0620-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Jun 22, Monday

Constructed by: Jeremy Newton
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Nationals

Themed answers each end with a homophone of specific NATIONALS:

  • 65A D.C. baseball players … or what the ends of 17-, 21-, 39- and 55-Across sound like : NATIONALS
  • 17A Data sources for Election Day coverage : EXIT POLLS (giving “Poles”)
  • 21A Accessories that may feature Windsor knots : NECKTIES (giving “Thais”)
  • 39A Large props held by contest winners in publicity photos : OVERSIZED CHECKS (giving “Czechs”)
  • 55A Late-1950s car stylings designed to look aerodynamic : TAILFINS (giving “Finns”)

Bill’s time: 5m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Singer Paul with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame : ANKA

Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, the song entitled “Diana”. Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called “Lonely Boy”.

Canada’s Walk of Fame acknowledges the accomplishments of successful Canadians. It was established in 1998 in Toronto. The “stars” have a clever design that incorporates five maple leaves.

9 Leafy fresh herb in a caprese salad : BASIL

Traditionally, basil is considered “the king of herbs”. In fact, the herb’s name comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king”.

17 Data sources for Election Day coverage : EXIT POLLS (giving “Poles”)

The country of Poland takes her name from the West Slavic tribe known as the Polans.

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

20 “Same here” : DITTO

The word “ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is another wonderful import from that lovely land …

21 Accessories that may feature Windsor knots : NECKTIES (giving “Thais”)

The Thai people are an ethnic group found mainly in Central and Southern Thailand. That said, the term “Thai people” is also used to describe all people from Thailand.

A necktie can be tied using a Windsor knot, which results in a wide but symmetrical triangular knot. The knot was popularized by British King Edward VIII, who was known as the Duke of Windsor after he abdicated. On the very rare occasion that I wear a tie these days, I usually employ a half-Windsor knot.

23 Ships’ records : LOGS

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

26 Kid-lit classic “Blueberries for ___” : SAL

“Blueberries for Sal” is a children’s storybook by Robert McCloskey that was published in 1948. It won the Caldecott Medal in 1949, recognizing “Blueberries for Sal” as the most distinguished picture for children released in the preceding year.

27 “And Still I Rise” poet Maya : ANGELOU

“And Still I Rise” is a 1978 volume of poetry by Maya Angelou. The collection’s title poem is “Still I Rise”, which ends with:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

30 Three-dimensional : SPATIAL

A spatial relation defines how an object is related in space to another object, i.e. where the two objects are positioned relative to each other.

35 Fawn’s mother : DOE

A fawn is a young deer, usually one less than a year old.

38 Largest branch of Islam : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

39 Large props held by contest winners in publicity photos : OVERSIZED CHECKS (giving “Czechs”)

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka “Slovakia”).

44 Sticky tree secretion : RESIN

Resinous trees have evolved the ability to secrete resins in response to an injury. The resin serves as a barrier, protecting the tree from insects and pathogens that might otherwise exploit the site of the injury.

46 “Abandon hope, ___ ye who enter here” : ALL

According to Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, the inscription at the entrance to hell is “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”.

47 Mournful, as poetry : ELEGIAC

“Elegiac” is the adjective coming from “elegy”, a mournful poem or funeral song also known as a dirge.

53 Lady in Progressive ads : FLO

Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokesperson. Flo is played by comedian and actress Stephanie Courtney.

54 Nincompoop : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that used to be quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

The word “nincompoop”, meaning “fool”, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

55 Late-1950s car stylings designed to look aerodynamic : TAILFINS (giving “Finns”)

Tailfins started appearing on cars in the late forties, and became popular in the fifties. The first tailfins were introduced on the 1948 Cadillac by GM designer Harley Earl. Earl got his inspiration from WWII fighter aircraft.

The Nordic country of Finland is the most sparsely populated nation in the European Union. The relatively modest population of 5.5 million people lives in the eighth largest country on the continent.

65 D.C. baseball players … or what the ends of 17-, 21-, 39- and 55-Across sound like : NATIONALS

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

69 Ireland, in literature : ERIN

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

72 Like moldy basements and some memes : DANK

“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by “damp”, another nice word. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

Down

4 Test one’s ____ (be a challenge) : METTLE

“Mettle” is such a lovely word. It means “courage, fortitude, spirit”. “Mettle” is simply a variant spelling of the word “metal”.

5 Ballyhoo : ADO

“Ballyhoo”, meaning “hype, publicity”, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!

7 München : Munich :: ___ : Cologne : KOLN

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Köln” in German.

11 Apple’s voice assistant : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

13 Word sometimes used incorrectly for “fewer” : LESS

I say avoid any express checkout lane in a market that is labeled “10 items or less”. It should be “10 items or fewer”. I know, I know … I should calm down … and get a life …

18 Game with 15 numbered balls : POOL

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

22 Beanie, e.g. : CAP

A beanie is a knitted, close-fitting hat with no brim. The name probably comes from the slang term “bean” meaning “head”.

24 Desert on the Silk Road : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

25 Canal through Egypt : SUEZ

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. The canal took ten years to construct, and opened in 1869. The northern terminus of the waterway is Port Said, and the southern is Port Tewfik in the city of Suez, which gives the canal its name.

