0830-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Aug 21, Monday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Lacks to Lux

Themed answers start with a vowel progression surrounded by L and an X-sound:

  • 18A Doesn’t have fortitude : LACKS HEART
  • 23A Home of the University of Kentucky : LEXINGTON
  • 36A Finishes eating ice cream or soup, say : LICKS THE SPOON
  • 51A Rescuer for when you’ve lost your key : LOCKSMITH
  • 56A Tiny neighbor of France : LUXEMBOURG

Bill’s time: 6m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Mongolian desert : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

5 Eggplant ___ (cheesy dish, informally) : PARM

Parmigiana (familiarly “parm”) is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an aubergine (eggplant) filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the aubergine with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.

9 ___ vera : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

17 Leave in a hurry : BOLT

To bolt is to move suddenly, and especially to run away. The verb derives from the fast-moving bolt (the arrow) shot by a crossbow.

20 Winged cupids in art : AMORS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

22 Enter, as a foyer : STEP IN

“Foyer”, meaning “lobby”, is a French word that we imported into English. In French, “foyer” is used for what we would call a “green room”, a place where actors can gather when not on stage or on set.

25 Longtime name on “Wheel of Fortune” : VANNA

Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

32 Big part of a dachshund : EAR

The dachshund breed of dog was originally bred to chase and flush out badgers. The name “dachshund” is German and translates as “badger dog”.

33 Coach Parseghian in Notre Dame history : ARA

Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as “The Era of Ara”.

41 One running for office, for short : POL

Politician (pol)

42 “Xanadu” grp. : ELO

The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number-one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

44 Means of communication in “A Quiet Place,” in brief : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

49 Escargot : SNAIL

“Escargot” is the French word for “snail”. In order to eat snails, apparently they have to be “purged” before killing them. That means starving them or feeding them on something “wholesome” for several days before cooking them up. Ugh …

53 Jose ___ (tequila brand) : CUERVO

Jose Cuervo is the world’s best-selling brand of tequila. Produced in Mexico, key to Jose Cuervo’s success was the smuggling of tequila into the US during Prohibition.

55 Mix of coffee and chocolate : MOCHA

A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a caffè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

56 Tiny neighbor of France : LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourg is a relatively small country in the middle of Europe that is just 1,000 square miles in area with a population of over half a million. The country is a representative democracy (just like the United Kingdom) and it has a constitutional monarch, namely Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. As such, Luxembourg is the only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy in the world.

61 Buffalo’s lake : ERIE

Buffalo is the second-most populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

64 Deliver a burn to : DISS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

65 “Wild” actress Laura : DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

Author Cheryl Strayed has written several successful books, most notably her 2012 memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”. “Wild” was adapted into a 2014 film starring Reese Witherspoon as Strayed. I haven’t seen the film yet, but my wife has and really enjoyed it …

Down

2 Start of a Juliet soliloquy : O ROMEO

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo’s reply includes the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

A soliloquy is an act of talking to oneself, with “soliloquy” coming from the Latin “solus” meaning “alone” and “loqui” meaning “to speak”. We mostly hear the term in the context of theater, where it is a monologue from a character that gives voice to otherwise unspoken thoughts.

3 Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico : BILOXI

Biloxi is a port city on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Prior to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, it was the third-largest city in the state. Post-Katrina, it became the fifth-largest city, due to the number of people leaving the area permanently in response to the flooding and destruction.

7 Right-hand page of a book : RECTO

The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

10 Hawaii’s Mauna ___ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

12 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

15 1/48 of a cup: Abbr. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

21 Sarcastic criticism : SNARK

“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

26 Roman emperor who succeeded his adoptive father : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.

27 Tandoor bread : NAAN

A tandoor is a cylindrical clay or metal oven used in cuisines from several Asian locales, including India.

34 Calder Cup rink org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

36 Bird on the Canadian dollar : LOON

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

39 Suffix with cyto- or proto- : -PLASM

All of the material within a cell membrane, excluding the cell nucleus, is referred to as the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm comprises 80% water.

The word “protoplasm” comes from the Greek, meaning first (protos) thing formed (plasma). It is the name given to the cell contents, everything that is surrounded by the plasma membrane. The protoplasm in most cells is divided into two parts, the cytoplasm which surrounds the nucleus, and the nucleoplasm found within the nucleus.

40 First K-pop group to have a #1 Billboard hit : BTS

K-pop (Korean pop) is a genre of music from South Korea that emerged in the early nineties.

