0721-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Alex Vratsanos
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill) Zzzzz ….

Themed answers each feature a double-letter Z. There is also a big letter Z in the center of the grid, outlined in black squares. And, there are a couple of letters Z tucked away inside the angles of that black Z:

  • 14A Old pro : GRIZZLED VETERAN
  • 17A Raucous music style similar to boogie-woogie : BARRELHOUSE JAZZ
  • 53A The titular Nelsons of a classic sitcom : OZZIE AND HARRIET
  • 60A Dish with tomatoes and mozzarella : NEAPOLITAN PIZZA
  • 21A Bolivian capital : LA PAZ
  • 48A Spaces (out) : ZONES

Bill’s time: 8m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 All-time leading scorer for the Lakers, familiarly : KOBE

Kobe Bryant played basketball for the LA Lakers. Bryant got his given name from a menu, would you believe? His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of “Kobe” beef, the beef from around the city of Kobe on the island of Honshu in Japan.

5 Modern-day horse-and-buggy users : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

10 Bird with a reduplicative name : DODO

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1662) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

17 Raucous music style similar to boogie-woogie : BARRELHOUSE JAZZ

Barrelhouse is a style of jazz that strongly features a wild, improvised piano part. It is an early form of jazz, and named for the cheap saloons that were common in the early 1900s. A barrelhouse was so called because of the racks of liquor barrels that would line the walls of the establishment.

18 Big Dance org. : NCAA

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year. Another name is “the Big Dance”.

21 Bolivian capital : LA PAZ

The administrative capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is officially named Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace). La Paz is the seat of the Bolivian government, even though the constitutional capital of the country is Sucre.

26 State in Tornado Alley: Abbr. : NEB

Tornado Alley has no precisely defined boundaries, but it generally lies between the Rockies and the Appalachians. It is so named because it is the area in the US where tornadoes occur most frequently.

27 Overhead cost of manufacturing? : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

28 Drunkard : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

29 ___ du jour (bistro special) : PLAT

“Plat du jour” in a French restaurant translates literally as “dish of the day”, today’s special.

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

31 ’50s campaign button name : IKE

“I Like Ike” was a political slogan that originated with the grassroots movement to get Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) to run for president in the 1952 presidential election.

32 Fanciful ideas : WHIMS

“Whim”, meaning “sudden fancy”, is such a lovely word, and one that we’ve been using in English since the 1640s. “Whim” is actually a shortened form of “whimwham”, which has a similar meaning and has been around since the early 1500s.

35 Become rusted : CORRODE

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

37 Seminal punk band, with “the” : … RAMONES

The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. The “Ramone” name was imitative of the pseudonym used by Paul McCartney when he booked into hotels anonymously, namely “Paul Ramon”. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

Something that is seminal is creative and has the power to originate, is formative. The term comes from the Latin “semen” meaning “seed”.

42 Lowest-ranking G.I. : PVT

The lowest military rank of soldier is often a private (pvt.). The term “private” comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a “private army”. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

43 Island WNW of Molokai : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

Molokai is the fifth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Famously, Molokai was home to a leper colony that was managed by Father Damien, a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium. Father Damien cared for the victims of Hansen’s Disease (then known as “leprosy”) for sixteen years before succumbing to the illness himself in 1889. Father Damien was declared a saint in 2009.

45 Wall St. credential : MBA

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

46 Who said “The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist” : DALI

The famous surrealist Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection of art.

The cultural movement known as Surrealism emerged in the 1920s, and grew out of the Dada activities that were a response to WWI. The term “surrealist” was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire, when he used it in the preface of his play “Les Mamelles de Tirésias”.

51 ___ Reader : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

53 The titular Nelsons of a classic sitcom : OZZIE AND HARRIET

“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” originally ran from 1952 to 1966, and has been running continuously in syndication ever since. It still holds the record for the longest-running, non-animated sitcom ever seen on US television.

60 Dish with tomatoes and mozzarella : NEAPOLITAN PIZZA

Pizza was invented in Naples, where it has a long tradition that goes back to ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

61 Animal whose name consists of the postal codes of two states it passes in its migration : ORCA

Those states would be Oregon (OR) and California (CA).

62 British meat pie : PASTY

A pasty is a meat pie, one traditionally filled with beef, potato, rutabaga (swede) and onion. The most famous variety of the pie is the Cornish pasty sold in Cornwall in England. Cornish miners brought the recipe with them as they emigrated, so various versions are found around the world. I always get a pasty when I am in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, for example.

Down

1 Cold War inits. : KGB

The “Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti” (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The term “Cold War” was coined by novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3 Native American canoe material : BIRCHBARK

The bark of birch trees (known as “birchbark”) is a useful material that has been used since prehistoric times as a building, crafting and writing material. Birchbark is readily cut, bent and sewn and resembles cardboard, although unlike cardboard, it is also water-resistant. Birchbark was a popular material with Native Americans, used for making canoes, wigwams, scrolls and maps.

4 Columnist Klein : EZRA

Ezra Klein is a journalist and blogger who writes for “The Washington Post”, “Bloomberg” and “MSNBC”. Klein’s contribution at “The Washington Post” is the most-read blog that the paper publishes.

8 “Law & Order” spinoff, for short : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

13 This clue number minus deux : ONZE

In French, “treize” (thirteen) minus “deux” (two) is “onze” (eleven).

16 Large unit of resistance : TERAOHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

20 Like some insensitive remarks, for short : UN-PC

To be un-PC is to be politically incorrect, not politically correct (PC).

