0410-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Apr 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Evans Clinchy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 How Dickens describes Marley in “A Christmas Carol” : DEAD AS A DOORNAIL

“As dead as a doornail” is one of our older expressions, and dates back at least to the 14th century. You might have seen very old doors in castles or old houses that have large studs all over the front in a regular pattern. The studs are the heads of nails driven through the door, originally for strength, but later for decoration. They are “doornails”.

Jacob Marley is a character appearing in the wonderful novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Marley is the deceased business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge who appears to him as a ghost.

20 Spiced quaff : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

22 Set shots? : TAKES

That might be a film set.

23 Actress Ferrell of “White Men Can’t Jump” : TYRA

“White Men Can’t Jump” is a comedy film about two street basketball hustlers played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.

25 “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” : MY GOD!

Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr, the actor who played the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”.

26 Figure to the left of Clinton in a famous 1993 photo-op handshake : RABIN

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

27 Harry and Lloyd’s road trip destination in “Dumb and Dumber” : ASPEN

Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.

“Dumb and Dumber” is a 1994 comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two pretty dumb guys, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. There was a prequel released in 2003 titled “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”, and a sequel in 2011 called “Dumb and Dumber To”.

28 Boil down : DECOCT

To decoct is to extract the flavor of a liquid by boiling down and increasing the concentration. A related term is “to concoct”, meaning “to boil together”. We use the verb “to concoct” in a figurative sense to mean to contrive, devise.

29 Chopin composed three collections of them : ETUDES

Frédéric Chopin wrote three sets of études. His 1833 Études Op. 10 were dedicated to fellow-composer and friend Franz Liszt. His 1837 Études Op. 25 were dedicated to Marie d’Agoult, Franz Liszt’s mistress.

31 Scotch fillet, by another name : RIB EYE

If you’re in Australia or New Zealand and looking for a rib eye steak, you need to order a “Scotch fillet”.

34 Uncle ___ : REMUS

The “Uncle Remus” stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Joel Chandler Harris collected across the Southern States.

39 Actor/comedian Mike : EPPS

Mike Epps is a stand-up comedian and actor from Indianapolis. Epps played Day-Day Jones in the 2000 stoner film “Next Friday”, and in the 2002 sequel “Friday After Next”.

40 Refuses to go along : BALKS

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

44 “Träskor” in Sweden and “geta” in Japan, to name two : CLOGS

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

48 Election plot twist : OCTOBER SURPRISE

“October surprise” is a political term. It refers to some unexpected piece of news that breaks in the month of October in a year just before an election, particularly a presidential election. The term tends to be used somewhat cynically, with the implication that the “surprise” is perhaps engineered to favor one candidate or another.

Down

1 Hunk : ADONIS

In Greek mythology, Adonis is a beautiful young god loved by Aphrodite. Adonis dies in a hunting accident (gored by a boar), but not before he gives Aphrodite a child. Adonis was originally a Phoenician god “absorbed” into Greek lore (Phoenicia is modern day Lebanon). The child born of Adonis to Aphrodite was called Beroe, after which is named Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. We also use the term “adonis” to mean “beautiful male”.

2 Hoodwink : DELUDE

“To hoodwink” has had the meaning “to deceive” since about 1600. Prior to that it meant simply “to blindfold”, and is simply a combination of the words “hood” and “wink”.

6 Abbr. on a law firm’s letterhead : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank, say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

7 Hot links, say : SAUSAGES

Link sausages are so called as they can come in chains, with each sausage being a link in that chain.

9 Detail-oriented sorts : WONKS

A wonk is an overly studious person. It is an American slang term that has been around at least since 1954. More recently, “wonk” has acquired an air of respectability as it has come to mean someone who has studied a topic thoroughly and become somewhat expert.

11 Cellular data plan? : DNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

12 Classic ballad set to the tune of “Londonderry Air” : DANNY BOY

“Danny Boy” is a famous ballad associated with Ireland. The song’s lyrics were written by Englishman Frederick Weatherly and put to an existing tune called “Londonderry Air” (also “Derry Air”). “Danny Boy” has been adopted as an unofficial anthem by people in North America with Irish roots.

Derry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland, after the capital city of Belfast. “Derry” is the anglicized version of the city’s name in Irish. The city’s legal name is “Londonderry”, a contentious name that was given when the city was granted a royal charter in the 17th century.

