0621-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Jun 19, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Wanderer’s refuge : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

6 1/8 of a standard stick of butter: Abbr. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

10 Part of the eye : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

16 Some deer : ROES

Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

18 Fleece : BILK

The verb “to bilk”, meaning “to defraud”, comes from the card game of cribbage. “To bilk” in cribbage is to spoil someone’s score.

19 Rafael Nadal’s country, in the Olympics : ESP

In Spanish, “Spain” is written as “España”.

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which expertise earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

21 Owner of Bloomingdale’s : MACY’S

The original Macy’s store was opened by Rowland Hussey Macy in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851. This store, and several others that Macy opened, all failed. Macy picked himself up though, and started over again in New York City. Those early New York stores all focused on the sale of dry goods, but added departments quickly as the clientele grew. The Macy’s “star” logo has been around since the company was first established. Macy chose the star because it mimicked the star tattoo that he got as a teenager when he was working on a whaling ship out of Nantucket.

The Bloomingdale’s chain of department stores was founded by two Bloomingdale brothers in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The company’s original product line was hoop skirts.

22 British philanthropist Henry : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

23 How John Glenn orbited the earth in 1962 : ALONE

John Glenn was a Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. He later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998 at the age of 77.

28 Expert sleuth : SHERLOCK

Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, “A Study in Scarlet“. Amazingly, Conan Doyle wrote the novel in under three weeks, while working as a 27-year-old doctor. Mind you, he only got paid 25 pounds for all the rights to the story. I suppose it’s a good job that he only devoted a few weeks to it.

32 Turn a blind eye : SEE NO EVIL

The old adage “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” originated in the 17th century. The phrase comes as an interpretation of a wood carving over a door in a shrine in Nikko, Japan. The carving depicts the “Three Wise Monkeys”:

  • Mizaru, covering his eyes
  • Kikazaru, covering his ears
  • Iwazaru, covering his mouth

34 Their pockets aren’t deep : PITAS

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

38 What “de rien” might be a response to : MERCI

“Rien” is the French word for “nothing”. “De rien” translates literally from the French as “of nothing”, and is used to mean “you’re welcome” or “don’t mention it”. The Spanish have the same expression “de nada”, also translating to “of nothing” and used the same way.

40 Ted with a cameo in the movie “Ted” : DANSON

Actor Ted Danson is noted for in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, the title role on the sitcom “Becker”, and eventually led the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

Even in my day, a cameo role was more than just a short appearance in a movie (or other artistic piece). For the appearance to be a cameo, the actor had to playing himself or herself, and was instantly recognizable. With this meaning it’s easy to see the etymology of the term, as a cameo brooch is one with the recognizable carving of the silhouette of a person. Nowadays, a cameo is any minor role played by a celebrity or famous actor, regardless of the character played.

43 Singer Khan : CHAKA

Chaka Khan is the stage name of singer Yvette Stevens from Chicago. Chaka Khan was the front woman for the band Rufus before she launched her very successful solo career.

47 Where to stick a toothpick : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Down

1 “Tom Thumb” antagonist : OGRE

The story “Tom Thumb” was originally published in 1621, making it the first fairy tale ever printed in English. The title character is a boy who is no bigger than his father’s thumb, hence his name.

2 Father of Deimos and Phobos : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

3 Product sold in bars : SOAP

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

4 OB/GYN offering : IUD

It seems that it isn’t fully understood how the intrauterine device (IUD) works. The design that was most popular for decades was a T-shaped plastic frame on which was wound copper wire. It’s thought that the device is an irritant in the uterus causing the body to release chemicals that are hostile to sperm and eggs. This effect is enhanced by the presence of the copper.

25 Believe it! : CREDO

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

27 Ultramodern : AVANT-GARDE

People described as avant-garde are especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

29 Festive mayo day : CINCO

The celebration known as Cinco de Mayo is observed all over the US and in parts of Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is not, as some believe, Mexico’s Independence Day. Independence is celebrated on September 16, whereas Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

30 Political commentator Ezra : KLEIN

Ezra Klein is a journalist and blogger who writes for “The Washington Post”, “Bloomberg” and “MSNBC”. Klein’s contribution at “The Washington Post” is the most-read blog that the paper publishes.

