0615-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Jun 20, Monday

Constructed by: Olivia Mitra Framke
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Au Pairs

Themed answers each include a PAIR of PAIRS of letters O:

  • 40A Some household helpers … or an oral hint to 17-, 24-, 51- and 63-Across : AU PAIRS
  • 17A Mystery-solving Great Dane of cartoons : SCOOBY-DOO
  • 24A Logo art that changes almost daily : GOOGLE DOODLE
  • 51A Stir-fry ingredients, often : BAMBOO SHOOTS
  • 63A Can’t-miss : FOOLPROOF

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 4m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Londoner, e.g., informally : BRIT

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

17 Mystery-solving Great Dane of cartoons : SCOOBY-DOO

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem. Shaggy and Scooby’s friends are Velma, Fred and Daphne.

19 Yoga pose : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

20 City where the “Gangnam Style” video was filmed : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

“PSY” is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2012 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time.

21 Architect Sir Christopher ___ : WREN

The famous and very beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. St. Paul’s was completed in 1708 and was constructed as part of a rebuilding program necessary after the devastation of the Great Fire of London of 1666. St. Paul’s is the second largest church building in the country, after Liverpool Cathedral.

23 Cribbage scoring piece : PEG

Cribbage is one of my favorite card games. Cribbage always had a certain mystique to me as I was growing up as I’d see folks playing it in local pubs, sitting with cards and the fascinating cribbage board with its pegs as score markers. Apparently, cribbage was invented in the early 1600s by an English poet called John Suckling, who based it on a long-gone game called Noddy. Cribbage is often referred to simply as “crib”, and the name “cribbage” probably comes from this term. The “crib” is a set of cards that features in the game.

39 Bobby of N.H.L. fame : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

40 Some household helpers … or an oral hint to 17-, 24-, 51- and 63-Across : AU PAIRS

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

42 Non-___ (label on some foods) : GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

43 What salmon swim upstream to do : SPAWN

When young salmon (born in freshwater) are at the smolt stage, they become adapted to saltwater and head for the sea. They return to freshwater to reproduce, often traveling long distances upstream.

45 “I ___ a dream …” : HAVE

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.

47 Teller’s partner in magic : PENN

Penn Jillette is one half of the duo of magicians known as Penn & Teller (Penn is the one who talks). Penn teamed up with Teller on stage in 1981, having met him through a friend back in 1974. As well as being talkative onstage, Penn is very vocal offstage when it comes to his causes and beliefs. He is a devout atheist, a libertarian and a supporter of free-market capitalism.

The illusionist Teller, of Penn & Teller, was born Raymond Teller in Philadelphia, although has legally changed his name so simply “Teller”. Teller decided not to speak during his performances way back in his youth. He was doing magic at college fraternity parties and discovered that by remaining silent the potentially rowdy audience focused on his act and refrained from throwing beer at him!

57 Car with a “T” logo : TESLA

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 as a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015. Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in early 2017.

66 “Sauer” hot dog topping : KRAUT

“Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changed its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

67 From Bangkok, say : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

68 Lady ___, a.k.a. the First Lady of Song : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

70 Fermented rice wine : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

Down

2 Marathon, e.g. : RACE

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

9 Breakfast mixtures with rolled oats : GRANOLAS

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

11 Flower named for its resemblance to a winged beast : SNAPDRAGON

Snapdragons are so called because the plant’s flower is said to resemble that of a dragon. The snapdragon genus is “antirrhinum”, which is derived from the Greek for “like a nose”.

13 “All the world’s a ___”: Shak. : STAGE

“As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s comedies. It tells the tale of Rosalind fleeing from her Uncle’s court along with her cousin Celia and the court jester Touchstone. Rosalind lives in exile in the Forest of Arden, disguised as a male shepherd called Ganymede. The play is perhaps most memorable for an oft-quoted monologue that starts with:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players …

22 Magazine heads, for short : EDS

Editor (ed.)

25 Hawaiian honeymoon destination : 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.

The concept of a honeymoon vacation only started in the early 1800s. In Britain, wealthy couples would take a “bridal tour” together after the wedding, visiting those friends and relatives who could not attend the ceremony. The etymology of “honeymoon” isn’t very clear, and may even have a negative derivation as it might suggest that the sweetness (honey) of love is doomed to wane like a passing phase of the moon. The equivalent terms in other languages are “moon of honey” (French), “honey month” (Welsh) and “tinsel week” (German).

27 “Give us this day ___ daily bread” : OUR

“Our daily bread” is a phrase taken from the Lord’s Prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer is a central prayer in Christian religions, and is found in two places in the New Testament. In the version in the Gospel of Matthew, the last line of the prayer is “deliver us from evil”. In the Gospel of Luke, the last line is “lead us not into temptation”. The last words of the prayer as it most often said today are:

For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever,
Amen

28 Money execs : CFOS

The chief financial officer (CFO) is particularly concerned about his or her company’s profit and loss (P&L).

