1124-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Nov 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Brandon Koppy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Pico de Gallo

Themed answers each include an ingredient in PICO DE GALLO, either CHOPPED or SQUEEZED into that answer:

    59A Topping made with this puzzle’s chopped and squeezed ingredients : PICO DE GALLO
  • 17A Absolute power [chopped] : OMNIPOTENCE (hiding chopped ONION)
  • 23A Phrase on many No Trespassing signs [chopped] : PRIVATE PROPERTY (hiding chopped PEPPER)
  • 37A Waste minimizers [chopped] : TRASH COMPACTORS (hiding chopped TOMATO)
  • 49A Self-deprecate, then pause to get a reaction [squeezed] : FISH FOR COMPLIMENTS (hiding squeezed LIME)

Bill’s time: 9m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Blacksmith’s waste : SLAG

The better ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some residual metal and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the balance. Slag furnaces also accept lower-quality ores as a raw material.

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

5 More than right … or seldom correct? : OBTUSE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

14 “Easy to Be Hard” musical of the late 1960s : HAIR

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

16 Original “Veronica Mars” airer : UPN

The United Paramount Network (UPN) was a TV channel that launched in 1995, and shut down in 2006. Some of UPN’s programming was moved to the CW channel at the time of UPN’s demise.

“Veronica Mars” is a TV show starring Kristen Bell in the title role. Mars is a student who also works as a private investigator.

19 “Annabel Lee” poet : POE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

20 Writer Joyce Carol ___ : OATES

Joyce Carol Oates is a remarkable writer, not just for the quality of her work (her 1969 novel “them” won a National Book Award, for example) but also for how prolific her output is. She published her first book in 1963 and since then has published over fifty novels as well as many other written works.

21 1990s Indian prime minister : RAO

P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. Rao is seen by most as the leader who transformed his country’s economy into the market-driven engine that it is today.

22 Ending with ecto- or pachy- : -DERM

A pachyderm is a large mammal noted for having very thick skin and hooves, or nails resembling hooves. In terms of taxonomy, animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses used to be classified in the order Pachydermata (from the Greek for “thick” and “skin”). That order is now obsolete, as it has been shown that the aforementioned “pachyderms” do not in fact share a common ancestor. Despite the reclassification, “pachyderm” persists in common, non-scientific usage.

35 Game with scrums : RUGBY

If you’ve ever seen a rugby match, you’ll recognize the “scrum”, in which the players designated as “forwards” bind together and push against the forwards on the opposing team. It’s a way of restarting the game after various types of stoppages. Scrum is short for “scrummage”, which in itself is a variation of “scrimmage”. And “scrimmage” has its roots in the word “skirmish”. If you get the chance, take a look at the Matt Damon-Morgan Freeman movie called “Invictus”, directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s all about rugby in South Africa after Nelson Mandela came to power. A powerful film …

41 Member of the British Commonwealth in the Mediterranean : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

43 ___ soda : SAL

Sodium carbonate is a well known as a water softener sold for use in laundry, and is variously described as sal soda, washing soda and soda crystals.

46 Jamaican exports : RUMS

Rum was first distilled by slaves on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 1800s, with the tradition being that the very first production came from Barbados.

55 Detail-oriented and then some : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

56 Cartoon cry of dismay : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

57 Nonsubmerging W.W. II menace : E-BOAT

In WWII, the German Navy’s Motor Torpedo Boats were similar to American PT boats and were called S-boots, short for Schnellboot (“fast craft”). The Allied forces referred to them as E-boats, with the “E” possibly standing for “enemy” or “Eilboot” (“hurry boat”).

59 Topping made with this puzzle’s chopped and squeezed ingredients : PICO DE GALLO

Pico de gallo is a Mexican condiment made from tomato, onion and chili peppers. “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “beak of rooster”. Apparently this name was given as eating of the condiment with the thumb and forefinger resembled the pecking of a rooster. An alternative name for pico de gallo is “salsa fresca”, which translates literally as “fresh sauce”.

