0717-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Jul 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 High branch, for short : SCOTUS

Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

13 Library of Alexandria collection : PAPYRI

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

14 It reaches Washington heights : RAINIER

Mount Rainier is an active volcano in the state of Washington in the Cascade Mountain Range. Native Americans first called the peak “Tacoma” and “Tahoma” meaning “mother of waters”. When Captain George Vancouver discovered Puget Sound in 1792, he named the peak in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. There have been movements to change the name back to Tacoma, but these seem to have “petered” out (pun!).

15 First name in flight : AMELIA

Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

16 Boxer whose full name is made up of only three different letters : LAILA ALI

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali, and a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. Now retired, she never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

19 Name in a noted ’90s breakup : USSR

When the former Soviet Union (USSR) dissolved in 1991, it was largely replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The formation of the CIS underscored the new reality, that the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) were now independent states. Most of the 15 former SSRs joined the CIS. Notably, the three Baltic SSRs (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) opted not to join the new commonwealth, and in 2004 joined NATO and the EU.

21 Bagel variety : PLAIN

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

25 Pig tail? : -LET

A male pig is a boar, and a female is a sow. Young pigs are piglets.

33 Ones exploited in a capitalist system, per Marx : WAGE LABORERS

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

35 Corvine cry : CAW!

The adjective “corvine” can be used to describe things pertaining to crows and ravens. “Corvus” is the Latin word for “raven”.

38 First international rock band to play in Cuba (2016), with “the” : … STONES

Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn’t start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to make an original lineup of six band members. Jones called the band “Rollin’ Stone” back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn’t able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

39 Raider’s grp. : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

40 Hardly klutzy : AGILE

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

44 Victorian greeting : G’DAY

Victoria is the most densely populated state in Australia, with most inhabitants living in the state capital of Melbourne. Just like the Australian state of Queensland, Victoria was named for Queen Victoria, the British monarch at the time the state was founded.

50 Petty tyrants : TIN GODS

A tin god is a person who claims authority and is full of self-importance. The use of “tin” is apt as it is a base metal with relatively little value.

52 Diamonds used in fashion : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

53 Places of rest : CRYPTS

A crypt is a chamber that is located partially or totally underground. The term “crypt” comes from the Greek “kryptos” meaning “hidden”.

Down

2 Sleeveless undergarment : CAMISOLE

A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English that ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

4 President when Texas was admitted to the Union : TYLER

John Tyler was the tenth President of the US, and the first to take the office on the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s predecessor was President William Henry Harrison, who was in office only 32 days before he died of natural causes. For a while there was a little confusion about the wording in the constitution that covered such an eventuality. There was an argument made that Tyler would continue as Vice-President but would assume the responsibilities of the office of President, in effect as “Acting President”. However, Tyler proceeded as though he was taking over as President and took the oath of office in his hotel room in Washington. Soon afterwards, Congress declared that Tyler was indeed President, although many continued to dispute the fact. Many of President Tyler’s opponents referred to him as “His Accidency”. His term in office ended in 1845. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler sided with the Confederacy and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Virginia. President Tyler passed away only a few days after taking his seat in the House. His death was the only one in presidential history that was not recognized in the nation’s capital, as he sided with the Confederate States.

5 “Exodus” novelist : URIS

“Exodus” is a wonderful novel written by American writer Leon Uris that was first published in 1947. The hero of the piece is Ari Ben Canaan, a character played by Paul Newman in the 1960 film adaptation directed by Otto Preminger.

6 “Cheap Thrills” pop star : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

7 Dressage criterion : GAIT

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

9 Snafu : SNARL

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

10 Having a gap : HIATAL

A hiatus is a break or opening in a material object, or an interruption in time. “Hiatus” is Latin for “opening”.

14 Inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame five years after his sister : RAGGEDY ANDY

Raggedy Andy was introduced as the brother to Raggedy Ann in the 1920 book “Raggedy Andy Stories”.

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in Salem, Oregon in 1998, but was relocated to Rochester, New York in 2002. There were seventeen original inductees, including:

  • Barbie
  • Etch A Sketch
  • Frisbee
  • Hula Hoop
  • Marbles
  • Monopoly

24 Like corduroy : RIBBED

There’s a myth that the name of the textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

29 Lent feature : EAR

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears …” is the start of a famous speech by Mark Antony from William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”.

31 Topping brand with multiple misspellings in its name : REDDI-WIP

Reddi-wip is a brand of sweetened whipped cream that comes out of a pressurized can. The propellant used in the can is nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas”, which is the same gas used by dentists as an anesthetic.

32 Proposed legislation often debated alongside the DACA program : DREAM ACT

The DREAM Act is proposed legislation that has been floating around Washington since 2001. The bill provides permanent residency to some immigrants who are deemed to be of good character and who have fulfilled certain conditions mainly related to education or to public service. The acronym DREAM stands for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors”.

35 Literally, “heads” : CAPITA

“Per capita” is a Latin term used to mean “per person, per unit of population”. The literal translation of the term is “by heads”.

41 Like herons and flamingos : LEGGY

Herons are birds with long legs that inhabit freshwater and coastal locales. Some herons are routinely referred to as egrets, and others as bitterns. Herons look a lot like storks and cranes, but differ in their appearance in flight. Herons fly with their necks retracted in an S-shape, whereas storks and cranes have their necks extended.

