0419-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Apr 21, Monday

Constructed by: Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Classic Game Show

Themed answers are CLASSIC GAME SHOWS:

  • 52A 20-, 32- or 40-Across : CLASSIC GAME SHOW
  • 20A “I’m willing to pay that amount” : THE PRICE IS RIGHT
  • 32A “If I can be honest here …” : TO TELL THE TRUTH
  • 40A “Absolutely! 100% positive!” : YOU BET YOUR LIFE

Bill’s time: 4m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Antifur org. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a large animal rights organization, with about 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

9 Wee bit : SKOSH

“Skosh” is a slang term meaning “a little bit”, and was originally military slang that came out of the Korean War. “Skosh” derives from the Japanese word “sukoshi” which translates as “few, little, some”.

14 Old-fashioned fight club? : MACE

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

16 Pacific Island group that was once a setting for “Survivor” : PALAU

Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

17 New couple, in a gossip column : 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.

19 1940s nuclear event, for short : A-TEST

Atomic test (A-test)

20 “I’m willing to pay that amount” : THE PRICE IS RIGHT

“The Price is Right” is a television game show that first aired way back in 1956.

23 “___ Just Not That Into You” (2009 rom-com) : HE’S

“He’s Just Not That Into You” is a line of dialog from the HBO television series “Sex and the City”. The line was lifted and used as the title of a self-help book published in 2004. The book was adapted into a 2009 romantic comedy film with an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson. Haven’t seen it …

24 New newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

26 “Law & Order” spinoff, informally : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

27 Longtime advertiser at the Indy 500 : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

29 Oolong or Darjeeling : TEA

The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon”.

Darjeeling tea comes from the Darjeeling district of West Bengal in India.

32 “If I can be honest here …” : TO TELL THE TRUTH

“To Tell the Truth” is a TV game show that first aired in 1956. Four celebrity panelists are tasked with identifying which of three contestants are telling the truth about their occupation or an experience they’ve had.

37 Submarine device : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

38 The “A” of E.T.A.: Abbr. : ARR

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

39 Main line from the heart : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

43 E.R. staffers : RNS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) and a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

44 Snake symbolizing old Egyptian royalty : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

48 ___ alai : JAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

49 Pennies: Abbr. : CTS

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

59 Southwestern tribe with a snake dance : HOPI

Many members of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

60 Start of every California ZIP code : NINE

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

61 How a ballerina often dances : ON TOE

“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!).

62 Israeli statesman Abba ___ : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician. He was born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. Reportedly, he made this change as Eban saw himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

63 Historical novelist Seton : ANYA

“Anya Seton” was the pen name of Ann Seton, an author of historical romances from New York City. Seton’s 1944 novel “Dragonwyck” was released into theaters in 1946 and starred Gene Tierney and Walter Huston.

Down

1 Actress Dame Maggie : SMITH

Dame Maggie Smith is a wonderful, wonderful actress from England. Although Smith has had an extensive stage career, she is perhaps best known outside of Britain as a film and television actress. She has won two Oscars, including Best Actress for playing the title character in 1969’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”. TV audiences today know her best as the Dowager Countess on “Downton Abbey”. I saw her recently in the movie “The Second Best Marigold Hotel”, a movie that I wholeheartedly recommend …

8 “___ Love Her” (Beatles ballad) : AND I

“And I Love Her” is a marvelous ballad recorded by the Beatles in 1964 (and one of my favorite Lennon/McCartney compositions). There’s a lovely rendition of the song in the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night”.

10 TV journalist Couric : KATIE

Katie Couric left NBC’s “The Today Show” in 2006 and took over as news anchor for “CBS Evening News”. In doing so, she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”.

11 Fashion designer Cassini : OLEG

French-born American fashion designer Oleg Cassini had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

12 Bit of attire that might say “MISS UNIVERSE” : SASH

The Miss Universe beauty pageant was founded in 1952. The organization running the contest was bought by Donald Trump in 1996.

13 Jabba the ___ : HUTT

Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

21 Paul who went on a midnight ride : REVERE

Paul Revere is famous for having alerted the Colonial militia when the British military arrived in the build up to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere earned his living as a silversmith. After the war, Revere returned to his trade and diversified into other metalwork. Revere was the first American to develop a process to roll copper into sheets so that the metal could be used to sheathe the hulls of naval vessels.

27 Razor sharpener at a barbershop : STROP

A strop is a strip of leather used to sharpen a razor.

30 Suffix with Smurf : -ETTE

The Smurfs are little blue people created in 1958 by the Belgian cartoonist who went by the pen name Peyo. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children’s cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one “Smurfette”, who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

32 Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote : TOON

Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”, while addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

34 Potato chip brand : LAY’S

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

35 Walkie-___ : TALKIE

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

37 Damascus’s land: Abbr. : SYR

Damascus is the second largest city in Syria (after Aleppo), and is the country’s capital. Damascus has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously-inhabited city in the world, having been settled in the 2nd millennium BC. Also, it has the nickname “City of Jasmine”.

