0812-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Aug 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Jake Halperin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Calls It Like It Is

Themed answers are common phrases CALLED LIKE they really are in reality:

  • 40A What each asterisked clue’s answer does, to correct a misnomer? : CALLS IT LIKE IT IS
  • 18A *Sensitive part of the elbow : FUNNY NERVE (“funny bone”, in reality)
  • 20A *Oft-wished-upon sighting : SHOOTING METEOR (“shooting star”, in reality)
  • 57A *Symbol of Australia : KOALA MARSUPIAL (“koala bear”, in reality)
  • 63A *Headwear made from jipijapa fibers : ECUADOR HAT (“Panama hat”, in reality)

Bill’s time: 13m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Alternative to a Ding Dong : HO HO

Ho Hos snack cakes were first produced in San Francisco in 1967. The “Happy Ho Ho” mascot was created for the brand in the 1970s, and was a cartoon character in a Robin Hood outfit. Ho Hos weren’t the best thing to come out of the sixties I’d say …

A Ding Dong is a chocolate cake made by Hostess Brands. The Ding Dong was introduced in 1967.

5 It’s found near a trap : DELT

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

The trapezius is a muscle in the neck and upper back that moves the shoulder blade and supports the arm.

16 Sister publication of Jet magazine : EBONY

“Ebony” is a lifestyle magazine founded in 1945 that is marketed towards the African-American community. Way back in 1957/58, “Ebony” was home to a monthly advice column penned by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Titled “Advice for Living”, he used the column to answer many of the letters that the magazine received that were addressed to Dr. King personally. Having recently read a few of those columns, I must say that they provide some fascinating insight into race relations in the 1950s …

“Jet” was a weekly magazine published in Chicago that targeted mainly an African-American readership. Launched in 1951, “Jet” gained popularity in the fifties and sixties largely due to its extensive coverage of the American Civil Rights movement. “Jet” stopped appearing on newsstands in 2014 and now exists only as a digital magazine.

17 Actor Laurie of “House” : HUGH

English actor and comedian Hugh Laurie used to be half of a comedy double act with Stephen Fry called simply “Fry and Laurie”. Fry and Laurie met in Cambridge University through their mutual friend, actress Emma Thompson. Over in North America, Laurie is best known for playing the title role in the medical drama “House”.

18 *Sensitive part of the elbow : FUNNY NERVE (“funny bone”, in reality)

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). It is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes an electric-type shock known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

20 *Oft-wished-upon sighting : SHOOTING METEOR (“shooting star”, in reality)

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

23 Heart chart, for short : ECG

An EKG measures the electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred, as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

24 Part of A.B.S.: Abbr. : SYS

The first anti-lock braking system (ABS) was developed for use on aircraft, in 1929. The system reduced braking distances for aircraft by 30% because pilots were able to apply a full braking force immediately on landing instead of applying gradual pressure to avoid skidding.

30 Serving with dal makhani : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

34 With 51-Across, something to “read” : RIOT …
51A See 34-Across : … ACT

The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act to” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

43 In the main? : AT SEA

When one thinks of the word “main”, in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main” to mean “sea”, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

46 French greeting : ALLO

The French use “Allo” as a greeting when answering the phone. I used to watch a very entertaining British sitcom as a young man called “‘Allo ‘Allo!” that was about the resistance movement in WWII France.

48 It was once sold medically under the commercial name Delysid : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

54 Dynamism : VIM

“Vim”, “zip“ and “pep” are all words that mean “energy, power”.

57 *Symbol of Australia : KOALA MARSUPIAL (“koala bear”, in reality)

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

63 *Headwear made from jipijapa fibers : ECUADOR HAT (“Panama hat”, in reality)

Panama hats are traditional headgear from Ecuador, and have never been made in volume in Panama. The “panama” moniker came about as many of the hats were shipped to the Isthmus of Panama for transportation by sea to the rest of the world. Authentic panama hats are made from the leaves of a palm-like plant known locally as the jipijapa palm.

64 Tech review site : 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.

66 Repetitive musical form : RONDO

A rondo was often chosen by composers in the classical period for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is a principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme(s). So, the original theme anchors the whole piece in between secondary digressions.

69 Faun lookalike : SATYR

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

Fauns are regarded as the Roman mythological equivalent of the Greek satyrs, but fauns were half-man and half-goat and much more “carefree” in personality than their Hellenic cousins. In the modern age we are quite familiar with Mr. Tumnus, the faun-like character encountered by the children entering the world of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

Down

2 “Mr. Holland’s ___,” 1995 film for which Richard Dreyfuss received a Best Actor nomination : OPUS

Actor Richard Dreyfuss is from New York City, although he grew up in Los Angeles. Dreyfuss got his big break with a lead role in 1973’s “American Graffiti” and then made a name for himself in two Steven Spielberg blockbusters: “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. He won the 1978 Best Actor Oscar for his wonderful performance in “The Goodbye Girl”, making him the youngest actor to be so honored at that time (he was 30 years old).

