0502-22 NY Times Crossword 2 May 22, Monday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Off with the Head

Themed answers each comprise two words, the second of which is the same as the first, but with the first letter removed:

  • 17A Not in a million billion years : NEVER EVER
  • 31A Utah national monument called Shash Jaa’ in Navajo : BEARS EARS
  • 41A Be protective of, as a mother hen might : HOVER OVER
  • 58A Like some fashion boots : THIGH-HIGH

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Op-___ (newspaper columns) : EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

9 Capital of Oregon : SALEM

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

15 December 31, for short : NYE

New Year’s Eve (NYE)

21 Boxing family surname : ALI

Boxer Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Mercellus Clay Jr. in Lousville, Kentucky in 1942. Clay joined the Nation of Islam in the early sixties, at which point he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The name he chose translates into “one who is worthy of praise” (Muhammad) and “most high” (Ali).

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali, and a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. Now retired, she never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

26 “Ave ___” (prayer) : MARIA

“Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary” in English) is the prayer at the core of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which itself is a set of prayers asking for the assistance of the Virgin Mary. Much of the text of the “Hail Mary” comes from the Gospel of Luke. The words in Latin are:

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

The prayer has been adapted as a hymn. The two most famous musical versions of “Ave Maria” are by Charles Gounod (based on a piece by Bach) and by Franz Schubert.

28 Term of endearment : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

40 Rolls-___ : ROYCE

Charles Rolls founded the Rolls-Royce auto manufacturing company along with his partner Henry Royce in 1906. Sadly, Rolls died just a few years later in a plane crash. Rolls was a pioneering aviator. He became the first Briton to die in a powered aircraft crash when the tail of his plane broke off during a flying display.

48 Messages that might come with emojis : TEXTS

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate. The use of emojis originated in 1997 on mobile phones in Japan, and within a few years spread around the world. “Emoji” is a Japanese word meaning “picture word”.

50 Stuff from a bog : PEAT

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.

56 Palindromic explosive : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

57 Run ___ of (come into conflict with) : AFOUL

To be afoul of something is to be in conflict with it. The term “afoul” sounds nautical to me, and indeed it was originally used at sea in the sense of being in a state of entanglement or collision.

61 Fruit of the Loom competitor : HANES

The Hanes brand of apparel was founded in 1901. A related brand was introduced in 1986 called Hanes Her Way.

62 Debit inits. on some SNAP cards : EBT

Electronic benefit transfer (EBT)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

63 To whom Alfalfa wrote “You’re scum between my toes!” : DARLA

Alfalfa’s love interest in “Our Gang” was Darla, whose real name was Darla Hood. Hood became quite a successful singer after she grew out of her “Our Gang” role.

64 The “A” in WASP : ANGLO-

The not-so-nice acronym “WASP” stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. The term is used for Americans with a relatively high position in society, and who are usually of British descent.

65 Female deer : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

Down

1 Source of some wire stories : AP NEWS

The Associated Press (AP) is a news agency based in New York City. AP is a non-profit cooperative that was set up by five New York newspapers in 1846 to share the cost of transmitting news. Nowadays, AP recoups most of its cost by selling news stories and related materials to newspapers all around the world, mostly outside of the US.

3 Capital of Cuba : HAVANA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

5 Vegetable with pentagonal cross sections : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

8 Neighbor of Montenegro : SERBIA

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

Montenegro is a country in Southeastern Europe that once was part of Yugoslavia. “Montenegro” is a historical Italianate translation of “black mountain”.

10 China’s continent : ASIA

The world’s most populous country is the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Republic of China (ROC) is the official name of the sovereign state that we usually call Taiwan.

12 Custardy dim sum dessert : EGG TART

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

18 Dutch ___ disease : ELM

Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn’t named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called “Dutch” as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

23 Once in a blue moon : RARELY

As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (one for each calendar month), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the third (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

27 Sleep phase : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

30 Passover ritual : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

32 Nosh between meals : SNACK

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

37 Partner of “prosper” in a Vulcan saying : LIVE LONG

The Vulcan salute is the hand gesture devised and introduced by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock on the original “Star Trek” TV series. The salute is made by raising the hand with the palm forward and with the fingers parted between the middle and ring finger. The gesture is often accompanied with the words “live long and prosper”.

38 Online game with a Battle Royale mode : FORTNITE

A battle royal is a fight involving many combatants that is fought until one fighter emerges victorious. More recently, the term “battle royale” has become popular following the success of the Japanese film “Battle Royale” released in 2000. There are many, many video games that use the “battle royale” structure.

