, as anti-Soviet literature wasn’t a good thing to publish while the UK and USSR were on the same side of a World War. In fact, one publisher who was willing to distribute the book changed his mind after being warned off by the British Ministry of Information. Given his experiences, I find it interesting that Orwell should write “Nineteen Eighty-Four” a few years later, and introduce the world to Big Brother.

11 Capital of Azerbaijan : BAKU

Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and sits on the Caspian Sea. It’s thought that the name “Baku” comes from the Persian “Bad-kube” meaning “wind-pounded city”.

15 First Korean to win the Best Director Oscar : BONG JOON-HO

“Parasite” is a 2019 comedy thriller movie from South Korea that became the nation’s highest-grossing film of all time. It was also the first movie not filmed in English to win the Oscar for Best Picture. I haven’t seen “Paradise” yet, but I hear great things from friends and family who have …

16 Father of Eros : 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.

18 Compost ingredient : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

Composting is the process of decomposing organic matter to make the soil conditioner known as “compost”. The term “compost” ultimately comes from the Latin “com” (together) and “ponere” (to place). Compost is best made by “putting together” green waste that is rich in nitrogen, with brown waste that is rich in carbon, all in the presence of water and air.

19 Toe preceder : -TAC-

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

20 Show of amor : BESO

In Spanish, a “beso” (kiss) is an “indicación de afecto” (display of affection).

21 Glazer of “Broad City” : ILANA

Ilana Glazer is a comedian from Long Island, New York. Glazer is the co-creator of the Comedy Central sitcom “Broad City” along with comedian Abbi Jacobson.

29 Will who voices BoJack Horseman on “BoJack Horseman” : ARNETT

Will Arnett is a Canadian actor who got his big break in the Fox show “Arrested Development”. Arnett’s father was the president and CEO of Molson Breweries, and Will was married to actress Penelope Ann Miller and actress/comedian Amy Poehler.

30 Even a smidgen : AT ALL

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 Old Testament figure who has a child while in her early 90s : SARAH

According to the Bible, Abraham’s son Isaac was born to Abraham’s wife Sarah when she was beyond her childbearing years and when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac himself lived until he was 180 years old. When Isaac was just a youth, Abraham was tested by Yahweh (God) and told to build an altar on which he was to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute, an angel appeared and stopped Abraham, telling him to sacrifice a ram instead.

32 Long way around town? : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

35 Lists on eBay, say : RESELLS

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

37 He or I, but not you? : ELEMENT

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

The chemical element iodine is a halogen (as are fluorine, chlorine and bromine) and has the symbol “I”. At room temperature, iodine is a purple-black solid. With heat, it melts into violet liquid, and at high temperatures a violet gas. The name “iodine” comes from the Greek “ioeides” meaning “violet-colored”.

39 Senator Klobuchar : AMY

Amy Klobuchar was elected to the US Senate in 2006, and became the first elected female senator for Minnesota when she took her seat in the following January. Former Second Lady of the US Muriel Humphrey was Minnesota’s first female senator. Ms. Humphrey was appointed to serve out the balance of her husband’s term after Hubert Humphrey died.

42 Group of zombies : HORDE

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

44 Poet who said “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” : ELIOT

T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

45 Like the “fact” that humans use only 10% of their brains : DEBUNKED

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

52 Fig. that always includes a decimal : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

55 Demographic of many TikTok users : GEN-Z

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generation that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools that facilitate production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

56 Oktoberfest garb : LEDERHOSEN

“Lederhosen” is the German word describing leather breeches, traditional garments worn by males in Bavaria and Austria.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve attended twice, and it really is a remarkable party …

59 Entr’___ : ACTE

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

Down

2 Observation from an observatory : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

4 Grand opening for a casino? : MGM …

MGM Resorts International is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, including the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993.

6 Start of a three-word alliterative name of a Shakespeare play : LOVE’S …

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” is a comedy by William Shakespeare that was first performed in 1597, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth I.

8 Where Catalan is the official language : ANDORRA

Andorra is a small principality nestled in the Pyrénées between France and Spain. Andorra is a very prosperous country, mainly due to its status as a tax haven and thriving tourist industry. We used to help out the tourist industry there in the winters, enjoying a couple of skiing vacations there. Happy memories …

10 Many a fed. holiday : MON

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

11 It may keep you on your toes : BALLET

“En pointe” is ballet dancing on the tips of the toes, and is a French term. A ballerina wears pointe shoes (sometimes “toe shoes”) to perform this delightful-looking, albeit unhealthy, feat (pun!).

13 Actor Reeves : KEANU

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”.

21 Tony-winning musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda during his second year of college : IN THE HEIGHTS

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

23 ___ Woods, lead character in “Legally Blonde” : ELLE

“LEGALLY blonde” is a 2001 comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon as a girlish sorority president who heads to Harvard to earn a law degree. “LEGALLY blonde” was successful enough to warrant two sequels as well as a spin-off musical that played most successfully in London’s West End (for 974 performances).

26 Cassady who inspired Kerouac : NEAL

Neal Cassady was a member of the Beat Generation, the group of post-WWII writers who became prominent in the 1950s. Cassady was the inspiration for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”.

27 Figure skater Lipinski : TARA

When American skater Tara Lipinski won the figure skating gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, she was only 15 years old. To this day, Lipinski is the youngest person to win an individual gold at the Winter Games.

28 Romantic couple : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

32 What Bristol Bay is an arm of : BERING SEA

The Bering Sea, in the very north of the Pacific Ocean, is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

34 Proofer’s 33-Down : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

38 Mexican sauce made from chili peppers and chocolate : MOLE

Mole sauce comes in various guises, with “mole negro” including everyone’s favorite ingredient, namely chocolate.

