0621-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Jun 21, Monday

Constructed by: Jacob Stulberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer It’s All Relative

Themed answers are each common phrases starting with comparative adjectives:

  • 52A “Let’s put things in perspective” … or a title for this puzzle : IT’S ALL RELATIVE
  • 20A Capable of floating, as a balloon : LIGHTER THAN AIR
  • 32A Sanctimonious : HOLIER THAN THOU
  • 39A Imposing and then some : LARGER THAN LIFE

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Meal cooked in a Crock-Pot : STEW

We often use the term “crockpot” as an alternative for “slow cooker”. The generic term comes from the trademark “Crock-Pot”, which is now owned by Sunbeam products.

14 Atlanta train system : MARTA

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)

15 Wife of Zeus : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

17 Moolah : BREAD

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

23 Low-ranking “Star Trek” officer: Abbr. : ENS

An extra in “Star Trek” is often an ensign (ens.).

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact, his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally, I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

24 Sombrero, e.g. : HAT

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

25 Smidgen : TAD

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

26 Neon or xenon : GAS

Neon was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

The element xenon was the first of the noble gases to be made into a compound, which was somewhat remarkable in that the noble gases were thought by many to be completely inert, unreactive.

36 Ken, to Barbie : BEAU

Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia. Happily, Barbie and Ken reconciled and reunited on Valentine’s Day 2011.

38 Captain’s place on a ship : HELM

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

45 ___ Susan (dining table centerpiece) : LAZY

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.

48 Rapper ___-Z : JAY

Jay-Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyoncé. Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. As Carter was growing up, he was nicknamed “Jazzy”, a reference to his interest in music. “Jazzy” evolved into the stage name “Jay-Z”. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, and twins named Rumi and Sir Carter.

49 Word sometimes confused with “lie” : LAY

There is often confusion between the verbs “to lie” and “to lay”. The latter is a transitive verb, and so needs an object. So we can’t “lay down”, we must “lie down”. But, we can “lay out” a plan.

57 Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham ___” : JAIL

The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a 1963 open letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr. defending nonviolent resistance to racism. King wrote the letter in several pieces, using the margins of newspapers as this was the only paper available to him while in jail.

62 Longtime Yankees manager Joe : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

63 Runner Usain : BOLT

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.

Down

2 1950s-’60s singer Bobby : DARIN

Singer Bobby Darin had a short but eventful life. Darin started in show business as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He then made it big as a performer with huge hits like “Splish Splash”, “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea”. He was active politically as a supporter of Robert Kennedy, and was present in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated. Soon after, Darin found out that the people he thought were his parents, were in fact his grandparents. The woman he knew as his older sister was in fact his mother. Darin died following a heart operation at only 37 years old.

3 Bottom of the barrel : DREGS

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

4 Salt Lake City’s home : UTAH

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

5 Stir-fried noodle dish : PAD THAI

The delicious dish called pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

6 Jersey : SHIRT

We use the word “jersey” for a sports shirt worn by a particular team member, one that usually bears the player’s name and team number. Back in the mid-1800s, the term was used for a knitted shirt or close-fitting tunic. The item of clothing was named for Jersey in the Channel Islands off the coast of France. The island was famous for its knitting trade during the Middle Ages.

9 Honorific for Gandhi : MAHATMA

Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, as the country sought independence from Britain. He was also referred to as “Mahatma”, meaning “great soul”. His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Tragically, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year.

22 Vindaloo accompaniment : NAAN

Vindaloo is a very spicy Indian curry dish, and one of my favorites. The dish’s name comes from the Portuguese dish “Carne de vinha d’alhos”, which translates as “meat with wine and garlic”. Vindaloo originated in the Indian state of Goa, which was once a Portuguese province.

27 Like a poison ivy rash : ITCHY

Two of the plants that are most painful to humans are poison oak and poison ivy. Poison oak is mainly found west of the Rocky Mountains, and poison ivy to the east.

28 Mother of Zeus (and an anagram of 15-Across) : RHEA

In Greek mythology, Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and wife of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

34 Cracker brand with a yellow-and-blue logo : RITZ

I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

35 Like Girl Scout “Mints” : THIN

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookies, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints.

36 Pioneering journalist Nellie : BLY

“Nellie Bly” was a pen name used by American journalist Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in Eighty Days”. She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the “eighty days”. The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman …

42 1963 Best Actress Patricia : NEAL

Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing a middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years’ later, she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child, but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.

