0412-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Apr 21, Monday

Constructed by: Aimee Lucido & Ella Dershowitz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Inside Baseball

Themed answers each have the team name of a BASEBALL player INSIDE as a hidden word:

  • 62A Sports metaphor used to describe esoteric knowledge … with a hint to the circled letters : INSIDE BASEBALL
  • 16A Cinnamon buns and such : BREAKFAST ROLLS (“ASTRO” inside)
  • 29A Cyclical paradox discussed in “Gödel, Escher, Bach” : STRANGE LOOP (“ANGEL” inside)
  • 48A Onetime TV political drama set in Washington : THE WEST WING (“TWIN” inside)

Bill’s time: 5m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Things that justify the means, some say : ENDS

The literal translation of the Latin phrase “exitus acta probat” is “the result validates the deed”, but it is more commonly written as “the ends justify the means”.

14 “Moby-Dick” captain : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

15 Feverish fit : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

16 Cinnamon buns and such : BREAKFAST ROLLS (“ASTRO” inside)

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

19 Community-maintained website : WIKI

A wiki is a website on which users are allowed to create and edit content themselves. The term “wiki” comes from the name of the first such site, introduced in 1994 and called WikiWikiWeb. “Wiki” is a Hawaiian word for “quick”, and is used because comprehensive content is created very quickly, as there are so many collaborators contributing to the site.

20 Person from Bangkok : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

21 Disney character loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “Snow Queen” : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

“The Snow Queen” is a fairy tale penned by Hans Christian Andersen that was first published in 1945. It is believed that Andersen was in love with famed Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, who treated him as a friend but did not consider him romantically. The story is that Andersen was inspired to write about the icy-hearted Snow Queen after Lind rejected his advances.

28 Modern pet name : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

29 Cyclical paradox discussed in “Gödel, Escher, Bach” : STRANGE LOOP (“ANGEL” inside)

The Anaheim Angels baseball team is today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

34 Brain reading, for short : EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

35 Touches one’s chin and moves the hand down to say “Thank you,” for example : SIGNS

American Sign Language (ASL)

36 Recipe amt. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

44 The “A” of I.R.A.: Abbr. : ACCT

Individual retirement account (IRA)

48 Onetime TV political drama set in Washington : THE WEST WING (“TWIN” inside)

“The West Wing”, when it was being written by Aaron Sorkin, was such a fabulous television event. It is remarkable how quickly it went downhill after Sorkin moved on. Sorkin is also famous for having written the play “A Few Good Men”, and the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, namely “Charlie Wilson’s War”.

The Minnesota Twins baseball team was founded as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

54 Mike of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” : ROWE

Mike Rowe is host of the successful reality show called “Dirty Jobs” that is broadcast by “Discovery Channel”. Rowe is also a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company in a series of television commercials. He is quite the singer too, and he sang professionally with the Baltimore Opera for a while.

57 Yours: Fr. : A TOI

“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

59 Potato accompanier in soup : LEEK

Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

61 Shopping center : MALL

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

66 Cinema showing : FILM

We usually use the term “movie theater” in the US to describe a location that shows films. In many English-speaking countries outside of the US, the term “cinema” is used instead, with the word “theater” (usually spelled “theatre”) reserved for venues that show live performances.

67 Amateur mag : ZINE

A zine is a magazine. The term “zine” is often reserved for noncommercial publications, including those issued online.

68 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA

Sarah McLachlan is a singer/songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who lives in Vancouver. In 1997, McLachlan married Ashwin Sood, the drummer in her band. The 1998 hit song “Adia”, which she co-wrote and recorded, was intended as an apology to her best friend … for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

70 Jazzy James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

71 Forest feline : LYNX

The lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

  • The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
  • The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
  • The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
  • The bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

Down

2 Tusked marine animal : NARWHAL

The narwhal is a whale species in which the male has a large tusk. The “tusk” is actually a canine tooth that projects from the jaw through the lip. Usually only one tusk develops, on the left side of the jaw. Occasionally, a second tusk develops as well, on the right side of the jaw. The tusk is unlike a tooth in that it contains many nerves, making it a sensory organ. It is rarely used in an act of aggression.

3 Spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side : DREIDEL

A dreidel is a spinning top with four sides that is often associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Each of the four sides on a dreidel bears a letter from the Hebrew alphabet (nun, gimel, hei and shin). The four letters are the initials of the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” meaning “a great miracle happened there”. According to tradition, children would be taught Torah while hiding in caves away from the Greeks. When Greek soldiers approached, the children would hide their torah scrolls and play with their dreidels instead.

7 #, on social media : HASHTAG

A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of Twitter, a microblogging service that I don’t think I will ever understand …

9 China’s ___ Zedong : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

11 Yale’s Handsome Dan mascot, for one : BULLDOG

The Yale Bulldogs are the athletic teams of Yale University. The Yale school mascot is “Handsome Dan”, the Yale bulldog. The Bulldogs’ logo features a bulldog in front of a letter Y.

17 Optimas and Souls, in the auto world : KIAS

The Kia Optima was sold for a while in Canada and Europe as the Kia Magentis.

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

22 TikTok and Fitbit, for two : APPS

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.

Fitbits are wearable activity trackers that are mainly used to track the number of steps walked, although more and more features have been added over time. A Fitbit was even used as evidence in at least one murder case. A Connecticut man claimed that a home intruder had shot and killed his wife. Police used data from the wife’s Fitbit to disprove the husband’s story, and ended up charging him with the murder.

23 Kimono sash : OBI

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

24 GPS suggestions: Abbr. : RTES

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

26 Rorschach, for one : TEST

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which a subject is asked to interpret a series of inkblots. The test was created by Swiss Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s.

