0603-21 NY Times Crossword 3 Jun 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Kyra Wilson & Sophia Maymudes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Double Down

Themed answers are all in the DOWN-direction, and each starts with the word “DOUBLE”. Each is signified by the use of double-letters in the grid:

  • 22D Strengthen one’s commitment … and a hint to four answers in this puzzle : DOUBLE DOWN
  • 2D Candlelit dinners for four, say : DOUBLE DATES
  • 11D React to a gut punch, perhaps : DOUBLE OVER
  • 59D Spy with questionable loyalty : DOUBLE AGENT
  • 62D Hotel chain operated by Hilton : DOUBLETREE

Bill’s time: 12m 52s

Bill’s errors: 2

AY, CARAMBA! (ay, carumba!)
PAYA (puya)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Signature Obama legislation, briefly : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

7 It’s no free ride : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

10 British trunk : BOOT

In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

13 Leavened flatbread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

17 Furniture also called hassocks : OTTOMANS

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

A hassock is an item of furniture that is covered in cloth and used as a low seat or footstool. The term “hassock” comes from the Old English “hassuc” meaning “clump of grass”. “Hassock” was first used to describe a kneeling cushion, a usage that persists in churches to this day.

19 Low-cal pub offering : LITE BEER

The first light beer was produced by Chicago’s Meister Brau brewery in the sixties. Miller took over Meister Brau, reformulated the light beer using the same process and became the first of the big breweries to come out with a light beer, “Lite Beer from Miller” introduced in 1973. There really wasn’t a serious competitor to Miller Lite until Anheuser-Busch finally came up with a process and a product in 1982 that they called Bud Light.

20 Tractor maker : 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.

21 Tired and bored : JADED

Our term “jaded”, meaning tired and feeling a little “ho-hum”, comes from the noun “jade” which in the 14th century was an old, worn-out horse.

24 Member of an ancient Jewish sect : ESSENE

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes led simple lives devoted to poverty.

30 Niña companion : PINTA

Famously, Christopher Columbus used three ships in his first voyage across the Atlantic: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta. The Pinta was the fastest of the three, and it was from the Pinta that the New World was first spotted by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana who was a lookout on the fateful day. Pinta was a nickname for the ship that translated as “the painted one”. The Pinta’s real name has been lost in the mists of time.

The ship used by Christopher Columbus that we know as the Niña was actually the nickname of a ship actually called the Santa Clara. The nickname “Niña” probably came from the name of her owner, Juan Niña of Moguer.

34 Catchphrase on “The Simpsons” : AY, CARAMBA!

Bart Simpson apparently uses the expression “Ay, caramba!” when he is positively surprised about something, often something related to a female I am told …

37 Gobble (up) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

39 Inits. for a trip : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

45 State with more than half of Mexico’s Indigenous language speakers : OAXACA

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

57 Peace in Saudi Arabia : SALAAM

The word “salaam” is an Anglicized spelling of the Arabic word for “peace”. The term can describe an act of deference, and in particular a very low bow.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in the Middle East and is the world’s largest oil producer, home to the world’s largest oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty started in central Arabia in 1744 when the secular leader Muhammad ibn Saud joined forces with the Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. At the time, Saud was a ruler of a town near Riyadh and he was determined to bring “true” Islam to the Arabian peninsula. Since 1744 the fortunes of the Saudi family have risen and fallen, but it is that same family who rules what we know today as Saudi Arabia.

61 Top story : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

67 Hauls into court : ARRAIGNS

In the law, to arraign someone is to call that person before a court to answer charges.

69 Some asylum seekers : REFUGEES

Asylum (plural “asyla”) is a Latin word meaning “sanctuary”.

72 Material in some vaccines : RNA

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity (until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19). British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

74 Supply center? : PEES

There are two letters P (pees) at the center of the word “supply”.

