0730-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 21, Friday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 12m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Peak climbed in the 2018 Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” : EL CAPITAN

El Capitan is a stunning vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California. The top of El Capitan has been used as the take-off point for many BASE jumps, parachute jumps made by diving off the top of the rock face. The National Park Service put a stop to the practise in 1999. Soon afterwards, a BASE jumper made an illegal jump to protest the ban. She died …

“Free Solo” is an excellent, albeit frightening (to me), 2018 documentary about Alex Honnold’s record-setting free-solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The film won that season’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, as well it should …

10 Ancient symbols of royalty : ASPS

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

18 Grinder : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

22 Half of an exchange : TIT

Tit for tat.

24 What “2” can mean : TOO

That might be textspeak.

25 Fashion designer Marc : ECKO

Marc Ecko is a fashion designer from New Jersey. Marc was born Marc Milecofsky. In college, he became a fan of graffiti and used the name “Ecko” to tag his drawings.

26 Like sun bears and sloth bears : ASIAN

The sun bear is native to Southeast Asia, but is endangered due to deforestation that destroys its habitat. The sun bear is sometimes called the honey bear as it loves honey and honeycombs.

29 His number “6” was retired by the Yankees in 2014 : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

31 Last straw on “Family Feud” : THIRD STRIKE

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even have a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

35 Check : TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

38 ___ jeans : MOM

“Mom jeans” and “dad jeans” are not-so-nice names for high-waisted jeans, jeans usually worn by older women and men.

39 Resident of a certain Ivy League town : ITHACAN

The city of Ithaca sits right at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in New York State. Named for the Greek island, Ithaca is famous as home to Cornell University, which is located just south of the city.

41 Many a resort on the Dead Sea : SPA

The Dead Sea is a salt lake that lies over 1,000 feet below sea level in the Middle East. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

42 Southern cocktail made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao and cream : GRASSHOPPER

A grasshopper cocktail is usually served martini-style, and is a mix of equal parts (green) crème de menthe, crème de cacao and cream. I just found a corny joke about the drink that I think is worth repeating:

A grasshopper walks into a bar and hops up onto the counter. The bartender says “we have a drink named after you”. The grasshopper replies “You have a drink named Carl?”

49 Situation Room grp. : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

55 PETA pet peeves : FURS

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is famous for ad campaigns featuring implied nudity, often with celebrities appearing front and center. Networks showing the Super Bowl have been known to ban such ads.

59 Over-the-counter name for naproxen : ALEVE

“Aleve” is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

62 Change hands, in a way? : RESET

Maybe the hands on a click?

Down

1 First name that, reversed, is part of a church : EVAN

In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

2 “___ Rose” (song from “The Music Man”) : LIDA

“The Music Man” is a musical by Meredith Willson. The show was a big hit on Broadway in 1957. “The Music Man” won the first ever Grammy Award for the “Best Original Cast Album”. The show is set in the fictional River City, Iowa.

3 Iron, e.g. : CLUB

That would be golf.

6 Maladroit : INEPT

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

7 Bull mascot of the Houston Texans : TORO

The Houston Texans football team has been in the NFL since 2002. Houston had been home to the Oilers football team, but that franchise moved to Nashville in 1997 to become the Tennessee Titans.

9 Unit for several detectives on “The Wire” : NARCOTICS

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ended up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing several years ago. It is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it.

21 Word with bar or pipe : HOOKAH …

A hookah is a water pipe, a device for smoking tobacco in which the smoke is passed through a water basin before it is inhaled.

23 Part of Roy G. Biv : INDIGO

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

“Roy G. Biv” can be used as a mnemonic for the colors in a rainbow:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

34 ___ the Exhorter, character in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” : RAS

Author Ralph Ellison’s most famous book is “Invisible Man”, which won the National Book Award in 1953. Ellison’s full name is Ralph Waldo Ellison, as he was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson.

36 The spy in “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” : ALEC

“John le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

37 Speak in a husky voice? : BARK

The Siberian Husky is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and originated in northern Asia. Siberian Huskies were imported into Alaska in great numbers in the early 1900s for use as sled dogs during the gold rush.

43 Blasphemous : PROFANE

The Siberian Husky is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and originated in northern Asia. Siberian Huskies were imported into Alaska in great numbers in the early 1900s for use as sled dogs during the gold rush.

