0520-22 NY Times Crossword 20 May 22, Friday

Constructed by: Hal Moore
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 A sumo wrestler’s is called a mawashi : LOINCLOTH

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

A mawashi is a belt that sumo wrestlers wear when training and fighting. It’s actually a strip of silk, about two feet wide and 30 feet long, that is wrapped around the body and tied in a knot at the back. It weighs anywhere from 8-11 pounds.

15 Catherine of “Schitt’s Creek” : O’HARA

Catherine O’Hara is an actress and comedian from Toronto, Ontario. One of O’Hara’s more famous film roles is Kevin’s mother in the Christmas classic “Home Alone”. She also plays a lead character in the excellent sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” alongside Eugen Levy.

21 ___-jongg : MAH

Mahjong (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

23 U.S. locale that, when said quickly, sounds like a cheer : OAHU

The island of Oahu was conquered in 1783 by Kahekili II, the King of Maui. Kahekili then placed his son Kalanikupule on Oahu’s throne.

25 As seen in chemistry class? : ARSENIC

Arsenic is element #33 in the periodic table, and has the chemical symbol “As”. Because of arsenic’s toxicity, it was very commonly used in pesticides. These compounds are getting banned over time, but it seems there is a long way to go. Arsenic in aquifers continues to be a problem around the world, including here in the US. China has introduced limits to the amounts of arsenic permitted in food as well as water, mainly as the Chinese staple of rice is particularly effective at accumulating arsenic from groundwater.

29 Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME

Mel Tormé was a jazz singer with a quality of voice that earned him the nickname “The Velvet Fog”. Tormé also wrote a few books, and did a lot of acting. He was the co-author of the Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”

32 Causing a boom, maybe : SUPERSONIC

As a plane flies through the air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

36 Pokémon that ultimately evolves into Alakazam : ABRA

In the “Pokémon” universe, the species known as “Abra” can evolve into “Kadabra”, and then into “Alakazam”.

38 ___ of Citium, philosopher who founded Stoicism : ZENO

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

43 Doctrines : DOGMATA

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

45 ___-term test for divergence (calculus concept) : NTH

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

47 Improvise on stage : RIFF

A riff is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

49 San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB

Nob Hill is a very elevated and central location in the city of San Francisco. Because of its views of the surrounding city and environs, Nob Hill became a desirable place to live for the wealthy in the 1800s. The area is still one of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods and is home to upscale hotels as well as the magnificent Grace Cathedral. The name “Nob Hill” comes from the slang term for someone who is well-to-do, a “nob”.

50 Grammy winner for 1983’s “Flashdance … What a Feeling” : IRENE CARA

Irene Cara co-wrote and sang the Oscar-winning song “Flashdance…What a Feeling” from the 1983 movie “Flashdance”. Cara also sang the title song for the 1980 movie “Fame”, and indeed played the lead role of student Coco Hernandez.

57 Manet called him “the painter of painters” : VELAZQUEZ

Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter during the Baroque period. He was a member of the court of King Philip IV in the first half of the 17th century, and as such was commissioned to paint many portraits and scenes of historical importance.

60 Cousin of an aardwolf : HYENA

Hyenas have the reputation of being cowardly scavengers. That said, the spotted hyena that lives in Sub-Saharan Africa actually kills about 95% of its food and a pack of spotted hyenas are capable of driving off leopards or lionesses before they can consume their kill.

An aardwolf is a small hyena native to Eastern and Southern Africa. Aardwolf is an Afrikaans name meaning “earth wolf”.

64 Its website has a “Fantasy” page : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named their children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

Down

5 Weisshorn, e.g. : ALP

Many Alpine mountains have German names that end with “-horn”. Examples are Weisshorn and Matterhorn. “Horn” is German for “peak”.

6 Astronomer Thomas for whom a comet is named : BOPP

Comet Hale-Bopp was an unusually bright comet that was observable in the night sky for 18 months in the late 1990s. The comet was discovered in 1995 by professional astronomer Alan Hale and amateur observer Thomas Bopp, hence the name. Famously, claims were made that there was an alien spaceship travelling behind Hale-Bopp. 39 members of a San Diego religious cult called Heaven’s Gate committed mass suicide in 1996 in order to reach the spacecraft.

