0625-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Jun 21, Friday

Constructed by: Scott Earl
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 16m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Presses (down) : TAMPS

To tamp is to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used specifically to describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

6 Org. for the Houston Dynamo and Austin F.C. : MLS

Major League Soccer (MLS)

22 Partner of day : AGE

In this day and age …

24 2014 Television Hall of Fame inductee : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

The Television Hall of Fame was formed in 1984. There were seven inductees in that first year, including Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Norman Lear and Edward R. Murrow.

29 Endorsement, for short : REC

Recommendation (rec.)

31 Gymnast Mary ___ Retton : LOU

Mary Lou Retton is an Olympic champion gymnast from Fairmont, West Virginia. Retton won Olympic Individual All-Around gold in the 1984 games, making her the first female athlete to do so who wasn’t from Eastern Europe.

32 Its members were collectively awarded Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year : ME TOO MOVEMENT

The use of the #MeToo hashtag initially was encouraged by actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 to draw attention to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Milano was acting in response to the growing number of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The use of the phrase “Me Too” in the context of sexual misconduct dates back to 2006. Social activist Tarana Burke started to use the phrase on the Myspace social network after a 13-year-old girl told her that she had been sexually assaulted. Apparently, Burke had no response at the time the girl confided in her, but later wished she had responded, “Me too”.

36 Hit HBO series based on a Liane Moriarty novel : BIG LITTLE LIES

“Big Little Lies” is a 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

37 What “minuscule” is often misspelled with : AN I

“Minuscule” might be misspelled as “miniscule”.

39 Prep class subject, for short : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

40 Costa ___ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

42 Activity common in nightclubs, in brief : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

44 Italian for “so” : COSI

Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s Italian title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

58 Environmentalist Adams : ANSEL

As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

60 Compound with a fruity smell : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

Down

1 Key symbol near “!” : TILDE

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

2 Tough nut to crack : ACORN

These days, we don’t usually consider acorns as a foodstuff. But in days past, many cultures around the world have used acorns as food. Usually, bitter tannins that occur in acorns need to be leached out in water. Acorn meal can be a substitute for grain flour, which can then be used to make bread. Acorns have also been used as a substitute for coffee, especially when coffee was rationed. Notably, acorn coffee was brewed up by Confederates during the American Civil War, and by Germans during World War II.

3 Sang part of “Old MacDonald” : MOOED

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

7 ___ Bassi, first woman to earn a doctorate in science (University of Bologna, 1732) : LAURA

Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.

8 Garage brand : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

10 “Slow Hands” singer ___ Horan : NIALL

Niall Horan is an Irish singer and former member of the British boy band One Direction. Horan is from Mullinger, a town in the middle of the country from where my own ancestors hail. That’s really all that I know about him …

15 Party org. : DNC

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was set up way back in 1848, and governs the day-to-day affairs of the Democratic Party. Past chairpersons of the DNC include Howard Dean from Vermont, Chris Dodd from Connecticut and Tim Kaine from Virginia.

20 Pests for a grain farmer : WEEVILS

A weevil is a small beetle known for the damage that it can do to crops. The boll weevil damages cotton plants by laying eggs inside cotton bolls. The young weevils then eat their way out. Some weevils have snouts that are as long as their body.

23 Be sycophantic : GROVEL

A sycophant is a selfish person, and one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

27 Styles associated with the Beatles : MOP TOPS

The classic Beatles haircut is called a mop top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and when they arrived at their destination, they had their hair cut that way for the first time.

30 ___ Cruz, so-called “Queen of Salsa” : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and grew up in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world, Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

34 Parts of many rom-coms : MEET-CUTES

“Meet-cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.

35 Quick post-wedding getaway : MINI-MOON

The concept of a honeymoon vacation only started in the early 1800s. In Britain, wealthy couples would take a “bridal tour” together after the wedding, visiting those friends and relatives who could not attend the ceremony. The etymology of “honeymoon” isn’t very clear, and may even have a negative derivation as it might suggest that the sweetness (honey) of love is doomed to wane like a passing phase of the moon. The equivalent terms in other languages are “moon of honey” (French), “honey month” (Welsh) and “tinsel week” (German).

36 World’s largest pasta producer : BARILLA

Barilla is a supplier of Italian foods that is headquartered in Parma, Italy. It was founded as a bakery shop in Parma back in 1877, and now supplies almost 50% of the pasta sold in Italy, and about 15% of pasta sold in the US.

45 Genre for Bridget Riley’s “Shadow Play” : OP ART

Bridget Riley is a painter from England who expresses herself in the genre of op art. One of Riley’s most famous works is 1961’s “Movement in Squares”.

49 It doesn’t offer flights on Saturday mornings : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

52 Group co-founded by Eazy-E : NWA

NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”. I hear that the movie was well received, although hip hop is not my cup of tea. I’m just too old …

“Eazy-E” was the stage name of rapper Eric Lynn Wright. Eazy-E had a pretty liberal lifestyle, fathering seven children with six different women. In 1995, he died due to complications from AIDS when he was only 32 years old.

