0426-22 NY Times Crossword 26 Apr 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Simon Marotte
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Rock-Bottom

Themed answers are all in the down-direction. The word at the BOTTOM of each themed answer is a ROCK band:

  • 11D All-time low … or a musical hint to the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : ROCK BOTTOM
  • 5D *Trixie Mattel, e.g. : DRAG QUEEN (giving “Queen”)
  • 25D *Contact-free smooch : AIR KISS (giving “KISS”)
  • 28D *Seasonal confection that may say “I Luv U” : CANDY HEART (giving “Heart”)
  • 36D *Sensation after consuming too many Pixy Stix, perhaps : SUGAR RUSH (giving “Rush”)

Bill’s time: 6m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Dance that might be accompanied by a fiddle : JIG

The jig is a dance most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …

4 QB’s six-pointer : TD PASS

Touchdown (TD)

15 Forecast provider : ORACLE

In ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed to be inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of ancient Greece was Pythia, the high priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

19 Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON

Economics (econ.)

20 Rainy day savings : NEST EGG

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

24 Lawyer’s title: Abbr. : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank, say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

25 Self-confidence : APLOMB

“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, one meaning “confidence, assurance”. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

26 Lingerie material : LACE

“Lingerie” is a French term. As used in France, it describes any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

29 Commando movie weapons : UZIS

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

31 Filling station? : TOOTH

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

34 Neighbor of Afghanistan : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

38 Put in fancy duds : DECK OUT

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

40 Actor Holland of “Spider-Man” films : TOM

Tom Holland is an English actor whose big break came when he was cast in London’s West End production of “Billy Elliot the Musical”. Several years later, Holland landed the part of Spider-Man, starting with the 2016 film “Captain America: Civil War”. Tom’s father is Dominic Holland, who is quite a successful stand-up comedian in the UK.

41 Freshwater fish with a colorful name : REDFIN

The redfin shiner is a freshwater fish, and a type of minnow. It is primarily found in the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin.

43 Gerund suffix : -ING

A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to solve” is “solving”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the solving experience”.

44 Destination for an Apollo mission : MOON

The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

45 Safe havens : ASYLA

Asylum (plural “asyla”) is a Latin word meaning “sanctuary”.

50 Dashboard stat : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hooves of the horses. Quite interesting …

66 Greek goddess of the soul : PSYCHE

In the myth of Cupid (aka “Eros”) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.

Down

4 Heavy hardcovers : TOMES

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

5 *Trixie Mattel, e.g. : DRAG QUEEN (giving “Queen”)

Queen is an English rock band that formed back in 1970. With the help of lead singer Freddie Mercury (now deceased), Queen has a long list of great hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent a total of nine weeks at number one in the UK. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is also the title of an outstanding 2018 biographical film about the band.

7 German interjection : ACH!

The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

9 Jason of “Freaks and Geeks” : SEGEL

Actor Jason Segel is best known for playing Marshall on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. Segel is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and performed a wedding ceremony on “The Tonight Show” in 2010.

“Freaks and Geeks” is a comedy-drama TV series aimed at teens that aired in 1999-2000. The executive producer for the show was Judd Apatow, and it launched the acting career of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and others.

12 Cousin of a bassoon : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

13 Souvenirs from White House signings : PENS

It is common practice for a US president to use more than one pen to sign a bill into law. The pens are then distributed to key figures involved in bringing the law into effect. The first president to use multiple pens to sign a bill was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The most pens used in one signing was by President Lyndon Johnson, who used 72 pens to sign the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Not everyone sticks to the multiple-pen tradition though. President George W. Bush never used more than one pen at a time to sign a bill into law.

23 Sacred choral work : MOTET

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text that is usually sung without accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

25 *Contact-free smooch : AIR KISS (giving “KISS”)

KISS is a hard rock band from New York City. They are the group whose band members use all that scary face paint and wear wacky outfits on stage.

26 Fair and balanced type, astrologically : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, and is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign that isn’t named for a living creature.

27 Strong and resilient type, astrologically : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

28 *Seasonal confection that may say “I Luv U” : CANDY HEART (giving “Heart”)

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington that was founded in the seventies and is still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.

30 Actor Efron : ZAC

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently, Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

33 Songs that might be accompanied by an organ : HYMNS

The organ that we often see in churches, synagogues and concert halls is a pipe organ. Sound is produced by pressurized air driven through particular pipes selected by keys on a keyboard.

36 *Sensation after consuming too many Pixy Stix, perhaps : SUGAR RUSH (giving “Rush”)

Pixy Stix is powdered candy that’s packaged in what looks like a straw. The “candy” was sold back in the thirties as a drink mix, but when kids were found to be eating the sweet & sour-tasting mix directly from packets, the producers began packaging it as candy.

38 “The People’s Princess” : DIANA

Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as the start of a fairytale marriage, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Famously, Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.

42 Follows some dentists’ advice : FLOSSES

Dental floss has been around a long time, with the term “dental floss” being introduced in the early 1800s. Anyone fond of the writings of James Joyce (that wouldn’t be me!) might recall a character using dental floss in his famous novel “Ulysses” that was published between 1918 and 1920.

