0710-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Jul 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Hosts : COMMUNION WAFERS

The Communion rite is the part of the Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition. The rite involves distribution of the Communion bread (the host, a wafer) to the faithful.

18 David who took 15 years to write “The History of England” : HUME

David Hume was a philosopher and historian from Scotland. One of his greatest works is the massive “The History of England”, which was published in six volumes from 1754 to 1762. The massive tome covers the nation’s history from the Roman conquest of Britain led by Julius Caesar in 55 BCE, up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that removed King James II from the throne and replaced him with William III and Mary II.

20 Andy Capp’s wife in the comics : FLO

“Andy Capp” is a comic strip from Britain that is syndicated internationally. The strip was created by Reg Smythe in 1957 and is still going strong, despite the fact that Smythe passed away in 1998. Andy Capp and his wife Florrie (also “Flo”) are working class characters who live in the northeast of England. Andy is unemployed and Flo works as a charwoman. “Andy Capp” was my favorite comic strip growing up …

21 Somme times : ETES

In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).

The Somme is a department in the Picardy region, in the very north of France. It is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.

22 Fabergé egg recipient : TSAR

Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.

24 “The pretty worm of Nilus … that kills and pains not,” per Shakespeare : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

26 Concept in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism : DHARMA

In the context of Buddhism, “dharma” can mean the collection of teachings and doctrines of the faith. The term is also used to describe proper and correct behavior that maintains the natural order of things.

30 Swashbuckler’s implement : RAPIER

A rapier is a very thin sword with a sharp point that is used to kill and maim by thrusting the point into the body, rather than by slashing.

A swashbuckler is a flashy swordsman. The term “swashbuckler” probably derives somehow from “swash” meaning “fall of a blow”, and “buckler” meaning “small round shield”.

41 ___ Island : RHODE

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody”), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

44 Total package? : CEREAL

General Mills produces a range of breakfast cereals using the “Total” name. The marketing message for the brand is that one serving provides the total daily allowance of several vitamins and minerals.

46 Shameless sycophant : LAPDOG

A sycophant is a selfish person, and one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

49 Doubly hyphenated fig. : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011, SSNs have been assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

57 Attendant of Dionysus : SATYR

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

60 New Balance competitor : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

New Balance is a footwear manufacturer based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Down

1 Computer store : CACHE

In the world of computers a “cache” is a component that stores data locally so that there is no need to go get that original data all over again after the first usage. Applications that use a cache move along more quickly. A good example is a web browser that will store some information from a website in a cache on one’s computer. When you ask your browser to visit a website that you’ve used before, while the browser is waiting for the latest information from the website it will display the old data (the stuff that doesn’t change, that was retained from the last visit) from its cache, so that you don’t have to wait so long to view a web page.

6 Strauss’s “___ Nacht in Venedig” : EINE

Composer Johann Strauss II is famous in particular for his operettas, waltzes and polkas.

7 Brouhaha : STIR

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

11 Place of salubrity : SPA

Something salubrious promotes health and well-being. The term “salubrious” derives from the Latin “salus” meaning “health, welfare”.

13 Capital city near Kangaroo Island : ADELAIDE

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia. Adelaide was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of England’s King William IV.

14 It’s called paraffin oil in the U.K. : KEROSENE

Kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is used mainly as a fuel. Kerosene is volatile, but is less flammable than gasoline. Over in the UK and Ireland, we call the same fuel “paraffin”.

23 Unkempt : RAGGED

The word “unkempt” means “disheveled, not well-combed”. It derives from the Old English word “cemban” meaning “to comb”. The opposite to the more common “unkempt” is … “kempt”.

29 Sine qua non : MUST

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

31 What a whale watcher may watch : POD

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

33 Mystery writer Buchanan : EDNA

Edna Buchanan is an author, mainly of crime mystery novels. Buchanan also worked as a crime journalist for “The Miami Herald”.