4 Golf great Lorena : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

7 Sally ___ (English teacake) : LUNN

A Sally Lunn bun is something that I have enjoyed in Bath in England, the town in which it originated. You can eat Sally Lunn buns at Sally Lunn’s House in Bath, a bakery in the town that has a dining room. The name supposedly comes from Sillie Luyon, a Huguenot immigrant who ended up in Bath in 1680, bringing her recipe for the buns with her.

9 Obama’s Secret Service code name : RENEGADE

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

12 Figure in international relations : ENVOY

An envoy works at an embassy and is a representative of a government, and someone ranking below an ambassador. The name comes from the concept of the envoy being a “messenger” from his or her government. “Envoyer” is the French word for “to send”.

19 Org. with gym memberships : YMCA

The YMCA (the Y) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

25 One in a pod : ORCA

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

28 Sch. with a campus in Narragansett : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus today is located in the village of Kingston, with smaller campuses in Providence, Narragansett and West Greenwich.

29 ” ” ” : DITTO MARKS

The word “ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is just another wonderful import from that lovely land …

31 Author Gaiman : NEIL

Neil Gaiman is an English author whose works include novels, comic books and graphic novels.

33 Kind of market : FLEA

Flea markets are known by various names around the world. In Australia, the term “trash and treasure market” is used. Such outdoor events are called car boot sales in Britain and Ireland, whereas indoor versions might be jumble sales or bring-and-buy sales.

38 Home to the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas (since 1551) : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

41 First name in Surrealism : SALVADOR

Artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

The cultural movement known as Surrealism emerged in the 1920s, and grew out of the Dada activities that were a response to WWI. The term “surrealist” was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire, when he used it in the preface of his play “Les Mamelles de Tirésias”.

42 Tour de France units: Abbr. : KMS

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

47 Stretch of the red carpet? : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

52 Warmer in the winter : COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

58 “___ Bird” (2017 film) : LADY

“Lady Bird” is a 2017 coming-of-age movie starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role, a high school senior who has a strained relationship with her mother (played by Laurie Metcalf). Roman and Metcalf earned themselves Oscar nominations for their performances.

59 Titaness of myth : RHEA

In Greek mythology, Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and wife of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

60 Store near Rockefeller Center, familiarly : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

Rockefeller Center is actually made of nineteen buildings in Midtown Manhattan. The site was developed by John D. Rockefeller, who first leased the 22-acre lot back in 1928. The original plan was to build a new opera house for the Metropolitan Opera, but the stock market crash of 1929 led to those plans being canceled. Because of the Great Depression, Rockefeller was forced to fund the whole development project himself, a huge undertaking, but a very successful one.

61 Sporty vehicles : UTES

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

62 Some summer deliveries : LEOS

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

65 Channel with the slogan “Boom.” : TNT

“TNT” stands for Turner Network Television. The TNT cable channel made a big splash in the eighties when it started to broadcast old MGM movies that had been “colorized”, not something that was a big hit with the public. In recent years, the TNT programming lineup is touted with the tagline “We Know Drama”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Alternative to a Ding Dong : HO HO
5 It’s found near a trap : DELT
9 Sped : RACED
14 To be remembered for all time : EPIC
15 Shade akin to turquoise : AQUA
16 Sister publication of Jet magazine : EBONY
17 Actor Laurie of “House” : HUGH
18 *Sensitive part of the elbow : FUNNY NERVE (“funny bone”, in reality)
20 *Oft-wished-upon sighting : SHOOTING METEOR (“shooting star”, in reality)
22 When doubled, “Good one” : HAR
23 Heart chart, for short : ECG
24 Part of A.B.S.: Abbr. : SYS
25 Common typo for an exclamation point : ONE
27 Sprout : BUD
30 Serving with dal makhani : NAAN
32 Hazard in maritime travel : REEF
34 With 51-Across, something to “read” : RIOT …
36 Passed out : DEALT
40 What each asterisked clue’s answer does, to correct a misnomer? : CALLS IT LIKE IT IS
43 In the main? : AT SEA
44 Word with sport or spirit : TEAM …
45 One might stand on a table : LAMP
46 French greeting : ALLO
48 It was once sold medically under the commercial name Delysid : LSD
50 Great time, informally : GAS
51 See 34-Across : … ACT
54 Dynamism : VIM
55 Not well : ILL
57 *Symbol of Australia : KOALA MARSUPIAL (“koala bear”, in reality)
63 *Headwear made from jipijapa fibers : ECUADOR HAT (“Panama hat”, in reality)
64 Tech review site : C|NET
66 Repetitive musical form : RONDO
67 Actress/TV host Palmer : KEKE
68 Standout in one’s field : ICON
69 Faun lookalike : SATYR
70 Freshness : SASS
71 Drill, for instance : TEST

