0604-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Jun 21, Friday

Constructed by: Nam Jin Yoon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 14m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Thriller with a two-note theme : JAWS

“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first summer blockbuster and had the highest box office take in history up to that time, which was a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

9 Certain fund-raising orgs. : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

17 Actor and L.G.B.T.Q. rights activist George : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

21 ___ bar : TAPAS

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

26 Bigwigs : TOP BRASS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

29 Bread crumbs used as a coating : PANKO

Panko is a breadcrumb used in some Japanese cuisine, primarily as a crunchy coating for fried foods.

31 Anxiety condition, for short : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

43 Hardly a long shot : PUTT

That would be golf.

51 Honor … or a goner : TOAST

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

52 Genre for “The Truman Show” in 1998’s “The Truman Show” : REALITY TV

“The Truman Show” is an interesting film starring Jim Carrey as a man who, although unaware of the fact, is living and starring in a life-long reality TV show.

53 Actor Elba : IDRIS

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

57 Sequel to Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth” : SONS

Pearl S. Buck’s novel “The Good Earth” won a Pulitzer in 1932, and helped Buck win the Nobel Prize for literature a few years later. The novel tells of life in a Chinese village and follows the fortunes of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. Although “The Good Earth” has been around for decades, it hit the bestseller list again in 2004 when it was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club.

Down

3 Jay between Johnny and Jimmy : LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

4 Business school alumni, collectively : NETWORK

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

5 Cheerful and self-confident : JAUNTY

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

8 Explicit, to a Brit : SPELT OUT

Both “spelled” and “spelt” are valid past tenses for the verb “to spell”, although the former is way more common on this side of the Atlantic. I grew up with “spelt” on the other side of the Pond, but its usage is rapidly being replaced by “spelled” in the UK and Ireland.

14 2012 title role for Jamie Foxx : DJANGO

“Django Unchained” is a Quentin Tarantino film that was released in 2012, starring Jamie Foxx in the title role of a branded black slave just before the outbreak of the Civil War. It is the highest grossing film that Tarantino has made to date. I tend to avoid Tarantino movies as I find them to be unnecessarily violent. Apparently “Django Unchained” is one of his more violent offerings.

Jamie Foxx is the professional name used by Eric Marlon Bishop, an actor from Terrell, Texas. Foxx is a very versatile entertainer. He is an Oscar-winning actor (for playing the title role in “Ray”), and a Grammy Award winning musician. He is also a stand-up comedian and a talk-radio host.

22 Loan figs. : APRS

Annual percentage rate (APR)

23 Anthropocene, for one : EPOCH

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

24 Guac go-with : NACHO

The dish known as “nachos” was supposedly created by the maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The name of the maître d’ was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

28 Savvy : SENSE

The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French “savez-vous?”. The French phrase translates as “do you know?”

32 One in the care of una madre : BEBE

In Spanish, a “madre’s” (mother’s) treasure is her “bebe” (baby).

37 Queens squad, for short : NY METS

Citi Field is a relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

41 Gunny : BURLAP

Burlap, also called “hessian”, is a coarse woven fabric made from fibers taken from jute, sisal or hemp plants.

A gunny sack is a crude bag made from hessian fabric. The term “gunny” ultimately comes from the tulu (an Indian language) word “goni” meaning “thread, fiber”. Gunny sacks were commonly used for carrying potatoes, and were sized to hold about 100 pounds.

