0602-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Jun 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jesse Goldberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Stonewall

Today’s grid has a WALL of STONES around the perimeter:

  • 34A Historic inn commemorated during Pride Month, as suggested by this puzzle’s border answers : STONEWALL
  • 1A *Graveyard sight : HEADSTONE
  • 5A *Emerald or ruby : BIRTHSTONE
  • 10A *Ring centerpiece : GEMSTONE
  • 62A *Pennsylvania state symbol : KEYSTONE
  • 63A *Kind of building seen on “Sesame Street” : BROWNSTONE
  • 64A *Magnetite : LODESTONE
  • 1D *Online card game with over 100 million players : HEARTHSTONE
  • 16D *Pit that’s spit : CHERRYSTONE
  • 37D *Vital piece : CORNERSTONE
  • 47D *Quaint street material : COBBLESTONE

Bill’s time: 7m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 *Emerald or ruby : BIRTHSTONE

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

13 Jet stream direction : EAST

Jet streams are narrow air currents high in the atmosphere that move very quickly around the earth. The major jet streams surrounding our planet move in an easterly direction.

15 Man found in America? : ERIC

The name “Eric” is found within the word “America”.

17 Deadly snakes : ASPS

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

18 “Peanuts” boy : LINUS

In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, and who operates a psychiatric booth that looks like a lemonade stand. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

20 Bourbon substitute : RYE

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

Bourbon is a whiskey made here in North America, with the primary ingredient being corn. Production of the whiskey has for centuries been associated with Bourbon County in Kentucky, which gave its name to the drink.

30 Anthem contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as “the national hymn” and later “the national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

31 Nirvana’s “Smells Like ___ Spirit” : TEEN

Nirvana was a rock band formed in Washington in 1987 by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The band effectively disbanded in 1994 after Cobain committed suicide.

32 Org. seeking alien life : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

33 ___ Murray, two-time Wimbledon champ : ANDY

Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who became British number-one in 2006, rising to world number-one in 2016. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British male player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and again in the Rio Games in 2016. Sir Andy Murray was knighted in 2017.

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

34 Historic inn commemorated during Pride Month, as suggested by this puzzle’s border answers : STONEWALL

The police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn on June 29th, 1969. That raid triggered a spate of violent demonstrations led by the LGBT community. Now known as the Stonewall riots, those demonstrations are viewed by many as a significant event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in the US. Since then, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month in recognition of the Stonewall riots.

40 Fillable flatbread : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

44 Western treaty grp. : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

46 H.S. class whose students might cook : HOME EC

Home economics (home ec)

48 G.O.P. org. : RNC

National leadership of the Republican Party is provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only one former chairperson of the RNC has been elected to the office of US president, and that was George H. W. Bush.

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

49 Binary digit : ONE

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

51 Tokyo’s airport : NARITA

Plans were put together for the construction of Narita International Airport back in 1966. However, the airport was not a popular addition to the metropolis in some quarters and demonstrations, often violent, delayed the project. Originally planned for completion in 1971, the airport didn’t open until 1978. The opening ceremony was attended by about 6,000 protesters and 14,000 security police.

53 Vegetable also called ladies’ fingers : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

54 “There’s the ___” : RUB

The phrase “To sleep — perchance to dream” comes from Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy:

To die — to sleep.
To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

A rub is a difficulty or obstruction. The usage of the term “rub” predates Shakespeare, and comes from the game of lawn bowls in which a rub is a fault in the bowling surface.

56 Weight on the Isle of Wight : TONNE

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

The Isle of Wight is the largest island in England, and lies about five miles off the south coast of the country. For many centuries, the island was a kingdom in its own right. One popular tourist attraction on the Isle of Wight is Osborne House, a former royal residence that was built as a summer home for Queen Victoria, and that was designed by the queen’s consort Prince Albert. Queen Victoria died in Osborne House, in 1901.

60 Skywalker’s droid, informally : ARTOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2 (also “Artoo-Detoo”). R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 feet 8 inches tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

When the character Luke Skywalker was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikin Starkiller”. Conceptually, he was a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point. Luke is played by actor Mark Hamill in the “Star Wars” films.

61 First-year legal student, familiarly : ONE L

“One L” is a name used in general for first-year law students, especially those attending Harvard.

62 *Pennsylvania state symbol : KEYSTONE

Visually, the thirteen original states formed an arch that stretched up much of the east coast of North America. One might imagine Pennsylvania as the keystone of that visual arch, which explains why Pennsylvania is often referred to as the Keystone State.

