0930-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Sep 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Rich Proulx
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Sound Mixing

Themed answers are common phrases, each comprising a MIXTURE of two SOUNDS:

  • 57A Academy Awards category eliminated in 2021 … or a hint to interpreting four clues in this puzzle : SOUND MIXING
  • 17A [Birds] + [Bees] = P.R. campaign goal : TWITTER BUZZ
  • 26A [Lightsaber] + [Impatient fingers] = Boring : HUMDRUM
  • 36A [Cellphone] + [Bubble] = Edible accessory : RING POP
  • 48A [Cow] + [Thunder] = Snake eyes, e.g. : LOW ROLL

Bill’s time: 10m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Former N.Y.C. mayor Beame : ABE

Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.

14 Like soil that combines sand, silt and clay : LOAMY

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

15 AAA part: Abbr. : ASSOC

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

20 “A,” on a timeline : ANNO

Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

21 Put down : DIS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

24 Neat analogy? : AS A PIN

Apparently, the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.

28 Half of a 1960s folk rock group : PAPAS

The folk group called the Magic Circle renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren’t a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. “Monday, Monday” was written by John Phillips, one of “the Papas”, and it was to become the only number one hit for the group. Here’s a shocker … when it hit number one in 1966, it was the first time that a group made up of both sexes topped the American charts!

31 Common prom coif : UPDO

A coif is a hairdo. The term “coif” comes from an old French term “coife” describing a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

42 Fictional business on TV frequently targeted by prank calls : MOE’S

On the animated TV comedy “The Simpsons”, Bart likes to prank-call Moe’s Tavern. Bart asks Moe to “page” someone in the bar using a fictitious name, a name which sounds like a rude phrase when called out loud. This running joke on “The Simpsons” is a homage to a series of legendary calls made in real life to the Tube Bar in Jersey City by John Elmo and Jim Davidson that were taped and circulated widely in the mid-seventies. Some of the milder names used in the original prank calls were:

  • Al Cholic (alcoholic)
  • Cole Kutz (cold cuts)
  • Sal Lammy (salami)
  • Anita Bath (I need a bath)

48 [Cow] + [Thunder] = Snake eyes, e.g. : LOW ROLL

“Snake eyes” is a slang term describing a roll of two dice in which one pip turns up on each die.

51 Apollo Theater’s locale : HARLEM

The Manhattan district of Harlem is sometimes divided into Central Harlem, West Harlem and East Harlem. East Harlem is also known as “Spanish Harlem”.

The Apollo Theater in the Harlem district of Manhattan, New York opened in 1914 as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. The original facility was a whites-only venue. When it was opened to African Americans in 1934, the name was changed to “The Apollo”.

54 Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

56 Rep. Cheney of Wyoming : LIZ

Liz Cheney is the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. She was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2016, representing the state of Woming’s single seat. Her father held that same seat for ten years.

63 Former Chinese premier Jiabao : WEN

Wen Jiabao served as Premier of China from 2003 until 2013. The role of Premier of China is like that of prime minister in some other countries. The President of China serves as head of state.

65 Hägar the Horrible’s pooch : SNERT

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

Down

1 Acqua ___ (cause of annual flooding in Venice) : ALTA

The city of Venice (“Venezia” in Italian) in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on motorized water-buses.

5 Winner of over 125 Pulitzer Prizes, for short : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition. The prize was established back in 1917 by the Hungarian-American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer left money in his will for the prize, and for its administration by Columbia University.

6 Bobby who sang “Mack the Knife” : DARIN

Singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” is the original name of the song “Mack the Knife”, which comes from “The Threepenny Opera”. “The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that first performed in Berlin in 1928, an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. “Mack the Knife” was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. He had a hit with it in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version of the song. I love it …

7 Many flash drives, familiarly : USBS

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

8 Sch. in Baton Rouge : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

10 Skin malady : ECZEMA

Eczema is a form of dermatitis. The term “eczema” comes from the Greek for “to boil over”.

