0721-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 19, Sunday

Constructed by: Jason Mueller & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Fifty Years On

Today’s puzzle is a tribute to the Apollo 11 moon landing that took place 50 years ago. The grid includes ONE SMALL “STEP” in the bottom-left corner, and ONE GIANT “LEAP” in the bottom-right:

  • 23A Name of a sea first visited in 1969 : TRANQUILITY
  • 71A Newsmaker of July 1969 : ARMSTRONG
  • 110A Announcement of July 1969 : THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
  • 3D Long-distance traveler of 1969 : APOLLO ELEVEN
  • 14D Achievement of 1969 : MAN ON THE MOON
  • 32D What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in a corner of this puzzle : ONE SMALL STEP
  • 36D What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in another corner of this puzzle : ONE GIANT LEAP

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

Bill’s time: 18m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Org. whose workers can be a little frisky? : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

20 On the qui vive : ALERT

“On the qui vive” is a phrase that means “on the alert”. The term “qui vive?” is French for “(long) live who?” and was used as a challenge by a sentry to determine what loyalty a person had.

21 Second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands : MAUI

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is sometimes called the “Valley Isle” as it is composed of two volcanoes to the northwest and southeast of the island, each with numerous beautiful valleys carved into them.

22 “However,” in textspeak : OTOH

On the other hand (OTOH)

23 Name of a sea first visited in 1969 : TRANQUILITY

We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

26 World capital near the 60th parallel : OSLO

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is located at the northern end of a fjord known as Oslofjord. The fjord is home to 40 islands that lie within the city’s limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes.

29 Good name for a fishmonger? : GIL

The suffix “-monger” indicates a dealer or trader. For example. A fishmonger sells fish, an ironmonger sells hardware, a warmonger proposes military conflict, and an ideamonger deals in ideas..

30 Gaming neophyte : NOOB

“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, and often refers to someone who is new to an online community.

31 Kind of diet : PALEO

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

37 W.W. II zone: Abbr. : ETO

European Theater of Operations (ETO)

40 Sean who played Rudy in “Rudy” : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

49 Appropriately palindromic reply to “Madam, I’m Adam” : EVE

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”.

50 Someone who might engage in a hobby with some frequency? : HAM

Amateur radio enthusiasts were first called “ham operators” by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker, and so it stuck.

51 Bit of media hoopla : SPLASH

The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

53 Words of Jesus : ARAMAIC

The ancient Biblical land of Aram was named after Aram, a grandson of Noah. Aram was located in the center of modern-day Syria. Aramaic became the everyday language of Syria, Mesopotamia and Palestine.

55 “Great” birds : EGRETS

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

57 Hillary who climbed Everest : EDMUND

Edmund Hillary was a mountaineer and explorer from New Zealand. Famously, Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers to summit Mount Everest, doing so in 1953. Edmund’s son Peter Hillary also became a climber, and he reached the summit of Everest in 1990. Peter repeated the feat in 2002, climbing alongside Tenzing Norgay’s son Jamling.

59 The Notorious ___ (Supreme Court nickname) : RBG

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

62 Skin care brand : NIVEA

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

70 Suave competitor : PRELL

Prell shampoo was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947. Back then it was a clear green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

71 Newsmaker of July 1969 : ARMSTRONG

Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn’t often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” statement; that was something that he came up with himself, while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

72 Weeper of myth : NIOBE

In Greek mythology, Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus when her children were killed. There, she was turned into stone and wept for eternity. There is indeed a Niobe’s Rock on Mount Sipylus (in modern-day Turkey) that resembles a female face, and so is known as “The Weeping Rock”.

74 Santa ___, Calif. : ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

75 Where I go “when my baby smiles at me,” in song : RIO

“I Go to Rio” is a 1976 song written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson that became the signature song for Allen.

Peter Allen was an Australian songwriter as well as an entertainer in his own right. He is famous for having won an Oscar for co-writing the song “Arthur’s Theme” from the 1981 movie “Arthur”. Allen was married to the film’s female lead Liza Minnelli. After he and Minnelli divorced, Allen had a 14-year homosexual relationship with fashion model Gregory Connell.

