0107-22 NY Times Crossword 7 Jan 22, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Othello, for one : GAME

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

9 Loses sheen, perhaps : RUSTS

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

14 One of the Aesir : THOR

The gods and goddesses of Norse mythology generally belong to either the Aesir tribe or the Vanir tribe. Most of the Norse gods with which we are familiar belong to Aesir, including Odin, Thor, Frigg and Tyr. Examples of the Vanir gods are Freya and Njord. The Aesir live in Asgard, and the Vanir in Vanaheim. The Aesir and Vanir eventually united into one pantheon after the Aesir-Vanir War.

16 ID seen at the post office : IDAHO

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State, as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me. Oh, and Idaho license plates have borne the slogan “Famous Potatoes” for decades …

17 Nobel winner Morrison : TONI

Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

22 A counting job? : CENSUS

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

25 Eva Perón was one: Abbr. : SRA

In Spanish, a “dama” (lady) might be referred to as “Señora” (Mrs.).

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

28 Simple matter of probability : COIN FLIP

The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite of “heads”.

34 Speedy sci-fi technology : WARP DRIVE

In the “Star Trek” universe, starships were powered by matter-antimatter reactions. The warp speed achieved by the engines is very much like our real-world Mach number. Just as a plane traveling at Mach 1 is moving at the speed of sound, a starship traveling at warp factor 1 is moving at the speed of light. Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound, and warp factor 2 is twice the speed of light. Cool, huh …?

37 With 11-Down, kids’ party activity : SIMON …
(11D See 37-Across : … SAYS)

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

38 “Peter Pan” princess : TIGER LILY

Tiger Lily is a character appearing in the 1904 play “Peter Pan” by JM Barrie. She is the daughter of the chief of the Piccanniny tribe of Native Americans who live in Neverland. Tiger Lily is besotted with Peter, and jealous of Wendy and Tinker Bell.

42 Martini option : DIRTY

A dirty martini is a regular martini with a splash of olive juice, and served with an olive garnish.

43 Subj. of international treaties : WMD

The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

47 Cause of weakness : 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”.

51 What Babe aspires to be in “Babe” : SHEEPDOG

The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

53 Romantic bunch : DOZEN ROSES

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

55 ___ Mountains, range crossed on the Trans-Siberian railway : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) connects Moscow to the Russian Far East. At almost 6,000 miles in length, it is the longest railway line in the world. Although it is still being expanded today, the bulk of the track was laid between 1891 and 1916 at the behest of Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. Branches of the TSR connect Russia to Mongolia, China and North Korea.

56 What “he” and “do” don’t do : AGREE

“He” agrees with “does”, and not with “do”.

58 Terpsichore or Calliope : MUSE

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

59 Strategic bodies of water : MOATS

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

60 “Out of Africa” author Dinesen : ISAK

“Isak Dinesen” was the pen name of the Danish author Baroness Karen Blixen. Blixen’s most famous title by far is “Out of Africa”, her account of the time she spent living in Kenya.

61 Little drones : ANTS

Drone bees (and ants) are fertile males of the species, whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen. Given that drone bees make no honey, we sometimes use the term “drone” figuratively, to describe a lazy worker, or someone who lives on the labors of others.

Down

1 Story that goes over your head? : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

2 One constantly craving kisses? : CHOCOHOLIC

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. The seeds are very bitter and the traditional drink made with the seed was called “xocolatl” by the Aztecs, meaning “bitter water”. Our word “chocolate” comes from “xocolatl”.

4 CNN’s Burnett : ERIN

Erin Burnett is a television journalist and the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also used to show up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

6 Little sucker : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

8 Towering figure in “The Two Towers” : ENT

J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel “The Lord of the Rings” consists of the three volumes:

  • “The Fellowship of the Ring”
  • “The Two Towers”
  • “The Return of the King”

10 Kake ___ (Japanese dish) : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

19 Substitute for legal tender : SCRIP

Scrip isn’t legal tender, but operates just like currency in specific applications. It is in effect a form of credit. Originally the word “scrip” was used for a certificate giving one the right to receive something, often shares of a stock. “Scrip” is probably short for (sub)script(ion) receipt.

21 Ports, e.g. : DESSERT WINES

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

27 Metaphorical knowledge : ROPES

As one might expect perhaps, the phrase “learning the ropes” is nautical in origin. A new recruit on a sailing vessel would have to learn how to tie the appropriate knots and learn which rope controlled which sail or spar.

28 Eric who wrote “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” : CARLE

Eric Carle is a very successful children’s author and book illustrator, with over 100 million of his books sold around the world. Carle’s most famous title is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, and it alone has sold 30 million copies.

29 Accomplice in “Romeo and Juliet” : FRIAR

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Romeo’s confidant is a character named Friar Laurence, a Franciscan monk.

31 Country named for a now-banned trade : IVORY COAST

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is often referred to in English as “the Ivory Coast”, the direct translation from the French. The official language of the country is French, as for many years it was a French colony.

32 They can be felt : PENS

The felt-tip marking pen was patented in 1910. The marking pen was popularized when the Magic Marker brand was introduced in 1953.

33 Org. for Carl Sagan : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist, and a great communicator. He was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. Sagan also wrote the novel “Contact” that was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

39 Rapper/producer who won the 2018 Pulitzer for Music : LAMAR

Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop singer from Compton, California. Lamar’s full name is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, with the singer’s given name honoring Motown artist Eddie Kendricks. Notably, his 2017 album “Damn” won a Pulitzer Prize for Music, becoming the first non-classical or non-jazz album to do so.

