0822-20 NY Times Crossword 22 Aug 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Performer for whom a San Diego stadium was named : SHAMU

Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the “stage name” of orca shows in different SeaWorld parks. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

9 Some company bigwigs, for short : CFOS

Chief financial officer (CFO)

13 Food mascot in a green suit jacket : KEEBLER ELF

The famous Keebler Elves have been appearing in ads for Keebler since 1968. The original head of the elves was J. J. Keebler, but he was toppled from power by Ernest J. Keebler in 1970. The Keebler Elves bake their cookies in the Hollow Tree Factory.

16 Gifford’s talk show successor : RIPA

When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting gig. Ripa has acted as spokeswoman for several brands over the years, including Electrolux and Rykä.

Kathie Lee Gifford is most famous for working alongside Regis Philbin on the talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee”, in a stint that lasted for about 15 years.

19 Comic whom Seinfeld called “the Picasso of our profession” : PRYOR

Richard Pryor was a stand-up comedian and actor from Peoria, Illinois. Pryor had a rough childhood. He was the daughter of a prostitute and was raised in his grandmother’s brothel after his mother abandoned him at the age of ten years. He was regularly beaten by his grandmother, and was molested as a child. Pryor grew up to become the comedian’s comedian, one who was much respected by his peers. Jerry Seinfeld once referred to Pryor as “the Picasso of our profession”.

Jerry Seinfeld is a standup comedian and comic actor from Brooklyn, New York. Jerry is most famous for playing the lead in the “Seinfeld” sitcom from 1989 to 1998. “Seinfeld” was good for Jerry, earning him $267 million in 1998 alone, and making him the highest-paid celebrity that year.

20 ___ sleep : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

21 Only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (awarded 1992) : MAUS

“Maus” is a graphic novel published in 1991, although it appeared in serial form from 1980 to 1991. Written and drawn by cartoonist Art Spiegelman, “Maus” became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer, doing so in 1992.

22 Onetime neighbor of French Indochina : SIAM

Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and again from 1945 to 1949).

In the strict sense of the term, “Indochina” is a region in Southeast Asia that corresponds to the former French territory known as French Indochina. Today this region is made up of the countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, the term “Indochina” is more generally used to describe Mainland Southeast Asia, and in this usage it also encompasses Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

26 “OK, I’ve heard enough” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

29 Rain can ruin it : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

31 Binges : GOES ON A BENDER

The terms “jag” and “bender” describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly those involving alcohol. Both words have been in use since the 1800s.

35 What it takes to become a queen? : PAWN PROMOTION

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

36 Neil Patrick Harris’s role on “How I Met Your Mother” : BARNEY STINSON

Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) got his big break very early in his career, playing the title role in television’s “Doogie Howser, M.D.” More recently, he played a lead role on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”, portraying the shallow womanizer Barney Stinson. Harris is also quite the magician and serves on the Board of Directors of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, a nightclub for magicians and magic enthusiasts.

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

37 Herb of the parsley family : ANISE

The essential oil in the anise plant is anethole. Anethole has a licorice-like flavor, and is used extensively in cooking and to flavor several distilled alcoholic drinks.

38 Romeo or Juliet : TEEN

In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, it is explicitly stated that Juliet is 13 years of age, and the assumption is that Romeo is perhaps a little older.

39 Member of the fam : SIB

A sibling (sib) is a member of a family (fam).

44 Some pricey cars, for short : JAGS

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

48 Great deal : SCAD

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

50 “Pourquoi ___?” : PAS

“Pourquoi pas?” is French for “Why not?”

51 Actress Linney of Netflix’s “Ozark” : LAURA

The wonderfully talented actress Laura Linney is a native New Yorker from Manhattan. The performances of hers that I most admire are in “The Truman Show” and “Love Actually” on the big screen, and in “John Adams” and “Ozark” on the small screen.

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

57 Skinflint : CHEAPSKATE

A skinflint is a miser. The term “skinflint” arose as slang around 1700, to describe a person who would “skin a flint” in order to save or make money.

58 Leading role in “The Phantom of the Opera” : ERIK

In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House. Christine is also pursued by her childhood friend Raoul, Viscount de Chagny.

Down

2 French philosopher Bergson : HENRI

Henri Bergson was a French philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927.

3 2003 #1 hit with the lyric “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” : HEY YA!

“Hey Ya!” is a 2003 song by hip hop duo Outkast. I took a look at the song’s official music video, as I read that it was inspired by the 1964 appearance of the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. I enjoyed the video, although I must admit that I watched it with the sound turned down …

5 Lead-in to story : HER-

“Herstory” is history that emphasizes the role of women. It is “her-story” as opposed to “his-tory”.

6 Newfoundland sound : ARF!

The Newfoundland is a breed that originated as a working dog for fishermen in what was then the Dominion of Newfoundland. They were mainly used to haul heavy fishing nets.

7 Half of a classic comedy duo : MEARA

Anne Meara married fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller in 1954. The couple’s children are actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O’Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom “Archie Bunker’s Place”, a spin-off from “All in the Family”.

8 Reason to see a gastroenterologist : ULCER

Until fairly recently, a peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by undue amounts of stress in one’s life. It is now known that 70-90% of all peptic ulcers are in fact associated with a particular bacterium.

