0614-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Jun 21, Monday

Constructed by: Andrea Carla Michaels & Doug Peterson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Audible Waze Application

Themed answers each end with WAY, or a WAY-sound:

  • 20A Food for Little Miss Muffet : CURDS AND WHEY
  • 31A Chinese dissident artist : AI WEIWEI
  • 36A U.S. Naval Academy anthem : ANCHORS AWEIGH
  • 43A Neighbor of Botswana : ZIMBABWE
  • 54A Breakup song by Fleetwood Mac : GO YOUR OWN WAY

Bill’s time: 5m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Rating for “Supergirl” or “Gilmore Girls” : TV-PG

The television show “Supergirl” debuted in 2015. The title character is portrayed by Melissa Benoist, an actress who found fame playing Marley rose in the show “Glee”.

“Gilmore Girls” is a comedy show that originally aired from 2000 to 2007 on the WB. The title characters are mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.

14 The ___ of one’s existence : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

16 Prop for a painter : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

17 Abbr. for routing of mail : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

19 Format for old computer games : CD-ROM

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

20 Food for Little Miss Muffet : CURDS AND WHEY

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, solid curds and liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

23 “___ the Force, Luke” : USE

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

29 ___ Madre (Western range) : SIERRA

“Sierra Madre” is Spanish for “Mother Mountain Range”, and is a name given to several mountain ranges around the world.

31 Chinese dissident artist : AI WEIWEI

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist who has been vocal in his criticism of his country’s position on human rights and democracy. Wei Wei was an artistic consultant largely responsible for the look and feel of the Beijing National Stadium, commonly referred to as the “Bird’s Nest”, that was showcased during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

33 Like Shakespeare’s feet? : IAMBIC

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

35 Common injury locale for an athlete, in brief : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

36 U.S. Naval Academy anthem : ANCHORS AWEIGH

The song “Anchors Aweigh” is strongly associated with the US Navy, largely because it is the fight song of the US Naval Academy. “Anchors Aweigh” was composed in 1906 by Lieutenant Charles Zimmerman who was bandmaster of the US Naval Academy Band at the time.

42 Pacific weather phenomenon : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

43 Neighbor of Botswana : ZIMBABWE

The country now known as Zimbabwe started out as a British colony called Southern Rhodesia, and later just “Rhodesia”. The original colony was named for Cecil Rhodes, the British empire builder.

Botswana is an African country that is located just north of South Africa. Someone from Botswana is called a “Motswana” (yes, with an M), with the plural being “Batswana” (yes, with a B).

47 Driver’s license, e.g., in brief : ID CARD

Identity document (ID)

51 Grab 40 winks : SNOOZE

Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

52 Music genre for Weezer or Fall Out Boy : EMO

Weezer is an alternative rock band formed in LA in 1992. Apparently, Weezer’s music might be described as “emo” (emotional hardcore).

Fall Out Boy is a rock band from Chicago that formed in 2001.

53 Follower of Red or Dead : … SEA

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

The Dead Sea is a salt lake that lies over 1,000 feet below sea level in the Middle East. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

54 Breakup song by Fleetwood Mac : GO YOUR OWN WAY

The band Fleetwood Mac was founded in 1967 in London by Peter Green. He chose “Fleetwood Mac” from the names of two friends in former groups, i.e. “Fleetwood” and “McVie”). Green did this despite the fact that Fleetwood Mac’s drummer’s name happens to be Mick Fleetwood.

58 Energy alternative to wind : SOLAR

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

62 Snooty manners : AIRS

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout”, and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

64 Tilt-a-Whirl, e.g. : RIDE

The Tilt-A-Whirl is the fairground ride that has seven cars on a spinning platform, with the cars rotating freely and randomly. Each of the cars hold 3-4 riders; pretty nauseated riders at times.

68 “M*A*S*H” co-star Alan : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

Down

1 Something you can always count on : ABACUS

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

2 1960s dance craze : WATUSI

The dance called the Watusi was almost as popular as the twist in the early sixties. The Watusi took its name from the Batutsi tribe in Rwanda.

3 Main dish : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

5 1836 site to “remember” : THE ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

6 Science fiction pioneer Jules : VERNE

Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science-fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

7 Stamp on an invoice : PAID

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

9 Withdraw formally : SECEDE

Back in the very early 1700s, to secede was to leave one’s companions. In the mid-18th century, the meaning of “secession” took on the current meaning of withdrawing from an organized union. The first such “secession” was the exodus of ministers and members from the Church of Scotland starting in 1733.

