0122-21 NY Times Crossword 22 Jan 21, Friday

Constructed by: Daniel Larsen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Some internet humor : LOLCATS

A lolcat is an image of a cat with a humorous message superimposed in text. Such images have been around since the late 1800s, but the term “lolcat” only surfaced in 2006 as the phenomenon was sweeping across the Internet. “Lolcat” is a melding of the acronym for “laugh out loud” (LOL) and “cat”.

8 It shares a key with a “3” : HASHTAG

I’m not sure this clue/answer is strictly correct. There is a “hash mark” above the 3-ley on a keyboard. A “hashtag” is a word preceded by a “hash mark”, and a term associated mainly with Twitter.

15 Apple product launched in 2015 : IPAD PRO

The iPad Pro tablet computer, when it was released in November 2015, featured a larger screen than all prior iPad models. The iPad Pro also came with some interesting accessories, including an attachable keyboard and the Apple Pencil.

17 Beheader of Medusa, in Greek myth : PERSEUS

In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the monstrous female creatures known as Gorgons. According to one version of the Medusa myth, she was once a beautiful woman. She incurred the wrath of Athena who turned her lovely hair into serpents and made her face hideously ugly. Anyone who gazed directly at the transformed Medusa would turn into stone. She was eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her. He carried Medusa’s head and used its powers as a weapon, before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. One myth holds that as Perseus was flying over Egypt with Medusa’s severed head, drops of her blood fell to the ground and formed asps.

19 Need for translation, in biology : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

20 Coined word in the title of 2008’s Best Picture : SLUMDOG

The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. A low-budget movie, it ended up winning eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

23 Many mainframes : IBMS

In contemporary usage, “mainframe” describes a large and powerful computer tasked with high-volume and processor-intensive tasks. Mainframes are typically used by large businesses and scientific institutes. In the ranking of computers, mainframes would sit below supercomputers, and above the personal computers with which we are all so familiar.

25 Brewery stock : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

27 Water nymph : NAIAD

The Naiads of Greek mythology were water nymphs associated with fountains, wells, springs and streams. The saltwater equivalents of the freshwater Naiads were the Oceanids.

29 Big Ten football powerhouse, for short : MSU

Michigan State University (MSU) is located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU has the largest study-abroad program of any single-campus university in the US. Programs are offered on all continents of the world, including Antarctica. The MSU athletic teams are known as the Spartans.

30 Big name in apple juice : MOTT’S

Samuel R. Mott was a producer of apple cider and vinegar. In 1842 he founded his own company to market and sell his products. The Mott’s company owns brands such as Mr & Mrs T, Hawaiian Punch and ReaLime/ReaLemon.

31 Dangerous thing to catch : GRENADE

Our word “grenade”, used for a small explosive missile, came via French from the word for the pomegranate fruit. The name reflects the similarity between the seed-filled fruit and the powder-filled, fragmentation bomb.

36 The Depression, for one : ERA

The Great Depression (also “Depression Era) was a worldwide phenomenon in the decade or so that preceded World War II. The depression was sparked by a dramatic drop in stock prices in the US in September 1929, which eventually made the news around the world following the stock market crash of October 29th of that year, now known as Black Tuesday. US unemployment rose to 25% during the Great Depression, and in some countries unemployment was as high as 33%. Many economists believe that World War II played a large role in ending the depression, at least here in the US. Government spending on the war increased employment dramatically, although many of those jobs were in the front lines. During the war, unemployment fell back below 10%.

49 African antelope : ORYX

The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range. As a result, the oryx is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.

50 Group with the 2000 hit “This I Promise You” : NSYNC

“This I Promise You” was a hit for boy band NSYNC in 2000. The group recorded a version of the song in Spanish at the same time, “Yo te Voy a Amar”, and released it in Spanish-speaking countries all over the world.

