0727-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Jul 20, Monday

Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Hi There!

Themed answers each start with a “HI” sound:

  • 18A It may include a backpack, boots and a water bottle : HIKING GEAR
  • 24A Japanese verse with 17 syllables : HAIKU POEM
  • 39A Expensive, as a product line : HIGH-END
  • 41A Seven Dwarfs’ cry as off to work they go : HEIGH-HO
  • 52A Supermodel and longtime “Project Runway” host : HEIDI KLUM
  • 61A Toyota Prius and Honda Insight : HYBRID CARS

Bill’s time: 4m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Singer Bareilles who wrote and composed the music for Broadway’s “Waitress” : SARA

Sara Bareilles achieved success with her 2007 “Love Song” with the help of the iTunes online store. In one week in June of that year, iTunes offered the song as “free single of the week” and it quickly became the most downloaded song in the store, and from there climbed to the number spot in the charts.

“Waitress” is a 2015 musical by Sara Bareilles that is based on a 2007 movie of the same name starring Keri Russell in the title role. Both stage show and film are about a waitress and pie chef who is in an unhappy marriage, and who becomes pregnant. Feeling trapped, she sees a pie contest and its grand prize as her way out of her failed marriage.

10 Varsity letter earner, say : JOCK

“Varsity” is an adjective used to describe a university or school team or competition. “Varsity” is a variant of the earlier term “versity” used in the late 17th century, which was a shortened form of “university”.

14 With 64-Down, shrinking body of water in Asia : ARAL …
(64D See 14-Across : … SEA)

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

15 Painter Matisse : HENRI

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

16 Big name in running shoes : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

17 Diminutive Jedi master : YODA

In the “Star Wars” series of films, the character named Yoda has a unique speech pattern. He often uses the word order object-subject-verb. For example:

  • Patience you must have …
  • Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
  • To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.

22 Gyllenhaal of “Brokeback Mountain” : JAKE

Jake Gyllenhaal’s most famous role has to be as co-star with Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain”, but he has also had lead roles in big movies like “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Jarhead” and “Rendition”.

“Brokeback Mountain” is a 2005 movie about the romantic and sexual relationship between two cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Matt Damon was asked to play one of the leads but declined. Damon gave the excuse, “I did a gay movie (The Talented Mr. Ripley), then a cowboy movie (All the Pretty Horses). I can’t follow it up with a gay-cowboy movie!”

24 Japanese verse with 17 syllables : HAIKU POEM

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

27 AOL alternative : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

30 Word before chill or chimes : WIND …

Wind chill is the lowering of body temperature due to the flow of colder air over the body’s surface. The faster the cold air moves, the more readily the body’s temperature falls.

33 Busy worker in Apr. : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

38 Tony the Frosted Flakes mascot, e.g. : TIGER

Tony the Tiger has been the mascot of Frosted Flakes cereal since the product’s introduction in 1951. As Tony would say, “They’re Gr-r-reat!” Well, I thought they were when I was a lot younger …

41 Seven Dwarfs’ cry as off to work they go : HEIGH-HO!

“Heigh-Ho” is one of the best known songs in the classic Disney animated feature “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. It is sung by the seven dwarfs as they head off to mine diamonds and rubies.

52 Supermodel and longtime “Project Runway” host : HEIDI KLUM

German-born Heidi Klum was married to the successful English singer, Seal. Klum is a talented lady and has built a multi-faceted career based on her early success as a model. She is the force behind the Bravo reality show called “Project Runway” that has been on the air since 2004. Klum has been nominated 4-5 times for an Emmy for her association with the show. Klum was also signed up as the official ambassador for Barbie in 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll, and for her service that year a Heidi Klum Barbie was produced. She has been adding a touch of class to the judging panel on the show “America’s Got Talent” since 2013.

56 Place for a mud bath : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

58 Appearance : MIEN

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

66 Fashion monthly with more than 40 international editions : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

68 Luau instruments, for short : UKES

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Nowadays, the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

71 One of a set of four on a London taxi : TYRE

Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

Down

3 Half-diameters : RADII

“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, a word meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?

