0819-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Aug 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Oliver Roeder
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Cereal Box

We have a rebus puzzle today, with the CEREAL “OAT” appearing in several BOXES:

  • 36A Life preserver? … or a hint to six squares in this puzzle : CEREAL BOX
  • 15A Where Dalmatia is : CROATIA
  • 30A Mobile homes of a sort : HOUSEBOATS
  • 32A Castle defenses : MOATS
  • 46A Heraldic symbol : COAT OF ARMS
  • 52A Be perfectly sized : FIT TO A TEE
  • 60A Best ever, in sports slang : THE GOAT
  • 2D Dog-eat-dog : CUTTHROAT
  • 7D Facial feature named for an animal : GOATEE
  • 12D Sworn : UNDER OATH
  • 40D Repulsive : LOATHSOME
  • 43D Extraneous computer programs that slow down a system : BLOATWARE
  • 61D National Book Award winner for “Them,” 1970 : OATES

Bill’s time: 11m 32s (still frustrated with the online solving app)

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Vaping device, informally : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

10 Successfully solicit, with “up” : DRUM …

To drum up is to bring about using effort, as in “drumming up business”. The use of “drum up” dates back to the days when drums were used to attract a crowd or perhaps to encourage military recruits. More recently, the term “to drum up” has evolved to mean “to invent”, as in “drumming up a new process”.

14 Arizona city near the California border : YUMA

The city and county of Yuma, Arizona take their name from the Quechan (aka “Yuma”) Native American tribe that inhabited the area.

15 Where Dalmatia is : CROATIA

Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, with most of its area falling in modern-day Croatia.

16 NPR’s ___ Totenberg : NINA

Nina Totenberg is a very able legal affairs correspondent who works for National Public Radio. Totenberg’s main focus is on the activities of the US Supreme Court. Famously, she was the journalist who uncovered the allegations of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas made by Anita Hill.

18 Monopoly cards : DEEDS

In the game of Monopoly there are 28 title deeds:

  • 22 streets
  • 4 railroads
  • 2 utilities

19 Buffalo Bill’s surname : CODY

Buffalo Bill Cody became a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

24 It has a cedar tree on its flag: Abbr. : LEB

The Lebanese flag has two red stripes, one at the top and one at the bottom, designed to symbolize the blood that was shed in the cause of the country’s liberation. Between each red stripe is a white background that represents peace as well as the snow on the Lebanese mountains. In the center of the flag is a green cedar tree, a reference to the cedars of Lebanon that are mentioned several times in the Bible.

25 World’s highest-paid actor in 2021, familiarly : THE ROCK

Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role, an incredible $5.5 million.

27 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner : AL GORE

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

29 Brand of taco kits and sauces : ORTEGA

The Ortega food manufacturing company has been around for about 150 years. It was founded by Maria Concepcion Jacinta Dominguez Ortega, known affectionately as Mama Ortega within the company.

32 Castle defenses : MOATS

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

35 N.Y.C. nabe near N.Y.U. : NOHO

“NoHo” is short for “North of Houston (street)”, and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston, both of which are in New York City.

36 Life preserver? … or a hint to six squares in this puzzle : CEREAL BOX

The breakfast cereal called Life was introduced by Quaker Oats in 1961. Back then, Life contained just whole grain oats. Today’s recipe includes added sugar and flour.

39 ___ Romeo : ALFA

The “Alfa” in “Alfa Romeo” is actually an acronym, one standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

46 Heraldic symbol : COAT OF ARMS

Back in the mid-1300s, a coat of arms literally was a coat, a tunic embroidered with heraldic symbols that was often worn over armor. This usage also gave us the term “turncoat”, which described someone who turned his coat inside-out in order to hide his badge of loyalty.

49 Noted Venetian bridge : RIALTO

The Rialto is the financial and commercial center of Venice, and has been so for centuries. One of the most famous features of the area is the Rialto Bridge that spans the Grand Canal.

