0807-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Adam Aaronson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 24m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

19 Certain sorority member : THETA

The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at a corner of a triangle).

20 Who had a major part in the Torah? : MOSES

Moses is an important prophet in Christianity and Islam, and the most important prophet in Judaism. It fell to Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt across the Red Sea. He was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and then wandered the desert with his people for forty years. Moses then died within sight of the Promised Land.

22 One of the Gilmore Girls : LORELAI

“Gilmore Girls” is a comedy show that originally aired from 2000 to 2007 on the WB. The title characters are mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.

25 Titaness who abducted Orion : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

26 Afghans, e.g. : RUGS

An afghan is a blanket or a wrap that is knitted or crocheted from very colorful yarns, and traditionally made in Afghanistan.

32 Grand total? : EIGHTY-EIGHT

“Eighty-eight” is a slang word for a piano, coming from the fact that a modern piano usually has 88 keys: 36 black and 52 white.

33 “Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” : NIGHTY NIGHT

Bedbugs are parasites that feed on human blood, and their preferred habitat is the mattresses on which people sleep. Bedbugs have been around for thousands of years and were almost eradicated in the 1940s. However, infestations have been increasing since then. Dogs have been trained to detect bedbugs, and are used by some pest control specialists.

34 “The Magpie” and “The Wheat Field,” for two : MONETS

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

39 It raised a major red flag : USSR

The Soviet flag has three symbols:

  1. A hammer symbolizes the industrial workers, the proletarians
  2. A sickle symbolises the agricultural workers, the peasants
  3. A five-pointed star symbolizes the rule of the Communist Party

40 Gene pool? : DNA BANK

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool, the more diverse and robust the population.

43 Worker whose name anagrams to the person’s output : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

“Steno” is an anagram of “notes”.

51 Brand with a red star in its logo : HEINEKEN

Heineken Lager Beer is named for Gerard Adriaan Heineken, the brewer who founded the brewery in the Netherlands in 1873. The label on a bottle of Heineken beer includes a red star logo. The red star was a symbol used by European brewers in the Middle Ages. During the Cold War, the red star came to have a negative connotation, an association with communism. So for several years, Heineken used a white star with a red outline as a logo.

52 Spot for some piercings : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

54 Home to the world’s tallest steel arch bridge : SYDNEY

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

Down

3 Gets to the point? : TAPERS

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.

4 Holst’s “The Planets,” for one : SUITE

Despite the Scandinavian-sounding name, Gustav Holst was born in Britain and was the most English of classical composers. His most famous work is the orchestral suite known as ‘The Planets”. The suite has seven movements, one for each of the planets known at the time (1914-1916) except Earth. Pluto was discovered during Holst’s lifetime, but decades after he had completed his masterpiece. Anyway, Pluto was relegated from the league of planets …

8 Waste at a winery : LEES

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

9 Sumptuous : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

10 Groups involved in class actions, for short? : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

16 Investment banker Samuel : SACHS

The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

23 Period immediately following Y2K : AUGHTS

An “aught” is a zero. The term can be used in the context of dates as in “the aughts”, the years 2000-2009. I’ve also heard those years referred to as “the noughties”.

27 Composer of many Streisand show tunes : STYNE

Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

28 Model-turned-TV personality Chrissy : TEIGEN

Chrissy Tiegen is a model who has appeared twice in the “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit Issue, in 2010 and 2014. She co-hosts the reality TV show “Lip Sync Battle” with rap artist LL Cool J. Teigen married singer John Legend in 2013.

29 Six figures, say : HIGH SALARY

It has been suggested that our term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

30 Hybrid zoo animal : LIGER

The tiger is the largest species in the cat family. Tigers have been known to breed with lions. A liger is a cross between a male lion and female tiger. A tigon is a cross between a female lion and a male tiger.

34 Bed cover : MULCH

Mulch is a layer of material applied by gardeners over the top of soil. The intent can be to retain moisture, to add nutrients, to reduce weed growth, or just to improve the look of the garden.

36 Dark Lord of Mordor, in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAURON

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, Sauron is the actual “Lord of the Rings”. Sauron was the Dark Lord Morgoth’s trusted lieutenant.

43 Hasenpfeffer, e.g. : STEW

“Hasenpfeffer” is a rabbit or hare stew from Germany. The meat in the stew is braised with wine and the sauce thickened with the animal’s blood. The name “Hasenpfeffer” comes from the German “Hase” meaning “hare” and “Pfeffer” meaning “pepper”.

