0111-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Jan 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Country Star

Themed answers are each a STAR whose name starts with a COUNTRY:

  • 26D Grand Ole Opry performer … or a hint to 17-/18-Across and 23- and 36-Down : COUNTRY STAR
  • 17A With 18-Across, Emmy-winning “Ugly Betty” actress : AMERICA …
  • 18A See 17-Across : … FERRERA
  • 23D Oscar-winning director of “Get Out” : JORDAN PEELE
  • 36D Grammy-winning singer of “Little Things” : INDIA.ARIE

Bill’s time: 7m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Positive particles : PROTONS

A proton is a subatomic particle, with at least one found in the nucleus of every atom. A proton is not a “fundamental particle” though, as it itself is made up of three quarks; two up quarks and one down quark.

8 Fending (off) : STAVING

The word “stave” was originally the plural of “staff”, a word describing a wooden rod. To “stave off” originated with the concept of holding off with a staff. In the world of barrel-making, a stave is a narrow strip of wood that forms part of a barrel’s side.

17 With 18-Across, Emmy-winning “Ugly Betty” actress : AMERICA …
18 See 17-Across : … FERRERA

“Ugly Betty” is a drama-comedy show that originally aired on television from 2006 to 2010. The show is based on a telenovela soap opera from Colombia called “Yo soy Betty, la fea”. The title role of Betty Suarez is played by America Ferrera.

19 Festive French season : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

20 Goddess often depicted holding a staff of papyrus : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

21 Lunch with Skippy, briefly? : PBJ

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

Skippy is a brand of peanut butter that has been around since 1933 when it was introduced by Rosefield Packing Co., just down the road here in Alameda, California. The companies that have owned the “Skippy” brand name have for decades been in dispute with the estate of Percy Crosby, the creator of the “Skippy” comic strip, over use of the name.

25 Nabokov’s longest novel : ADA

“Ada” is a 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but that country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province called “Estody”. The storyline is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

26 QB Newton who popularized dabbing : CAM

Cam Newton plays quarterback for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. One interesting thing about Newton is that he is a pescetarian, eating seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Sounds fishy to me …

31 Author of “An Inconvenient Truth” : AL GORE

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

33 Spelling of “BH90210” : TORI

Tori Spelling is an American actress who made a name for herself playing Donna Martin on television’s “Beverly Hills, 90210”. Tori is the daughter of film and television producer Aaron Spelling.

“Beverly Hills, 90210” is a drama that aired on Fox from 1990 to 2000. The show follows the lives of little rich kids in Beverly Hills. Many of the cast members have made it big following their appearances on “90210”, including Jason Priestly, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. I’ve never even seen one episode …

34 Enlighten : EDIFY

To edify is to provide instruction in order to improve spiritually, morally or intellectually. The intent is to “build up” someone’s faith or morality, and so “edify” comes from the Latin “aedificare” meaning “to build, construct”. This Latin root also gives us our word “edifice”, meaning “massive building”.

41 “The Queen’s Gambit” actress Taylor-Joy : ANYA

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy had quite the international upbringing. She was born in Miami, and raised in Buenos Aires and then London. She is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and the lead role in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

42 Newswoman Paula : ZAHN

Paula Zahn has worked as a journalist and news anchor with ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN. In 2009, she first appeared as the host of the long-running true crime show on the Discovery Channel called “On the Case with Paula Zahn”. Outside of her work on television, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has even played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.

45 Sondheim’s “___ the Woods” : INTO

“Into the Woods” is a Stephen Sondheim musical that premiered in 1986. The storyline uses characters from several fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella”. The borrowed characters are held together with an underlying original tale about a baker and his wife who long to have a child, but cannot due to a curse placed on them by a witch.

50 ___-runner (bootlegger) : RUM

To bootleg is to make or smuggle alcoholic drinks illegally. The term arose in the late 1800s as slang for the practice of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. The term has been extended to mean the illegal production and sale of just about anything.

52 One calling you out, perhaps : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

53 Bunch of numbers for crunching : DATA SET

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

54 N.B.A.’s ___ Ming : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

57 Certain camera, for short : SLR

Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera

58 Journalist ___ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA

Adela Rogers St. Johns was a journalist, novelist and screenwriter from Los Angeles. St. Johns’ father was a good friend of William Randolph Hearst, and she secured her first job working for Hearst as a reporter on the “San Francisco Examiner”. St. Johns was most famous as what was then called a “girl reporter”, in the twenties and thirties. Much later in her life, she was a regular guest on the “Tonight Show” hosted by Jack Paar.

