0512-22 NY Times Crossword 12 May 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Umlaut

Rebus squares contain the letters OO, which serve two purposes. They are read as O-O in crossing answers, and also serve as UMLAUTS for the answer immediately below:

  • 58A Diacritical mark resembling a dieresis, both of which are represented in this puzzle : UMLAUT
  • 18A Nietzschean ideal : ÜBERMENSCH
  • 36A Trait of a babe in the woods : NAÏVETE
  • 38A Noted literary sisters : BRONTËS
  • 50A Ice cream brand whose first storefront was in Brooklyn Heights : HÄAGEN-DAZS
  • 15A Comment from a klutz : OOPS!
  • 31A Scent of an animal : SPOOR
  • 34A “No worries” : IT’S COOL
  • 46A “The Handmaid’s Tale” author : ATWOOD
  • 5D Inning-beginning stat : NO OUTS
  • 26D Sarges report to them : LOOIES
  • 29D Serenaded, maybe : WOOED
  • 44D Greet with derision : BOO AT

Bill’s time: 10m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Locale for part of Dinosaur National Monument : UTAH

A national monument is like a national park, to some degree. The main difference is that it takes an Act of Congress to create a national park, whereas the President can declare an area a national monument without the need for approval by Congress.

5 ___ Geo : NAT

The National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo) is jointly owned by Fox and the National Geographic Society, and was launched in 2001. Nat Geo has a sister channel known as National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild) that focuses on programming about wildlife.

8 Birthplace of the 44th U.S. president : HAWAII

Despite rumors to the contrary, Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. Future US President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

14 Singer Simone : NINA

“Nina Simone” was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. Simone was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career. She was inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

15 Comment from a klutz : OOPS!

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

17 ___ State (Big Ten school) : PENN

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) was founded in 1855 as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania. Penn State is listed as one of the “Public Ivies”, a public university that offers a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League.

The Big Ten is the nation’s oldest Division I college athletic conference. It was founded in 1896, and earned the name “Big Nine” in 1899 when Iowa and Indiana joined to bring the number of teams in the conference to nine. The conference name was changed to the Big Ten after Michigan rejoined in 1917. Right after WWII, the University of Chicago dropped out so the conference became known as the Big Nine again until 1949. The official designation of “Big Ten” was adopted in 1987 when the conference (once again with a complement of ten teams) registered as a not-for-profit corporation. It was decided to keep the official name of Big Ten when Penn State joined in 1990 bringing the number of schools to the level of eleven. The number of schools in the conference continues to evolve, but that “Big Ten” moniker persists.

18 Nietzschean ideal : ÜBERMENSCH

Friedrich Nietzsche introduced the concept of the Übermensch in his 1883 book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. He presents the Übermensch as a goal that humanity sets for itself. This idea contrasts with the philosophy of Christian values as the goals of humanity. “Übermensch” has been translated into English as “beyond-man”, “superman”, “overman” and “superior humans”.

22 “I’m such a bozo!” : D’OH!

The unsavory word “bozo” describes a person with a low IQ, and someone who is usually quite muscular. The term has been used since the early 1900s, and possibly comes from the Spanish “bozal” that was used to describe someone who spoke Spanish poorly.

23 Fortune 100 company with a heart in its logo : CVS

The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for “Consumer Value Stores”, although these days the company uses the initialism to denote “Convenience, Value and Service”.

24 Site with selfies, familiarly : INSTA

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

27 Tree under which Siddhartha attained enlightenment : BODHI

Gautama Buddha was the sage on whose teachings the Buddhist tradition was founded. It is generally believed that the Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, in about 563 BCE.

28 Feeling at Victoria Falls, say : AWE

Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River, right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls were named by Scottish explorer David Livingstone in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain. Victoria Falls isn’t the highest waterfall in the world, nor is it the widest. However, the total “area” of the sheet of falling water is the largest in the world, so it is usually recognized as the largest waterfall on the planet.

31 Scent of an animal : SPOOR

“Spoor” is both a verb and a noun. The word describes the track left by an animal, or the act of following said track. We’ve been using it in English since the early 1800s, having imported it from the Afrikaans language.

38 Noted literary sisters : BRONTËS

The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

39 Like many Bluetooth headsets : ONE-EAR

Bluetooth is a standard for wireless technology that was introduced by Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994. The name was chosen in honor of Harald Bluetooth, a medieval King of Denmark and Norway. Harald is said to have earned his name because of his love of blueberries, which stained his teeth. Harald was said to have a gift for convincing diverse factions to talk to one another, so Ericsson’s communication protocol was given Harald’s name.

42 Director Craven : WES

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

43 Buffalo ice hockey pro : SABRE

The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name “Sabres” as the result of a fan contest.

45 It sees right through you, in brief : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

46 “The Handmaid’s Tale” author : ATWOOD

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. However, Atwood also conceived the idea of the LongPen, a remote robotic writing technology. The LongPen allows a user to write remotely in ink via the Internet. Atwood came up with the idea so that she could remotely attend book signings.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a set in a dystopian New England of the near future, after the overthrow of the US government. The central character is named Offred, who is a “handmaid” forced to bear children for the male ruling class. The novel was adapted into a highly successful TV series of the same name, starring Elizabeth Moss as Offred.

