0624-24 NY Times Crossword 24 Jun 24, Monday

Constructed by: Anthony V. Grubb
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bodybuilding

Themed answers comprise two parts. The first is part of a BODY, and the second a synonym of “BUILDING”:

  • 52A Weightlifter’s pursuit … or a hint to both halves of the answers to the starred clues : BODYBUILDING
  • 20A *Base of operations : HEADQUARTERS
  • 31A *Lively get-togethers : SHINDIGS
  • 38A *One of a pair that a skater might wear : KNEEPAD
  • 47A *Figurative setting for a shady deal : BACKROOM

Bill’s time: 5m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Musical staff symbol : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

15 Politico 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.

16 Tomato variety that, despite its name, was actually developed in Maryland : ROMA

The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

17 Lincoln, Jackson or Madison : CITY

The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.

Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi. It was named for President Andrew Jackson, although the name was bestowed before he ran for electoral office. General Jackson was so honored in recognition of his victory at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

Madison is the second-largest city in Wisconsin (after Milwaukee), and is the state capital. The city was named for President James Madison, who was one of the signers of the US Constitution. Many of Madison’s first streets were named for the 39 other signatories.

19 Fairy tale’s second word, often : … UPON

The stock phrase “Once upon a time …” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.

23 Birth control options, for short : IUDS

It seems that it isn’t fully understood how the intrauterine device (IUD) works. The design that was most popular for decades was a T-shaped plastic frame on which was wound copper wire. It’s thought that the device is an irritant in the uterus causing the body to release chemicals that are hostile to sperm and eggs. This effect is enhanced by the presence of the copper.

31 *Lively get-togethers : SHINDIGS

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

35 Like a cherry vis-à-vis a sundae : ATOP

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

37 Japanese vegetable : UDO

Udo is a perennial plant native to Japan known taxonomically as Aralia cordata. The stems of udo are sometimes boiled up and served in miso soup.

44 The ___ Tour (Taylor Swift concert series) : ERAS

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour started on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2023 in Glendale, Arizona, with a schedule covering five continents over two years. Swift described the line up songs as “a journey through the musical eras of [her 17-year] career”.

49 Vehicle in a funeral procession : HEARSE

We use the term “hearse” for a vehicle used to transport a dead body to the place of burial. The original meaning, still used sometimes today, is for a framework hanging over a coffin that holds candles.

51 “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” frames : CELS

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a clever 1988 film featuring cartoon characters that interact directly with human beings. The most memorable cartoon characters have to be goofy Roger Rabbit, and vampish Jessica Rabbit. The film is based on a novel written by Gary K. Wolf called “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” There is a prequel floating around that has never been produced, which is titled “Who Discovered Roger Rabbit”.

59 Where you might sleep while “in the doghouse” : SOFA

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

64 Fe, on the periodic table : IRON

The Latin word for “iron” is “ferrum”, which gives us “Fe” as the metal’s chemical symbol.

66 Spam spewers : BOTS

Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 500 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

67 Prefix with phone or church : MEGA-

A megaphone is also known as a loudhailer or bullhorn. It was probably Thomas Edison who coined, or at least popularized, the term “megaphone” in 1878. He created a megaphone that was intended to benefit those who were hard of hearing. Edison’s device was relatively clumsy, and far from portable. However, it allowed a person speaking in a normal voice to be heard about two miles away!

68 Key Watergate evidence : TAPES

Famously, there is a gap of 18½ minutes in the Nixon White House tapes. Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon’s secretary, reported that she was reviewing one of the tapes when she accidentally hit record instead of the stop button, causing about 5 minutes of erasure. There is an additional 13 minutes of “buzzing” that she could not explain. There has been much speculation about what actually happened, as a review of notes made in the meeting covered by the tape show that the arrests made at the Watergate were discussed.

Down

2 Soft French cheese : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry with fig jam.

4 Take a leap of faith, quite literally : SKYDIVE

The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defense against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

7 Sedan summoned with a smartphone, say : UBER

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

8 Fuzzy stuff in a trap : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

10 Relentless campaign : CRUSADE

The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought between the 11th and 15th centuries. The term “crusade” came into English via French and Spanish from the Latin “crux” meaning “cross”. The use of the term was retrospective, with the first recorded use in English in 1757. The relevance of “crux” is that most crusaders swore a vow to reach Jerusalem from Europe, and then received a cloth cross that was then sewn into their clothing. The term “crusade” persists to this day, and is now used figuratively to describe any vigorous campaign in pursuit of a moral objective.

22 Stimpy’s cartoon pal : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television serial created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

26 Shoelace tips : AGLETS

An aglet is a plastic or metal sheath that is found on the end of a shoelace or perhaps a drawstring. The name “aglet” comes from the Old French word “aiguillette” meaning “needle”.

27 African fly with a reduplicative name : TSETSE

Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

28 Rating units for Siskel and Ebert : THUMBS

Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert died in 2013.

29 Like the symmetry of a starfish : RADIAL

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

31 Eruption from a geyser : STEAM

The Great Geysir in Iceland is the first known geyser to have been discovered and documented. The name “Geysir” comes from the Icelandic and Old Norse word “geysa” meaning “to gush”. It is the Great Geysir that gives us our English word “geyser”.

32 What gives beer its bitterness : HOPS

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I used to live here in California was once home to the largest hop farm in the world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

33 Bitter beer, in brief : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

39 “The Matrix” hero : NEO

Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films. One of Neo’s actions is to choose a red pill over a blue pill. The blue pill would have allowed him to remain in the Matrix, a fabricated reality. The red pill led to his escape into the real world, and a much more difficult life.

