0706-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Jul 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Katie Hale
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer ABBA

Themed answers are songs released by the Swedish band ABBA, and each has a repetitive title:

  • 69A Pop group with the hits 17-, 39- and 61-Across : ABBA
  • 17A All that a greedy businessperson thinks about? : MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
  • 39A Demand made with hands outstretched? : GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!
  • 61A Particularly enthusiastic cry at the altar? : I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO

Bill’s time: 6m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Land with coasts on both the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in the South Caucasus.

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea, although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

9 Slightly drunk : TIPSY

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

16 D-Day beach name : OMAHA

The Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The worst fighting by far took place on Omaha Beach, a sector assigned to the US Army that was transported by elements of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

17 All that a greedy businessperson thinks about? : MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

“Money, Money, Money” is a 1976 hit song for Swedish pop group ABBA. The lyrics are basically a narration by a woman who works hard but struggles to make ends meet, and so deserves a well-off man as a partner. As the song says, “It’s a rich man’s world”.

20 Venus de Milo, e.g. : STATUE

The famous “Venus de Milo” is so named as she was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Milos, on the Aegean island of the same name. I’ve been lucky enough to see the statue, in the Louvre in Paris, and was surprised at how tall it is (6 ft 8 in tall).

22 President pro ___ : TEM

“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

30 Stroller, to a Brit : PRAM

Another word used in Britain and Ireland that’s rarely used over here is “pram”, which in my day was the most common term for what is called a baby carriage in the US. “Pram” is short for “perambulator”.

32 Felipe, Matty or Jesus of baseball fame : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

33 2012 Ben Affleck film : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck started his career as a child actor in the PBS show “The Voyage of the Mimi”. His big break came with the release of the film “Good Will Hunting” which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his childhood friend Matt Damon. Affleck had a relationship with actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, with the celebrity couple often being referred to as “Bennifer” in the media. He was also married for several years to actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he has three children.

39 Demand made with hands outstretched? : GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!

“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” is a 1979 hit for the Swedish group ABBA. The album and single version released generally around the world is 4:48 in length. The single version released in North America was edited down drastically to 3:36.

42 Harry Potter’s potions professor : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the “Harry Potter” novels by J. K. Rowling. He was played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

44 “99 Luftballons” band, 1984 : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit in 1984 with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

49 Baseball great who was once engaged to J.Lo : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, hit his 600th home run on August 4th, 2010. He had hit his 500th home run exactly three years earlier, on August 4th, 2007, when he became the youngest player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.

Apparently, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez started dating retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez in February 2017. The couple became engaged in March 2019, but that relationship ended in 2021.

51 Texas border city : EL PASO

Although there have been human settlements in the El Paso area for thousands of years, the first European settlement was founded in 1659 by the Spanish. That first community was on the south bank of the Rio Grande, and was called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). Most of the urban development under Spanish rule took place on the south side of the river, with El Paso del Norte acting as the center of governance for the Spanish for the territory of New Mexico. The Rio Grande was chosen as the border between Mexico and the US in 1848, so most of the city of El Paso del Norte became part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua (and is now called Ciudad Juárez ). The area north of the river developed as a US military post, eventually becoming the modern city of El Paso, Texas.

54 “___ Misérables” : LES

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables” has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

55 Eye problem : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

56 2003 animated film subtitled “Legend of the Seven Seas” : SINBAD

Sinbad is the hero of a set of fictional tales from the Middle East. Sinbad comes from the port city of Basra and had fantastic adventures on voyages throughout the sea east of Africa and south of Asia.

61 Particularly enthusiastic cry at the altar? : I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO

“I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” was the second of ABBA’s long, long string of smash hits. It was particularly successful in Australia, where there is a huge ABBA fan base to this day. The song was featured in a really great Australian film called “Muriel’s Wedding” from 1994. This was the movie that launched the career of the wonderful actress Toni Collette.

64 Most gerunds : NOUNS

A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to solve” is “solving”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the solving experience”.

65 Prefix with technology : NANO-

Nanotechnology is the study of the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level. Nanotechnology is essential to the electronic and biomaterials industries.

