0605-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Jun 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 34m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Basketball game in an arcade : POP-A-SHOT

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

16 Bug’s place? : IN A RUG

Snug as a bug in a rug.

17 Popular dish in Seville : GAZPACHO

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

18 Kind of duck : PEKING

Peking duck is a traditional dish from Beijing. The duck that is served is mainly the skin, skin that has been made very crispy by roasting. In order to get the skin easily away from the meat, after the duck is slaughtered, air is pumped under the skin to separate it from the underlying fat. Sounds very appetizing …

20 Expecting, informally : PREGGO

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

21 Heavy metal band that earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 : BLACK SABBATH

Black Sabbath is an English heavy metal band set up in 1969 in Birmingham in the north of the country. Black Sabbath’s most famous band member was the lead singer, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy was kicked out of the group in 1979 as his drug usage was becoming overly disruptive.

26 Bar food : 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.

27 Palter : LIE

To palter is to talk or act insincerely. The term “palter” can also mean “quibble”, as in negotiating a deal.

28 Third-tier caste member in “Brave New World” : GAMMA

There is a speech by Miranda in “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare that is the source for the title of the dystopian novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley:

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.

32 Low stats for some M.V.P. winners : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA)

36 Qualities in music : TIMBRES

The timbre of a sound is its distinguishing quality above and beyond its volume and pitch. “Timbre” was used in Old French to mean “sound of a bell”.

37 Brand of cashmere pronounced “say” : TSE

Cashmere wool comes not only from the Cashmere goat, but also from other types of goat. Technically, cashmere isn’t really wool, but rather hair. Unlike hair, wool is elastic and grows in clusters.

38 Climactic court moment : MATCH POINT

That might be a tennis court.

40 Actress Seehorn of “Better Call Saul” : RHEA

Rhea Seehorn is an actress best known for playing lawyer Kim Wexler in the TV crime drama “Better Call Saul”.

42 R&B group ___ Hill : DRU

Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

43 Sta4nce, for instance : REBUS

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, a picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”, and a picture of an “awl” might represent the word “all”.

“Sta4nce” is interpreted as “4” in “stance”, i.e. “for instance”.

47 NorCal daily : SAC BEE

“The Sacramento Bee” was founded in 1857 under the name “The Daily Bee”. The front page features the Scoopy Bee mascot, a famous logo created for the paper by Walt Disney in 1943.

50 Assessment, for short : EVAL

Evaluation (eval.)

56 Explosive cited in “Hamlet” : PETARD

In days of old, a petard was a small bomb that was used to breach fortified gates and walls. The phrase “hoisted by his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and is a reference to a petard detonating prematurely and blowing up (“hoisting”) the bomber.

Down

1 Marker in the game Battleship : PEG

Battleship is a remarkably fun guessing game that I used to play as a child. Back then, we would play it just using pencil and paper. These days kids are more likely to play an electronic version of the game.

2 Ingredients in Caesar’s salads? : OVA

“Ovum” (plural “ova”) is Latin for “egg”.

4 Sources of hypoallergenic fiber : ALPACAS

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

5 Casual wear : SLACKS

The term “slacks” was introduced in the early 1800s with the meaning “loose trousers”. Those early slacks were part of a military uniform.

6 Pawns : HOCKS

The phrase “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century “in hock” meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The word “hock” comes from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

I remember the bad old days growing up in Dublin, Ireland, when my mother had to go to the pawnshop (bad times!). I’d wait outside with my brother, looking up at the pawnbroker’s sign, three gold balls hanging down from a metal bar. This traditional sign used by pawnbrokers is said to date back to the Medici family as the sign had symbolic meaning in the province of Lombardy where the Medici family reigned supreme. Because of this connection, pawnshop banking was originally called Lombard banking.

8 Ringside call : TKO

In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

9 Prince William’s sister-in-law : PIPPA

Pippa Middleton is the younger sister of Kate Middleton, aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Pippa has been chased by the media ever since she appeared as the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding to Prince William.

10 It won’t react well : INERT GAS

An inert gas can be different from a noble gas. Both are relatively non-reactive, but a noble gas is an element. An inert gas might be a compound, i.e. made up of more than one element.

11 Take advantage of the situation : MAKE HAY

Make hay while the sun shines … seize the opportunity.

14 Toaster Strudel alternative : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

General Mills introduced Toaster Strudels in competition to Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts in 1985. The company started using the slogan “Something ‘better’ just popped up”.

22 Aid in rounding up : LARIAT

Our word “lariat” comes from the Spanish “la reater” meaning “the rope”.

23 Like some desserts : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

24 8’2″ children’s character : BIG BIRD

The man “inside” Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is Caroll Spinney, who has been playing the character since 1969. That’s a long time, so Spinney has had an understudy named Matt Vogel since 1998.

25 Bar tidbit : BEER NUT

“Beer Nuts” is the brand name for a snack consisting of peanuts in a sweet-and-salty glaze. There’s no beer in the recipe, just the suggestion that the snack goes well with beer.

30 Sight along the National Mall in Washington : MUSEUM

The National Mall is a park in downtown Washington, D.C. It is home to several museums that are part of the Smithsonian, as well as the National Gallery of Art.

33 Spot on a face : PIP

A pip is a dot on a die or a domino, or a mark on a playing card.

34 Cause for a replay : LET

That might be tennis.

