1023-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Oct 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 16m 58s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • SRI (sra!!!)
  • I STINK (I stank)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Certain native of the Mideast : EMIRATI

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.

16 Indian spice mixes : MASALAS

“Masala” is a Hindi word meaning “mixture”, and describes a mixture of spices. A dish named “masala” uses the spices incorporated into a sauce that includes garlic, ginger, onions and chili paste. Who doesn’t love Indian cuisine? Yum …

18 Cause of a decrease in the cost of gasoline : OIL GLUT

The etymology of the term “gasoline”, meaning “fuel of automobiles”, is a little murky. The most common suggestion is that it comes from the trademark “Cazeline” used by English business entrepreneur John Cassell who marketed Patent Cazeline Oil in the early 1860s. Soon after, a Dublin shopkeeper sold a counterfeit version of “Cazeline” oil. When challenged by Cassell, the Irishman changed the name of his product to “Gazeline”. It’s thought that this “Gazeline” led to the introduction of the generic term “gasoline” in North America, starting in 1864.

27 A host of, in brief : MC’ING

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

29 “Stronger With ___ Tear,” 2009 hit album for Mary J. Blige : EACH

Mary J. Blige is a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Her best known album is probably “My Life”, released in 1994. Blige is also making a name for herself as an actress, and was nominated for several awards for her performance in the 2017 film “Mudbound”.

30 Fail badly : TANK

Apparently, the first use of the verb “to tank” to mean “to lose or fail” can be pinpointed quite precisely. Tennis great Billie Jean King used the verb in that sense in an interview with “Life” magazine in 1967, with reference to male players. A more specific use of “tanking” in recent years is “deliberately losing” a contest.

35 Request from a host : RSVP

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

38 Pippi Longstocking feature : PIGTAIL

Pippi Longstocking appears as the heroine in a series of books written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Lindgren was quite the activist, very well known in the circles working for children’s and animal rights, In particular, Lindgren campaigned heavily against corporal punishment.

46 Dix minus un : NEUF

In French, “dix” (ten) minus “un” (one) is “neuf” (nine).

50 L.A. jazz venue where Thelonious Monk recorded a live album, with “the” : … IT CLUB

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer, actually the second-most recorded jazz composer after the great Duke Ellington. That’s a pretty impressive statistic given that Ellington wrote more than 1,000 songs, whereas Monk only wrote about 70. Monk was a pioneer in the development of the jazz style called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the 1940s.

52 Get : GROK

To grok is to understand. “To grok” is a slang term that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined it in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

53 Duds at an awards ceremony, maybe : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

56 ___-tip (beef cut) : TRI

A tri-tip is a cut of meat that might also be called tip roast, round tip roast and sirloin tip roast. Tri-tip is a cut of beef from the rear of the animal. It is a triangular muscle, hence the name.

62 Sunblock blocks it : UV LIGHT

At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lies just below the violet end.

Down

1 Standard Disney fare : PG FILMS

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

2 River with the second-largest discharge volume in the New World, after the Amazon : ORINOCO

The Orinoco is a major river in South America that flows through Venezuela and Colombia.

7 Baby-to-be : ZYGOTE

“Zygote” is the name given to the cell formed when (in the case of humans) a sperm fertilizes an egg. It is the earliest stage in the development of an embryo. The term “zygote” comes from the Greek for “joined, yoked”.

11 Low-quality paper : RAG

A low-quality newspaper is often referred to as a “rag”. There are lots of rags out there …

12 Likely M.V.P. candidate : ALL-STAR

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

13 Bullish : TAURINE

“Taurine” is an adjective meaning of or relating to a bull. “Taurus” is Latin for “bull”.

21 Popular baitfish : SHAD

The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

32 Rabbit ears : TV ANTENNA

Remember the television antenna called “rabbit ears”? I don’t recall being told this when I was younger, but to get the best reception the length of the “ears” needs to be set at about one half of the wavelength of the signal of the target channel. If only I had known …

36 Hybrid Thanksgiving dessert : PIECAKEN

The dessert known as piecaken developed in recent years as a Thanksgiving treat. One recipe calls for three types of pie (pumpkin, apple and pecan) baked inside a cake.

38 Flower in the nightshade family : PETUNIA

The flowering plants known as petunias are in a genus related to the tobacco plant. The name “petunia” comes from the obsolete French word “petun” meaning “tobacco plant”.

44 One of the Lesser Antilles : ST KITTS

Saint Kitts is the more familiar name for Saint Christopher Island in the West Indies. Saint Kitts, along with the neighboring island of Nevis, is part of the country known as the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts has had a troubled history, with the Spanish, British and French all vying for control of the island. Most of the population today is descended from slaves brought onto Saint Kitts to farm tobacco and then sugarcane. Most of the slaves were from Africa, although Irish and Scottish slaves were also used.

47 Go from E to F : FUEL UP

When gassing up a car, the fuel gauge might go from empty (E) to full (F).

51 Musical equivalent of two whole notes : BREVE

Where I grew up, a whole note is called a semibreve, and a half note is a minim.

