1228-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Dec 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Kathy Wienberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Homemade Meals

Themed answers are elements of a MEAL, and each starts with a type of HOME hinted at in the corresponding clue:

  • 56A Spreads using 20-, 28- and 48-Across? : HOMEMADE MEALS
  • 20A Food topping used at Abe Lincoln’s birthplace? : LOG CABIN SYRUP
  • 28A Dairy product used at the Seven Dwarfs’ dwelling? : COTTAGE CHEESE
  • 48A Turkey stuffing used at the Ewings’ Southfork? : RANCH DRESSING

Bill’s time: 9m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Piquancy : ZEST

Something that is piquant is pleasantly sharp in taste and zesty. “Piquant” is the French word for “prickly”.

5 British fellow : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

15 March ___ (Lewis Carroll character) : HARE

The March Hare is a character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. It was the March Hare who hosted the tea party near the start of the story, at which we are introduced to another famous character, the Mad Hatter.

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was born in 1832 in the village of Daresbury near Warrington in the county of Cheshire, in the northwest of England. And, let’s not forget one of Carroll’s most beloved characters, the Cheshire Cat.

23 Stein filler : ALE

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term “stein” is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

25 Wash for gold : PAN

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

26 Candidate for A.A. : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the 1940s.

27 Ambulance letters : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

Our word “ambulance” originated from the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

33 Tulsa sch. : ORU

Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

34 Sellout indicator : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

37 “Good Morning America” network : ABC

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spin-off show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

43 Old TV’s “The Adventures of ___ Tin Tin” : RIN

The original Rin Tin Tin was a real-life dog, a puppy discovered by a GI in a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty” was trained by his owner and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …

47 Vegetable whose name is also slang for “money” : KALE

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

48 Turkey stuffing used at the Ewings’ Southfork? : RANCH DRESSING

Ranch dressing has been the best-selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed by Steve Henson who introduced it in the fifties to guests on his dude ranch, the Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing became so popular that he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewing family. The series that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R., became so popular with audiences that the series was extended with J. R. at the center of the story. Who can remember who shot J.R.? (It was Kristin Shepard: J.R.’s mistress, who was also his sister-in-law).

51 Michael of “S.N.L.” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 2014. One of his roles was co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.

53 Calendar block : DAY

Our word “calendar” ultimately derives from the Latin “calendae”. “Calends” were the first days of each Roman month. The Latin “calendarium” was an account book, as the debts fell due and accounts were reckoned on the first day of each month.

54 Zoom or TikTok : APP

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools facilitating production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

55 ___ Palmas, city in the Canary Islands : LAS

The Spanish province of Las Palmas comprises about half of the islands of Gran Canaria, and several other small islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa. Gran Canaria is perhaps better known as the “Canary Islands” in English. The province takes its name from Las Palmas, the capital city of Gran Canaria island.

60 Jumper cable connection : ANODE

When jump-starting a car with jumper cables, we are advised to make connections in the following order:

  1. Red cable to the positive terminal of the discharged battery
  2. Red cable to the positive terminal of the charged battery
  3. Black cable to the negative terminal of the charged battery
  4. Black cable to bare metal (ground), away from the battery, on the car with the discharged battery

65 Candidate for a Booker Prize : NOVEL

The literary fiction award that we tend to call “the Booker Prize” was inaugurated in 1969 as the Booker-McConnell Prize, and was named for the UK food wholesaler that was the original sponsor. The British investment company Man Group took over sponsorship in 2002, so that the official name of the award is now the Man Booker Prize.

67 Capital of Latvia : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

70 Kentucky’s Fort ___ : KNOX

Fort Knox is actually a US Army base that lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.

Down

3 Shoe named after a dagger : STILETTO

The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

5 Where Michelle Obama was born : CHICAGO

Michelle Obama née Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Her brother is Craig Robinson, former coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

6 Dance named after Cuba’s capital : HABANERA

The dance that we call the “habanera” is known as the “contradanza” in Cuba where it originated. The habanera gained popularity in the 19th century and was the first dance from Cuba to become successful internationally. The name “habanera” is Spanish for “of Havana”.

7 Prized mount : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

11 Main course : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

12 Injection at a hospital : SERUM

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

21 4.0 for a valedictorian, maybe : GPA

A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

23 ___ of the Apostles : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

36 Vulcan’s telepathic link : MIND MELD

Mr. Spock was the first to show us the Vulcan mind meld, in the original “Star Trek” series. Vulcans have the ability to meld with the minds of other Vulcans, and indeed humans, in order to see what’s “going on” in the other individual’s mind.

