1015-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Oct 21, Friday

Constructed by: Ashton Anderson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 17m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Enthusiastic assent : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

5 Certain service : MASS

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

9 Packs (down) : TAMPS

To tamp is to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used specifically to describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

17 “Losing some illusions … perhaps to acquire others,” per Virginia Woolf : GROWING UP

Virginia Woolf was an English author who was active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay entitled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

20 Like a spitball : WADDED

A spitball is a small lump of paper that has been chewed up and then used as a missile, say in a peashooter.

21 Darth Vader’s childhood nickname : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

28 Pluto, e.g. : ORB

Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris.

36 Singer Mitchell : JONI

Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Fort MacLeod in Alberta. Mitchell is perhaps best known for her recordings “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock”.

37 Shapiro of NPR : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of the network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015. When he’s not working, Shapiro likes to sing. He regularly appears as a guest singer with the group Pink Martini, and has appeared on several of the band’s albums.

43 Joyous song : PAEAN

A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

46 “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” musician : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

55 Kind of moment worth recording : KODAK

George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, which he named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

56 Xenomorphs, e.g. : ALIEN RACE

The antagonists in the “Alien” series of films are extraterrestrials, described at one point in the script as “xenomorphs”. The term “xenomorph” was coined for the screen using the Greek roots “xeno-” (other, strange) and “-morph” (shape).

58 What air is not for an anaerobe : NEED

An aerobe is an organism that lives in an environment rich in oxygen. An anaerobe, on the other hand, does not require oxygen for survival.

Down

1 Throw on the couch : AFGHAN

An afghan is a blanket or a wrap that is knitted or crocheted from very colorful yarns, and traditionally made in Afghanistan.

2 Angel said to have visited Joseph Smith : MORONI

According to the Mormon tradition, Angel Moroni visited founder Joseph Smith on several occasions. The Angel Moroni is the same person as the prophet-warrior Moroni who lived in the Americas in the fourth and fifth centuries.

5 “The Pinkprint” rapper : MINAJ

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from the New York borough of Queens who was born in Trinidad.

6 Belligerent, slangily : AGGRO

“Aggro” is a term that we use a lot in Ireland, and probably more so than in the UK. It can mean an “annoyance” (short for “aggravation”) but is more often used to mean “trouble”, as in someone caused trouble, created aggro.

8 500 letters? : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

20 Composer Anton who used the 12-tone technique : WEBERN

Anton Webern was a composer and conductor from Austria. In his compositions, Webern used the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg, which means that I find his music a tad difficult to appreciate …

26 Children’s classic originally written in German : HEIDI

“Heidi” is a children’s book written by Swiss author Johanna Spyri and published in two parts. The first is “Heidi’s years of learning and travel”, and the second “Heidi makes use of what she has learned”. The books tell the story of a young girl in the care of her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. The most famous film adaptation of the story is the 1937 movie of the same name starring Shirley Temple in the title role.

27 Nov. 11 honoree : EX-GI

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

29 Sauce whose name derives from “pound” in Italian : PESTO

The Italian term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as pesto sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …

34 Honest-to-goodness : BONA FIDE

“Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

35 Fall apart : GO TO POT

The phrase “go to pot”, meaning “fall into ruin”, has been around since the 1500s. Back then, it really meant go to (the) pot, i.e. be chopped up and boiled for food.

36 Zippy resort rental : JET SKI

“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, one owned by Yamaha.

39 Joint application? : BENGAY

Bengay is sold as a painkilling heat rub, to relieve aching muscles. It was developed in France by a Dr. Jules Bengue (hence the name), and was first sold in America way back in 1898.

44 Home with a view : AERIE

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

48 Bit of deception : FLAM

“Flim-flam” (sometimes just “flam”) is another word for a confidence trick. The term has been in use since the 1500s, would you believe?

