0711-21 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Ashish Vengsarkar
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme No Ruse

Themed answers sound like common phrases, but there is NO USE of the letter R:

  • 24A Onus for a magician’s disappearing act? : BURDEN OF POOF (from “burden of proof”)
  • 26A Study of how gels gel? : GOOP DYNAMICS (from “group dynamics”)
  • 56A Angry Wisconsin sports fans? : MILWAUKEE BOOERS (from “Milwaukee Brewers”)
  • 80A Getting “Amscray!” under control? : TAMING OF THE SHOO (from “… Taming of the Shrew”)
  • 110A Power of a cowboy’s shoe? : BOOT STRENGTH (from “brute strength”)
  • 116A Odysseus’ wife whispers sweet nothings? : PENELOPE COOS (from “Penélope Cruz”)
  • 10D Dramatic accusation at a dentist’s office? : YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TOOTH! (from “You can’t handle the truth!”)

Bill’s time: 18m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Art of riding and training a horse : DRESSAGE

The equestrian sport of dressage involves demonstration of how well a horse responds to training. “Dressage” is a French word meaning “training”.

9 “Mea culpa” : MY BAD

Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

14 Campania’s capital : NAPLES

Naples (“Napoli” in Italian) is the third largest city in Italy. The name “Napoli” comes from the city’s Ancient Greek name, which translates as “New City”. That’s a bit of a paradox as today Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.

21 Bob Marley’s “___ You Be Loved” : COULD

Bob Marley was the most widely-known reggae performer, with big hits such as “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love”. A little sadly perhaps, Marley’s best-selling album was released three years after he died. That album would be the “legendary” album called “Legend”.

22 Mark in the World Golf Hall of Fame : O’MEARA

Mark O’Meara is a golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

The World Golf Hall of Fame is located near St. Augustine, Florida. Two other halls of fame were merged into the World Golf Hall of Fame over the years. The PGA of America’s Hall of fame was incorporated in the 1980s, and the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1998.

23 Lacking self-assurance : UNPOISED

Back in the early 1400s, “poise” meant “quality of being heavy”. We’ve been using the term to mean “steadiness, composure” since the mid-1600s, in the sense of being equally “weighted” on either side.

28 All together : EN MASSE

“En masse” is a French term, one that best translates as “as a group”

29 Little, to a Scot : SMA

The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”. The word famously appears in the Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse”. The pertinent lines read:

A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

which “translates” to:

An occasional ear of corn out of twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I’ll be blest with the rest of the corn,
And never miss the ear you took!

30 η : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

31 Fizzle (out) : PETER

The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpetre”, a constituent of gunpowder.

37 Irish writer Behan : BRENDAN

Brendan Behan was an Irish writer and playwright. His most famous work is probably “Borstal Boy”, which is an autobiographical novel. “Borstal” is a term used in Britain for juvenile detention. Behan was quite a character, famous for being a heavy drinker (“a drinker with a writing problem”, as he described himself). The drink eventually put him in an early grave, at 41 years old. I used to walk to school in Dublin right past the pub where he spent many hours every day.

44 Actress Polo : TERI

Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequels. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

45 Pablo Neruda’s “___ to Wine” : ODE

Here’s the first verse of Pablo Neruda’s poem “Ode to Wine” …

Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
wine,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
soft
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
amorous,
marine;
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.

50 Autobiography subtitled “The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” : I AM MALALA

“I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is a memoir co-written by Malala Yousafzai and British journalist Christina Lamb. The title tells the essence of Malala’s story. She started a blog when she was 11 or 12 that outlined her life in northwest Pakistan under occupation by the Taliban. As the Pakistani military regained control of the area, Malala’s story was related in a documentary and she gave frequent interviews. One day a gunman came looking for her, and found her on a school bus. He shot Malala three times, with one bullet going into her forehead. She survived, and was taken to England to recuperate. She was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17, making her the youngest ever Nobel laureate.

