0616-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Jun 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Finn Vigeland
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Misdirected

Themed answers are celebrated movie titles, but MISDIRECTED, in the opposite direction:

  • 65A Led astray … or like the films at 19-, 25-, 40- and 57-Across? : MISDIRECTED
  • 19A Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989) : MY RIGHT FOOT (from “My Left Foot”)
  • 25A Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019) : KNIVES IN (from “Knives Out”)
  • 40A Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955) : WEST OF EDEN (from “East of Eden”)
  • 57A Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006) : STEP DOWN (from “Step Up”)

Bill’s time: 8m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Items purportedly burned outside the Miss America Pageant in 1968 : BRAS

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

11 Quatrain rhyme scheme : ABBA

A quatrain is a group of four lines of poetry. The most common quatrain schemes are AAAA, AABB and ABAB.

15 Fancy fabric : LAME

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

16 Embryo’s home : UTERUS

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

19 Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989) : MY RIGHT FOOT (from “My Left Foot”)

Irish-English actor Daniel Day-Lewis has three Best Actor Oscars, for his performances in:

  • “My Left Foot” (1989)
  • “There Will Be Blood” (2007)
  • “Lincoln” (2012)

21 Photographer Goldin : NAN

Nan Goldin is an American photographer who works out of New York, Berlin and Paris.

24 Letters seen on some tote bags : NPR

National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

25 Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019) : KNIVES IN (from “Knives Out”)

“Knives Out” is an intriguing murder mystery film released in 2019. There’s a great cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. I really enjoyed this one, partly because it’s a clever, contemporary take on a classic whodunit movie …

Filmmaker Rian Johnson wrote and directed quite a few major films, including “Looper” (2012), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Knives Out” (2019).

28 Thorny tree : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of trees and shrubs that is also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

31 It made the peseta passé : EURO

The peseta is the former currency of Spain and was also the de facto currency of Spain’s neighbor, the Principality of Andorra. The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002.

35 Handy sorts : DIYERS

Back in Ireland, we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather “DIY centres” (and that’s the spelling of “centres”). “DIY” is an initialism standing for “do-it-yourself”.

37 Fey of “30 Rock” : TINA

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

40 Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955) : WEST OF EDEN (from “East of Eden”)

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when he was given the 1998 Academy Honorary Award citing his lifetime achievement in the industry. Kazan also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

45 Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys : NEIL

Pet Shop Boys are a pop duo from England consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. The pair originally performed in the West End in the early 1980s, because they loved London’s West End. When they decided to rename their act, they chose Pet Shop Boys simply because they had good friends working in a nearby pet shop.

46 Foe of Austin Powers : DR EVIL

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

50 Nice dinnerware : CHINA

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

55 Korean alphabet system : HANGUL

Hangul is the name given to the Korean alphabet and official writing system in South Korea. Hangul was personally created in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great in an effort to promote literacy among his people.

57 Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006) : STEP DOWN (from “Step Up”)

“Step Up” is a 2006 movie, and the first in a series of “Step Up” films. It’s a film about dance, and stars Channing Tatum as a disadvantaged dancer, and Nora Clark as a dancer with privilege.

59 1950s White House nickname : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

60 Word with luck or waiter : DUMB …

A lazy Susan is a circular tray at the center of a dining table that can be rotated by those partaking in the meal. The term “lazy Susan” was introduced in the early 1900s, first appearing in an article in the magazine “Good Housekeeping”. Before this designation, the device had been called a “dumbwaiter”, a term that we now reserve for a small elevator used for transporting food from the kitchen to the dining room.

63 Nonkosher sandwich : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

According to Jewish dietary laws, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

64 Captain’s record : LOG

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

68 Muppet with a big orange nose : BERT

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

71 Egyptian cross : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

74 Online crafts shop : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

Down

1 Item needed for burning, once : BLANK CD

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

2 Indigenous people of Easter Island : RAPA NUI

“Rapa Nui” is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call “Easter Island”. The European name was coined by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Chilean-owned Easter Island is inhabited and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, which is almost 1300 miles away.

