0501-22 NY Times Crossword 1 May 22, Sunday

Constructed by: Brandon Koppy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Blank Expressions

Today’s grid includes several BLANK squares. Each blank square can be filled with one particular letter, so that the crossing answers remain legitimate words. Reading from top-to-bottom, those letters spell SPACE OUT:

  • 28A Longtime cooking show hosted by Alton Brown : GOOD EATS (+ S = GOOD SEATS)
  • 36A Dangerous part of a tour : WAR ZONE (+ P = WARP ZONE)
  • 41A Fan of the album “Aoxomoxoa,” say : DEAD HEAD (+ A = DEAD AHEAD)
  • 85A Grabbed the reins : TOOK OVER (+ C = TOOK COVER)
  • 96A Back tracks? : B-SIDES (+ E = BESIDES)
  • 100A Not stop talking about : HARP ON (+ O = HARPOON)
  • 133A Worries : SWEATS IT (+ U = SWEATSUIT)
  • 138A Captain’s log entry, maybe : STARDATE (+ T = START DATE)
  • 9D Entree with boiling broth : HOT POT (+ S = HOTSPOT)
  • 14D Stereotypical football coach : HARD ASS (+ P = HARD PASS)
  • 4D Passport, for one : LEGAL ID (+ A = LEGAL AID)
  • 61D Unlikely feature for competitive swimmers : ARM HAIR (+ C = ARMCHAIR)
  • 72D Behind-the-counter helper : BARBACK (+ E = BAREBACK)
  • 80D Main connection? : GAS LINE (+ O = GASOLINE)
  • 115D In and of itself : PER SE (+ U = PERUSE)
  • 119D Formal accessory : TOP HAT (+ TZ = TOP THAT!)

Bill’s time: 33m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Cell connection inits. : LTE

In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

7 Dope : SCHMO

“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, and comes from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

15 Writing tip : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning “beak of a bird”. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” describing the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

18 Film critic with a cameo in 1978’s “Superman” : REX REED

Rex Reed is a film critic who used to co-host “At the Movies”, the show that originally featured Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

The 1978 movie “Superman” was directed by Richard Donner and stars a relatively unknown Christopher Reeve in the title role. Many critics cite “Superman” as the film that launched the reemergence of interest in superhero films, a level of interest that has only grown since then.

20 Safe bets : SHOO-INS

A shoo-in is a surefire winner, especially in politics. Back in the 1920s, a shoo-in was a horse that was prearranged to win a race, a race that was fixed.

25 Northern New Jersey town : FORT LEE

Fort Lee, New Jersey is located at the western side of the George Washington Bridge that spans the Hudson River. Fort Lee is known as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. The world’s first movie studio was built there by Thomas Edison, in a facility known as the Black Maria.

26 Literally, “father of many” : ABRAHAM

Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the “big three” Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

28 Longtime cooking show hosted by Alton Brown : GOOD EATS (+ S = GOOD SEATS)

Alton Brown is a celebrity chef who is behind the Food Network show “Good Eats”, and is the host of “Iron Chef America”.

31 Resident of the U.S.’s second-largest city : ANGELENO

An Angeleno is someone who lives in Los Angeles.

35 Like some bulls : PAPAL

A bulla (also “bull”) is a type of seal impression. A papal bull is a formal document from the Vatican that has such a seal attached, hence the name of the document.

41 Fan of the album “Aoxomoxoa,” say : DEAD HEAD (+ A = DEAD AHEAD)

The Grateful Dead’s third studio album is called “Auxomoxoa”, a palindrome created in a collaboration between the artist designing the album cover and one of the band’s lyricists. The title is apparently pronounced “ox-oh-mox-oh-ah” …

43 Dress (up) : TOG

The Grateful Dead’s third studio album is called “Auxomoxoa”, a palindrome created in a collaboration between the artist designing the album cover and one of the band’s lyricists. The title is apparently pronounced “ox-oh-mox-oh-ah” …

45 Yogurt-based Indian drink : LASSI

Lassi is a yogurt-based drink from India. Popular variants are namkeen lassi (which is salty), sweet lassi and mango lassi. There is even a bhang lassi, which is infused with a liquid derivative of cannabis.