The name “flamingo” comes from the Greek word for “purple wing”. The flamingo’s pink or reddish color comes from the bird’s diet, and in particular the pigments ingested from animal and plant sources.

42 Documentarian Morris : ERROL

Errol Morris is a film director who is best known for his excellent 2003 documentary “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara”. Morris also directed “The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld” that was released in 2013.

47 Insensitive sort : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

49 Major vitamin retailer : GNC

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a retailer of health and nutrition supplements based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1935 as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh. There are now about 5,000 stores in the US. The GNC slogan is “Live Well”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 High branch, for short : SCOTUS
7 “Don’t make me laugh!” : GOSH, NO!
13 Library of Alexandria collection : PAPYRI
14 It reaches Washington heights : RAINIER
15 First name in flight : AMELIA
16 Boxer whose full name is made up of only three different letters : LAILA ALI
17 Pea piercers : TINES
18 Endangered wetlands reptile of the northeastern U.S. : BOG TURTLE
19 Name in a noted ’90s breakup : USSR
20 Back up : CLOG
21 Bagel variety : PLAIN
22 Pull (out) : BOW
23 Sterling Cooper ___ Pryce (“Mad Men” ad agency) : DRAPER
25 Pig tail? : -LET
26 Break down for closer analysis, as data : SLICE AND DICE
30 Iconic iPhone addition of 2011 : EMOJI KEYBOARD
33 Ones exploited in a capitalist system, per Marx : WAGE LABORERS
35 Corvine cry : CAW!
38 First international rock band to play in Cuba (2016), with “the” : … STONES
39 Raider’s grp. : DEA
40 Hardly klutzy : AGILE
43 Christine ___ Whitman, first female governor of New Jersey : TODD
44 Victorian greeting : G’DAY
45 Dead tree edition : PAPER COPY
47 Hat tips : BRIMS
48 “Anyhoo …” : I DIGRESS …
49 Shout from a teen’s bedroom : GO AWAY!
50 Petty tyrants : TIN GODS
51 Green party? : NOVICE
52 Diamonds used in fashion : ARGYLE
53 Places of rest : CRYPTS

Down

1 Whirlpools : SPA TUBS
2 Sleeveless undergarment : CAMISOLE
3 Family time at the pool : OPEN SWIM
4 President when Texas was admitted to the Union : TYLER
5 “Exodus” novelist : URIS
6 “Cheap Thrills” pop star : SIA
7 Dressage criterion : GAIT
8 Grease : OIL UP
9 Snafu : SNARL
10 Having a gap : HIATAL
11 “Whoa, ___!” : NELLIE
12 Position : ORIENT
14 Inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame five years after his sister : RAGGEDY ANDY
16 They go around in circles : LOOP-DE-LOOPS
18 High-flying picnic game : BLANKET TOSS
20 “___ Wife,” Pulitzer Prize-winning George Kelly play : CRAIG’S
23 Already: Fr. : DEJA
24 Like corduroy : RIBBED
27 Yoga pose done on hands and knees : COW
28 Acts lovey-dovey : COOS
29 Lent feature : EAR
31 Topping brand with multiple misspellings in its name : REDDI-WIP
32 Proposed legislation often debated alongside the DACA program : DREAM ACT
34 Goes along : SAYS YES
35 Literally, “heads” : CAPITA
36 Moroccan resort city on the Atlantic : AGADIR
37 Clearing : WIPING
41 Like herons and flamingos : LEGGY
42 Documentarian Morris : ERROL
44 Unexpected windfall, figuratively : GRAVY
46 Give up : CEDE
47 Insensitive sort : BOOR
49 Major vitamin retailer : GNC

11 thoughts on “0717-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. 51:15 with a couple lookups. I was doing this late Fri. night and after 40 minutes I was fairly stumped with NE and SW corners. Figured I’d sleep on it, but lying in bed for an hour I got up and tried to finish. Finally got the NE corner. I have climbed Mt. Rainier 7 times, but sad to say – it took me about 45 minutes to realize the clue for 14A was not some district in Wash. D.C. Then I stared more at the SW corner. Did not have a toe-hold at all so resorted to a couple lookups around midnight.

    I did Friday in 15 minutes, but reversed that with 51 on Sat. Quite the turn around,

  2. 34:45 with several cheats. I was so outmatched by this one, I just made it an open book exam. I think I got 2 or 3 words by myself….maybe. Disaster of a puzzle for me. But as usual, when I look at all the answers, it doesn’t look that hard. Oh well

    Leon URIS is a favorite of mine – in particular “QBVII”, “Topaz”, and “Trinity” which takes place in Ireland. Bill should read that one. The first 100 pp felt like a text on Irish history. Fascinating book as long as you have the patience to muddle through the beginning.

    Best –

  3. Struggled. A few lookups.. DNF technically. But I slogged through. That french word at 23D was strategic for me.. had to wait. Still enjoyed it.

  4. As difficult a Saturday as I can remember. A few rough spots/errors but I got much, much farther than I thought I would. 29 down gets my clue of the week award.

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