0623-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Oxygenation

Themed answers have been OXYGENATED (had O-O inserted) to give another word:

  • 34A Photosynthetic process “inflating” 16-, 24-, 46- and 56-Across : OXYGENATION
  • 16A Mood setters for a romantic dinner : CANOODLES (CANDLES + O-O)
  • 24A Actor Cooper : BOO RADLEY (BRADLEY + O-O)
  • 46A Torn and ragged clothing : TATTOOERS (TATTERS + O-O)
  • 56A Quarter-pound things at McDonald’s : PATOOTIES (PATTIES + O-O)

Bill’s time: 10m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 South Asian, informally : DESI

People from the Indian subcontinent might refer to themselves as “desi”.

5 “Imperial gem” mined as early as 6000 B.C. : JADE

“Jade” is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

9 Supplier of iron carrots in old cartoons : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

13 Islamic scholar : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

16 Mood setters for a romantic dinner : CANOODLES (CANDLES + O-O)

To canoodle is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

19 What may be traded for tat : TIT

The phrase “tit for tat”, meaning some sort of retaliation, has been around for an awfully long time, since the mid-1500s. It might be derived from “tip for tap”, meaning “blow for blow”.

20 Comic actress Kristen : WIIG

Kristen Wiig is a comic actress who appears on “Saturday Night Live”. She also made an appearance on the first season of Spike TV’s quirky “The Joe Schmo Show”, playing “Dr. Pat”. More recently, she co-wrote and starred in the 2011 hit film “Bridesmaids”, and co-starred in the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters”.

21 “My Friend ___” (classic of children’s literature) : FLICKA

“My Friend Flicka” is a 1943 screen adaptation of the children’s novel of the same name by Mary O’Hara. The film stars a young Roddy McDowall in the lead role. Flicka is a horse …

22 Captain Marvel, for one : ALIAS

“Captain Marvel” is a superhero movie released in 2019. It was the first film in the Marvel franchise of films to feature a female lead. The title character, Carol Danvers (aka “Captain Marvel”), is played by Brie Larson.

24 Actor Cooper : BOO RADLEY (BRADLEY + O-O)

In Harper Lee’s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Boo Radley is the reclusive neighbor living next door to the children Jem and Scout. The kids are both afraid of, and at the same time fascinated, by Boo.

26 Duck color : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

27 Ancient dweller of Central Asia and Eastern Europe : HUN

The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.

29 There are 30 on an icosahedron : EDGES

The prefix “icosa-” is most often seen in the word “icosahedron”, which describes a polyhedron with 20 faces shaped as equilateral triangles. “Icosa-” comes from the Greek “eikosi” meaning “twenty”.

34 Photosynthetic process “inflating” 16-, 24-, 46- and 56-Across : OXYGENATION

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants (mainly) in which light energy is harnessed to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate molecules. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy breathing, oxygen is released as a waste product of photosynthesis.

37 Author of “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” 2001 : AMY TAN

Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

44 Texter’s “hold on a sec” : BRB

Be right back (brb)

50 Feminine name that anagrams to another feminine name : CELIA

“Celia” anagrams to “Alice”.

54 Prez who founded the March of Dimes : FDR

President Roosevelt was a major driver in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Foundation’s most successful fundraising campaign was to encourage the public to just send a dime to support the charity, so that even before the Foundation officially changed its name, the public were already calling it March of Dimes. After President Roosevelt passed away in office, Congress passed legislation calling for a new design for the dime, one featuring the image of FDR. The Roosevelt dime was introduced in 1946, on the day that would have been the President’s 64th birthday.

55 His first initial stands for “Ieoh” : IM PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) was an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

56 Quarter-pound things at McDonald’s : PATOOTIES (PATTIES + O-O)

Back in the 1920s, the term “patootie” was used for a sweetheart, a very pretty girl. Somehow, the term has evolved into slang for the posterior, rear end.

58 The Ark of the Covenant, e.g. : RELIC

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

59 Fake coin : SLUG

A slug is a counterfeit coin that is used to trick a coin-operated machine. A slug might just be a metal blank, or another coin of lower value. I remember the Austrian Schilling trick that was used in the nineties in the UK. A counterfeiter simply glued two Austrian Schillings back-to-back, and these passed nicely as pound coins. Back then, that represented a 90% profit for the bad guy.

