0628-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Jun 21, Monday

Constructed by: Pamela F. Davis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Home Chef

Themed answers sound like common phrases, and the clues are comments that might be made by a child to his or her mom, the HOME CHEF:

  • 39D Popular meal kit company (or the mother of the food critic featured in this puzzle?) : HOME CHEF
  • 17A “So, this red thing, Mom? This is not good.” : BEET REPORT (sounds like “beat report”)
  • 27A “The French one is my favorite. Wait, no, the pretzel one.” : ROLL REVERSAL (sounds like “role reversal”)
  • 48A “Eww, mollusks … I don’t know, didn’t this make me sick last time?” : MUSSEL MEMORY (sounds like “muscle memory”)
  • 63A “Wow, Mom, this is like at a restaurant! Dibs on the chocolate pudding!” : MOUSSE CALL (sounds like “moose call”)

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Potato, informally : SPUD

The word “spud”, used as a slang term for “potato”, was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

5 Desert succulent : AGAVE

The agave is a succulent plant found mainly in Mexico. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), the agave is unrelated to the cactus, and isn’t related to the aloe plant either. The blue agave is used in the production of tequila.

15 ___ Heights (Syria/Israel border area) : GOLAN

Geographically speaking, the Golan Heights is a plateau in the Middle East with the western two-thirds of its area falling within Israel, and the eastern third falling within Syria. The name Golan Heights also applies to the geopolitical region that was captured from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and occupied by Israel.

17 “So, this red thing, Mom? This is not good.” : BEET REPORT (sounds like “beat report”)

Beat reporting (also “beat journalism”) operates alongside general assignment reporting. Beat reports focus on one particular area, or “beat”. So a beat reporter might cover a geographic area, or perhaps a particular issue.

20 Wild time at the mall : SPREE

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

26 Amend a tax return, perhaps : REFILE

If I amended my tax return, I guess I’d have to re-e-file …

27 “The French one is my favorite. Wait, no, the pretzel one.” : ROLL REVERSAL (sounds like “role reversal”)

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

34 Get out of ___ (leave town) : DODGE

The phrase “get out of Dodge”, meaning “scram, flee”, is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas. The phrase became a cliché on TV westerns (mainly “Gunsmoke”, I think) and was then popularized by teenagers in the sixties and seventies.

40 Mexican marinade made with chili pepper : ADOBO

In Spanish and Mexican cuisine, a dish prepared “adobo” style has been marinated in a mixture containing paprika, oregano, salt, garlic and vinegar. “Adobo” is Spanish for “marinade, seasoning”.

42 Sonnet or ode : POEM

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

48 “Eww, mollusks … I don’t know, didn’t this make me sick last time?” : MUSSEL MEMORY (sounds like “muscle memory”)

Some argue that eating mussels grown in farms may be friendlier to the planet than following a vegan diet. Mussel farms use no land, no freshwater, no fertilizer, and even clean up the surrounding seawater.

51 Actress Meryl with nine Golden Globe Awards : STREEP

Meryl Streep has had more Academy Award nominations, and more Golden Globe nominations, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

54 “Buona ___” (Italian greeting) : SERA

“Buona sera” is Italian for “good evening”.

62 It’s a crime to lie under it : OATH

Do you solemnly (swear/affirm) that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (so help you God/under pains and penalties of perjury)?

63 “Wow, Mom, this is like at a restaurant! Dibs on the chocolate pudding!” : MOUSSE CALL (sounds like “moose call”)

Our word “mousse” is an Old French term meaning “froth”.

The moose is the largest species in the deer family, and can stand almost at 7 feet at the shoulder. Moose are a little unusual in that they are solitary animals, unlike other deers who tend to move in herds. We use the term “moose” here in North America, but confusingly, the same animal is referred to as “elk” in British English.

66 Garfield’s canine pal : ODIE

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

67 Energy giant synonymous with corporate scandal : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

69 Ecosystem built by corals : REEF

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.

