0814-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Aug 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Nam Jin Yoon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 17m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

19 Its flag features a pine and the North Star : MAINE

There seems to be some uncertainty how the US state of Maine got its name. However, the state legislature has adopted the theory that it comes from the former French province of Maine. The legislature included language to that effect when adopting a resolution in 2001 to establish Franco-American Day.

20 Booker in Washington : CORY

Cory Booker has been a US Senator for New Jersey since 2013, having previously served as the Mayor of Newark. Booker is one of the few vegetarians in the US Congress.

21 Traditional masked drama : NOH

Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, including the female parts.

24 Challenge, symbolically : GAUNTLET

Gauntlets are gloves, usually with an extended cuff that extends to cover the forearm. Gauntlets were often made of metal and were used as part of a suit of armor. In days of yore a knight might “throw down the gauntlet”, tossing one of his gauntlets to the ground symbolizing that he has issued a challenge. The prospective opponent would pick up the gauntlet if he accepted that challenge.

31 Its pods are poisonous to eat : TIDE

The dark side of social media struck again in late 2017 when “The Tide Pod Challenge” became an Internet sensation. Participants were eating Tide detergent pods on camera, and getting very sick and dangerously injured.

32 Quick getaways, maybe : BEELINES

To make a beeline for somewhere or something, one takes a direct route. The term derives from the excellent homing instinct of bees.

36 Classic muscle car : GTO

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

42 Suffix with concert : -INA

A concertina operates much like an accordion, with the main difference being that the concertina has buttons/keys on both ends, and the accordion only on one end.

43 ___ II, eponymous gymnastics move featuring two backflips and a triple twist : BILES

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

49 Is super into, in modern parlance : STANS

“Stan” is a song by rapper Eminem (featuring Dido) that was recorded in 2000. The title refers to a fictional Eminem fan named “Stan” who becomes obsessed with the rapper, and who grows irate when his letters to his idol go unanswered. Stan’s final act is to make a voice recording as he drives into a river, with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk. One of the legacies of the song is that “stan” is now used as a slang term for an obsessed and maniacal fan.

Down

1 Game of checkers? : CHESS

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

2 Cuba libre ingredient : LIME

The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke, although the traditional recipe also calls for a splash of lime juice.

4 Carriers are mobile ones : AIR BASES

The first launching of an aircraft from a ship took place way back in 1910. Aviation pioneer Eugene Burton Ely flew a Curtiss Pusher airplane from a temporary platform erected on the bow of the USS Birmingham, which was anchored off Norfolk Navy Base in Virginia. Ely also recorded the first landing on a ship two months later, touching down on a platform on the USS Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay.

5 Poet who wrote “I grow old … I grow old … / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled” : TS ELIOT

T. S. Eliot (TSE) was born in New England but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Much of Eliot’s college education was at Oxford, and clearly he became comfortable with life in England. In 1927 he became a British citizen and lived the rest of life in the UK.

6 Saw : SAYING

A saw is an old adage, a saying.

9 Lead singer of “Yellow Submarine” : RINGO

Paul McCartney wrote the song “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr in mind as the lead singer. As McCartney said himself, because it was for Ringo, he wrote something that wasn’t “too rangey”. It turned out to be more like a children’s song, and a couple of years later in 1968, the song was used as the title for an animated film. The song is full of sound effects, including John Lennon blowing through a straw into a bowl of water to create a “bubbling”, and Lennon and McCartney speaking into tin cans to create the sound of the captain and officer exchanging orders. And at one point in the recording, a backing vocalist led everyone around the studio on a conga line, while pounding on a bass drum. What a way to make money, and lots of it …

19 Member of the Y? : MILLENNIAL

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

20 Pop star Lauper : CYNDI

If you’ve ever heard Cyndi Lauper speaking, you’d know that she was from Queens, New York. She is the daughter of divorced parents, and strongly influenced by a supportive mother. Lauper was always a free spirit, and even as a young teen in the mid-sixties she dyed her hair different colors and wore outlandish fashions. She was a young woman who wanted to “find herself”, and to that end she once spent two weeks alone in the woods up in Canada, well, just with her dog.

22 Sacred peak in the “Iliad” and “Aeneid,” for short : MT IDA

There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island’s highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle that took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

25 Gullible sorts : NAIFS

A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.

32 Binary : BASE TWO

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

37 New York Giants legend Phil : SIMMS

Phil Simms was an NFL quarterback and works as a broadcaster with CBS.

38 The Greenlandic language is a form of it : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

Greenland is the largest island on the planet. Geographically, Greenland is part of the continent of North America, but culturally and politically is considered part of Europe. The island became a Danish colony in 1815, and joined the European Economic Community (EEC) with Denmark. Greenland withdrew from the EEC after a referendum in 1983. Since 2009, Greenland has been relatively autonomous, with the Danish government retaining control of foreign affairs, defence and the judicial system.

39 Economic capital of Iraq : BASRA

Basra is Iraq’s main port, and is located in the southeast of the country, just 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf is via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.

