0125-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Jan 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ray Brunsberg & Ellen Brunsberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Playing Doubles

Themed answers each comprise two games:

  • 20A General’s responsibility? : WAR OPERATION
  • 29A Apology from Iago? : SORRY, OTHELLO
  • 44A Antitrust concern? : MONOPOLY RISK
  • 53A Editors of crossword puzzles, e.g.? : CLUE CHECKERS

Bill’s time: 7m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Smug expression : SMIRK

The Old English word “smearcian” means “to smile”, and gave us our verb “to smirk”, meaning “to smile in a self-satisfied manner”.

9 “Fidelio” is Beethoven’s only one : OPERA

“Fidelio” is Ludwig van Beethoven’s one and only opera, and a work with which he really struggled. “Fidelio” tells of a woman named Leonore who disguises herself as a prison guard in order to get her condemned husband out of prison.

15 Tide competitor : ERA

Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.

19 ___ boson (the so-called “God particle”) : HIGGS

Particle physics is beyond me, but I do know that bosons are subatomic particles. They can be elementary like photons or composite like mesons, which are composed of one quark and one antiquark. “Bosons” are named for the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose who developed Bose-Einstein statistics along with Albert Einstein.

20 General’s responsibility? : WAR OPERATION

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

The game called Operation was invented by John Spinello and was first produced in 1965 by Milton Bradley. The game is based on the old electric wire loop game where players had to guide a loop along a winding wire without touching it. Touching the wires completed a circuit causing a buzzer to go off and/or a light to come on.

24 “___ Te Ching” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”, “Laozi”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

25 In which head shots can be taken : SOCCER

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

29 Apology from Iago? : SORRY, OTHELLO

Sorry! is a board game that dates back at least to 1934 when it was introduced in the UK market by Waddingtons. The game itself is based on the ancient game of pachisi, and involves players racing against each other to move their playing pieces around the board as quickly as possible. Players can cause opponents to return to the start, hopefully while saying “Sorry!” in the process.

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

35 Peculiar light in the sky, in brief : UFO

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

36 Millennium, at the beginning and end? : EMS

There are two letters M (ems) in the word “millennium”, one at either end.

39 It turns red litmus paper blue : BASE

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

Litmus is a mixture of naturally-occurring dyes that responds to acidity by changing color. Litmus was probably first used around 1300 by the Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova, who extracted the blue dye from lichens. One suggestion is that the term “litmus” comes from the Old Norse “litmose” meaning “lichen for dyeing”. Litmus is often absorbed onto filter paper, creating “litmus paper” or “pH paper”. We also use the phrase “litmus test” figuratively to describe any test in which a single factor decides the outcome.

40 60 minuti : ORA

In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “ora” (hour).

44 Antitrust concern? : MONOPOLY RISK

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

49 Big name in ice cream : EDY

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

50 Formerly named : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

53 Editors of crossword puzzles, e.g.? : CLUE CHECKERS

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

“Checkers” is yet another word that I had to learn moving across the Atlantic. In Ireland, the game is called “draughts”.

62 Hooded snake : COBRA

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

63 Singer Cooke : SAM

Sam Cooke was a soul singer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Cooke is considered by many to have been one of the founders of the soul genre. Cooke’s impressive list of hits includes “You Send Me”, “Chain Gang” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. Cooke was only 33 years old when he died. He was shot after a drunken brawl by a motel manager in what was deemed by the courts to be a justifiable homicide.

64 Country with the highest percentage of vegetarians : INDIA

The vast Asian country of India takes its name from the Indus River. The name “Indus” in turn comes from the Sanskrit “Sindhu” that can be translated as “a body of trembling water”. India is the second-most populous country in the world (after China), and the most populous democracy.

65 Reuben ingredient : SWISS

“Swiss cheese” is a relatively generic term for a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

66 “The Last O.G.” channel : TBS

“The Last O.G.” is a sitcom starring Tracy Morgan. Morgan plays the title character, an “original gangster or OG”, who is released from prison after serving 15 years. The ex-con returns to his Brooklyn neighborhood to find it very different, 15 years on. And, his ex-girlfriend is raising his twin children with her husband. I haven’t seen this one, but the premise sounds intriguing …

67 One of the Affleck brothers : CASEY

Actor and director Casey Affleck is the younger brother of Ben Affleck. Casey is married to actress Summer Phoenix, who also has famous acting siblings including Joaquin Phoenix and the late River Phoenix.

