0428-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Apr 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Hal Moore
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Open and Shut Case

Themed answers form a progression. The first answer OPENS with CASE, and the last closes with CASE. In between, the letters CASE are split between the start and end of each answer. Well, I think that’s it …

  • 58A Easy-to-resolve situation … or a hint to the progression found in 20-, 23-, 43-, 46- and 58-Across : OPEN-AND-SHUT CASE
  • 20A Poem subtitled “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” : CASEY AT THE BAT
  • 23A Discard : CAST ASIDE
  • 43A Some winter travelers to the U.S. : CANADA GEESE
  • 46A Restaurant request : CHECK PLEASE
  • 58A Easy-to-resolve situation … or a hint to the progression found in 20-, 23-, 43-, 46- and 58-Across : OPEN-AND-SHUT CASE

Bill’s time: 6m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Part of a frame : JAMB

A door jamb or window jamb is the vertical portion of the frame. The term “jamb” comes from the French word “jambe” meaning “leg”.

15 “Pagliacci” baritone : TONIO

16 “Vesti la giubba,” in “Pagliacci” : ARIA

“Pagliacci” (“ Clowns” in English) is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo that premiered in 1892 in Milan. Included in the opera is one of the most famous arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba” (“put on the costume”).

18 Man with morals : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

20 Poem subtitled “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” : CASEY AT THE BAT

“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

31 Day-___ paint : GLO

“Day-Glo” is a registered trademark used for an ink or paint that glows when exposed to a black light in a darkened room. When Day-Glo paint is viewed in daylight, the colors can look particularly vivid because they respond to UV light present in sunlight.

36 1950s White House nickname : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

37 Accessory for Wonder Woman : TIARA

Superhero Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named after the Greek mythological figure. Wonder Woman had several signature expressions, including “Merciful Minerva!”, “Suffering Sappho!” and “Great Hera!”. She also has several devices that she uses in her quest for justice, e.g. the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets and a tiara that can be used as a deadly projectile. Wonder Woman uses the name “Diana Prince” when “out of uniform”.

40 Greeting in Portuguese : OLA

“Olá” is both Spanish and Portuguese for “hello”.

41 ___ pants : HAREM

Harem pants are an item of female clothing that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. They are loose fitting pants that gather at the ankle. For example, the pants worn by belly dancers would be called harem pants.

43 Some winter travelers to the U.S. : CANADA GEESE

The Canada goose has quite a distinctive coloring, with a black head and neck broken up by a white “chinstrap”. They thrive in parks that are frequented by humans, and are so successful that they are considered pests by some.

47 “The Louisville Lip” : ALI

Boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

49 ___ culpa : MEA

Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

51 Hokkaido honorific : SAN

Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan, after Honshu. It lies to the north of the country, and its largest city is the capital, Sapporo.

54 Spokes, say : RADII

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

56 ___-Coeur (Paris basilica) : SACRE

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Basilique du Sacré-Coeur) is that gorgeous white structure that sits at the top of the hill known as “butte Montmartre” in Paris, the highest point in the city. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Sacré-Coeur several times, and find it to be a much more stunning building inside than out.

65 Sign of spring : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

66 Player that debuted in 2001 : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

67 Chaka Khan, vocally : ALTO

Chaka Khan is the stage name of singer Yvette Stevens from Chicago. Chaka Khan was the front woman for the band Rufus before she launched her very successful solo career.

68 David of the Talking Heads : BYRNE

Musician David Byrne was a founding member of the New Wave band Talking Heads. Byrne resides in the US, although was born in the UK.

Down

1 I.R.S. ID : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

2 The “Mahabharata” or the “Ramayana” : EPIC

“Mahabharata” is a Sanskrit epic of ancient India that is the longest epic poem known, from anywhere in the world. It comprises about 1.8 million words, making it about ten times the length of the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” combined. It is only about four times the length of another major Sanskrit epic, the “Ramayana”.

3 Moon goddess : LUNA

“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

4 Certain Michelangelo work : FRESCO

A fresco is a painting created on a moist plaster, usually on a wall or ceiling. The plaster is “freshly” laid when the image is created, and “fresco” is the Italian for “fresh”.

The celebrated Italian Renaissance artist and poet Michelangelo was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in a village near Arezzo in the present-day province of Tuscany. Michelangelo achieved renown during his own lifetime. He was the first Western artist to see his biography published during his own lifetime.

7 Where Ariana Grande has 230+ million followers, informally : INSTA

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

9 Specious reasoner : SOPHIST

A sophist is someone who engages in devious argument. Originally, “sophist” described a wise or learned person, but over time it has become a term of contempt. Our word “sophisticate” comes from the same Greek root.

Prior to the 17th century, something described as specious was pleasing to look at, with “specious” coming from the Latin “species” meaning “appearance, form, beauty”. Somehow, the term came to describe something that is only superficially attractive, having a false appearance of genuineness.

24 ___ Pepper : SGT

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967, as well as the name of the album’s title track.

25 “The Book of ___” (2010 film) : ELI

2010’s “The Book of Eli” is one of those “end of the world” movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

28 Where the “balcony scene” takes place in “West Side Story” : FIRE ESCAPE

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona. The stage musical was adapted into a very successful 1961 movie with the same title.

30 “Out of Time” band : REM

R.E.M. was a rock band from Athens, Georgia that formed in 1980. Apparently, the name “R.E.M.” was chosen randomly from a dictionary.

33 The spirit of Russia? : VODKA

The distilled beverage vodka takes its name from the Slavic word “voda” meaning “water”, with “vodka” translating as “little water”.

34 Haphazardly assemble, with “together” : SLAP …

Our word “hap” means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like “haphazard” and even “happen”. “Happen” originally meant to “occur by hap, by chance”.

35 Two concentric circles, on a golf scorecard : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

39 Target for iron supplements : ANEMIA

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

41 Inspiration for Citizen Kane : HEARST

William Randolph Hearst got into publishing when he took over “The San Francisco Examiner” from his father George Hearst. Beyond his work in the newspaper business, William Randolph Hearst was also a politician and represented a district of New York in the US House. His life was the inspiration for the lead role in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles playing the Hearst-like character. If you’re ever driving along the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I’d recommend a stop at Hearst Castle, William Randolph’s magnificent estate located near San Simeon.

55 ___-European languages : INDO

The Indo-European languages are a large group that includes most of the major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau and South Asia. The Indo-European is the largest grouping of languages in the world.

57 What’s anything but basic? : ACID

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

61 “Aaron Burr, ___” (“Hamilton” song) : SIR

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters are decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

62 Female lobster : HEN

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Lead-in to love or care : SELF-
5 Begins to wake : STIRS
10 Part of a frame : JAMB
14 Cowboy boot feature : SPUR
15 “Pagliacci” baritone : TONIO
16 “Vesti la giubba,” in “Pagliacci” : ARIA
17 Number that, in Chinese languages, is a homophone for “longevity,” and is thus considered good luck : NINE
18 Man with morals : AESOP
19 Something you might do “over backward” : BEND
20 Poem subtitled “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” : CASEY AT THE BAT
23 Discard : CAST ASIDE
24 Hidalgo honorific : SENORA
27 One greeting others with the shaka sign : SURFER
31 Day-___ paint : GLO
32 Family room fixture : TV SET
36 1950s White House nickname : IKE
37 Accessory for Wonder Woman : TIARA
40 Greeting in Portuguese : OLA
41 ___ pants : HAREM
43 Some winter travelers to the U.S. : CANADA GEESE
46 Restaurant request : CHECK PLEASE
47 “The Louisville Lip” : ALI
49 ___ culpa : MEA
50 Goof : ERR
51 Hokkaido honorific : SAN
54 Spokes, say : RADII
56 ___-Coeur (Paris basilica) : SACRE
58 Easy-to-resolve situation … or a hint to the progression found in 20-, 23-, 43-, 46- and 58-Across : OPEN-AND-SHUT CASE
64 Fix : MEND
65 Sign of spring : ARIES
66 Player that debuted in 2001 : IPOD
67 Chaka Khan, vocally : ALTO
68 David of the Talking Heads : BYRNE
69 Refuse : DENY