60 “Popular Fallacies” writer, 1826 : ELIA

The “Essays of Elia” began appearing in “London Magazine” in 1820, and were immediate hits with the public. The author was Charles Lamb, and “Elia” was actually a clerk with whom Lamb worked. The most famous of the essays in the collection are probably “Dream-Children” and “Old China”.

61 Adam’s apple locale : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

62 Sprites, but not Pepsis : IMPS

A sprite is an elfin or fairy-like creature of European myth. The term “sprite” comes from the Latin “spiritus” meaning “spirit”.

Down

3 World capital on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire : SANTIAGO

Santiago is the capital of Chile. The city was founded in 1541 by the Spanish as Santiago de Nueva Extremadura. The name was chosen in honor of Saint James and the community of Extremadura in western Spain.

The name “Ring of Fire” is given to the area surrounding the Pacific Ocean which is prone to large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In fact, 75% of the planet’s active volcanoes are found in the Ring of Fire.

4 “You didn’t ask, but …” to a texter : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

5 Force-ful character : JEDI

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!’

6 Wing it : AD-LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

7 Soccer star Maradona : DIEGO

Diego Maradona had to have been the most famous of Argentina’s soccer players. He was also one of the country’s most controversial sportsmen and was noted for his outspoken manner with journalists, as well as his cocaine addiction.

8 Mars rovers, in brief? : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

10 Early chewing gum ingredient : CHICLE

Chicle is a natural gum or latex that can be extracted from the Manilkara chicle tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. Companies like Wrigley were major users of chicle prior to the sixties as the product was used as the base ingredient in chewing gum. Today chewing gum manufacturers generally use a synthetic rubber that is cheap to manufacture as a replacement for natural chicle. I am so happy I don’t chew gum!

15 Where Aquaman reigns as king : ATLANTIS

The legendary city of Atlantis was first referred to in writing by the Greek philosopher Plato. The story is that a navy from Atlantis attempted to invade Athens but failed, and as a result the city of Atlantis sank into the ocean.

Aquaman is a comic book superhero who first appeared in 1941. Aquaman was inspired by a character in a Russian science-fiction novel named “Amphibian Man”.

23 Echo speaker : ALEXA

Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled hardware device that can be used to provide several services including playing radio programs and music, recording of shopping lists, and managing a calendar. The device just sits in the home listening, until it hears a “wake up” command.

30 Like Canada’s maple leaf : SYMBOLIC

The current design of the Canadian National Flag, known as “the Maple Leaf”, has been in place since 1965. The design made its first appearance on February 15th of that year, and so that date is celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

35 Street food favorites topped with tzatziki : GYROS

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

40 Grist for the rumor mill : HEARSAY

Hearsay is information that one person has about some event, without that person actually seeing the event firsthand. For example, I am typing up this blog on my laptop, so now you can tell others that I typed this blog on my laptop. However, if you do tell that to others, it is hearsay, because you didn’t actually see me do the typing. Maybe I lied … maybe I used my desktop!

When grain has been separated from its chaff, to prepare it for grinding, it is called “grist”. Indeed, the word “grist” is derived from the word “grind”. Grist can be ground into a relatively coarse meal, or into a fine flour. The names can be confusing though. For example, the grist from maize when ground to a coarse consistency is called “grits”, and when ground to a fine consistency is called “corn meal”. There is an idiomatic phrase “grist for one’s mill”, meaning something used to one’s advantage. The grinding mechanism, or the building that holds the mechanism, is known as a “gristmill”.

47 Movie-themed Happy Meal, e.g. : TIE-IN

The McDonald’s Happy Meal was introduced in 1977. It was inspired by a selection of food in a Guatemalan McDonald’s designed to suit children that was called “Menu Ronald”. The toys in Happy Meals often tie-in with some movie, and so are part of an advertising campaign.

50 Comedian Margaret : CHO

Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, and also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho acts as well, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.