46 The Blue Marble : PLANET EARTH

In 1972, the astronauts of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, took a beautiful photograph of the Earth from space. The photograph is unusual in that the whole planet is illuminated (the sun was behind the spacecraft). The astronauts remarked that Earth looked like a marble, giving the photo its name “Blue Marble“.

49 “Ditto!” : SO AM I!

The word “ditto” was originally used in Italian (from Tuscan dialect) to avoid repetition of the names of months in a series of dates. So, “ditto” is another wonderful import from that lovely land …

50 Part of “fwiw” : IT’S

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

51 Sit in stir : DO TIME

The slang word “stir”, meaning “prison”, probably has its roots in Start Newgate prison in London, where “Stir” was a nickname for the establishment.

55 Grok : GET

To grok is to understand. “To grok” is a slang term that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined it in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

63 Med. care option : HMO

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

65 Wilson of film : OWEN

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

67 Loud and clear, as a call to action : CLARION

The term “clarion” is used for a small trumpet from Medieval and Renaissance times. The common phrase “clarion call” describes a call to action, a request for something to happen.

69 First name among billionaires : ELON

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

76 Chats over Twitter, for short : DMS

Direct message (DM)

77 ___ al-Fitr (holiday) : EID

Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday in the Muslim tradition that is known in English as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. It marks the end of Ramadan, a period of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

83 Hawaiian home parts : LANAIS

A lanai is a type of veranda, and a design that originated in Hawaii. A kind blog reader tells me that the etymology of “lanai” seems unclear, but that the island name of “Lana’i” is not related.

88 The barber of Seville : FIGARO

Figaro is the title character in at least two operas: “The Barber of Seville” (“Il barbiere di Siviglia”) by Rossini, and “The Marriage of Figaro” (“Le nozze di Figaro”) by Mozart. The two storylines are based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, with one basically being a sequel to the other.

89 Singer Grande, to fans : ARI

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

90 Diverse ecosystem : 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.

92 Christine of “The Blacklist” : LAHTI

Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

“The Blacklist” is an entertaining, albeit a little formulaic, crime drama TV show starring James Spader and Megan Boone. Spader plays a successful criminal who surrenders to the FBI in order to help catch a “blacklist” of high-profile criminals.

93 French 101 verb : ETRE

The verb “to be” translates into German as “sein”, and into French as “être”.

95 Mustangs’ sch. : SMU

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas) and was founded in 1911. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Mustangs. Also, SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

100 Not stop talking about : HARP ON (+ O = HARPOON)

To harp on something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

102 Supreme Court appointee before Thurgood Marshall : ABE FORTAS

Abe Fortas was a US Supreme Court Justice from 1965 to 1969. Fortas has to resign his position on the bench due to a scandal about payments received, allegedly for favors granted.

104 “Dios ___!” : MIO

“Dios mio!” translates from Spanish as “My god!”

107 Pin points? : MATS

A successful wrestler might pin his or her opponent on the mat.

108 Spacecraft’s reflective attachment : SOLAR SAIL

Mylar is a brand of polyester film with many uses, one of which is to make reflective surfaces. Mylar can be used to make reflective solar sails, which are a fascinating form of spacecraft propulsion. Believe it or not, reflecting photons of light each provide a small amount of thrust, and enough of them can propel an object in the vacuum of space.

112 Flexible spade, say : ACE

Spades is one of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. The spade symbol represents the pike, a medieval weapon.

113 Like werewolves : LUPINE

The term “lupine” means “wolf-like”, coming from the Latin “lupus” meaning “wolf”.

The prefix “were-” as in “werewolf” derives from an old word “wer” meaning “man”. Hence a werewolf is a “man-wolf”.

116 Hairsplitter : PEDANT

A pedant is a person “who trumpets minor points of learning”, a person who tends to nit-pick. “Pedant” comes via Middle French from the Italian word “pedante” meaning “teacher”.

121 In which belts are worn : KARATE

Practitioners of judo and karate proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

123 Ideal beta tester : END USER

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

127 Gives a boost, informally : GOOSES

To goose is to prod into action, albeit in a very rude way. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.

129 Roger ___, first film critic to win a Pulitzer for criticism : EBERT

Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

132 Algebra I calculation : SLOPE

Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

137 Calendar mo. : MAR

March is the third month in our Gregorian calendar. It takes its name from the Latin “Martius”, which was the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. In turn, Martius was named for Mars, the Roman god of war.

