0924-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Sep 21, Friday

Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 What’s not to like? : BETE NOIRE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast”, and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

10 Big ink purveyor : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (with “EP” standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

“Inkjet” is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.

15 The singer Björk,for one : ICELANDER

Björk is a rather eccentric singer-songwriter from Iceland who is a big hit in the UK in particular. Björk is the daughter of a nationally-recognized union leader in her home country.

16 Lustrous shell compound : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

23 Green symbol on Rotten Tomatoes : SPLAT

Rotten Tomatoes is a website that mainly provides reviews and ratings of movies, although it now covers TV shows as well. The site was launched in 1998 and takes its name from the practice of audience members throwing rotten tomatoes at an unappreciated performer on stage.

31 Give kudos to : HAIL

Our word “kudos” means “acclaim given for an exceptional achievement”. “Kudos” is both a singular and plural noun, and comes from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

35 Quadrennial bonus : LEAP DAY

In terms of our Julian calendar, the Earth takes almost exactly 365¼ days to orbit the sun. For convenience, we use 365 days to define most of our years. We add an extra day at the end of every fourth February in order to sync our civil calendar with the astronomical calendar. Our contemporary leap day is February because of tradition dating back to Roman times. The early Roman calendar started in March and ended in December, leaving much of the winter as a monthless period. When a later Roman calendar introduced a 365-day year, along with the new months of January and February, the leap day was placed right before the start of the year in March.

37 Daily in Paris : LE MONDE

“Le Monde” is a newspaper published each evening in France. It is one of the two most famous French papers, along with “Le Figaro”.

39 Some pubgoers : LADS

Let’s go, lads … I’m buying!

43 Choice cut : FILET

A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term “fillet” comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently, we applied the term to food because the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

45 Scanner feature : LASER

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

60 Help on wheels : AMBULANCE

Our word “ambulance” originated from the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

61 Sibilant sobriquet for “Summertime” singer Sarah Vaughan : SASSY

Sarah Vaughan was a jazz singer from Newark, New Jersey. The future winner of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy had a humble start to her career, singing and playing the piano at Newark Airport.

Down

1 Nickname in Israeli politics : BIBI

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu became Prime Minister of Israel in 2009, when he became the first leader of the country who was born in the state of Israel. After graduating high school, Netanyahu served in the Israeli special forces and participated in several combat missions, getting wounded on multiple occasions. After leaving the army in 1972, Netanyahu studied at MIT in the US, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in business.

2 Milton Friedman’s subj. : ECON

Milton Friedman was a noted American economist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976. Friedman was an advisor to President Ronald Reagan and was very much an advocate of a free market system with limited intervention by governments.

4 River through Bohemia : ELBE

The River Elbe rises in the Czech Republic and travels over a thousand kilometers before emptying into the North Sea near the port of Hamburg in Germany.

The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

8 Component of many sandstone features in the Southwest : RED ROCK

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock. When sandstone is subject to heat and pressure it can turn into metamorphic rock called quartzite.

11 Medicare Advantage, by another name : PART C

Medicare is a national medical insurance program administered by the US government. The term “Medicare” originally applied to a government program introduced in 1956 that provided coverage for families of those serving in the military. The current Medicare program was introduced by the Johnson administration in 1966, to provide health insurance to anyone aged 65 years or older.

Medicare is divided into four parts:

  • A: Hospital Insurance
  • B: Medical Insurance
  • C: Medicare Advantage Plans
  • D: Prescription Drug Plans

12 Apparatus with a harness and flippers : SCUBA

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Flippers! Any diver worth his or her salt would say “fins”, and certainly not “flippers” …

26 Galaxy array : APPS

The Galaxy is a series of mobile computing devices made by Samsung that was introduced in 2009. Almost all of the Galaxy devices have used Google’s Android operating system, until a Windows 10 Galaxy device was introduced by Samsung in 2016.

