0608-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Jun 20, Monday

Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Bait to Boot

Themed answers each end with a 4-letter word starting with a B-sound and ending with T-sound. The letters in the middle sound out a vowel progression (A-E-I-O-U), going from BAIT to BOOT:

  • 17A Enticing weblinks that suck people in : CLICKBAIT
  • 25A Teen magazine founded in 1965 : TIGER BEAT
  • 37A Hazard of being outside in the cold for a long time : FROSTBITE
  • 52A Place for a blast offshore : PARTY BOAT
  • 62A Footwear that extends a little above the foot : ANKLE BOOT
  • … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 5m 03s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    15 ___ of Capri : ISLE

    The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

    16 Money in Mexico : PESOS

    The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

    17 Enticing weblinks that suck people in : CLICKBAIT

    Clickbait is trickery used by website designers to entice a reader to click on a particular link. That link may be a disguised ad, so that the website owner gets some income from the advertiser.

    19 Card deck that includes The Sun, The Moon and The World : TAROT

    Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

    20 Pre-Olympian gods, in Greek myth : TITANS

    The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.

    23 Chicken ___ king : A LA

    A dish prepared “à la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

    24 Japanese cartoon art : ANIME

    Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

    25 Teen magazine founded in 1965 : TIGER BEAT

    “Tiger Beat” is a fan magazine published by Laufer Media that is marketed mainly to adolescent girls. I haven’t even heard of it outside of crosswords, amazingly enough …

    28 Kylo ___, Darth Vader’s grandson : REN

    Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

    Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

    31 Police informer : STOOLIE

    Stoolies, also called “canaries”, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

    34 Only three-letter sign of the zodiac : LEO

    Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

    36 Like tabloid headlines : LURID

    “Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs Wellcome) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, which described newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

    42 Half-___ (latte option) : CAF

    The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

    47 Furniture part that might leave a mark on a floor : SOFA LEG

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

    49 Whistleblower? : REF

    Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

    51 1970s-’80s band with the hit “Don’t Bring Me Down,” in brief : ELO

    “Don’t Bring Me Down” was the biggest hit that the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) had in the US. The song was dedicated to NASA’s Skylab, which reentered the earth’s orbit in 1979, the same year the song was released.

    54 Range that separates Europe from Asia : URALS

    The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

    57 Money in Japan : YEN

    The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

    64 Collection of treasure : TROVE

    The term “treasure trove” comes from the Anglo-French “tresor trové “ meaning “found treasure”.

    65 “Anna and the King of ___” : SIAM

    “Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.

    67 Colorado resort : ASPEN

    Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.

    69 Twinings product : TEA

    Twinings is a distributor of tea that was founded in England in 1706. That’s a long time ago! The Twinings logo is the oldest continuously-used logo in the world.

    Down

    1 Unit of land that anagrams, coincidentally, to THE ACRE : HECTARE

    The hectare is a non-SI unit of area that is mainly used to measure land. One hectare is equal to 10,000 square meters (100 meters x 100 meters), and equivalent to 2.47 acres. And, coincidentally, “hectare” is an anagram of “the acre”.

    4 Handouts to lobster eaters : BIBS

    The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

    6 “Get out of jail” story : ALIBI

    “Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

    10 Tel Aviv resident : ISRAELI

    The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

    11 Its mascot is a pitcher with a smiling face : KOOL-AID

    The drink we know today as Kool-Aid was invented by Edward Perkins and his wife in Perkins’ mother’s kitchen in southwest Nebraska. Kool-Aid is now the Official Soft Drink of the state.

    22 Prudential competitor : METLIFE

    MetLife is the familiar name for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. MetLife was founded way back in 1868, and is headquartered in New York City.

    The Prudential Insurance company was started in 1875 as The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society. The company’s first product was simply burial insurance. Prudential has been using the very memorable Rock of Gibraltar logo since the 1890s.

    35 Non-Rx, for short : OTC

    Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

    39 Brother of TV’s Lisa and Maggie : BART

    Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

    46 ___ Stone (aid in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics) : ROSETTA

    Rosetta is a coastal city and port on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian artifact of tremendous importance in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Carvings on the stone are actually three translations of the same passage of prose, one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, one in Egyptian Demotic language, and one in classical Greek. The stone was discovered by the French military during Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. Before the French could get it back to France, the stone somehow ended up in enemy hands (the British), so it is now on display in the British Museum. Ownership of the stone is very much in dispute. The French want it and, understandably, the Egyptians would like it back.

