0622-21 NY Times Crossword 22 Jun 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Matt Frederick
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s) Cross-Roads

Today’s grid includes circled letters that spell out a “STAIRWAY to HEAVEN” and a “HIGHWAY to HELL”, and those ROADS CROSS:

  • 29D With 36-Down, intersection … as suggested by the circled letters in the middle of this puzzle? : CROSS …
  • 36D See 29-Down : … ROADS
  • STAIRWAY (TO) …
  • 23A Classic Led Zeppelin song represented by the ascending circled letters and this answer : … HEAVEN
  • HIGHWAY (TO) …
  • 61A Classic AC/DC song represented by the falling circled letters and this answer : … HELL

Bill’s time: 6m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Egyptian beetle : SCARAB

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

7 Word before sheet or battle : RAP …

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

10 First president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery : TAFT

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The future president had served as dean and professor at the Cincinnati Law School. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

14 Nabokov novel : LOLITA

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” has a famously controversial storyline, dealing with a middle-aged man’s obsession and sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. 38-year-old professor Humbert Humbert privately refers to Dolores as “Lolita”. Although “Lolita” is considered a classic today, after Nabokov finished it in 1953 the edgy subject matter made it impossible for him to find a publisher in the US (where Nabokov lived). In 1955, he resorted to publishing it in English at a printing house in Paris. Publication was followed by bans and seizures all over Europe. A US printing house finally took on the project in 1958, by which time the title had such a reputation that it sold exceptionally quickly. “Lolita” became the first book since “Gone with the Wind” to sell over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks in stores.

15 Lobster ___ Newburg : A LA

Lobster Newburg is a rich dish made from lobster with butter, cream, Cognac, sherry, eggs and Cayenne pepper. The dish was created by one Ben Wenberg for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in 1876, and was listed on the menu as Lobster à la Wenberg. Wenberg and the restaurant owner had a falling out, and so the restaurant owner renamed the dish to Lobster à la Newberg.

16 Instrument that an orchestra tunes to : OBOE

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

17 X-rayed, e.g. : IMAGED

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

21 That, in Tijuana : ESO

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

23 Classic Led Zeppelin song represented by the ascending circled letters and this answer : STAIRWAY (TO) … HEAVEN

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band founded in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

25 Bruins : U.C.L.A. :: ___ : Princeton : TIGERS

When Princeton are playing in a game, one might hear a cheer known as the locomotive, i.e. “Rah rah rah! Tiger, tiger, tiger! Sis, sis, sis, boom, boom, boom, ah!” This cheer is sometimes referred to as “Sis Boom Ah!” Supposedly, the cheer dates back to 1861 when the Seventh New York Regiment came through Princeton on a train. The soldiers were shouting out their “rocket” cheer, ““ssss-boom-ahhh!”

28 Whole bunch : SLEW

“Monday Night Countdown” is an ESPN show, runup to that evening’s Monday Night Football game.
Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” came into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

29 ___-Magnon man : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

32 Transportation hub named for a 1930s-’40s mayor, in brief : LGA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

33 A Cyclops has one : EYE

Cyclops was a one-eyed giant in Greek and Roman mythology. Cyclops lived inside Mount Etna, the Sicilian volcano.

35 Piece of limbo equipment : BAR

The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name “limbo” is an alteration of our word “limber”, which isn’t surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

41 Director Guillermo del ___ : TORO

Guillermo del Toro is a film director from Guadalajara in Mexico who has had success directing and producing American films. His best-known works are probably action movies like “Blade II” (2002) and “Hellboy” (2004). Del Toro won an Oscar for Best Director for the 2017 movie “The Shape of Water”.

42 German/Polish border river : ODER

The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.

43 Offerings from Pottery Barn and Chipotle : BOWLS

Pottery Barn is a chain of home furnishing stores that has been around since 1949. Not my kind of store, quite frankly …

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a chain of casual dining restaurants that was founded and is now headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For several years, the major investor in Chipotle was McDonald’s. The chain is named for the smoke-dried jalapeño called a “chipotle”.

44 Yemen’s capital : SANA

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

50 Nevada’s largest county : NYE

Nye County, Nevada is home to the Nevada Test Site that was used for testing nuclear weapons from the fifties through the nineties.

