1020-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Oct 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: David W. Tuffs
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) OR Visit

Themed answers each start with the word “OR”:

  • 17A “Who’s your favorite roguish ‘Star Wars’ character? Han ___?” : OR LANDO
  • 18A “How famous is that actress? Is she unknown ___?” : OR A-LIST
  • 37A “How do you handle losing? Do you feel calm ___?” : OR ANGERED
  • 60A “What’s the best way to spend less on shopping? Coupons ___?” : OR DEALS
  • 63A “What kind of greens do you want? Spinach ___?” : OR CHARD

Bill’s time: 12m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Museum wings? : EMS

The start and finish (“wings”) of the word “museum” are letters M (ems).

4 “Wonder Woman” actress Gadot : GAL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

7 Novelty brand with the slogan “Watch it grow!” : CHIA PET

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terra-cotta figurines to which moistened chia seeds are applied. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

16 Jimi in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame : HENDRIX

Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be visited on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 and started inducting artists in 1986. The Foundation didn’t get a home until the museum was dedicated in Cleveland in 1995. I had the great privilege of visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years ago and really enjoyed myself. The magnificent building was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

17 “Who’s your favorite roguish ‘Star Wars’ character? Han ___?” : OR LANDO

The character Lando Calrissian was played by actor Billy Dee Williams in two of the “Star Wars” movies.

20 AOL, e.g., in brief : ISP

AOL was a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the 1980s and 1990s. The company does still provide dial-up access to the Internet for some subscribers, but most users now access AOL using faster, non-AOL ISPs.

22 Actor Wilson : OWEN

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

23 One, in Berlin : EINS

Berlin is the capital of Germany. It is the nation’s largest city, and is the second-most populous city in the European Union (after London).

29 One of several in a Venn diagram : SET

In mathematics, a set is defined as a collection of distinct objects. Remember those Venn diagrams at school? Each of the circles in a Venn diagram represents a set.

40 Flu fighter : SHOT

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks, and other virus pandemics …

44 Plaza de la Raza locale in SoCal : EAST LA

East Los Angeles (usually “East LA”) is the most populous census-designated place in California, and is home to over 125,000 people.

48 “Mazel ___!” : TOV

“Mazel” is a Yiddish word meaning “luck, fortune”, as in “mazel tov” meaning “good luck”.

55 Polynesian crop with medicinal properties : KAVA

Kava is a plant found in the western Pacific. Its roots are used to make an intoxicating drink also called kava, which acts as a sedative.

56 Where to find lots of Letts : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

63 “What kind of greens do you want? Spinach ___?” : OR CHARD

Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. It is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia, it’s even known as spinach.

65 Active during the day : DIURNAL

A diurnal animal is active during the day, whereas a nocturnal animal is active at night.

66 Like the king of the jungle : LEONINE

Something described as “leonine” has the characteristics of a lion, is strong and regal. “Leo” is Latin for “lion”.

67 Envoy’s workplace : EMBASSY

An envoy works at an embassy and is a representative of a government, and someone ranking below an ambassador. The name comes from the concept of the envoy being a “messenger” from his or her government. “Envoyer” is the French word for “to send”.

69 Director Spike : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

Down

1 1962 Paul Anka hit : ESO BESO

“Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the title of a 1962 hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

3 Handsome trait? : SILENT D

The letter D in the word “handsome” is a silent letter D.

4 Drink flavored with juniper berries : GIN

The spirit known as gin gets its unique flavor mainly from juniper berries. The name “gin” comes into English from the translation of “juniper” from either French (genièvre), Dutch (jenever) or Italian (ginepro).

5 Capital of Ethiopia : ADDIS ABABA

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having been founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Addis Ababa holds an important position within the nations of Africa as it is home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

7 Actor John who plays Sulu in “Star Trek” films : CHO

John Cho is an actor and musician who was born in Seoul, South Korea but has lived in the US since he was a young boy. Cho’s break in movies came in playing Harold Lee in the ”Harold & Kumar” films. He is now making a name for himself playing Mr. Sulu in the latest “Star Trek” movies.

10 Irene who’s central to the scandal of “A Scandal in Bohemia” : ADLER

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

11 Chip in a tube : PRINGLE

Pringles snack chips were introduced in 1967 by Procter & Gamble and were first sold as “Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips”.

12 German winter hazard : EIS

In German, “Eis” (ice) is frozen “Wasser” (water).

13 Palindromic alternative to .exe : TXT

A “text file” is one that includes only plain text, with little or no formatting, not even bold or italic type. Text files in the Windows operating system use the file extension “.txt”.

15 Root beer brand : DAD’S

Dad’s root beer was developed by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns in 1937, and was given the name “Dad’s” in honor of Klapman’s father who used to make root beer for his family at home.

21 Southern part of South America : PATAGONIA

Patagonia is a very sparsely populated region at the very southern tip of South America that is divided administratively between Chile and Argentina. The area is named for the Patagons, a race of giant humans that were rumored to live there.

25 Weapon with a heavy head : MACE

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

27 Home of the Burj Khalifa, for short : UAE

Burj Khalifa is a spectacular skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, and has been so since the completion of its exterior in 2009. The space in the building came onto the market at a really bad time, during the global financial crisis. The building was part of a US$20 billion development of downtown Dubai that was backed by the city government which had to go looking for a bailout from the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi. The tower was given the name Burj Khalifa at the last minute, apparently as a nod to UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who helped to broker the bailout.

36 Some O.R. and E.R. staffers : MDS

Medical doctors (MDs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

38 Credulous sort : NAIF

A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.

40 Valvoline rival : STP

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

Valvoline is the oldest brand of motor oil marketed here in the US. The formulation was trademarked in 1873.