54 ___ Khan, prime minister of Pakistan beginning in 2018 : IMRAN

Imran Khan was elected 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018. Prior to entering politics, Khan was a world-famous cricket player who captained the Pakistani national team 48 times.

56 Angry Wisconsin sports fans? : MILWAUKEE BOOERS (from “Milwaukee Brewers”)

Milwaukee sits on the western shore of Lake Michigan, and is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin. Milwaukee has a long tradition of brewing, a tradition that dates back to the 1850s that is associated with the large number of German immigrants that started to arrive in the area during the 1840s. Even though the city was once home to four of the world’s largest breweries, namely Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller, only the latter is a major employer in Milwaukee today.

The Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball (MLB) team was founded in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots. The Pilots only played one season in Seattle before going bankrupt, relocating to Milwaukee and adopting the “Brewers” name. At that time, the Brewers were playing in the American League, and joined the National League in 1998. Only two MLB teams have switched leagues, the other being the Houston Astros.

62 Unagi, at a sushi bar : EEL

“Unagi” is the Japanese term for” freshwater eel”, and “anago” is the term for “saltwater eel”.

63 President Bartlet of “The West Wing” : JED

In the excellent television show “The West Wing”, President Jed Bartlet is played by Martin Sheen. Sheen also played real-life President John F. Kennedy in the miniseries “Kennedy: Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy”.

64 Singer Astley : RICK

Rick Astley is an English singer, best known for his 1987 worldwide hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. He retired in 1993 but became a huge hit on the Internet in 2007 when a YouTube video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” was chosen by tricksters as a link (labeled as something else) that was sent around the world so that the clip was seen by millions online. The phenomenon was given the name “Rickrolling”. With all the new exposure that the song received Astley made a whopping $12 in royalties from YouTube. Yep, 12 whole dollars.

69 Law enforcement, slangily : PO-PO

“Po-po” is a slang term meaning “police”.

71 Tajikistan, e.g., once: Abbr. : SSR

The Republic of Tajikistan is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) that lies north of Afghanistan and west of China. Most of the country’s people speak Persian and belong to the Tajik ethnic group. Tajikistan is landlocked, with 90% of the country covered by mountains.

77 Many a marble bust : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

80 Getting “Amscray!” under control? : TAMING OF THE SHOO (from “… Taming of the Shrew”)

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

88 One of the Earps : WYATT

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

92 Certain bridge positions : NORTHS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

94 McEachern a.k.a. the “Voice of Poker” : LON

Lon McEachern is a sports commentator working for ESPN. McEachern is particularly well known for providing commentary for the World Series of Poker events. As a result, he has the nickname “Voice of Poker”.

98 Abrogates : REPEALS

“To abrogate” is such a lovely sounding verb, I think. It means “to annul or do away with, especially by using authority”.

104 Reply to an oversharer : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

105 One in a hundred: Abbr. : SEN

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 through 1913, until the Seventeenth Amendment called for popular elections.

106 Parrot : IMITATE

Scientists tell us that parrots are some of the most intelligent species of birds. Many of those species are able to imitate the human voice. Such characteristics have led to parrots becoming popular house pets, and a resulting drop in populations of parrots living in the wild.

116 Odysseus’ wife whispers sweet nothings? : PENELOPE COOS (from “Penélope Cruz”)

According to Homer’s epic poem “Odyssey”, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. Penelope found herself having to fend off a total of 108 suitors while Odysseus was away on his 20-year journey, but she remained loyal to her husband. In fact, when Odysseus returned, he disguised himself as a beggar in order to spy on his wife and determine if she had indeed been faithful to him.

123 Port on the Black Sea : ODESSA

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

124 Colorful food fish : OPAHS

“Opah” is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

125 Giveaways during some pledge drives : NPR TOTES

National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

Down

2 Where Johnny Cash shot a man, in song : RENO

“Folsom Prison Blues” is a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash. Cash wrote it in West Germany while serving in the US Air Force after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison”. An iconic (and scary) line in the song is “But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”.

