0707-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Jul 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) The Tortoise and the Hare

Themed answers refer to Aesop’s fable of the TORTOISE and the HARE. That HARE and TORTOISE race diagonally across the grid in circled letters:

  • 22A Snoozes (like participant #2 in one classic fable) : TAKES A NAP
  • 57A Wagers unwisely (as participant #2 did) : LOSES A BET
  • 38A With 71-/72-/73-Across, participant #1’s strategy (or the moral of the story) : SLOW AND STEADY …
  • 71A See 38-Across : … WINS …
  • 72A See 38-Across : … THE …
  • 73A See 38-Across : … RACE …

Bill’s time: 8m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Electrical resistance unit : OHM
(19A Symbol for 5-Across : OMEGA)

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

8 ___ Rabbit : BR’ER

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The “Uncle Remus” stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

12 Mysterious cafeteria offering : SLOP

“Cafeteria” is a Mexican-Spanish word meaning “coffee store” that we imported into American English around 1840. Somehow, that coffee store became a self-service dining establishment in the 1890s.

13 Sweetheart : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

15 “Bolero” composer : RAVEL

Maurice Ravel was a great French composer of the Romantic Era. Ravel’s most famous piece of music by far is his “Bolero”, the success of which he found somewhat irksome as he considered it a trivial work. Personally though, I love the minimalism and simplicity …

Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” is a remarkable piece of music that has a very insistent theme that just builds and builds, with instruments being added to the mix as the piece develops. Famously, “Boléro” played a significant role in the 1979 film “10” starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews. Not a bad movie …

18 Baghdad’s ___ City : SADR

Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad that has oft been in the news in recent years. It is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.

20 One who whistles while working : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

26 First name of two Spice Girls : MEL

The five members of the English pop group the Spice Girls are:

  • Scary Spice (Melanie Brown, or Mel B)
  • Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!)
  • Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)
  • Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham)
  • Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm, or Mel C)

31 Femur or fibula : LEG BONE

The thigh bone, the femur, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body.

The fibula is the calf bone. The fibula lies beside the tibia, with both bones sitting under the femur.

34 Wonder Woman portrayer Gadot : GAL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

35 ___ Cooler, “Ghostbusters”-inspired Hi-C flavor : ECTO

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

37 ___-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

38 With 71-/72-/73-Across, participant #1’s strategy (or the moral of the story) : SLOW AND STEADY
71 See 38-Across : … WINS …
72 See 38-Across : … THE …
73 See 38-Across : … RACE …

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

45 Overseer of a quadrennial competition: Abbr. : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

51 Oaf : PALOOKA

The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

53 Org. appropriately found in Elgin Baylor’s name : NBA

Elgin Baylor is a retired NBA player and a former NBA general manager. Baylor spent 22 years as GM for the LA Clippers.

65 Some TV spots, briefly : PSAS

Public service announcement (PSA)

Down

1 Water bottle confiscators, for short : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) loosened the ban on liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on baggage in 2006, From that date onwards, passengers had to abide by the 3-1-1 rule, i.e. 3.4-ounce or less containers (3), in a one-quart ziploc bag (1), one bag per person (1) .

2 Tour de France peak : ALP

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

5 Ones providing postpartum care, in brief : OBS

Obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn)

The term “postnatal” refers to the period immediately after the birth of a child, when referring to the infant. The equivalent term when referring to the mother is “postpartum”.

8 Warner ___ (film company) : BROS

The Warner Bros. film studio was founded by four Warner brothers, although their original family name was Wonskolaser. The brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack emigrated from Poland as children with their parents, and changed their name when they landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1889.

9 Incarnation of Vishnu in a Sanskrit epic : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

14 Nerd on ’90s TV : URKEL

Steve Urkel is a character on the TV show “Family Matters” that originally aired in the late eighties and nineties. The Urkel character was the archetypal “geek”, played by Jaleel White. Urkel was originally written into the show’s storyline for just one episode, but before long, Urkel was the show’s most popular recurring character.