60 Path of a pop-up : ARC

That might be baseball.

61 Threepio’s “Star Wars” companion : ARTOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2 (also “Artoo-Detoo”). R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 feet 8 inches tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

C-3PO (or “Threepio”) is the protocol droid that appears in the “Star Wars” movie franchise.

63 Site of a Massachusetts tourist shop named “Witch Way Gifts” : SALEM

Salem is a seaport on the Massachusetts coast. It is noted as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692, an event that the city commemorates during the run-up to Halloween every year in October.

66 Amazon voice assistant : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with Amazon Echo smart speakers. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

67 Actor Billy ___ Williams : DEE

Actor Billy Dee Williams is most famous for playing the character Lando Calrissian in two of the “Stars Wars” movies.

Down

1 ___ Tour : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

2 Sleep stage, in brief : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

4 Bird on a beach : TERN

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

5 Baltimore bird : ORIOLE

The Baltimore oriole is a small bird with a largely yellow body. The male’s coloring of black and yellow resembles the colors of the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore, the first Governor of the Province of Maryland, and so the bird was given the name “Baltimore” oriole. It is the state bird of Maryland, and lends its name to the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

8 Bulgaria’s capital : SOFIA

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. Natives pronounce the name “Sofia” with the emphasis on the “o”, while the rest of us tend to stress the “i”. Bulgarians do agree with us though when it comes to the girl’s name “Sofia”, then they stress the “i” like we do!

9 They always come 48 hours before Thanksgiving : TUESDAYS

Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

10 Relating to a heart chamber : ATRIAL

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze those blood supplies into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

11 Some old tape players, briefly : VCRS

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

14 Transcript fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

21 Court great Sampras : PETE

Pete Sampras is a retired Greek-American tennis professional. Sampras was rated number one in the world rankings for six years in a row in the nineties.

22 Prize for third place : BRONZE MEDAL

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

23 Oscar-winning director of “Get Out” : JORDAN PEELE

Jordan Peele is a former cast member of the sketch comedy show “Mad TV”. Peele created his own sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” with fellow-Mad TV alum Keegan-Michael Key. Peele started hosting and producing the revival of “The Twilight Zone” in 2019.

“Get Out” is a 2017 horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. I don’t do horror, but I do hear that this one is well made …

26 Grand Ole Opry performer … or a hint to 17-/18-Across and 23- and 36-Down : COUNTRY STAR

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

28 Bit of Southwest topography : MESA

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

30 Share juicy gossip : DISH

To dish the dirt is to talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information). To be dishy is to be given to gossip.

32 2008 Clint Eastwood film “___ Torino” : GRAN

“Gran Torino” is a 2008 Clint Eastwood movie in which he plays an angry, widowed Korean War veteran named Walt Kowalkski. Kowalski’s young neighbor attempts to steal his 1972 Ford Gran torino muscle car (hence the film’s name), but gets caught in the act. Much of the storyline is about Kowalski and the family of the young thief/neighbor developing a surprising relationship.

35 Half of a double helix : DNA STRAND

Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge. In 1962, along with molecular biologist Maurice Wilkins, Watson and Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

36 Grammy-winning singer of “Little Things” : INDIA.ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

43 Rhyming descriptor for Obama : NO DRAMA

Barack Obama earned the nickname “No Drama Obama” during the 2007-2008 presidential campaign, as his progress towards the White Office was viewed by many as relatively cautious and error-free.

45 Groups fixing computer crashes, for short : IT TEAMS

Information technology (IT)

46 Scar’s brother in “The Lion King” : MUFASA

In the 1994 movie “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, a lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick, and Scar is voiced by Jeremy Irons. “Simba” is Swahili for “lion, king, strong”.

