0611-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jun 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Frank or Elvis?

We have a rebus puzzle today, with some squares including two letters (used by the crossing down-answers). Using the first of those paired letters we get the singer FRANK SINATRA, and by using the second we get ELVIS PRESLEY:

  • 20A With 22-Across, mid-20th-century giant in 59-/62-Across : FRANK/ELVIS …
  • 22A See 20-Across : … SINATRA/PRESLEY
  • 41A Hit for 20-/22-Across (1969 or 1977) : MY WAY
  • 59A With 62-Across, see 20-Across : POPULAR …
  • 62A See 59-Across : … MUSIC

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 23m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Something cut by a lapidary : GEM

A lapidary is an artist who works with gemstones to make decorative jewelry items. The term ultimately derives from the Latin “lapis” meaning “stone”.

13 There was much of it in Shakespeare : ADO

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a play by William Shakespeare, and a favorite of mine. It is a comedic tale of two pairs of lovers with lots of mistaken identities and double meanings. I once saw it performed in the fabulous Globe Theatre in London … by an all-female cast. Such a performance was somewhat ironic, given that in Shakespeare’s day the practice was to use an all-male cast.

14 Head of Harpo Productions : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia production company is known as Harpo Studios. “Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards, and is also the name of the husband of the character who Winfrey played in the movie “The Color Purple”.

18 Relative of a raccoon : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

20 With 22-Across, mid-20th-century giant in 59-/62-Across : FRANK/ELVIS …

22 See 20-Across : … SINATRA/PRESLEY

Frank Sinatra was the only child of Italian immigrants living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Like so many of our heroes, Sinatra had a rough upbringing. His mother was arrested several times and convicted of running an illegal abortion business in the family home. Sinatra never finished high school, as he was expelled for rowdy conduct. He was later arrested as a youth on a morals charge for carrying on with a married woman, which was an offence back then. But Sinatra straightened himself out by the time he was twenty and started singing professionally.

Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, and delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

26 Direction in España : ESTE

“Este” (east) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

Spain is the second largest country in the European Union (after France). “Spain” is an anglicized form of the Spanish name “España”, which comes from the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula “Hispania”.

30 Port in southern Italy : BARI

Bari is a major port city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Bari has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city in Europe to experience chemical warfare during WWII. Allied stores of mustard gas were released during a German bombing raid on Bari in 1943. Fatalities caused by the chemical agent were reported as 69, although other reports list the number as maybe a thousand military personnel and a thousand civilians.

32 Secret knowledge : ARCANA

Arcana are deep secrets or mysteries. “Arcana” is from the Latin adjective “arcanum” meaning “secret, hidden”.

41 Hit for 20-/22-Across (1969 or 1977) : MY WAY

The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

43 About half of a regular soccer field : ACRE

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

46 Flag : LOSE STEAM

Our verb “to flag” meaning “to tire” was originally used in the sense of something flapping about lazily in the wind. From this it came to mean “to go limp, droop”, and then “to tire”.

50 “Haughty Juno’s unrelenting ___”: Aeneid : HATE

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”.

Juno was the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, and also looked after the interests of the women of Rome. Juno was the sister and wife of Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods.

51 Old TV knob abbr. : HOR

Remember the “horizontal hold” (HOR) and “vertical hold” (VER) on old TV sets? Our kids have no idea what we had to go through …

65 Martin Luther King Jr. had one : DREAM

I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream …” speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

67 Fill for a schooner : ALE

A schooner is a glass of varying capacity, depending on where it’s used. Over in Britain, a schooner is a large sherry glass. The smaller sherry glass is known as a clipper, with both names apparently referring to the size of ships that brought sherry over from Spain. Here in the US, a schooner is usually a beer glass that’s rounded, with a short stem. The size can be anything from 18 oz. to 32 oz.

68 Actor who was People magazine’s 1992 Sexiest Man Alive : NOLTE

Actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that, he had worked as a model. Nolte appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model and future actor Sigourney Weaver.

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

69 Cabinet department : STATE

The US Department of State is the equivalent of the Foreign Ministry in many other countries, and is responsible for international relations. Ceremonially, the Secretary of State is the highest ranking of all Cabinet officials, and is the highest ranking in the presidential line of succession (fourth, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tem of the Senate). The department was created in 1789 by President Washington, and was the first of all executive departments created. The first Secretary of State was future-president Thomas Jefferson.

70 ___ Arbor : ANN

Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

71 Pastime for Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin : CHESS

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

73 Soft component of fleece? : CEE

The letter C (cee) in the word “fleece” is a soft C.

