0505-22 NY Times Crossword 5 May 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Adam Wagner
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Spiral … Sequence

Themed answers refer to the FIBONACCI SERIES. And, we have a SPIRAL pattern outlined in black squares in the grid, as well as a SPIRAL pattern of circled letters that spell out FIBONACCI:

  • 30A When preceded by [the circled letters], natural shape said to be seen in 61-Across and 27-Down : … SPIRAL
  • 37D When preceded by [the circled letters], progression starting with 0 and 1 : … SEQUENCE
  • 11D Numerical constant associated with [the circled letters] : GOLDEN RATIO
  • 61A Classic van Gogh subject : SUNFLOWERS
  • 27D Certain cephalopods : NAUTILI
  • 17A Someone well versed in this puzzle’s theme : MATH TEACHER

Bill’s time: 19m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Units on Czech checks : KORUNAS

“Koruna” is a word in some Slavic languages meaning “crown,” and is used as the name of several obsolete European currencies. The Czech koruna is the only currency still in use that uses the name.

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka “Slovakia”).

16 What psychotherapy can treat, in brief : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

21 James of “Carpool Karaoke” fame : CORDEN

James Corden is an English actor and comedian who is best known in the US as the host of “The Late Late Show”, a talk show for which he took the helm in 2015. Prior to establishing his career on this side of the Atlantic, Corden was quite the celebrity in Britain and Ireland. He appeared in the sitcom “Gavin & Stacey” (great show), which he also co-wrote. He also hosted the comedy-sports panel show “A League of Their Own” (also great).

Carpool Karaoke is a regular segment on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”. In the bit, Corden drives a car with a celebrity musical (usually) guest while singing along to some of the musician’s famous songs. The list of carpoolers is impressive and extensive, and includes the likes of Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. The most popular noon-musician carpooler was then-current First Lady Michelle Obama.

28 Hammer part : PEEN

The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

32 First word of Poe’s “The Raven” : ONCE …

The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

36 King of ancient Rome : REX

In Latin, Romulus was the first “rex” (king) of Rome.

38 ___ jacket (formal men’s wear) : ETON

An Eton jacket is usually black in color, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.

39 Duke’s grp. : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

41 Uses psychedelics : TRIPS

The term “psychedelic” was coined in 1956 by British-born psychiatrist Humphry Osmond. He proposed the term to describe the effects of taking the drugs LSD and mescaline. He suggested that “psychedelic” be defined as “mind-manifesting”, from the Greek “psyche” (mind) and “delos” (manifest).

43 Lid seen in a kitchen? : TOQUE

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

44 Polynesian performance : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

45 Foolish person : SIMP

“Simp” is slang describing a simple or foolish person. Not nice …

47 Prefix with glottis : EPI-

The epiglottis is an elastic cartilage flap located above the larynx. The epiglottis opens when breathing, and closes when swallowing. That motion directs air into the lungs, and food into the stomach.

48 Some convertible choices : T-TOPS

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

49 John of “Monty Python” fame : CLEESE

The magnificent actor and comedian John Cleese came to the public’s attention as a cast member in the BBC’s comedy sketch show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Cleese then co-wrote and starred in the outstanding comedy “Fawlty Towers”. He even had a role in two “James Bond” films.

51 Source of much early immigration to the U.S.: Abbr. : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

61 Classic van Gogh subject : SUNFLOWERS

“Sunflowers” is the name of two series of paintings by Vincent van Gogh. In the first series, painted in Paris, the flowers are lying on the ground. The more famous second series was painted in Arles, and depicts the flowers in a vase. Famously, a Japanese insurance magnate purchased “Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” in 1987 in an auction, paying just under $40 million. This price outstripped the previous record price paid for a work of art by a wide, wide margin, one that stood at $12 million.

The common sunflower is so called because it has a flower head that looks like the Sun. Famously, young sunflowers exhibit heliotropism, tilting during the day to face the sun. As the sunflowers mature and bloom, they generally face east and no longer track the movement of the Sun across the sky.

Down

3 Brings home : BATS IN

That might be baseball.

