0619-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Jun 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Sophia Maymudes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 19m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “The Metamorphosis” protagonist : SAMSA

“The Metamorphosis” is a famous novella by Franz Kafka that is regarded by many as one of the greatest pieces of short fiction written in the 20th century. The story tells of the metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa into a gigantic insect. His sister Grete Samsa becomes his caregiver.

17 Cold, caramel-colored concoction : ICED LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk; there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

18 Sephora product : TONER

Sephora is a French chain of cosmetic stores, founded in 1969. The name “Sephora” is derived from the Greek for “beauty” (“sephos”). We’ve been able to visit Sephora outlets in JCPenney stores since 2006.

19 Literary utopia : XANADU

Shangdu (also “Xanadu”) was located in Inner Mongolia in China, just over 200 miles north of China. Shangdu was the capital of the Yuan dynasty that was established in 1271 by Kublai Khan. The Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited Shangdu in about 1272, and the city was destroyed by the Ming army in 1369. Centuries later in 1797, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge immortalized the city (as “Xanadu”) in his celebrated poem “Kubla Khan”.

“Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my wife’s favorite poem. Coleridge wrote his masterpiece one night in 1797 after a vivid dream heavily influenced by opium.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

20 Bridge, e.g. : PASTIME

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

22 Locale of an early 20th-century gold rush : NOME

The Nome Gold Rush of 1899-1909 was remarkable in the ease that the precious metal could be gathered. Many prospectors were finding gold lying in beach sand and were making their fortunes without even having to make a claim.

24 “Homeland” home, in brief : SHO

“Homeland” is a psychological drama on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I highly recommend it …

25 Phisher’s “catch,” for short : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PINs, etc.”

29 Letter between Oscar and Quebec : PAPA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

31 Davis who said “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept” : ANGELA

Angela Davis is a political activist and former leader of the Communist Party USA. Davis also ran twice in the eighties as candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket, alongside Presidential candidate Gus Hall.

35 Things not allowed in New York’s Central Park : CARS

The man most associated with the decision to develop Central Park in New York City was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of what today is the “New York Post”. He argued that the growing city needed a large, public open space, along the lines of Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Most of the park’s construction took place between 1860 and 1873. Much of the clearing work was accomplished using gunpowder, and it is often noted that more gunpowder was used in Central Park than in the Battle of Gettysburg.

37 Birthplace of Ivan Turgenev : OREL

Orel (also “Oryol”) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

Ivan Turgenev was a Russian novelist and playwright. Turgenev’s most famous works are a collection of short stories called “A Sportsman’s Sketches” (1852) and the novel “Fathers and Sons” (1862).

39 Singer Rita : ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

40 Character who can be played in every installment of 26-Down : LUIGI
26D Nintendo offering with more than 10 installments : MARIO PARTY

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

41 Opening settings for “The Canterbury Tales” and “Treasure Island” : INNS

“The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories penned by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. Written in MIddle English, the tales are presented as a storytelling contest held by a group of pilgrims as they travel from London to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. “The Canterbury Tales” is often cited as a landmark piece of English literature as it popularized the use of vernacular English, as opposed to the French or Latin works that were commonly published up to that time.

I’d say that the most celebrated work from the pen of Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) is “Treasure Island”, which was originally written as a series for a children’s magazine in 1881. I remember “Treasure Island” as the first “real” novel I read as a youngster …

42 It’s elementary : ATOM

Atomism is a philosophical concept based on the idea that the physical world is composed of atoms, indivisible fundamental units, pieces of matter. The term “atom” comes from the Greek “a-” (not) and “tomos” (cutting), giving the “atomos” meaning “uncut, indivisible”. The pioneers of ancient Greek atomism were Leucippus and his pupil Democritus in the 5th century BCE.

48 Abbr. in an office address : STE

Suite (ste.)

50 Contents of some chats, in brief : IMS

Instant message (IM)

52 Name derived from the Latin for “to be born” : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

54 Smirnoff Ice, e.g. : ALCOPOP

Alcopops are flavored alcoholic drinks, with the term being a portmanteau of “alcohol” and “pop”. Examples are Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, and Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola.

56 Keynotes, e.g. : ORATES

The “keynote” is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

64 Mexican sandwich : TORTA

“Torta” is the Italian and Spanish word for “cake”.

67 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey : MEAN GIRLS

“Mean Girls” is a teen comedy movie released in 2004 starring Lindsay Lohan. Tina Fey also puts in an appearance, which really isn’t surprising as Fey wrote the screenplay.

Down

1 Magician’s favorite cereal? : TRIX

Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

2 Villa ___ de la Vera Cruz (historic city name) : RICA

The port city of Veracruz in Mexico was originally called Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, which translates as “rich village of the true cross”. The “rich” referred to the large amount of gold that the Spanish found in the area.

