1222-18 NY Times Crossword 22 Dec 18, Saturday

Constructed by: Joon Pahk
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 22m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. Bond order : MARTINI

The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? Well, for one thing the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

15. Court great Goolagong : EVONNE

Evonne Goolagong is a former Australian tennis player who was at the pinnacle of her success in seventies and early eighties. Her colorful family name Goolagong came from her Aboriginal father who worked for much of his life as an itinerant sheep shearer. When I watched tennis in 1970s, I remember admiring Goolagong’s quiet professionalism on the court …

19. Long in films : NIA

Nia Long is an American actress who is probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

22. Baby food : PAP

One use of the term “pap” is to describe soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. “Pap” comes into English, via French, from the Latin word used by children for “food”. In the 1500s, “pap” also came to mean “an oversimplified” idea. This gives us a usage that’s common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there’s a lot of pap out there, especially on television …

29. Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

31. Drinking glasses? : BEER GOGGLES

“Beer goggles” is a slang term describing the supposed lowering of sexual inhibitions due to consumption of alcohol. The idea is that after a few drinks, potential partners seem more attractive.

36. Swift quality : IRONY

Jonathan Swift was an Irish author and cleric. Swift is most famous perhaps for his 1726 novel “Gulliver’s Travels”, but we Irishmen also remember him as the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Swift was renowned for his wit and satire.

37. Big export of Sri Lanka : TEA

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

38. Country that eliminated the U.S.A. in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups : GHANA

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

45. Flemish river : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

46. A.F.L.’s merger partner : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

47. Gets one under : BIRDIES

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

49. José de ___ Martín, national hero of Argentina : SAN

José de San Martín is regarded, along with Simón Bolívar, as one of the liberators of Spanish South America and is considered a national hero in Argentina and Peru. Born in modern-day Argentina, San Martín fought for the Spanish in Europe and Africa in the late 1700s and early 1800s. However, he then abruptly resigned from the Spanish Army and moved back to South America and joined the fight for independence from Spain.

50. Act of noticing : ESPIAL

Espial: the act of noticing, espying.

52. Half Dome’s home : YOSEMITE

President Abraham Lincoln passed a bill in 1864 creating the Yosemite Grant, which was the first piece of federal legislature that set aside park land for preservation and public use. The Yosemite Grant paved the way for the creation of Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Yosemite was made a national park in 1890.

55. You can’t beat them : NEMESES

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

Down

1. Some sultan subjects : OMANIS

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

2. Literature Nobelist Gordimer : NADINE

Nadine Gordimer is an author and political activist from South Africa. Gordimer’s writing was recognized in 1991 when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the main focuses of her works is the apartheid that was once part of South African culture and law.

3. Not the classy sort? : TRUANT

“Truant” is such a lovely word. We have been using it to describe someone who wanders from an appointed place since the mid-1400s. Prior to that, a truant was a beggar or a vagabond.

4. Hartsfield-Jackson code : ATL

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

5. Surname of father-and-son British P.M.s : PITT

William Pitt, the Elder was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768. Although a prominent figure in British politics for many years, he refused to accept a title until he took over government of the country. For this refusal, he earned the nickname “The Great Commoner”. It was William Pitt, the Elder who gave his name to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

William Pitt, the Younger was Prime Minister of Britain from 1783 to 1801, and again from 1804 until 1806. When Pitt first took office, he was only 24 years of age, making him the nation’s youngest ever PM. William Pitt is known as “the Younger” as his father, William Pitt the Elder also served as prime minister, from 1766 to 1768.

6. “Giant Brain” of 1940s headlines : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

7. Small flourish : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

8. “___ les compliments de l’auteur” (inscription in a French book) : AVEC

“Avec les compliments de l’auteur” translates from French as “With the compliments of the author”.

14. How Pee-wee Herman often appears to fans : IN CHARACTER

Pee-wee Herman is a comic character portrayed by Paul Reubens. Reubens introduced the character into his stage act, and from there to an HBO special that led to a 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”. There followed a children’s TV series called “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” that ran from 1986 to 1991, and a 1988 movie “Big Top Pee-wee”.

28. First female artist with five Billboard #1’s from the same album : PERRY

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (for only a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

32. Want ad abbr. : EOE

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

33. Miracle-___ : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

34. Title city of film whose mayor is Leodore Lionheart : ZOOTOPIA

“Zootopia” is a 2016 Disney animated film about a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist who team up to uncover a bizarre conspiracy.

39. Birthplace of St. Clare, the founder of the Poor Sisters : ASSISI

The Italian town of Assisi is in Umbria. Assisi is famous as the birthplace of St. Francis and as the home to the Franciscan religious order. It was also the home to Saint Clare and her order of the Poor Sisters (later known as the Poor Clares).

