0610-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Jun 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Sheldon Polonsky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Swap Air or Sounds

Themed answers are common phrases in which an “air” sound has been swapped with an “or” sound:

  • 17A Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael? : RENAISSANCE FOUR (from “Renaissance fair”)
  • 25A Polishing the chandelier in “The Phantom of the Opera” and laundering uniforms in “Hamilton”? : MUSICAL CHORES (from “musical chairs”)
  • 44A Result of a poorly planned invasion of the Body Snatchers? : NO TIME TO SPORE (from “no time to spare”)
  • 58A “I’m tired of all this negative media coverage”? : THE BAD NEWS BORES (from “The Bad News Bears”)

Bill’s time: 14m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael? : RENAISSANCE FOUR (from “Renaissance fair”)

Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most diversely talented person who ever contributed to society. He was a gifted painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer and writer. Da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper” is the most reproduced work of art in the world.

The celebrated Italian Renaissance artist and poet Michelangelo was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in a village near Arezzo in the present-day province of Tuscany. Michelangelo achieved renown during his own lifetime. He was the first Western artist to see his biography published during his own lifetime.

The early-Renaissance Italian artist known as Donatello is most famous for his work in bas-relief. In bas-relief, an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

Raphael was an artist and architect from Central Italy. Raphael was active during the High Renaissance and is often considered alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci who were active in the same time frame in Italy,

The Renaissance is the period in European history that bridges the Dark Ages and the Modern Era. “Renaissance” is French for “rebirth”, and is a term reflecting the rebirth of interest in the learnings from ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

19 Contractor’s fig. : EST

Estimate (est.)

20 ___ Beach, Calif. : PISMO

Pismo Beach is a California city located just 15 miles south of San Luis Obispo. The name “Pismo” comes from a Native American word “pismu” meaning “tar”, a reference to tar springs that are located in nearby Price Canyon. The tar was used by the locals to caulk their canoes.

25 Polishing the chandelier in “The Phantom of the Opera” and laundering uniforms in “Hamilton”? : MUSICAL CHORES (from “musical chairs”)

I’m a bit jaded with big stage musicals I must admit, but I will always have time for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece “The Phantom of the Opera”. “Phantom …” is the longest running musical in the history of Broadway, and deservedly so. And now there is a sequel, which I would dearly love to see, so let’s hope it gets over here soon. “Love Never Dies” opened in the West End in London in March 2010, and a North American tour is planned for 2017/18.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters are decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

36 Day following hump day: Abbr. : THU

The phrase “hump day” is very North American. It refers to Wednesday, which is the middle day (the hump) of a typical work week.

37 “The Entertainer,” e.g. : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

39 “___ 2 Proud 2 Beg” (TLC hit) : AIN’T

The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The band’s name comes from the trio’s original members:

  • Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
  • Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
  • Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

41 Professor Moriarty’s first name : JAMES

Professor James Moriarty is the main villain who crosses swords with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s’ “Sherlock Holmes”. Moriarty is always cropping up in Sherlock Holmes television and radio plays and in movies, but if you go back to the original stories he isn’t around very much. He only turns up directly in two of the narratives, and was primarily introduced by Conan Doyle in order to “kill off” Sherlock Holmes in a brawl at the top of the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Both Holmes and Moriarty fell to their deaths. Well … public pressure on the author caused Conan Doyle to resurrect Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.

43 Exchange for a tenner : ABES

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

44 Result of a poorly planned invasion of the Body Snatchers? : NO TIME TO SPORE (from “no time to spare”)

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a 1956 sci-fi movie that was remade in 1978. Not my kind of film, quite frankly …

48 Biological cavity : ANTRUM

An antrum (plural “antra”) is a bodily cavity or chamber. For example, the maxillary antrum is the largest of the paranasal sinuses.

51 Roll-on alternative : SPRAY

Ban was the first roll-on deodorant, introduced in 1952. The formulation for Ban is the same as the brand called Mum, the first commercial deodorant, which dates back to the late 1800s.

57 Grp. with wands : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.n (TSA)

58 “I’m tired of all this negative media coverage”? : THE BAD NEWS BORES (from “The Bad News Bears”)

“The Bad News Bears” is a 1976 comedy film starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal. The movie is all about a Little League baseball team made up of misfits who are coached by an alcoholic former minor-league baseball player named Morris Buttermaker. The film was a big hit that spawned two sequels: “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” (1977) and “The Bad News Bears Go to Japan” (1978). There was also a television series and a 2005 remake that stars Billy Bob Thornton.

61 Legendary queen once depicted on Tunisian currency : DIDO

Dido was the founder of Carthage, and the city’s first queen. Some sources use the name “Elissa” for the same person.