13 ___ salts : EPSOM

The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which the Epsom Derby is run every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across “Epsom salts” from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

23 Calif. school that’s about 20 miles from the Mexican border : SDSU

San Diego State University (SDSU)

26 Dwells tiresomely (on) : HARPS

To harp on something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

27 Verdi opera : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

32 United way? : PLANE RIDE

United Airlines (UAL) has a complicated history, but can trace its roots back to Aviation Enterprises, founded in 1944 and later called Texas International. The first use of the “United” name in the company’s history was when airplane pioneer William Boeing merged his Boeing Air Transport with Pratt & Whitney to form the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (UATC) in 1929. The Air Mail Act of 1934 required that UATC be broken up into United Aircraft (which became United Technologies), the Boeing Aircraft Company and United Air Lines.

33 Worker searching for patterns in the statistical noise : DATA MINER

The process of data mining is used to extract information from a database and present it in a form that facilitates further use.

34 Dumb ___ (buffoons) : OXES

A buffoon is a clown or jester, although the word “buffoon” tends to be used more figuratively to describe someone foolish and ridiculous. The term comes from the Italian “buffa” meaning “joke”.

48 Legal drama with Jimmy Smits : LA LAW

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

Jimmy Smits’ most noted acting roles were probably Victor Sifuentes on “L.A. Law” and President Matt Santos on “The West Wing”. Smits is very fond of playing jai alai in a local league in his hometown of Los Angeles.

55 Performer’s grand slam, in modern parlance : EGOT

The acronym “EGOT” stands for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony”, and is a reference to performers who have won all four awards. Also known as the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam”, there are relatively few individuals who have been so honored. The first five to do so were:

  1. Richard Rodgers in 1962
  2. Helen Hayes in 1977
  3. Rita Moreno in 1977
  4. John Gielgud in 1991
  5. Audrey Hepburn in 1994 (posthumously)

59 O.R. lines : IVS

One might see an intravenous drip (IV) in an intensive care unit (ICU), operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Website overseer : ADMIN
6 Spanish for “sweet” : DULCE
11 Former N.Y.C. mayor Beame : ABE
14 Like soil that combines sand, silt and clay : LOAMY
15 AAA part: Abbr. : ASSOC
16 Turpentine ingredient : SAP
17 [Birds] + [Bees] = P.R. campaign goal : TWITTER BUZZ
19 Contraction that drops an “i” : ‘TIS
20 “A,” on a timeline : ANNO
21 Put down : DIS
22 Response to a doubter : YES I DO
24 Neat analogy? : AS A PIN
26 [Lightsaber] + [Impatient fingers] = Boring : HUMDRUM
27 Painter’s kit : ART SET
28 Half of a 1960s folk rock group : PAPAS
29 P.O.’ed : IRATE
30 Go-___ : KART
31 Common prom coif : UPDO
35 Tail … or one with a tail : DOG
36 [Cellphone] + [Bubble] = Edible accessory : RING POP
39 Far from fastidious : LAX
40 Blown away : AWED
42 Fictional business on TV frequently targeted by prank calls : MOE’S
43 Hold forth : ORATE
45 Tests that are very hard to cheat on : ORALS
47 “___ noches!” : BUENAS
48 [Cow] + [Thunder] = Snake eyes, e.g. : LOW ROLL
51 Apollo Theater’s locale : HARLEM
52 Word with party or balloon : … ANIMAL
53 Be struggling, say : AIL
54 Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE
56 Rep. Cheney of Wyoming : LIZ
57 Academy Awards category eliminated in 2021 … or a hint to interpreting four clues in this puzzle : SOUND MIXING
60 It’s often included in a good deal : ACE
61 Private student : TUTEE
62 Watch it! : VIDEO
63 Former Chinese premier Jiabao : WEN
64 Keeps thinking “Grrrr!” : STEWS
65 Hägar the Horrible’s pooch : SNERT

