0108-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Jan 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Freddie Cheng
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 26s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • FATE (rate)
  • FAT TAIL (rat tail)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Number pattern named after a 17th-century French mathematician : PASCAL’S TRIANGLE

Blaise Pascal was an important French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, who lived in the mid-1600s. In math, his name was given to Pascal’s triangle, a triangle of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers above it. Pascal also wrote on the subject of theology. His most important theological writings were published after his death under the title “Pensées”, meaning “Thoughts”.

16 Teddies and such : INTIMATE APPAREL

The item of lingerie known as a teddy can also be called “camiknickers”. The alternative name was used when the one-piece garment was introduced in the twenties, a combination of a camisole and panties (aka “knickers”).

18 Certain acct. info : SSN

So often, we are asked for “the last four digits” of our Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

19 Diatribes : SCREEDS

A screed is a long speech or piece of writing, often one that is full of anger and emotion.

A diatribe is a bitter discourse. The term “diatribe” comes from the Greek “diatribein” meaning “to wear away”.

20 Longtime distributor of James Bond movies : MGM

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio was founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. Loew was already a successful movie theater owner when he purchased Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919, and then Goldwyn Pictures in 1924. Later in 1924, Loew also purchased Louis B. Mayer Pictures, mainly so that Louis B. Mayer could merge all three studios and run them himself as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

27 Pings, maybe : IMS

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

In the world of computer science, a “ping” is a test message sent over a network between computers to check for a response and to measure the time of that response. We now use the verb “to ping” more generally, meaning to send someone a message, usually a reminder.

28 ___ Gervasi, director of 2012’s “Hitchcock” : SACHA

Sacha Gervasi is journalist, screenwriter and film director from London.

“Hitchcock” is a 2012 biographical film that gives a comedic slant to the story of famed director Alfred Hitchcock. Anthony Hopkins is in the title role, with an outstanding supporting cast that includes Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette and Jessica Biel. The film’s storyline revolves around the making of the 1960 hit “Psycho”.

29 Union IDs, for a performer : SAG CARDS

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was formed back in 1933, at a time when Hollywood stars were really being exploited by the big movie studios, especially the younger and less inexperienced performers. Early supporters of the Guild included famous names like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney (you could imagine them in a negotiation!). Past presidents of SAG were also big names, such as Eddie Cantor, James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, Howard Keel, Charlton Heston, Ed Asner and Melissa Gilbert. SAG merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 2012 to create SAG-AFTRA.

31 Basic analysis? : PH TEST

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

32 Market debuts, in brief : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

37 Eschew Uber, say : TAKE A CAB

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun”, comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

The basic service offered by ride-hailing company Uber is known as UberX. The service provides a private ride for up to four passengers in a standard car. UberXL provides a minivan or SUV with room for up to 6 passengers.

42 “For once maybe someone will call me ‘___,’ without adding, ‘You’re making a scene'”: Homer Simpson : SIR

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

45 Setting for “La Bohème” : PARIS

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second-most frequently performed opera in the US (after “Madama Butterfly”, also by Puccini). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

48 Hominid : APE

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

49 Some stylish suits : ARMANIS

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

51 Measure of volume : BEL

In the world of acoustics, one bel is equal to ten decibels (dBs). The bel is named in honor of the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell.

Down

1 Two-person log cutters : PIT SAWS

A whipsaw (also “pit saw”) is a two-man saw that was originally designed for use in a saw pit. A large log would be placed on top of the pit. The “pit-man” would work under the log, and the “top-man” above it. The sawing action was in the vertical, with the blade cutting on the downstroke.

4 Loc. ___ : CIT

“Loc. cit”. is short for “loco citato” meaning “in the place cited”. Loc. cit. is used in a footnote instead of op. cit. as it refers not only to a prior work, but also to the same page in that work.

5 Marcello, Rodolfo, Colline and Schaunard, dans “La Bohème” : AMIS

Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera “La bohème” tells of a love affair between a poor poet named Rodolfo, and an even poorer seamstress named Mimi. There isn’t a happy ending …

6 Turpentine-yielding conifer : LARCH

Lumber from the larch is valued because it is resistant to rot. The wood is particularly efficacious in boatbuilding and for exterior cladding of buildings. A more prosaic application is for fence posts that are placed in the ground.

