0516-21 NY Times Crossword 16 May 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Joe DiPietro
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme A Shot in the Dark

Themed answer use a kind of SHOT in the DARK (black) squares between the two parts of the answer:

  • 23A Shot in the dark : UNEDUCATED GUESS
  • 127A Shot in the dark : LAST-DITCH EFFORT
  • 33A Improved version of an existing product : BETTER MOUSETRAP
  • 15D “Hallelujah!” : PRAISE TO GOD!
  • Giving “SET shot”
  • 43A Fix for a bald spot : HAIR IMPLANT
  • 4D Tools for landscapers : HEDGE TRIMMERS
  • Giving “RIM shot”
  • 65A Real deal : GENUINE ARTICLE
  • 35D Carefully avoid : TIPTOE AROUND
  • Giving “EARshot”
  • 78A Highly resistant elastomer : SILICONE RUBBER
  • 57D Phenomenon by which electrons radiate from a heated filament, so named for a famous observer : EDISON EFFECT
  • Giving “ONE shot”
  • 100A Detectives : PRIVATE EYES
  • 74D When the first “Peanuts” comic appeared : NINETEEN FIFTY
  • Giving “TEE shot”
  • 110A Like some roller chains and ball bearings : SELF-LUBRICATING
  • 89D Very easy living : LAP OF LUXURY
  • Giving “FLU shot”

Bill’s time: 19m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Toaster Swirlz brand : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

9 Country singer Haggard : MERLE

Merle Haggard was a country singer and songwriter whose most famous recording has to be “Okie from Muskogee” released in 1969. Haggard would tell you that the song was actually meant as a spoof, but it has become a country “anthem”.

14 Lhasa ___ (dog breed) : APSO

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

18 Metallic fabric : LAME

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

19 “___: Legacy” (sci-fi sequel) : TRON

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

20 Hymn of joy : PAEAN

A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

26 Get to the point? : TAPER

I used to think that the word “taper” was used for a slender candle because said candle was “tapered” in shape, but it’s exactly the opposite. It turns out that our word “tapered” comes from the candle. “Taper” and “tapur” are Old English words meaning “candle”. From these nouns arose the verb “to taper” meaning “shoot up like flame”. This meaning evolved into “become slender” from the idea that a candle’s flame has such a shape.

28 Court plea, in brief : NOLO

“Nolo contendere” (sometimes shortened to “nolo”) is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of no contest, and is an alternative to guilty and not guilty, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

29 Winner’s sign : VEE

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V-for-victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

30 Alternative to a blitz : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

“Blitz”, as it is used in English, describes a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. It is a shortened version of the German word “blitzkrieg”. The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by Germany running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word “blitz” means “lightning” (and “krieg” means “war”). We use the term more generally in English to describe any fast, nonmilitary campaign.

40 Reward for a big hit, say : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

51 Oscar-winning Hanks role of 1994 : GUMP

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

59 Hasbro game requiring increasingly quick reflexes : BOP IT

Bop It is a line of toys with a speaker that issues commands to activate input devices on the toy, devices such as handles, cranks, wheels and switches. The commands come in a series of increasing length, and at increasing speed. So, I guess Bop It is a test of memory and dexterity.

61 Mensch : GOOD SORT

“Mensch” is a word that comes to us via Yiddish, and is ultimately derived from the German “mensch” meaning “human being”. We use the term to describe someone of integrity and honor.

63 Meals with Haggadah readings : SEDERS

The Haggadah is an ancient Jewish text that is traditionally read aloud at the Passover seder. The Haggadah (“telling” in Hebrew) acts as a guide to the seder ritual, which commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt.

68 Like cabernet sauvignon : RED

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

71 Start of many Portuguese place names : SAO …

In Portuguese, the word “são” can mean “saint”, as in São Paulo (Saint Paul) and São José (Saint Joseph). If the saint’s name starts with a letter H or with a vowel, then the word “santo” is used instead, as in Santo Agostinho (Saint Augustine) and Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony).

78 Highly resistant elastomer : SILICONE RUBBER

Silicones are synthetic polymers that include the element silicon. The words “silicone” and “silicon” are sometimes confused and used incorrectly. Silicones are used as sealants and adhesives all around the house. Silicones are also used to fill breast implants, although implants are more likely to contain saline these days due to safety concerns.

88 Like some ballots : MAIL-IN

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

90 Breakfast drink sans creamer : CAFE NOIR

“Café noir” is French for “black coffee”.

