0507-21 NY Times Crossword 7 May 21, Friday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 11m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tinder and others : APPS

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

9 Costa ___ : RICAN

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

15 City SW of Pyramid Lake : RENO

Pyramid Lake is a relatively salty body of water situated 40 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The lake is fed by the Truckee River, but does not have an outlet. Instead, water seeps out through the lake bottom and is also lost via evaporation. It is this evaporation that has led to concentration of dissolved salts over time.

18 Jafar’s parrot in “Aladdin” : IAGO

In the 1992 Disney feature “Aladdin”, there is a parrot called Iago. Iago is voiced by the comic Gilbert Gottfried.

Jafar is the bad guy in the animated film “Aladdin”. Jafar was important enough to get his name front and center in the sequel called “Aladdin 2”, which is usually referred to as “The Return of Jafar”.

19 Big name in kitchen appliances : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

24 Constellation that Regulus is part of : LEO

Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo. It is a multiple star and what we see as one entity is actually made up of four stars rotating around a common center of mass. “Regulus” is Latin for “prince”.

25 Decision-making time : D-DAY

The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

27 Rotation calculation : TORQUE

Torque can be thought of as a turning force, say the force needed to tighten a bolt or a nut. In physics, torque is represented by the Greek letter tau.

31 Cosmopolitan : URBANE

We use “urbane” today to describe something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s, the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the country folk, and so the usage evolved.

37 City whose name means “spring hill” : TEL AVIV

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

38 Total wrecks : FIASCOS

Back in the mid-1800s, “fiasco” was theater slang meaning “failure in performance”. The meaning morphed soon after into any kind of failure or flop. The term evolved from the Italian “far fiasco”, a phrase that had the same meaning in Italian theater, but translated literally as “make a bottle”. It turns out that “fiasco” and “flask” both derive from the Latin “flasco” meaning “bottle”.

40 Reciprocal of cosecant : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

45 Running apparel? : HOSE

A snag is a pull or a tear in a fabric. A snag, particularly in stockings, might lead to a run. And on the other side of the Atlantic, a “run” is called a “ladder”.

50 Liquor brand that inspired the name of a Grammy-winning rapper : BACARDI

The Bacardi company is still family-owned and operated, and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda. The company was founded in Santiago de Cuba and became successful by selling a refined form of rum, something new to a market that was used to a crude dark rum. The Bacardi family opposed the Castro regime as it came to power, so the company had to relocate to Bermuda.

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

54 Nonkosher deli order : REUBEN

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

56 Mathematician who lent his name to a test : TURING

Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

Alan Turing created the Turing test in 1950 as a way of checking a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from a human. The essence of the test is an evaluation of a text conversation between machine and human. The evaluation is carried out by someone who only knows that one of the conversants is a machine, but not which one is which.

57 Singer who was an original judge on “The Voice” : AGUILERA

Christina Aguilera is a singer who got her start on television’s “Star Search”. From there she took a role on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Like several singers today it seems, Aguilera developed a more provocative alter ego for herself. She had a few body piercings, dyed her hair black and adopted the name “Xtina”.

59 Ab ___ (absent, in Latin) : ESSE

“Ab esse” translates from Latin as “absent”, from “esse” (to be) and “ab” (away).

Down

2 Home of many a tech start-up : PALO ALTO

The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for “the tall stick”) that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

7 “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie” poet : ANGELOU

Maya Angelou was an African-American author and poet. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983. Here are some words of wisdom from the great lady:

I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

8 Low speaker : WOOFER

In a sound system, a speaker that is designed to produce high frequencies is known as a “tweeter”. A speaker made for low frequencies is called a “woofer”. The aforementioned terms come from the fact that birds migh high-pitched “tweets”, and dogs make low-pitched “woofs”.

10 Esoterica : INSIDE BASEBALL

Something described as esoteric is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term “esoteric” comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

11 Word that becomes its own synonym when RED is inserted between its first two letters : CITED

“Credited” is a synonym of “cited”.

12 Train that serves three Union Stations : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

There are quite a few stations called “Union Station” in the US. This is because the generic “union station” is one built by two or more railroad companies acting in concert, or “union”, sharing tracks and facilities.

