0608-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Jun 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Seth at the End

Themed answers are common phrases with a word ending in -ET, but an H has been added to make a word ending in -ETH:

  • 18A Doth choose a comedy routine? : PICKETH LINES
  • 24A Citizenry doth work hard? : PUBLIC TOILETH
  • 38A Once-popular activity hath no more fans? : FAD DIETH
  • 49A Doth apply graffiti? : MARKETH PLACES
  • 58A Runway walker hath megatalent? : MODEL ROCKETH

Bill’s time: 14m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Short break? : VACAY

A vacation (“vacay”) might provide some rest and relaxation/recuperation (R&R).

11 Director Brooks : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of relatively few entertainers who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy (EGOT). He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

14 Some Kiwis : MAORIS

Unlike many nicknames for people of a particular country, the name “Kiwi” for a New Zealander isn’t offensive at all. The term comes from the flightless bird called the kiwi, which is endemic to New Zealand and is the country’s national symbol. “Kiwi” is a Maori word, and the plural (when referring to the bird) is simply “kiwi”. However, when you have two or more New Zealanders with you, they are Kiwis (note the “s”, and indeed the capital “K”!).

16 Love, in Livorno : AMORE

Livorno is a port city on the west coast of Italy. The city is often called “Leghorn” in English and gave its name to the leghorn breed of chicken, and by extension to the cartoon character known as Foghorn Leghorn.

17 Fútbol cheer : OLE!

In Spanish, a “fútbol” (football, soccer) supporter might shout “olé!” (bravo!).

18 Doth choose a comedy routine? : PICKETH LINES

Back in the late 17th century, a picket was a pointed stake used militarily to defend against attacking forces, and charging cavalry in particular. Ultimately, the term “picket” comes from the French verb “piquer” meaning “to pierce”. The term “pickets” then became the name for troops posted in the front lines, watching for the enemy. A picket line is a unit of soldiers lined up as a team of lookouts. The first use of “picket line” in the sense of labor disputes appeared just after the end of WWII. Our use of “picket fence” evolved from the original lines of pointed stakes used to defend positions held by early colonists.

21 Author of the “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in brief : MLK

The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a 1963 open letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr. defending nonviolent resistance to racism. King wrote the letter in several pieces, using the margins of newspapers as this was the only paper available to him while in jail.

24 Citizenry doth work hard? : PUBLIC TOILETH

Our word “toilet” comes into our vocabulary via a tortuous route from the Middle French “toile” meaning “cloth, net”. The French “toilette” is a diminutive of “toile”, and describes a cloth or bag for clothes. From this usage, the English word “toilet” came to mean “fine cloth cover over a dressing table”, and the “the articles used in dressing”. From there, “toilet” described the act of dressing, and then a dressing room. By the early 1800s, a toilet was a dressing room that had a lavatory attached, and eventually the lavatory itself.

37 Subject of many a funny TikTok : CAT

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools facilitating production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

44 Post-boomer cohort : GEN-X

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is often defined as the “baby boom”.

“Cohort” can be used as a collective noun, meaning “group, company”. The term can also apply to an individual supporter or companion, although usually in a derogatory sense. “Cohort” comes from the Latin “cohors”, which was an infantry company in the Roman army, one tenth of a legion.

45 Title 6-year-old of 1950s children’s literature : ELOISE

Kay Thompson wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her “Eloise” stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

46 Schuss with a chute : PARASKI

Paraskiing is skiing across snowy terrain while being pulled along by a parachute.

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, one with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

49 Doth apply graffiti? : MARKETH PLACES

Graffiti is the plural of “graffito”, the Italian for “scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

53 Grains in some milk : OATS

Oat milk is one of the alternatives to cow’s milk, and is lactose free. I’m a big fan …

57 ___ Simbel (Lake Nasser landmark) : ABU

Abu Simbel is a location in southern Egypt, and the site of two temples carved out of a mountainside. The two rock temples had to be relocated to Abu Simbel in 1968 to save them from being submerged in the water above the Aswan High Dam that was being built across the Nile River.

