1118-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Ori Brian
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) One Out of Three

Themed clues are lists of three things. Themed answers are common phrases suggested by the position of one of the things in the list:

  • 16A → Di ← Gaga Godiva : FIRST LADY
  • 24A R.p.m. → m.p.h. ← k.p.s. : SECOND RATE
  • 36A Art → Calculus ← Spanish : MIDDLE CLASS
  • 52A Housewarming masquerade → tailgate ← : THIRD PARTY
  • 62A Ha-ha chortle → tee-hee ← : LAST LAUGH

Bill’s time: 7m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Vaccination site : ARM

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity, until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

8 Take the wrong way? : FILCH

“Filch” is a slang word meaning “steal”. One suggestion is that the term derives from the German “filzen” meaning “comb through”.

13 ___-tzu : LAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

14 Ancient region of Asia Minor : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present-day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

15 Where the Nez Percé Reservation is found : IDAHO

The Nez Percé nation of the Pacific Northwest call themselves the Nimiipuu, meaning “The Real People”. The name “Nez Percé” means “pierced nose” in French (nez percé), a name applied in error to the Nimiipuu instead of the neighboring Chinook tribe, who did in fact practice nose-piercing.

16 → Di ← Gaga Godiva : FIRST LADY

Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Famously, Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

In the legend of Lady Godiva, the noblewoman rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England, basically as a dare from her husband in return for relieving the taxes of his tenants. Lady Godiva issued instructions that all the town’s inhabitants should stay indoors while she made her journey. However, a tailor in the town named Tom disobeyed the instructions by boring holes in the shutters on his windows, and “peeped”. As a result, Peeping Tom was struck blind, and the term “peeping Tom” has been in our language ever since.

18 Inventor of dynamite : NOBEL

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and businessman. Nobel is famous for the invention of dynamite during his lifetime, as well as for instituting the Nobel Prizes by providing the necessary funds in his will.

20 Bit of baloney : LIE

“Baloney” is an American English variant of “Bologna” as in the sausage. The term came to be used to mean “nonsense” in the 1920s. “Baloney” was popularized in the 1930s by New York Governor Alfred E. Smith as he used the term quite often.

22 Like the soles of Louboutin shoes : RED

Christian Louboutin is a fashion designer from Paris who is known for creating stiletto shoes with trademark, red-lacquered soles. His biggest individual client is American author Danielle Steel, who is said to own more that 6,000 pairs of Louboutin shoes!

24 R.p.m. → m.p.h. ← k.p.s. : SECOND RATE

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

Miles per hour (mph)

Kilometers per second (kps)

27 Singer Baker : ANITA

Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer who was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Baker’s most successful song is the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” that was released in 1986.

30 Its name comes from the Greek for “uncuttable” : ATOM

Atomism is a philosophical concept based on the idea that the physical world is composed of atoms, indivisible fundamental units, pieces of matter. The term “atom” comes from the Greek “a-” (not) and “tomos” (cutting), giving the “atomos” meaning “uncut, indivisible”. The pioneers of ancient Greek atomism were Leucippus and his pupil Democritus in the 5th century BCE.

32 French word at a coffeehouse : LAIT

In French, you might pour “lait” (milk) “dans votre café” (in your coffee).

34 One crying foul, say : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

36 Art → Calculus ← Spanish : MIDDLE CLASS

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

40 Long-snouted fish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

41 Bread eaten with curry : ROTI

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

Curry powder is a mixture of spices used in South Asian dishes. The actual composition of curry powder varies depending on the cuisine. The term “curry” is an anglicization of the Tamil “kari” meaning “sauce”.

45 Dieci meno due : OTTO

In Italian, “dieci” (ten) minus “due” (two) is “otto” (eight).

57 In which four raised fingers and a curved thumb is “B,” in brief : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

60 Fossilized tree resin : AMBER

Amber’s technical name is “resinite”, reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

Down

1 Title character of an ’80s sitcom : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. The title character is a hand-puppet, and supposedly an alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. The alien crash-landed into the house of amateur radio enthusiast Willie Tanner. Tanner renamed the intruder “ALF”, standing for “alien life form”.

2 What toes can resemble after a long bath : RAISINS

“Raisin” is the French word for “grape”. The French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, which translates literally as “dried grape”.

4 Some business casual shirts : POLOS

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

5 Fraudulent medical treatment : SNAKE OIL

There is actually a real snake oil, a Chinese medicine made from fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term “snake oil” became associated with any cure-all potion.

6 “Ice Age” sloth : SID

“Ice Age” is a 2002 animated film that has spawned a whole series of movies: “Ice Age: The Meltdown” (2006), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009) and “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012).

7 Swift to climb the Billboard chart? : TAYLOR

Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

“Billboard” was founded way back in 1894 as a trade magazine for the advertising and bill posting industry. The editorial focus gradually moved towards music as phonographs, radios and the recorded music business took off in the early part of the 20th century. “Billboard” published its first “music hit parade” 1936, and is now famous for its collection of lists that track music sales.

11 Cause of some orange fingers : CHEETO

Cheetos snacks were developed by the same guy who created Fritos, hence the similarity in name. On the market since 1948, up until the turn of the century the name was written as “Chee-tos”. Oh, and Cheetos contain pork enzymes, so vegetarians beware!

12 Poker variant : HOLD ‘EM

In the card game called Texas hold ‘em, two hole cards are dealt to each player, and five community cards are dealt face up on the table. The community cards are dealt in the three stages. The first three cards are dealt in one stage (the flop), then the fourth card is shown (the turn), and finally the fifth card (the river).

