0616-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Jun 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Gray Areas

The grid includes four square AREAS (circled letters, or GRAY squares in print). The letters spell out linear units used in measurements of AREA, i.e.

  • Square INCH
  • Square FOOT
  • Square YARD
  • Square MILE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Car seen at a charging station : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

6 Waze technology, for short : GPS

The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

9 Company behind the Veg-O-Matic : RONCO

Ronco is a company that manufactures and sells products mainly for the kitchen. Over the years, the company has been closely associated with the “-O-Matic” suffix, and particularly the “Veg-O-Matic” vegetable slicer. Ronco is also associated with the phrase “set it and forget it”, which was used for the Showtime Rotisserie Grill.

14 Big name in pest control : ORKIN

Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

15 Load from a lode : ORE

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.

19 River to Le Havre : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

20 Monogram on handbags : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

21 Threw one’s hat in the ring : RAN

One might toss one’s hat in the ring, take up the challenge, show willingness to vie for a position perhaps.

22 Notes reachable by sopranos : HIGH CS

The soprano (plural “sopranos” or “soprani”) is the highest singing voice. The term “soprano “ comes from the Italian “sopra” meaning “above”. A male countertenor who is able to sing in the soprano voice range is known as a sopranist. A castrated male who can sing in the same range is known as a “castrato”, and a boy soprano is referred to as a treble.

27 Hawaiian tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

31 Creative person’s inspiration : MUSE

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

32 “Curiously strong” mint : ALTOID

Altoids breath mints have been around since 1780, when they were introduced in Britain. The famous tin in which Altoids are sold is often reused for other purposes. The most famous use is as a container to hold a mini-survival kit.

34 Ralph who wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” : NADER

“Unsafe at Any Speed” is a 1965 book by consumer advocate Ralph Nader in which the author accuses car manufacturers of resisting the introduction of safety features in order to maximize profit.

44 “The Karate Kid” master : MIYAGI

The 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher. In the original 1984 movie, the Karate Kid was named Daniel LaRusso, and in the 2010 remake was named Dre Parker.

45 Instagram and Pinterest, for two : APPS

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

Pinterest is a free website which can be used to save and manage images (called “pins”) and other media. For some reason, the vast majority of Pinterest users are women.

48 Card for Boardwalk or Park Place : DEED

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

50 Medium for the old Encarta encyclopedia : CD-ROM

Microsoft badly wanted to get into the online encyclopedia business in the eighties, and approached the biggest and the best, “Encyclopaedia Britannica”. “Britannica” declined, fearing that an online version would damage their print sales. “Britannica” had to sell eventually, but not to Microsoft, as the inevitable decline in print sales happened anyway. So Microsoft made a deal with “Funk & Wagnalls” and started publishing “Encarta” in disk form in the early nineties. Usage of Encarta grew until along came Wikipedia. Encarta was discontinued at the end of 2009.

51 Cry from Scrooge : BAH!

The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” to describe a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

60 Fished for congers, e.g. : EELED

Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

68 Eggy drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

69 Message with a hashtag : TWEET

A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of Twitter, a microblogging service that I don’t think I will ever understand …

Down

1 Country singer ___ Keith : TOBY

Toby Keith is a country music singer from Clinton, Oklahoma. One of Keith’s number one hits is a 2003 duet with Willie Nelson called “Beer for My Horses”.

3 Vail conveyances : SKI LIFTS

The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

4 “Hamilton” creator ___-Manuel Miranda : LIN

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

5 “Hulk” director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

“Hulk” is a 2003 film with Eric Bana starring in the title role, as the Hulk and as the superhero’s alter ego Dr. Bruce Banner. “Hulk” received a mediocre reception, and so it was remade as “The Incredible Hulk” in 2008.

8 One with a six-year term: Abbr. : SEN

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.

9 Violinist’s application : ROSIN

Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.

10 Universal donor’s blood type, informally : O-NEG

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

11 Hawaii’s “Forbidden Isle” : NIIHAU

The Hawaiian island of Niihau lies about 17 miles southwest of Kauai, with a population of just over 100 people. Niihau is privately owned and so only a few tourists are welcome, and only in the past few decades. The lack of access led to the island earning the nickname the “Forbidden Isle”.

12 Seashells used as trumpets : CONCHS

Although “conch” is now used as a generic term for largish sea snails and their shells, the true conch belongs to a specific group of gastropods. The “meat” is very popular, and so the conch is the second most popular edible snail after “escargot”. The conch shell can be used as a wind instrument, and the true conch is also a good source for pearls.

13 Baby’s bodysuit : ONESIE

A onesie is a baby’s one-piece bodysuit, and is a common gift at a baby shower.

18 Golden-years fund, for short : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

22 World Poker Tour game : HOLD ‘EM

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

24 Gives a boost : GOOSES

To goose is to prod into action, albeit in a very rude way. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.

25 Archangel in “Paradise Lost” : URIEL

Uriel is one of the archangels in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Uriel makes a few notable appearances in literature: in John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” and in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Uriel”.

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

26 Lacking pizazz : DRAB

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

29 ___ Kirk Christiansen, inventor of 55-Down : OLE
(55D Plastic brick brand : LEGO)

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

31 Evil alter ego in a Robert Louis Stevenson story : MR HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story, including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

37 Neutrogena dandruff shampoo : T/GEL

Neutrogena is a brand of skincare products that was founded in 1930 as a cosmetics company called Natone.