4 Census info : SEX

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

5 Mountain lions : PUMAS

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

6 Frustrate : STYMIE

The word “stymie” comes from golf, and is a situation in which one’s approach to the hole is blocked by an opponent’s ball. We use the term more broadly for a distressing situation.

7 “___ out!” (ump’s cry) : YER

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

8 Lit ___ : CRIT

Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit crit), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

9 Jackman of “X-Men” : HUGH

Australian actor Hugh Jackman is most famous perhaps for his recurring role as Wolverine in the “X-Men” series of films, but as I don’t really “do” superhero movies, I like him best from the romantic comedy “Kate & Leopold” and the epic “Australia”. Jackman also garnered praise for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables”.

10 ___ Jackson, a.k.a. Ice Cube : O’SHEA

Rapper Ice Cube’s real name is O’Shea Jackson. Since the year 2000, Ice Cube has gradually moved away from rap music and focuses more on acting. The 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton” tells the story of the gangsta rap group N.W.A., of which Ice Cube was a member. Ice Cube co-produced the film, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. played his real-life Dad on screen.

11 D.O.J. agency : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

12 Winners of Super Bowl 50 : BRONCOS

The Denver Broncos were a charter member of the AFL and so were formed in 1959 and first played in 1960. The Broncos won the Super Bowl twice, in the consecutive seasons of 1997 and 1998.

13 “Frida” and “Selena,” e.g. : BIOPICS

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known professionally simply as “Selena”, was murdered in 1995 by the president of her own fan club at the height of her career. In a 1997 biopic about Selena’s life, Jennifer Lopez played the title role. Selena had often been referred to as the “Queen of Tejano” during her career.

14 Operator of the California Zephyr : AMTRAK

The California Zephyr is a passenger train that operates between Chicago and Emeryville, California. That’s a distance of 2,438 miles, making it the longest route operated by Amtrak. I’ve taken the California Zephyr several times, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience …

20 Gumshoes : TECS

“Gumshoe” is a slang word used for a private detective or private investigator (P.I.). Apparently the term dates back to the early 1900s, and refers to the rubber-soled shoes popular with private detectives at that time.

22 Big name in tractors : DEERE

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

43 “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, 2006 : SHAKIRA

Shakira’s 2006 song “Hips Don’t Lie” broke a record soon after it was released. It became the most-played pop song in a single week in the history of American radio.

50 Subjects for Jane Goodall : CHIMPS

The common chimpanzee is a species of great ape, i.e. a member of the Hominidae family (along with gorillas, humans and orangutans). The human and chimpanzee branches of the Hominidae family tree diverged 4-6 million years ago, making the chimp our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

Jane Goodall is a British anthropologist famous for studying wild chimpanzees in Africa for 45 years. Working at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Goodall made many discoveries. She was the first to see chimps constructing and using tools, an activity thought to be limited to the human species. She also found out that chimpanzees are vegetarians.

51 BMW competitor : AUDI

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

53 Monk known as the “Father of English History” : ST BEDE

The Venerable Bede was a monk in the north of England in the eighth century AD. Saint Bede is mainly known as an author and scholar, publisher of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People”. In his writings, Bede struggled with the two common ways of referring to dates at that time. Bede turned to the anno domini dating method that had been devised by Dionysius Exiguus in 525. Bede’s writings of circa 730 were extremely influential and helped popularize the “anno domini” method.

61 Handout from a maître d’ : MENU

The full title of a maître d’ is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.

62 Secretly loops in, in a way : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

66 Private Instagram exchanges, briefly : DMS

Direct message (DM)

