0514-21 NY Times Crossword 14 May 21, Friday

Constructed by: Yacob Yonas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 11m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Gold Coast port : ACCRA

Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

10 Certain hieroglyphs : ASPS

The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics” (meaning “sacred carving”), the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

16 Home of the Starzz, one of the original eight W.N.B.A. teams : UTAH

The Las Vegas Aces women’s basketball team was formed in Salt Lake City in 1997 as the Utah Starzz. The team became the San Antonio (Silver) Stars in 2002, before moving to Las Vegas as the Aces in 2018.

18 Michael of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” : CERA

Michael Cera is a Canadian actor who played great characters on the TV show “Arrested Development”, and in the 2007 comedy-drama “Juno”. Cera is also quite the musician. He released an indie folk album titled “True That” in 2014.

22 Old Forester and Old Overholt offerings : RYES

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

27 Site of an underground pool, maybe : GROTTO

A grotto is a cave or cavern. “Grotto” is a word that we have imported from Italian, in which language it has the same meaning, or can describe a vault.

28 Get an 800 on the G.M.A.T., say : ACE IT

If you want to get into a business school’s graduate program then you might have to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which will cost you about $250, I believe …

29 Animal that comes to shore to lay eggs : SEA TURTLE

Sea turtles don’t reach sexual maturity until they are decades old. Turtles mate at sea and then the females head to the shore to lay their eggs. Oftentimes, the female turtle returns to the very same beach where she herself hatched.

32 Bel ___ (Italian cheese) : PAESE

Bel Paese is a mild Italian cheese that was developed in 1906. The name “bel paese” means beautiful country in Italian, and is taken from the title of a book written by Antonio Stoppani.

33 One of the Kennedys : TED

Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in a family that included older brothers Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted went into the US Senate in 1962 in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making Ted Kennedy the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history. The 2017 movie “Chappaquiddick” gives some insight, albeit somewhat speculative, about the darker side of Ted Kennedy’s life. It focuses on the events surrounding the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which Kennedy drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of his 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

37 Easy two-pointer : TIP-IN

That would be basketball.

40 Savory Scottish delicacy : HAGGIS

Haggis is the national dish of Scotland. It is savory pudding made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices. The pudding was originally cooked in the sheep’s stomach but these days is usually prepared in a sausage casing.

42 Drug kingpin on “The Wire” : MARLO

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ended up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing several years ago. It is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it.

45 Comedian Margaret : CHO

Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, and also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho acts as well, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.

48 Actor who played Senator Vinick on “The West Wing” : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

49 Historic Charleston site : FORT SUMTER

Fort Sumter is a fortification lying on an artificially constructed island in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. In December 1860, when South Carolina seceded from the Union, US Army forces relocated to Fort Sumter deeming it to be a relatively defensible location. On 11 April 1861, confederate forces demanded that the fort be surrendered. When the defenders refused to budge, confederate artillery opened fire at 4:30 in the morning on 12 April 1861, starting the American Civil War.

51 St. ___, locale in an English nursery rhyme : IVES

You might remember the nursery rhyme “As I was going to St. Ives” from the third “Die Hard” movie, “Die Hard With a Vengeance”. The rhyme is used as a riddle in the film’s storyline. The rhyme goes like this:

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives
Each wife had seven sacks
Each sack had seven cats
Each cat had seven kits
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St Ives?

There is more than one place called St. Ives in England, but most think the reference is to the seaside town of St. Ives in Cornwall. By the way, the answer to the riddle is “one”, because just the narrator was going to St. Ives, and the rest were characters he met along the way.

Down

1 You can bank on them : ATMS

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

3 Women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth ___ Stanton : CADY

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the earliest leaders of the women’s rights and women’s suffrage movements in the United States. Notably, she opposed the extension of voting rights to African American men (the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments), even though she was an outspoken abolitionist. She believed that increasing the number of male voters in the country would just make it harder for women to get the vote.

5 Words from Mission Control : ALL SYSTEMS GO

NASA’s famous Mission Control is located in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. NASA’s Launch Control Center is located at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Responsibility for controlling the spacecraft resides with the Launch Control Center until the vehicle clears the launch tower, at which time control is passed over to Mission Control.

