1104-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Nov 21, Thursday

Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Split Ends

Themed answers each have SPLIT ENDS, rebus squares containing two letters. Choosing the first pair of letters gives one answer, and the second gives another:

  • 62A Hairy problem? … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SPLIT ENDS
  • 17A Only Monopoly railroad whose name doesn’t contain “Railroad” / Laughing gleefully : SHORT LINE / CHORTLING
  • 40A Setting for “The Sound of Music” / Greyhound journey : AUSTRIA / BUS TRIP
  • 11D Web master? / Of the outer skin layer : SPIDER-MAN / EPIDERMAL
  • 34D Expensive bar / Not letting go : GOLD INGOT / HOLDING ON

Bill’s time: 14m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Periodontist’s specialty : GUMS

Periodontics is that branch of dentistry dealing with the gums and the tissue supporting a tooth. The word “periodontal” was coined in the mid-19th century. The term comes from the Greek for “around the tooth”.

5 Where students might kick their feet up : DOJO

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

15 ___ Eats : UBER

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might be delivered by car, bike or foot depending on the city and courier.

16 Currency in Pakistan : RUPEE

The rupee is a unit of currency used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. The term “rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupya”, which once meant “stamped, impressed” and then “coin”.

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

17 Only Monopoly railroad whose name doesn’t contain “Railroad” / Laughing gleefully : SHORT LINE / CHORTLING

The four railroad (RR) properties in the Monopoly board game are:

  • Reading Railroad
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • B&O Railroad
  • Short Line

19 Font whose name is a homophone of 20-Across : ARIAL

20 See 19-Across : AERIAL

We tend to use the term “aerial” and “antenna” interchangeably. Strictly speaking, the aerial is the top part of an antenna. The lead-in is the lower part of the antenna, the part providing the electrical connection between the aerial and the instrument, radio or TV.

30 Bordeaux red : CLARET

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

35 It took the iconic photograph “Pillars of Creation” : HUBBLE

The famous Hubble Space Telescope was installed in orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. The telescope was named for the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the man who changed our view of the universe by postulating that the universe is expanding.

38 First animal sound in “Old MacDonald” : MOO

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

39 Brouhaha : ADO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

40 Setting for “The Sound of Music” / Greyhound journey : AUSTRIA / BUS TRIP

“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that was made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war. One family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives in the same town in which I used to live in California.

Speaking as someone who lived much of my life outside of the US, I have to say that the Greyhound bus is a real symbol of America. I grew up seeing Greyhound buses in so many old movies. In Ireland the official provincial bus service “stole” the famous logo that gracefully adorns the sides of these buses, but uses a running Irish Setter in place of the iconic greyhound.

41 Toothpaste tube letters : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

42 France’s ___ de Loire : VAL

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet. It is also home to some of the nation’s most spectacular châteaux. There are over 300 castles along the river, built by French kings and their courtiers.

47 The first Fabergé egg was created for one : TSAR

Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.

49 Hanukkah chocolate shape : COIN

The term “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew for “to dedicate”. Hanukkah is a holiday lasting eight days that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after a successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd-century BCE. The story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept the menorah alight for eight days.

57 Police drama co-starring LL Cool J : NCIS: LA

Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. Smith’s stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”. When not rapping, LL Cool J plays Special Agent Sam Hanna on TV show “NCIS: Los Angeles”.

59 Language in which “Ho” and “Hoina” mean “yes” and “no” : NEPALI

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

60 Bricks sold in sets : LEGOS

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

62 Hairy problem? … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SPLIT ENDS

The hair condition that we commonly refer to as “split ends”, is more formally known as “trichoptilosis”. The latter term comes from the Greek “tricho-” meaning “hair” and “ptilosis” meaning “arrangement of feathers in definite areas”!

64 Something that falls in the fall : ACORN

These days, we don’t usually consider acorns as a foodstuff. But in days past, many cultures around the world have used acorns as food. Usually, bitter tannins that occur in acorns need to be leached out in water. Acorn meal can be a substitute for grain flour, which can then be used to make bread. Acorns have also been used as a substitute for coffee, especially when coffee was rationed. Notably, acorn coffee was brewed up by Confederates during the American Civil War, and by Germans during World War II.

65 “1917,” e.g. : EPIC

“1917” is a 2019 Sam Mendes movie about two British soldiers carrying a message across no man’s land in northern France during WWI. Although historically inaccurate, the storyline was inspired by accounts of the war given to Mendes by his paternal grandfather. One remarkable feature of the film is that it was shot using long takes that were carefully edited to give the impression that it was filmed as just two continuous shots. Remarkable …

67 Malicious group of computers : BOTNET

A botnet is a network of computers running cooperatively to send spam messages. The computers are usually private machines infected with malware that run the bots without the owners’ knowledge.