4 Perry who used to have the world’s most-followed Twitter account : KATY

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (only for a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

6 Nutritional fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

7 Where second gentleman Doug Emhoff got his J.D. : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known for the success of its athletic program. USC Trojans have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

9 “Smart” name : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

10 Razor sharpener : STROP

A strop is a strip of leather used to sharpen a razor.

11 Numerical constant associated with [the circled letters] : GOLDEN RATIO

The golden ratio, sometimes called the “golden mean” and denoted by the Greek letter phi, is a mathematical constant that often turns up in the world of art. Phi is approximately equal to 1.61, and is represented by the two distances, a and b, where (a+b)/a = a/b. Somehow we perceive the ratio of 1.61 as “pleasing” so it appears in many works of art and in building design. For example, many aspects of the Parthenon in Athens have a ratio of 1.61 (width compared to height). Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man also illustrates the golden ratio in the proportions of the human body, where he shows that the distance from the foot to the navel, compared to the distance from the navel to the head, is 1.61.

13 Mideast’s Gulf of ___ : ADEN

The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

22 ___ Speedwagon : REO

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

24 Dilemma : SPOT

A lemma is a helping theorem, a subsidiary proposition that helps prove some other proposition. A problem offering two equally acceptable (or unacceptable) possibilities might be described as a “double lemma”, and hence our term “dilemma”.

25 Word with snake or salad : … OIL

There is actually a real snake oil, a Chinese medicine made of fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term “snake oil” became associated with any cure-all potion.

27 Certain cephalopods : NAUTILI

The marine creature called a nautilus (plural “nautili”) is referred to as a “living fossil”, as it looks just like the spiral-shelled creatures that are commonly found in fossils. The spiral shape is a great example of the Fibonacci series defining a natural phenomenon, as the spiral is a Fibonacci spiral, described by the famous series of numbers. The nautilus moves using jet propulsion, by ingesting water at one end and then squirting it out at the other.

30 Some shindigs : SOIREES

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

31 Parkinson’s treatment : L-DOPA

The name of the drug L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAlanine can be shortened, thankfully, to L-DOPA. Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson won a Nobel Prize for showing that L-DOPA could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Syndrome.

English apothecary and surgeon James Parkinson wrote “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817. This work was the first to describe the disorder that was later to be called Parkinson’s disease in his honor.

35 Nav. rank : ENS

Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

37 When preceded by [the circled letters], progression starting with 0 and 1 : … SEQUENCE

Leonardo of Pisa was a famous and respected Italian mathematician, also known as simply “Fibonacci”. He is remembered for writing about a number sequence (although he didn’t “discover” it) that later was given the name “Fibonacci sequence”. He wrote about the series of numbers in his book called “Liber Abaci”, a celebrated work that introduced Arabic numerals (i.e. 0-9) to the Western world.

40 Warehouse store equipment : DOLLIES

A dolly is a small platform on rollers, especially on a movie set. Apparently, it is so called because it’s supposed to look like a doll. No, it doesn’t. I don’t believe that …

45 Like some horse bedding : STRAWY

Hay is dried grass that is stored for use as animal fodder. Straw consists of the dried stalks of cereal plants, the residue left after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw can also be used as animal fodder, as well as fuel, bedding and thatch.

48 Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth : TUDOR

The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster (with a symbol of a red rose) and York (with a symbol of a white rose). Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

Mary I was Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558. Mary was the only surviving child from the marriage of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Unlike her father, Mary adhered to her Roman Catholic faith and was noted for her brutal persecution of Protestants during her reign. She had almost three hundred religious dissenters burned at the stake, resulting in her gaining the nickname “Bloody Mary”. Roman Catholic rule was reversed after she died, when her half-sister Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne.

The Elizabethan era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age of English history. It was the age of William Shakespeare and the age of the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and the last sovereign of the House of Tudor.

50 Crafts site : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

51 Fanning of film : ELLE

Actress Elle Fanning’s most notable performance to date (probably) was playing Aurora in the 2014 movie “Maleficent”. Elle’s older sister is actress Dakota Fanning.