11 Hangout for Dorian Gray : OPIUM DEN

The opium poppy produces a latex that can be dried, producing the drug known as opium. The drug has been used since ancient times, and was usually absorbed by smoking it. The latex contains several alkaloids that have a profound effect on human metabolism, including morphine and codeine. Opium’s morphine is particularly significant for the illegal drug trade. The morphine can be extracted from the opium and converted to heroin.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel by Oscar Wilde, in fact Wilde’s only novel. In the story, the title character is a young man appearing in a painting. Jokingly, Dorian sells his soul to the devil so that the painting would age rather than him.

15 Branch of the D.H.S. : FEMA

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2002 after the September 11th attacks. Today, the DHS has over 200,000 employees making it the third largest department in the cabinet (the biggest employers are the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs). The formation of the DHS was the biggest government reorganization in US history, with 22 government agencies drawn into a single organization.

25 Sub-Saharan scourge : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

30 British flier : UNION JACK

The Union Jack is a “jack” (flag) representing the “Union” (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). The flag is made up of three crosses:

  • The St. George’s Cross of England, a red cross (+) on a white background.
  • The St. Andrew’s Cross of Scotland, a white cross (x), on a blue background.
  • The St. Patrick’s Cross representing Northern Ireland, a red cross (x) on a white background.

36 Beer with a triangular logo : BASS ALE

The red triangle on the label of a bottle of Bass Ale was registered in 1875 and is UK Registered Trade Mark (TM) No: 00001, the first trademark issued in the world.

45 Waves of New Agers? : AURAS

The New Age Movement is a western philosophy with roots that date back to the early 1800s. The movement focuses on achieving the highest human potential as an individual and embraces many traditionally eastern spiritual practices, but eschews all religious doctrines. New Age music is composed with the intent of supporting this philosophy. It tends to be very minimalistic, very tonal and harmonic. It is often used as a backdrop for relaxation or meditation.

46 “Little Women” director Gerwig : GRETA

Greta Gerwig is an actress from Sacramento whose best-known role is probably opposite Russell Brand in the remake of the film “Arthur”. Gerwig has turned to directing, and was at the helm for the 2019 movie “Little Women”.

55 Piece in Stratego : SPY

The wonderful board game called Stratego derives from a traditional Chinese game called “Jungle” or “Animal Chess”. The major difference between Stratego and Jungle is that in the latter, the identity of the pieces is not hidden from one’s opponent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Finger-on-lips sound : SHH!
4 Performer for whom a San Diego stadium was named : SHAMU
9 Some company bigwigs, for short : CFOS
13 Food mascot in a green suit jacket : KEEBLER ELF
16 Gifford’s talk show successor : RIPA
17 “Take that, loser!” : IN YOUR FACE!
18 Pole position? : AXIS
19 Comic whom Seinfeld called “the Picasso of our profession” : PRYOR
20 ___ sleep : REM
21 Only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (awarded 1992) : MAUS
22 Onetime neighbor of French Indochina : SIAM
23 Find outrageously funny : ROAR AT
26 “OK, I’ve heard enough” : TMI
27 Prompter of a channel change, maybe : TV AD
29 Rain can ruin it : SUEDE
31 Binges : GOES ON A BENDER
35 What it takes to become a queen? : PAWN PROMOTION
36 Neil Patrick Harris’s role on “How I Met Your Mother” : BARNEY STINSON
37 Herb of the parsley family : ANISE
38 Romeo or Juliet : TEEN
39 Member of the fam : SIB
40 Settles with : REPAYS
44 Some pricey cars, for short : JAGS
48 Great deal : SCAD
50 “Pourquoi ___?” : PAS
51 Actress Linney of Netflix’s “Ozark” : LAURA
52 Opposite of inept : ABLE
53 Words that sometimes follow 1-Across : IT’S A SECRET
56 Guys : LADS
57 Skinflint : CHEAPSKATE
58 Leading role in “The Phantom of the Opera” : ERIK
59 Doesn’t take any cards, say : STAYS
60 In need of a lift? : SAD

Down

1 Passes on : SKIPS
2 French philosopher Bergson : HENRI
3 2003 #1 hit with the lyric “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” : HEY YA!
4 Relative of a tie in music : SLUR
5 Lead-in to story : HER-
6 Newfoundland sound : ARF!
7 Half of a classic comedy duo : MEARA
8 Reason to see a gastroenterologist : ULCER
9 Do some fast data processing? : CRAM
10 Obsessed with : FIXATED ON
11 Hangout for Dorian Gray : OPIUM DEN
12 Flipper : SASSIER
14 Gold rush phenomena : BOOM TOWNS
15 Branch of the D.H.S. : FEMA
23 Like a stereotypical mobster’s voice : RASPY
24 Things picked up at a landfill : ODORS
25 Sub-Saharan scourge : TSETSE
28 False front : VENEER
30 British flier : UNION JACK
31 Giuseppe ___, leader in Italy’s unification : GARIBALDI
32 English translation of 50-Across : NOT
33 Accord : AMITY
34 Natural history museum sights : BONES
35 Emergency exit feature : PANIC BAR
36 Beer with a triangular logo : BASS ALE
41 Way cool : EPIC
42 Ways : PATHS
43 A keen eye, for a proofreader, say : ASSET
45 Waves of New Agers? : AURAS
46 “Little Women” director Gerwig : GRETA
47 Having had quite enough : SATED
49 Much can be written on this : DESK
51 Off : LESS
54 Small cell : AAA
55 Piece in Stratego : SPY