0526-21 NY Times Crossword 26 May 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Will Nediger
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer See Me After Class!

The first word in each themed answer is a kind of CLASS. That CLASS is followed by the letters “ME” starting the second word:

  • 58A Ominous request from a teacher … or a hint to the first words (and following letters!) of 17-, 26- and 43-Across : SEE ME AFTER CLASS
  • 17A Event with minutes that might last hours : BUSINESS MEETING (“ME” after “business class”)
  • 26A Purchase inspired by a New Year’s resolution, often : GYM MEMBERSHIP (“ME” after “gym class”)
  • 43A Rubella, by another name : GERMAN MEASLES (“ME” after “German class”)

Bill’s time: 6m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Pacific nation composed of 250+ islands : PALAU

Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

14 Brest milk : LAIT

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

15 Cold War concern, for short : H-BOMB

There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

16 Spot for an ibex : CRAG

“Ibex” is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

22 Shania Twain’s “___! I Feel Like a Woman!” : MAN

Shania Twain is a country and pop singer from Windsor, Ontario. Shania’s birth name is “Eileen Edwards”, and this changed to “Eilleen Twain” when her mother remarried. Twain changed her name to Shania in the early 1990s, around the same time that her musical career started to take off.

23 Bacillus shape : ROD

Bacteria can be classified into three groups, according to shape:

  • Round-shaped (coccus)
  • Rod-shaped (bacillus)
  • Spiral-shaped

26 Purchase inspired by a New Year’s resolution, often : GYM MEMBERSHIP (“ME” after “gym class”)

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

36 Kerfuffle : ADO

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

37 Poet Dove : RITA

Poet Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and was the second African American to be so honored (the first being Gwendolyn Brooks).

40 Computing pioneer Lovelace : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name and title was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

42 Sound, e.g. : INLET

Ships might travel through a sound, a wide channel connecting two bodies of water.

43 Rubella, by another name : GERMAN MEASLES (“ME” after “German class”)

German measles is a disease caused by the rubella virus, with the name “rubella” coming from the Latin for “little red” (a reference to the red rash symptom). The disease is known as “German” measles because it was first described by physicians in Germany in the mid-1900s. Rubella is most serious for pregnant women as it can cause spontaneous abortion or cause the baby to be born with life-threatening organ disorders. When I was growing up in Ireland, I remember catching German measles along with my brother, and then having young girls from the neighborhood paraded through the house. The hope was that they would catch the disease and acquire the resulting immunity before they entered their childbearing years. Most children in North America receive a German measles vaccine as part of the MMR vaccine.

47 Item sometimes made with pikake flowers : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

48 Director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

51 Surname of father-and-son Latin pop singers : IGLESIAS

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias’ real name is Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva. He took up playing the guitar as a young man while recovering from a devastating car accident that injured his spinal cord. “Immediate” recovery took three years, but he still receives therapy for his weakened legs.

Enrique Iglesias is the singer-songwriter son of pop star Julio Iglesias. Both Julio and Enrique are from Madrid in Spain.

62 Show with booths : EXPO

The first “World’s Fair” was held in 1851, known back then as the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The fair was the idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. It was held in a magnificent glass and cast-iron structure called the Crystal Palace that was purpose-built for the occasion. The “Great Exhibition” spawned a tradition of what became known as World’s Fairs, expositions that feature national pavilions created by participating countries. The term “Expo” was coined for Expo 67, a 1967 World’s Fair held in Montreal. Since then, we’ve been using “expo” to describe any large exposition or trade show.

65 Gorilla expert Fossey : DIAN

Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda. She wrote a 1983 autobiographical account of her work titled “Gorillas in the Mist”, which served as a basis for a 1988 film of the same name starring Sigourney Weaver as Fossey. Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.

Down

2 Animals of a region : FAUNA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

5 Wunderkind : PHENOM

A wunderkind is a child prodigy, often one with a musical gift. The term is German in origin and translates literally as “wonder child”.

6 Prominent features on firefighter calendars : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

7 Played paper against scissors, e.g. : LOST

Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people, at least here in North America. Back in Ireland we called the game “scissors-paper-stone”, and another name encountered around the English-speaking world is “roshambo”. The game is often used as a way to choose between two options or two individuals.

8 Food, in a food fight : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

10 Largish chamber groups : OCTETS

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

11 Cheshire cat’s signature feature : GRIN

The Cheshire Cat is a character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The Cheshire Cat has an expansive grin, and at one point magically disappears in front of Alice, leaving just the grin visible.

Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; `but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!

12 Tirade : RANT

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

19 Rock powder used as an abrasive : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

28 Hockey game interruption, maybe : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

30 Waves from the curb, say : HAILS A TAXI

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

32 Blog entry : POST

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

41 So last year : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

42 ___ crest (part of the pelvis) : ILIAC

The ilium (plural “ilia”) is the upper portion of the hipbone.

