1004-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Oct 21, Monday

Constructed by: Christina Iverson and Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Here Comes My Baby

Themed answers start with words that bring us through the process of childbirth:

  • 56A 1967 hit by the Tremeloes suggested by the starts of 17-, 27- and 46-Across : HERE COMES MY BABY
  • 17A Traditional end of summer : LABOR DAY WEEKEND
  • 27A Dare to exceed normal limits : PUSH THE ENVELOPE
  • 46A FedEx or DHL : DELIVERY SERVICE

Bill’s time: 6m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Head of a monastery : ABBOT

Our word “abbot” ultimately derives from the Aramaic word “abba”, an honorific title extended to one’s father.

6 ___ Carlo (gambling mecca) : MONTE

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

14 Dry heat bath : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

15 Accessory for a witch : BROOM

The sweeping implement known as a “broom” used to be called a “besom”. A besom was made from a bundle of twigs tied to a stouter pole. The favored source for the twigs came from thorny shrubs from the genus Genista. The common term for many species of Genista is “broom”. Over time, “broom besoms” came to be known simply as “brooms”.

17 Traditional end of summer : LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Astronomically speaking, the season of summer starts with the summer solstice and ends with the autumn equinox. In sociological terms, here in the US, summer starts with Memorial Day weekend, and ends on Labor Day.

Labor Day is a federal holiday observed every year on the first Monday in September. The tradition of honoring workers with a holiday started in Boston in 1878, when a day of observance was organized by the Central Labor Union, the major trade union at the time. There was a bloody dispute in 1894 between labor unions and the railroads called the Pullman Strike, which led to the death of some workers when the US Military and US Marshals were instructed to maintain order. President Grover Cleveland submitted a “Labor Day” bill to Congress which was signed into law just six days after the end of the strike. The introduction of a federal holiday to honor the worker was a move designed to promote reconciliation between management and unions after the bitter conflict.

20 Alternative to Beano : GAS-X

“Gas-X” is a trade name for the anti-foaming agent called simethicone. Simethicone causes small gas bubbles in the stomach to combine into larger bubbles that can then be “burped” more easily.

21 Corner pieces in chess : ROOKS

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

22 Things bullfighters wave : CAPES

Bulls, like all cattle, are color blind, so the cape that’s used in bullfighting isn’t colored red to attract the unfortunate beast. Rather, it’s the movement of the cape that causes the bull to charge. The red is chosen just because it is a dramatic color.

The muleta is the red flannel cloth that a matador uses towards the end of a bull fight, instead of a cape. The muleta serves to distract the bull and also to hide the sword that is used for the kill. The term “matador” is only used in English, and translates aptly enough as “killer”.

25 “Othello” villain : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

27 Dare to exceed normal limits : PUSH THE ENVELOPE

The phrase “push the envelope” is a relatively recent one, and only dates back to the 1970s. It was popularized in Tom Wolfe’s celebrated book “The Right Stuff”, as it was oft-quoted during the space program. The envelope in question was the mathematical envelope that had to be “pushed” in order to make the space program successful.

33 Swing clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE

Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

34 Salvador who painted melting watches : DALI

“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work. It features the celebrated melting clocks/watches, and you can see them in the painting in the MoMA in New York City.

35 Most emails offering life insurance policies, say : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

36 Word after bumper or cable : … CAR

“Dodgems” is a term used in Britain and Ireland for bumper cars.

The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco is a little special in that it is housed in the same complex as the city’s cable car power house. While touring the museum, visitors can look out over the power house and see the huge haulage cables heading out to the streets to pull the cars up all of those steep hills.

40 Brian who was once with Roxy Music : ENO

Roxy Music is a British band formed by Bryan Ferry, who also served as the lead singer. One of the group’s more famous former band members was Brian Eno, someone who turns up in crosswords far too often …

41 Airport guesses, for short : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

43 Alternative to suspenders : BELT

“Suspenders” is another one of those words that has morphed in crossing the Atlantic. Back in Ireland we hold up our pants (trousers) with “braces”. Suspenders hold up ladies stockings (i.e. our word for a garter belt). It can be confusing …

46 FedEx or DHL : DELIVERY SERVICE

FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it’s more catchy, abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its “SuperHub” at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world’s largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

Back in the sixties, Larry Hillblom was making pocket money as a Berkeley law student by doing courier runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After law school, Hillblom decided to parlay his experience into his own business and set up a courier service flying bills of lading ahead of freight from San Francisco to Honolulu. He brought in two buddies, Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn, as partners and the three were soon hopping on and off commercial flights and gradually making more and more money. And DHL was born … D (for Dalsey) H (for Hillblom) L (for Lynn). DHL was acquired by Germany’s Deutsche Post in 2002.

