1027-21 NY Times Crossword 27 Oct 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Johanna Fenimore
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Sketchy Lines

Themed answers are classic lines from “Saturday Night Live”:

  • 17A Classic line from the Superfans sketch on “S.N.L.” : DAAAAA BEARS
  • 24A Classic line from the Delicious Dish sketch on “S.N.L.” : SCHWEDDY BALLS
  • 38A Classic opening line from an NBC sketch show : LIVE FROM NEW YORK …!
  • 49A Classic line from the Wayne’s World sketch on “S.N.L.” : WE’RE NOT WORTHY
  • 60A Classic line from the Blue Öyster Cult sketch on “S.N.L.” : MORE COWBELL

Bill’s time: 8m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “The Fox and the Grapes,” e.g. : FABLE

Our expression “sour grapes” is used to describe a negative attitude adopted by somebody towards something just because that person can’t have the thing himself or herself. The phrase alludes to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this, the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

11 ___ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

16 Hosp. scan : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

17 Classic line from the Superfans sketch on “S.N.L.” : DAAAAA BEARS

The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other being the Arizona Cardinals, also based in Chicago in 1921).

20 Cacophony : DIN

“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, a word used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

21 William who lent his name to a state : PENN

William Penn was given a huge land grant in America by King Charles II, because the king owed Penn’s father a lot of money. Penn took up residence on this side of the Atlantic and called his new holding “New Wales”. He later changed this name to “Sylvania” (the Latin for “forest”) and finally to “Pennsylvania”.

22 Masterful moves : COUPS

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

28 Apple platform : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

29 Baked ___ : ALASKA

The dessert known as baked Alaska consists of ice cream quickly baked in a sponge covered with meringue in an oven at high temperature. Supposedly, the dish was the 1867 creation of chef Antoine Alciatore as part of a celebration for the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire.

31 Belief system : CREDO

A creed or credo is a profession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

37 Sue Grafton’s “___ for Innocent” : I IS

Sue Grafton wrote detective novels, and her “alphabet series” feature the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “’A’ Is for Alibi” in 1982 and worked her way up to “‘Y’ is for Yesterday” before she passed away in 2017.

38 Classic opening line from an NBC sketch show : LIVE FROM NEW YORK …!

“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” is a catchphrase heard near the start of the TV show “Saturday Night Live”. The show was originally titled “NBC’s Saturday Night”, a title for which the catchphrase makes a little more sense!

43 Baby ___ (“The Mandalorian” nickname) : YODA

Grogu is a character in “The Mandalorian”, a TV series that’s part of the “Star Wars” franchise. Grogu is a very young member of the same alien species to which the celebrated character Yoda belongs. As Grogu has a strong resemblance to the Jedi Grandmaster, fans of the franchise often refer to him as “Baby Yoda”.

45 Reply to “Gracias” : DE NADA

In Spanish, one can respond to “gracias” (thank you) with “de nada” (it’s nothing).

48 “___ Duke” (1976 Stevie Wonder hit) : SIR

“Sir Duke” is a song written and recorded by Stevie Wonder and released as a single in 1977. The song is a tribute to Duke Ellington, who passed away in 1974.

49 Classic line from the Wayne’s World sketch on “S.N.L.” : WE’RE NOT WORTHY

“Wayne’s World” was originally a “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne Campbell) and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

60 Classic line from the Blue Öyster Cult sketch on “S.N.L.” : MORE COWBELL

“More Cowbell” is one of the most celebrated “Saturday Night Live” sketches. It is a parody of the recording of the outstanding song “”(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult. Will Ferrell portrays one of the band members playing a cowbell, and Christopher Walken portrays the record producer demanding “more cowbell”.

Blue Öyster Cult is a rock band from Long Island, New York. I may be alone in labeling Blue Öyster Cult as a “one-hit wonder”, but I always associate the band with the marvelous 1976 song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”.

