0825-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Adam Vincent
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Persuasion

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to persuasive statements:

  • 17A “Please continue your generous support of the church” : MASS APPEAL
  • 27A “This device makes prepping cherries a breeze” : PITTER PATTER
  • 44A “Students should report to the gym for a special presentation” : ASSEMBLY LINE
  • 58A “This medicine will reduce your temperature in no time” : FEVER PITCH

Bill’s time: 11m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Packs of alpacas : HERDS

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

6 Abbr. in a library catalog : ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a barcode) for each publication. ISBNs are ten digits long if assigned before 2007. Since the start of 2007, ISBNs have been thirteen digits long.

14 Kind of daisy : OXEYE

Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants. Also known as dog daisies or marguerites, the flowers of oxeyes feature white petals surrounding yellow disc florets.

15 Material for toy darts : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

19 Prepare, as prosciutto : CURE

The word “prosciutto” is used in Italian to mean “ham”, however it is prepared. In English, we use the word to describe the dry-cured ham that is served raw, in thin slices. Apparently, prosciutto can be made out of the meat from the leg of a pig, or from the thigh of a wild horse!

21 Brand with a paw print in its logo : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

36 Historical record : ANNAL

“Annal” is a rarely used word, and is the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

37 Snake along the Nile : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

41 Singer Mai with the 2018 hit “Boo’d Up” : ELLA

Ella Mai is an R&B singer from England who went to high school in New York City before returning to Britain.

47 Sailor’s “Stop!” : AVAST!

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

48 For dogs, they’re often in the shape of bones : ID TAGS

Identity document (ID)

51 Japanese noodles : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

53 Snap back? : HIKE

The quarterback (QB) starts each play in football with a snap (also called a “hike”). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word “hut” one or more times in a prearranged sequence.

57 It shows a lot of plays, but no musicals : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named their children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

62 Beautifully blue : AZURE

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

64 Philosopher known for his paradoxes : ZENO

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

65 Word that comes from the Lakota for “dwelling” : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

The Lakota people are Native Americans from the Great Plains who occupy lands mainly in North and South Dakota. The list of famous persons from the Lakota people includes Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, who were instrumental in the Lakota victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Down

2 End-of-semester hurdles : EXAMS

“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester-system has three parts, and a quarter-system has four.

3 Pine secretion : RESIN

There are many species of pine tree (well over 100). The smallest is probably the Siberian dwarf pine, which usually grows to less than 10-feet tall. The tallest is the ponderosa pine, which regularly grows to over 200-feet tall.

4 Gilead in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” for one : DYSTOPIA

A dystopia is an imaginary community in which the residents live unhappily and in fear. “Dystopia” is the opposite of “utopia”. One example of such a society is that described by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. A more contemporary example would be the setting for the novels “The Hunger Games”.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a set in a dystopian New England of the near future, after the overthrow of the US government. The central character is named Offred, who is a “handmaid” forced to bear children for the male ruling class. The novel was adapted into a highly successful TV series of the same name, starring Elizabeth Moss as Offred.

9 Pro Bowler’s org. : NFL

The National Football League (NFL) was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the current name being adopted into 1923. The NFL merged with the American Football League (AFL) in 1970.

11 It leans to the left : BLUE STATE

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

12 Tennyson, for one : LORD

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate for much of the reign of Queen Victoria. There are many phrases we use today that were first penned by Tennyson, including:

  • ‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all
  • Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die

13 Dolly and her fellow clones, e.g. : EWES

Dolly was the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

18 Imam’s quality : PIETY

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

26 Prefix with dermis : EPI-

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. The thickest piece of epidermal tissue in humans is on the soles of the feet and the palms, and measures about 1.5 mm. The thinnest measures 0.1 mm, and that would be the human eyelid.

31 ___ Harris, sister and campaign chair of Kamala : MAYA

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

32 There are two in “101 Dalmatians” : ONES

There are two number ones in “101”.

“101 Dalmatians” is a 1996 Disney movie, a remake of the 1961 animated Disney feature “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”. The 1996 movie spawned a sequel titled “102 Dalmatians”, released in 2000, and a 2021 prequel called “Cruella”.

42 Scale abbr. : LBS

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

43 Dressage competitor : RIDER

The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well a horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

50 Bolivian capital : SUCRE

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia (La Paz is the administrative capital and seat of the government). It is named for independence leader Antonio José de Sucre, who was the second president of Bolivia as well as the fourth president of Peru.

54 First czar of Russia : IVAN

The Grand Prince of Moscow, and first Tsar of Russia, Ivan IV became known as “Ivan the Terrible”. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

56 For whom the bell tolls : THEE

John Donne wrote a piece of prose called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”. One passage contains two phrases that are oft-quoted: “No man is an island”, and “for whom the bell tolls”.

