0925-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Sep 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Adam Simon Levine
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 16m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Flower that’s also the name of a “Downton Abbey” character : MARIGOLD

Fans of the wonderful TV drama “Downton Abbey” will be very familiar with the exterior appearance of Highclere Castle in Hampshire. Highclere is used as the location for exterior and many interior shots of the fictitious Grantham residence called Downton Abbey. The exterior of Highclere is very reminiscent of the Houses of Parliament building in London. That similarity exists because the house was largely rebuilt from 1839 to 1842 by architect Sir Charles Barry soon after he finished work on the refurbished Houses of Parliament.

14 Developing, after “in” : … UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

15 “Mahatma,” in translation : GREAT SOUL

Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, as the country sought independence from Britain. He was also referred to as “Mahatma”, meaning “great soul”. His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Tragically, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year.

19 Imperial title : KAISER

“Kaiser” is the German word for “emperor”. The term is usually applied to the Emperors of the German Empire or Deutsches Reich that started with Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1871 and ended with the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II after the Empire’s defeat in WWI.

21 Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

22 Turkish honorific : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

30 Like Seth, among the offspring of Adam and Eve : THIRD

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

37 Long lunches? : HEROES

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

38 Some avian homes : COTES

The Old English word “cote” was used for a small house. Our modern word “cottage” comes from “cote”. We now use “cote” to describe a small shelter on a farm for sheep or birds.

44 It’s full of fiber : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

45 Capybara, for one : RODENT

The capybara is the largest rodent in the world, and a native of South America. This huge animal is related to the tiny little guinea pig, a remarkable relationship given that a fully grown adult capybara can be over four feet long, and weigh up to 140 pounds.

46 Raleigh-to-Richmond dir. : NNE

Raleigh is North Carolina’s second largest city (behind Charlotte), but it is the state’s capital. Chartered in 1792, the city is named for Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan explorer who founded the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

The city of Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The original town was named in 1737 after the English town of Richmond that is now part of London. British planter William Byrd II thought that view of the James River was reminiscent of the view of the River Thames from England’s Richmond Hill.

51 Sport with a “capture the flag” variety : PAINTBALL

The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.

57 Drop, in a way : ELIDE

To elide is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

59 Handy device for making gazpacho : DICER

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

Down

1 Street musician : BUSKER

A busker is a street performer, a person entertaining passersby for tips. Some very successful people have spent periods of their lives busking. George Michael used to busk near the London Underground. Rod Stewart performed in the streets of Paris and Barcelona, and was eventually deported from Spain for vagrancy.

5 Campaign catchphrase of 1988 : NO NEW TAXES

Peggy Noonan is an author and columnist, and was once a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Noonan was responsible for one of President Reagan’s most-remembered speeches, when he addressed the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. She also came up with some famous phrases used by President George H. W. Bush, such as “a kinder, gentler nation”, “a thousand points of light” and “read my lips; no new taxes”.

6 Grand opening? : MGM …

MGM Resorts International is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, including the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993.

9 There are 70 in a Shakespearean sonnet : IAMBS

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

10 Some muscle cars : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

By definition, a “muscle car” is a small vehicle with a large and maybe oversized engine.

11 W.W. II spy grp. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

13 It may be in your jeans : DUNGAREE

“Dungarees” is an alternative name for “overalls”. Dungaree was a cheap and poorly woven fabric used by the lower classes. Dungaree originated in the port city of Dongri near Mumbai, India, hence the name.

25 Poet Silverstein : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “A Light in the Attic”, a collection of poems that was first published in 1981. Some parents have tried to get the book banned from libraries. The collection includes the poem “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes”, which encourages disobedience and making a mess. Scandalous …

33 Mexican dish named after a small boat : CHALUPA

A chalupa is a Mexican dish consisting of a tostada shaped into a “cup” and filled with various ingredients. “Chalupa” translates from Mexican Spanish as “small boat”.

35 1960s-’70s detective series set in San Francisco : IRONSIDE

“Ironside” is a classic police television drama that first ran from 1967 to 1975. Star of the show is Raymond Burr playing the partially paralyzed former Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside. Ironside was forced to retire from the SFPD when he was shot by a sniper, but ended up as special consultant to the police department.

40 County that’s split in two by the Grand Canyon : MOHAVE

The Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The canyon continues to be carved out of layers of rock by the Colorado River. It is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep.

41 Low on energy : ANEMIC

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

45 Newswoman Roberts : ROBIN

Robin Roberts has been the anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) since 2005, prior to which she was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years.