52 Website with the headings “Craft Supplies” and “Jewelry & Accessories” : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

53 Cable channel owned by Discovery : TLC

The cable channel known today as TLC started out life as The Learning Channel. Programming on TLC was originally focused on educational content, but today there is an emphasis on reality television.

56 T.S.A. overseer : DHS

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.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

59 Elvis Presley sings it in “Blue Hawaii” : ALOHA ‘OE

“Aloha ‘Oe” is a song of Hawaii composed by Liliuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii and her only queen. The title translates as “Farewell to Thee”.

“Blue Hawaii” is one of a series of Elvis Presley movies, one released in 1961. 36-year-old Angela Lansbury was cast as the mother of the character played by 26-year-old Presley. Apparently, Lansbury “wasn’t amused” at the age gap, but took the role anyway.

63 Sells : PEDDLES

In its purest sense, a peddler is someone who sells his or her wares on the street or from door to door. The term probably comes from the Latin “pedarius” meaning “one who goes on foot”.

64 Some printers : INKJETS

“Inkjet” is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.

Down

3 Where the University of Wyoming is : LARAMIE

A French (or French-Canadian) trapper named Jacques LaRamie came to the area surrounding modern-day Laramie in the late 1810s, one of the first Europeans to visit. One day he disappeared without trace in the backcountry, but his name survives as it’s used for the Laramie Mountains, Laramie River, and ultimately the city of Laramie, Wyoming.

4 Contents of some towers, in brief : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

9 Cant : ARGOT

“Argot” is a French term. It is the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is a set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.

Cant is insincere language, or the language associated with a particular group. Back in the 1600s, the term described the whining of beggars.

10 Make out in England : SNOG

“Snogging” is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for “kissing and cuddling”, what we call “making out” over here in the US.

11 ___ army, villainous force in Disney’s “Mulan” : HUN

“Mulan” is a 1998 animated feature film made by Walt Disney studios. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who takes the place of her father in the army and serves with distinction for twelve years without reward. Disney’s lead character was given the name Fa Mulan. Donny Osmond provided the singing voice for one of the lead characters, after which his sons remarked that he had finally made it in show business as he was in a Disney film.

12 Pot supporters : TRIVETS

A trivet is an item placed under a hot serving bowl to protect the surface of a dining table. The term “trivet” is also used for a tripod supporting pots over an open fire. “Trivet” comes from the Latin “tripes” meaning “tripod”.

13 Actor Armand ___ : ASSANTE

Armand Assante is an actor from New York City, the son of an Italian father and an Irish mother. Despite being an American, Assante is noted for playing non-Americans in movies. He played a Frenchman in 1980’s “Private Benjamin” and a Cuban bandleader in 1992’s “The Mambo Kings”.

21 Attachment to Christ? : -MAS

Several factors contributed to the selection of December 25th as the day of the birth of Jesus. One factor is that it was the date of the winter solstice in the Roman calendar, and tradition had it that Jesus chose to be born on the shortest day of the year. It was also nine months after the vernal equinox (March 25th) in the same calendar, which was a date linked to the conception of Jesus.

26 Fancy “I” : ROYAL WE

The “royal we” is more correctly called the “majestic plural”, and is the use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person in a high office. I suppose the most often quoted phrase that uses the majestic plural is “We are not amused”, which is often attributed to Queen Victoria. The editorial we is a similar concept, in which a newspaper editor or columnist refers to himself or herself as “we” when giving an opinion.

28 Israeli leader with an eye patch : DAYAN

Moshe Dayan had a long and distinguished military career (including command of Israeli forces during the 1956 Suez Crisis). He also played a pivotal, and militarily active, role as Minister for Defense during the Six-Day War of 1967. He was a very recognizable figure with a black patch over his left eye. Dayan received that injury when he was fighting for the Allies in Vichy French Lebanon during WWII. He was using a pair of binoculars that was hit by an enemy bullet, smashing metal and glass fragments into his eye.

