0912-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Alex Rosen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme What a Character!

Circled letters in the grid spell out PUNCTUATION MARKS. Those marks are arranged in a SMILEY FACE within the grid:

  • 27A Any of the groupings of circled letters in this puzzle : PUNCTUATION MARK
  • 112A How to see the image formed by this puzzle’s circled letters : ROTATE CLOCKWISE
  • 115A What’s formed by the circled letters in this puzzle : SMILEY FACE

The PUNCTUATION MARKS in the SMILEY FACE are:

  • SEMICOLON
  • HYPHEN
  • PARENTHESIS

Bill’s time: 18m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Singer/drummer Collins : PHIL

English musician Phil Collins is best known for his work as drummer with the rock group Genesis, as well as for his solo career. In fact, Collins is often grouped with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, two other artists who had tremendous solo success after careers with very well-known bands.

19 Cell component : ANODE

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.

20 Pal, in Peru : AMIGO

Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

22 Tilt-a-Whirl, e.g. : RIDE

The Tilt-A-Whirl is the fairground ride that has seven cars on a spinning platform, with the cars rotating freely and randomly. Each of the cars hold 3-4 riders; pretty nauseated riders at times.

23 One arm held up with bent elbow and wrist, in a children’s song : SPOUT

The children’s song “I’m a Little Teapot” was written and published in 1939, composed by a married couple who ran a dance school for children. They needed a simple tune that young ones could use to learn a simple tap routine, and came up with this:

I’m a little teapot,
Short and stout,
Here is my handle,
Here is my spout,
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out!

30 Gin product : COTTON

The term “cotton gin” is a contraction of “cotton eng-ine”. The gin is a machine that mechanically separates cotton fibers from the cotton seed. The modern version of the cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793.

32 “Sorry, Charlie!” : NO DICE!

One suggestion for the origin of the phrase “no dice”, meaning “nothing doing, no way”, refers back to illegal gambling in the early 1900s. When approached by police, illegal gamblers would hide their dice (some even swallowed them). It was well known that city attorneys wouldn’t prosecute unless the police could produce the dice. Apparently there was an idiom at the time, “no dice, no conviction”.

34 Savory Chinese snacks : TEA EGGS

The tea egg is a dish from Chinese cuisine made by boiling an egg in water, cracking the shell, and then reboiling the egg in tea or a spiced sauce. Often sold as a snack food, the tea egg is also called a marble egg, referring to the marbled appearance of the cracked shell after boiling in a colored liquid.

44 They await your return, in brief : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

57 Brunch beverage : MIMOSA

Where I come from, the cocktail known in North America as a mimosa is called a buck’s fizz, with the latter named for Buck’s Club in London where it was introduced in 1921. The mimosa came along a few years later, apparently first being served in the Paris Ritz. If you want to make a mimosa, it’s a 50-50 mix of champagne and orange juice, and it is very tasty …

59 One of the brothers on “Malcolm in the Middle” : REESE

I’ve never actually sat down and watched the TV comedy “Malcolm in the Middle”. It ran on Fox from 2000 to 2006. Malcolm was played by Frankie Muniz, who gave up acting to pursue a career in motor racing.

60 Room in Clue : HALL

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

61 Cause of undue anxiety : BUGABOO

“Bugaboo” is another term for “bogeyman”, an imaginary and scary creature used to frighten children.

64 Hogwash : ROT

“Hogwash” means “rubbish, of little value”. “Hogwash” was originally the name of swill fed to pigs.

65 Munch, in modern slang : NOM

“Om Nom Nom Nom” is a slang expression that indicates satisfied eating.

66 “___ 17” (W.W. II film) : STALAG

“Stalag” was the term used for a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. “Stalag” is an abbreviation for “Stammlager”, which in turn is the short form of” Mannschaft Stamm und Straflager”, literally “crew master and prison camp”.

Actor William Holden won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as a prisoner of war in the 1953 film “Stalag 17”. Holden was a good friend of fellow actor Ronald Reagan, and indeed served as best man at Reagan’s marriage to Nancy Davis in 1952. Sadly, Holden struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. Holden killed another driver in a drink-driving accident in Italy in the sixties, for which he received an 8-month suspended sentence. And, he himself died from head injuries caused by a fall after a bout of heavy drinking.

67 One of two in a jack-o’-lantern? : HYPHEN

“Hyphen” is a Greek word that came into English via Latin while retaining the meaning “mark joining two syllables or words”. It is speculated that the mark was introduced to indicate how a word should be sung. The term comes from the Greek “hypo” and “hen” and translates literally as “under one”.

