0626-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 21, Saturday

Constructed by: John Lieb & Brad Wilber
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 26m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Test that uses radioactive tracers : PET SCAN

A PET scan is a medical diagnostic tool that relies on the detection of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a radioactive tracer isotope introduced into the body. Usually, the tracer isotope is incorporated into a glucose-like sugar and then injected into the bloodstream. After about an hour, the radioactive compound has been concentrated in areas of high metabolic activity, perhaps a malignant tumor. As the isotope decays, it emits positrons. The positrons interact with electrons resulting in annihilation of the particles with emission of gamma photons. These gamma photons are detected and are drawn on a map showing where the molecular tracer has concentrated. The acronym PET stands for positron emission tomography.

15 Hyperbole from one approaching the buffet : I COULD EAT A HORSE

Hyperbole is the use of exaggerated speech. The term “hyperbole” is Greek, coming from “hyper-” meaning “beyond” and “bole” meaning “a throwing”. When using hyperbole, our choice of words is “thrown beyond” what is normally necessary to get our point across.

17 Literary team playing in front of “ten thousand eyes” : THE MUDVILLE NINE

“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

18 Zoom call figure : HOST

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

19 Jack-in-the-box part : LID

A Jack-in-the-box is a child’s toy. It’s a box with a crank handle at the side. Turning the crank causes a tune to play (usually “Pop Goes the Weasel”), and at the right moment the lid pops open and a spring loaded clown character jumps up out of the box.

20 Goes along with the party line? : CONGAS

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

23 When “Ma is gettin’ kittenish with Pap,” in “Carousel” : JUNE

“June is Busting Out All Over” is a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel“.

32 English football powerhouse, to fans : MAN U

Manchester United (“Man U”) is one of the most successful football (soccer) clubs in England, having won more League titles than any other in the history of the game. The club is also famous for an airplane crash known as the 1958 Munich air disaster. The British European flight crashed during takeoff, resulting in the death of 23 passengers, including eight members of the Manchester United team.

33 HI ring? : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

Hawaii (HI)

34 Like popping bubble wrap, for many : ODDLY SATISFYING

Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 in an abortive attempt to make a 3-dimensional wall covering. The result was a material that wasn’t suitable as a “wallpaper” but that did make a great packing material. And don’t forget the last Monday of every January … that’s Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

38 File size unit, informally : MEG

In the world of computing, one kilobyte (“1k) is one thousandth of a megabyte (“a meg”).

39 Speeds through Shakespeare? : HIES

To hie is to move quickly, to bolt.

41 Digital applications? : PRESS-ONS

Those would be press-on nails.

44 Certain Girl Scout cookies : SAMOAS

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.

45 Serenade need, perhaps : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

46 Cause of a feeding frenzy : CHUM

The word “chum” meaning “fish bait”, is perhaps derived from the Scottish word “chum” meaning food.

51 Toponym in the dairy aisle : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

A toponym is a name that comes from a place or region. For example, New Jersey is named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel, and Indianapolis is named for the state of Indiana.

59 Gloucester setting : CAPE ANN

Cape Ann is located 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.

Gloucester, Massachusetts is a city on Cape Ann. Gloucester is a fishing port and a popular spot for tourists.

Down

3 Answer that would be more apt at 10 Down? : TOES

There are 10 toes down there.

5 Actor Gulager of TV’s “The Tall Man” : CLU

Clu Gulager is a television and film actor. He is best known for playing Billy the Kid in the TV show “The Tall Man” in the early sixties, and then for playing Emmett Ryker in “The Virginian” in the late sixties.

7 Tropical island whose name comes from the Spanish for “snows” : NEVIS

Nevis is an island in the Caribbean Sea, which along with the island of Saint Kitts makes up the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. At the center of Nevis is a volcano, called Nevis Peak. Apparently the clouds at the top of this peak reminded someone of snow, so the island was given the Spanish name “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves” (Our Lady of the Snows). The name “Nevis” then comes from “nieves”, the word for “snow”.

9 It has its limits : CALCULUS

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

11 “Ozymandias,” e.g. : SONNET

“Ozymandias” is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1818:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

12 Master: Abbr. : ORIG

Original (orig.)

13 Jimmy Carter’s alma mater, briefly : USNA

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (JEC) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (USNA). Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shut down the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimise exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

23 ___ Ian, “Mean Girls” revenge seeker : JANIS

“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.

