0110-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Jan 22, Monday

Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): The Grand Ole Rhyming Puzzle

Themed answers each end with words that rhyme, from BOWL to HOLE:

  • 17A Where to get one’s Kix? : CEREAL BOWL
  • 25A Singer/songwriter nicknamed “Piano Man” : BILLY JOEL
  • 31A Forlorn, directionless type : LOST SOUL
  • 40A Survey of Election Day voters : EXIT POLL
  • 47A Greener energy source : CLEAN COAL
  • 56A Categorize simplistically : PIGEONHOLE

Bill’s time: 4m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Police officers : COPS

“To cop” was northern-English dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

5 Activity with a lotus position : YOGA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

9 Word before Actor and Actress at the Oscars : BEST …

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

16 Story about Zeus or Hera, say : MYTH

Accounting to mythology, Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island of Crete.

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

17 Where to get one’s Kix? : CEREAL BOWL

Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

20 Birds in a gaggle : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

23 ___ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

25 Singer/songwriter nicknamed “Piano Man” : BILLY JOEL

Billy Joel is the third-best selling solo artist in the US, after Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Joel’s name has been associated with two supermodels in his life. He dated Elle Macpherson, and wrote two songs about their relationship: “This Night” and “And So It Goes”. Joel’s second wife was Christie Brinkley, to whom he was married from 1985 to 1994. Brinkley appeared in the title role in the music video for “Uptown Girl”.

“Piano Man” is a great 1973 song released by Billy Joel, his first ever single. The song reflects Joel’s own experiences working as a piano-lounge singer in a Los Angeles bar called the Executive Room. The lyrics mention a “waitress practicing politics”. That waitress was Elizabeth Weber who worked at the Executive Room. Weber became Joel’s first wife.

28 “___-Man” (Paul Rudd superhero film) : ANT

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

I think Paul Rudd is a very talented actor. He has played a variety of roles in movies but is probably best known on television for playing Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend and then husband on the sitcom “Friends”.

29 Gloomy atmosphere : PALL

A pall is a cloth used to cover a casket at a funeral. Pallbearers actually carry the coffin, covered by the pall. The phrase “casting a pall over”, meaning to create a dark mood, is a metaphorical use of the “pall” over the casket.

31 Forlorn, directionless type : LOST SOUL

Someone described as forlorn appears sad and lonely because he or she has been deserted or abandoned.

34 Some hotel and restaurant staffers : VALETS

A varlet was an attendant or servant, and perhaps a knight’s page. The term “varlet” comes from the Old French “vaslet” meaning “squire, young man”. “Vaslet” also gave us our contemporary word “valet”. The term “varlet” came to be pejorative, describing an unprincipled person.

35 Place for a ship’s captain : HELM

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

37 Places among the troops, as a journalist : EMBEDS

Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

40 Survey of Election Day voters : EXIT POLL

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

45 Street ___ (acceptance among peers) : CRED

“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

46 One of 435 in D.C. : REP

The number of seats in the US House of Representatives has been 435 since the year 1913, although there was a temporary increase to 437 seats at the time of the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union. The number of representatives assigned to each state is proportional to that state’s population, except that each state is guaranteed a minimum of one delegate by the US Constitution.

47 Greener energy source : CLEAN COAL

“Clean coal” is the term preferred by the coal industry and its supporters for what is more accurately referred to as “coal pollution mitigation”. In environmental terms, coal is one of the dirtiest of fuels, and causes a lot of pollution. Technologies can reduce that level of pollution, making coal “less dirty”. But “clean”, I’m not so sure …

49 Skedaddles : SCATS

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

51 Org. promoting oral health : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

52 Source for maple syrup : SAP

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

56 Categorize simplistically : PIGEONHOLE

Back in the 16th century, a pigeonhole was a small recess used by pigeons for nesting. Towards the end of the 17th century, the term “pigeonholes” had been borrowed to describe compartments at the back of a writing desk. Two hundred years later, we were using the verb “pigeonhole” figuratively, to mean “label mentally”.

61 Marine animals with flippers : SEALS

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

62 “___ go bragh!” (“Ireland forever!”) : ERIN

“Erin go bragh!” is an anglicization of the Irish phrase “Éirinn go brách!”, which translates as “Ireland forever!”

