0810-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Anne Grae Martin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Little Red

Themed answers each start with a word that often follows “LITTLE RED …”:

  • 63A Phrase that can precede the starts of 17-, 25-, 40- and 50-Across : LITTLE RED …
  • 17A Educated, but not streetwise : BOOKSMART (giving “Little Red Book”)
  • 25A Eggs, in diner slang : HEN BERRIES (giving “Little Red Hen”)
  • 40A Kids’ educational TV series of the 1970s-’90s : SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK (giving “Little Red Schoolhouse”)
  • 50A What turns on a farm vehicle : WAGON WHEEL (giving “Little Red Wagon”)

Bill’s time: 8m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 SCOTUS justice who said “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” : RBG

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) served on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. She finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2020. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

8 “___ in Boots” (fairy tale) : PUSS

“Puss in Boots” is a fairy tale from Europe, the earliest recording of which is in a collection of stories by Giovanni Francesco Straparola that dates back to the 1550s. The title character has been used in subsequent works; he makes an appearance in Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Sleeping Beauty”, and more recently in the “Shrek” series of animated films.

12 Address that can’t receive packages : URL

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

13 Valedictorian’s grade, maybe : A-PLUS

A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

17 Educated, but not streetwise : BOOKSMART (giving “Little Red Book”)

During China’s Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party published a book of statements and writings from Chairman Mao Zedong. Here in the West the publication was usually referred to as “The Little Red Book”.

25 Eggs, in diner slang : HEN BERRIES (giving “Little Red Hen”)

Diner lingo, the verbal slang used by the staff, can be very colorful. Here are a few examples:

  • Adam & Eve on a raft: two poached eggs on toast
  • Adam & Eve on a raft and wreck ’em: two scrambled eggs on toast
  • Burn one: put a hamburger on the grill
  • Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it: hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion
  • Down: on toast
  • Whiskey down: on rye toast
  • Cluck and grunt: ham and eggs

“The Little Red Hen” is an old folk tale, probably from Russia. In the story, the little red hen finds a grain of wheat and asks for help to plant it. “Not I” is the response she gets, repeatedly. She does the work herself, eventually baking bread from the harvested grain. She asks for help in eating the bread, and gets lots of volunteers. But, the hen decides to save the bread for herself and her chicks, seeing as no one would help her plant the wheat in the first place.

28 “Superfruit” from South America : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

30 ___ Crunch : CAP’N

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

31 Network with a Times Square studio : ABC

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was formed in 1943, when it was created out of the former NBC Blue radio network. Given the initialism “ABC”, it is sometimes referred to as “the Alphabet Network”.

Times Square in New York City isn’t a square at all, but rather a triangle. When the New York Times newspaper opened new headquarters in the area in 1904, the city agreed to the name “Times Square”, changing it from Longacre Square.

34 Annual science fiction awards : HUGOS

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

37 “Horrible” comics Viking : HAGAR

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

40 Kids’ educational TV series of the 1970s-’90s : SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! (giving “Little Red Schoolhouse”)

“Schoolhouse Rock!” is a network educational TV show that first aired on ABC from 1973 to 1984.

45 Red pill chooser in “The Matrix” : NEO

Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films.

46 Home of Marlin and Nemo in “Finding Nemo” : REEF

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

48 Scrabble or cribbage : GAME

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

Cribbage is one of my favorite card games. Cribbage always had a certain mystique to me as I was growing up as I’d see folks playing it in local pubs, sitting with cards and the fascinating cribbage board with its pegs as score markers. Apparently, cribbage was invented in the early 1600s by an English poet called John Suckling, who based it on a long-gone game called Noddy. Cribbage is often referred to simply as “crib”, and the name “cribbage” probably comes from this term. The “crib” is a set of cards that features in the game.

59 Actor Patel : DEV

Dev Patel is an actor from Harrow in England who is perhaps best known for playing the lead in the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also stars in a lovely 2012 film called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” alongside an incredible cast that included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson. Patel also had a regular role in the marvelous HBO drama series called “The Newsroom”.

60 Japanese car named for a river : ISUZU

Isuzu is a Japanese auto manufacturer that is very successful in the medium and heavy truck market in particular. You’ll be seeing fewer and fewer Isuzu passenger cars on American roads though, as the company exited the US passenger car market in 2008.

