0720-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Jul 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Sam Buchbinder
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Women’s Gymnastics

Themed answers each end with an event in WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS:

  • 6D Olympic sport whose all-around competition is composed of the last parts of 19-, 26-, 44- and 52-Across : WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS
  • 19A Kind of headlight on older cars : SEALED-BEAM
  • 26A Observation deck feature not for the squeamish : GLASS FLOOR
  • 44A Stored deeply and securely : IN THE VAULT
  • 52A Chocolaty treats that you might “break me off a piece of” : KIT KAT BARS

Bill’s time: 6m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Camera type, for short : SLR

Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera

13 Canadian boor : HOSER

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

14 Marisa of “My Cousin Vinny” : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“My Cousin Vinny” is a really fun film from 1992 starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. In 2008, the American Bar Association rated “My Cousin Vinny” as the #3 greatest legal movie of all time, after “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “12 Angry Men”!

15 Principle of Confucianism : TAO

The sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (anglicized from “K’ung Fu-Tse”) are collected in a work called “The Analects” or “Linyu”. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

16 “I give up!” : UNCLE!

To say uncle is to submit or yield. This peculiarly American use of “uncle” dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

18 Rock music style : EMO

“Emo” is short for “emotional hardcore”.

19 Kind of headlight on older cars : SEALED-BEAM

The high-beam setting on a car’s headlights directs a bright light to the front of the vehicle. The low-beam setting causes the light to “dip” towards the side of the road to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. This causes a few problems for some vacationing drivers in Europe. Many moons ago, I remember taking my car from Ireland (where we drive on the left), over to France (where cars drive on the right) . By law, I had to place adhesive blackout strips over the headlamps so that the lights did not dazzle oncoming traffic.

21 One way around Disneyland : TRAM

Walt Disney came up with the idea of building Disneyland after visiting other theme parks with his daughters in the thirties and forties. He started building the park at Anaheim, California in 1954, and the facility opened just one year and one day later. The total cost of construction was $17 million. Opening day did not go smoothly, largely because over 28,000 people visited the park compared to the 11,000 people expected at the invitation-only event. The opening day went so badly that for years Disney executives referred to it as “Black Sunday”.

22 Earn copious amounts of : RAKE IN

Something described as copious is plentiful in number. “Copia” is a Latin word meaning “abundance, ample supply”, and “Copia” was the Roman goddess of abundance (as in “cornucopia”).

24 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN

Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

29 Almost unfathomably large number : GOOGOL

A googol is 10 raised to the power of 100. The term “googol” was coined by the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. The uncle had asked the boy to come up with an interesting name for “a very large number”. Kasner then came up with the name “googleplex”, which he defined as 1 followed by as many zeros one could write before getting tired. He later refined the definition of a googolplex to be 10 to the power of a googol. And yes, the search engine called “Google” is a deliberate misspelling of “googol”, and Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California is called the Googleplex, a similar deliberate misspelling.

31 Stay outdoors overnight with some of the comforts of home : GLAMP

“Glamping” is “glamorous camping”, camping with comforts and amenities.

33 City on the Rhône : LYON

The city of Lyon in France is sometimes known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland, passes through Lake Geneva, flows through the southeast of France, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Arles.

38 One of the R’s in R&R : REST

Rest and relaxation/recuperation/recreation (R&R, R‘n’R)

39 Nincompoop : SIMP

The word “nincompoop”, meaning “fool”, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

40 Pair of cymbals in a drum set : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

43 High-flying sharpshooter : AIR ACE

A flying ace (also “air ace”) is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of “ace” was during WWI, when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud “l’as” (French for “the ace”) when he shot down his fifth German plane.

47 President pro ___ : TEM

“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

48 H.S. class for science whizzes : AP BIO

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

49 Leaves … or cleaves : SPLITS

I’ve always found “to cleave” an interesting verb. When used with an object, to cleave something is to split it, as one would would using a cleaver. When used without an object, to cleave is to cling, to adhere, as in “to cleave to one’s principles in the face of adversity”. Although not exactly so, the two definitions seem to have opposite meanings to me …

51 Fellow : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

52 Chocolaty treats that you might “break me off a piece of” : KIT KAT BARS

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat bars over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

56 Jerry’s partner in cartoondom : TOM

“Tom and Jerry” is a series of cartoons produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera starting in 1940. These short films feature Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse who are always going at it, with Jerry usually emerging victorious.