66 Ski slope conveyance : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

67 College sports channel : ESPNU

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

69 Pop group with the hits 17-, 39- and 61-Across : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

Down

1 Some old PCs : IBMS

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

3 “___ Karenina” : ANNA

I have to admit to not having read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett. I also saw the 2012 film adaptation with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and found that to be far from excellent, awful in fact. I am no Stoppard fan …

4 3-Down’s “no” : NYET
(3D “___ Karenina” : ANNA)

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

5 User name on an Xbox : GAMERTAG

The Xbox line of video game consoles is made by Microsoft. The original Xbox platform was followed by Xbox 360 and more recently by Xbox One. Microsoft’s Xbox competes directly with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii.

6 Blood classification system : ABO

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

7 Cold War era epithet : PINKO

The term “pinko” came to us courtesy of “Time” magazine in 1925. Back then, “pinko” was used to describe those who were politically left of center. Red was the color associated with the left going back to the 1800s (how times have changed!), and “pink” was assigned to people who were not aligned with the left politically, but had left-leaning tendencies.

The term “Cold War” was coined by novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

8 Lead-in to -graphy : STENO-

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

10 “The way I see it …,” online : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

11 Staples of British Christmastime theater : PANTOMIMES

Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (often “pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff …

12 The first cloned mammal : SHEEP

Dolly is the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

18 Arizona city and county seat : YUMA

The city and county of Yuma, Arizona take their name from the Quechan (aka “Yuma”) Native American tribe that inhabited the area.

19 Website where you go to see the stars? : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

25 Congresswoman Waters : MAXINE

Maxine Waters is a US Representative from Southern California who assumed office in 1991. She became the ranking member of the House Financial Services committee in 2012, following the retirement of Barney Frank. She became the Chair of that committee in 2019. Waters’ husband is Sidney William, a former NFL linebacker and US Ambassador to the Bahamas in the Clinton administration.

27 Actor Ken or actress Lena : OLIN

Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series “thirtysomething”, playing Michael Steadman. After “thirtysomething”, Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the TV show “Alias”.

31 Unreliable source of news : RAG

A low-quality newspaper is often referred to as a “rag”. There are lots of rags out there …

34 Hrs. at the prime meridian : GMT

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time at the Prime Meridian, the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course the line of longitude that is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

35 ___-3 fatty acids : OMEGA

Fish oils are noted for containing omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits including the reduction of inflammation. Like so many essential nutrients that we get from animals, the only reason the animal has them is that it feeds on plants. In this case, fish cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, and instead absorb them from algae. Omega-3 fatty acids are also readily found in other plant oils such as flaxseed oil.

46 Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 film that tells the real-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof. Woodroof smuggled unapproved AIDS drugs across the US border into Texas in opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The movie won the Best Actor Oscar for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

49 Skirt style : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

53 Sewing machine part : PEDAL

Isaac Singer was not only an inventor, but also an actor. For much of his life, profits made from his inventions supported him while he pursued his acting career. Singer didn’t actually invent the sewing machine, and never claimed to have done so. What he did do though, was to invent a version of the machine that was practical and easily used in the home.

55 Southern California sch. : SDSU

San Diego State University (SDSU)

57 The “N” of N.B. : NOTA

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”, and is abbreviated to “NB”.

58 Lettuce type : BIBB

Bibb is a variety of lettuce in the cultivar known as butterhead. All butterhead varieties have loose-leafed heads and a buttery texture.

60 Kids’ TV character with a talking map : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases. Dora’s constant companion is an anthropomorphic monkey named “Boots”, because he always wears red boots. She also hangs out with Isa, an iguana.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Land with coasts on both the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf : IRAN
5 Spaces between teeth : GAPS
9 Slightly drunk : TIPSY
14 Like a whole-cooked fish, say : BONY
15 Not much : A BIT
16 D-Day beach name : OMAHA
17 All that a greedy businessperson thinks about? : MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
20 Venus de Milo, e.g. : STATUE
21 Bendable body part : KNEE
22 President pro ___ : TEM
23 Hotshot guy, informally : MR COOL
25 Brood : MOPE
26 Relaxing soak before bed, maybe : HOT BATH
30 Stroller, to a Brit : PRAM
32 Felipe, Matty or Jesus of baseball fame : ALOU
33 2012 Ben Affleck film : ARGO
36 Self-evident truth : AXIOM
39 Demand made with hands outstretched? : GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!
42 Harry Potter’s potions professor : SNAPE
43 Arise (from) : STEM
44 “99 Luftballons” band, 1984 : NENA
45 Poker giveaway : TELL
47 Caves : GIVES IN
49 Baseball great who was once engaged to J.Lo : A-ROD
51 Texas border city : EL PASO
54 “___ Misérables” : LES
55 Eye problem : STYE
56 2003 animated film subtitled “Legend of the Seven Seas” : SINBAD
61 Particularly enthusiastic cry at the altar? : I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO, I DO
64 Most gerunds : NOUNS
65 Prefix with technology : NANO-
66 Ski slope conveyance : T-BAR
67 College sports channel : ESPNU
68 Secluded valley : GLEN
69 Pop group with the hits 17-, 39- and 61-Across : ABBA