44 ___ bar : TIKI

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

46 Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” : NENE

NeNe Leakes is one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”. Leakes has used her exposure on the reality TV show to enhance her acting career. I saw her on “Dancing with the Stars”. Not a big fan …

50 “The World Is Yours” rapper, 1994 : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brings home : BATS IN
7 “Nah, thanks anyway” : I’LL PASS
14 Running freely : ON AUTO
15 Typical wall colors : NEUTRALS
17 One with key responsibilities? : TYPIST
18 Oil, informally : TEXAS TEA
19 Certain sorority member : THETA
20 Who had a major part in the Torah? : MOSES
21 Behavioral quirk : TIC
22 One of the Gilmore Girls : LORELAI
24 [Here we go again …] : [SIGH …]
25 Titaness who abducted Orion : EOS
26 Afghans, e.g. : RUGS
28 Alternatives to wings : THIGHS
30 Insubstantial : LIGHTWEIGHT
32 Grand total? : EIGHTY-EIGHT
33 “Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” : NIGHTY NIGHT
34 “The Magpie” and “The Wheat Field,” for two : MONETS
35 “De dónde ___?” (Spanish 101 query) : ERES
36 Palindromic term of address : SIS
39 It raised a major red flag : USSR
40 Gene pool? : DNA BANK
42 Awesome, slangily : LIT
43 Worker whose name anagrams to the person’s output : STENO
47 No bueno : LOUSY
48 Portion of an ad agency’s budget : CREATIVE
50 Specific : NARROW
51 Brand with a red star in its logo : HEINEKEN
52 Spot for some piercings : AREOLA
53 Back to back : ENDWISE
54 Home to the world’s tallest steel arch bridge : SYDNEY

Down

1 Repress, with “up” : BOTTLE …
2 “Moving on …” : ANYHOO …
3 Gets to the point? : TAPERS
4 Holst’s “The Planets,” for one : SUITE
5 “No need to worry,” informally : IT’S ALRIGHT
6 With 7-Down, disliking … or at least feeling indifferent about : NOT …
7 See 6-Down : … INTO
8 Waste at a winery : LEES
9 Sumptuous : LUXE
10 Groups involved in class actions, for short? : PTAS
11 ___ Technica (tech review site) : ARS
12 Bided one’s time : SAT TIGHT
13 Bit of deception : SLEIGHT
16 Investment banker Samuel : SACHS
20 Descriptor for a superhero : MIGHTY
23 Period immediately following Y2K : AUGHTS
24 Would you look at that! : SIGHT
27 Composer of many Streisand show tunes : STYNE
28 Model-turned-TV personality Chrissy : TEIGEN
29 Six figures, say : HIGH SALARY
30 Hybrid zoo animal : LIGER
31 Wackadoodle : WEIRDO
32 Who said “The greatest scientists are artists as well” : EINSTEIN
33 “Uh-uh” : NO SIREE
34 Bed cover : MULCH
36 Dark Lord of Mordor, in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAURON
37 It’s just under a foot : INSOLE
38 Passage that connects stories : SKYWAY
41 Put to sleep : BORED
43 Hasenpfeffer, e.g. : STEW
44 ___ bar : TIKI
45 They’re ahead of their time : EVES
46 Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” : NENE
49 “What of it?” : AND?
50 “The World Is Yours” rapper, 1994 : NAS

10 thoughts on “0807-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. 28:17 after changing “ANYHOW” to “ANYHOO”. (When I didn’t get the “success” message, I spent some time staring at the apparently-intentionally-misspelled “LORELAI”, but “AUGHTS” seemed solid. It took me some time to see that “EWS” didn’t seem kosher, at which point a light finally came on in the dusty recesses of my aging brain.)

  2. 37:48 with 2 lookups. Just stymied in the SE corner, even tho I had the SALARY of 29D. Impressive collection of IGHT and GH in the center stacks and right hand answers just above them

  3. 38:54, but at least I finished this one. I had oUGHTS for the longest time until I was sure LORELoI was wrong. Changed it to A and got the congratulatory music.

    Last to fall was the SW when I saw MULCH for “Bed cover” . Bit of a groaner, but I liked it.

    My knowledge of hasenpfeffer comes from the Bugs Bunny cartoon when a king was ranting at Yosemite Sam that he wanted hasenpfeffer. Obviously he had to go find a rabbit, and hilarity ensued. Cartoons used to be so educational.

    Best –

  4. Forgot to note how much I struggled with EIGHTY EIGHT being an answer for Grand total. A grand is a thousand!! I never played piano. I finally just relented and said I’ll try to understand later. Before I finished, I kind of figured it out, and when I came to the blog I saw. That one really ate at me for some reason.

    Our AQI (another crossword staple – Air Quality Index) here in Las Vegas today is 253! Anything over 100 starts being bad for anyone with respiratory issues. The smoke from the wildfires in N California is making our skies opaque. One step outside and it’s like you’re right next to a burning building. Yuck.

  5. Not a quick run… without the benefit of a “success” message , I left my 2D as ANYHOW which gave me EWS for 25A… which in hindsight I should have known better… I don’t think there are any EWS goddesses but there is a EOS. ..

    For 47A I was looking for a Spanish term for not good.. LOUSY was the only thing that worked so I left it.

  6. A few rough spots but managed to finish clean. Struggled on the southwest as I was clinging to ENDLESS at 53-A knowing that it didn’t make sense. Resolved that and the dominoes fell.

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