10 Mom of Princes William and Harry : LADY DI

Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Famously, Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.

Born in 1982, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is the elder of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. As such, William is second in line to the British throne, after his father.

Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, “Prince” Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”. In January 2020, Harry and Meghan stepped back from their official duties, resulting in Harry losing the “Prince” title and becoming plain old “Harry, Duke of Sussex”.

11 Home of Tel Aviv: Abbr. : ISR

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a housing development outside the port city of Jaffa. Tel Aviv and Jaffa merged in 1950.

12 Bigwig hired by a board : CEO

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.

13 Street frequented by Freddy Krueger : ELM

Freddy Krueger is the creepy serial killer in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movies. Krueger has a burned and disfigured face, wears a brown fedora and a leather glove with metal razors that he uses to kill his victims during their nightmares. He is played by the actor Robert Englund in all of the films.

21 Actress ___ Jessica Parker : SARAH

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is famous for playing the lead role of Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s “Sex and the City”. Much earlier in her career, Parker played “Annie” in the musical on Broadway for about a year. She has been married to actor Matthew Broderick since 1997, and the couple spend a lot of time in County Donegal in Ireland where they have their second home.

26 Freebies at a corporate event : SWAG

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, and a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. “Swag” is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional version of “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

27 Field for many Silicon Valley jobs : TECH

The Santa Clara Valley, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, is better known as “Silicon Valley”. The term “Silicon Valley” dates back to 1971 when it was apparently first used in a weekly trade newspaper called “Electronic News” in articles written by journalist Don Hoefler.

30 Rocker Ocasek of the Cars : RIC

Ric Ocasek was an American musician of Czech heritage. He was the lead vocalist of the rock band known as the Cars.

32 The Who’s “___ See for Miles” : I CAN

“I Can See for Miles” is the biggest selling single for the Who in the United States. It’s a song that enjoyed added exposure when it was adopted as the theme tune for the TV show “CSI: Cyber”.

36 Tennis score after deuce : AD IN

In tennis, if the score reaches deuce (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. The player calling out the score announces “ad in”, or more formally “advantage in”, if he/she has the advantage. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

37 6-Down’s submarine captain : NEMO

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

38 Nintendo controllers : WIIMOTES

“Wiimote” is an alternative name for the Wii Remote, the controller for the Nintendo Wii gaming console.

40 Org. with Summer and Winter Games : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

41 Parts of lbs. : OZS

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

44 Bergman’s “Casablanca” co-star : BOGART

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

45 Islands west of Lisbon : AZORES

The Azores is an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic lying about 1,000 miles west of Portugal. The Azores are an autonomous region belonging to Portugal.

46 Queen ___ (pop nickname) : BEY

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

55 Southern soup ingredient : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

56 Operating system developed at Bell Labs : UNIX

Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969. The initial name for the project was Uniplexed Information and Computing Service (Unics), and this evolved over time into “Unix”.

57 California vineyard valley : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fills with wonderment : AWES
5 Rating for “Supergirl” or “Gilmore Girls” : TV-PG
9 Piece of the pie : SLICE
14 The ___ of one’s existence : BANE
15 Get wind of : HEAR
16 Prop for a painter : EASEL
17 Abbr. for routing of mail : ATTN
18 Spooky-sounding lake? : ERIE
19 Format for old computer games : CD-ROM
20 Food for Little Miss Muffet : CURDS AND WHEY
23 “___ the Force, Luke” : USE
24 Drink in a tavern : ALE
25 Increases, as the pot : ADDS TO
29 ___ Madre (Western range) : SIERRA
31 Chinese dissident artist : AI WEIWEI
33 Like Shakespeare’s feet? : IAMBIC
35 Common injury locale for an athlete, in brief : ACL
36 U.S. Naval Academy anthem : ANCHORS AWEIGH
41 Lyric poem : ODE
42 Pacific weather phenomenon : EL NINO
43 Neighbor of Botswana : ZIMBABWE
47 Driver’s license, e.g., in brief : ID CARD
51 Grab 40 winks : SNOOZE
52 Music genre for Weezer or Fall Out Boy : EMO
53 Follower of Red or Dead : … SEA
54 Breakup song by Fleetwood Mac : GO YOUR OWN WAY
58 Energy alternative to wind : SOLAR
61 Shoelace annoyance : KNOT
62 Snooty manners : AIRS
63 In the loop : AWARE
64 Tilt-a-Whirl, e.g. : RIDE
65 Get ready, as for surgery : PREP
66 Messages that may include emojis : TEXTS
67 x and y, on a graph : AXES
68 “M*A*S*H” co-star Alan : ALDA

