0716-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Jul 21, Friday

Constructed by: Sophia Maymudes & Kyra Wilson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Band featured in Disney World’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster : AEROSMITH

Aerosmith is a hard rock band from Boston that formed in 1970. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, and holds the record for most gold albums by any American group. The band’s lead singer is Steven Tyler, father of actress Liv Tyler.

16 Bumper adornment : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

17 Last of the Ptolemys : CLEOPATRA

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Greek royal family that ruled in Egypt from 305 BC to 30 BC. The dynasty started when Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great’s bodyguards, was given charge of Egypt after Alexander’s death in 323 BC. Ptolemy and his descendants then became the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt, and ruled the country until the Romans took over in 30 BC.

18 Train through eight states : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

22 Ford vehicle, familiarly : INDY

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg’s first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in “Star Wars”, and also appeared in Lucas’s “American Graffiti”). Tom Selleck was offered the role but he couldn’t get out of his commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” Eventually Spielberg got his way and Ford was hired, a good thing I say …

Harrison Ford played at least three celebrated, recurring roles in movies: Han Solo in the “Star Wars” series, the title character in the “Indiana Jones” series, and Jack Ryan in the movie versions of Tom Clancy novels. In the early days, Ford became a self-taught carpenter in order to put bread on the table while he looked for acting roles. As a carpenter he worked as a stagehand for the rock band “The Doors”, and he built a sun deck for actress Sally Kellerman (from the movie “M*A*S*H”). George Lucas hired him to build cabinets in his home, and then gave him a part in “American Graffiti”, after which I think Ford hung up his tool belt …

23 Black Sea resort town : YALTA

Yalta is a resort city on the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula. Crimea is very much in the news in recent years as ownership of the territory is in dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. Yalta was also in the news at the end of WWII, as it was the site of the 1945 Yalta Conference between the leaders of the three main Allies.

26 Word with over 400 definitions in the O.E.D. : SET

The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 600,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

29 When doubled, a 2010s hip-hop fad : NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

33 Gaffer’s supply : ZIP TIES

Apparently, the word “gaffer” is a contraction of “godfather”, and so originally was used to me “old man”. This usage extended to a foreman or supervisor, and is used most often today to mean the chief electrician on a film set. That said, back in my part of the world we often refer to the “boss” at work as “the gaffer”.

40 Big name in pizza rolls : TOTINO’S

The Totino’s brand of frozen pizza was founded by Rose and Jim Totino, a married couple who had been running a take-out pizzeria in Minneapolis since 1951.

42 Cardinal pts.? : TDS

The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run, professional football team in the whole country.

48 River past Louisville : OHIO

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

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.

51 Partner of all : ANY

Any and all.

53 Last of the Greeks : OMEGA

The Greek alphabet starts with the letter “alpha”, and ends with the letter “omega”.

56 Whiz : MAVEN

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

59 Animal in the suborder Vermilingua (“worm tongue”) : ANTEATER

Anteaters tear open ant and termite nests using their sharp claws and then eat up the eggs, larvae and mature ants using their tongues. They have very sticky saliva which coats the tongue hence making the feeding very efficient. The tongue also moves very quickly, flicking in and out of the mouth at about 150 times per minute.

Down

3 Hannah who wrote “The Human Condition” : ARENDT

Hannah Arendt was studying and working in the field of philosophy when she had to flee her native Germany in the run up to WWII because of her Jewish heritage. Arendt ended up in the US in 1941, and took posts in various schools here. In 1969 she was appointed full professor at Princeton, becoming the first woman to win such a position, and a decade before women students were admitted to the college.

5 Best Driver, for one : ESPY

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

6 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

8 Perambulates : STROLLS

To perambulate is to travel by foot. The original Latin “perambulare” translated more specifically as “to walk through”.

9 Palms, e.g., for short : PDAS

Palm Inc. was a company that focused on the design and manufacture of personal digital assistants (PDAs). The company’s most successful models were the groundbreaking PalmPilot PDA, and the Treo 600, which was one of the world’s first smartphones.

11 Winter Olympics pairs event : ICE DANCE

Ice dancing was introduced as an event at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, and in the Winter Olympics in 1976.

15 Short-story writer Bret : HARTE

Bret Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York. One work attributed to him is “Ah Sin”, a disastrously unsuccessful play written by Harte with Mark Twain. The two writers didn’t get on at all well during the writing process, and when the play was produced for the stage it was very poorly received. Nevertheless, Twain suggested a further collaboration with Harte, and Harte downright refused!

23 Holiday hearth feature : YULE LOG

A Yule log is a large log made from a very hard wood that is burned as part of the Christmas celebration. There is also a cake called a Yule log that is served at Christmas, especially in French-speaking parts of the world. The cake is made from a sponge that is rolled up to resemble a wooden Yule log.

24 One of the Fates : ATROPOS

The three Fates of Greek mythology were white-robed deities, and were also called the Moirai. The three Fates were Clotho the spinner, Lachesis the allotter and Atropos the unturnable.

28 Tennis great Monica : SELES

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

30 Home-school link, for short : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

33 Make an unwanted appearance in a video call : ZOOMBOMB

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

35 Loud chewing, for many : PET PEEVE

The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.

