0731-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Jul 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Brian Thomas & Brooke Husic
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 11m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Ring up? : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

5 Playing at a party, maybe : DJ’ING

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

10 U.S. soccer legend ___ Howard : TIM

Tim Howard is a professional soccer player and goalkeeper who first turned out for the US national team at the under-20 level in 1999. As well as playing for American teams, Howard spent several seasons playing in the Premier League in Britain. In one famous match while playing for the English club Everton, Howard made a 101-yard clearance from his goal, putting the ball in the opposing net. That marked only the fourth time in Premier League history that a goalkeeper scored a goal.

13 Devil ___ the tailors (pub game) : AMONG

Devil among the Tailors is a variant of table skittles, and a popular game in pubs. It involves the downing of nine skittles using a ball suspended by a string. In the game, the devil is the ball, and the tailors are the skittles.

16 Co-founder of Artists Against Fracking : ONO

Artists Against Fracking is an association formed by Yoko One and her son Sean Lennon. The list of members in the anti-fracking group includes Paul McCartney, Robert de Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Lady Gaga and Deepak Chopra.

17 Stage offering : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

18 Like the 16th-century ruler Cuauhtémoc : AZTEC

Cuauhtémoc ascended to the Aztec throne in 1520, making him the last of the Aztec emperors. He surrendered to the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1521, and Cortés had Cuauhtémoc executed in 1525.

19 Moniker for a noted Boston skyscraper, with “the” : PRU

“The Pru” is the familiar name given to the Prudential Tower in Boston. It is currently the second highest building in the city, after the John Hancock Tower. However, if one includes the height of the radio tower on its roof, then it is the highest building in Boston. When it was completed in 1964, the Pru was the tallest building in the country outside of New York City.

20 Specs for a modiste : DRESS SIZES

A modiste is a dressmaker, someone who makes custom clothing for women. Historically, modistes made dresses that followed the Paris fashions of the day.

22 Readathon supporters, for short : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

24 ___ nerve (biceps neighbor) : ULNAR

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). It is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes an electric-type shock known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

25 Cans : JOHNS

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in less polite moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

26 Inside dope : SKINNY

The use of the word “skinny”, meaning “information”, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”. The term is probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth”, which is evocative of “skinny-dipping”.

36 Some O.K. fighters : EARPS

The famous Earp brothers of the Wild West were Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan. All three brothers participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

43 Rotated, in a way, to a pilot : YAWED

In the world of flight dynamics, three critical angles of rotation are known as pitch, roll and yaw. “Pitch” describes the lift and descent of the nose and tail. “Roll” describes motion around the axis that runs along the length of the airplane. “Yaw” describes rotation of the aircraft around the vertical axis.

50 Entropy : CHAOS

In the world of thermodynamics, entropy is a measure of disorder in a system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy of a closed system always increases, the system always tends toward disorder.

52 It includes :// : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

54 Opening in a leaf : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of “stoma”, and not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

55 ___-ops : PSY

Psychological Operations (“PSYOP” or “psy-ops”) is a contemporary name for propaganda, the “winning of hearts and minds” in a combat zone.

56 Porous soil : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word “loess” is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

57 Joie de vivre : ZEST

“Joie de vivre” means “joy of living” in French. We use the phrase to mean the happy, carefree enjoyment of life, like when we finish our crossword puzzles …

Down

2 Kafka’s unfinished first novel, published posthumously in 1927 : AMERIKA

“Amerika” is an incomplete novel by Franz Kafka that was written between 1911 and 1914, although it was first published posthumously, in 1927. Even though it was incomplete, it was Kafka’s first novel. The storyline includes many experiences that the author’s relatives had after emigrating to the US.

5 Household locale where the Coriolis effect is supposedly observed : DRAIN

In meteorology, the Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of masses coming into contact with the Earth. This force causes moving objects on the planet’s surface to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This effect is most evident in the movement of currents in the oceans and in the atmosphere. As a result, air rotates clockwise around high pressure areas in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise south of the equator. The phenomenon is named for French scientist Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis who described the effect in an 1835 paper about water wheels.

6 Cold War-era group that included Louis Armstrong : JAZZ AMBASSADORS

Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school until he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.

8 Vetoes : NOES

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

9 Vitamin Shoppe competitor : 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”.

12 Salon stock : MOUSSE

Our word “mousse” is an Old French term meaning “froth”.

14 It’s a blessing : GESUNDHEIT

“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is quite often here in the US.

25 “Creature From the Black Lagoon” co-star : JULIE ADAMS

“Creature from the Black Lagoon” is a “classic” monster movie released in 1954. The movie was filmed and shown in 3D, and so polarized 3D glasses are needed to appreciate that original version.

33 Mount ___, highest peak in the Philippines : APO

Mount Apo is on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. “Apo” means “master” or “grandfather”, which is an appropriate name for the highest mountain in the country. Mount Apo has been a national park since 1936.

37 Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year : RAPINOE

Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player and a star on the US national team. One of Rapinoe’s many claims to fame is that she is the only player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner kick in an Olympic Games.

41 Singer/songwriter Folds : BEN

Ben Folds is a singer-songwriter who for several years led the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five.

48 Ostentatious display : RITZ

The adjective “ritzy” meaning “high quality and luxurious” derives from the opulent Ritz hotels in New York, London, Paris, etc.

