0909-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Sep 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Billy Bratton
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Convert to Metric

Themed answers are each common phrases with an imperial unit CONVERTED TO METRIC:

  • 54A What you have to do to interpret the answers to 16-, 25- and 40-Across : CONVERT TO METRIC
  • 16A “In a Silent Way” trumpeter [∼3:5] : KILOMETERS DAVIS (from “Miles Davis”)
  • 25A Some unaccredited universities, derisively [∼57:1] : RADIAN MILLS (from “degree mills”)
  • 40A Hardly parsimonious, in a saying [∼1:454] : GRAM FOOLISH (from “pound foolish”)

Bill’s time: 14m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Stay-at-homes? : B AND BS

In the US, an intimate inn is a bed & breakfast (B&B). Traditionally, a bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic accommodation, and used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

15 Maker of sweet eggs : CADBURY

The Cadbury Creme Egg is the biggest-selling confectionery in the UK from New Year’s Day up to Easter every year, which is no surprise to me. They’re wickedly delicious …

16 “In a Silent Way” trumpeter [∼3:5] : KILOMETERS DAVIS (from “Miles Davis”)

Jazz musician Miles Davis was born into a relatively affluent family, so he had plenty of music lessons as a child. After high school, Davis studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York but he dropped out before finishing his studies. He stated later that the Juilliard classes focused too much on European and “white” music, but he acknowledged that the school gave him a foundation in music theory that helped him in later life.

18 Mohammed bin Thani was the first one for Qatar : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

20 ___ Annie of “Oklahoma!” : ADO

Ado Annie is a character in the Rodgers and Hammerstein smash hit musical “Oklahoma!” Ado Annie was played by Gloria Grahame in the 1955 film. If you don’t remember the character, you might remember one of her songs, namely “I Cain’t Say No”.

21 Rendezvous (with) : MEET

A rendezvous is a meeting. The noun used in English comes from the French phrase “rendez vous” meaning “present yourselves”.

22 Stumblebum : DOLT

A stumblebum is a clumsy and incompetent person. The term “stumblebum” particularly applies to a second-rate prizefighter.

23 Word with shot or happy : SLAP-

A slap shot in ice hockey involves slapping the ice just behind the puck with the stick, causing the stick to bend and store up extra energy. When the stick finally hits the puck, all that extra energy is released along with the energy from the swing resulting in the hardest shot in hockey.

Someone described as slaphappy is exhibiting extremely silly behavior. The term “slaphappy” first appeared in the 1930s, when it meant “punch-drunk”.

25 Some unaccredited universities, derisively [∼57:1] : RADIAN MILLS (from “degree mills”)

The radian is a unit of angular measure. The unfortunate radian has been demoted, as the SI unit of angular measure is the steradian.

28 Singer Amos : TORI

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. She started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. Amos was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I’m going to have to find some of her music …

34 Robotics motor : SERVO

A servomechanism (also “servo”) is a control system in which usually a hydraulic or pneumatic arm or plunger is actuated by a low-energy signal received from a sensor. An example is the device operating the cruise control on a car. The servo pushes the gas pedal to accelerate and lets off to slow down. The signal to the servo comes from the speedometer.

38 1947’s ___-Hartley Act : TAFT

The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act takes its name from the original bill’s sponsors, Senator Robert Taft and Representative Fred A. Hartley, Jr. The act is still in force and deals with monitoring of the activities of labor unions. The bill only came into effect after Congress managed to override the veto of President Harry S. Truman.

47 “Ratatouille” protagonist : REMY

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

49 People based in Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona : HOPI

Many members of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

51 Stefani ___ Angelina Germanotta a.k.a. Lady Gaga : JOANNE

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

53 Diamond data : OUTS

That would be a baseball diamond.

60 Ones tackling their home work : DIYERS

Back in Ireland, we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather “DIY centres” (and that’s the spelling of “centres”). “DIY” is an initialism standing for “do-it-yourself”.

Down

2 Food, quaintly : ALIMENT

An aliment is an item of food, something that nourishes. The term comes from the Latin “alimentum” meaning “nourishment”.

4 Garment that appropriately rhymes with “court” : SKORT

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between a “skirt” and “shorts”.

5 Basted edge : HEM

To baste is to sew loosely, just holding a join in a fabric together temporarily using large running stitches.

6 Ulterior motives : AGENDA

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

7 Role for Paul McCartney in the Beatles : BASS

The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997. The Rolling Stones lead singer’s full name is Sir Michael Philip Jagger. “Mick” was knighted for his services to popular music in 2003.

9 Magic org. : NBA

The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of “Heat”, “Tropics”, “Juice” and “Magic”. A committee then opted for “Orlando Magic”. A good choice I think …

10 “Veep” co-star Clea ___ : DUVALL

“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It” (Warning: strong language!). “Veep” is set in the office of fictional US Vice President Selina Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

12 Reddit moderators, e.g., in brief : SYSOPS

System operator (sysop)

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

15 El Greco and others : CRETANS

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

17 ___ Bell, Emily Brontë pseudonym : ELLIS

The first work that any of the three Brontë sisters had in print was an 1846 collection of poetry that they published jointly. This first work was titled “Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell”, each using a male pen name. Charlotte Brontë published her novel “Jane Eyre” under the name Currer Bell. Emily Brontë followed soon after with “Wuthering Heights” published under the name Ellis Bell. The youngest sister, Anne Brontë, published “Agnes Grey” using the name Acton Bell.