52 One doing an oral exam, in brief : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

53 Org. with programs that are taking off? : NASA

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957 in a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

58 Home of the oldest active M.L.B. ballpark : BOSTON

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so command a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox have played there has been a sell-out from May of 2003 to April 2013. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

60 Y.M.C.A. course, for short : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

61 Classic AC/DC song represented by the falling circled letters and this answer : HIGHWAY (TO) … HELL

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.

65 Maya Angelou’s “And Still I ___” : RISE

“And Still I Rise” is a 1978 volume of poetry by Maya Angelou. The collection’s title poem is “Still I Rise”, which ends with:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

68 Part of N.H.L. : LEAGUE

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.

74 Platform for Dr. Mario and Final Fantasy : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

75 Places for toasters : DAISES

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

Down

7 Schick product : RAZOR

The Schick brand of safety razors was introduced by Jacob Schick in 1926 as the Magazine Repeating Razor Company. Today, Schick products are sold under the name Wilkinson Sword in Europe.

8 2001 Will Smith title role : ALI

“Ali” is a 2001 biographical movie about Muhammad Ali, with Will Smith in the title role. Among other things, the film is noted for its realistic fight scenes. The scenes were realistic because Smith was really being hit, as hard as his opponents could manage.

13 Many a TikTok user : TEEN

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools that facilitate production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

22 Fish in the genus Hippocampus : SEAHORSE

Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus. The genus name comes from the Greek “hippo” meaning “horse” and “kampos” meaning “sea monster”. It’s the male seahorse who carries the fertilized eggs, and not the females. The region of the brain known as the hippocampus, is so called because it resembles a seahorse in shape.

31 Cloverleaf features : OVERPASSES

Cloverleaf interchanges allow two highways to cross without the need for stopping traffic. They are so called as when viewed overheard they look like the leaves of a four-leaf clover.

38 CPR sites : ERS

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. I hear that nowadays, emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

41 Letters on some airport uniforms : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

43 Antioxidant juice brand : BAI

Bai Brands is a beverage company that specializes in low-cal soft drinks that include antioxidants.

49 “___ Te Ching” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

54 Porterhouse, e.g. : STEAK

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

56 Aptly named shelfmate of Smarties candy : NERDS

The Willy Wonka Candy Company brand is owned by Nestle, and operates using licensed materials from the Roald Dahl book “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. “Nerds” is a name on a whole line of candy produced within the brand’s portfolio.

Here in the US, Smarties are tablet-like candy. Smarties are known as Rockets in Canada. The latter brand name is used to differentiate the product from Nestlé’s Smarties, which are sugar-coated chocolate candies that resemble M&Ms.

57 Ventriloquist Lewis : SHARI

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

58 Flat-headed fastener : BRAD

A brad is a slender wire nail with a relatively small head that is typically used to tack pieces of wood together, i.e. to fasten either temporarily or with minimal damage to the wood. Nowadays, brads are commonly applied using a nail gun.

59 Gas in glowing signs : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Egyptian beetle : SCARAB
7 Word before sheet or battle : RAP …
10 First president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery : TAFT
14 Nabokov novel : LOLITA
15 Lobster ___ Newburg : A LA
16 Instrument that an orchestra tunes to : OBOE
17 X-rayed, e.g. : IMAGED
18 Bit of acne : ZIT
19 Went 90, say : TORE
20 Intertwine : MESH
21 That, in Tijuana : ESO
23 Classic Led Zeppelin song represented by the ascending circled letters and this answer : … HEAVEN
25 Bruins : U.C.L.A. :: ___ : Princeton : TIGERS
28 Whole bunch : SLEW
29 ___-Magnon man : CRO
32 Transportation hub named for a 1930s-’40s mayor, in brief : LGA
33 A Cyclops has one : EYE
35 Piece of limbo equipment : BAR
37 Get tangled up : RAVEL
39 Catch wind of : HEAR
41 Director Guillermo del ___ : TORO
42 German/Polish border river : ODER
43 Offerings from Pottery Barn and Chipotle : BOWLS
44 Yemen’s capital : SANA
45 Opening of some formal letters : SIRS
46 Territory : AREA
47 Peeled, as a pear : PARED
48 Soak (up), as gravy : SOP
49 “___ but a scratch” : ‘TIS
50 Nevada’s largest county : NYE
52 One doing an oral exam, in brief : DDS
53 Org. with programs that are taking off? : NASA
55 Types in : ENTERS
58 Home of the oldest active M.L.B. ballpark : BOSTON
60 Y.M.C.A. course, for short : ESL
61 Classic AC/DC song represented by the falling circled letters and this answer : … HELL
65 Maya Angelou’s “And Still I ___” : RISE
66 Musical ability : EAR
68 Part of N.H.L. : LEAGUE
70 Offshore : ASEA
71 Like 2019 and 2021, but not 2020 : ODD
72 Fumbles and flubs : ERRORS
73 Pupil’s place : DESK
74 Platform for Dr. Mario and Final Fantasy : NES
75 Places for toasters : DAISES