49 Parts of i’s and j’s : DOTS

A tittle is a small diacritical mark used in writing. Examples are the cedilla and tilde used in some languages, and the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

51 Hot dog topping : CHILI

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

63 Setting for a couples cruise? : ARK

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

64 ___ Gay (W.W. II bomber) : ENOLA

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

65 Bird on the Mexican flag : EAGLE

The Mexican flag consists of three vertical stripes of green, white and red. The national coat of arms is displayed in the center of the white stripe. That coat of arms features a golden eagle holding a rattlesnake in its talons, while sitting atop a prickly pear cactus.

66 U.S. airer of “Downton Abbey” : PBS

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

67 Believer in a nonintervening God : DEIST

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to its own devices.

68 Many vaccinations : SHOTS

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity (until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19). British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

Down

1 Handy way of communicating, in brief? : ASL

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

3 “Listen, ___!” : BUB

“Bub” is American slang, and a term used to address males. “Bub” is possibly a variation of “bud”.

4 Musical Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

6 Degrees for C.E.O.s : MBAS

A chief executive officer (CEO) might have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

7 “___ and Crake” (Margaret Atwood novel) : ORYX

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. However, Atwood also conceived the idea of the LongPen, a remote robotic writing technology. The LongPen allows a user to write remotely in ink via the Internet. Atwood came up with the idea so that she could remotely attend book signings.

9 Little piggy : TOE

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

11 Queen of the Nile, informally : CLEO

“Queen of the Nile” is a common description used for Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule the country. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

13 Places for flowers and oysters : BEDS

A group of oysters is commonly referred to as a “bed”, and oysters can be farmed in man-made beds. The largest body of water producing oysters in the US today is Chesapeake Bay, although the number of beds continues to dwindle due to pollution and overfishing. Back in the 1800s, most of the world’s oysters came from New York Harbor.

18 Sprinkle, as of salt : DASH

In cooking, the terms “dash”, “pinch” and “smidgen” can all be used for a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define these amounts as follows:

  • a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
  • a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
  • a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

19 Some menthol cigarettes : KOOLS

Kools cigarettes were introduced in 1933, and are still around today. The brand is marketed as being “smooth”, as the ingredient menthol numbs the mouth and dulls the taste of the tobacco.

22 Organize, as an exhibition : CURATE

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

24 ___ Beta Kappa : PHI

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

25 Coves and fjords : INLETS

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

26 “We try harder” auto rental company : AVIS

Rental car company Avis used the tagline “We Try Harder” for five decades, starting in the early 1960s. The slogan had its roots in a 1962 ad campaign in which the company made brilliant use of its position behind market leader Hertz. The first rendition of the new tagline was “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else”. Within a year, Avis turned its first profit in over a decade, and within three years, increased the company’s market share from 29% to 36%. Avis eventually moved on to the slogan “It’s Your Space” in 2012.

45 State with the words “Wild Wonderful” on its license plates: Abbr. : WVA

The state of West Virginia (WVA) was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia (VA) voted to secede from the Confederate States of America (CSA).

51 Crack and redden, as lips : CHAP

The verb “to chap” means “to crack”, and has been used to describe a crack in the skin since way back in the 14th century.

52 Basil or dill : HERB

Traditionally, basil is considered “the king of herbs”. In fact, the herb’s name comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king”.

Dill is a herb in the celery family. Dill seeds can be used for flavoring food, as can dill leaves. In this sense, dill “leaves” are sometimes referred to as dill “weed”.

55 Aspiring atty.’s exam : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

58 Me, to Miss Piggy : MOI

The Muppet named Miss Piggy has a pretentious air, and so refers to herself as “moi”. In 1998, Miss Piggy even released her own perfume called “Moi”.