70 Seat at a counter : STOOL

When we sit at a counter (in a diner, say), there’s a connection with money lenders. Back in the mid-1300s, a counter was the table used by a money lender doing business. The term “counter” came into English from Latin via French, ultimately from “computare” meaning “to count”.

Down

4 “Ooh, spill the tea!” : DO TELL!

To spill the beans is to divulge a secret. The expression first appeared in American English, in the early 1900s. The phrase arose as an alternative to “spoil the beans” or “upset the applecart”. The similarly meaning phrase “spill the tea” is more prevalent on the other side of the Atlantic.

6 Republicans, for short : GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

7 ___ vera : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

11 Culprit in some food poisoning cases : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

12 Conch, e.g. : SHELL

Although “conch” is now used as a generic term for largish sea snails and their shells, the true conch belongs to a specific group of gastropods. The “meat” is very popular, and so the conch is the second most popular edible snail after “escargot”. The conch shell can be used as a wind instrument, and the true conch is also a good source for pearls.

24 Actress Catherine ___-Jones : ZETA

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a movie actress from Swansea in Wales. Her earlier starring roles were in films such as “The Mask of Zorro” and “Entrapment”, followed by much-lauded performances in “Traffic” (2000) and “Chicago” (2002). Zeta-Jones is married to actor Michael Douglas who is exactly 25 years her senior (the pair share the same birthday).

27 Singer McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

28 You can’t say they won’t give a hoot! : OWLS

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote a 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

35 Training place for martial arts : DOJO

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

37 Award won multiple times by “Modern Family” and “All in the Family” : EMMY

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras. The Emmy statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948, and depicts a woman holding up an atom. McManus used his wife as a model for the woman.

“Modern Family” is a marvelous television show shown on ABC since 2009. The show’s format is that of a “mockumentary”, with the cast often addressing the camera directly. In that respect “Modern Family” resembles two other excellent shows: “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, both of which might also be described as “mockumentaries”.

“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, and a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:

  • Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic

39 Popular meal kit company (or the mother of the food critic featured in this puzzle?) : HOME CHEF

Home Chef is a company that delivers meal kits to consumers. The fresh ingredients are pre-measured, and the kit includes cooking instructions.

46 Twilled fabric for suits : SERGE

Serge is a type of twill fabric with diagonal ridges on both sides. The name “serge” comes from the Greek word for “silken”.

49 Sea foams : SPUMES

Our word “spume”, which we use for “froth”, comes from the Latin “spuma” meaning “foam”.

50 Former Philippine president Ferdinand : MARCOS

Ferdinand Marcos served as President of the Philippines from 1965 until 1986, when he was forced to flee the country in the face of a popular revolt. Marcos, and his infamous wife Imelda, were known for their excesses and corruption. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Honolulu in 1989.

51 Scent of an animal : SPOOR

“Spoor” is both a verb and a noun. The word describes the track left by an animal, or the act of following said track. We’ve been using it in English since the early 1800s, having imported it from the Afrikaans language.

56 Journey’s “___ Stop Believin'” : DON’T

Journey is a San Francisco band that got together back in 1973. Journey’s biggest hits are probably “Who’s Crying Now” (1981), “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981) and “Open Arms” (1982).

57 $ : dollar :: € : ___ : EURO

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

59 Honolulu’s home : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

61 Fraternal order : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

64 Phillipa ___, Tony nominee for “Hamilton” : SOO

Phillipa Soo is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for portraying Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the title character’s wife in the Broadway production of “Hamilton”.

