1025-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 21, Monday

Constructed by: Damon Gulczynski
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Easy Peasy

Themed answers each comprise two words started with the letters PZ (sounds like “PEASY”):

  • 64A So simple … like 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across? : EASY PEASY
  • 17A Former CNN anchor with a true-crime series on the Investigation Discovery channel : PAULA ZAHN
  • 24A Places where kids can feed goats and sheep : PETTING ZOOS
  • 40A Classic Nintendo character named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife : PRINCESS ZELDA
  • 52A Warsaw currency : POLISH ZLOTY

Bill’s time: 6m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Wood strip : LATH

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

5 Circus animal balancing a ball on its nose : SEAL

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

14 Farmland measure : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

15 ___ Major (the Big Dipper) : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

17 Former CNN anchor with a true-crime series on the Investigation Discovery channel : PAULA ZAHN

Paula Zahn has worked as a journalist and news anchor with ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN. In 2009, she first appeared as the host of the long-running true crime show on the Discovery Channel called “On the Case with Paula Zahn”. Outside of her work on television, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has even played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.

20 Shrimp dish : SCAMPI

The Italian dish known as “scampi” is a serving of shrimp in garlic butter and dry white wine.

23 German article : EIN

The definite article in German is der, die or das, for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. The indefinite article is ein, eine or ein, again depending on the gender of the noun. A further complication, relative to English, is that the masculine form (and only the masculine form) of the article changes when used in the accusative case, when used with the object of a sentence. The accusative forms are “den” and “einen”.

24 Places where kids can feed goats and sheep : PETTING ZOOS

The world’s first zoo opened in Britain in 1820. Now known as “London Zoo”, the facility was referred to back then as the “Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London”. The term “zoo” is a shortening of “zoological”.

30 College entrance exams : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

33 Obsolescent TV hookup : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

Something described as obsolescent is going out of use, becoming obsolete.

40 Classic Nintendo character named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife : PRINCESS ZELDA

“The Legend of Zelda” is a video game. Apparently, it’s very successful …

Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, was a novelist in her own right. Zelda’s one and only novel is “Save Me the Waltz”, a semi-autobiographical account of her life and marriage.

43 Like Mr. Spock’s ears : POINTY

Vulcans are an alien race in the “Star Trek” franchise. The most famous (half-) Vulcan is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Spock’s father is a Vulcan, and his mother is human.

45 Hoppy quaff, in brief : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

46 Body part that a Manx cat lacks : TAIL

I’ve seen Manx cats by the dozen on their native island. They’re found all over the Isle of Man (hence the name “Manx”) that is located in the middle of the Irish Sea. Manx cats have just a stub of a tail, and hence are called “stubbins” by the locals.

48 Western lily : SEGO

The sego lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

52 Warsaw currency : POLISH ZLOTY

The zloty is the currency of Poland, with the word “zloty” translating into English as “golden”. The zloty has been around since the Middle Ages. The contemporary zloty is divided into 100 groszy.

57 Neighbor of Syria: Abbr. : LEB

Lebanon lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. The nation has a rich cultural history, and was home to the ancient civilization of Phoenicia. The name “Lebanon” derives from the Semitic word “lbn” meaning “white”, and is probably a reference to the snow that caps the mountain range known as Mount Lebanon, which parallels the Mediterranean coast.

58 ___ (the Jet) Walker, Basketball Hall-of-Famer : CHET

Chet Walker is a former basketball player who played with the Syracuse Nationals (which team became the Philadelphia 76ers) and the Chicago Bulls.

59 Long-haired, pot-smoking 1960s stereotype : HIPPIE

The term “hip” is a slang term that was used in the 1930s and 1940s to mean “cool, informed about the latest ideas and styles”. By the end of the 1940s, “hipsters” were “hip” people, jazz aficionados, and people who adopted the perceived lifestyle of jazz musicians of the day. In the 1960s, the term “hippie” developed from “hipster”, to describe a member of the youth counterculture that emerged in the US.

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

61 Eyelashes : CILIA

“Cilium” (plural “cilia”) is Latin for “eyelash”.

67 Ballpark purchase in a bun : FRANK

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog gets its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

69 Tennis great Arthur : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

71 Eyelid affliction : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

72 Warty fly-catcher : TOAD

The “warts” on the skin of a toad have no relation to the viral infection that can occur on human skin. A toad’s warts are colored bumps that are believed to help the animal blend more effectively into its environment.