53 Peons, metaphorically : COGS

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

56 Letter resembling Indiana University’s logo : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

57 ___-Ed (animated talks for kids) : TED

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”. There are also TEDx events, which are locally-run talks presented under license from TED.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 South Asian, informally : DESI
5 “Imperial gem” mined as early as 6000 B.C. : JADE
9 Supplier of iron carrots in old cartoons : ACME
13 Islamic scholar : IMAM
14 Make some cuts, perhaps : EDIT
15 Tender feelings : ACHES
16 Mood setters for a romantic dinner : CANOODLES (CANDLES + O-O)
18 Samples : TRIES
19 What may be traded for tat : TIT
20 Comic actress Kristen : WIIG
21 “My Friend ___” (classic of children’s literature) : FLICKA
22 Captain Marvel, for one : ALIAS
24 Actor Cooper : BOO RADLEY (BRADLEY + O-O)
26 Duck color : TEAL
27 Ancient dweller of Central Asia and Eastern Europe : HUN
28 Some hesitations : ERS
29 There are 30 on an icosahedron : EDGES
31 Bounds : LIMITS
34 Photosynthetic process “inflating” 16-, 24-, 46- and 56-Across : OXYGENATION
37 Author of “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” 2001 : AMY TAN
38 One of two in 2/22/22 : SLASH
41 Things “said” in doctors’ offices : AHS
44 Texter’s “hold on a sec” : BRB
45 Repellent : VILE
46 Torn and ragged clothing : TATTOOERS (TATTERS + O-O)
50 Feminine name that anagrams to another feminine name : CELIA
51 Is behind : TRAILS
52 “___ one teach one” (rhyming proverb) : EACH
54 Prez who founded the March of Dimes : FDR
55 His first initial stands for “Ieoh” : IM PEI
56 Quarter-pound things at McDonald’s : PATOOTIES (PATTIES + O-O)
58 The Ark of the Covenant, e.g. : RELIC
59 Fake coin : SLUG
60 “Popular Fallacies” writer, 1826 : ELIA
61 Adam’s apple locale : EDEN
62 Sprites, but not Pepsis : IMPS
63 Controvert : DENY

Down

1 Call the shots : DICTATE
2 Corresponded with, in a way : EMAILED
3 World capital on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire : SANTIAGO
4 “You didn’t ask, but …” to a texter : IMO …
5 Force-ful character : JEDI
6 Wing it : AD-LIB
7 Soccer star Maradona : DIEGO
8 Mars rovers, in brief? : ETS
9 Like burning plastic : ACRID
10 Early chewing gum ingredient : CHICLE
11 More submissive : MEEKER
12 60-Across output or 18-Across synonym : ESSAYS
15 Where Aquaman reigns as king : ATLANTIS
17 Biting remarks? : OWS
21 Carnivorous : meat :: carpophagous : ___ : FRUIT
23 Echo speaker : ALEXA
25 Often-uttered lead-in to “That’s gotta hurt!” : OH, MAN!
30 Like Canada’s maple leaf : SYMBOLIC
31 Leave alone : LET BE
32 ___ moment : IN A
33 Unravel : SOLVE
35 Street food favorites topped with tzatziki : GYROS
36 It may be applied to a single digit : NAIL FILE
39 Sit after everyone else scooches over : SLIDE IN
40 Grist for the rumor mill : HEARSAY
41 It may get worn out : ATTIRE
42 In a position to sue, say : HARMED
43 Readers may flip over it : STAPLE
47 Movie-themed Happy Meal, e.g. : TIE-IN
48 Sphere : REALM
49 Took notice, in a way : SAT UP
50 Comedian Margaret : CHO
53 Peons, metaphorically : COGS
56 Letter resembling Indiana University’s logo : PSI
57 ___-Ed (animated talks for kids) : TED

3 thoughts on “0623-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 22, Thursday”

  1. 25:20. Got the theme, but the rest of the puzzle tied me in knots a few times.

    First reaction to “Adam’s apple locale” was “neck. I should have known better

    ATLANTIS fell into the sea, but we all know it eventually resurfaced as a resort in the Bahamas….

    Best –

  2. 27:32 Same error as Jeff with “neck” vs. “Eden”, but a couple minutes more solving pleasure :- )

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