138 Captain’s log entry, maybe : STARDATE (+ T = START DATE)

“Stardates” are fictional dates used in the “Star Trek” universe.

142 Quinceañera feature : TILDE

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

“Quinceañera” is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday, and is an event common in many parts of Latin America.

143 2013 Bong Joon Ho thriller : SNOWPIERCER

“Snowpiercer” is a TV show about a giant train (the Snowpiercer) that circles a frozen planet Earth after the human race has all but died out. The remaining population lives aboard the train in carriages that are separated by social class. The TV series is an adaptation of a 2013 film of the same name, which in turn came from a 1982 graphic novel “Le Transperceneige”.’

148 Alien’s line of communication? : ET PHONE HOME

1982’s classic science fiction movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was directed by Steven Spielberg. The idea behind the film came from Spielberg himself, and the character E.T. was based on an imaginary friend that he conjured up as a child after his parents divorced in 1960.

149 Speedy travel option : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

150 Precept : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “holds”.

151 John, abroad : SEAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian” or “Iain”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

Down

1 Pioneer in Dadaism : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

3 Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL

Guns N’ Roses (GNR) is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii’s “family” names that led to the band being called Guns N’ Roses.

4 Passport, for one : LEGAL ID (+ A = LEGAL AID)

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

5 Vegan protein source made from fermented soybeans : TEMPEH

Tempeh is a soy product that originated in Indonesia. It is made from soybeans that have been partly cooked and fermented. I’ve had quite a bit of tempeh used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. It doesn’t have an appealing texture to me, so I’m not a fan …

6 Big name in ice cream : EDY

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

7 1993 Salt-N-Pepa hit : SHOOP

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip-hop trio from New York made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). The group’s 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

9 Entree with boiling broth : HOT POT (+ S = HOTSPOT)

A Wi-Fi hotspot is a “spot” where one can connect wirelessly with a Wi-Fi connection to a router at the center of the hotspot. From there, one can access the Internet via a modem connected to that router.

10 Dash figure : MILEAGE

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 …

11 #1 N.B.A. draft pick in 1992 : 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.”

12 Journalist ___ B. Wells : IDA

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and leader of the civil rights movement. She published a pamphlet in 1892 called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases”, which publicized the horrors of lynching of African Americans by white mobs in the South.

13 Outback, e.g. : SUBARU

The Subaru Outback is a station wagon with off-road capability that is made by Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries.

14 Stereotypical football coach : HARD ASS (+ P = HARD PASS)

“Hard pass” is a slang term meaning “absolutely not, not interested”.

15 Org. with grants : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

16 It’s got hops, for short : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

20 Bay Area airport code : SFO

The San Francisco Bay Area is served by three major airports: San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC).

21 Tennis division : SET

Our modern sport of tennis evolved from the much older racquet sport known as real tennis. Originally just called “tennis”, the older game was labeled “real tennis” when the modern version began to hold sway. Real tennis is played in a closed court, with the ball frequently bounced off the walls.

23 Victor ___, role in “Casablanca” : LASZLO

Victor Laszlo was played by Austrian-born actor Paul Henreid in 1942’s “Casablanca”. Apparently, Henreid didn’t mix well with his co-stars. He referred to Humphrey Bogart as “a mediocre actor”, and Ingrid Bergman referred to Henreid as a “prima donna”.

The fictional Rick’s Café Américain is the main setting used in the movie “Casablanca”, with the café owner played by Humphrey Bogart. Should you ever visit Morocco, you might try visiting Rick’s Café Casablanca, an establishment opened in 2004 that largely recreates the look and feel of the memorable movie set.

29 Fad accessory of the 1980s : SWATCH

Swatch is a Swiss manufacturer of watches that was founded in 1983. The name “Swatch” is a melding of the words “second watch”. The initial focus of the company was to produce a watch that was casual and fun, a “second watch” that was relatively disposable.

31 It comes off the top of one’s head : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

33 Verbose : GASSY

Someone described as “verbose” is said to use too many words. The term comes from the Latin “verbum” meaning “word”.

34 The eighth of eight : NEPTUNE

Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The existence of Neptune was predicted as early as the 1820s by mathematics based on observations of the orbit of Uranus. The planet was actually first observed in 1846.