26 Topographical map feature : RIDGE

A topographic map is one that illustrates land relief, the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the terrain. Typically, this is done using contour lines that show the steepness of slopes.

28 Self-described “practical originalist” of the Supreme Court : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

29 City where Marco Polo was held as a prisoner of war : GENOA

Genoa is a seaport in the very north of Italy, in the region known as Liguria. One of Genoa’s most famous sons was Christopher Columbus. Another was the violinist Niccolò Paganini.

Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice and a famous traveler throughout Asia. Polo journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco tends to be the member of the party we remember today though, because it was he who documented their travels in a book called “Il Milione”.

36 German title : FRAU

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

43 Beverage steeped outdoors : SUN TEA

Sun tea is tea that is made simply by dropping tea into water and letting it “brew” in the sun for a few hours, and then adding ice. A blog reader has kindly pointed out that he was told by a doctor that sun tea has the potential to be dangerous. The sun-heated brew is warm enough and sits long enough to incubate any bacterial contamination that may be present. I think I’ll stick to my regular iced tea that is speedily brewed at high temperature …

44 Ungrammatical title of a 1984 Cyndi Lauper hit : SHE BOP

“She Bop” is a hit song released by Cyndi Lauper in 1984. The song was considered controversial because of the sexual nature of the lyrics. In fact, Lauper claims that she recorded the vocal track while she was naked.

47 Kind of power supply : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

49 Junket : TRIP

Nowadays we use the term “junket” for a trip taken by a government official at public expense that has no public benefit. Back in the late 1500s, a junket was a basket for carrying fish. The term was then applied to a feast or banquet, perhaps adopting the notion of a picnic “basket”. From feast or banquet, the term came to mean a pleasure trip, and is now our political junket.

52 ___ Owens a.k.a. Queen Latifah : DANA

Queen Latifah is the stage name of the multitalented Dana Owens. The name “Latifah” is Arabic in origin and translates as “delicate, very kind”. Owens found the name and was attracted to it when she was just eight years old.

53 Court fig. : ATTY

Attorney (atty.)

56 Suffix with Jacob : -EAN

The Jacobean era is that period in England and Scotland when the thrones were occupied by King James VI of Scotland, also known as King James I of England. “Jacobus” is the Latin for “James”.

57 German granny : OMA

The German for “grandpa” is “Opa”, and for “grandma” is “Oma”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Test that uses radioactive tracers : PET SCAN
8 Behaves badly : ACTS OUT
15 Hyperbole from one approaching the buffet : I COULD EAT A HORSE
17 Literary team playing in front of “ten thousand eyes” : THE MUDVILLE NINE
18 Zoom call figure : HOST
19 Jack-in-the-box part : LID
20 Goes along with the party line? : CONGAS
21 They’re searched for in a rush : ORES
23 When “Ma is gettin’ kittenish with Pap,” in “Carousel” : JUNE
24 Like some mail and laundry : SORTED
27 Reduction indicators : SALE TAGS
31 Central event in 1960’s “Inherit the Wind” : TRIAL
32 English football powerhouse, to fans : MAN U
33 HI ring? : LEI
34 Like popping bubble wrap, for many : ODDLY SATISFYING
38 File size unit, informally : MEG
39 Speeds through Shakespeare? : HIES
40 Give away : RAT ON
41 Digital applications? : PRESS-ONS
44 Certain Girl Scout cookies : SAMOAS
45 Serenade need, perhaps : LUTE
46 Cause of a feeding frenzy : CHUM
47 Go to : ATTEND
50 Occupied leader? : PRE-
51 Toponym in the dairy aisle : EDAM
55 “Can you be less cryptic?” : CARE TO ELABORATE?
58 Times when NPR listeners are engrossed enough to linger in their idling cars : DRIVEWAY MOMENTS
59 Gloucester setting : CAPE ANN
60 Some bachelorette outings : SPA DAYS

