0918-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 29m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Qt. and gal. : AMTS

Amount (amt.)

Two pints make up a “quart”, which is a “quarter” of a gallon, hence the name.

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

5 Letting in a little light, perhaps : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

9 Org. at the center of modern “name, image and likeness” legislation : NCAA

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

13 Surname on a 2010 “True Grit” poster : COEN

I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the talented Frances McDormand.

The classic 1969 Western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Charles Portis. The Coen brothers released another big screen adaption of the novel using the same title in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.

17 “Oh, our sides are hurting!” : LMAO!

Laughing my a** off (LMAO)

21 No neophyte : OLD PRO

A neophyte is a recent convert to a particular doctrine or practice.

23 Subject of the 2018 best-selling account “On Desperate Ground” : KOREAN WAR

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

30 What a ganzfeld experiment tests for : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

31 Homoerotic viewing : GAY PORN

The word “pornography” comes from the Greek “pornographos” meaning “writing of prostitutes”.

Homeoeroticism is a tendency to be sexually aroused by a person of the same gender.

33 “That’s quite enough!” : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

36 Actress Claire of “The Crown” : FOY

English actress Claire Foy is perhaps best known in North America for playing Queen Anne Boleyn in the miniseries “Wolf Hall”, and a young Queen Elizabeth II in the award-winning series “The Crown”.

“The Crown” is a historical drama produced for Netflix that covers the life of British Queen Elizabeth II from her marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. For the first two seasons, Elizabeth is played by Claire Foy and Philip by Matt Smith. For the next two seasons, Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies take over as Elizabeth and Philip.

37 “Ni ___” (Mandarin greeting) : HAO

One might say “ni hao” in Chinese to mean “hello”, although a more literal translation is “you good”.

39 “___, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere”: G. K. Chesterton : ART

Gilbert Keith “G. K.” Chesterton was an English writer. He was a big man; tall and very heavy. Chesterton once remarked to his good (and very slight) friend, Irish author George Bernard Shaw, “To look at you, anyone would think there was a famine in England”. Shaw replied, “To look at you, anyone would think that you caused it!”

42 Deadlock : IMPASSE

“Impasse” is a French word describing a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

A deadlock is a standstill, a stalemate. The suggestion is that the term “deadlock” was coined in the 1779 play called “The Critic”, from the pen of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

45 Have a drink, old-style : LIBATE

Back in the 14th century, libation was the pouring of wine in the honor of a god. The term “libation” comes from the Latin word “libare”, which basically means the same thing. Nowadays we tend to use “libation” as a somewhat ornate word meaning “drink”.

54 Cause of lightheadedness? : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

55 Sister brand of Guess? and Calvin Klein : DKNY

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.

Down

1 Patella neighbor, in brief : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

The patella is the kneecap. The bone’s Latin name “patella” is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

6 Grand ___ : JETE

A jeté is a leap in ballet, with the term “jeté” coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.

7 Bio lab supply : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

9 Genre popularized by Limp Bizkit and Korn : NU METAL

Limp Bizkit is described as a nu metal band, with “nu metal” being a subgenre of “heavy metal”. Limp Bizkit has been around since 1994, and that’s all I know …

Korn is an alternative metal band from Bakersfield, California. The band’s name is derived from a fan suggestion of “Corn”. The suggested name was considered too bland and so was prettied up to Korn, with the letter “r” capitalized and written backwards.

11 Not quite right : ACUTE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

20 150-year-old org. that filed for bankruptcy in 2021 : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

21 Merle Haggard tune “___ From Muskogee” : OKIE

Merle Haggard was a country singer and songwriter whose most famous recording has to be “Okie from Muskogee” released in 1969. Haggard would tell you that the song was actually meant as a spoof, but it has become a country “anthem”.

25 Leading character : ALPHA

The Greek alphabet starts off with the letters alpha, beta, gamma …

29 Force behind many disinformation campaigns : TROLL ARMY

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

39 Like some sleeping problems : APNEAL

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

40 Aid in breaching castle walls : PETARD

In days of old, a petard was a small bomb that was used to breach fortified gates and walls. The phrase “hoist with his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and is a reference to a petard detonating prematurely and blowing up (“hoisting”) the bomber.

41 Kind of change : OIL

In most internal combustion engines the pistons that move up and down are arranged in a line, and connected to a crankshaft that runs along the bottom of the engine. The up and down motion of the pistons turns the crankshaft, which turning motion is “transmitted” (via the “transmission”) to the wheels. The case surrounding the crankshaft is called the crankcase. The crankcase contains a lot of oil that is squirted onto the crankshaft to lubricate it. Excess oil falls to the bottom of the crankcase and into a reservoir called the oil pan.