Down

1 Next to nothing, as a chance : SLIM
2 “___ as you are” : COME
3 “So sad” : ALAS
4 Correct : RIGHT
5 Supped : ATE
6 No-goodnik : BAD EGG
7 Schick product : RAZOR
8 2001 Will Smith title role : ALI
9 Course of action : PATH
10 Completely wreck : TOTAL
11 Open and honest : ABOVE BOARD
12 Tipped off : FOREWARNED
13 Many a TikTok user : TEEN
22 Fish in the genus Hippocampus : SEAHORSE
24 Opposite of WNW : ESE
26 Think ___ of : ILL
27 Deck protectors : SEALANTS
29 With 36-Down, intersection … as suggested by the circled letters in the middle of this puzzle? : CROSS …
30 Static, maybe : RADIO NOISE
31 Cloverleaf features : OVERPASSES
34 2019, 2020 and 2021: Abbr. : YRS
36 See 29-Down : ROADS
38 CPR sites : ERS
40 Animal that sounds a lot like you? : EWE
41 Letters on some airport uniforms : TSA
43 Antioxidant juice brand : BAI
47 The “p” of m.p.h. : PER
49 “___ Te Ching” : TAO
51 Shouted : YELLED
54 Porterhouse, e.g. : STEAK
56 Aptly named shelfmate of Smarties candy : NERDS
57 Ventriloquist Lewis : SHARI
58 Flat-headed fastener : BRAD
59 Gas in glowing signs : NEON
62 Teamwork disrupters : EGOS
63 Tackle box item : LURE
64 More, as the saying goes : LESS
67 Juice suffix : -ADE
69 Obama ___ : ERA

17 thoughts on “0622-21 NY Times Crossword 22 Jun 21, Tuesday”

  1. 8:43 Got hung up with the B on 43. Should have run the alphabet! And I kept reading 27D as “Desk Protectors” so that also hung me up.

  2. 12:06. I thought it was going well until I saw my time. Anyway, nice use if STAIRWAY and HIGHWAY.

    1. Someone giving a toast – such as at a wedding – will stand at the podium or “dais” to give that toast. This is just the plural of DAIS

  3. 8:56. Fun theme even though it takes several paragraphs to explain.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in BOSTON over the years and have been to Fenway Park several times. To me it’s cramped, dirty, and if you need to get a beer and/or take a restroom break, you’ll need about 3 innings to do so. I hated Fenway, and not many baseball lovers say that. Now the bars and restaurants around Fenway is another story…

    Best –

  4. 9:57, no errors. Apparently, I forgot to record this earlier. (I went for a rather long hike yesterday and I guess it affected me today more than I realized.)

      1. My records indicate I hiked ten miles, including nine miles around a nearby lake. In my mountain-climbing days, that distance wouldn’t have taxed me much. Sadly, I’m not the man I used to be (though I’m contemplating a relatively easy climb later in the week)… 🤨.

  5. Quick run… completely missed the HEAVEN and HELL clues because they fell through crosses. Didn’t read them until Bill pointed them out.

  6. 14Minutes 30 seconds. No errors etc. too many short Clues that take too long to read. It would’ve helped if I had figured out the gimmick earlier.

  7. 11:00, no errors. Additional, perhaps unrelated, bit of trivia: “CROSSROADS” is the title of a 1988 music collection from Eric Clapton.

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