1019-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Oct 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer The Brontes

Themed answers each include the given name of one of THE BRONTE sisters, i.e. CHARLOTTE, EMILY and ANNE:

  • 28D Literary trio found in the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : THE BRONTES
  • 19A *Children’s book whose title character says “If I can fool a bug, I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs” : CHARLOTTE‘S WEB
  • 6D *Chain known for its soft pretzels : AUNTIE ANNE‘S
  • 25D *Prominent left-leaning political action committee : EMILY‘S LIST

Bill’s time: 8m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Part of a doorframe : JAMB

A door jamb or window jamb is the vertical portion of the frame. The term “jamb” comes from the French word “jambe” meaning “leg”.

8 Catch, as fly balls : SHAG

That would be baseball.

12 Ingredient in some topical gels : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

15 Writer Ephron : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

17 The blahs, more formally : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported and haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

18 October birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

19 *Children’s book whose title character says “If I can fool a bug, I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs” : CHARLOTTE’S WEB

“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.

26 “Isn’t ___ bit like you and me?” (Beatles lyric) : HE A

“Nowhere Man” is an early song by the Beatles, one released in 1966. “Nowhere Man” was one of the first songs that John Lennon wrote that was more philosophical than romantic in nature, indicative of songs to come. Apparently, Lennon himself was the inspiration for the “Nowhere Man” persona.

27 ___ Rizzo, main role in “Midnight Cowboy” : RATSO

Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man played by Dustin Hoffman.

31 Genie’s locale : LAMP

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

32 It has fuzzy skin : PEACH

There are two broad categories of peaches: freestones and clingstones. Clingstones (also “cling peaches”) have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. Freestones are easier to consume as the flesh separates easily from the pit.

34 French word in some bistro names : CHEZ

“Chez” is a French term meaning “at the house of”, which comes from the Latin word “casa” meaning “cottage” or “hut”.

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

35 Greek goddess of discord : ERIS

In Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart was Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.

37 Game often played with a random number generator : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

39 Late actor Ed : ASNER

Ed Asner was most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner was noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

41 Baseball rival of BOS : NYY

New York Yankees (NYY)

44 Sushi topper : ROE

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order sashimi.

45 Say that you’re going, say : RSVP

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

47 Bygone jet, for short : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that’s no longer flying. Concorde had that famous “droop nose”. The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

52 Radish lookalike : TURNIP

The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What’s called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I’d just give up altogether 🙂

54 Yard sale caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

62 Hijab, e.g. : VEIL

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

63 National Endowment for the ___ : ARTS

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

65 Big name in petrol : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

Down

1 The “one” in a one-two : JAB

That would be boxing.

2 Actor Baldwin : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he made a name for himself by impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

3 Dance in a pit : MOSH

Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive”, it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

5 Muslims, e.g., but not Hindus : MONOTHEISTS

A polytheist is a person who believes in many deities, with the opposite being a monotheist, someone who believes in one god. The ancient Greeks and Romans were polytheists.

6 *Chain known for its soft pretzels : AUNTIE ANNE’S

Auntie Anne’s is a chain of pretzel bakeries that was founded in 1988. The chain started out as a simple stand in a farmer’s market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. There are now almost 900 outlets in about a dozen countries.

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

7 Bit of décor? : ACUTE ACCENT

In French, accents over the letter E can be acute (é, “accent aigu”) or grave (è, “accent grave”).

8 Layered buildup in the Arctic : SNOWPACK

Our word “Arctic” ultimately derives from the Greek “arktikos” meaning “of the bear”, a reference to the northerly constellation Ursa Major (the Bear).

10 Part of U.A.E. : ARAB

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

20 Monogram of the “Treasure Island” author : RLS

I’d say that the most celebrated work from the pen of Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) is “Treasure Island”, which was originally written as a series for a children’s magazine in 1881. I remember “Treasure Island” as the first “real” novel I read as a youngster …

21 California’s Big ___ : SUR

Big Sur is a lovely part of the California Coast located south of Monterey and Carmel. The name “Big Sur” comes from the original Spanish description of the area as “el sur grande” meaning “the big south”.

23 Fashion’s Calvin : KLEIN

Calvin Klein is an American fashion designer who was born in the Bronx in New York City. Klein’s biography, entitled “Obsession”, is named for one the most famous brands in his line of fragrances.

25 *Prominent left-leaning political action committee : EMILY’S LIST

EMILY’s List is a political action committee (PAC) that contributes to the campaigns of pro-choice Democratic female candidates running for office. The PAC’s name is an acronym standing for “Early Money Is Like Yeast”, meaning that early contributions to a campaign really help to “raise dough”.

28 Literary trio found in the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : THE BRONTES

The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

29 “Affliction” for those close to graduation : SENIORITIS

“Senioritis” is the colloquial name given to the tendency of some senior students to lose motivation to study as they head towards the end of high school and college careers.

30 Globe coverer : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

32 H.S. exam : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

42 “The Simpsons” storekeeper : APU

The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

46 Pieces of three-pieces : VESTS

Here’s another word that often catches me out. What we call a vest here in the US is a waistcoat back in Ireland. And, the Irish use the word “vest” for an undershirt.

