1210-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Dec 21, Friday

Constructed by: Joe DiPietro
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 26m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Heading for : EN ROUTE TO

“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”.

17 Skew conservative : LEAN RIGHT

The concept of left-right politics started in France during the French Revolution. When members of France’s National Assembly convened in 1789, supporters of the King sat to the President’s right, and supporters of the revolution to the President’s left. The political terms “left” and “right” were then coined in the local media and have been used ever since.

20 Period at the beginning of the Stone Age : EOLITHIC

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

24 Wilson on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : RITA

Actress Rita Wilson is also a producer. She produced the 2002 movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which was destined to become the highest-grossing independent movie of all time. Wilson married fellow actor Tom Hanks in 1988.

26 1968 Peace Nobelist Cassin : RENE

René Cassin drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after WWII that was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. This work led to Cassin being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.

40 ___ fever, a.k.a. allergic rhinitis : HAY

Rhinitis is irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose. Usually, rhinitis is a result of inhalation of allergens such as pollen and pet dander.

41 Have a natural interest in gambling? : SHOOT CRAPS

If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

45 Company that helped launch TMZ : AOL

TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip website launched in 2005 by producer Harvey Levin. “TMZ” stands for “thirty-mile zone”, a reference to the “studio zone” in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

52 Was peripatetic : ROVED

The adjective “peripatetic” means travelling on foot, or walking from place to place. The term comes from a Latin word that was applied to the disciples of Aristotle. Aristotle had the habit of teaching while strolling through the public meeting place in Athens. The Latin word comes from the Greek “peripatetikos” meaning “given to walking about”.

53 Untrained, perhaps : IN DIAPERS

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term “diaper” was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, “diaper” was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

59 House of ___ : LORDS

The UK Parliament is divided into two houses, with the upper house known as the House of Lords and the lower house as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons (MPs) are elected, but most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Historically, a large proportion of the membership of the upper house were hereditary peers, but recent legislative changes are reducing the numbers who can sit in the House of Lords by virtue of birthright.

Down

1 ___ esprit (gifted person) : BEL

“Bel esprit” is French for “high mind”, and we use it to mean someone who is cultivated and highly intelligent, or perhaps someone who is witty. The plural of “bel esprit” is “beaux esprits”.

2 Suffix with acetyl : -ENE

Acetylene is one of the simplest hydrocarbons, and has the formula C2H2. About 20% of the acetylene produced in the world is used for oxyacetylene gas welding and cutting.

8 Albert Camus or Isaac Asimov, religiously : ATHEIST

The term “atheism”, meaning “disbelief in the existence of a god or gods”, comes from the Greek “atheos” meaning “without god”.

10 They’re known for their holiday gifts : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

12 Mandrake the Magician’s sidekick : LOTHAR

“Mandrake the Magician” is a comic strip that was created by Lee Falk in 1934. Some folks hold that Mandrake was the comic world’s first superhero. Mandrake lives in a high-tech home called Xanadu, and fights crime with his best friend Lothar.

29 One side of a coll. football “Holy War” rivalry : BYU

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

31 Vintner Claude : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, and one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

33 Intl. Rescue Committee, e.g. : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

36 Noble title : EARL

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

39 Golden Ball winner in 2019’s Women’s World Cup : RAPINOE

Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player and a star on the US national team. One of Rapinoe’s many claims to fame is that she is the only player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner kick in an Olympic Games.

43 Twist in a story : OLIVER

“Oliver Twist” is an 1838 novel by Charles Dickens. The title character is an orphan who escapes from an oppressive apprenticeship with an undertaker. He gets drawn into the criminal underworld of London, where he meets up with some colorful characters such as the Artful Dodger, Fagin and Bill Sykes. Television, stage and film adaptations of “Oliver Twist” tend to lift the overall mood of the story, which in the novel is pretty bleak.

47 Neil ___, drummer/lyricist for the rock band Rush : PEART

Rush is a Canadian rock band that has been around since 1968. The band has three members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ensemble purchase that includes sheets and pillowcases : BED IN A BAG
10 Cheek-related : MALAR
15 Heading for : EN ROUTE TO
16 Set apart : ALONE
17 Skew conservative : LEAN RIGHT
18 “___ boogie!” : GOTTA
19 Meat : GIST
20 Period at the beginning of the Stone Age : EOLITHIC
22 Value : PRIZE
24 Wilson on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : RITA
25 Back on board : AFT
26 1968 Peace Nobelist Cassin : RENE
27 Garments that sound like you’d exercise in them : PUSH-UP BRAS
30 “Let’s ___!” : EAT
31 California setting of several Steinbeck novels : MONTEREY
32 I, for one : PRONOUN
34 At a discount : REDUCED
38 Big brass : GENERALS
40 ___ fever, a.k.a. allergic rhinitis : HAY
41 Have a natural interest in gambling? : SHOOT CRAPS
44 Wear out : TIRE
45 Company that helped launch TMZ : AOL
46 Spot : ESPY
47 Spots for dips : POOLS
48 Japanese dish of raw fish and vegetables over rice : CHIRASHI
51 Kind of limit : TERM
52 Was peripatetic : ROVED
53 Untrained, perhaps : IN DIAPERS
57 Up : AHEAD
58 Ignored protocol : GONE ROGUE
59 House of ___ : LORDS
60 Beat reporting? : HEART RATE

