0715-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Jul 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Max Carpenter
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Why, You Little …!

We have a rebus puzzle today, with the letters YU appearing together in several squares:

  • 57A What a solver might growl after catching on to this puzzle’s theme? : WHY, YOU LITTLE …
  • 1A “Delish!” : YUM YUM!
  • 21A Southern newspaper that William Faulkner once contributed to, with “The” : … TIMES PICAYUNE
  • 39A Cultivars known for their yellow flesh : YUKON GOLD POTATOES
  • 48A Quantity that’s tied to one’s carbon footprint : ENERGY USE
  • 1D Southwest desert plant : YUCCA
  • 3D Metric of grossness : YUCK FACTOR
  • 10D Neaten : TIDY UP
  • 27D Easy two-pointer : LAY-UP
  • 36D Popular hot-and-sour Thai dish : TOM YUM SOUP

Bill’s time: 12m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 “___ Sexy” (1991 dance hit) : I’M TOO

The English band called Right Said Fred is named for a famous song back in the UK that was a hit for comic actor Bernard Cribbins in 1962. Right Said Fred’s best known hit is “I’m Too Sexy”. Fun song …

13 Brown powder : COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

15 Brown powder : CAROB

The carob is a tree or shrub in the pea family that is mainly grown for its seed pods. The carob seeds are dried or roasted, and when powdered or chipped make a good substitute for chocolate.

16 Costa ___ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

17 Popular pops : COKES

The exact formula for Coca-Cola is a trade secret. The secret recipe is locked in a vault. That vault is on public display in the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

21 Southern newspaper that William Faulkner once contributed to, with “The” : … TIMES-PICAYUNE

William Faulkner was a writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner had been publishing works for thirty years and was largely unknown before he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. He came to despise the fame that came with the award. Even his 17-year-old daughter wasn’t told about his winning the Nobel Prize, and she had to learn about it at school.

26 Toy dog from Tibet : LHASA APSO

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

27 Sport with Native American origins : LACROSSE

Lacrosse is a game very much associated with the cultural tradition of the Iroquois people, and may have originated as early as the 12th century. The original games lasted all day long, and perhaps for two or three days, and were played as part of a ceremonial ritual. In the native language, the activity was referred to as “the Creator’s Game”. It was French Jesuit missionaries who coined the name “lacrosse”. In French, a “crosse” is a “stick with a curved end”.

30 Melodramatist : HAM

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

31 Kind of saxophone : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

32 Rapper for whom Harvard’s Hip-Hop Fellowship is named : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

45 Book after Joel : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament’s Book of Amos is attributed to him.

46 Compadre : PAL

“Compadre” is Spanish for “godfather”.

48 Quantity that’s tied to one’s carbon footprint : ENERGY USE

The carbon footprint of a person, family or organization, say, is defined as the total set of greenhouse gases caused by the presence and activities of that entity. More simply it is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane emitted by the entity.

59 Genre for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones : SKA

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is a ska punk band that formed in 1983 in Boston. The band hosts an annual music festival in Boston around Christmas that is known as the Hometown Throwdown.

62 Mine find : LODE

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

63 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

64 Motorola smartphone : DROID

The Droid is a smartphone from Motorola that runs on Google’s Android operating system.

69 Central concept of philosopher Zhuangzi’s teachings : TAO

Zhuangzi (also “Chuang Tse”) was a 4th century BC Chinese philosopher. Tradition states that Zhuangzi wrote a book that bears his name, which contains stories illustrating the carefree nature of an ideal follower of Taoism.

70 Repeatedly comments (on) : HARPS

To harp on something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

71 The first one in The New York Times appeared in 1970 : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

Down

1 Southwest desert plant : YUCCA

Yuccas are a genus of shrubs and trees that live in hot and dry areas of North and South America. One of the more famous species of Yucca is the Joshua tree. Yuccas has a unique pollination system, with moths transferring pollen from plant to plant. New Mexico adopted the yucca as its state flower in 1927.

4 Classic comedy figure who sported a bowl cut : MOE

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

5 Certain warhead transport, in brief : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

6 Phoenix and Washington, e.g. : MALE LEADS

Actor Joaquin Phoenix is the brother of actress Summer Phoenix and of the late River Phoenix, who was also an actor. In 2020, Jaoquin and his partner, actress Rooney Mara, had a son whom they named “River” after his deceased uncle.

Denzel Washington is an actor from Mount Vernon, just outside New York City. Washington’s big break came with a TV role, playing Dr. Philip Chandler on “St. Elsewhere” from 1982 to 1988.

9 Showily deferential : OBEISANT

Obeisance is an attitude of deference usually marked by gestures of respect such as a bow or curtsey.

12 Prefix with -lithic : PALEO-

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

14 Lone Star State athlete : ASTRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single white star on a blue background symbolizes Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.

16 Certifier of music sales, for short : RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents music distributors. It is the RIAA that certifies records that have gone gold and platinum i.e. reached fixed sales thresholds. It’s also the RIAA that goes after individuals who share music illegally online.

22 Apple devices run on it : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

23 “Along ___ spider …” : CAME A

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, solid curds and liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

27 Easy two-pointer : LAY-UP

That would be basketball.

28 ___-Seltzer : ALKA

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

29 Not Ready for Prime Time Players show, for short : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

33 Where a zipper gets caught? : SPEED TRAP

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

36 Popular hot-and-sour Thai dish : TOM YUM SOUP

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

37 Some summer babies : LEOS

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

40 Headgear for many an extreme athlete : GOPRO

GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Recently, two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …

49 Night sch. class : 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).

51 Small screech, for example : OWLET

There are over twenty species of screech owls, all of which are native to the Americas. Named for their eerie trill heard mainly during the night, screech owls are about the size of a pint glass.

