0726-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Jul 21, Monday

Constructed by: Tommy Pauly
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Jazz Show

Themed answers are common phrases collectively featuring three instruments that might be found in a JAZZ SHOW:

  • 1A With 68-Across, what the trio in this puzzle’s clues is trying to promote : JAZZ …
  • 68A See 1-Across : … SHOW
  • 20A The first member of the trio said he’d … : … TOOT HIS OWN HORN
  • 38A The second member of the trio said he’d … : … PULL SOME STRINGS
  • 53A The third member of the trio said she’d … : … DRUM UP BUSINESS

Bill’s time: 4m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Fencing blade : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

15 Israeli airline : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

17 Tax IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

24 The “I” of FWIW : IT’S

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

25 Lead-in to gender : CIS-

The term “cisgender” is now used as the opposite of “transgender”. Cisgender people have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

31 Companion of Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

37 T. rex, e.g. : DINO

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T-rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

43 Witch : HAG

“Hag” is a shortened form of the Old English word “haegtesse” meaning “witch”.

45 Org. that funds PBS : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

49 Lines on an urban map: Abbr. : STS

Street (st.)

50 Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO

Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term “foo fighters” originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

51 First group with a #1 Billboard hit, alphabetically : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

60 What a bouquet emits : AROMA

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for “bunch” in the sense of “bunch of flowers”. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood or small grove of trees.

62 ___ Devers, three-time Olympic track gold medalist : GAIL

Gail Devers is a US Olympic champion, winning the 100m gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, and winning the 100m individual and relay golds at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Back in 1990, doctors considered amputating Devers’ feet as they were in such poor condition as a result of treatment for Graves’ disease.

63 Attired like Batman or Superman : CAPED

Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents, who remained on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth, the child was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark, which was Ma Kent’s maiden name.

65 The Bruins of the N.C.A.A. : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

67 Thomas Hardy’s “___ of the D’Urbervilles” : TESS

In Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, the heroine and title character is Tess Durbeyfield. Her father is an uneducated peasant and when he hears that his name is a corruption of the noble name of “D’Urberville”, the news goes to his head.

Down

2 Lhasa ___ (dog) : 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.

3 Greek philosopher known for paradoxes : ZENO

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

7 Post-W.W. II alliance : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

8 Whole lot : SLEW

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” came into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

12 One of 16 in a chess set : PAWN

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

25 Network for watching Congress : C-SPAN

C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

26 Accustom : INURE

To inure is to harden oneself against the effects of, to accustom oneself to.

27 2014 film starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. : SELMA

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

29 Feudal sovereign : LIEGE

A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Apparently the term is influenced by the Latin verb “ligare” meaning “to tie, bind”. So, I guess both lord and servant were “bound” to each other.

31 Nasal cavity : SINUS

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

33 Leader of the Israelites across the Red Sea : MOSES

Moses is an important prophet in Christianity and Islam, and the most important prophet in Judaism. It fell to Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt across the Red Sea. He was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and then wandered the desert with his people for forty years. Moses then died within sight of the Promised Land.

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

35 Lou Gehrig’s disease, for short : ALS

Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he still holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New York Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have his number retired.

39 State sch. southeast of Columbus : OHIO U

Ohio University was founded well over 200 years ago in 1804 in Athens, the city in which it is still located today.

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forest land with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

40 Apple computer, for short : MAC

Macintosh (also “Mac”, since 1998) is a line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that this lump of plastic was called “a mouse” …

41 Torah teacher : RABBI

The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.

47 Short excursions : JAUNTS

A jaunt is a short pleasure trip, although back in the 1500s, the word “jaunt” described a tiresome journey. Back then, one would jaunt a horse, meaning that one tired it out by riding it back and forth.

52 Cattle breed : ANGUS

The full name of the cattle breed is Aberdeen Angus, which is also the name used around the world outside of North America. The breed was developed by crossbreeding cattle from the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. The breed stands out in the US as Angus cattle don’t have horns.