38 “August: ___ County” (Tracy Letts play) : OSAGE

“August: Osage County” is a dark comedy play by Tracy Letts that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. I saw the 2013 movie adaptation that has a great cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch. I really enjoyed it …

39 Site of Hercules’ first labor : NEMEA

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called “Heracles”. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

42 Leave it to beavers : DAM

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

44 ___-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

47 Author Gaiman : NEIL

Neil Gaiman is an English author whose works include novels, comic books and graphic novels.

52 Pablo Neruda wrote one “to a large tuna in the market” : ODE

“Pablo Neruda” was the pen name, and eventually the legal name, used by Chilean writer Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Basoalto chose the name as an homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda.

“Odes to Common Things” is a collection of poems by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Included in the list of 25 odes is “Ode to the Table”, “Ode to the Dog”, “Ode to the Artichoke”, “Ode to French Fries” and “Ode to Things”.

54 Has online? : LOL

Those would be “has”, “ha ha ha ha”.

57 Slugger with 609 homers : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

60 Bit of cosmic justice : BAD KARMA

Karma is a religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, one’s future life, or one’s afterlife. And, bad deeds have bad consequences.

62 Some trattoria offerings : RISOTTOS

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of said eating house.

68 Wedding notice word : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

70 Basket-weaving materials : OSIERS

Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, “willows”. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called “sallow”, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called “osier”. Osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible. The strong and flexible willow stems are sometimes referred to as withies.

71 Home of Gulf State Park : ALABAMA

Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State, in honor of the state bird. Alabama is also called the “Heart of Dixie”.

73 Licorice-flavored quaff : ANISE TEA

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

75 “___ With Marc Maron” (popular podcast) : WTF

Stand-up comedian Marc Maron has been hosting the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron” since 2009. The online show features interviews with comedians and celebrities. The list of interviewees is pretty impressive, and includes Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams and even President Barack Obama.

80 Main connection? : GAS LINE (+ O = GASOLINE)

The etymology of the term “gasoline”, meaning “fuel of automobiles”, is a little murky. The most common suggestion is that it comes from the trademark “Cazeline” used by English business entrepreneur John Cassell who marketed Patent Cazeline Oil in the early 1860s. Soon after, a Dublin shopkeeper sold a counterfeit version of “Cazeline” oil. When challenged by Cassell, the Irishman changed the name of his product to “Gazeline”. It’s thought that this “Gazeline” led to the introduction of the generic term “gasoline” in North America, starting in 1864.

81 Some antique furniture : ARMOIRES

“Armoire” is the French word for “wardrobe”, and is used in English for a standing closet that stores clothes.

84 The Trojan priestess Cassandra, e.g. : SEER

I think “Cassandra” is such a great name, one translating from Greek as “she who entangles men”. The Cassandra of Greek mythology was so beautiful that Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. There is another story though, that she gained her gift as a seer by spending the night in Apollo’s temple where snakes licked her ears clean so that she could hear the future. Ugh …

88 Softened expletive on “Battlestar Galactica” : FRAK!

“Battlestar Galactica” is a whole franchise these days, based on an original television series that aired in 1978. The executive producer of that first series was Glen A. Larson who had been trying to get the show off the ground since the sixties. Larson was finally able to get some finances for his sci-fi show on the back of the success of the 1977 movie “Star Wars”.

94 Marijuana compound, for short : THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive in cannabis.

99 Having less vermouth, say : DRIER

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

Vermouth is a fortified wine that is infused with various aromatic flavors. The vermouth that we use today originated in Turin, Italy in the mid-1700s. The various vermouths produced all use a neutral grape wine as a base, with alcohol added to fortify it. Dry ingredients like herbs or roots are added to give a distinctive flavor, and then sugar can be added to make the drink sweeter. Today, most vermouth comes from Italy and France.

109 Jay with jokes : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counselor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns over 300 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

113 Blood typing, e.g. : LAB TEST

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

114 Runnin’ ___ (N.C.A.A. basketball team) : UTES

The Runnin’ Utes are the basketball team of the University of Utah. The team was given the nickname the Runnin’ Redskins back when Jack Gardner was the head coach from 1953 to 1971. The “Runnin’” part of the name was chosen because Gardner was famous for playing quick offenses. The “Redskins” name was later dropped in favor of the less controversial “Utes”.