The terms “jack-o’-lantern” and “will-o’-the-wisp” are colloquial names for “ignis fatuus”. Ignis fatuus is an eerie light seen at night over bogs and marshes, caused by the spontaneous oxidation (burning) of phosphine and/or methane that emanates from the bog.

74 Title for Tussaud: Abbr. : MME

Marie Tussaud was a wax sculptor from France. Some of her early work was very gruesome as she lived through the French Revolution. She would take the decapitated heads of executed citizens and use them to make death masks which were then paraded through the streets. She eventually moved to London, taking with her a vast collection of wax models made by her and her father. She opened a museum to display the works, and Madame Tussauds wax museum is a major attraction in the city to this day.

77 Digs up : EXHUMES

Our word “exhume” ultimately comes from the Latin “ex” (out of) “humus” (earth).

84 Die like the Wicked Witch of the West : MELT

Miss Almira Gulch is the woman who gets bitten by Dorothy’s dog Toto right at the start of “The Wizard of Oz”. In Oz, Miss Gulch manifests herself as the Wicked Witch of the West.

85 Give zero stars : PAN

To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

88 E.R. inserts : IVS

One might see an intravenous drip (IV) in an intensive care unit (ICU), operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

89 By birth : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

90 Plant said to repel bugs : FLEABANE

Fleabanes are perennial flowering plants in the daisy family. Many dog owners plant fleabane daisies in their yards to repel fleas. Fleabanes are also said to deter ticks, gnats, flies and mosquitoes. Some people rub the leaves of the plant on their skin or on their pet’s fur to achieve the desired effect.

93 ___ Ryerson, insurance salesman in “Groundhog Day” : NED

American actor Stephen Tobolowsky is perhaps best known to movie theater audiences for playing insurance agent Ned Ryerson in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day”. He is a prolific actor, and has appeared in over 200 films.

99 Hot, mulled punch traditionally drunk around Christmas : WASSAIL

Wassail is ale or mulled wine used for toasting at festivals, especially Christmas. The term “wassail” comes from Old Norse “ves heill” meaning “be healthy”.

104 French port on the English Channel : CALAIS

Calais is a major ferry port in northern France that overlooks the Strait of Dover, which is the narrowest point in the English Channel. The strait is just over 20 miles wide, making Calais the nearest French town to England.

106 Like the Minotaur legend : 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 the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus sailed to the island of Crete in order to convince the Minotaur to stop devouring young boys and girls who were sent into the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth. Soon after Theseus landed on Crete, he fell in love with Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of string that he unraveled as he ventured deep into the Labyrinth. He found the Minotaur and slew him, and then followed the unraveled string back to the entrance of the Labyrinth, and into the arms of Ariadne.

110 University of Oregon site : EUGENE

Eugene is the second-largest city in Oregon (after Portland). The city is named for its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Skinner arrived in the area in 1846, after which the settlement he established was called Skinner’s Mudhole. The name was changed to Eugene City in 1852, which was shortened to Eugene in 1889.

The University of Oregon was founded in 1876 as Oregon State University. I hear that the campus is very attractive, being located in Eugene along the banks of the Willamette River.

115 What’s formed by the circled letters in this puzzle : SMILEY FACE

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂. “Emoticon” is short for “emotion icon”.

118 Ancient land in Asia Minor : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present-day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

119 Domino, e.g. : TILE

White masks with black spots were commonly seen in the old Venetian Carnival. The masks were known as “domini”. The domini lent their name to the game of dominoes, due to the similarity in appearance between the mask and a domino tile.

120 Martinez with a statue outside the Seattle Mariners’ stadium : EDGAR

Former designated hitter and third baseman Edgar Martinez played his entire career with the Seattle Mariners.

122 Domino, e.g. : SUGAR

The Domino Sugar brand was introduced in 1900 by the American Sugar Refining Company. Back then, American Sugar was one of the original 12 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

124 Dino’s tail? : -SAUR

Dinosaurs were reptiles that roamed the Earth from the late Triassic period until the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. The term “dinosaur” was coined by English paleontologist Sir Richard Owen in 1842. Owen used the Greek words “deinos” meaning “terrible” and “sauros” meaning “lizard” to come up with the name.

125 Muse of love poetry : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

Down

6 Org. that flew a helicopter on Mars in 2021 : NASA

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity. The China National Space Administration landed it’s first rover, named Zhurong (“Rover” in English), five months after Perseverance started its mission on the planet.

