0615-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Jun 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Owen Travis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Deathly Hallows

Themed answers each end with one of the three DEATHLY HALLOWS from the “Harry Potter” universe:

  • 51A Set of legendary objects from the Harry Potter series found at the ends of 20-, 34- and 41-Across : DEATHLY HALLOWS
  • 20A Unchangeable : WRITTEN IN STONE (from “the Resurrection Stone”)
  • 34A Dressy floor-length garment : OPERA CLOAK (from “the Invisible Cloak”)
  • 41A Something a kid might blow right through : BUBBLE WAND (from “the Elder Wand”)

Bill’s time: 5m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bloke : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

14 ___ Hashana : ROSH

Rosh Hashanah is loosely referred to as “Jewish New Year”. The literal translation from Hebrew is “head of the year”.

15 Something you might trip on : ACID

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

16 Just a mirage, maybe : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

A mirage occurs when light rays are bent by passing from cold air to warmer air. The most often cited mirage is a “lake” seen in a desert, which is actually the blue of the sky and not water at all. The word “mirage” comes to us via French from the Latin “mirare” meaning “to look at in wonder”. “Mirage” has the same root as our words “admire” and “mirror”.

18 “Citizen ___” : KANE

1941’s “Citizen Kane” was the first film made by Orson Welles, and is considered by many to be the finest movie ever made. It’s a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for “Citizen Kane” over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

24 Nerve-racking parts of games, in brief : OTS

Overtime (OT)

28 Its card numbers all begin with 4 : VISA

VISA doesn’t actually issue any credit or debit cards. VISA just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the VISA logo on their own cards. Seeing the logo, both customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

30 Rotational speed meas. : RPS

Revolutions per second (rps)

33 Reds state? : OHIO

When the Cincinnati Reds were a dominating force in the National League in the seventies, the team was given the nickname “the Big Red Machine”.

37 Molten rock : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term that describes a thick ointment.

40 ___-Loompa (Willy Wonka worker) : OOMPA

The Oompa-Loompas are characters in the Roald Dahl book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and indeed in the sequel story “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”. Willy Wonka came across the Oompa-Loompas on an isolated island in the Atlantic and invited them to work in his factory in order to escape those hunting them on the island. Right before Dahl’s book was first published, he was intending to call the Oompa-Loompas “Whipple-Scrumpets”.

44 One of 435 in the House : SEAT

The number of seats in the US House of Representatives has been 435 since the year 1913, although there was a temporary increase to 437 seats at the time of the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union. The number of representatives assigned to each state is proportional to that state’s population, except that each state is guaranteed a minimum of one delegate by the US Constitution.

47 World Cup chant : OLE OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

49 Key above a tilde : ESC

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

50 Years, in Spain : ANOS

Spain is the second largest country in the European Union (after France). “Spain” is an anglicized form of the Spanish name “España”, which comes from the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula “Hispania”.

51 Set of legendary objects from the Harry Potter series found at the ends of 20-, 34- and 41-Across : DEATHLY HALLOWS

The titles of the seven “Harry Potter” books are:

  1. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (“… Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S)
  2. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
  3. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
  4. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
  5. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
  6. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
  7. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

I tried reading the first one, and gave up three-quarters of the way through …

58 Airline whose name is a Greek letter : DELTA

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name “Delta Air Service” was introduced in 1928.

Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. We are most familiar with an upper-case delta and its distinctive triangular shape. The letter’s shape has influenced terms such as “deltoid muscle” and “river delta”. The upper-case delta is also used in mathematics and science to indicate a change in value. The lower-case delta looks a bit like our lower-case D, and indeed the Greek letter delta gave us our Latin letter D.

59 “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

61 Moray catcher : EELER

Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

65 The “m” of F = ma : MASS

Newton’s second law of motion tells us that a body accelerates when a force is applied to it, and the greater the mass of the object, the greater the force required to cause that acceleration. Mathematically, the law can be written as Force = mass x acceleration (F=ma).

Down

1 Where something unpleasant may stick : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

3 Sparkling Italian wine : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

4 Spoil a shot, in a way : PHOTOBOMB

Photobombing is the act of intruding during the taking of a photograph as a practical joke. The term has gotten a lot of usage in recent years due to the proliferation of smartphone cameras. Collins English Dictionary named “photobomb” as Word of the Year for 2014.

7 iPad ___ : MINI

The iPad mini is a line of smaller iPads that was introduced by Apple in 2012. The iPad mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, whereas the regular iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches.