115 In and of itself : PER SE (+ U = PERUSE)

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

118 Former Jordanian queen : NOOR

Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. She was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

122 Text file in a software package : README

A readme (or “read me”) file is usually a simple text file that is issued with software when it is distributed. It often contains the latest information about the application, including bugs that were found at the last minute just before release.

125 Runner Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

133 “P.D.Q.” in the O.R. : STAT

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

135 Flair : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

136 Imbibe, old-style : TOPE

To tope is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

To imbibe is to drink or take in. The verb “to imbibe” ultimately comes from the Latin “in-” (into, in) and “bibere” (to drink).

138 Scrooge McDuck, for one : SCOT

Scrooge McDuck is a rich uncle of Donald Duck. Donald first hit the screens in 1934, and Uncle Scrooge made his debut performance in 1947.

145 P : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R. It is the 17th letter in the Greek alphabet.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 You say it when you “get it” : AHA
4 Cell connection inits. : LTE
7 Dope : SCHMO
12 Sorta : ISH
15 Writing tip : NIB
18 Film critic with a cameo in 1978’s “Superman” : REX REED
20 Safe bets : SHOO-INS
22 “Levitating” singer, 2020 : DUA LIPA
24 Stuffed up, in a way : PHLEGMY
25 Northern New Jersey town : FORT LEE
26 Literally, “father of many” : ABRAHAM
27 2020 #1 hit for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion : WAP
28 Longtime cooking show hosted by Alton Brown : GOOD EATS (+ S = GOOD SEATS)
30 They may be classified : ADS
31 Resident of the U.S.’s second-largest city : ANGELENO
35 Like some bulls : PAPAL
36 Dangerous part of a tour : WAR ZONE (+ P = WARP ZONE)
41 Fan of the album “Aoxomoxoa,” say : DEAD HEAD (+ A = DEAD AHEAD)
43 Dress (up) : TOG
44 Flings without strings : CASUAL SEX
45 Yogurt-based Indian drink : LASSI
46 The Blue Marble : PLANET EARTH
49 “Ditto!” : SO AM I!
50 Part of “fwiw” : IT’S
51 Sit in stir : DO TIME
53 Good people to ask for directions : LOCALS
55 Grok : GET
56 Clothing store sign : BOYS
58 Owed : DUE
59 Parts of many skyscrapers : I-BARS
63 Med. care option : HMO
64 South ___ : SEAS
65 Wilson of film : OWEN
67 Loud and clear, as a call to action : CLARION
69 First name among billionaires : ELON
71 Demean : ABASE
74 Woolly ma’am : EWE
76 Chats over Twitter, for short : DMS
77 ___ al-Fitr (holiday) : EID
79 Lump sum? : SUGAR
83 Hawaiian home parts : LANAIS
85 Grabbed the reins : TOOK OVER (+ C = TOOK COVER)
88 The barber of Seville : FIGARO
89 Singer Grande, to fans : ARI
90 Diverse ecosystem : REEF
92 Christine of “The Blacklist” : LAHTI
93 French 101 verb : ETRE
95 Mustangs’ sch. : SMU
96 Back tracks? : B-SIDES (+ E = BESIDES)
98 Made bubbly : AERATED
100 Not stop talking about : HARP ON (+ O = HARPOON)
102 Supreme Court appointee before Thurgood Marshall : ABE FORTAS
104 “Dios ___!” : MIO
105 Firm : ROCK SOLID
107 Pin points? : MATS
108 Spacecraft’s reflective attachment : SOLAR SAIL
111 Ominous : DIRE
112 Flexible spade, say : ACE
113 Like werewolves : LUPINE
116 Hairsplitter : PEDANT
120 Late actor Eisenberg : NED
121 In which belts are worn : KARATE
123 Ideal beta tester : END USER
127 Gives a boost, informally : GOOSES
129 Roger ___, first film critic to win a Pulitzer for criticism : EBERT
131 Boots : OUSTS
132 Algebra I calculation : SLOPE
133 Worries : SWEATS IT (+ U = SWEATSUIT)
137 Calendar mo. : MAR
138 Captain’s log entry, maybe : STARDATE (+ T = START DATE)
142 Quinceañera feature : TILDE
143 2013 Bong Joon Ho thriller : SNOWPIERCER
146 Hear out, say : HUMOR
147 N.Y.C. mayor after de Blasio : ADAMS
148 Alien’s line of communication? : ET PHONE HOME
149 Speedy travel option : ACELA
150 Precept : TENET
151 John, abroad : SEAN
152 Young ‘uns : TOTS
153 Cares for : TENDS

