0409-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Apr 21, Friday

Constructed by: Jamey Smith
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Second word of a game name that rhymes with the first : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

14 “It is impossible to love and to be ___”: Francis Bacon : WISE

The English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon wrote a celebrated and respected collection of essays called “The Essayes”, first published in 1597. My favorite of these essays is “Of Simulation and Dissimulation”, which observes

Dissimulation, in the negative; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not, that he is… Simulation, in the affirmative; when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be, that he is not.

19 Superpower of Cyclops in the “X-Men” films : EYE BEAM

The X-Men are a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays, the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains whom the X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

20 Mrs., in Madrid : SRA

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

21 “___ más!” : UNO

In Spanish, one might request “uno más” (one more) in a “cantina” (canteen, café).

25 Big Mac ingredient : SPECIAL SAUCE

The dressing on a McDonald’s Big Mac was first described as a “special sauce” in a 1974 advertising campaign. Apparently, the “special sauce” is no “secret sauce”, as the recipe can be found quite readily online. It consists of a mixture of regular mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard all blended together, with some vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.

29 Cargo area : BAY

Cargo is freight carried by some vehicle. The term “cargo” comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

34 Amazon ___ : ANT

Amazon ants are referred to as “slave-raiding” ants. They rob the pupae from related species and use the captured ants as “slaves”. The “slaves” do virtually all the work needed to maintain the Amazon ant nest, including provision of food and nursing the young.

35 Meme animals : LOLCATS

A lolcat is an image of a cat with a humorous message superimposed in text. Such images have been around since the late 1800s, but the term “lolcat” only surfaced in 2006 as the phenomenon was sweeping across the Internet. “Lolcat” is a melding of the acronym for “laugh out loud” (LOL) and “cat”.

37 When doubled, a 2010s dance : NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

38 Caribbean capital : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery has lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

41 Precursor to a big flop? : TERA-

The performance of a computer in carrying out scientific calculations is sometimes measured in “FLOPS”. FLOPS stands for “floating-point operations per second”.

48 Sheets often come in it : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

49 Sports org. for the Colorado Eagles and Texas Stars : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

50 Red side, for short : GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

51 The world’s wealthiest family : WALTONS

Walmart (previously “Wal-Mart”) takes in more revenue than any other publicly traded company in the world. Over in my homeland, Walmart operates under the name Asda. Walmart’s worldwide headquarters are in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime. You can actually go into the original store, as it is now the Walmart Visitor Center.

57 U.S. Open tennis champion of 2018 and 2020 : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles.

58 Harold ___, Manhattan Project scientist : UREY

Harold Urey won the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the hydrogen isotope deuterium. Urey also speculated that the Earth’s early atmosphere might have consisted of ammonia, methane and hydrogen. One of Urey’s students conducted the Miller-Urey experiment, which showed that such a mixture of gases can produce amino acids if exposed to electric sparks and water. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are sometimes referred to as the building blocks of life.

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

62 Actress Niecy on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : NASH

Niecy Nash is a comedian and actress who played Deputy Raineesha Williams in the comedy show “Reno 911!” Nash is one of the celebrities to have participated in the reality competition “Dancing with the Stars”, taking fifth place in the tenth season.

Down

3 Impossible Foods products : FAKE MEATS

Heme (also “haem”) is an organic structure containing iron, and is a component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports primarily oxygen around the body. It is the “heme” in “hemoglobin” that binds the oxygen atoms. A plant-derived version of heme is the magic ingredient in the famous (and delicious) Impossible Burger that has become so popular on vegetarian menus.

5 Per ___ : DIEM

“Per diem” is the Latin for “by the day”. We tend to use the term for a daily allowance for expenses when traveling for work.

7 Performer with a single fan? : GEISHA

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

9 América del ___ : SUR

“América del sur” is Spanish for “South America”.

