0703-21 NY Times Crossword 3 Jul 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 54m 58s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Warning made with H.R. in mind : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

14 ___ Lederer, a.k.a. Ann Landers : EPPIE

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

16 College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. : MARIST

The City of Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson River Valley in New York State. The city’s name comes from a Wappinger word that can be translated as “the reed-covered lodge by the little-water place”.

17 Trace evidence? : STENCIL

A stencil is a sheet of impervious material with perforations in the shape of letters or a design. The stencil is placed over a surface to be printed and then the printing medium is applied, so that the medium only attaches to the surface beneath the perforations.

18 Monopoly token : HAT

The tokens included with a game of Monopoly have changed over the years. Two of the more interesting tokens are the battleship and cannon. These were created by Hasbro for a board game called Conflict. When Conflict failed in the market, the excess tokens were recycled and included with Monopoly.

20 Longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent : STAHL

Television journalist Lesley Stahl first appeared on “60 Minutes” in 1991, after serving as moderator of “Face the Nation” for almost 8 years starting in 1983. Stahl is married to author and journalist Aaron Latham. One of Latham’s claims to fame is that he wrote the article that inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy”.

21 Hit taken willingly : TOKE

“Toke” is a slang term describing a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

22 Where cc’s are seen : ICU

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU) and an emergency room (ER).

Cubic centimeter (cc)

23 Radio amateur : HAM OPERATOR

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

30 More than just moi : NOUS

In French, one might say that “nous” (we) minus “moi” (me) is just “toi” (you).

31 “The Fly,” “The Host” or “The Thing” : CREATURE FEATURE

The 1986 sci-fi horror film “The Fly” stars Jeff Goldblum as a scientist who gradually turns into a fly-like creature as the result of a teleportation experiment that goes awry. The 1986 film is loosely based on a 1957 short story by George Langelaan. I saw the original 1958 movie adaptation of that story when I was just a lad, and it really scared me. I’ve managed to avoid the two sequels and the 1986 remake …

35 Cereal container : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

40 Listing near a club? : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling “club” in Saratoga Springs, New York.

41 ___ Ishii, Lucy Liu’s character in “Kill Bill” : OREN

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I do enjoy one of Liu’s more recent projects in which she plays Joan Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

42 Demand during a gossip sesh : DEETS

“Deets” is slang for “details”.

47 One is depicted on the Oregon license plate : FIR

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

48 McCarthyite called out in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” : ROY COHN

Roy Cohn was a prominent assistant and associate to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the days when McCarthy was famously investigating Communist activities in the US. Prior to his work with Senator McCarthy, Cohn was a central figure on the prosecuting team in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a 1989 song by Billy Joel. The lyrics are really quite unique, consisting mainly of over a hundred newspaper headlines from 1949 to 1989. Joel chose 1949 as it was the year of his birth.

52 Metal oxide in dental crowns : ZIRCONIA

The metallic element we know as zirconium takes its name from the mineral “zircon” from which it is extracted.

54 Plato is considered the father of it : IDEALISM

Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

55 Stadium in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center : ASHE

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997, and is the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) facility at Flushing Meadow is known as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The center is host to the annual US Open Tennis Championships.

56 Artistic imitation : PASTICHE

A pastiche is an artistic work, such as a piece of music, that is written by one person in the style of another. The term can also apply to a mixture of different things.

Down

3 Strengthen, as an embankment : REVET

To revet is to reface, especially when talking about shoring up an embankment. The term “revet” comes from the Latin “revestire” meaning “reclothe”.

4 ___ Gilbert, “The Vampire Diaries” protagonist : ELENA

“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spin-off television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …

5 Cabana : BEACH HUT

Our word “cabana” comes from the Spanish “cabaña”, the word for a small hut or a cabin. We often use the term to describe a tent-like structure beside a pool.

6 Verdi opera set during the fifth century : ATTILA

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Attila” is based on the play “Attila, King of the Huns” written by Friedrich Werner. The opera premiered in 1846 in Venice.

7 With 8-Down, part of some shortcuts : CTRL …

8 See 7-Down : … KEY

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

9 Glass home? : NPR

“This American Life” is a radio show that is broadcast weekly on National Public Radio (NPR). Host of the show is the much-respected Ira Glass. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

21 Edgar Allan Poe poem written for a woman named Jane, despite its title : TO HELEN

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.

24 Member of the only M.L.B. team never to have played in a World Series : MARINER

The Seattle Mariners (SEA) are the only Major League team never to have appeared in a World Series. The Mariners are owned by the Nintendo Corporation of America, making them one of three Major League teams owned by businesses. The other two are the Atlanta Braves (owned by Liberty Media) and the Toronto Blue Jays (owned by Rogers Communications).

27 Proverbial rarities : HEN’S TEETH

Something might be described as scarcer than hen’s teeth, as hens don’t have teeth at all!

31 Country that celebrates the new year (“Choul Chnam Thmey”) in April : CAMBODIA

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. “Cambodia” is the English version of the country’s name, which in Khmer is “Kampuchea”.

43 Cause to recall? : 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.

44 Invigorating substance : TONIC

A tonic is medication that is said to restore health. The original use of the term “tonic” was as an adjective meaning “increasing body tone”.