Down

1 Acqua ___ (cause of annual flooding in Venice) : ALTA
2 A key to what’s underneath? : DOWN ARROW
3 Prime spot at a music festival : MAIN STAGE
4 “My parents are gonna kill me!” : I’M TOAST!
5 Winner of over 125 Pulitzer Prizes, for short : NYT
6 Bobby who sang “Mack the Knife” : DARIN
7 Many flash drives, familiarly : USBS
8 Sch. in Baton Rouge : LSU
9 Ingratiate oneself with : COZY UP TO
10 Skin malady : ECZEMA
11 Up and about : ASTIR
12 Major Chinese internet company : BAIDU
13 ___ salts : EPSOM
18 Copy-right? : EDIT
23 Calif. school that’s about 20 miles from the Mexican border : SDSU
25 Colleague : PEER
26 Dwells tiresomely (on) : HARPS
27 Verdi opera : AIDA
28 Flips (through) : PAGES
30 Small hill : KNOLL
32 United way? : PLANE RIDE
33 Worker searching for patterns in the statistical noise : DATA MINER
34 Dumb ___ (buffoons) : OXES
37 Shopkeeper’s “Sorry, none left” : I’M ALL OUT
38 Decant : POUR
41 Place to live and learn : DORM
44 Pregnancy hormone : RELAXIN
46 Certain tributes (although they may not seem like them) : ROASTS
47 Great relief : BALM
48 Legal drama with Jimmy Smits : LA LAW
49 Temporarily suspended : ON ICE
50 Shrivel from age : WIZEN
51 Goes underground : HIDES
53 From the start : ANEW
55 Performer’s grand slam, in modern parlance : EGOT
58 Sport ___ (all-terrain vehicle) : UTE
59 O.R. lines : IVS

14 thoughts on “0930-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Sep 21, Thursday”

  1. A mostly quick solve….until I got back to the NW. SYSOP vs ADMIN caused a major loss of time. What should have been less than 15 minutes turned into 20:52. At least I finished without peek ing at the answers.

  2. 21:00. Decent enough theme, but LOW ROLL is really only one sound whereas the others are a MIX(ING) of two sounds. I scanned through all of Webster’s definitions and couldn’t find any meaning of LOW as a sound – just an adjective of sound.

    Curiously, I did see that the word LOW means “fire” or “blaze” over in Scotland. That could be dangerous. If I were someplace where they screamed “LOW”, I doubt I’d move….

    Best –

  3. 16:54 Took me a bit to catch on, especially coming up with TWITTER but finally getting the reveal helped. I also started off with an answer of SILTY for 14A but then I looked closer and saw that “silt” was in the clue so I know that was a big error on my part. Not a good way to start.

    @Jeff – see the reply I left you about LOW. It’s somewhere in the recesses of my brain about the sound a cow makes and did not seem like a misused word to me.

  4. Re: LOW – The fact that it’s a verb or adjective is not at issue. For it to make sense in this puzzle it would have to be a noun – i.e. a sound, not a description of or act of making a sound.

    Ron’s reference from Webster’s – “the deep sustained sound characteristic especially of a cow” – is the one that nails it. As you might expect the number of definitions of the word LOW is endless. I guess I missed that one

    Best –

    1. Ah. I see your point, though I actually knew it was both a verb and a noun. Curiously, even though I grew up milking cows on a farm, I think I encountered the word “low” in other contexts (in church, perhaps).

  5. @glen – I got your note. I’m using that link that @anonymuss gave.

    For this puzzle, that LOW thing threw me for a loop but I also couldn’t get 56A or 60A or 50D to fall.
    WIZEN. Too many “huh?” In one corner and the Chinese ambassador didn’t help.

  6. @ A Nonny Muss – perhaps your church memory connection is from “Away In A Manger”, where the lyric goes “The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes” – that’s what I immediately thought of.

    1. Yes! I thought I encountered “low” as a noun in church, as well, but I could be wrong. Perhaps I was just thinking of the gerund “lowing” all along … 🤨.

  7. 31:50, 2 errors: SOUND MI(N)ING/RELA(N)IN. Breezed through the grid before getting seriously bogged down in the SE corner. Entering 43A as OPINE before ORATE didn’t help.

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