1207-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Dec 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Margaret Seikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Matching PJs

Themed answers are MATCHING, in that each comprises two words starting with “PJ”:

  • 57A Some Xmas card attire … or a hint to 18-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : MATCHING PJS
  • 18A One remedy for a hangover, supposedly : PICKLE JUICE
  • 23A Place to pick up a pepperoni pie, perhaps : PIZZA JOINT
  • 37A Close follower of the “horse race” : POLITICAL JUNKIE
  • 48A Aircraft that’s 1% full? : PRIVATE JET

Bill’s time: 6m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Truck weigh station unit : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. In the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

13 Boston’s Mass. ___ : AVE

Massachusetts Avenue in Boston (and beyond) is known to locals simply as Mass Ave. It was along part of Mass Ave (then called the Great Road) that Paul Revere made his famous ride in 1775.

14 Birth announcement units : OUNCES

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

16 Charlie’s Angels, e.g. : TRIO

When the TV show “Charlie’s Angels” started airing in the mid-seventies, it was a little unusual in that it featured three women playing private detectives, a role usually reserved for men. The name first chosen for the show was “The Alley Cats”, then “Harry’s Angels”, before finally settling on “Charlie’s Angels”.

17 ‘Tis the season: Abbr. : DEC

December is the twelfth month in our calendar but was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name (“decem” is Latin for “ten”). Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” (February) were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

18 One remedy for a hangover, supposedly : PICKLE JUICE

The main cause of hangover symptoms seems to be dehydration. Ethanol causes increased urine production, leaving the body short of water and resulting in headaches, dry mouth and a lack of energy. The symptoms can be alleviated by drinking a lot of water.

23 Place to pick up a pepperoni pie, perhaps : PIZZA JOINT

Pizza was invented in Naples, where it has a long tradition that goes back to ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

27 Card in Uno or action on Spotify : SKIP

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

Spotify is a popular music-streaming service that was launched in Sweden in 2008.

29 Actress Glazer of “Broad City” : ILANA

Ilana Glazer is a comedian from Long Island, New York. Glazer is the co-creator of the Comedy Central sitcom “Broad City” along with comedian Abbi Jacobson.

“Broad City” is a sitcom shown on Comedy Central that started out life as a web series on the Internet. It’s about two young Jewish American women having misadventures in New York City.

30 U.F.C. sport : MMA

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …

33 Popeye’s Olive ___ : OYL

E. C. Segar’s cartoon character Olive Oyl had quite a large family. Her mother is Nana Oyl, and her father Cole Oyl. Olive’s brother is Castor Oyl, and she has uncles named Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl (my favorite!).

34 Thorny part of a rose : STEM

Believe it or not, roses don’t have any thorns as such. Thorns are derived from shoots, spines are derived from leaves, and prickles are derived from the epidermis. The rose’s defensive barbs are in fact prickles.

37 Close follower of the “horse race” : POLITICAL JUNKIE

A buff, fiend, junkie or nut is one who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject, someone who is a devotee.

43 Sinister fish in “The Little Mermaid” : EEL

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton. Her best friend is Flounder, who despite his name is not a flounder at all and is actually a tropical fish. Ariel is also friends with Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab whose full name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

44 Reactions to stepping on Legos, say : OWS

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

45 Late-night coffee order : DECAF

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

54 Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN

Edwin Hubble was an American astronomer who is perhaps most associated with the Hubble Space Telescope, which was named in his honor. Hubble made several important discoveries. For example, he showed that several spiral “nebulae” were not in fact gaseous bodies within our galaxy, and rather were spiral “galaxies” that existed beyond the bounds of our own Milky Way galaxy.

57 Some Xmas card attire … or a hint to 18-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : MATCHING PJS

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

61 Keats’s “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE

Here’s the first verse from John Keats’ ode “To Autumn” …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

64 “Oedipus ___” : REX

“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes. Famously, Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

65 Snafu : MESS

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

66 Snapple cap fodder : FACTS

Originally, “Snapple” was the name of just one type of juice made by a company called Unadulterated Food Products. The drink’s name was a contraction of “snappy apple”. The company’s name was changed to the Snapple Beverage Corporation in the early 1980s. Snapple was sold in 1994, and is now a brand name owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

67 Kit ___ bar : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat bars over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

Down

2 Have a bun in the ___ : OVEN

There might be a bun in the oven, a baby in the womb.

