1209-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Alexander Liebeskind
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Filming Adaptation

Themed answers each comprise a film title followed by -ING:

  • 18A Film adaptation with … a choir arriving at the airport? (2016) : LA LA LANDING (from “La La Land”)
  • 24A … a room in an environmentally friendly hotel? (2018) : GREEN BOOKING (from “Green Book”)
  • 39A … a triceratops trying to find a spot for its car? (1993) : JURASSIC PARKING (from “Jurassic Park”)
  • 52A … a quick trip to purchase cutlery? (2019) : KNIVES OUTING (from “Knives Out”)
  • 61A … a movement to make invoices illegal? (2003) : KILL BILLING (from “Kill Bill”)

Bill’s time: 10m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Hallucinogen from a cactus : PEYOTE

The peyote is a small, spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a recreational drug of choice for the likes of Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

18 Film adaptation with … a choir arriving at the airport? (2016) : LA LA LANDING (from “La La Land”)

“La La Land” is a 2016 romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actress who fall in love in “La La Land” (Los Angeles, i.e. “LA”). The film was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who had found success two years earlier with the musical drama “Whiplash”. “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and tied the record number of Oscar nominations at fourteen, winning six.

20 Brand of light-colored cookie : NILLA

As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened form of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?

22 Nonfiction film, in brief : DOC

Documentary (doc)

24 … a room in an environmentally friendly hotel? (2018) : GREEN BOOKING (from “Green Book”)

“Green Book” is a 2018 comedy film that is based on the true story of a 1962 tour of the Deep South by Florida-born classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Shirley, an African American, hires Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga as his driver and bodyguard. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear that audiences and critics loved it …

30 Govt. org. that had the same leader for its first 48 years (1924-72) : FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

J. Edgar Hoover was the controversial director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the time of its founding in 1935 until his death in 1972. While being given the credit for establishing the FBI as a first-class crime-fighting organization, he was also criticized by many for exceeding his authority. In particular, he came into conflict with Presidents Truman and Kennedy, both of whom considered dismissing him. Neither took that step however, fearing the political fallout.

33 Follower of John : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

35 Japanese carrier : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size than the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

39 … a triceratops trying to find a spot for its car? (1993) : JURASSIC PARKING (from “Jurassic Park”)

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

A triceratops is a dinosaur that kind of looked like a rhinoceros, but with three horns. The name “triceratops” is derived from the Greek for “three-horned face”.

46 Kind of battle : RAP

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

47 Ginger ___ : ALE

The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced, homemade liquor.

50 Rob with four Super Bowl rings, familiarly : GRONK

Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski is an NFL tight end who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010. Gronk is one of five brothers, all of whom have played professional sports.

52 … a quick trip to purchase cutlery? (2019) : KNIVES OUTING (from “Knives Out”)

“Knives Out” is an intriguing murder mystery film released in 2019. There’s a great cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. I really enjoyed this one, partly because it’s a clever, contemporary take on a classic whodunit movie …

We mainly use the word “cutlery” these days to describe the implements used for eating food, i.e. knives, forks and spoons. In earlier times, the term “cutlery” referred more specifically to “cutting” tools.

56 The duck, in “Peter and the Wolf” : OBOE

As is the case for many I am sure, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” was my introduction to the world of classical music, as it was played for us at school many, many moons ago. Prokofiev wrote the piece as a commissioned work for the Central Children’s Theater in Moscow, in 1936. He loved the idea of the project, and wrote the story and music in just four days!

61 … a movement to make invoices illegal? (2003) : KILL BILLING (from “Kill Bill”)

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t “do” Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

67 Biblical progenitor of the Edomites : ESAU

Edom is an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. According to the Bible, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau. “Edom” translates from Hebrew as “red”, and was the name given to Esau when he ate the “red pottage”.

71 Govt.-issued ID : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

Down

4 Presidential middle name : DELANO

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”. Franklin was to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, and apparently the relationship between Sara and her daughter-in-law was very “strained”.

6 Brooks with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of relatively few entertainers who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy (EGOT). He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

7 Home to the largest Goya collection in the world : PRADO

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter who was often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

9 Geology interval : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

19 Disney+ series set after “Avengers: Endgame” : LOKI

“Avengers: Endgame” is a 2019 superhero movie. It is the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that features several superheroes made famous in Marvel Comics. “Avengers: Endgame” closes out the story arcs for several superheroes from prior films in the series.

