0101-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 30m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 First name in daytime talk : WHOOPI

Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. Goldberg is multi-talented, and is one of a very short list of entertainers to have won all four major showbiz awards:

  • an Oscar (for “Ghost”)
  • an Emmy (two, for “The View”)
  • a Grammy (for “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, as a producer)
  • a Tony (also for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie”)

“The View” is a talk show that was created by Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie in 1997. The show features a panel of five women as co-hosts.

14 Red Guard’s attire : MAO SUIT

What we call the Mao suit in the west is known as the Zhongshan suit in China. The style was introduced by Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun Zhongshan) as the form of national dress after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.

Red Guards were young paramilitaries who were mobilized by Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution in China in the mid-sixties.

15 Like “To be or not to be” : IAMBIC

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

19 Ice Breakers alternative : CERTS

Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

21 Engagement calendar info: Abbr. : APPT

Appointment (appt.)

26 Fodor’s listing : SITE

Fodor’s is the world’s largest publisher of English-language travel and tourist guides. The guidebooks were introduced in 1936 by Eugene Fodor, an American-Hungarian who was a keen traveller.

27 Assembly at a camporee, perhaps : S’MORE

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

A jamboree is a very large gathering of scouts from around the country, and sometimes from around the world. The exact etymology of “jamboree” is much debated, but it is likely to be a term coined by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement. Baden-Powell lived in Africa for many years and so many think that the term is based on “jambo”, the Swahili word for “hello”. A smaller, more local gathering is referred to as a “camporee”.

28 Anti-trafficking org. : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

29 Comic strip with the 1998 collection “I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore” : CATHY

“Cathy” is a comic strip drawn by Cathy Guisewite. The strip was largely based on Guisewite’s own life experiences. For decades, cartoon Cathy was a single woman dealing with food, love, family and work. Cathy married her longtime boyfriend Irving in 2005, and the strip ended its run in 2010 with the revelation that Cathy was expecting a baby girl.

30 Skylar of the “Pitch Perfect” films : ASTIN

“Pitch Perfect” is an entertaining musical comedy film released in 2012. It’s all about an all-female college a cappella group competing to win a national competition.

31 Start of many a Google search : WHO ..

The Google search engine was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to “Google”, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

32 Line just before a comma : ZXCVBNM

That would be the bottom row of a QWERTY keyboard, up to the comma.

There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout is supposed to allow faster typing rates and to reduce repetitive strain injuries.

35 Brand with an iComfort line : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

37 Leporine creatures : HARES

The adjective “leporine” means “resembling or relating to a hare or rabbit”. The term comes from the Latin “lepus” meaning “hare”.

51 Colonnade sight : PILLAR

A colonnade is a long sequence of columns that are equally spaced, and often support some type of roof. A colonnade surrounding a porch at an entranceway is known as a portico. A colonnade surrounding a courtyard or the perimeter of a building is known as a peristyle.

56 Like some fruits and tennis players : SEEDED

A seeded player or team in a tournament is one given a preliminary ranking that is used in the initial draw. The intention is that the better competitors are less likely to meet each other in the early rounds.

Down

7 Press “K” while on YouTube : PAUSE

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

8 Jordan is found on one, notably : LOGO

Air Jordan is a Nike brand of shoe (and other apparel) endorsed by NBA great Michael Jordan. The silhouette of a basketball player that features on Air Jordans is known as the “Jumpman” logo.

9 Yoga retreat locales : ASHRAMS

“Ashram” is a term used in the Hindu tradition to describe a place of spiritual retreat, one that is typically located in a remote location conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation.

16 Where scenes on Tatooine were filmed for “Star Wars” : DEATH VALLEY

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.

Tatooine is the desert planet that features in almost every “Star Wars” movie. It is the home planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, and is also where Obi-Wan Kenobi first met Han Solo.

18 They’re full of twists and turns : SWITCHBACKS

A switchback is road that zigzags through mountainous terrain. The term “switchback” dates back to the 1860s, when it applied to zig-zag rail tracks.

23 Big outdoor June event : PRIDE PARADE

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

24 Length of a president’s veto window : TEN DAYS

In the US, “pocket veto” is the term used for the legal maneuver that kills a piece of legislation when the President takes no action at all. The Constitution requires that the President sign or veto (i.e. a “regular veto”) any legislation within ten days while Congress is in session. If Congress adjourns within the 10-day period, then the bill does not become law. It is this inaction by the President when Congress is out of session that is called a “pocket veto”.

26 Adolphe who invented a musical instrument : 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.

27 Costco rival, familiarly : SAM’S

Sam’s Club is a warehouse club that is owned and operated by Walmart. It is named after the company’s founder Sam Walton.

29 Titan : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

44 Singer with the 1962 album “Sentimentally Yours” : CLINE

Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

46 Aces have low ones, for short : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA)

47 Major production : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English, but that just annoys me …

48 “___: Vegas” : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, and seems to really have legs. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was canceled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was canceled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. Then there was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016. “CSI: Vegas”, a sequel to the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, launched in 2021.

