0106-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Jan 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Across and Down

Themed answers are in the format “X and Y”, where X is an across-answer and Y is a down-answer, with both starting from the same square in the grid:

  • 1 Rubberneck : STOP AND STARE
  • 5 Stiffly formal : PRIM AND PROPER
  • 9 Old Glory : STARS AND STRIPES
  • 33 Kind of sauce in Chinese cuisine : SWEET AND SOUR
  • 41 Fully from, as a place : BORN AND BRED
  • 43 Footwear fashion faux pas : SOCKS AND SANDALS
  • 45 Risk losing one’s license, say : DRINK AND DRIVE
  • 56 Proven to be reliable : TRIED AND TRUE

Bill’s time: 6m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

1 Rubberneck : STOP AND STARE

We have been rubbernecking since the late 1800s, although the word ”rubberneck” originally applied to someone with a tendency to listen in other people’s conversations. The term really became popular when people started rubbernecking in automobiles.

3 Predators of penguins : ORCAS

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

6 Rice-A-___ : RONI

Rice-A-Roni was introduced in 1958 by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company of San Francisco. The company was run by an Italian immigrant and his four sons. The wife of one of the sons created a pilaf dish for the family diner they owned. It was a big hit, so her brother-in-law created a commercial version by blending dry chicken soup mix with rice and macaroni. Sounds like “a San Francisco treat” to me …

8 Raised one’s spirits? : 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 …

9 Old Glory : STARS AND STRIPES

The person who coined the phrase “Old Glory” with reference to the American flag was Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts. As Driver was leaving on an 1831 voyage aboard the brig Charles Doggett, he unfurled the American flag that he had just been given by a group of friends. As the flag caught the breeze, he uttered the words, “Old Glory!”. That’s the story anyway. On that same voyage, Charles Doggett rescued the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty, after he encountered them on Pitcairn Island.

11 Best Picture winner directed by Ben Affleck : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck started his career as a child actor in the PBS show “The Voyage of the Mimi”. His big break came with the release of the film “Good Will Hunting” which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his childhood friend Matt Damon. Affleck had a relationship with actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, with the celebrity couple often being referred to as “Bennifer” in the media. He was also married for several years to actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he has three children.

12 Fidel’s brother and successor in Cuba : RAUL

Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul took over as President of Cuba in 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and passed away in 2016.

15 Author Jaffe : RONA

Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.

16 Holy scroll : TORAH

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law. Those five books are:

  • Bereshit/Genesis
  • Shemot/Exodus
  • Vayikra/Leviticus
  • Bamidbar/Numbers
  • Devarim/Deuteronomy

17 Sold at Sotheby’s, say : AUCTIONED

Sotheby’s is one of the world’s oldest auction houses, having opened its doors for business in 1744 in London. However, the company is now headquartered in New York City. The ticker symbol for Sotheby’s on the New York Stock Exchange is quite apt, i.e. “BID”.

20 Multivitamin fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

21 Part of the Notre-Dame Cathedral destroyed by a 2019 fire : SPIRE

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them. Well, you used to be able to, until the tragic fire of 2019.

23 Ancient Jewish ascetic : ESSENE

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes led simple lives devoted to poverty.

25 East Coast city on a western coast : TAMPA

The Florida city of Tampa has been known as “the Big Guava” since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area. Tampa has also been called “Cigar City”, a reference to the cigar industry that fueled the area’s growth starting in the 1880s.

26 60 secs. : MIN

We use base-10, the decimal system for our numbers. Base-60, the sexagesimal system, was used by the ancient Babylonians. This ancient usage gives rise to our 60 seconds in a minute, and 360 (6 x 60) degrees in a circle.

27 City near Leeds with historic walls : YORK

York is the biggest city on the River Ouse in Yorkshire. The name “Ouse” comes from the Celtic word “usa” meaning water.

30 Counselor Deanna on the U.S.S. Enterprise : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

34 Third and fourth word in many limericks : … WAS A …

No one knows for sure how the limerick got its name, although there does seem to be agreement the name does indeed come from the city or county of Limerick in Ireland. Try this one for size:

There was a young lady named Bright
who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day
in a relative way,
and came back the previous night.

