1031-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Oct 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme Choice Words

Themed answers each include a rebus square that is filled with a CHOICE. That CHOICE is spelled out in the same line as the themed answer in the across-direction:

  • 23A Haphazard : HIT OR MISS
  • 21A Noted Apple release of 1968, to fans : THE WHITE ALBUM
  • 4D Negligent : REMISS
  • 43A Desperate : DO-OR-DIE
  • 45A Traditional British entree : LIVER AND ONIONS
  • 35D Least messy : TIDIEST
  • 70A Approximately : MORE OR LESS
  • 68A Noted U.S. rock group? : MOUNT RUSHMORE
  • 64D Consecrates : BLESSES
  • 96A “You game?” : IN OR OUT?
  • 90A Military dismissal : MARCHING ORDERS
  • 79D Berate blisteringly : SHOUT AT
  • 116A Regardless of the outcome : WIN OR LOSE
  • 118A Hectic trip abroad : WHIRLWIND TOUR
  • 114D Places hangers hang : CLOSETS

Bill’s time: 20m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Fall mo. : SEP

The month of September is the ninth month in our year, although the name “September” comes from the Latin word “septum” meaning “seventh”. September was the seventh month in the Roman calendar until the year 46 BC when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar. The Julian system moved the start of the year from March 1st to January 1st, and shifted September to the ninth month. The Gregorian calendar that we use today was introduced in 1582.

Here in the US, we tend to refer to the season following summer as “fall”. This name is short for “fall of the leaf”, referring to the loss of leaves by deciduous trees. The term “autumn” is a more common name used in Britain and Ireland instead of “fall”. However, back before the mid-1600s the term “fall” was in common use on the other side of the pond.

18 Harris in the Country Music Hall of Fame : EMMYLOU

Emmylou Harris is a country singer from Birmingham, Alabama who grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. She has won many Grammys over the course of her career, culminating in the Grammy LIfetime Achievement Award in 2018.

20 Member of the superfamily Hominoidea : APE

Apes and monkeys both belong to the order of primates. The most obvious way to distinguish apes from monkeys is by the presence or lack of a tail. Almost all apes have no tail, and almost all monkeys have tails.

21 Noted Apple release of 1968, to fans : THE WHITE ALBUM

The 1968 studio double album “The Beatles” is usually referred to as “The White Album”, a reference to the LP’s plain white sleeve. Most of the album’s tracks were written while the group were in India on a transcendental meditation course. The tranquility of their Indian retreat disappeared soon after they returned and started recording. “The White Album” is noted for the tensions that erupted between the band members, all of whom were rapidly transitioning into solo artists.

23 Haphazard : HIT OR MISS

Our word “hap” means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like “haphazard” and even “happen”. “To happen” originally meant “to occur by hap, by chance”.

25 Some crumbly blocks : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

26 Inits. for a theatrical hit : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

32 Cause of boom and bust? : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

41 ___ dish : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

45 Traditional British entree : LIVER AND ONIONS

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

49 S.F. metro : MUNI

SF Muni is the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the name of the public transportation system in the city and surrounding area. SF Muni includes buses, light rail and, most famously, the city’s cable cars.

51 Derby lengths : METRES

On the other side of the Atlantic we use the French spelling for measurements that originated in French, so “metre” for “meter” and “litre” for “liter”.

Derby is a city in the East Midlands of England. It had a major role to play in Britain’s Industrial Revolution due to the location of textile mills in the surrounding area. For example, Derby was home to the nation’s first water-powered silk mill, in 1717.

53 Equivalent of the Face With Tears of Joy emoji : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

67 Classic concert chambers : ODEA

In ancient Greece, an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

68 Noted U.S. rock group? : MOUNT RUSHMORE

The four presidents whose faces are carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for each president to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

73 See captain? : POPE

In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop presides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

74 Studio fixtures : EASELS

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

80 Code-cracking grp. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

81 Match-ending rugby call : NO SIDE!

Rugby is a town in County Warwickshire, England. It is a market town, and is also home to the famous Rugby School, one of the oldest private schools in the country. The school gave its name to the sport of rugby, as the laws of the game were first published by three boys at Rugby School in 1845.