César Ritz was a Swiss hotelier, who had a reputation for developing the most luxurious of accommodations and attracting the wealthiest clientèle. He opened the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1898 and the second of his most famous hotels, the Ritz Hotel in London, in 1906. Ritz was lucky in his career, as before starting his own hotel chain he had been dismissed from the Savoy Hotel in London, implicated in the disappearance of a substantial amount of wine and spirits. Today’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company was founded in 1983, although the chain has its roots in the properties developed by César Ritz.

50 One of 250,000 in 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

Disney’s 1937 masterpiece “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first cel-animated feature film. It is still one of the top ten box office hits in North America, adjusting for inflation. The film was a massive, expensive undertaking in the 1930s, and Walt Disney even had to mortgage his house to help with financing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ring up? : HALO
5 Playing at a party, maybe : DJ’ING
10 U.S. soccer legend ___ Howard : TIM
13 Devil ___ the tailors (pub game) : AMONG
15 Kept going : RAN ON
16 Co-founder of Artists Against Fracking : ONO
17 Stage offering : REVUE
18 Like the 16th-century ruler Cuauhtémoc : AZTEC
19 Moniker for a noted Boston skyscraper, with “the” : PRU
20 Specs for a modiste : DRESS SIZES
22 Readathon supporters, for short : PTAS
23 Relief : AID
24 ___ nerve (biceps neighbor) : ULNAR
25 Cans : JOHNS
26 Inside dope : SKINNY
28 Where “Home” might be found : MENU PAGE
30 Stuffed : SATED
31 Utter : ABSOLUTE
32 “Wow, that’s wild!” : WHAT A TRIP!
34 Exemption from usual consequences : FREE PASS
36 Some O.K. fighters : EARPS
40 Relatives of cornets : CLARIONS
41 The “BA” of the Boston museum MOBA : BAD ART
42 Splash against : LAP AT
43 Rotated, in a way, to a pilot : YAWED
45 Smallish hail size : PEA
46 Motorcycle pioneers ___ and Effie Hotchkiss : AVIS
47 Most times : ORDINARILY
49 Operation that yields the remainder from dividing two numbers, in math lingo : MOD
50 Entropy : CHAOS
51 Word in the name of many candy offshoots : MINIS
52 It includes :// : URL
53 13-Across, in French : ENTRE
54 Opening in a leaf : STOMA
55 ___-ops : PSY
56 Porous soil : LOESS
57 Joie de vivre : ZEST

Down

1 Tough, uncompromising sort : HARD-ASS
2 Kafka’s unfinished first novel, published posthumously in 1927 : AMERIKA
3 “Five stars from me” : LOVED IT
4 Charge : ONUS
5 Household locale where the Coriolis effect is supposedly observed : DRAIN
6 Cold War-era group that included Louis Armstrong : JAZZ AMBASSADORS
7 Dating profile info : INTERESTS
8 Vetoes : NOES
9 Vitamin Shoppe competitor : GNC
10 “Betcha can’t beat my score!” : TOP THAT!
11 Accessible : IN RANGE
12 Salon stock : MOUSSE
14 It’s a blessing : GESUNDHEIT
21 Having designs : SLY
22 Window you might want to close quickly : POP-UP AD
25 “Creature From the Black Lagoon” co-star : JULIE ADAMS
27 Some fresh starts : NEW ERAS
29 Home of the world’s longest road tunnel (15 miles): Abbr. : NOR
31 “Regardless …” : AT ANY RATE …
33 Mount ___, highest peak in the Philippines : APO
34 Ice cream shop posting : FLAVORS
35 With dispatch : RAPIDLY
37 Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year : RAPINOE
38 Early trials, informally : PRELIMS
39 Patronizes, in a way : STAYS AT
40 Stop responding : CLAM UP
41 Singer/songwriter Folds : BEN
44 Smartens (up) : WISES
47 “This can’t be good” : OH NO
48 Ostentatious display : RITZ
50 One of 250,000 in 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” : CEL

14 thoughts on “0731-21 NY Times Crossword 31 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. 31:12, no errors. For some reason, I struggled with every part of this one, but I eventually got ‘er done, so … AWTEW … 😜.

  2. DNF I was 1/2 done at 20 min, 30 min, 40 min. Then set it aside overnight. Got a few this morning but a couple of my 1/2 done were wrong – INANYCASE vs. ATANYRATE; ILOVEIT vs LOVEDIT; HAIL vs HALO; etc. Surprisingly I had HARDASS early on – and it was HARD and I did feel like an ASS, much like @Steve.

    Kudos to Bill for such a fast time.

  3. 37:59. Ouch, but no cheats this Saturday. Like Nonny, I struggled pretty much everywhere in this puzzle. Remembering LOESS from my crossword lizard brain was no minor miracle.

    Had TRUMPETS before CLARIONS, but I became so sure of CLAM UP that I finally changed it.

    This week and this puzzle wore me out. Maybe I’ll do a connect the dots puzzle later to feel better….

    Best –

  4. Zut Alors! Sacre Bleu! A modiste is NOT a dressmaker, but rather a hat maker! (20 across) Mon dieu!

    1. Well, I’m no expert, but Merriam-Webster defines “modiste” as “one who makes and sells fashionable dresses and hats for women”, so I’m inclined to give the setter a pass … 🤨.

  5. Maybe it’s because I solved this directly after my 3+ mile walk (more oxygen in the brain?) I found this to be an easy Saturday. Only 20 minutes, which for me on Saturday is superfast.

  6. 13:29, no errors. Oddly enough, twice as easy as Friday. And another odd thing I noticed: Save Friday, the difficulty curve was almost a flat line for me this week.

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