8 Things that pique your interest on TV : TEASER ADS

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.

9 14 billion years, for the age of the universe: Abbr. : EST

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe came into being just under 14 billion years ago. The theory posits that the universe started out as a hot and dense mass that began to expand rapidly (in a “big bang”). Within three minutes of the “bang”, the universe cooled so that energy was converted into subatomic particles like protons, electrons and neutrons. Over time, subatomic particles turned into atoms. Clouds of those atoms formed stars and galaxies.

10 “You thought wrong!” : AU CONTRAIRE

“Au contraire” is French for “on the contrary”.

13 Bygone potentate : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

15 Hockey game highlight, for some : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

21 Unsatisfactory : NOT UP TO SNUFF

The term “up to snuff” today means “up to standard”. It was introduced to us for the first time in 1811 in a play called “Hamlet Travestie” by Englishman John Poole. He used the phrase to mean “in the know”. It was perhaps a reference to the habit of taking powdered tobacco, a practice back then that was associated with the upper classes, the educated, those in the know.

22 Begin the toasting process : RAISE A GLASS

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

24 Zinger : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

25 Kind of berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

26 Oktoberfest locale : BEER GARDEN

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve attended twice, and it really is a remarkable party …

30 Gifts that are usually scented : LEIS

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

36 Bigeye tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

39 U.S. city that’s home to the largest Basque population outside Spain : BOISE

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

Basque Country is an area that covers north-central Spain and southwestern France, and is home to the Basque people.

41 Tall order? : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

42 One of eight in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” : MAID

The fabulous Christmas carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

44 With 21-Across, straight up : TRUE …
(21A See 44-Down : … NORTH)

True north is the direction pointing towards the Earth’s geographic North Pole. Magnetic north is the direction pointing towards the Earth’s Magnetic North Pole, and is the direction indicated by a compass needle.

45 2017 double-platinum debut album for SZA : CTRL

“SZA” is the stage name of American singer Solána Imani Rowe.

49 Govt. org. whose director serves a 10-year term : FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gold Coast port : ACCRA
6 Grade : RATE
10 Certain hieroglyphs : ASPS
14 Snacks known as “student fodder” and “scroggin” in Germany and New Zealand, respectively : TRAIL MIXES
16 Home of the Starzz, one of the original eight W.N.B.A. teams : UTAH
17 What few fliers desire : MIDDLE SEAT
18 Michael of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” : CERA
19 Bug expert? : SPY
20 Winter Olympics equipment : SLEDS
21 See 44-Down : … NORTH
22 Old Forester and Old Overholt offerings : RYES
23 Ethereum or Bitcoin, for example : E-MONEY
25 Shame : ABASE
27 Site of an underground pool, maybe : GROTTO
28 Get an 800 on the G.M.A.T., say : ACE IT
29 Animal that comes to shore to lay eggs : SEA TURTLE
32 Bel ___ (Italian cheese) : PAESE
33 One of the Kennedys : TED
34 Single-___ : PAYER
35 Leftovers from a doughnut, say : TIRE MARKS
37 Easy two-pointer : TIP-IN
38 Deep cuts : GASHES
39 Bad sorts to be stuck talking to at a gathering : BORES
40 Savory Scottish delicacy : HAGGIS
41 Go down : LOSE
42 Drug kingpin on “The Wire” : MARLO
43 Coffee spot? : STAIN
45 Comedian Margaret : CHO
48 Actor who played Senator Vinick on “The West Wing” : ALDA
49 Historic Charleston site : FORT SUMTER
51 St. ___, locale in an English nursery rhyme : IVES
52 One way to crack a code : BRUTE FORCE
53 Studies : DENS
54 “Got it” : I SEE
55 People : FOLKS

