0606-22 NY Times Crossword 6 Jun 22, Monday

Constructed by: Michael Schlossberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Honey, I’m Home!

Themed answers end with a series of things that we navigate just as we reach HOME:

  • 63A Cry after navigating the last parts of the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues? : HONEY, I’M HOME!
  • 17A *Secretary of Perry Mason : DELLA STREET
  • 23A *Alcoholics Anonymous program : TWELVE STEPS
  • 39A *Finish a gymnastics routine perfectly : STICK THE LANDING
  • 52A *Description of a wholesome, clean-cut guy : BOY NEXT DOOR

Bill’s time: 7m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Kudzu or ivy : VINE

Kudzu is a climbing vine that is native to southern Japan and southeast China. “Kudzu” is derived from the Japanese name for the plant, “kuzu”. Kudzu is a vigorously growing weed that chokes other plants by climbing all over them and shielding them from light. Kudzu was brought to the US from Asia for the Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was marketed as an ornamental, especially in the southeast of the country, and now is all over the region. Kudzu earned itself the nickname “the vine that ate the South”.

The species of flowering plant Hedera helix is variously referred to as common ivy, English ivy, or usually just plain “ivy”. “Hedera” is the generic term for “ivy”, and “helix” is Greek for “spiral, twist, turn”.

5 Alternative to solid, liquid or gas : PLASMA

When I was a schoolkid, I was taught that there were three fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. I think it is now generally accepted that there is a fourth fundamental state matter, namely plasma. Plasma is a state without a definite shape or volume, and in that sense is similar to a gas. In a plasma, electrons have been ripped away from their nuclei, forming a conductive electron “sea”. Plasmas are created from gases by applying a massive voltage difference or an extremely high temperature.

11 ___ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

17 *Secretary of Perry Mason : DELLA STREET

Della Street is Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played on the fifties-sixties TV show by Barbara Hale. Juliet Rylance portrays Street on the more recent HBO “Perry Mason”.

20 Science fiction writer Asimov : ISAAC

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”, although Asimov’s most famous work is probably his “Foundation” trilogy of novels. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

23 *Alcoholics Anonymous program : TWELVE STEPS

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the 1940s.

27 Hosts with mics, for short : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

31 Indigenous people for whom a Great Lake is named : ERIES

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

32 Trees with acorns : OAKS

These days, we don’t usually consider acorns as a foodstuff. But in days past, many cultures around the world have used acorns as food. Usually, bitter tannins that occur in acorns need to be leached out in water. Acorn meal can be a substitute for grain flour, which can then be used to make bread. Acorns have also been used as a substitute for coffee, especially when coffee was rationed. Notably, acorn coffee was brewed up by Confederates during the American Civil War, and by Germans during World War II.

34 Drug also known as angel dust, in brief : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

43 Justice Sotomayor : SONIA

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.

45 Doe’s mate : STAG

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

46 Memos : NOTES

“Memorandum” means “thing to be remembered” in Latin, from the verb “memorare” meaning “to call to mind”.

49 Nile snake : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

56 Letter between oh and cue : PEE

In the English alphabet, the P (pee) lies between Q (cue) and R (ar).

57 Element suggested phonetically by NOPQ STUV … : ARGON

“Argon” sounds like “R gone”.

62 Hawaiian necklace : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

67 Similar chemical compound : ISOMER

In the world of chemistry, isomers are two compounds with the same chemical formula (i.e. the same atomic constituents), but with a slightly different arrangement of the atoms relative to each other. The differing arrangement of atoms often leads to different chemical properties.

68 Actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same traveling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

69 Chicago trains : ELS

The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

70 Big name in small planes : CESSNA

The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

71 Diarist Frank : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in rooms concealed behind a bookcase in Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

Down

1 “Veni, ___, vici” : VIDI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

2 Midmonth date : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

3 Mardi Gras city, informally : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

4 Jazz great Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

7 Busy month for accountants : APRIL

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

8 Table for later : SHELVE

These “tabling” and “shelving” idioms drive me crazy, because they are often misused. If a topic is shelved, it is set aside. If a topic is tabled, it is brought “off the shelf” and put “on the table” for discussion. I know that language evolves, but I think that it should at least make sense …

13 Trinkets, tchotchkes and whatnot : ITEMS

Trinkets and baubles are small ornaments, and often pieces of jewelry.

“Tchotchke” is a slang term meaning “cheap, showy trinket”. It came into English from a Slavic source via Yiddish.

18 “Macbeth” has five of these : ACTS

There is a superstition in the theatrical world that uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater will bring disaster of some sort. To avoid this, the euphemism “the Scottish Play” is used instead.

Shakespeare adopted the five-act structure for most of his plays, thereby using the same format that was used by Seneca for his Roman tragedies. Given five acts, the plays tend to unfold as follows:

  • Act I is used as an introduction
  • Act II is used to complicate things
  • Act III contains the climax of the tale
  • Act IV is used to add some suspense
  • Act V is the conclusion

27 Carpet on a forest floor : MOSS

There is a traditionally-held belief that in the northern hemisphere there is a heavier growth of moss on the north-facing side of trees. The assumption is that the sun creates a drier environment on the south side of the tree, an environment that is less conducive to the growth of moss.

28 Famed Roman censor : CATO

Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman, known historically as “the elder” in order to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger. Cato the Elder’s ultimate position within Roman society was that of Censor, making him responsible for maintaining the census, and for supervising public morality.

33 Descendants : SCIONS

“Scion” comes from the old French word “sion” or “cion”, meaning “a shoot or a twig”. In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the “scion”). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter and therefore a branching point in the family tree.