30 Super-hoppy craft brew : TRIPLE IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

33 Make easier to recite, as the Great Lakes via HOMES : MNEMONIZE

A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES, an acronym standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

34 Vodka cocktail with cranberry and grapefruit juice : SEA BREEZE

The sea breeze cocktail has been around in some form since the 1920s. The most common recipe today calls for vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. The variant called a bay breeze substitutes pineapple juice for the grapefruit juice.

44 Take by force : USURP

To usurp is to seize and hold by force. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

46 Construction vehicle, informally : DOZER

The largest bulldozer ever manufactured is the Acco Super Bulldozer, built in Italy. It weighs in at 183 tonnes, and has a dozer blade that is 7 meters wide and 2.7 meters high. Only one of these bulldozers was ever built, and it was intended for shipment to Libya in the early eighties. The machine never left Italy, as sanctions were placed on the Libyan regime run by Colonel Gaddafi.

47 ___ Day, Down Under holiday : ANZAC

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was a unit formed in WWI that is most notably associated with the Battle of Gallipoli.

50 U2 frontman : BONO

Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner who was born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

54 European peak : ALP

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

55 Actress Vardalos : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two seasons of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

56 Some N.F.L. linemen: Abbr. : DTS

In football, a running back (RB) might be stopped by a defensive tackle (DT).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 All-time leading scorer for the Lakers, familiarly : KOBE
5 Modern-day horse-and-buggy users : AMISH
10 Bird with a reduplicative name : DODO
14 Old pro : GRIZZLED VETERAN
17 Raucous music style similar to boogie-woogie : BARRELHOUSE JAZZ
18 Big Dance org. : NCAA
19 Action after a bad golf drive : RE-TEE
20 “Don’t make me eat that!” : UGH!
21 Bolivian capital : LA PAZ
25 Got an A+ on : ACED
26 State in Tornado Alley: Abbr. : NEB
27 Overhead cost of manufacturing? : SMOG
28 Drunkard : SOT
29 ___ du jour (bistro special) : PLAT
31 ’50s campaign button name : IKE
32 Fanciful ideas : WHIMS
35 Become rusted : CORRODE
37 Seminal punk band, with “the” : … RAMONES
39 Potato ___ (appetizer) : SKINS
40 Nap sack? : COT
41 Well-kept : NEAT
42 Lowest-ranking G.I. : PVT
43 Island WNW of Molokai : OAHU
45 Wall St. credential : MBA
46 Who said “The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist” : DALI
48 Spaces (out) : ZONES
49 Globe : ORB
50 Studied (up on) : BONED
51 ___ Reader : UTNE
53 The titular Nelsons of a classic sitcom : OZZIE AND HARRIET
60 Dish with tomatoes and mozzarella : NEAPOLITAN PIZZA
61 Animal whose name consists of the postal codes of two states it passes in its migration : ORCA
62 British meat pie : PASTY
63 Nest protest : PEEP!

Down

1 Cold War inits. : KGB
2 Hybrid citrus fruits : ORANGELOS
3 Native American canoe material : BIRCHBARK
4 Columnist Klein : EZRA
5 ___-American : ALL
6 “That’s not impressing me” : MEH
7 Response to “Who wants some?” : I DO
8 “Law & Order” spinoff, for short : SVU
9 Bucks and bulls : HES
10 Blue state? : DEJECTION
11 Speechify : ORATE
12 Partner of confused : DAZED
13 This clue number minus deux : ONZE
15 Passions : ZEALS
16 Large unit of resistance : TERAOHM
20 Like some insensitive remarks, for short : UN-PC
22 Encompassed by : AMIDST
23 Give a pointer? : POKE
24 Info on a dating profile : AGE
28 Bundle up : SWATHE
30 Super-hoppy craft brew : TRIPLE IPA
33 Make easier to recite, as the Great Lakes via HOMES : MNEMONIZE
34 Vodka cocktail with cranberry and grapefruit juice : SEA BREEZE
36 Available to watch, in a way : ON VIDEO
37 Speckled coat : ROAN
38 Wild guess : STAB
40 Bit of sweet talk : COO
44 Take by force : USURP
46 Construction vehicle, informally : DOZER
47 ___ Day, Down Under holiday : ANZAC
50 U2 frontman : BONO
52 It costs about twice as much if it’s round : TRIP
54 European peak : ALP
55 Actress Vardalos : NIA
56 Some N.F.L. linemen: Abbr. : DTS
57 It can be tipped … or collect tips : HAT
58 Whichever : ANY
59 Restaurant water choice : TAP

5 thoughts on “0721-21 NY Times Crossword 21 Jul 21, Wednesday”

  1. 12:16. Interesting theme. The puzzle left 2 squares “unchecked” – the Z’s for LA PAZ and ZONES, but I guess they let that crossword “violation” slide for the sake of this theme.

    Nice original clue for crossword staple, ORCA. I would have submitted a different clue for PASTY, but that’s another conversation entirely.

    I’m not a fan of a SEA BREEZE, and I’d never heard of the bay breeze that substitutes pineapple juice. Might have to try that someday. The variant I’m familiar with is called a madras – vodka, cranberry and OJ.

  2. 9:24, no errors. Noticed all the Z’s except the big one in the center. Isn’t there an old saw about the forest and the trees?

    @Bill … I think your “Reveal Answer” is a leftover from yesterday.

  3. 21:39 you’d think by now I could spell “Neapolitan”correctly, but no. My evil mind also wandered in the Jeff territory regarding “pasty” : – ) I won’t enter the realm of a discussion on edibility…. Oh wait…..

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