0711-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 21m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Metroliner operator, once : AMTRAK

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

7 Actor Taye of Broadway’s “Rent” : DIGGS

Taye Diggs is an actor most associated with the Broadway show “Rent”, in which he played the nasty landlord Benny. He then co-starred on the television show “Private Practice”. Diggs’ given name is “Scott”, and the nickname “Taye” comes from saying the given name as “Scottay”.

The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and were very disappointed …

25 ___ o menos (Spanish 101 phrase) : MAS

“Más o menos” translates from Spanish as “more or less”.

26 Macbeth’s burial isle : IONA

Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland named Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

31 “101 Dalmatians” villain : CRUELLA

Cruella de Vil is the villain in the 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” written by Dodie Smith. Most famously perhaps, Cruella was played so ably by Glenn Close in the Disney movie adaption “101 Dalmatians”, released in 1996.

34 Elephant abductors of legend : ROCS

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published about his travels through Asia.

35 Longtime dance feature on TV beginning in 1971 : SOUL TRAIN LINE

“Soul Train” is a musical variety show featuring mainly R&B, soul and hip hop artists that originally aired from 1971 to 2006. “Soul Train” was the longest-running, nationally syndicated television show in history, with more than 1,100 episodes. “Entertainment Tonight” and “Wheel of Fortune” come in second and third place in that “race”, and they are still being aired.

38 Digital book file extension : EPUB

EPUB is a standard format used in the publishing of e-books. Books in the EPUB file format have the extension “.epub”.

39 Locale for house reps? : HOME GYM

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

40 Sacred choral composition : MOTET

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text that is usually sung without accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

42 Tube traveler? : OVUM

The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

43 Domingo, e.g. : DIA

In Spanish (Span.), the days of the week are masculine (masc.) nouns. Unlike in English, the days of the week in Spanish are not capitalized when used in the middle of a sentence:

  • lunes – Monday
  • martes – Tuesday
  • miércoles – Wednesday
  • jueves – Thursday
  • viernes – Friday
  • sábado – Saturday
  • domingo – Sunday

47 Christmas tree figurine, maybe : ELF

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

56 Fictional maker of Dehydrated Boulders and Tornado Seeds (“just add water”) : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

60 Global justice phenomenon sprung from a 2006 Myspace post by Tarana Burke : ME TOO MOVEMENT

The use of the #MeToo hashtag initially was encouraged by actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 to draw attention to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Milano was acting in response to the growing number of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The use of the phrase “Me Too” in the context of sexual misconduct dates back to 2006. Social activist Tarana Burke started to use the phrase on the Myspace social network after a 13-year-old girl told her that she had been sexually assaulted. Apparently, Burke had no response at the time the girl confided in her, but later wished she had responded, “Me too”.

61 Red sauce alternative : PESTO

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

62 Turn-of-the-century Oldsmobiles : ALEROS

The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

Down

1 H.S. course whose textbooks are full of solutions : AP CHEM

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

3 Jewelry stores? : TROVES

The term “treasure trove” comes from the Anglo-French “tresor trové “ meaning “found treasure”.

7 Strike at a newspaper office? : DELE

“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

11 Show appreciation at a poetry slam : SNAP

A poetry slam is a competition in which poets read their own work (usually), with winners being chosen by members of the audience. Apparently the first poetry slam took place in Chicago in 1984. Now there is a National Poetry Slam that takes place each year, with representatives from the US, Canada and France.

13 Kind of card in cellphones : SIM

Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for “Subscriber Identity Module”.

16 Torch bearer, maybe : SCONCE

A sconce is a light fixture that today uses electric bulbs, but in the past used candles and torches. The defining feature of a sconce is that it is supported by a wall and does not have a base that stands on the ground. Usually the light is indirect, projected upwards towards the ceiling.

19 Big name in the frozen aisle : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

27 Historic megalomaniac : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

28 Setting for an 1836 shootout : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

31 Die, say : CUBE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so-called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

32 Schreiber of “Spotlight” : LIEV

Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”.

“Spotlight” is a marvelous biographical drama released in 2015 that deals with “The Boston Globe” investigation into child sex abuse in the city by Roman Catholic priests. The film’s title refers to the paper’s “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists. “Spotlight” very much reminded me of another of my favorite movies, “All the President’s Men”. I really, really rue the demise of investigative journalism in the world …

33 Variety of cattle : ANGUS

The full name of the cattle breed is Aberdeen Angus, which is also the name used around the world outside of North America. The breed was developed by crossbreeding cattle from the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. The breed stands out in the US as Angus cattle don’t have horns.

37 Eponymous town in southeastern Connecticut : LYME

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is becoming more and more common. The condition takes its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut where several cases were diagnosed in 1975. Humans catch the disease when bitten by infected ticks. If caught early enough, the disease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics.

41 Mexican beer brand : TECATE

Tecate is a Mexican beer that takes its name from the city of Tecate in Baja California. Tecate is a brand produced by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, along with beers such as Dos Equis, Bohemia and Carta Blanca.

44 Like early sound recordings : IN MONO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

49 Cereal box word whose third and fourth letters are stylized as bits of cereal : FROOT

Froot Loops (ugh!) is a breakfast cereal from Kellogg’s that has been around since 1963. The little loops come in different colors, originally red, orange and yellow, but now there are green, purple and blue loops as well. Notice I said “different colors” not “different flavors”. Each loop tastes the same, so I wonder where the color comes from …?

