0531-22 NY Times Crossword 31 May 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Sam Buchbinder & Brad Wilber
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Let’s Put a Pin in It

Themed answers are all things one IN which one might PUT A PIN:

  • 38A Suggestion to defer discussion … and what might be said of 17-, 25, 46- and 60-Across : LET’S PUT A PIN IN IT
  • 17A Figure in many hexes : VOODOO DOLL
  • 25A Alternative to Huggies or Luvs : CLOTH DIAPER
  • 46A Place for splits and spares : BOWLING LANE
  • 60A $$$ dispenser : ATM MACHINE

Bill’s time: 12m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Actor Hemsworth : LIAM

Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is best known these days for playing Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series of films. Hemsworth met Miley Cyrus while working on the movie “The Last Song”, and the two actors were engaged for a while. Liam is a younger brother of actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the superhero “Thor” on the big screen.

10 Keep bumping into another punk music fan? : MOSH

Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive”, it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

15 Baby name that had popularity bumps after the releases of “Frozen” and “Frozen II” : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

17 Figure in many hexes : VOODOO DOLL

Voodoo is a religion that originated in the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

19 Challenge for a plumber : LEAK

“Plumbum” is Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

21 Scale amts. : WTS

Weight (wt.)

24 Napkin holder : LAP

Our word “napkin” dates back to the 1300s, when it had the same meaning as today. The term comes from the old French word “nape” meaning “tablecloth” and the Middle English suffix “-kin” meaning “little”. So, a napkin is a little tablecloth.

25 Alternative to Huggies or Luvs : CLOTH DIAPER

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term “diaper” was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, “diaper” was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

27 Prefix with puncture : ACU-

Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints” in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

29 One of two akimbo : ARM

“Akimbo” is such a lovely word, I think (as in “arms akimbo”). I failed to dig up anything too exciting about the term’s etymology. It seems to stem from Middle English, “in kekbowe” or “on kenbow” meaning “bend in a curve”. When the arms are held akimbo, the hands are on the hips and the elbows are pointed outward.

41 Brand with the flavor Cookie Cobblestone : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

42 Cavernous opening : MAW

“Maw” is a term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. “Maw” is also used as slang for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.

45 Place for a royal flush? : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

46 Place for splits and spares : BOWLING LANE

In ten-pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

In bowling, the downing of all ten pins in two balls in the same frame is called a spare, and scores ten points. The player gets a bonus, equal to the number of pins downed with the next ball, which could be up to ten. Hence, a spare can be worth up to 20 points

53 Org. for King James and Dr. J : NBA

Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who is known as “Dr. J”, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking and other moves above the rim.

59 Spot for a guard at the World Cup : SHIN

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

60 $$$ dispenser : ATM MACHINE

One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

65 National Zoo attraction : PANDA

The phrase “panda diplomacy” is used to describe China’s practice of presenting giant pandas to other countries as diplomatic gifts. One of the more famous examples of panda diplomacy was the presentation of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the US following President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972.

Bei Bei and Bao Bao are two giant pandas that were born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Down

1 Heavy chorus “instrument” in “Il Trovatore” : ANVIL

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il trovatore” is known in English as “The Troubadour”. It is one of the few operas with more than one version written by the same composer. Verdi wrote a French translation, with some revisions to the score, which goes by the name “Le trouvère”.

2 $$$ : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

4 Tupperware tops : LIDS

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal” that provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

5 Grp. with the 1975 hit “Evil Woman” : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

7 “___ It at the Movies” (collection of Pauline Kael reviews) : I LOST

“I Lost It at the Movies” is a collection of film reviews by critic Pauline Kael that was published in one volume in 1965.

8 In which “I’m sorry” shows a closed fist, in brief : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

9 Clumsy : MALADROIT

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

10 Country in the Mediterranean : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

18 Symbol of wisdom : OWL

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

23 Member of a virtual family : SIM

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

28 “Ornery” sort : CUSS

Back in the early 1800s, the word “ornery” was an informal contraction for the word “ordinary”, and meant commonplace, but with a sense of “poor quality, coarse, ugly” as opposed to “special”. Towards the end of the century, the usage “ornery” had evolved into describing someone who was mean or cantankerous.