75 Alternative to the euro: Abbr. : USD

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

76 Pay stub inits. : YTD

Year-to-date (YTD)

77 Profession for Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”: Abbr. : ATTY

“LEGALLY blonde” is a 2001 comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon as a girlish sorority president who heads to Harvard to earn a law degree. “LEGALLY blonde” was successful enough to warrant two sequels as well as a spin-off musical that played most successfully in London’s West End (for 974 performances).

Down

1 One end of a cell : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

6 Biblical name repeated in a Faulkner title : ABSALOM

According to the Hebrew Bible, Absalom was the third son of David, after Amnon and Chileab.

7 Relatives of glockenspiels : CELESTAS

A celesta (also “celeste”) is a keyboard instrument in which the keys operate hammers that strike a set of metal plates. The resulting sound is similar to that from a glockenspiel, although it is much softer in tone as the celesta’s plates are suspended over wooden resonators. I’d say that the most famous musical work featuring a celesta is Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from his ballet “The Nutcracker”.

The glockenspiel and xylophone are similar instruments, the main difference being the material from which the keys are made. Xylophone keys are made from wood, and glockenspiel keys are made from metal.

8 Things that are far from basic? : ACIDS

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

9 Phony internet persona, often : BOT

A bot is a computer program designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

12 TV host Banks : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

25 Title on “Downton Abbey” : EARL

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

27 Mini-albums, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

32 ___ Paige Johnson, co-creator of TV’s “Blue’s Clues” : TRACI

“Blue’s Clues” is a Nickelodeon children’s show that ran for ten years from 1996. The title character is a blue-spotted dog who leaves clues in a treasure hunt for the host and the viewers.

33 Company advertised by a quack? : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

34 Mythical giant with 100 50-Downs : ARGUS
(50D See 34-Down : EYE)

Argus Panoptes was a monster of Greek mythology. “Panoptes” means “all-seeing”, so over time Argus has been described as having many, many eyes. Argus was noted for being alert, always keeping some eyes open when sleeping. This characteristic led to Argus being used for a vigilant person, and has been adopted as the name for many newspapers. After the monster died, the goddess Hera transferred Argus’s eyes to the tail of the peacock.

35 Brewery supply : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

46 Singer Tori : AMOS

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. She started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. Amos was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I’m going to have to find some of her music …

47 Legendary home of Kubla Khan : XANADU

Shangdu (also “Xanadu”) was located in Inner Mongolia in China, just over 200 miles north of China. Shangdu was the capital of the Yuan dynasty that was established in 1271 by Kublai Khan. The Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited Shangdu in about 1272, and the city was destroyed by the Ming army in 1369. Centuries later in 1797, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge immortalized the city (as “Xanadu”) in his celebrated poem “Kubla Khan”.

49 “Peanuts” character with glasses : MARCIE

Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, which is perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

58 Sayings attributed to Jesus : LOGIA

“Logia” is a term of Greek origin that is used for the collection of sayings attributed to Jesus.

61 Influential D.C. lobby : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

63 Alpo competitor : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

68 “Despicable Me” antihero : GRU

The main protagonist in the “Despicable Me” movies is the supervillain Felonius Gru, usually referred to simply as “Gru”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Stirs in : ADDS
4 Signature Obama legislation, briefly : ACA
7 It’s no free ride : CAB
10 British trunk : BOOT
13 Leavened flatbread : NAAN
14 High pitch : LOB
15 Quite green : ECO-SAVVY
17 Furniture also called hassocks : OTTOMANS
19 Low-cal pub offering : LITE BEER
20 Tractor maker : DEERE
21 Tired and bored : JADED
23 Literally, “earth” : TERRA
24 Member of an ancient Jewish sect : ESSENE
26 Dings on a record : LOSSES
28 Exhaust one’s funds for betting : TAP OUT
30 Niña companion : PINTA
34 Catchphrase on “The Simpsons” : AY, CARAMBA!
37 Gobble (up) : SNARF
38 “Are you sure about that?” : REALLY?
39 Inits. for a trip : LSD
41 ___ pals : GAL
42 Word with gender or age : … GAP
43 Pub offering : ALE
45 State with more than half of Mexico’s Indigenous language speakers : OAXACA
48 “I can be of service!” : USE ME!
51 Like bad apples and sour grapes? : IDIOMATIC
53 Pound-bound hound, say : STRAY
54 Seen a lot : COMMON
55 Fixes, as a hem : RESEWS
57 Peace in Saudi Arabia : SALAAM
61 Top story : ATTIC
64 Currently airing : ON NOW
66 Grown-up pupper : DOGGO
67 Hauls into court : ARRAIGNS
69 Some asylum seekers : REFUGEES
71 Come out again : RE-EMERGE
72 Material in some vaccines : RNA
73 Rest stops : INNS
74 Supply center? : PEES
75 Alternative to the euro: Abbr. : USD
76 Pay stub inits. : YTD
77 Profession for Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”: Abbr. : ATTY

