1123-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Personal Finance

Themed answers each end with a sort of investment encountered in PERSONAL FINANCE:

  • 20A Sort of investment suggested by the ends of 3-, 11- and 29-Down : PERSONAL FINANCE
  • 3D M.L.B. record-holder for most career home runs : BARRY BONDS
  • 11D Singer profiled in the biopic “Walk the Line” : JOHNNY CASH
  • 29D N.B.A. commissioner starting in 2014 : ADAM SILVER

Bill’s time: 5m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Money, Money, Money” group : ABBA

“Money, Money, Money” is a 1976 hit song for Swedish pop group ABBA. The lyrics are basically a narration by a woman who works hard but struggles to make ends meet, and so deserves a well-off man as a partner. As the song says, “It’s a rich man’s world”.

5 Toughs … or an anagram of TOUGHS minus a letter : THUGS

Murderers and robbers given to harassing travelers in India were known locally as “thuggees”, from the Hindi word for “thief”. This gave us our contemporary word “thug”, meaning “brute”.

10 Slightly open : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

16 Agricultural giant founded in Hawaii in 1851 : DOLE

James Dole lent his name to today’s Dole Food Company. He was known as the Pineapple King, as he developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the forerunner to the Dole Food Company. Dole might have had some help on the way, as he was a cousin of Sanford B, Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900.

25 Indent key : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

To indent a line of text is to move it to the right (assuming one is writing in English).

36 “___ you are you! That is truer than true!”: Dr. Seuss : TODAY

“Dr. Seuss” was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel first used the pen name while studying at Dartmouth College and at the University of Oxford. Back then, he pronounced “Seuss” as it would be in German, i.e. rhyming with “voice”. After his books found success in the US, he went with the pronunciation being used widely by the public, quite happy to have a name that rhymes with “Mother Goose”.

37 Rapper fronting the heavy metal band Body Count : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be tired of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

38 Late-night host O’Brien : CONAN

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”. While attending Harvard, O’Brien was president of “The Harvard Lampoon”.

40 Profs’ helpers : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

41 Silly : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning “silly, lacking substance” comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

42 Where chess is believed to have originated : INDIA

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

44 Curving billiards shot : MASSE

In billiards, a massé shot is one in which the cue ball makes an extreme curve due to the player imparting heavy spin on the ball with his or her cue held relatively vertically. Some pool halls don’t allow massé shots as there’s a risk of ripping the cloth covering the table.

45 Car company that shares its name with an inventor : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

46 Longtime CBS police drama : CSI

The “CSI” TV show franchise uses hits from the Who as theme music:

  • “Who Are You” … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “Baba O’Riley” … “CSI: New York”
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” … “CSI: Miami”
  • “I Can See for Miles” … “CSI: Cyber”

51 Nicholas I or II : CZAR

There were two tsars of Russia named Nicholas. Nicholas I was Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia and ruled from 1894 until he abdicated in 1917, and was executed with his family in 1918.

60 Blacksmith’s block : ANVIL

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

62 Behind, in England : ARSE

Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword on the other side of the pond, as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that title in the UK.

64 Reviled Roman emperor : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

66 “Able was I ___ …” : ERE

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

Down

1 “Get on it!” : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

3 M.L.B. record-holder for most career home runs : BARRY BONDS

Barry Bonds is a former baseball player who holds numerous records as a batter. He is a controversial figure in the sport, and was mired for years in baseball’s steroids scandal.

6 Greek goddess of marriage : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

8 Tennis’s Steffi : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which was more than any other man or woman until Serena Williams came along. Graf is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

10 Coke vs. Pepsi, e.g. : AD WAR

“Cola Wars” is a phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

11 Singer profiled in the biopic “Walk the Line” : JOHNNY CASH

I must admit that I am not a big country music fan, but who doesn’t love Johnny Cash? The man had such a unique voice, and indeed unique songs. I think that his biopic, “Walk the Line”, is very cool, as is the title song itself. Recorded back in 1956, “Walk the Line” is relatively creative for “popular” music. The basic rhythm of the song emulates the sound of a freight train, the “boom-chicka-boom” sound. Cash’s guitar has a unique tone to it as it plays this rhythm, achieved by threading a piece of paper between the guitar strings giving the rhythm a bit of a “buzz”. Above the rhythm line, each of the five verses is sung in different keys. You can actually hear Cash hum a note signifying the key change at the start of each verse. With all these modulations, the final verse is sung a full octave lower than the first. A remarkable tune …

12 Smart ___ : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

13 Philosopher Descartes : RENE

Anything pertaining to the philosophy of the great Rene Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

21 Big doofus : OAF

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

29 N.B.A. commissioner starting in 2014 : ADAM SILVER

Adam Silver was appointed NBA commissioner in 2014. He had served in various posts with the league since 1992, and took over as commissioner on the retirement of David Stern.