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

58 Hat similar to a tarboosh : FEZ

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

“Tarboosh” is the Arabic name for the hat called a “fez” in Turkish.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Packs of alpacas : HERDS
6 Abbr. in a library catalog : ISBN
10 Partner of willing : ABLE
14 Kind of daisy : OXEYE
15 Material for toy darts : NERF
16 Like business in the off-season : SLOW
17 “Please continue your generous support of the church” : MASS APPEAL
19 Prepare, as prosciutto : CURE
20 Give off : EMIT
21 Brand with a paw print in its logo : IAMS
22 Follows, as advice : HEEDS
23 Undesirable bunkmate : SNORER
25 Frigid temps : TEENS
27 “This device makes prepping cherries a breeze” : PITTER PATTER
31 Tweak : MODIFY
34 Made explicit, in a way : SAID
35 Grow long in the tooth : AGE
36 Historical record : ANNAL
37 Snake along the Nile : ASP
38 Discover unexpectedly : HIT ON
40 Passing remark? : YEA
41 Singer Mai with the 2018 hit “Boo’d Up” : ELLA
43 Least polite : RUDEST
44 “Students should report to the gym for a special presentation” : ASSEMBLY LINE
47 Sailor’s “Stop!” : AVAST!
48 For dogs, they’re often in the shape of bones : ID TAGS
51 Japanese noodles : RAMEN
53 Snap back? : HIKE
55 Boor : LOUT
57 It shows a lot of plays, but no musicals : ESPN
58 “This medicine will reduce your temperature in no time” : FEVER PITCH
60 Glen or dale : VALE
61 Timeline spans : ERAS
62 Beautifully blue : AZURE
63 Exceeded the legal limit : SPED
64 Philosopher known for his paradoxes : ZENO
65 Word that comes from the Lakota for “dwelling” : TEPEE

Down

1 Smartphone button : HOME
2 End-of-semester hurdles : EXAMS
3 Pine secretion : RESIN
4 Gilead in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” for one : DYSTOPIA
5 What floats your boat? : SEA
6 To a certain extent : IN PART
7 Appear : SEEM
8 Support on the shoulder : BRA STRAP
9 Pro Bowler’s org. : NFL
10 Initial part of a roller coaster ride : ASCENT
11 It leans to the left : BLUE STATE
12 Tennyson, for one : LORD
13 Dolly and her fellow clones, e.g. : EWES
18 Imam’s quality : PIETY
22 Recruit selectively : HEADHUNT
24 Colonial sharpshooter : RIFLEMAN
26 Prefix with dermis : EPI-
28 Writing assignment : ESSAY
29 Big personalities : EGOS
30 Cancel ___ (tenant rights movement) : RENT
31 ___ Harris, sister and campaign chair of Kamala : MAYA
32 There are two in “101 Dalmatians” : ONES
33 Spit in a tube, say : DNA SAMPLE
37 Mentally sound : ALL THERE
39 See through rose-colored glasses : IDEALIZE
42 Scale abbr. : LBS
43 Dressage competitor : RIDER
45 Made uniform : EVENED
46 Words from one doing a demonstration : LIKE SO
49 Rolled out of bed : GOT UP
50 Bolivian capital : SUCRE
51 Goes “vroom vroom” : REVS
52 “Stat!” : ASAP!
54 First czar of Russia : IVAN
56 For whom the bell tolls : THEE
58 Hat similar to a tarboosh : FEZ
59 Have down ___ : PAT

16 thoughts on “0825-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 21, Wednesday”

  1. 12:50. One error at the MAYA/YEA nexus. Didn’t know MAYA and didn’t think of YEA there. Good one. Didn’t notice the theme, and I’m still scratching my head a bit reading it here in the blog.

    Oh well, I USED to like prosciutto.

    If ZENO’s paradoxes frightened you, would you be ZENOphobic?

    Best –

  2. 10:39, no errors. Good puzzle.

    This morning, at 5:16 (MDT), as I started on what has become my daily nine-mile hike around a local lake, I noticed a satellite moving across the sky in more or less the same direction as I was going. (At the time, I thought it was the International Space Station, but I later determined that it was just one of the many pieces of space junk out there.) I found myself musing that, in the time it takes me to walk around that lake, the ISS makes two trips around the earth … 😳.

    I refuse to pursue the thought further … 😜.

  3. 10:16. Fairly smooth though my first entry for 48A for the Bone shaped items was TREATS – thinking of what a dog would be chewing on. Must have been hungry at the time.

  4. 24:48 the usual no issues, just slow. Nonny, if you go to NASA’s website you can sign up for “Spot The Station” text messages that will tell you when, where and how long the ISS will be visible in your zip code. It’s variable because the ISS is in a sinusoidal orbit around the earth.(did I spell that correctly?)

    1. Thanks, Duncan. Actually, I have an app on my iPad (“Sky Guide”) that notifies me when the ISS is about to pass overhead (plus a lot of other things). Usually, if I see a satellite, I can play back an animation of the part of the sky where I saw it at the time that I saw it and figure out which piece of space junk it was. This time, though, nothing showed up in the right time and place (which seems odd, since, whatever it was, it was pretty bright – bright enough to see even with a nearly-full moon – certainly bright enough to have been the ISS).

      (One possibility: The app has updated itself since I last used it. Maybe it’s messed up somehow. I’ll do a few checks tomorrow morning to see if it’s still functioning properly … 🤨.)

  5. 19:28, slow but steady. Cute theme. Just finished a day hike with grandkids in the Mt. Baker wilderness.

  6. @alaska Steve- just looked up Mt Baker on Google maps… you are really in the middle of nowhere.. that is some real tough looking part of the country…

    No errors today. Several never heard of. ELLA and BOO’D U?
    Did not know SUCRE was the capital of Bolivia
    Quite the educational crossword today.

    1. Players named to play in the NFL’s Pro Bowl are Pro Bowlers. Pretty bad usage (typical to crosswords), but it is what it is.

      1. It’s not “bad usage” in a crossword puzzle, which is not edited for crystal clarity, but to be … well … puzzling.

    2. @Jack The NFL has a PRO BOWL game every year Composed of ALL PRO members of the AFC vs NFC.
      I am surprised no one else has responded before me.

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