0131-22 NY Times Crossword 31 Jan 22, Monday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Parting Words

Themed answers include PARTING WORDS hidden within. Those PARTING WORDS are also in two PARTS, separated by a black square:

  • 56A With 58-Across, what this puzzle’s circled letters are … or what they’re doing : PARTING …
  • 58A See 56-Across : … WORDS
  • 20A With 21-Across, broadcast unit that may operate with 50,000 watts : RADIO …
  • 21A See 20-Across : … STATION (hiding a parted “ADIOS”)
  • 27A With 30-Across, numbers displayed in rows and columns : DATA …
  • 30A See 27-Across : … TABLE (hiding a parted “TA-TA”)
  • 49A With 51-Across, long-lasting cover for a house : SLATE …
  • 51A See 49-Across : … ROOF (hiding a parted “LATER”)

Bill’s time: 6m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fertile soil : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

5 Send too many emails : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

15 “Night” author Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

20 With 21-Across, broadcast unit that may operate with 50,000 watts : RADIO …

21 See 20-Across : … STATION (hiding a parted “ADIOS”)

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

23 Chowder morsel : CLAM

The type of soup known as “chowder” is possibly named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

27 With 30-Across, numbers displayed in rows and columns : DATA …

30 See 27-Across : … TABLE (hiding a parted “TA-TA”)

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

An Englishman might say “ta-ta” or “cheerio” instead of “goodbye”. Well, supposedly so …

34 Open room with natural light : ATRIUM

In modern architecture, an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

41 2010s White House family name : OBAMA

By tradition, the Secret Service code names used for the US President and family all start with the same letter. For the Obama First Family, that letter is R:

  • Barack Obama: Renegade
  • Michelle Obama: Renaissance
  • Malia Obama: Radiance
  • Sasha Obama: Rosebud

43 Little hellion : IMP

A hellion is a mischievous and wild person. “Hellion” is a North American term, one probably derived from the word that we use for the same thing on the other side of the Atlantic, namely “hallion”.

46 “Mad Money” host Jim : CRAMER

The television show “Mad Money” started airing in 2005, and is hosted by the ebullient Jim Cramer. Cramer recommends that essential funds, such as those reserved for retirement, be safely locked away in conservative investment vehicles. Any money left over (still looking for that here!) is classed as “Mad Money” and can be invested in more risky stocks.

47 Fine sediment : SILT

Today, we mostly think of silt as a deposit of sediment in a river. Back in the mid-1400s, silt was sediment deposited by seawater. It is thought that the word “silt” is related to “salt”, as found in seawater.

52 Life or Lucky Charms : CEREAL

The breakfast cereal called Life was introduced by Quaker Oats in 1961. Back then, Life contained just whole grain oats. Today’s recipe includes added sugar and flour.

54 Smart guy? : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

62 Biden’s debate opponent in 2008 : PALIN

When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

Future President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

66 Iridescent gems : OPALS

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence known as opalescence.

68 Online marketplace for crafts : 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.

69 Secret meeting between lovers : TRYST

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

70 “Is the ___ Catholic?” : POPE

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

Down

1 Bert who played the Cowardly Lion : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

2 Fit for military service : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

3 Not much : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

4 Federal program for health care coverage : MEDICAID

The Great Society was a social initiative launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-sixties. The initiative had the goal of eliminating poverty and racial injustice. Some of the Great Society programs still exist today, including Medicare and Medicaid.

6 Blood bank donation : PLASMA

Plasma (sometimes “plasm”) is the clear, yellow-colored liquid component of blood and lymph in which cells are suspended.

7 “___ No Sunshine” (Bill Withers classic) : AIN’T

Bill Withers was working as an assembly operator while he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry. Even as he found success with his glorious 1971 single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he held onto his day job, worried that the music industry was unpredictable.

8 Won gold, silver or bronze : MEDALLED

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

9 Little redhead in a long-running Broadway show : ANNIE

The Broadway musical “Annie” is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There have been two film adaptations of the musical. Both were really quite successful, including one released in 1982, directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

10 Fake name given by Odysseus to the Cyclops : NOBODY

Cyclops was a one-eyed giant in Greek and Roman mythology. Cyclops lived inside Mount Etna, the Sicilian volcano.

11 Cuba’s ___ Bay : GUANTANAMO

The Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba is often referred to by using the abbreviation “GTMO” or simply “Gitmo”. Gitmo is the oldest overseas base operated by the navy and dates back to the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903, at which time the US leased the facility as a fueling station. A perpetual lease was offered by Tomas Estrada Palma, the first President of Cuba, after the US took over control of Cuba from Spain following the Spanish-American War of 1898.

12 Winter setting in N.Y.C. : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

18 Fifth note in an octave scale : SOL

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

22 Traditional Father’s Day gifts : TIES

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

26 Start of Juliet’s “What’s in a name?” speech : O ROMEO

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

A little later she utters the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

27 Actress Viola of “Fences” : DAVIS

Actress Viola Davis is probably best known on the small screen for playing the lead in the drama “How to Get Away with Murder”. On the big screen, I’d say that her most famous role is the starring role in the 2011 film “The Help”.

31 Water filter brand : BRITA

Brita is a German company that specializes in water filtration products. Brita products do a great job of filtering tap water, but they don’t “purify” it as they don’t remove microbes. That job is usually done by a municipality before the water gets to the faucet.

