0430-22 NY Times Crossword 30 Apr 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Joe DiPietro
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 22m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Certain archaeological site : BOG

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

14 Flying start? : AVI-

The prefix “avi-” means “bird-related” as in “aviculture”, the breeding of birds. “Avis” is Latin for “bird”.

15 Olds that was once in the news : ALERO

The Alero was the last car made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

21 C6H6 : BENZENE

Benzene is a remarkable chemical compound, from a molecular standpoint anyway. It is made up of six carbon atoms arranged in a ring, with one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon. Benzene is a significant component of gasoline, and is also very carcinogenic.

24 Amused reaction : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

25 31-syllable Japanese poem : TANKA

A tanka is a Japanese poem comprising five lines with thirty-one syllables, in the pattern 5-7-5-7-7.

27 Heavy shoe : BROGAN

A brogan is a heavy boot, with the original brogans being boots worn by soldiers on both sides during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Apparently some British soldiers in the Revolutionary War wore brogans that could be worn on either foot in an attempt to get more even wear.

36 Its slogan “Get Smarter Now” matches its initials : GAME SHOW NETWORK

Game Show Network (GSN)

39 Writing is sometimes done on it : SPEC

Something that is created on spec is done so without having a specific buyer or consumer in mind. Many crosswords are constructed on spec, and then submitted to the likes of “The New York Times” or the “Los Angeles Times” in the hope of publication.

40 Looking wise? : OWLISH

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

41 Part of some after-work plans, in brief : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

44 John Steinbeck’s middle name : ERNST

John Steinbeck was born not far from here, in Salinas, California in 1902. His most famous novels are probably “The Grapes of Wrath” from 1939, “East of Eden” from 1952 and the novella “Of Mice and Men” from 1937. For his work, Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

50 E.P.A. concern : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

53 Buffaloed : AT A LOSS

To buffalo is to bewilder, baffle. The verb probably comes from the animal’s name, as back in the early 1900s, “to buffalo” was “to alarm, overawe”. This meaning likely originated with the tendency for a herd of buffalo to mass panic in the face of danger.

60 Auto shaft, informally : CAM

Cams are wheels found on the cam shaft of a car’s engine that are eccentric in shape rather than circular. The rotation of the cams causes the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders to open and close.

63 1977 Sex Pistols song written after a record-contract termination : EMI

The Sex Pistols were the group that introduced the punk movement to the UK, back in 1975. The Sex Pistols were very vocal in their opposition to the social norms of the time. One of their most famous singles is “God Save the Queen”, from 1977. The lyrics were considered so offensive that workers at the plant where the record was being pressed came out on strike rather than be associated with the song. When it was eventually released, the BBC went as far as banning the record, not something that happens very often.

Down

5 Michael Caine film : ALFIE

There have been two versions of the movie “Alfie”. The original, and for my money the best, was made in 1966 with Michael Caine. The remake came out in 2004 and stars Jude Law in the title role. The theme song was performed by Cher in the 1966 movie, but it was Dionne Warwick’s cover version from 1967 that was the most successful in the charts.

7 Address in a bar : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

8 Delectable made with grass : POT BROWNIE

Apparently, the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

10 Leap with a twist : LUTZ

In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there’s more to it that I don’t really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

11 Dossier contents : INTEL

A dossier is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”.

12 One working for a dictator : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

18 Sci-fi’s Chief Chirpa, e.g. : EWOK

The Ewoks are creatures that live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

19 Relatives of foxhounds : BEAGLES

The beagle breed of dog is a scent hound, one developed for tracking small game. Because of this characteristic, beagles are often used as detection dogs in customs halls around the world. The world’s most famous beagle is probably Snoopy from the comic strip “Peanuts”.

23 String of typographical symbols, like @%$&!, to represent an obscenity : GRAWLIX

A string of typographical symbols such as “@#%!” that is used to replace a swear word is called a “grawlix”. The term “grawlix” was coined by Mort Walker, the creator of comic strip “Beetle Bailey”, in 1964.

27 Navigator was in the first one : BROWSER WAR

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

35 Game with matadors and schneiders : SKAT

When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular card game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to play it again …

38 Soprano’s group : THE MAFIA

Apparently, “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn several members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “Mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

Actor James Gandolfini is perhaps best known for playing Mafia boss Tony Soprano in the HBO show “The Sopranos”. For my money, one of Gandolfini’s best performances was in the 2013 romantic comedy “Enough Said”, opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Sadly, Gandolfini passed away just before that film was released.

