0115-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Jan 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 17m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Baby’s barnyard bovine : MOO COW

Something described as bovine is related to a cow, ox or buffalo, indeed any ruminant in the genus Bos. “Bos” is the Latin for “cow”, and “bovinus” a Late Latin derivative term.

19 Crashing an online meeting : ZOOMBOMBING

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

21 One might be loaded : DIE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so-called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

22 Creatures whose newborns have striped bodies : EMUS

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

35 Spiritual object : TOTEM

“Totem” is a word used to describe any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature, and often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

39 W.W. I, W.W. II, etc. : ERAS

World War I (WWI) began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. Over 9 million military personnel died in WWI, and over 7 million civilians. World War II started on 1 September 1939 and ended on 2 September 1945. Over 24 million military personnel died in WWII, and over 49 million civilians.

World War II started on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, falsely claiming that Poland had invaded German territory. Two days later, France and the UK declared war on Germany as a reprisal. The former British dominions of Australia, India and New Zealand followed suit within hours.

46 Gold units: Abbr. : KTS

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

48 Any of the Seven Dwarfs : MINER

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

50 ___ tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

51 Kind of drive : USB

A thumb drive is a USB flash drive.

52 Locale 60 miles south of the California/Oregon border : MOUNT SHASTA

Mount Shasta is in northern California. The origin of the name “Shasta” seems to be unclear. It may have come from the Russian “tchastal” meaning “white, clean, pure”, a name given to the volcanic peak by early Russian immigrants.

55 Creator of the first pumped-up athletic shoe : REEBOK

The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.

57 Catchphrase of Winnie-the-Pooh : OH, BOTHER!

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

58 Popular typeface similar to Bauhaus : FUTURA

We tend to use the terms typeface and font interchangeably. Technically, a typeface and font are not the same thing. A complete set of characters with a common design is referred to as a typeface (common examples being Helvetica and Arial). That typeface consists of a whole collection of fonts, all varying in weight and size. One set of Helvetica fonts, for example, might be Helvetica 14 point or Helvetica 16 point, i.e. a specific size. Another set might be Helvetica bold, or Helvetica italic. The difference between fonts and typefaces mattered a great deal when printers had collections of individual letters to make up blocks of text. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that these days.

Down

4 Simoleons : CLAMS

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

5 Spot for a bus stop, in Bristol : KERB

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

Bristol is the most populous city in the southwest of England. Bristol is a port city, one that had a notorious role in the growth of slavery in America. Manufactured goods from the UK were shipped from Bristol to West Africa where they were traded for Africans who were forcibly transported across the Atlantic for trade in the Americas. The slave ships brought back plantation goods to Bristol.

6 Get into a pose, perhaps : DO YOGA

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

7 What God is, per an Ariana Grande hit : A WOMAN

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

9 Eye-opening declaration? : AMEN

Someone praying with eyes closed might open those eyes after saying “Amen”.

14 Some brief updates : TWEETS

I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so (but one should never say “never”!). Twitter is a microblogging service that limits any post sent to just 280 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send out anything interesting using just 280 characters.

27 2010s fansite craze whose members joined Hogwarts houses : POTTERMORE

In the “Harry Potter” series of books, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is divided into four houses:

  • Gryffindor
  • Hufflepuff
  • Ravenclaw
  • Slytherin

Each student is assigned to a house by the Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat initially placed young Harry into Gryffindor House.

34 Mirabile ___ (wonderful to say: Lat.) : DICTU

The Latin phrase “mirabile dictu” is used as an interjection meaning “wonderful to tell”. The related phrase “mirabile visu” means “wonderful to see”.

36 Takes advantage of a situation, so to speak : MAKES HAY

Make hay while the sun shines … seize the opportunity.

41 Blue-nosed sorts? : SMURFS

The Smurfs are little blue people created in 1958 by the Belgian cartoonist who went by the pen name Peyo. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children’s cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one “Smurfette”, who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.

43 Like many apps with faulty features : IN BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

44 Country song : ANTHEM

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as “the national hymn” and later “the national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

47 Dalmatian mascot of the National Fire Protection Association : SPARKY

The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

50 Well-suited? : NATTY

A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term “natty” may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.