Down

3 Like one in six New Zealanders, ethnically : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

6 What secures a kimono : OBI

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

7 Game that has 54 blocks : JENGA

Jenga is a simple but very entertaining game, one in which one stacks wooden blocks as high as possible until the resulting tower collapses. “Jenga” is the Swahili word for “to build”

8 Home to the Willamette Valley : OREGON

The Willamette River in northwestern Oregon is a major tributary of the Columbia River. The Willamette flows through the state capital of Salem, as well as through Portland, Oregon’s largest city. Today, the Willamette Valley is home to over 500 wineries and is often called “Oregon Wine Country”.

10 “I figured it out!” : EUREKA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

11 Web master? / Of the outer skin layer : SPIDER-MAN / EPIDERMAL

Spider-Man is a creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and first appeared in comics in 1962. Spider-Man was a somewhat groundbreaking character in that his alter ego was a teenage high school student (Peter Parker), which marked the first time that a young person featured front and center as the superhero.

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. The thickest piece of epidermal tissue in humans is on the soles of the feet and the palms, and measures about 1.5 mm. The thinnest measures 0.1 mm, and that would be the human eyelid.

12 Sleepytime, e.g. : TEA

Sleepytime Teas are a line of herbal teas from Celestial Seasonings.

13 Fleur de ___ (fancy salt) : SEL

Fleur de sel is a form of sea salt that forms as a thin crust on the surface of seawater as it evaporates. It is now used mainly as a finishing salt in the cooking process, meaning that it is sprinkled on the surface of a dish just before it is served. The name “fleur de sel” translates from French as “flower of salt”, which is a reference to the flowery patterns that form in the salty crust as seawater evaporates.

24 Pointer controller : MOUSE

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

26 Rock that’s often cut open : GEODE

A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity that is lined or filled with crystal formations.

27 Ermine, in the summer : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

29 Desserts dusted with cinnamon sugar : CHURROS

A churro is pastry made from fried dough, and is sometimes called a Spanish doughnut. Churros are often served for breakfast, when they are dipped in hot chocolate or milky coffee.

“True” cinnamon sticks are taken from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. However, a lot of cinnamon sticks are also sold that come from a related species of tree, and these are more correctly referred to as “cassia”.

32 Mayhem : HAVOC

Havoc is great damage or destruction. The term “havoc” comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

33 British Columbia neighbor : IDAHO

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia

The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is in the Pacific Northwest. The British referred to the territory drained by the Columbia River as the “Columbia District”. Queen Victoria chose the name “British Columbia” for that section of the Columbia District that fell under British control. The remainder of the Columbia District was referred to as “American Columbia” or “Southern Columbia”, which became the Oregon Territory in 1848.

36 Texter’s “I meant to say …” : BTW …

By the way (BTW)

40 Scandinavian pop group : ABBA

Only three members of the quartet that made up the Swedish pop group ABBA were born in Sweden. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway just after the end of WWII, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a father who was a German soldier and a member of the German occupying forces during the war. The father returned to Germany with the army, and in 1947, Anni-Frid was taken with her family to Sweden. They left fearing reprisals against those who dealt with the German army during the occupation.

46 “Again!” : ENCORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

48 Help with a heist : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

51 Elizabeth who plays Wanda on “WandaVision” : OLSEN

Elizabeth Olsen is an actress and singer, and the younger sister of the famed Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley.

52 Mothers of Invention musician : ZAPPA

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

58 What separates money from everything? : … ISN’T …

Money isn’t everything …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Periodontist’s specialty : GUMS
5 Where students might kick their feet up : DOJO
9 Attacks from all sides : BESETS
14 “Right away!” : ASAP!
15 ___ Eats : UBER
16 Currency in Pakistan : RUPEE
17 Only Monopoly railroad whose name doesn’t contain “Railroad” / Laughing gleefully : SHORT LINE / CHORTLING
19 Font whose name is a homophone of 20-Across : ARIAL
20 See 19-Across : AERIAL
21 Seriously overcharged : GOUGED
23 Traditional media category : PRINT
24 Philadelphia’s ___ Center for the Performing Arts : MANN
25 They may be full of Natural Light : KEGS
28 Carnitas holder : TACO
30 Bordeaux red : CLARET
32 Some daily temps : HIGHS
35 It took the iconic photograph “Pillars of Creation” : HUBBLE
38 First animal sound in “Old MacDonald” : MOO
39 Brouhaha : ADO
40 Setting for “The Sound of Music” / Greyhound journey : AUSTRIA / BUS TRIP
41 Toothpaste tube letters : ADA
42 France’s ___ de Loire : VAL
43 Make quickly, as a pot of coffee : BREW UP
44 Coastline feature : INLET
45 “Goodness me!” : OH DEAR!
47 The first Fabergé egg was created for one : TSAR
49 Hanukkah chocolate shape : COIN
50 Move slowly : OOZE
53 Subordinate to : BELOW
57 Police drama co-starring LL Cool J : NCIS: LA
59 Language in which “Ho” and “Hoina” mean “yes” and “no” : NEPALI
60 Bricks sold in sets : LEGOS
62 Hairy problem? … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SPLIT ENDS
64 Something that falls in the fall : ACORN
65 “1917,” e.g. : EPIC
66 Pinnacle : ACME
67 Malicious group of computers : BOTNET
68 Puppy pickup place : NAPE
69 One compartment of a golf bag : TEES

