0413-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Rocky Start

Themed answers each START with something that is ROCKY:

  • 59A Bumpy beginning … or a hint to 18-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across : ROCKY START
  • 18A Coyote outfoxer, in cartoons : ROAD RUNNER (giving “rocky road”)
  • 24A “Get Out,” for one : HORROR FILM (giving “Rocky Horror …”)
  • 36A Beverage brand whose first mascot was Willy the Hillbilly : MOUNTAIN DEW (giving “Rocky Mountain”)
  • 52A Part of San Diego that’s home to its zoo : BALBOA PARK (giving “Rocky Balboa”)

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Like Roger Federer and Martina Hingis : SWISS

Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis player considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer is married to former tennis pro Mirka Vavrinec. The couple are parents to two sets of twins.

Martina Hingis is a retired Swiss tennis player and former World No. 1 professional. She retired in 2007 after testing positive for cocaine during Wimbledon, although she denied using the drug.

14 Place where Farsi is spoken : IRAN

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

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

16 Mixer with gin or vodka : TONIC

The original tonic water was a fairly strong solution of the drug quinine dissolved in carbonated water. It was used in tropical areas in South Asia and Africa where malaria is rampant. The quinine has a prophylactic effect against the disease, and was formulated as “tonic water” so that it could be easily distributed. In British colonial India, the colonial types got into the habit of mixing in gin with the tonic water to make it more palatable by hiding the bitter taste of quinine. Nowadays, the level of quinine in tonic water has been dropped, and sugar has been added.

18 Coyote outfoxer, in cartoons : ROAD RUNNER (giving “rocky road”)

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

The flavor of ice cream known as rocky road is made using chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts and marshmallows. The exact origin of the flavor seems to be disputed, but one story is that William Dreyer invented it in 1929, chopping up walnuts and marshmallows with sewing scissors belonging to his wife.

20 “Get Out” director Jordan : 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 movie, I don’t do horror, but I do hear that this one is well made …

24 “Get Out,” for one : HORROR FILM (giving “Rocky Horror …”)

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has to have the most devout cult-following of any movie ever made. Famously, fans attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in outrageous costumes used in the film, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure …

26 Raison d’___ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

27 C.E.O.’s reading, maybe, in brief : WSJ

“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in a close second place.

29 Sea between Turkey and Greece : AEGEAN

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

36 Beverage brand whose first mascot was Willy the Hillbilly : MOUNTAIN DEW (giving “Rocky Mountain”)

If you check the can, you’ll see that “Mountain Dew” is now marketed as “Mtn Dew”.

North America’s Rocky Mountains stretch from the very north of British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the US. The length of the range is over 3,000 miles. The highest point is Mount Elbert in Colorado, which has an elevation of 14,440 feet.

41 Frontiersman Crockett : DAVY

The pioneer Davy Crockett is often referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier”. Crockett was from East Tennessee. After serving in the local militia he entered politics and represented his state in the US House of Representatives from 1827 to 1831. He disapproved of many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, which led to his defeat in the 1834 election for the House. The defeat prompted Crockett to leave Tennessee for Texas. Famously, he died there in 1836 at the Battle of the Alamo.

44 Incendiary jelly used in the Vietnam War : NAPALM

Napalm is an incendiary compound used in weapons that is made from petroleum mixed with a thickening agent. Napalm was developed in a secret program at Harvard during WWII. It was initially used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers. The thickening agent in napalm causes the burning material to stick to skin causing severe burns. Because of this, the UN declared the use of napalm in civilian areas a war crime in 1980.

47 CPR provider : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

50 Mauna ___ (Hawaiian volcano) : 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.

52 Part of San Diego that’s home to its zoo : BALBOA PARK (giving “Rocky Balboa”)

The world-famous San Diego Zoo opened its doors to visitors for the first time in 1916. The zoo was founded in the Balboa Park area of the city, on the site of the Panama-California Exposition that was held the prior year. The zoo was needed to care for the abandoned exotic animal exhibits from the exposition.

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

56 ___ Lingus : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline Ryanair.

57 Symbol of stubbornness : MULE

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

64 Cause fuzzy vision in : BLEAR

To blear is to dim the vision, usually with watery eyes.

