0914-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Sep 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Christopher Adams
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Kinky Boots

Themed answers each include KINKY (anagrams of) “BOOTS” hidden within:

  • 57A 2013 Best Musical Tony winner … with a hint to this puzzle’s theme : KINKY BOOTS
  • 15A “Everlasting” candy from Willy Wonka : GOBSTOPPER
  • 22A Teeny-tiny futuristic machines : NANOBOTS
  • 46A Tale of woe : SOB STORY
  • 9D Orchestra once conducted by John Williams : BOSTON POPS
  • 13D Some vaccine shots : BOOSTERS
  • 26D Places to sign in in inns : GUESTBOOKS
  • 32D “Peter Pan” group : LOST BOYS

Bill’s time: 8m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Diamond club : BAT

That would be a baseball diamond.

12 Inter ___ : ALIA

“Inter alia” is Latin for “among other things”.

14 Japanese noodle : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodle called “udon”.

15 “Everlasting” candy from Willy Wonka : GOBSTOPPER

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

17 Intl. financial giant headquartered in London : HSBC

HSBC is a UK-based financial services company that was the largest bank in Europe in 2018. It can trace its history back to 1865, when it was founded in British Hong Kong as the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank. The initialism “HSBC” stood for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

22 Teeny-tiny futuristic machines : NANOBOTS

Nanorobots (also “nanobots”) are tiny devices that range from 0.1 to 10 micrometers in size. The technology of nanorobotics is in its infancy, but it is hoped that nanobots might be used (for example) in medicine one day. The oft-cited application is the use of nanobots inserted inside the body to identify and destroy cancer cells.

27 What follows hump day: Abbr. : THUR

The phrase “hump day” is very North American. It refers to Wednesday, which is the middle day (the hump) of a typical work week.

29 Alternative to Sure or Secret : BAN

Ban was the first roll-on deodorant, introduced in 1952. The formulation for Ban is the same as the brand called Mum, the first commercial deodorant, which dates back to the late 1800s.

30 Top Olympian : ZEUS

In Greek mythology, Zeus served as the king of the Olympic gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He was the child of Titans Cronus and Rhea, and was married to Hera. Zeus was the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter, who had similar realms of influence.

36 Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE

Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

39 Costly Super Bowl purchases : ADS

The Super Bowl is used for high-profile advertising because of the high viewership numbers. For example, Super Bowl XLIX (2015) had an average audience of 114 million viewers, making it the most-watched American TV program in history.

40 Some parts of archipelagoes : ISLETS

“Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. The Aegean Sea was once known as the Archipelago. The usage of “Archipelago” migrated over time, eventually applying only to the Aegean Islands. As a result, we use the term “archipelago” today not for a sea, but for a group or chain of islands.

41 Sports org. associated with the Evian Championship : LPGA

The Evian Championship is an LPGA event held annually in Évian-les-Bains, France, home to Évian mineral water. The Evian Championship is one of two major championships on the Ladies European Tour and just about ties with the US Women’s Open as the richest event in women’s golf.

42 Bygone M&M color : TAN

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that gives the name to the candy.

44 The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

49 Michael Jackson’s first #1 hit (about a rat!) : BEN

“Ben” is a horror film released in 1972 about a young boy and his pet rat called Ben. “Ben” is a sequel to an equally horrific film called “Willard” that was released the prior year and was also about a rat. The theme song to “Ben” was recorded by Michael Jackson and was a big hit for him.

52 Spend a night in the slammer, perhaps : SOBER UP

The cooler, the pen, the joint, the slammer, the can … the prison.

56 2019 #1 album for Tyler, the Creator : IGOR

“Tyler, the Creator” is the stage name of rap singer Tyler Okonma.

57 2013 Best Musical Tony winner … with a hint to this puzzle’s theme : KINKY BOOTS

“Kinky Boots” is a 2012 musical with music and lyrics by singer/songwriter Cyndi Lauper. The musical is based on a 2005 film of the same name, which in turn was inspired by an episode from a BBC documentary series “Trouble at the Top”. “Kinky Boots” is based on the true story of a struggling shoe factory that was saved from closure when it started producing fetish footwear for men.

60 Lord High Executioner in “The Mikado” : KO-KO

“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”. In the opera, Ko-Ko is the name of the Lord High Executioner of Titipu.

61 “We have the meats” fast-food chain : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

63 Readers of mss. : EDS

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (ms).

64 Risqué : RACY

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb meaning “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

Down

1 Hockey great Jaromir : JAGR

Jaromír Jágr is an NHL hockey player from the Czech Republic. When Jágr made his debut in the NHL in 1990 at age 18, he was the youngest player in the league.

3 BBQ offering : RIBS

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

4 Walks ostentatiously : SASHAYS

To sashay is to strut along in a showy manner. “Sashay” is an Anglicized form of the French word “chassé”, a sliding step used in square dancing.

5 Was lachrymose : WEPT

“Lachrymose” means “teary”, from the Latin “lacrima”, the word for “tear”.

6 Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP

The Jungfrau is a peak in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. “Jungfrau” translates from German as “maiden” or “virgin”.