45 Literally, “skewer” : SHISH

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

48 Rapper Flo ___ : RIDA

Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

51 “BlacKkKlansman” director : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

52 Jack squat : ZIP

“Squat” is a slang term for “nothing”. “Squat” and the variant “Jack squat”, probably have a distasteful derivation that is related to a bodily function.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 What may need to be kneaded : SORE BACK
9 Warning made with H.R. in mind : NSFW
13 Dish that may be made in its own pan : OMELETTE
14 ___ Lederer, a.k.a. Ann Landers : EPPIE
15 Test out : GIVE A TRY
16 College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. : MARIST
17 Trace evidence? : STENCIL
18 Monopoly token : HAT
19 Shaded from the sun : TAN
20 Longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent : STAHL
21 Hit taken willingly : TOKE
22 Where cc’s are seen : ICU
23 Radio amateur : HAM OPERATOR
26 It’s often seen beside art : THOU …
29 “Beg pardon …” : AHEM …
30 More than just moi : NOUS
31 “The Fly,” “The Host” or “The Thing” : CREATURE FEATURE
34 “___ Nobody” (hit for Rufus and Chaka Khan) : AIN’T
35 Cereal container : SILO
36 D.___ (doctor of letters deg.) : LITT
37 Boston’s flagship medical center, familiarly : MASS GENERAL
40 Listing near a club? : BLT
41 ___ Ishii, Lucy Liu’s character in “Kill Bill” : OREN
42 Demand during a gossip sesh : DEETS
46 Blast furnace input : ORE
47 One is depicted on the Oregon license plate : FIR
48 McCarthyite called out in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” : ROY COHN
50 Took shots with? : DUELED
52 Metal oxide in dental crowns : ZIRCONIA
53 Latin “between” : INTER
54 Plato is considered the father of it : IDEALISM
55 Stadium in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center : ASHE
56 Artistic imitation : PASTICHE

Down

1 Soaks : SOGS
2 Drops : OMITS
3 Strengthen, as an embankment : REVET
4 ___ Gilbert, “The Vampire Diaries” protagonist : ELENA
5 Cabana : BEACH HUT
6 Verdi opera set during the fifth century : ATTILA
7 With 8-Down, part of some shortcuts : CTRL …
8 See 7-Down : … KEY
9 Glass home? : NPR
10 “Just say what you’re going to say!” : SPIT IT OUT!
11 Govt. body that approves warrant requests for spies : FISA COURT
12 Milk provider : WET NURSE
14 Word with man or fire : … EATER
16 Defiant response : MAKE ME!
18 Desire : HOPE FOR
21 Edgar Allan Poe poem written for a woman named Jane, despite its title : TO HELEN
24 Member of the only M.L.B. team never to have played in a World Series : MARINER
25 Hardly a pro : ANTI
26 Tests : TRIAL RUNS
27 Proverbial rarities : HEN’S TEETH
28 Sea ___ (grass seen in sand dunes) : OATS
31 Country that celebrates the new year (“Choul Chnam Thmey”) in April : CAMBODIA
32 Log-in component : USER ID
33 Street prowler : ALLEY CAT
38 Many an intern : GOFER
39 Could gobble right up : ADORES
43 Cause to recall? : E COLI
44 Invigorating substance : TONIC
45 Literally, “skewer” : SHISH
48 Rapper Flo ___ : RIDA
49 Receptionist’s query : NAME?
51 “BlacKkKlansman” director : LEE
52 Jack squat : ZIP

13 thoughts on “0703-21 NY Times Crossword 3 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. 17:13. Pretty difficult one; the NW took me a little while. I had STENCIL and STAHL and BEACHHUT but was otherwise blocked until I guessed that 3D had to be RE-something, and that got me SORE BACK. Nice Saturday challenge.

  2. 20:52, no errors. At the end, I paused for a bit over the “S” of “MARIST” and “FISA COURT” (both of which I’ve heard of, but not recently enough to be sure of). I finally put it in and was gratified that it was correct. Over all, a good tussle … 😜.

    1. 35:29. I also struggled with the NW and SE. Did a lookup for the SE (48A) and that was enough for me to blunder through. Just not on the clue wavelength. Once I got the answers I shook my head a bit, then understanding the sense of the clues. I had NIL before ZIP; KABOB before SHISH; SOPS vs SOGS (not heard of SOGS before, I think. Soggy yes, SOGS no). Unfamiliar with REVET. Was thinking it’s more like VETting someone’s credentials again. Or taking your puppy to the clinic a 2nd time. 🙂

      You know it’s tough when Bill’s time is 54 minutes!!
      Good challenge

  3. 27:35. Not bad for a Saturday. I remembered DEETS from crosswords past.

    Had (Morley) SAFER before STAHL and NIL before ZIP. Otherwise, fairly smooth.

    Best –

  4. 38:20, 1 error off the bad cluing (duh on this one, it’s full of it, the whole thing was a pure guess fest) at 39D. Never should have seen the light of day streak now at six.

  5. 41:09, no errors. Complete guess-fest. Didn’t help that Mongolia and CAMBODIA both fit into 31D.

    @Bill: 23A, according to Wikipedia, the origin of the use of HAM in HAM OPERATOR, came from referring to a person with poor Morse code skill as being HAM fisted.

  6. So…on Saturday the actual answer to 36A is shown a “D.” Litt Kameron just leaves off the “D” since it doesn’t fit and the editor just lets it go. Kewl

    1. There is a degree, Doctor of Letters, which is often abbreviated “D. Litt.” (from the Latin translation). The clue for 36-Across is “D. ___ (doctor of letters deg.)”. The answer is the four letters that fill in the blank: “LITT”. I see no problem with any of that.

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