65 NBC sketch show, in brief : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Potato, informally : SPUD
5 Desert succulent : AGAVE
10 Net material : MESH
14 … approximately : … OR SO
15 ___ Heights (Syria/Israel border area) : GOLAN
16 Reverberation : ECHO
17 “So, this red thing, Mom? This is not good.” : BEET REPORT (sounds like “beat report”)
19 Ending with church or party : -GOER
20 Wild time at the mall : SPREE
21 Assesses visually : EYEBALLS
23 Lounge around : LAZE
26 Amend a tax return, perhaps : REFILE
27 “The French one is my favorite. Wait, no, the pretzel one.” : ROLL REVERSAL (sounds like “role reversal”)
32 Lamb’s mother : EWE
33 Gaze intently : STARE
34 Get out of ___ (leave town) : DODGE
38 Boring : BLAH
40 Mexican marinade made with chili pepper : ADOBO
42 Sonnet or ode : POEM
43 Request from : ASK OF
45 Blissful spots : EDENS
47 Printer malfunction : JAM
48 “Eww, mollusks … I don’t know, didn’t this make me sick last time?” : MUSSEL MEMORY (sounds like “muscle memory”)
51 Actress Meryl with nine Golden Globe Awards : STREEP
54 “Buona ___” (Italian greeting) : SERA
55 Render impossible : PRECLUDE
58 Fumble (for) : GROPE
62 It’s a crime to lie under it : OATH
63 “Wow, Mom, this is like at a restaurant! Dibs on the chocolate pudding!” : MOUSSE CALL (sounds like “moose call”)
66 Garfield’s canine pal : ODIE
67 Energy giant synonymous with corporate scandal : ENRON
68 “I get it now” : OH OK
69 Ecosystem built by corals : REEF
70 Seat at a counter : STOOL
71 Has an evening meal : SUPS

Down

1 Weeps loudly : SOBS
2 Get ready for a test, say : PREP
3 ___ name and password : USER
4 “Ooh, spill the tea!” : DO TELL!
5 “___ before beauty” : AGE
6 Republicans, for short : GOP
7 ___ vera : ALOE
8 Change into different forms : VARY
9 Walks in : ENTERS
10 Epic failure : MEGAFLOP
11 Culprit in some food poisoning cases : E COLI
12 Conch, e.g. : SHELL
13 Animal in a stable : HORSE
18 Rises up on its hind legs, as a 13-Down : REARS
22 Item strung on a necklace : BEAD
24 Actress Catherine ___-Jones : ZETA
25 Manages to elude : EVADES
27 Singer McEntire : REBA
28 You can’t say they won’t give a hoot! : OWLS
29 Reveal, as confidential information : LEAK
30 Gradually wear away, as soil : ERODE
31 Rises up in protest : REBELS
35 Training place for martial arts : DOJO
36 One of 10 on a 10-speed : GEAR
37 Award won multiple times by “Modern Family” and “All in the Family” : EMMY
39 Popular meal kit company (or the mother of the food critic featured in this puzzle?) : HOME CHEF
41 “You can count ___” : ON ME
44 Gas or coal : FUEL
46 Twilled fabric for suits : SERGE
49 Sea foams : SPUMES
50 Former Philippine president Ferdinand : MARCOS
51 Scent of an animal : SPOOR
52 Exchange : TRADE
53 Fix, as a knot : RETIE
56 Journey’s “___ Stop Believin'” : DON’T
57 $ : dollar :: € : ___ : EURO
59 Honolulu’s home : OAHU
60 Sound of sitting down heavily : PLOP
61 Fraternal order : ELKS
64 Phillipa ___, Tony nominee for “Hamilton” : SOO
65 NBC sketch show, in brief : SNL

10 thoughts on “0628-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Jun 21, Monday”

  1. 6:22, no errors. I’m familiar with “BEAT REPORTING” by “BEAT REPORTERS”, so why does “BEAT REPORT” sound a bit … off? I’d say it’s just me, but Google keeps wanting to expand it in the same way that I do. (Not really a problem for the solve; just … odd.)

  2. Did this puzzle while on hold. Once the person came on, I forgot to stop the clock so no idea as to my real time. Seemed a little harder than normal for a Monday.

    If you only tried one or two STOOLS at a bar, would that be a small STOOL sample?

    Best-

  3. 6:49, no errors. Definitely frustrating when I’m writing all the time and end up with something *that* much slower than when I can fat-finger things.

  4. Just under 20 min. no errors…I had to check the calendar to make sure it was Monday and not Wednesday.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 33min. Cute theme! However, some of the phrases were a bit off? “muscle memory” and “role reversal” are interesting phrases, but I wouldn’t call “moose call” a phrase. Also it ruins the alliteration!

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