94 Do : COIF

A coif is a hairdo. The term “coif” comes from an old French term “coife” describing a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

95 Anonymous surname : DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe ”, and the equivalent to Richard Roe is Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example). Variants of “John Doe” used outside of the courts are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

98 Like Golden Raspberry-“winning” films : PANNED

“Razzie” is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.

116 Leaves zip for a tip : STIFFS

The etymology of our verb “to stiff”, meaning “to fail to tip”, seems unclear. The usage originated in the late 1930s, and is possibly an extension of the noun “stiff” meaning “corpse”. The idea is that dead men don’t leave tips.

119 One given orders around the house : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with Amazon Echo smart speakers. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

122 Nickname for the Wildcats of the Pac-12 : ZONA

The Wildcats are the athletic teams of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

124 Smut : FILTH

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

131 Three-time American League M.V.P. of the 1950s : BERRA

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

138 Fore-and-aft-rigged sailboat with two masts : YAWL

A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern. A yawl is similar to a ketch, in that both rigs have two masts. The mizzen mast is forward of the rudderpost in a ketch, and aft of the rudderpost in a yawl.

Down

6 Food found in some bars : GRANOLA

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

9 Sticker stat : MPG

Miles per gallon (mpg)

10 It’s water under le pont : EAU

In French, “eau” (water) flows under “le pont” (the bridge).

11 Teller of the third tale in “The Canterbury Tales” : REEVE

A reeve was a senior official in the days of Anglo-Saxon England, and might perhaps have been a chief magistrate of a town. Famously, a reeve appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”. “The Reeve’s Tale” is the third tale in the book.

13 Like some casts : ENSEMBLE

In the most general sense, an ensemble is a group producing a single, harmonious effect. For example, a musical ensemble works together to perform a particular work, with no instrument really dominating the piece. An ensemble cast works on a movie, with the main actors sharing the spotlight relatively equally. An ensemble can also be a complete outfit of clothing and accessories that all work together to provide a harmonized look.

15 “Hallelujah!” : PRAISE TO GOD!

The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

17 ___-3 : OMEGA

Fish oils are noted for containing omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits including the reduction of inflammation. Like so many essential nutrients that we get from animals, the only reason the animal has them is that it feeds on plants. In this case, fish cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, and instead absorb them from algae. Omega-3 fatty acids are also readily found in other plant oils such as flaxseed oil.

24 Takes over (from) : USURPS

To usurp is to seize and hold by force. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

32 Indian lentil dish : DAL

I love dal dishes, which are prepared from various peas or beans (often lentils) that have been stripped of their outer skins and split. Dal is an important part of Indian cuisines. I suppose in Indian terms, split pea soup (another of my favorites) would be called a dal.

34 “No info yet,” on a schedule : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

39 Composer Bruckner : ANTON

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer. He’s no favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I’m a sober traditionalist!). Bruckner’s “Symphony No. 7” is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow and mournful movement for the work in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.

43 Unlikely Oscar winners : HAMS

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

45 Tiny bit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

47 G : THOU

“G”, “G-note” and “thou” are slang terms used for a thousand dollars.

53 V.A. concern, for short : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1930 to manage pre-existing government benefits for war veterans. Some of those benefits dated back to the Continental Congress. Today, the most visible benefit is probably the network of VA medical centers that provide comprehensive healthcare services to veterans.

59 “You can’t be a real country unless you have a ___ and an airline”: Frank Zappa : BEER

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

63 Arc on a music score : SLUR

In the world of music, a slur is a curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

67 Trucker on a radio : CBER

A CB’er is someone who operates a Citizens Band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

70 Pitchfork-shaped letters : PSIS

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

74 When the first “Peanuts” comic appeared : NINETEEN FIFTY

The characters in the cartoon series “Peanuts” were largely drawn from Charles Schultz’s own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.

75 Apple on the teacher’s desk? : IMAC

Apple makes versions of its iMac line of computers that are aimed at schools. These are usually low-end machines that sell at a reduced price. Apple used to name such an offering an “eMac”, short for “education Mac”.

76 Literature Nobelist Bellow : SAUL

Saul Bellow was the only writer to win the National Book Award three times. He also won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. Bellow was a Canadian-born American writer, and among his most famous works were “Herzog” and “Humboldt’s Gift”.

