0709-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Jul 21, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 10m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Spelunker’s aid : LAMP

“Spelunking” is an American term describing recreational caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

10 Club alternatives : BLTS

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

17 Olympics haul of fame? : GOLD MEDALS

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

19 European royal capital : OSLO

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an ancient city that was founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV and renamed to Christiana. In 1877 there was an official change of the spelling of the city’s name to “Kristiana”, and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have almost gone full circle and now the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has apparently been renamed to Christiana.

23 Move named for the 19th-century skater Paulsen : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

24 Most milquetoast-y : MEEKEST

Someone described as a “milquetoast” is weak and timid. The term comes from a character called Caspar Milquetoast in the comic strip “The Timid Soul” drawn by H. T. Webster. Webster came up with Caspar’s name by deliberately misspelling “milk toast”, which is a bland food that is suitable for someone with a weak stomach.

30 Folk rock band with two 1965 #1 hits, with “the” : … BYRDS

The Byrds were a rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1964. The band’s most successful songs were cover versions of earlier hits i.e. “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan) and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (Pete Seeger).

31 Org. with an Office of Air and Radiation : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

34 Some Tripadvisor listings : INNS

Tripadvisor.com is a travel website dedicated to helping users in most aspects of their travels. Much of Tripadvisor’s content is generated by users, in the form of reviews by travelers.

35 Light brown seals : CORKS

The cork tree is a genus of tree with a corky bark that is native to east and northeast Asia. The cork tree’s bark isn’t sufficiently thick for use in commercial cork production. Most cork comes from the cork oak, a tree that is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa.

36 “Frozen” character with antlers : SVEN

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

37 It’s not the final number: Abbr. : EST

Estimate (est.)

39 Equanimity : POISE

Equanimity is the quality of being composed and calm. The term comes from the Latin”aequus” (even) and “”animus” (mind). “Equanimity” is one of my favorite words of all time …

43 Nurse’s office supply : EPIPENS

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

47 Slot machine bonus : FREE SPIN

Slot machines earned the nickname “one-armed bandits” simply because they had “one arm”, the handle pulled to operate the machine. Well, they also rob your money!

56 International grp. that’s well financed? : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

Down

1 Box on Broadway : LOGE

In most theaters and stadiums today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

2 Shouted greeting : AHOY!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

4 “This American Life” and others : PODCASTS

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

“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.

8 Common night school class, for short : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

10 TV journalist Baldwin : BROOKE

Brooke Baldwin is a TV journalist and news anchor. Anyone watching CNN’s coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012 would have seen Baldwin hosting alongside Piers Morgan.

12 Mahjong set : TILES

Mahjong (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

13 Ungenteel laugh : SNORT

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

24 On menus, it’s often by the lobster : MARKET PRICE

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

25 Big wheel at a party? : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry with fig jam.

28 Biblical birthday gift : MYRRH

Frankincense and myrrh are both tree resins that are exuded when certain species of tree are damaged. The harvested resins are used to make essential oils for perfumes, and are also burned to give off a pleasant fragrance.

32 Capital of the Philippines : PESO

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

When the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands of Leyte and Samar, he called them “Felipinas”, after King Philip II of Spain. Eventually, the name was used for the whole archipelago, becoming what we now call in English, the Philippines.

38 Journalist Ifill who was depicted on a postage stamp in 2020 : GWEN

Gwen Ifill was a television journalist who was regularly seen on PBS’s “Newshour”. Ifill was also the moderator on the weekly PBS show “Washington Week”, and was also selected to moderate the US Vice Presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

39 Israeli P.M. between Rabin and Netanyahu : PERES

Shimon Peres was an Israeli statesman who was born in Poland, in a township that is now part of Belarus. Peres served as President of the State of Israel from 2007 to 2014. Born Szymon Perski, Peres was the oldest head of state in the world while he served as president of Israel. While serving as foreign minister, he represented Israel in the secret negotiations that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. For that work, Peres was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

41 Oxymorphone, for one : OPIATE

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

43 “Downton Abbey” daughter : EDITH

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

44 Irrational thing to celebrate? : PI DAY

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

A rational number is a number that can be written as a simple fraction, i.e. a ratio of two integers. For example 1.5 is rational, as it can be written as 3/2. An irrational number is the opposite, a number that cannot be written as a simple fraction. The classic example of an irrational number is “pi”, which is 3.14159… and cannot be written as a ratio of two integers. All rational and irrational numbers are real numbers, numbers that can be written on a number line. Almost all numbers that we can think of are real numbers. Infinity is not a real number, and nor are imaginary numbers, e.g. the square root of minus 1.