4 Singer/actress Jennifer : LOPEZ

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (aka “J. Lo”) has two children with her third husband, singer Marc Anthony. The twins Maximilian and Emme were born in 2008. Reportedly, “People” magazine paid Lopez and Anthony $6 million to introduce the children to the public, making the images taken by the magazine the most expensive celebrity photographs of all time.

6 Big inits. in protein powder : GNC

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a retailer of health and nutrition supplements based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1935 as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh. There are now about 5,000 stores in the US. The GNC slogan is “Live Well”.

8 Half ___ (wrestling hold) : NELSON

The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

10 Like Death Valley : ARID

Death Valley is a spectacular desert valley in California that is part of the Mojave Desert. Badwater Basin in Death Valley is the lowest point in North America, sitting at 282 feet below sea level. Remarkably, Badwater Basin is located just 84 miles from Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

11 Pleasant French city? : NICE

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

15 Filter that gives photos a vintage look : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

24 Pasta popular on “The Sopranos” : ZITI

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

“The Sopranos” is an outstanding television drama made by HBO that is a story about Italian-American mobsters in New Jersey. “The Sopranos” is regularly cited as one of the best TV series of all time. It’s “must see TV” …

25 Smart ___ : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

26 Birthplace of Rastafarianism : JAMAICA

I must admit that I don’t really know much about Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, such as Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

28 Capital of Japan for more than a thousand years : KYOTO

The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.

31 Iconic encouragement from Tim Gunn on “Project Runway” : MAKE IT WORK

Tim Gunn is a fashion consultant, and these days a television personality as well. He makes regular appearances on the reality TV show “Project Runway”, and is so popular a character that he now has his own show called “Tim Gunn’s Guide in Style”.

32 The Little Mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

39 Challenge for a future atty. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

40 Spanish boss, with “el” : … JEFE

“Jefe” is Spanish for “chief”.

51 Radio switch : AM/FM

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

53 Google Maps might provide several of them: Abbr. : RTES

Google Maps was developed as a web mapping service for desktops. The (wonderful!) Google Maps mobile app was released in 2008, and is now the most popular smartphone app in the world.

56 In the on-deck circle, say : NEXT

That would be baseball.

58 4.0 is an excellent one : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

59 African American or Asian American, e.g., for short : POC

Person of color (POC)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Truck weigh station unit : TON
4 Enter one’s password : LOG IN
9 Contents of an hourglass : SAND
13 Boston’s Mass. ___ : AVE
14 Birth announcement units : OUNCES
16 Charlie’s Angels, e.g. : TRIO
17 ‘Tis the season: Abbr. : DEC
18 One remedy for a hangover, supposedly : PICKLE JUICE
20 Place to attach a surfboard leash : ANKLE
22 Big ___ (cheapo’s opposite) : SPENDER
23 Place to pick up a pepperoni pie, perhaps : PIZZA JOINT
27 Card in Uno or action on Spotify : SKIP
29 Actress Glazer of “Broad City” : ILANA
30 U.F.C. sport : MMA
33 Popeye’s Olive ___ : OYL
34 Thorny part of a rose : STEM
35 Listens to : HEARS
37 Close follower of the “horse race” : POLITICAL JUNKIE
41 Poker-faced : STONY
42 “Oh, OK” : I SEE
43 Sinister fish in “The Little Mermaid” : EEL
44 Reactions to stepping on Legos, say : OWS
45 Late-night coffee order : DECAF
47 What’s stronger than “might” : WILL
48 Aircraft that’s 1% full? : PRIVATE JET
51 Farm measure : ACREAGE
54 Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN
57 Some Xmas card attire … or a hint to 18-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : MATCHING PJS
61 Keats’s “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE
62 Worry : FRET
63 Distribute cash at the end of a shift, in restaurant lingo : TIP OUT
64 “Oedipus ___” : REX
65 Snafu : MESS
66 Snapple cap fodder : FACTS
67 Kit ___ bar : KAT