3 Bruins legend Phil, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

6 Twitter handle starter : AT SYMBOL

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

7 Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

“Thelma and Louise” is a much-respected 1991 movie starring Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise. Brad Pitt has a supporting role, and indeed “Thelma and Louise” was the film that gave Pitt his big break.

8 Icelandic saga : EDDA

“Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in 13th-century Iceland.

9 Chicken ___ (discontinued fast-food snack) : MCBITES

McDonald’s offered Chicken McBites in the North American market in the early 2010s. McBites were made from small pieces of chicken breast.

10 Dramatic accusation at a dentist’s office? : YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TOOTH! (from “You can’t handle the truth!”)

The line, “You can’t handle the truth!” is a line spoken by Jack Nicholson’s character in the superb 1992 movie “A Few Good Men”. The line was voted the 29th greatest American movie quote of all time in the AFI’s 2005 list (“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” was at the number-one spot).

11 Stickers : BURS

The hook-and-loop fastener that we now call “Velcro” was invented in 1941 by Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer. Mestral noticed that the seeds of the burdock plant (burrs or burs) stuck to his clothes. Under the microscope he found hooks on the burrs that grabbed hold of loops in his clothing. After years of development, he came up with a way of simulating the natural hook using man-made materials, and Velcro was born.

12 City council representative: Abbr. : ALD

The term “alderman” comes from English law, and is used for a member of a municipal assembly or council. Some cities in the US have a Board of Aldermen instead of a city council.

13 Onetime White House inits. : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

14 Lunchtime liaison : NOONER

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

15 Bands you might listen to in the car? : AM/FM RADIO

Amplitude modulation/frequency modulation (AM/FM)

16 Salt’s musical partner : PEPA

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip-hop trio from New York made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). The group’s 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

17 Where “khop jai” means “thank you” : LAOS

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

18 God who “loosens the limbs and weakens the mind,” per Hesiod : EROS

Hesiod was a poet from ancient Greece, one often compared with another famous Greek poet Homer. Hesiod’s most famous poem is probably “Works and Days”, a piece based on the principles that labor is the lot of man, and those willing to work will get by. It’s not a short poem, as it has about 800 verses.

19 Call at home : SAFE!

That would be baseball.

27 Île be there? : MER

In French, an “île” (island) is “terre dans la mer” (land in the sea).

31 ___ paneer (dish with puréed spinach) : PALAK

Paneer is a South Asian cheese, most commonly encountered in Indian dishes here in North America. Paneer is a “fresh cheese”, one that is made just before it is consumed.

32 Way in : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

33 “The Adventures of Milo and ___” (1989 film) : OTIS

“The Adventures of Milo and Otis” is a movie about an orange tabby cat named Milo, and a fawn-colored pug named Otis. The film was originally released in Japanese in 1986, and was revamped for English audiences in a version released in 1989.

34 Cyber Monday offerings : DEALS

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer incentives to online shoppers in the hope of boosting sales. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 in a press release issued by the website Shop.org. In recent years, consumers have been spending more money online on Cyber Monday than any other day in the year.

36 Rock star who wrote the poetry collection “The American Night” : JIM MORRISON
40 36-Down’s anagrammatic nickname : MR MOJO RISIN’

Jim Morrison was the lead singer for the Doors. Famously, Morrison died at only 27 years of age in Paris. It is thought that his dependence on hard drugs contributed to his demise, although this is disputed. Morrison’s grave site is one of the most-visited attractions in Paris. Morrison was also known as “Mr. Mojo Risin’”, which is an anagram of “Jim Morrison”. “Mr. Mojo Risin’” is also a repeated lyric in the Doors hit “L.A. Woman”.

38 “Mon ___!” : DIEU

“Mon Dieu!” is French for “My God!”

41 “Gay” city in a Cole Porter song : PAREE

“Who Said Gay Paree?” is a song from the Cole Porter musical “Can-Can”.