Down

1 Tank top? : GAS CAP
2 Wedding worker : USHER
3 Like one in six New Zealanders, ethnically : MAORI
4 Goes all out : SPRINTS
5 Nearly pointless? : DULL
6 What secures a kimono : OBI
7 Game that has 54 blocks : JENGA
8 Home to the Willamette Valley : OREGON
9 Engage in gasconade or fanfaronade : BRAG
10 “I figured it out!” : EUREKA!
11 Web master? / Of the outer skin layer : SPIDER-MAN / EPIDERMAL
12 Sleepytime, e.g. : TEA
13 Fleur de ___ (fancy salt) : SEL
18 “See ya!” : TA-TA!
22 Removes, as a lapel microphone : UNCLIPS
24 Pointer controller : MOUSE
26 Rock that’s often cut open : GEODE
27 Ermine, in the summer : STOAT
29 Desserts dusted with cinnamon sugar : CHURROS
31 Bound : LEAP
32 Mayhem : HAVOC
33 British Columbia neighbor : IDAHO
34 Expensive bar / Not letting go : GOLD INGOT / HOLDING ON
36 Texter’s “I meant to say …” : BTW …
37 ___ force : BRUTE
40 Scandinavian pop group : ABBA
44 “Again …” : I REPEAT …
46 “Again!” : ENCORE!
48 Help with a heist : ABET
51 Elizabeth who plays Wanda on “WandaVision” : OLSEN
52 Mothers of Invention musician : ZAPPA
54 Outdated charging device? : LANCE
55 Pre-makeover self : OLD ME
56 Smartens (up) : WISES
58 What separates money from everything? : … ISN’T …
59 Kind : NICE
60 Test site : LAB
61 Prefix with label : ECO-
63 Edge : LIP

13 thoughts on “1104-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Nov 21, Thursday”

  1. 20:02, no errors, BUT … I laboriously entered all the rebuses in the form “x/y” (which worked okay for the last NYT puzzle like this). This time, though, the app refused to give me the “success” message. I assumed I had a typo and rechecked all my entries … for naught. So, after scratching my head a bit, I laboriously removed all the slashes from the rebuses and … it worked!

    So. Assuming that I spent five minutes putting the slashes in, five minutes rechecking all my entries, and five minutes taking all the slashes out, I’m claiming an actual solve time of 5:02. C’mon … it’s only fair! … 😜

  2. 21:52 My time is close to Nonny’s after all his difficulties. It took a while to realize where the rebuses belonged and I had several of placements incorrect to begin with and that caused a number of fat fingers, so I also had a bit to undo. Finalt getting the revealer helped in that regard.

  3. 24:43. I did the same as Nonny with the slashes, but rather than try to figure out what the app was looking for, I just cheated and peeked.

    I initially thought the theme was a little laborious, but in retrospect it’s pretty impressive that the setter came up with those.

    Interesting perspective Bill gives on the iconic Greyhound buses – especially since I’ve never been on one my entire life.

    Best –

  4. I feel like “fanfaroding” and “gasconading”!!!!! No errors and I figured out the theme early. Yeah me!

    1. I AGREE. THEY ARE TERRIBLE AND NO CROSSWORD EDITOR SHOULD PERMIT THEM! IT SHOWS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS IN TRYING TO PRESENT A DIFFICULT PUZZLE WITH REGULAR CLUES..

      1. NONSENSE!!! REBUSES ARE HERE TO STAY AND THEY ARE FUN!

        Gee … it is cathartic to YELL now and again … 😜

  5. re A Nony Muss:
    I’m claiming an actual solve time of 5:02

    But you forgot to subtract five minutes for explaining your reasoning to us, so actual solve time for you is .02.

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