1014-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Oct 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Matt Fuchs
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) I Swear!

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as “sweary” exclamations:

  • 16A “My allergies are really acting up!” : BLOODY NOSE!
  • 23A “That third strike cost us the game!” : FREAKING OUT!
  • 36A “I keep losing things in the dryer!” : DARN SOCKS!
  • 52A “My iPhone never works!” : ROTTEN APPLE!
  • 61A “This bug spray is useless!” : BLASTED OFF!

Bill’s time: 8m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Rock star Cobain : KURT

Kurt Cobain was famous as the lead singer of the band Nirvana. Cobain was constantly in the spotlight for the last few years of his short life. The media was fascinated with his marriage to fellow rock star Courtney Love, and continually reported on Cobain’s heroin addiction. He finally succumbed to the pressure and committed suicide by inflicting a gunshot wound to his head in 1994, at only 27 years of age.

18 Sicily’s highest peak : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” (sometimes “Muncibeddu”) in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

19 Unusual time to start a vacation : MIDWEEK

Not when you’re retired and old like me …

20 YouTube content : VIDEOS

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

22 “It ___” (pompous arrival’s declaration) : IS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I … who called
  • It was he … who did it
  • It is we … who care

26 Like Swarthmore, but not Bryn Mawr : COED

Swarthmore College is a liberal arts school located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, which is just a few miles southwest of Philadelphia. Originally a Quaker school, Swarthmore has been non-sectarian since the early 1900s.

Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania is a women’s liberal arts school that was founded in 1885. Bryn Mawr was the first women’s university in the nation to offer graduate education through to a PhD. While the undergraduate program is open only to females, the school opened up the postgraduate program to males in 1931.

28 Food industry lobby, for short : NRA

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) was founded in 1919. Perhaps the most famous name associated with the association is Herman Cain. Cain ran for US president in 2011, with his 9-9-9 tax plan at the center of his platform. He passed away in 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

29 Frost bit? : VERSE

The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco, but lived most of life in New England. He also spent a few years in England, just before WWI. Frost was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He was also Vermont’s first Poet Laureate, a position that he held from 1961 until his death in 1963.

35 Spanish 101 verb : SER

The verb “to be” is “ser” in Spanish and “être” in French.

39 Mitch’s husband on “Modern Family” : CAM

Actor Eric Stonestreet is best-known for playing Cameron Tucker on the hit comedy show “Modern Family”. Stonestreet is openly straight, but plays the gay partner of the character Mitchell Pritchett. Pritchett is played by openly-gay actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Ferguson jokingly describes Stonestreet as being “gay for pay”.

42 Architect ___ Ming Pei : IEOH

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) was an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

43 Calligraphy details : SERIFS

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

49 Head across the pond? : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

51 Ella Fitzgerald forte : SCAT

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

52 “My iPhone never works!” : ROTTEN APPLE!

Apple started development of the iPhone in 2004 in collaboration with Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Mobility). The confidential program was given the name “Project Purple”, and took thirty months to complete at a cost of about $150 million. The iPhone was introduced in 2007 at the Macworld convention in San Francisco.

56 Wearer of a “Y” sweatshirt : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

58 Stand by the pool, maybe : TIKI BAR

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

64 Marquis de ___ : SADE

The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat with a reputation for a libertine lifestyle. De Sade was also a writer, well known for his works of erotica. He fell foul of the law for some of his more extreme practices and for blaspheming the Catholic church. On and off, de Sade spent 32 years of his life in prison and in insane asylums.

68 It may be on the house : LIEN

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

Down

2 National Medal of Arts recipient whose novel “Juneteenth” was published posthumously : ELLISON

Author Ralph Ellison’s most famous book is “Invisible Man”, which won the National Book Award in 1953. Ellison’s full name is Ralph Waldo Ellison, as he was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson.

5 Puzzle whose name comes from the Japanese for “cleverness squared” : KENKEN

KenKen is an arithmetic and logic puzzle invented quite recently, in 2004 by a Japanese math teacher named Tetsuya Miyamoto. “Ken” is the Japanese word for “cleverness”.

6 World traveler? : UFO

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

8 Fountain near the Spanish Steps : TREVI

The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, one that is the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

10 Shooting stars : METEORS

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

12 Glass elevator? : TOASTER

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

25 Prizefight ending : KAYO

A kayo is a knockout (KO).

34 Microsoft Surfaces, e.g. : PCS

Microsoft Surface is a series of portable computing devices that includes a line of 2-in-1 detachables, which are crosses between tablets and laptops.