50 One might be seen by a bank : CANOE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

51 What coxswains do : STEER

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The word “coxswain” is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

53 Jared who played the Joker in “Suicide Squad” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

“Suicide Squad” is superhero film released in 2016, although the title characters are a team of DC Comics “antiheroes”. I haven’t seen the film (I don’t really do superhero movies) but the plot reminds me of 1967’s “The Dirty Dozen”. A government agency puts together a team of supervillains to carry out a dangerous mission in exchange for reduced prison sentences.

54 Disaster relief org. : FEMA

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

57 Pasta topper : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

58 Lend a few bucks to, say : SPOT

“Buck” is a slang word meaning “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Peak climbed in the 2018 Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” : EL CAPITAN
10 Ancient symbols of royalty : ASPS
14 Catholic university outside Philadelphia : VILLANOVA
15 [Fingers crossed!] : I HOPE
17 Cheating sort : ADULTERER
18 Grinder : MOLAR
19 Hauls in : NABS
20 Cozy seating for outdoor reading : PORCH SWING
22 Half of an exchange : TIT
24 What “2” can mean : TOO
25 Fashion designer Marc : ECKO
26 Like sun bears and sloth bears : ASIAN
29 His number “6” was retired by the Yankees in 2014 : TORRE
31 Last straw on “Family Feud” : THIRD STRIKE
35 Check : TAB
38 ___ jeans : MOM
39 Resident of a certain Ivy League town : ITHACAN
40 Like : A LA
41 Many a resort on the Dead Sea : SPA
42 Southern cocktail made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao and cream : GRASSHOPPER
44 Crow, say : GLOAT
46 Ruin : WRECK
47 Many a demoiselle d’honneur : AMIE
49 Situation Room grp. : NSC
51 ___-Seal (waterproofing treatment brand) : SNO
52 Result of multiple paper cuts? : FINAL DRAFT
55 PETA pet peeves : FURS
59 Over-the-counter name for naproxen : ALEVE
60 Translation of some loud yawns : I NEED A NAP
62 Change hands, in a way? : RESET
63 Not last : COME AND GO
64 Nothing to write home about : SO-SO
65 “Wait, just listen” : HEAR ME OUT

Down

1 First name that, reversed, is part of a church : EVAN
2 “___ Rose” (song from “The Music Man”) : LIDA
3 Iron, e.g. : CLUB
4 Kind of cast : ALL-STAR
5 A nice touch : PAT
6 Maladroit : INEPT
7 Bull mascot of the Houston Texans : TORO
8 Fend off : AVERT
9 Unit for several detectives on “The Wire” : NARCOTICS
10 Designs : AIMS
11 Start of the day for many people : SHOWER
12 It’s found around a crime scene : POLICE TAPE
13 Defeat soundly : SPANK
16 So : ERGO
21 Word with bar or pipe : HOOKAH …
23 Part of Roy G. Biv : INDIGO
26 They take cards or cash : ATMS
27 Oniomania, n. the uncontrollable desire to ___ : SHOP
28 “That seems likely” : I IMAGINE SO
30 Fame : RENOWN
32 Hair piece : STRAND
33 Response to unfair criticism : THAT’S RICH
34 ___ the Exhorter, character in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” : RAS
36 The spy in “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” : ALEC
37 Speak in a husky voice? : BARK
43 Blasphemous : PROFANE
45 Fall fall : LEAVES
47 48-Down away : AFAR
48 A long way : MILES
50 One might be seen by a bank : CANOE
51 What coxswains do : STEER
53 Jared who played the Joker in “Suicide Squad” : LETO
54 Disaster relief org. : FEMA
56 Void : UNDO
57 Pasta topper : RAGU
58 Lend a few bucks to, say : SPOT
61 Army Corps of Engineers project : DAM

8 thoughts on “0730-21 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. 8:55. Pretty smooth sailing, other than originally having NETS for 19A. Nice fresh fill in this one.

  2. 19:19 Also had NETS for 19A. Then BOAST for 44A. And had to cycle thru at the end for bad spelling of ITHACAN.

  3. 11:30, no errors. I wanted RASP instead of BARK (but gave up on it pretty quickly). Good one … 🙂.

  4. 29:02. The end of a hellacious week for me. I still need to do yesterday’s puzzle.

    Some groaner cluing in this one – e.g. the clues for RESET and CANOE just to name 2…or “2” TOO…..

    Best –

  5. Fairly quick run with a couple of distractions like others. Messed up on 46A, I had WREAK.. That gave me ALEA for 36D… I’ve never read any of those spy novels.. not my cup of tea..

  6. 27:58, no errors. Happy to finish this one, surprised to be error free. I, too, had NETS and RASP; and I’ll raise with 32D TOUPEE.

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