Down

1 Cabbage dishes : SLAWS

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch term “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

3 Highbrow tower material? : IVORY

In modern usage, an ivory tower is an environment focused on education and intellectual pursuits while isolated from the practicalities of everyday life. The term is often used to describe academia. “Ivory tower” originated in the Song of Solomon in the Bible with the line “Your neck is like an ivory tower”.

4 Home to the Atlantis casino : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

5 Thieving condors of Mario games : KLEPTOS

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

7 πr2, for a circle : AREA

The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is often referred to as Archimedes’ constant, which we denote with the Greek letter pi (π). The ratio pi can be used to calculate the area of a disk, by multiplying the constant by the square of the radius (πr²).

10 One-named singer who pioneered the Minneapolis sound : PRINCE

Singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lived there most of his life. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, his given name honored his father, a jazz musician who used the stage name Prince Rogers. Starting in 1993, he changed his stage name (adopting an unpronounceable symbol) and was often referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” (TAFKAP). He died in 2016 due to an accidental fentanyl overdose at his home and recording studio located just southwest of Minneapolis. The home and studio, known as Paisley Park, is now a museum that is open to the public.

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota, and shares the name “Twin Cities” with the neighboring state capital of Saint Paul. One of the early settlers in the area was New England scholar Charles Hoag, who became the first schoolmaster in Minneapolis, and later the county treasurer. Hoag proposed the name “Minnehapolis” for the new city, combing part of “Minnehaha” with the Greek suffix “-polis”. Minnehaha Falls is a local waterfall, the name of which gained celebrity after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the name for his fictional character in his poem “The Song of Hiawatha”.

11 The hundred folds on a chef’s toque are said to represent the number of ways to prepare this : EGG

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

12 Scott Joplin tune : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populace in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

13 T or F, say: Abbr. : ANS

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

27 Part of a horror film address, for short : ELM ST

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

33 Billionaire philanthropist George : SOROS

Hungarian businessman George Soros was born György Schwartz in Hungary in 1930. Famously, Soros made a short sale of $10 billion worth of UK pounds during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis, making him a profit of over $1 billion. The move led to him being dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England”.

38 It has colloquial gestures like “kiss-fist” and “shaking L”: Abbr. : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

39 ___ choy : BOK

Bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage. “Bok choy” translates as “white vegetable”.

41 Miso soup cubes : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes miso soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

45 Trio for Daniel Day-Lewis : OSCARS

Irish-English actor Daniel Day-Lewis has three Best Actor Oscars, for his performances in:

  • “My Left Foot” (1989)
  • “There Will Be Blood” (2007)
  • “Lincoln” (2012)

46 Bohemian folk dances : POLKAS

The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

51 Bert’s buddy on “Sesame Street” : ERNIE

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

54 One wicked witch’s home in “The Wizard of Oz” : EAST

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy arrives in the Land of Oz after her farmhouse is swept up in a cyclone. The farmhouse comes to ground and kills the Wicked Witch of the East. The Wicked Witch of the West arrives to claim the magical ruby slippers worn by the Wicked Witch Witch of the East. The Good Witch of the North steps in and gives the ruby slippers to Dorothy instead.

56 Hawaii’s ___ Coast : KONA

The Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii is on the western side of the island. The largest town in Kona is Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona is often incorrectly referred to as “Kona”. The term “kona” translates as “leeward side of the island” in Hawaiian.

57 IV amounts : CCS

Fluids in an intravenous drip (IV) might be measured in cubic centimeters (ccs).

59 Kimono sash : OBI

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Smug expression : SMIRK
6 Gentle attention-getter : TAP
9 “Fidelio” is Beethoven’s only one : OPERA
14 Be honest (with) : LEVEL
15 Tide competitor : ERA
16 Tongue, but not cheek : ORGAN
17 Make amends : ATONE
18 Hi or lo follower : -RES
19 ___ boson (the so-called “God particle”) : HIGGS
20 General’s responsibility? : WAR OPERATION
23 Foxy : SLY
24 “___ Te Ching” : TAO
25 In which head shots can be taken : SOCCER
29 Apology from Iago? : SORRY, OTHELLO
32 Take stock of : ASSESS
35 Peculiar light in the sky, in brief : UFO
36 Millennium, at the beginning and end? : EMS
37 Lure (in) : ROPE
38 University entrance exam, for short : ACT
39 It turns red litmus paper blue : BASE
40 60 minuti : ORA
41 Click of disapproval : TSK
42 Wears : SPORTS
44 Antitrust concern? : MONOPOLY RISK
48 Requests from : ASKS OF
49 Big name in ice cream : EDY
50 Formerly named : NEE
53 Editors of crossword puzzles, e.g.? : CLUE CHECKERS
57 Dagger’s partner : CLOAK
60 “Come as you ___” : ARE
61 They may be locked or blown : HORNS
62 Hooded snake : COBRA
63 Singer Cooke : SAM
64 Country with the highest percentage of vegetarians : INDIA
65 Reuben ingredient : SWISS
66 “The Last O.G.” channel : TBS
67 One of the Affleck brothers : CASEY

Down

1 Cabbage dishes : SLAWS
2 Rock genre : METAL
3 Highbrow tower material? : IVORY
4 Home to the Atlantis casino : RENO
5 Thieving condors of Mario games : KLEPTOS
6 Holy ___ : TERROR
7 πr2, for a circle : AREA
8 Bygone : PAST
9 “Pick me! Pick me!” : OOH! OOH!
10 One-named singer who pioneered the Minneapolis sound : PRINCE
11 The hundred folds on a chef’s toque are said to represent the number of ways to prepare this : EGG
12 Scott Joplin tune : RAG
13 T or F, say: Abbr. : ANS
21 Corn units : EARS
22 :, in an analogy : IS TO
26 Pellucid : CLEAR
27 Part of a horror film address, for short : ELM ST
28 National floral emblems of the U.S. : ROSES
29 Date regularly : SEE
30 Gross : YUCKY
31 Not seldom, poetically : OFT
32 Pleasant whiff : AROMA
33 Billionaire philanthropist George : SOROS
34 Defeat soundly, so to speak : SPANK
38 It has colloquial gestures like “kiss-fist” and “shaking L”: Abbr. : ASL
39 ___ choy : BOK
41 Miso soup cubes : TOFU
42 Affirmative or negative, in a debate : SIDE
43 Medium : PSYCHIC
45 Trio for Daniel Day-Lewis : OSCARS
46 Bohemian folk dances : POLKAS
47 Takes up or lets down, say : REHEMS
50 Passionate learners, to some : NERDS
51 Bert’s buddy on “Sesame Street” : ERNIE
52 College application part : ESSAY
54 One wicked witch’s home in “The Wizard of Oz” : EAST
55 Baltimore seafood specialty : CRAB
56 Hawaii’s ___ Coast : KONA
57 IV amounts : CCS
58 Make oneself heard in a herd : LOW
59 Kimono sash : OBI

10 thoughts on “0125-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Jan 22, Tuesday”

  1. 8:35, no errors. Cute idea that … whoosh … went right over my head as I did the puzzle last night. A bit distracted, I guess.

  2. 11:33. Tripped over myself quite a bit doing this one. Is it really only Tuesday?

    HIGGS boson is a particle that was predicted to be created by a HIGGS field that is instrumental in the mass-energy conversion. Calling it a “God Particle” is a bit much. A Nobel prize winning physicist was writing a book and referred to it as “that goddamn particle” because of how hard it is to find. The publisher changed it to God particle, and the rest is history.

    Physicists are fine with HIGGS (the man who predicted it) boson (the type of particle it is, the other type being a fermion). None are ok with “God particle”.

    At least it’s a step up from discussions about wombat droppings, cryptozoology, or people who say “ree-la-tor” instead of realtor.

    Best –

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