0510-21 NY Times Crossword 10 May 21, Monday

Constructed by: Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Food Coloring

Themed answers are all food items, the name of which ends with a color:

  • 17A Easy-to-peel citrus fruits : MANDARIN ORANGES
  • 22A Main ingredients in meringue : EGG WHITES
  • 28A Crispy breakfast side dish : HASH BROWNS
  • 30A Salad base similar to Swiss chard : BEET GREENS

Bill’s time: 5m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Desktop computer covered by AppleCare : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

10 PBS science show since 1974 : NOVA

“Nova” is an excellent science television series on PBS. It was created back in 1974, and was inspired by a very similar BBC show called “Horizon”, a show that I grew up with. Many “Nova” episodes are actually co-productions with the BBC, with an American narrator used for the PBS broadcasts and a British narrator for the BBC broadcasts.

14 ___ Raton, Fla. : BOCA

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

16 Like the climate of Death Valley : ARID

Death Valley is a spectacular desert valley in California that is part of the Mojave Desert. Badwater Basin in Death Valley is the lowest point in North America, sitting at 282 feet below sea level. Remarkably, Badwater Basin is located just 84 miles from Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

20 Sherri’s twin sister on “The Simpsons” : TERRI

Sherri and Terri Mackleberry are identical twin sisters on “The Simpsons” television show. They are classmates of Bart Simpson, and their father is Homer’s supervisor at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

36 Big name in tractors : DEERE

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

38 Shapes of Frisbees and tiddlywinks : DISKS

The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

Tiddlywinks is a game played by children, and sometimes competitively by adults. The idea is to propel “winks” into a pot using a “squidger”.

39 Welcome gift upon arriving at Honolulu International Airport : LEI

Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii was renamed in 2012 to honor Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who had represented the state for almost 50 years. Back in the early fifties, Honolulu Airport was the third-busiest in the country, and its 13,000-foot runway was the longest in the world. The facility’s IATA code is “HNL”.

40 Mascara mishap : SMEAR

Variants of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in ancient Egypt. “Mascara” is a Spanish word meaning “stain, mask”.

46 Facial expressions : VISAGES

“Visage” is the French word for “face”, and is a term we’ve imported into English to mean “face” or “facial expression”.

49 What many children begin to do in kindergarten : READ

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

53 Website with trivia quizzes : SPORCLE

Sporcle.com is a trivia quiz website. The name is derived from the word “oracle” apparently. I like the web site’s mission statement: “We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever.”

56 “Medicine” that doesn’t actually contain medicine : PLACEBO

A placebo is a medical treatment that is ineffective, but that is deliberately formulated to deceive the patient into thinking it is real. Placebos can be given as control treatments in trials, and so the level of deception can be relatively low, as the patients are aware of the possibility of being given an ineffective treatment. The term “placebo” is the Latin word for “I shall please”. The idea is that the treatment is given more to please than to benefit the patient.

68 World capital where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded : OSLO

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and is presented in Oslo.

Down

1 Creator of Watson on “Jeopardy!” : IBM

Watson is a computer system developed by IBM. Watson is designed to answer questions that are posed in natural language, so that it should be able to interpret questions just as you and I would, no matter how the question is phrased. The program is named after the founder of IBM, Thomas J. Watson. Today’s Watson competed in a few memorable episodes of “Jeopardy!” in 2011 taking out two of the best players of the quiz show. That made for fun television …

2 Protective trench : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

3 Target of the skin cream Retin-A : ACNE

Retin-A is a brand name for the drug Tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin A that is used to treat acne.

4 Close-knit group : CADRE

A cadre is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

8 Language akin to Thai : LAO

Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.

9 Low-altitude clouds : STRATI

Stratus (plural “strati”) clouds are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but some distance above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

11 A.C.L.U. and others : ORGS

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

24 Montana’s capital : HELENA

Helena is the capital of the state of Montana, and is known as the Queen City of the Rockies. Helena’s main street has a very colorful name, i.e. Last Chance Gulch.

26 Purple Heart, e.g. : MEDAL

The Purple Heart is a military decoration awarded by the President to members of the US military forces who have been wounded or killed while serving. Today’s Purple Heart was originally called the Badge of Military Merit, an award that was established by George Washington 1782 while he was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The Purple Heart is a heart-shaped medal with a gold border bearing a profile of President Washington, and a purple ribbon.

27 TV journalist Hill : ERICA

Erica Hill was the co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”, and before that she was co-anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show”. Hill moved in 2008 to NBC News and co-hosted the weekend edition of “Today”. She moved to CNN in 2016.

28 Crispy breakfast side dish : HASH BROWNS

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

30 Salad base similar to Swiss chard : BEET GREENS

Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. Chard is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves, and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names, Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia it’s even known as spinach.

31 Speak from a podium, say : ORATE

“Podium” (plural “podia”) is the Latin word for “raised platform”.

32 Two-time presidential candidate Ross : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

34 “The ___ is falling!” (Chicken Little’s cry) : SKY

In a famous folk tale, Chicken Little is a young chick who panics when an acorn falls on his head. Chicken Little assumes that the sky is falling. “The sky is falling!” is a phrase often used in English today that originated in that folk tale.