44 Letter in the Greek spelling of Athens : THETA

The letter theta is the eighth in the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks like the number zero with a horizontal line across the middle.

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

47 Driver in “House of Gucci” : ADAM

Adam Driver is an actor best known to TV audiences for playing Adam Sackler on the show “Girls” that airs on HBO. Driver’s movie career got a huge boost in 2015 when he played villain Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

49 Book after II Chronicles : EZRA

Ezra the Scribe, also called “Ezra the Priest”, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

51 Figs. assigned randomly since 2011 : SSNS

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts, i.e AAA-GG-SSSS. Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011, SSNs have been assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

52 Animal also known as a catamount : PUMA

The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as “cougar” and “puma”. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

54 Air France confirmation : OUI

In French, a response on “un questionnaire” (a questionnaire) might be “oui” (yes) or “non” (no).

Air France is my favorite airline (okay … after Aer Lingus, the Irish airline). I used to fly Air France a lot (I lived in France for a while), but haven’t done so since the company merged with KLM in 2004. Back in 2008, Air France-KLM was the world’s largest airline in terms of revenue.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something you may want to clear up : ACNE
5 Othello, for one : GAME
9 Loses sheen, perhaps : RUSTS
14 One of the Aesir : THOR
15 Uncovered : OPEN
16 ID seen at the post office : IDAHO
17 Nobel winner Morrison : TONI
18 Dressing room encouragement : THAT’S SO YOU!
20 “Stop trying to help!” : I CAN DO IT!
22 A counting job? : CENSUS
23 Own up (to) : COP
24 Purpose : END
25 Eva Perón was one: Abbr. : SRA
26 You can bet on it! : HORSE
28 Simple matter of probability : COIN FLIP
33 Numbers not meant to be shared : SOLOS
34 Speedy sci-fi technology : WARP DRIVE
35 Secretly unionize? : ELOPE
36 Drop the ball : ERR
37 With 11-Down, kids’ party activity : SIMON …
38 “Peter Pan” princess : TIGER LILY
40 Lashes makeup : HAIRS
41 Look that might freeze you in your tracks : ICY STARE
42 Martini option : DIRTY
43 Subj. of international treaties : WMD
44 Bon ___ (high society: Fr.) : TON
45 Friendly introduction? : ECO-
47 Cause of weakness : ANEMIA
51 What Babe aspires to be in “Babe” : SHEEPDOG
53 Romantic bunch : DOZEN ROSES
55 ___ Mountains, range crossed on the Trans-Siberian railway : URAL
56 What “he” and “do” don’t do : AGREE
57 Biblical preposition : UNTO
58 Terpsichore or Calliope : MUSE
59 Strategic bodies of water : MOATS
60 “Out of Africa” author Dinesen : ISAK
61 Little drones : ANTS

Down

1 Story that goes over your head? : ATTIC
2 One constantly craving kisses? : CHOCOHOLIC
3 “It was not my intention to make anyone upset,” often : NON-APOLOGY
4 CNN’s Burnett : ERIN
5 Scavenger hunt cry : GOT ONE!
6 Little sucker : APHID
7 Substance : MEAT
8 Towering figure in “The Two Towers” : ENT
9 “Wake up, sleepyhead!” : RISE AND SHINE
10 Kake ___ (Japanese dish) : UDON
11 See 37-Across : … SAYS
12 Biblical pronoun : THOU
13 ___ vide (culinary technique) : SOUS
19 Substitute for legal tender : SCRIP
21 Ports, e.g. : DESSERT WINES
25 Pathetic : SORRY
27 Metaphorical knowledge : ROPES
28 Eric who wrote “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” : CARLE
29 Accomplice in “Romeo and Juliet” : FRIAR
30 Broadway show where everyone knows the ending? : LIMITED RUN
31 Country named for a now-banned trade : IVORY COAST
32 They can be felt : PENS
33 Org. for Carl Sagan : SETI
34 “That’s odd …” : WEIRD …
39 Rapper/producer who won the 2018 Pulitzer for Music : LAMAR
42 Gets by : DOES OK
44 Letter in the Greek spelling of Athens : THETA
46 Looks like a jerk : OGLES
47 Driver in “House of Gucci” : ADAM
48 Canceled : NO-GO
49 Book after II Chronicles : EZRA
50 Runners’ event : MEET
51 Figs. assigned randomly since 2011 : SSNS
52 Animal also known as a catamount : PUMA
54 Air France confirmation : OUI

10 thoughts on “0107-22 NY Times Crossword 7 Jan 22, Friday”

  1. 10:10. Originally had ANEMIC because I got the first 5 letters filled in and then didn’t go back to the clue to check it, so it took me a couple of minutes to find and fix the error when I didn’t get the happy music.

  2. 16:25, no errors. I also had the “obvious” MOOR, but switched to GAME shortly thereafter when I saw that the intersecting entries weren’t working. And I think I know Othello is a game only from seeing it in crossword puzzles.

  3. 24:59…but I finished with no fat fingers. Yeah, at least I finished. I’m tired today. Flew into SEA-TAC last night. What a zoo. Arrived at 11:15pm and waited another hour on the tarmac for a gate to open up. Then waited over an hour for them to find a ground crew to offload our luggage. Tons of baggage everywhere from cancelled flights. Pouring rain.

  4. 3 errors. 41A did me in. It’s easy to see after the fact. Had SETA was for sure. Didn’t know 39D so I ended up with ACYSTERE and had LEMAR for 39D.. did not know.
    @RoF – thanks for the Jef Chen link. I always enjoy how these grid creators found their way.

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