0424-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Apr 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Kristian House & Mike Dockins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Rockies you won’t find in Colorado? : AWAY TEAM

The Colorado Rockies are the Major League Baseball team in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies joined the league in 1993 as an expansion team, and have played at Coors Field since 1995.

16 Word that comes from the Dutch for “soothsayer” and, despite appearances, has no relation to a unit of measurement : WISEACRE

The word “wiseacre” dates back to the late 1500s, when it was a botched translation of the Middle Dutch word “wijsegger” meaning “soothsayer”. Originally, there was no derogatory connotation to the word, but over time a wiseacre had become a know-it-all.

17 Stinging bug : RED ANT

Fire ants are stinging ants, and many species are known as red ants. Most stinging ants bite their prey and then spray acid on the wound. The fire ant, however, bites to hold on and then injects an alkaloid venom from its abdomen, creating a burning sensation in humans who have been nipped.

19 Singer who rose to fame on “The X Factor” : HARRY STYLES

Harry Styles is a singer from England who got his big break when he appeared on the British version of “The X Factor”, from which he was selected as an original member of the boy band One Direction. Styles turned to acting, and had a significant role in the 2017 war movie “Dunkirk”. Reading the gossip columns reveals that he dated Taylor Swift for a while in 2012.

The X Factor is another one of Simon Cowell’s TV shows and now a worldwide franchise, a show that searches for talented singers. “The X Factor” is in effect a spin-off the the UK show “Pop Idol” (produced as “American Idol” here in the US). And “The X Factor” is here in America as well. Oh joy …

24 Vulcan’s specialty : FIRE

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

27 Simple building block : LEGO

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

28 Indicator to be quiet : REST

That would be a rest in a musical score.

31 Capone cohort Frank : NITTI

Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

33 Co-star of Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” : ANISTON

Jennifer Aniston won a 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom “Friends”. Jennifer’s parents were both actors, and her godfather was the actor Telly Savalas.

39 Sticky food? : KABOB

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

41 Mister, in Manaus : SENHOR

The Portuguese word for “sir” is “senhor”, abbreviated to “Sr.” The female equivalent is “senhora”, or “sra.” for short.

45 Bit recorded on a Fitbit : STEP

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.

57 Orange pal of Pooh with black stripes : TIGGER

Tigger is a character in the “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories by A. A. Milne. He is a tiger with a springy tail and just loves to bounce around. Tigger will tell you himself that “bouncing is what tiggers do best.”

60 Journalist Parker with a 2018 Pulitzer Prize : ASHLEY

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition. The prize was established back in 1917 by the Hungarian-American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer left money in his will for the prize, and for its administration by Columbia University.

61 Kia model introduced in 1993 : SPORTAGE

Kia’s Sportage is a compact SUV that has been manufactured since 1993.

63 Made a bee line for? : SPELLED

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

Down

2 Cry upon hitting the jackpot : I WIN! I WIN!

The term “jackpot” dates back to the 1800s and comes from the game of poker. In some variants there are progressive antes. This means that players have to ante up, add to the “pot”, when no player has a pair of “jacks” or better. They build a “jackpot”.

3 Auto pioneer Alfieri : MASERATI

Maserati is a manufacturer of luxury cars in Italy. The company was founded in Bologna in 1914 by five brothers: Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati. The company uses a trident logo that is based on the trident depicted in the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.

5 Jazz hangout? : UTAH

The Utah Jazz professional basketball team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. As one might guess from the name, the team originated in New Orleans, but only played there for five seasons. New Orleans was a tough place to be based because venues were hard to come by, and Mardi Gras forced the team to play on the road for a whole month.

6 Old Renault model : LE CAR

French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault Le Car in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 in Ireland, back in the day …

8 What podophobia is the fear of : FEET

Here are some phobias that I find quite interesting:

  • Somniphobia – fear of falling asleep
  • Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
  • Omphalophobia- fear of the navel
  • Nomophobia- fear of being without mobile phone coverage
  • Triskaidekaphobia- fear of the number 13

11 2020 Super Bowl-losing squad : NINERS

The 49ers football team in San Francisco takes its name from the gold prospectors who flooded into Northern California around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. These “1849 prospectors” became known as the “49ers”.

15 Chip’s mother in “Beauty and the Beast” : MRS POTTS

Mrs. Potts is a character introduced into the “Beauty and the Beast” tale by Disney in the 1991 film adaptation. Mrs. Potts is a teapot, and her son Chip is a teacup.

20 Real posers? : YOGIS

“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”.

22 Stocking stuffer : KRIS KRINGLE

“Kris Kringle” (sometimes “Kriss Kringle”) is the name sometimes used here in North America for Santa Claus. “Kris Kringle” is an anglicised form of “Christkind”, the bringer of gifts in many other countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and parts of Germany. “Christkind” is German for “Christ-child”.

26 Like writing about writing : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

34 When? : NOT IF

Not if, but when.

40 Cartoon character with the hyperactive alter ego Cornholio : BEAVIS

“Beavis and Butt-Head” is an adult cartoon television show and film. The show ran on MTV. I’ve never seen it …

43 Kid-lit character who lives in the Plaza Hotel : ELOISE

Kay Thompson wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her “Eloise” stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

50 Hardly a man without morals : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

56 Ganja : WEED

“Ganja” is another name for the drug cannabis. Cannabis is known to have been used thousands of years ago by ancient Hindus in India, and “ganja” is the Sanskrit term for the drug.