31 Dance around? : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also “horah”) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

36 Festive season : YULE

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

44 Grp. of Pelicans : THE NBA

The New Orleans Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte. The team had to play two seasons in Oklahoma City due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, and played as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. After several years back in New Orleans, the franchise was renamed to the Pelicans, a nod to the Brown Pelican that is the Louisiana state bird.

46 Some prayer leaders : IMAMS

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

47 Sicilian word that roughly translates as “swagger” : MAFIA

Apparently, “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn several members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “Mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

48 Actor Claude of “B.J. and the Bear” : AKINS

Claude Akins was an actor from Nelson, Georgia. Although Akins acted in many Hollywood films, he is best remembered for playing Sheriff Lobo in the seventies TV show “B. J. and the Bear”.

49 Copter cousins : GIROS

An autogyro (sometimes “autogiro”, or simply “giro”) is an aircraft that uses an unpowered rotor to create lift, and a powered propeller to provide thrust. The first autogyro was flown in 1923 in Spain, where it was invented.

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

50 Affaire de coeur : AMOUR

In French, “amour” (love) is an “affaire de coeur” (matter of the heart).

54 £ : pound sterling :: R : ___ : RAND

The rand is the currency of South Africa. Much of South Africa’s famed gold comes from mines around Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for “the ridge of white waters”). The rand currency takes its name from this ridge.

58 ___ Mediterráneo : MAR

In Spanish, “España” (Spain) is a country on “el Mediterráneo” (the Mediterranean).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 What’s not to like? : BETE NOIRE
10 Big ink purveyor : EPSON
15 The singer Björk,for one : ICELANDER
16 Lustrous shell compound : NACRE
17 Black hairstyle with square-shaped sections : BOX BRAIDS
18 Yet to be processed : CRUDE
19 Cabinet department with a buffalo on its emblem : INTERIOR
20 Place for fast growth : HOT BED
21 Valuable carriers : ARMORED CARS
23 Green symbol on Rotten Tomatoes : SPLAT
27 Sliding ___ : SCALE
28 Ran off (with) : ELOPED
30 “___ Possible” (2000s animated series) : KIM
31 Give kudos to : HAIL
35 Quadrennial bonus : LEAP DAY
37 Daily in Paris : LE MONDE
39 Some pubgoers : LADS
40 Little drawing? : TUG
42 Bearer of the earth in Iroquois creation stories : TURTLE
43 Choice cut : FILET
45 Scanner feature : LASER
46 “Well, there’s a surprise!” : IMAGINE THAT!
51 Pulling down : MAKING
52 Paid athletes with day jobs : SEMI-PROS
57 Well lit? : AFIRE
58 Aircraft with low drag : MONOPLANE
59 Not requiring much attention, say : MINOR
60 Help on wheels : AMBULANCE
61 Sibilant sobriquet for “Summertime” singer Sarah Vaughan : SASSY
62 Hit from behind : REAR-ENDED

Down

1 Nickname in Israeli politics : BIBI
2 Milton Friedman’s subj. : ECON
3 It might end in an emoji : TEXT
4 River through Bohemia : ELBE
5 Like many a documentary film : NARRATED
6 [Live!] : [ON AIR!]
7 Lesson for an advanced language learner : IDIOMS
8 Component of many sandstone features in the Southwest : RED ROCK
9 Hospital drama sets, in brief : ERS
10 What genes do, biologically : ENCODE
11 Medicare Advantage, by another name : PART C
12 Apparatus with a harness and flippers : SCUBA
13 Get to eat : ORDER
14 List for a survivalist : NEEDS
20 Skateboarder’s wear : HELMET
22 Skateboarder’s apparatus : RAIL
23 Successfully convince : SELL
24 “No contest,” for one : PLEA
25 Important calculation for a weightlifter : LOAD
26 Galaxy array : APPS
29 “I’m ___ myself here, but …” : DATING
31 Dance around? : HORA
32 Snacks for some beetles : ANTS
33 Waiting for an assignment, maybe : IDLE
34 It’s not a good look : LEER
36 Festive season : YULE
38 More than a few : MULTIPLE
41 Find satisfaction, slangily : GET SOME
43 Sunday best : FINERY
44 Grp. of Pelicans : THE NBA
46 Some prayer leaders : IMAMS
47 Sicilian word that roughly translates as “swagger” : MAFIA
48 Actor Claude of “B.J. and the Bear” : AKINS
49 Copter cousins : GIROS
50 Affaire de coeur : AMOUR
53 Not just live in the present : PLAN
54 £ : pound sterling :: R : ___ : RAND
55 ___-over : ONCE
56 Pip : SEED
58 ___ Mediterráneo : MAR