63 *Kind of building seen on “Sesame Street” : BROWNSTONE

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave a multimillion dollar grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

64 *Magnetite : LODESTONE

Magnetite is a form of iron oxide ore, a valuable source of iron. It is the most magnetic of all known minerals, hence the name. Pieces of magnetite called lodestone were used in ancient times to study the property of magnetism.

Down

2 Infield pop-up, say : EASY OUT

That would be baseball.

3 Malign : ASPERSE

To asperse is to spread false charges or make insinuations. The more common expression is “to cast aspersions”. “To asperse” comes from the Latin “aspergere” meaning “to sprinkle”. So, “to asperse” is also the term used when sprinkling holy water.

4 Rehab woe, for short : DTS

The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called delirium tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

5 Debutantes, say : BELLES

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

6 Elite eight : IVIES

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

7 Actress Russo : RENE

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

8 1989 play about Capote : TRU

“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a one-man play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

9 Widespread panic : HYSTERIA

The term “hysteria” is no longer really used in medical circles, but some attribute the first use of the term to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. Hysteria was supposedly a condition suffered by women and attributed to disturbances of the uterus. “Hystera” is the Greek word for “uterus”.

21 War of 1812 treaty site : GHENT

Ghent is a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. The War of 1812 (between Britain and the US) formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The American negotiating team in Ghent included statesman Henry Clay and future president John Quincy Adams.

23 Fingerprinting need : INK

In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:

  • Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
  • Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
  • Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.

26 Ruling on a point of Islamic law : FATWA

In the Muslim tradition, a fatwā is a religious opinion issued by an Islamic scholar (a “mufti”) on a matter of Islamic law. There is a common misconception that a fatwā is a death sentence imposed on a person, and although such a drastic directive is a possible component of the opinion, it is a very rare occurrence.

29 Borscht base : BEETS

Borscht is a beetroot soup that originated in Ukraine. Borscht can be served both hot and cold.

33 Davy Crockett died defending it : ALAMO

The pioneer Davy Crockett is often referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier”. Crockett was from East Tennessee. After serving in the local militia he entered politics and represented his state in the US House of Representatives from 1827 to 1831. He disapproved of many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, which led to his defeat in the 1834 election for the House. The defeat prompted Crockett to leave Tennessee for Texas. Famously, he died there in 1836 at the Battle of the Alamo.

35 Start tallying your drink orders, say : OPEN A TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

36 Literature Nobelist Mario Vargas ___ : LLOSA

Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer of renown, and one of the most significant authors from Latin America by all accounts. Llosa is also very active politically, and in 1990 ran unsuccessfully for the Peruvian presidency.

38 Behaved uncontrollably : RAN AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

42 Spicy Mexican pepper : SERRANO

The serrano chili pepper is native to the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name “serrano” comes from the Spanish “sierra” meaning “mountain”.

43 Like many veteran professors : TENURED

A job in a university that is described as “tenure-track” is one that can lead to a tenured position. A tenured position is a “job for life”. A person with tenure can only be dismissed for cause.

47 *Quaint street material : COBBLESTONE

A cobblestone is a stone of a particular size that is used as a building material, and a material used in paving in particular. There is a scale that defines a “cobble” as a stone that’s larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder, and more precisely measures between 2.5 and 10.1 inches.

57 Defenseman who scored a Stanley Cup-winning “flying goal” : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

The Stanley Cup is named for Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. Lord Stanley’s sons became avid fans of ice hockey while in Canada, and so he donated the trophy in 1909, originally as a challenge cup for the country’s best amateur club.

58 Neighbor of Brazil: Abbr. : BOL

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 *Graveyard sight : HEADSTONE
5 *Emerald or ruby : BIRTHSTONE
10 *Ring centerpiece : GEMSTONE
13 Jet stream direction : EAST
14 Word with one or other : EVERY …
15 Man found in America? : ERIC
17 Deadly snakes : ASPS
18 “Peanuts” boy : LINUS
19 Brit’s “Nonsense!” : TOSH!
20 Bourbon substitute : RYE
21 Delight : GLEE
22 Tear sheet? : TISSUE
24 Dangerous juggling props : TORCHES
26 Marshy area : FEN
27 Country whose flag has two blue stripes and a star: Abbr. : ISR
28 Quiets down : HUSHES
29 Tree cover : BARK
30 Anthem contraction : O’ER
31 Nirvana’s “Smells Like ___ Spirit” : TEEN
32 Org. seeking alien life : SETI
33 ___ Murray, two-time Wimbledon champ : ANDY
34 Historic inn commemorated during Pride Month, as suggested by this puzzle’s border answers : STONEWALL
37 Political suffix : -CRAT
40 Fillable flatbread : PITA
41 Persist : LAST
44 Western treaty grp. : OAS
45 Section of a wine list : REDS
46 H.S. class whose students might cook : HOME EC
48 G.O.P. org. : RNC
49 Binary digit : ONE
50 Binary question : YES OR NO?
51 Tokyo’s airport : NARITA
53 Vegetable also called ladies’ fingers : OKRA
54 “There’s the ___” : RUB
55 Discharge : EMIT
56 Weight on the Isle of Wight : TONNE
58 Hurtful remark : BARB
59 Overcharges, so to speak : ROBS
60 Skywalker’s droid, informally : ARTOO
61 First-year legal student, familiarly : ONE L
62 *Pennsylvania state symbol : KEYSTONE
63 *Kind of building seen on “Sesame Street” : BROWNSTONE
64 *Magnetite : LODESTONE

