0902-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Sep 21, Thursday

Constructed by: David W. Tuffs
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Endlessly

Themed answers each require us to remove the END letters to match the clue:

  • 60A On and on … or how to read 18-, 27-, 37- and 51-Across to understand this puzzle’s theme? : ENDLESSLY
  • 18A Fencer’s cry : ZEN GARDEN (giving “en garde!”)
  • 27A Style of diamond with a flat base : PROSECUTE (giving “rose cut”)
  • 37A Spot for a dinner plate : STABLEMATE (giving “table mat”)
  • 51A Roadside restaurant sign : WEATHERED (giving “Eat Here”)

Bill’s time: 15m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Part of V.A.T. : ADDED

A value-added tax (VAT) is a tax paid only on the value added to a product or service by a seller. VAT is similar to sales tax, in that both taxes are paid in full by the end customer. The difference is that a government collects sales tax once, at the final purchase. The government collects VAT right along the production chain, each time a purchase is made. For example, VAT might be paid on raw materials by a manufacturer. A further payment of VAT is made on the “value added” by the manufacturer in using the raw material to make the final product.

17 Titania’s spouse, in Shakespeare : OBERON

Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the Fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

18 Fencer’s cry : ZEN GARDEN (giving “en garde!”)

“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning (meaning “on guard!”), it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

21 Link between two names : AKA

Also known as (aka)

22 Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

24 Scene in Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” : DINER

Edward Hopper was an artist from Nyack, New York. He was a celebrated realist painter best known for his works using oils.

25 Wishy-washy R.S.V.P. : I MIGHT

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

27 Style of diamond with a flat base : PROSECUTE (giving “rose cut”)

Diamonds that are rose cut are rarely seen these days, with most examples being found in antique jewelry.

30 Apple on Apple Music : FIONA

Fiona Apple is a singer-songwriter and pianist from New York City. “Fiona Apple” is the artist’s real name, although “Apple” is a given name. She was born Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart.

31 Tesla had one in 2010, for short : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

33 Like someone receiving baseless accusations, maybe? : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

35 Generates dubiously, with “up” : GINS …

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

41 Actor Rhames : VING

Ving Rhames is a Hollywood actor from New York City. I first noted him in the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction”, in which he played gangster Marsellus Wallace. Rhames also appears alongside Tom Cruise in the “Mission Impossible” series of films. In fact, only Cruise and Rhames appear in all of the “Mission Impossible” movies.

42 Sign of a hit : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

45 Gen ___ : YER

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

46 Rapper featured on Flo Rida’s “Low” : T-PAIN

“T-Pain” is the stage name of rap artist Faheem Rasheed Najm. T-Pain is from Tallahassee, Florida.

Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

53 Roger on the high seas : AYE AYE

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

54 Giant on both the Nikkei and N.Y.S.E. indexes : HONDA

In the US, the Big Three automotive manufacturers are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The equivalent Big Three in Germany are Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and in Japan are Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

The Nikkei is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange that has been published by the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” newspaper since 1950. The “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” has the largest circulation of any financial newspaper in the world, and is read by over 3 million people daily.

The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in a National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

55 N.B.A. great with a doctorate in education : 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.”

57 Screening grp. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

58 “Alice in Wonderland” cry : I’M LATE!

The White Rabbit is a character who appears at the very start of Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Alice sees the White Rabbit checking his watch and mumbling “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” Alice then follows him down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland.

67 Ottawa N.H.L.er, to fans : SEN

The Senators are the NHL hockey team based in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917, and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

Down

1 Wood-shaping tool : ADZ

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

3 Rumble in the Jungle promoter : DON KING

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an interesting fight …

5 Org. with strict schedules? : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

8 Co-star of 2019’s “Joker” : DE NIRO

Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese, in such films as “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980), “Goodfellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995). De Niro is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously, he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake Lamotta in “Raging Bull”.

“Joker” is a 2019 film starring Joaquin Phoenix as the DC Comics supervillain known as “the Joker”. The movie explores the origins of the Joker, presenting an alternative story to that outlined in the comic books.