Down

1 Pioneer in Dadaism : ARP
2 “That’s amusing” : HEH
3 Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL
4 Passport, for one : LEGAL ID (+ A = LEGAL AID)
5 Vegan protein source made from fermented soybeans : TEMPEH
6 Big name in ice cream : EDY
7 1993 Salt-N-Pepa hit : SHOOP
8 Heart-shaped, as leaves : CORDATE
9 Entree with boiling broth : HOT POT (+ S = HOTSPOT)
10 Dash figure : MILEAGE
11 #1 N.B.A. draft pick in 1992 : O’NEAL
12 Journalist ___ B. Wells : IDA
13 Outback, e.g. : SUBARU
14 Stereotypical football coach : HARD ASS (+ P = HARD PASS)
15 Org. with grants : NIH
16 It’s got hops, for short : IPA
17 Superhero comics sound : BAM!
19 Ties another knot : REWEDS
20 Bay Area airport code : SFO
21 Tennis division : SET
23 Victor ___, role in “Casablanca” : LASZLO
28 Professional saver? : GOALIE
29 Fad accessory of the 1980s : SWATCH
31 It comes off the top of one’s head : AD LIB
32 “Cool beans!” : NEATO!
33 Verbose : GASSY
34 The eighth of eight : NEPTUNE
37 Feeling bad, in a way : ASHAMED
38 “August: ___ County” (Tracy Letts play) : OSAGE
39 Site of Hercules’ first labor : NEMEA
40 Ramps up or down? : EXITS
42 Leave it to beavers : DAM
44 ___-Magnon : CRO
47 Author Gaiman : NEIL
48 Plus : ALSO
52 Pablo Neruda wrote one “to a large tuna in the market” : ODE
54 Has online? : LOL
57 Slugger with 609 homers : SOSA
60 Bit of cosmic justice : BAD KARMA
61 Unlikely feature for competitive swimmers : ARM HAIR (+ C = ARMCHAIR)
62 Some trattoria offerings : RISOTTOS
64 All tucked in : SNUG
66 Eccentric : WEIRDO
67 Top dog, for short : CEO
68 Wedding notice word : NEE
70 Basket-weaving materials : OSIERS
71 Home of Gulf State Park : ALABAMA
72 Behind-the-counter helper : BARBACK (+ E = BAREBACK)
73 Licorice-flavored quaff : ANISE TEA
75 “___ With Marc Maron” (popular podcast) : WTF
78 Rage : IRE
80 Main connection? : GAS LINE (+ O = GASOLINE)
81 Some antique furniture : ARMOIRES
82 Like 100 vis-à-vis 99, say : ROUNDED
84 The Trojan priestess Cassandra, e.g. : SEER
86 Two-syllable cheer : OLE!
87 Contest : VIE
88 Softened expletive on “Battlestar Galactica” : FRAK!
91 Cutesy ending with most : -EST
94 Marijuana compound, for short : THC
97 Some coding statements : IFS
98 United : AS ONE
99 Having less vermouth, say : DRIER
101 Air or Ear ender, in tech : … POD
103 “___ live and breathe!” : AS I
106 No longer funny : OLD
109 Jay with jokes : LENO
110 Does the same as : APES
113 Blood typing, e.g. : LAB TEST
114 Runnin’ ___ (N.C.A.A. basketball team) : UTES
115 In and of itself : PER SE (+ U = PERUSE)
117 Shining brightly : AGLARE
118 Former Jordanian queen : NOOR
119 Formal accessory : TOP HAT (+ T = TOP THAT!)
122 Text file in a software package : README
124 Inundate, as with work : DUMP ON
125 Runner Bolt : USAIN
126 Like some parking : STREET
128 Attract while exploiting someone’s weakness : SEDUCE
130 Shades : TINTS
132 Cuts off the flow of : STEMS
133 “P.D.Q.” in the O.R. : STAT
134 Way off the mark : WIDE
135 Flair : ELAN
136 Imbibe, old-style : TOPE
138 Scrooge McDuck, for one : SCOT
139 Last word of the New Testament : AMEN
140 “All ___ …” : TOLD
141 Chapters in history : ERAS
144 “Hunh?” : WHA?
145 P : RHO

