0927-21 NY Times Crossword 27 Sep 21, Monday

Constructed by: Zachary David Levy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer In the Bank

Themed answers each end with something one might find IN THE BANK:

  • 61A Guaranteed … or where you can find the ends of 17-, 23-, 37- and 50-Across : IN THE BANK
  • 17A Olympic event for which the world record stands at a little over 20 feet : POLE VAULT
  • 23A Magic duo with a 20+ year act in Las Vegas : PENN AND TELLER
  • 37A “Spring forward” and “fall back” plan : DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
  • 50A Added cost of buying soda : BOTTLE DEPOSIT

Bill’s time: 8m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Org. exploring Mars : NASA

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957 in a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

5 Paul who sang “Diana” and “Lonely Boy” : ANKA

Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, the song entitled “Diana”. Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called “Lonely Boy”.

16 Hulk in a wrestling ring : HOGAN

“Hulk Hogan” is the stage name (well, “ring” name) for wrestler Terry Gene Bollea. Hogan was big in the eighties and nineties. He fell out of public favor in 2015 when tapes of him making repeated racist remarks were published.

17 Olympic event for which the world record stands at a little over 20 feet : POLE VAULT

The pole vault has been an Olympic event for men since the 1896 games. However, women’s pole vaulting was only introduced at the 2000 games.

20 Tanning lotion spec : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

22 One of Haiti’s two official languages, along with French : CREOLE

“Creole” is the term used in Haiti to describe all of the native people, as well as the music, food and culture of the country. 80% of the Haitian Creole people are so-called black creoles, descendants of the original Africans brought to the island as slaves during the French colonial days.

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

23 Magic duo with a 20+ year act in Las Vegas : PENN AND TELLER

The illusionist Teller, of Penn & Teller, was born Raymond Teller in Philadelphia, although has legally changed his name to simply “Teller”. Teller decided not to speak during his performances way back in his youth. He was doing magic at college fraternity parties and discovered that by remaining silent the potentially rowdy audience focused on his act and refrained from throwing beer at him!

Penn Jillette is one half of the duo of magicians known as Penn & Teller (Penn is the one who talks). Penn teamed up with Teller on stage in 1981, having met him through a friend back in 1974. As well as being talkative onstage, Penn is very vocal offstage when it comes to his causes and beliefs. He is a devout atheist, a libertarian and a supporter of free-market capitalism.

27 Explorer Ericson : LEIF

Leif Erikson (sometimes “Ericson”) was a Norse explorer and the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.

29 San ___ Obispo, Calif. : LUIS

The city of San Luis Obispo is one of the oldest communities in California. The name “San Luis Obispo” translates as “Saint Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse”. In 1990, San Luis Obispo was the first municipality in the world to ban smoking in all indoor public areas.

31 ___ the Hun : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

34 Tex-Mex items associated with Tuesdays : TACOS

Taco Tuesday is a promotion run by many American restaurants, especially in Southern California. Participating establishments offer deals on tacos, and perhaps other Mexican dishes served in tortillas. Apparently, “Taco Tuesday” is a trademark owned by Wyoming-based fast-food restaurant Taco John’s.

37 “Spring forward” and “fall back” plan : DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

On the other side of the Atlantic, daylight saving time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight. Here in the US, DST starts on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

42 Writer ___ Allan Poe : EDGAR

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 40 years of age.

44 Areas for hosp. surgeons : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

49 Any member of NATO to any other : ALLY

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

64 Basketball great Curry : STEPH

Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

66 Relatives of ostriches : EMUS

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

68 Ore locale : LODE

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.

69 Canadian gas brand : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down

6 ___ network : NEURAL

It used to be that “neural network” was just the name given to a network of nerve cells in an organism. In the modern world, the term “neural net” (short for “neural network”) also applies to virtual or electronic devices designed to mimic the function of the human brain, and in particular learning from past experiences.

7 ___ Kan (dog food brand) : KAL

Kal Kan is a brand of pet food that has been marketed since 1936, but is now sold exclusively in Walmart stores.

12 Bob who sang “One love, one heart / Let’s get together and feel all right” : MARLEY

“One Love” is a classic reggae song from 1977 recorded by Bob Marley and the Wailers. A ska version of “One Love” had been released by the Wailers as early as 1965, but it is the 1977 release that we all remember, I am sure.

18 Airport shuttle, typically : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and so “van” is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

22 M.R.I. alternative : CT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays. High doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

25 Almond or pecan : NUT TREE

“Almond” is the name of a deciduous tree, and of the edible seed of that tree. The fruit of the almond tree is a drupe, and not a nut. The drupe comprises an outer hull surrounding a woody endocarp. The edible seed is found inside the woody shell, and that’s the almond “nut”.

The pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas and California. Also, the pecan is the state tree of Texas.

26 “Buenos ___” : DIAS

“Buenos dias” translates from Spanish as “good day”, but can also be used to say “good morning”.