7 Cavaliers, on scoreboards : CLE

The Cavaliers are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

8 DKNY’s Donna : KARAN

Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the Donna Karan New York (DKNY) clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.

9 Orchestra once conducted by John Williams : BOSTON POPS

The marvelous Boston Pops orchestra specializes in playing light classical and popular music. It grew out of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson. Higginson instituted a series of performances by the BSO of lighter classics for the summer months, starting in 1885. These performances were originally known as the “Promenade Concerts”, and soon became year-round events. The name evolved into “Popular Concerts”, which was shortened to “Pops” and officially adopted in 1900.

The great composer John Williams has won five Academy Awards for his work on film scores, for:

  • “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • “Jaws”
  • “Star Wars”
  • “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
  • “Schindler’s List”

11 Choco ___ (ice cream treats) : TACOS

A Choco Taco is an elaborate ice cream dessert that was created in the eighties by the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company in Philadelphia.

13 Some vaccine shots : BOOSTERS

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity (until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19). British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

14 Biblical queendom : SHEBA

Sheba is referenced in the Bible several times. The Queen of Sheba is mentioned as someone who traveled to Jerusalem to behold the fame of King Solomon. No one knows for sure where the kingdom of Sheba was located, although there is evidence that it was actually the ancient Semitic civilization of Saba. The Sabeans lived in what today is Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula.

16 Emergency AAA request : TOW

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

20 One-named singer with the 2010 hit “Dancing on My Own” : ROBYN

“Robyn” is the stage name of Swedish singer Robin Miriam Carlsson.

23 Record label for Barry Manilow and Whitney Houston : ARISTA

Arista Records was set up as part of Columbia Pictures by one Clive Davis. He chose “Arista” as it was the name of the New York City Honor Society to which Davis belonged.

Barry Manilow’s real name is Barry Alan Pincus. Barry took his mother’s family name, Manilow, at his Bar Mitzvah. When he was young, Manilow attended the Juilliard performing arts school, and then practiced his craft on the New York City music circuit. He worked in the sixties and seventies writing jingles for advertisements. “Like a good neighbor, Statefarm is there …”, that’s the work of Mr. Manilow!

Whitney Houston was the only singer to have a run of seven consecutive Billboard number-one hits. Houston’s recording of the wonderful Dolly Parton song “I Will Always Love You”, from the soundtrack of 1992’s “The Bodyguard”, is the best-selling single for a female artist in the history of recorded music. Houston died at the age of 48 in 2012, drowning in her bathtub.

24 Cornell who founded Cornell : EZRA

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

25 Kaput : DEAD

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

28 Ward ___ (old political operative) : HEELER

A “ward heeler” is a political operative who works locally in a ward to get out the vote for his or her party. Back in the early 1900s, ward heelers were viewed as corrupt characters who collected and doled out money to achieve their ends. The term “heeler” was coined back then as these operatives were seen as following at the heels of the political bosses.

32 “Peter Pan” group : LOST BOYS

In J. M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan”, the Lost Boys are characters in Neverland. The boys are “lost” in that they fell out of their prams or buggies in parks all over London, and were lost by their Nannies. There are no Lost Girls, as girls are too clever to fall out of their prams. So says Peter Pan himself.

34 Indian music composition : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

37 Spotted horse : PINTO

A pinto is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

43 Houston baseballer : ASTRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

46 Hard hit in volleyball : SPIKE

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

48 Schindler of “Schindler’s List” : OSKAR

Oskar Schindler is the protagonist in the Steven Spielberg movie “Schindler’s List”. Schindler was a real person who survived WWII. During the Holocaust, Schindler managed to save almost 1,200 Jews from perishing by employing them in his factories. After the war, Schindler and his wife were left penniless having used his assets to protect and feed his workers. For years the couple survived on the charity of Jewish groups. Schindler tried to make a go of it in business again but never had any real success. He died a pauper in 1974 in Hildesheim, not far from Hanover. His last wish was to be buried in Jerusalem. Schindler was the only former member of the Nazi Party to be buried on Mount Zion.

52 Big vodka brand : SKYY

Skyy Vodka is produced in the US, although the operation is owned by the Campari Group headquartered in Italy. Skyy first hit the shelves in 1992 when it was created by an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California.

53 Flower for a valentine : ROSE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

54 Pac-12 squad : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

58 Kaplan of indie rock’s Yo La Tengo : IRA

Yo La Tengo is an indie rock band from Hoboken, New Jersey that formed in 1984 as the husband/wife duo Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley. The band’s name translates from Spanish as “I have it”, and was chosen with reference to a baseball anecdote. Elio Chacon was a baseball player from Venezuela, the seventh person to play in the Majors from that country. There’s a story that Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn was always running into Elio Chacon in the outfield, because he would call for the ball in English, and Chacon only understood Spanish. Ashburn started to call for the ball in Spanish “Yo la tengo!” (I’ve got it!), at which point he’d be run down by left fielder Frank Thomas who only understood English!

