0904-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Sep 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Byron Walden
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Capital on the Gulf of Guinea : ACCRA

Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

The Gulf of Guinea is a large gulf that forms part of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa. One of the Gulf of Guinea claims to fame is that it is home to the intersecting point between zero degrees of latitude and zero degrees of longitude, i.e. where the Equator and Prime Meridian cross.

15 Bet involving score totals : OVER-UNDER

An over-under bet is a wager that a number will be over or under a particular value. A common over-under bet is made on the combined points scored by two teams in a game.

16 Sight at low tide : SHOAL

A shoal is an underwater ridge or bank that is covered with a material such as sand or silt.

17 Mental or fiscal tightness : PARSIMONY

Ockham’s Razor (also “Occam’s Razor”) is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something. The principle is referred to as “lex parsimoniae” in Latin, or “the law of parsimony”. Parsimony is being thrifty with money or resources.

19 “90 Day Fiancé” channel : TLC

The cable channel TLC started out life as The Learning Channel. Programming on TLC originally focused on educational content, but today there is an emphasis on reality television.

“90 Day Fiancé” is a reality TV show featuring couples who have 90 days to marry each other. One member of the couple is an American citizen, while the other is a foreign national. The 90-day period is defined by the terms of a K-1 visa, which is issued by the US government to a fiancé from a foreign country to allow for travel to the US to prepare for and participate in a marriage ceremony.

22 Govt. plant inspector : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. It is a direct successor to the Bureau of Labor Standards that dealt with some work safety issues since its founding in 1934. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

24 The Greek philosopher Empedocles leapt into its flames, in legend : MT ETNA

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets. We’re still using the term “ether” with a similar meaning.

25 Annual celebration during which sweeping is taboo : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

27 Car model whose name becomes an N.B.A. superstar when its middle letter is removed : LEBARON

The Chrysler LeBaron made from 1977 to 1995 was a low-priced mid-sized automobile. However, the original LeBaron made in the 1930s was Chrysler’s luxury model, which competed with other luxury cars such as the Lincoln and the Packard.

29 Move, informally : RELO

Relocate (relo)

37 Waifs : GAMINS

“Gamin” is a French word that we’ve imported into English. In both languages it means “street urchin”.

38 Latin American spread : HACIENDA

In Spanish, the term “hacienda” is often used for a large estate.

39 First two words of Shelley’s “Ozymandias” : I MET …

“Ozymandias” is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1818:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

42 Bivouac sight : COT

A bivouac is a temporary camp out of doors. The term comes to us via French from the Swiss/Alsatian word “biwacht” meaning “night guard”. The original bivouac was a group of soldiers camped out as a night guard.

52 Favorite novelist of Twihards : MEYER

Author Stephenie Meyer is best-known for her “Twilight” series of vampire romance novels. The “Twilight” books are aimed at young adults. Meyer also wrote a 2008 adult sci-fi novel called “The Host”, which went straight to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. Obsessive fans of the “Twilight” series of books can be referred to as “Twihards”, a portmanteau of “Twilight” and “die-hard”.

58 Got in a lather, say : SHAMPOOED

Back in the 1760s, the verb “to shampoo” was an Anglo-Indian word meaning “to massage”. A century later we started to shampoo our hair.

Down

2 Cricket fields, e.g. : OVALS

Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

3 Swag for sale : MERCH

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, and a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. “Swag” is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional version of “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

6 Access to a country club, in brief? : UN MEMBERSHIP

The United Nations was established right after the end of WWII, and was a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations that had been formed after the end of WWI. The US was at the forefront of the founding of the United Nations, led by President Franklin Roosevelt just prior to the start of WWII. The UN’s headquarters is in international territory in New York. There are three regional UN headquarters, also located in international territory, in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi.

8 Hockey players who face off in a face-off : CENTERS

A face-off is a technique used to start or restart play in a number of sports, e.g. hockey. The idea is that one player from each team faces the other and the ball or puck is dropped between them so that they can contest for possession.

10 Havens : ASYLA

Asylum (plural “asyla”) is a Latin word meaning “sanctuary”.

11 “Parasite” co-star ___ Woo-shik : CHOI

“Parasite” is a 2019 comedy thriller movie from South Korea that became the nation’s highest-grossing film of all time. It was also the first movie not filmed in English to win the Oscar for Best Picture. I haven’t seen “Paradise” yet, but I hear great things from friends and family who have …

13 Chaparral or savanna : RANGELAND

Chaparral is shrubland found mainly in California comprising plants that thrive in dry summers and relatively wet winters. The term “chaparral” comes from the Spanish “chaparro” meaning “evergreen oak”.

A savanna (also “savannah”) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

14 Calculus prerequisite: Abbr. : ALG

Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

21 1914 Freud essay that introduced the concept of “ego ideal” : ON NARCISSISM

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, falling in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, taken was he by his own image that he could not leave it, and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

26 Kingdom whose capital is Nuku’alofa : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors. The nation’s capital is the city of Nukuʻalofa on the island of Tongatapu.

28 Effervescence : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

29 Tartare topper : RAW EGG

Steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s. Back then, the dish went by the name “steak à l’Americaine”, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was dubbed “steak tartare”. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat. There are now similar “tartare” dishes made with raw salmon, or raw tuna.

30 “___ is the beginning of wisdom … not the end”: Spock : LOGIC

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he kept popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show as a kid!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

34 Hippie confab : BE-IN

Just before 1967’s “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a Human Be-In was held in the city’s Golden Gate Park. The Be-In is described as a “happening”, a gathering triggered by a new state law banning the use of LSD. The term “Human Be-In” is a play on “humanist sit-in”.

