0809-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Aug 21, Monday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme Opposite Opposites

Themed answers come in pairs of two-part phrases. Both parts of one element are the opposite of both parts of the other element:

  • 17A Gets past, as an obstacle : OVERCOMES
  • 56A Opposite of 17-Across? : UNDERGOES
  • 25A Where pirates roam : HIGH SEAS
  • 45A Opposite of 25-Across? : LOWLANDS
  • 35A Omitted : LEFT OFF
  • 37A Opposite of 35-Across? : RIGHT ON

Bill’s time: 7m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Places where surgeries are performed, for short : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

4 Not in any way, in dialect : NOHOW

The peculiarly American term “nohow” means “not at all”. It comes from the words “no” and “how” constructed in the same way as the earlier word “nowhere”.

9 Composition of many reefs : CORAL

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

15 Practice piano piece : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

16 “The Phantom of the ___” : OPERA

I’m a bit jaded with big stage musicals I must admit, but I will always have time for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece “The Phantom of the Opera”. “Phantom …” is the longest running musical in the history of Broadway, and deservedly so. There is a sequel, titled “Love Never Dies”, that opened in London’s West End in March 2010. But, it hasn’t been well received.

20 Spiral shapes : HELICES

The plural of “helix” is “helices”.

21 Private eye, quaintly : TEC

A private eye is a private investigator, a PI, a private “I”.

23 Tattoos, informally : INK

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

27 Vogue competitor : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

“Vogue” magazine has been published for an awfully long time, with the first issue appearing in 1892. Over the decades the magazine has picked up a lot of criticism as well as its many fans. Famously, an assistant to the editor wrote a novel based on her experiences working with the magazine’s editor, and called it “The Devil Wears Prada”.

28 Period in human history after bronze was supplanted in toolmaking : IRON AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

30 ___ Lilly & Co. : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

31 Website for techies : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

32 Zaps, in a way : LASES

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

40 Divisions of a subdivision : LOTS

Those would be lots on which one might erect houses.

48 Frisbee, e.g. : DISC

The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

49 Flexible blackjack card : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

50 Male cat : TOM

A group of cats can be referred to as a clowder or a glaring. A male cat is a tom or tomcat, and a neutered male is a gib. An unaltered female cat is a queen, and a spayed female might be referred to informally as a molly. A young cat is a kitten.

51 Hyundai compact : ELANTRA

The Elantra is a compact car made by Hyundai of South Korea. There was a long-standing dispute between Hyundai and manufacturers Lotus and Mitsubishi. Lotus contended that the Elantra’s name was too close to the Lotus Elan, and Mitsubishi didn’t like the similarity to the Mitsubishi Elante.

54 2014 Ava DuVernay drama : SELMA

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

60 Pig follower in the Chinese zodiac : RAT

The Chinese Zodiac is a scheme that relates each year to the attributes of a particular animal in a 12-year cycle. So, the Chinese Zodiac has one sign for each of twelve years, whereas the Western Zodiac has one sign for each of the twelve months.

63 Moody genre of music or fashion : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

Down

2 Wake-up calls played on bugles : REVEILLES

“Reveille” is a trumpet call that is used to wake everyone up at sunrise. The term comes from “réveillé”, the French for “wake up”.

3 Twinkies have a long one : SHELF LIFE

The snack cakes called Twinkies have been around since 1930. They were created by a baker called James Dewar, who chose the name from a billboard advertising “Twinkle Toe Shoes”. The original filling in the cake was a banana cream, but this was swapped out as a result of rationing during WWII. The vanilla cream became so popular that the banana recipe was dropped completely.

4 Classic wafer brand : NECCO

Necco Wafers were the best-known product line of the candy manufacturer called the New England Confectionery Company. The firm’s name was abbreviated to “NECCO”, an acronym that became synonymous with the wafers.

5 Nebraska native : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

12 Venue with tiered seating : ARENA

A venue is a specified locale used for an event. The term “venue” came into English via French from the Latin “venire” meaning “to come”. So, a “venue” is a place to which people “come”.

13 Birds that do things just for the fun of it? : LARKS

Larks are small songbirds that are found all over the world, although only the horned lark species is found here in North America. Despite their size, larks are sometimes considered game birds, and can be served up as food. It’s not uncommon to find a dish containing lark meat in southern Europe.

18 What good soufflés do : RISE

A soufflé is a French dish that is usually served as a dessert. The verb “souffler” means “to blow, blow up”.

22 “Liberté, ___, fraternité” (Haiti’s motto) : EGALITE

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

26 Informal get-together : SESH

Session (abbreviated to “sess.” formally, and “sesh” informally)

29 One tweeting about football? : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

33 Place to sell homemade crafts online : ETSY STORE

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

34 Enchilada topping, maybe : SOUR CREAM

“Enchilada” is the past participle of the Spanish word “enchilar” meaning “to add chili pepper to”. An enchilada is basically a corn tortilla rolled around some filling and then covered in chili pepper sauce. The term “big enchilada” is used in the same way as we would use “big cheese” i.e. the top dog. The phrase was popularized in the sixties when John Ehrlichman refers to Attorney General John Mitchell as “the big enchilada” on one of the Watergate Tapes.

36 Blue-green shade : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

37 The New Yorker cartoonist Chast : ROZ

Roz Chast had her first cartoon published in “The New Yorker” in 1978, and has had more than 800 published since then.

The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Condé Nast. It was founded back in 1925 by Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for “The New York Times”. The venerated magazine has become famous for many aspects of its content, including its stylish covers and its cartoons.

38 Jill Biden ___ Jacobs : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

40 ___ États-Unis : LES

“Les États-Unis” is what French speakers call “the United States”.