43 Messed (with) : FUTZED

To futz around is to waste time on trivial matters, to fool around. “Futz” is probably derived from a “not-so-nice” word that has been merged with “putz”.

45 Painter and devotee of 11-Down : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

47 African language family : BANTU

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

51 Bug spray ingredient : DEET

“DEET” is short for “N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide”, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

53 Lute shape : PEAR

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

56 Colorless, odorless drug : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

57 First mammal to be cloned : EWE

Dolly is the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

58 Food scrap : ORT

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Veiled satire on Joseph Stalin : ANIMAL FARM
11 Capital of Azerbaijan : BAKU
15 First Korean to win the Best Director Oscar : BONG JOON-HO
16 Father of Eros : ARES
17 “We are not getting back together” : I’VE MOVED ON
18 Compost ingredient : LOAM
19 Toe preceder : -TAC-
20 Show of amor : BESO
21 Glazer of “Broad City” : ILANA
22 Puts in stitches : SEWS
24 One who is so close (and yet so far) : RUNNER-UP
27 Part of a promotion negotiation : TITLE
29 Will who voices BoJack Horseman on “BoJack Horseman” : ARNETT
30 Even a smidgen : AT ALL
31 Old Testament figure who has a child while in her early 90s : SARAH
32 Long way around town? : BUS
35 Lists on eBay, say : RESELLS
37 He or I, but not you? : ELEMENT
39 Senator Klobuchar : AMY
40 Smears : DAUBS
42 Group of zombies : HORDE
43 Style : FORMAT
44 Poet who said “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” : ELIOT
45 Like the “fact” that humans use only 10% of their brains : DEBUNKED
48 Adverb in both French and Spanish : BIEN
49 Thrill : ELATE
50 “Gotcha!,” once : I DIG!
52 Fig. that always includes a decimal : GPA
55 Demographic of many TikTok users : GEN-Z
56 Oktoberfest garb : LEDERHOSEN
59 Entr’___ : ACTE
60 Rhyming term for a dessert : SWEET TREAT
61 What might be on the tip of your tongue? : STUD
62 Killer look : DEATH STARE

Down

1 Slightly : A BIT
2 Observation from an observatory : NOVA
3 Super-happy : IN ECSTASY
4 Grand opening for a casino? : MGM …
5 A+ work : A JOB WELL DONE
6 Start of a three-word alliterative name of a Shakespeare play : LOVE’S …
7 Rivals : FOES
8 Where Catalan is the official language : ANDORRA
9 Letter seen in a Christogram : RHO
10 Many a fed. holiday : MON
11 It may keep you on your toes : BALLET
12 Like a cheering crowd : AROAR
13 Actor Reeves : KEANU
14 Hanging on a classroom wall, maybe : US MAP
21 Tony-winning musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda during his second year of college : IN THE HEIGHTS
23 ___ Woods, lead character in “Legally Blonde” : ELLE
25 Turbulence : UNREST
26 Cassady who inspired Kerouac : NEAL
27 Figure skater Lipinski : TARA
28 Romantic couple : ITEM
29 Take on : ASSUME
32 What Bristol Bay is an arm of : BERING SEA
33 Ctrl+Z : UNDO
34 Proofer’s 33-Down : STET
36 Joy ride, for example : LARK
38 Mexican sauce made from chili peppers and chocolate : MOLE
41 “I’d think twice about that” : BAD IDEA
43 Messed (with) : FUTZED
45 Painter and devotee of 11-Down : DEGAS
46 About to be in office : ELECT
47 African language family : BANTU
48 Special delivery : BIRTH
51 Bug spray ingredient : DEET
53 Lute shape : PEAR
54 Kick in : ANTE
56 Colorless, odorless drug : LSD
57 First mammal to be cloned : EWE
58 Food scrap : ORT

8 thoughts on “0402-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Apr 21, Friday”

  1. 12:35 First pass thru the Acrosses yielded just a couple toeholds and then I got rolling with the downs. Seems like there were a lot of proper names in this one and really not too much misdirection in the cluing. This is a Friday best time for me, so I must have really been in sync with the setter.

  2. 11:04. Took me a little while to get going, and I worked from the bottom up, because originally for 1A I was thinking something of Russian origin. Seemed about right for a Friday for me.

  3. 11:58, no errors. Very much enjoyed “He or I, but not you?” for “ELEMENT”. You’d think, after all the time I’ve spent doing these things, the answer would have come immediately, but no, I paused for a few seconds … 😜. Sheesh!

  4. 9:29. Seemed easy for a Friday. My average is 20 minutes. It would have been my record, but I got stuck on “Tip” preceding “toe” and it took half a minute to suss out.

  5. 35:18 thank goodness for down answers, except when they don’t help 🙂 Had “fussed” instead of “futzed” initially, fixed it with the acrosses. NW was all filled in with down clues, hope I’m never on Jeopardy when the category is “Korean Best Director Award Winners”. I stand in awe of you solvers with sub 15 minute solve times!

  6. 26:16. Slowed down and had a much harder time at the bottom than I did at the top.

    I read both ANIMAL FARM and 1984. Both are as relevant today as they were when they came out – perhaps even more so.

    Never been to an Oktoberfest, but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

    Best –

  7. 24:27. Unlike @Jeff, I started at the bottom and finished in the NW. I was in Leavenworth (WA) this winter with grandkids and we couldn’t find kiddie sized LEDERHOSEN. 😒

  8. Addendum: watched Jeopardy tonight…what name should pop up in one of the answer clues? Bong Joon Ho…

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