0516-22 NY Times Crossword 16 May 22, Monday

Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Beastly Similes

Themed answers are similes featuring animals:

  • 20A Imbibe copiously : DRINK LIKE A FISH
  • 26A Move speedily : RUN LIKE A DEER
  • 43A Toil arduously : WORK LIKE A DOG
  • 52A Observe intently : WATCH LIKE A HAWK

Bill’s time: 5m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Stallions’ mates : MARES

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

15 Roman garment of old : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

16 Trevor of “The Daily Show” : NOAH

Trevor Noah is a comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa. Noah took over as host of the Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” after Jon Stewart retired. Noah can speak several languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and German.

“The Daily Show” is a satirical news program on Comedy Central that first aired in 1996. The show was presented by Craig Kilborn from 1996 until 1998, and then very successfully by Jon Stewart from 1999 until 2015. Trevor Noah took over as host when Jon Stewart left.

17 Frank of the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

18 Humpty Dumpty’s perch : WALL

Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme. He is usually depicted as an egg, although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

19 Cast a ballot : VOTE

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

20 Imbibe copiously : DRINK LIKE A FISH

Something described as copious is plentiful in number. “Copia” is a Latin word meaning “abundance, ample supply”, and “Copia” was the Roman goddess of abundance (as in “cornucopia”).

23 Tally : ADD

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

25 Middle square on a bingo card : FREE

Our game Bingo is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

31 “The Fox and the Crow” storyteller : AESOP

“The Fox and the Crow” is one of Aesop’s Fables. In the story, a crow is eating a piece of cheese in a tree. A fox wants the cheese, and flatters the crow and goads it into singing. When the song opens its bill to let out a caw, the cheese falls to the ground and is eaten by the fox.

35 M.A. applicant’s test : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

39 “Yay! Tomorrow’s Saturday!” : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF)

40 Big bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU

Liberty Mutual is an insurance company based in Boston. The business was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA). Liberty Mutual has a famous advertising icon named LiMu Emu.

42 Elements that make up the atmosphere : GASES

An atmosphere is the layer of gasses surrounding a body, usually a planet. The word “atmosphere” comes from the Greek “atmos” meaning “vapor, steam”. The term was first applied to the Moon, which is a real paradox as the Moon doesn’t have any atmosphere.

47 Borscht vegetable : BEET

Borscht is a beetroot soup that originated in Ukraine. Borscht can be served both hot and cold.

48 Pecan or almond : NUT

Our everyday usage of “nut” is often at odds with the botanical definition of the term. Examples of “true nuts” are acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts. On the other hand, even though we usually refer to almonds, pecans and walnuts as “nuts”, botanically they are classified as “drupes”. Both drupes and true nuts are fruits, the vehicles that flowering plants use to disseminate seeds. True nuts are examples of a “dry fruit”, a fruit that has no fleshy outer layer. Drupes are examples of a “fleshy fruit”, a fruit with a fleshy outer layer that often makes it desirable for an animal to eat. Familiar examples of drupes are cherries, peaches and plums. We eat the fleshy part of these drupes, and discard the pit inside that contains the seed. Other examples of drupes are walnuts, almonds and pecans. The relatively inedible flashy part of these drupes is usually removed for us before they hit our grocery stores shelves. We crack open the pit inside and eat the seed of these drupes. No wonder we use the term “nuts” to mean “crazy”!

57 ___ Grey tea : EARL

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

58 Foxx with an Oscar for playing Ray : JAMIE

Jamie Foxx is the professional name used by Eric Marlon Bishop, an actor from Terrell, Texas. Foxx is a very versatile entertainer. He is an Oscar-winning actor (for playing the title role in “Ray”), and a Grammy Award winning musician. He is also a stand-up comedian and a talk-radio host.

