0626-24 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 24, Wednesday

Constructed by: Rebecca Goldstein
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: I’m Walkin’ Here!

Themed answers are where persons cited in the clues were seen WALKING:

  • 52A Memorable ad-lib in “Midnight Cowboy” … or what the starred clues would say about their answers : I’M WALKIN’ HERE!
  • 20A *Jesus : SEA OF GALILEE
  • 24A *Dorothy Gale : YELLOW BRICK ROAD
  • 45A *Neil Armstrong : TRANQUILITY BASE

Bill’s time: 8m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Birthplace of the Ironman World Championship : OAHU

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

15 Bottom of some prep school uniforms : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

16 World capital nicknamed the “Soaring Dragon” : HANOI

The Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi was known as Thang Long from 1010 to 1428. “Thang Long” translates as “Ascending Dragon”.

17 Frosh : FIRST YEAR

“Frosh” is a slang term for a college freshperson. We call such an individual a “fresher” back in Ireland …

19 Cuban dance : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

20 *Jesus : SEA OF GALILEE

The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake, the largest freshwater lake in Israel and the lowest elevation freshwater lake in the world. The main source of the water in the Sea of Galilee is the Jordan River that flows through it.

22 ___ Dhabi : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

24 *Dorothy Gale : YELLOW BRICK ROAD

According to L. Frank Baum’s series of “Oz” novels, there are two Yellow Brick Roads that lead to the Emerald City from Munchkin Country, and it turns out that Dorothy chose the harder of the two. In addition to the yellow roads, there is also a Red Brick Road, which leads from Munchkin County to the Country of the Quadlings.

Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and indeed a major character in almost all of the “Oz” series of novels. There is a suggestion that the young heroine was named for Baum’s own niece Dorothy Gage, who died as an infant.

33 Rihanna, to fans : RIRI

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. “Rihanna” is her stage name, as she was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

40 Bupkis : NADA

“Bupkis” (also “bubkes”) is a word that means “absolutely nothing, nothing of value”, and is of Yiddish origin.

45 *Neil Armstrong : TRANQUILITY BASE

We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn’t often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” statement; that was something that he came up with himself, while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

51 Genre for Reel Big Fish : SKA

Reel Big Fish is a ska punk band from Southern California that was founded in 1991.

52 Memorable ad-lib in “Midnight Cowboy” … or what the starred clues would say about their answers : I’M WALKIN’ HERE!

The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan named Joe Buck (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

57 Bygone carrier whose first hub was in Pittsburgh : USAIR

From 1953, what we recently referred to as US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir, but commuters then just used the nickname “Unfortunately Still Allegheny”. The name was changed again, in 1997, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.

61 Elegant shorebird : STILT

The avocet is found in warm climates, usually in saline wetlands where it uses its upcurved bill to sweep from side-to-side in water searching for aquatic insects on which it feeds. Avocets, and other similar species, may go by the common name of “stilts”, a moniker applied to them because of their long legs.

62 ___ Linda, recurring “Saturday Night Live” character played by Kristen Wiig : AUNT

Kristen Wiig is a comic actress who appears on “Saturday Night Live”. She also made an appearance on the first season of Spike TV’s quirky “The Joe Schmo Show”, playing “Dr. Pat”. More recently, she co-wrote and starred in the 2011 hit film “Bridesmaids”, and co-starred in the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters”.

65 Tax whizzes : CPAS

Certified public accountant (CPA)

66 Bog buildup : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

Down

6 Feudal land : FIEF

In the days of feudalism, a “fief” was basically a “fee” (the words “fee” and “fief” have the same origins) paid by a Lord in exchange for some benefit to him, perhaps loyalty, or military service. The fief itself was often land granted by the Lord. We use the term “fiefdom” (and sometimes “fief) figuratively, to describe a sphere of operation controlled by one dominant person or entity.

8 Low-altitude clouds : STRATI

Stratus (plural “strati”) clouds are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but some distance above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

13 Lunes, martes o miércoles : DIA

In Spanish (Span.), the days of the week are masculine (masc.) nouns. Unlike in English, the days of the week in Spanish are not capitalized when used in the middle of a sentence:

  • lunes – Monday
  • martes – Tuesday
  • miércoles – Wednesday
  • jueves – Thursday
  • viernes – Friday
  • sábado – Saturday
  • domingo – Sunday

18 Small drum : TABOR

A tabor is a portable snare drum that is played with one hand. The tabor is usually suspended by a strap from one arm, with the other hand free to beat the drum. It is often played as an accompaniment for a fife or other small flutes. The word “tabor” comes from “tabwrdd”, the Welsh word for “drum”.

24 The reality show “Below Deck” is set on one : YACHT

“Below Deck” is a reality TV show that features crew members living and working on a superyacht during the charter season. It’s a popular show, one that spawned several spinoffs, for example:

  • “Below Deck Mediterranean”
  • “Below Deck Sailing Yacht”
  • “Below Deck Down Under”
  • “Below Deck Adventure”

25 Reason for elimination at a spelling bee : ERROR

The National Spelling Bee was started in 1925 by the Louisville Courier-Journal. The first winning word was “gladiolus.”

26 Singer Lewis : LEONA

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

29 Poker variety in which each player is dealt four cards : OMAHA

Omaha is a poker card game similar to Texas hold ‘em. The two games differ in that there are four initial hole cards per player in Omaha, as opposed to just two in Texas hold ’em. And in Omaha, each player’s hand is made up of exactly three cards from the board and exactly two of the player’s own cards.

30 Where spectacled bears live : ANDES

The bespectacled bear is also known as the Andean bear. The name “bespectacled” comes from the bear’s coloring, which can resemble eyeglasses. The name “Andean” comes from the bear’s habitat along the Andes mountain range.

