0626-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 20, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 14m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Revlon subsidiary : ALMAY

The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

14 They’re full of endless drama : SOAP OPERAS

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

19 Bucko : PAL

“Bucko” was originally a nautical term of address. It dates back at least to 1883 when it referred to a cocky, swaggering sort of guy.

22 Running mate in the 1996 presidential election : KEMP

Jack Kemp was a candidate for US Vice President in the 1996 presidential election, on the Republican ticket with Bob Dole. Prior to politics, Kemp played football in the NFL, serving as quarterback and captain of the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills. Kemp passed away in 2009, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

25 Dishes usually served on cold plates : ASPICS

Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word meaning “jelly”.

33 Big name in water filters : BRITA

Brita is a German company that specializes in water filtration products. Brita products do a great job of filtering tap water, but they don’t “purify” it as they don’t remove microbes. That job is usually done by a municipality before the water gets to the faucet.

35 “Gigi” composer : LOEWE

Frederick Loewe was a composer who was best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady”, “Gigi” and “Camelot”.

“Gigi” is a very popular 1958 musical film starring Leslie Caron in the title role. The movie’s screenplay is based on a 1944 novella of the same name by French author Colette. Colette’s “Gigi” was also adapted into a 1951 stage play by Anita Loos, in which Audrey Hepburn played the title role in the original Broadway production.

36 Hogwarts house whose emblem is, surprisingly, an eagle : RAVENCLAW

In the “Harry Potter” series of books, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is divided into four houses:

  • Gryffindor
  • Hufflepuff
  • Ravenclaw
  • Slytherin

Each student is assigned to a house by the Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat initially placed young Harry into Gryffindor House.

38 Greek spirits : OUZOS

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca.

39 Country whose currency is the kwanza : ANGOLA

Angola is a country in south-central Africa on the west coast. It is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

The kwanza is the currency of the African country Angola. The currency is no relation to the North American holiday, which is spelled “Kwanzaa”.

40 Some TripAdvisor listings : MOTELS

TripAdvisor.com is a travel website dedicated to helping users in most aspects of their travels. Much of TripAdvisor’s content is generated by users, in the form of reviews by travelers.

41 Who turned Medusa’s hair to serpents, per Ovid : ATHENA

In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the monstrous female creatures known as Gorgons. According to one version of the Medusa myth, she was once a beautiful woman. She incurred the wrath of Athena who turned her lovely hair into serpents and made her face hideously ugly. Anyone who gazed directly at the transformed Medusa would turn into stone. She was eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her. He carried Medusa’s head and used its powers as a weapon, before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. One myth holds that as Perseus was flying over Egypt with Medusa’s severed head, drops of her blood fell to the ground and formed asps.

42 Hawaiian raw fish dish : POKE

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

44 ___ Davis Institute on Gender in Media : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

46 Ganders, e.g. : HES

A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a goose. Young geese are called goslings.

49 “Let ___” : IT BE

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact, he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

50 Honored newlyweds, say : MADE A TOAST

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

54 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS

INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.

55 Mother of Hamnet Shakespeare : ANNE

William Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway. There are suggestions that there was some pressure for the marriage to take place, with 18-year-old Anne pregnant and William eight years her senior. The two lived much of their lives apart; William working in London and Anne back at the family home in Stratford.

56 Key for a high-pitched clarinet : E-FLAT

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name “clarinet” comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet”, with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

Down

1 Rush order : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

2 Lover of Tony in a hit 1978 song : LOLA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today, although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

His name was Rico
He wore a diamond
He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancing there
And when she finished, he called her over
But Rico went a bit to far
Tony sailed across the bar
And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gun shot
But just who shot who?

9 Ian’s relative? : ESE

The name of a language might use the suffix “-ian” (e.g. “Russian”) or “-ese” (e.g. Chinese).

13 Lowest notes : ONES

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies that declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

15 Strollers through Covent Garden : PRAMS

Another word used in the UK that’s rarely used over here is “pram”, which in my day was the most common term for what is called a “baby carriage” in the US. “Pram” is short for “perambulator”.

Covent Garden in London’s West End is associated with the Royal Opera House that is located in the area, and with the former fruit and vegetable market that used to sit right at the center of the district. The name “Covent Garden” comes from the fact that there once was a walled garden in the area owned by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of St. Peter in Westminster. The abbey rented out the walled garden calling it “Convent Garden”, and this morphed into the area’s current name.

24 The hallux is the big one : TOE

The big toe is referred to anatomically as the hallux (plural “halluces”). The thumb is referred to as the pollex (plural “pollices”).

25 Ph.D., for one : ABBR

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

26 Liquids in shots : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

28 Capital on the Arabian Peninsula : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. And, it’s the largest peninsula in the world, covering about 1¼ million square miles.

31 Unaccounted for : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

32 Hardy heroine : TESS

In Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, the heroine and title character is Tess Durbeyfield. Her father is an uneducated peasant and when he hears that his name is a corruption of the noble name of “D’Urberville”, the news goes to his head.

Thomas Hardy was a novelist and poet from Dorset in England. Hardy thought of himself mainly as a poet, but he is best remembered for some very fine novels, such as “Far from the Madding Crowd”, “The Mayor of Casterbridge”, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Jude the Obscure”.

40 Indivisible entity : MONAD

A monad is a single-celled organism, especially one of the genus Monas, flagellate protozoans.

41 Dramatist Chekhov : ANTON

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer of short stories and a playwright, as well as a physician. He wrote four classic plays that are often performed all around the world, namely “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard”. All the time Chekhov was writing, he continued to practice medicine. He is quoted as saying “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

42 “Get Out” director : PEELE

Jordan Peele is a former cast member of the sketch comedy show “Mad TV”. Peele created his own sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” with fellow-Mad TV alum Keegan-Michael Key. Peele started hosting and producing the revival of “The Twilight Zone” in 2019.

