0621-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Jun 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Julie Berube
THEME: Mary Poppins Song
The circled letters in today’s themed answers spell out “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which is the title of a song from the 1964 Disney musical film “Mary Poppins”.

14A. Source of supposed extraordinary health benefits : SUPERFOOD
20A. Justice who died in 2016 : SCALIA
26A. Easily damaged : FRAGILE
33A. Of mind, body and spirit : HOLISTIC
46A. Makes amends for : EXPIATES
54A. Well-founded : VALID
60A. God-awful : ATROCIOUS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 04s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Muslim holy site : MECCA
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

18. Paavo ___, 1920s Olympic gold medalist : NURMI
Paavo Nurmi was one of a group of Finnish runners to earn the nickname “the Flying Finn”. Nurmi dominated middle and long distance running in the 1920s. He was the most successful athlete at the 1924 Paris Olympics, winning five gold medals.

19. Designer Oscar de la ___ : RENTA
Oscar de la Renta is a fashion designer who really came to prominence in the sixties when his designs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

20. Justice who died in 2016 : SCALIA
Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest serving member of the court on the occasion of his passing in 2016. Justice Scalia’s minority opinions were known for the scathing language that he used to criticize the Court’s majority.

21. James Bond, e.g.: Abbr. : AGT
James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

28. Sacker of ancient Rome : HUN
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.

32. Spanish soccer star Sergio ___ : RAMOS
Sergio Ramos is a soccer player from Spain who is the captain of the Real Madrid team.

33. Of mind, body and spirit : HOLISTIC
A holistic approach to medicine emphasises not only physical symptoms but also social considerations and the environment.

38. Fast time? : LENT
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

39. Where Reagan was born : ILLINOIS
Future President Ronald Reagan was born in the village of Tampico in northwest Illinois.

41. Jessica with two Oscars : LANGE
The actress Jessica Lange is also an accomplished and published photographer. She was married for ten years to Spanish photographer Paco Grande. After separating from Grande, Lange had three children with the great Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. Those must be some good-looking kids …

48. Nordic airline : SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

59. Feminist author Jong : ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later she wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

61. Brazen : SASSY
Someone described as “brazen” might also be described as “shameless”. The term “brazen” comes from the Middle English “brasen” meaning “made of brass”. The suggestion is that a shameless person has a hardened, brass-like face.

62. Correspondent’s afterthoughts, briefly : PSS
One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

63. L’eggs shade : TAUPE
Taupe is a dark, gray-brown color. The word “taupe” comes from the Latin name of the European Mole, which has skin with the same color.

L’eggs is such a clever brand name, I think. L’eggs is a brand of pantyhose (L’eggs = legs), with its product sold, well it used to be, in egg-shaped containers (L’eggs = “the” eggs). The brand was introduced in 1969 and was an instant hit. The inventive marketing of L’eggs pantyhose led to a competitive response by Kayser-Roth who introduced the No Nonsense brand in 1973. The idea behind No Nonsense was that the packaging of L’eggs was just a gimmick, and here was a No Nonsense alternative. L’eggs won the battle though.

Down
1. Deadly Egyptian slitherer : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

4. Israel’s fourth prime minister : MEIR
Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

5. Apollo’s twin sister : ARTEMIS
In Greek mythology, Zeus and Leto are the father and mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis. The twins are sometimes referred to as the Letoides, after their mother.

7. “Brooklyn” actress Saoirse ___ : RONAN
Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress, having been born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Carlow and Dublin in Ireland. Ronan’s big break came when she was cast in the 2007 film “Atonement” at 12 years of age, a role for which she won that year’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar. “Saoirse” is the Irish word for “freedom”.

8. Some E.R. cases : ODS
Overdoses (ODs)

9. “Moon River” composer : MANCINI
The lovely song “Moon River” was written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. It was of sung by Audrey Hepburn in the wonderful 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The song went on to become the theme song for Andy Williams who performed it at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1962.

12. Victoria’s Secret buy, informally : CAMI
A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English, which ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.

20. ___ Ste. Marie : SAULT
Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

22. 1940s pinup Betty : GRABLE
The actress Betty Grable was the biggest earner for 20th Century-Fox in 1943, and in 1947 was the highest-paid entertainer in the whole country. It was said that Grable had the most beautiful legs in Hollywood. A famous photograph of her in a bathing suit made her the most popular pin-up girl of WWII.

23. Steaming Mexican treat : TAMALE
A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese fruit and vegetables.

27. Desert that ancient traders crossed : GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi 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”.

29. Shorthand takers : STENOS
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

30. ___ franca (common tongue) : LINGUA
A “lingua franca” is a common language used to communicate among those who do not routinely speak each other’s native tongue. The term originally applied to the common language used in commerce around the Eastern Mediterranean from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. This ancient Lingua Franca was a simplified form of Italian, with a generous sprinkling of loanwords from Greek, French, Portuguese, Spanish and other local languages.