63 Cold and damp, as a basement : DANK

“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by “damp”, another nice word. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

64 Barbecue skewer : SPIT

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

65 1-Across in Manhattan, for short : NYPD
(1A Police officers : COPS)

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the country. The department’s roots go back as far as 1625 when there was an eight-man night watch in the days when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. Several disparate forces with policing responsibility were amalgamated in 1844 to form the New York City Police Department, signaling the end of the night watch force that had existed for over 200 years.

Down

1 U.S. public health agcy. : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

2 Common herb in pizza : OREGANO

Oregano is a perennial herb that is in the mint family. Also known as wild marjoram, oregano is very much associated with the cuisine of southern Italy. Oregano’s popularity surged in the US when soldiers returning from WWII in Europe brought with them an affinity for what they called “the pizza herb”.

4 Like most desserts : SWEET

Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the last course to be cleared from the table.

5 New Haven alma mater of five presidents : YALE

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. Famously, it is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

Five US presidents attended Yale University:

  • William Howard Taft
  • Gerald Ford
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush

7 Melted chocolate, e.g. : GOO

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”.

8 To boot : AS WELL

The verb “to boot”, as used in the world of computers, comes from the phrase “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps”. The idea is that the software that has to be loaded before a computer can do anything useful is called a “bootstrap load”.

9 Luxury German carmaker : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

15 Carrier based at Ben Gurion Airport : EL AL

Ben Gurion International (TLV) is Israel’s main airport, and is located in the city of Lod just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv. The airport is named for David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.

18 Nincompoop : ASS

The word “nincompoop”, meaning “fool”, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

24 Chum : PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

25 “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” writer : BAUM

L. Frank Baum (the “L” is for Lyman) is famous for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Writing early in the 20th century, Baum actually described in his books things that had yet to be invented, like television, laptop computers and wireless telephones.

27 Minty drink at Churchill Downs : JULEP

A mint julep is a bourbon-based cocktail that is associated with the American South, and with the Kentucky Derby in particular. If you’d like to make yourself a mint julep, one recipe is:

  • 3 oz of Bourbon
  • 4-6 sprigs of mint
  • granulated sugar to taste

Churchill Downs is a thoroughbred racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky that is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby each year. The track is named for John and Henry Churchill who once owned the land on which the course was built.

32 Letter before iota : 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.

33 Many family cars : SEDANS

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

36 Figure skating jump : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

38 Neighbor of Ukraine once part of the U.S.S.R. : MOLDOVA

The Republic of Moldova (usually referred to as “Moldova”) was the Moldavian Socialist Republic before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

39 Burglary, e.g. : BREAK-IN

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

43 Discs on hi-fis : LPS

Hi-fi systems were introduced in the late 1940s. They are pieces of audio equipment designed to give a much higher quality reproduction of sound than cheaper systems available up to that point. “Hi-fi” stands for “high fidelity”.

45 Xeroxes, e.g. : COPIES

A xerox is a copy made on a xerography machine. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, although he originally referred to the process as electrophotography. Joseph Wilson commercialized Carlson’s process some years later, coining the term “Xerography” using the Greek words for “dry” and “writing”. Wilson changed the name of his own photographic company to Xerox.

48 Mushroom parts : CAPS

A mushroom isn’t a complete living organism per se but rather is one part of a fungus, and is the fruiting body that is responsible for distributing reproductive spores. The mushroom generally has three main components: the stipe (or “stem”), the pileus (or “cap”) and the lamellae (or “gills”) under the cap which distribute the spores.

49 George or Louis, to William and Kate : SON

Kate Middleton is the wife of Prince William of the UK. Middleton is what one might call a commoner, although since her marriage she is known as the Duchess of Cambridge. She was born to parents who had worked together as flight attendants before becoming quite wealthy running their own mail-order business. As is so often the case in Britain, Kate’s ancestry can be traced back far enough to show that she and William do have common ancestors, dating back to the 1500s on her mother’s side and to the 1400s on her father’s side.