33 Dopey or Sneezy : DWARF

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

35 Kind of computer port, for short : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

37 Home of the Raptors, on scoreboards : TOR

The Raptors are an NBA basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The franchise was founded, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, when the NBA expanded into Canada in 1995. However, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, leaving the Raptors as the only Canadian member of the league. The selection of the name “Raptors” in 1995 was strongly influenced by the popularity of the movie “Jurassic Park in the mid-nineties.

40 Something to lick on a stick : LOLLIPOP

A lollipop is a piece of candy on a stick. The name “lollipop” surfaced in 1908, and was taken from a prominent race horse of the day named Lolly Pop.

45 Exam for an aspiring atty. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

46 Collectible toon image : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

50 Touches base before running home, say : TAGS UP

That would be baseball.

53 Iowa senator Joni : ERNST

Joni Ernst was elected as a US Senator for Iowa in 2014. Ernst is a Republican who had previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. She is the first female veteran in the US Senate, and the first woman to represent Iowa in the US Congress.

57 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-

The prefix “nano-” is used for units of one thousand-millionth part. “Nano-” comes from the Greek “nanos” meaning “dwarf”.

59 Unleavened flatbread in Indian cuisine : ROTI

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

60 Makeup of some “bunnies” : DUST

What we call “dust bunnies” in American English, have similar inventive names in other languages. The Finns know them as sheep, the Germans wool mice, the Hungarians dust kittens, the Italians dust cats, and the Swedish dust rats.

61 Affliction that aptly rhymes with “eye” : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

63 Figure that a bank charges for a loan, for short : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fertile soil : LOAM
5 Send too many emails : SPAM
9 Infuriate : ANGER
14 Pay to get in a card game : ANTE
15 “Night” author Wiesel : ELIE
16 Totally pointless : NO USE
17 Inverted pose seen in break dancing and yoga : HEADSTAND
19 Sports network that airs “Courtside Cinema” : NBA TV
20 With 21-Across, broadcast unit that may operate with 50,000 watts : RADIO …
21 See 20-Across : … STATION (hiding a parted “ADIOS”)
23 Chowder morsel : CLAM
25 Misled deliberately : LIED TO
27 With 30-Across, numbers displayed in rows and columns : DATA …
30 See 27-Across : … TABLE (hiding a parted “TA-TA”)
32 Locale for a home garden : YARD
34 Open room with natural light : ATRIUM
36 Others : REST
38 The present : NOW
39 Renders null : VOIDS
40 Jar cover : LID
41 2010s White House family name : OBAMA
43 Little hellion : IMP
44 Ink stain : BLOT
46 “Mad Money” host Jim : CRAMER
47 Fine sediment : SILT
49 With 51-Across, long-lasting cover for a house : SLATE …
51 See 49-Across : … ROOF (hiding a parted “LATER”)
52 Life or Lucky Charms : CEREAL
54 Smart guy? : ALEC
56 With 58-Across, what this puzzle’s circled letters are … or what they’re doing : PARTING …
58 See 56-Across : … WORDS
62 Biden’s debate opponent in 2008 : PALIN
64 Fell asleep quickly : PASSED OUT
66 Iridescent gems : OPALS
67 Great burden : ONUS
68 Online marketplace for crafts : ETSY
69 Secret meeting between lovers : TRYST
70 “Is the ___ Catholic?” : POPE
71 Location : SITE

Down

1 Bert who played the Cowardly Lion : LAHR
2 Fit for military service : ONE-A
3 Not much : A TAD
4 Federal program for health care coverage : MEDICAID
5 Mathematical grouping : SET
6 Blood bank donation : PLASMA
7 “___ No Sunshine” (Bill Withers classic) : AIN’T
8 Won gold, silver or bronze : MEDALLED
9 Little redhead in a long-running Broadway show : ANNIE
10 Fake name given by Odysseus to the Cyclops : NOBODY
11 Cuba’s ___ Bay : GUANTANAMO
12 Winter setting in N.Y.C. : EST
13 Fire (up) : REV
18 Fifth note in an octave scale : SOL
22 Traditional Father’s Day gifts : TIES
24 Cash withdrawal spot, in brief : ATM
26 Start of Juliet’s “What’s in a name?” speech : O ROMEO
27 Actress Viola of “Fences” : DAVIS
28 Invisibly small : ATOMIC
29 Impressive feat in baseball : TRIPLE PLAY
31 Water filter brand : BRITA
33 Dopey or Sneezy : DWARF
35 Kind of computer port, for short : USB
37 Home of the Raptors, on scoreboards : TOR
40 Something to lick on a stick : LOLLIPOP
42 Checkout lines? : BARCODES
45 Exam for an aspiring atty. : LSAT
46 Collectible toon image : CEL
48 Hiking paths : TRAILS
50 Touches base before running home, say : TAGS UP
53 Iowa senator Joni : ERNST
55 Lamb’s mother : EWE
57 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-
59 Unleavened flatbread in Indian cuisine : ROTI
60 Makeup of some “bunnies” : DUST
61 Affliction that aptly rhymes with “eye” : STYE
62 Cauldron : POT
63 Figure that a bank charges for a loan, for short : APR
65 180° from NNW : SSE

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