66 Tiny creature on a slide : AMOEBA

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

Microscope slides are thin pieces of glass on which are mounted samples for examination. Often a “cover slip”, a smaller and thinner sheet of glass, is placed on top of the sample. Originally called “sliders”, such specimens would “slide” into the gap between the stage and the objective lens on a microscope.

Down

1 1993 Salt-N-Pepa hit : SHOOP

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip-hop trio from New York made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). The group’s 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

3 “___ a stinker?”: Bugs Bunny : AIN’T I

Bugs Bunny debuted in the 1940 animated short “A Wild Hare”. Since then, Bugs has appeared in more films than any other cartoon character.

5 1981 Grammy co-winner for “Double Fantasy” : ONO

“Double Fantasy” is an album released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on 17 November 1980. Three weeks later, John Lennon was gunned down by Mark Chapman outside Lennon’s apartment building in New York City.

6 Omaha stake? : BET

Omaha is a poker card game similar to Texas hold ‘em. The two games differ in that there are four initial hole cards per player in Omaha, as opposed to just two in Texas hold ’em. And in Omaha, each player’s hand is made up of exactly three cards from the board and exactly two of the player’s own cards.

7 Little pest : TWERP

“Twerp” and “pipsqueak” are both terms used for someone who is insignificant and contemptible.

8 Opposite of radial : ULNAR

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

10 One in a cote with a coat : EWE

The Old English word “cote” was used for a small house. Our modern word “cottage” comes from “cote”. We now use “cote” to describe a small shelter on a farm for sheep or birds.

11 Id checkers : SUPEREGOS

Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The superego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

12 Lululemon purchase : SPORTS BRA

Lululemon Athletica is a brand of athletic clothing that was founded by Chip Wilson in 1998 and is headquartered in Vancouver. The company’s name is very much associated with the activity of yoga in particular. Every Lululemon store offers a weekly complimentary yoga class.

18 Exam for many jrs. : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

24 Barbershop supply : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

25 Rosewater of Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” : ELIOT

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer from Indianapolis whose most famous work is probably the novel “Slaughterhouse-Five” from 1969. Beyond his writing, Vonnegut was noted for his support of the American Civil Liberties Union and American Humanist Association. Kurt had a brother who made a big contribution to society. Bernard Vonnegut was the atmospheric scientist who discovered that silver iodide could be used to seed clouds and artificially create rain.

26 Boeuf alternative : PORC

In French, meat served for dinner might be “boeuf” (beef), “jambon” (ham) or “porc” (pork).

29 Skimmer’s target, often : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

30 Tomfoolery : CRAZINESS

In Middle English, in the mid-14th century, a mentally deficient man might be referred to as a “Thom Foole”. We retain the old pejorative term in our contemporary word “tomfoolery” meaning “clowning around”.

33 Brooding style in music or fashion : EMO

“Emo” is short for “emotional hardcore”.

34 Vice president between Hubert and Gerald : SPIRO

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

Hubert Humphrey was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, becoming the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

Gerald Ford was the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

36 Big inits. in handbags : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

38 Longtime CBS journalist Lesley : STAHL

Television journalist Lesley Stahl first appeared on “60 Minutes” in 1991, after serving as moderator of “Face the Nation” for almost 8 years starting in 1983. Stahl is married to author and journalist Aaron Latham. One of Latham’s claims to fame is that he wrote the article that inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy”.