59 Lambert airport inits. : STL

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has the IATA airport code STL. Commonly referred to as Lambert Field, the airport is named for Albert Bond Lambert, an olympic golfer and aviator from St. Louis. Back in the 1920s, Lambert Field was the first airport to have an air traffic control system, albeit a pretty rudimentary one in which pilots received flag signals.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Not-so-bright sort : DIM BULB
8 Dalliance : FLING
13 Rockies you won’t find in Colorado? : AWAY TEAM
15 Bully : MEANIE
16 Word that comes from the Dutch for “soothsayer” and, despite appearances, has no relation to a unit of measurement : WISEACRE
17 Stinging bug : RED ANT
18 Dallas-to-Duluth dir. : NNE
19 Singer who rose to fame on “The X Factor” : HARRY STYLES
21 Bug : IRK
23 Clean again, perhaps : REMOP
24 Vulcan’s specialty : FIRE
25 Bum-rush : SWARM
27 Simple building block : LEGO
28 Indicator to be quiet : REST
29 Feels for : PITIES
31 Capone cohort Frank : NITTI
33 Co-star of Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” : ANISTON
35 Implausible argument, say : STRETCH
39 Sticky food? : KABOB
41 Mister, in Manaus : SENHOR
42 Streak : TEAR
45 Bit recorded on a Fitbit : STEP
47 Perfect spots : EDENS
48 “That’s ___ need” : ALL I
49 Coverage of the royal family? : TIARA
51 61-Across, e.g. : SUV
52 Take : POINT OF VIEW
55 Lock (up) : SEW
57 Orange pal of Pooh with black stripes : TIGGER
58 “Yeah, right” : I’M SO SURE
60 Journalist Parker with a 2018 Pulitzer Prize : ASHLEY
61 Kia model introduced in 1993 : SPORTAGE
62 “___ a Pizza” (punnily titled children’s book) : PETE’S
63 Made a bee line for? : SPELLED

Down

1 Start : DAWN
2 Cry upon hitting the jackpot : I WIN! I WIN!
3 Auto pioneer Alfieri : MASERATI
4 Off week, say : BYE
5 Jazz hangout? : UTAH
6 Old Renault model : LE CAR
7 Amount of fun, maybe : BARREL
8 What podophobia is the fear of : FEET
9 Some boos : LADYFRIENDS
10 Awkward way to be caught : IN A LIE
11 2020 Super Bowl-losing squad : NINERS
12 Prepare : GET SET
14 Some males in tales : MERMEN
15 Chip’s mother in “Beauty and the Beast” : MRS POTTS
20 Real posers? : YOGIS
22 Stocking stuffer : KRIS KRINGLE
25 Kind of treatment : SPA
26 Like writing about writing : META
30 “Cry me a river!” elicitor, perhaps : SOB STORY
32 Corner : TREE
34 When? : NOT IF
36 Regular order : THE USUAL
37 What parallel lines never do : CONVERGE
38 Schedule info: Abbr. : HRS
40 Cartoon character with the hyperactive alter ego Cornholio : BEAVIS
42 [Testing, testing] : [TAP TAP]
43 Kid-lit character who lives in the Plaza Hotel : ELOISE
44 Touch down : ALIGHT
46 Gets just so : PRIMPS
50 Hardly a man without morals : AESOP
53 Green pocketful : TEES
54 Rocked, so to speak : WORE
56 Ganja : WEED
59 Lambert airport inits. : STL

14 thoughts on “0424-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Apr 21, Saturday”

  1. 25:57 With one lookup. Struggled in the SE corner but final hang-up was 9D. I had “I” for STYLES and “Y” for NITTY and the only Vulcan I could think of was Spock or rubber (as in vulcanized) so I had 24A as TIRE. But it made no sense, I know – being unfamiliar with “boos” as LADYFRIENDS.

    Still, it was way better than yesterday’s time.

  2. 41:18 my biggest surprise was that I guessed “dim bulb” straight out of the gate and was actually correct… Of course my second surprise was that I finished. 🙂

  3. 32:05. Like @Duncan, I got DIMBULB right away. Then I became a dim bulb! Took forever to find a fat fingered typo. MERMEM? Really? D’oh!

  4. 34:10. Not too bad for a Saturday until I hit the NE. For whatever reason, I spent an eternity trying to figure it out.

    RED ANTs are definitely something I don’t miss since I moved from Texas..

    How could someone named HARRYSTYLES not end up working at a salon??

  5. LADYFRIENDS… that one got me. And I couldn’t figure out Mr Spocks (Vulcan) specialty… hmmm, MIND, ? Then I had TEST for 28A… wrong on all counts.

    So now I need to remember BEA and BOO … can’t wait for someone to use those in a sentence.. (never?)

  6. Add me to the list of those who got DIMBULB right out of the gate. Great minds think alike, they say. I finished with no errors, but not without difficulty and couldn’t decide whether the cluing was clever or annoying. Could someone fill me in on LADYFRIENDS for BOOS?

  7. 24:50, 2 errors: MET(E)/K(E)BOB. Had trouble seeing 2D as other than “I WON…” . I have heard the term BOO a few times, but always from a girl referring to her boyfriend. Not sure if this song My Boo by Usher/Alicia Keyes generated the term, but here it is: https://youtu.be/RVjERXrdues

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