50 ___ me tangere (Latin warning) : NOLI

“Noli me tangere” is Latin for “touch me not”. The words are the Latin translation of “cease holding on to me” written in Greek in the Gospel of John. They are words spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection.

53 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, which was made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

54 Drug known by its German initials : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Industrial V.I.P. : BARON
6 Flower that’s also the name of a “Downton Abbey” character : MARIGOLD
14 Developing, after “in” : … UTERO
15 “Mahatma,” in translation : GREAT SOUL
17 International telephone prefix for Russia : SEVEN
18 Greek goddess of memory : MNEMOSYNE
19 Imperial title : KAISER
21 Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS
22 Turkish honorific : AGA
23 Legal conclusion? : -ESE
24 Chickens (out) : WUSSES
27 Big family : CLAN
28 Like favorite films, typically : REWATCHED
30 Like Seth, among the offspring of Adam and Eve : THIRD
31 Like dry mud on a dog’s paws : CAKED
32 “Gotcha” : AH, I SEE
33 Site of the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago : CHICXULUB CRATER
37 Long lunches? : HEROES
38 Some avian homes : COTES
39 At ___ (befuddled) : A LOSS
40 Shipping option for books : MEDIA MAIL
44 It’s full of fiber : LINT
45 Capybara, for one : RODENT
46 Raleigh-to-Richmond dir. : NNE
47 Boosts : UPS
48 “Look what I found!” : OOH!
49 Kind of typeface or Pepperidge Farm cookie : GENEVA
51 Sport with a “capture the flag” variety : PAINTBALL
55 Wanderer : NOMAD
56 Food dyes, e.g. : ADDITIVES
57 Drop, in a way : ELIDE
58 Turned vertically : SET ON END
59 Handy device for making gazpacho : DICER

Down

1 Street musician : BUSKER
2 Loose : AT EASE
3 Run through : REVIEW
4 Rock group : ORES
5 Campaign catchphrase of 1988 : NO NEW TAXES
6 Grand opening? : MGM …
7 Sports agent Tellem : ARN
8 Pulled (in) : REELED
9 There are 70 in a Shakespearean sonnet : IAMBS
10 Some muscle cars : GTOS
11 W.W. II spy grp. : OSS
12 Stalwart : LOYALIST
13 It may be in your jeans : DUNGAREE
16 Tragic lover of myth : LEANDER
20 Rowdydow : RUCKUS
25 Poet Silverstein : SHEL
26 Drew in : SEDUCED
27 Rhetorical inversion device seen in “Champagne for my real friends, and real pain for my sham friends” : CHIASM
29 Confront : ACCOST
30 Like the red panda, blue whale and black rhino : THREATENED
32 Interim : ACTING
33 Mexican dish named after a small boat : CHALUPA
34 Rooftop landing sites : HELIPADS
35 1960s-’70s detective series set in San Francisco : IRONSIDE
36 Presage : BODE
40 County that’s split in two by the Grand Canyon : MOHAVE
41 Low on energy : ANEMIC
42 Enter by force : INVADE
43 Word finishing ring or band : -LEADER
45 Newswoman Roberts : ROBIN
48 Palindromic number in Italian : OTTO
50 ___ me tangere (Latin warning) : NOLI
52 Quibble : NIT
53 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
54 Drug known by its German initials : LSD

6 thoughts on “0925-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. 16:36. Pretty difficult one, with the NE falling last. I didn’t know the exact spelling of CHICXULUB, only that there were some Cs, Is, Us, a B at the end, and an X in there somewhere. It’s not hard to look at birds–raptors in particular like the hawks and eagles that hang around here–and see the dinosaur in them.

  2. 22:43 with one lookup. Also had the NE fall last. I’ve not hear of 18A or 33A and they are tough spellings. Otherwise the rest seemed to go pretty smoothly compared to the previous several Saturdays.

    Early on I had RACKET for 20D, which gave me WASHES for 24A. And that sort of made sense – until it didn’t.

  3. I was also doing the syndicated puzzle from Aug 21 that’s in my newspaper today and it has the clue “great soul” with answer Mahatma. Today the clue is “Mahatma” with answer GREATSOUL. I knew I remembered it from somewhere!! 🙂

  4. 18:52, no errors. CHICXULUB, MNEMOSYNE, and CHIASM!!! All one can say is, “Thank God for crossing entries!” … 😜

  5. 28:22. Biggest issue was NE but was able to guess DUNGEREE, LEANDER and ARN from just enough letters.

    Had MILANO before GENEVA for Pepperidge Farm cookie/font. It works too.

    Best –

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