0408-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Apr 22, Friday

Constructed by: Caitlin Reid
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 18m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Setting for “A Few Good Men,” informally : GITMO

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 Nubian Museum locale : ASWAN

The Egyptian city of Aswan lies in the south of the country, on the River Nile. Aswan is famous for its stone quarries, going back to ancient times. The most celebrated granite rock from the area is called syenite. Stone from Aswan was shipped northwards along the Nile and used in the construction of the pyramids. From ancient times right up to 1970, the annual flooding of the Nile was a significant event in Egypt. The flooding allowed the deposition of fertile silt far beyond the banks of the river, helping the region’s agriculture. However, the flooding was unpredictable. So the Aswan Dam was built in the sixties and from 1970 the flooding was brought under control.

Nubia is a region shared by Egypt and Sudan that lies along the Nile river. The name “Nubia” comes from the Nuba people who settled in the area in the 4th century.

15 Start to a logical conclusion : ERGO …

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we absorbed directly into English.

21 Expert problem solver : MATHLETE

A mathlete is someone who competes in mathematics competitions.

22 Sign of fall : SCORPIO

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac. Individuals born between October 23 and November 21 are Scorpios. I’m one of those Scorpios …

26 Key element of opera seria : ARIA

The Italian term “opera seria” translates as “serious” opera, as opposed to “opera buffa”, which we call “comic” opera.

27 Subjects of Monet paintings “in Venice” and “at Lavacourt” : SUNSETS

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works. I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny a few years ago. A beautiful place …

30 SeaWorld roller coaster ride : MANTA

SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was to build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park. SeaWorld has been mired in controversy since the 2013 release of the documentary “Blackfish”, which tells of the involvement of a particular orca (killer whale) in the death of two SeaWorld employees and one SeaWorld visitor.

32 ___ bar : TAPAS

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

33 “Shameless” airer, for short : SHO

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of The Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

“Shameless” is a comedy drama TV series about a dysfunctional Chicago family consisting of six children and a single father who spends his days drunk. The US show is a remake of the original British “Shameless” that is based on a similar family who live in Manchester in the North of England.

39 Jenny, for one : ASS

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

41 In and of itself : PER SE

“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

44 In and of itself? : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

59 Ammonia has one : ODOR

Ammonia is a colorless gas with a very strong smell, and a chemical formula NH3. The name “ammonia” comes from salt deposits (actually the salt “ammonium chloride”) that the Romans collected near the Temple of Amun in ancient Libya.

61 Musical based on a comic strip : 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.

63 Letters on some foundations : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

Down

4 GranTurismo maker : MASERATI

Maserati is a manufacturer of luxury cars in Italy. The company was founded in Bologna in 1914 by five brothers: Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati. The company uses a trident logo that is based on the trident depicted in the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.

6 Insta post : PIC

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

7 Levine of pop music : ADAM

Adam Levine is the lead vocalist of the pop rock band Maroon 5. Levine also served as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice” from 2011 through 2019.

8 Pacific Coast capital : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. It was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

9 Love of lucre : GREED

Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

10 5.5-point type size : AGATE

In the world of typography, agate is a unit of measure. One agate is equal to 5.5 points, or about one quarter of an inch. It is generally the smallest type size used in newspapers, and is generally restricted to advertisements and market reports in financial publications.

15 Actress Tracee ___ Ross : ELLIS

“black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

22 Where lavalava skirts are worn : SAMOA

The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

A lava-lava is a skirt worn by both men and women in many of the Polynesian Islands, with the term “lava-lava” being a Samoan word.

23 Shooting game : CRAPS

If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

29 Pique : SPLEEN

The spleen has a couple of functions in the human body. It removes old red blood cells, and recycles the iron contained therein. The waste product of this recycling is bile. It also holds a reserve of blood that can be released when necessary (if the body goes into “circulatory shock”). Greek and Roman physicians ascribed to the theory that the body had four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancolia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

Our term “pique” meaning “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning “prick, sting, irritation”.

33 Fatal attraction? : SIREN SONG

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed close to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.

34 Popular leafy perennial : HOSTA

The Hosta genus of plant was once classified as a lily, but is now in a family of its own and is described as “lily-like”. The plant was given the name “Hosta” in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host.

35 Former center of Los Angeles : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

37 Like Los Angeles’s Griffith Observatory : ART DECO

Art Deco is a style of design and architecture of the 1920s that actually had its roots in Belgium and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America. Celebrated examples of Art Deco architecture are the magnificent Chrysler Building in New York City completed in 1930, and the GE Building that sits in the middle of New York City’s Rockefeller Center with the address of “30 Rock”.

The Griffith Observatory is a facility on Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles that opened in 1935. It was named for benefactor Griffith J. Griffith, a philanthropist whose reputation was marred when he shot his wife, a crime for which he served two years in prison.

38 Increment on a scale : SEMITONE

In western music, an octave is composed of twelve notes, twelve semitones.

47 Black ___ : WIDOW

“Widow spider” is a common name given to several species of spider in the genus Latrodectus. The name comes from the reported behavior of the female eating the male after the pair have mated. The female wins the battle with the male largely because the female’s venom is three-times as potent as that of the male. The most notorious widow spider is the “black widow”. The female black widow’s venom glands are unusually large and the bite can be quite harmful to humans.