Down

1 Sound of a snicker : HEH
2 “Mr. Holland’s ___,” 1995 film for which Richard Dreyfuss received a Best Actor nomination : OPUS
3 Grate pains? : HIGH HEELS
4 Golf great Lorena : OCHOA
5 Preposterous : DAFT
6 Lead-in to -vocal : EQUI-
7 Sally ___ (English teacake) : LUNN
8 Beside the point : TANGENTIAL
9 Obama’s Secret Service code name : RENEGADE
10 Help wanteds? : ABET
11 Computer processor parts : CORES
12 Figure in international relations : ENVOY
13 Some textile specialists : DYERS
19 Org. with gym memberships : YMCA
21 Globe : ORB
25 One in a pod : ORCA
26 “Good stuff!” : NEAT!
28 Sch. with a campus in Narragansett : URI
29 ” ” ” : DITTO MARKS
31 Author Gaiman : NEIL
33 Kind of market : FLEA
35 José ___ (frozen foods brand) : OLE
37 Superficially : AT A GLANCE
38 Home to the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas (since 1551) : LIMA
39 Spice qtys. : TSPS
41 First name in Surrealism : SALVADOR
42 Tour de France units: Abbr. : KMS
47 Stretch of the red carpet? : LIMO
49 Leave inconspicuously, with “out” : DIP …
51 Michelle who was FIFA’s Female Player of the Century : AKERS
52 Warmer in the winter : COCOA
53 Needle : TAUNT
56 Lawful : LICIT
58 “___ Bird” (2017 film) : LADY
59 Titaness of myth : RHEA
60 Store near Rockefeller Center, familiarly : SAKS
61 Sporty vehicles : UTES
62 Some summer deliveries : LEOS
65 Channel with the slogan “Boom.” : TNT

13 thoughts on “0812-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Aug 21, Thursday”

  1. 12:16. Took me a bit to figure out what was going on, and I had no idea from the cluing on the PANAMA HAT. Some fairly obscure fill, too, so all in all a pretty hard one.

  2. 19:22 with one lookup to help me make it thru the SW corner. For 57A I started with KANGAROOxxxxxx and because I had TEASE for 53D I had MATADORHAT. Even once I got MARSUPIAL I couldn’t come up with KOALA. This was kind of tough as @TOM said.

    And things are back to being right in the universe as I was well slower than @Bill’s time – as per ususal. 🙂

  3. 18:09, no errors. Bit of a tussle (as were the other puzzles I did last might … so maybe it’s me). I’m sitting outside the Nature Center at Barr Lake, here in Colorado, after yet another 9-mile hike around the lake, in the course of which I saw a beaver! (It’s quite surprising to me to see one down here; I expect to see them at higher elevations – and then not often.)

      1. It’s a great hike, especially if you’re a birder (which I’m not, really, but I become more interested in them with each trip). This morning, besides the beaver, I saw something I’ve read about, but not witnessed before: a huge flock of pelicans herding fish into a shallow part of the lake and feasting on them. I paid $70 for a one-year pass to all the Colorado State Parks, so my per-visit cost is now down to about two dollars and shrinking fast; gas is more of an issue. The elevation is a little less than Denver’s: 5130 feet; I prefer trails with more elevation change, but I have to drive a lot further for that.

  4. 22:59. Clever theme. Cluing in this one made my head hurt at times.

    Alternative theme entries:

    How about PURPLE BERRIES for Blueberries or a LIGHT BROWN RUSSIAN instead of a black Russian? Or one of my favorites now living in the Pacific Time zone: Monday Late Afternoon Football instead of Monday Night Football? HAPPY HOURS instead of happy hour?

    I’m sure there are more

    Best –

  5. 27:12, no errors. Absolutely horrid guess fest with erasures on about half the grid by the time I got done. And that’s being nice about it.

  6. Did the same as @Ron F with the MATADOR HAT.. stuck for awhile there. Couldn’t get 51D for a long time cuz I was thinking golf until I reread the clue…. eventually sussed it out.

    Then there was the whole TRAP thing up at 5A.. boy, I took that hook, line and sinker.. BAIT? RAKE? .. DELT?? since when?? Oh since TRAPEZIOUS when!!

  7. Addendum … I’ve seen that beaver at Barr Lake three more times in the last five weeks. One of the rangers told me that it somehow came in via a canal from the Platte River a couple of years ago and has been there ever since. I speculate that it’s either seriously confused by the absence of others of its kind or it’s just too old and crotchety to care. (In some ways, I can relate. Maybe it has a den somewhere near the lake and spends most of its time doing crosswords … 😳.)

  8. Not a Thursday puzzle in my opinion. More like a Saturday puzzle on steroids. Congratulations to those who were able to finish it.

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