23 She plotted to kill Clytemnestra : ELECTRA

Electra was a princess in Greek mythology, the daughter of Agamemnon. Electra had to mourn the death of her father who was murdered, and then the death of her mother Clytemnestra, who was also murdered.

29 Shoulder blade : SCAPULA

The scapula is the shoulder blade. It is thought that the term “scapula” comes from the Greek “skaptein” meaning “to dig”. The assumption is that the shoulder blade resembles a trowel or a small shovel, hence the name.

30 Amtrak stop: Abbr. : STN

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

32 Mischief-maker : GREMLIN

Gremlins are mythical creatures deemed to be responsible for failure of some system or machine. The myth was popularized in the RAF during WWII, with gremlins being accused of sabotaging aircraft.

39 Boston Bruins icon : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

42 Farm connector : YOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

47 How Timothy Leary spent some time : ON LSD

Timothy Leary was a psychologist and writer, an icon of the sixties counterculture and a promoter of the use of LSD. Leary popularized the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the sixties. After he died, some of Leary’s ashes were “buried” in space, launched aboard a rocket that contained the ashes of 24 other people including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.

49 Fiji alternative : DASANI

Dasani is a Coca-Cola brand of bottled water. Dasani is simply filtered tap water with some trace minerals added.

Fiji Water, as one might guess, is a brand of water from the Fiji Islands. I just think that bottling water and sending it around the world is absolutely insane …

50 Beer in a red, white and blue can : PABST

Frederick Pabst was a brewer from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area who had immigrated to the US from Prussia with his parents. Pabst bought himself into his father-in-law’s small brewery and over the years grew the enterprise into a public company. The most famous beer from Pabst is Pabst Blue Ribbon.

58 Painter Schiele : EGON

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter who was noted for his explicit and sexual drawings. Indeed, his style got him locked up in 1912 and he was eventually found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible by children. The judge even burned one of Schiele’s drawings over a candle flame in the court.

59 Fast former fliers, for short : SSTS

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

64 “The Fall of the House of Usher” writer : POE

“The Fall of the House of Usher” is perhaps the most famous short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839. The story is a Gothic tale, an interview with Robert Usher in his house which literally “falls”, breaks into two and is swallowed up by a lake. Some believe that the story was inspired by events at a real Usher House that once stood on Boston’s Lewis Wharf. When the Usher House was torn down, the bodies of a man and woman were found embracing in a cavity in the cellar, a fact reflected in the story as Robert Usher’s sister is supposedly buried alive in the crypt.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Triumphant cry : TA-DA!
5 Electrical resistance unit : OHM
8 ___ Rabbit : BR’ER
12 Mysterious cafeteria offering : SLOP
13 Sweetheart : BEAU
15 “Bolero” composer : RAVEL
17 Each : A POP
18 Baghdad’s ___ City : SADR
19 Symbol for 5-Across : OMEGA
20 One who whistles while working : REF
22 Snoozes (like participant #2 in one classic fable) : TAKES A NAP
24 Legally prohibit : DEBAR
26 First name of two Spice Girls : MEL
27 Familial nickname : SIS
28 Ineffectual : USELESS
31 Femur or fibula : LEG BONE
34 Wonder Woman portrayer Gadot : GAL
35 ___ Cooler, “Ghostbusters”-inspired Hi-C flavor : ECTO
37 ___-Magnon : CRO
38 With 71-/72-/73-Across, participant #1’s strategy (or the moral of the story) : SLOW AND STEADY
43 Rhyme with rhythm : RAP
44 Living space that may be empty in the summer : DORM
45 Overseer of a quadrennial competition: Abbr. : IOC
47 “Quiet, you!,” quaintly : OH, DRY UP!
51 Oaf : PALOOKA
53 Org. appropriately found in Elgin Baylor’s name : NBA
54 Fall behind : LAG
56 Word before tube or circle : INNER …
57 Wagers unwisely (as participant #2 did) : LOSES A BET
61 Negative vote : NAY
62 Grabs skillfully : SNAGS
63 Algorithm part : STEP
65 Some TV spots, briefly : PSAS
68 Prohibition starter : DO NOT …
69 Quesadilla alternative : TACO
70 One-percenter suffix : -AIRE
71 See 38-Across : … WINS …
72 See 38-Across : … THE …
73 See 38-Across : … RACE …