49 Toddler’s eruption : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

55 2003 film in which the title character exclaims “Son of a nutcracker!” : ELF

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City. The film was adapted into a stage musical that premiered on Broadway during the Christmas season of 2010.

57 Mononymous singer of “Alive,” 2015 : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. She is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler. Sia is a very private person, and even covers her face with a blond wig while performing.

58 Sushi fish that’s not served raw : EEL

Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. by cooking.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Setting for “A Few Good Men,” informally : GITMO
6 Hang (around with) : PAL
9 Frustrated outburst : GAH!
12 Nubian Museum locale : ASWAN
13 “Gotcha,” in a groovier era : I DIG
15 Start to a logical conclusion : ERGO …
16 That’s the spirit! : GHOST
17 Revealed all : CAME CLEAN
19 Tiny seeds of green fruits, technically : PEAS
21 Expert problem solver : MATHLETE
22 Sign of fall : SCORPIO
25 Like refrigerators at night, sometimes : RAIDED
26 Key element of opera seria : ARIA
27 Subjects of Monet paintings “in Venice” and “at Lavacourt” : SUNSETS
30 SeaWorld roller coaster ride : MANTA
32 ___ bar : TAPAS
33 “Shameless” airer, for short : SHO
36 This isn’t what it looks like! : OPTICAL ILLUSION
39 Jenny, for one : ASS
40 Really, really fancy : CRAVE
41 In and of itself : PER SE
42 Boost someone’s signal, in a way : RETWEET
44 In and of itself? : META
45 Go back to see again, maybe : REWIND
48 Hardly worth mentioning : NOMINAL
50 Biggest stars : A-LISTERS
53 A bunch of crock? : POTS
54 Raw footage? : NUDE SCENE
56 Off the chain, say : LOOSE
59 Ammonia has one : ODOR
60 ___ brilliant (diamond cut) : OVAL
61 Musical based on a comic strip : ANNIE
62 Mint : NEW
63 Letters on some foundations : SPF
64 Grand : REGAL

Down

1 ___ order : GAG
2 Ending with freak or fool : -ISH
3 Safety net? : TWO POINTS
4 GranTurismo maker : MASERATI
5 At the ready : ON TAP
6 Insta post : PIC
7 Levine of pop music : ADAM
8 Pacific Coast capital : LIMA
9 Love of lucre : GREED
10 5.5-point type size : AGATE
11 Refined : HONED
14 “Puh-lease!” : GET REAL!
15 Actress Tracee ___ Ross : ELLIS
18 Woos with words : CHATS UP
20 Nuclear unit nickname : SIS
22 Where lavalava skirts are worn : SAMOA
23 Shooting game : CRAPS
24 Wanted one : OUTLAW
28 Easily had : NAIVE
29 Pique : SPLEEN
31 Gives some stress : ACCENTS
33 Fatal attraction? : SIREN SONG
34 Popular leafy perennial : HOSTA
35 Former center of Los Angeles : O’NEAL
37 Like Los Angeles’s Griffith Observatory : ART DECO
38 Increment on a scale : SEMITONE
42 Stage support : RISER
43 Number 1, with “the” : … TOP
45 Was fueled by : RAN ON
46 Escape : ELUDE
47 Black ___ : WIDOW
49 Toddler’s eruption : MOLAR
51 Makes purr, maybe : REVS
52 Speak sharply : SNAP
55 2003 film in which the title character exclaims “Son of a nutcracker!” : ELF
57 Mononymous singer of “Alive,” 2015 : SIA
58 Sushi fish that’s not served raw : EEL

15 thoughts on “0408-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Apr 22, Friday”

  1. 14:50, with the upper left taking me the longest. Right about average for a Friday for me.

    For whatever reason, the NYT didn’t register my Wednesday solve, so now my streak is 2. Yay me.

  2. 40:23 kept trying to figure out “perse” as one word, duh….

    Sia performed as a lead vocalist with the band “Zero 7” up until 2009. During those years she performed without the cloaking and cover up ensembles. Yep, I’m a fan of the band :- ) Now on to the Spelling Bee and a look at the LAX puzzle (thanks Lou!)

  3. 33:38. This was a struggle for me, especially the center. Think I fell into every trap possible. Not sure anyone ever said this as a quip but with reference to 44A -> ” I never META verse I couldn’t plagiarize” – I can imagine several people saying that. But for Mark Zuckerberg it would be -> “I never META Verse I couldn’t monetize”.

  4. 39:13. Had to make several ‘flying leaps’ which backfired, such as entering 38D DIVISION before hammering out SEMITONE using crosses. Same went for 29D, entering EXCITE before SPLEEN.

  5. 27:22. Another instance of a fast start and slow finish. I went all around the grid before finding a foothold, then continued to hop around finishing with a NOMINAL SIRENSONG.

  6. 28:50. As usual on a Friday, it was the long answers that came to my rescue.

    I didn’t realize the word SPLEEN could also mean a bad temper. To me “Pique” was not an obvious clue.

    Best –

  7. DNF. I was schooled again. Got about halfway and then did a couple of lookups.

    MATHLETE and GAH got me…. again.

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