76 Bartender’s supply : TONIC

The original tonic water was a fairly strong solution of the drug quinine dissolved in carbonated water. It was used in tropical areas in South Asia and Africa where malaria is rampant. The quinine has a prophylactic effect against the disease, and was formulated as “tonic water” so that it could be easily distributed. In British colonial India, the colonial types got into the habit of mixing in gin with the tonic water to make it more palatable by hiding the bitter taste of quinine. Nowadays, the level of quinine in tonic water has been dropped, and sugar has been added.

77 Necessity for going online, in brief : ISP

Internet service provider (ISP)

94 “___ NewsHour” : PBS

“NewsHour” is the evening news program broadcast daily by PBS. The show started out as “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” in 1975, and transitioned into the hour-long program “The NewsHour” in 1983. That transition made “NewsHour” the nation’s first hour-long nightly news broadcast.

95 Wizards, but not witches : NBA TEAM

The Washington Wizards are the professional basketball team based in the nation’s capital. The franchise began playing in Chicago as the Packers, in 1961. One year later, the Chicago team changed its name to the Zephyrs. After one more season, the franchise relocated and became the Baltimore Bullets. In 1973, the team moved to Landover, Maryland to became the Capital Bullets, and then took the Washington Bullets name the following season. The final name change came in 1995, as the owner was uncomfortable with the violent images conjured up by the “Bullets” name. The Wizards name was chosen after a fan contest.

102 The last Pope Julius : III

Pope Julius III was head of the Roman Catholic church from 1550 to 1555.

103 ___ Stic (pen brand) : CLIC

Clic Stic is a model of pen made by Bic.

105 Hawk -> snake -> frog -> insect, e.g. : FOOD CHAIN

A food chain is a series of organisms, the smallest of which gets eaten by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc. Food chains are considered part of a food web.

110 Announcement of July 1969 : THE EAGLE HAS LANDED

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

118 Trojan warrior in the “Iliad” : AENEAS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

123 1980s TV’s “Remington ___” : STEELE

The eighties detective show “Remington Steele” stars Stephanie Zimbalist as a private detective Laura Holt, and Pierce Brosnan as the handsome bad boy Remington Steele, who’s really a good boy. The show successfully melds the detective genre with elements of romantic comedy.

124 Carol Brady and Camilla Parker Bowles, for two : STEPMOMS

In the TV show “The Brady Bunch”, the mom is Carol Brady, formerly Carol Martin, played by Florence Henderson. The dad is Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed.

Camilla Parker Bowles became the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Charles, Prince of Wales in 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall title derives from Duke of Cornwall, one of Charles secondary designations. The use of the primary title Princess of Wales wasn’t considered a good idea as it was closely associated with Lady Diana Spencer, Charles’ first wife.

Down

3 Long-distance traveler of 1969 : APOLLO ELEVEN

Apollo 11 was the most memorable of all space missions, landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon’s surface in their landing craft “Eagle”, while Michael Collins orbited in the command module “Columbia”. It was to be the first of five moon landings that would take place from 1969-1972.

4 800 things? : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

5 One putting on a show : CURATOR

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

7 Diarist Anaïs : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

8 Chef’s hat : TOQUE

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

9 Mrs. Gorbachev : RAISA

Raisa Gorbacheva was the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. There’s no doubt that Raisa’s charm and personality helped her husband as he worked to change the image of the Soviet Union.

13 Texter’s sign-off : TTYL

Talk to you later (ttyl)

14 Achievement of 1969 : MAN ON THE MOON

President Kennedy famously launched the Apollo space program in 1961. The Mercury program had been the project that put Americans into space, and NASA decided that more development work was needed to bridge the gap in capabilities needed between what was known from Mercury and what was needed to land a man on the moon, the objective of the Apollo program. So, the Gemini program was born, in which astronauts learned to spend extended periods in orbit, rendezvous and dock spacecraft, walk in space, and improve the reentry and landing stage of a space flight.

16 Rafter connectors : TIE BEAMS

Rafters are the beams that slope from the ridge of a roof down to the tops of the supporting walls.

18 Unconventional home in a nursery rhyme : SHOE

“There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” is an English nursery rhyme.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

21 English football powerhouse, to fans : MAN U

Manchester United (“Man U”) is one of the most successful football (soccer) clubs in England, having won more League titles than any other in the history of the game. The club is also famous for an airplane crash known as the 1958 Munich air disaster. The British European flight crashed during takeoff, resulting in the death of 23 passengers including eight members of the Manchester United team.

24 Strike caller : 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.

34 Regan’s father : LEAR

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

35 French comic actor Jacques : TATI

Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.