Down

1 Something you can always count on : ABACUS
2 1960s dance craze : WATUSI
3 Main dish : ENTREE
4 Email button : SEND
5 1836 site to “remember” : THE ALAMO
6 Science fiction pioneer Jules : VERNE
7 Stamp on an invoice : PAID
8 Increased, as the pot : GREW
9 Withdraw formally : SECEDE
10 Mom of Princes William and Harry : LADY DI
11 Home of Tel Aviv: Abbr. : ISR
12 Bigwig hired by a board : CEO
13 Street frequented by Freddy Krueger : ELM
21 Actress ___ Jessica Parker : SARAH
22 Hem and ___ : HAW
26 Freebies at a corporate event : SWAG
27 Field for many Silicon Valley jobs : TECH
28 Shipment from Alaska’s North Slope : OIL
30 Rocker Ocasek of the Cars : RIC
31 What a bride walks down : AISLE
32 The Who’s “___ See for Miles” : I CAN
34 Batch of beer : BREW
36 Tennis score after deuce : AD IN
37 6-Down’s submarine captain : NEMO
38 Nintendo controllers : WIIMOTES
39 Fund, as a fellowship : ENDOW
40 Org. with Summer and Winter Games : IOC
41 Parts of lbs. : OZS
44 Bergman’s “Casablanca” co-star : BOGART
45 Islands west of Lisbon : AZORES
46 Queen ___ (pop nickname) : BEY
48 Eddying : ASWIRL
49 Stood on its hind legs, as a horse : REARED
50 Place to be pampered : DAY SPA
52 Wear down bit by bit : ERODE
55 Southern soup ingredient : OKRA
56 Operating system developed at Bell Labs : UNIX
57 California vineyard valley : NAPA
58 Took a rest … or a test? : SAT
59 Be in debt : OWE
60 Not strict : LAX

12 thoughts on “0614-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Jun 21, Monday”

  1. 4:44 I seemed to zip thru this one getting a new personal best. The long answers were easily gotten and that helped with the down crosses. I recognized the theme only once finished.

  2. 4:28. A new personal best for me as well. Amazing what doing these in the AM after a lot of strong coffee is like vs doing these late at night and half asleep..my usual MO.

    Best –

  3. I always have a mixed reaction to fast-time reports. I’m not immune to that little frisson of joy running up my spine upon finishing a puzzle quickly (and I just got another from the experience of typing that word “frisson” into a comment … for probably the first time ever … 😜), but it never gives me quite the same feeling of accomplishment that I get from slogging through a puzzle that, for one reason or another, I found to be unusually difficult, but ultimately doable. (Case in point: Today’s BEQ puzzle – from Brendan Emmett Quigley – took me two and a half hours, partly because of a case of brain freeze in one corner, but also because I was called upon to exercise all of my guessing ability to work around a lot of clues referring to things that I’d never heard of. After I was done, I spent another enjoyable hour reading about some of those things.)

    For the record: A few months ago, I finished a Monday NYT, using the app, in 3:45 … and my honest reaction was to stare dumbly at it, wondering how in the heck that happened. I mean, it was an easy puzzle and I was unusually relaxed and focused, but … 😳 … just … 😳. And it hasn’t happened again. So … maybe I’m guilty of humble-bragging, but that’s not my intended point.

    (I also have a Tuesday-puzzle time of 2:49, but that one is basically fake: I did the puzzle on paper and wanted to enter it into my NYT app’s database, stupidly failing to take into account that it would affect my statistics. Note that I do have some interest in my times. It’s apparent that, as I get older, my ability to stay “on task” is waning. If the NYT app reveals major changes, that would be of interest.)

  4. 5:48, no errors. Paper.

    Re times: I don’t really try for a fast-time, and like I’ve been accused of over on the other blog (by an ACPT champion no less), I really don’t try to “speed solve”. Frankly I don’t know how. But I’m not going to do something like this either and dawdle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVcL1tbsidk

  5. No errors… but I don’t track my time. I thoroughly enjoy my blue gel pilot G-2 pen… wrestling with recycled paper…. staring at a muted TV ball game,…. oh the joy!!!

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