1221-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Dec 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bygone ad figure in a tuxedo and sunglasses : JOE CAMEL

The advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes was officially known as “Old Joe”, but was popularly known as “Joe Camel”. Joe originated in the seventies, in an advertising campaign that ran only in Europe where sometimes he was depicted wearing a French Foreign Legion cap. He was imported to the US in 1988 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Camel brand. The big controversy surrounding the use of the camel character was that a 1991 study found that 5-6 year old children could recognize Joe Camel more readily than either Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone. Also, soon after Old Joe was introduced in the US, the Camel brand’s share of the illegal market to underage smokers went up from 1% to just under 33%.

13 Oman, for one : SULTANATE

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.

16 3-D movie option : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

19 Tea flavorer in the Middle East : CLOVE

Cloves are the flower buds of the tree Syzygium aromaticum. Until a couple of centuries ago, clove trees were only found in the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. Because they were a rich source of cloves, mace and nutmeg, the Moluccas were referred to historically as the Spice Islands.

21 Early settler of Greenland : ERIC THE RED

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

Greenland is the largest island on the planet. Geographically, Greenland is part of the continent of North America, but culturally and politically is considered part of Europe. The island became a Danish colony in 1815, and joined the European Economic Community (EEC) with Denmark. Greenland withdrew from the EEC after a referendum in 1983. Since 2009, Greenland has been relatively autonomous, with the Danish government retaining control of foreign affairs, defence and the judicial system.

24 Origin of many refugees once in 26-Across, for short : NAM

26 See 24-Across : GUAM

Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, and is the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, “Where America’s day begins”. During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

25 Tombstone locale: Abbr. : ARIZ

The Arizona town of Tombstone built up around a mine that was owned by one Ed Schieffelin. Schieffelin had been told by US soldiers stationed in the area that the only stone (ore sample) he would find in the area was his tombstone. Regardless, he did file a claim, and it was centered on the grave site of one of his men who had been killed by Apaches. Schieffelin filed papers under the name “the Tombstone claim”.

28 A-O.K. : HOTSY-TOTSY

“Hotsy-totsy” is a slang term that means “perfect”.

35 Nimbi : AURAS

A nimbus (plural “nimbi”) is a halo, or an aura. “Nimbus” is Latin, and can also translate as “cloud”.

36 “The Avengers” role : LOKI

“The Avengers” is a 2012 movie that features a whole load of superheroes battling a supervillain called Loki. Loki is the brother of Thor, one of the superhero team.

40 Either half of a duo with 14 #1 country hits : JUDD

The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

42 Clique’s aspirations, in modern lingo : SQUAD GOALS

A clique is a small, exclusive group of people. The term “clique” comes to us from France, where it has the same meaning. In French, it somehow evolved in meaning from the original “clique” meaning a sharp noise, or as we would say today, “click”.

48 Polo playing? : TERI

Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequel. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

49 Stanley of the “Hunger Games” movies : TUCCI

Stanley Tucci is a UK-based, American actor. Of his many fine performances, my favorite is in 2009’s “Julie & Julia” in which he plays the husband of celebrity chef Julia Child. Tucci is quite the cook himself in real life and released “The Tucci Cookbook” in 2012. He is also a co-owner of the Finch Tavern restaurant in Croton Falls, New York.

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

51 ___ of Solomon : ODES

The “Odes of Solomon” are a group of 42 religious poems that have been attributed to Solomon, one of the Kings of Israel.

52 Figure in a corner : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

53 TV host fluent in eight languages : TREVOR NOAH

Trevor Noah is a comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa. Noah took over as host of the Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” after Jon Stewart retired. Noah can speak several languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and German.

56 “A-Hunting We Will Go” composer : ARNE

“A-Hunting We Will Go” is a song by Thomas Arne that the composer penned for a 1777 production of “The Beggar’s Opera”. I grew up with this song, as it is a popular nursery rhyme on the other side of the pond …

A-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go
(Heigh-ho, the derry-o, a-hunting we will go
A-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go)
We’ll catch a fox and put him in a box
And then we’ll let him go

57 What valedictorians have : A-AVERAGES

A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

59 He is one : INERT GAS

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

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Down

3 Texter’s “When are you coming?” : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

4 Give birth, as whales do : CALVE

Male whales are referred to as “bulls”, females are “cows”, and the young are “calves”.