Down

1 Self-congratulatory cry : TA-DA!
2 Have a bun in the ___ : OVEN
3 Aid for sleeping on a plane : NECK PILLOW
4 Singer/actress Jennifer : LOPEZ
5 “Yes, madame!” : OUI!
6 Big inits. in protein powder : GNC
7 “Gross!” : ICK!
8 Half ___ (wrestling hold) : NELSON
9 Fall guys? : STUNTMEN
10 Like Death Valley : ARID
11 Pleasant French city? : NICE
12 Go-getter : DOER
15 Filter that gives photos a vintage look : SEPIA
19 Biden White House press secretary Psaki : JEN
21 Sass : LIP
24 Pasta popular on “The Sopranos” : ZITI
25 Smart ___ : ALEC
26 Birthplace of Rastafarianism : JAMAICA
27 Absorbs, as with bread : SOPS
28 Capital of Japan for more than a thousand years : KYOTO
31 Iconic encouragement from Tim Gunn on “Project Runway” : MAKE IT WORK
32 The Little Mermaid : ARIEL
34 Teen’s bedroom, stereotypically : STY
35 Peach or periwinkle : HUE
36 Vend : SELL
38 Checks out : INSPECTS
39 Challenge for a future atty. : LSAT
40 Spanish boss, with “el” : … JEFE
45 8 or 9, but not 10 : DIGIT
46 Were it possible that : EVEN IF
47 Get hitched : WED
49 When doubled, enthusiastic : RAH
50 Jokes around : JESTS
51 Radio switch : AM/FM
52 Safekeeping : CARE
53 Google Maps might provide several of them: Abbr. : RTES
55 Starting place for an inventor : IDEA
56 In the on-deck circle, say : NEXT
58 4.0 is an excellent one : GPA
59 African American or Asian American, e.g., for short : POC
60 Stick (out) : JUT

13 thoughts on “1207-21 NY Times Crossword 7 Dec 21, Tuesday”

  1. 7:31. Still have to do yesterday’s puzzle, but I’m almost caught up again. Miracle.

    Theme was obvious simply because all those J’s are uncommon and were therefore easy to spot.

    I’ve heard that some football players drink PICKLE JUICE to prevent cramps during a game. I don’t even know what’s in pickle juice to know what might make that work, but these guys swear by it.

    People magazine paid $6 million to take pictures of somebody’s children? How can anyone read that garbage?

    Best –

  2. 7:02 I filled in the theme answers and for a bit was stuck with 59D and 60D. But getting the MATCHING part of 57A led me to those two Down answers. Have not seen the acronym POC for People Of Color and that was part of the issue. But I was finally able to MAKEITWORK.

    I would imagine that pickle juice would be kind of salty and help with cramps that way. I HATE pickles, so I could not imagine drinking their juice.

  3. No errors..
    Did not know PICKLE JUICE was an option for hangovers. Wish I would have known that 30 years ago!!

    Did not know we had an acronym for Person Of Color- POC. What’s next Date Of Birth? (:

  4. 12 minutes. No errors or look ups. At first I had political pundit which slowed me down and then I couldn’t figure out what a POC is. Isn’t it nice to have labels for everybody?

  5. 15:45 and I had tip cut for 59D which made more sense to me than tip out (whatever that means) and p.o.c. Didn’t register.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Similar to the term ‘punch out’ when leaving work for the day. Restaurant staff will split the tips before leaving work, hence the term TIP OUT.

  6. Perhaps the POC was a bit difficult because I have usually seen it as part of BIPOC ( Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). This acknowledges that not all people of color have historically faced the same level of prejudice and oppression. I love how language evolves even when it seems some people have trouble growing as individuals and recognizing historical reality.

  7. 11:41, no errors. Haven’t seen POC as a stand-alone acronym. Have it as part of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People Of Color). Eventually the acronyms may become longer than the expressions.

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