0421-22 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Max Lauring
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Solar Eclipse

We have four SOLAR ECLIPSES in today’s grid, with “SUN” hiding behind four black squares:

  • 20A Annual pageant winner : MISS UNIVERSE
  • 22A Maker of Z-cars, once : DATSUN
  • 56A Followers of the largest denomination of Islam : SUNNIS
  • 57A Labor group for athletes : PLAYERS UNION
  • 4D Surrenders : SAYS “UNCLE!”
  • 13D Puccini aria popularized by Pavarotti : NESSUN DORMA
  • 34D Catastrophic weather event potentially caused by a meteor crash : MEGATSUNAMI
  • 45D Receives an anesthetic, perhaps : GOES UNDER

Bill’s time: 10m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Gush (over), as to gain favor : FAWN

The verb “to fawn” has a different etymology to that of the noun “fawn”. The Old English “faegnian” meant “to rejoice, be glad”. In particular, the Old English verb applied to a dog wagging its tail. From there, “to fawn” came to mean “to court favor, to grovel”.

14 Plant watcher, for short : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. It is a direct successor to the Bureau of Labor Standards that dealt with some work safety issues since its founding in 1934. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

16 Designer Saab : ELIE

Elie Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer based in Beirut. Saab also goes by the name “ES”.

17 Wins the Hunger Games, e.g. : STAYS ALIVE

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a series of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

19 Young newts : EFTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

20 Annual pageant winner : MISS UNIVERSE

The Miss Universe beauty pageant was founded in 1952. The organization running the contest was bought by Donald Trump in 1996.

22 Maker of Z-cars, once : DATSUN

Japanese automaker Nissan introduced the Datsun brand in 1931, and then retired it in 1986. The Datsun brand was reintroduced in 2013, applied to low-cost models sold in emerging markets.

23 Hoover rival : ORECK

The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

33 Maine university town : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

34 Repellent spray : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

37 Coleridge’s “The ___ Harp” : EOLIAN

Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, and he gave his name to the adjective “aeolian” (also “aeolic, eolic”) meaning “windblown”, something produced or carried by the wind. For example, an aeolian harp is a fascinating instrument; a box with a sounding board and strings that is “played” by the wind as it blows.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a pioneer for the Romantic Movement in England, along with his friend William Wordsworth. Coleridge’s most famous works are “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan”, which is my wife’s favorite poem.

39 One requested by disgruntled customers: Abbr. : MGR

Manager (mgr.)

40 Bard’s “before” : ERE

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

42 Common street name in suburbia : ELM

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

43 Fish with a long snout : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

44 Mexico has 31 of these : STATES

Mexico is a federal republic, and like the US is a collection of states and one federal district. The US has 50 states and the District of Columbia, whereas Mexico has 31 states and Mexico City. Our southern neighbor’s official name is the United Mexican States.

45 “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” artist : GOYA

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter who was often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

46 Go haywire : ACT UP

Haywire is wire used to bind bales of hay. Haywire is very springy, and coils of the wire are difficult to keep under control. That characteristic gives us the informal meaning of “haywire”, namely “erratic, crazy”.

50 One of the Eternals, in Marvel comics : THANOS

Thanos is a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. He was portrayed by Damion Poitier in the 2012 movie “The Avengers”, and by Josh Brolin in several subsequent movies including 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

52 Insurance giant acquired by CVS in 2018 : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mount Etna, the Italian volcano.

56 Followers of the largest denomination of Islam : SUNNIS

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

66 Actress Kunis of “Family Guy” : MILA

Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her co-star from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.

68 Sea eagle : ERNE

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

69 Rustic verse : IDYL

An idyll (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word “idyl” comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

Down

1 Classic pink cocktail : COSMO

Like so many famous cocktails, the actual origins of the cosmopolitan are disputed. It is a very nice drink, in my humble opinion. One of the standard recipes is 4 parts citrus vodka, 1.5 parts Cointreau, 1.5 parts lime juice and 3 parts cranberry juice.

4 Surrenders : SAYS “UNCLE!”

To say uncle is to submit or yield. This peculiarly American use of “uncle” dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

5 Ukrainian, for one : SLAV

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians, Croats and Serbs)

6 Neighbor of a Ukrainian : POLE

The country of Poland takes her name from the West Slavic tribe known as the Polans.

8 Off-roaders, for short : ATVS

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

9 Grp. established by 1992’s Maastricht Treaty : THE EU

European Union (EU)

11 Car whose logo features a coiled green serpent : ALFA ROMEO

The “Alfa” in “Alfa Romeo” is actually an acronym, one standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

13 Puccini aria popularized by Pavarotti : NESSUN DORMA

“Nessun dorma” has to be the tenor aria that tugs at the heartstrings the most. It is taken from the last act of Puccini’s opera “Turandot”, and translates as “None shall sleep”. Back in my part of the world, “Nessun dorma” became a hit in the popular music charts, with a version by Pavarotti being used as the theme song to the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. No other classical recording has ever done better in the charts.

26 Acoustic measure : SONE

In the world of acoustics, the sone was introduced in 1936 as a unit of perceived loudness.

30 With 41-Across, a celestial event … or a hint to four squares in this puzzle : SOLAR …
41A See 30-Down : … ECLIPSE

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

32 What avocados don’t do until they’re picked : RIPEN

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

34 Catastrophic weather event potentially caused by a meteor crash : MEGATSUNAMI

“Tsunami” is a Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”.