46 Rug cleaner, informally : VAC

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

50 ___ & Young (accounting firm) : ERNST

Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.

56 Dance with a king and queen : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

57 Actress Jessica of “Hitchcock” : BIEL

Jessica Biel is an actress who was known by television audiences for portraying Mary Camden on “7th Heaven”. Biel’s first film role was playing Peter Fonda’s granddaughter in “Ulee’s Gold”. Biel married singer and actor Justin Timberlake in 2012.

61 Fútbol cheer : OLE!

“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for “football, soccer”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Desktop computer covered by AppleCare : IMAC
5 Opposite of buys : SELLS
10 PBS science show since 1974 : NOVA
14 ___ Raton, Fla. : BOCA
15 Clothing crease : PLEAT
16 Like the climate of Death Valley : ARID
17 Easy-to-peel citrus fruits : MANDARIN ORANGES
20 Sherri’s twin sister on “The Simpsons” : TERRI
21 Stockpile : AMASS
22 Main ingredients in meringue : EGG WHITES
26 Verbal shrug : MEH
29 Warmly welcome, as a new era : USHER IN
30 Whack on the head : BOP
33 “Do not ___” (blackboard words) : ERASE
35 Variety : ILK
36 Big name in tractors : DEERE
38 Shapes of Frisbees and tiddlywinks : DISKS
39 Welcome gift upon arriving at Honolulu International Airport : LEI
40 Mascara mishap : SMEAR
41 Sore, as after a workout : ACHY
42 NASCAR champion Hamlin : DENNY
44 Apt name for a car mechanic? : OTTO
45 Scientist’s workplace : LAB
46 Facial expressions : VISAGES
48 “Do you ___ my drift?” : GET
49 What many children begin to do in kindergarten : READ
51 Practice for a bout : SPAR
53 Website with trivia quizzes : SPORCLE
56 “Medicine” that doesn’t actually contain medicine : PLACEBO
59 Axed : HEWN
60 Love to pieces : ADORE
62 Estate beneficiary : HEIR
63 Coffeehouse dispensers : URNS
64 First episode in a TV series : PILOT
65 Change for a five : ONES
66 Try out : TEST
67 Cherry throwaways : STEMS
68 World capital where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded : OSLO

Down

1 Creator of Watson on “Jeopardy!” : IBM
2 Protective trench : MOAT
3 Target of the skin cream Retin-A : ACNE
4 Close-knit group : CADRE
5 Bits of parsley : SPRIGS
6 Man’s name hidden in “reliableness” : ELI
7 Man’s name hidden in “reliableness” : LEN
8 Language akin to Thai : LAO
9 Low-altitude clouds : STRATI
10 Grannies : NANAS
11 A.C.L.U. and others : ORGS
12 Fights (for) : VIES
13 Commercials : ADS
18 Has a war of words : ARGUES
19 Changes, as the Constitution : AMENDS
23 Fritters (away), as time : WHILES
24 Montana’s capital : HELENA
25 Peeving : IRKING
26 Purple Heart, e.g. : MEDAL
27 TV journalist Hill : ERICA
28 Crispy breakfast side dish : HASH BROWNS
30 Salad base similar to Swiss chard : BEET GREENS
31 Speak from a podium, say : ORATE
32 Two-time presidential candidate Ross : PEROT
34 “The ___ is falling!” (Chicken Little’s cry) : SKY
37 Angsty music genre : EMO
42 Worked out in a pool : DID LAPS
43 “We should do that!” : YES, LETS!
46 Rug cleaner, informally : VAC
47 Spot for a mud facial : SPA
50 ___ & Young (accounting firm) : ERNST
52 “Bless you!” elicitor : ACHOO!
53 Closed : SHUT
54 Father, in French : PERE
55 Make tweaks to : EDIT
56 Dance with a king and queen : PROM
57 Actress Jessica of “Hitchcock” : BIEL
58 Approximately : OR SO
61 Fútbol cheer : OLE!

10 thoughts on “0510-21 NY Times Crossword 10 May 21, Monday”

  1. I’m off to another slow start. 10:20 after searching for one wrong letter. I always called Frisbees as DISCS…but then what is SCY. Another D’oh moment.

  2. 6:26, no errors. I avoided the DISC/DISK trap on this puzzle mostly due to a recent memory of falling into it on another puzzle.

  3. 6:06! I always fall way behind all you smart kids, but feeling good about today’s puzzle. Yay me!

  4. 8:19. Felt slow today because…well just because. As usual on a Monday, I forgot to pay any attention to a theme.

    VAC??

    Best –

  5. No errors. I think that’s the second time I’ve run into SPORCLE. Never heard of it. I guess that’s why I get “work” done…

  6. 11:30 no errors…this is as close as I will ever get to 10 min. Didn’t notice the theme.
    Stay safe😀

  7. 8:19, no errors. Have a sneaky suspicion that the setter completed this grid; couldn’t figure out how to justify the entry SPORCLE; so they created a website with that name so the puzzle could be published.

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