Down

1 I.R.S. ID : SSN
2 The “Mahabharata” or the “Ramayana” : EPIC
3 Moon goddess : LUNA
4 Certain Michelangelo work : FRESCO
5 Patronizes, as a hotel : STAYS AT
6 Ready-___ (convenient food option) : TO-EAT
7 Where Ariana Grande has 230+ million followers, informally : INSTA
8 Hoots : RIOTS
9 Specious reasoner : SOPHIST
10 Talk nonsense : JABBER
11 Floor plan info : AREA
12 Ideal condition for collectibles : MINT
13 “___ dog!” : BAD
21 Pencil holder, at times : EAR
22 End of a professor’s address : EDU
24 ___ Pepper : SGT
25 “The Book of ___” (2010 film) : ELI
26 Done intentionally : NO ACCIDENT
28 Where the “balcony scene” takes place in “West Side Story” : FIRE ESCAPE
29 Scratch (out) : EKE
30 “Out of Time” band : REM
33 The spirit of Russia? : VODKA
34 Haphazardly assemble, with “together” : SLAP …
35 Two concentric circles, on a golf scorecard : EAGLE
38 Fan noise : RAH!
39 Target for iron supplements : ANEMIA
41 Inspiration for Citizen Kane : HEARST
42 ___-backwards : ASS
44 Crackerjack : ACE
45 Always, to poets : E’ER
47 Something you might pick up at a bakery : AROMA
48 Place for a pin : LAPEL
52 Basis of some insurance fraud : ARSON
53 High-maintenance, in a way : NEEDY
55 ___-European languages : INDO
57 What’s anything but basic? : ACID
59 Catch : NAB
60 Like some wine and humor : DRY
61 “Aaron Burr, ___” (“Hamilton” song) : SIR
62 Female lobster : HEN
63 Manipulate : USE

10 thoughts on “0428-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Apr 21, Wednesday”

  1. 9:11 with a number of fat fingers. Did not get the theme at all. Don’t think I ever heard the subtitle for CASEY.

  2. 9:23, no errors. One misstep after another; it felt like I spent half my time backing them out. Totally missed the theme. A space-case solve … 😜.

  3. 16:34 Most of which was spent misreading the clue for 26 Down and making the key word “unintentionally”…. *sigh*

  4. 10:28. I think Bill stated the theme correctly. I’ll just add that in each theme answer the original CASE beginning loses one letter to the ending – making the construction of the theme pretty impressive IMO. CASE then CAS…E then CA…SE C….ASE and finally CASE. Surprising to come up with entries in that sequence.

    I too enjoyed the interior of SACRE Couer, but most of all I remember climbing an endless spiral staircase to get up to the top of the domes. I think I got dizzy climbing down all those things. It was still well worth the time to see it. Seemed like I had to take stairs everywhere in that city.

    Best –

  5. Got the theme and the ‘normal’ words. Messed up on TONIO and SOPHIST. didn’t know either one. Had TONIE and SEPHIST. Had REO (short for REO SPEEDWAGON) for 30D and that gave me HAREO for 41A. Why wasn’t HAREM more obvious. .. and completely forgot about REM..

  6. No errors…ditto with the theme…we have a Wednesday puzzle with high brow opera, Greek, French, Japanese, Chinese, Portagese, and Spanish clues…nice one Mr Moore👎
    Stay safe😀

  7. 9:10, no errors. Did not see, or bother, with the theme. Clever in construction, but irrelevant to the solution. Have always been a fan of ‘West Side Story’, thought I would show the movie to my two sons when they were kids. They laughed hysterically through the entire opening sequence, where this gang of ‘tough guys’ danced elegantly down the street. Gave me a new perspective.

  8. 16 minutes. No errors etc. fortunately, I didn’t waste any time trying to figure out the gimmick. Too obscure.

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