41 Something hailed on city streets : TAXI

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

46 Camera lens setting : F-STOP

Varying the f-stop in a lens varies how big the lens opening (the aperture) is when a photograph is taken. Smaller apertures (higher f-stop values) admit less light, but result in a greater depth of field (more of the photograph is in focus).

48 Land east of the Yellow Sea : JAPAN
49 Land west of the Yellow Sea : CHINA

The Yellow Sea is the northern part of the East China Sea, and is located between the Korean peninsula and China. The water surface does indeed take on a golden yellow hue at times when it picks up sand particles from sand storms in the Gobi Desert, which lies to the west of the Yellow Sea.

50 Awards for Broadway’s best : TONYS

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

53 Debussy’s “Clair de ___” : LUNE

“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, and someone who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

54 “The Thin Man” pooch : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

56 Mongolian desert : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Opening made by a letter opener : SLIT
5 Antifur org. : PETA
9 Wee bit : SKOSH
14 Old-fashioned fight club? : MACE
15 Wrinkle remover : IRON
16 Pacific Island group that was once a setting for “Survivor” : PALAU
17 New couple, in a gossip column : ITEM
18 Look after, as a fire, bar or flock : TEND
19 1940s nuclear event, for short : A-TEST
20 “I’m willing to pay that amount” : THE PRICE IS RIGHT
23 “___ Just Not That Into You” (2009 rom-com) : HE’S
24 New newt : EFT
25 Get value from : USE
26 “Law & Order” spinoff, informally : SVU
27 Longtime advertiser at the Indy 500 : STP
29 Oolong or Darjeeling : TEA
32 “If I can be honest here …” : TO TELL THE TRUTH
37 Submarine device : SONAR
38 The “A” of E.T.A.: Abbr. : ARR
39 Main line from the heart : AORTA
40 “Absolutely! 100% positive!” : YOU BET YOUR LIFE
43 E.R. staffers : RNS
44 Snake symbolizing old Egyptian royalty : ASP
45 Gives a thumbs-up : OKS
46 Transmission by telephone : FAX
48 ___ alai : JAI
49 Pennies: Abbr. : CTS
52 20-, 32- or 40-Across : CLASSIC GAME SHOW
58 Boots from political office : OUSTS
59 Southwestern tribe with a snake dance : HOPI
60 Start of every California ZIP code : NINE
61 How a ballerina often dances : ON TOE
62 Israeli statesman Abba ___ : EBAN
63 Historical novelist Seton : ANYA
64 Jumped : LEAPT
65 Alternative to a drumstick : WING
66 Historical : PAST

Down

1 Actress Dame Maggie : SMITH
2 Woodworker’s tool : LATHE
3 Drinks akin to Slush Puppies : ICEES
4 Work as a sub : TEMP
5 Pathetic : PITIFUL
6 Put up, as a monument : ERECT
7 Muscular firmness : TONE
8 “___ Love Her” (Beatles ballad) : AND I
9 Practices jabs and hooks : SPARS
10 TV journalist Couric : KATIE
11 Fashion designer Cassini : OLEG
12 Bit of attire that might say “MISS UNIVERSE” : SASH
13 Jabba the ___ : HUTT
21 Paul who went on a midnight ride : REVERE
22 Building manager, for short : SUPE
26 Wild guess : STAB
27 Razor sharpener at a barbershop : STROP
28 By way of, for short : THRU’
29 Surf’s partner, on menus : TURF
30 Suffix with Smurf : -ETTE
31 “So it’s you!” : AHA!
32 Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote : TOON
33 Burden to bear : ONUS
34 Potato chip brand : LAY’S
35 Walkie-___ : TALKIE
36 Louis Treize, Louis Quatorze and others : ROIS
37 Damascus’s land: Abbr. : SYR
41 Something hailed on city streets : TAXI
42 Wandering : ROAMING
46 Camera lens setting : F-STOP
47 Beauty, brawn or brains : ASSET
48 Land east of the Yellow Sea : JAPAN
49 Land west of the Yellow Sea : CHINA
50 Awards for Broadway’s best : TONYS
51 Blood, ___ & Tears : SWEAT
52 Hip : COOL
53 Debussy’s “Clair de ___” : LUNE
54 “The Thin Man” pooch : ASTA
55 What a puppy likes to do to toys and socks : CHEW
56 Mongolian desert : GOBI
57 Jacket fastener : SNAP

7 thoughts on “0419-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Apr 21, Monday”

  1. 6:21 with some fat fingers. Good old game shows…fun to remember. Today is my “freedom day”…2 weeks post-second covid vaccine jab.

  2. 5:25. Here’s where I normally complain about having to bother with a Monday puzzle, but the theme made this one worthwhile. Good one.

    Law and Order SUV? Is that about crimes involving large vehicles? Obviously I’ve never seen the show, but I hear it’s worth watching.

    Best –

  3. 11:34 no errors…no look ups, no hesitation and yet I am still double the average score…this is as good as it gets for me.
    @Jeff…if you happen to read this Law and Order Special Victims Unit is one of the best of all times IMO…it’s now in its 21st season.
    Stay safe😀

  4. 6:58, no errors. Got bogged down, at the start, in the NW corner. Skipped to the upper center block, and went clockwise.

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