60 Frosty coating : RIME

Rime is the beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

61 Vital part of the stratosphere’s protective layer : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

64 Beauty’s fairy tale suitor, with “the” : BEAST

“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

Down

1 Japanese carmaker with a CX series : MAZDA

Mazda is a Japanese car manufacturer based in the prefecture of Hiroshima in Japan. The ballpark where the Hiroshima baseball team played was for many years known as the MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium. Mazda launched a “Zoom-Zoom” marketing campaign in 2000, claiming that the phrase described the “emotion of motion” that is inherent in all of its vehicles.

4 “Monday Night Football” channel : ESPN

“Monday Night Football” (sometimes “MNF”) aired on ABC from 1970 until 2005, before moving to ESPN in 2006.

9 Pita sandwiches of deep-fried chickpea balls : FALAFELS

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry for me …

11 Big fat zeros : GOOSE EGGS

The use of the phrase “goose egg” to mean “zero” is baseball slang that dates back to the 1860s. The etymology is as expected: the numeral zero and a goose egg are both large and round.

13 “___-Ra: Princess of Power” (1980s animated series) : SHE

“She-Ra: Princess of Power” is an animated television show, and a spinoff of the very successful “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”. Both shows are aimed at young people, with “He-Man” targeted at boys and “She-Ra” at girls.

21 Hall-of-Fame QB Dawson : LEN

Len Dawson is a retired AFL-NFL quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs (originally the Dallas Texans). Dawson played for the Chiefs in the first ever Super Bowl, losing badly to the Green Bay Packers. However, he was on the winning team in Super Bowl IV, when the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Quarterback Dawson was named the MVP that day.

28 Piano part : KEY

When a piano key is depressed, the action causes a padded hammer to strike a piano string and create a tone. When the piano key is released, the action causes a damper to come down onto the string and end the note.

29 One of the Great Lakes : ERIE

Lake Erie borders four US states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan) and one Canadian province (Ontario).

32 Furry red Muppet : 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”.

38 Stir-fry pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

41 Actor Guinness who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi : ALEC

Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

49 American ___ (U.S. Pacific territory) : SAMOA

American Samoa is a US territory in the South Pacific located southeast of the nation of Samoa. Home to about 55,000 people, it is the southernmost American territory. American Samoa’s capital is the busy port city Pago Pago.

50 Siblings like Jacob and Esau : TWINS

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

51 Shooting sport with clay targets : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

52 Cashmere or angora : WOOL

Cashmere wool comes not only from the Cashmere goat, but also from other types of goat. Technically, cashmere isn’t really wool, but rather hair. Unlike hair, wool is elastic and grows in clusters.

Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

53 Nonclerical, at a church : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

54 Filmdom’s la Douce : IRMA

“Irma la Douce” is a wonderful Billy Wilder movie that was released in 1963. It stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon plays a maligned Parisian policeman, and MacLaine is the popular prostitute Irma la Douce (literally “Irma the Sweet”). Don’t let the adult themes throw you, as it’s a very entertaining movie …

55 Smoggy overcast : HAZE

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

56 Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Stallions’ mates : MARES
6 Starting from : AS OF
10 Inflated self-images : EGOS
14 Engulfed (in) : AWASH
15 Roman garment of old : TOGA
16 Trevor of “The Daily Show” : NOAH
17 Frank of the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
18 Humpty Dumpty’s perch : WALL
19 Cast a ballot : VOTE
20 Imbibe copiously : DRINK LIKE A FISH
23 Tally : ADD
24 Snaky fish that can swim backward : EEL
25 Middle square on a bingo card : FREE
26 Move speedily : RUN LIKE A DEER
31 “The Fox and the Crow” storyteller : AESOP
34 Depend (on) : RELY
35 M.A. applicant’s test : GRE
36 Go with the ___ : FLOW
37 Persuades : SWAYS
39 “Yay! Tomorrow’s Saturday!” : TGIF!
40 Big bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU
41 Very many : A LOT
42 Elements that make up the atmosphere : GASES
43 Toil arduously : WORK LIKE A DOG
47 Borscht vegetable : BEET
48 Pecan or almond : NUT
49 Ave. crossers : STS
52 Observe intently : WATCH LIKE A HAWK
56 Numbskull : DOLT
57 ___ Grey tea : EARL
58 Foxx with an Oscar for playing Ray : JAMIE
59 ___ call (attendance check) : ROLL
60 Frosty coating : RIME
61 Vital part of the stratosphere’s protective layer : OZONE
62 “If all ___ fails …” : ELSE
63 “Shoo!” : SCAT!
64 Beauty’s fairy tale suitor, with “the” : BEAST