Down

2 Thorny tree : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of trees and shrubs that is also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

3 School skipper : TRUANT

“Truant” is such a lovely word. We have been using it to describe someone who wanders from an appointed place since the mid-1400s. Prior to that, a truant was a beggar or a vagabond.

4 Captain’s post : HELM

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

5 “The World of ___ Wong” : SUZIE

“The World of Suzie Wong” is a novel first published in 1957, and written by Richard Mason. The story was adapted for the stage in 1958 when it starred William Shatner, who was later to gain fame on the original “Star Trek” series. The male lead was played by William Holden in a 1960 adaptation for the silver screen.

7 Wood for a baseball bat : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

8 Hawaiian porches : LANAIS

A lanai is a type of veranda, and a design that originated in Hawaii. A kind blog reader tells me that the etymology of “lanai” seems unclear, but that the island name of “Lana’i” is not related.

9 Larsson who wrote the “Millennium” trilogy : STIEG

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer. Indeed, one of the main characters in his “Millennium” series of novels is a journalist as well. The first two titles in the series are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played with Fire”. The last of the three titles in the Millennium series is “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, which was the most-sold book in the US in 2010. All of the books in the series were published after Larsson’s death. He passed away from a heart attack while climbing several flights of stairs, when he was just 50 years old.

10 November birthstone : TOPAZ

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)

11 Smog-monitoring org. : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

13 Ones making introductions, in brief : MCS

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

18 TikTok, Instagram or Google’s Find My Device : APP

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools that facilitate production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

25 Puff from a pipe or cigarette : TOKE

“Toke” is a slang term describing a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

26 It’s hoisted on a brig in high winds : TRYSAIL

A brig is a two-masted sailing vessel, with the name “brig” coming from the related vessel known as a brigantine. Brigs and brigantines are both two-masted, but there is a difference in the sails used. It was the use of retired brigs as prison ships that led to the use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

27 “Ars Amatoria” poet : OVID

“Ars amatoria” (“The Art of Love” in English) is a series of poems in three books by the Roman poet Ovid. Book one provides men with instruction on how to find a woman. Book two gives a man guidance on keeping that woman. Ovid turns the tables in book three and gives advice to women on how to find and keep a man.

35 Sinus doc : ENT

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

36 Grim Reaper’s implement : SCYTHE

The Grim Reaper is one of the personifications of death, along with the Hooded One and the Angel of Death. Death has been depicted since the 1400s as a skeleton in a hooded, black cloak and carrying a scythe. The name “Grim Reaper” only dates back to the mid-1800s.

38 Big retailer of outdoor gear : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

39 Three-ingredient sandwiches, for short : BLTS

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

40 Law officers, in slang : PO-PO

“Po-po” is a slang term meaning “police”.

41 Iranian money : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

42 Normandy battle site in W.W. II : ST-LO

Saint-Lô is a town in Normandy that was occupied by Germany in 1940. Saint-Lô stood at a strategic crossroads and so there was intense fighting there during the Normandy invasion of 1944. After a prolonged bombardment, very little of the town was left standing.

43 Backup singer for Gladys Knight : PIP

Gladys Knight & the Pips performed together from 1953 to 1989. The Pips were founded around Gladys Knight, originally featuring her brother, sister and two cousins. The group took its name from yet another cousin, a cousin named “Pip”.

47 Montezuma’s people : AZTECS

Montezuma I and Montezuma II were Aztec emperors. Montezuma II was the ninth Aztec emperor and ruled from 1502 until 1520. He was the leader of the Aztec Empire when the Spanish first made contact and started the conquest of Mexico. Montezuma II was killed in a battle with the Spanish, although the details of his demise are not clear.

49 Only major Texas city on Mountain Time : EL PASO

El Paso is the most westerly county in Texas. It is one of only two Texas counties in the Mountain Time Zone (along with neighboring Hudspeth County).

50 Performer in a kimono : GEISHA

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

54 Malted, e.g. : SHAKE

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

55 Spice whose name consists of two consecutive pronouns : THYME

In Britain and Ireland, thyme is listed as one of the four essential herbs. And those would be “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”.

