0112-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Jan 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Adam Aaronson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Rhyming with Numbers

Themed answers each rhyme with the numbers at the end of the corresponding clue:

  • 46D Like 17-, 26-, 40-, 51- and 64-Across, with respect to the numbers in their clues : RHYMING
  • 17A “A Fish Called Wanda” co-star [7,9] : KEVIN KLINE
  • 26A A total blast [8,1] : GREAT FUN
  • 40A Purple Heart honoree, maybe [4,0] : WAR HERO
  • 51A Eschew scuba gear, say [3,5] : FREE-DIVE
  • 64A Some poster-making supplies [2,6] : GLUE STICKS

Bill’s time: 8m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 One of more than 30,000 in Scotland : LOCH

“Loch” is the Scottish-Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish-Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

17 “A Fish Called Wanda” co-star [7,9] : KEVIN KLINE

Actor Kevin Kline stars in many of my favorite films, like “French Kiss” (in which he had a very impressive French accent) and “A Fish Called Wanda.” Kline also appeared in the romantic comedy “In & Out”, and the modern-day classic “The Big Chill”. It was while shooting “The Big Chill” that Kline met his future wife, actress Phoebe Cates.

The 1988 comedy “A Fish Called Wanda” is a favorite of mine. The film was co-written by and stars John Cleese, and has an exceptional cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Cleese’s friend from “Monty Python”, Michael Palin. Kevin Kline won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. The “fish” in the film is the con artist Wanda, played by Curtis.

21 Wolf (down) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

23 Female whitetail, e.g. : DOE

The white-tailed deer (sometimes just “whitetail”) is very common in North America, especially east of the Rocky Mountains. West of the Rockies, whitetails have largely been replaced by black-tailed deer.

28 On one side of an outfield pole : FOUL

That would be baseball .

30 Sister brand of Crest : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

31 Pre-weekend outburst : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF)

37 Ends of mazes : GOALS

Back around 1300, “maze” meant “delusion, bewilderment”, and came from the same root as our verb “to amaze”. It was almost two centuries later that a labyrinth, or baffling network of paths, came to be described as a “maze”. Mazes are amazing, bewildering.

40 Purple Heart honoree, maybe [4,0] : WAR HERO

The Purple Heart is a military decoration awarded by the President to members of the US military forces who have been wounded or killed while serving. Today’s Purple Heart was originally called the Badge of Military Merit, an award that was established by George Washington 1782 while he was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The Purple Heart is a heart-shaped medal with a gold border bearing a profile of President Washington, and a purple ribbon.

42 Giant in camping gear : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

49 Galifianakis of “Birdman” : ZACH

Zach Galifianakis is a stand-up comedian who is making a name for himself on the big screen. Galifianakis garnered a lot of attention for his role in 2009’s “The Hangover”, and also starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the 2010 release “Due Date”.

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I really did not enjoy “Birdman” …

51 Eschew scuba gear, say [3,5] : FREE-DIVE

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

58 Sluglike secretary in “Monsters, Inc.” : ROZ

The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

61 Sandwich eaten next to a fire : 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!

62 Nano or Touch : IPOD

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a Wi-Fi capability. Essentially, I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

68 Caroler’s tune : 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”.

71 Posh shindig : GALA

No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that “posh” is actually an acronym standing for “port out, starboard home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers traveling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

Down

2 Singer with the album “30” : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US. “30” followed in 2021.

3 ___ Stadium a.k.a. “Field of Jeans” : LEVI’S

The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL have been playing their home games in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara since 2014. The team moved from the famous Candlestick Park, which they had been using since 1971. Levi’s Stadium, the team’s new home, got a big boost in January 2016 when it was used as the venue for the Super Bowl. Given the sponsorship by Levi Stauss, the jeans manufacturer, the venue has the nickname “Field of Jeans”, a play on the movie title “Field of Dreams”.

5 Animal facing a moose on Michigan’s flag : ELK

The Michigan state flag features the state’s coat-of-arms on a blue background. The coat-of-arms comprises a shield supported by an elk on one side and a moose on the other.

8 Currency of Iraq : DINAR

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq, Tunisia, Bahrain and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

9 System that might include a turntable : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

10 TV E.T. : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. The title character is a hand-puppet, and supposedly an alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. The alien crash-landed into the house of amateur radio enthusiast Willie Tanner. Tanner renamed the intruder “ALF”, standing for “alien life form”.

18 Ruler during the Great Fire of Rome : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

22 FX series set in the Great Plains : FARGO

“Fargo” is a TV series inspired by the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen brothers. The small-screen version first aired in 2014, with the credits including Joel and Ethan Coen as executive producers. Each season of the show features a new cast. The 2014 cast is led by Billy Bob Thornton, the 2015 cast by Kirsten Dunst, and the 2017 cast by Ewan McGregor. Each episode, and indeed the original film, includes the on-screen claim that “This is a true story”. However, that claim is in fact untrue.

The Great Plains lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains in North America. This vast grassland is known as “the Prairies” in Canada.

25 Brass instrument with the largest mouthpiece : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

27 East Asian doctrine : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

29 Nonkosher cooking fat : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

31 “Spare me the gory details” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

35 Greek “P” : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R. It is the 17th letter in the Greek alphabet.

36 German automaker Karl : BENZ

It is generally accepted that Karl Benz invented the internal combustion engine, although others were doing similar work around the same time. He certainly was awarded the first patent for an automobile, in 1886. His first automobile, the Patent-Motorwagen, couldn’t get up hills unaided so his wife Bertha Benz suggested the introduction of gears. Sure enough, the next model had two gears. Behind every successful man …

40 Tiger on the green : WOODS

Golfer Tiger Woods’ real name is Eldrick Tont Woods. “Tont” is a traditional Thai name. Tiger’s father Earl Woods met his second wife Kultida Punsawad in 1966, while on a tour of duty with the US Army in Thailand.