51 Separate seed from : THRESH

Years ago I was taking a tour of a beautiful Elizabethan manor house in England, and was told a little “threshing” story by the guide as we stood in one of the rooms. She reminded us that threshing was the removal of seeds from chaff, and told us that back in the day the “chaff” was sometimes called the “thresh”. Thresh would be used on the floors, particularly in the kitchen areas where it would soak up spills and provide some thermal insulation, much as sawdust was used in my favorite pubs many moons ago. She pointed to two slots at the bottom of the door jambs where she said a low board was placed upright on the floor, to “hold” the “thresh” in the room. The board was called a “thresh-hold”, giving us our contemporary word “threshold”. I am not sure if all of that is really true, but it makes a nice story …

53 The “e” of “i.e.” : EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

54 Home to the golden pavilion known as Kinkaku-ji : KYOTO

The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.

60 Best ever, in sports slang : THE GOAT

Greatest of all time (GOAT)

62 Org. known for counting backward : NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

67 Actress Amanda : PEET

Actress Amanda Peet studied acting with the celebrated Uta Hagen at Columbia University. Peet has appeared in a number of successful films including “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Syriana”. I remember her best from what I thought was a great TV show (but no one seemed to agree!) called “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”.

68 Works hard, old-style : MOILS

To moil is to toil or to slave away. The verb “to moil” originally applied to laboring in the mire, the swamp. The term comes from the Old French “moillier” meaning “to wet”, as in getting wet in the mire.

69 Some creatures in the ocean’s “midnight zone” : EELS

An ocean’s bathyal zone extends from a depth of 3,300 to 13,000 feet below the surface. It is the shallowest zone receiving no sunlight, leading to the nickname “midnight zone”. Due to the lack of sunlight, there are no plants in the bathyal zone. Also, many of the species of fish found in the zone lack eyes.

Down

1 ___ of Ra, symbolic depiction in Egyptian art : EYE

In Egyptian mythology, the Eye of Ra is a being who serves as the mother, sibling, consort and daughter of the sun god Ra.

3 Turkish inns : IMARETS

Imarets were inns or hostels used by pilgrims throughout the Ottoman Empire. The network of imarets was set up to provide food to anyone in need, so they also served as soup kitchens, as it were.

4 In large numbers : GALORE

Our word “galore”, meaning “in great numbers”, comes from the Irish phrase “go leór” that translates as “sufficiently, enough”.

5 Flat-screen option, for short : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

6 Rival of Hoover : ORECK

The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

7 Facial feature named for an animal : GOATEE

A goatee is a beard formed by hair on a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

8 Operatic daughter of the king Amonasro : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

9 World capital on the island of New Providence : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

10 Blues org.? : DNC

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was set up way back in 1848, and governs the day-to-day affairs of the Democratic Party. Past chairpersons of the DNC include Howard Dean from Vermont, Chris Dodd from Connecticut and Tim Kaine from Virginia.

11 1970 John Wayne film : RIO LOBO

“Rio Lobo” is a Western movie that was released in 1970, starring John Wayne. “Rio Lobo” is the third film in a trilogy that was directed by Howard Hawks, the other two films being “Rio Bravo” (1959) and “El Dorado” (1966). “Rio Lobo” was the last film that Hawks directed.

21 Prairie stray : DOGIE

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

23 Chicago conveyances : ELS

The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

25 Waits on an album release? : TOM

Tom Waits is a singer-songwriter from Pomona, California. Waits is noted for his growling, rasping voice.

26 Late media columnist David : CARR

David Carr was a journalist and author from Minneapolis who is perhaps best remembered for his time as a cultural reporter with “The New York Times”. Carr passed away in February 2015, after collapsing in “The New York Times” newsroom.

28 Cohort before millennials, for short : GEN-X

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

34 Chew (out) : REAM

I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.