Lake Nasser is a large artificial lake created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam (initiated by President Nasser). Lake Nasser lies in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Strictly speaking, the section of the lake in Sudan is called Lake Nubia.

63 Record : LOG

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

66 A and B, in D.C. : STS

Famously, the layout of the streets in Washington was designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The L’Enfant Plan called for a grid of east-west and north-south streets. This grid was crisscrossed with diagonal avenues. The avenues and streets met at circles and rectangular plazas. The east-west streets are generally named for letters, while the north-south streets are numbered. Later, many of the diagonal avenues were named for states of the union.

67 Whammies : HEXES

“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.

Down

3 Strong German brew : BOCK

A bock is a strong lager from Germany that was first brewed in the town of Einbeck. The famous brewers of Munich adopted the style of beer, calling it Einbeck after the town of its origin. However, with the Bavarian accent “Einbeck” came out as “ein Bock”, the German for “a billy goat”. The name “bock” stuck, and so you’ll often see a billy goat on the labels of bock beers.

4 Months-long couples retreat? : ARK

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

6 Frankie of the Four Seasons : VALLI

Frankie Valli is a great singer who is best known for fronting the 4 Seasons in the sixties. Valli had an incredible number of hits, with and without the 4 Seasons. The extensive list includes, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease”.

12 “Middlemarch” novelist : ELIOT

“George Eliot” was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

George Eliot’s novel “Middlemarch” was first published in installments in 1871-72. The storyline is set some fifty years earlier, in the fictional English Midlands town of Middlemarch.

25 Rock with four Emmys : CHRIS

Chris Rock is a great stand-up comedian. Interestingly, Rock cites his paternal grandfather as an influence on his performing style. Grandfather Allen Rock was a preacher.

26 Mal de ___ : TETE

Here are some French terms for some unpleasant conditions:

  • Mal de tête (headache)
  • Mal de mer (seasickness)
  • Mal de pays (homesickness)

27 Hop kiln : OAST

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house” or “hop kiln”. The term “oast” can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.

30 Elaine ___, labor secretary under George W. Bush : CHAO

When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

35 Sound heard “here” and “there” on Old MacDonald’s farm : OINK!

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

36 L.P.G.A. star Thompson : LEXI

Lexi Thompson has been a professional golfer since the age of 15, and won her first LPGA tournament at just 16 years of age, which is a record. Thompson had also qualified for the US Women’s Open when she was the ripe old age of 12 years, making her the youngest golfer to play in that tournament.

38 Ice ___ : FLOE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the surface of the ocean.

40 Small amount in a recipe : DASH

In cooking, the terms “dash”, “pinch” and “smidgen” can all be used for a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define these amounts as follows:

  • a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
  • a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
  • a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

43 Fraternal order : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

44 Boyle’s law subject : GAS

Irishman Robert Boyle is regarded as one of the founders of modern chemistry, although his early work would better be described as “alchemy”. His name is best known from Boyle’s Law, his experimental observation that the pressure of a gas decreases proportionally as its volume increases.

46 Jack of 1950s TV : PAAR

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

49 “Square” things : MEALS

A square meal is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase “square meal” originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase was first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

50 Monastery figure : ABBOT

Our word “abbot” ultimately derives from the Aramaic word “abba”, an honorific title extended to one’s father.

54 Horne with a sultry voice : LENA

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

60 Publish private info about online, in modern lingo : DOX

Doxing (also “doxxing”) is the publishing of private information about someone on the Internet with the intention of doing harm or causing embarrassment. The term “doxing” is slang, and comes from “dox”, an accepted abbreviation for “documents”.

