0702-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Jul 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Yacob Yonas & Chad Horner
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Skip School

Themed answers are words or phrases that require us to SKIP the SCHOOL hidden within to make sense of the clue:

  • 65A Emulate Ferris Bueller … or a hint to understanding the answers to the starred clues : SKIP SCHOOL
  • 17A *Express one’s view : COMMITMENT (skipping MIT = COMMENT)
  • 26A *Kick off : STAY ALERT (skipping YALE = START)
  • 40A *Sends : SUNCHIPS (skipping UNC = SHIPS)
  • 57A *Reacts to an amazing magic trick, say : GAS PRICES (skipping RICE = GASPS)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Shot contents : 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”.

10 Zebra feature : MANE

The term “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

14 Ilhan ___, first Somali-American elected to Congress : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

15 Study for Dr. Albert Sabin : POLIO

Albert Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine. Sabin’s vaccine was a “live” controlled vaccine. The equally famous Salk vaccine was a “killed” vaccine.

17 *Express one’s view : COMMITMENT (skipping MIT = COMMENT)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

20 FedEx rival : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

21 Harold who co-founded The New Yorker magazine : ROSS

The world-famous “New Yorker” magazine is published by Condé Nast. It was founded back in 1925 by Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for “The New York Times”. The venerated magazine has become famous for many aspects of its content, including its stylish covers and its cartoons.

26 *Kick off : STAY ALERT (skipping YALE = START)

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

29 Big name in printers : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (with “EP” standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

31 Band aid? : ROADIE

A “roadie” is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

34 PC “brain” : CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

37 Corp. logos, e.g. : TMS

Trademark (TM)

40 *Sends : SUNCHIPS (skipping UNC = SHIPS)

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the oldest public university in the country, i.e. the first to enrol students.

47 Politburo objection : NYET

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet” and into German as “nein”.

The first politburo was formed by the Bolshevik Party in Russia in 1917, during that year’s Russian Revolution. The name is a contraction of “Politicheskoe Byuro” meaning “Political Bureau”. The original politburo had seven members, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.

53 March 14 : PI DAY

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

57 *Reacts to an amazing magic trick, say : GAS PRICES (skipping RICE = GASPS)

Rice University is a private school in Houston, Texas. William Marsh Rice had made a will endowing the funds for the establishment of the school at the time of his death. When he was found dead one morning in his bed, his lawyer announced that his will had been changed, with the bulk of Rice’s estate actually going to the lawyer making the announcement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the lawyer had paid Rice’s valet to murder his employer using chloroform and a fake will was written. Eventually, the original will was deemed valid and the funds were disbursed so that the school could be built.

59 Lackey : STOOGE

A lackey is someone quite servile, or a male servant. The term probably comes from the Middle French “laquais”, a word used for a footman or servant.

60 Like Julián and Joaquin Castro : LATINO

When Julián Castro was elected to office as mayor of San Antonio, Texas he was 34 years old, making him the youngest ever mayor of the city. In 2012, Castro became the first ever Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.

61 Site of an annual Taro Festival : MAUI

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (which I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

64 It’s below the knee : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

65 Emulate Ferris Bueller … or a hint to understanding the answers to the starred clues : SKIP SCHOOL

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was written and directed by John Hughes and released in 1986. There are so many classic scenes in the film, including two wonderful musical interludes. The more sedate of these is a vignette shot in the Art Institute of Chicago that is beautifully filmed. The more upbeat musical scene is a rendition of “Twist and Shout” during a Von Steuben Day parade.

69 Pack of smarties? : MENSA

If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

72 Like Cheerios : OATEN

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

Down

4 Sofa part : ARM

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

5 “High-five!” : UP TOP!

The celebratory gesture that we call a “high five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1970s.

7 ___ v. Ferguson (Supreme Court decision essentially overruled by Brown v. Board of Education) : PLESSY

In 1890, the State of Louisiana enacted a statute requiring separate accommodations for African Americans on trains, a statute called the Separate Car Act. An alliance of activists arranged for one Homer Plessy to be arrested for breaking the law, so that they could forward an appeal to the US Supreme Court. However, the plan backfired when the decision of the upper court led to the doctrine of “separate but equal”, a doctrine that remained in place until it was struck down in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education.

