0124-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Jan 22, Monday

Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Starting QB

Themed answers each comprise two words, words that start with the letters QB:

  • 59A Key member of a football team, in brief … or a feature of 16-, 29-, 35- and 42-Across? : STARTING QB
  • 16A It doesn’t need time to rise before baking : QUICK BREAD
  • 29A One of two “royal” sleeping options : QUEEN BED
  • 35A Social crafting event : QUILTING BEE
  • 42A ATV with four tires : QUAD BIKE

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

16 It doesn’t need time to rise before baking : QUICK BREAD

Quick breads are breads that use chemical rather than biological leavening agents. The most common biological leavening agent used in bread is yeast, and the most common chemical leavening agent is baking soda.

19 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

23 Bill known as the “Science Guy” : NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

24 “___ word is a lamp unto my feet …”: Psalms : THY

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

26 Director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

27 The “N” in TNT : -NITRO-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

31 U.K. award : OBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

33 Web address : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

34 “What ___ have you got?” : ELSE

Not a thing …

35 Social crafting event : QUILTING BEE

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

38 Created yarn or tales : SPUN

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

42 ATV with four tires : QUAD BIKE

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

44 ___ nodes : LYMPH

Lymph is a fluid that exists alongside blood in the body that is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells that can lodge in lymph nodes, making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

50 “Chairman” of Chinese Communism : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

52 U.N. agcy. awarded the 1969 Nobel Peace Prize : ILO

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is an agency, now administered by the UN, that was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

53 Fall bloom that resembles a daisy : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

55 Big name in shapewear clothing : SPANX

Spanx is an underwear brand. Most Spanx garments are designed to make the wearer appear thinner. Spanx is a privately held company that was founded by entrepreneur Sara Blakely in 2000. Despite the success of the product line, there is some controversy. Spanx have been referred to as the corset of the modern era.

58 Actor Guzmán of “Traffic” : LUIS

“Traffic” is a crime drama film released in 2000 that is focused on the illegal drug traffic that enters the US over the southern border. The movie is actually an adaptation of a British television series called “Traffik”.

59 Key member of a football team, in brief … or a feature of 16-, 29-, 35- and 42-Across? : STARTING QB

Quarterback (QB)

63 Chimney duct : FLUE

The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

66 Sediment in a wine barrel : LEES

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

Down

1 Sparkly bit on a gala gown : SEQUIN

Sequins are ornamental discs that glisten and are often used to decorate clothing. The term “sequin” was first recorded in the early 1800s. Prior to that date, “sequin” was the French name for a former Italian and Turkish coin. The ornamental discs were so called as they were deemed to resemble gold coins.

2 College reunion attendees : ALUMNI

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

4 Cul-de-___ : SAC

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom-of-the-bag” in French, the term “cul-de-sac” is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

5 Kept in check : AT BAY

Our use of the phrase “at bay”, to mean “in check”, derives from the older expression “at abai” used to describe a hunted animal “unable to escape”.

9 CNN founder Turner : TED

Ted Turner’s big initiative in the world of business was the founding of CNN, the first 24-hour cable news channel. Turner never graduated from college as he was expelled from Brown University for having a female student in his dormitory room. Years later, in 1989, Brown awarded him an honorary B.A.

12 Hand-held explosive : GRENADE

Our word “grenade”, used for a small explosive missile, came via French from the word for the pomegranate fruit. The name reflects the similarity between the seed-filled fruit and the powder-filled, fragmentation bomb. Grenades also resemble pineapples in appearance, and so sometimes are called “pineapples”.

15 Author of “The Gold-Bug” : POE

“The Gold-Bug” is an Edgar Allan Poe short story, a mystery tale about a man who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. The story first appeared in three installments in the ”Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper” in 1843, and became very popular. Poe had submitted the story to a writing contest sponsored by the paper, and it was published as the winning entry. The grand prize also included $100 in cash, which was likely the largest sum that Poe ever received for a work in his lifetime.

17 Obi-Wan ___ (Jedi master) : KENOBI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

25 Mate for Hägar the Horrible : HELGA

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

32 Grammy winner Costello : ELVIS

Elvis Costello is an English singer and songwriter whose real name is Declan MacManus. Although Costello is more associated with the punk rock music scene, he is very active with the Jazz Foundation of America. He does a lot of work with the foundation to help jazz and blues musicians in need, especially after Hurricane Katrina.

37 Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico : BILOXI

Biloxi is a port city on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Prior to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, it was the third-largest city in the state. Post-Katrina, it became the fifth-largest city, due to the number of people leaving the area permanently in response to the flooding and destruction.