12 Union agreements? : PRENUPS

Prenuptial agreement (prenup)

Our word “nuptial” is an adjective meaning “of marriage, of the wedding ceremony”. The term derives from “nuptiae”, the Latin for “wedding, marriage”.

14 French lead-in to “chat” : ENTRE-

In the world of ballet, a dancer performs an entrechat by jumping vertically into the air and rapidly crossing the legs before and behind.

26 Hilton alternative : HYATT

The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at the Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

28 Astronomer Carl : SAGAN

Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist, and a great communicator. Sagan was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. He also wrote the novel “Contact” that was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

30 Key ring item : FOB

A fob is attached to an object to make it easier to access. And so, a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, and the pocket in a vest in which a watch can be placed is called a fob. In fact, the original use of the term “fob” was for a small pocket in which one could carry valuables.

36 He can help you after a crash : IT GUY

Information technology (IT)

38 Prints, perhaps : EVIDENCE

In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:

  • Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
  • Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
  • Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.

40 First name on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” : JEAN-LUC

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

42 Harold who sought the Republican presidential nomination nine times over 48 years : STASSEN

Harold Stassen was Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943, and is largely remembered as a perennial candidate for the Republican nomination for US president. Stassen sought the nomination nine times in all between 1940 and 1992, and never came close to winning.

43 “I” : ROYAL WE

The “royal we” is more correctly called the “majestic plural”, and is the use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person in a high office. I suppose the most often quoted phrase that uses the majestic plural is “We are not amused”, which is often attributed to Queen Victoria. The “editorial we” is a similar concept, in which a newspaper editor or columnist refers to himself or herself as “we” when giving an opinion.

44 It appears twice in the Fibonacci sequence : ONE

Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t “discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.

45 Buckingham Palace figures : YEOMEN

The Yeoman of the Guard are the oldest military corps still existing in the UK. The role of the Yeoman of the Guard is to provide bodyguard protection for the British Monarch, although in modern times this role is purely ceremonial. One of the more famous duties of the Yeomen is a ceremonial search of the cellars of the Houses of Parliament prior to the State Opening of Parliament. The search commemorates the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in which Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Parliament building.

48 Trojan War hero : AENEAS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

50 Where lab coats get cleaned? : PET SPA

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

51 Be a kvetch : WHINE

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

56 Mideast locale of Sira Fortress : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

61 Rafael Nadal’s home country, in the Olympics : ESP

Spain is the second largest country in the European Union (after France). “Spain” is an anglicized form of the Spanish name “España”, which comes from the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula “Hispania”.

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

62 Designer inits. : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of V.A.T. : ADDED
6 Curious : ODD
9 Taste : SAMPLE
15 Aerial view provider : DRONE
16 “I was stuck in traffic,” maybe : LIE
17 Titania’s spouse, in Shakespeare : OBERON
18 Fencer’s cry : ZEN GARDEN (giving “en garde!”)
20 Like “h” among “h,” “i” and “j” : WIDEST
21 Link between two names : AKA
22 Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN
24 Scene in Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” : DINER
25 Wishy-washy R.S.V.P. : I MIGHT
27 Style of diamond with a flat base : PROSECUTE (giving “rose cut”)
29 ___ dog : CONEY
30 Apple on Apple Music : FIONA
31 Tesla had one in 2010, for short : IPO
32 K-12 subj. : ENG
33 Like someone receiving baseless accusations, maybe? : AWOL
35 Generates dubiously, with “up” : GINS …
37 Spot for a dinner plate : STABLEMATE (giving “table mat”)
40 Takes (down) : JOTS
41 Actor Rhames : VING
42 Sign of a hit : SRO
45 Gen ___ : YER
46 Rapper featured on Flo Rida’s “Low” : T-PAIN
49 Long Island home of Brookhaven National Laboratory : UPTON
51 Roadside restaurant sign : WEATHERED (giving “Eat Here”)
53 Roger on the high seas : AYE AYE
54 Giant on both the Nikkei and N.Y.S.E. indexes : HONDA
55 N.B.A. great with a doctorate in education : O’NEAL
57 Screening grp. : TSA
58 “Alice in Wonderland” cry : I’M LATE!
60 On and on … or how to read 18-, 27-, 37- and 51-Across to understand this puzzle’s theme? : ENDLESSLY
63 Fix, in a way : NEUTER
64 Expert : ACE
65 Spouts : SPEWS
66 Completely cover : ENCASE
67 Ottawa N.H.L.er, to fans : SEN
68 Discussion group : PANEL

