0623-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Kate Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Shape Up!

Themed answers are in the down-direction. Each includes a SHAPE as a hidden word, written in the UP-direction:

  • 26D “Get it together!” … or a hint to the highlighted letters : SHAPE UP!
  • 3D Author of “Jurassic Park” : MICHAEL CRICHTON (“CIRCLE” up)
  • 10D Fleeting romantic interest : FLAVOR OF THE WEEK (“OVAL” up)
  • 15D “Beats me!” : I HAVE NO CLUE! (“CONE” up)
  • 22D Shift blame to someone else : PASS THE BUCK (“CUBE” up)

Bill’s time: 11m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Word repeated by Hamlet before “solid flesh” : TOO

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

9 Hairstyle for Audre Lorde : AFRO

Audre Lorde was and American feminist author and civil rights activists. Lorde spent many years in Germany. She held a visiting professorship at the Free University of Berlin, and while holding that position became a leading light in the Afro-German movement.

13 Bozo : IDIOT

The unsavory word “bozo” describes a person with a low IQ, and someone who is usually quite muscular. The term has been used since the early 1900s, and possibly comes from the Spanish “bozal” that was used to describe someone who spoke Spanish poorly.

16 Cookout side dish : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch term “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

17 Mario Kart contestant : RACER

“Mario Kart” is a go-kart racing video game series from Nintendo.

18 The Aggies of the Mountain West Conference : UTAH STATE

Utah State University in Logan is one of many schools that calls its sports teams the “Aggies”.

21 Black ___ : OPS

Black ops are covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

24 Decorative items washed up on the beach : SEA GLASS

Sea glass is weathered glass found on beaches. The original glass comes from things like broken bottles. The broken glass is rolled and tumbled for years in the sea, resulting in smooth edges and also a frosted appearance.

28 Flotsam and Jetsam in “The Little Mermaid” : EELS

Flotsam and Jetsam are characters in the Disney movie called “The Little Mermaid”, released in 1989. Both are moray eels in the service of Ursula, the sea witch.

34 The Lorax’s final word : … UNLESS

“The Lorax” is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It is an allegorical work questioning the problems created by industrialization, and in particular its impact on the environment. At one point in the story, the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. “The Lorax” was adapted into an animated film that was released in 2012, with Danny DeVito voicing the title character.

36 ___ Duncan, Obama education secretary : ARNE

Long before Arne Duncan became Secretary of Education, he was a professional basketball player, but not in the NBA. Duncan played for the National Basketball League of Australia, with the Eastside Spectres in Melbourne.

37 Musician Yoko : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. A few weeks after the marriage, Lennon adopted the middle name “Ono” by deed poll.

38 Hollywood’s Dwayne Johnson, with “the” : … ROCK

Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role, an incredible $5.5 million.

39 Like the blood of a universal donor : TYPE O

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

44 Loquacious : CHATTY

I think that “loquacious” is a lovely word. To be loquacious is to be excessively wordy, full of excessive talk. Sort of like this blog …

47 What a QR code at a restaurant might link to : MENU

A QR Code (for “Quick Response Code”) is a two-dimensional barcode that is favored over UPC barcodes as it can read more quickly and can store much more information. The QR Code comprises black squares within a square grid on a white background.

48 Verdant : LUSH

Back in the late 1500s, “verdant” simply meant “green”, but we now tend to use the term to mean “green and lush with vegetation”. “Viridis” is the Latin for “green”.

57 Where Boxing Day comes before Christmas, in brief? : OED

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

59 Jiffy : HOT SECOND

“Jiff”, or “jiffy”, meaning “short time, instant” is thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

61 Underwater ecosystems : REEFS

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

65 Start of a saying about staying fit : USE IT …

Use it or lose it.

67 Is the pope Catholic? : YES

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

68 Adam who directed “The Big Short” : MCKAY

“The Big Short” is a 2015 film based on a 2010 book of the same name by Michael Lewis, both of which reveal the main players behind the creation of the credit default swap market that profited so heavily from the financial crisis of 207-2008.

Down

1 Malware, often : VIRUS

Malware is software and program code that is created to intentionally disrupt and exploit computer systems. Viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware are all covered by the term. “Malware” is short for “malicious software”.

2 “Curiosity killed the cat,” e.g. : ADAGE

The proverb “curiosity killed the cat” dates back at least to the late 1500s. The original form of the proverb was “care killed the cat”, with “care” used in the sense of “worry, sorrow”. Shakespeare uses the phrase in his 1599 play “Much Ado About Nothing”.

What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

3 Author of “Jurassic Park” : MICHAEL CRICHTON (“CIRCLE” up)

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

4 Who wrote “To Helen” and “For Annie” : POE

Edgar Allan Poe wrote two versions of his poem “To Helen”. The “Helen” in the poems might be the Greek goddess of light or perhaps Helen of Troy. Poe wrote the poem in honor of Jane Stanard, the mother of one of his childhood friends. Some speculate that the young Poe had a crush on Stanard, who was twice his age.

7 Not in the closet : OUT

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their sexual orientation.

8 Muscat’s sultanate : OMAN

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

9 Actor John or Sean : ASTIN

Actor John Astin is best known for playing Gomez, the head of the household on “The Addams Family” TV series.

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

11 Give feedback on Yelp, maybe : RATE

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

19 It may turn at a station : STILE

A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

25 Nerdy sort : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. Sometimes the term “geek” is used today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

32 “Roger that, boss!” : ON IT!

