1021-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Oct 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) OR Visit

Themed answers are in the down-direction. Each comprises two parts, with one literally located UNDER the other in the grid:

  • 3A Clueless about current trends : A ROCK LIVING (LIVING under A ROCK)
  • 8A Take more shots than : THE TABLE DRINK (DRINK under THE TABLE)
  • 17A Choke : PRESSURE CRACK (CRACK under PRESSURE)
  • 24A Give a sworn statement in court : OATH TESTIFY (TESTIFY under OATH)

Bill’s time: 13m 59s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • PARKOUR (park-out!)
  • RAGER (tager)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Home of many Zoroastrians : IRAN

Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and held sway in the pre-Islamic Iranian empires from around 600 to 650 BCE. Followers of the tradition worship a single creator god, and follow the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as “Zarathustra”).

18 Tombstone site, once : OK CORRAL

The most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West has to be the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which took place in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but played out six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

20 Number of Emily Dickinson poems, out of the 1,700+ she wrote, that were published during her lifetime : TEN

Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades.

22 Queen ___ (pop nickname) : BEY

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2002, after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

27 Things you saw while asleep? : LOGS

To saw logs is to snore, to make a sound like the sawing of logs.

30 Reddit Q&A : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

33 Noodle container? : SKULL

“Noodle” and “bean” are slang terms for the head.

35 Animal on a Jägermeister bottle : STAG

Jägermeister is a liqueur from Germany with a list of ingredients that includes 56 herbs, fruits, roots and spices. There is an urban legend that Jägermeister contains deer or elk blood, but that’s simply not true. “Jägermeister” translates as “master of hunters”. A drink that is apparently quite popular with the younger set is a Jägerbomb, which is made by dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull energy drink.

41 Instruction in risotto recipes : STIR

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

42 Connect four in the game Connect Four, e.g. : WIN

Connect Four is an interesting two-player game in which opponents drop colored discs into a vertical grid. The objective is to make straight lines of discs of one color, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Disappointingly, the player who goes first can always win the game by playing the right moves.

48 Word before Kim, Wayne and Baby : LIL

“Lil’ Kim” is the stage name of rap artist Kimberly Denise Jones from Brooklyn, New York. Lil’ Kim spent a year in jail in 2005 for lying to a jury in a case about a shooting.

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

53 Small digit : PINKY TOE

The use of “pinkie” or “pinky” for the little finger or toe comes into English from “pinkje”, the Dutch word for the same digit. Who knew …?

59 Request at a consulate : VISA

A visa is usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

60 “You up?” text, maybe : BOOTY CALL

“Booty call” is a slang meaning “request for casual sexual relations”.

61 Little salamanders : EFTS

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

62 “___ Gotta Have It” (Spike Lee film) : SHE’S

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.

64 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYST

Global positioning system (GPS)

Down

1 Fort Knox block : INGOT

Fort Knox is actually a US Army base that lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.

2 Accompaniers of knights : ROOKS

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

4 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-

The prefix “nano-” is used for units of one thousand-millionth part. “Nano-” comes from the Greek “nanos” meaning “dwarf”.

5 Many a cologne : SPRAY

Back in 1709, an Italian perfume-maker moved to Cologne in Germany. There he invented a new fragrance that he named Eau de Cologne after his newly adopted town. The fragrance is still produced in Cologne, using a secret formulation. However, the terms “Eau de Cologne” and “cologne”, are now used generically.

6 Word in a Shakespearean incantation : TOIL

The Three Witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have some lovely lines as they boil up and evil brew and cast a spell:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

7 Place to get paper with plastic? : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

9 Toast sound : CLINK!

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 …

11 Busy one : BEE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

15 Cricket segments : OVERS

In the sport of cricket, an over is a collection of six deliveries of the ball from one end of the pitch by one bowler to the batter at the other end of the pitch. After each over, the bowler changes and deliveries come from the opposite end.

19 “Notorious” justice : RBG

The 2015 book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” was co-written by Shana Knizhnik and Iris Carmon. Knizhnik had previously authored a “Notorious R.B.G” blog. The moniker “Notorious RBG” is reminiscent of the name of rap star the Notorious B.I.G.

23 Ferraro : Mondale :: ___ : McCain : PALIN

When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

John McCain went into the US Naval Academy in 1958, following a family tradition as his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. The younger McCain did not achieve the same rank, and retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981. That said, his career development was interrupted by almost six years spent as a prisoner of war (POW) in North Vietnam. John McCain was a US Senator from Arizona from 1987 until 2018.