30 Actress Gibbs of “The Jeffersons” : MARLA

Marla Gibbs is an actress from Chicago who is best known for playing Florence Johnston, the maid on the sitcom “The Jeffersons” in the seventies and eighties. Gibbs was also a singer who released several albums. She also owned a jazz club for almost 20 years in South Central L.A. called “Maria’s Memory Lane Jazz and Supper Club”.

The very popular sitcom called “The Jeffersons” ran from 1975 until it came to an abrupt end in 1985. CBS cancelled the show without even allowing a series finale that “wrapped things up”. In fact, lead actor Sherman Hemsley learned of the show’s cancellation in the newspaper.

41 Language of the Literature Nobelist Rabindranath Tagore : BENGALI

Rabindranath Tagore was a polymath from Bengal in India. Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he did in 1913.

Bengal is a region in the northeast of the Indian subcontinent that lies at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal. Bengal is divided between the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.

44 Yellowstone attractions : GEYSERS

The Great Geysir in Iceland is the first known geyser to have been discovered and documented. The name “Geysir” comes from the Icelandic and Old Norse word “geysa” meaning “to gush”. It is the Great Geysir that gives us our English word “geyser”.

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

47 Bourbon relative : RYE

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

50 Murphy’s co-star in 1982’s “48 Hrs.” : NOLTE

Actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that, he had worked as a model. Nolte appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model and future actor Sigourney Weaver.

“48 HRS.” is a hilarious 1982 movie starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. Even though the lead characters play a convict and a cop who team up, “48 HRS.” is often cited as the first of the modern “buddy cop” movies, a precursor to the likes of “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Lethal Weapon”.

51 Robotic adversary in “Battlestar Galactica” : CYLON

“Battlestar Galactica” is a whole franchise these days, based on an original television series that aired in 1978. The executive producer of that first series was Glen A. Larson who had been trying to get the show off the ground since the sixties. Larson was finally able to get some finances for his sci-fi show on the back of the success of the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

58 Cause of a trip : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

60 Once-in-a-lifetime trip : HAJ

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some internet humor : LOLCATS
8 It shares a key with a “3” : HASHTAG
15 Apple product launched in 2015 : IPAD PRO
16 Vital hosp. worker : ER NURSE
17 Beheader of Medusa, in Greek myth : PERSEUS
18 One engaged in a struggle : AGONIST
19 Need for translation, in biology : RNA
20 Coined word in the title of 2008’s Best Picture : SLUMDOG
22 Congresswoman Demings : VAL
23 Many mainframes : IBMS
25 Brewery stock : YEAST
26 Western city where copper-riveted jeans were invented : RENO
27 Water nymph : NAIAD
29 Big Ten football powerhouse, for short : MSU
30 Big name in apple juice : MOTT’S
31 Dangerous thing to catch : GRENADE
33 Two swings and a slide, maybe : PLAYSET
35 Do or ___ (punny hair salon name) : DYE
36 The Depression, for one : ERA
37 Rally feature : PEP BAND
41 Team player who’s not really a team player : BALL HOG
45 Wears : HAS ON
46 Burning sensation : IRE
48 Came to : AWOKE
49 African antelope : ORYX
50 Group with the 2000 hit “This I Promise You” : NSYNC
52 Website with the headings “Craft Supplies” and “Jewelry & Accessories” : ETSY
53 Cable channel owned by Discovery : TLC
54 Convenient place to work out : HOME GYM
56 T.S.A. overseer : DHS
57 “De-e-eluxe!” : OOH LA LA!
59 Elvis Presley sings it in “Blue Hawaii” : ALOHA ‘OE
61 Corpulence : OBESITY
62 Tracking device : LOCATOR
63 Sells : PEDDLES
64 Some printers : INKJETS

