0708-21 NY Times Crossword 8 Jul 21, Thursday

Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Radio

Themed answers in the across-direction each include the rebus AM, and in the down-direction the rebus FM:

  • 39A It can be two-way … with a hint to four squares in this puzzle : RADIO
  • 17A Fashionable : A LA MODE
  • 21A Coffee liqueur originally from Jamaica : TIA MARIA
  • 56A 2001 Broadway hit with an exclamation mark in its name : MAMMA MIA!
  • 62A Something to meditate on : YOGA MAT
  • 3D Not amplified, in a way : OFF-MIKE
  • 10D Rich, but not born that way : SELF-MADE
  • 43D Certain flag position : HALF-MAST
  • 49D Figure in a horror film : WOLFMAN

Bill’s time: 9m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 “Hamilton” won one in 2015 : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters are decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

16 Very beginning? : VEE

The beginning of the word “very” is a letter V (vee).

17 Fashionable : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

21 Coffee liqueur originally from Jamaica : TIA MARIA

Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur that was invented just after WWII in Jamaica using Jamaican coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla and sugar. The drink’s name translates to “Aunt Maria”.

27 Creature whose eyesight has four to five times the acuity of humans : EAGLE

Eagles have extraordinary eyesight that is several times stronger than that enjoyed by humans. The average eagle weighs about ten pounds, and yet has eyes that are about the same size as human eyes.

28 Nashville-to-Louisville dir. : NNE

The Tennessee city of Nashville was founded in 1779 near a stockade in the Cumberland River valley called Fort Nashborough. Both the settlement and the fort were named for General Francis Nash, a war hero who died in combat during the American Revolution.

The city of Louisville, Kentucky was chartered as a town in 1780 and was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France as French soldiers were aiding Americans in the Revolutionary War that was raging at that time.

29 Jules who lent his name to an article of attire : LEOTARD

The garment known as a leotard was named for French trapeze artist Jules Léotard. Léotard wore such a garment when he was performing.

36 Like tom yum soup : THAI

Tom yum is a delicious spicy soup served in Thai restaurants. It is usually described as “hot and sour”, and I love it …

39 It can be two-way … with a hint to four squares in this puzzle : RADIO

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

42 “Antiques Roadshow” determination : WORTH

“Antiques Roadshow” is a very popular PBS TV show in which professional auctioneers appraise antiques brought to them by the general public. The American show is based on a long-running BBC production of the same name. In one episode of the American version of the show, four pieces of carved jade were presented for appraisal, and were given an estimated value of one million dollars!

47 Thor, for one : AVENGER

The Avengers are a team of superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. The original lineup, which dates back to 1963, consisted of Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the Wasp. Soon after their formation, the Avengers rescued Captain America trapped in ice, and thereafter he joined the team. There is a 2012 movie called “The Avengers” that features Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

52 Funny Poundstone : PAULA

Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian who grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She is a regular panelist on the NPR weekly news quiz show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me”. I had the privilege of seeing Poundstone performing in a local theater a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

54 Libel or slander : TORT

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

55 “___ Father …” : OUR

Our Father … (“Pater noster” in Latin) are the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, which is probably the best-known prayer in the Christian tradition.

56 2001 Broadway hit with an exclamation mark in its name : MAMMA MIA!

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

58 Conductor Georg : SOLTI

Sir Georg Solti was a great Hungarian-British conductor, who spent 22 years as music director of the Chicago Symphony, one of many prestigious positions he held in the world of classical music and opera. Solti was awarded 31 Grammy Awards, the most won by any individual in any genre of music. I think it’s kind of cool that Solti’s name comprises two notes in the solfa scale: sol-ti …

62 Something to meditate on : YOGA MAT

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

63 Big speedway sponsor : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

64 “Buona ___” : SERA

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

66 Sound a biker doesn’t want to hear : SSS

Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

67 Basket made from behind the arc : TREY

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even for a three-point play in basketball.

68 Progressive people? : AGENTS

Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokesperson. Flo is played by comedian and actress Stephanie Courtney.

Down

4 Windfall : BOON

A windfall is a piece of good fortune, like a piece of fruit that has fallen from the tree when the wind blows.

5 One who has spent years at sea : OLD SALT

“Sea dog” and “old salt” are familiar terms for a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

7 Salaam, e.g. : BOW

The word “salaam” is an Anglicized spelling of the Arabic word for “peace”. The term can describe an act of deference, and in particular a very low bow.

13 Composer Bartók : BELA

Bela Bartók was a composer and a pianist. After Liszt, Bartók is considered by many to be Hungary’s greatest composer.

26 Beethoven, to Haydn : STUDENT

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

30 Cheese that’s often grated : ASIAGO

Asiago is a crumbly cheese that is named for the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.

35 Piano performance in an old music hall : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

36 One of the “Big Four” domestic carriers, once : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

37 Short shorts : HOT PANTS

Hot pants were quite the fad. They were introduced in fashion shows in the winter of 1970/71, and became a huge sensation in the summer of ’71. By the end of the year, hot pants were “gone”.