39 Third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

41 Composer Charles : IVES

Charles Ives was one of the great classical composers, and probably the first American to be so recognized. Sadly, his work largely went unsung (pun intended!) during his lifetime, and was really only accepted into the performed repertoire after his death in 1954.

52 Capital of South Australia : ADELAIDE

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia. Adelaide was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of England’s King William IV.

54 Dangerous substance that smells like bitter almonds : CYANIDE

Cyanide poisoning is caused by exposure to cyanide (CN) ions. The cyanide ions inhibit respiration at the cellular level, making the organism unable to use oxygen. “Cyanide” comes from the Greek “kyanos” meaning “dark blue”. The name was applied as cyanide was first obtained from the pigment called Prussian Blue.

56 Receiver with a crystal : RADIO SET

A crystal radio is a passive receiver, meaning that it uses the power in the radio signal to produce sound and does not amplify that signal (it has no battery). The crystal in the radio acts as a primitive form of diode. The sound coming out of a crystal set is so low that you can only hear it with headphones.

58 Org. with an Inspiration Award and an Award of Valor : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910. The NCAA has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1999.

62 Big inits. in news : NPR

National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, and was coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

65 Nationality seen in most of Romania : OMANI

The word “Omani” is hidden inside the word “Romania”.

66 Superman’s father : JOR-EL

Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

68 Stat for which Hank Aaron holds the all-time record : RBI

The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.

69 Common Market inits. : EEC

The European Economic Community (EEC) was also known as the “Common Market”. The EEC was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today’s European Union (EU).

78 Sport that players are not allowed to play left-handed : POLO

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

82 Network with “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” : TBS

Samantha Bee is a comedian from Toronto who found fame as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” starting way back in 2003. Bee left “The Daily Show” in 2015 to host her own late-night talk show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on TBS.

84 Apple on a desk : 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.

89 Member of a popular package delivery service : REINDEER

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

90 Mother of Hermes : MAIA

Maia is one of the Pleiades of Greek mythology, and is the eldest of the Seven Sisters.

Hermes was the Greek god of transitions and boundaries, one who intercedes between mortals and the divine. The Roman equivalent to Hermes was the god Mercury.

93 Tough job for a mover, maybe : SOFA

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

95 “Peter Pan” dog : NANA

In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.

104 ___ Weizmann, first president of Israel : CHAIM

Chaim Weizmann served as the first President of Israel, from 1949 until 1952. Weizmann was born in present-day Belarus, and worked as a very capable and successful biochemist before moving into politics.

106 Dirty mouth? : DELTA

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

109 “The Maids” playwright Jean : GENET

Jean Genet was a French playwright and novelist. Before he turned to writing, Genet was a homeless person with a criminal record. His debut novel was 1943’s “Notre-Dame-des-Fleur” (Our Lady of the Flowers), which is largely autobiographical and tells of a man’s life in the underworld of Paris.

113 “Illmatic” rapper : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …

114 People with badges: Abbr. : DETS

Detective (det.)