36 Steinbeck novella : THE PEARL

“The Pearl” is a 1947 novella written by John Steinbeck. The work was inspired by Mexican folk tale, and is about a pearl diver called Kino.

39 Commuter’s amenity : CLUB CAR

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

46 Opening of a toaster : HERE’S …

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 …

49 Credit card name : CITI

During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the US government rescued Citibank by providing loan guarantees and two payments of $25 billion each. It turns out that the government made a tidy profit on that deal, as Citibank has since repaid the loans in full, along with interest.

53 World’s first TV channel to be transmitted via satellite : HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is the oldest continuously-operating pay TV service in the US, having launched in 1972. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”.

54 NASA spacewalk, for short : EVA

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is the name given to any work done by an astronaut outside of his or her spacecraft. The term would encompass walking on the moon, as well as making a space walk i.e. floating around in space tethered to spacecraft.

55 Palpatine’s granddaughter in “Star Wars” films : REY

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe who first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Basketball game in an arcade : POP-A-SHOT
9 Bad spot for a date? : PIMPLE
15 Death stare : EVIL LOOK
16 Bug’s place? : IN A RUG
17 Popular dish in Seville : GAZPACHO
18 Kind of duck : PEKING
19 ___ Morris, lead character on TV’s “Saved by the Bell” : ZACK
20 Expecting, informally : PREGGO
21 Heavy metal band that earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 : BLACK SABBATH
26 Bar food : TAPAS
27 Palter : LIE
28 Third-tier caste member in “Brave New World” : GAMMA
32 Low stats for some M.V.P. winners : ERAS
33 Newspaper designer’s responsibility : PAGE LAYOUT
35 Inspired stuff : AIR
36 Qualities in music : TIMBRES
37 Brand of cashmere pronounced “say” : TSE
38 Climactic court moment : MATCH POINT
40 Actress Seehorn of “Better Call Saul” : RHEA
41 Way : STYLE
42 R&B group ___ Hill : DRU
43 Sta4nce, for instance : REBUS
44 Took things to a whole new level : UPPED THE GAME
47 NorCal daily : SAC BEE
50 Assessment, for short : EVAL
51 “My schedule permitting” : IF I CAN
52 Nail-biter : THRILLER
56 Explosive cited in “Hamlet” : PETARD
57 Qualifying phrase : I BELIEVE
58 Some ice cream orders : SWIRLS
59 Fly from Honolulu to Tokyo, say : LOSE A DAY

Down

1 Marker in the game Battleship : PEG
2 Ingredients in Caesar’s salads? : OVA
3 Social event in which the food is usually ordered in : PIZZA PARTY
4 Sources of hypoallergenic fiber : ALPACAS
5 Casual wear : SLACKS
6 Pawns : HOCKS
7 “You’re in such trouble!” : OOH!
8 Ringside call : TKO
9 Prince William’s sister-in-law : PIPPA
10 It won’t react well : INERT GAS
11 Take advantage of the situation : MAKE HAY
12 Moralizing sort : PRIG
13 Pulmonologist’s study : LUNG
14 Toaster Strudel alternative : EGGO
21 They’re brought in for starters : B-TEAMS
22 Aid in rounding up : LARIAT
23 Like some desserts : A LA MODE
24 8’2″ children’s character : BIG BIRD
25 Bar tidbit : BEER NUT
29 Postponed indefinitely : MOTHBALLED
30 Sight along the National Mall in Washington : MUSEUM
31 Unstressed : AT EASE
33 Spot on a face : PIP
34 Cause for a replay : LET
36 Steinbeck novella : THE PEARL
39 Commuter’s amenity : CLUB CAR
40 They’re fit for a king : REGALIA
43 Rail against : REVILE
45 Has yet to be decided : PENDS
46 Opening of a toaster : HERE’S …
47 Tests one’s spirit? : SIPS
48 Not lots : A FEW
49 Credit card name : CITI
52 As late as : ‘TIL
53 World’s first TV channel to be transmitted via satellite : HBO
54 NASA spacewalk, for short : EVA
55 Palpatine’s granddaughter in “Star Wars” films : REY

4 thoughts on “0605-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 17:13. SE took me a while. Finally coming up with TIL helped me get LOSE A DAY, which really helped me out.

  2. 29:27. A few challenging areas, but it was a smooth solve overall. Nice to see Bill can struggle once in a while like us mortals.

    HOCKS for “Pawns” went completely over my head. I was too busy thinking of the chess piece. I’ve been a huge fan of the game my whole life ever since my father and older brother used to beat me handily (though not anymore). “The Queen’s Gambit” was still on my mind as well I think.

    Side note: I was reluctant to watch “The Queen’s Gambit” thinking it wouldn’t do the game justice. Then I found out Gary Kasparov was a consultant so I decided to watch it just recently. Probably the best series ever done on Netflix. It was spectacular. As usual, I’m late to the party on such things, but it’s a must see even if you’re not a fan of chess.

    Best –

  3. 31:15. I was pretty much done in 17 minutes except for the NW corner and needed a lookup there. I tried NCAA SHOT, WNBA SHOT, etc. For 17A I had xxx POLLO (chicken) for a while; Also kept thinking of “pawns” as the noun rather than the verb to pawn. Just stymied in that corner.

    Are there some subliminal themes here – PREGGO crossing EGGO and then OVA – eggs on the brain or buns in the oven, perhaps?

    And then PIMPLE, PIPPA, and PIP? – with a SIPS thrown in?
    And also a REBUS on a Saturday??

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