9 Rounded quarters : IGLOOS

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

11 How Alaska ranks first among the states : IN AREA

The largest US states by land area are, in order:

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. Montana
  5. New Mexico

The smallest US states are:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Delaware
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. New Hampshire

13 What “vey” of “Oy, vey!” translates to : WOE

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that translates literally as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

15 Rey, to Luke Skywalker : PROTEGE

We use the term “protégé” for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe who first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

When the character Luke Skywalker was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikin Starkiller”. Conceptually, he was a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point. Luke is played by actor Mark Hamill in the “Star Wars” films.

16 Sword handles : HILTS

The hilt of a weapon is its handle. One might push in the blade of a knife to the hilt, to the maximum degree.

21 What can make men swear from menswear? : SPACE BAR

In early typewriters, the space bar was indeed a bar. It was a metal bar that stretched across the full width of the keyboard.

“Menswear” becomes “men swear” with the insertion of a space.

29 Forman who directed “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” : MILOS

Miloš Forman is a film director from former Czechoslovakia, where he learned his craft. Since starting to work in Hollywood in 1968, Forman has been at the helm of some memorable films including: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Amadeus” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt”.

Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is set in a psychiatric hospital in Salem, Oregon. The novel was adapted into a stage play in 1963 starring Kirk Douglas, who had purchased the rights to produce it on stage and screen. The film version was finally made in 1975, with Kirk Douglas’s son Michael Douglas as co-producer.

35 Farm refrain : E-I-E-I-O

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

36 Weight of a paper clip, roughly : GRAM

Today, the gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of a physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (well, up until 2019, when it became more hi-tech than I can explain!). Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

38 Ancient: Prefix : PALEO-

The prefix “paleo-” means “prehistoric, primitive”. It comes from the Greek word “palaios” which means “old, ancient”. The prefix “neo-” would be the opposite, meaning “new, recent”.

39 Soul-seller of legend : FAUST

Faust is a character from a classic German legend who makes a pact with the devil. He agrees to exchange his soul for worldly gratification and unlimited knowledge.

43 Group dance popularized in the U.S. by Desi Arnaz : CONGA LINE

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

47 Epiphany : AHA MOMENT

An epiphany is an appearance or manifestation, especially of a supreme being. By extension, “epiphany” can also apply to a sudden insight or intuitive perception. The term derives from the Greek “epiphainein” meaning “to manifest, display”.

48 Voice actor Blanc : MEL

Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s all folks”.

49 Show with over 1,000 handwritten cue cards each week, for short : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

51 City hazard : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

53 Pol in the “I am once again asking …” meme : BERNIE

Bernie Sanders has served as a US Senator from Vermont since 2007. Sanders often describes himself as a democratic socialist, and used to appear on the ballot as an independent. Prior to joining the Democratic Party in 2015, Sanders had been the longest-serving independent in the history of the US Congress.

56 City whose police cars are adorned with a witch logo : SALEM

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings held in 1692 and 1693 in colonial Massachusetts, most famously in Salem. As a result of mass hysteria, twenty people were convicted of practicing witchcraft and were executed. The events were deemed to be a terrible injustice almost immediately. As early as 1696, there was a legal ruling by the Massachusetts General Court that referred to the outcome of the trials as a tragedy. In 2001, the Massachusetts legislature officially exonerated all of those convicted.

71 Chaotic skirmish : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

72 Fragrant compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

74 Saturn has more than 80 of them : MOONS

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Titan is unusual in many ways, including the fact that it is the only known satellite in the solar system that has its own atmosphere (our own moon does not, for example). Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede that orbits Jupiter. Titan is so large that it has a greater volume than Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet.

77 He performed 636 consecutive sold-out shows in Vegas from 1969 to ’76 : ELVIS

Elvis Presley is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply “the King”. However, Presley is quoted as saying that Fats Domino was “the real king of rock and roll”.

78 Burn prevention meas. : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

79 The future Henry V, to Falstaff : HAL

“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes king in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”.

Sir John Falstaff is the lead character in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and a supporting character in the two “Henry IV” plays. Falstaff is a self-promoting, obese and cowardly man. In “Henry IV, part I”, Falstaff refers to his portly size, saying, “thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.”

83 Bits on book jackets : BIOS

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

In the US, the convention is to write the title on the spine of a book from top-to-bottom. In most of Europe, the convention is to write the title from bottom-to-top. We have a lot of books in the “library” in our house from both sides of the Atlantic, and so there is much movement of the head from left to right as we glance along our bookshelves.