Down

1 Crux : PITH
2 Second, so to speak : ECHO
3 Answer that would be more apt at 10 Down? : TOES
4 Entirety, redundantly : SUM TOTAL
5 Actor Gulager of TV’s “The Tall Man” : CLU
6 Mixed up : ADDLED
7 Tropical island whose name comes from the Spanish for “snows” : NEVIS
8 Home to the Trap Music Museum: Abbr. : ATL
9 It has its limits : CALCULUS
10 Romantic’s dream : THE ONE
11 “Ozymandias,” e.g. : SONNET
12 Master: Abbr. : ORIG
13 Jimmy Carter’s alma mater, briefly : USNA
14 Popular reunion swag : TEES
16 Backing : AID
22 Count : RELY
23 ___ Ian, “Mean Girls” revenge seeker : JANIS
24 Annoy downstairs neighbors, maybe : STOMP
25 Opposite of 54-Down : ORDER
26 Topographical map feature : RIDGE
27 Stuffs : SATES
28 Self-described “practical originalist” of the Supreme Court : ALITO
29 City where Marco Polo was held as a prisoner of war : GENOA
30 “Stop” and “Open,” e.g. : SIGNS
32 Noted producer of blueberries : MAINE
35 Discredited : SHOT DOWN
36 German title : FRAU
37 Went on and on and on and … : YAMMERED
42 Labor-intensive tattoo type : SLEEVE
43 Beverage steeped outdoors : SUN TEA
44 Ungrammatical title of a 1984 Cyndi Lauper hit : SHE BOP
46 Stuffs : CRAMS
47 Kind of power supply : AC/DC
48 ___ Westover, author of the 2018 best-selling memoir “Educated” : TARA
49 Junket : TRIP
50 Thickness : PLY
52 ___ Owens a.k.a. Queen Latifah : DANA
53 Court fig. : ATTY
54 Opposite of 25-Down : MESS
56 Suffix with Jacob : -EAN
57 German granny : OMA

12 thoughts on “0626-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 31:51. This was a tough one. I am in awe of the skill it took to fit in all those long phrases. And there was some pretty clever cluing

  2. 25:57, no errors. At the end, I spent four or five minutes in the upper left corner: “PITH” didn’t come readily to mind, I wasn’t absolutely sure there was such a thing as a “PET SCAN”, I’m not familiar enough with Zoom know that a “HOST” is required, I was unjustifiably mystified by the clue for “TOES”, and I was determined to get the happy music at the end of my solve, so I stared at it until I finally saw the significance of … 10! … Down!(duh!), put a significant dent in my forehead, and typed in the final letter.

    (In my own defense, I would add that this puzzle was third in a sequence of unusually difficult ones that I did last night … 😜.)

  3. 28:49 I started this around 06:00 this morning and got stumped by the top third. I had to move cabinets back into the garage after it was recoated and so naturally (after the floor had cured for 24 hrs.) had to do that today as the temp in Seattle is approaching 100 (might be an unheard of 110 on Monday). So I stopped the puzzle about 22 minutes in to start moving. We finished moving at 1:30 and I was extremely flush and overheated. After some lunch, including ice cream, I picked up the puzzle again and I did that top third in about 6 minutes. So I guess the heat did not fry my brain after all. Getting the jingle was of course – 34A

  4. 33:57. Very proud to have finished this one. For a while I couldn’t fill anything in. These tend to be the most satisfying puzzles so kudos to the setters.

    Clue for ODDLY SATISFYING was strange (but oddly satisfying??), but Wordplay mentioned how much thought the setters put into it so I’ll choose to appreciate it.

    Had “integral” before CALCULUS. Unfortunately, it fit and it took me forever to give it up.

    Best –

  5. 54:51, your times are all safe again!! Just started back to work full time, but on “B” trick, so I no longer can start the puzzle at 10:01 PM like I used to, so my horribly slow times will all be recorded later than normal :- ( Likely not to be seen until the syndicated solvers arrive in 5 weeks

  6. Tough one for me… messed up 1A..
    Didn’t know 5D, 7D or 3D… nothing made sense. Ended with PESSBAL???
    So CLU Gulager and NEVIS are a thing.. huh. Hope I remember that. Guess if I would have known more spanish.. Maybe??

  7. A NYT Saturday two setter puzzle…DNF big time👎👎👎
    Clues like25 & 54D are worse than foreign word ones IMO.
    Waste of time.
    Stay safe😀

  8. I’m sorry, 3 Down was a **bullsh*t** clue. “Ten Down…” does not adequately describe “toes” and the answer in 10D has nothing whatsoever to do with it. That was needless obfuscation!!! And it would have been child’s play to come up with a decent clue for that.

    The grid was hard enough without making solvers feel cheated and tricked.

    1. FWIW, I didn’t feel “cheated and tricked”, just amused, that it took me a few moments to grasp the meaning of the clue for 3-Down. It helps to approach crossword puzzles with a healthy ego (by which I mean a realistic ego – one that includes a fully functional sense of humor).

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