41. James of TV’s “How the West Was Won” : ARNESS

James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshal of Dodge City, on “Gunsmoke” for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. Did you know that the real name of Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on “Mission: Impossible”, was Peter Arness, as he and James were brothers.

43. 2000s female teen idol, to fans : MILEY

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

47. “Coffee Cantata” composer : BACH

“Coffee Cantata” is a more familiar name for Johann Sebastian Bach’s secular cantata “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” (“Be Still, Stop Chattering”). The Coffee Cantata isn’t really a cantata at all, and is better described as a mini-comic opera, and deals with addiction to coffee.

48. What Brits call an “articulated lorry” : SEMI

On the other side of the Atlantic, a truck is called a “lorry”, a term that probably comes from the English dialectal verb “to lurry” meaning “to drag, tug”.

51. Return destination, for short : IRS

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Recorded, somewhat quaintly : ON TAPE
7. Got wise to? : SASSED
13. Bond order : MARTINI
15. Court great Goolagong : EVONNE
16. Taking care of responsibilities like an actual grown-up : ADULTING
18. Check in the mail, perhaps : REBATE
19. Long in films : NIA
20. New York’s ___ State Parkway : TACONIC
22. Baby food : PAP
23. Traveler’s boarding areas? : INNS
25. Leading : CHIEF
26. Growth medium : SOIL
27. Frame : SET UP
29. Director Lee : ANG
30. Put on : APPLY
31. Drinking glasses? : BEER GOGGLES
34. Ahura Mazda worshiper : ZOROASTRIAN
35. Slip covers? : CORRECTIONS
36. Swift quality : IRONY
37. Big export of Sri Lanka : TEA
38. Country that eliminated the U.S.A. in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups : GHANA
42. “Dang!” : NUTS!
43. Substantive : MEATY
45. Flemish river : YSER
46. A.F.L.’s merger partner : CIO
47. Gets one under : BIRDIES
49. José de ___ Martín, national hero of Argentina : SAN
50. Act of noticing : ESPIAL
52. Half Dome’s home : YOSEMITE
54. Pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders ___ : PEIRCE
55. You can’t beat them : NEMESES
56. Lowbrow : TRASHY
57. Protests, but not uprisings? : SIT-INS

Down

1. Some sultan subjects : OMANIS
2. Literature Nobelist Gordimer : NADINE
3. Not the classy sort? : TRUANT
4. Hartsfield-Jackson code : ATL
5. Surname of father-and-son British P.M.s : PITT
6. “Giant Brain” of 1940s headlines : ENIAC
7. Small flourish : SERIF
8. “___ les compliments de l’auteur” (inscription in a French book) : AVEC
9. So-and-so : SOB
10. What some coin purses do : SNAP OPEN
11. Involves : ENTAILS
12. On a fundamental level : DEEPLY
14. How Pee-wee Herman often appears to fans : IN CHARACTER
17. Not seeing anyone else, say : GOING STEADY
21. Talks about one’s job, perhaps : NEGOTIATION
24. Induces to commit a crime : SUBORNS
26. Ostentatious : SPLASHY
28. First female artist with five Billboard #1’s from the same album : PERRY
30. It’s what everyone’s doing : AGING
32. Want ad abbr. : EOE
33. Miracle-___ : GRO
34. Title city of film whose mayor is Leodore Lionheart : ZOOTOPIA
35. Squad car : CRUISER
36. Receive as a member : INCEPT
39. Birthplace of St. Clare, the founder of the Poor Sisters : ASSISI
40. Unclutter : NEATEN
41. James of TV’s “How the West Was Won” : ARNESS
43. 2000s female teen idol, to fans : MILEY
44. They’re positive : YESES
47. “Coffee Cantata” composer : BACH
48. What Brits call an “articulated lorry” : SEMI
51. Return destination, for short : IRS
53. Crossed : MET

9 thoughts on “1222-18 NY Times Crossword 22 Dec 18, Saturday”

  1. 36:38, no errors. Solving this puzzle was akin to unravelling a large ball of Christmas lights. Deliberately challenging Saturday puzzle. I was happy to get through this cleanly. @Dave’s 13 minute completion time leaves me agape.

    1. As much as I hate using uncommon foreign words in an English language puzzle, I have to admit that my first entry today was 8D AVEC. A lot of erasures also. 15A thought her name was spelled YVONNE; first knee-jerk entry in 20A was PASSAIC; 34A entered RASTAFARIAN when I had the RIAN blocks filled (hey, it fit); 42A bounced back-and-forth between RATS and NUTS; 47A initially guessed SEDATES.

    2. @BruceB … I actually had the same reaction, so I went back and re-checked my time in the archive that the NYT app keeps. I do recall getting into kind of a zen groove, making a number of wild guesses, and having them all pan out. It happens now and again (but not often enough) … 😜

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