65 Tessellated creatures in Escher prints : GEESE

M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. One such work is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

Down

4 Reason to avert one’s eyes, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

5 Marsh birds : SNIPES

Snipes are wading birds with very long and thin bills that they use to search for small invertebrates in mud. In bygone days, a shot taken by a hunter at one of these wading birds became known as a “snipe”. This usage evolved into the word “sniper” applying to anyone shooting from a hidden position.

6 X in XXX, maybe : KISS

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

8 First female U.S. attorney general : RENO

Janet Reno was Attorney General (AG) of the US from 1993 to 2001, and part of the Clinton administration. Reno was the second-longest holder of the office, and our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, and passed away at the end of 2016.

9 X in XXX, maybe : TAC

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

10 Most expensive spice in the world by weight : SAFFRON

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. The spice is derived from the saffron crocus. The spice itself is the dried stigma found in the flower of the plant.

15 God depicted wearing ostrich feathers : OSIRIS

Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

24 ___ Up, political group formed in response to the AIDS crisis : ACT

Someone infected by the human immunodeficiency virus is said to be HIV-positive. After the initial infection, the person is often asymptomatic for many years. Over time, the virus interferes with the immune system and so increases the chances of picking up serious secondary infections. Those unfortunate enough to develop a severely compromised immune system are said to suffer from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

26 A little over three grains : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

27 Big name in rental cars : ALAMO

The third-largest car rental company in recent years is Alamo, which was founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.

28 One- or two-person vehicles in the Olympics : LUGES

A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head-first. Yikes!

29 Source of latex : RUBBER TREE

Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

30 Actress Falco : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

32 Ending of seven country names : -STAN

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”.

33 River that starts in Pittsburgh : OHIO

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

41 Word before black or Blue : JET …

The color jet black takes its name from the minor gemstone jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name “jaiet”.

jetBlue is a low-cost airline that is mainly based at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The airline was founded by former Southwest Airline executives in 1999 as NewAir. The approach taken by jetBlue was to model itself on Southwest in terms of cost control, but to add amenities that made low-cost air travel more enjoyable.

43 “The only way to run away without leaving home,” per Twyla Tharp : ART

I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her “patented moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named for Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell the grandkids …

45 Rudolph on “S.N.L.” : MAYA

Comic actress Maya Rudolph got her break as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live”. Rudolph’s mother was singer Minnie Ripperton, who had a big hit in 1975 with the single “Lovin’ You”.

50 En ___ : MASSE

“En masse” is a French term, one that best translates as “as a group”

51 Quality control guidelines: Abbr. : STDS

Standard (std.)

52 Hartman who voiced Troy McClure on “The Simpsons” : PHIL

Phil Hartman was a Canadian actor and comedian who got his big break on “Saturday Night Live” in the late eighties. He was particularly known for his impersonations of President Bill Clinton. Sadly, Hartman was murdered in 1998 by his wife.

54 Unknown source, for short : ANON

Something onymous is something bearing a name. The term “onymous” was coined in the 1770s as an antonym to the existing word “anonymous”.

59 It’s stranded in a cell : DNA

Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge. In 1962, along with molecular biologist Maurice Wilkins, Watson and Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

60 Bobbie Gentry’s “___ to Billie Joe” : ODE

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

Bobbie Gentry is a retired singer who hit the big time with the release of the 1967 song “Ode to Billie Joe”. A few years later, she changed her focus from recording to performing in variety shows on the Las Vegas Strip. Gentry was briefly married to casino magnate Bill Harrah (who was more than twice her age) from 1969 to 1970. She retired from the music business in the early nineties.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Start of an encrypted web address : HTTPS
6 “Go” follower : -KART
10 Hit the ___ : SACK
14 “Color me surprised!” : I HAD NO IDEA!
16 Everybody: Ger. : ALLE
17 Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael? : RENAISSANCE FOUR (from “Renaissance fair”)
19 Contractor’s fig. : EST
20 ___ Beach, Calif. : PISMO
21 Following : AFTER
22 More treasured : DEARER
24 Counterpart of down: Abbr. : ACR
25 Polishing the chandelier in “The Phantom of the Opera” and laundering uniforms in “Hamilton”? : MUSICAL CHORES (from “musical chairs”)
32 Procrastinator’s promise : SOON
34 Port-___ (French cheese) : SALUT
35 Like some nail polish shades : NUDE
36 Day following hump day: Abbr. : THU
37 “The Entertainer,” e.g. : RAG
38 Trace : BIT
39 “___ 2 Proud 2 Beg” (TLC hit) : AIN’T
41 Professor Moriarty’s first name : JAMES
43 Exchange for a tenner : ABES
44 Result of a poorly planned invasion of the Body Snatchers? : NO TIME TO SPORE (from “no time to spare”)
47 “Let’s ___!” : EAT
48 Biological cavity : ANTRUM
51 Roll-on alternative : SPRAY
54 Tuned in : AWARE
57 Grp. with wands : TSA
58 “I’m tired of all this negative media coverage”? : THE BAD NEWS BORES (from “The Bad News Bears”)
61 Legendary queen once depicted on Tunisian currency : DIDO
62 Consumers of audio and visual media only : NONREADERS
63 Snail-like : SLOW
64 Comedian Richter : ANDY
65 Tessellated creatures in Escher prints : GEESE