116 Mr. Turkey : TOM

A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently gets into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Org. whose workers can be a little frisky? : TSA
4 Meager : SCANT
9 Charged : RAN AT
14 Picture framer’s aid : MAT
17 Bad things for astronaut suits to have : RIPS
19 Part of a broadcast feed : AUDIO
20 On the qui vive : ALERT
21 Second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands : MAUI
22 “However,” in textspeak : OTOH
23 Name of a sea first visited in 1969 : TRANQUILITY
25 Pot starter : ANTE
26 World capital near the 60th parallel : OSLO
27 What mattresses and spirits may do : SAG
28 Signs of nervousness : UMS
29 Good name for a fishmonger? : GIL
30 Gaming neophyte : NOOB
31 Kind of diet : PALEO
33 They don’t keep their thoughts to themselves : TELEPATHS
36 Two tablespoons : OUNCE
37 W.W. II zone: Abbr. : ETO
38 End of a rope : NOOSE
40 Sean who played Rudy in “Rudy” : ASTIN
42 La-la lead-in : TRA-
43 Certain seafood delicacy : ROE
44 Attention : EAR
45 Not as one : APART
49 Appropriately palindromic reply to “Madam, I’m Adam” : EVE
50 Someone who might engage in a hobby with some frequency? : HAM
51 Bit of media hoopla : SPLASH
53 Words of Jesus : ARAMAIC
55 “Great” birds : EGRETS
57 Hillary who climbed Everest : EDMUND
59 The Notorious ___ (Supreme Court nickname) : RBG
60 Possible response to “No, you’re not” : YES, I AM
62 Skin care brand : NIVEA
64 Classic place to hide money : COOKIE JAR
67 “Je t’___” : ADORE
70 Suave competitor : PRELL
71 Newsmaker of July 1969 : ARMSTRONG
72 Weeper of myth : NIOBE
73 Relating to the kidneys : RENAL
74 Santa ___, Calif. : ANA
75 Where I go “when my baby smiles at me,” in song : RIO
76 Bartender’s supply : TONIC
77 Necessity for going online, in brief : ISP
79 Passed : ENACTED
83 Loopy cursive letters : ELS
84 “There was no other choice!” : I HAD TO!
87 Deactivate : DISABLE
88 Request for a cold one : BEER ME
92 Bottom-dwelling fish that lack fins : MUD EELS
94 “___ NewsHour” : PBS
95 Wizards, but not witches : NBA TEAM
96 Place to get a shot : ARM
97 Amenities at some hotels : POOLS
100 Understanding : GRASP
102 The last Pope Julius : III
103 ___ Stic (pen brand) : CLIC
105 Hawk -> snake -> frog -> insect, e.g. : FOOD CHAIN
109 Summer pest : GNAT
110 Announcement of July 1969 : THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
115 “A-O.K. for launch!” : IT’S A GO
117 Do-nothing’s state : IDLESSE
118 Trojan warrior in the “Iliad” : AENEAS
121 What’s gotten into your head : NOTION
122 Represented in sheet music : NOTATED
123 1980s TV’s “Remington ___” : STEELE
124 Carol Brady and Camilla Parker Bowles, for two : STEPMOMS
125 Scruffs : NAPES
126 Binoculars attachment : STRAP

Down

1 Ticket issuers : TROOPERS
2 Straddles : SITS ATOP
3 Long-distance traveler of 1969 : APOLLO ELEVEN
4 800 things? : SATS
5 One putting on a show : CURATOR
6 “What goes up must come down” and others : ADAGES
7 Diarist Anaïs : NIN
8 Chef’s hat : TOQUE
9 Mrs. Gorbachev : RAISA
10 Totally : ALL
11 Some sound effects in westerns : NEIGHS
12 Performer : ARTISTE
13 Texter’s sign-off : TTYL
14 Achievement of 1969 : MAN ON THE MOON
15 Dictator : AUTOCRAT
16 Rafter connectors : TIE BEAMS
18 Unconventional home in a nursery rhyme : SHOE
21 English football powerhouse, to fans : MAN U
24 Strike caller : UMP
32 What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in a corner of this puzzle : ONE SMALL STEP
34 Regan’s father : LEAR
35 French comic actor Jacques : TATI
36 What 71-Across took in 1969, as represented literally in another corner of this puzzle : ONE GIANT LEAP
39 Third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands : OAHU
41 Composer Charles : IVES
46 Domain of a municipal department : PARKS
47 Extent : AMBIT
48 Wild party : RAGER
52 Capital of South Australia : ADELAIDE
53 Dressed up : ADORNED
54 Dangerous substance that smells like bitter almonds : CYANIDE
56 Receiver with a crystal : RADIO SET
58 Org. with an Inspiration Award and an Award of Valor : NCAA
61 So : ERGO
62 Big inits. in news : NPR
63 Wrath : IRE
65 Nationality seen in most of Romania : OMANI
66 Superman’s father : JOR-EL
68 Stat for which Hank Aaron holds the all-time record : RBI
69 Common Market inits. : EEC
78 Sport that players are not allowed to play left-handed : POLO
80 Nile biter : ASP
81 One waiting in line at an airport : CAB
82 Network with “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” : TBS
83 Goes out : EBBS
84 Apple on a desk : IMAC
85 Pitch : HURL
86 Comes clean about : ADMITS TO
89 Member of a popular package delivery service : REINDEER
90 Mother of Hermes : MAIA
91 Release : EMIT
93 Tough job for a mover, maybe : SOFA
95 “Peter Pan” dog : NANA
98 Access an account : LOG IN
99 Convinced of : SOLD ON
100 Fuels (up) : GASSES
101 Angered : RILED
104 ___ Weizmann, first president of Israel : CHAIM
106 Dirty mouth? : DELTA
107 Economy : CHEAP
108 Test taker’s downfall, perhaps : HASTE
109 “The Maids” playwright Jean : GENET
111 Obstacles to teamwork : EGOS
112 Very long time : EON
113 “Illmatic” rapper : NAS
114 People with badges: Abbr. : DETS
115 Part of the foot between the toes and the ankle : INSTEP
116 Mr. Turkey : TOM
119 ___ mode : A LA
120 Mo. in 1962 in which J.F.K. gave his “We choose to go to the moon” speech : SEP