43 Hillary who climbed Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay : EDMUND

Edmund Hillary was a mountaineer and explorer from New Zealand. Famously, Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers to summit Mount Everest, doing so in 1953. Edmund’s son Peter Hillary also became a climber, and he reached the summit of Everest in 1990. Peter repeated the feat in 2002, climbing alongside Tenzing Norgay’s son Jamling.

44 Radar sound : PING

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym “RADAR”.

45 Dogie catcher : LASSO

“Dogie” (sometimes “dogy”) is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

46 Atlantic or Pacific : OCEAN

The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic”, for the world’s second-largest ocean, was in ancient Greece. The Greeks called said ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

47 Wishing sites : WELLS

A wishing well is a phenomenon that comes from European folklore. The concept arose from the belief that water housed friendly gods.

51 Actress Falco : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

55 Leader of the Three Stooges : MOE

“Moe Howard” was the stage name of Moses Harry Horwitz. Howard was one of the Three Stooges. In 1925, he married Helen Schonberger, who was a cousin of Harry Houdini.

57 Oslo’s country: Abbr. : NOR

Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Places where surgeries are performed, for short : ORS
4 Not in any way, in dialect : NOHOW
9 Composition of many reefs : CORAL
14 Sneaky laugh : HEH!
15 Practice piano piece : ETUDE
16 “The Phantom of the ___” : OPERA
17 Gets past, as an obstacle : OVERCOMES
19 Say : UTTER
20 Spiral shapes : HELICES
21 Private eye, quaintly : TEC
23 Tattoos, informally : INK
24 In that case : IF SO
25 Where pirates roam : HIGH SEAS
27 Vogue competitor : ELLE
28 Period in human history after bronze was supplanted in toolmaking : IRON AGE
30 ___ Lilly & Co. : ELI
31 Website for techies : C|NET
32 Zaps, in a way : LASES
35 Omitted : LEFT OFF
37 Opposite of 35-Across? : RIGHT ON
39 Worrisome directive from a boss : SEE ME
40 Divisions of a subdivision : LOTS
41 ___ Bird, many-time W.N.B.A. All-Star : SUE
42 Child’s play : A BREEZE
44 It rhymes with fire, appropriately : PYRE
45 Opposite of 25-Across? : LOWLANDS
48 Frisbee, e.g. : DISC
49 Flexible blackjack card : ACE
50 Male cat : TOM
51 Hyundai compact : ELANTRA
54 2014 Ava DuVernay drama : SELMA
56 Opposite of 17-Across? : UNDERGOES
58 Place to go for the highlights? : SALON
59 Wham or bam : NOISE
60 Pig follower in the Chinese zodiac : RAT
61 Beginning : ONSET
62 Gown : DRESS
63 Moody genre of music or fashion : EMO

Down

1 “Pick me! Pick me!” : OH! OH!
2 Wake-up calls played on bugles : REVEILLES
3 Twinkies have a long one : SHELF LIFE
4 Classic wafer brand : NECCO
5 Nebraska native : OTOE
6 Carries a tune, in a way : HUMS
7 Poem of praise : ODE
8 Hilton competitor : WESTIN
9 Visual jokes in openings of “The Simpsons” (a tradition since the first episode) : COUCH GAGS
10 Make a choice : OPT
11 Knot again : RETIE
12 Venue with tiered seating : ARENA
13 Birds that do things just for the fun of it? : LARKS
18 What good soufflés do : RISE
22 “Liberté, ___, fraternité” (Haiti’s motto) : EGALITE
25 Spicy : HOT
26 Informal get-together : SESH
27 Sinuous swimmer : EEL
28 Raging blaze : INFERNO
29 One tweeting about football? : REF
31 Warrior : COMBATANT
33 Place to sell homemade crafts online : ETSY STORE
34 Enchilada topping, maybe : SOUR CREAM
36 Blue-green shade : TEAL
37 The New Yorker cartoonist Chast : ROZ
38 Jill Biden ___ Jacobs : NEE
40 ___ États-Unis : LES
43 Hillary who climbed Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay : EDMUND
44 Radar sound : PING
45 Dogie catcher : LASSO
46 Atlantic or Pacific : OCEAN
47 Wishing sites : WELLS
48 Induces to pull a prank, maybe : DARES
51 Actress Falco : EDIE
52 Not so much : LESS
53 Regarding : AS TO
55 Leader of the Three Stooges : MOE
57 Oslo’s country: Abbr. : NOR

9 thoughts on “0809-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Aug 21, Monday”

  1. 6:45 I first put in NECCO, then thought “nah” they want NILLA wafers. Well they really wanted NECCO. Then I had to OVERCOME a few fat fingers along the way.

    Speaking of “fire” and PYRE – just saw a “SESH” on CBS Sunday Morning about Jim Morrison and a book soon coming out about him

  2. Stupidly put in “Los” instead of “Les” and then didn’t get “child’s play”. “Sesh” is a new term for me.

  3. Well, here I go again … I ended up with the alternate spelling “HELIXES” instead of the old standard “HELICES” and didn’t notice “NECXO” until after I had searched for a minute or two, at which point I fixed it and the timer read 10:59.

    My bad … 😳.

  4. 10:40. Tricky for a Monday. Punny theme.

    I had HELIxES as well for a time until I saw NExCO. Also had tASES before LASES as I was thinking in crossword-speak.

    I wonder if REVEILLE at sun up is related to the word “revile”. Just a thought from someone who’s obviously not a morning person…

    Best –

  5. Overall a fun puzzle. Never heard a private eye called a tec, or sesh for session or couch gags. Once again the constructor made up an answer to fit his purpose: how is Pick Me! Pick Me! Oh oh??!

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