Down

1 Japanese carmaker with a CX series : MAZDA
2 Oscar, Emmy or Tony : AWARD
3 Swift : RAPID
4 “Monday Night Football” channel : ESPN
5 Drastic reorganization : SHAKE-UP
6 Whenever one wishes : AT WILL
7 Drench : SOAK
8 Eye rudely : OGLE
9 Pita sandwiches of deep-fried chickpea balls : FALAFELS
10 Regarded with jealousy : ENVIED
11 Big fat zeros : GOOSE EGGS
12 Swearing-in pledge : OATH
13 “___-Ra: Princess of Power” (1980s animated series) : SHE
21 Hall-of-Fame QB Dawson : LEN
22 Noisy scuffle : FRAY
26 Noisy scuffle : ROW
27 Boiling mad : IRATE
28 Piano part : KEY
29 One of the Great Lakes : ERIE
30 N.B.A. whistle blowers : REFS
31 Not very many : A FEW
32 Furry red Muppet : ELMO
33 Tart hard candies : SOUR BALLS
37 Crawls as a snake would : SLITHERS
38 Stir-fry pan : WOK
39 Kids’ chasing game : TAG
41 Actor Guinness who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi : ALEC
42 Found employment : GOT A JOB
44 Water heater for tea : KETTLE
45 Bit of jewelry to wear with sandals : ANKLET
46 Needing to be paid : DUE
49 American ___ (U.S. Pacific territory) : SAMOA
50 Siblings like Jacob and Esau : TWINS
51 Shooting sport with clay targets : SKEET
52 Cashmere or angora : WOOL
53 Nonclerical, at a church : LAIC
54 Filmdom’s la Douce : IRMA
55 Smoggy overcast : HAZE
56 Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE

9 thoughts on “0516-22 NY Times Crossword 16 May 22, Monday”

  1. 5:43, no errors. In between trips outside to make sure that the lunar eclipse was proceeding as predicted, I did three more old NYT puzzles by the well-known constructor Henry Hook. There are 58 of them (33 pre-Shortz and 25 Shortzian) and I’ve been working my way through them in order. He was 19 when the first one was published (in 1975) and 57 when the last one appeared (in 2013). It’s been interesting to see how his puzzles evolved in time.

  2. 5:33 – no cheats/errors. Might be my personal best.

    Had to be the easiest NYT puzzle ever, if I could post that time.

    Or is was just my day …

    Be Well.

  3. 4:52. Coffee-stimulated fingers on my laptop this morning.

    Borscht doesn’t sound particularly appealing – BEET and cabbage soup – but it’s remarkably tasty. I ate a lot of it in my time in Russia years ago.

    Best –

  4. 8:38. Easy to recognize theme helped significantly. I estimate that using the NYT app on my old Samsung Tab 4 adds about 2-3 minutes to solving time.
    Whoda thunk it? Listening to ‘Mothers of Invention’ albums in the 70’s would pay off.

    1. I had just the “Overnight Sensation” Album. Moving to Montana to tend the dental floss bush might not be a bad idea. 🙂

  5. 5:52, had Ken instead of Len Dawson, found that and behold! The music of success👍 As much as I enjoyed Zappa’s “Peaches On Regalia”, my guilty pleasure was still “Valley Girl” only because it was spot on for the time and how cool to be able to have your daughter record with you. (In that vein, check out Gary Numan’s “My Name Is Ruin” where his at the time 11 year old daughter sings backing vocals on several live performances)

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