23 Lula da ___, former president of Brazil : SILVA

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva served as the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 until 2010. A former union leader, he thrust himself onto the international stage, positioning himself as a negotiator. For example, he befriended both President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President George W. Bush, two leaders with very, very different political positions.

26 When doubled, a 2010s dance : NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

32 Suffix with ranch : -ERO

A ranchero is someone who owns, operates or is employed on a ranch. The term “ranchero” has Spanish roots.

33 Treaded winter vehicles : SNO-CATS

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

40 Apple store employee? : GROCER

Back in the 15th century, a “grocer” was a dealer who bought and sold in “gross”, hence the name.

42 Supreme god of ancient Egypt : AMEN-RA

Amun-Ra (also “Amon, Amen”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

46 Sign of late February : PISCES

The astrological sign of the zodiac called Pisces is named for the Pisces constellation. “Pisces” is the Latin word for “fish” in the plural (singular “piscis”).

52 Aéroport d’___ : ORLY

Orly is a town on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

56 Country music’s ___ Young Band : ELI

The Eli Young Band is a country group from Texas founded by Mike Eli and James Young when they were roommates in the University of North Texas.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ Blackburn, Tennessee’s first female senator : MARSHA
7 Stay-at-homes? : B AND BS
13 They may be iced for a hoppy birthday party : ALE KEGS
15 Maker of sweet eggs : CADBURY
16 “In a Silent Way” trumpeter [∼3:5] : KILOMETERS DAVIS (from “Miles Davis”)
18 Mohammed bin Thani was the first one for Qatar : EMIR
19 Amazingly enough : NO LESS
20 ___ Annie of “Oklahoma!” : ADO
21 Rendezvous (with) : MEET
22 Stumblebum : DOLT
23 Word with shot or happy : SLAP-
24 Close : END
25 Some unaccredited universities, derisively [∼57:1] : RADIAN MILLS (from “degree mills”)
28 Singer Amos : TORI
30 Animal whose teeth are the strongest substance in the natural world : SNAIL
31 Makeup shades that match skin tones : NUDES
34 Robotics motor : SERVO
36 Eves’ counterpart : MORNS
38 1947’s ___-Hartley Act : TAFT
40 Hardly parsimonious, in a saying [∼1:454] : GRAM FOOLISH (from “pound foolish”)
45 Steal : COP
47 “Ratatouille” protagonist : REMY
48 It may be iced for a happy birthday party : CAKE
49 People based in Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona : HOPI
50 Glowing lines : ODE
51 Stefani ___ Angelina Germanotta a.k.a. Lady Gaga : JOANNE
53 Diamond data : OUTS
54 What you have to do to interpret the answers to 16-, 25- and 40-Across : CONVERT TO METRIC
57 Signs up : ENROLLS
58 “Maybe” : WE’LL SEE
59 “You sure about that?” : REALLY?
60 Ones tackling their home work : DIYERS

Down

1 “Yeah? And what if I don’t wanna?!” : MAKE ME!
2 Food, quaintly : ALIMENT
3 Trusted : RELIED ON
4 Garment that appropriately rhymes with “court” : SKORT
5 Basted edge : HEM
6 Ulterior motives : AGENDA
7 Role for Paul McCartney in the Beatles : BASS
8 Is calculating, say : ADDS
9 Magic org. : NBA
10 “Veep” co-star Clea ___ : DUVALL
11 Like the left side of the aisle, traditionally : BRIDAL
12 Reddit moderators, e.g., in brief : SYSOPS
14 Endured : STOOD
15 El Greco and others : CRETANS
17 ___ Bell, Emily Brontë pseudonym : ELLIS
23 Lula da ___, former president of Brazil : SILVA
25 Free from : RID OF
26 When doubled, a 2010s dance : NAE
27 Good cheer : MIRTH
29 Good card game for the inebriated? : RUMMY
32 Suffix with ranch : -ERO
33 Treaded winter vehicles : SNO-CATS
35 “You betcha!” : OF COURSE!
37 Bias : SLANT
39 Like the cream of the crop : TOP-TIER
40 Apple store employee? : GROCER
41 Overhauled : REDONE
42 Supreme god of ancient Egypt : AMEN-RA
43 “So true” : I KNOW
44 Felt : SEEMED
46 Sign of late February : PISCES
49 How a controversial topic might be debated : HOTLY
51 Work well together : JELL
52 Aéroport d’___ : ORLY
55 L x W x H : VOL
56 Country music’s ___ Young Band : ELI

5 thoughts on “0909-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Sep 21, Thursday”

  1. 22:16 Once I got the revealer at 54A more things made sense but I still needed an assist in the NE corner because I just couldn’t seem to get any traction there. BASS seemed too obvious, and SNAIL seemed too incredulous; didn’t know ELLIS, DUVALL, or SILVA. Just spent a lot of time going “huh” in that corner.

  2. 14:24, but (full disclosure) I “finished” by putting in an “I” instead of an “A” at the intersection of “DUVALL” and “ADO” and then immediately correcting it. I swear that I meant to type an “A” to begin with! (Sure, Nonny … tell us another one … 😜.)

  3. 31:14…in metric minutes that would be that would be a metric hair over 19 minutes. I’m even slow in measurements of 10….

  4. 25:11. Tied Bill’s time. Just 11 minutes later….

    Got the theme, but I didn’t understand RADIAN MILLS right away. I was thinking of the term “diploma MILLS” which is what I’ve heard of. Degree MILLS makes more sense.

    I was going to make a comment about B and BS, but I’m taking the high road.

    Best –

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