48 Six-footer Down Under : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

50 Ice cream brand whose first storefront was in Brooklyn Heights : HÄAGEN-DAZS

Häagen-Dazs ice cream originated in the Bronx, New York in 1961. The name “Häagen-Dazs” is a “nonsense” term, words chosen for its Scandinavian feel that the producers thought would appeal to potential customers.

The part of the borough of Brooklyn known as Brooklyn Heights was the first commuter town for New York, blossoming when the steam ferry service started to run between the Heights and Wall Street in the early 19th-century.

58 Diacritical mark resembling a dieresis, both of which are represented in this puzzle : UMLAUT

The umlaut and the dieresis are diacritical marks that look identical, as they comprise two dots placed over a letter. However, each serves a different purpose in phonology. An example of a dieresis is found in the English word “naïve”, where it tells us to pronounce the letter I separately from the preceding letter A.

59 Celebration six days after Xmas : NYE

New Year’s Eve (NYE)

The abbreviation “Xmas” that is used for “Christmas” comes from the Greek letter chi (X), which is the first letter of the Greek word for “Christ” (“Χριστός”).

62 Ending with rip or whip : … SAW

In woodworking, a cut across the grain is known as a cross cut. A cut along the grain is called a rip cut. Most saws are designed to perform the best cross cuts, but there is a special rip saw that more easily cuts straight lines along the grain.

A whipsaw (also “pit saw”) is a two-man saw that was originally designed for use in a saw pit. A large log would be placed on top of the pit. The “pit-man” would work under the log, and the “top-man” above it. The sawing action was in the vertical, with the blade cutting on the downstroke.

Down

1 Not acceptable, in a way : UN-PC

To be un-PC is to be politically incorrect, not politically correct (PC).

2 Mezzanine, e.g. : TIER

A mezzanine in a building is a low story between two taller ones. The term came to be used for the lowest balcony in a theater in the 1920s.

3 Youngest of the 38-Across : ANNE
(38A Noted literary sisters : BRONTËS)

Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

5 Inning-beginning stat : NO OUTS

That might be baseball.

6 Some messages on old radios, for short : APBS

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

7 Poet who wrote “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” : TS ELIOT

“Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” are lines from T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

“The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a poem by T. S. Eliot that was first published in 1915. The rather odd name of “Prufrock” seems to have just come to Eliot, although there was a Prufrock-Littau Company in St. Louis while he lived there.

8 One of the “Five Colleges” of Massachusetts : HAMPSHIRE

Hampshire College is a private school in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is one of our newer colleges, first taking students in 1970. It has a reputation as a “radical” school. In 1979, it became the first American college to divest from apartheid South Africa. In 2001, it declared itself opposed to the War on Terrorism, again being the first school to do so.

The Five Colleges (of Massachusetts) are located close to each other, and are:

  • Amherst College
  • Hampshire College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

9 End of a block? : -ADE

“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term “embargo” came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

10 Comedian Sykes : WANDA

Wanda Sykes is a very successful American comedian and comic actress. Interestingly, Sykes spent her first five years out of school working for the NSA. I saw her perform in Reno some years ago, and she is very, very funny.

11 Lhasa ___ : APSO

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

21 Brown, for one : IVY

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

25 ___ Puente, a.k.a. El Rey del Timbal : TITO

After serving in the Navy in WWII for three years, musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as “El Rey” as well as “The King of Latin Music”.

26 Sarges report to them : LOOIES

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer) such as a “sarge” (sergeant).

27 Where one might sit for a spell? : BEE

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

28 When Macbeth slays Duncan : ACT II

In William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”, King Duncan is the good king of Scotland whom Macbeth murders in the pursuit of power.

29 Serenaded, maybe : WOOED

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

31 Kind of globe : SNOW

It is believed that the first snow globes were introduced in France in the early 1800s. They were a development of glass paperweights that were already common, and were initially used to do the same job. Do you know who owns the biggest collection of snow globes in the world, over 8,000 of them? That would be the actor Corbin Bernsen of “LA Law” and “Psych” fame.

35 Inhale : SNARF DOWN

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

40 Confers holy orders on : ORDAINS

“Holy orders” is the name given in some Christian traditions for the rite used to ordain a priest, deacon, etc.

45 All U.S. vice presidents until 2021 : MEN

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

48 TV character originally called “Baby Monster” : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

49 Kunis of “Black Swan” : MILA

Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her co-star from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.

The 2010 movie “Black Swan” is a psychological thriller (described by some as a horror film) set against the background of a ballet company staging Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. Natalie Portman plays an obsessive ballerina who seems perfect for the role of the White Swan in “Swan Lake”, but doesn’t seem to have the passion to also play the Black Swan. Then things start to go wonky …

51 “Saturn Devouring His Son” artist : GOYA

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter who was often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

52 German opera highlight : ARIE

“Arie” is the German word for “aria”.

