1028-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Oct 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Alan Massengill
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Zombie Says …!

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as lines spoken by ZOMBIES:

  • 17A Future zombie’s last words? : BE RIGHT BACK
  • 27A Country music standard at zombie karaoke night? : I FALL TO PIECES
  • 48A Reason the zombies are, of course, skipping the empty house? : IT’S A NO-BRAINER
  • 64A Zombies’ cry in the face of defeat? : WE ARE SO DEAD!

Bill’s time: 12m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Possible result of a TMZ story : BAD PR

Public relations (PR)

TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip website launched in 2005 by producer Harvey Levin. “TMZ” stands for “thirty-mile zone”, a reference to the “studio zone” in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

6 Behind, nautically : ABAFT

On a boat, the term “abaft” means “towards the stern”.

11 “American Dad!” network : TBS

“American Dad!” is an adult-oriented animated sitcom. Famously, one of the show’s creators is Seth MacFarlane, who also created “Family Guy”. Personally, I cannot stand either show …

14 Theme of la festa di San Valentino : AMORE

In Italian, the theme of “la festa di San Valentino” (the feast of Saint Valentine) is “amore” (love).

15 Spanish equivalent of “Basta!” : NO MAS!

“No mas!” translates from Spanish as “no more, enough!”.

“Basta!” is Spanish (and Italian) for “enough, no more!”.

17 Future zombie’s last words? : BE RIGHT BACK
27 Country music standard at zombie karaoke night? : I FALL TO PIECES
48 Reason the zombies are, of course, skipping the empty house? : IT’S A NO-BRAINER 64 Zombies’ cry in the face of defeat? : WE ARE SO DEAD!

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

21 Sauce that’s 80% vowels : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

23 Core group : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

27 Country music standard at zombie karaoke night? : I FALL TO PIECES

“I Fall to Pieces” is a 1961 song released by Patsy Cline that was to become her first #1 hit in the country charts.

32 Ending for some government 37-Across : .MIL
(37A Info in a modern bibliography : URLS)

The .mil domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

34 “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” poet : KEATS

English Romantic poet John Keats wrote the famous “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in 1819, and published it anonymously in 1820. The most famous lines of the poem are the last two:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

37 Info in a modern bibliography : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

42 Tackles, say : STAT

That would be American football, perhaps.

47 Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

55 Broadcast journalist 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.

63 ___-Man : ANT

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

66 Landmark 1973 court case, familiarly : ROE

Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

68 With 13-Down, playground promise : PINKY …
(13D See 68-Across : … SWEAR)

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 …?

69 White wine aperitif : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a kir royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

70 Old Apple Store offerings : NANOS

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

71 Ophthalmological ailments : STYES

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

Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

Down

2 Discover alternative, for short : AMEX

“Amex” is short for “American Express”, the name of the financial services company that is best known for its credit card, charge card and traveler’s check businesses. The company name is indicative of its original business. American Express was founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York as an express mail service.

Sears introduced the Discover Card in 1985. The Discover Card brought with it some innovative features for the period, such as no annual fee and a higher-than-normal credit limit. As other credit card companies adopted those ideas, Discover Card later introduced cash-back bonuses on purchases.

3 Toon with a talking map : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases. Dora’s constant companion is an anthropomorphic monkey named “Boots”, because he always wears red boots. She also hangs out with Isa, an iguana.

7 Classic clown name : BOBO

“Bobo the Clown” was the stage name of Chester Barnett who worked the circus circuit from the 1920s to the 1970s. Barnett gave himself the nickname “Bobo” when he was a child, using it for a persona that he adopted when he ran around the house wearing a paper bag on his head, with two holes cut to allow him to see.

8 Picturesque town on the Gulf of Salerno : AMALFI

Amalfi, Italy is a coastal town on the Gulf of Salerno located about 30 miles southeast of Naples. The town gives its name to the popular tourist destination known as the Amalfi Coast.

9 Adroit : FACILE

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

12 Ball game : BOCCE

The Italian bowling game of bocce (often anglicized as “bocci” or “boccie”) is based on a game played in ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.

22 Causes of some brain freezes : ICEES

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

24 Sandwich that’s 100% consonants : BLT

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

30 “Bravo!” relative : OLE!

To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer of either sex by using “bravi!”

31 Author of the “Symposium” : PLATO

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote a philosophical treatise on the nature of love called “Symposium”. “Symposium” is the source of the contemporary phrase “Platonic love”.

40 “Spare” item : RIB

Spare ribs are so called because “spare” can indicate the absence of fat.

44 What the D.E.A. might keep tabs on? : LSD

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

46 ___ Ysidro, Calif. : SAN

San Ysidro lies just north of the US-Mexican border, and is in effect a suburb of San Diego. San Ysidro is named after Saint Isadore, the patron saint of farmers.

49 Bassett of “Black Panther” : ANGELA

Angela Bassett is an actress from New York who is perhaps best known for playing Tina Turner in the film about her life “What’s Love Got to Do with It”.