11 thoughts on “0924-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Sep 21, Friday”

  1. 10:28. Zipped through the top half, but the bottom slowed me down a little. MINOR for “not requiring attention” was a tough get.

  2. 23:17 I solved this in chunks with several periods of “huh?” in between. Got hung up in the NE corner for a long while because I had PLANC vs PARTC. I know better, but just spaced. And then look straight below to 53D. Once I entered PLAN there, I knew that 11D was incorrect and the “aha” light came on for PARTC. But at least PLAN was somewhere in the grid!

    Then I got stuck in the left center trying to come up with LEAPDAY and SPLAT. Also struggled to come up with MINOR.

    1. Re. Hiking what are the best times for you to do your nine miler?I hike between 4:30 and 7A each day as I live in desert.

      1. @Miles …

        Hmm. The best time I’ve turned in was just under two and a half hours, but I usually take longer than that, because there are so many things to stop and look at (or do). For example, yesterday, I collected another five or ten pounds of old trash (revealed by the fact that the water level drops significantly this time of year), and, this morning (yeah, contrary to what I said yesterday, I did it again 😜), I spent thirty or forty minutes watching what turns out to be a family of beavers. I wasn’t able to determine exactly how many young one there are, but I could clearly see the two adults and one or more of the little ones.

        The rangers weren’t too honest with me when I talked to them about having seen one beaver. I speculate that, to protect the trees around the lake, they’re contemplating trapping the critters and moving them to the high country (so maybe they don’t want people to know just how many there are).

        It’s actually 8.8 miles around the lake, but I almost always make a .3-mile round trip out to one of the gazebos and spend some time bird-watching. (I’m a pretty ignorant bird-watcher, but I’ve learned a bit recently.)

        I used to walk more than 4 miles an hour (maxing out at about 4.4), but I’m now down to about 3.6 (perhaps, in part, due to the nature of the surfaces I’m walking on). In any case, as I said, speed isn’t my principal objective. And, like you, I avoid walking in the heat of the day; I can still hike at 80 degrees, but it takes a serious toll on me. I don’t know if I’d be able to walk in a desert environment at all. (I’ve grown old, damn it! 😳)

        So, thanks for asking (and sorry for running on). Where do you live?

      2. @Miles …

        Just realized that I totally misread your question, as I was still a bit groggy from a long afternoon nap … 😳.

        Barr Lake State Park doesn’t officially open until 5:00 AM, so that’s when I aim to start my hikes and it gets me home before the day heats up. Of course, with the sun coming up later, I’m letting myself start later.

  3. 15:54. Fun way to end the work week. Late again today although I did the puzzle this morning. ICELANDic before ICELANDER but otherwise a smooth solve.

    I did this puzzle outside this morning as it was a very nice morning here in Las Vegas. A roadrunner walked right past me (but no Wile E Coyote) while I was doing it. It stared at me for a few seconds, got bored and went on its way. Interestingly, people treat me the same way…..

    Best –

  4. 29:43, but none of the “regulars” will see that(I hope!)…not that a slow time from me is a surprise. Catching up on solving after three days of double shifts.

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