77 Innovation in push-ups : MIRACLE BRA

The Miracle Bra is a line of bras introduced in 1993 by Victoria’s Secret.

80 First offer? : CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

83 Coffin frames : BIERS

Biers are the stands on which one rests a coffin for a service, or perhaps if the corpse is to lie in state. A bier may have wheels on it so that it can be used to transport the coffin to the graveside. The original biers were just flat pieces of wood on which the body was placed, covered with a shroud. Nowadays, we place the body in a casket, and then onto the bier.

87 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS

Ross Geller is the character on “Friends” played by David Schwimmer. The role was actually written with Schwimmer in mind, and so Ross was the first of the “Friends” to be cast.

94 French explorer who founded Detroit : CADILLAC

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

99 Bad P.R. for a celeb, maybe : DUI

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

102 One doing a Spot check? : VET

A veterinarian (vet) is a professional who treats animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

105 Whom the Secret Service dubbed Renegade and Renaissance : OBAMAS

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

107 Mike who served as a Wyoming senator from 1997 to 2021 : ENZI

Mike Enzi was the senior US Senator from Wyoming from 1997 through 2021. Enzi succeeded Senator Ted Kennedy as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

110 Longtime Swedish automaker : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

111 ___ Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state : ELLEN

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia in 2005, and re-elected in 2011. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in the continent of Africa. She was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work to protect women and women’s rights.

113 Mammal found in the Andean cloud forest : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

A cloud forest is a tropical forest that has a particularly persistent cloud cover that maintains a moist atmosphere. That moist atmosphere often produces an abundance of moss on and near the ground, leading to the alternative moniker of “mossy forest”.

117 Botanist’s study : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

123 ESPNU covers its games : NCAA

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

125 Web file format, for short : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

129 Chats over Twitter, briefly : DMS

Direct message (DM)

130 Grp. mobilized by a 911 call : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

The first use of a national emergency phone number was in 1937 in the UK, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Dude, slangily : BRAH
5 Toaster Swirlz brand : EGGO
9 Country singer Haggard : MERLE
14 Lhasa ___ (dog breed) : APSO
18 Metallic fabric : LAME
19 “___: Legacy” (sci-fi sequel) : TRON
20 Hymn of joy : PAEAN
21 Loud thudding sound : CRUMP!
23 Shot in the dark : UNEDUCATED GUESS
26 Get to the point? : TAPER
27 Steps up? : RUNGS
28 Court plea, in brief : NOLO
29 Winner’s sign : VEE
30 Alternative to a blitz : SIEGE
31 False start? : PSEUDO-
33 Improved version of an existing product : BETTER MOUSETRAP
38 Skipping syllables? : TRA-LA
40 Reward for a big hit, say : RBI
41 Two-legged stand : BIPOD
43 Fix for a bald spot : HAIR IMPLANT
48 Shock : APPALL
51 Oscar-winning Hanks role of 1994 : GUMP
54 Tiny bits : ATOMS
56 By-way connection : … THE …
58 Voice mail prompt : TONE
59 Hasbro game requiring increasingly quick reflexes : BOP IT
60 Tiny bit : MITE
61 Mensch : GOOD SORT
63 Meals with Haggadah readings : SEDERS
64 Award to wear : STAR
65 Real deal : GENUINE ARTICLE
68 Like cabernet sauvignon : RED
69 Go over : SPAN
71 Start of many Portuguese place names : SAO …
73 Be angry : BURN
75 Suffix with age : -ISM
78 Highly resistant elastomer : SILICONE RUBBER
84 Skyscraper support : I-BAR
88 Like some ballots : MAIL-IN
90 Breakfast drink sans creamer : CAFE NOIR
92 Ill-advised move : NO-NO
93 Intangible qualities : AURAS
94 Do : COIF
95 Anonymous surname : DOE
96 Causes of pocket buzzes : TEXTS
97 Loud, sharp sound : CLAP!
98 Like Golden Raspberry-“winning” films : PANNED
100 Detectives : PRIVATE EYES
104 Whispered sweet nothings : COOED
106 It’s a sign : CUE
108 Unsmiling : STERN
110 Like some roller chains and ball bearings : SELF-LUBRICATING
116 Leaves zip for a tip : STIFFS
119 One given orders around the house : ALEXA
121 Tract of land : LOT
122 Nickname for the Wildcats of the Pac-12 : ZONA
124 Smut : FILTH
126 Collection on Facebook : ALBUM
127 Shot in the dark : LAST-DITCH EFFORT
131 Three-time American League M.V.P. of the 1950s : BERRA
132 Varsity : A-TEAM
133 Hurt badly : MAIM
134 Disneyland transport : TRAM
135 Bill blockers : NAYS
136 Ta-tas : CIAOS
137 Polishes off : EATS
138 Fore-and-aft-rigged sailboat with two masts : YAWL