39 Hobby : PURSUIT

Back in the 16th century, a hobbyhorse was a mock horse that was used as a prop in morris dancing. The figure was wrapped around the waist of a dancer, creating the impression that the horse was being ridden. By the 1580s, the term “hobbyhorse” began to describe toy riding horse used by a child. A century later, the word “hobby” was being used for a favorite pastime, an activity that doesn’t real go anywhere, just like a hobbyhorse.

43 Prickly seedcase : BUR

“Bur” is a variant spelling of the word “burr”. Both terms apply to a seed vessel that has hooks or prickles on the outside.

47 Calvin’s tiger companion, in the comics : HOBBES

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

50 Curie who coined the term “radioactivity” : MARIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

60 Super Bowl org. : NFL

Super Bowl I was played in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers emerged victorious in a game with a score of 35-10. That game was officially known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, as the name “Super Bowl” wasn’t applied until two seasons later. That “first” Super Bowl is now known as Super Bowl III and was played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts. The Jets came out on top.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Drains of strength : SAPS
5 Top celebs : A-LIST
10 Witch : HAG
13 Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA
14 Tongue sense : TASTE
15 Contented cat’s sound : PURR
16 It doesn’t need time to rise before baking : QUICK BREAD
18 Monster often seen wielding a club : OGRE
19 Actress Thurman : UMA
20 Rarin’ to go : EAGER
21 Commence : BEGIN
22 Bed-and-breakfast, e.g. : INN
23 Bill known as the “Science Guy” : NYE
24 “___ word is a lamp unto my feet …”: Psalms : THY
26 Director DuVernay : AVA
27 The “N” in TNT : -NITRO-
29 One of two “royal” sleeping options : QUEEN BED
31 U.K. award : OBE
33 Web address : URL
34 “What ___ have you got?” : ELSE
35 Social crafting event : QUILTING BEE
38 Created yarn or tales : SPUN
40 Industrial tub : VAT
41 Help : AID
42 ATV with four tires : QUAD BIKE
44 ___ nodes : LYMPH
48 Coffee dispenser : URN
49 “___ your head!” : USE
50 “Chairman” of Chinese Communism : MAO
52 U.N. agcy. awarded the 1969 Nobel Peace Prize : ILO
53 Fall bloom that resembles a daisy : ASTER
55 Big name in shapewear clothing : SPANX
57 Apt rhyme for “grab” : NAB
58 Actor Guzmán of “Traffic” : LUIS
59 Key member of a football team, in brief … or a feature of 16-, 29-, 35- and 42-Across? : STARTING QB
61 Elevate : LIFT
62 Spooky : EERIE
63 Chimney duct : FLUE
64 Pig’s wallowing spot : STY
65 Rises and shines : WAKES
66 Sediment in a wine barrel : LEES

Down

1 Sparkly bit on a gala gown : SEQUIN
2 College reunion attendees : ALUMNI
3 Flexible : PLIANT
4 Cul-de-___ : SAC
5 Kept in check : AT BAY
6 Size above medium : LARGE
7 “Now it’s clear” : I SEE
8 Breakout movie role, say : STAR TURN
9 CNN founder Turner : TED
10 Cuddle-worthy : HUGGABLE
11 Shows up : ARRIVES
12 Hand-held explosive : GRENADE
15 Author of “The Gold-Bug” : POE
17 Obi-Wan ___ (Jedi master) : KENOBI
21 “See ya!” : BYE!
25 Mate for Hägar the Horrible : HELGA
28 Spherical : ROUND
29 Extremely : QUITE
30 Like a partner who can’t spend a second apart from you : NEEDY
32 Grammy winner Costello : ELVIS
35 Put a number on : QUANTIFY
36 Enjoys a late-afternoon snack, as a Brit might : TAKES TEA
37 Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico : BILOXI
38 Sudden storms with whipping winds : SQUALLS
39 Hobby : PURSUIT
43 Prickly seedcase : BUR
45 Socialize at a party : MINGLE
46 Commemorative tablet : PLAQUE
47 Calvin’s tiger companion, in the comics : HOBBES
50 Curie who coined the term “radioactivity” : MARIE
51 Pays for a hand : ANTES
54 Superlative suffix : -EST
56 Playground place : PARK
59 Stitch : SEW
60 Super Bowl org. : NFL

8 thoughts on “0124-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Jan 22, Monday”

  1. 8:52. I tried bUILdING BEE before QUILTING BEE. It would help if I actually noticed the theme.

    I had one other misstep I won’t mention, but just an FYI – Lou Costello never won a Grammy, apparently…..

    Best –

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