28 Captain Pierce portrayer on old TV : ALDA

Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

35 ___ of honor : MAID

The members of the bride’s party in a wedding are the bridesmaids. The principal bridesmaid is the maid of honor. The principal bridesmaid might be referred to as the matron of honor if she is married.

37 Dr. Frankenstein’s aide : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

43 Many a YouTube star : VLOGGER

A video blog is perhaps what one might expect, i.e. a blog that is essentially a series of video posts. The phrase “video logging” is often shortened to “vlogging”.

44 Writer Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

45 Chief tributary of the St. Lawrence River : OTTAWA

The Ottawa River takes its name from the Odawa people, an Algonquin nation. The city of Ottawa changed its name to that of the river, from Bytown, in 1855. The original townsite was called Bytown after Captain John By who completed the Rideau Canal that runs from Kingston on Lake Ontario to present-day Ottawa.

49 City with the longtime slogan “Big things happen here” : DALLAS

The settlement that was to become the Texas city of Dallas was established in 1841. The settlement became a city in 1856, and owed its early growth to the construction of railroads starting in 1873.

51 Pelvic bones : ILIA

The ilium (plural “ilia”) is the upper portion of the hipbone.

54 Richard who wrote “Revolutionary Road” : YATES

Richard Yates was a novelist and short story writer from Yonkers, New York. The most famous of his works was his first novel “Revolutionary Road”, published in 1962.

59 35mm camera type : SLR

At the beginning of the 20th century, 35mm was chosen as a standard size for film used in still cameras. 35mm was selected as it was already the standard film size used in motion pictures.

63 Similar to : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Vaccination site : ARM
4 Tap alternative? : PSST!
8 Take the wrong way? : FILCH
13 ___-tzu : LAO
14 Ancient region of Asia Minor : IONIA
15 Where the Nez Percé Reservation is found : IDAHO
16 → Di ← Gaga Godiva : FIRST LADY
18 Inventor of dynamite : NOBEL
19 Approved, with “to” : SAID OK …
20 Bit of baloney : LIE
22 Like the soles of Louboutin shoes : RED
23 Bird’s-eye view? : BILL
24 R.p.m. → m.p.h. ← k.p.s. : SECOND RATE
27 Singer Baker : ANITA
29 Pair at sea : OARS
30 Its name comes from the Greek for “uncuttable” : ATOM
31 Total jerk : ASS
32 French word at a coffeehouse : LAIT
34 One crying foul, say : UMP
36 Art → Calculus ← Spanish : MIDDLE CLASS
40 Long-snouted fish : GAR
41 Bread eaten with curry : ROTI
42 Marcille who won “America’s Next Top Model” : EVA
45 Dieci meno due : OTTO
48 Heaven on earth : EDEN
50 How you might recall a childhood memory : DIMLY
52 Housewarming masquerade → tailgate ← : THIRD PARTY
55 Influential icon : LION
56 TV coach Lasso : TED
57 In which four raised fingers and a curved thumb is “B,” in brief : ASL
58 Letting up : EASING
60 Fossilized tree resin : AMBER
62 Ha-ha chortle → tee-hee ← : LAST LAUGH
65 Not claim, say : WAIVE
66 Do some tailoring to : ALTER
67 Woman’s name that sounds like a letter : DEE
68 Paid (up) : ANTED
69 Mouth off to : SASS
70 Slip : ERR

Down

1 Title character of an ’80s sitcom : ALF
2 What toes can resemble after a long bath : RAISINS
3 Excessive righteousness : MORALISM
4 Some business casual shirts : POLOS
5 Fraudulent medical treatment : SNAKE OIL
6 “Ice Age” sloth : SID
7 Swift to climb the Billboard chart? : TAYLOR
8 Docked, in a way : FINED
9 Vow-sealing words : I DO
10 Common experiment subject : LAB RAT
11 Cause of some orange fingers : CHEETO
12 Poker variant : HOLD ‘EM
14 “___ be a shame …” : IT’D
17 Alluvium : SILT
21 Put down : INSULT
23 Silence of the lambs? Just the opposite! : BAA!
25 Wedding vendor : CATERER
26 Speaks on the record? : RAPS
28 Captain Pierce portrayer on old TV : ALDA
33 Sellers of airtime, informally : AD REPS
35 ___ of honor : MAID
37 Dr. Frankenstein’s aide : IGOR
38 Dance-offs, e.g. : CONTESTS
39 Shirtless, say : SEMINUDE
43 Many a YouTube star : VLOGGER
44 Writer Rand : AYN
45 Chief tributary of the St. Lawrence River : OTTAWA
46 Oppressive authority, informally : THE MAN
47 Tasty morsel : TIDBIT
49 City with the longtime slogan “Big things happen here” : DALLAS
51 Pelvic bones : ILIA
53 Had the courage : DARED
54 Richard who wrote “Revolutionary Road” : YATES
59 35mm camera type : SLR
61 Inhabitant of 48-Across : EVE
63 Similar to : A LA
64 What’s-___-name : HER

3 thoughts on “1118-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 21, Thursday”

  1. 14:42. Clever theme. The clue for RAISINS is a bit of an eyebrow raiser, but it didn’t hamper me much.

    I was ok with my time until I saw Bill’s…

    Best –

  2. 14:04 Took me a bit to catch on to the theme. As I was solving I thought there were a lot of clues with “?”, but now that I count them it’s only six, so not too bad.

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