5 Name signed on the Camp David Accords : ANWAR

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

6 Language of Polynesia : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

The term “Polynesia” was coined in 1756 by author Charles de Brosses when he used it to describe all the islands in the Pacific. This usage was later restricted to what we now refer to as a subregion of Oceania.

7 W.W. II zone : ETO

European Theater of Operations (ETO)

9 Writer who pioneered in naturalism : EMILE ZOLA

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

12 Bewitched : HEXED

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

13 Two-time host city of the FIFA World Cup : SAO PAULO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

The International Federation of Association Football (“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” in French) is usually referred to by the acronym “FIFA”. FIFA is the governing body of the game of soccer (association football), and the organizer of the FIFA World Cup held every four years.

19 I.O.U., e.g. : CHIT

A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself because when we are at school we would be excused class if we had a “chitty”.

23 Unpublicized date : TRYST

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

27 Bit of Communist Chinese attire : MAO JACKET

What we call the Mao suit in the west is known as the Zhongshan suit in China. The style was introduced by Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun Zhongshan) as the form of national dress after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.

28 Leader of Greece? : HARD G

The leading letter in the word “Greece” is a hard letter G (gee).

30 Arm muscle, informally : TRI

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

31 Nixes, as a plan : TORPEDOES

The naval weapon called a torpedo is named for the group of electric rays of the genus “Torpedo”. The name of the fish comes from the verb “torpere”, Latin for “to be stiffened, paralyzed”, which is what happens to someone who steps on an electric ray.

33 Whence the words “nosh” and “tush” : YIDDISH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

38 Car that sounds like a Cockney greeting : AUDI

A Cockney would pronounce “howdy” as “‘owdy”, which sounds like “Audi”.

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

44 School 50 miles west of Brown, informally : UCONN

The University of Connecticut (UConn) was founded in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School, taking its name from the Storrs brothers who donated the land and provided initial funding. The school is in the village of Storrs, Connecticut located about 25 miles east of Hartford.

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

45 Doan’s shelfmate : ALEVE

“Aleve” is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

46 Hepatologist’s focus : LIVER

The human liver has many functions, one of which is to store vital substances. The list of substances stored in the liver includes glucose (as glycogen), vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin K, iron and copper. Another function of the liver is to produce bile, a substance stored in the gallbladder that aids in the digestion of fats.

47 Squash, e.g. : SPORT

Squash is a racket sport that is similar to racquetball, with the latter being more common here in the US. Squash is derived from the older sport of racquets, and was introduced around 1830 by students at Harrow School in London. It was originally called squash racquets as the first ball used was a racquets ball that was punctured. It was very, very squashable and much softer than that used in the parent game.

48 Neighbor of Fiji : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors.

53 Chi preceder : TAI …

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

55 Publisher of yellow journalism : RAG

A low-quality newspaper is often referred to as a “rag”. There are a lot of rags out there …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bygone ad figure in a tuxedo and sunglasses : JOE CAMEL
9 Form, as a lasting memory : ETCH
13 Oman, for one : SULTANATE
14 Stick in the mud : MIRE
15 Arboreal fragrance : SANDALWOOD
16 3-D movie option : IMAX
17 ___ fun : POKE
18 Nonstandard: Abbr. : VAR
19 Tea flavorer in the Middle East : CLOVE
20 Not holding back emotions : OPEN
21 Early settler of Greenland : ERIC THE RED
24 Origin of many refugees once in 26-Across, for short : NAM
25 Tombstone locale: Abbr. : ARIZ
26 See 24-Across : GUAM
28 A-O.K. : HOTSY-TOTSY
34 Man’s name meaning “Jehovah is God” : ELIA
35 Nimbi : AURAS
36 “The Avengers” role : LOKI
37 Whom nobody plays with : SOLO ARTIST
39 Bad for growth, in a way : ARID
40 Either half of a duo with 14 #1 country hits : JUDD
41 Digs : PAD
42 Clique’s aspirations, in modern lingo : SQUAD GOALS
48 Polo playing? : TERI
49 Stanley of the “Hunger Games” movies : TUCCI
50 Attitude : LIP
51 ___ of Solomon : ODES
52 Figure in a corner : ROOK
53 TV host fluent in eight languages : TREVOR NOAH
56 “A-Hunting We Will Go” composer : ARNE
57 What valedictorians have : A-AVERAGES
58 Hunger or thirst : WANT
59 He is one : INERT GAS