82 Bygone sovereign : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

85 Dance-a-___ : THON

Dance marathons became popular in the US during the Great Depression. They are endurance events, at which spectators often pay to watch the competitors on the dance floor. By all accounts, dance marathons were pretty abusive affairs, effectively “reality TV” for the 1920s. Famously, a dance marathon provides the setting for the 1969 film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

99 ___ Kornfeld, music promoter for Woodstock : ARTIE

The 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

102 Great Basin native : UTE

The Ute are a group of Native-American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

The Great Basin is a large region of the US covering most of Nevada, much of Utah and some parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California. The 200,000 square mile area drains internally, with all precipitation sinking underground or flowing into lakes. Most of the lakes in the Great Basin are saline, including the Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake and the Humboldt Sink.

104 Heavy weights in Britain : TONNES

The tonne, also known as a metric ton, is equivalent to 1,000 kg (or 2,205 lb). The tonne isn’t an official unit of mass in the metric system, but it is used a lot.

106 “Murder, ___ Wrote” : SHE

“Murder, She Wrote” is a mystery television show with the lead character Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who is also an amateur detective. Fletcher is played by the charming Angela Lansbury. The show was created by Richard Levinson and William Link who had just failed with the TV series “Ellery Queen”, which was pulled after only one season. “Ellery Queen” was also about a mystery writer who was an amateur detective.

107 Samuel ___, business partner of Marcus Goldman : SACHS

The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

111 Lipton competitor : NESTEA

Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

Sir Thomas Lipton was a grocer in Glasgow, Scotland. He founded a tea packing company in North America in 1893, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was very successful as his blends of tea became popular in the US. Despite the Lipton roots in the UK, Lipton black tea isn’t available there, so I’ve always thought of it as an American brand.

121 Card in a royal flush : ACE

The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, jack, queen, king and ace, with all in the same suit.

123 One runs from Me. to Fla. : US ROUTE

US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

124 Seminoles’ sch. : FSU

Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes the “‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people of Florida.

126 Northern ___ (curiously named apple variety) : SPY

The spy apple (also “northern spy” or “king”) is a cultivar that originated in 1800 in East Bloomfield, New York. The USPS honored the spy apple by including it in a set of four stamps commemorating historic strains of apple (along with the Baldwin, golden delicious and Granny Smith).

Down

3 Mano a mano : TOE TO TOE

“Mano a mano” is Spanish for “hand-to-hand”, and is used in English to mean “face-to-face”.

5 Silicon Valley’s ___ Research Center : AMES

The Ames Research Center is located at Moffett Field at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. Joseph Ames was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics when it was formed in 1915, and chaired the committee from 1919-1939.

6 Candy bit that comes in a plastic roll : SMARTIE

Here in the US, Smarties are tablet-like candy. Smarties are known as Rockets in Canada. The latter brand name is used to differentiate the product from Nestlé’s Smarties, which are sugar-coated chocolate candies that resemble M&Ms.

7 “Battlestar Galactica” robots : CYLONS

Cylons are a race of robots that show up as antagonists in the “Battlestar Galactica” sci-fi franchise. The robotic race was the creation of a reptilian race also known as “Cylons”. The original Cylons were overcome by the robots that they themselves created.

“Battlestar Galactica” is a whole franchise these days, based on an original television series that aired in 1978. The executive producer of that first series was Glen A. Larson who had been trying to get the show off the ground since the sixties. Larson was finally able to get some finances for his sci-fi show on the back of the success of the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

8 Clerical vestment : ALB

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

9 F, in music : LOUD

A person’s forte is his or her strength. The term “forte” came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong. “Forte” (F) is also a musical direction meaning “loud”.

10 Southern region of Mesopotamia : SUMER

Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race was able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.

Mesopotamia was the land that lay between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, that flow through modern-day Iraq. The name “Mesopotamia” means “between the rivers”.

15 ε : EPSILON

Epsilon is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. The uppercase epsilon looks very similar to our Latin E.

24 City with a Little Havana : MIAMI

The Miami neighborhood known as Little Havana is home to many immigrants from Cuba, hence the name. Little Havana is located immediately west of Downtown Miami.