36. Melodramatic shows : SOAPS
The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

37. Queens’s ___ Field : CITI
Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets, and sits right next door to Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the name of course comes from sponsor Citigroup.

41. Denouement : LAST ACT
The “denouement” is the final resolution of a dramatic plot. The term is French, and derives from the Old French for “untying”, an “unknotting” as it were.

45. Linguine sauce : PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

49. D.C.’s New York and Pennsylvania : AVES
Famously, the layout of the streets in Washington was designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The L’Enfant Plan called for a grid of east-west and north-south streets. This grid was criss-crossed with diagonal avenues. The avenues and streets met at circles and rectangular plazas. Later, the diagonal avenues were named for states of the union.

50. Five-time Olympian Torres : DARA
Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games, and is the oldest swimmer to have made it onto the Olympic team, at 41.

51. Father-and-daughter boxing family : ALIS
Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. Now retired, she never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

53. Met solo : ARIA
The Metropolitan Opera (the Met) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

58. Market for Jap. shares : TSE
The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is the third largest stock exchange in the world, after New York and London.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bakery attraction : AROMA
6. Mate : BRO
9. Muslim holy site : MECCA
14. Source of supposed extraordinary health benefits : SUPERFOOD
16. Shades of blue : AQUAS
17. They need signatures : PETITIONS
18. Paavo ___, 1920s Olympic gold medalist : NURMI
19. Designer Oscar de la ___ : RENTA
20. Justice who died in 2016 : SCALIA
21. James Bond, e.g.: Abbr. : AGT
24. Big part of a ship’s rigging : MAINSAIL
26. Easily damaged : FRAGILE
28. Sacker of ancient Rome : HUN
29. ___-pitch : SLO
32. Spanish soccer star Sergio ___ : RAMOS
33. Of mind, body and spirit : HOLISTIC
35. Basic rhyme scheme : ABAB
36. “Scram!” : SCOOT!
38. Fast time? : LENT
39. Where Reagan was born : ILLINOIS
41. Jessica with two Oscars : LANGE
42. Poor grade : DEE
43. Gobble up : EAT
44. Said quickly and angrily : SPAT OUT
46. Makes amends for : EXPIATES
48. Nordic airline : SAS
49. Reconfigures, as a book to a screenplay : ADAPTS
52. “Enough, Enrico!” : BASTA!
54. Well-founded : VALID
55. Band frontman, often : GUITARIST
59. Feminist author Jong : ERICA
60. God-awful : ATROCIOUS
61. Brazen : SASSY
62. Correspondent’s afterthoughts, briefly : PSS
63. L’eggs shade : TAUPE

Down
1. Deadly Egyptian slitherer : ASP
2. Kick oneself for : RUE
3. Go (for) : OPT
4. Israel’s fourth prime minister : MEIR
5. Apollo’s twin sister : ARTEMIS
6. Baby’s footwear : BOOTIE
7. “Brooklyn” actress Saoirse ___ : RONAN
8. Some E.R. cases : ODS
9. “Moon River” composer : MANCINI
10. 50-50 : EQUAL
11. Ringlet : CURL
12. Victoria’s Secret buy, informally : CAMI
13. Where the 27-Down is : ASIA
15. Biggest determinant of a school grade, often : FINAL
20. ___ Ste. Marie : SAULT
21. Terror-stricken : AFRAID
22. 1940s pinup Betty : GRABLE
23. Steaming Mexican treat : TAMALE
25. “Scram!” : SHOO!
27. Desert that ancient traders crossed : GOBI
29. Shorthand takers : STENOS
30. ___ franca (common tongue) : LINGUA
31. Some jazz groups : OCTETS
33. Syllables from Santa : HOS
34. Blind part : SLAT
36. Melodramatic shows : SOAPS
37. Queens’s ___ Field : CITI
40. Overnight : NEXT-DAY
41. Denouement : LAST ACT
44. Way up or way down : STAIRS
45. Linguine sauce : PESTO
46. Heroic tales : EPICS
47. Borders : ABUTS
49. D.C.’s New York and Pennsylvania : AVES
50. Five-time Olympian Torres : DARA
51. Father-and-daughter boxing family : ALIS
53. Met solo : ARIA
55. ___ year (precollege experience) : GAP
56. Promising letters? : IOU
57. Have dinner : SUP
58. Market for Jap. shares : TSE

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3 thoughts on “0621-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Jun 16, Tuesday”

  1. Agreed. I hope they can continue with some themes that flow naturally, aid in puzzle completion and make sense, even with a word as complicated as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I'm getting tired of the ones that either don't help you at all, or aren't even apparent to you when you're through.

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