Geraldine Ferraro came to national attention in 1984 when she became the first woman chosen by a major political party as candidate for Vice President. Democrats Ferraro and Walter Mondale were defeated in a landslide by the incumbent Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Walter Mondale served as US vice president under President Jimmy Carter. Mondale was also the Democratic candidate defeated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, losing in the biggest landslide in the country’s history. Mondale only won electoral votes in his home state of Minnesota and in the District of Columbia.

25 Taste common in tomatoes and mushrooms : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

29 Attire seen in many Degas paintings : TUTUS

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

31 William ___, editor of The New Yorker for 35 years : SHAWN

William Shawn was the editor of “The New Yorker” from 1952 until 1987.

32 Kind of short cut : PIXIE

The pixie cut is a hairstyle that is relatively short at the back and sides compared to the top. Famous examples of women wearing the cut are Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”, Twiggy for much of the 1960s, Goldie Hawn on “Laugh-In” and Halle Berry in the Bond film “Die Another Day”.

34 Berry farm eponym : KNOTT

In the twenties, Walter Knott sold berries, preserves and pies from the side of the road. In 1932, Knott picked up a new berry from Rudolph Boysen’s farm in Anaheim, California, a hybrid of blackberry, raspberry and loganberry. Knott sold the new berries at his stand, giving them the name “Boysenberries”. Boysenberry Pie became a signature dish at a small tea room that Walter Knott’s wife opened up near the location where the family sold fruit. The tea room became so popular, with lines waiting to be served that Knott expanded, adding shops and displays to entertain diners. Over time he built a volcano, a little gold mine, and a ghost town and lots of themed stores. The location just grew and grew, evolving into the huge theme park that it is today called Knott’s Berry Farm.

48 French city nicknamed “The Capital of Flanders” : LILLE

Lille is a large city in the very north of France that sits right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The former name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

Flanders is a region in northern Belgium that includes the Belgian capital of Brussels. The Flemish population are Dutch-speaking, although the residents of Brussels tend to speak French, or are bilingual.

50 Big “S.N.L.” announcements : HOSTS

The youngest person to host “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was Drew Barrymore, at age 7 in 1982. The oldest host was Betty White, at 88 in 2010.

51 It’s bred for bread : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

53 Word before “Blue Eyes” or “Blue Dot” in titles : PALE

“Pale Blue Dot” is a book about the cosmos by Carl Sagan. The title of the book is taken from the famous “Pale Blue Dot” photograph taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from almost 4 million miles from the Earth. In the photo, our planet appears as a tiny “pale blue dot”. NASA had Voyager 1 take the photograph, at the request of Carl Sagan.

54 Jacques-___ Cousteau : YVES

Jacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, aiming for a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, Cousteau had to abandon his first career choice and instead went to sea. Famously, he co-invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), also called the aqua-lung.