29 Org. looking out for seniors’ interests : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

34 A.L. West team, on scoreboards : LAA

The Anaheim Angels baseball team is today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

35 TV’s “Hawaii ___” : FIVE-O

The cop show “Hawaii Five-O” originally ran from 1968 until 1980, with Jack Lord and James MacArthur playing detectives Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. The famous theme music was composed by Morton Stevens. The show was rebooted as “Hawaii Five-0”, premiering in 2010, with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan playing Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. Notice the important difference in the titles of the two versions of the show: the former uses a capital letter O, and the latter the numeral 0. Now that’s trivial …

37 Popular Apple product : 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.

38 Vein of ore : LODE

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

41 Nevada city : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

44 The third “w” in www : WEB

In essence, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast collection of documents that is accessible using the Internet, with each document containing hyperlinks which point to other documents in the collection. So the “Web” is different from the Internet, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The Web is a collection of documents, and the Internet is a global network of computers on which the documents reside. The Web was effectively the invention of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I, for one, am very grateful …

46 Hit with a beam of light : LASERED

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

50 URL starter : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

51 Pitching blunders : BALKS

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

52 Ancient Greek gathering spot : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

59 Kinks song set “down in old Soho” : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of a young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, but the music is superb.

62 Jeep Grand Cherokee, for one : SUV

The Jeep Cherokee is an SUV with some legs. The original SJ series Jeep Cherokee was produced from 1974 until 1983, and derivative models are very much alive today.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Londoner, e.g., informally : BRIT
5 Get an A, B, C or D : PASS
9 Audibly expresses shock : GASPS
14 “I do solemnly swear …,” e.g. : OATH
15 Like a billionaire : RICH
16 Rushed toward : RAN AT
17 Mystery-solving Great Dane of cartoons : SCOOBY-DOO
19 Yoga pose : ASANA
20 City where the “Gangnam Style” video was filmed : SEOUL
21 Architect Sir Christopher ___ : WREN
23 Cribbage scoring piece : PEG
24 Logo art that changes almost daily : GOOGLE DOODLE
28 Place to buy a drink : CASH BAR
31 Talk drunkenly : SLUR
32 Fiction’s opposite : FACT
33 50% : HALF
36 Thin as ___ : A RAIL
39 Bobby of N.H.L. fame : ORR
40 Some household helpers … or an oral hint to 17-, 24-, 51- and 63-Across : AU PAIRS
42 Non-___ (label on some foods) : GMO
43 What salmon swim upstream to do : SPAWN
45 “I ___ a dream …” : HAVE
46 Amount for the washer or dryer : LOAD
47 Teller’s partner in magic : PENN
49 Make better : ENHANCE
51 Stir-fry ingredients, often : BAMBOO SHOOTS
55 At least 35 years, for a U.S. president : AGE
56 Threesome : TRIO
57 Car with a “T” logo : TESLA
61 Plenty o’ : LOTSA
63 Can’t-miss : FOOLPROOF
66 “Sauer” hot dog topping : KRAUT
67 From Bangkok, say : THAI
68 Lady ___, a.k.a. the First Lady of Song : ELLA
69 Balm : SALVE
70 Fermented rice wine : SAKE
71 Cherished : DEAR

Down

1 Office head : BOSS
2 Marathon, e.g. : RACE
3 “Am ___ late?” : I TOO
4 Something going through one’s head : THOUGHT
5 Poke one’s nose (into) : PRY
6 Lend a hand : AID
7 Angry expression : SCOWL
8 Beachfront : SHORE
9 Breakfast mixtures with rolled oats : GRANOLAS
10 Some smallish batteries : AAS
11 Flower named for its resemblance to a winged beast : SNAPDRAGON
12 Group of experts : PANEL
13 “All the world’s a ___”: Shak. : STAGE
18 Ill-defined lump : BLOB
22 Magazine heads, for short : EDS
25 Hawaiian honeymoon destination : OAHU
26 Visual representation of data : GRAPH
27 “Give us this day ___ daily bread” : OUR
28 Money execs : CFOS
29 Org. looking out for seniors’ interests : AARP
30 Reusable material in a junkyard : SCRAP METAL
34 A.L. West team, on scoreboards : LAA
35 TV’s “Hawaii ___” : FIVE-O
37 Popular Apple product : IMAC
38 Vein of ore : LODE
40 Mark up, as a textbook : ANNOTATE
41 Nevada city : RENO
44 The third “w” in www : WEB
46 Hit with a beam of light : LASERED
48 Counterpart of “neither” : NOR
50 URL starter : HTTP
51 Pitching blunders : BALKS
52 Ancient Greek gathering spot : AGORA
53 Carefully sorts (through) : SIFTS
54 Commotion, in slang : HOO-HA
58 Shoe part that’s usually the first to wear out : SOLE
59 Kinks song set “down in old Soho” : LOLA
60 Many miles away : AFAR
62 Jeep Grand Cherokee, for one : SUV
64 Sturdy tree : OAK
65 Tell whoppers : LIE

7 thoughts on “0615-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Jun 20, Monday”

  1. More humble pie. 10:57. Fat fingers mistyped entries in my Kindle Fire. Took a while to find all my typos.

  2. 4:58. I believe this is the first time I’ve ever broken the 5 minute mark. I was outside grilling, and I had to finish the puzzle before it was time to turn the meat. Maybe I should do that more often.

    My father was a huge fan of cribbage. He learned to play it in his 2-year stint in the Navy. I even made a cribbage board in shop class in junior high for him. And yet I’ve never learned the game.

    Best –

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