57 One who says “You wish!”? : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

58 “The Jungle Book” bear : BALOO

“The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling was originally published in 1894, and is a collection of adventure stories or fables featuring the animals of the jungle and a young boy named Mowgli. Baloo is a sloth bear that teaches the cubs of a wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. Baloo’s most challenging pupil however is no lupine, but rather the man-cub Mowgli.

59 Off-roader, in brief : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

60 ___ Jackson, title character in Rick Riordan books : PERCY

“Percy Jackson & the Olympians” is a series of children’s adventure stories written by Rick Riordan. Two of the books have been adapted into movies: “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (2010) and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” (2013).

61 It’s a long story : ILIAD

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

63 Chimps and bonobos : APES

The common chimpanzee is a species of great ape, i.e. a member of the Hominidae family (along with gorillas, humans and orangutans). The human and chimpanzee branches of the Hominidae family tree diverged 4-6 million years ago, making the chimp our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

The bonobo used to be called the pygmy chimpanzee, and is a cousin of the common chimpanzee. The bonobo is an endangered species that is now found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest species to humans genetically.

Down

3 Leonardo DiCaprio received four of them before winning : OSCAR NODS

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is from Los Angeles, California. DiCaprio’s mother was visiting a museum in Italy when she was pregnant and felt the first kick of her unborn child. At the moment of that first kick, Mama DiCaprio was looking at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and so named her son Leonardo.

4 ___ Larsen, Harlem Renaissance novelist : NELLA

“Harlem Renaissance” is the term used to describe a cultural movement in the 1920s that was known at the time as the “New Negro Movement”. The movement involved new cultural expression by African Americans that was centered mainly in urban areas in the northeast and midwest, and that was especially vibrant in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.

5 Uranus, but not Neptune : GREEK GOD

All of the planets in the Solar System, except for Earth, were named for Greek and Roman gods and goddesses:

  • Mercury was Roman god of travel
  • Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty
  • Mars was the Roman god of war
  • Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods
  • Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture
  • Uranus was the Greek god of the sky
  • Neptune was the Roman god of the sea
  • (also, Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld)

7 Actress Watson of the Harry Potter films : EMMA

Emma Watson is an English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

9 Old-time comic Caesar : SID

Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the very entertaining film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

10 Something a couple of speakers can provide : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

11 Actress Hedy of old Hollywood : LAMARR

Hedy Lamarr was an American actress who was actually born in Vienna in modern-day Austria. Not only was Lamarr a successful Hollywood performer, during WWII she was the co-inventor of a frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum method of transmitting radio signals that is still used to this day in wireless communication. Impressive …

12 Parts of accusations in Clue : ROOMS

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

14 Shinbone : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

21 It loses to three of a kind : TWO PAIR

That would be poker.

24 Golden ___ : AGER

A golden ager is a senior citizen.

33 Actor Schreiber : LIEV

Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”.

36 Defensive spray : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

37 Academic acronym : STEM

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

39 “That’s all ___ wrote” : SHE

No one seems to be very certain of the origin of “that’s all she wrote”, meaning “there’s nothing more to be said”. One popular story is that it stems from the unfortunate “Dear John” letters that some soldiers received during WWII.

42 HBO competitor : SHO

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of The Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

43 Penne ___ vodka : ALLA

Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish with a sauce made of vodka, cream, tomatoes, onions and sausage or bacon.

44 Bygone holder of Apple pics : IPHOTO

iPhoto is a digital photo manipulation application that Apple no longer supports, having replaced it with the Photos app.