35 I. M. ___, Louvre Pyramid architect : PEI

When I. M. Pei became the first foreign architect to work on the Louvre in Paris, he not only designed the famous glass and steel pyramid, but also worked on renovations throughout the museum. His design was very controversial, causing a lot of ill feelings among the public. Eventually, when the work was complete, public opinion became more favorable. Personally, I think it is magnificent, both inside and out.

37 Swarming pest : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

38 Like holiday nogs : EGGY

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

40 Fashion designer Spade : KATE

Kate Spade fashion design house was founded as a supplier of handbags in 1993. The brand is named for founder Kate Brosnahan Spade. The equivalent male brand is called Jack Spade.

41 “OMG, that’s so funny!” : LMAO!

Laughing my a** off (LMAO)

42 Lhasa ___ (dog breed) : 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.

48 Shorthand writers : STENOS

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

50 Baby buggy, to Brits : PRAM

Another word used in Britain and Ireland that’s rarely used over here is “pram”, which in my day was the most common term for what is called a baby carriage in the US. “Pram” is short for “perambulator”.

52 “Beauty and the Beast” heroine : BELLE

“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”.

53 Baseball great Buck : O’NEIL

Buck O’Neil was a first baseman and manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro American League. He was appointed as a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1962, making him the first African-American coach in the major leagues.

58 Perlman of “Cheers” : RHEA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

60 Its capital is Muscat : OMAN

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

61 Hawaii’s only native goose : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is an imitation of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

63 Juice brand with a hyphenated name : HI-C

Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946 and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

64 Japanese currency : YEN

The Japanese yen is the third-most traded currency in the world, after the US dollar and the euro.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kudzu or ivy : VINE
5 Alternative to solid, liquid or gas : PLASMA
11 ___ Lanka : SRI
14 Celebrity who’s adored : IDOL
15 Coded message : CIPHER
16 Nonhuman member of the family : PET
17 *Secretary of Perry Mason : DELLA STREET
19 “A” card in the deck : ACE
20 Science fiction writer Asimov : ISAAC
21 Variety : ILK
22 Do the hustle? : SCAM
23 *Alcoholics Anonymous program : TWELVE STEPS
27 Hosts with mics, for short : MCS
30 Call between ready and go : SET
31 Indigenous people for whom a Great Lake is named : ERIES
32 Trees with acorns : OAKS
34 Drug also known as angel dust, in brief : PCP
36 Measuring instrument that may have a needle : GAUGE
39 *Finish a gymnastics routine perfectly : STICK THE LANDING
43 Justice Sotomayor : SONIA
44 Little rascal : IMP
45 Doe’s mate : STAG
46 Memos : NOTES
49 Nile snake : ASP
51 Pigs’ place : STY
52 *Description of a wholesome, clean-cut guy : BOY NEXT DOOR
55 Make ___ meet : ENDS
56 Letter between oh and cue : PEE
57 Element suggested phonetically by NOPQ STUV … : ARGON
62 Hawaiian necklace : LEI
63 Cry after navigating the last parts of the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues? : HONEY, I’M HOME!
66 Sass : LIP
67 Similar chemical compound : ISOMER
68 Actor McGregor : EWAN
69 Chicago trains : ELS
70 Big name in small planes : CESSNA
71 Diarist Frank : ANNE

Down

1 “Veni, ___, vici” : VIDI
2 Midmonth date : IDES
3 Mardi Gras city, informally : NOLA
4 Jazz great Fitzgerald : ELLA
5 Some laptops, for short : PCS
6 On fire : LIT
7 Busy month for accountants : APRIL
8 Table for later : SHELVE
9 More timid : MEEKER
10 “But is it ___?” : ART
11 Attire for astronauts : SPACE SUITS
12 Summary : RECAP
13 Trinkets, tchotchkes and whatnot : ITEMS
18 “Macbeth” has five of these : ACTS
22 Places : STEADS
24 Cried : WEPT
25 Write on stone, say : ETCH
26 Road Work Ahead or Dead End : SIGN
27 Carpet on a forest floor : MOSS
28 Famed Roman censor : CATO
29 Is unsuited to go swimming, but does so anyway? : SKINNY-DIPS
33 Descendants : SCIONS
35 I. M. ___, Louvre Pyramid architect : PEI
37 Swarming pest : GNAT
38 Like holiday nogs : EGGY
40 Fashion designer Spade : KATE
41 “OMG, that’s so funny!” : LMAO!
42 Lhasa ___ (dog breed) : APSO
47 Many a newspaper scoop : EXPOSE
48 Shorthand writers : STENOS
50 Baby buggy, to Brits : PRAM
52 “Beauty and the Beast” heroine : BELLE
53 Baseball great Buck : O’NEIL
54 Considers : DEEMS
58 Perlman of “Cheers” : RHEA
59 Dress worn to a ball : GOWN
60 Its capital is Muscat : OMAN
61 Hawaii’s only native goose : NENE
63 Juice brand with a hyphenated name : HI-C
64 Japanese currency : YEN
65 Savings plan, briefly : IRA

4 thoughts on “0606-22 NY Times Crossword 6 Jun 22, Monday”

  1. 6:12. Glad to get another Monday puzzle out of the way. This time I actually noticed and used the theme.

    Clue for ARGON went completely over my head. Didn’t see it until I came here. Good one. I suppose if I had actually stopped and said it all aloud, I’d have seen it…maybe. What does Bill always say about less haste?

    Best –

  2. 10:06, no errors. Pokey today but maybe because I was swarmed by 4 doggos while trying to solve the puzzle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.