0629-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jun 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jared Goudsmit
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Ab Crunches

We have a rebus puzzle today, with the letters “AB” CRUNCHED together in several squares:

  • 61A Core exercises … or a hint to eight squares in this puzzle : AB CRUNCHES
  • 17A Ate and ran, say : GRABBED A BITE
  • 21A Fit to live in : INHABITABLE
  • 37A Legendary Himalayan humanoid : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
  • 52A The magic word? : ABRACADABRA
  • 3D Certain horses : ARABS
  • 6D “Not right this second” : IN A BIT
  • 9D Finish gift-wrapping, say : TIE A BOW
  • 11D Muslim headscarf : HIJAB
  • 24D Fix up again, as a house : REHAB
  • 32D Hummus brand : SABRA
  • 52D Dislike with a passion : ABHOR
  • 55D Friar’s home : ABBEY

Bill’s time: 9m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cardamom-infused tea : 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”.

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

15 China’s Zhou ___ : ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

19 Almost closed : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

23 “The Goldfinch” writer Donna : TARTT

Novelist Donna Tartt won a Pulitzer for her 2013 novel “The Goldfinch”. That same novel was adapted into a 2019 film, which bombed at the box office.

25 Some E.R. cases : ODS

Someone taking an overdose (OD) often ends up in an emergency room (ER).

26 Make a scapegoat of : BLAME

A scapegoat is a person chosen to take the blame in place of others. The term comes from the Bible’s Book of Leviticus, which describes a goat that was cast into the desert along with the sins of the community.

28 Kigali resident : RWANDAN

Kigali is the capital of the African nation of Rwanda, and is located in the center of the country. That location led to the city being picked as the capital in 1962, over the traditional capital of Nyanza. The choice was made on the occasion of Rwanda’s independence from Belgium. Kigali was the center of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, in which half a million to one million Rwandans were killed. That was perhaps 20% of the country’s total population wiped out in the space of four months.

32 Title of respect : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

37 Legendary Himalayan humanoid : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

41 Capacious : ROOMY

Something described as “capacious” is spacious, capable of holding much.

49 Amber quaff : ALE

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

50 Catherine of “Beetlejuice” : 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.

“Beetlejuice” is a 1988 comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton in the title role. Beetlejuice is an underworld character who tries to scare away the new inhabitants of a house that is haunted by the ghosts of a deceased couple (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis).

52 The magic word? : ABRACADABRA

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

56 Japanese automaker : ISUZU

Isuzu is a Japanese auto manufacturer that is very successful in the medium and heavy truck market in particular. You’ll be seeing fewer and fewer Isuzu passenger cars on American roads though, as the company exited the US passenger car market in 2008.

60 Jabba the ___ (“Star Wars” meanie) : HUTT

Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

63 Relative of a cor anglais : OBOE

The English horn is also known by its French name “cor anglais”. It is a double-reed woodwind instrument.

67 Food service giant : SYSCO

It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

68 Norse god of thunder : THOR

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

Down

1 N.Y.C. venue for the Ramones and the Cramps : CBGB

The music club known as CBGB opened in 1973 intending to feature country, bluegrass and blues music (hence the name “CBGB”, Country, BlueGrass and Blues). The club developed an association in the eighties with New York’s underground hardcore punk music.

3 Certain horses : ARABS

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

4 Still being debugged : IN BETA

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

11 Muslim headscarf : HIJAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

18 Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

22 Neighbor of Montana : IDAHO

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia

27 V.I.P. conveyances : LIMOS

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

28 Staff break? : REST

The set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in Western musical notation can be called a staff or stave. Either way, the plural form is “staves”.

30 “Stop!,” at sea : AVAST!

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

31 State bird of Hawaii : 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.

32 Hummus brand : SABRA

Sabra Dipping is a company that specializes in the production of hummus and guacamole. If I can’t get homemade hummus or guacamole, then Sabra is the way to go …

34 Prickly plant with healing qualities : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

35 ___ 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.

39 Spiral-horned antelope : NYALA

A nyala is an antelope from South Africa with spiral horns. “Nyala” is the Swahili name for the beast.

40 The “N” of N.B. : NOTA

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”, and is abbreviated to “NB”.

45 Aromatic evergreens : CEDARS

Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

47 Dublin’s land, to poets : ERIN

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city “Dubh Linn”, meaning “black pool”.

48 Poppin’ Fresh or Tony the Tiger : MASCOT

Tony the Tiger has been the mascot of Frosted Flakes cereal since the product’s introduction in 1951. As Tony would say, “They’re Gr-r-reat!” Well, I thought they were when I was a lot younger …

51 Cool head? : HARD C

The head of the word “cool” is a hard letter C.

53 Cartoonist Goldberg who drew contraptions like the “Self-Operating Napkin” : RUBE

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer and inventor who became famous for designing overly-complicated gadgets to perform the simplest of tasks. Goldberg produced a famous series of cartoons depicting such designs. Such was the success of his work, the Merriam-Webster dictionary accepted the phrase “Rube Goldberg” as an adjective in 1931, an adjective meaning “accomplishing something simple through complex means”.