Down

1 Water bottle confiscators, for short : TSA
2 Tour de France peak : ALP
3 Don’t knock until you’ve tried it : DOORBELL
4 Response to a verdict : APPEAL
5 Ones providing postpartum care, in brief : OBS
6 Pressure, in slang : HEAT
7 Palindromic term of address : MADAM
8 Warner ___ (film company) : BROS
9 Incarnation of Vishnu in a Sanskrit epic : RAMA
10 “That may be the case, but …” : EVEN SO …
11 Win back : REGAIN
14 Nerd on ’90s TV : URKEL
16 Fall back into one’s old ways : LAPSE
21 Express road : FREEWAY
23 She plotted to kill Clytemnestra : ELECTRA
24 Really liked : DUG
25 Those: Sp. : ESAS
29 Shoulder blade : SCAPULA
30 Amtrak stop: Abbr. : STN
32 Mischief-maker : GREMLIN
33 Feathery wrap : BOA
36 A little strange : ODD
39 Boston Bruins icon : ORR
40 Soak (up) : SOP
41 Ancient Greek festival honoring the god of wine : DIONYSIA
42 Farm connector : YOKE
46 Subway component : CAR
47 How Timothy Leary spent some time : ON LSD
48 Premium TV streaming service until 2020 : HBO NOW
49 Fiji alternative : DASANI
50 Beer in a red, white and blue can : PABST
52 Comparable (with) : ON A PAR
55 Imply : GET AT
58 Painter Schiele : EGON
59 Fast former fliers, for short : SSTS
60 ___ support : TECH
64 “The Fall of the House of Usher” writer : POE
66 Parabolic path : ARC
67 Understand : SEE

11 thoughts on “0707-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Jul 21, Wednesday”

  1. 7:13 I must have been a hare in this one because I finished pretty quickly. Did not really see the theme until I finished.

    Bolero. The first I heard of this song was from the Winter Olympics in 1984 when Torvill and Dean Ice Danced to this song. It seemed like sultriness personified
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8obUdxnTlc

    Joe Walsh also has a snippet of Bolero in his song “The Bomber”. My favorite J.W. song.

  2. 10:15. Liked the theme.

    SSTs are making a comeback, but will they be affordable? It’s all economics. NASA has hypersonic planes that can travel over Mach 9 (about 7300 mph). That could cut a Miami-Seattle flight from 6.5 hours now down to about 26 minutes. The longest commercial airline flight currently is Dubai-New Zealand – about 16.5 hours. The NASA plane could make that flight in 1 hour 24 minutes (ignoring getting up to speed times and a few other things).

    That won’t happen commercially in our lifetimes, but a commercial Mach 2..ish aircraft definitely could. They’re already on the drawing board.

    Best –

    1. I flew on Concorde once, even got to spend 20 minutes on the flight deck talking with the crew. You can’t see anything due to the shield over the windows. Everything was autopilot except for the flight engineer who was flipping switches to move fuel around for balance. It was also a very small space, but it was a memorable experience.

  3. 13:12. And lucky to get it with my puppy crawling all over me. We had a lot of rain here in Anchorage yesterday, but 47A must have worked (OHDRYUP) cuz the sun is out this morning. ☀️😁

  4. 7:19, no errors.

    As a note, I read about one Ruth von Phul, which became known (somehow) for doing crossword puzzles in the 1920’s. To that point, the paper that was publishing the crosswords eventually published her times as a “mulligan” along with the crosswords themselves.

    Think Bill or any of us are kinda on the spot for times with a blog like this, imagine your crossword time printed in a newspaper distributed all over New York City…

  5. About 35 min. no errors…I spent a long time in the SW corner.
    Stay safe and PLEASE GET THE SHOT…preaching to the choir I hope😀

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