4 Juneau is its capital : ALASKA

Given that it’s the capital of the vast state of Alaska, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that the municipality of Juneau is almost as big as the area of the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. And yet, Juneau only has a population of about 31,000 people!

6 Luau garland : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

7 Some office printers : INKJETS

“Inkjet” is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.

8 Trojan War king : PRIAM

Priam was King of Troy during the Trojan War. Reputedly, Priam was father to fifty sons and many daughters with his many wives. His eldest son and heir to the throne was Hector. Paris was another of Priam’s sons, the man who caused the Trojan War by eloping with Helen, Queen of Sparta.

10 Boozer’s binge : JAG

The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

11 Like some FedEx or DHL service : OVERNIGHT

FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it’s more catchy, abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its “SuperHub” at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world’s largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

Back in the sixties, Larry Hillblom was making pocket money as a Berkeley law student by doing courier runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After law school, Hillblom decided to parlay his experience into his own business and set up a courier service flying bills of lading ahead of freight from San Francisco to Honolulu. He brought in two buddies, Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn, as partners and the three were soon hopping on and off commercial flights and gradually making more and more money. And DHL was born … D (for Dalsey) H (for Hillblom) L (for Lynn). DHL was acquired by Germany’s Deutsche Post in 2002.

12 “Gotta go!” : CIAO!

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

25 X-rated stuff : PORN

The word “pornography” comes from the Greek “pornographos” meaning “writing of prostitutes”.

26 Some newspaper essays : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

31 Classic soda brand : NEHI

The Nehi cola brand has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees to hint at “knee-high”.

32 What prices do in bear markets : DROP

The terms “bull market” and “bear market” come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

33 English fellow : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

34 Prop for Santa Claus or Frosty the Snowman : PIPE

The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.

“Frosty the Snowman” is a song that was first recorded by Gene Autry, in 1950. The song was specifically written in the hope that it would become a follow-up hit to Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that topped the charts the previous year.

37 Puppeteer Lewis : SHARI

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

40 Dance at a Jewish wedding : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

45 Like many members of Gen Z, now : TEENAGE

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generation that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

51 Texter’s “I didn’t need to know that” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

52 Actress Anne of “Wag the Dog” : HECHE

My favorite movie starring the actress Anne Heche is “Six Days Seven Nights”, a romantic comedy in which she plays opposite Harrison Ford. Heche is noted for her difficult private life. She wrote that her father had molested her as a child and gave her a sexually transmitted disease (he later revealed that he was homosexual, and died of AIDS). Heche dated comedian Steve Martin for two years, and then lived with comedian Ellen DeGeneres for three. Soon after breaking up with DeGeneres, she started exhibiting eccentric behavior for a while, claiming that she was the daughter of God, and that she would take everyone back to heaven in her spaceship. Happily, I think things have calmed down for her in recent years.

The 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” is a black comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. It tells the story of a fake war that is manufactured by a Washington spin doctor in order to distract the American electorate. It is based on the novel “American Hero” by Larry Beinhart. In the movie the war is fictitious and the president goes unnamed. In the novel, Beinhart uses Desert Storm as the war in his storyline, and George H. W. Bush as the President.

53 Tall and lean : LANKY

The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

55 Glacier National Park sighting : MOOSE

The moose is the largest species in the deer family, and can stand almost at 7 feet at the shoulder. Moose are a little unusual in that they are solitary animals, unlike other deers who tend to move in herds. We use the term “moose” here in North America, but confusingly, the same animal is referred to as “elk” in British English.

Beautiful Glacier National Park has been a park since 1910, and covers over one million acres of Montana.