43 Cowboy features : OATERS

The term “oater” that is used for a Western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

48 Components of a bouquet garni : HERBS

“Bouquet garni” is French for “garnished bouquet”, and is the name given to a bundle of herbs often tied together and added to soups, stocks and stews. The bouquet garni adds flavor, but is removed prior to serving. The list of herbs included in the “bundle” varies, but thyme and bay leaf are often the base ingredients.

50 A toaster might hold one : STEIN

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term “stein” is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

52 Give some bad assistance : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Certain archaeological site : BOG
4 Received, as a guest to one’s flat : HAD UP
9 Felicity : BLISS
14 Flying start? : AVI-
15 Olds that was once in the news : ALERO
16 Make altogether : RUN TO
17 Cheerful response to “How’re you doing?” : NEVER FELT BETTER
20 Faded : GREW DIM
21 C6H6 : BENZENE
22 “Guess again” : NOPE
23 Bachelor, e.g. : GRAD
24 Amused reaction : LOL
25 31-syllable Japanese poem : TANKA
27 Heavy shoe : BROGAN
29 Women’s soccer powerhouse : USA
30 Poorly written words : SCRAWL
32 A mighty long time : AGES
36 Its slogan “Get Smarter Now” matches its initials : GAME SHOW NETWORK
39 Writing is sometimes done on it : SPEC
40 Looking wise? : OWLISH
41 Part of some after-work plans, in brief : IRA
42 Comment after clumsiness : OOPSIE!
44 John Steinbeck’s middle name : ERNST
46 Burning issue : ASH
49 Top : APEX
50 E.P.A. concern : SMOG
51 Playroom? : THEATER
53 Buffaloed : AT A LOSS
56 People may never get over it : BARBED WIRE FENCE
58 Halfway between yellow and orange : AMBER
59 Musical segment : ACT II
60 Auto shaft, informally : CAM
61 Tries out : TESTS
62 Claudio or Gio, father-and-son players for the U.S. men’s national soccer team : REYNA
63 1977 Sex Pistols song written after a record-contract termination : EMI

Down

1 When doubled, attention-grabbing : BANG!
2 During : OVER
3 It’s first among Americans : GIVEN NAME
4 “That’s a big ‘no thanks'” : HARD PASS
5 Michael Caine film : ALFIE
6 Regard : DEEM
7 Address in a bar : URL
8 Delectable made with grass : POT BROWNIE
9 Actress Fricker of “My Left Foot” : BRENDA
10 Leap with a twist : LUTZ
11 Dossier contents : INTEL
12 One working for a dictator : STENO
13 Philosopher Georges : SOREL
18 Sci-fi’s Chief Chirpa, e.g. : EWOK
19 Relatives of foxhounds : BEAGLES
23 String of typographical symbols, like @%$&!, to represent an obscenity : GRAWLIX
25 Jerks : TUGS
26 “Step on it!” : ASAP!
27 Navigator was in the first one : BROWSER WAR
28 Sticks nix : NAW
31 Did some prep work in the kitchen : CHOPPED
33 About to be sold : GOING ONCE
34 Has things backward, say : ERRS
35 Game with matadors and schneiders : SKAT
37 Energy-saving mode in some hybrid cars : ECO
38 Soprano’s group : THE MAFIA
43 Cowboy features : OATERS
45 Lead, e.g. : ROLE
46 Up : AT BAT
47 “For ___!” : SHAME
48 Components of a bouquet garni : HERBS
50 A toaster might hold one : STEIN
52 Give some bad assistance : ABET
53 Affected : ARTY
54 Hustle : SCAM
55 Final precursor : SEMI-
57 Composition of some sheets : ICE

4 thoughts on “0430-22 NY Times Crossword 30 Apr 22, Saturday”

  1. 17:15. Kind of tough one. Got a bit stalled in the top third, particularly the NW. Also never heard of BROGAN or GRAWLIX, so that “R” was a guess.

  2. 26:45, no errors. I spent an inordinate amount of time in the upper left corner. For 1A, I initially had “DIG” and then, after a bit, decided it had to be “BOG”, but held off on entering that until the bitter end, at which point I spent a minute or two trying to decide if I’d somehow gone off the rails. Finally filled it in and all was well. I kind of think that the bog referred to is one of those in Denmark, in which remarkably well-preserved bodies have been found.

    I saw “GRAWLIX” for the first time quite recently (in another crossword puzzle), so it didn’t come readily to mind, but it wasn’t a total mystery, either.

    All in all, a pretty good tussle … 😳.

  3. 49:21, upper right corner was a mess. Only correct entries in that block were: BETTER, BENZENE, STENO. Start the streak over again tomorrow (hopefully).

  4. 57:02/DNF oddly enough, I got the long answers, but “bog” got me and “pot brownie” was one of the last to fall with a groan and a chuckle

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