28 Nickname for José : PEPE

“José” is the Spanish for “Joseph”. Friends might also refer to José as “Pepe”. Both José and Pepe derive from Saint Joseph, the father of Jesus. Saint Joseph is sometimes referred to as “padre putativo” meaning “presumed father”. The initialism “PP”, standing for “padre putativo”, led to the name “Pepe”.

33 Anklebone : TALUS

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

40 Yang’s counterpart : YIN

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

44 “I Wanna Be Sedated” band : RAMONES

The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. The “Ramone” name was imitative of the pseudonym used by Paul McCartney when he booked into hotels anonymously, namely “Paul Ramon”. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

49 The brainy bunch? : MENSA

Mensa is a high-IQ society that was founded in Oxford, England in 1946. The founders were two lawyers: Australian Roland Berrill and Englishman Lancelot Ware. Apparently, the elitist founders were unhappy with the development of Mensa, given that most members came from the working and lower classes.

52 Profligate sort : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, but one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

54 Measures of electrical resistance : OHMS

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

55 One of the fire signs : LEO

Each of the twelve astrological signs is associated with one of the classical elements:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
  • Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

58 Concept, in Cannes : IDEE

Cannes is a city on the French Riviera that is noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The decision to host an annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.

60 Glasgow gal : LASS

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and sits on the River Clyde. Back in the Victorian Era, Glasgow earned a reputation for excellence in shipbuilding and was known as “Second City of the British Empire”. Glasgow shipyards were the birthplaces of such famous vessels as the Lusitania, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth. People from Glasgow are known as Glaswegians.

62 ___ court : MOOT

A moot court is a simulated court proceeding engaged in by law students. A moot court is similar to a mock trial, with the former simulating an appellate court or arbitral case, and the latter simulating a jury trial or bench trial. In Anglo-Saxon times, a “moot” was a gathering of prominent men to discuss matters of local importance.

63 Stage between larva and imago : PUPA

A pupa is a stage in the life of some insects. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago. Pupae can look like little dolls, hence the name. “Pupa” is the Latin for “doll”.

66 ___ ex machina : DEUS

“Deus ex machina” is a Latin phrase that translates as “god out of the machine”. “Deus ex machina” is a plot device used in some works whereby some apparently inextricable problem is suddenly resolved by an unexpected intervention. The term was first used in Horace’s “Ars Poetica”.

69 QVC alternative : HSN

The Home Shopping Network (HSN) was the first national shopping network, and was launched locally as the Home Shopping Club in Florida in 1982.

86 Inits. at Westminster : HRH

His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

89 Head for the hills? : OUTHOUSE

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

91 Cupidity : AVARICE

Our word “avarice”, meaning a desire for wealth, ultimately derives from the Latin word for crave “avere”.

93 Words to live by : CREDO

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

95 Popular tick repellent : DEET

“DEET” is short for “N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide”, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

101 ___ of Alexandria (wonder of the ancient world) : PHAROS

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built in the 3rd century BCE, the structure survived for centuries, until finally succumbing to an earthquake in 1323. The lighthouse was built on a small island in the Nile Delta called Pharos, and so the lighthouse is sometimes referred to as “Pharos of Alexandria”. It was about 400-450 feet in height, and the light was produced by a furnace at the top of the tower.

108 Puerto Rico clock setting: Abbr. : AST

Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. The list of locations that use AST includes Puerto Rico, Bermuda and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

110 Ballpark figures, in brief : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA)

112 Semiserious “Got it!” : AHSO!

The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.