49 Teed off : DROVE

That would be golf.

50 One of the Smurfs : PAPA

The Smurfs are little blue people created in 1958 by the Belgian cartoonist who went by the pen name Peyo. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children’s cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one “Smurfette”, who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

51 Insta uploads : PICS

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

53 Sport with mallets : POLO

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back then primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

56 “___ Carter V” (2018 Lil Wayne album) : THA

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

57 Part of L.G.B.T. : GAY

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of a doorframe : JAMB
5 Goat’s bleat : MAA
8 Catch, as fly balls : SHAG
12 Ingredient in some topical gels : ALOE
13 Furniture item often facing a TV : COUCH
15 Writer Ephron : NORA
16 Top : BEST
17 The blahs, more formally : ENNUI
18 October birthstone : OPAL
19 *Children’s book whose title character says “If I can fool a bug, I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs” : CHARLOTTE’S WEB
22 Dead even : ALL TIED UP
23 Holds on to : KEEPS
26 “Isn’t ___ bit like you and me?” (Beatles lyric) : HE A
27 ___ Rizzo, main role in “Midnight Cowboy” : RATSO
31 Genie’s locale : LAMP
32 It has fuzzy skin : PEACH
34 French word in some bistro names : CHEZ
35 Greek goddess of discord : ERIS
36 “___ you asked …” : SINCE
37 Game often played with a random number generator : KENO
38 ___-advised : ILL
39 Late actor Ed : ASNER
40 Small interval for grouping data, to a coder : BIN
41 Baseball rival of BOS : NYY
42 Takes classes at : ATTENDS
44 Sushi topper : ROE
45 Say that you’re going, say : RSVP
47 Bygone jet, for short : SST
48 Unwanted discovery in a refrigerator : ODOR
50 Accumulate : PILE UP
52 Radish lookalike : TURNIP
54 Yard sale caveat : AS IS
55 Whom you might contact after a computer crash : IT GUY
59 Eight, in Italian : OTTO
60 Persistent little sibling, maybe : PEST
61 Title winner : CHAMP
62 Hijab, e.g. : VEIL
63 National Endowment for the ___ : ARTS
64 Unsupported assertion : SAY-SO
65 Big name in petrol : ESSO

Down

1 The “one” in a one-two : JAB
2 Actor Baldwin : ALEC
3 Dance in a pit : MOSH
4 Downloads in the testing phase : BETA APPS
5 Muslims, e.g., but not Hindus : MONOTHEISTS
6 *Chain known for its soft pretzels : AUNTIE ANNE’S
7 Bit of décor? : ACUTE ACCENT
8 Layered buildup in the Arctic : SNOWPACK
9 Wish : HOPE
10 Part of U.A.E. : ARAB
11 ___ pal : GAL
13 Housing in the big house : CELL
14 Rushed, old-style : HIED
20 Monogram of the “Treasure Island” author : RLS
21 California’s Big ___ : SUR
23 Fashion’s Calvin : KLEIN
24 One who’s up at dawn : EARLY RISER
25 *Prominent left-leaning political action committee : EMILY’S LIST
28 Literary trio found in the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : THE BRONTES
29 “Affliction” for those close to graduation : SENIORITIS
30 Globe coverer : OZONE
32 H.S. exam : PSAT
33 Word with immunity or mentality : HERD …
42 “The Simpsons” storekeeper : APU
43 ___’wester (hat) : SOU
46 Pieces of three-pieces : VESTS
49 Teed off : DROVE
50 One of the Smurfs : PAPA
51 Insta uploads : PICS
52 Care for cars? : TYPO
53 Sport with mallets : POLO
56 “___ Carter V” (2018 Lil Wayne album) : THA
57 Part of L.G.B.T. : GAY
58 Hesitant syllables : UMS

11 thoughts on “1019-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Oct 21, Tuesday”

  1. 9:01, no errors, and I’d like to say something profound, but I got nothin’ …

    Oh, wait, I know … in the phrase “lost and found”, I like the third word best … 😜.

    Sigh … 😳.

  2. 13:26. Still trying to get back into the swing of things here. I was the only one who showed up yesterday. No one likes to bother with Monday puzzles, but if I have to show up, all of you do. Next person who misses a Monday gets docked a full point on his final grade…..

    Ignored the theme here. THE BRONTES gets mentioned so often in crosswords, I was surprised they bothered having a theme like this….or that this theme hadn’t already been done.

    ERIS was new to me. I didn’t even know there was a goddess of discord. I think she’s been working overtime lately. And Harmonia has been asleep at the wheel.

    Best –

    1. I think that Harmonia is not asleep at the wheel – she’s been interred or perhaps “in turd” or perhaps both.

      I did manage 8:25 for a time today – a bit faster than both @Bill and @Nonny, so that’s an accomplishment

    1. Anon Mike – They’re in every airport in the free world. That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them anywhere else. I suspect they’d be in mall food courts as well.

  3. Funny, I missed the “acute accent” altogether because I thought a bit of decor might be a cute accent, like a cute throw pillow or something

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