Down

1 Blunders : GAFFES

Our word “gaffe”, meaning “social blunder”, comes from the French “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was the word for a boat hook. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

2 First woman to receive her own New York City ticker-tape parade (1926) : EDERLE

Gertrude Ederle was an American swimmer from New York City. Ederle became the first woman to cross the English Channel, in 1926. Only five men had made the same swim before Ederle, with the fastest crossing being in 16 hours 33 minutes. Ederle blew that record out of the water (pun!), arriving in Dover in 14 hours 39 minutes.

3 Native Arizonan : MOHAVE

The Mohave people are Native Americans who originally occupied lands along the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert.

4 Moon or Mercury : ROCK STAR

Keith Moon was the drummer for the Who, the famous rock group from England. Moon was a “bit of a lad” offstage and seemed to have a fixation for destroying televisions and exploding toilets in hotel rooms with cherry bombs. He also was fond of alcohol, with a particular taste for brandy and champagne. Ironically, Moon died due to an overdose of a drug designed to curb alcohol abuse, when he was just 32 years old. He was found dead in a London flat owned by Harry Nilsson. Mama Cass Elliot had been found dead in the same flat four years earlier.

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter who was lead singer for the rock group Queen. Mercury wrote many of Queen’s hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We Are the Champions”. Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born to Parsi parents in Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) in East Africa. He grew up mainly in India, and arrived in England at the age of 17 after his family fled from the Zanzibar Revolution.

5 N.Y.S.E. debut : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

8 Secret spillers : TATTLERS

Something described as tattletale is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means “to tell secrets”, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tells secrets and informs.

10 Thai dip : SATAY SAUCE

The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.

15 Duncan ___ : HINES

Duncan Hines was a restaurant critic from Bowling Green, Kentucky. HInes had been working for many years as a traveling salesman and pulled together a list of ratings for restaurants that he visited all across the country, initially as a resource for friends. He later published the list in book form, thereby finding his true calling. Some years later, Hines sold the rights to use his name on food-related businesses, which is how we ended up with the Duncan Hines brand.

21 Some clouds : NIMBUSES

Nimbus clouds are rain clouds, with “nimbus” being the Latin word for “cloud”. Some other types of cloud can take on the prefix nimbo- or suffix -nimbus, indicating that they are similar to that other cloud type but carry precipitation. So, a stratus cloud that has rain is called nimbostratus, and a cumulus cloud with rain is called cumulonimbus.

23 Old film dog : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

25 Western city known as “Family City U.S.A.” : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

28 Bone cavities : ANTRA

An antrum (plural “antra”) is a bodily cavity or chamber. For example, the maxillary antrum is the largest of the paranasal sinuses.

29 Casey of “American Top 40” : KASEM

Not only was Casey Kasem so closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40”, but he was also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series.

31 Bit of bucolic verse : IDYL

An idyll (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word “idyl” comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

35 Where to find an American in Moscow? : IDAHO

In its early days, the city of Moscow, Idaho was known as Paradise Valley, with the name change taking place in 1875. The choice of “Moscow” seems unexplained, but it is more likely related to Moscow, Pennsylvania than Moscow, Russia. Moscow is home to the University of Idaho.

36 1960s TV character who often said “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” : GOMER PYLE

Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

37 ___ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

42 Coin collector’s interest : YEAR

A numismatist is a coin collector. The term “numismatics” comes into English via French from the Latin word “nomisma” meaning ”coin”.

53 Ford contemporary : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than the Ford’s Model T.

56 One spared by God in a Bible story : ISAAC

According to the Bible, Abraham’s son Isaac was born to Abraham’s wife Sarah when she was beyond her childbearing years and when Abraham was 100 years old. Isaac himself lived until he was 180 years old. When Isaac was just a youth, Abraham was tested by Yahweh (God) and told to build an altar on which he was to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute, an angel appeared and stopped Abraham, telling him to sacrifice a ram instead.

57 Who wrote, in a classic children’s book, “It is hard to be brave … when you’re only a Very Small Animal” : MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

61 Garner : REAP

A garner is a granary, a building in which grain is stored. The related verb “to garner” means to gather into a granary. We also use the verb figuratively to mean “accumulate, collect” in general.

63 G.O.P. grp. : RNC

National leadership of the Republican Party is provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only one chairperson of the RNC has been elected to the office of US president, and that was George H. W. Bush.

