0612-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Jun 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic & Brian Thomas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Stick around on July 4? : SPARKLER

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

15 Lincoln, for one : AUTO MAKE

Lincoln is a high-end brand belonging to the Ford Motor Company. The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, who chose the “Lincoln” name in honor of the celebrated American president. Lincoln was acquired by Ford just five years later, in 1922.

16 Middle name of the writer born Nelle Lee : HARPER

Nelle Harper Lee was an author from Monroeville, Alabama. For many years, Lee had only one published novel to her name, i.e. “To Kill a Mockingbird”. That contribution to the world of literature was enough to earn her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee was a close friend of fellow author Truman Capote who was the inspiration for the character named “Dill” in her novel. Lee was all over the news in 2015 as she had published a second novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”. The experts seem to be agreeing that “Go Set a Watchman” is actually the first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee passed away less than a year after “Go Set a Watchman” hit the stores.

19 Regulator of IUDs : FDA

It seems that it isn’t fully understood how the intrauterine device (IUD) works. The design that was most popular for decades was a T-shaped plastic frame on which was wound copper wire. It’s thought that the device is an irritant in the uterus causing the body to release chemicals that are hostile to sperm and eggs. This effect is enhanced by the presence of the copper.

21 Prefix with -graph : TELE-

The first telegraph message in the US was sent by Samuel Morse from the US Capitol in 1844. The message was received by a B&O railroad depot in Baltimore, Maryland. The message content was the words “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT”, a quotation from the Book of Numbers in the Bible.

24 “Star Trek” catchphrase : HE’S DEAD, JIM

“He’s dead, Jim” is a line often spoken by medical officer “Bones” McCoy to Captain James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek” TV show.

32 Fragrant rice : BASMATI

Basmati is a long grain rice that is commonly used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. The name “basmati” comes from the Sanskrit word “vasmati” meaning “fragrant”. I am a big fan …

35 Dendrogram, more familiarly : TREE

A dendrogram is a diagram connecting items in a tree representation.

38 Part of P.S.T.: Abbr. : STD

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

50 Kind of flour used in marzipan : ALMOND

Marzipan is a scrumptious confection made from almond meal sweetened with sugar or honey. The former English name was “marchpane” meaning “March bread”. We now use the term “marzipan”, which is the German name.

51 Elbows, e.g. : MACARONI

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodles. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be.

Down

1 Cause of an uptick in Scottish tourism beginning in 1995 : BRAVEHEART

“Braveheart” is an excellent 1995 historical drama that was directed by and stars Mel Gibson. “Braveheart” tells the story of William Wallace, the warrior who led the Scottish against King Edward I of England. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Ireland, and I visited Trim Castle not so long ago where that filming took place …

4 They might go for a few bucks : DOES

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

7 Sponsor of Usain Bolt : PUMA

Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

9 Setting for a meet cute : ROMCOM

“Meet-cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.

10 Retailer originally named the S. S. Kresge Company : KMART

Kmart is the third-largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

23 Acropolis, e.g. : CITADEL

A citadel is a fortress built to protect a town or a city. Both the words “city” and “citadel” come from the Latin word “civis” meaning “citizen”.

The term “acropolis” translates from Greek as “high city” or “city on the extremity”. In English we use the term “citadel” to mean the same thing. The most famous citadel bearing the name is the Acropolis of Athens. This Acropolis is a large, flat-topped rock in the city of Athens that rises almost 500 feet above sea level. The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

25 ___ de los Reyes : DIA

The holiday in the Christian tradition known as the Epiphany falls on January 6th. In some Spanish-speaking countries, the Epiphany is known as “Día de los Reyes”, and in others as “Día de Reyes” (Day of Kings).

26 Hold together with duct tape, maybe : JURY-RIG

“To jury-rig” (sometimes “jerry-rig”) is to execute a makeshift repair or to manufacture a temporary contrivance. The term comes from sailing ships in which a jury rig is an improvised mast and yards that are erected as a replacement when the original mast is damaged or lost.

What we tend to call “duct” tape today was originally known as “duck” tape. In its first form, duck tape was rubber-based adhesive applied to a duck cloth backing, hence the name. Cotton duck cloth is a canvas-like material, a plain woven cotton fabric. The name “duck” comes from the Dutch “doek” meaning “linen canvas”. Duck tape started to be known as “duct tape” in the fifties, as it was commonly used to wrap air ducts in the construction industry.