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

41 Farrier’s tool : RASP

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

43 Strike hard, in the Bible : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

50 Hiding soldiers in the Trojan horse and such : RUSES

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

52 Good things to strike : LODES

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.

53 Actress Vergara : SOFIA

Sofía Vergara is an actress and model from Barranquilla, Colombia who is perhaps best known from playing Gloria on the hit TV sitcom “Modern Family”. In 2016, “Forbes” magazine reported that Vergara was the highest paid actress on television.

54 Quick to snap : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

62 “Exit” key : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Plays for time, in a way : VAMPS
6 Word repeated by Hamlet before “solid flesh” : TOO
9 Hairstyle for Audre Lorde : AFRO
13 Bozo : IDIOT
14 13th-century Persian mystic who is one of the best-selling poets in the U.S. : RUMI
16 Cookout side dish : SLAW
17 Mario Kart contestant : RACER
18 The Aggies of the Mountain West Conference : UTAH STATE
20 “Blech!” : UGH!
21 Black ___ : OPS
23 Indigenous : NATIVE
24 Decorative items washed up on the beach : SEA GLASS
27 Meal accompaniment at a trattoria : VINO
28 Flotsam and Jetsam in “The Little Mermaid” : EELS
29 Crusty piece of bread : HEEL
31 Stick up : ROB
34 The Lorax’s final word : … UNLESS
36 ___ Duncan, Obama education secretary : ARNE
37 Musician Yoko : ONO
38 Hollywood’s Dwayne Johnson, with “the” : … ROCK
39 Like the blood of a universal donor : TYPE O
41 Tech that enables contactless credit card payments : RFID
42 Neither’s partner : NOR
43 Wedge, e.g. : SHOE
44 Loquacious : CHATTY
46 Bit of water or snow equipment : SKI
47 What a QR code at a restaurant might link to : MENU
48 Verdant : LUSH
49 Digs : CRIB
51 Most desirable, say, as a ripe peach : PLUMPEST
55 “Can it!” : SHUT UP!
57 Where Boxing Day comes before Christmas, in brief? : OED
58 Ill : WOE
59 Jiffy : HOT SECOND
61 Underwater ecosystems : REEFS
63 Cooling succulent : ALOE
64 It may be taken in protest : KNEE
65 Start of a saying about staying fit : USE IT …
66 Lairs : DENS
67 Is the pope Catholic? : YES
68 Adam who directed “The Big Short” : MCKAY

Down

1 Malware, often : VIRUS
2 “Curiosity killed the cat,” e.g. : ADAGE
3 Author of “Jurassic Park” : MICHAEL CRICHTON (“CIRCLE” up)
4 Who wrote “To Helen” and “For Annie” : POE
5 Ambles : STROLLS
6 Support structure : TRUSS
7 Not in the closet : OUT
8 Muscat’s sultanate : OMAN
9 Actor John or Sean : ASTIN
10 Fleeting romantic interest : FLAVOR OF THE WEEK (“OVAL” up)
11 Give feedback on Yelp, maybe : RATE
12 Fall short : OWE
15 “Beats me!” : I HAVE NO CLUE! (“CONE” up)
19 It may turn at a station : STILE
22 Shift blame to someone else : PASS THE BUCK (“CUBE” up)
25 Nerdy sort : GEEK
26 “Get it together!” … or a hint to the highlighted letters : SHAPE UP!
30 ‘Fore : ERE
32 “Roger that, boss!” : ON IT!
33 Corpus : BODY
34 Locales for some Grecian art : URNS
35 Cozy place : NOOK
40 Thither : YON
41 Farrier’s tool : RASP
43 Strike hard, in the Bible : SMITE
45 Like the same old same old : HUMDRUM
50 Hiding soldiers in the Trojan horse and such : RUSES
52 Good things to strike : LODES
53 Actress Vergara : SOFIA
54 Quick to snap : TESTY
55 Lone : SOLE
56 One providing a ride at a fair, maybe : PONY
59 Tricked : HAD
60 French word between two names : … NEE …
62 “Exit” key : ESC

9 thoughts on “0623-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. 10:58 I got 3D early and with the circles that helped understand the them and fill in other circles. But I needed lots of crosses for other things – 9A, 14A, 59A, etc.

  2. 14:32. Didn’t get the theme right away due to my own missteps – e.g. I spelled MICHAEL CRIgHTON incorrectly at first and didn’t know what a gIRCLE was.. Also put I HAVE NO idea before CLUE leading to an iONE, whatever that is.

    Oh well, I still managed to finish somehow.

    Best –

  3. Messed up on RFID. Thought it was HFID because I had HASP for 41D..

    Never heard of HOT SECOND.??

  4. About 28 min. no errors BUT
    What does 1A mean?
    What does 41A mean?
    For 58A how does one distinguish from III or LLL or I’ll etc?
    What is a “hot second”?
    Other than that….
    Stay safe😀

    1. 1A: “(in jazz and popular music) a short, simple introductory passage, usually repeated several times until otherwise instructed.” In live performances the backing group will vamp until the lead singer/musician is ready to start.

      41A: “Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver and transmitter. When triggered by an electromagnetic interrogation pulse from a nearby RFID reader device, the tag transmits digital data, usually an identifying inventory number, back to the reader. This number can be used to track inventory goods.”

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