“Get Out” is a 2017 horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele.

43 Bird with nostrils at the tip of its beak : KIWI

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

45 Garden with fruit trees : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

46 Booty : HAUL

“Booty”, meaning “plunder, profit”, is derived from the Old French word “butin” that has the same meaning.

47 Pronoun for Florence in Venice, say : ESSA

The city of Venice in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on the motorized water-buses.

48 Decide to keep after all : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

50 Program that might request a portfolio, in brief : MFA

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Revlon subsidiary : ALMAY
6 Accumulate, with “up” : PILE …
10 Return some calls? : ECHO
14 They’re full of endless drama : SOAP OPERAS
16 Response to “Are we there yet?” : SOON
17 Like some cleaners : ALL-PURPOSE
18 “Join us!” : COME!
19 Bucko : PAL
20 Acclaim : VAUNT
21 Low-lying areas : DALES
22 Running mate in the 1996 presidential election : KEMP
23 Visit : STOP BY
25 Dishes usually served on cold plates : ASPICS
28 One taking the high road? : STONER
29 Place to sleep on the go : BERTH
30 Unexpected delight : RARE TREAT
33 Big name in water filters : BRITA
34 ___ mission : ON A
35 “Gigi” composer : LOEWE
36 Hogwarts house whose emblem is, surprisingly, an eagle : RAVENCLAW
38 Greek spirits : OUZOS
39 Country whose currency is the kwanza : ANGOLA
40 Some TripAdvisor listings : MOTELS
41 Who turned Medusa’s hair to serpents, per Ovid : ATHENA
42 Hawaiian raw fish dish : POKE
43 Hit below the belt : KNEED
44 ___ Davis Institute on Gender in Media : GEENA
46 Ganders, e.g. : HES
49 “Let ___” : IT BE
50 Honored newlyweds, say : MADE A TOAST
52 Something not much worn in the summer : WOOL
53 Furry little pest : FIELDMOUSE
54 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS
55 Mother of Hamnet Shakespeare : ANNE
56 Key for a high-pitched clarinet : E-FLAT

Down

1 Rush order : ASAP!
2 Lover of Tony in a hit 1978 song : LOLA
3 Sheltered walk : MALL
4 What many use to solve the New York Times crossword : APP
5 “I hardly recognize the person I see” : YOU’VE CHANGED
6 Enliven : PEP UP
7 One letting off steam : IRON
8 Limit of one’s patience : LAST STRAW
9 Ian’s relative? : ESE
10 Part of an exit strategy : ESCAPE ROUTE
11 Summer refresher : COOL BREEZE
12 Comfortably inviting : HOMEY
13 Lowest notes : ONES
15 Strollers through Covent Garden : PRAMS
21 “Not my problem” : DON’T LOOK AT ME
22 They can give you a bit of a lift : KITTEN HEELS
24 The hallux is the big one : TOE
25 Ph.D., for one : ABBR
26 Liquids in shots : SERA
27 Luxury stadium seating : PRIVATE BOX
28 Capital on the Arabian Peninsula : SANA’A
30 Board game bonus : ROLL AGAIN
31 Unaccounted for : AWOL
32 Hardy heroine : TESS
37 Kind of artist who’s not very good? : CON
40 Indivisible entity : MONAD
41 Dramatist Chekhov : ANTON
42 “Get Out” director : PEELE
43 Bird with nostrils at the tip of its beak : KIWI
45 Garden with fruit trees : EDEN
46 Booty : HAUL
47 Pronoun for Florence in Venice, say : ESSA
48 Decide to keep after all : STET
50 Program that might request a portfolio, in brief : MFA
51 [That is … rough!] : [OOF!]

8 thoughts on “0626-20 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 20, Friday”

  1. 55:51 Back to Friday reality after last Friday’s best ever. Had the right side done in about 12 minutes then the brick wall, especially in the NW. Could not get past thinking SALADS were served on cold plates. Never would have come up with ASPICS.
    Never heard of KITTENHEELS. Made several lookups to finish. Humbled again.

  2. 15:54, no errors. I also had never heard of “KITTEN HEELS” and “INXS” did not come readily to mind. Also wanted “KITE” before “KIWI” (it is a type of bird, after all, and what kind of nut case pays attention to where a bird’s nostrils are? 🤪), but then “WOOL” popped into my head in place of “TOOL” and I was done a moment later … 😜.

    Good Friday puzzle … 🤨.

  3. 34:34 Took a while to figure out “motel” vs. “hotel”, other than that just my usual “slower than the folks who know what their doing” time

  4. 26:06, no errors. Fun puzzle. The long entries seemed to flow today. Spent four frustrating minutes on the middle left. Never heard of kitten heels. Had PERCH before switching to BERTH. I think I’ve seen ABBR many times but today it gave me trouble.

  5. 19:30 with some good guessing including guessing the last few letters to get KITTEN HEELS.

    I had experience with ASPIC one time in Moscow. We were served what I thought was fish jello – and indeed it was a piece of fish served inside a block of a jello-like substance. It was one meal I had to sit out. In fact, most of us at the dinner avoided it. A few tried it, but they didn’t make it past the first bite. The one Russian girl with us ate it and loved it, however.

    Best –

  6. 40 Down… Bill’s definition is one of the definitions for monad but is not the one that means invisible entity. That one comes from philosophy.

    1. Brian – I think you mean indivisible, not invisible…

      But you’re right about the philosophical meaning. However, I do think the single cell definition would work as well since dividing it would destroy what it is. Bill just put what he found interesting about the word.

      Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.