60 Fuel from a bog : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

61 North-of-the-border sports org. : CFL

Canadian Football League (CFL)

65 Good name for a museum curator? : ART

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wood strip : LATH
5 Circus animal balancing a ball on its nose : SEAL
9 Cook, as vegetables : STEAM
14 Farmland measure : ACRE
15 ___ Major (the Big Dipper) : URSA
16 Issue to discuss : TOPIC
17 Former CNN anchor with a true-crime series on the Investigation Discovery channel : PAULA ZAHN
19 Apple tablets : IPADS
20 Shrimp dish : SCAMPI
21 On the ocean : ASEA
23 German article : EIN
24 Places where kids can feed goats and sheep : PETTING ZOOS
30 College entrance exams : SATS
32 “Approximately speaking” : OR SO
33 Obsolescent TV hookup : VCR
34 Annoying : PESKY
37 Round trips? : ORBITS
40 Classic Nintendo character named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife : PRINCESS ZELDA
43 Like Mr. Spock’s ears : POINTY
44 Failed epically : ATE IT
45 Hoppy quaff, in brief : IPA
46 Body part that a Manx cat lacks : TAIL
48 Western lily : SEGO
52 Warsaw currency : POLISH ZLOTY
57 Neighbor of Syria: Abbr. : LEB
58 ___ (the Jet) Walker, Basketball Hall-of-Famer : CHET
59 Long-haired, pot-smoking 1960s stereotype : HIPPIE
61 Eyelashes : CILIA
64 So simple … like 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across? : EASY PEASY
67 Ballpark purchase in a bun : FRANK
68 Study, study, study : CRAM
69 Tennis great Arthur : ASHE
70 Overhang : LEDGE
71 Eyelid affliction : STYE
72 Warty fly-catcher : TOAD

Down

1 Unwanted gaps : LAPSES
2 Thorny tree : ACACIA
3 School skipper : TRUANT
4 Captain’s post : HELM
5 “The World of ___ Wong” : SUZIE
6 Timeline segment : ERA
7 Wood for a baseball bat : ASH
8 Hawaiian porches : LANAIS
9 Larsson who wrote the “Millennium” trilogy : STIEG
10 November birthstone : TOPAZ
11 Smog-monitoring org. : EPA
12 Lend a hand : AID
13 Ones making introductions, in brief : MCS
18 TikTok, Instagram or Google’s Find My Device : APP
22 Kind of alarm often activated in the morning : SNOOZE
25 Puff from a pipe or cigarette : TOKE
26 It’s hoisted on a brig in high winds : TRYSAIL
27 “Ars Amatoria” poet : OVID
28 Twice tetra- : OCTA-
29 Many takers of 30-Across: Abbr. : SRS
31 Whirl or twirl : SPIN
35 Sinus doc : ENT
36 Grim Reaper’s implement : SCYTHE
38 Big retailer of outdoor gear : REI
39 Three-ingredient sandwiches, for short : BLTS
40 Law officers, in slang : PO-PO
41 Iranian money : RIAL
42 Normandy battle site in W.W. II : ST-LO
43 Backup singer for Gladys Knight : PIP
47 Montezuma’s people : AZTECS
49 Only major Texas city on Mountain Time : EL PASO
50 Performer in a kimono : GEISHA
51 Did as directed : OBEYED
53 Sweet cake topper : ICING
54 Malted, e.g. : SHAKE
55 Spice whose name consists of two consecutive pronouns : THYME
56 Bark like a lap dog : YIP
60 Fuel from a bog : PEAT
61 North-of-the-border sports org. : CFL
62 Fury : IRE
63 Young fellow : LAD
65 Good name for a museum curator? : ART
66 “___ what?” : SAY

11 thoughts on “1025-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 21, Monday”

  1. 7:38, no errors. Pretty zany puzzle, if you ask me … 😜.

    Bill’s spam filter never did cough up my post from yesterday … a great pearl of wisdom, lost forever … bummer … 😳 … 😜.

  2. 5:24 Pretty quick for me. How could the setter not include the Persian Zoroaster? Leave that for a Friday puzzle.

  3. 9:01. Wasn’t expecting this level of difficulty on a Monday. Didn’t we have a puzzle filled with Z’s just a little bit ago?

    Thought I’d seen the last of POPO, but here it is again.

    Best –

  4. No errors and as @jeff said.. POPO again?? So I had to look it up .. funny story if it’s true..
    2 police officers on bicycle in Southern California with T-shirts that have the letters PO on then… and the myth? began..

  5. Re 55 D: surely “thy” is a possessive, not a pronoun. The pronoun is “thee” … surprised a mistake in a clue like this doesn’t get caught by the editors.

      1. I’ll do it…

        “thy” is a possessive pronoun. Other examples of possessive pronouns are: our, their, his, her etc….

        Best –

        1. Thanks, Jeff. I probably would have responded, but I was preoccupied with a 16-mile hike around my favorite lake … (OCD? Moi? … 😳).

  6. I don’t see anything “consecutive” about thy/me. Consecutive would be thy/mine or thee/me. However I suppose I’m being too picky.

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