25 Things with hooks : BRAS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

26 Hyatt alternative : OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

32 Playwright William : INGE

During his career, dramatist William Inge was known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”, as many of his works were set in the American heartland and explored small town life. When Inge was 60 years old, he committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide. He was buried in his hometown of Independence, Kansas. Inge’s grave is marked with a headstone that reads simply “Playwright”.

33 Cracked a bit : AJAR

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

34 Home of the 62-Down hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird : CUBA
(62D See 34-Down : BEE)

It was Christopher Columbus who claimed the island now known as Cuba for Spain, in 1492. He named his new find “Isla Juana” after Juan, Prince of Asturias. Columbus landed on the northeastern coast near what is now the city of Baracoa. The city of Baracoa developed from the first Spanish settlement on the island, established in 1511 by the conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar.

36 Louisville is in it, in brief : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

40 John, abroad : SEAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

41 Dogs in Tibetan monasteries, once : PUGS

The pug is a dog breed of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, and is a good-looking mutt!

48 Cell membrane makeup : LIPIDS

Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules including fats, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D and E). Sometimes we use the words “fat” and “lipid” interchangeably but fats are a subgroup of lipids, specifically a group best called triglycerides.

52 Clarkson with the 2004 hit “Since U Been Gone” : KELLY

“Since U Been Gone” is a song written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke that they hoped would be recorded by Pink. Pink passed on the opportunity to record it, and so they offered it to Hilary Duff. Duff passed as well, and so the song went to Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson’s 2004 recording did well in the charts.

54 Makes out : NECKS

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

62 See 34-Down : BEE
(34D Home of the 62-Down hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird : CUBA)

Hummingbirds are the smallest of all the birds. The bee hummingbird is native to Cuba and weighs less than a tenth of an ounce and is about two inches in length!

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brave ___ lion : AS A
4 Still on the line, perhaps : DAMP
8 Hallucinogen from a cactus : PEYOTE
14 Part of a range: Abbr. : MTN
15 Word that becomes its own opposite when “n” is added to the front : EVER
16 Temporarily out : LOANED
17 Blackjack ___, source of dense wood : OAK
18 Film adaptation with … a choir arriving at the airport? (2016) : LA LA LANDING (from “La La Land”)
20 Brand of light-colored cookie : NILLA
22 Nonfiction film, in brief : DOC
23 Minute, informally : ITTY
24 … a room in an environmentally friendly hotel? (2018) : GREEN BOOKING (from “Green Book”)
28 Leave in a huff, with “out” : STORM …
29 Carb- follower : -IDE
30 Govt. org. that had the same leader for its first 48 years (1924-72) : FBI
33 Follower of John : ACTS
35 Japanese carrier : ANA
37 Alphabetically first of the 100 most popular boys’ names in the U.S. : AARON
39 … a triceratops trying to find a spot for its car? (1993) : JURASSIC PARKING (from “Jurassic Park”)
43 Let up : ABATE
44 You might need this to go on : CUE
45 “Mm-hmm …” : I SEE …
46 Kind of battle : RAP
47 Ginger ___ : ALE
50 Rob with four Super Bowl rings, familiarly : GRONK
52 … a quick trip to purchase cutlery? (2019) : KNIVES OUTING (from “Knives Out”)
56 The duck, in “Peter and the Wolf” : OBOE
59 Pizzeria order : PIE
60 Skin-care application : TONER
61 … a movement to make invoices illegal? (2003) : KILL BILLING (from “Kill Bill”)
65 Prefix with system : ECO-
66 In a daze : ADDLED
67 Biblical progenitor of the Edomites : ESAU
68 ___-core (punk offshoot) : SKA
69 “Absolutely, will do” : YES YES!
70 Feeling sad : DOWN
71 Govt.-issued ID : SSN