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

67 Tater ___ : TOT

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

68 Hon : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Items purportedly burned outside the Miss America Pageant in 1968 : BRAS
5 Prefix that makes a pseudoscience when paired with 44-Down : PSYCHO-
11 Quatrain rhyme scheme : ABBA
15 Fancy fabric : LAME
16 Embryo’s home : UTERUS
17 Barbershop job : TRIM
18 Tiptop : APEX
19 Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989) : MY RIGHT FOOT (from “My Left Foot”)
21 Photographer Goldin : NAN
22 Stop up : DAM
23 Rapper Megan ___ Stallion : THEE
24 Letters seen on some tote bags : NPR
25 Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019) : KNIVES IN (from “Knives Out”)
28 Thorny tree : ACACIA
30 Adorable one : CUTIE
31 It made the peseta passé : EURO
34 Have in inventory : STOCK
35 Handy sorts : DIYERS
37 Fey of “30 Rock” : TINA
39 Follower of smart or bad : … ASS
40 Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955) : WEST OF EDEN (from “East of Eden”)
43 Hit the slopes : SKI
45 Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys : NEIL
46 Foe of Austin Powers : DR EVIL
50 Nice dinnerware : CHINA
52 Tavern offerings : ALES
54 Assemble : UNITE
55 Korean alphabet system : HANGUL
57 Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006) : STEP DOWN (from “Step Up”)
59 1950s White House nickname : IKE
60 Word with luck or waiter : DUMB …
63 Nonkosher sandwich : BLT
64 Captain’s record : LOG
65 Led astray … or like the films at 19-, 25-, 40- and 57-Across? : MISDIRECTED
68 Muppet with a big orange nose : BERT
69 Victorian : PRIM
70 Make hard to read, in a way : ENCODE
71 Egyptian cross : ANKH
72 Lip : SASS
73 Cleaning tool : DUSTER
74 Online crafts shop : ETSY

Down

1 Item needed for burning, once : BLANK CD
2 Indigenous people of Easter Island : RAPA NUI
3 Pool or fitness center, for a hotel : AMENITY
4 Census info : SEX
5 Mountain lions : PUMAS
6 Frustrate : STYMIE
7 “___ out!” (ump’s cry) : YER
8 Lit ___ : CRIT
9 Jackman of “X-Men” : HUGH
10 ___ Jackson, a.k.a. Ice Cube : O’SHEA
11 D.O.J. agency : ATF
12 Winners of Super Bowl 50 : BRONCOS
13 “Frida” and “Selena,” e.g. : BIOPICS
14 Operator of the California Zephyr : AMTRAK
20 Gumshoes : TECS
22 Big name in tractors : DEERE
26 For your ___ pleasure : VIEWING
27 Almond extract, e.g. : NUT OIL
29 Finished : AT AN END
32 Big guns : RIFLES
33 Unnamed person : ONE
36 Job app ID : SSN
38 Recipe instruction : ADD
41 Gossip, in slang : TEA
42 Lose one’s cool : ERUPT
43 “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, 2006 : SHAKIRA
44 See 5-Across : -KINESIS
47 Word that fills both parts of the Shakespeare quote “These ___ delights have ___ ends” : VIOLENT
48 Inventor’s happy cry : IT WORKS!
49 Protracted : LENGTHY
50 Subjects for Jane Goodall : CHIMPS
51 BMW competitor : AUDI
53 Monk known as the “Father of English History” : ST BEDE
56 Baited : LURED
58 Respected tribe member : ELDER
61 Handout from a maître d’ : MENU
62 Secretly loops in, in a way : BCCS
66 Private Instagram exchanges, briefly : DMS
67 Tater ___ : TOT
68 Hon : BAE

11 thoughts on “0616-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. 12:06 2nd half of the solve was much slower than the first. Got a bit stuck in the SE and NE corners

  2. 18:38. Harry Potter yesterday and then a movie theme. This isn’t my week. Never even heard of KNIVES Out or STEP Up. I need to get out more.

    NW had me stumped. Didn’t know LAME, NAN, KNIVES IN, RAPANUI and I had DrYERS for “Handy sorts” which I sorta like. BLANK CD was the only thing that saved me. Had to guess the E at OSHEA/THEE as well.

    I wonder if Bill ever visited the bar car on the California Zephyr? Hmmm

    Best –

  3. Messed up on OSHEA.. wasn’t sure if it was PSYCHO or PSYCHA KINESIS and I didn’t bother looking it up.

    Didn’t hear of two of those movies. Have to look them up.

  4. No errors but it seemed like a Friday puzzle…IMO the clueing sucked…struggled through this one.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Consider “the clueing did not match my personal word bank” or some other statement. Your continual negative comments lack originality and depth.

  5. 16:50, no errors. Too many unknowns to mention. Always surprised when I can finish a puzzle, with no errors, making this many guesses.

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