32 Group targeted for destruction in “Independence Day” : HUMAN RACE

The 1996 sci-fi action movie “Independence Day” is must-see-TV at our house on or around the 4th of July every year. The film was supposed to come out in 1996 on July 3rd but there was so much anticipation that many theaters started screening the day before. At one point after release, “Independence Day” was the second-highest grossing movie in history (“Jurassic Park” was number one at the time).

34 Classical queen who cursed a Trojan fleet : DIDO

Dido was the founder of Carthage, and the city’s first queen. Some sources use the name “Elissa” for the same person.

36 Zippo : NIL

The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s, when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

39 Powder-based beverage : TANG

Tang is a fruity drink that is sold in powdered form. The sales of Tang “took off” when John Glenn took Tang on his Mercury flight. However, it is a common misconception that Tang was invented for the space program. That’s not true, although it was included in the payload of many missions.

40 Its tributaries are Blue and White : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

46 Principal Iraqi port : BASRA

Basra is Iraq’s main port, and is located in the southeast of the country, just 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf is via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.

47 Shade of some turning leaves : OCHER

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

48 Card game in Austen novels : WHIST

Whist is an English card game that involves the taking of tricks. Whist is a derivative of the earlier game of Trump or Ruff that was played in the 16th century. Back in Ireland, where I come from, whist tournaments are extremely popular and are known as “whist drives”.

English novelist Jane Austen is best known today for her six major novels, only four of which were published before she died in 1817, at the age of 41:

  1. “Sense and Sensibility” (1811)
  2. “Pride and Prejudice” (1813)
  3. “Mansfield Park” (1814)
  4. “Emma” (1816)
  5. “Northanger Abbey” (1818)
  6. “Persuasion” (1818)

49 Like some unbrushed suits : LINTY

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

50 Competition favoring flexible contestants : LIMBO

The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name “limbo” is an alteration of our word “limber”, which isn’t surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

51 Zeniths : ACMES

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

52 Org. that might give a grant to a sculptor : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

54 Barry with 12 Silver Slugger Awards : BONDS

Barry Bonds is a former baseball player who holds numerous records as a batter. He is a controversial figure in the sport, and was mired for years in baseball’s steroids scandal.

The Silver Slugger Award is presented annually to the best offensive MLB player at each baseball position in the American and National Leagues. The award was inaugurated in 1980, and is decided by the MLB coaches and managers as a group.

62 I.R.S. expert : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Plenty : AMPLE
6 Actor Hemsworth : LIAM
10 Keep bumping into another punk music fan? : MOSH
14 Request to someone dressing your submarine sandwich : NO OIL
15 Baby name that had popularity bumps after the releases of “Frozen” and “Frozen II” : ELSA
16 Not supporting : ANTI
17 Figure in many hexes : VOODOO DOLL
19 Challenge for a plumber : LEAK
20 Poverty and pollution, for two : ILLS
21 Scale amts. : WTS
22 Discerning : ASTUTE
24 Napkin holder : LAP
25 Alternative to Huggies or Luvs : CLOTH DIAPER
27 Prefix with puncture : ACU-
29 One of two akimbo : ARM
30 Stampede : ONRUSH
33 Supporting : PRO
34 Puts on : DONS
38 Suggestion to defer discussion … and what might be said of 17-, 25, 46- and 60-Across : LET’S PUT A PIN IN IT
41 Brand with the flavor Cookie Cobblestone : EDY’S
42 Cavernous opening : MAW
43 Without leaving crumbs behind, say : TIDILY
44 See 44-Down : … PAN
45 Place for a royal flush? : LOO
46 Place for splits and spares : BOWLING LANE
53 Org. for King James and Dr. J : NBA
56 More sore : ACHIER
57 With 64-Across, symbol of coldness : ICE …
58 Gait that’s not as fast as a canter : TROT
59 Spot for a guard at the World Cup : SHIN
60 $$$ dispenser : ATM MACHINE
63 What many do on the Sabbath : REST
64 See 57-Across : … CUBE
65 National Zoo attraction : PANDA
66 Pseudo-sophisticated : ARTY
67 Barriers to compromise : EGOS
68 Teen spirit? : ANGST