3 Mideast port : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

4 Kia Rio, e.g. : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

Kia has made the subcompact model called a Rio since 2000.

7 Big inits. in home security : ADT

ADT is a home and small-business security company based in Boca Raton, Florida. The company was founded back in 1874 by Edward Calahan. Calahan invented the stock ticker several years earlier, and ran the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company. Calahan was awoken one morning by the sound of a burglar in his house, and so he decided to develop a telegraph-based security alarm system. The success of the system led to the founding of American District Telegraph, later known as ADT.

14 Something released while skydiving : ADRENALINE

The naturally occurring hormone adrenaline is also known as epinephrine. Adrenaline takes its name from the adrenal glands that produce the hormone. The glands themselves take their name from their location in the body, right on the kidneys (“ad-renes” meaning “near or at the kidneys” in Latin). The alternative name of epinephrine has a similar root (“epi-nephros” meaning “upon the kidney” in Greek).

23 Home of the World Showcase : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

28 Del Monte or Green Giant product : CANNED CORN

Del Monte Foods is headquartered in San Francisco. The company’s roots go back to 1886 when a food distributor in Oakland used the name Del Monte on a premium blend of coffee, one specially prepared for the Hotel Del Monte on the Monterey peninsula.

The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company’s peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the “Green Giant”. The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air. In 1972, the Jolly Green Giant was given an apprentice called the Little Green Sprout.

30 Elder brother of Moses : AARON

In the Bible and the Qur’an, Aaron was the older brother of Moses and was a prophet. Aaron became the first High Priest of the Israelites.

32 Affliction of Benjamin Franklin : GOUT

Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe. Gout is sometimes referred to as “the disease of kings” or “the rich man’s disease”, as it is associated with a traditionally opulent diet.

Benjamin Franklin came from a large family. He was his father’s fifteenth child (Josiah Franklin had seventeen children in all, with two wives). Benjamin was born in Boston in 1706. He had very little schooling, heading out to work for his father when he was ten years old. He became an apprentice printer to his older brother at the age of twelve. Benjamin did quite well with that limited education …

34 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” detective Diaz : ROSA

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

36 Dish that might come with a flavor packet : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

40 Team game played in the dark : LASER TAG

The name “Laser Tag” is really a misnomer as lasers are rarely used in the game. The “guns” actually send out infrared light, and not laser light, which is picked up by infrared detectors worn by the players.

42 Snowballs, in a snowball fight : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

45 Toolshed tool : RIP SAW

In woodworking, a cut across the grain is known as a cross cut. A cut along the grain is called a rip cut. Most saws are designed to perform the best cross cuts, but there is a special rip saw that more easily cuts straight lines along the grain.

53 Indian drink made from yogurt : LASSI

Lassi is a yogurt-based drink from India. Popular variants are namkeen lassi (which is salty), sweet lassi and mango lassi. There is even a bhang lassi, which is infused with a liquid derivative of cannabis.

62 Actor Daniel ___ Kim : DAE

Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor who is famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on “Lost”. Kim moved on to play one of the leads on the CBS remake of “Hawaii Five-O”, portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.

63 Cavaliers’ sch. : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) sports teams are known officially as “the Cavaliers”. The unofficial nickname is “the Wahoos”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Take pregame shots? : TRASH TALK
10 “The Metamorphosis” protagonist : SAMSA
15 Person who will do anything for you, in modern slang : RIDE OR DIE
16 “You caught me” : I LIED
17 Cold, caramel-colored concoction : ICED LATTE
18 Sephora product : TONER
19 Literary utopia : XANADU
20 Bridge, e.g. : PASTIME
22 Locale of an early 20th-century gold rush : NOME
24 “Homeland” home, in brief : SHO
25 Phisher’s “catch,” for short : SSN
26 ___ check : MIC
29 Letter between Oscar and Quebec : PAPA
31 Davis who said “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept” : ANGELA
33 With it : AWARE
35 Things not allowed in New York’s Central Park : CARS
37 Birthplace of Ivan Turgenev : OREL
38 Babbled : RAN ON
39 Singer Rita : ORA
40 Character who can be played in every installment of 26-Down : LUIGI
41 Opening settings for “The Canterbury Tales” and “Treasure Island” : INNS
42 It’s elementary : ATOM
43 Ordered from Grubhub, say : ATE IN
44 Show-offy kind of push-up : ONE-ARM
46 “What’s the ___?” : NEWS
48 Abbr. in an office address : STE
49 Tampon alternative : PAD
50 Contents of some chats, in brief : IMS
52 Name derived from the Latin for “to be born” : NOEL
54 Smirnoff Ice, e.g. : ALCOPOP
56 Keynotes, e.g. : ORATES
60 Ancestry : ROOTS
61 Firewall target : ADULT SITE
64 Mexican sandwich : TORTA
65 Leave space for someone running late, say : SAVE A SEAT
66 “See what I’m sayin’?” : Y’KNOW?
67 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey : MEAN GIRLS