52 Actress Birch : THORA

Thora Birch is an actress from Los Angeles. Birch is probably best known for her breakthrough role in the 1999 movie “American Beauty” in which she was the insecure daughter of a married couple played by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.

54 A scallop has up to 200 of these : EYES

A scallop is a marine mollusk that is often served as seafood. Scallops are often served baked in milk and this method of preparation has become known as “scalloping”. So, scalloped potatoes are potatoes baked in milk.

58 Second place at a math competition? : TENS

Someone adding up numbers might count the ones, tens, hundreds, etc.

61 Focus problem, for short : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

65 Joey of children’s fiction : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Delish!” : YUM YUM!
5 “___ Sexy” (1991 dance hit) : I’M TOO
10 Single at a bar, perhaps : TIP
13 Brown powder : COCOA
15 Brown powder : CAROB
16 Costa ___ : RICA
17 Popular pops : COKES
18 Point a finger at : BLAME
19 Fan fave : IDOL
20 Kennel sound : ARF!
21 Southern newspaper that William Faulkner once contributed to, with “The” : … TIMES-PICAYUNE
24 Prefix with beat or futurism : AFRO-
26 Toy dog from Tibet : LHASA APSO
27 Sport with Native American origins : LACROSSE
30 Melodramatist : HAM
31 Kind of saxophone : ALTO
32 Rapper for whom Harvard’s Hip-Hop Fellowship is named : NAS
34 Get cozy : NESTLE
39 Cultivars known for their yellow flesh : YUKON GOLD POTATOES
43 “Excuse me” : PARDON
44 Do some patching, say : SEW
45 Book after Joel : AMOS
46 Compadre : PAL
48 Quantity that’s tied to one’s carbon footprint : ENERGY USE
51 Second way of viewing things, figuratively : OTHER HAND
56 Appear : SEEM
57 What a solver might growl after catching on to this puzzle’s theme? : WHY, YOU LITTLE …
59 Genre for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones : SKA
62 Mine find : LODE
63 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE
64 Motorola smartphone : DROID
66 Flubs it : ERRS
67 Not using profanity, as a comedian : CLEAN
68 “___ is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope”: Aristotle : YOUTH
69 Central concept of philosopher Zhuangzi’s teachings : TAO
70 Repeatedly comments (on) : HARPS
71 The first one in The New York Times appeared in 1970 : OP-ED

Down

1 Southwest desert plant : YUCCA
2 Dock : MOOR
3 Metric of grossness : YUCK FACTOR
4 Classic comedy figure who sported a bowl cut : MOE
5 Certain warhead transport, in brief : ICBM
6 Phoenix and Washington, e.g. : MALE LEADS
7 Low culture, disparagingly : TRASH
8 Brass band sound : OOMPAH!
9 Showily deferential : OBEISANT
10 Neaten : TIDY UP
11 Clickable things : ICONS
12 Prefix with -lithic : PALEO-
14 Lone Star State athlete : ASTRO
16 Certifier of music sales, for short : RIAA
22 Apple devices run on it : IOS
23 “Along ___ spider …” : CAME A
25 Palm part : FROND
27 Easy two-pointer : LAY-UP
28 ___-Seltzer : ALKA
29 Not Ready for Prime Time Players show, for short : SNL
33 Where a zipper gets caught? : SPEED TRAP
35 Put on : STAGE
36 Popular hot-and-sour Thai dish : TOM YUM SOUP
37 Some summer babies : LEOS
38 To be: Lat. : ESSE
40 Headgear for many an extreme athlete : GOPRO
41 Using intuition : ON A HUNCH
42 Have : OWN
47 Syllables said with fingers in one’s ears : LA LA LA …!
49 Night sch. class : ESL
50 Thin, as a voice : REEDY
51 Small screech, for example : OWLET
52 Actress Birch : THORA
53 Green power option, informally : HYDRO
54 A scallop has up to 200 of these : EYES
55 Not so cold : NICER
58 Second place at a math competition? : TENS
60 Symbol of highness : KITE
61 Focus problem, for short : ADHD
65 Joey of children’s fiction : ROO

5 thoughts on “0715-21 NY Times Crossword 15 Jul 21, Thursday”

  1. 20:10, no errors. Good for me on rebus Thursday. TIDYUP was my aha moment and came pretty early. Interrupted several times by barking dogs (3 Aussies Shepherds). 🐕🐕🐕

  2. 25:50. One of those rare times that the reveal was the best part of the theme. I got stuck by insisting upon iCKFACTOR for 3D so it took me a while to see a theme of any kind.

    The New Orleans TIMES PICAYUNE is only published 3 times a week now. It is so sad what has happened to newspapers – now being (or already) replaced by cable news, yahoo, and Twitter. Yikes. No wonder everyone is so misinformed these days.

    Best –

  3. 16:22 With TIDYUP and LAYUP I at first thought the rebus was UP. So fixing that along with several fat fingers and not knowing how to spell Picayune slowed me down, not to mention the bottom third of the grid. Just seemed to not click very well for me.

    Agree with @Jeff about the hard times that newspapers have fallen upon.

  4. 38:34 Why? I had initially entered “ick factor” for 3D. Completed the puzzle in 20 minutes or so with no music of success. Checked it over multiple times, could not find the error. It turns out I never backed the “I” in “Ick factor” out, so the square had “IYU” in it. Doing the puzzle on a small screen hid the I…. Just shoot me….

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