44 Grad : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

46 Swiss cough drop brand : RICOLA

Ricola is a Swiss brand of cough drops and breath mints.

47 Need after a computer crash, informally : IT HELP

Information technology (IT)

48 New moon, full moon and others : PHASES

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

50 Some frozen drinks : ICEES

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

52 Female flower part : OVULE

As we all remember from botany class (don’t we?), an ovule is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization.

57 New England state sch. : 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.

The geographical region of New England comprises the six northeastern states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The name “New England” was given to the region by English explorer John Smith in 1616, just a few years before the Mayflower arrived in 1620.

58 Letters between nus and omicrons : XIS

The Greek letter xi, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter chi.

59 Airer of “Family Feud” reruns : GSN

Game Show Network (GSN)

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even have a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mongolian desert : GOBI
5 Eggplant ___ (cheesy dish, informally) : PARM
9 ___ vera : ALOE
13 Either separately ___ combination : OR IN
14 Plagued : ATE AT
16 Wander : ROAM
17 Leave in a hurry : BOLT
18 Doesn’t have fortitude : LACKS HEART
20 Winged cupids in art : AMORS
22 Enter, as a foyer : STEP IN
23 Home of the University of Kentucky : LEXINGTON
25 Longtime name on “Wheel of Fortune” : VANNA
29 “Why are you telling me this?” : DO I CARE?
30 Fury : IRE
32 Big part of a dachshund : EAR
33 Coach Parseghian in Notre Dame history : ARA
34 The “A” of A-K-Q-J : ACE
35 Sorority’s counterpart, informally : FRAT
36 Finishes eating ice cream or soup, say : LICKS THE SPOON
40 Word before language or temperature : BODY …
41 One running for office, for short : POL
42 “Xanadu” grp. : ELO
43 End of a shoe : TOE
44 Means of communication in “A Quiet Place,” in brief : ASL
45 Voyage by boat : SEA TRIP
49 Escargot : SNAIL
51 Rescuer for when you’ve lost your key : LOCKSMITH
53 Jose ___ (tequila brand) : CUERVO
55 Mix of coffee and chocolate : MOCHA
56 Tiny neighbor of France : LUXEMBOURG
60 Performs : DOES
61 Buffalo’s lake : ERIE
62 Seats at a hoedown : BALES
63 She: Fr. : ELLE
64 Deliver a burn to : DISS
65 “Wild” actress Laura : DERN
66 Units in track or swimming : LAPS

Down

1 Develop a chrome dome : GO BALD
2 Start of a Juliet soliloquy : O ROMEO
3 Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico : BILOXI
4 Complexity : INTRICACY
5 Friend : PAL
6 Barely any, as food or drink : A TASTE
7 Right-hand page of a book : RECTO
8 Show friendliness, despite ill feeling : MAKE NICE
9 Setting for a rock concert : ARENA
10 Hawaii’s Mauna ___ : LOA
11 Rower’s implement : OAR
12 CPR pro : EMT
15 1/48 of a cup: Abbr. : TSP
19 Where everything’s abuzz? : HIVE
21 Sarcastic criticism : SNARK
24 Gets hold of : GRASPS
26 Roman emperor who succeeded his adoptive father : NERO
27 Tandoor bread : NAAN
28 Grade school class with crayons : ART
31 Hunt for again : RESEEK
34 Calder Cup rink org. : AHL
35 One who might have a contract with a sandal manufacturer : FOOT MODEL
36 Bird on the Canadian dollar : LOON
37 Something that might pop into your head : IDEA
38 Opposite of a freeway : TOLL ROAD
39 Suffix with cyto- or proto- : -PLASM
40 First K-pop group to have a #1 Billboard hit : BTS
44 Grad : ALUM
45 Player making a basket or goal : SCORER
46 Swiss cough drop brand : RICOLA
47 Need after a computer crash, informally : IT HELP
48 New moon, full moon and others : PHASES
50 Some frozen drinks : ICEES
52 Female flower part : OVULE
54 Flow out : EBB
56 Headed : LED
57 New England state sch. : URI
58 Letters between nus and omicrons : XIS
59 Airer of “Family Feud” reruns : GSN

4 thoughts on “0830-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Aug 21, Monday”

  1. 7:48, no errors. Felt a bit awkward to me last night, but I was having one of “those days” … 😳.

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