10 Opposite of svelte : STOUT

“Svelte” comes into English from Latin, via the Italian “svelto” meaning “stretched out”. Something or someone described as svelte would be slender and graceful.

11 Something held for a stretch : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

14 Hit 1991 film starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss : WHAT ABOUT BOB?

Actor and comedian Bill Murray got his big break on “Saturday Night Live” when he replaced the departing Chevy Chase in the show’s second season. Murray then launched an hugely successful film career, starring in a host of hit movies such as “Caddyshack”, “Stripes”, “Tootsie”, “Ghostbusters”, “What About Bob?” and “Groundhog Day”. His film career took off again with a lead role in 2003’s “Lost in Translation”. A favorite Bill Murray movie of mine is 2012’s “Hyde Park on the Hudson”, in which Murray plays President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss is from New York City, although he grew up in Los Angeles. Dreyfuss got his big break with a lead role in 1973’s “American Graffiti” and then made a name for himself in two Steven Spielberg blockbusters: “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. He won the 1978 Best Actor Oscar for his wonderful performance in “The Goodbye Girl”, making him the youngest actor to be so honored at that time (he was 30 years old).

17 Hatcher who told Seinfeld “And by the way, they’re real … and they’re spectacular!” : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

23 Freudian concerns : PSYCHES

Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The superego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist, and founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry. One of Freud’s tenets was that our dreams are a necessary part of sleep as they prevent the dreamer from awakening due to desire for unfulfilled wishes. The dream’s content represents those unfulfilled wishes and satisfies the desire.

25 ___ song : SWAN

The phrase “swan song” is used for a final gesture, a last performance. The expression derives from an ancient belief that swans are silent for most of their lives, but sing a beautiful song just before they die.

26 Enrique ___ Nieto, 2012-18 Mexican president : PENA

Enrique Peña Nieto served as President of Mexico from 2012 to 2018. Soon after taking office, President Nieto struggled with a plummeting approval rating that was initially due to a sluggish economy and a weakened Mexican Peso.

27 Staples Center team, on scoreboards : LAL

The Staples Center is a sports arena in Los Angeles that opened in 1999. The Staples Center is home to several sporting franchises, including the LA Lakers and LA Clippers basketball teams and the LA Kings hockey team.

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

31 William Henry Harrison’s cause of death, after just 31 days in office : PNEUMONIA

President William Henry Harrison died in 1841, after only one month in office, simply from complications arising from a cold. Harrison was the oldest person to assume the office of US president, until President Reagan in 1981. He was the first president to die in office, and served the shortest tenure.

36 ___ Lingus : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline Ryanair.

43 Ballyhoo : HYPE UP

“Ballyhoo”, meaning “hype, publicity”, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!

47 Deity with 99 names : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

51 Bird on the South Carolina state quarter : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

52 CURE and CARE, e.g. : NGOS

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

55 Kamala Harris’s college sorority, for short : AKA

Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 [scoff] : [PFFT]
5 Break some ground : DIG
8 Feature of The New York Review of Books : ESSAY
13 Second word of a game name that rhymes with the first : ALAI
14 “It is impossible to love and to be ___”: Francis Bacon : WISE
15 Daft : NUTSO
16 Be above pettiness : TAKE THE HIGH ROAD
19 Superpower of Cyclops in the “X-Men” films : EYE BEAM
20 Mrs., in Madrid : SRA
21 “___ más!” : UNO
22 Part of many a gas station : MART
23 What happens when two people miss each other a lot? : PHONE TAG
25 Big Mac ingredient : SPECIAL SAUCE
28 Like a bad signal : WEAK
29 Cargo area : BAY
30 Eye, slangily : PEEPER
34 Amazon ___ : ANT
35 Meme animals : LOLCATS
37 When doubled, a 2010s dance : NAE
38 Caribbean capital : NASSAU
40 Little laugh : HEH!
41 Precursor to a big flop? : TERA-
42 Newly single and ready to mingle : ON THE REBOUND
45 Last bunch to board, typically : STANDBYS
48 Sheets often come in it : REAM
49 Sports org. for the Colorado Eagles and Texas Stars : AHL
50 Red side, for short : GOP
51 The world’s wealthiest family : WALTONS
54 Quick swim in freezing cold water : POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
57 U.S. Open tennis champion of 2018 and 2020 : OSAKA
58 Harold ___, Manhattan Project scientist : UREY
59 Hoot : RIOT
60 Fix up : REHAB
61 Stock holder? : PEN
62 Actress Niecy on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : NASH