9 thoughts on “0721-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 19, Sunday”

  1. 26:04, no errors. I got 117A (“IDLESSE”) through crosses, but hesitated over it for a minute or two, since I’d never heard of it before. Some of my dictionaries include it and some don’t. The OED characterizes it as a “pseudo-antique formation from ‘idle’, apparently fashioned after ‘humblesse’ [!]” and gives examples dating from 1596 to 1873 (all, as far as I can tell, from poetic works). Other dictionaries compare it to “finesse” and “richesse” [!]. All in all, not exactly your run-of-the-mill crossword entry … 😜

  2. 37:20. One square off. I had sEC/ADORs instead of EEC/ADORE. I raised and eyebrow at IDLESSE as well. I thought of it as something akin to “largesse” in terms of how it was derived.

    You can’t play POLO left handed? Being a proud lefty, I take offense to that. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but I don’t know what it is.

    Lastly, kudos to Jason Mueller and Jeff Chen for the theme on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Jeff Chen has always been one of my favorite setters.

    That said, Chen had this remark regarding today’s theme:

    “Historically, I haven’t been a fan of space exploration, considering it a waste of resources that could be redirected to the real-life problems all over the globe: infectious disease, poverty, inequalities of all sorts, you name it. Why on Earth (ha) would we spend money for non-Earth purposes?”

    I believe Chen has a technical background (computer science or engineering of some sort if memory serves). He should therefore know better. The number of technological advances that were born of the space program and overcoming the problems of getting a man onto the moon and returned safely to earth are legendary – including our ubiquitous GPS systems, the internet itself being available to all, rocket power to get these things orbiting in the first place, miniaturization due to weight limitations led to numerous advances in material science and microcomputing (Read: smart phones), satellites that improve crop health, id algae growth, types of forest growth that limit forest fires, the generation of creating potable water and oxygen from clean sources…and on and on and on…All of this led to industries, jobs, better economies and better qualities of life to all.

    My point is, Chen’s remark is a cheap, glib attempt at being PC and stunningly short sighted for someone of his intellect. The potential journey to Mars is likely to bring similar breakthroughs that create cleaner sources of energy, technological advances and a thousand things we don’t even know of yet.

    The spending money on a project like Apollo is not a zero sum game. You aren’t taking food out of someone’s mouth to send metal out into space.

    I could go on (I already have, I know), but his comments truly bother me in their shallowness and lack of thought in an attempt to be glib and PC. I could write volumes on this subject, but they’ve already been written. Anyone who knows how to use Google could discover all of this in 5 minutes.

    End of rant. Congrats to all who were involved in the Apollo and other space programs – of whom I do know and have worked with many.

    Best

    1. @Jeff: Why Can’t You Play Polo Left-Handed? The banning of left-handed playing in a game of polo is for safety reasons in order to avoid the likelihood of a head-on collision between players. As a left-handed player and a right-handed player head for the ball, they would not pass each other as they do in right-hand only games. (From reference.com).

  3. A new book on the Apollo mission is One Giant Leap, by Charles Fishman. The last chapter supports this zero-sum game…Fishman suggests that the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) is the most important development of all, as it is the progenitor of our modern smartphones.

  4. 48:53 with one error….I had boob for noob….this is the first time I remember seeing a rebus puzzle with just one entry

  5. 29:19, no errors. Impressive construction.

    As a retired mechanical engineer, my sentiments are between those of @Jeff and Jeff Chen. The advances in technology that were expedited by the ‘race to the moon’ are undeniable. However, the safety and habitat concerns that come with having living humans on space probes make the projects exponentially more difficult, risky and costly. Admittedly, projects like the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope would not be possible without humans. The last manned moon mission was 47 years ago, and yet significant advancements have been made in both earth based technology and unmanned space exploration since then.

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