0121-22 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 22, Friday

Constructed by: Kyle T. Dolan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Be a big-time troublemaker : RAISE HAVOC

Havoc is great damage or destruction. The term “havoc” comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

17 Swarmed by mosquitoes, say : EATEN ALIVE

Mosquitoes have a relatively short life cycle. Males live a matter of days, and females just a few weeks. In order to reproduce, male mosquitoes form large swarms, usually late in the day. Female mosquitoes fly into the swarm when ready to mate.

19 Tan writing books : AMY

Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

20 Kid in expensive shoes? : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

25 Heard the confession of and absolved, old-style : SHROVE

To shrive is to obtain absolution by confessing and doing penance. The past tense of “shrive” is “shrove”. The verb gives its name to Shrove Tuesday, the day before the season of fasting known as Lent. Shrove Tuesday is named in recognition of the early Christian tradition of confessing the week before Lent.

32 One with lots of pull? : BLACK HOLE

A black hole in space is a region that is extremely dense and one that has an enormous gravitational field. The force of gravity is so great that not even light can escape, so all that can be observed is “blackness”, which gives the phenomenon the name of “black hole”. It is believed that black holes form when large stars reach the end of their lives and collapse in upon themselves.

33 Like some designs on Etsy : ARTY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

34 One-star, say : SEEDY

We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.

35 “Dido’s Lament,” for one : ARIA

The opera “Dido and Aeneas” was written by English Baroque composer Henry Purcell. The story was taken from Virgil’s epic poem “Aeneid” and tells of the love affair between Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, the Trojan hero.

38 Big name in cosmetics : ARDEN

“Elizabeth Arden” was the business name used by Canadian-American Florence Nightingale Graham. Arden built a cosmetics empire that made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Arden had a famous rivalry with fellow cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, and that rivalry even spawned a 2016 stage musical called “War Paint”.

39 Food brand whose last letter is its company’s stock symbol : SPECIAL K

We’ve been eating Special K since 1956. One has to give credit to the marketing folks at Kellogg’s, as I am sure we all view special K as a diet breakfast cereal. In fact, there is more fat in Special K than Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and just one less calorie per serving.

40 Bulb units : LUMENS

The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

45 Happening : AFOOT

To coin a phrase is to invent a new phrase or expression. The greatest “coiner” of them all has to be William Shakespeare. Here are a few everyday expressions that were created by the Bard:

  • The game is afoot (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Brave new world (The Tempest)
  • Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • Dead as a doornail (Henry VI, Part II)
  • Eaten me out of house and home (Henry IV, Part II)
  • Forever and a day (As You Like It)
  • For goodness’ sake (Henry VIII)
  • Knock knock! Who’s there? (Macbeth)
  • Set my teeth on edge (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Wild-goose chase (Romeo and Juliet)

54 Song title following the lyric “Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli …” : THAT’S AMORE

“That’s Amore” is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. “That’s Amore” became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film “The Caddy”. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore …”

55 “M*A*S*H” co-star : FARR

Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance were received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the ones that he actually wore while serving in the military.

56 Legendary print maker : YETI

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

Down

5 Sitting with one’s hand under one’s chin, perhaps : PENSIVE

Rodin’s famous sculpture known as “The Thinker” has been reproduced many times. Rodin’s original version of “The Thinker” is actually a detail in a much larger work known as “The Gates of Hell”. The original plaster version of “The Gates of Hell” can be seen at the magnificent Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

8 Hippie accessories : LOVE BEADS

The term “hip” is a slang term that was used in the 1930s and 1940s to mean “cool, informed about the latest ideas and styles”. By the end of the 1940s, “hipsters” were “hip” people, jazz aficionados, and people who adopted the perceived lifestyle of jazz musicians of the day. In the 1960s, the term “hippie” developed from “hipster”, to describe a member of the youth counterculture that emerged in the US.

10 Amulets : MAGIC CHARMS

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

11 “Sister Outsider” essayist/poet : AUDRE LORDE

Audre Lorde was and American feminist author and civil rights activists. Lorde spent many years in Germany. She held a visiting professorship at the Free University of Berlin, and while holding that position became a leading light in the Afro-German movement.

27 Means of domestic pest control : RAT TERRIER

The rat terrier is known as a farm dog, and was especially common on farms in the twenties and thirties. The breed has a great reputation as a hunting companion and for controlling vermin.

29 Video game franchise based on a sci-fi film franchise : ALIEN

The 1979 sci-fi horror movie “Alien” was the big break for Sigourney Weaver as it was her first lead role, and her character ended up as central to a whole set of sequels. The movie’s producers made a very conscious decision to cast a female in the lead role so as to have the film stand out in the male-dominated genre of science fiction. Famously, the film was publicized with the tagline “In space no one can hear you scream”.

32 Grouse : BELLYACHE

It isn’t really clear where we get our verb “to grouse” from (meaning “to complain”). The term was first used as slang in the British Army in the 1880s.

34 It’s a waste : SLAG

The better ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some residual metal and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the balance. Slag furnaces also accept lower-quality ores as a raw material.

37 The Beatles’ “___ She Sweet” : AIN’T

“Ain’t She Sweet” is a popular song first published in 1927, composed by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen. Ager wrote the song for his daughter, Shana. Shana grew up to become Shana Alexander, a political commentator on CBS’s “60 Minutes”. Famously, the Beatles recorded several versions of “Ain’t She Sweet”.