37 The Big Easy : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

40 Creatures named for their changing shape : AMOEBAE

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

41 Roald Dahl heroine : MATILDA

“Matilda” is a children’s novel by Welsh author Roald Dahl. Hero of the piece is an extraordinary little girl called Matilda Wormwood.

45 Balls in a pocket : FALAFEL

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry for me …

53 Prize declined by Sartre : NOBEL

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

62 Scented souvenir : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

63 Is after you? : ARE

He/she/it is, and you are …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Long-term appeal : LEGS
5 Rock star Cobain : KURT
9 Leave off : OMIT
13 Q: How much does it cost to park at stadiums? A: ___ : A LOT
14 Postpone, as enrollment : DEFER
15 Captain in “The Mysterious Island” : NEMO
16 “My allergies are really acting up!” : BLOODY NOSE!
18 Sicily’s highest peak : ETNA
19 Unusual time to start a vacation : MIDWEEK
20 YouTube content : VIDEOS
22 “It ___” (pompous arrival’s declaration) : IS I
23 “That third strike cost us the game!” : FREAKING OUT!
26 Like Swarthmore, but not Bryn Mawr : COED
28 Food industry lobby, for short : NRA
29 Frost bit? : VERSE
30 Not leave to chance : ENSURE
33 Run for fun, perhaps : TYPO
35 Spanish 101 verb : SER
36 “I keep losing things in the dryer!” : DARN SOCKS!
39 Mitch’s husband on “Modern Family” : CAM
42 Architect ___ Ming Pei : IEOH
43 Calligraphy details : SERIFS
47 Hoard : AMASS
49 Head across the pond? : LOO
51 Ella Fitzgerald forte : SCAT
52 “My iPhone never works!” : ROTTEN APPLE!
56 Wearer of a “Y” sweatshirt : ELI
57 Wackadoodle : WEIRDO
58 Stand by the pool, maybe : TIKI BAR
60 Fit for the task : ABLE
61 “This bug spray is useless!” : BLASTED OFF!
64 Marquis de ___ : SADE
65 Like many a campfire story : EERIE
66 Water pitcher : EWER
67 Pressure, informally : HEAT
68 It may be on the house : LIEN
69 One who’s got your back : ALLY

Down

1 Maze runners : LAB MICE
2 National Medal of Arts recipient whose novel “Juneteenth” was published posthumously : ELLISON
3 Special treats : GOODIES
4 Put (away) : STOW
5 Puzzle whose name comes from the Japanese for “cleverness squared” : KENKEN
6 World traveler? : UFO
7 Hi-___ : RES
8 Fountain near the Spanish Steps : TREVI
9 Wired : ON EDGE
10 Shooting stars : METEORS
11 “What’s the point in me even trying” : I’M NO USE
12 Glass elevator? : TOASTER
14 Easter egg decorator : DYER
17 Absolutely, informally : DEF
21 Call upon : INVOKE
24 Place to purchase pencils and paint : ART SHOP
25 Prizefight ending : KAYO
27 Lemon or turkey : DUD
31 Upped the ante : RAISED
32 Old-fashioned preposition : ERE
34 Microsoft Surfaces, e.g. : PCS
37 The Big Easy : NOLA
38 Typical college interviewees: Abbr. : SRS
39 Business that offers body waxing : CAR WASH
40 Creatures named for their changing shape : AMOEBAE
41 Roald Dahl heroine : MATILDA
44 Nickname for the subzero 1967 N.F.L. Championship Game : ICE BOWL
45 Balls in a pocket : FALAFEL
46 Recipe that might call for ginger and soy sauce : STIR FRY
48 Word with fair or fight : STREET …
50 Chooses to receive marketing emails, say : OPTS IN
53 Prize declined by Sartre : NOBEL
54 Diet-friendly : LITE
55 Just scrape (by) : EKE
59 Bit of creativity : IDEA
62 Scented souvenir : LEI
63 Is after you? : ARE

6 thoughts on “1014-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Oct 21, Thursday”

  1. 20:07. Half way through at 8+ minutes, then my typical slow down. I did like the gimmick today. Cute and a nice change from a typical Thursday rebus.

  2. 12:42, no errors. I. M. Pei often makes it into crossword puzzle, but one seldom sees his first name spelled out. (I spent 38 years working in a building he designed and I’ve only seen “Ieoh” once or twice.)

    1. Umm … assuming you’re not joking … if you meant to type “fun” and instead you typed “run”, it’s a typo. Of course, if you meant to type “run for fun” and you did type “run for fun”, it’s not a typo; that’s why the clue says “perhaps”.

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