59 Network for “Frasier” and “Friends” : NBC

“Frasier” is a very successful sitcom that originally ran for eleven seasons, from 1993 to 2004. Kelsey Grammer plays the title character, psychiatrist Frasier Crane. The show is a spinoff of the equally successful sitcom “Cheers” that ended its original run just a few months before “Frasier” premiered. By the time “Frasier” aired its last show, Grammer’s portrayal of Crane tied the record for the longest-running character on primetime TV. As an aside, that tie was with James Arness’ portrayal of Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke”. As a further aside, the record was later broken by Richard Belzer’s portrayal of Detective John Munch on the shows “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU”.

When the incredibly successful sitcom “Friends” was in development it was given the working title “Insomnia Cafe”. This was changed to “Friends Like Us”, before finally going to air as “Friends”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cannery row? : JARS
5 Bad, slangily : WACK
9 Diamond club : BAT
12 Inter ___ : ALIA
13 Supermodel Hadid : BELLA
14 Japanese noodle : SOBA
15 “Everlasting” candy from Willy Wonka : GOBSTOPPER
17 Intl. financial giant headquartered in London : HSBC
18 Take another take : RESHOOT
19 Schoolyard retort : ARE TOO!
21 Some reactions to puppies and babies : AWS
22 Teeny-tiny futuristic machines : NANOBOTS
24 Really out there, as humor : EDGY
27 What follows hump day: Abbr. : THUR
29 Alternative to Sure or Secret : BAN
30 Top Olympian : ZEUS
31 How some coincidences occur : EERILY
33 For : PRO
36 Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
37 Like some fake nails : PRESS-ON
38 Good wood for whiskey barrels : OAK
39 Costly Super Bowl purchases : ADS
40 Some parts of archipelagoes : ISLETS
41 Sports org. associated with the Evian Championship : LPGA
42 Bygone M&M color : TAN
44 The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT
45 “My word!” : I SAY!
46 Tale of woe : SOB STORY
49 Michael Jackson’s first #1 hit (about a rat!) : BEN
51 “Take only ___, leave only footprints” (nature slogan) : PHOTOS
52 Spend a night in the slammer, perhaps : SOBER UP
56 2019 #1 album for Tyler, the Creator : IGOR
57 2013 Best Musical Tony winner … with a hint to this puzzle’s theme : KINKY BOOTS
60 Lord High Executioner in “The Mikado” : KO-KO
61 “We have the meats” fast-food chain : ARBY’S
62 Finds a function for : USES
63 Readers of mss. : EDS
64 Risqué : RACY
65 Class struggle? : TEST

Down

1 Hockey great Jaromir : JAGR
2 Balm ingredient : ALOE
3 BBQ offering : RIBS
4 Walks ostentatiously : SASHAYS
5 Was lachrymose : WEPT
6 Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP
7 Cavaliers, on scoreboards : CLE
8 DKNY’s Donna : KARAN
9 Orchestra once conducted by John Williams : BOSTON POPS
10 Man with a mission? : ABBOT
11 Choco ___ (ice cream treats) : TACOS
13 Some vaccine shots : BOOSTERS
14 Biblical queendom : SHEBA
16 Emergency AAA request : TOW
20 One-named singer with the 2010 hit “Dancing on My Own” : ROBYN
22 Supplier of garden supplies : NURSERY
23 Record label for Barry Manilow and Whitney Houston : ARISTA
24 Cornell who founded Cornell : EZRA
25 Kaput : DEAD
26 Places to sign in in inns : GUESTBOOKS
28 Ward ___ (old political operative) : HEELER
32 “Peter Pan” group : LOST BOYS
34 Indian music composition : RAGA
35 “I guess so” : OKAY
37 Spotted horse : PINTO
41 Hard hit that doesn’t result in a base hit : LINE OUT
43 Houston baseballer : ASTRO
46 Hard hit in volleyball : SPIKE
47 “Good heavens!” : OH GOD!
48 Schindler of “Schindler’s List” : OSKAR
50 What high tides eventually do : EBB
52 Big vodka brand : SKYY
53 Flower for a valentine : ROSE
54 Pac-12 squad : UTES
55 “Hey … you!” : PSST!
58 Kaplan of indie rock’s Yo La Tengo : IRA
59 Network for “Frasier” and “Friends” : NBC

3 thoughts on “0914-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Sep 21, Tuesday”

  1. 14:41, no errors. The “G” at the intersection of “JAGR” and “GOBSTOPPER” was an inspired guess, as I don’t recall ever having heard either of those names before. (But I’ve learned never to count out the old crossword lizard brain … 😜.)

  2. 15:39. A little tricky for a Tuesday. KINKY BOOTS as an entire theme? We must be running out of crossword themes.

    Jaramir JAGR is now almost 50 years old and plays in the Czech professional league. Still. He last played in the NHL in 2018, but he’s still playing. His workouts are legendary including wearing weighted vests after a game and going back out on the ice to work on strength and skating drills. I’m 58 and still play beer league ice hockey, a game I started playing at age 6, so JAGR has always been kind of an idol of mine….especially as I get older.

    Best –

  3. 13:32 I also struggled with this in the same place as @Nonny – also never had heard of either – and also with the block including 5A. I was hung up on the U of Virginia mascot being Cavaliers so I had UVA for 7D for a long time.

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