57 1960s TV’s “Gomer ___, U.S.M.C” : PYLE

Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

62 Dem.’s counterpart : REP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828 when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

63 Spanish king : REY

In Spanish, a “rey” (king) might live in a “palacio” (palace).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Singer Bareilles who wrote and composed the music for Broadway’s “Waitress” : SARA
5 Loses one’s footing : SLIPS
10 Varsity letter earner, say : JOCK
14 With 64-Down, shrinking body of water in Asia : ARAL …
15 Painter Matisse : HENRI
16 Big name in running shoes : AVIA
17 Diminutive Jedi master : YODA
18 It may include a backpack, boots and a water bottle : HIKING GEAR
20 Slightly off : AMISS
22 Gyllenhaal of “Brokeback Mountain” : JAKE
23 Decompose : ROT
24 Japanese verse with 17 syllables : HAIKU POEM
27 AOL alternative : MSN
29 Get a pet from the pound, e.g. : ADOPT
30 Word before chill or chimes : WIND …
33 Busy worker in Apr. : CPA
36 Item compared in “Who Wore It Best?” : DRESS
38 Tony the Frosted Flakes mascot, e.g. : TIGER
39 Expensive, as a product line : HIGH-END
41 Seven Dwarfs’ cry as off to work they go : HEIGH-HO!
43 Protection against kitchen splatters : APRON
44 Put on, as a play : STAGE
46 Gratuity : TIP
47 Look closely (at) : PEER
48 Wipe the board clean : ERASE
50 “Let’s ___!” (“Dig in!”) : EAT
52 Supermodel and longtime “Project Runway” host : HEIDI KLUM
56 Place for a mud bath : SPA
58 Appearance : MIEN
60 “Swell!” : NEATO!
61 Toyota Prius and Honda Insight : HYBRID CARS
65 Not fooled by : ONTO
66 Fashion monthly with more than 40 international editions : ELLE
67 “Well, golly!” : OH, GEE!
68 Luau instruments, for short : UKES
69 Like the part of a swimming pool with the diving board : DEEP
70 “Gotta go!” : SEEYA!
71 One of a set of four on a London taxi : TYRE

Down

1 Doctor’s request during a physical : SAY “AH”
2 Scent : AROMA
3 Half-diameters : RADII
4 Juneau is its capital : ALASKA
5 “Quiet!” : SHH!
6 Luau garland : LEI
7 Some office printers : INKJETS
8 Trojan War king : PRIAM
9 What things do in quicksand : SINK
10 Boozer’s binge : JAG
11 Like some FedEx or DHL service : OVERNIGHT
12 “Gotta go!” : CIAO!
13 Go-___ (kid’s racer) : KART
19 Thing of beauty : GEM
21 Out of the blue : SUDDEN
25 X-rated stuff : PORN
26 Some newspaper essays : OP-EDS
28 Big gulp from a bottle : SWIG
31 Classic soda brand : NEHI
32 What prices do in bear markets : DROP
33 English fellow : CHAP
34 Prop for Santa Claus or Frosty the Snowman : PIPE
35 Pleasant : AGREEABLE
37 Puppeteer Lewis : SHARI
38 Connects (with) : TIES IN
40 Dance at a Jewish wedding : HORA
42 “Omigosh!” : EGAD!
45 Like many members of Gen Z, now : TEENAGE
49 Barely make, as a living : EKE OUT
51 Texter’s “I didn’t need to know that” : TMI
52 Actress Anne of “Wag the Dog” : HECHE
53 Tall and lean : LANKY
54 Speak : UTTER
55 Glacier National Park sighting : MOOSE
56 Backyard building : SHED
57 1960s TV’s “Gomer ___, U.S.M.C” : PYLE
59 Vows exchanged at the altar : I DOS
62 Dem.’s counterpart : REP
63 Spanish king : REY
64 See 14-Across : … SEA

13 thoughts on “0727-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Jul 20, Monday”

  1. Last! Many fat fingers today. 10:53…at least no errors. Spent yesterday afternoon in the ER after a crash on my mountain bike. Nothing broken (except my pride) but a huge hematoma on my hip making walking difficult. Sore shoulders, too. That makes two crashes in the last two days.

  2. 6:21. I didn’t even think to look for a theme this morning. Like Duncan, I saw it when I came here.

    There’s some sort of irony that the origin of the word “pornography” is the written word.

    Still need to do yesterday’s puzzle to catch up. Seems like I’m always running behind these days.

    Best –

  3. 16:05 no errors…not the easiest Monday puzzle ever IMO.
    I learned something new today…I thought 41A was hi ho hi ho.
    Stay safe😀

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