49 One of the schools named in the Public Schools Act of 1868 : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

50 Certain Netflix offerings : DVDS

Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997 as a DVD rental company that sent out titles by mail. The company delivered it’s billionth DVD in 2007. I presume the renter wasn’t charged for that movie …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hot pot spot : KILN
5 Thriller with a two-note theme : JAWS
9 Certain fund-raising orgs. : PTAS
13 Something said while nodding : I NEED A NAP
15 Or : SLASH
16 “Quit looking at me like that” : DON’T JUDGE
17 Actor and L.G.B.T.Q. rights activist George : TAKEI
18 A child who’s lying might make one : SNOW ANGEL
19 What’s always found in bed? : OCEAN
20 More than suspicious of : ONTO
21 ___ bar : TAPAS
23 ___ bar : ENERGY
26 Bigwigs : TOP BRASS
29 Bread crumbs used as a coating : PANKO
30 Mythological figure who nearly managed to flee Hades : EURYDICE
31 Anxiety condition, for short : OCD
32 Measure of a heart rate : BEATS
34 “Pachinko” author ___ Jin Lee : MIN
35 Tight squeezes for Santa : CHIMNEYS
38 Riffles (through) : LEAFS
40 Small organic food producer : HONEY BEE
41 One whom you might tell *everything* : BESTIE
42 Fixes, as unruly hair : TAMES
43 Hardly a long shot : PUTT
44 Spectacle : SCENE
46 Not all it’s cracked up to be : OVERRATED
51 Honor … or a goner : TOAST
52 Genre for “The Truman Show” in 1998’s “The Truman Show” : REALITY TV
53 Actor Elba : IDRIS
54 Space out? : ESCAPE POD
55 Time out? : REST
56 Manual part : STEP
57 Sequel to Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth” : SONS

Down

1 Jokes : KIDS
2 Words after walk or cash : … IN ON
3 Jay between Johnny and Jimmy : LENO
4 Business school alumni, collectively : NETWORK
5 Cheerful and self-confident : JAUNTY
6 “Wait for it … wait for it … NOW!” : AND … GO!
7 Pay : WAGE
8 Explicit, to a Brit : SPELT OUT
9 Sign : PLACARD
10 Sets sights on : TAKES AIM AT
11 Befuddled : ASEA
12 Well-guarded area in sports? : SHIN
14 2012 title role for Jamie Foxx : DJANGO
15 Drop in : STOP BY
22 Loan figs. : APRS
23 Anthropocene, for one : EPOCH
24 Guac go-with : NACHO
25 Turn out badly for everyone involved : END IN TEARS
26 Rib : TEASE
27 Bookstore section, informally : SCI-FI
28 Savvy : SENSE
32 One in the care of una madre : BEBE
33 Concerns for homeowner associations : EYESORES
36 Is serious : MEANS IT
37 Queens squad, for short : NY METS
38 Unleash : LET RIP
39 They get left behind : ESTATES
41 Gunny : BURLAP
43 “See ya later!” : PEACE!
44 Hubbub : STIR
45 Veiled language : CODE
47 Common item of fishing apparel : VEST
48 Cars for cats, say : TYPO
49 One of the schools named in the Public Schools Act of 1868 : ETON
50 Certain Netflix offerings : DVDS

6 thoughts on “0604-21 NY Times Crossword 4 Jun 21, Friday”

  1. 23:44 After 10 minutes I had the entire left half complete and just a few letters on the right hand side. I kept entering and erasing TAPAS. Once I got PTAS I had PORTENT as my “sign” for quite a while, interfering with TAPAS. I needed a lot more crosses to determine which was right. The only George I could think of was WENDT (Norm from Cheers) – maybe that’s because there were a couple “bar” clues nearby and all I could think of was “Cheers”.

    I like the triple of 46A, 52A, 54A. REALITY TV is OVER-RATED and it sits right above an ESCAPE POD. Seems prescient to me in several respects.

  2. 11:48. Got started in the NW and worked my way around the puzzle counter-clockwise. I was kind of worried that the right side was going to stymie me before hitting on OVERRATED, which got me a beachhead there.

  3. 17:22, no errors. For some reason, I had a heck of a time breaking into this one. Once I finally got started, it went okay; after the fact, it’s hard to see what all the fuss was about.

  4. 26:36. Had about 6 letters filled in after about 5 minutes. Took a break and then finished. Sometimes attitude affects your solve time. I had the entire bottom filled in and then went back up top. Go figure.

    I see the Tonight Show as having 3 hosts – Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. After that it wasn’t The Tonight Show anymore. Fallon is easily the worst of that list.

    Best –

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