0831-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Aug 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Good Snacks

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as snacks for particular occupations:

  • 18A Good snack for a pilot? : WING NUTS
  • 24A Good snack for a gangster? : TOUGH COOKIES
  • 39A Good snack for a flea market dealer? : BARGAINING CHIPS
  • 51A Good snack for an arsonist? : FIRECRACKERS
  • 62A Good snack for an optometrist? : EYE CANDY

Bill’s time: 9m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 “The Office” network : NBC

The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …

14 Repeated World Cup cry : OLE OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

15 Constitutional measure passed in ’72 but never ratified : ERA

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn’t make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. The amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

16 Brother of Cain : ABEL

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the “Land of Nod” located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

17 Vestal virgin, e.g. : MAIDEN

In Ancient Rome the priestesses of the goddess Vesta were known as the Vestals. They were also called the Vestal Virgins as they took a vow of chastity, although they weren’t required to be celibate for life. Each priestess entered the order before puberty and promised to live a celibate life for thirty years. The first decade was spent as a student, the second in service, and the final ten years as a teacher. Upon completion of the thirty years the Vestal was free to marry, but few did. Life was a lot better for a woman in the priesthood than it was subject to Roman Law.

20 Ambient musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

27 Money to tide one over : LOAN

Something is said to tide one over if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the verb phrase “to tide over” is that a swelling tide can carry one over an obstacle without effort, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from one’s door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune

35 Elizabeth Warren, by birth : OKIE

Elizabeth Warren is the senior US Senator from Massachusetts, and the first female to hold that office for her state. Warren is a prominent Democratic and is a favorite of the progressive wing of the party.

38 One-named singer with the 2014 #1 album “1000 Forms of Fear” : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

39 Good snack for a flea market dealer? : BARGAINING CHIPS

Flea markets are known by various names around the world. In Australia, the term “trash and treasure market” is used. Such outdoor events are called car boot sales in Britain and Ireland, whereas indoor versions might be jumble sales or bring-and-buy sales.

43 When a plane is due in, in brief : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

44 Horned farm animal : GOAT

Male goats are bucks or billies, although castrated males are known as wethers. Female goats are does or nannies, and young goats are referred to as kids.

46 Caribbean island NE of Trinidad : TOBAGO

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean that largely comprises the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Something related to Trinidad is Trinidadian.

64 Sexual appetite : LIBIDO

“Libido” is a term popularized by Sigmund Freud. Freud’s usage was more general than is understood today, as he used “libido” to describe all instinctive energy that arose in the subconscious. He believed that we humans are driven by two desires, the desire for life (the libido, or Eros) and the desire for death (Thanatos).

66 Second-largest Hawaiian island : MAUI

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

Down

1 Competitor of Ajax and Bon Ami : COMET

The Comet brand of household cleanser produced a famous series of ads in the sixties through the eighties that featured a character known as “Josephine the Plumber”. Played by actress Jane Withers, she was noted for uttering the line “Nothing can hold a can to Comet!”

Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.

2 Grassy South American plain : LLANO

Llano is the Spanish word for “plain, flat region”.

3 Linguistic quintet : A-E-I-O-U

The vowels are A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y.

5 Overabundance : PLETHORA

“Plethora” is such a lovely word, I think. It means “a lot of”, and usually in the sense of “too much”. This usage dates back to about 1700, and before that “plethora” was a word used in the medical field to describe an “excess of bodily fluid”.

6 Roman philosopher who said “Life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one. At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole” : SENECA

Seneca the Younger was a tutor and advisor to Nero, emperor of ancient Rome. Although maybe innocent, Seneca was forced to commit suicide by Nero as it was alleged that Seneca participated in a plot to kill the emperor. To kill himself, Seneca cut into a number of veins in order to bleed to death.

9 Pink-slip : CAN

The term “pink-slip” can be used as a verb meaning “to terminate an employee”. No one really seems to know for sure where the phrase originated, but there are lots of stories.

12 Brother of Cain : SETH

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

19 Fox series about musical high schoolers : GLEE

The TV show “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

29 Yard sale caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

30 Bigwigs : VIPS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

31 Rated 1 out of 4 stars, as a sudoku : EASY

Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …

33 Grp. with peacekeeping operations : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

36 Sportage maker : KIA

Kia’s Sportage is a compact SUV that has been manufactured since 1993.

40 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

Composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

41 Delivery option : C-SECTION

The story that Julius Caesar was born via Caesarean section (C-section) seems to be unfounded. Although such procedures were indeed carried out in ancient Rome, there are no reports of the mother surviving (and Julius Caesar’s mother did raise her child).

47 U.S.’s largest alliance of trade unions : AFL-CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

48 ___ monster : GILA

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

52 Murphy of “Dreamgirls” and “Trading Places” : EDDIE

Eddie Murphy is a multi-faceted performer and entertainer from the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Murphy was a comedian on “Saturday Night Live” from 1980 to 1984. He has also appeared in several hit movies, the success of which make Murphy the fourth-highest grossing actor in the country, as of 2014.

The Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” follows the lives of a fictional female singing trio named “The Dreams”. The stage musical was adapted for the big screen in a 2006 film of the same name starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles and Anika Noni Rose as the trio.