114 Places hangers hang : CLOSETS

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

120 ___ Moines : DES

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Action done while saying “Good dog” : PAT
4 Mischief-makers : RASCALS
11 It might click for a writer : PEN
14 Fall mo. : SEP
17 Kind to Mother Nature : ECO
18 Harris in the Country Music Hall of Fame : EMMYLOU
19 Living ___ : WAGE
20 Member of the superfamily Hominoidea : APE
21 Noted Apple release of 1968, to fans : THE WHITE ALBUM
23 Haphazard : HIT OR MISS
25 Some crumbly blocks : FETA
26 Inits. for a theatrical hit : SRO
27 Send away, in a way : DEPORT
29 Accomplished the task : DID IT
30 What wiggly lines in comics may represent : ODORS
32 Cause of boom and bust? : TNT
34 Convene for another session : REMEET
36 Up to it : ABLE
37 What’s frequently used by poets? : OFT
38 “To quote yours truly …” : AS I SAY …
41 ___ dish : PETRI
42 Heath : MOOR
43 Desperate : DO-OR-DIE
45 Traditional British entree : LIVER AND ONIONS
48 Tries for a role : READS
49 S.F. metro : MUNI
50 “Hey … over here!” : PSST!
51 Derby lengths : METRES
53 Equivalent of the Face With Tears of Joy emoji : LOL
56 Give a buzz : THRILL
61 Inconvenience : IMPOSE ON
64 Execute, as a royal of old : BEHEAD
67 Classic concert chambers : ODEA
68 Noted U.S. rock group? : MOUNT RUSHMORE
70 Approximately : MORE OR LESS
73 See captain? : POPE
74 Studio fixtures : EASELS
76 “I’m game!” : SURE, LET’S!
77 State of equilibrium : STASIS
80 Code-cracking grp. : NSA
81 Match-ending rugby call : NO SIDE!
82 Bygone sovereign : SHAH
85 Dance-a-___ : THON
87 Build on : ADD TO
90 Military dismissal : MARCHING ORDERS
96 “You game?” : IN OR OUT?
98 State to be the case : AVER
99 ___ Kornfeld, music promoter for Woodstock : ARTIE
100 Daddy-o : HEP CAT
102 Great Basin native : UTE
103 Stun : DAZE
104 Heavy weights in Britain : TONNES
106 “Murder, ___ Wrote” : SHE
107 Samuel ___, business partner of Marcus Goldman : SACHS
109 Gradually wear away : ERODE
111 Lipton competitor : NESTEA
113 Keypad triplet : ABC
115 Critical remark : SHOT
116 Regardless of the outcome : WIN OR LOSE
118 Hectic trip abroad : WHIRLWIND TOUR
121 Card in a royal flush : ACE
122 Purposes : AIMS
123 One runs from Me. to Fla. : US ROUTE
124 Seminoles’ sch. : FSU
125 “You betcha!” : YES!
126 Northern ___ (curiously named apple variety) : SPY
127 Have : POSSESS
128 Boggy expanse : FEN

Down

1 Fare that’s eaten hands-free : PET FOOD
2 Wanted badly : ACHED FOR
3 Mano a mano : TOE TO TOE
4 Negligent : REMISS
5 Silicon Valley’s ___ Research Center : AMES
6 Candy bit that comes in a plastic roll : SMARTIE
7 “Battlestar Galactica” robots : CYLONS
8 Clerical vestment : ALB
9 F, in music : LOUD
10 Southern region of Mesopotamia : SUMER
11 Fabric options : PATTERNS
12 Sense of self : EGO
13 Fluent speaker of Elvish, say : NERD
14 Uttered a sound : SAID BOO
15 ε : EPSILON
16 Bugs : PESTERS
19 Relative of a bug : WIRETAP
22 Churchill ___ Rooms (London tourist attraction) : WAR
23 Long ball : HOMER
24 City with a Little Havana : MIAMI
28 Nickname for José : PEPE
31 Farthest down? : SADDEST
33 Anklebone : TALUS
35 Least messy : TIDIEST
39 Sorority member : SISTER
40 Yang’s counterpart : YIN
44 “I Wanna Be Sedated” band : RAMONES
46 Horrid : VILE
47 Maximum degree : NTH
49 The brainy bunch? : MENSA
52 Profligate sort : ROUE
54 Measures of electrical resistance : OHMS
55 One of the fire signs : LEO
57 Alveolar trill, as it’s commonly known : ROLLED R
58 Concept, in Cannes : IDEE
59 Just in case : LEST
60 Glasgow gal : LASS
61 Mischief-makers : IMPS
62 ___ court : MOOT
63 Stage between larva and imago : PUPA
64 Consecrates : BLESSES
65 Act investigated by an insurance company : ARSON
66 ___ ex machina : DEUS
69 QVC alternative : HSN
71 Journalist Fallaci who wrote “Interview With History” : ORIANA
72 Bindis, e.g. : RED DOTS
75 Running behind : LATE
78 Kinda : ISH
79 Berate blisteringly : SHOUT AT
81 They can be wrinkled or thumbed : NOSES
83 Field that deals with fields : AGRONOMY
84 The newest trend, in slang : HOTNESS
86 Inits. at Westminster : HRH
88 Trigger : TOUCH OFF
89 Head for the hills? : OUTHOUSE
90 Moved aside (for) : MADE WAY
91 Cupidity : AVARICE
92 Changes from commercial to residential, perhaps : REZONES
93 Words to live by : CREDO
94 Wash out : RINSE
95 Popular tick repellent : DEET
96 Piercing eye hue : ICE BLUE
97 Trial : TEST RUN
101 ___ of Alexandria (wonder of the ancient world) : PHAROS
105 Clinch : SEW UP
108 Puerto Rico clock setting: Abbr. : AST
110 Ballpark figures, in brief : ERAS
112 Semiserious “Got it!” : AHSO!
114 Places hangers hang : CLOSETS
117 Guff : LIP
119 Distributor of CARES Act funds : IRS
120 ___ Moines : DES