49 “Mama ___ Crazy,” 1984 hit by the Judds : HE’S

The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

59 “Superman” antagonist ___ Luthor : LEX

Lex Luthor is the nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

62 Dem.’s opposite : REP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Positive particles : PROTONS
8 Fending (off) : STAVING
15 Brand X : GENERIC
16 Precipice of exposed bedrock : OUTCROP
17 With 18-Across, Emmy-winning “Ugly Betty” actress : AMERICA …
18 See 17-Across : … FERRERA
19 Festive French season : NOEL
20 Goddess often depicted holding a staff of papyrus : ISIS
21 Lunch with Skippy, briefly? : PBJ
24 Tricky thing to get caught in : LIE
25 Nabokov’s longest novel : ADA
26 QB Newton who popularized dabbing : CAM
29 Ate away : ERODED
31 Author of “An Inconvenient Truth” : AL GORE
33 Spelling of “BH90210” : TORI
34 Enlighten : EDIFY
38 Deeply regrets : RUES
39 65-Across justifiers, in a saying : ENDS
40 Year, in ancient Rome : ANNUS
41 “The Queen’s Gambit” actress Taylor-Joy : ANYA
42 Newswoman Paula : ZAHN
44 Remark further : ADD
45 Sondheim’s “___ the Woods” : INTO
46 Fellows : MEN
47 When viewed : ON SIGHT
50 ___-runner (bootlegger) : RUM
52 One calling you out, perhaps : UMP
53 Bunch of numbers for crunching : DATA SET
54 N.B.A.’s ___ Ming : YAO
55 Charge : FEE
56 Come over the top, in poker : RERAISE
57 Certain camera, for short : SLR
58 Journalist ___ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA
60 Path of a pop-up : ARC
61 Threepio’s “Star Wars” companion : ARTOO
63 Site of a Massachusetts tourist shop named “Witch Way Gifts” : SALEM
64 Nothing : NIL
65 See 39-Across : MEANS
66 Amazon voice assistant : ALEXA
67 Actor Billy ___ Williams : DEE
68 Shopping ___ : SPREE

Down

1 ___ Tour : PGA
2 Sleep stage, in brief : REM
3 Unified : ONE
4 Bird on a beach : TERN
5 Baltimore bird : ORIOLE
6 “Great thinking!” : NICE IDEA!
7 Common bathroom device : SCALE
8 Bulgaria’s capital : SOFIA
9 They always come 48 hours before Thanksgiving : TUESDAYS
10 Relating to a heart chamber : ATRIAL
11 Some old tape players, briefly : VCRS
12 Wrath : IRE
13 Here/there go-between : NOR
14 Transcript fig. : GPA
21 Court great Sampras : PETE
22 Prize for third place : BRONZE MEDAL
23 Oscar-winning director of “Get Out” : JORDAN PEELE
26 Grand Ole Opry performer … or a hint to 17-/18-Across and 23- and 36-Down : COUNTRY STAR
27 “Can we talk privately?” : ARE YOU ALONE?
28 Bit of Southwest topography : MESA
30 Share juicy gossip : DISH
32 2008 Clint Eastwood film “___ Torino” : GRAN
35 Half of a double helix : DNA STRAND
36 Grammy-winning singer of “Little Things” : INDIA.ARIE
37 Chocolate treat on a stick : FUDGSICLE
43 Rhyming descriptor for Obama : NO DRAMA
45 Groups fixing computer crashes, for short : IT TEAMS
46 Scar’s brother in “The Lion King” : MUFASA
48 Scot’s refusal : NAE
49 “Mama ___ Crazy,” 1984 hit by the Judds : HE’S
51 Gloomy : MOROSE
59 “Superman” antagonist ___ Luthor : LEX
62 Dem.’s opposite : REP

9 thoughts on “0111-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Jan 22, Tuesday”

  1. 7:11 Just two slight issues – ZAO vs YAO (I wasn’t quite sure of his first name) and ANNUM vs. ANNUS. I was thinking of the phrase “per annum” for a Latin year.

  2. 21:46 – couple cheats

    I struggled with this, maybe too many people/places/things for me and I had trouble getting it going. Never heard of INDIA ARIE, ANYA/Taylor Joy, NODRAMA/Obama (must lead a sheltered life), JORDANPEELE, AMERICA FERRERA, etc.

    They were mostly “gettable” with the crosses, but really made it tough for me.

    Ah, better days are ahead …

    Be Well.

  3. 18:56 no errors.
    When I was a kid we got fudgesickles from “the good humor man” for 5 cents and they were good.❤️ I don’t know where the spelling of fudgsicle comes from but it’s most likely in the OED
    Stay safe😀

  4. 13:12, no errors. As usual for me, totally oblivious to the theme. The JORDAN PEELE/ADELA cross was a complete guess. It has been many years since I got a FUDGSICLE from the Good Humor man. Back then I couldn’t have cared less that the commercial spelling dropped the ‘E’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.