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

42 Hallmark.com purchase : E-CARD

Hallmark produces more greeting cards in the US than any other company. The company was started by Joyce Clyde Hall in 1910, and by 1915 was known as Hall Brothers after his brother Rollie joined the enterprise. Rollie invented what we know today as “wrapping paper”, displacing the traditional use of colored tissue paper for wrapping gifts. The company took on the name “Hallmark” in 1928, taking the term for the symbol used by goldsmiths in London in the 1500s.

46 Something to leave to beavers? : DAM

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

52 Thomas ___ Edison : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was a very successful inventor. He held over a thousand US patents in his name. Included in the list of Edison’s inventions is the phonograph, the movie camera and the long-lasting light bulb. He passed away in 1931. There is a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum that supposedly holds Edison’s last breath. Ford convinced Thomas’s son Charles to seal up a tube of air in the room just after the inventor died, as a memento.

60 Vaper’s purchase : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

65 Neighborhood where you might get kimchi, for short : K-TOWN

Koreatown (K-Town)

Kimchi is a traditional dish from Korea. The original kimchi is made from fermented vegetables, and is pretty strong stuff …

67 Goddess of the dawn : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

68 Obama chief of staff Emanuel : RAHM

Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning in 2009 to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel moved on from the White House the following year in order to run as a candidate in Chicago’s mayoral election in 2011. He won the 2011 race, and was re-elected in 2015.

70 Campaign pros : POLS

Politician (pol)

76 Some fencing swords : FOILS

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

81 Spongy toys : NERF BALLS

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

82 Resets to zero, as a scale : TARES

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

83 ___:// : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

84 John Winston ___ Lennon : ONO

After John Lennon married Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name by deed poll, adding “Ono” as a middle name. His official name became John Winston Ono Lennon, as he wasn’t allowed to drop the name “Winston” that was given to him at birth.

86 Professor ‘iggins : ‘ENRY

Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

90 Eaglelike? : UNDER PAR

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

93 Appetizers filled with potatoes and peas : SAMOSAS

A samosa is quite a tasty appetizer. It is usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.

97 One of the Jacksons : LA TOYA

La Toya Jackson is the fifth child of the Jackson family. Despite her success as a singer and TV personality, it seems that she has led a troubled life and had to overcome many challenges.

101 Kind of wonder? : ONE-HIT

Here’s a 2002 list of one-hit wonders that VH1 dubbed the top-10 greatest of all time:

  1. “Macarena” – Los del Río (1996)
  2. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell (1982)
  3. “Come on Eileen” – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
  4. “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred (1991)
  5. “Mickey” – Toni Basil (1982)
  6. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” – Baha Men (2000)
  7. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice (1990)
  8. “Take On Me” – A-ha (1985)
  9. “Rico Suave” – Gerardo (1990)
  10. “99 Luftballons” – Nena (1984)

105 Campaign (for) : STUMP

“To stump” can mean “to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign”. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then, a stump speech was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

107 World’s oldest alcoholic beverage : MEAD

Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.

108 Pulitzer-winning playwright from Independence, Kan. : INGE

During his career, dramatist William Inge was known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”, as many of his works were set in the American heartland and explored small town life. When Inge was 60 years old, he committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide. He was buried in his hometown of Independence, Kansas. Inge’s grave is marked with a headstone that reads simply “Playwright”.

110 Tora ___, Afghanistan : BORA

The famous cave that almost certainly housed Osama Bin Laden for a while was in Tora Bora in eastern Pakistan. Tora Bora is not far (~ 30 mi) from what used to be an even more famous spot, the Khyber Pass. “Tora Bora” is a Pashto name which translates to “black dust”.

112 Defendant’s plea, for short : NOLO

“Nolo contendere” (sometimes shortened to “nolo”) is a legal term that translates from Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. It’s the plea of no contest, and is an alternative to guilty and not guilty, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt but nor does one dispute the charge.