36 Spot of espresso? : CAFE

Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink, which contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

37 Italian home to the Basilica of St. Nicholas : BARI

Bari is a major port city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Bari has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city in Europe to experience chemical warfare during WWII. Allied stores of mustard gas were released during a German bombing raid on Bari in 1943. Fatalities caused by the chemical agent were reported as 69, although other reports list the number as maybe a thousand military personnel and a thousand civilians.

41 Magazine with an annual Investor’s Guide : FORTUNE

“Fortune” is a tri-weekly business magazine that was founded by Henry Luce in 1930, just four months after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. “Fortune” is noted for its annual ranking of companies by revenue, especially the Fortune 500.

45 Rapper Kool ___ Dee : MOE

“Kool Moe Dee” is the stage name of rap artist Mohandas Dewese. Kool Moe Dee had the honor of being the first rap artist to perform at the Grammys, and was one of the first rappers to actually win a Grammy Award.

52 Economics Nobelist Robert : FOGEL

Robert Fogel was a scientist and economist from New York City who jointly won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics. Fogel’s name is most associated with the concept of new economic history. Also known as “cliometrics”, new economic history is the application of economic theory to the study of history.

56 Polo on TV : TERI

Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequels. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

59 Snookered : GOT

The use of the word “snooker” to mean “to cheat” has been used since the early 1900s. The term probably took on that connotation as it’s relatively easy to trick someone who is new to the game of snooker.

61 National Book Award winner for “Them,” 1970 : OATES

Joyce Carol Oates is a remarkable writer, not just for the quality of her work (her 1969 novel “them” won a National Book Award, for example) but also for how prolific her output is. She published her first book in 1963 and since then has published over fifty novels as well as many other written works.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Vaping device, informally : E-CIG
5 ___ Roy, patriarch on HBO’s “Succession” : LOGAN
10 Successfully solicit, with “up” : DRUM …
14 Arizona city near the California border : YUMA
15 Where Dalmatia is : CROATIA
16 NPR’s ___ Totenberg : NINA
17 Stand-in for the unnamed : ET AL
18 Monopoly cards : DEEDS
19 Buffalo Bill’s surname : CODY
20 Walked : TROD
22 End : CEASE
24 It has a cedar tree on its flag: Abbr. : LEB
25 World’s highest-paid actor in 2021, familiarly : THE ROCK
27 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner : AL GORE
29 Brand of taco kits and sauces : ORTEGA
30 Mobile homes of a sort : HOUSEBOATS
32 Castle defenses : MOATS
33 Bargain bin abbr. : IRREG
35 N.Y.C. nabe near N.Y.U. : NOHO
36 Life preserver? … or a hint to six squares in this puzzle : CEREAL BOX
39 ___ Romeo : ALFA
42 Starting lineup : A-TEAM
43 Dispirit, with “out” : BUM …
46 Heraldic symbol : COAT OF ARMS
49 Noted Venetian bridge : RIALTO
51 Separate seed from : THRESH
52 Be perfectly sized : FIT TO A TEE
53 The “e” of “i.e.” : EST
54 Home to the golden pavilion known as Kinkaku-ji : KYOTO
57 Planted : SOWN
58 ___ Jones, former Alabama senator : DOUG
60 Best ever, in sports slang : THE GOAT
62 Org. known for counting backward : NASA
64 “Yeah … I don’t think so” : UM … NO
65 Fresh blood : HIREE
66 Mobile home? : CRIB
67 Actress Amanda : PEET
68 Works hard, old-style : MOILS
69 Some creatures in the ocean’s “midnight zone” : EELS