65 Cookie in the shape of its first and last letters : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

66 Pasta sauce brand : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

67 1945 meeting place for F.D.R., Churchill and Stalin : YALTA

The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up political influence around the world, decisions that have profound implications to this day.

68 One of the Rice Krispies mascots : SNAP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec).

69 Condescending sort : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

Down

5 Matador : TORERO

The Spanish suffix “-ero” can be added to a noun to describe someone who works with that “noun”. Examples would be a “vaquero” (a cowboy working with a “vaca”, a cow) and a “torero” (a bullfighter fighting a “toro”, a bull).

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

6 Greek letter that looks like a “P” : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

7 Component of a sake bomb, often : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

9 Macho sort : STUD

The word “stud”, meaning “male horse kept for breeding”, is derived from the Old English word “stod”, which described a whole herd of horses. The term “stud” can be used figuratively for a “ladies’ man”.

10 Took the checkered flag : WON

The checkered flag is used to start and finish races.

11 From nature, not nurture : INNATE

Something innate is untaught, has existed from birth. The term comes from the Latin “innatus” meaning “inborn”.

The term “eugenics” was coined in 1883 by Francis Galton, a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. The word describes the potential practice of encouraging the mating of individuals with characteristics deemed “desirable”, while discouraging the mating of individuals exhibiting “undesirable” characteristics. By the way, it was Galton who also coined the phrase “nature and nurture”.

12 Letter after Romeo in the NATO alphabet : SIERRA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

19 Brexit opponent’s vote : REMAIN

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for the vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so that revived speculation about Scotland leaving the UK. There is also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

25 Strength : FORTE

A person’s forte is his or her strength. The term “forte” came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong. “Forte” (F) is also a musical direction meaning “loud”.

26 Urged (on) : EGGED

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

32 Places to nap : SOFAS

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

34 Fleming who created James Bond : IAN

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

37 Internet address, for short : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

38 Kind of cloud that may bring precipitation : NIMBUS

Nimbus clouds are rain clouds, with “nimbus” being the Latin word for “cloud”. Some other types of cloud can take on the prefix nimbo- or suffix -nimbus, indicating that they are similar to that other cloud type but carry precipitation. So, a stratus cloud that has rain is called nimbostratus, and a cumulus cloud with rain is called cumulonimbus.

39 Like most characters in “Black Panther” : WAKANDAN

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

42 Hitchcock movie or U2 song : VERTIGO

“Vertigo” is a 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film that’s based on a 1954 novel “D’entre les morts” (“From Among the Dead”) by Boileau-Narcejac. Jimmy Stewart stars as a retired San Francisco police detective who has developed an extreme fear of heights. Stewart’s character is hired to trail someone’ wife, played by Kim Novak.

Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director from Leytonstone, just outside London. A very good friend of mine is a close friend of one of his granddaughters, and met “Hitch” many times in her youth. She tells a very nice story of sitting in a restaurant with the family when someone came over to the table to say “hi”. That was Jimmy Stewart …

The band known today as U2 was originally called Feedback, and then The Hype. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

45 Colored part of the iris : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

46 Part of UPS : PARCEL

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.

48 Beatles-like hairdo : MOP TOP

The classic Beatles haircut is called a mop top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and when they arrived at their destination, they had their hair cut that way for the first time.

49 Chinese “path” : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

55 Jetties : PIERS

A jetty is a pier that juts out into a body of water. “Jetty” derives from the French verb “jeter” meaning “to throw”, the idea being that a jetty is a structure that is “thrown” out past the edge of the land surrounding the body of water.

57 Gore Vidal’s “___ Breckinridge” : MYRA

Gore Vidal’s 1968 novel “Myra Breckinridge” was considered controversial in its day. I haven’t read it, but I understand it addresses transsexuality and other sexual practices considered outside the norm at the time. There was a movie version of the novel made in 1970, with Raquel Welch in the title role.

Gore Vidal was an author and political activist from West Point, New York. Vidal’s most celebrated novel is probably “Myra Breckinridge”. His most controversial work has to be “The City and the Pillar” from 1948, which is cited as one of the first major novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality.

