0911-21 NY Times Crossword 11 Sep 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Sid Sivakumar
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 23m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cause for alarm? : BURGLAR

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

8 Lake ___, where the Chari River empties : CHAD

Lake Chad is a very large and shallow lake in Africa, one that changes size dramatically in a very short space of time. Lake Chad shrunk by a massive 95% from 1963 to 1998, but has been recovering ever since. Parts of the lake lie within the four countries Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

17 Buddhism’s founder : GAUTAMA

Gautama Buddha was the sage on whose teachings the Buddhist tradition was founded. It is generally believed that the Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, in about 563 BCE.

18 Kind of vest : KEVLAR

Kevlar is a remarkably strong synthetic fiber that was introduced by DuPont in 1965. The material was developed as a lightweight substitute for steel. Kevlar fits the bill, as an equal weight of the synthetic fiber is five times stronger than the alloy. One of the downsides of Kevlar is that its strength degrades when exposed to sunlight.

19 #1 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” list, with “The” : … SOPRANOS

“The Sopranos” is an outstanding television drama made by HBO that is a story about Italian-American mobsters in New Jersey. “The Sopranos” is regularly cited as one of the best TV series of all time. It’s “must see TV” …

20 Old-fashioned endings? : DEES

The ending letter in the term “old-fashioned” is a letter D (dee).

21 Fashion designer ___ Saab : ELIE

Elie Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer based in Beirut. Saab also goes by the name “ES”.

22 Ball with a yellow stripe : NINE

Eight-ball and nine-ball are arguably the most popular variants of pool played in North America. In eight-ball, one player sinks the striped balls and the other the solid balls. The first to sink all his or her balls and then the black 8-ball, without fouling, wins the game. In nine-ball, each player must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first with the cue ball. The first player to sink the 9-ball wins. Sinking the nine ball can happen when first hitting the lowest bowl on the table, or possibly when balls numbered 1-8 have been sunk.

26 Publisher of “The 1619 Project,” for short : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

29 Stephen of BBC’s “The Honourable Woman” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

34 Top : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

36 One-named singer with the 1968 hit “Abraham, Martin and John” : DION

Dion and the Belmonts were a vocal group from the fifties who had success in the late fifties. The four singers were from the Bronx in New York, with two living on Belmont Avenue, hence the name that was chosen. Perhaps the biggest hits for Dion and the Belmonts were “A Teenager in Love” and “Where or When”.

“Abraham, Martin and John” is a 1968 song recorded by singer/songwriter Dion. It was written by dick Holler right after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in April and June of the same year. The lyrics actually pay tribute to four victims of the assassin’s bullet, as they also reference Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

37 Composer Zimmer : HANS

Hans Zimmer is a film composer from Frankfurt in Germany. The long list of films that Zimmer has scored includes “Rain Man” (1998), “The Lion King” (1994), “Gladiator” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008), “Inception” (2010) and “12 Years a Slave” (2013).

39 She was Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year : THUNBERG

Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist from Sweden who came to national attention in her homeland when she was just 15 years old. In 2018, she went on strike from school and paraded with placards in front of the Swedish parliament to pressure the government to take stronger action to address climate change. She then took part in demonstrations across Europe, and became a regular speaker at such events. She addressed the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit at the UN headquarters, opting to sail to New York from Sweden, rather than fly. When she was named “Time” Person of the Year in 2019 at 16 years old, Thunberg was the youngest person ever to be so honored.

43 Acts like a nudnik to : PESTERS

“Nudnik” is a slang term describing a boring and bothersome person. The word comes from Yiddish, with “nuda” being the Polish for “boredom”.

46 Home of the only world capital to border two other countries : SLOVAKIA

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka “Slovakia”).

Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia. The city itself actually borders Austria and Hungary, making Bratislava the only national capital in the world that borders two foreign countries.

Down

5 Oktoberfest buy : LAGER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve attended twice, and it really is a remarkable party …

6 Word with rain or rock : ACID …

Acid rain is any precipitation that is unusually acidic. The acidity in rain mainly comes from sulfur dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere from industrial plants and volcanic eruptions.

The musical genre known as acid rock is a subset of psychedelic rock. The term comes from the influence of the drug LSD (acid) on some compositions in the early days.

