0823-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Aug 21, Monday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Catch this Phrase on TV!

Themed answers are all catchphrases from TV programs:

  • 18A “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies” catchphrase : TWO THUMBS UP
  • 25A “Seinfeld” catchphrase : NO SOUP FOR YOU!
  • 39A “Columbo” catchphrase : JUST ONE MORE THING …
  • 49A “The Jackie Gleason Show” catchphrase : HOW SWEET IT IS!
  • 61A “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” catchphrase : FINAL ANSWER

Bill’s time: 7m 22s (the online solving app … grr!)

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Molten rock in a volcano : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term that describes a thick ointment.

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

6 Opposite of tight-fitting, as jeans : BAGGY

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

15 Native Americans originally of the Plains : OTOES

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.

17 Welsh “John” : EVAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

18 “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies” catchphrase : TWO THUMBS UP

Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert himself died in 2013.

20 Designer Wang : VERA

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she is a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

22 Grp. with a Most Wanted list : FBI

The FBI was the first agency to create a “most wanted list”, introducing the “FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list in 1950. Director J. Edgar Hoover came up with the idea after fielding a question from a journalist asking for the names and description of the “toughest guys” being sought by the FBI. One misconception about the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list is that it is ranked, but there is no such thing as the “#1 Most Wanted Fugitive”.

23 Typographical flourish : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

24 Alternative to .com and .edu : ORG

The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

25 “Seinfeld” catchphrase : NO SOUP FOR YOU!

“The Soup Nazi” is a famous episode of the hit show “Seinfeld”. The story is all about a soup stand owned by an excessively strict man referred to as the “Soup Nazi”. Believe it or not, the “Soup Nazi” character is based on a real soup vendor in New York City.

31 Break down grammatically : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

34 Headdress for the archbishop of Canterbury : MITRE

A miter (also “mitre”) is a traditional headdress worn by bishops in some Christian traditions. The term “miter” comes from a Greek word for “headband, turban”.

Canterbury is a cathedral city in the county of Kent in the southeast of England. Canterbury Cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England.

39 “Columbo” catchphrase : JUST ONE MORE THING …

“Columbo” is a police drama that aired from 1971-78, with some more episodes made as recently as 2003. Columbo was played by Peter Falk, although the character of Columbo was first played by Bert Freed in 1960 in an episode of “The Chevy Mystery Show”. That first appearance was so successful that the episode was adapted for the stage in 1962, with Thomas Mitchell taking on the role. Then, the same episode was stretched into a TV movie in 1968, with Peter Falk playing Lt. Columbo for the first time.

48 What aspirin helps alleviate : ACHE

“Aspirin” used to be a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.

49 “The Jackie Gleason Show” catchphrase : HOW SWEET IT IS!

“How sweet it is!” was perhaps Jackie Gleason’s most famous catchphrase. Gleason grew up in Brooklyn, and drivers entering the borough today via the Brooklyn Bridge are greeted by a road sign announcing “How Sweet It Is!”

54 West Coast winter hrs. : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

57 Battery terminal : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

59 Tiny bit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

60 Pond amphibian : NEWT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

61 “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” catchphrase : FINAL ANSWER

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is a worldwide game show franchise that started out in the UK in 1998. The US version of the show debuted in 1999 with Regis Philbin as the host. The Indian version is one of the most famous, having provided the setting for the incredibly successful Danny Boyle film “Slumdog Millionaire” that was released in 2008.

65 Largest city in the Palestinian state : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

66 Aged Grimm character : CRONE

The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

70 Shore birds : TERNS

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

Down

1 “Be Prepared,” for Boy Scouts : MOTTO

As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

4 Self-referential, in modern lingo : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

7 Tough H.S. science course : AP BIO

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

8 Ones with A.P.O. addresses : GIS

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

Army post office (APO)

9 Wildebeest : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

13 Nintendo antagonist with a “W” on his cap : WARIO

Wario is a character in the “Mario” video game universe. He is a rival of Mario, and indeed the name “Wario” is a portmanteau of the Japanese word “warui” (meaning “bad”) and “Mario”. Bad Mario …

14 Mess of a mistake : SNAFU

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

19 Interplanetary craft, for short : UFOS

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

23 “Help!” : SOS!

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

25 Verne captain : NEMO

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

26 Model Kate : UPTON

Kate Upton is a fashion model from St. Joseph, Michigan. Kate is a niece of US Representative Fred Upton of Michigan. Kate married professional baseball pitcher Justin Verlander in 2014.

27 Ward off, as a sword : PARRY

In competitive fencing, a parry is a maneuver that blocks an attack by an opponent. There are actually nine defined ways to execute a parry.

28 Gratis : FREE

Something provided gratis is supplied free of charge. “Gratis” is a Latin term, a contraction of “gratiis” meaning “for thanks”.

32 Record spinners, in brief : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

37 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN

Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

38 Classic British sports cars : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

41 Sleuths, in old slang : TECS

“Tec” is a slang term meaning “private detective” or “private investigator” (PI).

The word “sleuth” came into English from Old Norse as far back as 1200 when it meant the “track or trail of a person”. In the mid-1800s, a sleuthhound described a keen investigator, a hound close on the trail of the suspect. Sleuthhound was shortened to “sleuth” and was used for a detective in general.