57 Propper noun? : TEE

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

59 Kazakhstan, e.g., formerly: Abbr. : SSR

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Little 19-Across : FIB
4 Units on Czech checks : KORUNAS
11 Student-led LGBTQ+ grp. : GSA
14 “Just as I suspected!” : AHA!
15 Common recipe step : ADD SALT
16 What psychotherapy can treat, in brief : OCD
17 Someone well versed in this puzzle’s theme : MATH TEACHER
19 Many people do this about their height : LIE
20 Opining opening : I’D SAY …
21 James of “Carpool Karaoke” fame : CORDEN
23 Turn on the stove? : STIR
24 “The wait’s almost over” : SOON
28 Hammer part : PEEN
29 Sugar : HON
30 When preceded by [the circled letters], natural shape said to be seen in 61-Across and 27-Down : … SPIRAL
32 First word of Poe’s “The Raven” : ONCE …
34 “Cat” : COOL DUDE
36 King of ancient Rome : REX
37 Pupil of a cat’s eye, often : SLIT
38 ___ jacket (formal men’s wear) : ETON
39 Duke’s grp. : ACC
40 Much-desired : DEAR
41 Uses psychedelics : TRIPS
42 Terence ___, noted expert on combinatorics and analytic number theory : TAO
43 Lid seen in a kitchen? : TOQUE
44 Polynesian performance : HULA
45 Foolish person : SIMP
46 Slip past : ELUDE
47 Prefix with glottis : EPI-
48 Some convertible choices : T-TOPS
49 John of “Monty Python” fame : CLEESE
51 Source of much early immigration to the U.S.: Abbr. : EUR
52 When doubled, not-so-subtle nudge : HINT
53 Judgment days? : TRIAL DATES
60 They seem to believe otherwise : SECT
61 Classic van Gogh subject : SUNFLOWERS
62 “What’d I tell you?!” : SEE?!
63 A bygone age : YESTERYEAR

Down

1 Starve : FAMISH
2 “You gave me no choice” : I HAD TO
3 Brings home : BATS IN
4 Perry who used to have the world’s most-followed Twitter account : KATY
5 Written honor : ODE
6 Nutritional fig. : RDA
7 Where second gentleman Doug Emhoff got his J.D. : USC
8 “Pass” : NAH
9 “Smart” name : ALEC
10 Razor sharpener : STROP
11 Numerical constant associated with [the circled letters] : GOLDEN RATIO
12 Summer learning opportunity for students : SCIENCE CAMP
13 Mideast’s Gulf of ___ : ADEN
18 When doubled, sarcastic laugh : HAR
22 ___ Speedwagon : REO
24 Dilemma : SPOT
25 Word with snake or salad : … OIL
26 Diner cry after a bell is rung : ORDER UP!
27 Certain cephalopods : NAUTILI
30 Some shindigs : SOIREES
31 Parkinson’s treatment : L-DOPA
33 Many security guards : EX-COPS
34 ___ Colvin, civil rights pioneer who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus nine months before Rosa Parks : CLAUDETTE
35 Nav. rank : ENS
37 When preceded by [the circled letters], progression starting with 0 and 1 : … SEQUENCE
40 Warehouse store equipment : DOLLIES
41 An alternative? : THE
43 Computer pros : TECHS
45 Like some horse bedding : STRAWY
48 Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth : TUDOR
50 Crafts site : ETSY
51 Fanning of film : ELLE
54 Regret : RUE
55 They might help you get a job : INS
56 Sternward : AFT
57 Propper noun? : TEE
58 Bygone ___ : ERA
59 Kazakhstan, e.g., formerly: Abbr. : SSR

5 thoughts on “0505-22 NY Times Crossword 5 May 22, Thursday”

  1. 9:51. This one felt fairly difficult, and it took me a little while to get some momentum, but then it kind of fell into place. Definitely a STEM-y puzzle.

  2. 19:31. Cool theme and grid design. I would have finished this faster, but I was too slow….

    STRAWY? At least the setter apologized for that one in Wordplay today. “Bartender, this drink is too STRAWY. I only need one or two for it.” Just doesn’t seem right.

    Best –

  3. 19:50. Decent for a Thursday for me. It’s been quite a few years since my last math class…like maybe 52 years?

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