1217-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Dec 21, Friday

Constructed by: Evans Clinchy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Popular Korean rice dish : BIBIMBAP

The name of the Korean dish bibimbap translates literally as “mixed rice”, with “bibim” meaning “mixed ingredients” and “bap” meaning “rice”. Generally, the dish comes as a bowl of white rice topped with sautéed vegetables flavored with chili pepper paste. Variants often include a fried egg and sliced beef.

9 Facial expression : VISAGE

“Visage” is the French word for “face”, and is a term we’ve imported into English to mean “face” or “facial expression”.

15 Bach’s “Christmas ___” : ORATORIO

An oratorio is a large musical work for orchestra, choir and solo singers. Oratorios usually have a religious theme and are similar to operas, but without the action, costume and scenery.

Like so many of the great composers, the extent of Bach’s contribution to the repertoire wasn’t fully recognized until long after his passing. I personally rate Johann Sebastian Bach as the greatest composer of the Baroque period. He is ranked by many as the greatest classical composer of all time.

18 Sugar in one’s coffee, e.g. : SOLUTE

A solute is a substance dissolved in a fluid, creating a solution.

19 Ancient land that included parts of modern Iraq and Turkey : ASSYRIA

Assyria was an ancient kingdom located on the Upper Tigris river in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), named for its capital city of Assur. According to the Bible, of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel, Ten Tribes “disappeared” when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BCE.

21 Keane who drew “The Family Circus” : BIL

Bil Keane was a cartoonist most associated with his strip “The Family Circus”. Once Bil sketched out the text and idea for the cartoon, he used to send it off to his son Jeff Keane who inked and colored the pictures for him in preparation for publication. In the storyline itself, the main characters are based on Bil’s own family. In fact, the son “Jeffy” in the story is based on Jeff, Bil’s son and longtime production assistant. After Bil passed away in 2011, Jeff took over as the author of the strip.

22 Do some light cardio : JOG

Aerobic exercise is moderate activity designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate and to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

23 Ink : TATS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

27 Kind of salami : GENOA

Genoa salami is made using preservation techniques that originated in ancient Rome.

29 His debut album was 1987’s “Rhyme Pays” : ICE-T

“Rhyme Pays” is a 1987 album released by musician Ice-T. It was the rapper’s first studio album, and is considered in retrospect to be perhaps the album that defined the genre now known as “gangsta rap”.

38 It’s made by coagulating soy milk : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

39 Mammal with four toes on the front feet and three on the back : TAPIR

All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.

40 Pleasantly flavorful : SAPID

Something that is sapid is tasty, savory. The opposite to “sapid” is “insipid”, meaning “without taste, bland”.

41 Financing figs. : APRS

Annual percentage rate (APR)

45 C’est un article défini : LES

In French, “les” (the); “c’est un article défini” (it is a definite article).

46 Certain judge’s ruling : LET

That might be tennis.

47 Portmanteau for a dumpster-diving anti-consumerist eater : FREEGAN

Freeganism is an ideology promoting alternative living strategies that incur little or no cost by using resources that are generally discarded in the conventional economy. Notable tactics are “dumpster diving” (searching for discarded food) and “guerrilla gardening” (growing food in city parks).

49 One might be offensive : LINEMAN

That would be football.

54 Deliberately damage : SABOTAGE

There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called “sabots”, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabotage”.

55 Possible cause of fatigue : ANEMIA

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

57 People people : CELEBS

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

58 Milky Way and others : GALAXIES

The Milky Way is the name given to our own galaxy, the home to the Solar System. In fact, the word “galaxy” comes from the Greek “galaxias” meaning “milky”.

Down

1 Bubble tea : BOBA

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

3 Amp knob : BASS

In a home audio system, one might have a preamplifier (preamp) and a power amplifier. In such an arrangement, the preamp isn’t really an amplifier at all as it does not amplify a signal or sound. The amplification task is left to the power amplifier, and the preamp serves as a switch between signal sources (cable box, CD player, DVD player etc.).

7 Sophia Loren title role of 1953 : AIDA

Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, marking the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.

8 He once wrote “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity” : POE

Edgar Allan Poe wrote the words “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity” in an 1948 letter with reference to his excessive drinking and the death of his wife.

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 40 years of age.

9 Fifth-century invaders : VISIGOTHS

The East Germanic tribe called the Goths had two main branches, called the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. The Visigothic capital was the city of Toulouse in France, whereas the Ostrogoth capital was the Italian city of Ravenna just inland of the Adriatic coast. It was the Visigoths who sacked Rome in 410 CE, heralding the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

11 Challenge in an alley : SPLIT

In ten-pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

12 Dutch-speaking Caribbean island : ARUBA

Aruba is one of the so-called ABC islands located off the northern coast of Venezuela. “ABC Islands” is a name given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

20 The original Frankenstein wasn’t one, despite popular belief : MONSTER

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, i.e. a warning about the expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

22 Competes in the Aquabike World Championship : JET SKIS

“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, one owned by Yamaha.

24 Jedi foe : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

28 “___ You Experienced” (Jimi Hendrix album) : ARE

Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.

30 It’s all downhill from here : HIMALAYAS

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

33 First name in U.N. diplomacy : KOFI

Kofi Annan was a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, winning jointly with the United Nations organization itself.