Down

1 Facial piercing : LIP RING
2 Place for free spirits : OPEN BAR
3 Where the University of Wyoming is : LARAMIE
4 Contents of some towers, in brief : CDS
5 Some sign language users : APES
6 In fact : TRULY
7 “Tough luck … I don’t care what you think” : SO SUE ME
8 “Watch it!” : HEADS UP!
9 Cant : ARGOT
10 Make out in England : SNOG
11 ___ army, villainous force in Disney’s “Mulan” : HUN
12 Pot supporters : TRIVETS
13 Actor Armand ___ : ASSANTE
14 “Beat it!” : GET LOST!
21 Attachment to Christ? : -MAS
24 Place to build a castle : SANDBOX
26 Fancy “I” : ROYAL WE
28 Israeli leader with an eye patch : DAYAN
30 Actress Gibbs of “The Jeffersons” : MARLA
32 Cubs’ hangout : DEN
34 Pastoral setting : LEA
37 When a poser might be presented? : PHOTO OP
38 Place for a stud : EARLOBE
39 Eager, informally : PSYCHED
40 Causes consternation : DISMAYS
41 Language of the Literature Nobelist Rabindranath Tagore : BENGALI
42 Test in chemistry? : HOT DATE
43 “Yeah, I’m listening” : OK, SHOOT
44 Yellowstone attractions : GEYSERS
47 Bourbon relative : RYE
50 Murphy’s co-star in 1982’s “48 Hrs.” : NOLTE
51 Robotic adversary in “Battlestar Galactica” : CYLON
54 Bad fall? : HAIL
55 Not serious : MOCK
58 Cause of a trip : LSD
60 Once-in-a-lifetime trip : HAJ

17 thoughts on “0122-21 NY Times Crossword 22 Jan 21, Friday”

  1. 17:18 Could have been a couple minutes quicker, but I struggled in the SE corner for the last several minutes. A good guess of BENGALI seemed to open it all up. Any time I beat @Bill on a Friday, it means I must have really been 50A (N SYNC ) with the setter, thought it certainly didn’t seem so at first.

    Anyone notice that if 27A was spelled NAYAD it would be the inverse of its trailing crosser at 28D??

  2. 21:17. Pretty close to @Bill’s time so I’m happy. I wasn’t sure I’d finish at the beginning. Had to work up from the SE. Perseverance paid off.

  3. 13:52, no errors. I guess young Daniel Larsen is all of 17 years old now. I was a little worried, as I started the puzzle, that his tender age would result in entries unfamiliar to a 77-year-old solver, but such was not the case; it was just a solid feat of cruciverbalism, with nothing particularly edgy to agonize over. However, I am wildly envious … 😜.

  4. 32:05, showing my age apparently… that’s a pound sign, not a hashtag…ask anybody who had to go through keypad prompts in the 90’s… or 80’s… possibly the 70’s 🙂

    1. And, if you really want to split some hairs – and who, among us, wouldn’t leap at the chance – you could argue for “octothorpe” a Bell Labs term IIRC.

  5. 17:55. I was confused about ARGOT for “Cant” until I realized the clue wasn’t “Can’t”. Small hiccup trying to spell PERSiUS at first too.

    Ready for the weekend. If I can’t decide between bourbon or RYE, I’ll just have to have both..

    Best –

  6. Two errors. Used PAL for 22A. That gave me TRIPETS for 12D. Didnt know either one.. so I got one-upped by a 17 year old. Kudos to him..

  7. 47:50 with 1 error…I had IDS for 4D and no idea what LOLCATS was or is as my internet vocabulary is very limited.
    Stay safe😀

  8. 19:08, no errors. Slowed by several initial wrong guesses. 21D Christ-IAN before Christ-MAS; 49A IBEX before ORYX (someday I will remember the difference). Guess I’m old enough to agree with DuncanR, # is a pound sign.

  9. Am I the only one but when I Google “oscars 2008” the best picture is “no country for old men” with “slumdog” nowhere to be seen?

    1. You are correct. The picture won eight Oscars (including Best Picture), but won them in 2009. Good catch!

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