Down

1 *Online card game with over 100 million players : HEARTHSTONE
2 Infield pop-up, say : EASY OUT
3 Malign : ASPERSE
4 Rehab woe, for short : DTS
5 Debutantes, say : BELLES
6 Elite eight : IVIES
7 Actress Russo : RENE
8 1989 play about Capote : TRU
9 Widespread panic : HYSTERIA
10 Grasps : GETS
11 Beach problem : EROSION
12 Like the words “literally” and “ironic,” often : MISUSED
16 *Pit that’s spit : CHERRYSTONE
21 War of 1812 treaty site : GHENT
23 Fingerprinting need : INK
25 Where the heart is : CHEST
26 Ruling on a point of Islamic law : FATWA
29 Borscht base : BEETS
32 Mocking : SNIDE
33 Davy Crockett died defending it : ALAMO
35 Start tallying your drink orders, say : OPEN A TAB
36 Literature Nobelist Mario Vargas ___ : LLOSA
37 *Vital piece : CORNERSTONE
38 Behaved uncontrollably : RAN AMOK
39 Attribute : ASCRIBE
42 Spicy Mexican pepper : SERRANO
43 Like many veteran professors : TENURED
45 Decay : ROT
46 This point forward : HEREON
47 *Quaint street material : COBBLESTONE
50 “See what I mean?,” informally : Y’KNOW?
52 Teeny : ITSY
53 Aware of : ONTO
57 Defenseman who scored a Stanley Cup-winning “flying goal” : ORR
58 Neighbor of Brazil: Abbr. : BOL

13 thoughts on “0602-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. 11:43 Including more than a minute to find two fat fingers. Took me a while to get the revealer, but even then I did not make the connection to the answers around the periphery until long after I was finished. So I struggled in a few areas to make sense of it all. I thought the card games was HEARTS and couldn’t imagine 100 M people playing online Hearts. That said – I never heard of HEARTHSTONE the card game.

    Clever construction.

  2. 9:56. A few missteps, the worst of which was HEARTs/sUSHES, but I figured that out once I got the theme. Originally just thought of the card game HEARTS. I assume it’s played online somewhere.

    I’m a big fan of SERRANO peppers. When I eat at Mexican restaurants, I often ask for a chopped up roasted serrano added to whatever I ordered. It’s hotter than a jalepeno, but it’s not as crazy hot as an habanero.

    Loved the clue for 12D. I actually wince when I hear people say things like “I laughed so hard I LITERALLY died”….Ugh. And as for the misuse of the word “ironic”, ugh again. Many many people use it as a synonym for coincidental. All the time. Constantly. “It’s ironic that we’re both here at the same time.” Or “It’s ironic this happened on the same day as last year”. Uhhh….no it isn’t.

    Once again, all this anger shows I have too much time on my hands. Time to do something more productive or my head will literally explode…

    Best –

  3. 20:40, because I literally need to brush up on my South American geography, since I literally went with Belize instead of Bolivia. 😇

  4. 17:27. I’m a day late to the party. I thought I posted this already…but I guess not.😁

  5. No errors.. but did not know LLOSA or NARITA.. think I’ll go look them up!!.. literally!!! Ha!

  6. Wow! I pick up a lot of litter on my long walks. Looks as if there’s a littering problem here, too! … 😜

  7. No errors..the theme really helped for a change.
    @Nonny…I think you will find irresponsible pigs just about everywhere unfortunately 😥
    Stay safe😀

  8. 10:03, no errors. Ironic how personal experiences can literally shape one’s approach to crosswords. Having played HEARTHSTONE at its debut, this was the first answer to come to my mind, but there weren’t enough boxes (didn’t recognize the gimmick at the time).

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