0511-22 NY Times Crossword 11 May 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Michael Paleos
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Party Animals

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “PARTY”, and end with an ANIMAL:

  • 57A They’re always ready for a good time … or a description of 18-, 25-, 35- and 49-Across? : PARTY ANIMALS
  • 18A Tot’s mount : ROCKING HORSE
  • 25A Jim Beam competitor : WILD TURKEY
  • 35A Chinese poultry dish marinated in wine : DRUNKEN CHICKEN
  • 49A 1980 boxing film for which De Niro won Best Actor : RAGING BULL

Bill’s time: 8m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Home to about 60% of the world’s population : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

12 One with a whistle … who sometimes 1-Across? : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

15 Soccer superstar Cristiano : RONALDO

Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional soccer player from Portugal who is often referred to as the finest player in the world. Ronaldo spent five years playing in the UK with Manchester United, and then relocated to Spain to play for Real Madrid starting in 2009.

16 Sporty car roof option : T-TOP

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.

20 Cold War jet : MIG

The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

22 Connecticut Ivy Leaguer : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

23 Willy Wonka prop : CANE

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

24 Practically forever : AEONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

25 Jim Beam competitor : WILD TURKEY

Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey that has been distilled in and around Lawrenceburg, Kentucky since 1869. Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller is Jimmy Russell, who is now the longest-serving master distiller in the whole world.

Jim Beam is the world’s highest-selling brand of bourbon. Jim Beam whiskey has roots going back to around 1795 when Jacob Beam sold his first corn whiskey. The whiskey took on the name “bourbon”, possibly after Bourbon County in Kentucky.

43 Residents of ancient Minos : CRETANS

The Minoans were a Bronze Age people that lived on the island of Crete from about 270 to 1450 BCE. Evidence of the Minoan civilization was uncovered by the British archaeologist Arthur Evans at the beginning of the 20th century. Evans coined the term “Minoan” after King Minos of myth, who was said to have built the Labyrinth on the island that housed the Minotaur.

48 Windy City rail system, in brief : CTA

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. Firstly, that the weather can be breezy with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

49 1980 boxing film for which De Niro won Best Actor : RAGING BULL

I just do not like boxing, nor movies about boxing, but I certainly accept that “Raging Bull” is a true cinema classic. It is a biopic released in 1980, with Robert De Niro starring as Jake LaMotta, and ably directed by Martin Scorsese. Famously, De Niro gained about 70 pounds in weight to lay LaMotta in his early years, showing true dedication to his craft.

55 ___ bear : KOALA

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

61 Tree creature of Middle-earth : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

62 Brothers Grimm villain : OGRE

The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

63 Legislative bodies : SENATES

Our word “senate” comes from the Latin name for such a body, namely “senatus”. In turn, “senatus” is derived from “senex” meaning “old man”, reflecting the original Roman Senate’s makeup as a council of “elders”.

64 Marx’s “___ Kapital” : DAS

“Das Kapital” (entitled “Capital” in English versions) is a book about political economy written by Karl Marx, first published in 1867. The book is in effect an analysis of capitalism, and proffers the opinion that capitalism relies on the exploitation of workers. Marx concludes that the profits from capitalist concerns come from the underpaying of labor.

Down

6 Passport fig. : ID NO

Identity document (ID)

7 Dress (up), quaintly : TOG

The verb “to tog up”, meaning “to dress up”, comes from the Latin “toga” describing the garment worn in ancient Rome. “Tog” can also be used as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.

8 Island like Kiritimati : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically, an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside inside the circling coral reef.

9 Jazz piano style played by Fats Waller and Mary Lou Williams : STRIDE

Stride is a jazz piano style that features an “oom-pah” action with the left hand, alternating between a bass note and a chord.

10 Siri’s platform : IOS

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

13 Slim Shady, by another name : EMINEM

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. Mathers grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He was raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

14 Some old-timers : FOGEYS

An old fogey is someone with old-fashioned ideas, and is usually more advanced in years. The term “fogey”(sometimes “fogy”) comes to us from the Scottish “foggie”, which back in the late 1700s described an army pensioner or veteran.

19 Eric ___, 1980 Olympic speed skating gold medalist : HEIDEN

Eric Heiden is a former American speed skater, the most successful athlete to compete in any single Winter Olympics. He won five gold medals at the 1980 games in Lake Placid. After retiring from the ice, Heiden became a doctor and is now an orthopedic surgeon in Salt Lake City.

24 Cardinals’ home, in stats : ARI

The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run, professional football team in the whole country.

27 College city in upstate New York : UTICA

Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

29 Blues legend with a guitar named Lucille : BB KING

“B.B. King” was the stage name of Riley B. King, the celebrated blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Referred to as the King of the Blues, King truly was a dedicated performer. He was doing gigs for over 50 years, and made over 15,000 appearances on stage. King’s first hit was “3 O’Clock Blues”, recorded in 1952. He passed away in May of 2015.

32 Hoffman who played Captain Hook : DUSTIN

“Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.

33 Early quinoa cultivator : INCAN

Quinoa is a grain crop that is more closely related to beetroots and spinach that it is to cereals and grasses. Quinoa is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds, which are high in protein. The seeds are also gluten free, which seems to be a big deal these days. I do like my quinoa …

36 Like chewable calcium, often : CHALKY

The name of the element calcium comes from the Latin “calcis” meaning “lime”. “Quicklime” and “burnt lime” are common names for calcium oxide.

44 ___ Quimby, Beverly Cleary heroine : RAMONA

Ramona Quimby is a character in a series of “Henry Huggins” children’s novels penned by Beverly Cleary. As she aged, Ramona merited her own set of stories.