38 Roll player : PIANOLA

A player piano is a piano that plays itself. The original Pianola, a brand introduced in the early 1900s, used a pneumatic mechanism to depress the keys. The tune itself was stored on a paper roll that had carefully positioned perforations.

43 Senator Feinstein of California : DIANNE

Dianne Feinstein is one of our US Senators here in California, and has been representing the state since 1992. Prior to heading to Washington, Feinstein was the Mayor of San Francisco for ten years, and the first woman to hold that office.

44 Do some bonding : SOLDER

Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.

48 Spirited message board? : OUIJA

The Ouija board was introduced to America as a harmless parlor game at the end of the 19th century, although variations of the board date back to 1100 AD in China, where it was apparently used to “contact” the spirit world. The name “Ouija” is relatively recent, and is probably just a combination of the French and German words for “yes” … “oui” and “ja”.

50 Dojo levels : DANS

The dan ranking system is used in several Japanese and Korean martial arts. The dan ranking indicates a level of proficiency, and often only applies to practitioners who have already earned a black belt.

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

52 “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE

Thomas Arne was an English composer from London. Arne wrote some iconic compositions, most notably “Rule, Britannia!” He also wrote a version of “God Save the King” that became the British national anthem.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cases of false incrimination : FRAME-UPS
9 Groom : PRIMP
14 Band featured in Disney World’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster : AEROSMITH
16 Bumper adornment : DECAL
17 Last of the Ptolemys : CLEOPATRA
18 Train through eight states : ACELA
19 Thin in tone : TINNY
20 Supporting : FOR
21 “Alas …” : SADLY …
22 Ford vehicle, familiarly : INDY
23 Black Sea resort town : YALTA
25 Splitting of hairs? : PART
26 Word with over 400 definitions in the O.E.D. : SET
27 Sweat ___ : BULLETS
29 When doubled, a 2010s hip-hop fad : NAE
30 Draws : PULLS
31 Bites, in a sense : REACTS
33 Gaffer’s supply : ZIP TIES
36 Most sacred : HOLIEST
37 Low draw : ONE-ALL
38 Scholarly work : PAPER
39 O’er and o’er : OFT
40 Big name in pizza rolls : TOTINO’S
42 Cardinal pts.? : TDS
45 Thick manes : MOPS
47 Certain gown wearers : GRADS
48 River past Louisville : OHIO
49 Rolls, e.g. : BREAD
51 Partner of all : ANY
52 Heard, but not seen : AURAL
53 Last of the Greeks : OMEGA
54 She’s the responsible one in the group, colloquially : MOM FRIEND
56 Whiz : MAVEN
57 Not the glamorous sort : PLAIN JANE
58 Sanctify : BLESS
59 Animal in the suborder Vermilingua (“worm tongue”) : ANTEATER

Down

1 “Truth be told …” : FACT IS …
2 Fix, as a winter coat : RELINE
3 Hannah who wrote “The Human Condition” : ARENDT
4 Distracted, as with romantic feelings : MOONY
5 Best Driver, for one : ESPY
6 Actress Thurman : UMA
7 Hidden dangers : PITFALLS
8 Perambulates : STROLLS
9 Palms, e.g., for short : PDAS
10 Run through : RECAP
11 Winter Olympics pairs event : ICE DANCE
12 1995 cult classic directed by Kevin Smith : MALL RATS
13 Try out before release, as a game : PLAYTEST
15 Short-story writer Bret : HARTE
23 Holiday hearth feature : YULE LOG
24 One of the Fates : ATROPOS
27 Muscly : BUILT
28 Tennis great Monica : SELES
30 Home-school link, for short : PTA
32 Word with hot or fresh : … AIR
33 Make an unwanted appearance in a video call : ZOOMBOMB
34 Not requiring a suit, say : INFORMAL
35 Loud chewing, for many : PET PEEVE
36 Mr. Fixit : HANDYMAN
38 Roll player : PIANOLA
41 March : TRAMP
42 “If you don’t tell them, I will,” e.g. : THREAT
43 Senator Feinstein of California : DIANNE
44 Do some bonding : SOLDER
46 Wise guys : SAGES
48 Spirited message board? : OUIJA
50 Dojo levels : DANS
52 “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE
55 Muscly, say : FIT

5 thoughts on “0716-21 NY Times Crossword 16 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. 12:15. Nothing rang the INDY bell until reading above, so I was a little flummoxed by that and managed to get it through a guess.

    I’m guessing this is the first appearance of ZOOM BOMB. Which I have fortunately not yet been subjected to despite being on Zoom extensively in my professional life.

  2. 22:37. Pretty easy Friday except when it wasn’t. I should go on tour doing professional critiques of crosswords…

    The entire INDY, ARENDT, MOONY nexus threw me. I finally just put DY for INDY because I relate it to cars and got the congratulatory music.

    I thought of ICE DANCing for 11D, but I saw it didn’t fit and looked for something else. I don’t ever remember it being called ICE DANCE.

    If your PET PEEVE was people using the phrase PET PEEVE, could you ever tell anyone about it without getting aggravated?

    Best –

  3. 15:28 Slow start, but then I had the entire right side filled in and not much on the left. NW corner the last to sort out. Once I put in TINNY vs. REEDY, then I got a handle on the NW. Also lead astray by the Ford clue. Thought it was relating to INDY 500. Also need crosses for several of the proper names.

    If one has enough pet peeves that one should open a kennel!

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