48 Oversaw? : BINGED

I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show live, and instead wait until the whole series has been released online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

50 Playbill heading : CAST

I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in “Playbill” as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. “Playbill” started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can’t see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of “Playbill”.

51 ___-Lay : FRITO

The manufacturers of Frito and Lay potato chips merged to form Frito-Lay in 1961. Frito-Lay then merged with Pepsi-Cola in 1965 to form PepsiCo.

53 Exercise that works the fingers : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

55 Hot ___ : COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

56 Nerdy “Family Matters” boy : URKEL

Steve Urkel is a character on the TV show “Family Matters” that originally aired in the late eighties and nineties. The Urkel character was the archetypal “geek”, played by Jaleel White. Urkel was originally written into the show’s storyline for just one episode, but before long, Urkel was the show’s most popular recurring character.

57 Cybertruck maker : TESLA

Tesla’s Cybertruck is an electric-powered pickup truck that the company unveiled in 2019. It’s a pretty futuristic design, one inspired by the flying cars in “Blade Runner” and the automobile/submarine Lotus Esprit in “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

60 March Madness datum : SEED

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.

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year. Another name is “the Big Dance”.

65 “For reals,” in texts : SRS

Serious can be written as “srs” in textspeak.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 End of a dorm name, usually : … HALL
5 Old-fashioned “Jeez!” : EGADS!
10 Huggers : ARMS
14 Cause for an aha : IDEA
15 On the up and up : LEGIT
16 One of more than 30,000 in Scotland : LOCH
17 “A Fish Called Wanda” co-star [7,9] : KEVIN KLINE
19 Tapered hairstyle : FADE
20 Say “I dunno,” say : ELIDE
21 Wolf (down) : SNARF
23 Female whitetail, e.g. : DOE
24 Last ___ (final option) : RESORT
26 A total blast [8,1] : GREAT FUN
28 On one side of an outfield pole : FOUL
30 Sister brand of Crest : ORAL-B
31 Pre-weekend outburst : TGIF!
34 Biting remark : BARB
37 Ends of mazes : GOALS
39 “Whew!” : MAN!
40 Purple Heart honoree, maybe [4,0] : WAR HERO
42 Giant in camping gear : REI
43 Reply to “Nuh-uh!” : IS TOO!
45 Fully cooked : DONE
46 Musician’s break : REST
47 Pulse painfully : THROB
49 Galifianakis of “Birdman” : ZACH
51 Eschew scuba gear, say [3,5] : FREE-DIVE
54 Downside of starting a new career path, perhaps : PAY CUT
58 Sluglike secretary in “Monsters, Inc.” : ROZ
59 Sulky states : SNITS
61 Sandwich eaten next to a fire : S’MORE
62 Nano or Touch : IPOD
64 Some poster-making supplies [2,6] : GLUE STICKS
66 ___ melt : TUNA
67 Respected person in a tribe : ELDER
68 Caroler’s tune : NOEL
69 Conform to : OBEY
70 Landowners’ documents : DEEDS
71 Posh shindig : GALA

Down

1 One often seen wearing boots with shorts : HIKER
2 Singer with the album “30” : ADELE
3 ___ Stadium a.k.a. “Field of Jeans” : LEVI’S
4 Idled, as workers : LAID OFF
5 Animal facing a moose on Michigan’s flag : ELK
6 Comes together nicely : GELS
7 Anti-___ cream : AGING
8 Currency of Iraq : DINAR
9 System that might include a turntable : STEREO
10 TV E.T. : ALF
11 Impromptu signal to slow down : ROAD FLARE
12 Two-patty burgers introduced in 1997 : MCDOUBLES
13 Matte’s lack : SHEEN
18 Ruler during the Great Fire of Rome : NERO
22 FX series set in the Great Plains : FARGO
25 Brass instrument with the largest mouthpiece : TUBA
27 East Asian doctrine : TAO
29 Nonkosher cooking fat : LARD
31 “Spare me the gory details” : TMI
32 Venue for meals with microbrews : GASTROPUB
33 Acutely focused and attuned : IN THE ZONE
35 Greek “P” : RHO
36 German automaker Karl : BENZ
38 Stand no more, say : SIT
40 Tiger on the green : WOODS
41 Glean : REAP
44 Contents of a vein : ORE
46 Like 17-, 26-, 40-, 51- and 64-Across, with respect to the numbers in their clues : RHYMING
48 Oversaw? : BINGED
50 Playbill heading : CAST
51 ___-Lay : FRITO
52 Common city name ending : -VILLE
53 Exercise that works the fingers : ETUDE
55 Hot ___ : COCOA
56 Nerdy “Family Matters” boy : URKEL
57 Cybertruck maker : TESLA
60 March Madness datum : SEED
63 Word after field or before dreams : DAY
65 “For reals,” in texts : SRS

4 thoughts on “0112-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Jan 22, Wednesday”

  1. 9:32, no errors. Finally figured out what the numbers were all about, but only after I was done. Pretty obtuse (of me) … 😳.

  2. 14:31. Ugh. Whizzed through this one until I got to the SE. Then slowed to a crawl. Looking at it after I finished, I don’t know why that section gave me trouble. Oh, well…

  3. 10:25 didn’t get the theme until I came here. Never said the theme answers out loud to correlate with the numbers. It was late at night – what can I say other than DOH!! – forehead slap.

  4. 11:45. No knowing how to spell KEVIN KLein at first didn’t help, nor did thinking GREAT gUN and ROAD gLARE (which sorta makes sense) were good ideas.

    Got the theme but not until I was already finished.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.