49 The Scales : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

50 Big office supply brand : AVERY

Avery Dennison Corporation was founded as Kum Kleen Products in 1935, by R. Stanton Avery. Kum Kleen Products were the first manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.

52 Shakespeare villain who says “Virtue? A fig!” : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

54 Rich vein of ore : LODE

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

55 Pompeii or Machu Picchu : RUIN

The ancient city of Pompeii is situated close to Naples in Italy. Pompeii was destroyed in AD 79 by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. The city was completely lost from that time, and was only rediscovered in 1748. Excavations have uncovered the remarkably well-preserved buildings and roads, and Pompeii now attracts over 2 million visitors annually.

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Make sense : ADD UP
6 Many a get-rich-quick scheme : SCAM
10 Meal cooked in a Crock-Pot : STEW
14 Atlanta train system : MARTA
15 Wife of Zeus : HERA
16 Domesticated : TAME
17 Moolah : BREAD
18 Distance between belt holes, maybe : INCH
19 Sign at a highway interchange : EXIT
20 Capable of floating, as a balloon : LIGHTER THAN AIR
23 Low-ranking “Star Trek” officer: Abbr. : ENS
24 Sombrero, e.g. : HAT
25 Smidgen : TAD
26 Neon or xenon : GAS
27 Soul singer Thomas : IRMA
29 Wail : CRY
32 Sanctimonious : HOLIER THAN THOU
36 Ken, to Barbie : BEAU
37 “Rocks,” in a drink : ICE
38 Captain’s place on a ship : HELM
39 Imposing and then some : LARGER THAN LIFE
44 Units on a football field: Abbr. : YDS
45 ___ Susan (dining table centerpiece) : LAZY
46 How long it might take for a mountain to form : EON
47 Word before “bite” or “go” : I’LL …
48 Rapper ___-Z : JAY
49 Word sometimes confused with “lie” : LAY
52 “Let’s put things in perspective” … or a title for this puzzle : IT’S ALL RELATIVE
57 Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham ___” : JAIL
58 Debtors’ notes : IOUS
59 Brain divisions : LOBES
60 Gawk at : OGLE
61 ___ menu (where to find Cut, Copy and Paste) : EDIT
62 Longtime Yankees manager Joe : TORRE
63 Runner Usain : BOLT
64 Where bears hibernate : DENS
65 Gives a thumbs-up : OKAYS

Down

1 Saunter : AMBLE
2 1950s-’60s singer Bobby : DARIN
3 Bottom of the barrel : DREGS
4 Salt Lake City’s home : UTAH
5 Stir-fried noodle dish : PAD THAI
6 Jersey : SHIRT
7 Penny : CENT
8 Feature over many a doorway : ARCH
9 Honorific for Gandhi : MAHATMA
10 Ending with farm or home : -STEAD
11 Move from the gate to the runway, say : TAXI
12 Mideast bigwig : EMIR
13 “Caution – ___ paint” (sign) : WET
21 Simplicity : EASE
22 Vindaloo accompaniment : NAAN
26 When repeated, water cooler sound : GLUG
27 Like a poison ivy rash : ITCHY
28 Mother of Zeus (and an anagram of 15-Across) : RHEA
29 “Give my compliments to the ___” : CHEF
30 Part to play : ROLE
31 “De-e-elish!” : YUM!
32 Chairperson, e.g. : HEAD
33 Cousins of paddles : OARS
34 Cracker brand with a yellow-and-blue logo : RITZ
35 Like Girl Scout “Mints” : THIN
36 Pioneering journalist Nellie : BLY
40 Woman’s name that’s also a Spanish pronoun : ELLA
41 Made a comeback : RALLIED
42 1963 Best Actress Patricia : NEAL
43 Never betraying : LOYAL TO
47 Speck of land in the sea : ISLET
48 Kids around : JESTS
49 The Scales : LIBRA
50 Big office supply brand : AVERY
51 Positive responses : YESES
52 Shakespeare villain who says “Virtue? A fig!” : IAGO
53 Cash register drawer : TILL
54 Rich vein of ore : LODE
55 Pompeii or Machu Picchu : RUIN
56 Nabbed : TOOK
57 What you’re hired to do : JOB

8 thoughts on “0621-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Jun 21, Monday”

  1. 8:00. Late to the party today. Didn’t bother to notice the theme as per my usual on a Monday.

    Best –

  2. 8:35, no errors. Had more difficulty than usual for me. Hard to gain traction in the NW corner. 2D have to keep relearning that Bobby DARIN is spelled with one R; and Bobby Rydell is spelled with two L’s.

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