1009-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 21, Saturday

Constructed by: August Lee-Kovach
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 11m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Travel item : VISA

A visa is usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

14 Smart ___ : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

17 Painter whose cataract surgery allowed him to see and paint in ultraviolet : CLAUDE MONET

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works. I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny a few years ago. A beautiful place …

19 Knee part, for short : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

23 Certain exotic pets : IGUANAS

Iguanas have what is known as a “third eye” on their heads. Known as the parietal eye, it can sense levels of light, although it cannot make out details.

26 Baseball team whose mascot is Screech the eagle, familiarly : NATS

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

32 Ron who played Tarzan : ELY

Ron Ely is most famous for playing the title role in the “Tarzan” TV series in the sixties. Years later, Ely hosted the 1980 and 1981 “Miss America” pageants right after longtime host Bert Parks retired, before the job was taken over by Gary Collins. And Ely is a successful mystery novelist. He wrote “Night Shadows” and “East Beach” in the mid-nineties, both of which featured his private eye Jake Sands.

35 Popular podcast genre : TRUE CRIME

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

41 Dance move : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

44 Sticky candy? : LOLLIPOP

A lollipop is a piece of candy on a stick. The name “lollipop” surfaced in 1908, and was taken from a prominent race horse of the day named Lolly Pop.

49 “Bam!” chef : EMERIL

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved celebrity as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

53 Arm muscle, slangily : TRI

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

56 Fig. often written with X’s : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

Down

1 Big shot? : VACCINE

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”.

4 Luxury vehicles since 1986 : ACURAS

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

5 Ephemeral palaces : ICE CASTLES

“Ephemera” was originally a medical term used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were short-lived. By the end of the 18th century, ephemera were any items of transitory existence.

6 ___-o’-shanter : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

7 Hoity-toity type : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.

8 Die out : WANE

The verbs “to wax” and “to wane” come from Old English. To wax is to increase gradually in size, strength, intensity or number. To wane is to decrease gradually.

18 Hullabaloo : DIN

Our word “hullabaloo”, meaning “commotion”, is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

24 Strauss’s “Also ___ Zarathustra” : SPRACH

“Also sprach Zarathustra” is a tone poem composed in 1896 by Richard Strauss. The musical work was inspired by a philosophical novel of the same name by Friedrich Nietzsche. The opening of the work is known as “Sunrise”. This section of the work was made incredibly famous when it was used in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

28 Scales up? : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

29 Much-covered New Orleans standard based on Mardi Gras chants : IKO IKO

“Iko Iko” is a song written in 1953 by Sugar Boy Crawford, using the title “Jock-A-Mo”. The Dixie Cups recorded a cover version in 1965, calling it “Iko Iko”. Crawford ended up suing the Dixie Cups as the 1965 song was recorded without reference to the 1953 original.

33 Arc-shaped musical notation : SLUR

In the world of music, a slur is a curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

34 Disney redhead : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

38 Spartan, e.g. : HELLENE

Someone from Greece can be called a Hellene. “Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

43 [I can’t believe what I just read] : [OMG]

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

45 Okonkwo’s people in “Things Fall Apart” : IBOS

The Igbo (also “Ibo”) people are an ethnic group living in southeastern Nigeria.

46 Left on board, say : PORT

The left side of a ship used to be called the “larboard” side, but this was dropped in favor of “port” as the pronunciation of “larboard” was easily confused with “starboard”, the right side of the vessel. The term “port” was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Travel item : VISA
5 Battle cry : IT’S WAR!
11 Pop group? : FAM
14 Smart ___ : ALEC
15 Its national animal is the beaver : CANADA
16 Sustainability indicator : ECO-
17 Painter whose cataract surgery allowed him to see and paint in ultraviolet : CLAUDE MONET
19 Knee part, for short : ACL
20 ___ Richmond, former head of the Congressional Black Caucus and senior adviser to Joe Biden : CEDRIC
21 Order in the court : BE SEATED
23 Certain exotic pets : IGUANAS
25 Dishevel : MUSS
26 Baseball team whose mascot is Screech the eagle, familiarly : NATS
27 Sinking fastballs : SPLITTERS
32 Ron who played Tarzan : ELY
33 Start of a count : STRIKE ONE
34 Conductor’s cry : ALL ABOARD!
35 Popular podcast genre : TRUE CRIME
36 Advanced degree : NTH
39 Equal opportunity : FAIR SHAKE
40 Local legends : LORE
41 Dance move : PLIE
42 Egglike : OVOIDAL
44 Sticky candy? : LOLLIPOP
49 “Bam!” chef : EMERIL
50 “That’s gotta hurt” : OOF
51 Where you might get the ball rolling : BOWLING LANE
53 Arm muscle, slangily : TRI
54 Place : ORIENT
55 The Grim, in the Harry Potter books : OMEN
56 Fig. often written with X’s : SSN
57 Shapes of some dog treats : STEAKS
58 Soft or hard finish : -WARE

Down

1 Big shot? : VACCINE
2 More than discouraged : ILLEGAL
3 Part of a Navy officer’s rotation : SEA DUTY
4 Luxury vehicles since 1986 : ACURAS
5 Ephemeral palaces : ICE CASTLES
6 ___-o’-shanter : TAM
7 Hoity-toity type : SNOB
8 Die out : WANE
9 Some stand concessions : ADES
10 Velocity, e.g. : RATE
11 ___ film : FEATURE
12 Purpose of a pass : ACCESS
13 Shapes : MOLDS
18 Hullabaloo : DIN
22 Repair : AMEND
24 Strauss’s “Also ___ Zarathustra” : SPRACH
28 Scales up? : LIBRA
29 Much-covered New Orleans standard based on Mardi Gras chants : IKO IKO
30 Relays, e.g. : TEAM EVENTS
31 Ripped : TORE
33 Arc-shaped musical notation : SLUR
34 Disney redhead : ARIEL
35 Bit of auto design inspired by the jet age : TAIL FIN
36 Easygoing : NO-DRAMA
37 One may be personal : TRAINER
38 Spartan, e.g. : HELLENE
39 Blows away : FLOORS
40 Keep one’s head down : LIE LOW
41 Units of land, with or without the first letter : PLOTS
43 [I can’t believe what I just read] : [OMG]
45 Okonkwo’s people in “Things Fall Apart” : IBOS
46 Left on board, say : PORT
47 Boo-boo : OWIE
48 “Help!,” for example : PLEA
52 It’s all over the papers : INK

8 thoughts on “1009-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. 10:06. Was done with the fill in 8:30 but had FAIR SHARE instead of FAIR SHAKE, which took me about 90 seconds to find and fix. The SE corner slowed me a little bit.

    1. I do hate to quibble, but … 13:19 is 799 seconds. 37:46 is 2266 seconds. 2266/799 is approximately 2.836045056, which is significantly less than 3 … 😜🤪🤓.

  2. 21:10 Same as Tom R (SHARE vs SHAKE and trouble with SE corner) but with only twice the enjoyment – to steal from DuncanR.

      1. When I mentioned @TomR and I having similar issues, my “twice the enjoyment” was in reference to @TomR’s time, not yours – sorry. My 21:10 is 1270 seconds. TomR’s 10:06 is 606 seconds. 1270 / 606 = 2.09570957. I was rounding down to 2 – twice. 🙂

        Looks like my remainder likes “0957”

        1. Oops. Thanks for the correction. (I really do seem to be having trouble reading carefully these days … 😳.)

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