49 One of a piano trio : LEG

What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 First person? : WINNER
7 Backups : PLAN BS
13 First name in daytime talk : WHOOPI
14 Red Guard’s attire : MAO SUIT
15 Like “To be or not to be” : IAMBIC
16 Baking aisle mascot : DOUGHBOY
17 Smart device feature : TOUCH SENSOR
19 Ice Breakers alternative : CERTS
20 Aftermath : WAKE
21 Engagement calendar info: Abbr. : APPT
25 “That’s so not the case!” : LIES
26 Fodor’s listing : SITE
27 Assembly at a camporee, perhaps : S’MORE
28 Anti-trafficking org. : ATF
29 Comic strip with the 1998 collection “I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore” : CATHY
30 Skylar of the “Pitch Perfect” films : ASTIN
31 Start of many a Google search : WHO ..
32 Line just before a comma : ZXCVBNM
34 “Anything to ___?” : ADD
35 Brand with an iComfort line : SERTA
37 Leporine creatures : HARES
38 Bags one might have when tired? : TEA
39 Tanks and such : ARMOR
40 Botched : BLEW
41 “Got it” : COPY
42 Intersections requiring a turn : TEES
43 Singing duet? : LA-LA
44 Bartolomé de las ___, social reformer during Spain’s colonial era : CASAS
45 Coin featuring Lady Liberty and a bald eagle : PEACE DOLLAR
48 Part of a forecast without clouds : CLEAR SKY
51 Colonnade sight : PILLAR
53 Pirates, in old slang : SEA RATS
54 Rumpled, say : UNMADE
55 “Yeah, sure” : I GUESS
56 Like some fruits and tennis players : SEEDED

Down

1 Setting of the Robert Graves memoir “Good-bye to All That,” in brief : WWI
2 Mopey teen’s lament : I HATE IT HERE!
3 “Can’t eat another bite” : NO MORE FOR ME
4 “I don’t want to hear any excuses!” : NO BUTS!
5 Some major productions : EPICS
6 Oil-___ : RICH
7 Press “K” while on YouTube : PAUSE
8 Jordan is found on one, notably : LOGO
9 Yoga retreat locales : ASHRAMS
10 Central point : NUB
11 Lead-in to diversity : BIO-
12 Home for a farrow : STY
14 Pastry that gets pulled apart : MONKEY BREAD
16 Where scenes on Tatooine were filmed for “Star Wars” : DEATH VALLEY
18 They’re full of twists and turns : SWITCHBACKS
19 Feverishly tries to open : CLAWS AT
22 Cookout dish : POTATO SALAD
23 Big outdoor June event : PRIDE PARADE
24 Length of a president’s veto window : TEN DAYS
26 Adolphe who invented a musical instrument : SAX
27 Costco rival, familiarly : SAM’S
29 Titan : CZAR
33 Still in the box, say : NEW
36 Beyond what’s needed : TO SPARE
41 Phone line? : CALL ME
43 Goes on : LASTS
44 Singer with the 1962 album “Sentimentally Yours” : CLINE
46 Aces have low ones, for short : ERAS
47 Major production : OPUS
48 “___: Vegas” : CSI
49 One of a piano trio : LEG
50 ___ oxygénée (hydrogen peroxide: Fr.) : EAU
52 Like diamonds : RED

17 thoughts on “0101-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. 24:34, no errors. I hate to admit it, but I was totally mystified by 32-Across, getting every letter of it from crossing entries, throughout the entire solve … at which point I looked down at the (virtual) keyboard on my iPad … and burst into laughter.

    Duh … 😜.

  2. 39:45 Tough one to start the new year. For 32A I had ZX. . . . and figured something must be wrong until I looked down at my keyboard. Nice one. Lingered a long time again in the NW corner, similar to yesterday, even with having 3D and 4D. WHOOPI just didn’t come to me. Unfamiliar with MONKEYBREAD, but it looks delicious.

  3. 32:52. Crikey that was tough. SE, NE, and NW were all difficult for me. SE might have been easier if I’d known of Patsy CLINE, but that’s not my demographic. Other than Bartolome de las CASAS, there was nothing particularly obscure in this one–just some very challenging cluing.

  4. 25:53…but I had to look up several answers. My brain was not working well today. Each time I looked up an answer it opened up a small section. So I’m learning…but I’d classify this as a DNF.

  5. 39:28, but with many many lookups. I was crushed by this one. MONKEYBREAD?..among others.

    I’ll just burn the tape of this one and move on.

    Best –

  6. DNF even after staring at it into Monday. Proud to say I did catch the keyboard reference, but that was about the only high point. Tried “North Africa” instead of “Death Valley” and downhill from there.

  7. Loved @NONNYMUS reaction to 32A.
    Same here. What an AHA moment.
    Diabolically planted in the middle of the grid. Then crossed with STITCHBACKS!!

    MONKEY BREAD is very popular in this neck of the woods. Love it!!!

    The very middle of this grid was a grind for me. But, after an hour, it finally fell.

    1. I eventually realized what 32A referred to but could not visualize the keyboard so just had to work it out. No errors but it took a good hour.

  8. 29:02, no errors. Each section of the grid seemed to have at least one entry that created problems; and then an ‘AHA’ moment. Totally surprised by my time relative to others. Just a good day, I guess.

  9. No errors, but took over an hour. Even though I’m a good touch typist, I had to look at a keyboard for 32A. My fingers know where to go, but I don’t have a mental picture of the keyboard. Weird.

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