48 Strip lighting : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Qt. and gal. : AMTS
5 Letting in a little light, perhaps : AJAR
9 Org. at the center of modern “name, image and likeness” legislation : NCAA
13 Surname on a 2010 “True Grit” poster : COEN
14 Home of a massive flock : MEGACHURCH
17 “Oh, our sides are hurting!” : LMAO!
18 In great demand : AT A PREMIUM
19 Makeup kit for a summer look : BRONZER PALETTE
21 No neophyte : OLD PRO
22 Left with nothing : EMPTIED
23 Subject of the 2018 best-selling account “On Desperate Ground” : KOREAN WAR
26 ___ fly : SAC
27 2010 Atlantic hurricane that was the largest up to that time : IGOR
28 Close one : PAL
29 Poetic contraction : ‘TIL
30 What a ganzfeld experiment tests for : ESP
31 Homoerotic viewing : GAY PORN
33 “That’s quite enough!” : TMI!
36 Actress Claire of “The Crown” : FOY
37 “Ni ___” (Mandarin greeting) : HAO
38 Metaphor for a 100-degree day : OVEN
39 “___, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere”: G. K. Chesterton : ART
40 Upgrade for a train passenger : PARLOR CAR
42 Deadlock : IMPASSE
45 Have a drink, old-style : LIBATE
46 Really risked it : WENT OUT ON A LIMB
49 Start of many a party : ICEBREAKER
50 Join (up) : TEAM
52 Common dorm accommodation : SHARED ROOM
53 Post hoc, ___ propter hoc (logical fallacy) : ERGO
54 Cause of lightheadedness? : HALO
55 Sister brand of Guess? and Calvin Klein : DKNY
56 File type : RASP

Down

1 Patella neighbor, in brief : ACL
2 Some parenting websites : MOM BLOGS
3 Tragic downfall? : TEARDROP
4 Buttinsky : SNOOPER
5 E-commerce alternative to Square or Stripe : AMAZON PAY
6 Grand ___ : JETE
7 Bio lab supply : AGAR
8 Beat poet? : RAPPER
9 Genre popularized by Limp Bizkit and Korn : NU METAL
10 Star journalist? : CRITIC
11 Not quite right : ACUTE
12 Riz ___, Emmy winner for 2016’s “The Night Of” : AHMED
15 Squeeze : CRAM
16 Holds the door for, say : HELPS IN
20 150-year-old org. that filed for bankruptcy in 2021 : NRA
21 Merle Haggard tune “___ From Muskogee” : OKIE
24 Custom : WAY
25 Leading character : ALPHA
29 Force behind many disinformation campaigns : TROLL ARMY
31 Started fuming : GOT SORE
32 Stroke, perhaps : OAR
33 What might be next to cue cards : TV CAMERA
34 Humans, in sci-fi slang : MEATBAGS
35 About : IN RE
36 Stereotypical kegger attendee : FRAT BRO
38 Traveler around the world : ORBITER
39 Like some sleeping problems : APNEAL
40 Aid in breaching castle walls : PETARD
41 Kind of change : OIL
42 “Wouldn’t that be nice” : I WISH
43 Anime genre featuring giant robots : MECHA
44 Made the case against? : SUED
47 “All right, we get it!” : OK OK!
48 Strip lighting : NEON
51 Mess of hair : MOP

17 thoughts on “0918-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. 13:24. This one felt more difficult to me than my time would indicate. I was fortunate to get MEGACHURCH right away without any of the surrounding fill, which helped me out when I came back to the NE at the end.

  2. “Libate” means to offer a drink to the gods, has (~religious) connotation of a sacrifice, not to “have” a drink yourself (45 across)

  3. 45:40 Struggled quite a bit in the NE. I had ATAPREMIUM early, but kept erasing and re-entering as I couldn’t make the stuff around it fit. Same with SAC fly -> POP Fly -> SAC, etc.
    For 14A I had MADAGASCAR on and off, as well. Thinking of huge flocks of birds that migrate thru there. It led to 15D as GRIP, at least for a time.

    Lots of other miscues leading to a long solve time. Tough challenge

    Strictly speaking, I think the clue for 17A should be a singular “sides are hurting” since the answer is “Laughing MY A** Off”, a singular answer. But I expect that the editors also don’t want MY in the clue.

  4. 44:51 I’ll go out on a limb and say this is the first puzzle I’ve ever worked that had “gay porn” as an answer….

  5. 25:09, after finding and fixing an error: at the end, I wasn’t at all sure of the “N” of NCAA, but went with it anyway. When that didn’t stop the clock, I stared at the puzzle for a couple of minutes, but, because I had a time constraint and needed to wrap things up and go to bed, I finally just looked up the LIMP BIZKIT / KORN genre and found that I’d put in TIS in place of TIL, giving me “NU METAS” in place of “NU METAL” (again, a thing I’d never heard of).

  6. 27:36. I didn’t know MEGA CHURCH was an official thing, although I guess I knew large churches existed. BRONZER PALETTE was something new to me too.

    I had “Amiss” and “Askew” before figuring out ACUTE for 11D “Not quite right”. Good one. ACUTE was really a cute one.

    The NRA filed for bankruptcy as a legal maneuver to try to relocate to Texas and get the h*** out of New York. It had nothing to do with insolvency.

    MEAT BAGS?? Really?

    Best –

  7. DNF … had BSA for 20D and slowed me down from the beginning.
    Didn’t need to know about GAY PORN.. hope that’s not a crossword trend.
    Didn’t know MECHA MEATBAGS or BRONZER PALETTE..

  8. 26:57, two errors: TI(S)/NUMETA(S). Also initially went with IVAN before IGOR, and IMBIBE before LIBATE. Saturday puzzle designed to be difficult to solve.

  9. Very difficult. A DNF for me. However, assuming Shakespeare is the source the phrase is hoist with one’s own petard not hoisted.

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