31 Simpson who is a Buddhist and a vegetarian : LISA

Lisa Simpson is Bart’s brainy younger sister on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith. In a 2008 episode of the show, Lisa enters a crossword tournament. Crossword celebrities Merl Reagle and Will Shortz make appearances in that episode, basically playing cartoon versions of themselves.

38 Heavyweight champ known as “The Greatest” : ALI

One of Muhammad Ali’s famous most famous lines is “I am the greatest!” So famous is the line that in 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word that had the title “I Am the Greatest!”

47 Tic-___-toe : TAC

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

50 Pluck, as an eyebrow : TWEEZE

Tweezers are small metal pincers used in handling small objects. Back in the 1600s, “tweeze” was the name given to the case in which such an implement was kept, and over time the case gave its name to the device itself. “Tweeze” evolved from “etweese”, the plural of “etwee”, which in turn came from “étui “, the French word for “small case”.

51 Charades or dominoes : GAME

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

White masks with black spots were commonly seen in the old Venetian Carnival. The masks were known as “domini”. The domini lent their name to the game of dominoes, due to the similarity in appearance between the mask and a domino tile.

56 Scheming group : CABAL

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual. The use of “cabal” in this way dates back to the mid-1600s. It is suggested that the term gained some popularity, particularly in a sinister sense, during the reign of Charles II in the 1670s. At that time, it was applied as an acronym standing for “Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale”, a group of ministers known for their plots and schemes.

58 ___ of Skye : ISLE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

60 Philosopher Immanuel : KANT

Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. Kant published “Perpetual Peace” in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in the US!

64 South China ___ : SEA

Although there is no “China Sea” per se, the term “China Seas” is used collectively to describe several marginal seas in the Western Pacific that touch on China. The four principal China Seas are:

  • The Bohai Sea
  • The Huanghai Sea
  • The East China Sea
  • The South China Sea

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Things that justify the means, some say : ENDS
5 Eight: Sp. : OCHO
9 Rampaging groups : MOBS
13 Hoedown locale : BARN
14 “Moby-Dick” captain : AHAB
15 Feverish fit : AGUE
16 Cinnamon buns and such : BREAKFAST ROLLS (“ASTRO” inside)
19 Community-maintained website : WIKI
20 Person from Bangkok : THAI
21 Disney character loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “Snow Queen” : ELSA
23 “Hmm, that’s not good …” : OH DEAR …
25 Slight coloring : TINT
27 Slight downturn : DIP
28 Modern pet name : BAE
29 Cyclical paradox discussed in “Gödel, Escher, Bach” : STRANGE LOOP (“ANGEL” inside)
32 Societal problems : ILLS
34 Brain reading, for short : EEG
35 Touches one’s chin and moves the hand down to say “Thank you,” for example : SIGNS
36 Recipe amt. : TBSP
38 ___ and crafts : ARTS
40 “Shucks!” : AW, GEE!
43 Bar serving : ALE
44 The “A” of I.R.A.: Abbr. : ACCT
48 Onetime TV political drama set in Washington : THE WEST WING (“TWIN” inside)
52 “Now I get it!” : AHA!
53 Tit for ___ : TAT
54 Mike of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” : ROWE
55 Strategy : TACTIC
57 Yours: Fr. : A TOI
59 Potato accompanier in soup : LEEK
61 Shopping center : MALL
62 Sports metaphor used to describe esoteric knowledge … with a hint to the circled letters : INSIDE BASEBALL
66 Cinema showing : FILM
67 Amateur mag : ZINE
68 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
69 Ladder rung : STEP
70 Jazzy James : ETTA
71 Forest feline : LYNX
Down
1 Flow back, as the tide : EBB
2 Tusked marine animal : NARWHAL
3 Spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side : DREIDEL
4 Type not to be trusted : SNAKE
5 Fumbler : OAF
6 Informal conversation : CHAT
7 #, on social media : HASHTAG
8 Procure : OBTAIN
9 China’s ___ Zedong : MAO
10 Eye creepily : OGLE
11 Yale’s Handsome Dan mascot, for one : BULLDOG
12 Time spent with a psychiatrist, e.g. : SESSION
17 Optimas and Souls, in the auto world : KIAS
18 Good thing to have on hand at a wedding? : RING
22 TikTok and Fitbit, for two : APPS
23 Kimono sash : OBI
24 GPS suggestions: Abbr. : RTES
26 Rorschach, for one : TEST
30 Street cred : REP
31 Simpson who is a Buddhist and a vegetarian : LISA
33 Hearty bowlful : STEW
37 Bar serving : BEER
38 Heavyweight champ known as “The Greatest” : ALI
39 Figure in home economics? : RENT
40 Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
41 Hypothetical musings : WHAT-IFS
42 “Now, work!” : GET ON IT!
43 Slightly : A WEE BIT
45 Purr-son who loves her pets? : CAT LADY
46 Doin’ nothin’ : CHILLIN’
47 Tic-___-toe : TAC
49 Last word at an auction : SOLD
50 Pluck, as an eyebrow : TWEEZE
51 Charades or dominoes : GAME
56 Scheming group : CABAL
58 ___ of Skye : ISLE
60 Philosopher Immanuel : KANT
63 Little troublemaker : IMP
64 South China ___ : SEA
65 Opposite of strict : LAX

5 thoughts on “0412-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Apr 21, Monday”

  1. 6:19. Monday. Two of my least favorite things in this puzzle – BAE and HASHTAG. I guess they’re here to stay whether I like them or not.

    Had no idea of the origin of CABAL. Interesting.

    Best –

  2. 11:34 I laugh at the use of “bae” as a term of endearment in English…in Danish it has a far different meaning 🙂

  3. 7:24, no errors. Put a nice dish in the oven for lunch. Just went to check on it. Decided it would get done faster if I turned the oven on. Siiiggghhhh … 😳.

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