55 Lab coat : FUR

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

56 Ruler with a famed golden mask, informally : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Locale for part of Dinosaur National Monument : UTAH
5 ___ Geo : NAT
8 Birthplace of the 44th U.S. president : HAWAII
14 Singer Simone : NINA
15 Comment from a klutz : OOPS!
16 Changes to survive : ADAPTS
17 ___ State (Big Ten school) : PENN
18 Nietzschean ideal : ÜBERMENSCH
20 Document for returned goods : CREDIT SLIP
22 “I’m such a bozo!” : D’OH!
23 Fortune 100 company with a heart in its logo : CVS
24 Site with selfies, familiarly : INSTA
26 Produce, as an egg : LAY
27 Tree under which Siddhartha attained enlightenment : BODHI
28 Feeling at Victoria Falls, say : AWE
31 Scent of an animal : SPOOR
33 Harden : SET
34 “No worries” : IT’S COOL
36 Trait of a babe in the woods : NAÏVETE
38 Noted literary sisters : BRONTËS
39 Like many Bluetooth headsets : ONE-EAR
40 Spanish for “Listen!” : OYE!
41 Second : AIDE
42 Director Craven : WES
43 Buffalo ice hockey pro : SABRE
45 It sees right through you, in brief : MRI
46 “The Handmaid’s Tale” author : ATWOOD
47 One who whistles while working? : REF
48 Six-footer Down Under : EMU
50 Ice cream brand whose first storefront was in Brooklyn Heights : HÄAGEN-DAZS
55 Activity at singles bars : FLIRTATION
57 Popular cake topping ingredient : OREO
58 Diacritical mark resembling a dieresis, both of which are represented in this puzzle : UMLAUT
59 Celebration six days after Xmas : NYE
60 Bit of smoke : WISP
61 Tributes containing insults : ROASTS
62 Ending with rip or whip : … SAW
63 Results in : NETS

Down

1 Not acceptable, in a way : UN-PC
2 Mezzanine, e.g. : TIER
3 Youngest of the 38-Across : ANNE
4 Whittle, e.g. : HAND-CARVE
5 Inning-beginning stat : NO OUTS
6 Some messages on old radios, for short : APBS
7 Poet who wrote “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” : TS ELIOT
8 One of the “Five Colleges” of Massachusetts : HAMPSHIRE
9 End of a block? : -ADE
10 Comedian Sykes : WANDA
11 Lhasa ___ : APSO
12 Ski suit wearer’s annoyance : ITCH
13 “Kinda sorta” : ISH
19 Uneaten part : RIND
21 Brown, for one : IVY
25 ___ Puente, a.k.a. El Rey del Timbal : TITO
26 Sarges report to them : LOOIES
27 Where one might sit for a spell? : BEE
28 When Macbeth slays Duncan : ACT II
29 Serenaded, maybe : WOOED
30 Instead : ELSE
31 Kind of globe : SNOW
32 It’s framed : PANE
33 Beachcombers’ headwear : STRAW HATS
35 Inhale : SNARF DOWN
37 90° : EAST
38 “Peace” : BYE
40 Confers holy orders on : ORDAINS
44 Greet with derision : BOO AT
45 All U.S. vice presidents until 2021 : MEN
46 Vibes : AURAS
47 Affirm again, as vows : RENEW
48 TV character originally called “Baby Monster” : ELMO
49 Kunis of “Black Swan” : MILA
51 “Saturn Devouring His Son” artist : GOYA
52 German opera highlight : ARIE
53 Relish : ZEST
54 Soaks (up) : SOPS
55 Lab coat : FUR
56 Ruler with a famed golden mask, informally : TUT

12 thoughts on “0512-22 NY Times Crossword 12 May 22, Thursday”

  1. Well, I’m humbled. After being in sync for a few days, I had a rough time on this one. 30:05…bit at least no errors.

  2. 30:43. No WiFi connection, had to solve using the phone app which has a completely different interface than the tablet app. Didn’t recognize the connection between the oo rebus and the UMLAUT on the underlying word. Very clever construction.

  3. At 26:00(true time, by coincidence!)I thought I was doing well solving and finding the rebuses. Then I come to the blog to note the “oo” squares act as umlauts for the words below them….another success balloon popped😩😩😩

  4. 26:10. Had a tough time in the middle left. Also had real issues spelling LOOIE and HAAGEN DAZS (??). Maybe I should pay more attention to such things. UMLAUT too for that matter. Maybe I need to go back to grade school and take Spelling all over again.

    Anyone with 8000 SNOW globes has way too much time on their hands. I wonder if he shakes them all. Even if he shook 10 per day, it would take more than 2 years to get to them all.

    Best –

  5. No errors.. I’m such a klutz.
    I caught the theme just now. The umlauts are “above” the letter. Hence giving the double “oo”.

    I’m that guy that gets the joke about a minute later and bursts out laughing after everyone else already laughed.
    “Oo”ps.

  6. Once again, when many of the folks who comment here had trouble, I breezed through this (hey, at about 18 minutes, for me that’s a light wind). Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be slogging for an hour. Still, I enjoy finishing correctly without any cheats.

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