36 Birthplace of Lewis Carroll : CHESHIRE

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was born in 1832 in the village of Daresbury near Warrington in the county of Cheshire, in the northwest of England. And, let’s not forget one of Carroll’s most beloved characters, the Cheshire Cat.

37 Julius Caesar’s first wife : CORNELIA

Julius Caesar’s first wife was Cornelia, who one year before he married his second wife Pompeia Sulla. Caesar divorced his second wife a few years later as there were unfounded allegations that she was having an affair. Caesar stated at the time that, “my wife ought not even to be under suspicion”, giving rise to the proverb “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”.

38 Wordsworth wrote one about a cuckoo : ODE

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

40 Web access co. : ISP

An Internet service provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.

47 ___ Brown, Whoopi Goldberg’s role in “Ghost” : ODA MAE

Oda Mae Brown is the psychic medium in the movie “Ghost”, and is played by Whoopi Goldberg.

Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. Goldberg is multi-talented, and is one of a very short list of entertainers to have won all four major showbiz awards:

  • an Oscar (for “Ghost”)
  • an Emmy (two, for “The View”)
  • a Grammy (for “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, as a producer)
  • a Tony (also for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie”)

53 Part of mayo that’s most popular? : CINCO

The celebration known as Cinco de Mayo is observed all over the US and in parts of Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is not, as some believe, Mexico’s Independence Day. Independence is celebrated on September 16, whereas Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

58 Urges : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

61 Block letters? : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

62 Bryce Harper when he won a 2015 M.V.P. award, e.g. : NAT

Bryce Harper is a MLB right-fielder who was chosen by the Washington Nationals as the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Goof : CARELESS MISTAKE
16 Mischievous character in West African folklore : ANANSI THE SPIDER
17 Hosts : COMMUNION WAFERS
18 David who took 15 years to write “The History of England” : HUME
19 Cut into : ERODE
20 Andy Capp’s wife in the comics : FLO
21 Somme times : ETES
22 Fabergé egg recipient : TSAR
24 “The pretty worm of Nilus … that kills and pains not,” per Shakespeare : ASP
26 Concept in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism : DHARMA
30 Swashbuckler’s implement : RAPIER
32 Course : ROUTE
34 “You couldn’t be more wrong!” : GOD NO!
35 Diplomatic successes : ACCORDS
39 Find inner strength : DIG DEEP
41 ___ Island : RHODE
42 Will can change it : TENSE
44 Total package? : CEREAL
46 Shameless sycophant : LAPDOG
49 Doubly hyphenated fig. : SSN
50 Book it : ROOM
52 Where the idiom “on a roll” comes from : DICE
55 Self starter? : HER-
57 Attendant of Dionysus : SATYR
60 New Balance competitor : AVIA
61 Passive-aggressive tactic : SILENT TREATMENT
64 Renter’s amenity : PRIVATE ENTRANCE
65 Gaze at with appreciation : FEAST ONE’S EYES ON

Down

1 Computer store : CACHE
2 Have ___ (be able to save face) : AN OUT
3 Hit hard : RAMMED
4 Snarl : ENMESH
5 Sch. whose yearbook is the “Gumbo” : LSU
6 Strauss’s “___ Nacht in Venedig” : EINE
7 Brouhaha : STIR
8 Aim for : SHOOT AT
9 Sets right : MENDS
10 “Seriously!” : I SWEAR!
11 Place of salubrity : SPA
12 Two in a row, say? : TIFF
13 Capital city near Kangaroo Island : ADELAIDE
14 It’s called paraffin oil in the U.K. : KEROSENE
15 Starts of hedges : ERS
23 Unkempt : RAGGED
25 Hold (up) : PROP
27 Unfulfilled duty : ARREAR
28 Staff : ROD
29 Sine qua non : MUST
31 What a whale watcher may watch : POD
33 Mystery writer Buchanan : EDNA
35 Doesn’t go straight, in a way : ARCS
36 Birthplace of Lewis Carroll : CHESHIRE
37 Julius Caesar’s first wife : CORNELIA
38 Wordsworth wrote one about a cuckoo : ODE
40 Web access co. : ISP
43 It has furrowed gray bark : ELM TREE
45 Came in behind : LOST TO
47 ___ Brown, Whoopi Goldberg’s role in “Ghost” : ODA MAE
48 Established facts : GIVENS
51 Like some 44-Across : OATEN
53 Part of mayo that’s most popular? : CINCO
54 No longer on the table : EATEN
56 Cranks (up) : REVS
58 Urges : YENS
59 Play a critical role? : RATE
61 Block letters? : SPF
62 Bryce Harper when he won a 2015 M.V.P. award, e.g. : NAT
63 Tax : TRY