44 Bahama ___ : MAMA

If you’d care to try the drink called a Bahama mama, one recipe is:

  • 1 part rum
  • 1 part coconut rum
  • 1 part grenadine
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts pineapple juice

51 Pro golfer Calvin : PEETE

Calvin Peete was the most successful African-American golfer on the PGA tour before Tiger Woods hit the circuit. Peete played on the Ryder Cup teams of 1983 and 1985.

53 Lake below Huron : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

Lake Huron takes its name from the Huron Native-American people that lived by its shores. Early French explorers often called the lake “La Mer Douce”, which translates as “the freshwater sea”.

54 Knighted actor Guinness : ALEC

Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

55 Place to find brain coral : REEF

A reef is a ridge of stable material lying beneath the surface of a body of water. They can be made up of sand or rock, and also of coral. The largest coral reef on the planet is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which stretches over 1,400 miles.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Dance that might be accompanied by a fiddle : JIG
4 QB’s six-pointer : TD PASS
10 Withdraw from, as a class : DROP
14 Laudatory work : ODE
15 Forecast provider : ORACLE
16 Judicial cover-up? : ROBE
17 Under the weather : ILL
18 Bros’ embrace : MAN HUG
19 Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
20 Rainy day savings : NEST EGG
22 2005’s “King Kong” and 2021’s “Dune” : REMAKES
24 Lawyer’s title: Abbr. : ESQ
25 Self-confidence : APLOMB
26 Lingerie material : LACE
29 Commando movie weapons : UZIS
31 Filling station? : TOOTH
34 Neighbor of Afghanistan : IRAN
35 Musical ability : EAR
36 Who might say “Who goes there?” : SENTRY
37 Waste container : BIN
38 Put in fancy duds : DECK OUT
40 Actor Holland of “Spider-Man” films : TOM
41 Freshwater fish with a colorful name : REDFIN
43 Gerund suffix : -ING
44 Destination for an Apollo mission : MOON
45 Safe havens : ASYLA
46 On a cruise : ASEA
47 Hypes (up) : AMPS
48 Good thing to graduate with : HONORS
50 Dashboard stat : RPM
52 They go up and down on a playground : SEESAWS
54 Partial floor covering : AREA RUG
58 Historical periods : ERAS
59 “Beats me” : NO CLUE
61 Slip up : ERR
62 What a tightrope walker walks on : WIRE
63 Discord : UNREST
64 Attribute of many celebrities : EGO
65 Makes after taxes : NETS
66 Greek goddess of the soul : PSYCHE
67 Hardly any : FEW

Down

1 Link : JOIN
2 Not doing anything : IDLE
3 Styling products : GELS
4 Heavy hardcovers : TOMES
5 *Trixie Mattel, e.g. : DRAG QUEEN (giving “Queen”)
6 Feeling of guilt : PANG
7 German interjection : ACH!
8 Impolite sounds at the dinner table : SLURPS
9 Jason of “Freaks and Geeks” : SEGEL
10 “Oh sure, that’ll totally happen!” : DREAM ON!
11 All-time low … or a musical hint to the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : ROCK BOTTOM
12 Cousin of a bassoon : OBOE
13 Souvenirs from White House signings : PENS
21 Many a high school student : TEEN
23 Sacred choral work : MOTET
25 *Contact-free smooch : AIR KISS (giving “KISS”)
26 Fair and balanced type, astrologically : LIBRA
27 Strong and resilient type, astrologically : ARIES
28 *Seasonal confection that may say “I Luv U” : CANDY HEART (giving “Heart”)
30 Actor Efron : ZAC
32 Apt rhyme for “group” : TROOP
33 Songs that might be accompanied by an organ : HYMNS
36 *Sensation after consuming too many Pixy Stix, perhaps : SUGAR RUSH (giving “Rush”)
38 “The People’s Princess” : DIANA
39 Early afternoon hour : ONE
42 Follows some dentists’ advice : FLOSSES
44 Bahama ___ : MAMA
46 Fire felonies : ARSONS
49 Admit (to) : OWN UP
51 Pro golfer Calvin : PEETE
52 Embroidered, e.g. : SEWN
53 Lake below Huron : ERIE
54 Knighted actor Guinness : ALEC
55 Place to find brain coral : REEF
56 Prod : URGE
57 Get bigger : GROW
60 “___ me a river!” : CRY

6 thoughts on “0426-22 NY Times Crossword 26 Apr 22, Tuesday”

  1. 7:33, no errors. If I hadn’t forgotten about the theme, I might have understood it, but the only one of the four that I would certainly have recognized as a rock band was “QUEEN” (and that only because I’ve recently been made aware of what a remarkable voice Freddy Mercury had).

  2. 14:38. Spent about 2 minutes finding my error in the bottom left square: SEW(S)/(S)ETS. Slowly improving my navigational skills with the NYT app.

  3. 9:00 Another day, another missed theme… And the music category is usually one of my strong points, maybe my only one…

  4. 9:22. Didn’t bother with the theme until I’d finished. Not sure it would have helped me anyway. Had SUGAR high before RUSH but otherwise a smooth solve.

    A Bahama MAMA is a particularly good drink. I’m not one who ordinarily likes sweet fruity drinks like that, but I’ll sneak one in if the bartender makes a good one.

    Best –

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