1016-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Oct 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Caitlin Reid & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 20m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 It’s said to have been born on Orange Street, in Kingston, Jamaica : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

8 Bright night lights : NOVAS

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

17 Pop music nickname : RIRI

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

18 Catchphrase for Olivia Pope on “Scandal” : IT’S HANDLED

“Scandal” is a political drama TV show centered on a former White House Communications Director named Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Pope has a complicated relationship with her ex-boss President Fitzgerald Grant, and therefore a complicated relationship with the First Lady. I haven’t seen this one …

21 People also known as the Cat Nation : ERIE

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

22 Wolf’s home? : CNN

Wolf Blitzer is the son of Jewish refugees from Poland. He was born in Augsburg in Germany and was given the name “Wolf” in honor of his maternal grandfather. Wolf came with his family to live in the US, and he was raised in Buffalo, New York.

23 “I could a tale unfold ___ lightest word / Would harrow up thy soul …”: “Hamlet” : WHOSE

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

26 Call near the end of a card game : UNO!

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that UNO is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

29 Regional dog variety : CONEY

Cony (or “coney”) is an old English word for rabbit or rabbit fur, and Coney Island in New York takes its name from the same root. The Dutch used the name “Conyne Eylandt” (Rabbit Island) after the large population of rabbits that was hunted there.

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

30 Big award in French cinema : PALME D’OR

The “Palme d’Or” (or “Golden Palm” in English) is the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or goes to the director of the film that is selected as the best shown at the festival that year. The palm was selected as an emblem for the award as there is a palm featured on the coat of arms of the Commune of Cannes.

35 Better part of 1999? : NINES

The better part of, most of, the number 1999 is a set of three nines.

37 L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. follower : PLUS SIGN

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA)

43 Co. bigwig : COO

Chief operating officer (COO)

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

54 Its anthem is “Terre de nos aïeux” : TOGO

Togo is a country on the West African coast, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. It is located between Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north.

56 Did some P.R. work on : SPUN

“Spin doctor” is a slang term describing a professional in the field of public relations (PR).

58 Common Christmas tree decoration : STAR

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

Down

2 Eighth incarnation of Vishnu : KRISHNA

In the Hindu tradition, Krishna is recognized as the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is usually depicted as a boy or young man playing a flute.

3 Sit on a windowsill, say : AIR-COOL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

8 Zip : NONE

The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s, when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

10 One prone to blowing off steam : VOLCANO

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

12 State capital near Bondi Beach : SYDNEY

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

Bondi Beach is a popular beach and a suburb of Sydney, Australia. On a day in 1939, now known as Black Sunday, a series of large waves overwhelmed visitors to the beach. Five people drowned and over 250 people had to be resuscitated or rescued.

20 Zebra : REFEREE

A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of the official uniform.

24 Steady partner? : SLOW

Slow and steady

28 Date sacred to Jupiter : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

Jupiter, also known as Jove, was the king of the gods in the Roman tradition, as well as the god of sky and thunder. Jupiter was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus.

31 National fruit of the Philippines : MANGO

The delicious mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines. Almost half of the world’s supply of mangoes comes from India.

34 Showy blossom in the iris family, for short : GLAD

The gladiolus is a perennial flower in the iris family. Gladioli are sometimes referred to as “sword lilies”, and sometimes as “glads”.

38 Treats that come in plastic tubes : ICE POPS

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

42 Beauties : BELLES

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

45 Victor Hugo’s Cosette, e.g. : WAIF

A “waif” is a street urchin, or perhaps a stray animal.

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables” has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

47 Tiny carps : NITS

The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later, the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “to carp” so that it came to mean “to find fault with”.

