0509-22 NY Times Crossword 9 May 22, Monday

Constructed by: August Miller
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Attar

The starting words from themed answers give us an adage attributed to ATTAR, i.e. “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”:

  • 67A Sufi poet thought to have coined the adage found at the starts of 19-, 27-, 45- and 52-Across : ATTAR
  • 19A “Have another round – my treat!” : THIS ONE’S ON ME!
  • 27A Gloating words of mock consolation : TOO BAD FOR YOU
  • 45A Invitation to a prospective waltz partner : SHALL WE DANCE?
  • 52A Empower a successor, metaphorically : PASS THE TORCH

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pace set by a metronome : TEMPO

A metronome is any device that produces a regular beat. The metronome was invented in 1815 by Johann Maelzel, who intended it to be an instrument for the use of musicians.

6 Ewe’s mate : RAM

An adult male sheep is a ram, although a castrated ram is known as a wether. An adult female is a ewe, and a young sheep is a lamb.

13 Measure of gold’s purity, not its weight : KARAT

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

15 Bone parallel to the radius : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

16 Closing bit of music : OUTRO

In the world of pop music, an outro is the opposite to an intro. An outro might perhaps be the concluding track of an album, for example.

17 In memoriam piece : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

“In memoriam” is a Latin phrase that we use in English to mean “in memory of” when referring to a person that is deceased.

18 Doe or buck : DEER

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 …

25 Private eye, in old slang : TEC

A private eye is a private investigator, a PI, a private “I”.

32 Amanda of “Sleeping With Other People” : PEET

Actress Amanda Peet studied acting with the celebrated Uta Hagen at Columbia University. Peet has appeared in a number of successful films including “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Syriana”. I remember her best from what I thought was a great TV show (but no one seemed to agree!) called “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”.

33 Texter’s “Hold that thought” : BRB

Be right back (brb)

41 greenpeace.___ : ORG

Environmental organization Greenpeace was founded in 1971, and is headquartered in Amsterdam. Famously, the organization uses seagoing vessels in some of its campaigns. The most renowned of these ships was the refitted fishing trawler Rainbow Warrior. The original Rainbow Warrior was known for disrupting activities like whale-hunting, dumping of radioactive waste and nuclear testing. In response to the latter, the French government secretly bombed the vessel while in harbor in Auckland, New Zealand. A Dutch freelance photographer died in that bombing.

42 Trolley : TRAM

Trams were a common form of transport in London starting with horse-drawn versions in 1860. Trams were gradually replaced by diesel buses after WWII, with the last tram running in 1952. Even though the trams disappeared in the early fifties, many of the rails that carried the trams remained in some streets for many years afterwards (I remember them well as a child). A new generation of tram, a so-called light-rail system, was introduced in London in 2000.

44 Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

45 Invitation to a prospective waltz partner : SHALL WE DANCE?

What we tend to think of as a waltz today is danced at about 90 beats per minute. The original waltz was much faster, and danced at about 180 beats per minute. To differentiate, we now call the faster dance a “Viennese Waltz”, and sometimes refer to the other as the “English Waltz” or “slow waltz”.

48 Actress Rudolph of “Bridesmaids” : MAYA

Comic actress Maya Rudolph got her break as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live”. Rudolph’s mother was singer Minnie Ripperton, who had a big hit in 1975 with the single “Lovin’ You”.

“Bridesmaids” is a 2011 comedy movie co-written by and starring Kristen Wiig. I wasn’t crazy about this film until Chris O’Dowd turned up as a traffic cop. Wiig and O’Dowd were great together, I thought. Pity about the rest of the movie …

65 Bogus : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

Our word “bogus”, meaning “not genuine” was coined (pun!) in the 1830s, when it applied to counterfeit money.

66 Make music on a kazoo, say : HUM

The modern instrument we know today as the kazoo was invented by one Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia in the 1800s. The kazoo first came to the public’s attention at the Georgia State Fair of 1852, when it was known as the “Down-South Submarine” (because of its shape, I would imagine …).

67 Sufi poet thought to have coined the adage found at the starts of 19-, 27-, 45- and 52-Across : ATTAR

Attar of Nishapur was a Persian poet who was active around the turn of the 13th century. “Attar of Nishapur” is a pen name. “Attar” is Peresian for “apothecary”, a reference to his work as a herbalist. Nishapur is a city in Northeastern Iran where Attar spent his life.