Down

1 Magician’s favorite cereal? : TRIX
2 Villa ___ de la Vera Cruz (historic city name) : RICA
3 Mideast port : ADEN
4 Kia Rio, e.g. : SEDAN
5 Not close : HOLD OPEN
6 Hospital specialty : TRAUMA
7 Big inits. in home security : ADT
8 Hoppin’, in modern lingo : LIT
9 Something you might play for : KEEPS
10 Suppresses : SITS ON
11 Bunches : A LOT
12 It goes for a short run : MINISERIES
13 “Can’t argue that” : SEEMS LEGIT
14 Something released while skydiving : ADRENALINE
21 Mental sparks : AHAS
23 Home of the World Showcase : EPCOT
26 Nintendo offering with more than 10 installments : MARIO PARTY
27 “Lemme see!” : I WANNA LOOK!
28 Del Monte or Green Giant product : CANNED CORN
30 Elder brother of Moses : AARON
32 Affliction of Benjamin Franklin : GOUT
34 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” detective Diaz : ROSA
36 Dish that might come with a flavor packet : RAMEN
40 Team game played in the dark : LASER TAG
42 Snowballs, in a snowball fight : AMMO
45 Toolshed tool : RIP SAW
47 Warm, in a way : WOOLEN
51 Jerk : SPASM
53 Indian drink made from yogurt : LASSI
55 Italian number that’s also a man’s name : OTTO
57 Piece of cake? : TIER
58 Bibliographic abbr. : ET AL
59 Where scenes are made : SETS
62 Actor Daniel ___ Kim : DAE
63 Cavaliers’ sch. : UVA

13 thoughts on “0619-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 11:16. I kept feeling like I was going to get stuck somewhere but never did. I had no idea who ANGELA Davis was (before my time I guess), but did know MARIO PARTY (my kids had version 8).

  2. 35:51 with a lookup. I stared at the SW and NE corners for quite a long time. I got one AHA moment with ALCOPOP – a term I’ve not heard of – but never got any AHAS in the NE. Thinking of a show that open and closes on the same night I had ONENIGHTER for 12D for a long time. Also had ENDORPHINS for 14D. When I was in college German class decades ago we read The Metamorphosis in original German (Die Verwandlung), but I couldn’t come up with the name. I had GOUT, but my only guess for 31A was REGGIE. And as it was getting close to midnight, I just opted for a lookup so I could get myself to bed.

  3. 24v14 with a lookup…or two. CANNED PEAS didn’t work as well as CANNEDCORN. I think YKNOW was a stretch.

  4. 18:10, no errors. I’d never heard of “RIDE OR DIE”. Sounds like a seriously unhealthy psychological condition … 😳.

    1. (And I forgot to add that I also determined that “CANNED PEAS” did not work nearly as well as “CANNED CORN” … 😜.)

  5. 29:11. Thought I’d never finish this one. An awful lot I didn’t know. Somehow survived with crosses and good guessing.

    Wordplay says RIDE OR DIE actually dates back to Bonnie and Clyde so I guess it’s an old expression.

    Definitely some clever cluing in this one. Apparently the woman who did this puzzle is a recent college grad. She set it during the covid shutdown last year.

    She said she just put things into the puzzle that brought her joy. I thought that was such a neat sentiment until I looked at the puzzle:
    TRASHTALK
    MEANGIRLS
    ADULTSITE
    RIDE OR DIE ??

    Hmmmm. I prefer to think she was referring to ICED LATTE, ADRENALINE rushes, MARIO PARTY and ALCOPOP and so forth.

    Father’s day tomorrow. Might phone my 84 year old father and start off with ALCOPOP…..

    Best –

    1. … that brought her joy.

      I had the same reaction as you did. (And she looks so sweet and innocent in the picture on “xwordinfo.com”! … 😳😊😜)

  6. No errors but a bit of an ink mess in NW corner and NE corner..
    Had STRINGLINE for 14D to start but that wasn’t working. What is a ADRENA-LINE????.. Oh, ADRENALINE!!!!! HA!

  7. 40:10, no errors. Got off on the wrong foot, entering TALK SMACK before TRASH TALK. I have seen the expression RIDE OR DIE, usually on motorcycle jackets; have never associated with the clue context. Learned something new.
    I believe the clue to 35A is incorrect. Go to Google maps, Central Park; street view on East or West drive; or any of the transverses and you will see plenty of cars/cabs. It was this way when I played there as a child. I haven’t been back in 50 years, can anyone update me?

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