27 Orchestra that performs an annual Fireworks Spectacular : BOSTON POPS

The marvelous Boston Pops orchestra specializes in playing light classical and popular music. The Boston Pops Orchestra grew out of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson. Higginson instituted a series of performances by the BSO of lighter classics for the summer months, starting in 1885. These performances were originally known as the “Promenade Concerts”, and soon became year-round events. The name evolved into “Popular Concerts”, which was shortened to “Pops” and officially adopted in 1900.

28 First and last name of Rihanna : ROBYN FENTY

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

29 ___ Raisman, second-most-decorated Olympic gymnast in U.S. history : ALY

Aly Raisman is a retired gymnast. She captained the US gold-winning teams in the Olympics in 2012 (“The Fierce Five”) and in 2016 (“The Final Five”).

31 Fruit that’s a major Chinese export : PERSIMMON

The persimmon is the edible fruit of several species of tree, and in botanical terms is actually a berry.

32 Best-selling K-pop group : BTS

K-pop (Korean pop) is a genre of music from South Korea that emerged in the early nineties. It’s a bit beyond me …

34 Org. with operations : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947. The organization is often referred to familiarly as “the Company”.

37 Obelix’s friend in comics : ASTERIX

“The Adventures of Asterix” is a series of comics originally published in French, starting in 1959. The French version was a very popular choice for us as kids when we were required to read some French “literature” at school.

46 Numbers game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

48 Puck, for one : IMP

Puck (aka “Robin Goodfellow”) is a character in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, one of the Fairies in the tale. One of Puck’s tasks in the storyline is to use love juice that is made from a flower that has been hit by cupid’s arrow. The magical juice is applied to the eyelids of someone sleeping, so that the person wakes and falls in love with the first living things he or she sees. Of course, Puck drops the love juice on the wrong character …

49 San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB

Nob Hill is a very elevated and central location in the city of San Francisco. Because of its views of the surrounding city and environs, Nob Hill became a desirable place to live for the wealthy in the 1800s. The area is still one of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods and is home to upscale hotels as well as the magnificent Grace Cathedral. The name “Nob Hill” comes from the slang term for someone who is well-to-do, a “nob”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One with a train, maybe : BRIDE
6 Stick around on July 4? : SPARKLER
14 Shake : TREMOR
15 Lincoln, for one : AUTO MAKE
16 Middle name of the writer born Nelle Lee : HARPER
17 “Unbelievable!” : I’M AMAZED!
18 Maintains : AVERS
19 Regulator of IUDs : FDA
20 Rep : CRED
21 Prefix with -graph : TELE-
22 Prefix with -graph : TRI-
23 Hotel room extra : COT
24 “Star Trek” catchphrase : HE’S DEAD, JIM
27 Nursing ___ : BRA
30 Carefully exiting a parking space, say : EASING OUT
31 Compile : POOL
32 Fragrant rice : BASMATI
33 Zooms past : RACES BY
35 Dendrogram, more familiarly : TREE
36 Hit below the belt : PLAY DIRTY
38 Part of P.S.T.: Abbr. : STD
39 Comes around, say : SEES REASON
40 Do nothin’ : VEG
41 “How Long ___ Black Future Month?” (N. K. Jemisin short-story collection) : ‘TIL
42 Scoop : INFO
44 Word with secret or source : OPEN …
46 Order for a big party, maybe : KEG
47 Pumped : AMPED
48 “There’s no hope for me now” : I’M A GONER
50 Kind of flour used in marzipan : ALMOND
51 Elbows, e.g. : MACARONI
52 Appropriates : CO-OPTS
53 It covers the field : PRESS BOX
54 Minute, informally : EENSY