7 Certain anti-inflammatory medicines : STEROIDS

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “‘roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “‘roid rage”.

9 Yelp reviewers, say : RATERS

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

10 Shuffles and such : IPODS

The iPod Shuffle was introduced in 2005 and is the smallest of Apple’s line of audio players. The Shuffle was the first iPod to use flash memory.

11 Rental units: Abbr. : APTS

Apartment (apt.)

15 Lean protein : ELK MEAT

Male elks are called bulls, and females are known as cows. Bull elks are known for their very loud screaming, which is called bugling. Cow elks are attracted to bulls that bugle more often and most loudly.

26 Taste : SAPOR

“Sapor” is another word for “flavor, a quality that can be tasted”. “Sapor” is Latin for “taste, flavor”.

28 Mammal in the Soricidae family : SHREW

Shrews are mammals that look like small moles or long-nosed mice. They are the only terrestrial mammals that are known to echolocate, using a series of ultrasonic squeaks to examine their nearby surroundings.

33 Only M.L.B. team never to have played in a World Series : MARINERS

The Seattle Mariners (SEA) are the only Major League team never to have appeared in a World Series. The Mariners are owned by the Nintendo Corporation of America, making them one of three Major League teams owned by businesses. The other two are the Atlanta Braves (owned by Liberty Media) and the Toronto Blue Jays (owned by Rogers Communications).

34 National geographic books? : ATLASES

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

36 Small knapsack : MUSETTE

“Knapsack” is a Low German word describing a bag with straps designed to be carried on the back. The word “knapsack” probably comes from the German verb “knappen” meaning “to eat”.

37 Diatribes : TIRADES

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

A diatribe is a bitter discourse. The term “diatribe” comes from the Greek “diatribein” meaning “to wear away”.

42 Savory Indian pastry : SAMOSA

A samosa is quite the tasty appetizer. It is usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.

46 Like the most recent Pope Paul among all popes named Paul : SIXTH

Pope Paul VI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978. He was born in the village of Concesio in Lombardy, Italy as Giovanni Battista Montini. The future pope’s mother was from a noble family, and his father was a member of the Italian parliament.

53 Canine protection org.? : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

54 Russian fighter jet : MIG

The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Number pattern named after a 17th-century French mathematician : PASCAL’S TRIANGLE
16 Teddies and such : INTIMATE APPAREL
17 Exhausted beyond belief : TOO TIRED TO THINK
18 Certain acct. info : SSN
19 Diatribes : SCREEDS
20 Longtime distributor of James Bond movies : MGM
21 Immersed in : AMID
23 Business ___ : HOURS
24 Lot : FATE
25 Maipo Valley exports : WINES
27 Pings, maybe : IMS
28 ___ Gervasi, director of 2012’s “Hitchcock” : SACHA
29 Union IDs, for a performer : SAG CARDS
31 Basic analysis? : PH TEST
32 Market debuts, in brief : IPOS
33 Mini-___ (small retailer) : MART
34 One way to manage expectations : AIM LOW
37 Eschew Uber, say : TAKE A CAB
41 More steadfast : TRUER
42 “For once maybe someone will call me ‘___,’ without adding, ‘You’re making a scene'”: Homer Simpson : SIR
43 ___ Player, first Black woman to become president of a four-year college : WILLA
44 Taking off : LESS
45 Setting for “La Bohème” : PARIS
47 Calm : LULL
48 Hominid : APE
49 Some stylish suits : ARMANIS
51 Measure of volume : BEL
52 Do some modeling : SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
55 “Life is short. ___” (Jacques Torres quip) : EAT DESSERT FIRST
56 Captain’s phrase : STEADY AS SHE GOES