10 Circles overhead? : HALOS

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

11 Z ___ zebra : AS IN

The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet was introduced in 1941 and used by all branches of the US military until they transitioned to what’s usually referred to as the NATO phonetic alphabet. The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet starts with Able, Baker, Charlie and ends with X-ray, Yoke, Zebra.

13 Winter hrs. in New Jersey : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

21 Election day in the U.S.: Abbr. : TUE

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

22 Onetime Cubs slugger Sammy : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

25 Components of many barbershop logos : COMBS

Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”. Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry!

26 Rental with 10-, 15-, 17-, 20- and 26-foot sizes : U-HAUL

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

27 “Eleanor ___” (1966 Beatles hit) : RIGBY

When Paul McCartney was writing “Eleanor Rigby”, he started out with the title “Daisy Hawkins”. He also had a “Father McCartney” in the lyrics, but was afraid that folks would assume that was a reference to his Dad. So, he looked through the phone book and changed McCartney to McKenzie. The name Eleanor was borrowed from actress Eleanor Bron (a fine English actress who had a role in the movie “Help!”). The name Rigby came from Rigby & Evans Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers. Whatever it takes, I guess!

28 Site of replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower : VEGAS

The stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard on which most of the big casinos are concentrated is referred to as the “Las Vegas Strip”. The Strip was named for LA’s Sunset Strip by former Los Angeles law enforcement officer Guy McAfee. McAfee was a notoriously corrupt head of the LAPD vice squad in the 1920s and 1930s who ran several brothels and gambling saloons. McAfee moved to Las Vegas in 1939 where he opened several casinos, including the Golden Nugget.

30 Juliet’s love : ROMEO

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” doesn’t end well for the title characters. Juliet takes a potion as a ruse to fool her parents, to trick them into thinking she is dead. The potion puts her in a death-like coma for 24 hours, after which Juliet plans to awaken and run off with Romeo. Juliet sends a message to Romeo apprising him of the plan, but the message fails to arrive. Romeo hears of Juliet’s “death”, and grief-stricken he takes his own life by drinking poison. Juliet awakens from the coma, only to find her lover dead beside her. She picks up a dagger and commits suicide. Nobody lives happily ever after …

31 Vatican-related : PAPAL

Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.

32 Play for the N.H.L., say : SKATE

The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 in Montreal as a successor to the defunct National Hockey Association (NHA) that had been founded in 1909.

35 Dogs’ “dogs” : PAWS

Apparently, the phrase “my dogs are barking” meaning “my feet are hurting” originated in America in the 1920s. From there evolved the use of the term “dogs” for “feet”.

38 Popular Converse shoes : ALL STARS

The Converse shoe company was founded in Malden, Massachusetts in 1908 by one Marquis Mills Converse. The company grew steadily, and introduced its first athletic shoe in 1915, a shoe designed for playing tennis. The Converse brand really took off in 1917 with the launch of a shoe designed especially for basketball, which was called the “All Star”. Basketball player Chuck Taylor really liked the new design and was hired by Converse as a salesman and a spokesman. Taylor suggested a refinement to the design, including a patch on the side to protect the ankle. A star logo (representing the “All Star” brand) was added to the patch, with Chuck Taylor’s signature being added to the logo as an endorsement in 1923. The Chuck Taylor All Star became the best selling basketball shoe of all time, and the star became the logo for the Converse company.

43 Contributes to a GoFundMe, e.g. : DONATES

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding website, and is based in San Diego.

48 Online chuckle : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

52 Jazz’s Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

53 Youngest Hemsworth brother : LIAM

Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is best known these days for playing Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series of films. Hemsworth met Miley Cyrus while working on the movie “The Last Song”, and the two actors were engaged for a while. Liam is a younger brother of actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the superhero “Thor” on the big screen.

54 Many a gym locale, for short : YMCA

The YMCA (the Y) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

55 Like the Kia and Hyundai logos : OVAL

Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of bicycle parts, and did indeed produce Korea’s first domestic bicycle. The company’s original name was Kyungsung Precision Industry, with the Kia name introduced in 1952.

The Hyundai factory in Ulsan, South Korea is the largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in the world, able to produce 1.6 million vehicles each year.