60 Kit ___ bar : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

61 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“The Crying Game” is a fascinating film that made quite a splash when it was released in 1992. Although it was set in Ireland and the UK, it didn’t do well in cinemas in either country yet made a lot of money over here in the US. I think the politics of the movie were a bit raw for Irish and UK audiences back then. It’s an unusual plot, blending Irish political issues with some raw sexuality questions. I won’t tell you about the “surprise scene”, just in case you haven’t seen it and want to do so.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some downloads : APPS
5 Eating surface on an airplane : TRAY
9 Like Roger Federer and Martina Hingis : SWISS
14 Place where Farsi is spoken : IRAN
15 Extremely : OH SO
16 Mixer with gin or vodka : TONIC
17 Cool, in slang : DOPE
18 Coyote outfoxer, in cartoons : ROAD RUNNER (giving “rocky road”)
20 “Get Out” director Jordan : PEELE
22 Mind, as a warning : HEED
23 Word that sounds like its middle letter : ARE
24 “Get Out,” for one : HORROR FILM (giving “Rocky Horror …”)
26 Raison d’___ : ETRE
27 C.E.O.’s reading, maybe, in brief : WSJ
28 Extremely : TOO
29 Sea between Turkey and Greece : AEGEAN
31 Votes in favor : YEAS
33 Kind of tide that lifts all boats : RISING
36 Beverage brand whose first mascot was Willy the Hillbilly : MOUNTAIN DEW (giving “Rocky Mountain”)
40 Facebook status : FRIEND
41 Frontiersman Crockett : DAVY
44 Incendiary jelly used in the Vietnam War : NAPALM
47 CPR provider : EMT
50 Mauna ___ (Hawaiian volcano) : KEA
51 Periods of time : ERAS
52 Part of San Diego that’s home to its zoo : BALBOA PARK (giving “Rocky Balboa”)
56 ___ Lingus : AER
57 Symbol of stubbornness : MULE
58 North, south, east or west : POINT
59 Bumpy beginning … or a hint to 18-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across : ROCKY START
62 Remove excess verbiage, e.g. : EDIT
64 Cause fuzzy vision in : BLEAR
65 Cookie in the shape of its first and last letters : OREO
66 Pasta sauce brand : RAGU
67 1945 meeting place for F.D.R., Churchill and Stalin : YALTA
68 One of the Rice Krispies mascots : SNAP
69 Condescending sort : SNOB

Down

1 Assist : AID
2 Pop the question : PROPOSE
3 Printing predicament : PAPER JAM
4 Contemptuous smile : SNEER
5 Matador : TORERO
6 Greek letter that looks like a “P” : RHO
7 Component of a sake bomb, often : ASAHI
8 Communication during peak times? : YODEL
9 Macho sort : STUD
10 Took the checkered flag : WON
11 From nature, not nurture : INNATE
12 Letter after Romeo in the NATO alphabet : SIERRA
13 Basketball play : SCREEN
19 Brexit opponent’s vote : REMAIN
21 Word after odd or job : … LOT
24 Route: Abbr. : HWY
25 Strength : FORTE
26 Urged (on) : EGGED
30 Wrap up : END
32 Places to nap : SOFAS
34 Fleming who created James Bond : IAN
35 Lesser-played part of a record, usually : SIDE B
37 Internet address, for short : URL
38 Kind of cloud that may bring precipitation : NIMBUS
39 Like most characters in “Black Panther” : WAKANDAN
42 Hitchcock movie or U2 song : VERTIGO
43 Talk one’s head off : YAK
44 Close at hand : NEARBY
45 Colored part of the iris : AREOLA
46 Part of UPS : PARCEL
48 Beatles-like hairdo : MOP TOP
49 Chinese “path” : TAO
53 Choral section : ALTOS
54 Come to understand : LEARN
55 Jetties : PIERS
57 Gore Vidal’s “___ Breckinridge” : MYRA
60 Kit ___ bar : KAT
61 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA
63 Bath site : TUB

8 thoughts on “0413-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 21, Tuesday”

  1. Re: 41A, I read a biography of Crockett some time ago, and was surprised to learn that he was referred to as “David” during his lifetime, not “Davy”,

  2. 9:33 including seeking out a spelling error.

    I have both ROADRUNNERs and coyotes near my house, but I’ve never seen a chase except in the cartoons.

    For 16A “Mixer with gin or vodka”, originally I put “more gin or vodka”, but it didn’t fit….

    Best –

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