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

50 Ideal picnic forecast : NO RAIN

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

52 Netflix crime drama set in the Midwest : OZARK

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

53 World capital with traditional water puppet shows for tourists : HANOI

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

57 Preceder of a certain “-naut” : ARGO-

In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts set sail on the Argo from the city of Iolcos in search of the Golden Fleece. Jason’s vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

61 Canoeing locale : LAKE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

62 Turkey Hill competitor : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Possible result of a TMZ story : BAD PR
6 Behind, nautically : ABAFT
11 “American Dad!” network : TBS
14 Theme of la festa di San Valentino : AMORE
15 Spanish equivalent of “Basta!” : NO MAS!
16 Word with know or show : … HOW
17 Future zombie’s last words? : BE RIGHT BACK
19 Virtuoso : ACE
20 This is only a test : EXAM
21 Sauce that’s 80% vowels : AIOLI
22 Worshiper at the ancient Qorikancha (“Golden Temple”) : INCA
23 Core group : ABS
25 Black-and-white movie effect : FLICKER
27 Country music standard at zombie karaoke night? : I FALL TO PIECES
32 Ending for some government 37-Across : .MIL
33 Poker giveaway : TELL
34 “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” poet : KEATS
37 Info in a modern bibliography : URLS
39 Gets warmer, so to speak : NEARS
42 Tackles, say : STAT
43 Kind of reform or code : PENAL
45 “Read the clues carefully” and “Check your crossing answers” [You’re welcome!] : TIPS
47 Big name in nail polish : OPI
48 Reason the zombies are, of course, skipping the empty house? : IT’S A NO-BRAINER
52 “Abso-lutely not!” : OH GOD NO!
54 Be over : END
55 Broadcast journalist Paula : ZAHN
56 Purple shade : GRAPE
59 Not do anything : IDLE
63 ___-Man : ANT
64 Zombies’ cry in the face of defeat? : WE ARE SO DEAD!
66 Landmark 1973 court case, familiarly : ROE
67 Sync up : ALIGN
68 With 13-Down, playground promise : PINKY …
69 White wine aperitif : KIR
70 Old Apple Store offerings : NANOS
71 Ophthalmological ailments : STYES

Down

1 Sweets : BABE
2 Discover alternative, for short : AMEX
3 Toon with a talking map : DORA
4 Fundamental : PRIMAL
5 On the ___ (frequently, in modern slang) : REG
6 Pro’s opposite : ANTI
7 Classic clown name : BOBO
8 Picturesque town on the Gulf of Salerno : AMALFI
9 Adroit : FACILE
10 Sound made with one’s tongue : TSK!
11 “I really appreciate it!” : THANKS A TON
12 Ball game : BOCCE
13 See 68-Across : … SWEAR
18 Expedite : HASTEN
22 Causes of some brain freezes : ICEES
24 Sandwich that’s 100% consonants : BLT
26 “Ugh!” : ICK!
27 “My turn!” : I’M UP!
28 Can : FIRE
29 Something that may be pulled in college : ALL-NIGHTER
30 “Bravo!” relative : OLE!
31 Author of the “Symposium” : PLATO
35 Stick with it! : TAPE
36 Commotion : STIR
38 Suppressed : SAT ON
40 “Spare” item : RIB
41 Wild times at the mall, say : SPREES
44 What the D.E.A. might keep tabs on? : LSD
46 ___ Ysidro, Calif. : SAN
49 Bassett of “Black Panther” : ANGELA
50 Ideal picnic forecast : NO RAIN
51 “Yay, me!” : I DID IT!
52 Netflix crime drama set in the Midwest : OZARK
53 World capital with traditional water puppet shows for tourists : HANOI
57 Preceder of a certain “-naut” : ARGO-
58 Puts on paper : PENS
60 Withhold from : DENY
61 Canoeing locale : LAKE
62 Turkey Hill competitor : EDY’S
64 Colorless : WAN
65 Photo finish? : -OPS

13 thoughts on “1028-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Oct 21, Thursday”

  1. 13:12 I got hung up in the NW corner. Kept cycling thru it with nothing. For 17A I had xxxxxHTBACK. When I finally tried BERIGHTBACK then all the un-membered pieces fell into place and I completed my zombie puzzle. Otherwise I think I could have been a couple minutes faster.

    Kind of surprised that there was no special “gimmick” for a Thurs.

  2. 29:25 I’m sure my complete lack of zombie knowledge was my only handicap to what would have been a far better time….nah….

  3. 19:56. Agree with above comments about the theme. Not a zombie fan so just sort of sleepwalked through this one.

    I read 45A before doing much of the puzzle, and I thought it was the reveal. I was looking for a much more involved theme that wasn’t there. Lesson learned? Probably not.

    Best –

  4. 20:46. Playing catch up. I was under water that Thursday in Cozumel. I liked the zombie theme…but no rebus?!

    1. @AnonDS Yes Zombies YUCK When I saw the theme clues I should have trashed it but I hoped for an interesting Thursday trick BUT NO

  5. 20:32, no errors. Got a chuckle out of the zombie theme. Biggest time drains were THANKS A LOT (before TON); ROD before RIB; I SAID NO before OH GOD NO.

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

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