40 Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T-rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

42 “By the power ___ in me …” : VESTED

“By the power vested in me by …” is a line from a traditional wedding ceremony.

53 To boot : ALSO

The noun “boot” was used once to describe something of advantage in trying to accomplish a goal. This obsolete term really only exists in the adverb “to boot” meaning “in addition, over and above”, literally “to advantage”.

55 Some advanced degree holders : PHDS

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

59 “A Black Lady Sketch Show” channel : HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is the oldest continuously-operating pay TV service in the US, having launched in 1972. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sound of a sneeze : ACHOO!
6 Op-___ (newspaper columns) : EDS
9 Capital of Oregon : SALEM
14 Something a mutinying pirate might have to walk : PLANK
15 December 31, for short : NYE
16 Topic in a dictionary or on a utility bill : USAGE
17 Not in a million billion years : NEVER EVER
19 Championship mementos : RINGS
20 Big band ___ (time span after the Jazz Age) : ERA
21 Boxing family surname : ALI
22 Counterpart of length : BREADTH
24 Beverage often stored in a cellar : WINE
26 “Ave ___” (prayer) : MARIA
28 Term of endearment : BAE
29 Document digitizations : SCANS
31 Utah national monument called Shash Jaa’ in Navajo : BEARS EARS
34 Domain : REALM
36 Establish legislatively : ENACT
37 Soup scooper : LADLE
38 Small container for carrying a drink when away from home : FLASK
39 Man’s name that’s an anagram of ELGIN : NIGEL
40 Rolls-___ : ROYCE
41 Be protective of, as a mother hen might : HOVER OVER
43 Loose, collarless shirt popular in India : KURTA
47 Feasted : ATE
48 Messages that might come with emojis : TEXTS
50 Stuff from a bog : PEAT
51 Not full, as an effort, informally : HALF-ASS
54 Sleep briefly : NAP
56 Palindromic explosive : TNT
57 Run ___ of (come into conflict with) : AFOUL
58 Like some fashion boots : THIGH-HIGH
61 Fruit of the Loom competitor : HANES
62 Debit inits. on some SNAP cards : EBT
63 To whom Alfalfa wrote “You’re scum between my toes!” : DARLA
64 The “A” in WASP : ANGLO-
65 Female deer : DOE
66 Sugary : SWEET

Down

1 Source of some wire stories : AP NEWS
2 Religious official : CLERIC
3 Capital of Cuba : HAVANA
4 1/2 + 1/2 : ONE
5 Vegetable with pentagonal cross sections : OKRA
6 Worthy of coveting : ENVIABLE
7 Easter egg colorer : DYE
8 Neighbor of Montenegro : SERBIA
9 “What-e-e-ever you say …” : SURE …
10 China’s continent : ASIA
11 Indigenous reclamation movement : LANDBACK
12 Custardy dim sum dessert : EGG TART
13 Breathable fabrics : MESHES
18 Dutch ___ disease : ELM
23 Once in a blue moon : RARELY
25 Infuriate : ENRAGE
27 Sleep phase : REM
30 Passover ritual : SEDER
32 Nosh between meals : SNACK
33 Become less harsh : EASE UP
35 Rations out : ALLOTS
37 Partner of “prosper” in a Vulcan saying : LIVE LONG
38 Online game with a Battle Royale mode : FORTNITE
39 Opposite of “I love it!” : NOT A FAN
40 Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX
41 “You crack me up!” : HA HA HA!
42 “By the power ___ in me …” : VESTED
44 End a career : RETIRE
45 Get into a snarl : TANGLE
46 To boot : AT THAT
49 Droop : SAG
52 Coal or gas : FUEL
53 To boot : ALSO
55 Some advanced degree holders : PHDS
59 “A Black Lady Sketch Show” channel : HBO
60 “Yee-___!” : HAW

5 thoughts on “0502-22 NY Times Crossword 2 May 22, Monday”

  1. 9:44. Did not get the completion pop-up. Will try using Firefox tomorrow instead of Chrome.

  2. 7:14, no errors.

    When I speak of using “the NYT crossword app” on my iPad, I’m referring to an actual app that I downloaded from the “App Store”, so no browser is involved. I’ve never tried to do an NYT puzzle using a browser-based application. Perhaps this explains why I’m having fewer problems than others. (I would do some experiments via various browsers on my iMac, but now I’m a little afraid to, for fear that it will mess up my statistics.)

  3. 6:41. A day late, but I’m catching up on an entire week of missed puzzles so why not start with an easy one.

    Best –

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