41 ___ polloi : HOI

“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term that translates literally as “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense. Oddly, the term has also come to describe “the elite”.

42 Augment, as a musical track : OVERDUB

If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s. The term has been extended to describe the adding of sound to an otherwise silent film or tape.

45 Labor : TRAVAIL

A travail is a really difficult task or burden. “Travail” is the French word for “work”.

47 One accepting an Oscar, e.g. : AWARDEE

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

49 Ones unlikely to enjoy the land of milk and honey? : VEGANS

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

53 Olds of old : CIERA

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

55 “Blazing Saddles” actress Madeline : KAHN

Madeline Kahn was an actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks. Kahn also had her own TV sitcom, called “Oh Madeline”. But, it only lasted one season, in 1983.

“Blazing Saddles” is a 1974 Mel Brooks movie that has become a modern-day classic. I really only enjoy one Mel Brooks film, and “Blazing Saddles” isn’t it. Just in case you’re interested, I very much enjoy “Young Frankenstein” …

60 Bobbie Gentry’s “___ to Billie Joe” : ODE

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

61 Salted part of a margarita glass : RIM

No one seems to know for sure who first created the margarita cocktail. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Museum wings? : EMS
4 “Wonder Woman” actress Gadot : GAL
7 Novelty brand with the slogan “Watch it grow!” : CHIA PET
14 Got hitched : SAID “I DO”
16 Jimi in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame : HENDRIX
17 “Who’s your favorite roguish ‘Star Wars’ character? Han ___?” : OR LANDO
18 “How famous is that actress? Is she unknown ___?” : OR A-LIST
19 Partner of born : BRED
20 AOL, e.g., in brief : ISP
22 Actor Wilson : OWEN
23 One, in Berlin : EINS
24 Fashion line : SEAM
26 Have a fight : ARGUE
29 One of several in a Venn diagram : SET
30 Genre of the “Broken Earth” trilogy by N. K. Jemisin : FANTASY
32 Permissive : LAX
33 Fixing a faucet or mending a fence, say : ODD JOB
35 Dramatic segment : ACT
36 Running event : MEET
37 “How do you handle losing? Do you feel calm ___?” : OR ANGERED
40 Flu fighter : SHOT
43 2018 Pixar short about a dumpling boy : BAO
44 Plaza de la Raza locale in SoCal : EAST LA
48 “Mazel ___!” : TOV
49 Most prone to preening : VAINEST
51 Unedited : RAW
52 Work of art : PIECE
54 Flippers : FINS
55 Polynesian crop with medicinal properties : KAVA
56 Where to find lots of Letts : RIGA
58 Hound sound : ARF!
59 Declare : AVER
60 “What’s the best way to spend less on shopping? Coupons ___?” : OR DEALS
63 “What kind of greens do you want? Spinach ___?” : OR CHARD
65 Active during the day : DIURNAL
66 Like the king of the jungle : LEONINE
67 Envoy’s workplace : EMBASSY
68 Latin law : LEX
69 Director Spike : LEE

Down

1 1962 Paul Anka hit : ESO BESO
2 Got hitched : MARRIED
3 Handsome trait? : SILENT D
4 Drink flavored with juniper berries : GIN
5 Capital of Ethiopia : ADDIS ABABA
6 Let out a notch, perhaps : LOOSEN
7 Actor John who plays Sulu in “Star Trek” films : CHO
8 Knight in shining armor : HERO
9 “Ish” : IN A WAY
10 Irene who’s central to the scandal of “A Scandal in Bohemia” : ADLER
11 Chip in a tube : PRINGLE
12 German winter hazard : EIS
13 Palindromic alternative to .exe : TXT
15 Root beer brand : DAD’S
21 Southern part of South America : PATAGONIA
25 Weapon with a heavy head : MACE
27 Home of the Burj Khalifa, for short : UAE
28 Office no. : EXT
30 In favor of : FOR
31 Like a day off, ideally : STRESS FREE
34 Write (down) : JOT
36 Some O.R. and E.R. staffers : MDS
38 Credulous sort : NAIF
39 Swallow : EAT
40 Valvoline rival : STP
41 ___ polloi : HOI
42 Augment, as a musical track : OVERDUB
45 Labor : TRAVAIL
46 With 64-Down, noted trans activist and actress : LAVERNE …
47 One accepting an Oscar, e.g. : AWARDEE
49 Ones unlikely to enjoy the land of milk and honey? : VEGANS
50 Register : ENROLL
53 Olds of old : CIERA
55 “Blazing Saddles” actress Madeline : KAHN
57 “So it goes” : ALAS
60 Bobbie Gentry’s “___ to Billie Joe” : ODE
61 Salted part of a margarita glass : RIM
62 Crafty : SLY
64 See 46-Down : … COX

10 thoughts on “1020-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Oct 21, Wednesday”

  1. 14:33. Pretty smooth sailing for me until I circled back to the NE. Slower than I thought I’d be after a quick first half. Han or Lando…hahaha.

  2. 9:41 No particular issues

    The cemetery with a Hendrix memorial is just 3 miles down the road from me. We occasionally take out-of-town visitors there for a look.

  3. 10:07, no errors. Bill doesn’t specifically mention it (and maybe that’s because it’s quite obvious), but, for the record: each of the theme entries ORLANDO, ORALIST, ORANGE-RED, ORDEALS, and ORCHARD is a word in its own right, though I had to look up ORALIST to be sure (and to find out what it meant).

  4. 16:02. Coming in a day late and a dollar short. Original theme that’s pretty good for a Wednesday.

    I’ve seen KAVA bars in Colorado and Las Vegas, but I’ve never tried it. If its effects are just like alcohol (as I’ve heard), then why not just stick to alcohol? Maybe someone who’s tried it can tell me.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.