7 Not yet delivered, after “in” : … UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

9 Non-coffee Starbucks order : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

10 Germans call it Genfersee : LAKE GENEVA

Lake Geneva straddles the border between France and Switzerland. The lake has a lot of “official” names!

  • English: Lake Geneva
  • French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
  • German: Genfersee or Genfer See
  • Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

14 Board game set on an island : CATAN

The Settlers of Catan (now just “Catan”) is a board game that was introduced in 1995, in Germany as “Die Siedler von Catan”. The game is very popular in the US and was called “the board game of our time” by the “Washington Post”. My son plays it a lot, and as a lover of board games, I am going to have to check it out …

20 Unit equal to 907.2 kilograms : SHORT TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. In the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

22 Like only one member of the Supreme Court in its history (Sonia Sotomayor) : HISPANIC

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic justice appointed to the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

26 Lead-in to call : ROBO-

Political calls, including robocalls, are exempt from regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so we can’t stop them by putting our phone numbers on the “Do Not Call Registry”.

27 Browse, say : SURF THE NET

The Internet (uppercase letter I) is a system of interconnected networks that use the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to link devices around the world. In common usage, the word “internet” (lowercase letter I) is often used interchangeably with “World Wide Web”, although “the Web” is just one of many services and applications that uses the Internet.

28 Seek advancement through flattery : CURRY FAVOR

To curry is to seek, at least when it is used in the phrase “to curry favor”.

30 Only one-word country that contains all five vowels : MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique is a nation in the southwest of Africa on the Indian Ocean. It was a Portuguese colony for centuries, gaining independence in 1975. The country was named for the Island of Mozambique, which lies a few miles off the coast.

33 Literature’s Napoleon, e.g. : PIG

In George Orwell’s 1945 novella “Animal Farm”, the fierce-looking boar named Napoleon is an allegory of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

40 W.N.B.A. great Weatherspoon : TERESA

Teresa Weatherspoon is a WNBA coach and former player. Her playing career included 8 years with teams in Italy, France and Russia.

44 Highly exaggerated and subjective, as journalism : GONZO

Something gonzo is bizarre or unconventional. The term might perhaps come from the Italian “gonzo” meaning “rude, sottish”.

48 Italian nickname that omits Al- : FREDO

Alfredo sauce is usually associated with the Italian dish called fettuccine Alfredo. The sauce is made from Parmesan cheese and butter, and is named for the Italian restaurant owner Alfredo Di Lelio. Di Lelio’s nephews still own and run a restaurant in Rome called “Il Vero Alfredo”. Here in the US, we often add other ingredients to the basic cheese and butter recipe. The name “fettuccine Alfredo” won’t be found on a menu in Italy today, and instead one can order “fettuccine al burro”.

51 “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit in 1984 with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

52 Big name in fashion footwear : ALDO

ALDO is a chain of shoe stores that was founded in Montreal in 1972 by Moroccan-born Canadian Aldo Bensadoun. Bensadoun is the son of a retailer of shoes in Morocco and France, and the grandchild of a cobbler. A man with shoe leather in his blood …

55 Underwater forest : KELP

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

59 Kind of garden : ZEN

Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Prefix with directional : OMNI-
5 Border : ABUT
9 Sort who refuses to answer : CLAM
13 A sumo wrestler’s is called a mawashi : LOINCLOTH
15 Catherine of “Schitt’s Creek” : O’HARA
16 Spot remover? : DOGNAPPER
17 Candle holders, sometimes : CAKES
18 Close : SHUT
19 Prophetic : PRESCIENT
21 ___-jongg : MAH
23 U.S. locale that, when said quickly, sounds like a cheer : OAHU
24 Highway exit sign : GAS
25 As seen in chemistry class? : ARSENIC
29 Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME
31 Word with happy or rush : … HOUR
32 Causing a boom, maybe : SUPERSONIC
36 Pokémon that ultimately evolves into Alakazam : ABRA
37 Digital alternative : PRINT
38 ___ of Citium, philosopher who founded Stoicism : ZENO
39 Vulnerable area : SOFT TARGET
41 Keen : AVID
42 Monster’s opposite : TEENY
43 Doctrines : DOGMATA
45 ___-term test for divergence (calculus concept) : NTH
47 Improvise on stage : RIFF
49 San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB
50 Grammy winner for 1983’s “Flashdance … What a Feeling” : IRENE CARA
53 Small flaw : NICK
56 Ambulatory aids : CANES
57 Manet called him “the painter of painters” : VELAZQUEZ
60 Cousin of an aardwolf : HYENA
61 Unlikely match : ODD COUPLE
62 ___ noche (tonight: Sp.) : ESTA
63 Source : ROOT
64 Its website has a “Fantasy” page : ESPN