87 Roc-A-___ Records : FELLA

Roc-a-Fella Records was founded in 1996 by three rap artists: Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.

91 Part of U.C.L.A. : ANGELES

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from potential students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

92 Fashion designer Geoffrey : BEENE

Geoffrey Beene was an American fashion designer. He had an impressive list of clients that included First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan. He had a very successful line of clothing called “Beene Bag”.

94 It may run from an emotional situation : MASCARA

Variants of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in ancient Egypt. “Mascara” is a Spanish word meaning “stain, mask”.

99 Frank : WIENER

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog gets its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

100 Duke’s org. : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

101 Pasta topper : PESTO

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

102 Like the dog days of summer : HUMID

“Dog Days” is the term given to the warmest and most humid days of summer. The term derives from the ancient belief that hot weather was caused when Sirius (the Dog Star) was in close proximity to the sun.

111 Where the lacrimal glands can be found : EYES

Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands, one in each eye.

112 Pasta topper : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ”Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off in the name of the sauce. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

116 Vaccine-approving agcy. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They come with bouquets : WINES
6 Away : NOT IN
11 “___ put our heads together …” : IF WE
15 Singer/drummer Collins : PHIL
19 Cell component : ANODE
20 Pal, in Peru : AMIGO
21 Put one’s nose where it doesn’t belong : SNOOP
22 Tilt-a-Whirl, e.g. : RIDE
23 One arm held up with bent elbow and wrist, in a children’s song : SPOUT
24 Move obliquely : SIDLE
25 Phenomenon such as the tendency to see human forms in inanimate objects : PAREIDOLIA
27 Any of the groupings of circled letters in this puzzle : PUNCTUATION MARK
30 Gin product : COTTON
31 Incredible bargains : STEALS
32 “Sorry, Charlie!” : NO DICE!
33 Fits together : NESTS
34 Savory Chinese snacks : TEA EGGS
37 Jump over : LEAPFROG
41 Smoking and swearing, e.g. : VICES
44 They await your return, in brief : IRS
45 Have a good cry : SOB
46 Syracuse Mets and Worcester Red Sox, for two : AAA TEAMS
50 “Music’s most maligned genre,” per critic Tom Connick : EMO
51 Word with level or lion : SEA …
52 “Everything happened so fast!” : IT’S A BLUR
54 Farm female : HEN
55 “___ Gone Wrong” (2021 film) : RON’S
57 Brunch beverage : MIMOSA
59 One of the brothers on “Malcolm in the Middle” : REESE
60 Room in Clue : HALL
61 Cause of undue anxiety : BUGABOO
63 It may be smoked : HAM
64 Hogwash : ROT
65 Munch, in modern slang : NOM
66 “___ 17” (W.W. II film) : STALAG
67 One of two in a jack-o’-lantern? : HYPHEN
70 Where charity begins, in a phrase : AT HOME
73 Table part : LEG
74 Title for Tussaud: Abbr. : MME
76 “Midsommar” director Aster : ARI
77 Digs up : EXHUMES
78 Carpenter’s wedge : SHIM
80 Does gentle stretching post-exercise, with “down” : COOLS …
82 Amp knob : TREBLE
84 Die like the Wicked Witch of the West : MELT
85 Give zero stars : PAN
86 Ne’er-do-wells : LOWLIFES
88 E.R. inserts : IVS
89 By birth : NEE
90 Plant said to repel bugs : FLEABANE
93 ___ Ryerson, insurance salesman in “Groundhog Day” : NED
94 French pronoun : MOI
95 Quarter ___ (when the big hand is at three) : AFTER
97 No-longer-current source for current events : NEWSREEL
99 Hot, mulled punch traditionally drunk around Christmas : WASSAIL
101 Bacteria destroyer : PHAGE
104 French port on the English Channel : CALAIS
106 Like the Minotaur legend : CRETAN
110 University of Oregon site : EUGENE
112 How to see the image formed by this puzzle’s circled letters : ROTATE CLOCKWISE
115 What’s formed by the circled letters in this puzzle : SMILEY FACE
117 “We’re live!” studio sign : ON AIR
118 Ancient land in Asia Minor : IONIA
119 Domino, e.g. : TILE
120 Martinez with a statue outside the Seattle Mariners’ stadium : EDGAR
121 Makes less powerful, in video game slang : NERFS
122 Domino, e.g. : SUGAR
123 “To …” things : ODES
124 Dino’s tail? : -SAUR
125 Muse of love poetry : ERATO
126 Arises (from) : STEMS