12 thoughts on “0710-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. 18:00, no errors. Agree with Tom R about the upper stack taking a while – in particular, “ANANSI” ( a fictional creature unknown to me).

    (I must say, however, that tiny insects must be my friends. On Thursday evening, for example, having grown tired of the four walls of my living room, I went for a walk at a nearby lake that has become my favorite exercise venue, and spent a lovely hour feeding the mosquitos there. … 😜)

  2. 52:28 I had only two issues with this puzzle – the top half and the bottom half!! I resorted to a couple lookups to see me through. The top half fell last. Just not at all in sync with this setter. Also unfamiliar with 16A.

    Considering my struggles – quite impressed with Bill’s, Tom R’s, and Nonny’s times.

  3. 28:43. Really enjoyed this one (read: I finished it). Took a long time to get a foothold anywhere. Had CD ROM before CACHE, AMPS before REVS and a few others.

    Ultimately, good guesses with CORNELIA and CHESHIRE with only a few letters helped immensely. Remembered HUME with my crossword lizard brain.

    So Jet A fuel is paraffin? I’m being held up in the air via candles?? Just kidding, but highly refined (cleaned) KEROSENE is Jet A fuel. Unlike in “Die Hard” movies, you can’t actually ignite it with a match or lighter. Jets ignite it only when the air is compressed.

    Interesting phenomenon here in Las Vegas yesterday. It was a cool, brisk 118 degrees here. They had to slow air traffic down as they had to wait for conditions to improve – mainly because such hot air isn’t as dense and doesn’t provide the same lift on the wings for takeoff. Supposedly both Airbus and Boeing jets can takeoff in temps up to 126 degrees, but the margin of error can get dicey at high temps.

    Best –

  4. No errors.. the only odd or weird word was ANANSI THE SPIDER .. but even that word was half understandable.. got the ANANSI through crosses. Doesn’t always work on Saturdays but it did today. Yay me!

  5. 44 minutes with no errors but I was hung up for the last 10 to 15 minutes on 50 across and 51 down all because I made the dumb mistake of thinking 45d was last to instead of lost to. Oh well.

  6. Just over an hour with no errors but without “my notes” this would have easily been a DNF. Several key words then opened it up…a toughie IMO.
    Stay safe😀

  7. DNF after 42 minutes. Bottom third essentially blank. Couldn’t get past my bad guesses of 50A RACE; 45D LAGGED; 59D STAR. Not an enjoyable outing for me today, but I will never blame the setter for a puzzle that I can’t handle.

    1. Bruce –

      “but I will never blame the setter for a puzzle that I can’t handle.”

      If only more people thought that way. Well said.

  8. Having read Anansi and the Moss covered Rock (which I recommend if you have small children or grandchildren) to my K students for many years gave me the inside track on this one.
    Seemed easier than most Saturdays.

  9. Wow, I finished this one with no errors. It did take me quite a while, but I enjoyed spending part of my Saturday afternoon being fully engaged in this head scratcher. says:

    Wow, I finished this one with no errors. It did take me quite a while, but I enjoyed spending part of my Saturday afternoon being fully engaged in this head scratcher.

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