    47 Ancient Greek city-state : SPARTA

    Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

    53 “Little Orphan ___” : ANNIE

    “Little Orphan Annie” is a comic strip created in 1924 by Harold Gray. The title was taken from a poem written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley called “Little Orphant Annie” (and yes, that spelling “orphant” is correct). Strangely enough, the original name of the poem was “Little Orphant Allie”, changed forever at its third printing, purely because of a typesetter’s error!

    55 Singer McEntire : REBA

    Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

    58 Blighted trees : ELMS

    Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn’t named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called “Dutch” as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

    61 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN

    I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, which was made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

    63 “The Jungle Book” python : KAA

    Kaa is the python character in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Color : HUE
    4 Uninvited “guest” at a campsite : BEAR
    8 How great minds think, it’s said : ALIKE
    13 Finales : ENDS
    15 ___ of Capri : ISLE
    16 Money in Mexico : PESOS
    17 Enticing weblinks that suck people in : CLICKBAIT
    19 Card deck that includes The Sun, The Moon and The World : TAROT
    20 Pre-Olympian gods, in Greek myth : TITANS
    21 Collision sound : BAM!
    23 Chicken ___ king : A LA
    24 Japanese cartoon art : ANIME
    25 Teen magazine founded in 1965 : TIGER BEAT
    28 Kylo ___, Darth Vader’s grandson : REN
    29 ___-friendly (green) : ECO
    31 Police informer : STOOLIE
    32 Narrow advantage : EDGE
    34 Only three-letter sign of the zodiac : LEO
    36 Like tabloid headlines : LURID
    37 Hazard of being outside in the cold for a long time : FROSTBITE
    40 Boys and men : MALES
    42 Half-___ (latte option) : CAF
    43 Map symbol for a capital, often : STAR
    47 Furniture part that might leave a mark on a floor : SOFA LEG
    49 Whistleblower? : REF
    51 1970s-’80s band with the hit “Don’t Bring Me Down,” in brief : ELO
    52 Place for a blast offshore : PARTY BOAT
    54 Range that separates Europe from Asia : URALS
    56 “I’ll take that as ___” : A NO
    57 Money in Japan : YEN
    58 Come to light : EMERGE
    59 Force back : REPEL
    62 Footwear that extends a little above the foot : ANKLE BOOT
    64 Collection of treasure : TROVE
    65 “Anna and the King of ___” : SIAM
    66 Uncle’s wife : AUNT
    67 Colorado resort : ASPEN
    68 Votes in favor : YEAS
    69 Twinings product : TEA

    Down

    1 Unit of land that anagrams, coincidentally, to THE ACRE : HECTARE
    2 Like some notebook paper : UNLINED
    3 Making text adjustments : EDITING
    4 Handouts to lobster eaters : BIBS
    5 That: Sp. : ESA
    6 “Get out of jail” story : ALIBI
    7 Changes a name on, as a Facebook photo : RETAGS
    8 Fitting : APT
    9 Pasture : LEA
    10 Tel Aviv resident : ISRAELI
    11 Its mascot is a pitcher with a smiling face : KOOL-AID
    12 Subject of a will : ESTATE
    14 Swindle : SCAM
    18 Thigh/shin separator : KNEE
    22 Prudential competitor : METLIFE
    25 “Little piggies” : TOES
    26 Runaway victory : ROUT
    27 Makes yawn : BORES
    30 Within reach : CLOSE BY
    33 Key just above D : E-FLAT
    35 Non-Rx, for short : OTC
    38 Depend (on) : RELY
    39 Brother of TV’s Lisa and Maggie : BART
    40 Bellyaching types : MOANERS
    41 Genre for the Nigerian singer Wizkid : AFROPOP
    44 Detach, as a page : TEAR OUT
    45 No longer available : ALL GONE
    46 ___ Stone (aid in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics) : ROSETTA
    47 Ancient Greek city-state : SPARTA
    48 Be lenient : GO EASY
    50 Be quietly angry : FUME
    53 “Little Orphan ___” : ANNIE
    55 Singer McEntire : REBA
    58 Blighted trees : ELMS
    60 New Year’s ___ : EVE
    61 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
    63 “The Jungle Book” python : KAA

    4 thoughts on “0608-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Jun 20, Monday”

    1. 6:42. I’ve seen TIGER BEAT magazines at newsstands, but I’ve never opened one up. Then again even if I had, I’d never admit it.

      Best –

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