“Trading Places” is a fun comedy film released in 1983, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. The film is all about a high-flying commodities broker (Aykroyd) “trading places” with a street hustler (Murphy). There’s also a great supporting cast that includes Don Ameche and Jamie Lee Curtis.

54 You’d probably R.S.V.P. to it online : E-VITE

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

55 Speeder catcher : RADAR

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

57 Prefix with john or god : DEMI-

A carboy (also “demijohn”) is a large container for liquids, one usually with a capacity of 5 to 15 gallons. Glass and plastic carboys are often used at home for the fermentation of beer and wine.

58 Actor Reynolds : RYAN

Ryan Reynolds is an actor from Vancouver who is best known these days for playing the title character in the “Deadpool” superhero films. Named “People” magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2010, Ryan has had some high-profile relationships. He was engaged to singer Alanis Morissette for a couple of years, married to actress Scarlett Johansson (again for a couple of years), and is now married to actress Blake Lively whom he met on the set of “Green Lantern”.

65 Proverbial symbol of busyness : BEE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Metallic fasteners on envelopes : CLASPS
7 “The Office” network : NBC
10 Decorative container : VASE
14 Repeated World Cup cry : OLE OLE!
15 Constitutional measure passed in ’72 but never ratified : ERA
16 Brother of Cain : ABEL
17 Vestal virgin, e.g. : MAIDEN
18 Good snack for a pilot? : WING NUTS
20 Ambient musician Brian : ENO
21 Leans : TENDS
23 Thin and graceful : LITHE
24 Good snack for a gangster? : TOUGH COOKIES
27 Money to tide one over : LOAN
28 “Act your age!” : BEHAVE
32 Run up, as expenses : INCUR
35 Elizabeth Warren, by birth : OKIE
38 One-named singer with the 2014 #1 album “1000 Forms of Fear” : SIA
39 Good snack for a flea market dealer? : BARGAINING CHIPS
43 When a plane is due in, in brief : ETA
44 Horned farm animal : GOAT
45 Like the comment “Oh no, you didn’t!,” say : SASSY
46 Caribbean island NE of Trinidad : TOBAGO
49 At any point : EVER
51 Good snack for an arsonist? : FIRECRACKERS
57 Wryly humorous : DROLL
60 Fancy car maneuver that might leave skid marks : DONUT
61 Dye holder : VAT
62 Good snack for an optometrist? : EYE CANDY
64 Sexual appetite : LIBIDO
66 Second-largest Hawaiian island : MAUI
67 Not feel so good : AIL
68 Keep musical time, in a way : TOE-TAP
69 Data : INFO
70 “You there!” : HEY!
71 Mocking smiles : SNEERS

Down

1 Competitor of Ajax and Bon Ami : COMET
2 Grassy South American plain : LLANO
3 Linguistic quintet : A-E-I-O-U
4 Turf : SOD
5 Overabundance : PLETHORA
6 Roman philosopher who said “Life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one. At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole” : SENECA
7 A cut above? : NEW DO
8 Cold and enlivening, as a wind : BRISK
9 Pink-slip : CAN
10 Go poof! : VANISH
11 Border : ABUT
12 Brother of Cain : SETH
13 “What ___ is new?” : ELSE
19 Fox series about musical high schoolers : GLEE
22 “Wrong! All wrong!” : NO NO NO!
25 Sound of drinking : GLUG
26 “___ to differ!” : I BEG
29 Yard sale caveat : AS IS
30 Bigwigs : VIPS
31 Rated 1 out of 4 stars, as a sudoku : EASY
32 “Yeah, right!” : I BET!
33 Grp. with peacekeeping operations : NATO
34 Constant complainer : CRAB
36 Sportage maker : KIA
37 Summer helper, say : INTERN
40 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
41 Delivery option : C-SECTION
42 Quaint “Listen!” : HARK!
47 U.S.’s largest alliance of trade unions : AFL-CIO
48 ___ monster : GILA
50 Big safes : VAULTS
52 Murphy of “Dreamgirls” and “Trading Places” : EDDIE
53 With false shyness : COYLY
54 You’d probably R.S.V.P. to it online : E-VITE
55 Speeder catcher : RADAR
56 Pulls over, as a speeder : STOPS
57 Prefix with john or god : DEMI-
58 Actor Reynolds : RYAN
59 Egg: Fr. : OEUF
63 “I don’t think so” : NAH
65 Proverbial symbol of busyness : BEE

8 thoughts on “0831-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Aug 21, Tuesday”

  1. 7:43. Pretty smooth solve. I have a friend who calls people WINGNUTS that he thinks are idiots. Seems like an apt description. No comment about what he calls EYECANDY.

  2. 10:19. Lots of fat fingers today. Caught them all before finishing the last entry, but it sure cost me some time.

  3. 9:53. Doing this a couple of weeks late as I was out of town for it when it came out. Had CHUG before GLUG which led to TOUCH COOKIES which made no sense. Figured it out.

    Never seen a minute of “The Office”. I need to put that on my to do list.

    Never heard of a DEMIjohn. Is that like a half-bathroom?

    I think Freud needs to see a shrink….

    Best –

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