8 A, in Austria : EIN

The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

12 Subatomic particle with a mass close to zero : NEUTRINO

Neutrinos are small subatomic particles that do not carry an electric charge. The term “neutrino” is Italian for “small neutral one”, and was coined by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1932. There are three types of neutrino: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

16 “Hello,” in the world’s most common first language : NI HAO

One might say “ni hao” in Chinese to mean “hello”, although a more literal translation is “you good”.

18 Farsi speakers : IRANIS

“Farsi” is one of the local names used for the Persian language.

25 Certain cat : TOM

A group of cats can be referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring”. A male cat is a “tom” or “tomcat”, and a neutered male is a “gib”. An unaltered female cat is a “queen”, and a spayed female might be referred to informally as a “molly”. A young cat is of course a “kitten”.

35 Tree on Maine’s flag : PINE

Maine’s state flag features the state coat of arms on a blue background. The center of the shield depicts a moose resting under a pine tree, and the shield is supported by a farmer and seaman. The North Star sits atop the shield.

37 A lecture on it might be full of tangents : TRIG

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

38 Big attraction at the Louvre : MONA LISA

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

48 Uncle, in Uruguay : TIO

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

52 Big money maker : US MINT

Mint marks are inscribed on coins to indicate where the coin was minted. In the US, the current mint marks are:

  • “P” for the Philadelphia Mint
  • “D” for the Denver Mint
  • “S” for the San Francisco Mint
  • “W” for the West Point Mint

58 Jerry’s neighbor on “Seinfeld” : COSMO

Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on “Seinfeld”. “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.

59 Radio journalist Stamberg : SUSAN

Susan Stamberg is a news correspondent for National Public Radio, and occasional host of the program “Weekend Edition Saturday”. Back in 1972 Stamberg was made co-host of the news magazine show “All Things Considered”, making her the first female host of a national news broadcast.

66 Mauna ___ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shot contents : SERA
5 Let off the hook? : UNPEG
10 Zebra feature : MANE
14 Ilhan ___, first Somali-American elected to Congress : OMAR
15 Study for Dr. Albert Sabin : POLIO
16 Mean less? : NICER
17 *Express one’s view : COMMITMENT (skipping MIT = COMMENT)
19 Bring on : INCUR
20 FedEx rival : UPS
21 Harold who co-founded The New Yorker magazine : ROSS
22 Common bit of concert merchandise : T-SHIRT
24 Keep time with the foot : TOE-TAP
26 *Kick off : STAY ALERT (skipping YALE = START)
29 Big name in printers : EPSON
30 Rug maker’s supply : DYE
31 Band aid? : ROADIE
32 Timid people, so to speak : MICE
34 PC “brain” : CPU
36 Items in an airport security line : BINS
37 Corp. logos, e.g. : TMS
40 *Sends : SUNCHIPS (skipping UNC = SHIPS)
43 Little ‘un : TOT
44 Crowd noise : ROAR
46 Size up : EYE
47 Politburo objection : NYET
49 Sounds, e.g. : INLETS
51 Expected : DUE
53 March 14 : PI DAY
57 *Reacts to an amazing magic trick, say : GAS PRICES (skipping RICE = GASPS)
59 Lackey : STOOGE
60 Like Julián and Joaquin Castro : LATINO
61 Site of an annual Taro Festival : MAUI
63 Get along well : GEL
64 It’s below the knee : TIBIA
65 Emulate Ferris Bueller … or a hint to understanding the answers to the starred clues : SKIP SCHOOL
68 “Love ___ you need” : IS ALL
69 Pack of smarties? : MENSA
70 Fish eater’s annoyance : BONE
71 Mind : CARE
72 Like Cheerios : OATEN
73 Took too much, briefly : ODED