Down

1 Wood-shaping tool : ADZ
2 “Pigs will sooner fly!” : DREAM ON!
3 Rumble in the Jungle promoter : DON KING
4 Get involved : ENGAGE
5 Org. with strict schedules? : DEA
6 Parents and grandparents, in slang, with “the” : … OLDS
7 Slimming aid : DIET PILL
8 Co-star of 2019’s “Joker” : DE NIRO
9 Scatter : SOW
10 Bear : ABIDE
11 Something that nearly one million Americans practice regularly : MEDICINE
12 Union agreements? : PRENUPS
13 Not beat : LOSE TO
14 French lead-in to “chat” : ENTRE-
19 Snitch : RAT
23 Prefix with binary : NON-
25 Contents of a certain shelf : ICE
26 Hilton alternative : HYATT
28 Astronomer Carl : SAGAN
30 Key ring item : FOB
34 Throw it away : WASTE
36 He can help you after a crash : IT GUY
37 Spreadsheet command : SORT DATA
38 Prints, perhaps : EVIDENCE
39 Low point: Abbr. : MIN
40 First name on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” : JEAN-LUC
42 Harold who sought the Republican presidential nomination nine times over 48 years : STASSEN
43 “I” : ROYAL WE
44 It appears twice in the Fibonacci sequence : ONE
45 Buckingham Palace figures : YEOMEN
47 Expert : PRO
48 Trojan War hero : AENEAS
50 Where lab coats get cleaned? : PET SPA
51 Be a kvetch : WHINE
52 Gives zero stars, say : HATES
53 ___ ears : ALL
56 Mideast locale of Sira Fortress : ADEN
59 Lead-in to long : ERE-
61 Rafael Nadal’s home country, in the Olympics : ESP
62 Designer inits. : YSL

13 thoughts on “0902-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Sep 21, Thursday”

  1. 12:18. This was a toughie. Not so much for the theme, which wasn’t simple but wasn’t totally opaque either, but for the cluing, which I found hard, and some of the pop culture answers that were outside of my wheelhouse.

  2. 20:22. ZEN GARDEN gave me the theme pretty quickly. The fill was relatively straightforward which helped a lot.

    I didn’t know DENIRO was in The Joker. No Batman movie is as good as the series so I don’t go see any of them.

    Best

  3. 18:28. I was expecting the dropped letters to have some significance, but not to be. And then they are dropped only in the across answers. My trouble was the NE corner. I spent about 5 minutes there searching for a toehold. What really got me was 14D. In French “chat” means “cat”. So I was trying to think of some French prefix for a cat and nothing made sense to me. Finally took a stab with 9A, leading to 13D and then it made sense, other than I didn’t know what an ENTRECHAT was until reading the explanation above.

  4. 42:15 last place is mine!! Never saw the Batman movies, so I had Devito instead Deniro. I was looking for far more significance with the h vs i, j. I’ll bet I’m the only one that solved this over 5 counties, such is the life of a hospital lab courier…

  5. No errors. Got stuck again down in bottom middle. Most roadside signs say EAT GAS… not EAT HERE. once I got corrected things fell into place.

    Like others , didn’t know Deniro was in that movie.

    … and I didn’t over think 20A. Just went with what the clues were giving me. I don’t get a headache anymore.

  6. @DuncanR…as long as I’m around you have zero chance of last place.
    1:07:40 but no errors…I had to Google 49A to open the SE corner.
    Stay safe😀

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