Down

1 Two-person log cutters : PIT SAWS
2 Loss of smell : ANOSMIA
3 Biblical punishment : STONING
4 Loc. ___ : CIT
5 Marcello, Rodolfo, Colline and Schaunard, dans “La Bohème” : AMIS
6 Turpentine-yielding conifer : LARCH
7 Certain anti-inflammatory medicines : STEROIDS
8 Hymns of thanksgiving : TE DEUMS
9 Yelp reviewers, say : RATERS
10 Shuffles and such : IPODS
11 Rental units: Abbr. : APTS
12 “Don’t reckon so” : NAH
13 Reaction to a really bad pun : GRIMACE
14 Stretches : LENGTHS
15 Lean protein : ELK MEAT
22 Tenths, in statistics : DECILES
24 Increased likelihood of extreme scenarios, in statistics : FAT TAIL
26 Taste : SAPOR
28 Mammal in the Soricidae family : SHREW
30 Spreadsheet specification : ROW
31 Golf Hall-of-Famer Se Ri ___ : PAK
33 Only M.L.B. team never to have played in a World Series : MARINERS
34 National geographic books? : ATLASES
35 “Again …” : I REPEAT …
36 Small knapsack : MUSETTE
37 Diatribes : TIRADES
38 Certain sports instructor : CLUB PRO
39 Whatever’s left : ALL ELSE
40 Works that may require leaps of imagination? : BALLETS
42 Savory Indian pastry : SAMOSA
45 Uninspired, as writing : PROSY
46 Like the most recent Pope Paul among all popes named Paul : SIXTH
49 Seasoned : AGED
50 Jewelry store? : SAFE
53 Canine protection org.? : ADA
54 Russian fighter jet : MIG

9 thoughts on “0108-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. 14:17. Never heard of TE DEUMS, and IMs was not what came to mind for “pings”, so that “M” was pretty much a random guess.

  2. 17:08, no errors. Intimidating grid, but, luckily, not as hard as it looked (to me) at first. At the end “FAT TAIL” and “WILLA” were the two entries I wasn’t sure of.

  3. 38:51. Technically DNF. I was 1/2 way done in about 15 minutes, maybe 2/3 done in 30. Slept on it, but nothing new took hold in my miniscule Xword lizard brain. Took several lookups for the NE corner. I came up with PASCAL, but didn’t know he had a TRIANGLE, for example. Too many other unknowns to mention. And then once I knew the answer, a few forehead slappers. Definitely had a GRIMACE or three.

    However, for a Seattleite, how about them MARINERS – never been to a World Series. My favorite joke about the Mariners comes from sometime in the 1980s:
    Q: What do the Mariners and Michael Jackson have in common?
    wait for it…..
    A: They all wear a glove on one hand for no apparent reason.

  4. 29:26 but same as @Ron F. Needed a lookup for PASCALSTRIANGLE and a few other smaller answers. After PASCALS, I got the rest of the long ones. So technically DNF.

  5. 27:34. The 6 “aha” moments that occurred when I got the 6 long entries on the top and bottom were the only reason I finished.

    I got EAT DESSERT FIRST with only a few letters so that was the highlight…although Homer Simpson’s ““For once maybe someone will call me ‘sir’ without adding, ‘You’re making a scene’” is the better quote.

    Best –

  6. DNF.. had 3 lookups. Tough one.
    That top middle section took me down. TEDEUMS SCREEDS and LARCH was the key.
    Got smug halfway through when I got MUSETTE with crosses along with FATTAIL.

    I got humbled trying to close the grid at the top.

  7. 43:50, 4 errors: (R)AT TAIL/(R)ATE; TE DEU(D)S/I(D)S.
    Impressive construction.
    One criticism: if the setter wanted to show off their French, 5D clue should read: Marcello, Rodolfo, Colline et Schaunard, dans “La Boheme”.

  8. I actually found several pre-SIMPSONS use of “d’oh” in the same sense in a book of scripts of the old UK comedy radio show IT’S THAT MAN AGAIN and reported same to the OED; don’t know if they added them or not (I suppose I should have checked on that — d’oh!).

    Never heard of “bel” and guessed “Wilma” rather than “Willa” for 43across, so couldn’t suss out 39 down. D’oh.

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