47 Digital video format : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

53 Yarns : TALES

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

54 Dark beer : STOUT

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

59 Nonprofit spot, in brief : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

61 #MeToo ___ : ERA

The use of the #MeToo hashtag initially was encouraged by actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 to draw attention to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Milano was acting in response to the growing number of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The use of the phrase “Me Too” in the context of sexual misconduct dates back to 2006. Social activist Tarana Burke started to use the phrase on the Myspace social network after a 13-year-old girl told her that she had been sexually assaulted. Apparently, Burke had no response at the time the girl confided in her, but later wished she had responded, “Me too”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Blacksmith’s waste : SLAG
5 More than right … or seldom correct? : OBTUSE
11 Chicago-to-Atlanta dir. : SSE
14 “Easy to Be Hard” musical of the late 1960s : HAIR
15 Bad record to set : NEW LOW
16 Original “Veronica Mars” airer : UPN
17 Absolute power [chopped] : OMNIPOTENCE (hiding chopped ONION)
19 “Annabel Lee” poet : POE
20 Writer Joyce Carol ___ : OATES
21 1990s Indian prime minister : RAO
22 Ending with ecto- or pachy- : -DERM
23 Phrase on many No Trespassing signs [chopped] : PRIVATE PROPERTY (hiding chopped PEPPER)
27 Including an unlisted number? : ET AL
28 Brain parts : LOBES
29 Comic cry of dismay : ACK!
32 Concerns for golfers : LIES
35 Game with scrums : RUGBY
37 Waste minimizers [chopped] : TRASH COMPACTORS (hiding chopped TOMATO)
41 Member of the British Commonwealth in the Mediterranean : MALTA
42 Work hard : TOIL
43 ___ soda : SAL
44 Fiery passions : ZEALS
46 Jamaican exports : RUMS
49 Self-deprecate, then pause to get a reaction [squeezed] : FISH FOR COMPLIMENTS (hiding squeezed LIME)
55 Detail-oriented and then some : ANAL
56 Cartoon cry of dismay : D’OH!
57 Nonsubmerging W.W. II menace : E-BOAT
58 Lead-in to an ext. : TEL
59 Topping made with this puzzle’s chopped and squeezed ingredients : PICO DE GALLO
62 ___ reminder : AS A
63 Chump : SUCKER
64 Place : LIEU
65 Drug in the 1980 film “Altered States” : LSD
66 Tiny creature on a slide : AMOEBA
67 Just in case : LEST

Down

1 1993 Salt-N-Pepa hit : SHOOP
2 2019 N.F.L. M.V.P. Jackson : LAMAR
3 “___ a stinker?”: Bugs Bunny : AIN’T I
4 Be in mourning : GRIEVE
5 1981 Grammy co-winner for “Double Fantasy” : ONO
6 Omaha stake? : BET
7 Little pest : TWERP
8 Opposite of radial : ULNAR
9 “Neat!” : SO COOL!
10 One in a cote with a coat : EWE
11 Id checkers : SUPEREGOS
12 Lululemon purchase : SPORTS BRA
13 “Them” : ENEMY
18 Exam for many jrs. : PSAT
22 World premiere : DEBUT
24 Barbershop supply : TALC
25 Rosewater of Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” : ELIOT
26 Boeuf alternative : PORC
29 Skimmer’s target, often : ATM
30 Tomfoolery : CRAZINESS
31 Dark green side dish : KALE SALAD
33 Brooding style in music or fashion : EMO
34 Vice president between Hubert and Gerald : SPIRO
36 Big inits. in handbags : YSL
38 Longtime CBS journalist Lesley : STAHL
39 ___-truths : HALF
40 One who may endow a scholarship, informally : ALUM
45 Concern for one with hypertension : SODIUM
47 Digital video format : MPEG
48 Real dirtbag : SLIMEBALL
49 Like some flaws : FATAL
50 Boxer Marciano’s given name : ROCCO
51 Epic mess-up at a critical moment : CHOKE
52 “Seriously!” : NO LIE!
53 Yarns : TALES
54 Dark beer : STOUT
59 Nonprofit spot, in brief : PSA
60 Secretary of the Interior Haaland : DEB
61 #MeToo ___ : ERA

4 thoughts on “1124-21 NY Times Crossword 24 Nov 21, Wednesday”

  1. 8:19. A little slow for a Wednesday, but I really enjoyed the theme, especially the surprise rebus for LIME. And just thinking of PICO DE GALLO makes my mouth water a bit.

  2. 18:53. Tough for a Weds. I did this last night and got hung up in the 5A, 15A area and took a lookup. Also took a while to realize there was a LIME rebus.

    Just back from a 12-mile hike that included 2 hrs. of trail. maint. Time for my nap.

  3. 16:35. Agree with most of the above pertaining to the rebus as well as my affinity for PICO DE GALLO. I make it with serrano pepper rather than jalapeno, and I add cilantro as most places do these days.

    Never heard of an EBOAT. Sounds like a virtual water vessel…. The term SAL soda was new to me as well.

    Best –

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