0524-21 NY Times Crossword 24 May 21, Monday

Constructed by: Adrienne Atkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Body Double

Themed answers comprise two words, each of which is a part of the BODY:

  • 61A Stand-in during a film shoot … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 51-Across : BODY DOUBLE
  • 17A Harmonica : MOUTH ORGAN
  • 25A Place to get some barbecue : RIB JOINT
  • 38A Dummy : KNUCKLEHEAD
  • 51A Negative repercussions : BACKLASH

Bill’s time: 6m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Bit of land in the sea: Sp. : ISLA

In Spanish, an “isla” (island) is “tierra en el mar” (land in the sea).

14 Author Asimov : ISAAC

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”, although Asimov’s most famous work is probably his “Foundation” trilogy of novels. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

17 Harmonica : MOUTH ORGAN

The harmonica is a reed instrument. It contains a number of reeds, which are usually made from metal and are all arranged on a reed plate.

25 Place to get some barbecue : RIB JOINT

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

28 It might be confused with a termite : ANT

Termites are insects that are somewhat unique in that they can digest cellulose (as can ruminants such as cattle). Because of this diet, they cause a lot of trouble for human populations by feeding on wood in man-made structures.

29 Tanning lotion fig. : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

31 Pointy-leaved desert plants : YUCCAS

Yuccas are a genus of shrubs and trees that live in hot and dry areas of North and South America. One of the more famous species of Yucca is the Joshua tree. Yuccas has a unique pollination system, with moths transferring pollen from plant to plant. New Mexico adopted the yucca as its state flower in 1927.

34 ___ Asia (China, Japan and environs) : EAST

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

41 Bog fuel : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

42 Brontë’s “Jane ___” : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

43 Quick bite to eat : NOSH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

48 Grp. overseeing the World Series : MLB

The first World Series of baseball in the so-called “modern” era was played in 1903, between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) of the American League. Boston emerged victorious by five games to three.

50 Wildebeest : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

56 Capital of Georgia: Abbr. : ATL

The city of Atlanta, Georgia (A-Town) had its beginnings in the late 1830s when the location was chosen as the terminus for a new railroad to be built connecting Georgia with the Midwestern United States. The city’s name was chosen by the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, apparently after the middle name of the daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin: “Atalanta”.

65 Platform for a ceremony : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

67 Autumn bloom : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

68 Follower of hop and skip : … JUMP

The track and field sport sometimes called the “hop, skip and jump” is more correctly termed “triple jump”. The triple jump dates back as an event to the ancient Olympic Games. When the modern Olympics were introduced in 1896, the triple jump consisted of two hops on the same foot followed by a jump. Today’s triple jump consists of a hop, a bound and then a jump.

69 “The lady ___ protest too much”: “Hamlet” : DOTH

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” is a line spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother in the play by William Shakespeare.

Down

1 Dickens’s Tiny ___ : TIM

“Tiny Tim” is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, a character in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. Tiny Tim is the son of Ebenezer Scrooge’s underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, and is a sickly child. Famously, the child utters the words “God bless us, every one!” at Christmas dinner, which words are repeated by the author at the end of the story.

3 Letter after sigma : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter that gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

8 Neighbor of a Saudi and Yemeni : OMANI

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

10 Brewery letters : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

12 Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, for two : LATINAS

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (aka “J. Lo”) has two children with her third husband, singer Marc Anthony. The twins Maximilian and Emme were born in 2008. Reportedly, “People” magazine paid Lopez and Anthony $6 million to introduce the children to the public, making the images taken by the magazine the most expensive celebrity photographs of all time.

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”.

22 Word after laughing or natural : … GAS

“Laughing gas” is a common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those who could afford them.

Natural gas that is piped into our homes is naturally odorless. A tiny amount of odorant is added to assist in the detection of leaks. A common additive is tert-Butylthiol, which is said to impart the smell of rotten eggs.

23 Half of dos : UNO

In Spanish, “uno y uno” (one plus one) makes “dos” (two).

26 “Hey ___” (Beatles hit) : JUDE

“Hey Jude” was originally a song titled “Hey Jules” written by Paul McCartney. He wrote the original song for John Lennon’s son Julian, in an attempt to comfort the boy during his parents’ divorce. There’s a phenomenal coda in “Hey Jude” after the fourth verse that lasts for over four minutes.

27 Roughly 71% of the earth’s surface : OCEAN

Our “blue planet” has such a color because the oceans that cover 71% of the area of the Earth reflect blue light.

30 Like many Rolex watches sold on the street : FAKE

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

35 Apt letters missing from “_tea_th_” : S-L-Y

That would be “stealthy”.

36 Six years, for a U.S. senator : TERM

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.

39 Electricity or water, e.g.: Abbr. : UTIL

Utility (util.)

44 ___ Balls (chocolaty snack) : SNO

The Hostess cakes called Sno Balls are usually pink in color, although in its original form each packet of two cakes contained one white and one pink. Around Halloween you can buy Sno Balls in the form of Scary Cakes and Glo Balls that are colored orange and green. and on St. Paddy’s Day there’s a green one available. Yoo hoo!

45 Attila the ___ : HUN

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

46 Three-ingredient lunchbox staple, familiarly : PB AND J

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

47 Lightly touched, as with a handkerchief : DABBED

A kerchief is a triangular or square piece of cloth used as a covering for the head. So, a handkerchief (“hand-kerchief”) is a square piece of cloth held in the hand and used for personal hygiene.