43 Japanese art of flower arranging : IKEBANA

The Japanese art of flower arranging is very much focused on minimalism, the use of a minimum number of blooms arranged among a few stalks and leaves. The Japanese name for the art is “ikebana”, which can be translated as “making flowers alive”.

46 Stakes a claim (on) : HAS DIBS

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

48 Studio behind “King Kong” and “Citizen Kane” : RKO

When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

A central plot line in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” is a newsreel reporter’s quest to find the meaning of the dying word “Rosebud” spoken by the title character. Spoiler alert … it is revealed at the end of the movie that “Rosebud” is the name of the sled used by Kane in his childhood, which was the only period of his life in which he was really happy.

49 The “jobs” in “The Italian Job,” e.g. : HEISTS

The 2003 movie “The Italian Job” is fairly loosely based on a fabulous 1969 film of the same name starring Michael Caine. The 2003 film is outstanding in its own right, and a favorite of mine. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Donald Sutherland. The “job” is an exciting heist in Venice, that involves a watery getaway. There is a second heist in Los Angeles with a road-bound getaway in Mini Cooper cars.

51 ___ patootie : CUTIE

Back in the 1920s, the term “patootie” was used for a sweetheart, a very pretty girl. Somehow, the term has evolved into slang for the posterior, rear end.

54 A Jedi mentor, he was : YODA

In the “Star Wars” series of films, the character named Yoda has a unique speech pattern. He often uses the word order object-subject-verb. For example:

  • Patience you must have …
  • Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
  • To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.

56 Ariana Grande, to Arianators, e.g. : IDOL

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

57 ___ pot, container for rinsing nasal passages : NETI

A neti pot is a spouted vessel that is used for nasal irrigation. “Neti” is a Sanskrit word meaning “nasal cleansing”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Recedes, as the tide : EBBS
5 Server error? : FAULT
10 Musical staff symbol : CLEF
14 Long hike : TREK
15 Politico Marco : RUBIO
16 Tomato variety that, despite its name, was actually developed in Maryland : ROMA
17 Lincoln, Jackson or Madison : CITY
18 “___ we all!” : AREN’T
19 Fairy tale’s second word, often : … UPON
20 *Base of operations : HEADQUARTERS
23 Birth control options, for short : IUDS
24 Bother greatly : EAT AT
28 Three-time Super Bowl winner Kelce : TRAVIS
31 *Lively get-togethers : SHINDIGS
34 Constant critic : HATER
35 Like a cherry vis-à-vis a sundae : ATOP
36 Fashion magazine founded in Paris : ELLE
37 Japanese vegetable : UDO
38 *One of a pair that a skater might wear : KNEEPAD
41 Ease (up) : LET
42 Bite-size, say : MINI
44 The ___ Tour (Taylor Swift concert series) : ERAS
45 Stimulates, as an appetite : WHETS
47 *Figurative setting for a shady deal : BACKROOM
49 Vehicle in a funeral procession : HEARSE
50 Stylishly streamlined : SLEEK
51 “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” frames : CELS
52 Weightlifter’s pursuit … or a hint to both halves of the answers to the starred clues : BODYBUILDING
59 Where you might sleep while “in the doghouse” : SOFA
62 Defeats by a large margin : ROUTS
63 Mental spark : IDEA
64 Fe, on the periodic table : IRON
65 Own up (to) : ADMIT
66 Spam spewers : BOTS
67 Prefix with phone or church : MEGA-
68 Key Watergate evidence : TAPES
69 Result of ignoring a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign, perhaps : SLIP

Down

1 Carve in stone : ETCH
2 Soft French cheese : BRIE
3 Β or β : BETA
4 Take a leap of faith, quite literally : SKYDIVE
5 Impostors : FRAUDS
6 Invisible emanations : AURAS
7 Sedan summoned with a smartphone, say : UBER
8 Fuzzy stuff in a trap : LINT
9 Carry around : TOTE
10 Relentless campaign : CRUSADE
11 Cut (off) : LOP
12 Broody subculture : EMO
13 Ceiling spinner : FAN
21 Peculiarity : QUIRK
22 Stimpy’s cartoon pal : REN
25 Farm tool for breaking up soil : TILLER
26 Shoelace tips : AGLETS
27 African fly with a reduplicative name : TSETSE
28 Rating units for Siskel and Ebert : THUMBS
29 Like the symmetry of a starfish : RADIAL
30 Immediately : AT ONCE
31 Eruption from a geyser : STEAM
32 What gives beer its bitterness : HOPS
33 Bitter beer, in brief : IPA
35 Prefix with dynamic : AERO-
39 “The Matrix” hero : NEO
40 Reside : DWELL
43 Japanese art of flower arranging : IKEBANA
46 Stakes a claim (on) : HAS DIBS
48 Studio behind “King Kong” and “Citizen Kane” : RKO
49 The “jobs” in “The Italian Job,” e.g. : HEISTS
51 ___ patootie : CUTIE
53 “Well, shucks!” : DRAT!
54 A Jedi mentor, he was : YODA
55 Protuberance : BUMP
56 Ariana Grande, to Arianators, e.g. : IDOL
57 ___ pot, container for rinsing nasal passages : NETI
58 Sound of shock : GASP
59 Computer replication of real-world events, for short : SIM
60 Mined matter : ORE
61 Ground-hugging cloud : FOG

3 thoughts on “0624-24 NY Times Crossword 24 Jun 24, Monday”

  1. 05:15. Typical Monday solve. A stray ‘L’ in place of the ‘K’ in 4D delayed things a bit, but smooth otherwise. Cheers, all!

  2. 5:59, no errors. And I will never again look at a Roma tomato in quite the same way … 😳.

  3. 8:35, no errors. Whenever I see Marco I reflexively enter POLO, which (of course) had to be erased.

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