115 Storied cauldron stirrers : HAGS

The three witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have some lovely lines as they boil up and evil brew and cast a spell:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Art of riding and training a horse : DRESSAGE
9 “Mea culpa” : MY BAD
14 Campania’s capital : NAPLES
20 Put in other words : RESTATED
21 Bob Marley’s “___ You Be Loved” : COULD
22 Mark in the World Golf Hall of Fame : O’MEARA
23 Lacking self-assurance : UNPOISED
24 Onus for a magician’s disappearing act? : BURDEN OF POOF (from “burden of proof”)
26 Study of how gels gel? : GOOP DYNAMICS (from “group dynamics”)
28 All together : EN MASSE
29 Little, to a Scot : SMA
30 η : ETA
31 Fizzle (out) : PETER
33 Miscellaneous task : ODD JOB
37 Irish writer Behan : BRENDAN
39 Increased, with “up” : RAMPED …
44 Actress Polo : TERI
45 Pablo Neruda’s “___ to Wine” : ODE
47 They’ll put you head and shoulders above everyone else : STILTS
49 Constellation almost above the North Pole : DRACO
50 Autobiography subtitled “The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” : I AM MALALA
53 Red card : HEART
54 ___ Khan, prime minister of Pakistan beginning in 2018 : IMRAN
55 Sports broadcast feature : SLO-MO
56 Angry Wisconsin sports fans? : MILWAUKEE BOOERS (from “Milwaukee Brewers”)
59 Fire sign? : SMOKE
61 Like n, where n = 2k (and “k” is a whole number) : EVEN
62 Unagi, at a sushi bar : EEL
63 President Bartlet of “The West Wing” : JED
64 Singer Astley : RICK
66 Total-itarian? : ADDER
69 Law enforcement, slangily : PO-PO
71 Tajikistan, e.g., once: Abbr. : SSR
73 “How was ___ know?” : I TO
75 Loll : LOAF
77 Many a marble bust : TORSO
80 Getting “Amscray!” under control? : TAMING OF THE SHOO (from “… Taming of the Shrew”)
85 Like yoga instructors : LITHE
87 Greet the day : ARISE
88 One of the Earps : WYATT
89 – : MINUS SIGN
91 Bathroom cabinet item : RAZOR
92 Certain bridge positions : NORTHS
94 McEachern a.k.a. the “Voice of Poker” : LON
95 Cake topper : ICER
96 Wealthiest professional sports org. : THE NFL
98 Abrogates : REPEALS
100 Party animal? : DONKEY
102 Reveals : BARES
104 Reply to an oversharer : TMI
105 One in a hundred: Abbr. : SEN
106 Parrot : IMITATE
110 Power of a cowboy’s shoe? : BOOT STRENGTH (from “brute strength”)
116 Odysseus’ wife whispers sweet nothings? : PENELOPE COOS (from “Penélope Cruz”)
119 Bliss : EUPHORIA
120 With wisdom : SAGELY
121 In a sense, colloquially : SORTA
122 Activity for some pen pals : EMAILING
123 Port on the Black Sea : ODESSA
124 Colorful food fish : OPAHS
125 Giveaways during some pledge drives : NPR TOTES

