0406-22 NY Times Crossword 6 Apr 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Damon J. Gulczynski
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Comma

Themed clues are common phrases reinterpreted, by adding a comma:

  • 74A Punctuation mark missing in “Let’s eat people!” (at least one would hope!) … as well as from the starred clues : COMMA
  • 1A *Leave briefly : VACAY (Leave, briefly)
  • 22A *Final say : COURSE EXAM (Final, say)
  • 41A *All for one : LAUNDRY DETERGENT (All, for one)
  • 60A *Flies frequently : ANNOYANCES (Flies, frequently)

Bill’s time: 9m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 *Leave briefly : VACAY (Leave, briefly)

A vacation (“vacay”) might provide some rest and relaxation/recuperation (R&R).

10 Colorful freshwater fish : TETRA

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish that is native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

15 Midwest hub : O’HARE

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

16 Mystical character : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

17 Celeb with a good friend named Gayle : OPRAH

Gayle King became co-anchor on the news magazine show “CBS This Morning” when the show debuted in 2012. King met Oprah Winfrey in 1976, with the pair now describing each other as best friends.

18 World leader born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov : LENIN

“Lenin” wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally used “Lenin” as a pen name.

20 Subdued hue : BEIGE

Our word “beige” comes from the Old French “bege”, a term that applied to the natural color of wool and cotton that was not dyed.

27 Coral-based ecosystems : REEFS

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

31 Pioneer in color TV : RCA

Radio Corporation of America (RCA)

32 Start of all Washington, D.C., ZIP codes : TWO

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

37 Nation on the Gulf of Oman : IRAN

The Gulf of Oman isn’t actually a gulf, and rather is a strait. It connects the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz and hence to the Persian Gulf.

39 Like some Quad Cities residents : IOWAN

The Quad Cities are a group of five cities located on the Iowa-Illinois border and on either side of the Mississippi River. The Iowa cities are Davenport and Bettendorf, and the Illinois cities are Rock Island, Moline and East Moline. The grouping was originally just three cities (Davenport, Rock Island and Moline) and used the name “Tri-Cities”. This changed to “Quad Cities” as East Moline grew to a size comparable to the original three cities. With the growth of Bettendorf, the list of linked cities became five. There has been talk of changing the name to “Quint Cities”, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on.

41 *All for one : LAUNDRY DETERGENT (All, for one)

All is a laundry detergent made by Sun Products.

45 Louvre Pyramid architect : IM PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) was an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

46 Witty Mort : SAHL

Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, and come back he did.

47 Mulligan : REDO

48 ___ Wee Reese : PEE

Pee Wee Reese was a shortstop who played his professional career with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. Reese is remembered not only for his skill on the field, but for his very visible support for teammate Jackie Robinson, who famously struggled to be accepted as the first African-American player in the majors. As he was an outstanding marbles player as a child, Reese was given the nickname “pee wee” after the name for a small marble.

49 Fund-raising group for the G.O.P. : RNC

National leadership of the Republican Party is provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only one former chairperson of the RNC has been elected to the office of US president, and that was George H. W. Bush.

57 TV screen type, for short : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

64 She released “30” in ’21 : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US. “30” followed in 2021.

68 Word with wave and pool : TIDAL …

Even though the terms “tidal wave” and “tsunami” are often used interchangeably by the lay person, scientists use the terms to describe two related but different phenomena. A tsunami is an ocean wave triggered by the large displacement of water caused by a large earthquake (usually). A tidal wave is a wave triggered by the displacement of water under the gravitational influence of the Sun, Moon and Earth.

A tidal pool (also “rock pool”) is a pool of seawater that is left along a rocky coastline after an ebb tide.

71 Arctic people : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

73 Monopoly holding : DEED

In the game of Monopoly there are 28 title deeds:

  • 22 streets
  • 4 railroads
  • 2 utilities

Down

1 Animals that become different animals when their first letter is changed to an “M” : VOLES

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then, the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

One of the more commonly known facts about my native Ireland is that there are no snakes in the country (outside of politics, that is). A less known fact is that there are no moles either. There are plenty of snakes and moles in Britain, just a few miles away. Over a pint we tend to give the credit to Saint Patrick, but the last ice age is more likely the responsible party …

3 Fruit often served in ball form : CANTALOUPE

The cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon consumed in the US. Apparently the cantaloupe was first cultivated in Cantalupo in Sabina, a town near Rome in Italy.

4 “Brava!” elicitor : ARIA

To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer of either sex by using “bravi!”

5 Busybodies : YENTAS

“Yenta” (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

9 Longtime news anchor Jim : LEHRER

Jim Lehrer was a news anchor with PBS for the “PBS Newshour” show. He was also associated with presidential debates, and moderated twelve such events.

11 Blunted blades : EPEES

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

12 Cereal “for kids” : TRIX

Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

13 Musical form heard in some Bollywood films : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

“Bollywood” is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay” (the former name of Mumbai), and “Hollywood”.

32 Wonderland twin : TWEEDLEDUM

Tweedledee and Tweedledum are characters in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There”. Carroll didn’t invent the characters though, as they were already part of a well-known nursery rhyme:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.

36 Shiny fabric : LAME

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. It is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

38 Spring’s opposite : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

43 “How bizarre” : THAT’S ODD

“Bizarre” is a French word, one with the same meaning in French as English. However, back in the 16th century, “bizarre” used to mean “handsome, brave” in French. So that’s what my wife means when she refers to me as “bizarre” …?

44 Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

50 Pedagogic org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

Strictly speaking, a “pedagogue” is a “schoolteacher”. The term has developed a secondary meaning, to describe someone who is pedantic and overly formal. Back in ancient Greece, a “paidagogos” was a slave who escorted boys to school and supervised them at school.