46 ’60s drug dose : LSD TAB

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

48 Verdi opera : 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!

50 Shaquille of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

53 Many works of Edgar Allan Poe : TALES

The celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond, Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

61 TV-monitoring agcy. : FCC

TV broadcasting is monitored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC has been around since 1934, when it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

64 ___ King Cole : NAT

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Molten rock in a volcano : MAGMA
6 Opposite of tight-fitting, as jeans : BAGGY
11 Does needlework : SEWS
15 Native Americans originally of the Plains : OTOES
16 State one’s views : OPINE
17 Welsh “John” : EVAN
18 “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies” catchphrase : TWO THUMBS UP
20 Designer Wang : VERA
21 “There! I did it!” : TA-DA!
22 Grp. with a Most Wanted list : FBI
23 Typographical flourish : SERIF
24 Alternative to .com and .edu : ORG
25 “Seinfeld” catchphrase : NO SOUP FOR YOU!
29 Manipulates : USES
31 Break down grammatically : PARSE
32 Lofty ambition : DREAM
34 Headdress for the archbishop of Canterbury : MITRE
36 Relatives, informally : FAM
39 “Columbo” catchphrase : JUST ONE MORE THING …
43 Ave. crossers : STS
44 The fact that the Bible is the most shoplifted book in America, e.g. : IRONY
45 Brings in, as a salary : EARNS
46 Vowel sound heard twice in “true blue” : LONG U
48 What aspirin helps alleviate : ACHE
49 “The Jackie Gleason Show” catchphrase : HOW SWEET IT IS!
54 West Coast winter hrs. : PST
57 Battery terminal : ANODE
58 Scoundrel : CAD
59 Tiny bit : IOTA
60 Pond amphibian : NEWT
61 “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” catchphrase : FINAL ANSWER
65 Largest city in the Palestinian state : GAZA
66 Aged Grimm character : CRONE
67 Opposite of drowsy : ALERT
68 Thick slice : SLAB
69 The “99” in $2.99, e.g. : CENTS
70 Shore birds : TERNS

Down

1 “Be Prepared,” for Boy Scouts : MOTTO
2 Battling : AT WAR
3 “You were close with that response” : GOOD GUESS
4 Self-referential, in modern lingo : META
5 Campfire waste : ASH
6 Gets an F on a test, say : BOMBS
7 Tough H.S. science course : AP BIO
8 Ones with A.P.O. addresses : GIS
9 Wildebeest : GNU
10 Slangy affirmative : YEP
11 Harsh, as a storm or criticism : SEVERE
12 Each and ___ : EVERY
13 Nintendo antagonist with a “W” on his cap : WARIO
14 Mess of a mistake : SNAFU
19 Interplanetary craft, for short : UFOS
23 “Help!” : SOS!
25 Verne captain : NEMO
26 Model Kate : UPTON
27 Ward off, as a sword : PARRY
28 Gratis : FREE
30 Took a chair : SAT
32 Record spinners, in brief : DJS
33 Groove it’s hard to get out of : RUT
34 Sign at the end of an entrance ramp : MERGE
35 “See ya!” : I’M OUT!
36 Military muscle : FIREPOWER
37 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
38 Classic British sports cars : MGS
40 The sum of the digits of any multiple of ___ is a multiple of ___ (arithmetic curiosity) : NINE
41 Sleuths, in old slang : TECS
42 “Fat chance!” : HAH!
46 ’60s drug dose : LSD TAB
47 Have debts : OWE
48 Verdi opera : AIDA
49 Is suspended : HANGS
50 Shaquille of the N.B.A. : O’NEAL
51 “Surprisingly impressive!” : WOWZA!
52 Words from one who’s defeated : I CAN’T
53 Many works of Edgar Allan Poe : TALES
55 Back of a ship : STERN
56 Fruit desserts : TARTS
59 Castaway’s site : ISLE
61 TV-monitoring agcy. : FCC
62 Ill temper : IRE
63 Parisian denial : NON
64 ___ King Cole : NAT

9 thoughts on “0823-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Aug 21, Monday”

  1. 8:38, no errors. A strange solve, punctuated by a long series of powerful explosions (followed by dashes across the room to the Kleenex box). I guess I was allergic to something in the clue list or the grid … 😜.

  2. 7:47 I was 1/2 way done in about 2:15 thinking I might get a personal best, then it got tougher. I initially guessed YADAYADAYADA for 25A and that was a lot to erase and correct, taking some time. That 1/2 way marker in the online app doesn’t mean it’s half right at that point, however. So this ended up NO PERSONAL BEST FOR YOU!!

  3. 8:40. Great theme especially since Columbo, Seinfeld, and Jackie Gleason are favorites.

    “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” is something I never watched. My guess is not many people who took time to watch that show actually became millionaires…

    I’ll admit to a mental glitch when I saw “Jackie Gleason” in the clues, my brain saw “The Honeymooners” and my first thought was “to the moon, Alice”, but it didn’t fit. Too bad.

    Good way to start the week though.

    Best –

  4. 8:55 Never saw an episode of Seinfeld, yet still knew about the Soup Nazi…my brain is just cluttered with uselessness… : – )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.