Down

1 You can bank on them : ATMS
2 “___ Camp,” 2020 Oscar-nominated documentary : CRIP
3 Women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth ___ Stanton : CADY
4 Clear : RID
5 Words from Mission Control : ALL SYSTEMS GO
6 Stops lying : RISES
7 Cut : AXED
8 Things that pique your interest on TV : TEASER ADS
9 14 billion years, for the age of the universe: Abbr. : EST
10 “You thought wrong!” : AU CONTRAIRE
11 Judge unfairly, say : STEREOTYPE
12 Person in a contract : PARTY
13 Bygone potentate : SHAH
15 Hockey game highlight, for some : MELEE
21 Unsatisfactory : NOT UP TO SNUFF
22 Begin the toasting process : RAISE A GLASS
24 Zinger : MOT
25 Kind of berry : ACAI
26 Oktoberfest locale : BEER GARDEN
27 Does a deep dive on a topic, with “out” : GEEKS …
28 Inclined : APT
29 They can cause anxiety : STRESSORS
30 Gifts that are usually scented : LEIS
31 West end? : -ERN
36 Bigeye tuna : AHI
39 U.S. city that’s home to the largest Basque population outside Spain : BOISE
40 Split, in a way : HALVE
41 Tall order? : LATTE
42 One of eight in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” : MAID
44 With 21-Across, straight up : TRUE …
45 2017 double-platinum debut album for SZA : CTRL
46 “Shucks!” : HECK!
47 Raw materials : ORES
49 Govt. org. whose director serves a 10-year term : FBI
50 “How now?,” to a cow? : MOO!

16 thoughts on “0514-21 NY Times Crossword 14 May 21, Friday”

  1. 9:10. There were a few things I didn’t know but got through the crosses. And despite knowing it shows up in crosswords frequently, apparently BEL PAESE has not ingrained fully in my memory yet. But overall a pretty smooth solve for a Friday.

  2. 20:44. I was on schedule for a 16 minute finish but slowed down in the NW. The whole right side was pretty easy for me this time. Most of the long entries just clicked today.

  3. 21:38. Took longer than it should have. For 37A I had LAYUP then LAYIN then TIPIN. Then FIGHT before MELEE. And I don’t have any MOO to say about it.

  4. New Friday record for me – 8:22. Did the same layup – layin -tipin. Also got stuck on single-layer for a few seconds.

  5. 21:34. Another hand up for layup (also put tap in which is actually golf) before TIPIN.

    I also put biergarten before BEER GARDEN when I got too cute for my own good.

    Well today I learned what HAGGIS is. Any chance I can UNlearn it now? How long after the big bang did atoms form to create HAGGIS? Can’t we use the supercollider and go back and correct that?

    Well Vegas casinos are now back at 100% capacity and maskless. I think I might have to go celebrate tonight.

    Best –

  6. Jeff, if you want to entertain the masses in the U. K., wear an “Enter The Haggis” concert T shirt while walking among the public. Enter The Haggis is the name of a Canadian folk/rock band that I quite enjoy, but the name is a bit putting off 🙂

  7. 9:51, no errors. (crosses the goal line, shrugs, and then tosses the ball to the ref, wondering how scary the time would be if I did this online…)

  8. @glenn… you put me to shame.. I feel good finishing it.. more like an hour for me..

    Oh well.. onto the weekend.. Happy Father’s Day.

    1. @Anon Mike
      I sincerely hope I wasn’t offensive and I apologize if I was. I never mean to belittle anybody at any point. That was more of a commentary on the difficulty level that most of these Friday puzzles have been lately. I had to look up a good cross section of how some of the serious ACPT contestants did on this one and it was around 2-3 minutes with similar thoughts as I had after finishing this. I have to shake my head at that for sure and still kinda reminds me how far behind the curve I am at doing this stuff.

  9. Just over 30 min. No errors…I’ll take it!
    Being from Baltimore we were excited when The Wire came out on HBO…We started to watch the first episode and in the first 15 minutes the F word came up about 20 to 30 times…my wife and I looked at each other and said F… no that was the last time we saw it…it might be a great show but we will never know.
    Stay safe😀

  10. 19:18, no errors. Also went down the LAY UP > LAY IN > TAP IN > TIP IN rabbit hole. Extremely vague recollection of the name ACCRA, which was fortunate because I had no idea of 2D and 3D. Only other erasure was RANK before RATE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.