45 Specialty of Franz Schubert : ART SONG

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer who was particularly noted for his large portfolio of lieder (songs). Schubert is also famous for his “Unfinished Symphony”. Schubert’s “Symphony No. 7” was left as a draft after he passed away, and as such was “unfinished”. However, it was more complete than his “Symphony No. 8”, which is the one we know as “The Unfinished”.

53 Strike caller : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

59 Look lecherously : OGLE

The word “lecher”, meaning “one who debauches”, came into English in the 12th century. The original word in Old French was “lecheor”, literally “licker”.

61 Low island : CAY

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida “Keys”. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Slip : BOO-BOO
7 Sections of online dating profiles : BIOS
11 Baseball, e.g. : ORB
14 Wrap up : ENFOLD
15 “Hamilton” won one in 2015 : OBIE
16 Very beginning? : VEE
17 Fashionable : A LA MODE
18 “Look what we have here!” : WELL WELL!
20 Some change : COINS
21 Coffee liqueur originally from Jamaica : TIA MARIA
22 Symbol of strength : OAK
23 St. ___, neighborhood in north London : ANN’S
27 Creature whose eyesight has four to five times the acuity of humans : EAGLE
28 Nashville-to-Louisville dir. : NNE
29 Jules who lent his name to an article of attire : LEOTARD
31 Some women’s donations : OVA
33 Standing : STATUS
34 Slipped : ERRED
36 Like tom yum soup : THAI
39 It can be two-way … with a hint to four squares in this puzzle : RADIO
41 Puts on top of : ADDS
42 “Antiques Roadshow” determination : WORTH
44 It’s always getting into hot water : TEA BAG
46 Eroded, with “away” : ATE …
47 Thor, for one : AVENGER
49 Dazzle : WOW
52 Funny Poundstone : PAULA
54 Libel or slander : TORT
55 “___ Father …” : OUR
56 2001 Broadway hit with an exclamation mark in its name : MAMMA MIA!
58 Conductor Georg : SOLTI
60 Frenzied : IN A PANIC
62 Something to meditate on : YOGA MAT
63 Big speedway sponsor : STP
64 “Buona ___” : SERA
65 Intertwine : ENLACE
66 Sound a biker doesn’t want to hear : SSS
67 Basket made from behind the arc : TREY
68 Progressive people? : AGENTS

Down

1 Guiding light : BEACON
2 Like some museum exhibits : ON LOAN
3 Not amplified, in a way : OFF-MIKE
4 Windfall : BOON
5 One who has spent years at sea : OLD SALT
6 Onetime record label with a poetic name : ODE
7 Salaam, e.g. : BOW
8 “Su-u-u-ure” : I BET
9 More slick, in a way : OILIER
10 Rich, but not born that way : SELF-MADE
11 Oppressive boss : OVERLORD
12 Feeling “Whew, that was close!” : RELIEVED
13 Composer Bartók : BELA
19 Wit : WAG
24 “Warm” : NEAR
25 Set down on paper, as music : NOTATE
26 Beethoven, to Haydn : STUDENT
30 Cheese that’s often grated : ASIAGO
32 Things that may be classified : ADS
33 Collect dust : SIT
35 Piano performance in an old music hall : RAG
36 One of the “Big Four” domestic carriers, once : TWA
37 Short shorts : HOT PANTS
38 Town tour guides : AREA MAPS
40 Upper: Ger. : OBER
43 Certain flag position : HALF-MAST
45 Specialty of Franz Schubert : ART SONG
48 More egocentric : VAINER
49 Figure in a horror film : WOLFMAN
50 Best in a film audition, say : OUTACT
51 Sets down on paper : WRITES
53 Strike caller : UMP
56 Not catch : MISS
57 Ending with some large numbers : -AIRE
59 Look lecherously : OGLE
61 Low island : CAY
62 A word in passing? : YEA

10 thoughts on “0708-21 NY Times Crossword 8 Jul 21, Thursday”

  1. 15:12, no errors. Easy, except I had trouble figuring out how to put the slashes in the rebuses on my iPad.

  2. 18:04 Thought there might be a rebus when I hot 21A, but left it for a bit. 43D also indicated a rebus. Looking at its intersection with 56A (Bill’s enjoyable Mamma Mia!) I knew it was AM/FM. Fortunately entering it that was was acceptable. Struggled in the NE corner since I had TONY vs. OBIE for a long time. Well Well is all I can say about that.

  3. 24:41. I did this Wed night and sorta forgot I was doing a Thursday puzzle. I finally went to the reveal, saw TIA MARIA and SELF MADE as obvious answers, and the rest fell into place. Maybe I should buy a calendar…

    I didn’t know what an ART SONG was. I looked it up after I finished. A song written for one voice and a piano or something like that. It’s set to art music, but I didn’t have the energy to look that up.

    Best –

  4. No errors.. Got the theme… but like @jeff, still don’t understand the ART SONG.. but I’m not a connoisseur of the music arts so,, I’ll pass…

  5. DNF…the NW corner just wouldn’t open up for me😥
    Finished the rest with no errors for whatever compensation that brings😀
    Stay safe😀

  6. 18:37, no errors. Took a long time to discover the rebus, so I just worked around the rebus squares. Things went more quickly after discovering the rebuses. Using pencil/paper the ‘benefits’ of modern technology didn’t slow me down.

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