13 What fennel tastes like : LICORICE

Liquorice (also “licorice”) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as “aniseed”. The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.

Fennel is a hardy perennial plant species in the celery family that is used as a herb. It also goes by the name “sweet anise”. Personally, I can’t stand the stuff …

16 Vegetable whose name is Japanese for “big root” : DAIKON

The daikon is a Japanese winter radish with a mild flavor. The Japanese name “daikon” translates as “big root”.

22 Not so intense, say : TYPE B

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

23 “Be silent,” on a music score : TACET

“Tacet” is a musical direction meaning “be silent”. It is typically written on a score to instruct a particular voice or instrument to remain silent for a whole movement. “Tacet” is Latin for “it is silent”.

25 It worked with a prompt : MS-DOS

MS-DOS (short for “Microsoft Disk Operating System”) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

26 LE
VEL, for one : REBUS

That would be a “split level”.

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, a picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”, and a picture of an “awl” might represent the word “all”.

27 French menu phrase : AU JUS

The French term “au jus” is usually translated as “with its own juice”.

29 Microscope part : EYEPIECE

The ocular lens is the eyepiece of many optical devices, e.g. telescopes and microscopes. In those same devices, light from the observed object is gathered by the objective lens.

33 Exercise at a Y, maybe : DO 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.

35 Painter Botticelli : SANDRO

Sandro Botticelli was a painter of the Early Renaissance belonging to the Florentine school. Perhaps his best known work is “The Birth of Venus”, painted about 1486, which can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

36 Slam-dunk : SHOO-IN

A shoo-in is a surefire winner, especially in politics. Back in the 1920s, a shoo-in was a horse that was prearranged to win a race, a race that was fixed.

40 Actress Lisa : BONET

Lisa Bonet is an actress best known for playing one of the daughters on the “The Cosby Show”. Bonet was married for a few years to the singer Lenny Kravitz, with whom she eloped in 1987. She changed her name to Lilakoi Moon in 1992, but still uses “Lisa Bonet” as her stage name.

41 Prefix with sonic : ULTRA-

“Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

44 Cook’s handle, maybe : CAP’N

The famed British explorer Captain James Cook made three voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean. Cook was in command of HMS Resolution on his third voyage, and he and his crew became the first Europeans to visit the Hawaiian Islands, in 1778. He landed on Kauai and named the whole archipelago the Sandwich Islands, in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich who was in charge of the British Admiralty at the time. Cook continued his voyage, leaving Hawaii to explore the coast of what is now called Canada and Alaska, and returning to Hawaii the following year. After one month of contact with the native Hawaiians, Cook departed from the islands but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. Relations between the Europeans and the islanders had been good but despite this a dispute developed and got out of control that resulted in Cook being struck on the head and stabbed to death. His body was dragged away by the islanders, and as an apparent sign of respect for the Captain, the natives processed his body according to funeral traditions associated with Hawaiian kings and elders. Eventually, after a petition from the remaining crew, some of Cook’s remains were also returned for a formal burial at sea, adhering to British naval tradition.

47 Metà di sei : TRE

In Italian, “metà di sei” (half of six) is “tre” (three).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Marketing metric : AD SALES
8 Utter rot : TWADDLE
15 How Dickens describes Marley in “A Christmas Carol” : DEAD AS A DOORNAIL
17 Friend from way back : OLD ACQUAINTANCE
18 “In case you forgot …,” e.g. : NUDGE
19 Supersmooth : SILKY
20 Spiced quaff : NOG
21 Like some threats : IDLE
22 Set shots? : TAKES
23 Actress Ferrell of “White Men Can’t Jump” : TYRA
24 “The thing about that is …” : SEE …
25 “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” : MY GOD!
26 Figure to the left of Clinton in a famous 1993 photo-op handshake : RABIN
27 Harry and Lloyd’s road trip destination in “Dumb and Dumber” : ASPEN
28 Boil down : DECOCT
29 Chopin composed three collections of them : ETUDES
31 Scotch fillet, by another name : RIB EYE
32 Salon offering : DYE JOB
33 It may be sprinkled with sprinkles : DONUT
34 Uncle ___ : REMUS
35 Matchmaking targets? : SOCKS
36 Go nowhere : SIT
39 Actor/comedian Mike : EPPS
40 Refuses to go along : BALKS
41 Casual, dismissive response : UH, NO
42 Trouble : AIL
43 ___ Brothers (pop trio) : JONAS
44 “Träskor” in Sweden and “geta” in Japan, to name two : CLOGS
45 The bare essentials, so to speak : MEAT AND POTATOES
48 Election plot twist : OCTOBER SURPRISE
49 Must : NEEDS TO
50 Letters have them : TENANTS