Down

1 Photo mishap : BLUR
2 Amassed : RAN UP
3 Congregational chorus : AMENS
4 Tools for landscapers : HEDGE TRIMMERS
5 “You get the idea”: Abbr. : ETC
6 Food found in some bars : GRANOLA
7 Most-often-used : GO-TO
8 Net wt. of many pasta packages : ONE LB
9 Sticker stat : MPG
10 It’s water under le pont : EAU
11 Teller of the third tale in “The Canterbury Tales” : REEVE
12 Surgical tool : LASER
13 Like some casts : ENSEMBLE
14 Makes a scene : ACTS UP
15 “Hallelujah!” : PRAISE TO GOD!
16 Marvelous : SUPER-DUPER
17 ___-3 : OMEGA
22 Slice and dice, say : PREP
24 Takes over (from) : USURPS
25 More than just a talker : DOER
32 Indian lentil dish : DAL
34 “No info yet,” on a schedule : TBA
35 Carefully avoid : TIPTOE AROUND
36 Heating option : OIL
39 Composer Bruckner : ANTON
43 Unlikely Oscar winners : HAMS
44 Fighting : AT IT
45 Tiny bit : IOTA
47 G : THOU
49 Opening for a computer technician? : PORT
50 Pro fighter? : ANTI
52 Swampy stretch : MIRE
53 V.A. concern, for short : PTSD
57 Phenomenon by which electrons radiate from a heated filament, so named for a famous observer : EDISON EFFECT
59 “You can’t be a real country unless you have a ___ and an airline”: Frank Zappa : BEER
61 Mil. leader : GENL
62 Catch : SNARE
63 Arc on a music score : SLUR
65 Investment goal : GAIN
67 Trucker on a radio : CBER
70 Pitchfork-shaped letters : PSIS
74 When the first “Peanuts” comic appeared : NINETEEN FIFTY
75 Apple on the teacher’s desk? : IMAC
76 Literature Nobelist Bellow : SAUL
77 Innovation in push-ups : MIRACLE BRA
79 It can represent a folder : ICON
80 First offer? : CAIN
82 “I touched your nose!” sound : BOOP!
83 Coffin frames : BIERS
85 Squarish : BOXY
86 A jokester might say “And the pot thickens” after one : ANTE
87 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS
89 Very easy living : LAP OF LUXURY
94 French explorer who founded Detroit : CADILLAC
96 Duty : TARIFF
98 According to : PER
99 Bad P.R. for a celeb, maybe : DUI
101 Baseball announcer’s cry : IT’S A HIT!
102 One doing a Spot check? : VET
105 Whom the Secret Service dubbed Renegade and Renaissance : OBAMAS
107 Mike who served as a Wyoming senator from 1997 to 2021 : ENZI
110 Longtime Swedish automaker : SAAB
111 ___ Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state : ELLEN
113 Mammal found in the Andean cloud forest : COATI
114 Utterly lost : AT SEA
115 “I’m baffled” : GOT ME
117 Botanist’s study : FLORA
118 A sucker for milkshakes, say : STRAW
123 ESPNU covers its games : NCAA
125 Web file format, for short : HTML
128 The natural order of the universe : TAO
129 Chats over Twitter, briefly : DMS
130 Grp. mobilized by a 911 call : EMS

19 thoughts on “0516-21 NY Times Crossword 16 May 21, Sunday”

  1. Geez I had trouble with this one. 28:15. I filled the grid in about 24-ish, but had a number of errors–4 I think–that I had to find and fix before getting the jingle. For some reason, even though I figured out the theme relatively early, I just had a hard time seeing the answers in my head with some of the letters blacked out. I also think I sort of forgot that the missing letters were the same for across and down, but honestly that only would have bought me a minute or so. Tough morning.

  2. 1:00:57. Like @Tom R I also struggled mightily with this one, much more so than he did. It took quite a while to get the theme (and did not realize the “fuller” theme of RIM shot, TEE shot, etc. until coming here). I was looking for a rebus at times and then at others for a sort of jump to a different line above and then back low again. But that just never worked. And on this iPad, I never saw the title theme “A shot in the dark”, tho I’m not sure that would have helped much.