Down

1 Brought on : HIRED
2 “___ days …” : THESE
3 Equivalent : TANTAMOUNT
4 Reason to avert one’s eyes, for short : PDA
5 Marsh birds : SNIPES
6 X in XXX, maybe : KISS
7 Name that derives from the Hebrew word for “earth” : ADAM
8 First female U.S. attorney general : RENO
9 X in XXX, maybe : TAC
10 Most expensive spice in the world by weight : SAFFRON
11 Frequently : A LOT
12 Tip-off : CLUE
13 Model Miranda : KERR
15 God depicted wearing ostrich feathers : OSIRIS
18 Per : EACH
23 Be a political candidate : RUN
24 ___ Up, political group formed in response to the AIDS crisis : ACT
26 A little over three grains : CARAT
27 Big name in rental cars : ALAMO
28 One- or two-person vehicles in the Olympics : LUGES
29 Source of latex : RUBBER TREE
30 Actress Falco : EDIE
31 Hardens : SETS
32 Ending of seven country names : -STAN
33 River that starts in Pittsburgh : OHIO
40 Finish some gift-wrapping, say : TIE A BOW
41 Word before black or Blue : JET …
42 Meager : SPARSE
43 “The only way to run away without leaving home,” per Twyla Tharp : ART
45 Rudolph on “S.N.L.” : MAYA
46 Carry-on limit, often : ONE BAG
49 App’s audience : USERS
50 En ___ : MASSE
51 Quality control guidelines: Abbr. : STDS
52 Hartman who voiced Troy McClure on “The Simpsons” : PHIL
53 Take two : REDO
54 Unknown source, for short : ANON
55 Make, as one’s way : WEND
56 Out of whack : AWRY
59 It’s stranded in a cell : DNA
60 Bobbie Gentry’s “___ to Billie Joe” : ODE

17 thoughts on “0610-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Jun 21, Thursday”

  1. 16:49 I kept looking for a rebus that wasn’t there, probably because I started with Go FISH (vs KART). Once finished, I then realized the theme. Unfamiliar with ANTRUM (started with PLENUM, thinking of an air cavity), DIDO (tho I have heard of the singer DIDO), and KERR (other then Deborah).

    For 25A, something like “Practicing Scales” would also be an apt clue.

  2. 12:49, no errors. I fumbled my way through this one, with an awful lot of missteps, and was almost done before the nature of the gimmick dawned on me.

    I want to be young again. Does anybody here know how I can arrange that? … 😜

  3. 20:25. Wednesday level theme but a Friday level of difficulty (for me anyway) so I guess it averaged out to a Thursday puzzle.

    Alternative clue for 51D: “Unwanted leftovers from vacations to Thailand?”….As I often say, I’m easily amused.

    Best –

  4. 22:47 seemed more Wednesdayish than Thursdayish. Side note to Jeff’s comment about 51D(which I got a chuckle out of): when I was contemplating knee replacement, the nice HR lady proposed short term disability, which she eventually shortened to “STD”. I pointed out that I didn’t want an “STD”….she did not get a chuckle out it….

  5. Couple errors on this friday/Saturday puzzle.. wait , what day is it?

    Messed up on SAFFLON.. Had RACK for 10A.. should have known better..

    This took me a while… but at least I didn’t get any STDs.. I was careful.

  6. Personally, did not love the theme for this one, especially because there wasn’t a clue to unify it all together. Usually thursdays have great themes, so it was upsetting to solve.

    1. ACR is the abbreviation for Across ie. Crossword Puzzles. But I didn’t get it at all while solving; only got it once I saw the answer.

  7. Just under an hour…no errors…I had Irene for 41A for a long time and that slowed me down.
    @Nonny…see if Steve Young will adopt you😀
    Stay safe😀

  8. 22:27, no errors. My children had a strong influence on me. Reading the clue for 17A, my immediate thought was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and it just wouldn’t go away.

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