64 Pot-au-___ (French stew) : FEU

Pot-au-feu is a French stew made with beef and is similar to many stews made around the world, containing cheap cuts of meat with mainly root vegetables and spices. The name “pot-au-feu” means “pot on the fire”, and used to apply to a pot that was kept on the fire during cold weather, with ingredients being added when they became available, and stew doled out when needed.

66 Start of a playground selection process : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

Down

1 “Wabbit” pursuer Elmer : FUDD

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

2 Diarist Nin : ANAIS

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

3 Mel who voiced 1-Down : BLANC

Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s all folks”.

5 Greek “H” : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

6 Dressed like a Supreme Court justice : ROBED

The US Constitution doesn’t specify the size of the Supreme Court, but authorizes the Congress to determine the number of justices. The court started with six justices in 1789, and the size of the bench grew with the size of the country and the number of judicial circuits. There were as many as ten justices, from 1863 to 1866. There have been nine justices since 1869.

9 Hockey great Bobby : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

12 Sarong, for one : WRAP SKIRT

“Sarong” is the Malay word for “sheath”. The term originally described a garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

27 Nemesis : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

32 Mirin and sake : RICE WINES

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

35 Subj. of arms talks : WMD

The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

36 ___ funk : IN A

Funk is ill-humor, and is a word that dates back to the mid-1700s. “Funk” is probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

39 Hanks’s “Sleepless in Seattle” co-star : RYAN

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a lovely romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, released in 1993. The film’s storyline is based on the excellent 1957 movie “An Affair to Remember”, and there are numerous direct references to the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr classic throughout the “remake”. The lead roles in “Sleepless …” are played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

41 Portable structure that’s pitched : YURT

A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.

50 Overseer of Hamlet’s duel with Laertes : OSRIC

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Osric is the courtier that Claudius dispatches to invite Hamlet to participate in a duel.

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Laertes is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. It is Laertes who kills Hamlet using a poisoned sword..

51 Council site of 1545 : TRENT

Trento is a city in northern Italy that is famous as the host of the 16th-century Council of Trent held by the Roman Catholic Church. This Ecumenical Council meeting was held largely in response to the growing Protestant Reformation. The decisions made at the Council of Trent led to the Counter-Reformation, the revival of the Catholic church over the following 100 years.

53 “Laughing” scavenger : HYENA

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

54 New Haven Ivy Leaguer : YALIE

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. Famously, it is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

55 ___ au lait : CAFE

“Café au lait” (French for “coffee with milk”) is usually strong drip coffee to which one adds steamed milk. Well, that’s the way we tend to make it here in the US.

61 What the tangent of 45° is equal to : ONE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

62 Something that’s catchy? : WEB

The silk that makes up a web is a protein fiber that is “spun” by a spider. Spider silk is about one sixth of the density of steel, yet has a comparable tensile strength.

63 Actress Arthur : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “The Fox and the Grapes,” e.g. : FABLE
6 What often follows “Did you hear …?” : RUMOR
11 ___ Jima : IWO
14 Yet to be rented : UNLET
15 Unsuk Chin’s “Alice in Wonderland,” for one : OPERA
16 Hosp. scan : MRI
17 Classic line from the Superfans sketch on “S.N.L.” : DAAAAA BEARS
19 Buddy : PAL
20 Cacophony : DIN
21 William who lent his name to a state : PENN
22 Masterful moves : COUPS
24 Classic line from the Delicious Dish sketch on “S.N.L.” : SCHWEDDY BALLS
28 Apple platform : IOS
29 Baked ___ : ALASKA
31 Belief system : CREDO
34 Womb mate : TWIN
37 Sue Grafton’s “___ for Innocent” : I IS
38 Classic opening line from an NBC sketch show : LIVE FROM NEW YORK …!
42 King or queen topper : ACE
43 Baby ___ (“The Mandalorian” nickname) : YODA
44 Looks all over (for) : HUNTS
45 Reply to “Gracias” : DE NADA
48 “___ Duke” (1976 Stevie Wonder hit) : SIR
49 Classic line from the Wayne’s World sketch on “S.N.L.” : WE’RE NOT WORTHY
55 Doughnut go-with on an orchard tour : CIDER
56 Indian honorifics : SRIS
57 Little dog’s bark : YAP
59 “I’ll take that as ___” : A NO
60 Classic line from the Blue Öyster Cult sketch on “S.N.L.” : MORE COWBELL
64 Pot-au-___ (French stew) : FEU
65 How some will solve this crossword : IN INK
66 Start of a playground selection process : EENIE
67 Humorous suffix with “most” and “best” : -EST
68 Religious offshoots : SECTS
69 Made ewe cry? : BAAED