Down

1 ___ of Ra, symbolic depiction in Egyptian art : EYE
2 Dog-eat-dog : CUTTHROAT
3 Turkish inns : IMARETS
4 In large numbers : GALORE
5 Flat-screen option, for short : LCD
6 Rival of Hoover : ORECK
7 Facial feature named for an animal : GOATEE
8 Operatic daughter of the king Amonasro : AIDA
9 World capital on the island of New Providence : NASSAU
10 Blues org.? : DNC
11 1970 John Wayne film : RIO LOBO
12 Sworn : UNDER OATH
13 “It’s possible” : MAYBE SO
21 Prairie stray : DOGIE
23 Chicago conveyances : ELS
25 Waits on an album release? : TOM
26 Late media columnist David : CARR
28 Cohort before millennials, for short : GEN-X
30 Begins to get exciting, with “up” : HEATS …
31 It’s not a good look : OGLE
34 Chew (out) : REAM
36 Spot of espresso? : CAFE
37 Italian home to the Basilica of St. Nicholas : BARI
38 Excludes : OMITS
39 Misbehaved : ACTED UP
40 Repulsive : LOATHSOME
41 Magazine with an annual Investor’s Guide : FORTUNE
43 Extraneous computer programs that slow down a system : BLOATWARE
44 Part of a place setting : UTENSIL
45 Rapper Kool ___ Dee : MOE
47 Pose : ASK
48 Beat : RHYTHM
50 Immediately : AT ONCE
52 Economics Nobelist Robert : FOGEL
55 Where I-70 meets I-71 : OHIO
56 Polo on TV : TERI
59 Snookered : GOT
61 National Book Award winner for “Them,” 1970 : OATES
63 They’re used in a crunch : ABS

15 thoughts on “0819-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Aug 21, Thursday”

  1. 24:31. Struggled with this one especially in the SE corner. Early on I put 52A as FITTOAT (fit to a T) and even tho I also got the OAT rebus fairly early with MOATS I couldn’t seem to let go of my initial FITTOAT entry until the very end.

    And in my first pass thru it all I commented out loud that there sure seemed to be a lot of proper names, so I didn’t fill in much in the first go round.

    I’ve had trouble reconciling G.O.A.T. in recent years with GOAT, since in years past the “goat” is the one who screwed up the game.

    Other observations – GALORE and ALGORE anagrams; and “Mobile home(s)” twice in the clues. I kept thinking of 66A as Mobile, ALA. Another stumbling block in the SE corner for me.

  2. 19:01, no errors. Unfamiliar with “FOGEL” and “OATES”, so I had a bit of trouble guessing where the final “OAT” had to be, but then I recalled having seen the initialism for “Greatest Of All Time” in other crosswords – a “whew” moment … 😜.

  3. 24:57 It wasn’t that long ago that being the goat in sports was a bad thing. Amusing the difference capital letters and periods make.

  4. No errors.. was a fairly quick run until I hit that middle bottom..
    Didn’t help I started out with SIT on 47D.. once I got settled I was able to move on, for a while. Had KOREA for 54A for awhile and had to work through that. I knew OAT had to be down there somewhere…

    BTW is Oat the only thing in Life cereal? I’ll have to look that up

  5. Just under an hour with no errors…looking for a rebus on Thursday helped get the theme…the NW corner was the last to fall.
    Stay safe😀

  6. 52A gave me fits until I realized that T needed to be TEE. That led to
    BLOATWARE instead of my entry of BOTWARE which in turn lit the lamp for RIALTO. Head’s spinning, but no errors.

  7. Three proper names and an old style obscure MOILS in one section seemed a bit much but there had to be an OAT box and GOAT made it possible to make educated guesses which turned out to be right

  8. I knew there had to be a Rebus, but I thought, if so, there should be more of indication which squares. So even though my first thoughts were CUTTHROAT and MOAT, it didn’t sink in.

    Same with FITTOATEE but I didn’t help that I had the down cross as MALWARE.

    And again, I immediately thought COATOFARMS, but since I hadn’t got the theme yet, and my first inclinations didn’t fit I got totally lost on all the “OAT” solves.

    Oh well, I rarely finish anything after Monday or Tuesday, and then even with those there is almost always and error or two.

    But I do like to try as hard as I can to do the rest of the week; then I go to Bill’s theme answers. Then try again to solve from there. Sometimes that works, but not today! The grid still had a lot of gaps when I filled in with Bill’s Googlies. But I did finish, if you could call it that, without all the rest of the answers. LOL

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