50 Leonard who wrote the song “Hallelujah” : COHEN

I’ve never been a big fan of the music of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (don’t all yell at me at the same time!). That said, his 1984 song “Hallelujah” is superb, and I particularly like the version recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994. Then again, “Suzanne” is pretty special too. Just ignore me …

53 The late Alex Trebek, for one : HOST

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But, it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek was host from 1984 until his sad passing in 2020.

55 Antlered animal : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

58 Pharmacist/philanthropist Lilly : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Police officers : COPS
5 Activity with a lotus position : YOGA
9 Word before Actor and Actress at the Oscars : BEST …
13 Tie score : DRAW
14 Emerged, as an issue : AROSE
16 Story about Zeus or Hera, say : MYTH
17 Where to get one’s Kix? : CEREAL BOWL
19 Have on : WEAR
20 Birds in a gaggle : GEESE
21 Dig in at dinner : EAT
23 ___ Lanka : SRI
24 Jeans or jodhpurs : PANTS
25 Singer/songwriter nicknamed “Piano Man” : BILLY JOEL
28 “___-Man” (Paul Rudd superhero film) : ANT
29 Gloomy atmosphere : PALL
30 In the countryside : RURAL
31 Forlorn, directionless type : LOST SOUL
34 Some hotel and restaurant staffers : VALETS
35 Place for a ship’s captain : HELM
36 Top-of-the-line : A-ONE
37 Places among the troops, as a journalist : EMBEDS
40 Survey of Election Day voters : EXIT POLL
44 Somewhat, informally : SORTA
45 Street ___ (acceptance among peers) : CRED
46 One of 435 in D.C. : REP
47 Greener energy source : CLEAN COAL
49 Skedaddles : SCATS
51 Org. promoting oral health : ADA
52 Source for maple syrup : SAP
53 Derisive cries from the audience : HOOTS
54 Jab : POKE
56 Categorize simplistically : PIGEONHOLE
60 Diabolical : EVIL
61 Marine animals with flippers : SEALS
62 “___ go bragh!” (“Ireland forever!”) : ERIN
63 Cold and damp, as a basement : DANK
64 Barbecue skewer : SPIT
65 1-Across in Manhattan, for short : NYPD

Down

1 U.S. public health agcy. : CDC
2 Common herb in pizza : OREGANO
3 Perennial embarrassments for teens : PARENTS
4 Like most desserts : SWEET
5 New Haven alma mater of five presidents : YALE
6 Sphere : ORB
7 Melted chocolate, e.g. : GOO
8 To boot : AS WELL
9 Luxury German carmaker : BMW
10 Blight on the landscape : EYESORE
11 Fix one’s gaze on : STARE AT
12 Sensations at amusement parks : THRILLS
15 Carrier based at Ben Gurion Airport : EL AL
18 Nincompoop : ASS
22 Ruthless ruler : TYRANT
24 Chum : PAL
25 “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” writer : BAUM
26 Under the weather : ILL
27 Minty drink at Churchill Downs : JULEP
29 Capitol insiders, informally : POLS
32 Letter before iota : THETA
33 Many family cars : SEDANS
34 Emptiness : VOID
36 Figure skating jump : AXEL
37 Got away : ESCAPED
38 Neighbor of Ukraine once part of the U.S.S.R. : MOLDOVA
39 Burglary, e.g. : BREAK-IN
40 Noted stretch of time : ERA
41 Grand speechmaking : ORATORY
42 Reveal inadvertently : LET SLIP
43 Discs on hi-fis : LPS
45 Xeroxes, e.g. : COPIES
48 Mushroom parts : CAPS
49 George or Louis, to William and Kate : SON
50 Leonard who wrote the song “Hallelujah” : COHEN
53 The late Alex Trebek, for one : HOST
55 Antlered animal : ELK
57 Distinct disparity : GAP
58 Pharmacist/philanthropist Lilly : ELI
59 Finale : END

8 thoughts on “0110-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Jan 22, Monday”

  1. 7:46. Hit a few snags after ripping through the first parts. Didn’t pay any attention whatsoever to the theme.

    Best –

  2. 14:55 with one dumb error that resulted from just plain laziness👎👎
    I watched the super bowl yesterday and did not understand half of the commercials or what they were trying to say or sell🤪
    Stay safe😀

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