45 Descend by rope, as in mountaineering : ABSEIL

What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

46 Anderson of “Baywatch” : PAMELA

Pamela Anderson is a Canadian/American actress and model, whose most famous TV roles were on the shows “Home Improvement” and “Baywatch”. Anderson is a hot topic in the gossip columns, especially after a honeymoon sex tape was stolen from her home. Beyond all the hype, she is a very committed animal rights activist, having become a vegetarian in her teens after seeing her father cleaning an animal that he had killed while hunting.

“Baywatch” is a TV series starring David Hasselhoff that is about lifeguards patrolling the beaches of Los Angeles County. Over the life of the show, the lifeguards not only had to rescue swimmers, they also had to deal with earthquakes, shark attacks, serial killers and even nuclear bombs. The trademark “look” on the show was provided by slow motion shots of the lifeguards running to someone’s rescue in those red bathing costumes.

47 City where “Rocky” is set, informally : PHILLY

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

61 Tonic’s partner : GIN

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.

62 What curators curate : ART

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Car seen at a charging station : TESLA
6 Waze technology, for short : GPS
9 Company behind the Veg-O-Matic : RONCO
14 Big name in pest control : ORKIN
15 Load from a lode : ORE
16 Burger topper : ONION
17 “You want to fight?!” : BRING IT ON!
19 River to Le Havre : SEINE
20 Monogram on handbags : YSL
21 Threw one’s hat in the ring : RAN
22 Notes reachable by sopranos : HIGH CS
23 Bulky herbivorous dinosaur : IGUANODON
27 Hawaiian tuna : AHI
28 Really enjoy : GO FOR
30 Roll up, as a sail : FURL
31 Creative person’s inspiration : MUSE
32 “Curiously strong” mint : ALTOID
34 Ralph who wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” : NADER
36 Part of a meal that the British call “afters” : DESSERT
38 State of one’s hair after a night’s sleep : BED HEAD
42 Verse of lament : ELEGY
44 “The Karate Kid” master : MIYAGI
45 Instagram and Pinterest, for two : APPS
48 Card for Boardwalk or Park Place : DEED
50 Medium for the old Encarta encyclopedia : CD-ROM
51 Cry from Scrooge : BAH!
52 Bad move : FALSE STEP
54 🙂 : SMILEY
56 Frequently, in verse : OFT
57 Pint-size prankster : IMP
60 Fished for congers, e.g. : EELED
61 Ill-defined situations … as seen four times in this puzzle? : GRAY AREAS
64 “Send me!” : I’LL GO!
65 Rustic stopover : INN
66 Wears stylishly, in slang : ROCKS
67 Apply, as a coat of paint : LAY ON
68 Eggy drink : NOG
69 Message with a hashtag : TWEET

Down

1 Country singer ___ Keith : TOBY
2 Goes wrong : ERRS
3 Vail conveyances : SKI LIFTS
4 “Hamilton” creator ___-Manuel Miranda : LIN
5 “Hulk” director Lee : ANG
6 Flunked : GOT AN F
7 Me, myself or I : PRONOUN
8 One with a six-year term: Abbr. : SEN
9 Violinist’s application : ROSIN
10 Universal donor’s blood type, informally : O-NEG
11 Hawaii’s “Forbidden Isle” : NIIHAU
12 Seashells used as trumpets : CONCHS
13 Baby’s bodysuit : ONESIE
18 Golden-years fund, for short : IRA
22 World Poker Tour game : HOLD ‘EM
24 Gives a boost : GOOSES
25 Archangel in “Paradise Lost” : URIEL
26 Lacking pizazz : DRAB
28 Gallivant (about) : GAD
29 ___ Kirk Christiansen, inventor of 55-Down : OLE
31 Evil alter ego in a Robert Louis Stevenson story : MR HYDE
33 1992 rap song that popularized the term “bootylicious” : DRE DAY
35 Decree : EDICT
37 Neutrogena dandruff shampoo : T/GEL
39 Part of a hearing aid : EARPIECE
40 Before now : AGO
41 ___-witted : DIM
43 “Which is it going to be?” : YES OR NO?
45 Descend by rope, as in mountaineering : ABSEIL
46 Anderson of “Baywatch” : PAMELA
47 City where “Rocky” is set, informally : PHILLY
49 Render harmless : DEFANG
52 Made a meal of : FED ON
53 Where slop is served : STY
55 Plastic brick brand : LEGO
58 Car brand : MAKE
59 “Hey, buddy!” : PSST!
61 Tonic’s partner : GIN
62 What curators curate : ART
63 Theater ticket datum : ROW

5 thoughts on “0616-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Jun 20, Tuesday”

  1. 8:58, no errors. So we have a square INCH, a square FOOT, a square YARD, and a square MILE. Very cute. Interesting that all of those words have four letters. Hmmm. KILOMETER has nine letters … doesn’t fit the English-unit theme, though … 😜.

  2. 9:44 Did not even notice the gray areas when first starting up. Only saw the theme after reading this blog since I did not look over the finished puzzle.

  3. 15:11 Embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know RLS wrote “Jekyll and Hyde”, less embarrassed to admit that I never saw “Karate Kid”, so that intersection took a lot of guessing. I feel like an idiot for trying to figure out how “lime” fit the theme….never saw “mile”…..oops

  4. 11:50, no errors. Nice Tuesday puzzle. I enjoy doing these on the NY Crossword app, but I’m pretty sure I’m slower with the app than with pencil and paper. Maybe I need to put my Fat fingers on a diet.

  5. 9:54 with a large chunk of that time consumed in the midwest. I just drew blanks in that area for some reason. It took the theme to save me. I guess you could say I got a nice kick from the FOOT there….

    Best –

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