Down

1 “Adorbs!” : SO CUTE!
2 Genre for Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance : EMO POP
3 Name of 11 pharaohs : RAMSES
4 Sofa part : ARM
5 “High-five!” : UP TOP!
6 Listings in une encyclopédie : NOMS
7 ___ v. Ferguson (Supreme Court decision essentially overruled by Brown v. Board of Education) : PLESSY
8 A, in Austria : EIN
9 “___ go!” : GOTTA
10 Small photo processing center : MINILAB
11 Sanction : ACCREDIT
12 Subatomic particle with a mass close to zero : NEUTRINO
13 Goof : ERR
16 “Hello,” in the world’s most common first language : NI HAO
18 Farsi speakers : IRANIS
23 Saccharine : SYRUPY
25 Certain cat : TOM
27 End of many university names : … TECH
28 Experiment : TEST
30 Refuse : DENY
33 Brings up to speed : CUES IN
35 Tree on Maine’s flag : PINE
37 A lecture on it might be full of tangents : TRIG
38 Big attraction at the Louvre : MONA LISA
39 Taqueria fixture : SALSA BAR
41 Give up : CEDE
42 Not sterilized : SEPTIC
45 Turtle or tuatara : REPTILE
48 Uncle, in Uruguay : TIO
50 Experiment : TRIAL
52 Big money maker : US MINT
54 Make the world a better place : DO GOOD
55 Time to take first steps, maybe : AGE ONE
56 Squawked : YELLED
58 Jerry’s neighbor on “Seinfeld” : COSMO
59 Radio journalist Stamberg : SUSAN
62 Abbey area : APSE
64 Wrinkling one’s nose, perhaps : TIC
66 Mauna ___ : KEA
67 “Succession” airer : HBO

14 thoughts on “0702-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Jul 20, Thursday”

  1. 21:58, no errors. I tried to come up with a creative excuse for that awful time (doing the puzzle left-handed while fending off an enraged catamount with the right, perhaps?), but the truth is that I just went blank for a while in the upper right corner. Hey, I’m an old man (or is that just another “feeble“ excuse?) … 😜

  2. 28:57 – Well some humble pie as predicted after yesterday’s good time. Several miscues along the way. For Hawaii never know if its Mauna KOA or LEA (my initial stab is usually wrong) and had OAHU vs MAUI (should guess MAUI first since my wife has a time-share there). Once I finally got the revealer the * clues made more sense, except I had TIESIN for 33D and that made it SINCHIPS and thus INC for the college. Made no sense. Took a while to land on CUESIN.

    @Nonny – I’m left handed so I’ll rely on my sinister-ness as an excuse. 🙂 And as is usually the case – your horrible time would generally be a delight for me.

  3. 18:07. Solved this as a themeless. I just didn’t see the theme at all while solving. Once I finished, I saw what was going on and felt sufficiently foolish. Otherwise, no issues in solving this one.

    I went to RICE as an undergraduate, my uncle used to be a provost at UNC years ago, and a very distant relative of my father’s used to teach at MIT years and years ago so kudos for the school choices.

    Anyone who has a phobia about NEUTRINOS is in trouble. About 100 trillion of them pass through a human body every second.

    Best –

  4. 25:19 no errors. Solved the NW, then the SE. Symmetry! Messed around all over the place to get the rest of the fill. Never quite got the schools gimmick imbedded in the 4 starred answers but I didn’t let that stop me. I’m satisfied…after all, it is a Thursday.

  5. Guess who came in last with a 29:38!! Even seeing the theme, it took a while to get UNC and MIT, since I was looking for proper nouns, not initials. But at least I didn’t have to battle catamounts….

  6. Come on you guys.. You are all in a different league. I’ll be last at about 50 minutes! So there. I enjoyed it. No errors.. The theme helped me on this one. NIHAO I got with crosses. Thanks Bill for that explanation.

  7. 39:54 with 5 errors.
    I am going to run for president and if elected I will make 2 setter crosswords unconstitutional…can I count on your vote.? 👎
    Stay safe😀

  8. Well I’m feeling pretty good. 23 minutes with no errors and without figuring out how the skip school theme factored into the starred clues.

  9. 21:31, no errors. Once again, not a fan of foreign words (not in common English use) in an English language puzzle: NOMS, EIN, NIHAO, TIO.

    On March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53 the depiction of Pi (3.141592653) was very accurate. In fact, you could argue, carrying the seconds out to an infinite number of decimal places, that the exact value of Pi (whatever it is ) was represented at some time.

  10. Had some fun with this one. Clever, tricky theme and revealer. (TECH was a compementary answer.) NE was last section to fall.

  11. I took my time on this one. Rather, the puzzle took my time, I merely donated it. The theme helped a little; true to a Thursday, it held my attention and gave me a struggle. Plenty of fun and I enjoyed the Ferris Bueller tie-in.

  12. Finished the puzzle (no cheating! So proud of myself) but still… don’t…get it. No Aha, I see how you tricked me! moment.

    I give it 5 disappointing Harrumphs.

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