49 Lodge group : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Enthusiastic assent : AMEN!
5 Certain service : MASS
9 Packs (down) : TAMPS
14 Important leadership skill : FORESIGHT
16 Classic neo-grotesque typeface : ARIAL
17 “Losing some illusions … perhaps to acquire others,” per Virginia Woolf : GROWING UP
18 Gloomy and drab : DINGY
19 Cause of an early lead, maybe : HOT START
20 Like a spitball : WADDED
21 Darth Vader’s childhood nickname : ANI
22 Author who wrote “The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit” : JOYCE
24 Sticky stuff : GOO
25 Hardly mainstream : NICHE
28 Pluto, e.g. : ORB
29 Sudden sensation : PANG
30 Cutesy “I beg your pardon?” : EXSQUEEZE ME
34 “What a shocker” : BIG SURPRISE
35 “Heaven forbid!” : GOD I HOPE NOT!
36 Singer Mitchell : JONI
37 Shapiro of NPR : ARI
38 John B. Goodenough is the oldest person ever to get one (at age 97) : NOBEL
42 Travel guess, for short : ETA
43 Joyous song : PAEAN
46 “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” musician : ENO
47 Candy cooked until it reaches the hard-crack stage : TOFFEE
50 Approach : HEAD INTO
53 Tell all : SPILL
54 Strutting one’s stuff : WORKING IT
55 Kind of moment worth recording : KODAK
56 Xenomorphs, e.g. : ALIEN RACE
57 Cart contents : ITEMS
58 What air is not for an anaerobe : NEED
59 Looked at suspiciously : EYED

Down

1 Throw on the couch : AFGHAN
2 Angel said to have visited Joseph Smith : MORONI
3 Like shunga woodblock prints : EROTIC
4 What breaks as it first comes out : NEWS
5 “The Pinkprint” rapper : MINAJ
6 Belligerent, slangily : AGGRO
7 “Put a sock in it!” : SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!
8 500 letters? : STP
9 “I did it!” : TA-DA!
10 Like Mars : ARID
11 Psychological trick : MIND GAME
12 It’s just the beginning of the story : PAGE ONE
13 Sneaky sort : SLY DOG
15 Model (for) : SIT
20 Composer Anton who used the 12-tone technique : WEBERN
23 Main component in the Chinese street food jianbing : CREPE
26 Children’s classic originally written in German : HEIDI
27 Nov. 11 honoree : EX-GI
29 Sauce whose name derives from “pound” in Italian : PESTO
31 Double curve : S-SHAPE
32 Crowdsourced Q&A site : QUORA
33 The Promised Land : ZION
34 Honest-to-goodness : BONA FIDE
35 Fall apart : GO TO POT
36 Zippy resort rental : JET SKI
39 Joint application? : BENGAY
40 Tempt : ENTICE
41 Took inventory? : LOOTED
44 Home with a view : AERIE
45 Unembellished, as the truth : NAKED
48 Bit of deception : FLAM
49 Lodge group : ELKS
51 Loud bugling, e.g. : DIN
52 Concerning : IN RE
54 Appearing ill or exhausted, say : WAN

12 thoughts on “1015-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Oct 21, Friday”

  1. 6:53. I was sluggish on the Mini, so I thought I’d be slow on this one too, but twas not to be. A lot of casual slang in this one.

  2. 31:48 Took a long time for my little brain to accept the concept that answers can be more than one word…that said, I’m happy any time I can finish a Friday puzzle

  3. 26:28. Had AnGRO (as in “angry”??) instead of AGGRO which messed up the entire NW. Took forever to figure that section out for me.

    Nonny – “EXSQUEEZE ME” comes from the movie “Wayne’s World”. “EXSQUEEZE ME. A baking powder”. To a lip reader it would look like “excuse me, I beg your pardon. ” The significance of that, however, escapes me.

    Best –

  4. DNF – got halfway thru and just decided enough was enough..
    Bottom half revealed itself fairly quickly.. top half , not so much.

    I’ll give it a shot tomorrow.

  5. 30-A was the fly in the ointment for me. Tried to force Steve Martin’s
    catch phrase into the space and not knowing a couple of letters in the down crosses messed things up. Have never heard EXSQUEEZEME
    either, which didn’t help.

  6. 58:25 and one error…exsqusezeme which I spelled exscusezeme and 32D which came out as cuora was another never heard of but that’s what setters do👎👎👎👎
    Stay safe😀

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