53 Dull-colored : DRAB

We now use the word “drab” to mean “dull, cheerless”. Back in the late 17th century, “drab” was the color of natural, undyed cloth.

55 Exam for many a 10th grader, for short : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

58 Large grain container : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

59 Common side dish at a barbecue : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch term “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

60 Signature Obama legislation, for short : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 With 68-Across, what the trio in this puzzle’s clues is trying to promote : JAZZ …
5 Enthusiasts : FANS
9 Cries of pain : YELPS
14 Fencing blade : EPEE
15 Israeli airline : EL AL
16 Bothered, as one’s conscience : ATE AT
17 Tax IDs : SSNS
18 Past the deadline : LATE
19 Full of gristle, say : CHEWY
20 The first member of the trio said he’d … : … TOOT HIS OWN HORN
23 Like a ship on an ocean floor : SUNK
24 The “I” of FWIW : IT’S
25 Lead-in to gender : CIS-
28 Ability to keep one’s balance on a ship : SEA LEGS
31 Companion of Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” : SAM
34 Move stealthily : SNEAK
36 Sorta : ISH
37 T. rex, e.g. : DINO
38 The second member of the trio said he’d … : … PULL SOME STRINGS
42 What sleeves hold : ARMS
43 Witch : HAG
44 Make giggle, say : AMUSE
45 Org. that funds PBS : NEA
46 “Way to go!” : NICE JOB!
49 Lines on an urban map: Abbr. : STS
50 Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO
51 First group with a #1 Billboard hit, alphabetically : ABBA
53 The third member of the trio said she’d … : … DRUM UP BUSINESS
60 What a bouquet emits : AROMA
61 Rational : SANE
62 ___ Devers, three-time Olympic track gold medalist : GAIL
63 Attired like Batman or Superman : CAPED
64 ___ and sciences : ARTS
65 The Bruins of the N.C.A.A. : UCLA
66 Chasm : ABYSS
67 Thomas Hardy’s “___ of the D’Urbervilles” : TESS
68 See 1-Across : … SHOW

Down

1 Jokey comment : JEST
2 Lhasa ___ (dog) : APSO
3 Greek philosopher known for paradoxes : ZENO
4 Twists of lemon or lime : ZESTS
5 Catlike : FELINE
6 Home of 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S. : ALASKA
7 Post-W.W. II alliance : NATO
8 Whole lot : SLEW
9 Leisure boats : YACHTS
10 Community spirit : ETHOS
11 Unwelcome look : LEER
12 One of 16 in a chess set : PAWN
13 Pigpen : STY
21 Coverings on ears of corn : HUSKS
22 When to stargaze : NIGHT
25 Network for watching Congress : C-SPAN
26 Accustom : INURE
27 2014 film starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. : SELMA
29 Feudal sovereign : LIEGE
30 Serpentine letter : ESS
31 Nasal cavity : SINUS
32 Emotional turmoil : ANGST
33 Leader of the Israelites across the Red Sea : MOSES
35 Lou Gehrig’s disease, for short : ALS
37 Faint, as light : DIM
39 State sch. southeast of Columbus : OHIO U
40 Apple computer, for short : MAC
41 Torah teacher : RABBI
46 Wanderers : NOMADS
47 Short excursions : JAUNTS
48 Focus single-mindedly on something : OBSESS
50 Risky things for a car to run on : FUMES
52 Cattle breed : ANGUS
53 Dull-colored : DRAB
54 Fibrous : ROPY
55 Exam for many a 10th grader, for short : PSAT
56 Naked : BARE
57 Apiece : EACH
58 Large grain container : SILO
59 Common side dish at a barbecue : SLAW
60 Signature Obama legislation, for short : ACA

3 thoughts on “0726-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Jul 21, Monday”

  1. 6:55. Not much to say other than I happen to like JAZZ. Drawing a blank as to anything else interesting to say.

    Best –

  2. 7:04, no errors. I neglected to post this five weeks ago. Don’t know why. (Whatever it was, it seems to have affected others as well.) Don’t remember much about the puzzle, either … 😳.

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