55 “Arms and the Man” monogram : GBS

“Arms and the Man” is a play by George Bernard Shaw, a comedy that was first staged in 1894 in London. Shaw came up with the title from the opening words of Virgil’s “Aeneid”, which translates as “Of arms and man I sing”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Home of many Zoroastrians : IRAN
5 No. on the back of a baseball card : STAT
9 Jazz drummer Jimmy : COBB
13 “Awkwafina Is ___ From Queens” (Comedy Central series) : NORA
14 Help when things are too hot to handle : POT HOLDER
16 “Tell me more …” : GO ON …
17 Where to find Amazon’s streams : PRIME VIDEO
18 Tombstone site, once : OK CORRAL
20 Number of Emily Dickinson poems, out of the 1,700+ she wrote, that were published during her lifetime : TEN
21 Terse reprimand : TSK!
22 Queen ___ (pop nickname) : BEY
23 Urban obstacle course activity : PARKOUR
27 Things you saw while asleep? : LOGS
29 Window components : TABS
30 Reddit Q&A : AMA
31 Type of angular momentum, in physics : SPIN
33 Noodle container? : SKULL
35 Animal on a Jägermeister bottle : STAG
36 Queen’s domain : HIVE
37 Let loose : UNTIE
38 Words said with a sigh : AH ME
39 x, for one : AXIS
40 Pub purchase : ROUND
41 Instruction in risotto recipes : STIR
42 Connect four in the game Connect Four, e.g. : WIN
43 Throws cold water on, say : WETS
44 Shine’s partner : RISE
46 Fail to maintain : NEGLECT
48 Word before Kim, Wayne and Baby : LIL
49 Prone to blushing, say : SHY
52 It may be used to get away from a bank : OAR
53 Small digit : PINKY TOE
55 Stretch one’s legs : GO FOR A WALK
59 Request at a consulate : VISA
60 “You up?” text, maybe : BOOTY CALL
61 Little salamanders : EFTS
62 “___ Gotta Have It” (Spike Lee film) : SHE’S
63 Something taken in protest : KNEE
64 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYST
Down
1 Fort Knox block : INGOT
2 Accompaniers of knights : ROOKS
3 Clueless about current trends : A ROCK LIVING (LIVING under A ROCK)
4 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-
5 Many a cologne : SPRAY
6 Word in a Shakespearean incantation : TOIL
7 Place to get paper with plastic? : ATM
8 Take more shots than : THE TABLE DRINK (DRINK under THE TABLE)
9 Toast sound : CLINK!
10 What “10” is not : ODD
11 Busy one : BEE
12 Familial term of address : BRO
15 Cricket segments : OVERS
17 Choke : PRESSURE CRACK (CRACK under PRESSURE)
19 “Notorious” justice : RBG
23 Ferraro : Mondale :: ___ : McCain : PALIN
24 Give a sworn statement in court : OATH TESTIFY (TESTIFY under OATH)
25 Taste common in tomatoes and mushrooms : UMAMI
26 Blowout : RAGER
28 Scoreboard numbers when a baseball team puts up a “picket fence” : ONES
29 Attire seen in many Degas paintings : TUTUS
31 William ___, editor of The New Yorker for 35 years : SHAWN
32 Kind of short cut : PIXIE
34 Berry farm eponym : KNOTT
35 Freshness : SASS
43 Far from fresh : WEARY
45 Variety : ILK
47 Sacks : LOOTS
48 French city nicknamed “The Capital of Flanders” : LILLE
50 Big “S.N.L.” announcements : HOSTS
51 It’s bred for bread : YEAST
53 Word before “Blue Eyes” or “Blue Dot” in titles : PALE
54 Jacques-___ Cousteau : YVES
55 “Arms and the Man” monogram : GBS
56 “Incredible!” : OOH!
57 Hostile party : FOE
58 Ashen : WAN

12 thoughts on “1021-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Oct 21, Thursday”

  1. Another slow day at 19:40. No errors and I figured out the “under” pretty easily. Just a lumbering ox today (again)! Heading to Cozumel tonight to do a little scuba diving. Woo hoo.

  2. 21:48, no errors. I did my own share of lumbering on this one: at the end, I stared dumbly at “NO_A” (“Awkwafina Is __ From Queens”), trying to remember where and when I’d seen that word, and somehow refused to switch my attention to 3-Down, even though, by then, I understood the gimmick in the theme answers. Oh, well … even oxen eventually respond to “gee” and “haw”, I guess … 🤪.

  3. 28:13. I’ll forgive myself for taking so long to get the theme. I’ve been catching up on missed crosswords and kinda forgot this was a Thursday puzzle. Oh well.

    7A was ATM, but I also wanted to put ATM for 52A “It may be used to get away from a bank”…OAR

    Here we go with UMAMI again.
    A steak can be too salty.
    A margarita can be too sweet or too sour
    Coffee can be too bitter
    But can bacon be too UMAMI? For that matter can you over UMAMI something in the kitchen?? Even if they somehow can justify or even quantify umami in a lab, subjectively it means nothing to me and isn’t the same as sweet, sour, bitter, salt for reasons given above.

    Amazing how little things bother me as I get older.

    Best –

  4. I was caught off guard. With no warning I walked into a “that doesn’t make sense” crossword until I realized, after staring and wondering why I’m having trouble, hey there might be a trick here!!!. The game was afoot… no errors!!

  5. 24:44, no errors. Needed to get all the way down into the bottom third before I recognized CRACK under PRESSURE. That made it possible to fill the remaining unfilled theme answers. Last block to fall was the cross of AMA/RAGER. Never heard of a ‘blowout’ referred to as a RAGER, and still no clue how AMA relates to Reddit Q&A.

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