Down

1 Target of some filters : JUNK EMAIL
2 Bygone : OLDEN
3 Texter’s “When are you coming?” : ETA
4 Give birth, as whales do : CALVE
5 Name signed on the Camp David Accords : ANWAR
6 Language of Polynesia : MAORI
7 W.W. II zone : ETO
8 Wasn’t down : LED
9 Writer who pioneered in naturalism : EMILE ZOLA
10 ___ Sea, arm of the Indian Ocean : TIMOR
11 Really fancy : CRAVE
12 Bewitched : HEXED
13 Two-time host city of the FIFA World Cup : SAO PAULO
15 Boozehounds : SPONGES
19 I.O.U., e.g. : CHIT
22 Alternatives to apartamentos : CASAS
23 Unpublicized date : TRYST
27 Bit of Communist Chinese attire : MAO JACKET
28 Leader of Greece? : HARD G
29 Top : OUTDO
30 Arm muscle, informally : TRI
31 Nixes, as a plan : TORPEDOES
32 Snowy resorts : SKI AREAS
33 Whence the words “nosh” and “tush” : YIDDISH
38 Car that sounds like a Cockney greeting : AUDI
42 Need for a milkshake : STRAW
43 Website for crowdsourcing answers : QUORA
44 School 50 miles west of Brown, informally : UCONN
45 Doan’s shelfmate : ALEVE
46 Hepatologist’s focus : LIVER
47 Squash, e.g. : SPORT
48 Neighbor of Fiji : TONGA
53 Chi preceder : TAI …
54 Zipped : RAN
55 Publisher of yellow journalism : RAG

10 thoughts on “1221-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Dec 19, Saturday”

  1. 34:01. I haven’t seen a Julian Lim puzzle in ages, but I do remember they were always challenging. I knew just enough of this puzzle to finish, but I had to get a lot via crosses and some guessing.

    “He is one” for INERT GAS wins the clue of the day award.

    I still just think of the tv show “The Avengers” with Steed and Emma Peel whenever I see an Avengers reference. That was one of the best tv shows ever. Never been a fan of the super hero movies that carry the name. Just my $0.02 worth..

    Best –

      1. ‘He’ in the clue was used as the atomic symbol for Helium, not an abbreviation; as such, ‘He’ is correct. Similarly iron would be referred to as ‘Fe’ not ‘Fe.’ .

  2. Typical Saturday toughie. Got further than I thought I would, but couldn’t quite crack the south west. Hotsy Totsy for “perfect?”
    Maybe.

  3. When I started this puzzle I said “no way” and yet 1:12:26 later I finished with no errors….you just never know….59A really had me for a long time until I figured out that He wasn’t a pronoun

  4. 38:18, no errors. With the most tenuous connections between clues and answers, this puzzle seemed to be designed ‘not to be solved’. I also tried to fit Emma or Peel in 36A before LOKI. Luckily, at the urging of my grandchildren, I watched the first edition of the 2012 Avengers movie, so was somewhat familiar with the LOKI connection. To me that movie just seemed to be an excuse for a massive CGI fest.

  5. Phooey! Missed a couple squares because of bad spelling.

    48 across… Polo playing? I ended up with Teri, but I had little confidence as I have never heard of Teri Polo.

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