Down

1 Heavy chorus “instrument” in “Il Trovatore” : ANVIL
2 $$$ : MOOLA
3 Gathering where one might make a splash : POOL PARTY
4 Tupperware tops : LIDS
5 Grp. with the 1975 hit “Evil Woman” : ELO
6 Prompted : LED TO
7 “___ It at the Movies” (collection of Pauline Kael reviews) : I LOST
8 In which “I’m sorry” shows a closed fist, in brief : ASL
9 Clumsy : MALADROIT
10 Country in the Mediterranean : MALTA
11 Outdo : ONE-UP
12 Word before “of mind” or “of emergency” : STATE …
13 Many a consumer of trail mix : HIKER
18 Symbol of wisdom : OWL
23 Member of a virtual family : SIM
25 Edge : CUSP
26 Angel’s instrument : HARP
28 “Ornery” sort : CUSS
30 Cry at a World Cup match : OLE!
31 Nickname for Benedict or Edgar : NED
32 Group targeted for destruction in “Independence Day” : HUMAN RACE
33 Hairy hand : PAW
34 Classical queen who cursed a Trojan fleet : DIDO
35 One in a deep-fried side dish : ONION RING
36 Zippo : NIL
37 Wreck room? : STY
39 Powder-based beverage : TANG
40 Its tributaries are Blue and White : NILE
44 With 44-Across, holder for a Thanksgiving dessert : PIE …
46 Principal Iraqi port : BASRA
47 Shade of some turning leaves : OCHER
48 Card game in Austen novels : WHIST
49 Like some unbrushed suits : LINTY
50 Competition favoring flexible contestants : LIMBO
51 Zeniths : ACMES
52 Org. that might give a grant to a sculptor : NEA
54 Barry with 12 Silver Slugger Awards : BONDS
55 Really bothered : ATE AT
58 Less ___ perfect : THAN
61 Yank : TUG
62 I.R.S. expert : CPA

11 thoughts on “0531-22 NY Times Crossword 31 May 22, Tuesday”

  1. 8:53, no errors. I got “LET’S PUT A PIN IN IT” from crosses (and it fit the theme), but it’s definitely not a phrase I’m familiar with … 😳.

  2. 11:15, no errors. As someone who has 6 kids, I’m very familiar with the CLOTHDIAPER. I know how to PUTAPININIT.

  3. 13:38. Started out looking much more difficult than a Tuesday puzzle. Things came together and sped up in the bottom half. I’ve only heard the expression “let’s PUT A PIN IN IT” in scripted performances such as TV shows or movies.

  4. 9:38. I know PUT A sock IN IT better than PIN, but it really had no bearing on the puzzle.

    Cannot believe they published ATM MACHINE – or as Bill points out an Automated Teller Machine Machine. From the Department of Redundancy Department. FWIW “PIN number” annoys me more although I really don’t know why.

    I’m sure at some point someone called a computer an “IBM machine” as well. Now I’m going to spend all day thinking up more of these – more reasons to be annoyed…..

    Best –

      1. Someone pointed out another one about the attraction in the L.A. area -“The La Brea Tar Pits”Ron F. Brea is apparently Spanish for “tar”. So the attraction really is – The The Tar Tar Pits.

        And that’s the pits!!

  5. 14:33 You all have sufficiently covered all my acronym pet peeves, thank you all for that. Now let’s move on to another of my pet peeves: the 2, 3, and 4 letter combinations that automakers use to distinguish trim levels. ie, “Toyota Racing Division” exemplified by “TRD” on the vehicle. All I ever see is “TuRD”…. rant over….

  6. No errors.
    I too remember the cloth diapers. As a sibling and as a father. Wow! There’s some memories.

  7. 20:21 no errors.
    Are cloth diapers still around…We raised our kids on them and there was even a service that picked up, washed and returned them to you for a very reasonable fee. Time they are a changing😥
    Stay safe😀

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