Down

1 What the doctor ordered : DRUG
2 Where Johnny Cash shot a man, in song : RENO
3 Bruins legend Phil, to fans : ESPO
4 “Cut it out!” : STOP!
5 Pronounced with authority : SAID SO
6 Twitter handle starter : AT SYMBOL
7 Davis of “Thelma & Louise” : GEENA
8 Icelandic saga : EDDA
9 Chicken ___ (discontinued fast-food snack) : MCBITES
10 Dramatic accusation at a dentist’s office? : YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TOOTH! (from “You can’t handle the truth!”)
11 Stickers : BURS
12 City council representative: Abbr. : ALD
13 Onetime White House inits. : DDE
14 Lunchtime liaison : NOONER
15 Bands you might listen to in the car? : AM/FM RADIO
16 Salt’s musical partner : PEPA
17 Where “khop jai” means “thank you” : LAOS
18 God who “loosens the limbs and weakens the mind,” per Hesiod : EROS
19 Call at home : SAFE!
25 Not gross : NET
27 Île be there? : MER
31 ___ paneer (dish with puréed spinach) : PALAK
32 Way in : ENTREE
33 “The Adventures of Milo and ___” (1989 film) : OTIS
34 Cyber Monday offerings : DEALS
35 She might take care of a kid on a sick day : DR MOM
36 Rock star who wrote the poetry collection “The American Night” : JIM MORRISON
37 Contradict : BELIE
38 “Mon ___!” : DIEU
40 36-Down’s anagrammatic nickname : MR MOJO RISIN’
41 “Gay” city in a Cole Porter song : PAREE
42 Hallmark.com purchase : E-CARD
43 Opposite of “takes off” : DONS
46 Something to leave to beavers? : DAM
48 Precipitous : STEEP
51 Grammy-nominated D.J. Steve : AOKI
52 Thomas ___ Edison : ALVA
57 Join with rings : WED
58 Smudge : BLOT
60 Vaper’s purchase : E-CIG
65 Neighborhood where you might get kimchi, for short : K-TOWN
67 Goddess of the dawn : EOS
68 Obama chief of staff Emanuel : RAHM
70 Campaign pros : POLS
71 ___ Gilbert, co-developer of a Covid-19 vaccine : SARAH
72 Smile with one’s eyes, per a modern coinage : SMIZE
74 Long past : OF YORE
76 Some fencing swords : FOILS
78 Something to play fetch with : STICK
79 “Well, golly!” : OH, GEE!
80 Biting : TART
81 Spongy toys : NERF BALLS
82 Resets to zero, as a scale : TARES
83 ___:// : HTTP
84 John Winston ___ Lennon : ONO
86 Professor ‘iggins : ‘ENRY
90 Eaglelike? : UNDER PAR
93 Appetizers filled with potatoes and peas : SAMOSAS
97 One of the Jacksons : LA TOYA
99 Word following English or green : … LIT
101 Kind of wonder? : ONE-HIT
103 Cred : REP
105 Campaign (for) : STUMP
106 Itself: Lat. : IPSO
107 World’s oldest alcoholic beverage : MEAD
108 Pulitzer-winning playwright from Independence, Kan. : INGE
109 Seriously annoys, with “off” : TEES …
110 Tora ___, Afghanistan : BORA
111 Not overlooked : SEEN
112 Defendant’s plea, for short : NOLO
113 Determination : GRIT
114 Fork point : TINE
115 Storied cauldron stirrers : HAGS
117 Spanish “that” : ESO
118 Admit (to) : COP

12 thoughts on “0711-21 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 21, Sunday”

  1. 32:07 after finding and fixing a silly error (a combination of a misread clue in one direction and something I’d never heard of in the other direction).

  2. 30:57 I got the gist fairly early with 56A and 80A, but seemed to have trouble applying it with 24A and 26A. That whole NE corner seemed to elude me for a while.

  3. 33:39. Finished ok despite all the proper nouns in this one. I was too lazy to count them, but it sure seemed like there were a lot of them.

    For 30A, in the NYT online version I had “H” as the clue rather than the Greek letter. I got it anyway thanks to having read Bill’s blog all these years.

    Best –

    1. Hmmm. I could nitpick and point out that the NYT crossword app did, in fact, have an “eta” as the clue for 30A … but it was capitalized, so it looked exactly like an English “H” … 😜.

      This is reminiscent of another oddity: In Wednesday’s LAT crossword, the entry “SYBIL” was clued as “___ Ludington, 1777 militia-alerting rider” in the version I downloaded, but as “Ancient Greek prophet” in Bill’s version.

  4. 57:13, three days late. Sadly my error was misspelling Steve Aoki’s last name…I’ve seen him perform live, I should have known better

    1. When a project is given the okay, often by management or by somebody financing it. I believe it is a short form of getting the “green light”.

  5. Got the theme but what a slog… took me longer than normal for me.. at least an hour.. messed up at the cross of POPO and MRMOJORISIN… never heard of POPO and didn’t know Jim Morrison had a nickname.

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