49 Scooter brand whose name means “wasp” : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter that was originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

51 Goddess sister of Nephthys : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

53 Kind of block : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

57 “Ethan Frome” vehicle : SLED

“Ethan Frome” is a novel by New York and Massachusetts author Edith Wharton, first published in 1911. Wharton started “Ethan Frome” as a composition in French that she wrote while studying the language in Paris. The novel was adapted into a 1993 film of the same name starring Liam Neeson in the title role, opposite Patricia Arquette.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hairstyle for Billy Preston : AFRO
5 Pacific nation composed of 250+ islands : PALAU
10 Fairy tale baddie : OGRE
14 Brest milk : LAIT
15 Cold War concern, for short : H-BOMB
16 Spot for an ibex : CRAG
17 Event with minutes that might last hours : BUSINESS MEETING (“ME” after “business class”)
20 What choristers may sing in : UNISON
21 Persistently bothers : TORMENTS
22 Shania Twain’s “___! I Feel Like a Woman!” : MAN
23 Bacillus shape : ROD
25 Left after taxes : NET
26 Purchase inspired by a New Year’s resolution, often : GYM MEMBERSHIP (“ME” after “gym class”)
33 Diamond parts that are rounded : BASES
35 Transport from Seattle to Bainbridge Island : FERRY
36 Kerfuffle : ADO
37 Poet Dove : RITA
38 Hardly iffy : SOLID
39 Avocado or olive products : OILS
40 Computing pioneer Lovelace : ADA
41 Made a peeling? : PARED
42 Sound, e.g. : INLET
43 Rubella, by another name : GERMAN MEASLES (“ME” after “German class”)
46 Suffix with “most,” redundantly : -EST
47 Item sometimes made with pikake flowers : LEI
48 Director DuVernay : AVA
51 Surname of father-and-son Latin pop singers : IGLESIAS
56 Chair wheel : CASTER
58 Ominous request from a teacher … or a hint to the first words (and following letters!) of 17-, 26- and 43-Across : SEE ME AFTER CLASS
60 Scandinavian name whose masculine equivalent ends in “-var” : INGA
61 Get a sense of : GAUGE
62 Show with booths : EXPO
63 Stash belowdecks : STOW
64 “… unless I’m wrong” : … OR NOT
65 Gorilla expert Fossey : DIAN

Down

1 Song collection : ALBUM
2 Animals of a region : FAUNA
3 Future celebrity : RISING STAR
4 Inventor Boykin who helped develop the pacemaker : OTIS
5 Wunderkind : PHENOM
6 Prominent features on firefighter calendars : ABS
7 Played paper against scissors, e.g. : LOST
8 Food, in a food fight : AMMO
9 Tech-obsessed sort, perhaps : UBER NERD
10 Largish chamber groups : OCTETS
11 Cheshire cat’s signature feature : GRIN
12 Tirade : RANT
13 They run when they’re broken : EGGS
18 Standards : NORMS
19 Rock powder used as an abrasive : EMERY
24 Warp : DEFORM
27 Vote of support : YEA
28 Hockey game interruption, maybe : MELEE
29 Like some suites : BRIDAL
30 Waves from the curb, say : HAILS A TAXI
31 Duty-free? : IDLE
32 Blog entry : POST
33 Crow : BRAG
34 Gofer : AIDE
38 Major pilgrimage destination in Spain : SANTIAGO
39 Number aptly found in “loner” : ONE
41 So last year : PASSE
42 ___ crest (part of the pelvis) : ILIAC
44 Granny, in the South : MEEMAW
45 It’s meant to be kept : SECRET
49 Scooter brand whose name means “wasp” : VESPA
50 Crime in insurance investigations : ARSON
51 Goddess sister of Nephthys : ISIS
52 Courteous chap : GENT
53 Kind of block : LEGO
54 Way off : AFAR
55 Knock for a loop : STUN
57 “Ethan Frome” vehicle : SLED
59 Literally, “I” : EGO

14 thoughts on “0526-21 NY Times Crossword 26 May 21, Wednesday”

  1. 7:06. Seemed to zip thru this one. Got the “class” theme once I finished, but not the “me” part of it.

    1. @Greg …

      I’m not enough of a grammarian to pass judgment on Bill’s usage above (though I kind of think he has the right of it). I would probably have dodged the issue by saying, “I remember when, as I was growing up in Ireland, my brother and I caught German measles, and young girls from the neighborhood were paraded through the house … “.

      So, now you know what makes me tick: simple evasion in place of definitive knowledge … 😜.

    2. Well spotted, Greg. I’ve always had trouble sorting out my Is from my MEs. I appreciate the help.

  2. 17:55 Never caught onto the the theme as my finish time begins its geometric increase as the week progresses 🤣

  3. 12:51. Straightforward puzzle made more difficult due to needy doggo (As, but she’s worth it).

  4. Just under 20 min. with no errors…it took a while for this old brain to figure out the theme after finishing the grid.
    Uber nerd is new to me.
    Stay safe😀

  5. The usage in question should be neither “I” nor “me,” but “my.” A possessive is used before a gerund phrase (“catching German measles”). Bill could have said “…my brother’s and my catching German measles…,” but that wording sounds too stilted for such a great memory. 😉

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