32 Game with lots of instructions : SIMON SAYS

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

37 With 49-Down, early tryout : BETA …
(49D See 37-Down : … TEST)

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

40 Dining adornment : DOILY

There was a draper in London in the seventeenth century named Doiley, and he gave his name to the lace fabric that he sold, which in turn gave its name to the ornamental mat that we call a “doily”. I can’t stand doilies …

43 Bud : CHUM

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

46 Government sleuth, quaintly : T-MAN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T stands for “Treasury”).

47 Cookout item, for short : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

48 Entertainer and civil rights activist Horne : LENA

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

51 Org. in “The X-Files” : FBI

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wanderer’s refuge : OASIS
6 1/8 of a standard stick of butter: Abbr. : TBSP
10 Part of the eye : UVEA
14 Big shot? : GROUP PHOTO
16 Some deer : ROES
17 Words in hide-and-seek : READY OR NOT!
18 Fleece : BILK
19 Rafael Nadal’s country, in the Olympics : ESP
20 What vines do : CREEP
21 Owner of Bloomingdale’s : MACY’S
22 British philanthropist Henry : TATE
23 How John Glenn orbited the earth in 1962 : ALONE
25 Insurance department : CLAIMS
28 Expert sleuth : SHERLOCK
31 Wanders : ROVES
32 Turn a blind eye : SEE NO EVIL
33 “Gracious!” : EGAD!
34 Their pockets aren’t deep : PITAS
35 “Dominant” thing : GENE
36 “It wasn’t my fault” : DON’T BE MAD
38 What “de rien” might be a response to : MERCI
39 Precisely : ON THE DOT
40 Ted with a cameo in the movie “Ted” : DANSON
41 Instruction given through a rolled-down window : GET IN
42 Cross : FORD
43 Singer Khan : CHAKA
45 Creaky part of a house : STAIR
47 Where to stick a toothpick : BLT
50 Front part of a saddle : HORN
51 Something relatively complicated? : FAMILY TREE
53 Off-the-shoulders hairstyle : UPDO
54 At all : BY ANY MEANS
55 Certain competition : MEET
56 “If someone ___ careful …” : ISN’T
57 Seriously bother : EAT AT

Down

1 “Tom Thumb” antagonist : OGRE
2 Father of Deimos and Phobos : ARES
3 Product sold in bars : SOAP
4 OB/GYN offering : IUD
5 Aids for snoops : SPY CAMS
6 A crowd, so to speak : THREE
7 Shade of white : BONE
8 Sign indicating a sign : STOP AHEAD
9 Bettor’s winnings : POT
10 Often-repeated bit of modern folklore : URBAN LEGEND
11 Some commercial work : VOICE-OVERS
12 Hard to grasp, say : EELY
13 Sets, as a price : ASKS
15 Things on the back of a computer : PORTS
21 ___ reflex, infant’s instinctual spreading of the arms : MORO
22 Wed : TIED THE KNOT
24 Part of the eye : LENS
25 Believe it! : CREDO
26 Enter one’s password, maybe : LOG ON
27 Ultramodern : AVANT-GARDE
28 Went after : SET AT
29 Festive mayo day : CINCO
30 Political commentator Ezra : KLEIN
32 Game with lots of instructions : SIMON SAYS
34 Nail job, for short : PEDI
37 With 49-Down, early tryout : BETA …
38 John Updike novel subtitled “A Romance” : MARRY ME
40 Dining adornment : DOILY
42 Light : FAINT
43 Bud : CHUM
44 Word before and after against : HOPE
46 Government sleuth, quaintly : T-MAN
47 Cookout item, for short : BRAT
48 Entertainer and civil rights activist Horne : LENA
49 See 37-Down : … TEST
51 Org. in “The X-Files” : FBI
52 It’s in the bag : TEA

8 thoughts on “0621-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Jun 19, Friday”

  1. Used a scatter-gun approach while dividing my time between the puzzle and a bowl of Cap’n Crunch. Finished that and the grid filled nicely. Fun, no errors.

  2. +2 hours. Extremely slow, 1 error, But I completed a Friday puzzle. Yay me!

    Lol, Dave (not the angry one). I always use a “scatter-gun” approach. It takes quite some time for my scattered brain cells to line up and play together nicely. So many “well, duh!” moments for me and, although I’ve been doing the weekend (F,S+S) puzzles for a couple of years, I don’t seem to improve. Still enjoyable, tho.

    Carry on, team! –Rochelle

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