28 thoughts on “0501-22 NY Times Crossword 1 May 22, Sunday”

  1. I chose to use this puzzle as a test case for my discovery of the app’s ability to zoom in on a portion of the grid and I found it to be less useful than I had thought it would be, due to the fact that the app “helpfully” sends you to a new spot in the grid each time you complete a particular entry; perhaps I’ll have to play with the options a bit more … 🤨.

    Now, for the real problem: My solution time was about 40 minutes (I think), but the app refused to give me the “success” message and I spent a lot more time figuring out why: it insisted that the eight “special” squares should be left blank! (I had realized how they were going to be used at the end and begin filling them as I went along.) I can see the logic behind making the app behave that way for this particular puzzle, but I think they’ve managed to seriously annoy a bunch of solvers (including me).

    That said, I still think the puzzle is a marvelous creation! … 😜 … even if I am kind of ticked off … 😳 (but then … what else do I have to do with my time? … 😜).

    1. Same issue as Nonny – can not get the web page version to acknowledge successful completion. I’ve tried putting in the “special” letters, put in a rebus of NOTHING, deleted the special squares, compared a printout of Bill’s answers with mine, and still cannot get the web page to “ring the completion bell”. I’ve spent probably 20 minutes trying to get the signal.

      Any suggestions?

    2. I’ve got the puzzle all filled with the 8 squares left blank and it won’t give me the success message. I’ve checked it several times and cleared it and filled it in again so I think it’s right. If I fill in the blanks, it says it’s wrong. Anyone else having this problem?

      1. I feel your pain! I have a 1337-day streak going and I’d have been very upset to lose it. That’s why I was willing to spend what was probably an hour and a half figuring out what the app wanted. I suspect the NYT crossword folks are going to get some pretty unhappy feedback about this (and they should).

    3. I’m using the NYT crossword app on an iPad Mini and it did give me the success message as soon as I finished blanking out the eight letters of “SPACE OUT” that I had put in earlier. I have noted before that others (@BruceB, in particular) have more trouble with the app than I do and I’m wondering if it has to do with the particular device they’re running the app on. What devices are you all using?

      1. I’m just on a PC using the Edge Browser. I suppose I could give it a try with Chrome and see what that does.

        My streak is at 615 and it should be about 160 longer. those 615 days ago I learned that the NYT resets the Sunday puzzle to Monday at about 3:00 pm, pacific. I didn’t get to the puzzle until later that particular day and the streak ended as a result.

        In any case, I’d like to figure out what this particular issue is. I also tried fiddling with the settings to not auto-jump to spaces, and the like, w/o success.

      2. I’m running Chrome on an old Samsung Android 5.0.2 tablet. My problems are related more to my unfamiliarity with the interface, rather than device/system/browser/app compatibility.
        Regarding your ‘jumping around’ issues, may I suggest going to Settings > At the end of a word > and uncheck ‘Jump to next clue (if not jumping back)’. See if that helps.

    4. I’m old enough to be your mom, or maybe granny, so I don’t know all the basketball players or rock stars, and couldn’t care less, but I know Sosa. Many of these clues are unbeknownst to us older types, so, yes, I find them annoying. Rex Parker said, not long ago, that Will Shortz should be fired. I think a severe reprimand is in order, as almost all the clues in this puzzle break the rules that were in force a decade ago. Is this progress?

  2. 26:39. I’d have never come to SPACE OUT on my own. Clever. Maybe too clever by half…
    There were a lot of obscure (to me) references in this one that I had to work around.

  3. Same issue with trying to get the ‘Success’ to be acknowledged, and I spent over 1.5 hours after having ‘solved’ it. I tried it originally with the missing letters to spell SPACE OUT in. Then I tried changing them to blanks. I started to try the rebus, putting them in as double-letters, but that didn’t seem right. I rechecked my answers so many times, I could probably recreate this entire puzzle from memory. If I didn’t care about my streak, I’d have given-up long before. I started searching the Web (which I’m loathe to do on any puzzle, since it feels like cheating), and found somewhere that the solver put “nothing” in each crossing blank, and that worked! At that point each crossing square showed an animation of the letter, but it’s beyond me why it didn’t accept leaving those blank, and forced me to make a ridiculous guess at a rebus that wasn’t really part of the solution.