66 Where “don’t sweat it” is hard-to-follow advice? : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

67 High piano tone : PLINK

What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

68 ___-Ida, maker of Tater Tots : ORE

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

70 Some volleyball actions : SETS

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

71 [Send assistance!] : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

Down

1 Florida senator Marco : RUBIO

Marco Rubio became the junior US Senator for Florida in 2011. Famously, Rubio ran for the Republican nomination for president in the 2016 race, losing out to future president Donald Trump.

2 Where Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Kerry Washington grew up : BRONX

The New York City borough known as the Bronx takes its name from the Bronx River that runs through it. The river was named after Jonas Bronck, an early immigrant to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Bronck’s farm gave rise to the name “Broncksland” and “Bronck’s River”.

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, which was released in 2001.

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

3 Part of an Atlas statue : GLOBE

In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was tasked with holding up the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The Greeks observed the planets moving and the stars in fixed positions. They believed that the stars were on the surface of a single starry sphere, the celestial sphere that was supported by Atlas.

4 Beano competitor : GAS-X

“Gas-X” is a trade name for the anti-foaming agent called simethicone. Simethicone causes small gas bubbles in the stomach to combine into larger bubbles that can then be “burped” more easily.

Beano is a dietary supplement that is used to reduce gas in the digestive tract. It contains an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars found in many vegetables. This makes the food more digestible and apparently cuts down on gas.

5 Meas. of engine speed : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

6 Chicken ___ king : A LA

A dish prepared “à la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

7 When repeated, “Hungry Like the Wolf” band : DURAN

Duran Duran is a new-wave band from Birmingham in England. Duran Duran’s success was partially driven by some well-received MTV music videos in the 1980s. The band also worked hard on their image and paid a lot of money for very fashionable clothes in which they performed. As a result, one of Duran Duran’s nicknames is “the prettiest boys in rock”.

8 “The Tell-Tale Heart” writer : POE

Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Tell-Tale Heart” is arguably one of his most disturbing works. It is a story of cold-blooded and premeditated murder, with some dismemberment thrown in for good measure.

11 Judicial capital of Bolivia : SUCRE

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia (La Paz is the administrative capital and seat of the government). It is named for independence leader Antonio José de Sucre, who was the second president of Bolivia as well as the fourth president of Peru.

18 Coffee-growing locale of Hawaii : KONA

The Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii is on the western side of the island. The largest town in Kona is Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona is often incorrectly referred to as “Kona”. The term “kona” translates as “leeward side of the island” in Hawaiian.

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

25 U-___ : HAUL

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

27 Character with a boombox in “Do the Right Thing” : RAHEEM

“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie that was released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

31 Dummkopf : ASS

“Dummkopf” is a German word that translates literally as “dumb head”.

32 Secretly loop in by email : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

39 Early movie studio for Katharine Hepburn : RKO

The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

Katharine Hepburn has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar 12 times, and holds the record for Best Actress wins at four. She won for her roles in:

  • “Morning Glory” in 1933
  • “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” in 1967
  • “The Lion in Winter” in 1968
  • “On Golden Pond” in 1981

41 Tête-à-tête : ONE-ON-ONE

A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, and a term that translates from French as “head-to-head”.

47 Send on, as an email: Abbr. : FWD

Forward (fwd.)

51 Some sneakers : AVIAS

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

52 FAQ page, e.g. : HELP

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

53 Satan’s doings : EVILS

Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.

55 Alternatives to pounds : EUROS

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of EU states not using the Euro includes Denmark and Sweden.

The official name of the currency of the UK is the pound sterling (plural “pounds sterling”). The most plausible suggestion for the etymology of the term “sterling” is that it derives from the Old English “steorra” meaning “star”, with the diminutive “-ling”. The resulting “little star” or “sterling” referred to a silver penny used by the English Normans. The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency still in use.

57 Sassy behaviors, in slang : ‘TUDES

‘Tude (attitude)