53 Splicing target : GENE

Recombinant DNA is DNA made under laboratory conditions. The recombination technique (sometimes referred to as “gene splicing”) brings together genetic material from multiple sources. The sources of that genetic material might be from a different part of the same gene, or even from the gene of a different organism. The end result is a new, man-made, genetic combination.

55 X : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our Roman letter X.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Presses (down) : TAMPS
6 Org. for the Houston Dynamo and Austin F.C. : MLS
9 Along for the ride, say : IN TOW
14 “Yeah, lunch now works for me” : I COULD EAT
16 Taurasi who leads the W.N.B.A. in career scoring : DIANA
17 Showing promise : LOOKING UP
18 Tag : LABEL
19 What you’d love to own and drive : DREAM CAR
20 Acknowledgment with a shrug : WELL, OK
21 “This ___ here!” : ENDS
22 Partner of day : AGE
24 2014 Television Hall of Fame inductee : LENO
25 Spirals out over the winter holidays? : HAMS
29 Endorsement, for short : REC
31 Gymnast Mary ___ Retton : LOU
32 Its members were collectively awarded Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year : ME TOO MOVEMENT
35 Unearned advantage based on sex : MALE PRIVILEGE
36 Hit HBO series based on a Liane Moriarty novel : BIG LITTLE LIES
37 What “minuscule” is often misspelled with : AN I
38 Stub hub? : TOE
39 Prep class subject, for short : LSAT
40 Costa ___ : RICA
42 Activity common in nightclubs, in brief : PDA
44 Italian for “so” : COSI
48 Tab on a Google search : IMAGES
50 Band together against : GANG UP ON
54 Lite : LOCAL
55 Question that’s rarely a sign of good news : CAN WE TALK?
56 Buncha : LOTTA
57 Get overly personal, perhaps : HIT A NERVE
58 Environmentalist Adams : ANSEL
59 They’re good to know : INS
60 Compound with a fruity smell : ESTER

Down

1 Key symbol near “!” : TILDE
2 Tough nut to crack : ACORN
3 Sang part of “Old MacDonald” : MOOED
4 Beadlike bit on a surfer’s necklace : PUKA SHELL
5 Improbable : SLIM
6 Ginormous : MEGA
7 ___ Bassi, first woman to earn a doctorate in science (University of Bologna, 1732) : LAURA
8 Garage brand : STP
9 Like some threats : IDLE
10 “Slow Hands” singer ___ Horan : NIALL
11 Four on the floor? : TABLE LEGS
12 Like tutoring, typically : ONE-ON-ONE
13 Peaceful protest : WALKOUT
15 Party org. : DNC
20 Pests for a grain farmer : WEEVILS
23 Be sycophantic : GROVEL
26 Had quite a trip? : ATE IT
27 Styles associated with the Beatles : MOP TOPS
28 Taken care of, with “out” : SORTED …
30 ___ Cruz, so-called “Queen of Salsa” : CELIA
32 Hat tricks are seen in them : MAGIC ACTS
33 “Thanks a ___!” : MIL
34 Parts of many rom-coms : MEET-CUTES
35 Quick post-wedding getaway : MINI-MOON
36 World’s largest pasta producer : BARILLA
41 Fire ___ (gemstone) : AGATE
43 “Wasn’t the first time enough?!” : AGAIN?!
45 Genre for Bridget Riley’s “Shadow Play” : OP ART
46 Crack : SOLVE
47 Aide for a cartoonist : INKER
49 It doesn’t offer flights on Saturday mornings : EL AL
51 Workers you wouldn’t want to see in the office? : ANTS
52 Group co-founded by Eazy-E : NWA
53 Splicing target : GENE
55 X : CHI

11 thoughts on “0625-21 NY Times Crossword 25 Jun 21, Friday”

  1. 8:39. Pretty easy one for me. Fun fact on “minuscule” setting–being a horrible speller, I’m sure I’m in the guilty group. Also liked the “stub hub” clue.

  2. 22:34. Fast, then slow, then fast…then slow. Perseverance paid off. No lookups on a Friday. I’ll take it.

  3. 28:15. Two cheats. Even with two cheats, I still came in last. I guess I should have cheated faster….

    Like Tom R, I enjoyed the clue for AN I – A lot of misspelling clues lately.

    MINI MOON?? Does everything these days have to be done quickly? Boy do I sound old.

    Best –

  4. Like others, several “never heard of” words. MINIMOON? BARILLA? NWA?
    NIALL? CELIA? Then the clue and answer for 47A INKER? is that a noun or a verb? Does the cartoonist need an INKER person to do their cartoon or is an INKER the name given to their pen?
    Good news I got it all with the crosses..

  5. 33 minutes with no errors or look ups which would mean a DNF really. I pride myself on being a good speller but apparently I’ve been wrong on minuscule for a long time.

  6. 23:54, 2 errors: N(Y)ALL/D(Y)ANA. Frustrated that I changed the I to Y at the last minute. DIANA seemed too obvious, and NIALL just didn’t look right.

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