Down

1 “Wabbit” pursuer Elmer : FUDD
2 Diarist Nin : ANAIS
3 Mel who voiced 1-Down : BLANC
4 Grassy field : LEA
5 Greek “H” : ETA
6 Dressed like a Supreme Court justice : ROBED
7 Overturn : UPEND
8 Ogreish sort : MEANY
9 Hockey great Bobby : ORR
10 Scamp : RASCAL
11 Strong urge : IMPULSION
12 Sarong, for one : WRAP SKIRT
13 Some fine art : OILS
18 Imitates : APES
23 Humorous suffix with “crap” and “schnozz” : -OLA
25 Prep for a surprise party, in a way : HIDE
26 Big dog’s bark : WOOF!
27 Nemesis : BANE
30 Doesn’t just assume, say : ASKS
31 Attired : CLAD
32 Mirin and sake : RICE WINES
33 Made level : EVENED OUT
34 Also : TOO
35 Subj. of arms talks : WMD
36 ___ funk : IN A
39 Hanks’s “Sleepless in Seattle” co-star : RYAN
40 Sound from a fan : WHIR
41 Portable structure that’s pitched : YURT
46 Exist : ARE
47 Skin layer : DERMIS
48 Uninspiring : SO-SO
50 Overseer of Hamlet’s duel with Laertes : OSRIC
51 Council site of 1545 : TRENT
52 Absorbs, as body moisture : WICKS
53 “Laughing” scavenger : HYENA
54 New Haven Ivy Leaguer : YALIE
55 ___ au lait : CAFE
58 Begged : PLED
61 What the tangent of 45° is equal to : ONE
62 Something that’s catchy? : WEB
63 Actress Arthur : BEA

12 thoughts on “1027-21 NY Times Crossword 27 Oct 21, Wednesday”

  1. 9:27. And so the crossword obsession with Saturday Night Live continues. I haven’t watched the show in decades but surprisingly knew 3 of the 5 theme phrases. I filled in BEARS at the end of 17A so I knew how many A’s to put in there.

    Best –

  2. 9:13, no errors. I “knew” only one of the theme phrases (and I eventually realized I’d heard of another one), but they were all rather easy to get from crosses.

  3. 9:35 Recognized the lines, wasn’t sure on the spelling. But “Baaed”? Really? I gotta talk to some sheep about that…

    Now all caught up from Sunday👍

  4. 6:54. At first I tried “Party on Garth”, but that was one letter short. Got most of the themes from crosses. Was familiar with only one other.

  5. Funny that Bill didn’t try to explain 24A… classic.

    My favorite was the cow bell routine…

    I would think that show has run its course but it keeps showing up.. haven’t watched it for years now.

  6. No errors but I am not an SNL fan so it was all guesses and crosses…add two foreign words that cross each other and you have a typical NYT puzzle👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  7. This puzzle is a sad reminder of how far SNL has fallen from once being the funniest show ever aired. About once every 2 years or so I try watching again, usually because there’s an interesting musical guest. Five minutes is more than I can tolerate (but it seems much longer).

  8. 9:48, 2 errors: YAL(E)E; EEN(E)E. Didn’t correct the error even though EENEE didn’t look quite right. SNL has been such a cultural staple, that I have become familiar with all the theme phrases, without having seen most of the sketches. Haven’t watched the show since it had the original cast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.