65 Explosive stuff : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 SCOTUS justice who said “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” : RBG
4 June celebrant, informally : GRAD
8 “___ in Boots” (fairy tale) : PUSS
12 Address that can’t receive packages : URL
13 Valedictorian’s grade, maybe : A-PLUS
15 Extra life, in video gaming : ONE UP
17 Educated, but not streetwise : BOOKSMART (giving “Little Red Book”)
19 Order from on high : EDICT
20 Where work might pile up : INBOX
21 Batteries for some remotes : AAS
23 English singer/songwriter George ___ : EZRA
24 Cart pullers : OXEN
25 Eggs, in diner slang : HEN BERRIES (giving “Little Red Hen”)
28 “Superfruit” from South America : ACAI
30 ___ Crunch : CAP’N
31 Network with a Times Square studio : ABC
34 Annual science fiction awards : HUGOS
37 “Horrible” comics Viking : HAGAR
40 Kids’ educational TV series of the 1970s-’90s : SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! (giving “Little Red Schoolhouse”)
43 Reproduces, in a way : SCANS
44 Afternoon hour : THREE
45 Red pill chooser in “The Matrix” : NEO
46 Home of Marlin and Nemo in “Finding Nemo” : REEF
48 Scrabble or cribbage : GAME
50 What turns on a farm vehicle : WAGON WHEEL (giving “Little Red Wagon”)
54 Exited : LEFT
58 Bakery fixture : OVEN
59 Actor Patel : DEV
60 Japanese car named for a river : ISUZU
61 Black ___ (Scarlett Johansson role) : WIDOW
63 Phrase that can precede the starts of 17-, 25-, 40- and 50-Across : LITTLE RED …
66 Where “don’t sweat it” is hard-to-follow advice? : SAUNA
67 High piano tone : PLINK
68 ___-Ida, maker of Tater Tots : ORE
69 Glasses, informally : SPEX
70 Some volleyball actions : SETS
71 [Send assistance!] : SOS

Down

1 Florida senator Marco : RUBIO
2 Where Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Kerry Washington grew up : BRONX
3 Part of an Atlas statue : GLOBE
4 Beano competitor : GAS-X
5 Meas. of engine speed : RPM
6 Chicken ___ king : A LA
7 When repeated, “Hungry Like the Wolf” band : DURAN
8 “The Tell-Tale Heart” writer : POE
9 Like a good score in golf : UNDER PAR
10 Suddenly taking up, as an idea : SEIZING ON
11 Judicial capital of Bolivia : SUCRE
14 Wild guess : STAB
16 K-12 fund-raising grps. : PTAS
18 Coffee-growing locale of Hawaii : KONA
22 Dry, as wine : SEC
25 U-___ : HAUL
26 Two cubed : EIGHT
27 Character with a boombox in “Do the Right Thing” : RAHEEM
29 ___ One (special person) : CHOSEN
31 Dummkopf : ASS
32 Secretly loop in by email : BCC
33 All excited : CHARGED UP
35 “So nice!” : OOH!
36 Sudden rise : SURGE
38 Perfect serve : ACE
39 Early movie studio for Katharine Hepburn : RKO
41 Tête-à-tête : ONE-ON-ONE
42 Close tightly : SEAL
47 Send on, as an email: Abbr. : FWD
49 “Anything ___?” : ELSE
50 Amazes : WOWS
51 Some sneakers : AVIAS
52 FAQ page, e.g. : HELP
53 Satan’s doings : EVILS
55 Alternatives to pounds : EUROS
56 Nintendo series with high-speed racers : F-ZERO
57 Sassy behaviors, in slang : ‘TUDES
60 Kinds : ILKS
62 Cheese coating : WAX
64 A black one is fancy : TIE
65 Explosive stuff : TNT

10 thoughts on “0810-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 21, Tuesday”

  1. 12:50. Seemed a little tricky for a Tuesday. Or else it was the chaos of my grandson’s sixth birthday

  2. 9:42, no errors. “A bit tricky” describes it pretty well … but the chaos of a six-year-old’s birthday party would certainly add to that … 😜

  3. 8:17 I felt like I struggled as well, but I managed to better @Bill’s time, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a struggle.

    I wonder what to think of RUBIO crossing RBG – sounds about right.

  4. 7:45. Didn’t get the theme at all until the reveal.

    Never heard the term HENBERRIES for eggs, but I once had someone call them “dead chicken embryos”. Not sure which is less appetizing.

    Never tried KONA coffee. I had KONA beer in Hawaii, but I never tried the coffee. Maybe next time.

    Best –

  5. No errors…a lot of “never heard ofs” for a Tuesday.
    If I was a waiter or waitress I think I would rather call an egg an egg than all the fancy nick names.
    I guess the blue and yellow at the bottom of a puzzle means something but I don’t know what🙄
    Stay safe😀

  6. As I understand it, about five weeks ago, the New York Times stopped providing “Across Lite” versions of the crossword puzzles, so Bill had to find another way to create the solved-puzzle images for this blog; the blue and yellow squares are one result of his search. I think they disappeared on Friday, August 13.

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