38 What may be left of center? : EPI-

The epicenter is the point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

43 Comedian Wanda : SYKES

Wanda Sykes is a very successful American comedian and comic actress. Interestingly, Sykes spent her first five years out of school working for the NSA. I saw her perform in Reno some years ago, and she is very, very funny.

46 There are eight in a peck : QUARTS

A peck is a dry measure of volume equal to a quarter of a bushel. The term can be used figuratively to mean a considerable quantity in general, as in the phrase “a peck of trouble”.

47 Standard info on a takeout menu, nowadays : URL

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

48 An octopus uses it for defense : INK SAC

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.

55 Prefix with -gon : NONA-

The prefix “nona-” is used to denote the number nine or ninth. An example is “nonagon”, a nine-sided polygon.

56 Cork’s country : EIRE

Cork is the largest and most southerly county in Ireland. The county is named for the city of Cork, which is the second largest in the country. It is sometimes referred to as “the Rebel County”, which alludes to the region’s resistance to British rule. Tourists flock to Cork for several reasons, not least as it is home to the famous Blarney Stone as well as Cobh, the port from which so many Irish emigrants left for countries like Australia, Canada and the United States.

57 PC hookup spot : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and dealing with electrical power through those connections.

59 Org. employing cryptographers : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) runs an annual Codebreaker Challenge that is aimed mainly at the student population. As best I can tell, the focus of the challenge is reverse software engineering. Checking out the Codebreaker Challenge website suggests that the NSA runs this program in order to identify and attract potential new employees.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Birthplace of the Ironman World Championship : OAHU
5 Slays : OFFS
9 Give a talking-to : SCOLD
14 Where popovers “pop” : OVEN
15 Bottom of some prep school uniforms : KILT
16 World capital nicknamed the “Soaring Dragon” : HANOI
17 Frosh : FIRST YEAR
19 Cuban dance : RUMBA
20 *Jesus : SEA OF GALILEE
22 ___ Dhabi : ABU
23 Like a Senate vote that requires the vice president : TIED
24 *Dorothy Gale : YELLOW BRICK ROAD
32″Rules ___ rules” : ARE
33 Rihanna, to fans : RIRI
34 Prefix with present : OMNI-
35 Jay relative : CROW
37 Church centers : NAVES
40 Bupkis : NADA
41 Refine : HONE
42 Impersonates, maybe : APES
44 Part of a pecking order? : HEN
45 *Neil Armstrong : TRANQUILITY BASE
50 Chance to go : TURN
51 Genre for Reel Big Fish : SKA
52 Memorable ad-lib in “Midnight Cowboy” … or what the starred clues would say about their answers : I’M WALKIN’ HERE!
57 Bygone carrier whose first hub was in Pittsburgh : USAIR
58 Flattening, informally : SMOOSHING
61 Elegant shorebird : STILT
62 ___ Linda, recurring “Saturday Night Live” character played by Kristen Wiig : AUNT
63 [waggles hand back and forth] : OR SO
64 Chemical attractions : BONDS
65 Tax whizzes : CPAS
66 Bog buildup : PEAT

Down

1 “That’s rough” : OOF!
2 Bird: Prefix : AVI-
3 Women’s health care brand : HERS
4 Open, as a letter : UNSEAL
5 “Fine, I give” : OK, YOU WIN
6 Feudal land : FIEF
7 Identify as a potential problem : FLAG
8 Low-altitude clouds : STRATI
9 Bloodcurdling sound : SHRIEK
10 Emotionally volatile situation, metaphorically : CAULDRON
11 “My treat” : ON ME
12 Brain section : LOBE
13 Lunes, martes o miércoles : DIA
18 Small drum : TABOR
21 Driver’s need: Abbr. : LIC
24 The reality show “Below Deck” is set on one : YACHT
25 Reason for elimination at a spelling bee : ERROR
26 Singer Lewis : LEONA
27 Garment that can be backless : BRA
28 Competitor : RIVAL
29 Poker variety in which each player is dealt four cards : OMAHA
30 Where spectacled bears live : ANDES
31 Songwriter Warren with an Oscar, Emmy and Grammy : DIANE
36 Let loose, say : WENT WILD
38 What may be left of center? : EPI-
39 Old-fashioned basketball attempts : SET SHOTS
43 Comedian Wanda : SYKES
46 There are eight in a peck : QUARTS
47 Standard info on a takeout menu, nowadays : URL
48 An octopus uses it for defense : INK SAC
49 Participate in a crawl, perhaps : BARHOP
52 “That ___ say …” : IS TO
53 Primary : MAIN
54 “You woke me” : I’M UP
55 Prefix with -gon : NONA-
56 Cork’s country : EIRE
57 PC hookup spot : USB
59 Org. employing cryptographers : NSA
60 Tricked : GOT

5 thoughts on “0626-24 NY Times Crossword 26 Jun 24, Wednesday”

  1. 10:37. A sleepy solve today! No idea about “Midnight Cowboys”, so I could only guess 52A after filling the other theme entries and sussing out what they had in common. More than relieved to hear the jingle immediately after filling in the last letter. (Typos are ‘harder’ to spot when you are playing guesswork with a handful of questions!)

    Cheers, all!

  2. 10:22, no errors. I was unaware until a few months ago that Dustin Hoffman ad-libbed that line in “Midnight Cowboy”; I came across it during one of those weird times when you go looking for something on the internet and end up, an hour or more later, utterly sidetracked and unable to remember what it was you initially went after.

  3. Many things I didn’t know here. Bupkis meaning nothing is one. I also didn’t know that the line in Midnight Cowboy was ad-libbed, although it’s the only line I can remember from the movie.

  4. 15:28, no errors. Also learned that the line was adlibbed in Midnight Cowboy. That line was repeated by Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *