0129-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jan 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Andrew Ries & Caitlin Reid
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Showed derision, in a way : SPAT

To deride is to treat with contemptuous mirth. The term comes into English via Old French from the Latin “deridere” meaning “to ridicule”. In turn, “deridere” comes from the prefix “de-” (down) and “”ridere” (to laugh). So, to ridicule or deride is “to laugh down at”.

5 Food chain inits. : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

8 Greeting that means “presence of breath” : ALOHA

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

13 Cantata number : ARIA

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labeled as something lighter and shorter.

17 Vuvuzela, for one : HORN

A vuvuzela is a simple horn that produces a loud monotone note. The vuvuzela is a big hit with soccer fans in South Africa, and is now heard in stadiums all around the world after it was introduced to us in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was held in South Africa. That said, many facilities and organizations are now banning the vuvuzela given that the noise levels produced can actually cause hearing loss.

19 Catchy communication, for short? : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

24 Shucks : HULLS

To shuck is to remove the husk from (say, an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say, an oyster).

26 Growth from stagnation : ALGAE

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

30 Something that not a single person can go in? : CARPOOL LANE

In some parts of the country, one sees high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Out here in California we refer to them as carpool lanes.

34 One known for making House calls : NANCY PELOSI

Nancy Pelosi first became Speaker of the House in 2007, and was the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker of the House is second-in-line to the presidency, after the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi was for many years the highest-ranking female politician in US history. That was until Kamala Harris became Vice President in 2021.

36 Lead-in to boost : TURBO-

A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor that is powered, cleverly enough, by the engine’s own exhaust gases.

40 Direction at sea : AVAST

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

41 Compounds containing molecular variants : ISOMERS

In the world of chemistry, isomers are two compounds with the same chemical formula (i.e. the same atomic constituents), but with a slightly different arrangement of the atoms relative to each other. The differing arrangement of atoms often leads to different chemical properties.

43 Bygone Japanese coin : RIN

The rin was a Japanese coin that was worth one thousandth of a yen. After WWII the Japanese yen was greatly devalued, so the rin became completely obsolete and was pulled from circulation in 1953.

47 Style of music whose name is derived from scat : BOP

“Bop” is a shortened form of “bebop”, the name of a jazz style that dates back to the early 1940s. “Bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, which were words of encouragement uttered by Latin-American bandleaders to their musicians.

52 Court feat of 2003 and 2015 : SERENA SLAM

The term “Serena Slam” is a reference to tennis star Serena Williams. It describes the winning of four major tournaments in a row. This compares with a “Grand Slam”, the winning of the four major tournaments within the same season.

56 Site for shopping small : ETSY

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.

Down

1 Habitat for the addax antelope, which can go a year without drinking : SAHARA

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

5 Qaanaaq dwelling : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

15 Subj. of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

25 Element of heavy metal : URANIUM

The isotope of uranium that is mostly found in nature in uranium-238. Natural uranium also contains a small amount (less than 1%) of uranium-235. When uranium is “enriched”, the percentage of uranium-235 is increased. Uranium containing 80% or more uranium-235 is considered “weapons grade”. Uranium was discovered in 1789, and named for the planet Uranus that had been discovered a few years earlier.

27 ___ artist (film professional) : FOLEY

Foley artists are the people who reproduce everyday sounds in movies, like footsteps, breaking glass, doors opening etc. Foley art was first introduced by Jack Foley in Universal Studios’ 1929 production of “Showboat”.

29 Nonhuman host of a talk show on HBO Max : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

31 Kid-lit authors Margret and H. A. : REYS

Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by husband and wife Hans Augusto and Margret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the Nazi invasion in 1940.

32 Storybook bear : PAPA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

33 Chichén Itzá’s carvings, e.g. : MAYAN ART

Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

35 They may be worn with cholis : SARIS

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

A choli is a blouse worn by women in the Indian subcontinent. It is a relatively short garment, and is usually worn along with a sari.

38 Curlers’ equipment : BROOMS

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

39 Cousin of a kite : OSPREY

The osprey is also known as the sea hawk or fish eagle. Osprey nests are large heaps of sticks usually built in forks of trees and rocky outcrops. I’ve seen quite a few osprey nests built on the tops of light poles and utility poles.

Kites are birds of prey that feed mainly on carrion.

41 Aid in getting home : ID TAG

Identity document (ID)

45 Local borders? : ELS

The ends (borders) of the word “local” are letters L (els).

46 “The Lion King” role : NALA

In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

49 Name-dropping word : 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.

50 Bio material : RNA

Both DNA and RNA are complex molecules comprising nucleotide bases arranged in chains. Famously, DNA molecules form a double-helix structure, with two chains coiled around each other. RNA chains are single-stranded structures that usually fold onto themselves.

51 The kid in 2010’s “The Karate Kid” : DRE

The 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher. In the original 1984 movie, the Karate Kid was named Daniel LaRusso, and in the 2010 remake was named Dre Parker.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Showed derision, in a way : SPAT
5 Food chain inits. : IGA
8 Greeting that means “presence of breath” : ALOHA
13 Cantata number : ARIA
14 Winners’ circles? : GOLD MEDALS
17 Vuvuzela, for one : HORN
18 What a cheater might throw : LOADED DICE
19 Catchy communication, for short? : APB
20 Ticks off : COUNTS
21 Bolted : RAN
22 Parking around back : REAR LOT
24 Shucks : HULLS
26 Growth from stagnation : ALGAE
27 Something for nothing : FREE RIDE
30 Something that not a single person can go in? : CARPOOL LANE
33 Outburst before a maniacal laugh : MINE, ALL MINE!
34 One known for making House calls : NANCY PELOSI
35 “A likely story” : SO YOU SAY
36 Lead-in to boost : TURBO-
40 Direction at sea : AVAST
41 Compounds containing molecular variants : ISOMERS
43 Bygone Japanese coin : RIN
44 Parody : SENDUP
47 Style of music whose name is derived from scat : BOP
48 “We’ve all been there” : I CAN RELATE
51 Access point : DOOR
52 Court feat of 2003 and 2015 : SERENA SLAM
53 New York city : ROME
54 Lose ___ : STEAM
55 Get on : AGE
56 Site for shopping small : ETSY

Down

1 Habitat for the addax antelope, which can go a year without drinking : SAHARA
2 Power forward : PROPEL
3 It’s subject to inflation in the auto industry : AIRBAG
4 Shoe hue : TAN
5 Qaanaaq dwelling : IGLOO
6 Leave home : GO OUT
7 Actor Ruck of HBO’s “Succession” : ALAN
8 Upper Midwest town with the world’s tallest concrete gnome : AMES
9 Opened : LED
10 Funny, but not “ha-ha” funny : ODD
11 Area of recession : HAIRLINE
12 Ciudad official : ALCALDE
15 Subj. of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” : DDT
16 Pick up : SENSE
20 Opposite of scruffy : CLEAN-CUT
23 Gambling venues with a portmanteau name : RACINOS
24 Certain landing pad : HELISTOP
25 Element of heavy metal : URANIUM
27 ___ artist (film professional) : FOLEY
28 “That’s how we ___” : ROLL
29 Nonhuman host of a talk show on HBO Max : ELMO
31 Kid-lit authors Margret and H. A. : REYS
32 Storybook bear : PAPA
33 Chichén Itzá’s carvings, e.g. : MAYAN ART
34 They’re just getting started : NOVICES
35 They may be worn with cholis : SARIS
37 Second incarnation : REBOOT
38 Curlers’ equipment : BROOMS
39 Cousin of a kite : OSPREY
41 Aid in getting home : ID TAG
42 “So I was wrong, big deal!” : SUE ME!
44 Underground line : SEAM
45 Local borders? : ELS
46 “The Lion King” role : NALA
49 Name-dropping word : NEE
50 Bio material : RNA
51 The kid in 2010’s “The Karate Kid” : DRE

10 thoughts on “0129-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. 12:37. A bit slow in the NW because I had DESERT originally, and getting REAR LOT had fooled me into thinking it was correct. Some really lively fill in this puzzle, especially the longer ones.

  2. 38:44 I really struggled with this one, especially in the center stacks, even after getting 34A. I had NEWBIES for 34D for the longest time.

  3. 26:14. Hard to get a foothold. Got the NE and SW first. Then flailed around. Took me a bit to get NANCYPELOSI. I kept thinking about Hugh Laurie’s role as Dr House. I noticed that I could get a FREERIDE in the CARPOOLLANE…and it was MINEALLMINE! Pretty cool center stack.

  4. 22:27. Had to do a mental alphabet run to get the R in SARIS/RIN. Seemed obvious once I got it.

    Never heard of an addax. It goes a year without drinking? Really? Not even a beer on St. Patrick’s Day??

    Best –

  5. 23:06, no errors. Combination of entries for which I had no idea (12D ALCALDE); and entries for which I had too many ideas (40A ABAFT, ABEAM, APORT, ALOFT).

  6. Got a good start in NE corner. Was working my way down. Had HELOXXXX and got stuck for a while. HELISTOP? hmmm.

    ROME for 53A held me up for a bit. Didn’t know RIN but crosses filled that in quickly.

    Then moving back up towards the NW corner I hit a wall at 23D . Didn’t know RACINOS. Had CASINOS for a long time. APB for “catchy communication”?. ALGAE sealed the deal for RACINOS and then the rest of NW fell…
    Onto sunday.

  7. Completed error free in about an hour.
    That’s a win for this solver. You know, no look-ups or peeks (cheats). I felt like this was a slightly more difficult Saturday. Kind of like dragging a ball and chain around.

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