14 thoughts on “1031-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Oct 21, Sunday”

  1. 16:07. I got THE WHITE ALBUM right way and so figured out the theme pretty quickly. Having the rebuses repeat themselves in the adjacent answer was clever construction, but also made the puzzle a bit easier.

  2. 31:12 I did this late Sat. night and finally figured there were rebuses involved – no rebus this past Thurs. but on Sunday – go figure!! It must have been late because I didn’t realize that the rebus entries were on the same line. DOH!!

  3. 38:00, no errors, but I had to search for quite a while to find a problem that was keeping me from getting the congratulatory message: I entered all the rebuses in the form “x/y”, but I had misspelled one of the “y’s” and it was too small to read on my iPad Mini. A bit frustrating (but I still enjoyed the process and I am in awe of the construction) … 😜.

    Evan Birnholz’s puzzle in today’s Washington Post is a classic; it involves eight different sub-puzzles and, so far, I’ve only had time for the first five, but I can tell it’s going to end up in my personal Hall Of Fame.

    1. Update: I’ve now finished all but the very last step in Evan’s puzzle. What a bear! During a break from it, I got the latest WSJ meta, which seemed simple by comparison, even though the number of solvers and would-be solvers posting there suggest that it’s a pretty difficult one.

    2. Second update: I was about to turn out the light and go to sleep when I suddenly saw how to take the final step. Now I’m even more impressed with the construction; I intend to spend some time tomorrow thinking about what one would do to put such a thing together; it’s mind-boggling!

  4. 45:04. Took me just a little longer than forever to figure the theme out. Once I did I spent a couple of minutes searching for my error which was simply I forgot to rebus the “MORE OR LESS” square.

    Tough one and impressive construction.

    Best –

  5. 1:21:05 had all the squares filled, finally threw up the white flag and crossed checked against the blog. No incorrect answers. It wasn’t until I read Nonny’s comment about entering the rebus squares with “/“ that I got the music of success. fwiw, I work the puzzle on the app on my IPhone if that helps anybody in the syndicated group

  6. This one took a full two hours but ended up with no errors.
    I too didn’t notice the rebus answers on the same line until I finished…part of the reason for the lengthy time I guess🤪
    Stay safe 😀

  7. No one will read this because I completed the puzzle as it appears in our paper today November 14. Ours always prints the puzzle two weeks late. Anyway I usually do poorly with a rebus but this was not as cryptic as most, finished so very self-satisfied.
    🙂

    1. Several of us ‘Syndicatees’ post to this blog. You are not alone. The Sunday puzzles are published 2 weeks late, and the others 5 weeks late.

  8. 40:39, no errors. My AHA moment came about halfway through with MOUNT RUSHMORE and MORE OR LESS. The northwest corner was last to fall, trying to imagine what computer Apple could have been producing in 1968?

  9. 24:14, no errors, three weeks later. Probably noticed a lot of it was remembering the gimmick and all the rest of the time before was trying to figure it out.

  10. Wow.. had to think harder where the “in/out do/die” etc. were located. Didn’t help when IN OUT was the actual answer. Found myself second guessing some answers.

    Messed up on 27A .. had REPORT instead of DEPORT. gave me LOUR for 9D.
    I guess I’m not a “HEPCAT”…

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