13 Wonkish : NERDY

A wonk is an overly studious person. “Wonk” is an American slang term that has been around at least since 1954. More recently, “wonk” has acquired an air of respectability as it has come to mean someone who has studied a topic thoroughly and become somewhat expert.

22 Parts of a restaurant’s overhead? : TOQUES

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

23 Caleb represents him in “East of Eden” : CAIN

John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

27 Part of a ship’s rigging : TOPSAIL

A topsail is a sail that is set on a mast above another sail. It is possible to mount yet another topsail above the first.

28 Something bookmarked in a bookmark bar : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

33 Young ‘un in Yucatán : NINO

Yucatán is one of Mexico’s 31 states and is located in the east of the country, on the northern tip of the Yucatán peninsula.

39 Banned refrigerant, for short : CFC

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used to be widely used as propellants in aerosols, and as refrigerants in cooling systems. CFCs make their way up into the ozone layer and trigger a chain reaction that converts ozone (O3) into regular oxygen (O2). That conversion creates “holes” in the ozone layer. Regular O2 is good stuff, but we need O3 to absorb harmful UV radiation raining down on us. CFC is not good stuff …

43 Having the same number of karats, e.g. : AS PURE

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

44 Coors Field athlete : ROCKIE

Coors Field in Denver is home to the Colorado Rockies MLB team. Coors Field used to give up the most home runs in the league, due to low air density and dry air at Denver’s high elevation. The number of home runs has dropped dramatically since 2002 when officials began to store game balls in a high-humidity environment.

47 Roman god of beginnings and endings : JANUS

Janus was a Roman god usually depicted with two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future. As such, as a god Janus is often associated with time. The Romans named the month of Ianuarius (our “January”) after Janus.

51 Some deer : ROES

Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

55 Sweetie : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tinder and others : APPS
5 Appeal : DRAW
9 Costa ___ : RICAN
14 Activist Copeny known as “Little Miss Flint” : MARI
15 City SW of Pyramid Lake : RENO
16 Chilled : ON ICE
17 Kind of device used in filmmaking : PLOT
18 Jafar’s parrot in “Aladdin” : IAGO
19 Big name in kitchen appliances : OSTER
20 Unexpected : OUT OF LEFT FIELD
23 Rhythmic : CADENT
24 Constellation that Regulus is part of : LEO
25 Decision-making time : D-DAY
26 Smartphone pop-up : ALERT
27 Rotation calculation : TORQUE
29 “That fits perfectly!” : IT’S SO YOU!
31 Cosmopolitan : URBANE
35 Sarcastic punch line to an insincere remark : … NOT!
36 Energize, with “up” : PEP …
37 City whose name means “spring hill” : TEL AVIV
38 Total wrecks : FIASCOS
40 Reciprocal of cosecant : SINE
41 Best-selling video game that takes place in space : STARCRAFT
44 Lets, say : REDOS
45 Running apparel? : HOSE
46 “Well done!” : NICE JOB!
48 Endangered : IN PERIL
50 Liquor brand that inspired the name of a Grammy-winning rapper : BACARDI
54 Nonkosher deli order : REUBEN
55 Something of interest to a business? : BANK LOAN
56 Mathematician who lent his name to a test : TURING
57 Singer who was an original judge on “The Voice” : AGUILERA
58 Flies : SPEEDS
59 Ab ___ (absent, in Latin) : ESSE
60 Good to go : SET

Down

1 Hype (up) : AMP
2 Home of many a tech start-up : PALO ALTO
3 ___ moment (crowning achievement) : PROUDEST
4 Stay-at-home workers : SITTERS
5 Meaning : DRIFT
6 Heartfelt : REAL
7 “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie” poet : ANGELOU
8 Low speaker : WOOFER
9 Mouth part : ROOF
10 Esoterica : INSIDE BASEBALL
11 Word that becomes its own synonym when RED is inserted between its first two letters : CITED
12 Train that serves three Union Stations : ACELA
13 Wonkish : NERDY
21 Relevant : ON TOPIC
22 Parts of a restaurant’s overhead? : TOQUES
23 Caleb represents him in “East of Eden” : CAIN
27 Part of a ship’s rigging : TOPSAIL
28 Something bookmarked in a bookmark bar : URL
30 Wishes : YEARNINGS
32 Voracious : AVID
33 Young ‘un in Yucatán : NINO
34 Anticipatory times : EVES
37 Common items at merchandise stands : TOTE BAGS
38 Giveaway : FREEBIE
39 Banned refrigerant, for short : CFC
41 Common items at merchandise stands : SHIRTS
42 Build muscle : TONE UP
43 Having the same number of karats, e.g. : AS PURE
44 Coors Field athlete : ROCKIE
47 Roman god of beginnings and endings : JANUS
49 Tear : REND
51 Some deer : ROES
52 Truth’s counterpart : DARE
53 ___ the finish : IN AT
55 Sweetie : BAE

