0701-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Jul 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Big Ends

Themed answers end with a word that needs “BIG” to precede it:

  • 20A “I can’t believe I said that” : ME AND MY BIG MOUTH
  • 30A “Hold it, buster!” : WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA
  • 39A “This favor doesn’t come cheap!” : YOU OWE ME BIG TIME
  • 51A “Really can’t count on it, I’m afraid” : THAT’S A VERY BIG IF

Bill’s time: 10m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Feature of a smartwatch, in brief : GPS

Global positioning system (GPS)

9 Perniciousness : HARM

Something pernicious is very harmful, causing death or serious injury. The term ultimately comes from the Latin “per-” meaning “completely” and “necis” meaning “violent death”.

13 A little snowy, perhaps? : OWLET

The snowy owl (also “snow owl”) is such a beautiful-looking creature. Itl has plumage that is thick and white, making it well-adapted for life in its native habitat in the Arctic north.

14 Habitat becoming bleached by global warming : 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.

17 Something that turns light green? : SOLAR PANEL

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

19 Habit : WONT

The adjective “wont” means “accustomed”, as in “I am wont to solving the crossword of an evening”.

25 Skedaddles, cowboy-style : GITS

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

33 Instrument that largely replaced the ophicleide : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

35 Box score column : RBIS

In the world of sports, a box score lists the score of a game as well as achievements of the competing teams and team members.

46 C2H6 : ETHANE

Ethane is the second largest component of natural gas after methane. Ethane’s main use is in the production of ethylene, a compound that is widely used in the chemical industry.

47 Cath lab supply : STENTS

In the world of surgical medicine, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, in order to reduce the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

48 Rhyme for “menorah” in “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah” : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also “horah”) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

There is a seven-branched menorah used symbolically in ancient temples. However, the Hanukkah menorah is a nine-branched lampstand that is lit during the eight-day holiday called Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. “Menorah” is the Hebrew word for “lamp”.

The term “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew for “to dedicate”. Hanukkah is a holiday lasting eight days that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after a successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd-century BCE. The story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept the menorah alight for eight days.

54 Capitale of the Lazio region of Italy : ROMA

Lazio is one of 20 administrative regions that cover Italy. Lazio is in the center of the country on the west coast, and is home to the capital city Rome.

59 Midwest center of agricultural research : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

60 Woody in “Toy Story,” e.g. : DOLL

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

61 Produce safety concern : 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.

64 Curling locales : RINKS

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

Down

1 Rihanna’s first #1 single : SOS

“SOS” is a dance-pop song released by Rihanna in 2006.

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

6 50s president : GRANT

President Ulysses S. Grant appears on the obverse of the US fifty-dollar bill. There have been two unsuccessful attempts in recent years in Congress to have President Grant’s image replaced with that of President Ronald Reagan.

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

9 Words of befuddlement : HOW ON EARTH?!

To be befuddled is to be confused. Originally, back in the late 1800s, that confusion was specifically caused by liquor or opium.

12 They may come to light : MOTHS

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

15 Casting option : FLY ROD

A fly rod is used for fly fishing.

22 Lizardlike amphibian : NEWT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

23 Where the Ko’olau range is located : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

42 She played Sophie in “Sophie’s Choice” : MERYL

“Sophie’s Choice” is a novel by William Styron. The title character is a Polish survivor of Nazi concentration camps. The tragic “choice” which Sophie had to make was forced on her by a sadistic German doctor during the war. Sophie had to decide which of her two young children would be immediately gassed, and which would be allowed to live in a camp. Famously, Sophie was played on the big screen by actress Meryl Streep.

47 Bra part : STRAP

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

48 Hujambo : Swahili :: ___ : English : HELLO

Swahili is one of the many Bantu languages spoken in Africa. There are hundreds of Bantu languages, with most being spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

49 Procter & Gamble brand : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

52 YouTube journal posting : VLOG

A video blog is perhaps what one might expect, i.e. a blog that is essentially a series of video posts. The phrase “video logging” is often shortened to “vlogging”.