  4. I went to Chrome browser and still had same issue. I tried resetting the settings (sounds weird) w/ no luck. Also tried deleting special squares again and then putting actual spaces in the squares again and once again deleting – again w/no luck.

    Finally put the settings to jump to only spaces within a filled word so I could go to the 8 squares in question. I then put in an X and voila – the message of success – about 25 minutes of time later.

    So try an X in the “special” squares and see if that works.

    With reference to George’s solution – earlier I had also tried NOTHING as a rebus in the squares and that DID NOT work for me. Entering an X did.

    1. I just did the Rebus and typed out NOTHING and clicked on each of the 8 squares and it gave me the gold star! I am using my iPad by the way.

      1. Tried all of those to no avail (NYT website, using Chrome and also Firefox). Finally wrote in “Blank” using the rebus and it worked.

  5. What’s really odd about they way they chose to ‘score’ this puzzle is that the ‘blanks’ in the crossing words all had an alternate value that would make two more words. But rather than considering it a correct solution for figuring out the missing letters, the solver is penalized for entering them.

  6. Filled in all the squares in under an hour, finally hit ‘Reveal’ at 1:19. I had other errors in the grid, such as: GABBY instead of GASSY. So I didn’t really get far enough to complain about the ‘rebus’ squares. When I tapped out, I did have the correct S.P.A.C.E.O.U.T letters in the boxes, but apparently that wasn’t acceptable to the app.
    Not being a fan of fermented milk or soybean beverages, I was at a disadvantage today.

  7. 1:21:43, completed on Tuesday. Leaving the key spaces empty failed, entering the rebus “blank” resulted in the music of success. I work the puzzle on an IPhone 6S, for whatever that’s worth. Hopefully it will help somebody in the syndicated crew.

  8. Amusing to note that the analog solvers, aka pen and paper crew, is likely not having any problems or complaints:-)

    1. yes sir–I will not do a Times Puzzle on a computer–call me old-fashioned…still love a pencil with an eraser..got it all done, after a struggle..

    2. Oh no, I have complaints. My husband and I work these separately on paper each week as a contest. I circled each “blank” box and filled in the missing letters. He left the “blank” boxes blank. I know he’s going to say my 8 blank boxes are wrong since it doesn’t match the solution above with “nothing” in the boxes. Technically he’s wrong for leaving them blank!

  9. 50:41. Tough one. I had the same issue as everyone else, but I did the puzzle several days after it came out.

    I left all the squares in question blank. When I didn’t get the banner, I just cheated and went to see how Bill had it filled in here on the blog. I just entered the word NOTHING as a rebus in the blank squares and the banner showed up.

    So Mark Maron’s show is WTF as in What The FRAK?

    Best –

  10. I wasted over 3 hours on this piece of crap only to have 3 errors none of which were in the “blank “clues.
    Seriously can anyone tell me if there are any rules at all to crossword construction (other than no 2 letter words)
    I am grateful to do them on paper and not get tied up in any of that computer nonsense
    Stay safe😀

  11. I have never used the word “stupid” here to describe anything except my own (occasional) behavior but … every time I see it used as it was in a post above (especially when it appears in all caps), I am more and more inclined to employ it in another, more appropriate, way … 😳.

  12. 32:52, no errors. I didn’t have anything in the spaces at all, but given I’m a paper solver, I can at least have some comfort past all the inane stupid stuff they want you to guess about to enter into the app to make it a proper “solution”. Especially since I know given the rest of the puzzle that the blanks belong where they do.

    “1337”? Really? Dude….

  13. Looks like my pen and paper was less technically acceptable! Certainly didn’t make me smarter.

    I got the blanks but never got the phrase. The puzzle took me long enough. I got blurry eyed.

    What is a BAR BACK?

    Messed up on 127A. Because I had ABLARE for 117D. That gave me BOOSES for 127A. I got GOOSED on that one! Ha!

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