Down

1 Up there, you might say : OLD
2 Stock exchange? : MOOS
3 Close : NIGH
4 Unable to perform operations : INNUMERATE
5 Weisshorn, e.g. : ALP
6 Astronomer Thomas for whom a comet is named : BOPP
7 Not yet delivered, after “in” : … UTERO
8 Status on a conservationist’s “Red List” : THREATENED
9 Non-coffee Starbucks order : CHAI
10 Germans call it Genfersee : LAKE GENEVA
11 Political ___ : ARENA
12 They’re rigged : MASTS
14 Board game set on an island : CATAN
15 “It ___ to me …” : OCCURS
20 Unit equal to 907.2 kilograms : SHORT TON
22 Like only one member of the Supreme Court in its history (Sonia Sotomayor) : HISPANIC
25 Solvers’ reactions : AHAS
26 Lead-in to call : ROBO-
27 Browse, say : SURF THE NET
28 Seek advancement through flattery : CURRY FAVOR
30 Only one-word country that contains all five vowels : MOZAMBIQUE
33 Literature’s Napoleon, e.g. : PIG
34 Contending : IN IT
35 Best Picture winner in 2022 : CODA
40 W.N.B.A. great Weatherspoon : TERESA
44 Highly exaggerated and subjective, as journalism : GONZO
45 Specialization : NICHE
46 High-chair features : TRAYS
48 Italian nickname that omits Al- : FREDO
51 “99 Luftballons” singer : NENA
52 Big name in fashion footwear : ALDO
54 Holds gingerly, maybe : CUPS
55 Underwater forest : KELP
58 Charade : ACT
59 Kind of garden : ZEN

13 thoughts on “0520-22 NY Times Crossword 20 May 22, Friday”

  1. 8:13. Zipped through the upper half, then slowed a little in the lower left, but kept advancing bit by bit until SURF THE NET broke it.

    Pokemon clues seem a bit too NICHE for my tastes, but I guess since there was nothing obscure crossing it it worked OK.

  2. 17:10, no errors. There was a reference to that evolving Pokémon in another puzzle that I did a week or two ago. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to remember the name, but at least it wasn’t a total surprise when I got it from crosses … 😜.

  3. 25:47. All kinds of problems with this one and a lot of good guessing.

    Never heard of an aardwolf (who comes up with these names??). Looks just like a hyena but is much smaller and lives mostly on termites. They only weigh about 15 lbs.

    When are we going to make ROBO calling a crime punishable by life in prison without parole?? With an election coming up in November, I can’t imagine how many will be sent out these next few months.

    Best –

  4. 17:53. Have not seen Home Alone or Schitt’s Creek. However, loved Catherine O’Hara in Beetlejuice, Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.

  5. Once again, your times are all safe, with me clocking in at 33:25! No major problems, I’m just slower than molasses in January, particularly January in Siberia.

    I’m voting for Jeff for President just on the basis of his proposed punishment for robo callers👍👍

  6. Couple of nits. IRENE CARR instead of IRENE CARA. That gave me RLDO instead of ALDO.
    Also messed up on GONZO. I had GONSO. That means I had VELASQUEZ instead of VELAZQUEZ.

    I felt pretty Good about my finish. Even though I never heard of CURRY FAVOR or CATAN board game.

  7. The booby prize goes to me (as usual)…59:50 with no errors but several look ups and references to “my notes”…I like the robo calls because I can “press one” and play with the idiots before they hang up on me🤪🤪
    Stay safe😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.