Down

1 Hunk : ADONIS
2 Hoodwink : DELUDE
3 Prepare to ride, with “up” : SADDLE …
4 “Opposites attract,” for one : ADAGE
5 Tie up : LACE
6 Abbr. on a law firm’s letterhead : ESQ
7 Hot links, say : SAUSAGES
8 Put in work : TOILED
9 Detail-oriented sorts : WONKS
10 Affected, in a way : ARTY
11 Cellular data plan? : DNA
12 Classic ballad set to the tune of “Londonderry Air” : DANNY BOY
13 What fennel tastes like : LICORICE
14 Graceful and tasteful : ELEGANT
16 Vegetable whose name is Japanese for “big root” : DAIKON
22 Not so intense, say : TYPE B
23 “Be silent,” on a music score : TACET
25 It worked with a prompt : MS-DOS
26 LE
VEL, for one : REBUS
27 French menu phrase : AU JUS
28 Little shots : DINKS
29 Microscope part : EYEPIECE
30 Good example for others to follow : TEMPLATE
31 Goes wild at a concert : ROCKS OUT
32 “As if!” : DREAM ON!
33 Exercise at a Y, maybe : DO LAPS
35 Painter Botticelli : SANDRO
36 Slam-dunk : SHOO-IN
37 Eat : INGEST
38 Doesn’t sleep well : TOSSES
40 Actress Lisa : BONET
41 Prefix with sonic : ULTRA-
43 Digs : JABS
44 Cook’s handle, maybe : CAP’N
46 Man’s name that’s a woman’s nickname backward : TOD
47 Metà di sei : TRE

5 thoughts on “0410-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Apr 21, Saturday”

  1. 42:05 I was 1/2 way don in about 11 minutes, but then the real struggle began, especially in the SW third of the puzzle. Spent more than 20 minutes there – just could not get a toe hold. After 27 minutes in, I slept on it and still took another 15 minutes to complete. It was JABS that helped me start to figure it out. Various miscues in other places, too numerous to mention. However, one in particular – I originally had REDUCE for 28A but, we did have DECOCT (of course, w/o any crude comment whatsoever from @Jeff ) in the last month or so and I recognized that mistake fairly quickly.

  2. 9:59. Like yesterday, this one seemed not quite up to the standards of its day of the week. My sense is the the Fridays and Saturdays usually are divided into 4 corners with relatively little interconnection between them, so that even if you get one corner, you can still get stuck in another. But this one really allowed me to work around the things I didn’t know and get to them through the fill.

    Alternatively, maybe I just had a good couple of days.

  3. 16:47, no errors. Enjoyable. My one sticky area was just left of middle. I had “OH, GOD” instead of “MY GOD” for 25-Across and I thought the entry for 22-Down was going to be a comparative adjective, so, early on, I put an “R” at the end of it. As a result, I guessed “DYE JAR” for 32-Across (what do I know from “SALON OFFERINGS”?! 😜). So then, I scratched my head for awhile, but the whole little section finally resolved itself and I was done.

  4. 26:43. Like @Ron, got quickly to halfway with 8:30…then hit the wall. Needed a wee bit of “help” to get going again. That’s the way it is sometimes on a Saturday for me.🥺

  5. 25:48. I got bogged down in the SW and center but otherwise pretty easy for a Saturday.

    Also had REDUCE before DECOCT (no comment) and OH GOD before MY GOD.

    For 26A I first thought of the famous photo of Nixon and Elvis. Fortunately I read it again and avoided that mistake although ELVIS does fit there.

    What if I want to order a filet in Australia/New Zealand? Will I get a scotch fillet also? I find RIBEYEs too fatty for my tastes. I guess I’d have to specify filet mignon

    Best –

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