28 Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” for one : NOVEL

“Beloved” is a 1998 movie based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Toni Morrison. Oprah, who produced the film, stars opposite Danny Glover.

29 Plural that makes one wonder why there aren’t any meese : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

31 Mon. follower : TUE

The name “Tuesday” comes from an Old English word that translates as “Tiw’s Day”. In turn, “Tiw” was the Old English name for the Norse god “Týr”. Týr was the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory.

32 Early Peruvians : INCAS

The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Túpac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.

34 Cotton fabric named for a French city : LISLE

Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge. Cotton lisle is mainly used in the manufacture of underwear and stockings. The process to make the thread was invented in the French city of Lille (formerly “Lisle”), hence the name.

Lille is a large city in the very north of France that sits right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The former name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

40 18-wheeler : RIG

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

43 Bird that caws : CROW

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

48 Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

51 Puerto ___ : RICO

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

59 Singer Bareilles : SARA

Sara Bareilles achieved success with her 2007 “Love Song” with the help of the iTunes online store. In one week in June of that year, iTunes offered the song as “free single of the week” and it quickly became the most downloaded song in the store, and from there climbed to the number spot in the charts.

67 Squirt from an octopus : INK

Octopodes and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopoda) and is stored in an ink sac. The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tiny unit of matter : ATOM
5 Singer Paul with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame : ANKA
9 Leafy fresh herb in a caprese salad : BASIL
14 Arrived : CAME
15 “___ mio!” (“My lord!”: Sp.) : DIOS
16 Tolerate : ABIDE
17 Data sources for Election Day coverage : EXIT POLLS (giving “Poles”)
19 Ringlets : CURLS
20 “Same here” : DITTO
21 Accessories that may feature Windsor knots : NECKTIES (giving “Thais”)
23 Ships’ records : LOGS
26 Kid-lit classic “Blueberries for ___” : SAL
27 “And Still I Rise” poet Maya : ANGELOU
30 Three-dimensional : SPATIAL
35 Fawn’s mother : DOE
36 Plead : BEG
38 Largest branch of Islam : SUNNI
39 Large props held by contest winners in publicity photos : OVERSIZED CHECKS (giving “Czechs”)
44 Sticky tree secretion : RESIN
45 Make a scratch or dent in : MAR
46 “Abandon hope, ___ ye who enter here” : ALL
47 Mournful, as poetry : ELEGIAC
50 Anticipate : FORESEE
53 Lady in Progressive ads : FLO
54 Nincompoop : TWIT
55 Late-1950s car stylings designed to look aerodynamic : TAILFINS (giving “Finns”)
60 Word with tricks and thrills : CHEAP …
64 Opposite of urban : RURAL
65 D.C. baseball players … or what the ends of 17-, 21-, 39- and 55-Across sound like : NATIONALS
68 Make up (for) : ATONE
69 Ireland, in literature : ERIN
70 Ideologies : ISMS
71 Small lakes : PONDS
72 Like moldy basements and some memes : DANK
73 Subdermal lump : CYST

Down

1 Got 100% on : ACED
2 Steer a plane toward the runway : TAXI
3 Forget to mention : OMIT
4 Test one’s ____ (be a challenge) : METTLE
5 Ballyhoo : ADO
6 Zip, zero, nada : NIL
7 München : Munich :: ___ : Cologne : KOLN
8 Subject to a tax, as property : ASSESS
9 Strong negative reaction, as from the public : BACKLASH
10 Border on : ABUT
11 Apple’s voice assistant : SIRI
12 Run in neutral : IDLE
13 Word sometimes used incorrectly for “fewer” : LESS
18 Game with 15 numbered balls : POOL
22 Beanie, e.g. : CAP
24 Desert on the Silk Road : GOBI
25 Canal through Egypt : SUEZ
27 Cherish : ADORE
28 Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” for one : NOVEL
29 Plural that makes one wonder why there aren’t any meese : GEESE
31 Mon. follower : TUE
32 Early Peruvians : INCAS
33 Joint just above the heel : ANKLE
34 Cotton fabric named for a French city : LISLE
37 Beauty : GEM
40 18-wheeler : RIG
41 Nasal sounds from someone with a slight cold : SNIFFLES
42 Silly : DAFT
43 Bird that caws : CROW
48 Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI
49 Duped : CONNED
51 Puerto ___ : RICO
52 Of a shared cultural identity : ETHNIC
55 Ensnare : TRAP
56 What you park in a driveway or drive on a parkway : AUTO
57 Clothes presser : IRON
58 Acquire, as a job : LAND
59 Singer Bareilles : SARA
61 Beginnerish : EASY
62 “___ for the poor” : ALMS
63 Discreet attention-getter : PSST!
66 Container for mints : TIN
67 Squirt from an octopus : INK

4 thoughts on “0620-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Jun 22, Monday”

  1. FINNISHed in 6:21. I guess I was RUSSIAN through this one.

    What, nothing about Turkey or Chile served on China and cooked in Greece?? What a LAOsy theme!! You’d think they could have PERUsed a few options. But I guess I CAN ADApt.

    Maybe they’ll give US A better one tomorrow…

    Best –

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