43 Hidden inclusions, for short : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

46 Janis with the 1975 hit “At Seventeen” : IAN

Janis Ian is a singer-songwriter, mainly of folk music, who was most successful in the sixties and seventies. Her most famous song by far is the 1975 recording “At Seventeen”. In more recent years, Ian has been published several times as a science-fiction author.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Quarterback spikes? : CLEATS
7 Opening : FIRST
12 Grammy-winning 2018 hit for Childish Gambino : THIS IS AMERICA
14 “Huh!” : THE MORE YOU KNOW!
15 Part of the plan : PHASE
16 Lacking any preparation : BLIND
17 Try (for) : GUN
18 The 700s, in the Dewey Decimal System : ARTS
19 Its flag features a pine and the North Star : MAINE
20 Booker in Washington : CORY
21 Traditional masked drama : NOH
22 What antifeminism is a direct expression of, per Andrea Dworkin : MISOGYNY
24 Challenge, symbolically : GAUNTLET
26 Sharp quality : TANG
28 “Happy ___!” : TRAILS
29 Kind of shower : BRIDAL
31 Its pods are poisonous to eat : TIDE
32 Quick getaways, maybe : BEELINES
34 Star clusters? : FAN BASES
36 Classic muscle car : GTO
37 Close ones, informally : SIBS
40 Fits (inside) : NESTS
41 “___ bien” : ESTA
42 Suffix with concert : -INA
43 ___ II, eponymous gymnastics move featuring two backflips and a triple twist : BILES
44 Venus, to Cupid : MATER
45 Background for someone who’s good with numbers : MUSICAL THEATER
48 Marvel producer : MIRACLE WORKER
49 Is super into, in modern parlance : STANS
50 Indulge : DOTE ON

Down

1 Game of checkers? : CHESS
2 Cuba libre ingredient : LIME
3 Por ___ (therefore: Sp.) : ESO
4 Carriers are mobile ones : AIR BASES
5 Poet who wrote “I grow old … I grow old … / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled” : TS ELIOT
6 Saw : SAYING
7 Family matter, maybe : FEUD
8 Get to : IRK
9 Lead singer of “Yellow Submarine” : RINGO
10 Really clean : SCOUR
11 Caramel relative : TAWNY
12 “Ow!” : THAT HURT!
13 Fabled sources of fortune : MONEY TREES
14 Place for a frog : THROAT
15 Gut reaction, say : PANG
19 Member of the Y? : MILLENNIAL
20 Pop star Lauper : CYNDI
22 Sacred peak in the “Iliad” and “Aeneid,” for short : MT IDA
23 Catches : NAILS
25 Gullible sorts : NAIFS
27 Family member : GANGSTER
29 A+ effort : BEST SHOT
30 Word with block or chain : … LETTER
32 Binary : BASE TWO
33 Touch the sky : SOAR
35 Flared, as sleeves : BELLED
37 New York Giants legend Phil : SIMMS
38 The Greenlandic language is a form of it : INUIT
39 Economic capital of Iraq : BASRA
41 Packed in? : EATEN
43 Hidden inclusions, for short : BCCS
44 One-named Japanese-born actor with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : MAKO
46 Janis with the 1975 hit “At Seventeen” : IAN
47 Lead-in to now : ERE …

12 thoughts on “0814-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. 15:25. I jumped around a bit; nothing here came easy. I often feel my high school French helps me out on crosswords, but my lack of Spanish not so much. Thus I was thrown by 41A with TRES at first rather than ESTA.

  2. 17:04, no errors. I stalled out for a bit in the bottom, which was harder for me than the top. Good tussle.

    I did this puzzle last night after tangling with a “guest” puzzle (by one Quiara Vasquez) on Tim Croce’s web site:

    https://club72.wordpress.com/

    I finished the thing with no errors, but, even after I finally decided to violate my usual rules and use Google freely to research all the stuff I’d never heard of, it took me two and a half hours!

    I would observe that it’s easy to create crossword puzzles that cross the line into virtually impossible territory; the master setters (like Tim) have the judgement necessary to walk very close to that line, but to still provide a puzzle that can be done without outside help.

  3. 29:09, completed at 0100 hours after a shift at work. Guess I’ll try Nonny’s “recommendation” and try the Vasquez puzzle. If it took Nonny 2+ hours, it will take me…oh…all weekend : – )

  4. 18:12 Did not have a war (War of 1812) with this one tho I started really slowly and had the typical several early miscues for a Sat. TRES (a la @Tom R) vs. ESTA; METEOR vs. BRIDAL; TONE vs TANG; GENE vs. FEUD; etc.

    Also noticed there are three BASE(S) answers.

  5. 21:57. Another case where it seems the Friday and Saturday puzzles were switched at birth this week.

    14A still has me scratching my head. I never say anything like that to mean anything like that. Whatever.

    So if you throw down the GAUNTLET, would your opponent return your glove to you, or do you just have to fight with one glove??

    Best –

  6. Like @RonF , I wondered for a bit about BASES.. but I moved on after I thought about it..
    No errors but a few head scratchers.. VENUS and EROS were MATERS?
    STANS? never heard that before ..

    The whole thing took awhile but it all worked out.

  7. I found this one to be difficult but managed to stumble through with no errors. Not sure how, though. Healing salve for my foolish error on Friday.

  8. Another vote for Tres bien.

    Anon Mike — Venus was Cupid’s mother — Latin mater (because they were Roman).

    Re Saranwrap from yesterday — it’s a guy thing.

    1. Re Saranwrap from yesterday — it’s a guy thing.

      I could not agree more! The other example that immediately leaps to mind is the frustrating task of folding fitted (bottom) sheets. Grrrr … 😳.

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