7 Letter accompanying a personal statement, informally : REC

Recommendation (rec.)

8 Ariadne, e.g. : CRETAN

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.

In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete and master of the Minotaur. Minos charged his daughter with control of the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur. However, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus, who had vowed to kill the Minotaur, and she helped him fulfill his mission. In other myths, Ariadne became the bride of the god Dionysus.

10 Split payment : ALIMONY

Alimony is a payment made by one spouse to another for support after a legal separation. The term “alimony” derives from the Latin “alimonia”, meaning “nourishment, food, support”.

11 Quantitative analyst’s fodder : DATA SET

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

15 House style with shingle exteriors and flat-front facades : CAPE COD

The Cape Cod architectural style is relatively simple. Cape Cod cottages often have a story and a half, with a steep roof and end gables. There is a distinctive single chimney at the center of the roof. The front door is also placed centrally in the wall.

19 Title sort of person in 2008’s Best Picture : SLUMDOG

The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. A low-budget movie, it ended up winning eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

21 Panaceas : ELIXIRS

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

Panacea was the Greek goddess of healing. She lent her name to the term “panacea” that was used by alchemists to describe the beguiling remedy that could cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

28 What may be corrected on a trans person’s birth certificate : DEADNAME

A deadname is the name given at birth to a transgender person, and which is no longer used by that person on transitioning.

29 Group to which Don Rickles joked he “never received an official membership card” : RAT PACK

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

Don Rickles was a stand-up comedian and actor from Queens, New York. Rickles became known as an “insult comedian” early in his stand-up career for the way he handled hecklers in the audience. His witty insults received bigger laughs than his prepared jokes. Rickles’ acerbic style earned him the nicknames “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth”. Rickles was also a popular guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, appearing over 100 times.

30 Order : ECHELON

We use the word “echelon” (ech.) to describe a rank or level, particularly in the military. The term comes from French, in which language it has the same meaning, although the original meaning in Old French is “rung of a ladder”.

35 Course selection : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

38 Oktoberfest buys : STEINS

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term “stein” is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

41 That’s a wrap! : STOLE

A stole is a narrow shawl. It can be made of quite light decorative material, but also can be heavier if made of fur.

42 Hirsute figure in the Bible : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

“Hirsute” means “hairy”. The term comes from the Latin “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy”.

46 United Airlines hub, for short : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines. Even though SFO is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, the airport is located to the south in San Mateo County.

United Airlines (UAL) has a complicated history, but can trace its roots back to Aviation Enterprises, founded in 1944 and later called Texas International. The first use of the “United” name in the company’s history was when airplane pioneer William Boeing merged his Boeing Air Transport with Pratt & Whitney to form the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (UATC) in 1929. The Air Mail Act of 1934 required that UATC be broken up into United Aircraft (which became United Technologies), the Boeing Aircraft Company and United Air Lines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cause for alarm? : BURGLAR
8 Lake ___, where the Chari River empties : CHAD
12 Compete for speed, say : RUN A RACE
13 Cheery refrain : TRA-LA
14 Eyeroll-inducing response to “How did you do that?” : IT’S MAGIC
15 Work on some issues together? : CO-EDIT
16 Stuck a fork in, say : STABBED
17 Buddhism’s founder : GAUTAMA
18 Kind of vest : KEVLAR
19 #1 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” list, with “The” : … SOPRANOS
20 Old-fashioned endings? : DEES
21 Fashion designer ___ Saab : ELIE
22 Ball with a yellow stripe : NINE
23 Meets and eats, perhaps : DOES LUNCH
26 Publisher of “The 1619 Project,” for short : NYT
27 “None for me, thanks” : NAH, I’M GOOD
29 Stephen of BBC’s “The Honourable Woman” : REA
32 Things auditors watch for : TAX DODGES
34 Top : ACME
36 One-named singer with the 1968 hit “Abraham, Martin and John” : DION
37 Composer Zimmer : HANS
39 She was Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year : THUNBERG
41 Composed : SEDATE
43 Acts like a nudnik to : PESTERS
44 Parts of a platform : STANCES
45 Smartphone screen displays : ALERTS
46 Home of the only world capital to border two other countries : SLOVAKIA
47 Turns up : COMES
48 Where to see Print : FILE MENU
49 Take a ___ : KNEE
50 Corkscrews, e.g. : OPENERS