Down

1 One end of a cell : ANODE
2 Candlelit dinners for four, say : DOUBLE DATES
3 [How boring] : [SNORE]
4 In the style of : A LA
5 If, and or but: Abbr. : CONJ
6 Biblical name repeated in a Faulkner title : ABSALOM
7 Relatives of glockenspiels : CELESTAS
8 Things that are far from basic? : ACIDS
9 Phony internet persona, often : BOT
10 Honey : BABE
11 React to a gut punch, perhaps : DOUBLE OVER
12 TV host Banks : TYRA
16 Takes effect : SETS IN
18 Kind of health : MENTAL
22 Strengthen one’s commitment … and a hint to four answers in this puzzle : DOUBLE DOWN
25 Title on “Downton Abbey” : EARL
27 Mini-albums, for short : EPS
29 Curry made with hoof meat : PAYA
31 Pester constantly : NAG AT
32 ___ Paige Johnson, co-creator of TV’s “Blue’s Clues” : TRACI
33 Company advertised by a quack? : AFLAC
34 Mythical giant with 100 50-Downs : ARGUS
35 Brewery supply : YEAST
36 Bit of high jinks : CAPER
40 Bad fortune : DOOM
44 Able to practice, in a way : LICENSED
46 Singer Tori : AMOS
47 Legendary home of Kubla Khan : XANADU
49 “Peanuts” character with glasses : MARCIE
50 See 34-Down : EYE
52 “My bad” : I’M SORRY
56 Bops or hits, say : SONGS
58 Sayings attributed to Jesus : LOGIA
59 Spy with questionable loyalty : DOUBLE AGENT
60 Covered in some green growth : MOSSY
61 Influential D.C. lobby : AARP
62 Hotel chain operated by Hilton : DOUBLETREE
63 Alpo competitor : IAMS
65 Took a turn : WENT
68 “Despicable Me” antihero : GRU
70 Silly Bandz or Webkinz, once : FAD

6 thoughts on “0603-21 NY Times Crossword 3 Jun 21, Thursday”

  1. 19:27 I thought there were rebuses from the get-go but held off until I was sure. AGENT AGENT was the kicker and once I got the revealer I was sure of the other “Double” entries. As with @Tom R, it took a bit to enter all the rebuses. As with @Tom R, it took a bit to enter all the rebuses.

    I wanted to double only part of my comment. 🙂

  2. 17:51, no errors. Ditto on the time required to enter the rebuses (rebi? … 😜). I also kept forgetting to mentally prefix the word “DOUBLE” to each of the theme entries so as to make sense out of them.

    My brain just doesn’t operate at the same speed (or with the same bandwidth) that it used to … 😳. Oh, well, I’m still alive … and I guess that’s a good thing … 😜.

  3. 24:51 Took me a while to get the theme. I usually go right after the reveal on puzzles like these, but I ignored it way too long. Double TREE was the aha moment. I had reflexively put OMNI because it’s always OMNI with 4-letters. Had to back out of that. The rest was downhill.

    So once I knew all the answers, the puzzle was quite easy.

    Did I really just write that?

    Best –

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