58 George Washington’s chopping down a cherry tree, e.g. : MYTH

The famous story about George Washington cutting down a cherry tree as a child has been shown to be fiction. He supposedly was confronted by his father after taking an axe to a tree and confessed with the words, “I’m sorry father, I cannot tell a lie”. Not true …

60 Small recipe amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

62 “As an aside,” in a text : BTW

By the way (BTW)

63 Film director Spike : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Library catalog listing after “author” : TITLE
6 Ribbit : frog :: ___ : cat : MEOW
10 Bit of land in the sea: Sp. : ISLA
14 Author Asimov : ISAAC
15 Scrabble or Boggle : GAME
16 Challenging vegetables to eat with a fork : PEAS
17 Harmonica : MOUTH ORGAN
19 ___ and sciences : ARTS
20 What “Yes, I’m willing!” signifies : CONSENT
21 Contend : VIE
22 Talks effusively : GUSHES
25 Place to get some barbecue : RIB JOINT
28 It might be confused with a termite : ANT
29 Tanning lotion fig. : SPF
31 Pointy-leaved desert plants : YUCCAS
32 Lo-o-ong bath : SOAK
34 ___ Asia (China, Japan and environs) : EAST
37 Poor grades : DEES
38 Dummy : KNUCKLEHEAD
41 Bog fuel : PEAT
42 Brontë’s “Jane ___” : EYRE
43 Quick bite to eat : NOSH
46 Tranquil : PLACID
48 Grp. overseeing the World Series : MLB
50 Wildebeest : GNU
51 Negative repercussions : BACKLASH
54 Individual : PERSON
56 Capital of Georgia: Abbr. : ATL
57 “You don’t have to take responsibility for the mistake” : BLAME ME
59 Tidy : NEAT
61 Stand-in during a film shoot … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 51-Across : BODY DOUBLE
65 Platform for a ceremony : DAIS
66 Send off, as rays : EMIT
67 Autumn bloom : ASTER
68 Follower of hop and skip : … JUMP
69 “The lady ___ protest too much”: “Hamlet” : DOTH
70 More recent : NEWER

Down

1 Dickens’s Tiny ___ : TIM
2 Prefix with -therm : ISO-
3 Letter after sigma : TAU
4 Gate closer : LATCH
5 Sounds heard in canyons : ECHOES
6 People in charge: Abbr. : MGRS
7 Raring to go : EAGER
8 Neighbor of a Saudi and Yemeni : OMANI
9 Passed : WENT BY
10 Brewery letters : IPA
11 Ones leading the blind, maybe : SERVICE DOGS
12 Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, for two : LATINAS
13 Good things to have : ASSETS
18 Without assurance of purchase : ON SPEC
22 Word after laughing or natural : GAS
23 Half of dos : UNO
24 Assert one’s ownership, as to land : STAKE A CLAIM
26 “Hey ___” (Beatles hit) : JUDE
27 Roughly 71% of the earth’s surface : OCEAN
30 Like many Rolex watches sold on the street : FAKE
33 Natural ability : KNACK
35 Apt letters missing from “_tea_th_” : S-L-Y
36 Six years, for a U.S. senator : TERM
39 Electricity or water, e.g.: Abbr. : UTIL
40 Assisted : HELPED
41 Level off at a higher point : PLATEAU
44 ___ Balls (chocolaty snack) : SNO
45 Attila the ___ : HUN
46 Three-ingredient lunchbox staple, familiarly : PB AND J
47 Lightly touched, as with a handkerchief : DABBED
49 Express sorrow over : BEMOAN
52 Sports replay effect : SLO-MO
53 Lost patience : HAD IT
55 Do something else with : REUSE
58 George Washington’s chopping down a cherry tree, e.g. : MYTH
60 Small recipe amt. : TSP
62 “As an aside,” in a text : BTW
63 Film director Spike : LEE
64 Flub : ERR

10 thoughts on “0524-21 NY Times Crossword 24 May 21, Monday”

  1. 6:30 I hit the halfway mark in under 2:30 and thought I might get a personal best. Not to be. Still, no issues.

    @Bill – double check your explanation for 45D. You have two entries there.

  2. 6:33 To prove just what a knucklehead I am, I spent an embarrassing amount of time after the music attempting to figure out what “steal thy” on 35D meant….oh, “stealthy”…duh….

  3. 6:33. Exact time as Duncan. That can’t be good…

    Been out of town so I have a few xwords to catch up on. Figured Monday would be a quick easy one so I did this one this morning. Be back home Thursday night.

    Best –

  4. Jeff, welcome to the “Slower Than Humanity” Club for today only. I’ll bet you didn’t waste time trying to decipher “steal thy” 🙂

    1. I also got a bit hung up with the “Steal Thy”. If only it took me another 3 seconds then three of us could have had a 6:33 time.

  5. 5:44, no errors. I suppose, if I cared much about my solving times, I could get all puffed up over this one. But, I take great pride in simple modesty … 😜. (Besides, others will no doubt beat my time all to tarnation … 😜.)

  6. About 15 min. no errors.
    Here’s an idea that might help with future solves…don’t read a clue that has the word CANYON in it as CRAYON. Big difference😀
    Stay safe😀

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