62 Breakfast cereal with little balls : KIX

Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Plate appearance : AT BAT
6 Short break? : VACAY
11 Director Brooks : MEL
14 Some Kiwis : MAORIS
16 Love, in Livorno : AMORE
17 Fútbol cheer : OLE!
18 Doth choose a comedy routine? : PICKETH LINES
20 Routing word : VIA
21 Author of the “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in brief : MLK
22 Two-way : DUAL
23 Memoirs and profiles, informally : BIOS
24 Citizenry doth work hard? : PUBLIC TOILETH
29 Upstage, say : ECLIPSE
32 Fastball, in slang : HEATER
33 Watery : THIN
34 Locale for drawers in the study? : ART SCHOOL
37 Subject of many a funny TikTok : CAT
38 Once-popular activity hath no more fans? : FAD DIETH
41 Golf variable : LIE
42 They may be close to reception : HOTEL BARS
44 Post-boomer cohort : GEN-X
45 Title 6-year-old of 1950s children’s literature : ELOISE
46 Schuss with a chute : PARASKI
49 Doth apply graffiti? : MARKETH PLACES
52 Goes out : EBBS
53 Grains in some milk : OATS
54 Rim : LIP
57 ___ Simbel (Lake Nasser landmark) : ABU
58 Runway walker hath megatalent? : MODEL ROCKETH
63 Record : LOG
64 Be on the hunt : PROWL
65 Blown : RUINED
66 A and B, in D.C. : STS
67 Whammies : HEXES
68 Some boards : EXAMS

Down

1 Day and night? : AM/PM
2 Follow closely : TAIL
3 Strong German brew : BOCK
4 Months-long couples retreat? : ARK
5 Busy : TIED UP
6 Frankie of the Four Seasons : VALLI
7 “___ the only one?” : AM I
8 Fool : CON
9 “___ we good?” : ARE
10 OK : YES
11 Things cast for films : MOVIE ROLES
12 “Middlemarch” novelist : ELIOT
13 Setter fetter : LEASH
15 Well-used pencils : STUBS
19 Robust : HALE
23 “Yecch!” : BLEH!
24 It may burst your bubble : PIN
25 Rock with four Emmys : CHRIS
26 Mal de ___ : TETE
27 Hop kiln : OAST
28 Rash sensation : ITCH
29 Chisel : ETCH
30 Elaine ___, labor secretary under George W. Bush : CHAO
31 They may leave a lengthy paper trail : LITTERBUGS
34 Job in the TV biz : AD REP
35 Sound heard “here” and “there” on Old MacDonald’s farm : OINK!
36 L.P.G.A. star Thompson : LEXI
38 Ice ___ : FLOE
39 Somewhat : A BIT
40 Small amount in a recipe : DASH
43 Fraternal order : ELKS
44 Boyle’s law subject : GAS
46 Jack of 1950s TV : PAAR
47 Character ___ : ACTOR
48 Bail out : RESCUE
49 “Square” things : MEALS
50 Monastery figure : ABBOT
51 Relaxes : LOLLS
54 Horne with a sultry voice : LENA
55 Thingy : ITEM
56 Many profs : PHDS
58 NASCAR stat : MPH
59 Deposit of a sort : ORE
60 Publish private info about online, in modern lingo : DOX
61 Sheepish one? : EWE
62 Breakfast cereal with little balls : KIX

3 thoughts on “0608-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Jun 22, Wednesday”

  1. Well, that seemed more like a Thursday to me. 22:08 after cajiggering Elaine Chao’s name spelling. CHOU, CHAO…whatever.

  2. 20:51. Tricky for a Wednesday, but Wednesdays can be all over the place in terms of difficulty. Fun one, however. Leaned on the theme a lot in order to finish.

    The answer AMORE led to a Foghorn Leghorn reference? Gotta like that.

    I think PARASKIing is actually skiing with a parachute in order to ski off of a mountain and glide (parachute) down to the bottom of the mountain. It’s reserved for people that are certifiably crazy.

    Was the city of “Middlemarch” named for Caesar’s assassination?

    Best –

  3. 17:39. The upper half went quickly. AT BAT (for some reason) came immediately. Although VACAY wasn’t obvious, the verticals dropped easily.

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