Down

1 Dome : PATE
2 Severely criticize : FLAY
3 Impossible Foods products : FAKE MEATS
4 Put into a ponytail, e.g. : TIE BACK
5 Per ___ : DIEM
6 “Eh, give or take” : ISH
7 Performer with a single fan? : GEISHA
8 Heightens : ENHANCES
9 América del ___ : SUR
10 Opposite of svelte : STOUT
11 Something held for a stretch : ASANA
12 “‘Sup, dude” : YO, DOG
14 Hit 1991 film starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss : WHAT ABOUT BOB?
17 Hatcher who told Seinfeld “And by the way, they’re real … and they’re spectacular!” : TERI
18 Treatment option offering communal support : GROUP THERAPY
23 Freudian concerns : PSYCHES
24 Shoebox spec : EEE
25 ___ song : SWAN
26 Enrique ___ Nieto, 2012-18 Mexican president : PENA
27 Staples Center team, on scoreboards : LAL
31 William Henry Harrison’s cause of death, after just 31 days in office : PNEUMONIA
32 Pull down : EARN
33 Do a parent’s bedtime activity : READ
35 Territory-expanding move : LAND GRAB
36 ___ Lingus : AER
39 Start of some sequel titles : SON …
41 Perfectly, as in cooking : TO A TURN
43 Ballyhoo : HYPE UP
44 Class ring? : BELL
45 Flavor : SAPOR
46 “___ Winter Sundays” (Robert Hayden poem) : THOSE
47 Deity with 99 names : ALLAH
51 Bird on the South Carolina state quarter : WREN
52 CURE and CARE, e.g. : NGOS
53 N.B.A. star Curry : SETH
55 Kamala Harris’s college sorority, for short : AKA
56 Make, as in math : ARE

13 thoughts on “0409-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Apr 21, Friday”

  1. 24:04 Struggled in the bottom 1/3. I also had PHONESEX before PHONETAG – guess I missed someone a real lot!!

    Unfamiliar with 58A. Can anyone explain 56D?

      1. Fairly smooth and consistent solve today. No errors. Ron, I had the same difficulty with South Central.

  2. 16:47, no errors.

    My take on 56-Down: “2 and 3 make 5” == “2 and 3 are 5”.

    I think I’d say, “2 plus 3 is 5,” but maybe that’s just me … 😜.

  3. 11:24. Upper right took me a couple of extra minutes, but otherwise I thought the cluing and gridding were much too straightforward for a Friday.

  4. 23:51. Agree with Tom in that a lot of this was a little easy for a Friday, but it had enough curveballs for me to make it interesting anyway. My time wasn’t spectacular nonetheless.

    Best –

  5. Most of it was easy for me. Got stuck in the corners.. ended up with no errors. Stared at it long enough I guess. Never heard of TO A TURN on 41D..

  6. I’m glad to see most of you found this to be easy…for me it was an hour and a half of agony and a DNF….I had a feeling when I got up this morning that I was going to need to know Kamala Harris college sorority but I put it out of my mind…shouldn’t have done that.
    The NE corner really did me in.
    Stay safe😀

  7. 19:59, 2 errors: 23A PHONE TA(B)/12D YO DO(B). In retrospect, should have caught the error. Consider the number of Natiks in this puzzle, happy I didn’t have more errors.

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