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body traveling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

35 Spiderlike : ARACHNOID

Arachnids are creatures with eight jointed legs. The name of the class Arachnida comes from the Greek “aráchnē” meaning “spider”.

41 Bruins legend, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

The Boston Bruins professional ice hockey team goes way back, and has been in existence since 1924. The National Hockey League back then was a Canadian-only league, but was expanded to include the US in 1923. The Bruins were the first US-team in the expanded league.

49 Button on a scale : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

53 Un gato grande : TIGRE

In Spanish, a “tigre” (tiger) is “un gato grande” (a big cat).

55 Much of Chile : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

The nation of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

58 ___ land : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

59 Ansari of “Master of None” : AZIZ

Aziz Ansari is an actor and comedian from Columbia, South Carolina who is best known for playing Tom Haverford on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. He also stars in the Netflix comedy-drama series “Master of None”.

60 Harness : YOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rounds out, as an event : CAPS
5 Sound of a cake hitting the floor, frosting first : SPLAT!
10 Gush (over), as to gain favor : FAWN
14 Plant watcher, for short : OSHA
15 Reluctant : LOATH
16 Designer Saab : ELIE
17 Wins the Hunger Games, e.g. : STAYS ALIVE
19 Young newts : EFTS
20 Annual pageant winner : MISS UNIVERSE
22 Maker of Z-cars, once : DATSUN
23 Hoover rival : ORECK
25 Online handle : USER ID
28 Like the “5” of “5 & 10” : LESSER
33 Maine university town : ORONO
34 Repellent spray : MACE
37 Coleridge’s “The ___ Harp” : EOLIAN
39 One requested by disgruntled customers: Abbr. : MGR
40 Bard’s “before” : ERE
41 See 30-Down : … ECLIPSE
42 Common street name in suburbia : ELM
43 Fish with a long snout : GAR
44 Mexico has 31 of these : STATES
45 “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” artist : GOYA
46 Go haywire : ACT UP
48 Have as a tenant : RENT TO
50 One of the Eternals, in Marvel comics : THANOS
52 Insurance giant acquired by CVS in 2018 : AETNA
56 Followers of the largest denomination of Islam : SUNNIS
57 Labor group for athletes : PLAYERS UNION
63 Top-shelf : A-ONE
64 Supersharp : RAZOR-EDGED
66 Actress Kunis of “Family Guy” : MILA
67 “Thumbs up from me!” : I LIKE!
68 Sea eagle : ERNE
69 Rustic verse : IDYL
70 Steady looks : GAZES
71 Wine category : REDS

Down

1 Classic pink cocktail : COSMO
2 Up and about : ASTIR
3 Terrible twos, e.g. : PHASE
4 Surrenders : SAYS “UNCLE!”
5 Ukrainian, for one : SLAV
6 Neighbor of a Ukrainian : POLE
7 Hideout : LAIR
8 Off-roaders, for short : ATVS
9 Grp. established by 1992’s Maastricht Treaty : THE EU
10 Bottom ___ : FEEDER
11 Car whose logo features a coiled green serpent : ALFA ROMEO
12 With full knowledge : WITTINGLY
13 Puccini aria popularized by Pavarotti : NESSUN DORMA
18 “Only joking!,” to a texter : SIKE!
26 Acoustic measure : SONE
29 Result of a rift : SECT
30 With 41-Across, a celestial event … or a hint to four squares in this puzzle : SOLAR …
31 Top-shelf : ELITE
32 What avocados don’t do until they’re picked : RIPEN
34 Catastrophic weather event potentially caused by a meteor crash : MEGATSUNAMI
35 Spiderlike : ARACHNOID
36 “Yes, of course” : CERTAINLY
38 Brief second? : ASST
41 Bruins legend, to fans : ESPO
45 Receives an anesthetic, perhaps : GOES UNDER
47 Open, as a tomb : UNSEAL
49 Button on a scale : TARE
51 Herb unit : SPRIG
53 Un gato grande : TIGRE
54 Incessantly : NO END
55 Much of Chile : ANDES
58 ___ land : LA-LA
59 Ansari of “Master of None” : AZIZ
60 Harness : YOKE
61 You are, in Spanish : ERES

5 thoughts on “0421-22 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 22, Thursday”

  1. 14:57 after finding and fixing one of those glitches that I want to blame on the app (even though they’re caused by my failing to take the time to check crossing entries as I solve the thing).

    I was mildly (and completely unreasonably) disappointed by the fact that the theme entries only work with a “SUN” in the black square and not with a “MOON” in it. (And, in fact, my disappointment was enhanced by the animation at the end. showing the sun and the moon alternating in those squares.) Someone more clever than I am needs to work on that … 😜.

  2. 19:32. One square wrong – Personal natick at ELIa/NaSSUN DORMA.

    An EOLIAN harp sounds interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard one. I you tubed it. Sounds like something out of a sci fi movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmP5XaNYlkI

    As I understand it, Datsun got its name when executives were under the gun to get a name out fast. They were told to come up with a name in one hour – to which they replied “Dat Sun?”

    Best –

  3. 31:59, two errors: 44A (E)TATES; 42D E(E)PO. Still struggling with the NYT app. Spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to enter SUN in/next to the black squares. Turned out to be unnecessary.

  4. what are the blank clues? i see no pattern. for example 62 across or 63 down? Even looking up the answer, i have no idea between the connection of the clue and answer. thanks.

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