59 Scrooge’s “Phooey!” : BAH!

The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” to describe a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

61 Diner sandwich, for short : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Head of a monastery : ABBOT
6 ___ Carlo (gambling mecca) : MONTE
11 Corn on the ___ : COB
14 Dry heat bath : SAUNA
15 Accessory for a witch : BROOM
16 Serve up a whopper : LIE
17 Traditional end of summer : LABOR DAY WEEKEND
20 Alternative to Beano : GAS-X
21 Corner pieces in chess : ROOKS
22 Things bullfighters wave : CAPES
25 “Othello” villain : IAGO
27 Dare to exceed normal limits : PUSH THE ENVELOPE
33 Swing clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE
34 Salvador who painted melting watches : DALI
35 Most emails offering life insurance policies, say : SPAM
36 Word after bumper or cable : … CAR
37 Stray from a topic : DIGRESS
40 Brian who was once with Roxy Music : ENO
41 Airport guesses, for short : ETAS
43 Alternative to suspenders : BELT
44 Frankly admit something : OWN IT
46 FedEx or DHL : DELIVERY SERVICE
49 Parts of i’s and j’s : DOTS
50 Tilts : LEANS
51 Hot dog topping : CHILI
54 Extreme happiness : GLEE
56 1967 hit by the Tremeloes suggested by the starts of 17-, 27- and 46-Across : HERE COMES MY BABY
63 Setting for a couples cruise? : ARK
64 ___ Gay (W.W. II bomber) : ENOLA
65 Bird on the Mexican flag : EAGLE
66 U.S. airer of “Downton Abbey” : PBS
67 Believer in a nonintervening God : DEIST
68 Many vaccinations : SHOTS

Down

1 Handy way of communicating, in brief? : ASL
2 Sound heard in a herd : BAA!
3 “Listen, ___!” : BUB
4 Musical Yoko : ONO
5 Aimed at : TARGETED
6 Degrees for C.E.O.s : MBAS
7 “___ and Crake” (Margaret Atwood novel) : ORYX
8 This very instant : NOW
9 Little piggy : TOE
10 Come into view : EMERGE
11 Queen of the Nile, informally : CLEO
12 Sound from a piggy : OINK
13 Places for flowers and oysters : BEDS
18 Sprinkle, as of salt : DASH
19 Some menthol cigarettes : KOOLS
22 Organize, as an exhibition : CURATE
23 Of the stars : ASTRAL
24 ___ Beta Kappa : PHI
25 Coves and fjords : INLETS
26 “We try harder” auto rental company : AVIS
27 Walked nervously back and forth : PACED
28 Lawn-cutting tools : EDGERS
29 Before the due date, say : EARLY
30 What screen doors usually don’t do : OPEN IN
31 Freaks out : PANICS
32 Be overdramatic : EMOTE
38 “Yeah, right!” : I BET!
39 Recipients of a welcome sight, proverbially : SORE EYES
42 Move crabwise : SIDLE
45 State with the words “Wild Wonderful” on its license plates: Abbr. : WVA
47 Said aloud : VOICED
48 Like the first through fifth grades: Abbr. : ELEM
51 Crack and redden, as lips : CHAP
52 Basil or dill : HERB
53 Ruffles the feathers of : IRKS
54 Some toothpastes and hair goops : GELS
55 Aspiring atty.’s exam : LSAT
57 “We’re number ___!” : ONE
58 Me, to Miss Piggy : MOI
59 Scrooge’s “Phooey!” : BAH!
60 In the past : AGO
61 Diner sandwich, for short : BLT
62 “Definitely” : YES

7 thoughts on “1004-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Oct 21, Monday”

  1. 5:44 Would have been a sub 5 minute time except I had to find a fat finger. I would have thought that this would be a puzzle they’d run on the actual Labor Day Holiday – maybe that would be too obvious??

  2. Re: 61D-Am I missing something, here? This clue pops up from time to time; and I can’t believe either of those two are more popular than the hamburger.

    1. My guess is that they are not considering a burger as a sandwich, per se. When I did a search I found various sites that all had a different most popular. I found this web site with “50 most popular sandwiches” and when I did a search for “hamburger” within the page it only showed hamburger bun in the results – nothing about a burger itself . In the Seattle area anyway – go into a pub, sports bar, etc. and sandwiches is a different menu item from a burger. Maybe that’s the explanation.

      https://www.tasteatlas.com/50-most-popular-sandwiches-in-usa

  3. 6:13. Ditto the above about the fact that this puzzle should have shown up on LABOR DAY.

    I looked through the write up and tried to think of something intelligent to say, but I eventually just gave up.

    Best –

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