0916-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Kevin Patterson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Silver Lining

Themed answers LINE the edge of the grid, and each needs the word “SILVER” in front to match the clue:

  • 33A With 44-Across, bit of consolation … or a feature of this puzzle’s grid? : SILVER …
  • 44A See 33-Across : … LINING
  • 1A Christmas classic covered by Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, among others : SILVER BELLS
  • 6A Kind of gorilla : SILVERBACK
  • 10A Second-best era : SILVER AGE
  • 69A Attractive older fellow : SILVER FOX
  • 70A Forks and knives, e.g. : SILVERWARE
  • 71A Symbol of privilege : SILVER SPOON
  • 1D Simple solution to a big problem : SILVER BULLET
  • 16D Gift of persuasiveness : SILVER TONGUE
  • 42D Marvel character with metallic skin : SILVER SURFER
  • 51D Metonym for the movie industry : SILVER SCREEN

Bill’s time: 11m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Christmas classic covered by Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, among others : SILVER BELLS

“Silver Bells” is a Christmas song by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans that was tentatively titled “Tinkle Bells”. Livingston’s wife was told the title and responded, “Are you out of your mind? Do you know what the word tinkle is?” I guess she’d changed a few diapers in her time …

6 Kind of gorilla : SILVER BACK

Adult male gorillas are commonly called silverbacks, a reference to the silver hair that runs down their backs. Gorillas live in groups called troops. Each troop usually has one silverback who runs the show, with several adult females and their offspring.

15 Neologism for the “best ever” : GOAT

Greatest of all time (GOAT)

A neologism is a new word or phrase, or a new meaning or usage for an existing word.

17 Six Premier League teams play in it : LONDON AREA

The best soccer teams in England and Wales play in the Premier League. The league was founded in 1992 as the FA Premier League to take advantage of a generous television deal. Today, the Premier League is the most-watched soccer league in the world.

20 Apt foreign rhyme of “moon” : LUNE

In French, “la lune” (the moon) is in “le ciel” (the sky).

21 2016 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

22 Prom purchase : GOWN

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

25 Do a certain veterinary job : SPAY

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal), comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

29 Whitman of “Arrested Development” : MAE

Actress Mae Whitman played “the daughter” in some successful movies early in her career. She was Meg Ryan’s daughter in “When a Man Loves a Woman”, George Clooney’s daughter in “One Fine Day” and Bill Pullman’s daughter in “Independence Day”. More recently, she played the lead in the 2015 teen comedy film “The Duff”.

31 Japanese company with six stars in its logo : SUBARU

Subaru is the automobile division of Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese conglomerate. “Subaru” is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster. As a result, the Subaru logo is also a cluster of stars.

33 With 44-Across, bit of consolation … or a feature of this puzzle’s grid? : SILVER …
44 See 33-Across : … LINING

The idiom “every cloud has a silver lining” suggests that there is something good to be found in every bad situation. The phrase “silver lining” was coined by English poet John Milton in “Comus”, a piece of dramatic entertainment that was first performed in 1634. The relevant lines are:

Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

37 Something found in strands : DNA

Both DNA and RNA are complex molecules comprising nucleotide bases arranged in chains. Famously, DNA molecules form a double-helix structure, with two chains coiled around each other. RNA chains are single-stranded structures that usually fold onto themselves.

41 Gore and more : ALS

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, and is the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

46 Parts of soft palates : UVULAS

The uvula is a conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

48 Score specification : KEY

That would be a musical score.

49 Some significant others, for short : BFS

Boyfriend (bf)

53 Hairy Tibetan beasts : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

56 ___ the Saxon (Ivanhoe’s father in “Ivanhoe”) : CEDRIC

“Ivanhoe” is an 1819 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott that is set in 12th-century England. The story is divided into three adventures that involve such characters as Richard the Lionheart, King John and Robin Hood, although the protagonist is a Saxon knight named Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe. An underlying theme in the book is the tension between the Saxons and the Normans who conquered Britain a century earlier.

58 Christmas trees : FIRS

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

62 Sound heard before many a classic movie : ROAR

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

63 Make amends? : EDIT

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

66 Certain pizza topping, slangily : RONI

Pepperoni (sometimes just “roni”) originated in the US and is reminiscent of a spicy salami sausage from southern Italy. The name “pepperoni” is a corruption of the Italian “peperone”, the name for the red or green pepper plant.

68 Game played on a 91′ x 13′ court : BOCCE

The Italian bowling game of bocce (often anglicized as “bocci” or “boccie”) is based on a game played in ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.