39 Tandoor bread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

41 Apple desktop : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

49 Contraction starting a Christmas poem : ‘TWAS

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

50 Archipelago part : ISLE

“Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. The Aegean Sea was once known as the Archipelago. The usage of “Archipelago” migrated over time, eventually applying only to the Aegean Islands. As a result, we use the term “archipelago” today not for a sea, but for a group or chain of islands.

51 Bloke : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Money, Money, Money” group : ABBA
5 Toughs … or an anagram of TOUGHS minus a letter : THUGS
10 Slightly open : AJAR
14 Thick slice : SLAB
15 Old but back in fashion : RETRO
16 Agricultural giant founded in Hawaii in 1851 : DOLE
17 Atmosphere : AURA
18 Font akin to Helvetica : ARIAL
19 “What time?” : WHEN?
20 Sort of investment suggested by the ends of 3-, 11- and 29-Down : PERSONAL FINANCE
23 First half of a Senate vote : YEAS
24 “Oh, bleah!” : DARN!
25 Indent key : TAB
27 Exclamation upon reaching a customer service representative, maybe : FINALLY!
31 Measurement for passes and rushes: Abbr. : YDS
34 It’s 99.9% “empty space” : ATOM
36 “___ you are you! That is truer than true!”: Dr. Seuss : TODAY
37 Rapper fronting the heavy metal band Body Count : ICE-T
38 Late-night host O’Brien : CONAN
40 Profs’ helpers : TAS
41 Silly : INANE
42 Where chess is believed to have originated : INDIA
43 Qty. : AMT
44 Curving billiards shot : MASSE
45 Car company that shares its name with an inventor : TESLA
46 Longtime CBS police drama : CSI
47 Flicked, as a cigarette : ASHED
48 In a risky situation : ON THIN ICE
51 Nicholas I or II : CZAR
54 They have ears, it’s said : WALLS
55 Intimidates : COWS
59 Had in one’s hands : HELD
60 Blacksmith’s block : ANVIL
61 Place to cook a turkey : OVEN
62 Behind, in England : ARSE
63 Part of an act : SCENE
64 Reviled Roman emperor : NERO
65 Deserving a D : POOR
66 “Able was I ___ …” : ERE
67 Picked a card : DREW

Down

1 “Get on it!” : ASAP!
2 Sad : BLUE
3 M.L.B. record-holder for most career home runs : BARRY BONDS
4 Humiliate : ABASE
5 Kind of visa for just passing through an airport : TRANSIT
6 Greek goddess of marriage : HERA
7 Gas or elec. : UTIL
8 Tennis’s Steffi : GRAF
9 How best to hit a ball for a home run : SOLIDLY
10 Coke vs. Pepsi, e.g. : AD WAR
11 Singer profiled in the biopic “Walk the Line” : JOHNNY CASH
12 Smart ___ : ALEC
13 Philosopher Descartes : RENE
21 Big doofus : OAF
22 “I disagree” : NAY
25 Understood : TACIT
26 Make reparations : ATONE
28 “Impossible!” : NOT A CHANCE!
29 N.B.A. commissioner starting in 2014 : ADAM SILVER
30 Trailing all others : LAST IN LINE
32 Tightly packed : DENSE
33 Horse for a knight : STEED
35 Alternative to in-store : MAIL-ORDER
37 “I’ll be right with you” : IN A SECOND
39 Tandoor bread : NAAN
41 Apple desktop : IMAC
49 Contraction starting a Christmas poem : ‘TWAS
50 Archipelago part : ISLE
51 Bloke : CHAP
52 It doesn’t mean a thing : ZERO
53 In addition : ALSO
56 Lead-in to “the hill” or “the top” : OVER …
57 “What ___ you thinking?” : WERE
58 Reason for a school day off : SNOW

3 thoughts on “1123-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 21, Tuesday”

  1. 6:35. Theme helped this puzzle zip by.

    Interesting explanation of the JOHNNY CASH song.

    I wonder who taste tested all those IMACs?

    Best –

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