A sufi is a Muslim mystic, an ascetic. Apparently, the term “sufi” can be translated as “man of wool”. This might be a reference to the practice of donning holy garments made from wool, as opposed to silk.

Down

1 Boxing ring ruling, in brief : TKO

In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

2 ___ de toilette : EAU

“Eau de toilette” (toilet water) is a diluted perfume. A French person when dressing is said to be attending to his or her “toilette”.

3 Mohawked star of “The A-Team” : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

Here is another example of a difference in terminology on either side of the Atlantic. What we call the Mohawk hairstyle in the US is known as a Mohican in Britain and Ireland. The Mohawk hairstyle is named after the Mohawk nation, who wore their hair in the same fashion. The Mohawk style has been around for a long time elsewhere in the world. There was a well-preserved male body found in a bog near Dublin in Ireland in 2003. The body is about 2,000 years old, and has a Mohawk haircut.

5 Tweeter’s “alternatively” : OTOH

On the other hand (OTOH)

6 Title cyborg in a 1987 sci-fi flick : ROBOCOP

“RoboCop” is a film released in 1987 starring Peter Weller in the title role. Weller wore a very impressive robot suit for the film, the most expensive item on the set, costing over a million dollars. Weller would lose three pounds a day in sweat alone as temperatures inside the suit went to over 100 degrees F.

“Cyborg” is an abbreviation for “cybernetic organism”, a being that is made up of both organic and synthetic parts.

8 Distribute, with “out” : METE …

To “mete out” is to distribute by allotments. The verb comes from the Old English word “metan” meaning “to measure”, which is also believed to be the root of our word “meter”.

9 Puzzle with a 9 x 9 grid : SUDOKU

Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …

10 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

14 ___ K. of Kafka’s “The Trial” : JOSEF

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia and today the capital of the Czech Republic. Kafka is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is “kafkaesque” is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka’s fame came after his death when much of his work was published.

22 Author Calvino : ITALO

As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.

23 The ___ of Babel : TOWER

We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

29 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“The Crying Game” is a fascinating film that made quite a splash when it was released in 1992. Although it was set in Ireland and the UK, it didn’t do well in cinemas in either country yet made a lot of money over here in the US. I think the politics of the movie were a bit raw for Irish and UK audiences back then. It’s an unusual plot, blending Irish political issues with some raw sexuality questions. I won’t tell you about the “surprise” scene, just in case you haven’t seen it and want to do so …

34 Bygone music collection from Nas or Lil’ Kim : RAP CD

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

“Lil’ Kim” is the stage name of rap artist Kimberly Denise Jones from Brooklyn, New York. Lil’ Kim spent a year in jail in 2005 for lying to a jury in a case about a shooting.

35 Computer memory units : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

40 Sculptures made of found objects and scraps : TRASH ART

The term “found object” describes art created from objects not normally classified as art. Perhaps the most famous example of the genre is Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917), which is simply a porcelain urinal that was signed “R. Mutt”. A subgenre of found object art is trash art or junk art. A trash artist uses many discarded items to create a more complex piece, rather simply displaying the found object as is.

43 The Reds or the Red Sox, for short : MLB TEAM

When the Cincinnati Reds were a dominating force in the National League in the seventies, the team was given the nickname “the Big Red Machine”.

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so command a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox have played there has been a sell-out from May of 2003 to April 2013. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

45 The “S” in iOS : SYSTEM

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

46 Folk icon Guthrie : WOODY

Woody Guthrie was a singer-songwriter. He was best known for his recording of the folk song “This Land is Your Land”, the lyrics of which were written by Guthrie himself.

48 1963’s ___ on Washington : MARCH

1963’s March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies in the history of the US, with about a quarter of a million people participating in the march itself. The rally was a call for civil and economic rights for African Americans. Famously, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech to the protesters while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

49 Cat pose or downward dog : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

52 BlackBerrys and PalmPilots, for short : PDAS

The PDA (personal digital assistant) known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.

The PalmPilot was one of the most successful PDAs (personal digital assistants) in its day.