Down

1 Some old PCs : IBMS
2 Plant part that most herbicides attack : ROOT
3 “___ Karenina” : ANNA
4 3-Down’s “no” : NYET
5 User name on an Xbox : GAMERTAG
6 Blood classification system : ABO
7 Cold War era epithet : PINKO
8 Lead-in to -graphy : STENO-
9 “The way I see it …” : TO ME …
10 “The way I see it …,” online : IMO …
11 Staples of British Christmastime theater : PANTOMIMES
12 The first cloned mammal : SHEEP
13 “Aren’t I great?!” : YAY ME!
18 Arizona city and county seat : YUMA
19 Website where you go to see the stars? : YELP
24 One of the Hemsworth brothers : CHRIS
25 Congresswoman Waters : MAXINE
26 Witches : HAGS
27 Actor Ken or actress Lena : OLIN
28 Common grilled cheese sandwich go-with : TOMATO SOUP
29 Knocked off the schedule : BUMPED
31 Unreliable source of news : RAG
34 Hrs. at the prime meridian : GMT
35 ___-3 fatty acids : OMEGA
37 Prefix with present : OMNI-
38 Signify : MEAN
40 Sinuous fish : EEL
41 Discharge, as of gas : EMISSION
46 Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO
48 Most of outer space : VOID
49 Skirt style : A-LINE
50 Second efforts : REDOS
52 “You aren’t ___!” : LYING
53 Sewing machine part : PEDAL
55 Southern California sch. : SDSU
57 The “N” of N.B. : NOTA
58 Lettuce type : BIBB
59 Not much, as of cream : A DAB
60 Kids’ TV character with a talking map : DORA
62 Quaint place to stay : INN
63 Word before “More Night,” “More Try” and “More Chance” in Billboard hits : ONE …

10 thoughts on “0706-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Jul 21, Tuesday”

  1. 7:38, no errors. Not familiar with ABBA songs, but the theme became apparent pretty early and was a help. Cute.

  2. 7:33 Fairly smooth solve, tho I didn’t recognize the titles of the Abba songs – maybe if I heard them they’d sound familiar.

  3. 5:53. Another caffeine induced time I did this morning rather than last night. The difference is very noticeable in my case. Another hand up for not knowing the Abba songs but getting the theme right away.

    64A confused me a bit. The clue being “MOST gerunds”. I thought that is indeed what a gerund is – a verb functioning as a noun. “Running is fun”, e.g.

    I looked up examples of when a gerund is not a noun (procrastinating again), and they do exist: “I regret buying this house” where buying is a gerund, but it has an object (this house) so it’s still functioning as a verb.

    Even more arcane is something like “This is my list of books to be read”, where the passive phrase “to be read” functions as an adjective. This would be comparable to the gerundive in Latin.

    I guess I find the mechanics of language interesting….especially when it keeps me from doing something more useful.

    Best –

  4. About 18 min. and I had ESPNC for67A which also seemed to fit for 55D…the story of my life😒
    Stay safe😀

  5. In the example for 64A “We really enjoyed the solving experience”, it seems to me that solving functions more as an adjective describing experience, than a noun. Or am I misreading this?

    1. I wondered about this example also. It did occur to me that the word “experience” could be left out altogether. The sentence would then be “We really enjoyed the solving.” There is no question then that the verb is acting as a noun. Or another option perhaps might be to hyphenate it down to one unit as “solving-experience”.

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