35 French political division : ETAT

In French, an “état” (state) is an “entité politique” (political entity).

37 Game with antlers : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

38 The last one was named Louis : ROI

There were actually nineteen kings of France with the name Louis. The last, Louis XIX, reigned only for a matter of minutes. He was the eldest son of Charles X, who abdicated at the height of the July Revolution of 1830. When his father abdicated, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême technically became King Louis XIX. However, Louis followed his father’s lead and also abdicated 20 minutes later.

42 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champs : USA

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is a soccer tournament that has been held every four years since 1991. The US national team has won the tournament more times than any other nation.

43 Footwear fashion faux pas : SOCKS AND SANDALS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

44 Condition that can lead to repetitive behavior, for short : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

46 1950s-’60s entertainment group : RAT PACK

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

48 Button on a deli scale : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

49 Houston team : ASTROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

50 Country with 28 states : INDIA

The vast Asian country of India takes its name from the Indus River. The name “Indus” in turn comes from the Sanskrit “Sindhu” that can be translated as “a body of trembling water”. India is the second-most populous country in the world (after China), and the most populous democracy.

52 Actor Poitier : SIDNEY

Hollywood actor Sidney Poitier was born in Miami, but grew up in the Bahamas. Poitiers breakthrough role in movies came with 1955’s “Blackboard Jungle”, in which he played an incorrigible high school student. I find it interesting that one of Poitier’s most respected performances found him playing a teacher of a rough set of students in 1967’s “To Sir, with Love”. Off the screen, Poitier entered the diplomatic service for the Bahamas, serving as the nation’s non-resident ambassador to Japan from 1997 until 2007.

55 Exaggerated stories : YARNS

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

59 “Impractical Jokers” channel : TRUTV

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

“Impractical Jokers” is a TV reality show in which a comedy troupe called the Tenderloins give each other outrageous challenges that usually involve unwitting members of the public. The show is very popular, but to be honest, not my cup of tea …

60 Italian man : UOMO

“Uomo” is the Italian word for “man”. The Italian for “woman” is “donna”.

62 Cowboy’s lasso : RIATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for “lasso”.

63 Sneaker insert : ODOR EATER

Odor Eater insoles were introduced in the early seventies, and are manufactured by Combe. Combe sponsors a national contest held every year in Montpelier, Vermont, called “The Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest”. Very pleasant …

64 Former Japanese P.M. Shinzo ___ : ABE

Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. At the end of 2019, Abe became the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Japan. He resigned from office in 2020, citing medical issues.

66 Anxiety about being excluded from the fun, for short : FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

67 “Feel the ___” (bygone political slogan) : BERN

“Feel the Bern” is perhaps the best-known of several slogans used by the Bernie Sanders campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

69 The Jackson 5 had some big ones, informally : ‘FROS

The Jackson 5 singing group were originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers continued to perform, using the name “The Jacksons”, after Michael went solo.

70 “Slow Churned” ice cream brand : 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