54 Hosiery shade : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

55 ___ Pet (onetime fad item) : CHIA

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terra-cotta figurines to which moistened chia seeds are applied. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

60 School fund-raising grp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pace set by a metronome : TEMPO
6 Ewe’s mate : RAM
9 Percolate : SEEP
13 Measure of gold’s purity, not its weight : KARAT
14 Cause of a laugh : JOKE
15 Bone parallel to the radius : ULNA
16 Closing bit of music : OUTRO
17 In memoriam piece : OBIT
18 Doe or buck : DEER
19 “Have another round – my treat!” : THIS ONE’S ON ME!
22 ___-bitsy : ITSY
25 Private eye, in old slang : TEC
26 C-worthy : OKAY
27 Gloating words of mock consolation : TOO BAD FOR YOU
31 Wretched : AWFUL
32 Amanda of “Sleeping With Other People” : PEET
33 Texter’s “Hold that thought” : BRB
36 Revealed accidentally : LET SLIP
39 Once-standard feature not found in most newer vehicles : ASHTRAY
41 greenpeace.___ : ORG
42 Trolley : TRAM
44 Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT
45 Invitation to a prospective waltz partner : SHALL WE DANCE?
48 Actress Rudolph of “Bridesmaids” : MAYA
50 Feathery accessory : BOA
51 Lays down turf : SODS
52 Empower a successor, metaphorically : PASS THE TORCH
56 “Dagnabbit!” : DRAT!
57 Decorated, as a cake : ICED
58 In a good mood : HAPPY
62 Rough patch in adolescence? : ACNE
63 Rainy day hue : GRAY
64 Full of fury : IRATE
65 Bogus : SHAM
66 Make music on a kazoo, say : HUM
67 Sufi poet thought to have coined the adage found at the starts of 19-, 27-, 45- and 52-Across : ATTAR

Down

1 Boxing ring ruling, in brief : TKO
2 ___ de toilette : EAU
3 Mohawked star of “The A-Team” : MR T
4 Transport built for revelry : PARTY BUS
5 Tweeter’s “alternatively” : OTOH
6 Title cyborg in a 1987 sci-fi flick : ROBOCOP
7 Similar (to) : AKIN
8 Distribute, with “out” : METE …
9 Puzzle with a 9 x 9 grid : SUDOKU
10 Justice Kagan : ELENA
11 Foe : ENEMY
12 Peel … or, phonetically, a fruit you might do this to : PARE
14 ___ K. of Kafka’s “The Trial” : JOSEF
20 “___ be a big help” : IT’D
21 Solaced : SOOTHED
22 Author Calvino : ITALO
23 The ___ of Babel : TOWER
24 Sound heard twice in “George” : SOFT G
28 Something special : ALL THAT
29 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA
30 “You bet!” : YES!
33 Uncle “we don’t talk about” in Disney’s 2021 film “Encanto” : BRUNO
34 Bygone music collection from Nas or Lil’ Kim : RAP CD
35 Computer memory units : BYTES
37 Good name for a financial planner? : IRA
38 Buddy : PAL
40 Sculptures made of found objects and scraps : TRASH ART
43 The Reds or the Red Sox, for short : MLB TEAM
45 The “S” in iOS : SYSTEM
46 Folk icon Guthrie : WOODY
47 Anatomical canal locale : EAR
48 1963’s ___ on Washington : MARCH
49 Cat pose or downward dog : ASANA
52 BlackBerrys and PalmPilots, for short : PDAS
53 Low’s opposite : HIGH
54 Hosiery shade : ECRU
55 ___ Pet (onetime fad item) : CHIA
59 Small butter unit : PAT
60 School fund-raising grp. : PTA
61 “Oh, quit ___ bellyachin’!” : YER

6 thoughts on “0509-22 NY Times Crossword 9 May 22, Monday”

  1. 7:28, no errors. Interesting to encounter not only a whole new way of cluing “ATTAR” (which is usually just “A kind of perfume”), but a reference to a significant individual I’d never heard of. Also, I could not help but be reminded of my father: the theme phrase is very nearly the last thing I ever heard him say … 😢

  2. 9:36, no errors. I also thought ATTAR was wrong. Perfume, not poet. Oh, well. This too shall pass.

    1. George Harrison – “All Things Must Pass”; All Things Must Pass Away. Fabulous triple album from 1970, I believe

  3. 9:09. A bit more of a challenge than most Monday puzzles.

    Never heard of OUTRO, but I guess it makes sense.

    Never really got into SUDOKU, but I did a lot of KenKen puzzles a couple of years ago. Not sure why I stopped doing them; I liked them a lot. Maybe they aren’t as easy to find nor as well set up as crosswords. Or maybe they are, and I just don’t know about it.

    Best –

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