55 What halophobia is the fear of : SALT

Here are some phobias that I find quite interesting:

  • Somniphobia – fear of falling asleep
  • Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
  • Omphalophobia- fear of the navel
  • Nomophobia- fear of being without mobile phone coverage
  • Triskaidekaphobia- fear of the number 13

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Questions of surprise? : POP QUIZ
8 Certain native of the Mideast : EMIRATI
15 Like cranks : GROUCHY
16 Indian spice mixes : MASALAS
17 Duraflame product : FIRE LOG
18 Cause of a decrease in the cost of gasoline : OIL GLUT
19 Contents of some wells : INK
20 Literally, “one who is sent off” : APOSTLE
22 ___ Chinmoy, onetime Indian spiritual leader : SRI
23 Pass it on! : LORE
25 Law school subject : ETHICS
26 What’s mixed with bismuth, lead and cadmium to make cerrosafe : TIN
27 A host of, in brief : MC’ING
29 “Stronger With ___ Tear,” 2009 hit album for Mary J. Blige : EACH
30 Fail badly : TANK
31 Words of acceptance : SO BE IT
33 “Is this such a good idea?” : DO I DARE?
35 Request from a host : RSVP
37 Where I-25 meets I-40: Abbr. : NMEX
38 Pippi Longstocking feature : PIGTAIL
41 Things on the heads of some outlaws : PRICES
45 Controvert : DENY
46 Dix minus un : NEUF
48 Pass through D.C.? : ENACT
49 ___ and ran : ATE
50 L.A. jazz venue where Thelonious Monk recorded a live album, with “the” : … IT CLUB
52 Get : GROK
53 Duds at an awards ceremony, maybe : TUX
54 They’ve got to hand it to you : DEALERS
56 ___-tip (beef cut) : TRI
57 Quickly and soon : IN A WINK
59 Headliner : LEAD ACT
61 “Oh, that’s good!” : NICE ONE!
62 Sunblock blocks it : UV LIGHT
63 Manor house attendant : GATEMAN
64 Some charges for animal lovers : PET FEES

Down

1 Standard Disney fare : PG FILMS
2 River with the second-largest discharge volume in the New World, after the Amazon : ORINOCO
3 BBQ specialty : PORK RIB
4 “Por ___?” : QUE
5 First sch. to win 100 N.C.A.A. titles : UCLA
6 [knock on wood] : I HOPE
7 Baby-to-be : ZYGOTE
8 Face of the internet? : EMOTICON
9 Online marketing giant with a primate in its logo : MAILCHIMP
10 Some vacation getaways : ISLES
11 Low-quality paper : RAG
12 Likely M.V.P. candidate : ALL-STAR
13 Bullish : TAURINE
14 Cry of ineptitude : I STINK!
21 Popular baitfish : SHAD
24 Potential topic to discuss in science class? : ENERGY
28 Meat : GIST
30 Strenuous : TAXING
32 Rabbit ears : TV ANTENNA
34 “Wot’s dat over ___?” : DERE
36 Hybrid Thanksgiving dessert : PIECAKEN
38 Flower in the nightshade family : PETUNIA
39 Rounded, say : INEXACT
40 Quiet period : LULL
42 Charge for some truckers : CARTAGE
43 Drawing of the body without its skin, from the French : ECORCHE
44 One of the Lesser Antilles : ST KITTS
45 Kind of pool : DATING
47 Go from E to F : FUEL UP
50 Challenge for a language learner : IDIOM
51 Musical equivalent of two whole notes : BREVE
55 What halophobia is the fear of : SALT
58 Baby : WEE
60 “What’s the ___?” : DIF

14 thoughts on “1023-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. 16:26. A difficult puzzle, but I didn’t get really bogged down anywhere. I’d never heard of PIECAKEN before, which I guess is dessert’s answer to turducken.

  2. 19:59, no errors. At the end, I paused for a bit, staring at “PIECAKEN” (something I’d never heard of either), but all the crosses were solid, so I went with it and, somewhat to my surprise, it turned out to be correct. (I like Tom’s observation about the connection to “turducken” – right on, I’d say … 😜.)

  3. 31:37 I got bogged down in several places, with the SE the last to fall. For a while I had ANTIGUA vs ST KITTS (based on the “I” from TRI). Not exactly sure where in the Caribbean they are – and now gazing at a map they are not too far apart. Unfamiliar with ECORCHE. Definitely a challenge for me today.

  4. 27:56. Agree that “tank” generally refers to losing on purpose. I initially had BOMB before TANK for 30A.

    When did Disney start making PG movies? Didn’t they always used to be rated G?

    At first I misread the clue for 13D, “Bullish”…and I’ll just leave it at that. TAURINE confused me at first as I know it as an amino acid so I had no idea what was going on.

    Best –

  5. Nuts.. bottom SE corner got me..
    ECORCHE ST KITTS …just couldn’t find the finish.

    Only got PIECAKEN because of crosses.

  6. Tim Croce’s latest puzzle (at “club72(dot)wordpress(dot)com”) is one of his specialty puzzles: every clue suggests an answer that has to be anagrammed into something else before being entered in the grid. Not for the faint of heart … 😳 … but a true ego-booster (once you get ‘er done) … 😜.

  7. No errors, but found it to be quite a handful. Several unknowns, especially 49-D, needed crosses to complete. I make a mean Indian butter chicken so started with MASALAS and worked from there.
    Fri/Sat sweep; I’ll take it.

  8. 26:29, no errors. Entered FILL UP before FUEL UP, and TIP before TRI in 56A (write-o-graphical brain fart). If the setter really wanted to show off their French, then 46A should be ‘Dix moins un’.

  9. Struggled a little bit everywhere, mostly in the south east corner. Happily finished with no errors which is probably why I came in 19th in tonight‘s poker tournament. DOH!!!

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