57 “Calvin and Hobbes” conveyance : SLED

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

58 ___ Plaines, Ill. : DES

Des Plaines is a suburb of Chicago that is located next to O’Hare International Airport. The city is named for the Des Plaines river that runs through the area.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bloke : CHAP
5 One “trapped” in an invisible box : MIME
9 Subtle expression of disrespect, in slang : SHADE
14 ___ Hashana : ROSH
15 Something you might trip on : ACID
16 Just a mirage, maybe : OASIS
17 Camera setting : AUTO
18 “Citizen ___” : KANE
19 What you might do on a first date : FLIRT
20 Unchangeable : WRITTEN IN STONE (from “the Resurrection Stone”)
23 Remove from power : OUST
24 Nerve-racking parts of games, in brief : OTS
25 Reined in, as one’s enthusiasm : CURBED
28 Its card numbers all begin with 4 : VISA
30 Rotational speed meas. : RPS
33 Reds state? : OHIO
34 Dressy floor-length garment : OPERA CLOAK (from “the Invisible Cloak”)
37 Molten rock : MAGMA
39 Long, long ___ : AGO
40 ___-Loompa (Willy Wonka worker) : OOMPA
41 Something a kid might blow right through : BUBBLE WAND (from “the Elder Wand”)
44 One of 435 in the House : SEAT
45 Foxy : SLY
46 Young lady : LASS
47 World Cup chant : OLE OLE!
49 Key above a tilde : ESC
50 Years, in Spain : ANOS
51 Set of legendary objects from the Harry Potter series found at the ends of 20-, 34- and 41-Across : DEATHLY HALLOWS
58 Airline whose name is a Greek letter : DELTA
59 “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET
60 Like some twins and grins : EVIL
61 Moray catcher : EELER
62 Peak : ACME
63 Slip (into) : EASE
64 Goes across : SPANS
65 The “m” of F = ma : MASS
66 Offered, as a defense : PLED

Down

1 Where something unpleasant may stick : CRAW
2 Golden ___ (time shortly before sunset) : HOUR
3 Sparkling Italian wine : ASTI
4 Spoil a shot, in a way : PHOTOBOMB
5 Just manages : MAKES DO
6 “This is too much for me” : I CAN’T
7 iPad ___ : MINI
8 Paradise : EDEN
9 Tex-Mex offering that lacks much crunch : SOFT TACO
10 Circles overhead? : HALOS
11 Z ___ zebra : AS IN
12 Warning of disaster : DIRE
13 Winter hrs. in New Jersey : EST
21 Election day in the U.S.: Abbr. : TUE
22 Onetime Cubs slugger Sammy : SOSA
25 Components of many barbershop logos : COMBS
26 Rental with 10-, 15-, 17-, 20- and 26-foot sizes : U-HAUL
27 “Eleanor ___” (1966 Beatles hit) : RIGBY
28 Site of replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower : VEGAS
29 De-wrinkle : IRON
30 Juliet’s love : ROMEO
31 Vatican-related : PAPAL
32 Play for the N.H.L., say : SKATE
35 Dogs’ “dogs” : PAWS
36 What not to do over something out of your control : LOSE SLEEP
38 Popular Converse shoes : ALL STARS
42 Apiece : EACH
43 Contributes to a GoFundMe, e.g. : DONATES
48 Online chuckle : LOL
49 Devoured : EATEN
50 Sounds of interruption : AHEMS
51 Like the diving end of a pool : DEEP
52 Jazz’s Fitzgerald : ELLA
53 Youngest Hemsworth brother : LIAM
54 Many a gym locale, for short : YMCA
55 Like the Kia and Hyundai logos : OVAL
56 Sage : WISE
57 “Calvin and Hobbes” conveyance : SLED
58 ___ Plaines, Ill. : DES

8 thoughts on “0615-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Jun 21, Tuesday”

  1. 9:32. Posting late Monday night. This way I’m first instead of my usual last.

    Not quite the success story of yesterday. I know nothing of Harry Potter so was essentially another themeless for me.

    Can’t believe Converse ALL STARS have been around over 100 years. Pretty amazing feat (feet?) given that market.

    Best –

  2. 7:26, no errors. I actually read all of the Harry Potter books twice and greatly enjoyed them. I now find that a lot of the details have slipped away, but what remains is a help with puzzles like this one … 🤨,

  3. 8:50. Also never read Harry Potter. Kind of drew blanks in the SE corner, tho I’m not sure why. Also had OMEN vs. DIRE until the end. I kept thinking that 12D was a noun rather than and adjective.

    I also did this Monday night, but I generally don’t see Bill’s postings until at least something like 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time – if I happen to be not sleeping.

  4. 9:40, no errors. Everything I know about Harry Potter came from watching the first movie; and visiting Universal Studios in Florida.

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