Down

1 Simple solution to a big problem : SILVER BULLET

We use the term “silver bullet” to describe a quick and effortless solution to a tricky problem. Famously, the Lone Ranger used bullets cast from silver in the cowboy series that ran on radio in the thirties, and later on television. According to 19th-century folklore, a silver bullet had magical power and was effective against werewolves, witches, vampires and the Devil.

3 Laura of “Ozark” : LINNEY

The wonderfully talented actress Laura Linney is a native New Yorker from Manhattan. The performances of hers that I most admire are in “The Truman Show” and “Love Actually” on the big screen, and in “John Adams” and “Ozark” on the small screen.

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

4 Mine locales : LODES

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

5 Caps or cones preceder : SNO-

Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

7 The National Mall has more than 300 of them : ACRES

The National Mall is a park in downtown Washington, D.C. It is home to several museums that are part of the Smithsonian, as well as the National Gallery of Art.

9 Famously sleepy animals : KOALAS

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

12 Extremely catchy tunes : EARWORMS

“Earworm” is a colloquial term used for a catchy tune that is also somewhat irritating, one that you can’t get out of your head.

24 “I did NOT need to hear that!,” in brief : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

33 Compete in the America’s Cup, say : SAIL

The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “The America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

38 Nearly massless subatomic particle : NEUTRINO

Neutrinos are small subatomic particles that do not carry an electric charge. The term “neutrino” is Italian for “small neutral one”, and was coined by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1932. There are three types of neutrino: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

42 Marvel character with metallic skin : SILVER SURFER

Marvel Comics was founded in 1939 as Timely Comics, before becoming Atlas Comics in 1951 and eventually Marvel Comics in 1961. The “Marvel” brand had existed from day one, and Timely Comics’ first publication was “Marvel Comics #1” in October 1939. That first comic featured the superhero the Human Torch.

45 Dec. 31 : NYE

New Year’s Eve (NYE)

49 Player at the highest-elevation N.F.L. stadium : BRONCO

The Denver Broncos were a charter member of the AFL and so were formed in 1959 and first played in 1960. The Broncos won the Super Bowl twice, in the consecutive seasons of 1997 and 1998.

50 Debacle : FIASCO

Back in the mid-1800s, “fiasco” was theater slang meaning “failure in performance”. The meaning morphed soon after into any kind of failure or flop. The term evolved from the Italian “far fiasco”, a phrase that had the same meaning in Italian theater, but translated literally as “make a bottle”. It turns out that “fiasco” and “flask” both derive from the Latin “flasco” meaning “bottle”.

“Debacle” means “disaster”, and is a French word with the same meaning as in English. In French, the term originally was used for the breaking up of ice on the surface of a river.

51 Metonym for the movie industry : SILVER SCREEN

A metonym is a word that is used for something that is closely associated with that word. For example, “Broadway” is a metonym for “American theater” and “Washington” is a metonym for “the US government”.

54 Super Mario creature that resembles a turtle : KOOPA

“Super Mario” is a series of video games created by Nintendo that features the character Mario, and his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom.

59 Pixy ___ (candy brand) : STIX

Pixy Stix is powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began packaging it as candy.

61 Philosopher Descartes : RENE

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”. Anything pertaining to the philosophy of Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

65 Airer of Ken Burns documentaries : PBS

Ken Burns directs and produces epic documentary films that usually make inventive use of archive footage. Recent works are the sensational “The War” (about the US in WWII) and the magnificent “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, as well as 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”. Burns’ 2017 offering was “The Vietnam War” that he co-directed with Lynn Novick.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Christmas classic covered by Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, among others : SILVER BELLS
6 Kind of gorilla : SILVERBACK
10 Second-best era : SILVER AGE
13 Matrimony : UNION
14 ___ Park (neighborhood in central Los Angeles) : ECHO
15 Neologism for the “best ever” : GOAT
17 Six Premier League teams play in it : LONDON AREA
19 Other: Sp. : OTRO
20 Apt foreign rhyme of “moon” : LUNE
21 2016 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame : O’NEAL
22 Prom purchase : GOWN
23 Discharges : EGESTS
25 Do a certain veterinary job : SPAY
27 Nudge : JOG
28 Old-fashioned possessive : THY
29 Whitman of “Arrested Development” : MAE
31 Japanese company with six stars in its logo : SUBARU
33 With 44-Across, bit of consolation … or a feature of this puzzle’s grid? : SILVER …
36 Like 2017 and 2027 : PRIME
37 Something found in strands : DNA
39 Easy basket : TIP-IN
41 Gore and more : ALS
42 Welcome at the front door : SEE IN
44 See 33-Across : … LINING
46 Parts of soft palates : UVULAS
48 Score specification : KEY
49 Some significant others, for short : BFS
52 Crop problem : ROT
53 Hairy Tibetan beasts : YAKS
56 ___ the Saxon (Ivanhoe’s father in “Ivanhoe”) : CEDRIC
58 Christmas trees : FIRS
60 “___ kidding!” : YOU’RE
62 Sound heard before many a classic movie : ROAR
63 Make amends? : EDIT
64 [Silence] : [NO RESPONSE]
66 Certain pizza topping, slangily : RONI
67 Forthright : OPEN
68 Game played on a 91′ x 13′ court : BOCCE
69 Attractive older fellow : SILVER FOX
70 Forks and knives, e.g. : SILVERWARE
71 Symbol of privilege : SILVER SPOON