    Struggled in many other places as well. Clever construction never the less.

    1. I hated this puzzle and still don’t get some of the answers after hearing a kinda sorta explanation . Almost 2 hours and still 2 mistakes. I should have lined the birdcage after one hour!

  3. 43:41 after filling in the “Z” at the intersection of “ENZI” (of whom I was unaware) and “ZONA” (which I might have been able to guess on a better day, but I was unaware of the team and their location). For various reasons, yesterday was a completely abnormal day: I didn’t get to bed until almost three o’clock, got up at seven o’clock, realized I had not done this puzzle, and was ill-prepared for such a struggle. Such is life, I guess … 😜. ( But I have to wonder what’s waiting for me in the other Sunday puzzles … 😳.)

  4. 50:23. Same as Nonny – more work than I was ready for.

    Tougher than most Sundays, but I made it even tougher on myself. I kept looking for parts of the theme that weren’t there e.g. a rebus. Biggest snafu was seeing HEDGE TrimMERS crossing HAIr transPLANT (instead of IMPLANT) . Ergo I couldn’t figure out why some crosses used the same missing letters and others didn’t.

    Sheesh. I never knew there was such a thing as a HAIR IMPLANT vs a HAIR TRANSPLANT. This puzzle was biased towards the follically challenged. This setter is a hairist.

    I love the Frank Zappa quote. The guy was an odd one, but a funny one.

    If a different clue was given for BIER pertaining the the German word for BEER, would it have violated the crossword rule of not using a word twice? I.e. same word, different language? Hmm. Sounds like a case for the International Supreme Crossword Court in The Hague…

    Best –

  5. Weird one… finished in 50:03, got the music of success, the app showed the three letter answers for the black squares, but the clock continues to run…shut off the phone and restarted, clock is still running. When I close the puzzle and look at the app, it shows I finished in 50:03…open the puzzle and it asks if I want to resume the puzzle. One of the benefits to paper and pencil!! I should be ashamed to admit that I figured out the theme with “miracle bra”, but I’m not 🙂

  6. I’m proud of the fact that it took me less than a week to complete. Just a note: the black squares are there for a reason. Once you misuse the black squares you’re in unchartered waters. Yes. The very skilled, the brilliant, can complete this kind of thing in a few minutes. The idea of any puzzle, especially in the Sunday Times, is to make it doable for a large portion of the readership. After all, that’s why we buy the Sunday Times.

  7. It took a very long time to get the theme and well over 2 hours to complete.
    No errors but also no fun👎👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  8. This is the very last time I waste hours of my life on this setter’s crosswords. Hard to believe anyone actually got it, congrats to the ones who did.

  9. Been doing the Sunday puzzles for over 20 years with my PhD husband. We wanted to cry FOUL with this one, but Joe Pietro might have wanted us to cry FOWL as he seems to get joy by using obscure clues and spelling. Thumbs down.

  10. Kudos to those who finished this. Mostly blank after the 30 minutes, wasn’t going to throw any more time into it.

  11. I gave up after a couple of hours–and went to Bill Butler’s site to figure it out. Think I’ll skip this constructor’s puzzles in the future!

  12. My biggest aha moment was getting 13 down leading to 33 across. I don’t mind spending hours on a puzzle.
    So many clever clues. I liked 56 across, 59 down took awhile, 77 down puzzled me as I had tiraclebra but got the answer from these comments.
    Thx Joe I loved this puzzle! Don’t listen to the naysayers!

  13. I’m a bit late to the dance because I worked the puzzle this morning (Monday). I actually thought this is what a Sunday puzzle should be
    but, apparently, I’m in the minority. No errors, but needed to guess at the Z in ENZI/ZONA as the Arizona contraction didn’t pop until I saw it in print; Duh. Cluing was clever and properly cryptic IMO.

  14. Best puzzle we’ve done amongst many wonderful offerings. Thank you for this brilliant piece of work!!

  15. No errors but it took an hour or so ..
    Never heard anyone refer to Arizona as ZONA. maybe ARIZONIANS??

    Never heard the phrase LAP OF LUXURY??

    Then there’s CRUMP for a loud thudding sound?

    That’s 3 nits out of 268 clues.. I’m fine with that..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.