Down

1 Cause of an uptick in Scottish tourism beginning in 1995 : BRAVEHEART
2 Like albums that include bonus tracks, often : RE-RELEASED
3 “Let’s see what you’ve got” : IMPRESS ME
4 They might go for a few bucks : DOES
5 Overthrow, e.g. : ERR
6 Tied the knot : SAID “I DO”
7 Sponsor of Usain Bolt : PUMA
8 ___ distance : AT A
9 Setting for a meet cute : ROMCOM
10 Retailer originally named the S. S. Kresge Company : KMART
11 Do nothing : LAZE
12 Just got (by) : EKED
13 What those with protanomaly have difficulty seeing : RED
14 Word uttered while pointing : THAT
19 Like eggshells : FRAGILE
22 Very low stake? : TENT PEG
23 Acropolis, e.g. : CITADEL
25 ___ de los Reyes : DIA
26 Hold together with duct tape, maybe : JURY-RIG
27 Orchestra that performs an annual Fireworks Spectacular : BOSTON POPS
28 First and last name of Rihanna : ROBYN FENTY
29 ___ Raisman, second-most-decorated Olympic gymnast in U.S. history : ALY
31 Fruit that’s a major Chinese export : PERSIMMON
32 Best-selling K-pop group : BTS
34 Org. with operations : CIA
37 Obelix’s friend in comics : ASTERIX
39 Some Spanish titles : SENORS
40 Home of the Strat, the tallest observation tower in the U.S. : VEGAS
43 Some calculations in 40-Down : ODDS
44 Actor ___ Benson Miller : OMAR
45 Rate : PACE
46 Numbers game : KENO
47 Ingredient in some gel face masks : ALOE
48 Puck, for one : IMP
49 San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB
50 Asexual, informally : ACE

14 thoughts on “0612-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 26:03 Did a lot of pondering on this one. The WA Post puzzle today also had CITADEL for Acropolis, so that was a gimme. I started 6A with DYNAMITE, 18A with KEEPS, 44A with CODE, 31D with LYCHEENUT, and 34D with AMA. So I had a lot of backtracking to do. The NW quadrant stumped me until the end, even tho I had BRIDE early on.

    Unfamiliar with TRIGRAPH, and Rihanna’s given name

    1. I also noticed the two references today to the Acropolis being a “citadel” and, for once, I’m more or less persuaded that the setters of the two puzzles involved were in league with one another to bring about this “coincidence’. Mind you, I’m not paranoid and I don’t think there’s anything sinister to be read into this, but … pure chance would not seem to be adequate to explain it. (Maybe the setters all just happened to read the same article about the Parthenon.)

    2. Oops (maybe). I think I may have written “Parthenon” where I meant to write “Acropolis”. My bad …

      1. More surprising that they appeared on the same day. That’s probably more up to the editors than the creators, about when they appear. If they were 3 weeks or more apart, I’m sure I would have forgotten the coincidence of the same day, same clue, essentially. Old age and all.

        1. Aha! So the editors were in on it, as well! The game is afoot, Watson! Book seats for us on the first steamer to Athens and we shall see what Ms. Adler is up to this time! … 😜.

          Seriously, though … I don’t remember ever having seen the Acropolis referred to in a crossword puzzle as a “CITADEL” before. (And, of course, my memory for such things is absolutely flawless … 😜.) Very curious … 🤨.

        2. I’ve managed to determine that “CITADEL” has been used once before in a New York Times crossword puzzle with a clue that mentions the Acropolis: the date was Friday, December 23, 2005, and the setter was Manny Nosowsky. I’ve printed a copy and will do it (again) just for grins; maybe I’ll actually remember it 😜.

          (On Sunday, October 1, 2006, “CITADEL” was in a New York Times acrostic by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon and was clued as “Acropolis, kremlin, or alcazar”, but I don’t do acrostics.)

          There appear to be quite a few tools that allow one to search for uses of a specific entry (“word”) or a specific clue in crosswords. I don’t know how to use them effectively, but I just played around for a bit with one called “crosswordtracker”, and I am now inclined to believe that there have been quite a few instances of associating “CITADEL” with “Acropolis” in crosswords published elsewhere. (And I still think it’s remarkable to see two instances on the same day … 😜.)

  2. 28:52 no complaints, just glad to finish a Saturday, and now I know Rihanna’s name isn’t Rihanna 👍

  3. 27:18.

    Definitely hard except when it wasn’t. It was also pretty easy except when it wasn’t. I should publish this stuff…

    I read 19A as IED instead of IUD so I was confused for a while.

    The Strat has one of my favorite restaurants at the top called The Top of the World. It’s one of the 5 highest revenue restaurants in the country – something like $25 million a year in sales. It’s almost 1100 feet in the air so, as you might imagine, the view is incredible.

    Best –

  4. Well once again thought I had no errors… but…. 54A got me and I didn’t know what a 50D was. So I went with TENSY and WENSY.. never thought ACE would be ASEXUAL… but what do I know.. kinda like what @jeff said.. its only hard when it is…

  5. A two setter, Saturday NYT puzzle in 45 min. only to have one wrong letter…TENSY FOR EENSY…yuk👎👎
    I had to refer to my notes for 24A as I am not a TREKIE
    If we had to pay by the word to post here someone would be broke and Bill would be rich😀
    Stay safe😀

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