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something cut by a lapidary : GEM
4 Lineup at a truck stop : RIGS
8 Stunned, in a way : TASED
13 There was much of it in Shakespeare : ADO
14 Head of Harpo Productions : OPRAH
16 Conscious : AWAKE
17 Cry of disgust : FEH!
18 Relative of a raccoon : COATI
19 Many eyes are upon it, informally : TATER
20 With 22-Across, mid-20th-century giant in 59-/62-Across : FRANK/ELVIS …
22 See 20-Across : … SINATRA/PRESLEY
24 Appear that way : SEEM TO
26 Direction in España : ESTE
27 Bag, in commercialese : SAK
30 Port in southern Italy : BARI
32 Secret knowledge : ARCANA
34 Counted toward the totality of : FIGURED IN
39 Turns (off) : SHUTS
40 Things exchanged between brides and grooms : I DOS
41 Hit for 20-/22-Across (1969 or 1977) : MY WAY
43 About half of a regular soccer field : ACRE
44 William and Mary, e.g. : NAMES
46 Flag : LOSE STEAM
48 Coffers : CHESTS
50 “Haughty Juno’s unrelenting ___”: Aeneid : HATE
51 Old TV knob abbr. : HOR
52 On : ATOP
55 Adjusts one’s sight : RE-AIMS
59 With 62-Across, see 20-Across : POPULAR …
62 See 59-Across : … MUSIC
63 Shade of blue : ROYAL
65 Martin Luther King Jr. had one : DREAM
67 Fill for a schooner : ALE
68 Actor who was People magazine’s 1992 Sexiest Man Alive : NOLTE
69 Cabinet department : STATE
70 ___ Arbor : ANN
71 Pastime for Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin : CHESS
72 Tore : SPED
73 Soft component of fleece? : CEE

Down

1 Blunders : GAFFES
2 First woman to receive her own New York City ticker-tape parade (1926) : EDERLE
3 Native Arizonan : MOHAVE
4 Moon or Mercury : ROCK STAR
5 N.Y.S.E. debut : IPO
6 Understand : GRASP
7 Spoof : SATIRE
8 Secret spillers : TATTLERS
9 Conscious : AWARE
10 Thai dip : SATAY SAUCE
11 Squeeze (out) : EKE
12 German “the” : DER
15 Duncan ___ : HINES
21 Some clouds : NIMBUSES
23 Old film dog : ASTA
25 Western city known as “Family City U.S.A.” : OREM
28 Bone cavities : ANTRA
29 Casey of “American Top 40” : KASEM
31 Bit of bucolic verse : IDYL
33 Country house : CHATEAU
34 Small songbird : FINCH
35 Where to find an American in Moscow? : IDAHO
36 1960s TV character who often said “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” : GOMER PYLE
37 ___ Jima : IWO
38 First automaker to offer seatbelts as an option (1949) : NASH
42 Coin collector’s interest : YEAR
45 Beans and rice : STAPLES
47 Like some glasses : STEMMED
49 Alphabet trio : STU
53 Ford contemporary : OLDS
54 Line on an auto shop invoice : PARTS
56 One spared by God in a Bible story : ISAAC
57 Who wrote, in a classic children’s book, “It is hard to be brave … when you’re only a Very Small Animal” : MILNE
58 Something that might be stolen while a crowd watches? : SCENE
60 Supply for General Mills : OATS
61 Garner : REAP
63 G.O.P. grp. : RNC
64 Cry of awe : OOH!
66 Disposed of, in a way : ATE

8 thoughts on “0611-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jun 20, Thursday”

  1. Hi Bill,

    When I read your blog, I always learn something — even about my own puzzles. Today it was that Keith Moon and Mama Cass died in the same flat. Who knew?

    Thanks for doing this write-up on a daily basis.

    – Pete

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Pete. Really great puzzle theme, one that took me quite a while to noodle out. Thank you!

  2. 15:34, no errors. I began entering the rebuses pretty quickly, but it took me some time to figure out how to read what was forming in 29A/22A. And then I thought something similar would appear near the bottom, but it didn’t happen, so … a little off balance from beginning to end … 😜. Final conclusion: what a marvelous construction! (And I wasn’t aware that Elvis did a version of “My Way”. Meant to look it up online … )

  3. 42:00 Obviously the giveaway for me was “Duncan Hines” 🙂 Took a bit to figure out how it fit in the puzzle, then I read the “About This Puzzle” and it all made sense. Except “sak”….and all those years of listening to American Top 40, I never knew “Kasem” was spelled with a “K”

  4. 41:24 but I couldn’t get the rebus. Gave up and peeked. I had Frank Sinatra right off and even had an “aha” at Duncan Hines but just couldn’t put it together. BTW, I had most of the puzzle done in 23 minutes. Ugh!

  5. 32:20. I saw the note about the slashes, but it still took me a while to figure out what was going on. Apparently in the printed version the slashes are printed in the squares. MY WAY seemed to clear up all the fog in my head. The rest of my issues were fill related.

    Very Thursday-worthy.

    Best-

  6. 26:00 The comment about the slashes let me know it was a rebus. Started out with 1D as Goofs. And 16A as Aware. then had to work all that out. Sinatra became clear early – it was Presley that took longer – figured he had still left the building

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