34 Draw counterpart : STUD

“Stud poker” is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

36 Follower of F.D.R. : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

40 Madame, across the Pyrenees : SENORA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

The Pyrenees is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

41 It has a duck float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

46 Some smears : LIBEL

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

50 Noted gift givers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

51 He won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1958 : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Popular Korean rice dish : BIBIMBAP
9 Facial expression : VISAGE
15 Bach’s “Christmas ___” : ORATORIO
16 Offline activity? : IMPROV
17 Towered over : BESTRODE
18 Sugar in one’s coffee, e.g. : SOLUTE
19 Ancient land that included parts of modern Iraq and Turkey : ASSYRIA
20 Place to buy overpriced drinks : MINIBAR
21 Keane who drew “The Family Circus” : BIL
22 Do some light cardio : JOG
23 Ink : TATS
24 Quarters feed into them : SEMIS
27 Kind of salami : GENOA
29 His debut album was 1987’s “Rhyme Pays” : ICE-T
30 Tears : HOT STREAKS
35 “Ahhh!” : THAT HITS THE SPOT!
37 “Wow, wow, wow!” : HOLY SMOKES!
38 It’s made by coagulating soy milk : TOFU
39 Mammal with four toes on the front feet and three on the back : TAPIR
40 Pleasantly flavorful : SAPID
41 Financing figs. : APRS
45 C’est un article défini : LES
46 Certain judge’s ruling : LET
47 Portmanteau for a dumpster-diving anti-consumerist eater : FREEGAN
49 One might be offensive : LINEMAN
53 Just peachy : LOVELY
54 Deliberately damage : SABOTAGE
55 Possible cause of fatigue : ANEMIA
56 Mean figures : AVERAGES
57 People people : CELEBS
58 Milky Way and others : GALAXIES

Down

1 Bubble tea : BOBA
2 Ticks off : IRES
3 Amp knob : BASS
4 Minute : ITTY-BITTY
5 Northern New Jersey county : MORRIS
6 Oven setting : BROIL
7 Sophia Loren title role of 1953 : AIDA
8 He once wrote “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity” : POE
9 Fifth-century invaders : VISIGOTHS
10 “That’s my cue!” : I’M ON!
11 Challenge in an alley : SPLIT
12 Dutch-speaking Caribbean island : ARUBA
13 Insinuated : GOT AT
14 Wisconsin governor Tony : EVERS
20 The original Frankenstein wasn’t one, despite popular belief : MONSTER
22 Competes in the Aquabike World Championship : JET SKIS
24 Jedi foe : SITH
25 Second : ECHO
26 Fast finish? : MEAL
27 Shook one’s defender, in sports lingo : GOT OPEN
28 “___ You Experienced” (Jimi Hendrix album) : ARE
30 It’s all downhill from here : HIMALAYAS
31 Passing financial concern? : ESTATE TAX
32 Per : A POP
33 First name in U.N. diplomacy : KOFI
34 Draw counterpart : STUD
36 Follower of F.D.R. : HST
40 Madame, across the Pyrenees : SENORA
41 It has a duck float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade : AFLAC
42 Inclined : PRONE
43 Have a ball : REVEL
44 Directive to talk : SEE ME
46 Some smears : LIBEL
48 A little too slick : GLIB
49 It’s hot stuff! : LAVA
50 Noted gift givers : MAGI
51 He won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1958 : AGEE
52 Adjective-to-noun suffix : -NESS
54 Slump : SAG

16 thoughts on “1217-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Dec 21, Friday”

  1. 7:27. For the most part this one hit a bunch of things that were tucked away in the recesses of my brain, safely stored for just such an occasion.

  2. 16:58, no errors. What @Tom R said, except that I had to rummage around underneath a lot of trash, blow away a lot of dust, and peer at what finally emerged from a lot of different angles before deciding that it was usable … 😜. (“BIBIMBAP”, in particular, stopped me cold for some time.)

    1. Actually, I found “BIBIMBAP” in an old shoe box, together with “BIBULOUS” and “BIBBIDI-BOBBIDI-BOO”. Hadn’t used any of them in quite a while … 😜.

    2. I’m still rummaging through that old shoe box. Much to my surprise, I found “BORBORYGMUS” in there. Badly misfiled, I’d say … 😜.

      1. Thank you for resurrecting this from my lizard brain. Can’t remember where I heard this term, but vaguely recall it being connected to an old arcade/video game.

    3. Hey, Jeff has his “crossword lizard brain” (a concept I love), so I think I’m allowed to have an old shoe box, stuffed with words, in the attic … 😜.

  3. 18:10. BIBIMBAP? I thought of kimchi at first because it’s the only Korean dish I’d ever heard of.

    Had HOLY Toledo before …SMOKES. Once I got HOLY S…, I had another guess, but it didn’t have enough letters…

    FREEGON again. Do they realize that if everyone was a FREEGON, there couldn’t be any FREEGONs? There’d be no gourmet food in the dumpster for them. Are these people really all there?…

  4. 14:19, no errors. Don’t know if I should be shocked or amazed. Now if tomorrow ends up like the last four Fridays, I won’t say as much…

  5. Same as others on the BIBIMBAP. I remembered a Korean dish with BIBI in it and BOBA tea.. that helped immensely.
    Had the same partial memory of KOFI.. I recalled OFI …

    Badly enough (or sadly enough) I had a conversation with a old work friend today and couldn’t remember several last names of people I actually knew as friends… where’s that crossword memory when you need it!!!!

  6. 49:35 no errors…the NW corner was the last to fall and fortunately 1A was used in a previous puzzle and I wrote it down in “my notes” or this would have been a DNF.
    Stay safe😀

  7. Thought I aced this but got BOBA and SOBA mixed up so ended up with SIBIMBAP. Tough one, would like to have nailed it.

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