50 Part of UX : USER

User experience (UX)

52 Utmost degree? : PHD

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

53 Erstwhile camera and satellite maker for NASA : RCA

“Erst” is an archaic way of saying “formerly, before the present time”. The term is mostly seen as part of the word “erstwhile”, an adjective meaning “of times past”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It’s said to have been born on Orange Street, in Kingston, Jamaica : SKA
4 Big to-do : STIR
8 Bright night lights : NOVAS
13 Popular baby shower gift : CRIB
15 “Sorry if you were offended,” e.g. : NON-APOLOGY
17 Pop music nickname : RIRI
18 Catchphrase for Olivia Pope on “Scandal” : IT’S HANDLED
19 Usher : ESCORT
21 People also known as the Cat Nation : ERIE
22 Wolf’s home? : CNN
23 “I could a tale unfold ___ lightest word / Would harrow up thy soul …”: “Hamlet” : WHOSE
24 Run one’s eyes over : SCAN
25 Water gait? : WADE
26 Call near the end of a card game : UNO!
27 Squalor : FILTH
29 Regional dog variety : CONEY
30 Big award in French cinema : PALME D’OR
32 Very bottom : FLOOR
33 “No hard feelings?” : ARE WE GOOD?
35 Better part of 1999? : NINES
37 L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. follower : PLUS SIGN
41 Certain swinger : HINGE
42 Street in a James Baldwin title : BEALE
43 Co. bigwig : COO
44 Say the same thing as : ECHO
45 Metalworker’s union : WELD
46 Unlikely to give a strong reaction : INERT
48 For choice : YEA
49 Spill : FALL
50 Photographer’s staff : UNIPOD
51 “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” : NO SPOILERS!
54 Its anthem is “Terre de nos aïeux” : TOGO
55 Having trouble making a call : ON THE FENCE
56 Did some P.R. work on : SPUN
57 Undesirable bedmates? : WEEDS
58 Common Christmas tree decoration : STAR
59 Realize : SEE

Down

1 Blow it : SCREW UP
2 Eighth incarnation of Vishnu : KRISHNA
3 Sit on a windowsill, say : AIR-COOL
4 Huff : SNIT
5 Babysitter’s charge : TOT
6 Check for bugs : INSECT REPELLENT
7 Showing uncritical enthusiasm : RAH-RAH
8 Zip : NONE
9 Discontinued : OLD
10 One prone to blowing off steam : VOLCANO
11 Like some nonbinary people : AGENDER
12 State capital near Bondi Beach : SYDNEY
14 Life lines? : BIOS
16 Royal ___ : PAIN
20 Zebra : REFEREE
24 Steady partner? : SLOW
25 Supply in a golf bag : WOODS
28 Date sacred to Jupiter : IDES
29 Converge (on) : CLOSE IN
31 National fruit of the Philippines : MANGO
32 Court infraction : FOUL
34 Showy blossom in the iris family, for short : GLAD
35 “Zing!” : NICE ONE!
36 Quickly : IN HASTE
38 Treats that come in plastic tubes : ICE POPS
39 Fail to follow along : GO ROGUE
40 Still going : NOT DONE
41 “That’s uncalled for!” : HEY NOW!
42 Beauties : BELLES
45 Victor Hugo’s Cosette, e.g. : WAIF
47 Tiny carps : NITS
49 Opposing forces : FOES
50 Part of UX : USER
52 Utmost degree? : PHD
53 Erstwhile camera and satellite maker for NASA : RCA

11 thoughts on “1016-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. 10:21. I’m feelin’ it this week. I originally had NEONS for 8A before realizing that didn’t work on top of NON-APOLOGY, but other than that it went pretty smoothly.

  2. 17:36 I must be in an alternate universe if my Sat. time is quicker than Bill’s!! In fact, this is one of my fastest Saturdays ever. Even tho I had a number of early miscues (about 8 I think) I seemed to fix them quickly.

  3. No errors.. 8A like others started out as NEONS.. but it fell..
    Had to also chuckle on 45A.. started out with UWAU like some kind of United Welders American union…
    Then when WAIF appeared I had an AHA moment…

  4. No errors and a smooth fill after yesterday’s glitch. Doesn’t seem like the name of Agard strikes fear in the hearts of men like it used to.
    Cluing was mostly enjoyable and properly cryptic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.