28 I ___ Pi (punny fraternity name) : ETA

“I eta pi” sounds like “I eat a pie”.

33 Longhorns : Texas :: ___ : Texas A&M : AGGIES

Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (hence “A&M”) and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

36 Peninsula in the Six-Day War : SINAI

The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, and is a triangular landform bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six-Day War of 1967.

The Six-Day War took place from June 5th to June 10th, 1967, and was fought between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. By the time the ceasefire was signed, Israel had seized huge swaths of land formerly controlled by Arab states, namely the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. The overall territory under the control of Israel grew by a factor of three in just six days.

39 Two of them meet every year in the Super Bowl : NFL TEAMS

Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

40 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

46 ___ Island (part of New York City) : STATEN

Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

52 River of forgetfulness, in myth : LETHE

The Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. All the souls who drank from the river Lethe experienced complete forgetfulness. The Greek word “lethe” means “oblivion, forgetfulness”.

53 Earth tone : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

58 Wildebeests : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

63 “Busy” insect : BEE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Org. exploring Mars : NASA
5 Paul who sang “Diana” and “Lonely Boy” : ANKA
9 “Tsk!” : SHAME!
14 Highest point : APEX
15 One of 10 on a ten-speed : GEAR
16 Hulk in a wrestling ring : HOGAN
17 Olympic event for which the world record stands at a little over 20 feet : POLE VAULT
19 Obvious : OVERT
20 Tanning lotion spec : SPF
21 Broadcast : AIR
22 One of Haiti’s two official languages, along with French : CREOLE
23 Magic duo with a 20+ year act in Las Vegas : PENN AND TELLER
27 Explorer Ericson : LEIF
29 San ___ Obispo, Calif. : LUIS
30 Prefix with function : DYS-
31 ___ the Hun : ATTILA
34 Tex-Mex items associated with Tuesdays : TACOS
37 “Spring forward” and “fall back” plan : DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
42 Writer ___ Allan Poe : EDGAR
43 Like some food for dieters : NON-FAT
44 Areas for hosp. surgeons : ORS
47 Mexican poet Juana ___ de la Cruz : INES
49 Any member of NATO to any other : ALLY
50 Added cost of buying soda : BOTTLE DEPOSIT
55 Keeps watching … and watching : STARES
56 “Rocks” in a drink : ICE
57 “I”-strain? : EGO
60 Completely fail : EAT IT
61 Guaranteed … or where you can find the ends of 17-, 23-, 37- and 50-Across : IN THE BANK
64 Basketball great Curry : STEPH
65 It’s a bad look : LEER
66 Relatives of ostriches : EMUS
67 Taste or touch : SENSE
68 Ore locale : LODE
69 Canadian gas brand : ESSO

Down

1 Quick time outs? : NAPS
2 Each … as in the price of balloons? : A POP
3 “Woe is me” feeling : SELF-PITY
4 Lumberjack’s tool : AXE
5 Once more : AGAIN
6 ___ network : NEURAL
7 ___ Kan (dog food brand) : KAL
8 Paintings and sculptures : ART
9 Where the land meets the sea : SHORE
10 Rude dwelling : HOVEL
11 Seemingly timeless : AGE-OLD
12 Bob who sang “One love, one heart / Let’s get together and feel all right” : MARLEY
13 Goes in : ENTERS
18 Airport shuttle, typically : VAN
22 M.R.I. alternative : CT SCAN
24 Modern tax option : E-FILE
25 Almond or pecan : NUT TREE
26 “Buenos ___” : DIAS
27 Young fellow : LAD
28 I ___ Pi (punny fraternity name) : ETA
32 Jar topper : LID
33 Longhorns : Texas :: ___ : Texas A&M : AGGIES
35 Egg: Prefix : OVO-
36 Peninsula in the Six-Day War : SINAI
38 Round of applause : HAND
39 Two of them meet every year in the Super Bowl : NFL TEAMS
40 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL
41 Pigs’ digs : STY
44 Dwell (on) : OBSESS
45 What blades on windmills do : ROTATE
46 ___ Island (part of New York City) : STATEN
48 Treated maliciously : SPITED
51 Stumbles : TRIPS
52 River of forgetfulness, in myth : LETHE
53 Earth tone : OCHRE
54 “Get what I’m saying?” : SEE?
58 Wildebeests : GNUS
59 “Then here’s what happened …” : OK, SO …
61 Sick : ILL
62 Prefix with natal : NEO-
63 “Busy” insect : BEE

5 thoughts on “0927-21 NY Times Crossword 27 Sep 21, Monday”

  1. 5:16 I hesitated a bit for 37A because I thought it was more correctly called SAVING time vs SAVINGS. But we know what the puzzle required. I only realized the theme once finished.

  2. 5:55. Glad Monday is over.

    I had forgotten the name of the river LETHE. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m too tired to think of one. Is there a mnemonic for LETHE??

    PENN AND TELLER is definitely a show worth seeing in Vegas.

    Best –

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