56 South Korean currency : WON

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

58 First word of the song “Simple Gifts” : ‘TIS

“Simple Gifts” is a Shaker song from 1848 written by Joseph Brackett. The song became widely popular when Aaron Copland used its melody in the ballet “Appalachian Spring”, first performed in the 1940s.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Steals and saves, e.g. : STATS
6 Feature of a smartwatch, in brief : GPS
9 Perniciousness : HARM
13 A little snowy, perhaps? : OWLET
14 Habitat becoming bleached by global warming : REEF
16 Crumbly ice cream topping : OREO
17 Something that turns light green? : SOLAR PANEL
19 Habit : WONT
20 “I can’t believe I said that” : ME AND MY BIG MOUTH
22 Directory info: Abbr. : NOS
25 Skedaddles, cowboy-style : GITS
26 Helps with the dishes : RINSES
27 Doesn’t do takeout at a restaurant : EATS IN
29 Polite refusal : NO NEED
30 “Hold it, buster!” : WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA
33 Instrument that largely replaced the ophicleide : TUBA
34 Completely dominate : OWN
35 Box score column : RBIS
39 “This favor doesn’t come cheap!” : YOU OWE ME BIG TIME
44 Grow on trees, so to speak : ABOUND
46 C2H6 : ETHANE
47 Cath lab supply : STENTS
48 Rhyme for “menorah” in “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah” : HORA
50 Spring roll? : SOD
51 “Really can’t count on it, I’m afraid” : THAT’S A VERY BIG IF
54 Capitale of the Lazio region of Italy : ROMA
55 Overruling of an objection : I’LL ALLOW IT
59 Midwest center of agricultural research : AMES
60 Woody in “Toy Story,” e.g. : DOLL
61 Produce safety concern : E COLI
62 Access to an expense account, perhaps : PERK
63 Hunk : GOB
64 Curling locales : RINKS

Down

1 Rihanna’s first #1 single : SOS
2 ← : TWO
3 Word with ears or thumbs : ALL …
4 Squad : TEAM
5 Luxury hotel chain : ST REGIS
6 50s president : GRANT
7 Is unresolved : PENDS
8 Come across as : SEEM
9 Words of befuddlement : HOW ON EARTH?!
10 Stimulate : AROUSE
11 Didn’t buy, say : RENTED
12 They may come to light : MOTHS
15 Casting option : FLY ROD
18 It can be stripped or chipped : PAINT
21 Quarry : MINE
22 Lizardlike amphibian : NEWT
23 Where the Ko’olau range is located : OAHU
24 Random guess : STAB
28 Keep focused : STAY ON TASK
29 Point value commonly assigned to a queen in chess : NINE
31 Part of academic regalia : HOOD
32 “Ick!” : EWW!
36 Leaning : BIAS
37 “___ expert …” : I’M NO
38 Genesis : SEED
40 On the ___ (not talking to each other) : OUTS
41 Tacit : UNSAID
42 She played Sophie in “Sophie’s Choice” : MERYL
43 Amazon, for one : ETAILER
44 In : AT HOME
45 Visibly happy person : BEAMER
47 Bra part : STRAP
48 Hujambo : Swahili :: ___ : English : HELLO
49 Procter & Gamble brand : ORAL-B
52 YouTube journal posting : VLOG
53 Points of interest : FOCI
56 South Korean currency : WON
57 Sort : ILK
58 First word of the song “Simple Gifts” : ‘TIS

15 thoughts on “0701-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Jul 21, Thursday”

  1. 18:46 I was confused by the bigger squares for a while. Not sure if I can use doing this at 1:15 a.m. as an excuse. Finally got the BIG IDEA with 39A. Then I just kept cycling thru the NE corner as I had NUTS for 16A as my wife always likes crushed nuts on her sundaes and such. Once I hit upon OREO and also changing NOMAAM to NONEED then I got the BIG IDEA and the small jingle.

    Good misdirection on several clues.
    OK – it’s time for sleep now!!

    1. @Tom R … I wondered about that, too, but this morning I suddenly realized … his face is on the 50-dollar bill!

  2. 22:13. I saw the theme relatively quickly, but I got stuck in a few spots. Good cluing in this one.

    I got GRANT on a $50 bill right away, but that’s just my being a capitalist…

    Best –

  3. 12:42, no errors. Nothing I can overly complain about, except for the very softball theme, especially if you look at what the print version was. A note should have appeared for all the online solvers:

    “In the print version of this puzzle, the following squares in the grid have been enlarged beyond their usual borders:The last five squares of 20-Across, The last four squares of 30- and 39-Across, The last two squares of 51-Across”

    Just underwhelming.

  4. Well the BIG hint didn’t add anything.

    Never heard of or been to the St Regis.

    Couple of misdirects..

  5. I always stay in the Penthouse when I visit the St Regis. Very comfortable, I highly recommend it. This puzzle not so much. I was thinking that my printer might be messed up with the weird boxes.

  6. Just under 30 min. with no errors…Is it just me or did this Thursday puzzle seem easier than Tuesday and Wednesday?
    Stay safe😀
    PLEASE get the shot🙏

  7. The extra sized cells in my print edition were a BIG hint that made for a quick solve. The Grant 50s clue was clever misdirection but neither Dwight or Ike fit so….

  8. 19:11, no errors. In my syndicated, print version the theme boxes looked like they were drawn by hand. Enjoyed the theme.

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