41 Wrist/elbow connector : ULNA

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”. The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

44 March Madness org. : NCAA

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year. Another name is “the Big Dance”.

49 Mythical Greek monsters : HYDRAS

The Hydra of Lerna was a mythical sea snake that had multiple heads. Heracles had to slay the Lernaean Hydra as the second of his Twelve Labors. We now use the term “hydra” figuratively to describe a complex problem that presents new obstacles once one facet is resolved.

63 Narcissist’s flaw : EGO

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, falling in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, taken was he by his own image that he could not leave it, and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

64 Instrument in most jazz combos : SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Piquancy : ZEST
5 British fellow : CHAP
9 Treasure holder : CHEST
14 Pretentious in a painterly way : ARTY
15 March ___ (Lewis Carroll character) : HARE
16 Recluse : LONER
17 Racket handle : GRIP
18 Letter-shaped bridge support : I-BAR
19 Extremely : ULTRA
20 Food topping used at Abe Lincoln’s birthplace? : LOG CABIN SYRUP
23 Stein filler : ALE
25 Wash for gold : PAN
26 Candidate for A.A. : SOT
27 Ambulance letters : EMS
28 Dairy product used at the Seven Dwarfs’ dwelling? : COTTAGE CHEESE
32 Lug around : TOTE
33 Tulsa sch. : ORU
34 Sellout indicator : SRO
35 Rant and rage : STORM
37 “Good Morning America” network : ABC
39 Took notice : SAT UP
43 Old TV’s “The Adventures of ___ Tin Tin” : RIN
45 Always, in poems : E’ER
47 Vegetable whose name is also slang for “money” : KALE
48 Turkey stuffing used at the Ewings’ Southfork? : RANCH DRESSING
51 Michael of “S.N.L.” : CHE
53 Calendar block : DAY
54 Zoom or TikTok : APP
55 ___ Palmas, city in the Canary Islands : LAS
56 Spreads using 20-, 28- and 48-Across? : HOMEMADE MEALS
60 Jumper cable connection : ANODE
61 “Make it ___” : RAIN
62 Big lugs : APES
65 Candidate for a Booker Prize : NOVEL
66 Helper: Abbr. : ASST
67 Capital of Latvia : RIGA
68 Lead-in to line or setter : TREND-
69 Does as the sun does in the evening : SETS
70 Kentucky’s Fort ___ : KNOX

Down

1 Evasive maneuver : ZAG
2 Slip up : ERR
3 Shoe named after a dagger : STILETTO
4 Slip-up in writing : TYPO
5 Where Michelle Obama was born : CHICAGO
6 Dance named after Cuba’s capital : HABANERA
7 Prized mount : ARAB
8 Come to an end : PERISH
9 Groups of grapes, e.g. : CLUSTERS
10 Word in many cathedral names : HOLY
11 Main course : ENTREE
12 Injection at a hospital : SERUM
13 Pitfalls : TRAPS
21 4.0 for a valedictorian, maybe : GPA
22 Rejections : NOES
23 ___ of the Apostles : ACTS
24 Heist haul : LOOT
29 Earth, in science fiction : TERRA
30 Raised to the third power : CUBED
31 Enjoys a long, hot bath, say : SOAKS
36 Vulcan’s telepathic link : MIND MELD
38 Pottery maker : CERAMIST
40 Bad situation for an airplane : TAILSPIN
41 Wrist/elbow connector : ULNA
42 Clothes holders on a clothesline : PEGS
44 March Madness org. : NCAA
46 Expresses sorrow for one’s wrongdoing : REPENTS
48 Jettison : REMOVE
49 Mythical Greek monsters : HYDRAS
50 Destination for a rest cure : SPA
51 “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!,” e.g. : CHANT
52 Being named valedictorian, for one : HONOR
57 Heaven on earth : EDEN
58 Simplicity : EASE
59 Frolic : LARK
63 Narcissist’s flaw : EGO
64 Instrument in most jazz combos : SAX

8 thoughts on “1228-21 NY Times Crossword 28 Dec 21, Tuesday”

  1. 5:20 This seemed to zip by. A Tues. personal best for me. As per usual, only noticed the theme once I was finished.

    @Bill – have a fun week with your family

  2. 9:19. Good theme. Doing this a day late. I wonder if the NYT app will give me a blue square instead of a gold one since I’m a day late?

    Most people get that number 4 step wrong when trying to jumpstart a car and connect it the black cable to the negative terminal of the charging battery. That can cause an explosion, in theory, but (fortunately) I’ve never seen that actually happen.

    Best –

  3. No errors.. the problem with putting the ground cable on bare metal is that in newer cars you can’t find bare metal. It’s mostly plastic and any metal has some kind of enamel on it.

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