13 thoughts on “0507-21 NY Times Crossword 7 May 21, Friday”

    1. Also I just noticed both the long answers being baseball metaphors. Cute. Also missed the diagonal symmetry that @Ron F pointed out. Sometimes I need to take a step back after the solve see the forest.

  1. 14:50 As usual on Friday, the first pass yielded very little. The clue for 11D inserting RED, seemed like it could be the rebus from yesterday. Had to get 10D from crosses – I still shake my head about it a bit. For a nice change the big appliance maker (19A) is not Amana.

    When I finished I realized that the puzzle did not have rotational or left-right symmetry. Looking more closely I saw that it has diagonal symmetry if you fold along the diagonal from SW to NE corners. I imagine that might be harder to construct.

    A friend in England sent me a note this morning that today, May 7, is “No Pants Day” – apparently the first Friday in May. Celebrate at your own discretion.
    https://nationaltoday.com/no-pants-day/

  2. 17:57, no errors. To some extent, a “cotton-between-the-ears” solve. Paused for a bit over “CADENT” (which made sense, but … really?) and “INSIDE BASEBALL” (something I’m unfamiliar with … and forgot to look up). Onward and upward … 😜.

    1. And … I’m comforted by the fact that other posters, posters I know are into baseball, also had a problem with “INSIDE BASEBALL” (though I did find it, on Google, defined as used in the puzzle).

  3. 18:09. Like a lot of these, started very slowly then picked up.

    Ron – I’m with you on 10D. I can’t make that connection either. I must be missing something obvious…as is usually the case. I did guess INSIDE BASEBALL simply because it looked right, not because it made any sense. Maybe it’s a colloquial way of saying something is esoteric? No idea.

    I didn’t realize a REUBEN wasn’t kosher. I had to look it up. Apparently you can’t mix meat with cheese and still be kosher? I’m sure there’s logic behind that, but I don’t know what it is.

    It was a blistering 99 degrees here in Las Vegas yesterday. Fortunately, today the temperature is supposed to plummet down to 93 degrees….

    Best –

  4. 1:08:20 NW just shot me down. Was looking for a tennis or basketball player’s name, I have only watched a handful of movies in the last 10 years and “Wall Street” wasn’t one of them. No lookups, but a lot of staring and guessing from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.
    Jeff, we have frost warnings around here in Western NY tonight….

  5. 12:02, no errors. Nothing particularly challenging or notable about this, especially considering it probably would have been sub 10 if I got to do it online…

  6. No errors.. started fast, slowed down, ended fast..
    I see 55D BAE made its way into the grid… 38A FIASCOS used to catch me off guard.. I’m onto the game now..

    Felt good for a friday.

  7. My paper had a Tuesday puzzle from May 7, 2019. I was wondering why it was themed and easy. Anyone else?

  8. Just over an hour and I had needy instead of nerdy for 13D.
    Ditto on 10D as the others…several references to “my notes” on this one…oh the “abject shame” of it all😀
    Stay safe😀

  9. 27:33, no errors. Very difficult time gaining any traction today. My first real entry was 11D, after sussing out how _RED_ _ _ _ could be filled.
    The justification for not mixing meat and milk in a kosher diet:
    https://www.jccmb.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1339531/jewish/Milk-and-Meat.htm
    An old school friend went further, explaining that he could eat meat immediately after drinking milk; but had to wait an hour to drink milk after eating meat. Apparently based on meat staying in the stomach longer than milk.

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