38 Comics-based film character played by Rosemary Harris, Sally Field and Marisa Tomei : AUNT MAY

Aunt May and Uncle Ben Parker are characters in the spider-Man universe created by Marvel Comics. The couple’s nephew is Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.

42 Relative of a raccoon : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

43 “Let’s weekend!” : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF)

44 ___ Minor : URSA

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

52 Onetime member of the record industry’s Big Four : EMI

The Big Four recording labels were (until EMI was broken up in 2012 and absorbed by what became “the Big Three”):

  1. Universal Music Group
  2. Sony Music Entertainment
  3. Warner Music Group
  4. EMI

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Boost : AMP UP
6 Many a fund-raising event : GALA
10 New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, in brief : MAGS
14 Be a big-time troublemaker : RAISE HAVOC
16 Star quality : AURA
17 Swarmed by mosquitoes, say : EATEN ALIVE
18 “Hello, mate!” : G’DAY!
19 Tan writing books : AMY
20 Kid in expensive shoes? : SUEDE
21 Duck, duck, goose, e.g. : BIRDS
22 Routine parts : BITS
23 Pair : BRACE
25 Heard the confession of and absolved, old-style : SHROVE
28 Pastry appropriate for a camping trip? : BEAR CLAW
31 Word with surplus or secret : TRADE …
32 One with lots of pull? : BLACK HOLE
33 Like some designs on Etsy : ARTY
34 One-star, say : SEEDY
35 “Dido’s Lament,” for one : ARIA
36 Has a 4.0 average : GETS ALL AS
38 Big name in cosmetics : ARDEN
39 Food brand whose last letter is its company’s stock symbol : SPECIAL K
40 Bulb units : LUMENS
41 Having long, thin limbs : RANGY
42 Puts one over on : CONS
43 Extremely excited, in modern lingo : TURNT
45 Happening : AFOOT
47 ___ Twist (best-selling children’s book character) : ADA
50 Display of choppers : GRIN
51 What an old car might be sold for : SCRAP METAL
53 “All right, cool” : I SEE
54 Song title following the lyric “Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli …” : THAT’S AMORE
55 “M*A*S*H” co-star : FARR
56 Legendary print maker : YETI
57 “Jeez!” : YIPES!

Down

1 Field : AREA
2 Respectful term of address : MA’AM
3 ___ party : PITY
4 Wield : USE
5 Sitting with one’s hand under one’s chin, perhaps : PENSIVE
6 Outbursts of laughter : GALES
7 Keen : AVID
8 Hippie accessories : LOVE BEADS
9 Person of extraordinary skill : ACE
10 Amulets : MAGIC CHARMS
11 “Sister Outsider” essayist/poet : AUDRE LORDE
12 One being asked for donations, often : GRAD
13 Makes known : SAYS
15 It’s high in France : HAUTE
21 Speak sharply : BARK
22 Antismuggling device : BODY SCANNER
24 R-rated, perhaps : RACY
25 Forest males : STAGS
26 Corp. trainer : HR REP
27 Means of domestic pest control : RAT TERRIER
28 Cold and miserable : BLEAK
29 Video game franchise based on a sci-fi film franchise : ALIEN
30 Helps finish a nursing program? : WEANS
32 Grouse : BELLYACHE
34 It’s a waste : SLAG
37 The Beatles’ “___ She Sweet” : AIN’T
38 Comics-based film character played by Rosemary Harris, Sally Field and Marisa Tomei : AUNT MAY
40 Informs at a later stage, with “in” : LOOPS …
42 Relative of a raccoon : COATI
43 “Let’s weekend!” : TGIF!
44 ___ Minor : URSA
46 Campus group : FRAT
47 Over : ATOP
48 Counterpart of truth : DARE
49 Tavern menu heading : ALES
51 Dump : STY
52 Onetime member of the record industry’s Big Four : EMI

10 thoughts on “0121-22 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 22, Friday”

    1. Hmmm … “better” … in what sense? I can definitely think of easier ways to clue it, but easier isn’t always better, is it?

  1. I remember reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time some 40 years ago and Sam said something about a brace of conies (rabbits) and I had to look it up. Weird memories kick in sometimes I guess.

  2. @A Nonny Mus – thanks for the reference yesterday on HOME vs HONE. im reminded often of my lack of exposure to these kind of word uses.

    Today’s puzzle- ripped right along in swift fashion and then hit a complet wall in the NE corner. Everything above BIRDS. I couldn’t get MAGIC or MAGS and certainly not GRAD.
    As far as GRAD being a common one asked for donations, that is definitely not true for me. I might get solicited two or three times a year. I get that many per week from the military and religious organizations. Then there are all the offshoots from those organizations.

  3. 45:46, 1 Natick. Lucky I got that having to simply fit words for the absolutely useless non-cluing in this one. Just terrible it even saw the light of day.

  4. One of the least fun puzzles I’ve tried in a long time. Some clues were clever. However many clues and answers were obtuse and obscure.

  5. 24:59, no errors. Surprised to finish at all, with entries such as AUDRE LORDE, TURNT and SHROVE. 51A: spent a lot of time morphing SPARE PARTS into SCRAP METAL. Confidently entered ESTEE in 38A (it’s always ESTEE, no?).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.