56 2021 Super Bowl champ : BUC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the Bucs) joined the NFL in 1976, along with the Seattle Seahawks, as an expansion team. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Squarely : SMACK DAB
9 Not straight up : ASLANT
15 Old World bird with distinctive ear tufts : EAGLE OWL
16 Baby’s barnyard bovine : MOO COW
17 Sympathetic response to dissent : I HEAR YOU
18 A-to-Z : ENTIRE
19 Crashing an online meeting : ZOOMBOMBING
21 One might be loaded : DIE
22 Creatures whose newborns have striped bodies : EMUS
23 Prattles : GABS
24 Watch here! : WRIST
26 All ___ : SET
27 Boxy delivery vehicles of old : PANEL TRUCKS
29 London’s ___ Square : SOHO
31 Make slicker, maybe : RE-OIL
32 Wined and dined, say : FETED
35 Spiritual object : TOTEM
37 Wiped out : ATE IT
39 W.W. I, W.W. II, etc. : ERAS
41 What rotates throughout the office? : SWIVEL CHAIR
46 Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
48 Any of the Seven Dwarfs : MINER
49 Something you might raise a flap about : TENT
50 ___ tide : NEAP
51 Kind of drive : USB
52 Locale 60 miles south of the California/Oregon border : MOUNT SHASTA
55 Creator of the first pumped-up athletic shoe : REEBOK
57 Catchphrase of Winnie-the-Pooh : OH, BOTHER!
58 Popular typeface similar to Bauhaus : FUTURA
59 “To be honest with you …” : REAL TALK
60 Out of it : SPACEY
61 Date format on digital forms : MM/DD/YYYY

Down

1 Gets stuck, as an engine : SEIZES
2 Youngest-ever QB to be named Super Bowl M.V.P. (2020) : MAHOMES
3 Grow too old for : AGE OUT OF
4 Simoleons : CLAMS
5 Spot for a bus stop, in Bristol : KERB
6 Get into a pose, perhaps : DO YOGA
7 What God is, per an Ariana Grande hit : A WOMAN
8 Cold weather layer : BLUBBER
9 Eye-opening declaration? : AMEN
10 One jotting down a few notes? : SONGWRITER
11 Area for development : LOT
12 Like apples and oranges : ACIDIC
13 Safe : NO-RISK
14 Some brief updates : TWEETS
20 Locale for a castaway : ISLET
25 Stick around school : RULER
27 2010s fansite craze whose members joined Hogwarts houses : POTTERMORE
28 Start of many a criticism : TOO …
30 “Ho” preceder : HEAVE-
33 Main ingredient in hitsumabushi : EEL
34 Mirabile ___ (wonderful to say: Lat.) : DICTU
36 Takes advantage of a situation, so to speak : MAKES HAY
38 How things typically are : THE NORM
40 Majestic : STATELY
41 Blue-nosed sorts? : SMURFS
42 Get smart : WISE UP
43 Like many apps with faulty features : IN BETA
44 Country song : ANTHEM
45 “Things aren’t looking so great” : IT’S BAD
47 Dalmatian mascot of the National Fire Protection Association : SPARKY
50 Well-suited? : NATTY
53 Response akin to “So what?” : OKAY
54 Word after foot or before hands : HOLD
56 2021 Super Bowl champ : BUC

9 thoughts on “0115-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. 18:10, no errors. At the end, I spent a minute or two staring at “MAHOMES” and “POTTERMORE”, neither of which I knew. The crosses seemed solid, so I finally entered a final letter and all was well. (Will wonders never cease? I’m finally getting a bit smarter with the online app … and it’s only taken a couple of years! … 😜)

  2. 23:27. Thought this was actually easier than yesterday’s puzzle. Did it from the bottom up. SMACK DAB and, embarrassingly, MOO COW were my footholds to the top.

    Had SPottY before SPARKY.

    I always thought MOUNT SHASTA was named after the soda….

    Best-

  3. I wish I could post a screenshot of my solve, as proof that I tied Jeff with 23:27! Accepting “MMDDYYY” as an answer finished it up for me. I agree, this was easier than Friday, or last Saturday…or last Friday….

  4. 18:33. As with Friday I worked this one from the bottom up. Couldn’t believe my time for a Sat. I had BUCKS vs. CLAMS for a while so it was the NW I finished last, tho I entered MAHOMES pretty early in the solve. My wife has me watching football with her so now I know a bunch of that stuff.

  5. 29:55, no errors. A lot of difficulty getting into the setter’s head. Could picture Patrick MAHOMES in my mind, couldn’t dredge up the name. Didn’t help my effort, putting GNUS in 25A before EMUS. Also worked this grid from the bottom up.

  6. Surprised myself by knowing “Mahomes,” but only because he’s the son of former Twins pitcher of the same name. I’m willing to admit to knowing names of a lot of baseball players, but I’d consider knowing much of anything about junk sports like football as a bit shameful.

    Agreed it was over all an easy Saturday puzzle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.