1 Rubberneck : STOP AND STARE
2 Lands heavily : THUDS
3 Predators of penguins : ORCAS
4 ___ to shame : PUT
5 Stiffly formal : PRIM AND PROPER
6 Rice-A-___ : RONI
7 Not reacting : INERT
8 Raised one’s spirits? : MADE A TOAST
9 Old Glory : STARS AND STRIPES
10 Past the point of being a joke, say : TOO FAR
11 Best Picture winner directed by Ben Affleck : ARGO
12 Fidel’s brother and successor in Cuba : RAUL
13 Take off : SHED
14 No ___ traffic : THRU
15 Author Jaffe : RONA
16 Holy scroll : TORAH
17 Sold at Sotheby’s, say : AUCTIONED
18 “Huh-uh!” : IS NOT!
19 Scoundrel : ROGUE
20 Multivitamin fig. : RDA
21 Part of the Notre-Dame Cathedral destroyed by a 2019 fire : SPIRE
22 Remark from one who’s obviously not going to call : I FOLD
23 Ancient Jewish ascetic : ESSENE
24 Emoji that can mean “Get a load of this!” : EYES
25 East Coast city on a western coast : TAMPA
26 60 secs. : MIN
27 City near Leeds with historic walls : YORK
28 “Quit fooling around!” : KNOCK IT OFF!
29 Second-level : TIER-TWO
30 Counselor Deanna on the U.S.S. Enterprise : TROI
31 Frayed so? : WORN
32 Pen sound : OINK
33 Kind of sauce in Chinese cuisine : SWEET AND SOUR
34 Third and fourth word in many limericks : … WAS A …
35 French political division : ETAT
36 Vivid colors : NEONS
37 Game with antlers : ELK
38 The last one was named Louis : ROI
39 Breakfast grains : OATS
40 Portuguese greeting : OLA
41 Fully from, as a place : BORN AND BRED
42 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champs : USA
43 Footwear fashion faux pas : SOCKS AND SANDALS
44 Condition that can lead to repetitive behavior, for short : OCD
45 Risk losing one’s license, say : DRINK AND DRIVE
46 1950s-’60s entertainment group : RAT PACK
47 Container at a bakery : PIE TIN
48 Button on a deli scale : TARE
49 Houston team : ASTROS
50 Country with 28 states : INDIA
51 Enthusiasm : ARDOR
52 Actor Poitier : SIDNEY
53 “Gotcha” : NOTED
54 Each : EVERY
55 Exaggerated stories : YARNS
56 Proven to be reliable : TRIED AND TRUE
57 Orange discard : RIND
58 “No food for me, thanks” : I ATE
59 “Impractical Jokers” channel : TRUTV
60 Italian man : UOMO
61 Reproductive cells : OVA
62 Cowboy’s lasso : RIATA
63 Sneaker insert : ODOR EATER
64 Former Japanese P.M. Shinzo ___ : ABE
65 Store hours word : UNTIL
66 Anxiety about being excluded from the fun, for short : FOMO
67 “Feel the ___” (bygone political slogan) : BERN
68 Paradises : EDENS
69 The Jackson 5 had some big ones, informally : ‘FROS
70 “Slow Churned” ice cream brand : EDY’S

6 thoughts on “0106-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Jan 21, Wednesday”

  1. 11:06 Including about a minute to find a fat finger. Took just a little bit to comprehend the X and Y structure of the clues.

  2. 8:28, no errors. A clever idea, but I agree with Ron: Several times, in the app, I found that having to refer to the “wrong” list for a clue interfered with my ingrained habits, leaving me entering several characters in the wrong direction; I spent a lot of time correcting the resulting missteps and found it mildly annoying. I don’t care all that much about my solving times, but I think I’d have understood the gimmick just as well and been more pleasantly amused by it if the “down” clues had simply been repeats of their fellow “across” clues. (Still, if this minor annoyance is the worst thing to happen to me today, I’ll be delighted! … 😜)

    And, speaking of delight, I just scheduled a first Covid-19 shot (on Saturday)! Being a certified old fart has its advantages, I guess … 😜.)

    1. Aha! Your question tells me that I did not realize how the print version is formatted, with just a single list of clues. That would be preferable to what’s in the app: two sets of clues, with the entry “[See notepad]” for every clue in the “down” list that is merely a duplicate of one in the “across” list (telling you to go click on the circled “i” and read the note under the words “About this puzzle” on the “Puzzle Info” page that pops up).

      I really should solve the NYT puzzle on paper! … 😜

  3. One more comment: I just ordered a book called “The Liar’s Dictionary”, by one Eley Williams. Mind you, I haven’t read it (in fact, I’ve only read a review of it in the New York Times), but it looks like a book for any word lover to love … 😜.

  4. Thanks, Old Fart Nonny 🙂 After reading your explanation I looked back at the puzzle and noticed the flashing circle around the “i”. I’m not sure the “about this puzzle” really would have helped me much, I pretty much just bulldozed my way through the solve using intersecting words. We’ll be expecting your book review here in the coming weeks. Thanks again, from Old Fart DuncanR

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