46 Pizzeria chain : SBARRO

The Sbarro chain of pizza restaurants was founded by Italian immigrants, Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro.

52 Former L.A. Laker Odom : LAMAR

Lamar Odom is a basketball forward in the NBA. Apparently Odom loves candy, and that’s how he earned his nickname, “The Candy Man”. Odom was married to Khloé Kardashian, and the couple’s wedding featured on an episode of the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Not a show that I have ever seen …

55 Banjo spot, in song : KNEE

“Oh! Susanna” is a song that was published in 1848, written by Stephen Foster. The song is often called “Banjo on My Knee”, an understandable slip given the words of the chorus. “Oh! Susanna” came to be associated with the Forty-Niners, the miners who traveled to California in the 1849 Gold Rush. The lyrics were changed to suit the Gold rush theme with “Alabama” being replaced by “California”, and “banjo” being replaced by “washpan”.

57 “Right in the kisser!” : POW!

“Kisser”, “trap” and “yap” are slang terms for the mouth.

58 Fourth word in the “Star Wars” prologue : AGO

Every “Star Wars” film starts out with an opening crawl announcing “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”

59 Communication method in much of the 2021 film “CODA,” for short : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

60 Bygone Mach 1 breaker, in brief : SST

Supersonic transport (SST)

The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane traveling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Drops the ball big-time : BLOWS IT
8 Home to about 60% of the world’s population : ASIA
12 One with a whistle … who sometimes 1-Across? : REF
15 Soccer superstar Cristiano : RONALDO
16 Sporty car roof option : T-TOP
17 Genre of Death Cab for Cutie : EMO
18 Tot’s mount : ROCKING HORSE
20 Cold War jet : MIG
21 Cover, as tasks : SEE TO
22 Connecticut Ivy Leaguer : ELI
23 Willy Wonka prop : CANE
24 Practically forever : AEONS
25 Jim Beam competitor : WILD TURKEY
28 Gun : REV
29 Auction action : BID
30 Thinks the world of : ESTEEMS
31 Hard to swallow, in a way : INEDIBLE
34 Shake a leg, in Shakespeare : HIE
35 Chinese poultry dish marinated in wine : DRUNKEN CHICKEN
40 ___-fi : SCI
41 Torments : HARASSES
43 Residents of ancient Minos : CRETANS
47 PC key : ALT
48 Windy City rail system, in brief : CTA
49 1980 boxing film for which De Niro won Best Actor : RAGING BULL
51 Criticize harshly : BLAST
53 “Couldn’t agree more!” : AMEN!
54 Name, as a price : ASK
55 ___ bear : KOALA
56 Flat refusals : NOS
57 They’re always ready for a good time … or a description of 18-, 25-, 35- and 49-Across? : PARTY ANIMALS
61 Tree creature of Middle-earth : ENT
62 Brothers Grimm villain : OGRE
63 Legislative bodies : SENATES
64 Marx’s “___ Kapital” : DAS
65 Cherry or walnut : WOOD
66 Recliner feature : LEG REST

Down

1 Remark from one having cold feet, perhaps : BRR!
2 Bit of unfinished business : LOOSE END
3 Cursory appraisal : ONCE-OVER
4 Rouse : WAKEN
5 Pita pocket cuts, e.g. : SLITS
6 Passport fig. : ID NO
7 Dress (up), quaintly : TOG
8 Island like Kiritimati : ATOLL
9 Jazz piano style played by Fats Waller and Mary Lou Williams : STRIDE
10 Siri’s platform : IOS
11 Copy : APE
12 Fresh take on a classic, perhaps : REMAKE
13 Slim Shady, by another name : EMINEM
14 Some old-timers : FOGEYS
19 Eric ___, 1980 Olympic speed skating gold medalist : HEIDEN
23 Streaming sites? : CREEKS
24 Cardinals’ home, in stats : ARI
25 Illusionist’s skill : WILE
26 Part of a casual layered look : T-SHIRT
27 College city in upstate New York : UTICA
29 Blues legend with a guitar named Lucille : BB KING
32 Hoffman who played Captain Hook : DUSTIN
33 Early quinoa cultivator : INCAN
36 Like chewable calcium, often : CHALKY
37 Place for a concert or lecture : HALL
38 Get really serious really quickly : ESCALATE
39 Pitching statistic? : NET SALES
42 Rode the bench : SAT
43 Stretched to get a better look, say : CRANED
44 ___ Quimby, Beverly Cleary heroine : RAMONA
45 Discharges : EGESTS
46 Pizzeria chain : SBARRO
50 Formal “you,” in Spanish : USTED
51 Sound of spring? : BOING!
52 Former L.A. Laker Odom : LAMAR
55 Banjo spot, in song : KNEE
57 “Right in the kisser!” : POW!
58 Fourth word in the “Star Wars” prologue : AGO
59 Communication method in much of the 2021 film “CODA,” for short : ASL
60 Bygone Mach 1 breaker, in brief : SST

5 thoughts on “0511-22 NY Times Crossword 11 May 22, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Cute theme. (And I’ve omitted my time, even though it wasn’t all that awful, because I was interrupted repeatedly while trying to do the puzzle.)

  2. 9:26, no errors. Nice grid for a Wednesday. That’s three sub-ten minute solves in a row. Yay me! Time to PARTY.

  3. 11:44. For some reason the NW caused me all kinds of grief.

    I remember watching Eric HEIDEN in the 1980 Winter Olympics. He was overshadowed by the US hockey team win, but what he did was just as amazing. He won every event in men’s speedskating from the 500 M to the 10,000 M races. That’s not unlike winning the 100 M dash, the Marathon, and every distance in between.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.