“Confab”, meaning “chat” is a shortened form of “confabulation”. The word “confabulation” derives from the Latin from “com” (together) and “fabula” (a tale). “Fabula” is also the root of our word “fable”.

38 Florida city with a large Cuban American population (70+%) : HIALEAH

The city of Hialeah, Florida is part of the Miami metropolitan area. It’s thought that the name “Hialeah” is a Muskogee word meaning “pretty prairie”. Hialeah is known as the most densely populated city in the country that does not include a skyscraper within its limits. However, the city is home to the historic Hialeah Park Race Track that first opened in 1921.

41 Electron attractors : ANODES

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.

45 Where some high schoolers get DNA tests? : 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.

52 Slush pile contents: Abbr. : MSS

Manuscript (MS)

In the world of publishing, the slush pile is the collection of unsolicited manuscripts that have been submitted by hopeful authors.

54 Greeting in Rio : ALO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rush order : COME QUICK!
10 Capital on the Gulf of Guinea : ACCRA
15 Bet involving score totals : OVER-UNDER
16 Sight at low tide : SHOAL
17 Mental or fiscal tightness : PARSIMONY
18 Just under way, so to speak : YOUNG
19 “90 Day Fiancé” channel : TLC
20 TV lingo for using established hits to prop up weaker shows : TENTPOLING
22 Govt. plant inspector : OSHA
24 The Greek philosopher Empedocles leapt into its flames, in legend : MT ETNA
25 Annual celebration during which sweeping is taboo : TET
27 Car model whose name becomes an N.B.A. superstar when its middle letter is removed : LEBARON
29 Move, informally : RELO
30 Needing a jolt : LISTLESS
33 Iranian port near the Iraq border : ABADAN
35 Out of whimsy : ON A LARK
36 In the works : BREWING
37 Waifs : GAMINS
38 Latin American spread : HACIENDA
39 First two words of Shelley’s “Ozymandias” : I MET …
40 Falling hard? : HAILING
42 Bivouac sight : COT
43 Term terminus : FINALS
44 Roves (about) : GADS
48 Someone who has it all : MONOPOLIST
51 Favorite : PET
52 Favorite novelist of Twihards : MEYER
53 As you like it : DESIRABLE
55 Sty sound : SNORT
56 Completely routs : EATS ALIVE
57 Try to get down : STUDY
58 Got in a lather, say : SHAMPOOED

Down

1 Admit : COP TO
2 Cricket fields, e.g. : OVALS
3 Swag for sale : MERCH
4 Sounds of hesitation : ERS
5 Give notice : QUIT
6 Access to a country club, in brief? : UN MEMBERSHIP
7 “Better off not knowing” : I DON’T ASK
8 Hockey players who face off in a face-off : CENTERS
9 Superman’s dog : KRYPTO
10 Havens : ASYLA
11 “Parasite” co-star ___ Woo-shik : CHOI
12 Considered a participant : COUNTED IN
13 Chaparral or savanna : RANGELAND
14 Calculus prerequisite: Abbr. : ALG
21 1914 Freud essay that introduced the concept of “ego ideal” : ON NARCISSISM
23 Mostly online writing genre : ALT-LIT
26 Kingdom whose capital is Nuku’alofa : TONGA
28 Effervescence : ELAN
29 Tartare topper : RAW EGG
30 “___ is the beginning of wisdom … not the end”: Spock : LOGIC
31 Shortly : IN A MOMENT
32 “Right back atcha” : SAME TO YOU
34 Hippie confab : BE-IN
36 Ancient siege weapon for launching stones : BALLISTA
38 Florida city with a large Cuban American population (70+%) : HIALEAH
41 Electron attractors : ANODES
43 Malt liquor bottle, in slang : FORTY
45 Where some high schoolers get DNA tests? : AP BIO
46 Burrow (into) : DELVE
47 Marengo, for Napoleon : STEED
49 “Jobs vs. Gates: The Hippie and the ___” (2015 TV movie) : NERD
50 Hip-hop subgenre : TRAP
52 Slush pile contents: Abbr. : MSS
54 Greeting in Rio : ALO

4 thoughts on “0904-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. 47:20 NEVER start doing a Sat. puzzle at midnight!! The brain is just too foggy/groggy. At least I finished w/o any lookups. But it took me almost 45 minutes to realize that a Spock answer would be LOGIC, even when I had the crosser LISTLESS at about 20 min. in. LOGIC should be the first thing that comes to mind concerning Spock. For 35A I thought the “out of” part of the clue meant lacking. So that whole section gave me fits and was the last to fall

    Also hung up in the NE corner for a long time due to having OASES for 10D. And when I was in high school (centuries ago), Trig was the prereq for calculus, but with just 3 letters I guess it had to be ALG.

    Unfamiliar with ABADAN (could have been the Genesis song ABACAB for all I know) and GAMINS, CHOI, MEYER, and “Twihards”.

    So it was a tough challenge early in the a.m.

  2. 29:46. This is not my weekend. Both yesterday’s and today’s apparently hit voids in my brain. Bottom left and, more so, top right, took me forever.

    Maybe I need to take up word searches instead.

  3. 51:21 Happy Labor Day! Yep, I finally finished this on Monday. “be-in” was the last to fall, by way of guessing letters. Fortunately it was the first letter I guessed…

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