58 Bit of binary code : ZERO

Our base-10 numeral system is also known as the decimal (sometimes “denary”) numeral system. Another common numeral system is base-2, which is also known as the binary system.

59 Geographical inits. until 1991 : USSR

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Rus.) became the largest and most influential Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Today, Russia is a sovereign state, and the largest country in the whole world.

62 Troop troupe, for short : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

“Troupe” is a French word meaning “company, band”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cardamom-infused tea : CHAI
5 Not give up, say : FIGHT
10 Pronoun before “it may concern” : WHOM …
14 Partner of raised : BORN
15 China’s Zhou ___ : ENLAI
16 Place that generates buzz : HIVE
17 Ate and ran, say : GRABBED A BITE
19 Almost closed : AJAR
20 ___ on actual events : BASED
21 Fit to live in : INHABITABLE
23 “The Goldfinch” writer Donna : TARTT
25 Some E.R. cases : ODS
26 Make a scapegoat of : BLAME
28 Kigali resident : RWANDAN
32 Title of respect : SRI
33 Unclear mental state : HAZE
36 Throw with force : HEAVE
37 Legendary Himalayan humanoid : ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
41 Capacious : ROOMY
42 Not falling for : ONTO
43 Play for a sucker : USE
44 Place to pitch a product : AD SPACE
46 Entice : TEMPT
49 Amber quaff : ALE
50 Catherine of “Beetlejuice” : O’HARA
52 The magic word? : ABRACADABRA
56 Japanese automaker : ISUZU
60 Jabba the ___ (“Star Wars” meanie) : HUTT
61 Core exercises … or a hint to eight squares in this puzzle : AB CRUNCHES
63 Relative of a cor anglais : OBOE
64 Consumes, in a way : READS
65 Sharer’s word : OURS
66 Tear to bits : REND
67 Food service giant : SYSCO
68 Norse god of thunder : THOR

Down

1 N.Y.C. venue for the Ramones and the Cramps : CBGB
2 Sesenta minutos : HORA
3 Certain horses : ARABS
4 Still being debugged : IN BETA
5 Gave sustenance : FED
6 “Not right this second” : IN A BIT
7 Flicker of light : GLINT
8 “Thirty days ___ September …” : HATH
9 Finish gift-wrapping, say : TIE A BOW
10 “How’ve you been?” : WHAT’S NEW?
11 Muslim headscarf : HIJAB
12 The earth’s path around the sun, e.g. : OVAL
13 Little more than : MERE
18 Dutch cheese : EDAM
22 Neighbor of Montana : IDAHO
24 Fix up again, as a house : REHAB
26 Hen’s hatchlings : BROOD
27 V.I.P. conveyances : LIMOS
28 Staff break? : REST
29 Block, as a stream : DAM UP
30 “Stop!,” at sea : AVAST!
31 State bird of Hawaii : NENE
32 Hummus brand : SABRA
34 Prickly plant with healing qualities : ALOE
35 ___ garden : ZEN
38 Affected : IMPACTED
39 Spiral-horned antelope : NYALA
40 The “N” of N.B. : NOTA
45 Aromatic evergreens : CEDARS
47 Dublin’s land, to poets : ERIN
48 Poppin’ Fresh or Tony the Tiger : MASCOT
50 Arctic predators : ORCAS
51 Cool head? : HARD C
52 Dislike with a passion : ABHOR
53 Cartoonist Goldberg who drew contraptions like the “Self-Operating Napkin” : RUBE
54 Gobs : A TON
55 Friar’s home : ABBEY
57 “Think again!” : UH-UH!
58 Bit of binary code : ZERO
59 Geographical inits. until 1991 : USSR
62 Troop troupe, for short : USO

11 thoughts on “0629-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jun 22, Wednesday”

  1. 17:58 Took a while to accept the existence of a rebus puzzle on a Wednesday, after which it took a while to recognize the rebus, after which time, it took a while to finish the puzzle. 🙂

  2. 14:54. I sensed the rebus right away with ARABS in the upper left.
    Became a smooth solve after that except some tripping over myself in the middle left. It would have helped if I’d known of SABRA.

    Cryptozoology again? I’ll refrain from another tirade on the subject today….your welcome.

    Didn’t realize that vanilla was considered a spice, and I certainly didn’t realize it’s the most expensive one on the market. Sounds like good bar bet material….

    Best –

  3. 19:25, no errors. Ditto on the Wednesday rebus. I missed the ARABS at first cuz I ignored the plural. My aha was HIJAB.

  4. 14:43, no errors. Just seemed in synch with the setter today. Initially entered ARAB in 3D which seemed to fit with GRABBED, until EDAM allowed me to recognize the rebus and adjust the entry.

  5. Undone again by another rebus. I don’t look forward to the mid-week challenge. Mitigating factor, though, is that I am in my eighty-ninth year and I leave the arena to those younger solvers who suck it up and persevere to the end.

  6. Tripped up on USO. didn’t know SYSCO either. Went with USA , as in US Army and left SYSCA.

    Thanks Bill. Now I’ll have to watch on the highway for a SYSCO truck!

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