45 LeBron James or Stephen Curry, once, in brief : NBA MVP

Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

53 Concerning : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

54 Equine color : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

57 4.0 is a good one : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of a sandal : THONG
6 Dampens : WETS
10 Camera type, for short : SLR
13 Canadian boor : HOSER
14 Marisa of “My Cousin Vinny” : TOMEI
15 Principle of Confucianism : TAO
16 “I give up!” : UNCLE!
17 “Grrrr!” : I’M MAD!
18 Rock music style : EMO
19 Kind of headlight on older cars : SEALED-BEAM
21 One way around Disneyland : TRAM
22 Earn copious amounts of : RAKE IN
23 Still-life vessels : EWERS
24 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
26 Observation deck feature not for the squeamish : GLASS FLOOR
29 Almost unfathomably large number : GOOGOL
31 Stay outdoors overnight with some of the comforts of home : GLAMP
32 Brought to a close : ENDED
33 City on the Rhône : LYON
34 Bread producers? : ATMS
38 One of the R’s in R&R : REST
39 Nincompoop : SIMP
40 Pair of cymbals in a drum set : HI-HAT
41 Like a landscape after a volcanic eruption : ASHEN
43 High-flying sharpshooter : AIR ACE
44 Stored deeply and securely : IN THE VAULT
47 President pro ___ : TEM
48 H.S. class for science whizzes : AP BIO
49 Leaves … or cleaves : SPLITS
51 Fellow : CHAP
52 Chocolaty treats that you might “break me off a piece of” : KIT KAT BARS
56 Jerry’s partner in cartoondom : TOM
57 One who says “You wish!”? : GENIE
58 “The Jungle Book” bear : BALOO
59 Off-roader, in brief : ATV
60 ___ Jackson, title character in Rick Riordan books : PERCY
61 It’s a long story : ILIAD
62 Soak (up) : SOP
63 Chimps and bonobos : APES
64 Secluded valleys : GLENS

Down

1 So : THUS
2 Perfect, as skills : HONE
3 Leonardo DiCaprio received four of them before winning : OSCAR NODS
4 ___ Larsen, Harlem Renaissance novelist : NELLA
5 Uranus, but not Neptune : GREEK GOD
6 Olympic sport whose all-around competition is composed of the last parts of 19-, 26-, 44- and 52-Across : WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS
7 Actress Watson of the Harry Potter films : EMMA
8 ___ U.S.A. : TEAM
9 Old-time comic Caesar : SID
10 Something a couple of speakers can provide : STEREO
11 Actress Hedy of old Hollywood : LAMARR
12 Parts of accusations in Clue : ROOMS
14 Shinbone : TIBIA
20 Farmer’s place? : DELL
21 It loses to three of a kind : TWO PAIR
23 Furniture wood : ELM
24 Golden ___ : AGER
25 Zero : NONE
27 Hog food : SLOP
28 Cheery sort? : FAN
30 Be rewarded, as for waitressing : GET A TIP
33 Actor Schreiber : LIEV
35 “Untrue!” : THAT’S A LIE!
36 Defensive spray : MACE
37 Academic acronym : STEM
39 “That’s all ___ wrote” : SHE
40 Became a huge success : HIT IT BIG
42 HBO competitor : SHO
43 Penne ___ vodka : ALLA
44 Bygone holder of Apple pics : IPHOTO
45 LeBron James or Stephen Curry, once, in brief : NBA MVP
46 Aid in scrolling to the top : UP KEY
48 Play the role of : ACT AS
50 Kids’ batting game : T-BALL
52 Retain : KEEP
53 Concerning : IN RE
54 Equine color : ROAN
55 Lays the groundwork? : SODS
57 4.0 is a good one : GPA

5 thoughts on “0720-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Jul 21, Tuesday”

  1. 8:27. Timely theme as the Olympics are about to start in a few days.

    I’m a fan of LIEV Schreiber’s character, Ray Donovan, on the Showtime show of the same name. Great series but it ended a few years ago.

    Best –

  2. 8:48, no errors (but lots of missteps along the way). Late post again, because I repeated yesterday’s hike in order to clean up some trash that I encountered. Worn out … 😴.

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