51 Instruction to Alice : EAT ME

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”. When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words “EAT ME” written using currants, and when she eats the cake she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she utters the words, “Curiouser and curiouser”.

54 Friend of Mr. Noodle on children’s TV : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

58 Wall-E’s love in “Wall-E” : EVA

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie that was released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot named WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who also falls in love with a robot named EVE.

59 Still at Disney World? : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Metroliner operator, once : AMTRAK
7 Actor Taye of Broadway’s “Rent” : DIGGS
12 Heaven, sweet heaven : PARADISE FOUND
15 Hollow-eyed expression? : CROCODILE TEARS
17 What’s all the buzz about? : HIVE
18 Physical realm, in cyberpunk : MEATSPACE
20 Zip : ENERGY
23 One to sniff out : RAT
24 “Geez!” : GOD!
25 ___ o menos (Spanish 101 phrase) : MAS
26 Macbeth’s burial isle : IONA
29 Lacking any emotion : STONY
31 “101 Dalmatians” villain : CRUELLA
34 Elephant abductors of legend : ROCS
35 Longtime dance feature on TV beginning in 1971 : SOUL TRAIN LINE
38 Digital book file extension : EPUB
39 Locale for house reps? : HOME GYM
40 Sacred choral composition : MOTET
42 Tube traveler? : OVUM
43 Domingo, e.g. : DIA
46 “___ me!” : IT’S
47 Christmas tree figurine, maybe : ELF
50 Involved with : SEEING
52 Figures that lack curves : RAW SCORES
56 Fictional maker of Dehydrated Boulders and Tornado Seeds (“just add water”) : ACME
57 Bulk of an experiment : DATA COLLECTION
60 Global justice phenomenon sprung from a 2006 Myspace post by Tarana Burke : ME TOO MOVEMENT
61 Red sauce alternative : PESTO
62 Turn-of-the-century Oldsmobiles : ALEROS

Down

1 H.S. course whose textbooks are full of solutions : AP CHEM
2 Berth place : MARINA
3 Jewelry stores? : TROVES
4 Car on a track : RACER
5 Buzz : ADO
6 Play around : KID
7 Strike at a newspaper office? : DELE
8 Lead-in to a letdown : I FEAR …
9 “I ___ Feeling” (2009 chart-topper) : GOTTA
10 Party people : GUESTS
11 Show appreciation at a poetry slam : SNAP
13 Kind of card in cellphones : SIM
14 Strong-arm : DRAGOON
16 Torch bearer, maybe : SCONCE
19 Big name in the frozen aisle : EDY’S
21 Word before talk or power : GIRL …
22 Teens, e.g. : YOUTH
27 Historic megalomaniac : NERO
28 Setting for an 1836 shootout : ALAMO
30 Prune : TRIM
31 Die, say : CUBE
32 Schreiber of “Spotlight” : LIEV
33 Variety of cattle : ANGUS
35 On-air campaign expense : SPOT AD
36 Lapped, perhaps : OUTSWAM
37 Eponymous town in southeastern Connecticut : LYME
38 The conqueror Tamerlane, for one : EMIR
41 Mexican beer brand : TECATE
43 Less predictable : DICIER
44 Like early sound recordings : IN MONO
45 Catalysts, as of change : AGENTS
48 Doritos ___ Tacos (fast-food offering) : LOCOS
49 Cereal box word whose third and fourth letters are stylized as bits of cereal : FROOT
51 Instruction to Alice : EAT ME
53 When repeated, workout class instruction : STEP!
54 Friend of Mr. Noodle on children’s TV : ELMO
55 Thruway advisory : SLO
58 Wall-E’s love in “Wall-E” : EVA
59 Still at Disney World? : CEL

8 thoughts on “0711-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 20, Saturday”

  1. 16:56, no errors. It helped that I had seen “MEATSPACE” somewhere recently. Didn’t consciously remember “SOUL TRAIN”, but my crossword lizard brain came through once I got enough letters of it from crosses.

  2. Ugh! Nasty Saturday for me. 41:50 with one lookup. Started slowly , then continued to be slow. Ended slowly. But… less than 2X @Bill time. That is all.

  3. 33:02 – Struggled in SW and NE for a while. I had STOIC for 29A for the longest time and that was part of my problem in the NE. For 40A I had NONET then OCTET then finally MOTET to help unravel that corner. I was less than 2X than Bill’s times for the entire week. That is quite an accomplishment for me.

    Seems to me that TECATE, FROOT, and IFEAR were in a couple puzzles this week.

    BTW, the clue for 58D that I see is “____ Air (Carrier to Taiwan)”, which is different from what Bill has listed in his explanation.

    1. I got the same clue for 58D (in the online app) that Bill did. In either case, it’s not a gimme, but I think the replacement clue would have been harder for me.

  4. Two sessions, no mistakes with spousal assistance.

    Session 1 – breakfast
    Session 2 – Afternoon snack

    58D in the paper is Wall-E’s love in “Wall-E”

  5. Just shoot me…. DNF on this one, couldn’t resolve the NE corner if you paid me… *sigh* I was having such an adequate week…. 🙂

  6. 23:18. Was cruising through this one until the NE.

    MEATSPACE?? Really?

    I also had STOIC before STONY like Ron F. The app had the Taiwan carrier as the clue for 58D. I would have needed crosses either way.

    HOME GYM for “Locale for house reps?” wins the groaner of the day award.

    Best –

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