Down

1 Simple solution to a big problem : SILVER BULLET
2 “Just stop already!” : ENOUGH!
3 Laura of “Ozark” : LINNEY
4 Mine locales : LODES
5 Caps or cones preceder : SNO-
6 Cannellini, e.g. : BEAN
7 The National Mall has more than 300 of them : ACRES
8 Shabbily made : CHEAP
9 Famously sleepy animals : KOALAS
10 Terribly eager : AGOG
11 Monopoly square between Marvin Gardens and Pacific Avenue : GO TO JAIL
12 Extremely catchy tunes : EARWORMS
16 Gift of persuasiveness : SILVER TONGUE
18 Like some healthier potato chips : NO-SALT
24 “I did NOT need to hear that!,” in brief : TMI!
26 “Absolutely!” : YUP!
30 Heinous : EVIL
32 Crow : BRAG
33 Compete in the America’s Cup, say : SAIL
34 Prefix with genetics : EPI-
35 An ice place to go? : RINK
37 Lacking : DEVOID OF
38 Nearly massless subatomic particle : NEUTRINO
40 Some flower girls : NIECES
42 Marvel character with metallic skin : SILVER SURFER
43 Thumbs-down : NAY
45 Dec. 31 : NYE
47 “Here’s an idea …” : SAY NOW …
49 Player at the highest-elevation N.F.L. stadium : BRONCO
50 Debacle : FIASCO
51 Metonym for the movie industry : SILVER SCREEN
54 Super Mario creature that resembles a turtle : KOOPA
55 More confident : SURER
57 Sag : DROOP
59 Pixy ___ (candy brand) : STIX
61 Philosopher Descartes : RENE
65 Airer of Ken Burns documentaries : PBS

11 thoughts on “0916-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 21, Thursday”

  1. 19:19 after remembering to go back and look at STYX (not familiar with the candy) crossing RONY (which certainly looked off, but I hadn’t stopped to think what it might be short for). I guess I’ve essentially given up on training myself to avoid this sort of problem with the online app (and maybe I’m just untrainable … 😳).

    In any case, a good tussle, but it took me a while to grok the (very clever) “silver lining” gimmick (after which it was less of a tussle … 😜).

  2. 20:28 finished at 0230 hours after a long shift at work, hence my conclusion that this was relatively easy for a Thursday. So easy a silverback could do it…..

  3. 13:37. Got the theme early which is the key to just about all Thursday puzzles.

    That said, I thought BULLET by itself makes a more amusing answer to “Simple solution to a big problem” than SILVER BULLET. Maybe I’ve been watching too many mob shows…

    Never heard of the term metonym, but I got it right away. Wall Street for the financial markets and Madison Avenue for advertisers would be two more.

    Overall a nice puzzle as long as I ignore RONI

    Best –

  4. 10:25 Guess I was just in the zone for this one. A personal best for a Thurs. I got the theme about halfway thru, tho it didn’t seem to help too much. Only real miscues were LAYUP for TIPIN and YETI for YAKS. Considering my height, a TIP IN would be impossible unless it was an 8 ft. basket.

    Agree with @Bill about the show Ozark. Hoping they give it at least another season or two.

  5. I agree that this was fairly easy for a Thursday. Once I had the theme, filling in the rest of the outside was easy.

    I do want to pick a nit with the clue for 1A. Bing Crosby didn’t really cover “Silver Bells”; his version was the first released. (The film The Lemon Drop Kid, which has the song, had been filmed but wasn’t out yet.)

  6. This was a fun puzzle. Lots of punny comments!!
    I stared at this thing … when the “SILVER” light bulb went off it was off to the races…
    I still had an error at the cross of 54D and 67A.. went with KOOMA and that gave me OMEN.. dumb error .. even if I didn’t know my super Mario characters..

  7. 26:34 no errors…got the theme early and it was one of those rare occasions when it really helped👍
    Good time for me on a Thursday.
    Stay safe😀
    I’ll be rooting for the Broncos (see 49D) to beat the Browns tonight🙏

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