51 Unfounded rumor : CANARD

“Canard” is the French word for “duck”. We use the term to describe a hoax or a misleading rumor. This usage comes from a phrase used in French that translates as “to half-sell a duck”, meaning “to cheat”.

54 State capital in the so-called “Treasure Valley” : BOISE

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

55 “Me and Bobby ___” (posthumous #1 hit for Janis Joplin) : MCGEE

Janis Joplin recorded the song “Me and Bobby McGee” just a few days before she died in 1970. The song was released anyway, and it became Joplin’s only number-one single, topping the charts the following year. There have been just two posthumous number-one singles: Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”, and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay”.

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
And buddy, that was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

58 Something staked : CLAIM

To stake a claim is to indicate something as one’s own. The phrase “stake a claim” was used historically to make and register a land claim. Someone doing so would mark the perimeter of the claimed land with stakes placed in the ground.

59 Difference symbol, in math : DELTA

Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. We are most familiar with an upper-case delta and its distinctive triangular shape. The letter’s shape has influenced terms such as “deltoid muscle” and “river delta”. The upper-case delta is also used in mathematics and science to indicate a change in value. The lower-case delta looks a bit like our lower-case D, and indeed the Greek letter delta gave us our Latin letter D.

60 Singer/songwriter Guthrie : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

62 D.C. nine : NATS

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

63 Buffalo’s county : ERIE

There are three Erie Counties in the US:

  • Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

Buffalo is the second-most populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

65 Pet in the town of Bedrock : DINO

In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones”, Dino the pet dinosaur was voiced by the famous Mel Blanc, until Blanc passed away in 1989.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 *Leave briefly : VACAY (Leave, briefly)
6 Follow : TAIL
10 Colorful freshwater fish : TETRA
15 Midwest hub : O’HARE
16 Mystical character : RUNE
17 Celeb with a good friend named Gayle : OPRAH
18 World leader born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov : LENIN
19 Hankering : ITCH
20 Subdued hue : BEIGE
21 Seriously vex : EAT AT
22 *Final say : COURSE EXAM (Final, say)
24 Aromatherapy provider, perhaps : SPA
25 How best to determine consent : ASK
27 Coral-based ecosystems : REEFS
28 Went the distance : LASTED
31 Pioneer in color TV : RCA
32 Start of all Washington, D.C., ZIP codes : TWO
35 Contingent of like-minded voters : BLOC
37 Nation on the Gulf of Oman : IRAN
39 Like some Quad Cities residents : IOWAN
41 *All for one : LAUNDRY DETERGENT (All, for one)
45 Louvre Pyramid architect : IM PEI
46 Witty Mort : SAHL
47 Mulligan : REDO
48 ___ Wee Reese : PEE
49 Fund-raising group for the G.O.P. : RNC
52 Didn’t fail : PASSED
54 Subs : B-TEAM
56 Bit of body ink : TAT
57 TV screen type, for short : LCD
60 *Flies frequently : ANNOYANCES (Flies, frequently)
64 She released “30” in ’21 : ADELE
66 Broadcast again : RE-AIR
67 Farming prefix : AGRO-
68 Word with wave and pool : TIDAL …
69 “___ luck!” : LOTSA
70 Political commentator Joy : REID
71 Arctic people : INUIT
72 Get-go : ONSET
73 Monopoly holding : DEED
74 Punctuation mark missing in “Let’s eat people!” (at least one would hope!) … as well as from the starred clues : COMMA

Down

1 Animals that become different animals when their first letter is changed to an “M” : VOLES
2 Oodles : A HEAP
3 Fruit often served in ball form : CANTALOUPE
4 “Brava!” elicitor : ARIA
5 Busybodies : YENTAS
6 Underhanded tactics : TRICKERY
7 Not manually operated : AUTO
8 Bring on : INCUR
9 Longtime news anchor Jim : LEHRER
10 “Seeing the other side of the matter …” : TO BE FAIR …
11 Blunted blades : EPEES
12 Cereal “for kids” : TRIX
13 Musical form heard in some Bollywood films : RAGA
14 [Don’t forget about me!] : [AHEM!]
23 Fleeting moment : SEC
26 Move about : STIR
29 Doxycycline target : ACNE
30 Some playground attendants : DADS
32 Wonderland twin : TWEEDLEDUM
33 Pixie stick? : WAND
34 Not conned by : ONTO
35 Minor anomaly : BLIP
36 Shiny fabric : LAME
38 Spring’s opposite : NEAP
40 Brutish sort : OGRE
42 No-good, backstabbing scoundrel : DIRTY RAT
43 “How bizarre” : THAT’S ODD
44 Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA
50 Pedagogic org. : NEA
51 Unfounded rumor : CANARD
53 Unchanging : STATIC
54 State capital in the so-called “Treasure Valley” : BOISE
55 “Me and Bobby ___” (posthumous #1 hit for Janis Joplin) : MCGEE
58 Something staked : CLAIM
59 Difference symbol, in math : DELTA
60 Singer/songwriter Guthrie : ARLO
61 Blindingly bright : NEON
62 D.C. nine : NATS
63 Buffalo’s county : ERIE
65 Pet in the town of Bedrock : DINO

9 thoughts on “0406-22 NY Times Crossword 6 Apr 22, Wednesday”

  1. 11:35. Great theme. Other examples:

    The man dropped an arrow through his heart. (comma missing)

    Goat cheese salad ingredients: lettuce, tomato, goat, cheese. (one too many commas)

    Slow children crossing

    This actually appeared in the Times of London talking about a Peter Ustinov documentary:

    “Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector”.

    I wonder if Nelson Mandela ever corrected that one……

    Best –

  2. 19:43. Didn’t connect with the theme today. Failed to catch that the commas were missing from the clues, rather than the answers.

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