Down

1 Cut (in) : BUTTED
2 Liable to be lost, in a way : UNSAVED
3 Yak, yak, yak : RAMBLE ON
4 Join the table : GRAB A SEAT
5 Oktoberfest buy : LAGER
6 Word with rain or rock : ACID …
7 Letter accompanying a personal statement, informally : REC
8 Ariadne, e.g. : CRETAN
9 Knew someone, so to speak : HAD AN IN
10 Split payment : ALIMONY
11 Quantitative analyst’s fodder : DATA SET
12 Take a ___ : RISK
13 Go all over : TOUR
15 House style with shingle exteriors and flat-front facades : CAPE COD
17 Happening : GOING ON
19 Title sort of person in 2008’s Best Picture : SLUMDOG
21 Panaceas : ELIXIRS
24 Computer programs used in 3-D animation : SHADERS
25 Euphoria : HOG HEAVEN
28 What may be corrected on a trans person’s birth certificate : DEADNAME
29 Group to which Don Rickles joked he “never received an official membership card” : RAT PACK
30 Order : ECHELON
31 “Tell a joke or something … I’m so bored” : AMUSE ME
33 One who puts down a few chips? : SNACKER
35 Course selection : ENTREE
38 Oktoberfest buys : STEINS
40 Puts down a few chips, maybe : BETS
41 That’s a wrap! : STOLE
42 Hirsute figure in the Bible : ESAU
44 Piece of intimate wear : SLIP
46 United Airlines hub, for short : SFO

12 thoughts on “0911-21 NY Times Crossword 11 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. 18:27. Toughie. The NW bogged me down and was a lot of trial and error until BUTTED opened it up for me. I really liked the open grid. I feel like the Fridays and Saturdays of the last two or three weeks have been harder than usual, though I’m not complaining–I like a good tussle.

  2. 34:06 I also struggled a lot in the NW with lots of trial and error. A couple of my early trials were right but I erased them several times before the items around them stuck. Once I moved from HAVEASEAT to TAKEASEAT to GRABASEAT, then more things started to stick for good.

  3. 58:39, no errors. And, basically, what Tom and Ron said … but more so. I got through the rest of the puzzle relatively unscathed, but flailed badly in the upper left – one of those times when you can think of lots of possibilities for every entry in a section and some of them even seem to fit together, but you just can’t seem to find a set that all work together. Anyway, however bruised my ego, I finally limped to the finish line … 😜.

  4. 37:41. I was ok in the NW, but I had trouble just about everywhere else. Strangely, I thought of KEVLAR the first time I saw the clue. Then I got UNSAVED to cross it (being leery of the “V”) and was off to the races.

    I’m amazed that I agree with Rolling Stone about their number 1 show of all time. The SOPRANOS is an apt choice. I originally assumed The Simpsons (it fits), but I was happily mistaken.

    Very hard puzzle. I’d say the long answers saved me, but almost every answer was a long one today. All puzzles should be this difficult. Kudos for that, but all the social commentary in these things has me wanting to throw my laptop into the pool. I come to crosswords as an escape, but it’s becoming less and less of one.

    Best –

  5. 46 Across sounded wrong so I looked at the map. Bratislava does border Austria but is several miles from the Hungarian border.

  6. 53:15, but true confession, technically a DNF, so I can’t claim better than Nonny. I had “Sundberg” instead of “Thunberg” and when nothing else came together in the SW, I finally ended up looking up her last name and the last corner fell. I’m just happy to have completed it, since my first pass in both directions yielded a blank grid, so guessing was initiated in the NW and I built from there.

  7. Technically a DNF, I looked up 2 items. Never heard of SHADERS . Didn’t know GAUTAMA and absolutely don’t know what is going on in 28D DEADNAME.. Ill have to look a couple of those up.

    Like others my NW corner is all scribble up in ink.

  8. Extremely difficult in the NW corner. The first puzzle in a long time when I had to look up clues. I would appreciate crosswords without political agendas, but that isn’t likely to happen these days.

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