Down

1 ___ friends : AMONG
2 One on the case? : STAIR
3 High-heel shoe attachment : ANKLE STRAP
4 Presidential middle name : DELANO
5 Pop singer ___ Max : AVA
6 Brooks with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards : MEL
7 Home to the largest Goya collection in the world : PRADO
8 Tranquil : PLACID
9 Geology interval : EON
10 “Catch my drift?” : YA DIG?
11 Getting the job done : ON IT
12 You might have a stake in this : TENT
13 Experimental, say : EDGY
19 Disney+ series set after “Avengers: Endgame” : LOKI
21 Unleashes on : LETS AT
25 Things with hooks : BRAS
26 Hyatt alternative : OMNI
27 “Warm” : NEAR
30 Quality of a playful kitten : FRISKINESS
31 Something to chew on : BONE
32 Playwright William : INGE
33 Cracked a bit : AJAR
34 Home of the 62-Down hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird : CUBA
36 Louisville is in it, in brief : ACC
38 Like : AKIN TO
40 John, abroad : SEAN
41 Dogs in Tibetan monasteries, once : PUGS
42 Sleekly designed, informally : AERO
48 Cell membrane makeup : LIPIDS
49 Iniquitous : EVIL
51 Surpass in strength : OUTGUN
52 Clarkson with the 2004 hit “Since U Been Gone” : KELLY
53 Set certain underwater traps : EELED
54 Makes out : NECKS
55 [What a joke!] : [GROAN!]
56 Sign off on : OKAY
57 Hold tight : BIDE
58 One’s parents, slangily, with “the” : … OLDS
62 See 34-Down : BEE
63 Cousin of equi- : ISO-
64 “Yer wrong” : NAW

15 thoughts on “1209-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 21, Thursday”

  1. The meaning of soutien-gorge is not “held under the neck”. “Gorge” does mean neck or throat, but it also means bosom. So “soutien-gorge” translates as support for the breast or bosom (from the verb soutenir, to support).

  2. 14:24, no errors, no real issues, though I paused for a bit of head-scratching at the end, due to a earlier misstep that was confusing me: I had somehow entered “GREEN ROOMING” instead of “GREEN BOOKING”. Once I realized what I had done and fixed it, I was able to finish quickly. Silly me … 😳.

      1. Too much.

        Typically, I get six or seven hours of sleep between 9 or 10 PM and 4 or 5 AM. After my morning walk, I’m functional until 1 or 2 PM, but, on most days, I then go down for a two- or three-hour afternoon nap. Sometimes, I have to take a day or two off. I’ve actually been averaging just over 7 miles a day for all 185 days from June 8th through December 9th, but, recently, I’ve been doing more than that (and I’m now trying to cut back again).

        Is this healthy? I honestly don’t know. In many ways, it’s a reaction to the sense of isolation that Covid-19 has brought, a form of madness … 😳.

        I know, I know … TMI … 😜.

          1. Hmmm. Interesting question. And the answer is …

            Too little!

            In the last two years, my weight has dropped from 165 pounds to 135 pounds. I lost about 10 pounds during a hectic move in early 2020. Then, Covid hit, all the restaurants closed down, I had to start eating my own cooking, and I began walking a lot more. So, over time, another 20 pounds came off. My doctor says that I needn’t worry about it, but I’m not so sure … 🤨.

  3. 24:00 one error, “itsy” instead of “itty”.

    Nonny, not TMI, more a case of envy. I do about 3 miles a day on my courier job, and that’s about all my knees can take.

  4. 18:02. Not a very Thursday-ish theme, but it’s late and I’m too tired to complain. If this were a Wednesday puzzle, I’d probably be raving about it. Go figure. Law of expectations I suppose.

    A movie like GREEN BOOK wouldn’t normally interest me, but for some reason that one does. I’ll have to see it someday.

    Mini theme with this puzzle no one seemed to notice: ANKLE STRAP high heels, BRAS, TONER make up, and J. Edgar Hoover. Now THAT’s a Thursday level theme. Can’t believe Bill missed that one…..

    Best –

    1. Great discovery of that hidden theme! Talk about eagle eyes.

      The film GREEN BOOK is quite enjoyable (dunno about it being “Best Picture” for that year). It chronicles the era quite well, a time in which a much loved and appreciated (and hugely successful) pop artist such as Nat “King” Cole could be attacked and beaten while trying to tour the deep South. I only knew of Don Shirley from his trio single of “Water Boy” b/w “Freedom” which I bought when I was in high school and still interested in jazz. Until this film, I never knew anything about him. So…recommended.

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