Down

1 Eastern cicada killers, e.g. : WASPS
2 Suggestions : INPUT
3 “… said ___ ever” : NO ONE
4 School : EDUCATE
5 Resolves out of court : SETTLES
6 Org. that flew a helicopter on Mars in 2021 : NASA
7 Fail to mention : OMIT
8 Information, old-style : TIDINGS
9 Rounded quarters : IGLOOS
10 Without stopping : NO END
11 How Alaska ranks first among the states : IN AREA
12 It’s often left on the table : FORK
13 What “vey” of “Oy, vey!” translates to : WOE
14 ___ Games, company behind Fortnite : EPIC
15 Rey, to Luke Skywalker : PROTEGE
16 Sword handles : HILTS
17 “Einstein,” sarcastically : IDIOT
18 Puts pressure (on) : LEANS
21 What can make men swear from menswear? : SPACE BAR
26 “___ pass Go …” : DO NOT
28 Leading medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics : USA
29 Forman who directed “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” : MILOS
35 Farm refrain : E-I-E-I-O
36 Weight of a paper clip, roughly : GRAM
38 Ancient: Prefix : PALEO-
39 Soul-seller of legend : FAUST
40 Half-baked? : RARE
41 Duck and goose, at times : VERBS
42 “See ya” : I’M OUT
43 Group dance popularized in the U.S. by Desi Arnaz : CONGA LINE
45 77-Down is on the most collected one in U.S. history : STAMP
47 Epiphany : AHA MOMENT
48 Voice actor Blanc : MEL
49 Show with over 1,000 handwritten cue cards each week, for short : SNL
51 City hazard : SMOG
52 “My word!” : I SAY!
53 Pol in the “I am once again asking …” meme : BERNIE
56 City whose police cars are adorned with a witch logo : SALEM
58 Card game with a PG-rated name : OH HELL
60 Boring : HO-HUM
62 Purse : BAG
65 High degree : NTH
68 Not at all popular : HATED
69 Messes up : ERRS
70 x, y and z : AXES
71 Chaotic skirmish : MELEE
72 Fragrant compound : ESTER
74 Saturn has more than 80 of them : MOONS
75 Golf course machine : MOWER
77 He performed 636 consecutive sold-out shows in Vegas from 1969 to ’76 : ELVIS
78 Burn prevention meas. : SPF
79 The future Henry V, to Falstaff : HAL
80 Fight tooth and nail : CLAW
81 One who consumes a ritual meal to absolve the souls of the dead : SIN-EATER
83 Bits on book jackets : BIOS
87 Roc-A-___ Records : FELLA
91 Part of U.C.L.A. : ANGELES
92 Fashion designer Geoffrey : BEENE
94 It may run from an emotional situation : MASCARA
95 [Mwah!] : [AIR KISS!]
96 Departed by plane : FLEW OUT
98 Green vehicle : ECOCAR
99 Frank : WIENER
100 Duke’s org. : ACC
101 Pasta topper : PESTO
102 Like the dog days of summer : HUMID
103 Acrobatic : AGILE
105 Make restitution : ATONE
107 Faint color : TINGE
108 “Take me ___” : AS I AM
109 Approaches : NEARS
111 Where the lacrimal glands can be found : EYES
112 Pasta topper : RAGU
113 Pump some weights : LIFT
114 Not exactly : OR SO
116 Vaccine-approving agcy. : FDA

9 thoughts on “0912-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 21, Sunday”

  1. 23:50, no errors. Cute. Nice to be “reminded” of the word “PAREIDOLIA” (and, if you buy that, perhaps I could interest you in some ocean-front property here in Denver … 😜).

  2. 23:33. Not a complicated theme to solve, but I suspect it was difficult to construct. I had to do an alphabet run at FLEABANE/BEENE, but fortunately B comes pretty early.

    Interesting that we get the expression “to the hilt” from HILTS on a sword. Did not know that.

    They swallowed their dice?? What could the penalty/fine been for playing craps that would make people prefer to swallow dice? I guess they just said “Oh well, this too shall pass…..”

    Best –

  3. 24:48, 2 errors: PHAG(A); BE(A)NE. Never heard of either one.
    My paper botched the clue for 21D.
    “What can make men
    swear from men’s
    wear?”

  4. Well, almost no errors. Didn’t know PHAGE or FLEABANE but I guessed those right. My error came on 2D / 23A… I was sure 23A was SNOUT.. so 2D became INNUT???? I left it..
    Fairly quick solve until upper right corner with SOWE SNOOP EPIC.. went through several options.. finally Sussed it out…

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