48 Follower of Oscar in the NATO alphabet : PAPA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

53 Group depicted in the 2015 biopic “Straight Outta Compton” : NWA

NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”. I hear that the movie was well received, although hip hop is not my cup of tea. I’m just too old …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Spelunker’s aid : LAMP
5 Went (for) : OPTED
10 Club alternatives : BLTS
14 Home of the Polka Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame : OHIO
15 Interpret the parts of : PARSE
16 Line for a sleigh ride : REIN
17 Olympics haul of fame? : GOLD MEDALS
19 European royal capital : OSLO
20 Images that are nice and easy to look at : EYE CANDY
21 Master negotiator : CLOSER
23 Move named for the 19th-century skater Paulsen : AXEL
24 Most milquetoast-y : MEEKEST
25 Skill for a good physician : BEDSIDE MANNER
29 Heritage : ROOTS
30 Folk rock band with two 1965 #1 hits, with “the” : … BYRDS
31 Org. with an Office of Air and Radiation : EPA
34 Some Tripadvisor listings : INNS
35 Light brown seals : CORKS
36 “Frozen” character with antlers : SVEN
37 It’s not the final number: Abbr. : EST
38 Skier’s problem : GLARE
39 Equanimity : POISE
40 Accept things as they are : GO WITH THE FLOW
43 Nurse’s office supply : EPIPENS
45 Sassy : PERT
46 Sport that made its first Olympics splash in 1904 : DIVING
47 Slot machine bonus : FREE SPIN
51 Piece of mind? : IDEA
52 Crawl : SNAIL’S PACE
54 Stretched out : TAUT
55 2x : TWICE
56 International grp. that’s well financed? : OPEC
57 Pump up : HYPE
58 Did some crew work : OARED
59 Kind of force : TASK

Down

1 Box on Broadway : LOGE
2 Shouted greeting : AHOY!
3 Word with air or square : … MILE
4 “This American Life” and others : PODCASTS
5 Led the way : OPENED
6 People-powered vehicles : PADDLE BOATS
7 It helps make waiting easier : TRAY
8 Common night school class, for short : ESL
9 Goes to hell? : DESCENDS
10 TV journalist Baldwin : BROOKE
11 Choice made while thinking “ugh” : LESSER EVIL
12 Mahjong set : TILES
13 Ungenteel laugh : SNORT
18 Long dresses : MAXIS
22 You can see right through it : LENS
24 On menus, it’s often by the lobster : MARKET PRICE
25 Big wheel at a party? : BRIE
26 Millennia : EONS
27 “Keep on keepin’ on!” : DON’T GIVE UP!
28 Biblical birthday gift : MYRRH
32 Capital of the Philippines : PESO
33 Over : ANEW
35 Doesn’t surrender : CLINGS TO
36 Charming vulnerability : SOFT SPOT
38 Journalist Ifill who was depicted on a postage stamp in 2020 : GWEN
39 Israeli P.M. between Rabin and Netanyahu : PERES
41 Oxymorphone, for one : OPIATE
42 Followed : HEELED
43 “Downton Abbey” daughter : EDITH
44 Irrational thing to celebrate? : PI DAY
47 “Not ___!” : FAIR
48 Follower of Oscar in the NATO alphabet : PAPA
49 Snacks that drip : ICES
50 Head turner : NECK
53 Group depicted in the 2015 biopic “Straight Outta Compton” : NWA

13 thoughts on “0709-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. 13:19 Went fairly quickly for a Friday. I was 1/2 way done in 4:45, but then came the places I struggled a bit, specifically the bottom 1/3. For 52A I had ….. SPACE and SPACE kept rolling around in the brain rather than ….S PACE. But I got it eventually.

  2. 22:57, but I kept losing my train of thought as I received about a hundred texts while solving this one. Next time I’m leaving my phone in the other room.

    Had WEAKEST before MEEKEST but otherwise a smooth solve. Clue for CORKS threw me at first. Good one.

    Best –

  3. 41 min. no errors…for this setter this is a major win for me even though I don’t come anywhere near you guys in time posted.
    Stay safe😀

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