Down

1 ___ esprit (gifted person) : BEL
2 Suffix with acetyl : -ENE
3 Involve as an unwilling participant : DRAG INTO
4 Charge, in a way : IONIZE
5 Many a frontline worker : NURSE
6 Words after keep or going : … AT IT
7 Importune : BEG
8 Albert Camus or Isaac Asimov, religiously : ATHEIST
9 What over 40 million U.S. adults do annually : GO TO THERAPY
10 They’re known for their holiday gifts : MAGI
11 2019 rap hit whose title follows the lyric “How much money you got?” : A LOT
12 Mandrake the Magician’s sidekick : LOTHAR
13 Modern protest group : ANTIFA
14 Jerks, say : REACTS
21 Rightful praise : LAURELS
22 School for the college-bound, informally : PREP
23 Bench warmer? : REAR
24 Rush while racing? : RUNNER’S HIGH
27 Springs : POUNCES
28 Ones using a x-walk : PEDS
29 One side of a coll. football “Holy War” rivalry : BYU
31 Vintner Claude : MOET
33 Intl. Rescue Committee, e.g. : NGO
35 Largest college sorority by enrollment (380,000+ members) : CHI OMEGA
36 Noble title : EARL
37 Goes green, say? : DYES
39 Golden Ball winner in 2019’s Women’s World Cup : RAPINOE
41 Of holy rites : SACRAL
42 Christmas cheer? : HO HO HO!
43 Twist in a story : OLIVER
44 Lethargy : TORPOR
47 Neil ___, drummer/lyricist for the rock band Rush : PEART
49 Inbox category : READ
50 Puts on : ADDS
51 Level : TIER
54 Subj. of supercoiling : DNA
55 Same old, same old : RUT
56 “Let’s ___ …” : SEE

18 thoughts on “1210-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Dec 21, Friday”

  1. 20:45. Cripes this was a tough one. The NE took me a very long time. Very little to get a foothold, so it just took brute force to bring it down.

  2. 36:53. This felt more like a Sat. I stared and experimented (not well) with the NE corner for about 10 minutes before taking a lookup – not at all familiar with MALAR or LOTHAR. I thought I got 27A correct at the very beginning, with SWEATPANTS – how wrong I was!! Needed most of the crosses to get 1A.

    When I finally got OLIVER I had to smack myself in the head – DOH!!!

  3. 28:18, no errors. Difficult one, I thought, but, at the end, the only entry I’d never heard of turned out to be “CHIRASHI”. (And maybe “PEART”, but my crossword lizard brain seemed to recognize that one, once I got it from crosses).

    First snow of the season is coming down outside! About an inch so far. I’d be roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but I neglected to lay in a supply of them (plus, I don’t have a fireplace, so I’d have to sacrifice a piece of furniture … 😜).

    1. Do you walk in snow and rain?
      I do a lot of walking and I can’t seem to put on weight. I don’t eat a lot of carbs or sugar.Any suggestions on gaining weight..the healthy way?

      Miles

      1. I took today off, but yes, I do walk in snow and rain (or, at least, I have in the past). There hasn’t been much to speak of here, recently (and today’s snow is gone already).

        As for gaining weight: I try to make myself eat, but exercise robs me of my appetite, so I’m afraid I have no really useful suggestions for you. However, I’m interested in answers to the question … 🤨.

        1. I eat 5 small meals and protein shakes.I’ve walked every day, hills for nine years without a break. That’s why I can’t gain any weight. Then I also do pull-ups and push-ups when I return.

          Miles

  4. 23:16. Seemed a relatively easy Friday for me. Go figure. Didn’t know CHIRASHI either.

    Heading to Cabo tomorrow for a week. I may or may not have time to check in. More likely, I’ll be a week behind in puzzles when I get back.

    Best –

  5. 58:30 only error was “molar” instead of “malar”, but it took seemingly forever to find the error. My musical tastes span a wide spectrum, but rap is only slightly above Italian operas for me, so no clue, just “a lot” of useless guessing.

  6. 39:24, 5 Naticks. Nother highly unenjoyable WAG fest. And I’ll probably be saying the same thing Saturday…again.

    1. I’m really not the person to answer this, as I’m not much of a gambler, but … see this site:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_(gambling)

      It seems that the clue (“Have a natural interest in gambling?”) involves a pun (as signaled by the question mark). A “natural” in craps is a desirable outcome (and therefore one a gambler would have an interest in).

  7. No time (forgot to start the stopwatch), but about 25 minutes based on clock times. 2 errors: B(I)L; (I)N ROUTE TO.

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