0716-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Jul 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Something you might write on : SPEC

Something that is created on spec is done so without having a specific buyer or consumer in mind. Many crosswords are constructed on spec, and then submitted to the likes of “The New York Times” or the “Los Angeles Times” in the hope of publication.

11 God is one in a 2018 Ariana Grande hit : WOMAN

“God Is a Woman” is a 2018 song co-written and released by Ariana Grande.

13 Some rings on a plate : CALAMARI

“Calamaro” is the Italian word for “squid” (plural “calamari”).

15 Result of tails, perhaps : I LOSE

The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite of “heads”.

16 Soldier Doll, Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy, in “The Nutcracker” : SOLO PARTS

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire. It premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892, but its public appeal really only emerged in the late 1960s. It’s a “must-see ballet” during the Christmas holidays.

17 Name synonymous with longevity : METHUSELAH

Methuselah was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah, and the man in the Bible who is reported to have lived the longest. Methuselah passed away seven days before the onset of the Great Flood, and tradition holds that he was 969 years old when he died.

22 Words on a jacket : BIO

You can usually read an author’s bio on a book’s dust jacket.

24 Beckham of the N.F.L. : ODELL

Odell Beckham Jr. is a National Football League wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2014, “OBJ” made a much-applauded, one-handed catch while falling backwards to score a touchdown for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, a move that some have dubbed the greatest catch ever made.

30 Sources of some beams : LASERS

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

31 Like a raccoon’s tail : BANDED

The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

32 Onetime Edison protégé : TESLA

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

We use the term “protégé” for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.

33 Blast of the past, in brief : A-TEST

Atomic test (A-test)

36 Curveball stat, for short : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

37 Initiate post production? : START A BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

40 One might be a pop-up : SHOP

A pop-up store is one that is temporary. The idea is that a pop-up store opens in empty retail space for a limited period of time, often to meet the needs of a particular season or holiday. Examples of the genre might be Halloween stores or Christmas stores.

42 Like a bajillion dollars : HYPERBOLIC

Hyperbole is the use of exaggerated speech. The term “hyperbole” is Greek, coming from “hyper-” meaning “beyond” and “bole” meaning “a throwing”. When using hyperbole, our choice of words is “thrown beyond” what is normally necessary to get our point across.

47 Oscar Wilde’s “Salome,” e.g. : ONE-ACTER

“Salomé” is an 1891, one-act play by Irishman Oscar Wilde that the playwright originally wrote in French. It tells the biblical story of Salome who requested the head of John the Baptist in return for performing the dance of the seven veils. Wilde’s work was adapted by Richard Strauss into an opera of the same name that premiered in Dresden in 1905.

48 Deja view? : RERUN

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

Down

1 Get in the ___ : SWIM

To be “in the swim” (also “in the swim of things”) is to be in the thick of things, actively engaged in events.

3 Wasn’t stoic : EMOTED

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

7 Piehole : YAP

The term “piehole” meaning “mouth” has been in use since the early 1980s. It is a variation of the older term “cake hole” that originated with the British armed forces during WWII. “Cake hole” is still used in the British Isles, with “piehole” largely limited to North America.

8 Funshine or Love-a-Lot, in toondom : CARE BEAR

The Care Bears franchise includes a line of toys as well as TV shows and movies. The original Care Bears were characters created for greeting cards marketed by American Greetings starting in 1981.

12 Deep-learning tech : NEURAL NETS

It used to be that “neural network” was just the name given to a network of nerve cells in an organism. In the modern world, the term “neural net” (short for “neural network”) also applies to virtual or electronic devices designed to mimic the function of the human brain, and in particular learning from past experiences.

16 “That men may rise on stepping-stones / Of their dead ___ to higher things”: Tennyson : SELVES

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate for much of the reign of Queen Victoria. There are many phrases we use today that were first penned by Tennyson, including:

  • ‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all
  • Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die

25 “Someone to comfort and hold me,” in a #1 Mariah Carey hit : DREAMLOVER

Mariah Carey produced her first album in 1990 under the guidance of Tommy Mottola, an executive at Columbia Records. Mottola and Carey must have hit it off, because they were married three years later (although Mottola is now married to a different singer …).

27 Its participants are always tired : NASCAR

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)

28 Emergency device in DC : BATPHONE

The Batphone was introduced in the Batman comic books before gaining celebrity in the Batman television series of the sixties. The Batphone was Commissioner Gordon’s secure line to Batman. The term “bat phone” is used quite a bit in the business world, where it describes a private telephone number that is handled as a priority above the regular lines.

DC Comics takes its name from what used to be a highly popular series called “Detective Comics”. The main competitor to DC Comics is Marvel Comics, and between the two companies, they command 80% of comic sales in the US market. Nowadays of course, a lot of company income comes from movies that use the most popular characters from the original comics.

29 Buttercup relatives : ANEMONES

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom.

The Ranunculus genus of flowering plants can also be referred to as “buttercups”. The name “buttercup” may be the result of a traditional belief that cows eat buttercups, resulting in the yellow color of butter. However, buttercups are poisonous to cows, and so they avoid them.

30 Printer setting : LETTER

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

31 California city in the Mojave Desert : BARSTOW

Barstow is a California railroad town that grew with the success of mining operations in the Mojave desert. The city is named for William Barstow Strong, who served as president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway from 1881 to 1889.

The Mojave Desert in the southwest is named after the Native-American Mojave tribe. Famous locations within the boundaries of the desert are Death Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada and the ghost town of Calico, California.

35 Slow dance : BOLERO

The word “bolero” is used to describe slow-tempo Latin music that can be both a dance and a song.

38 God with the head of an ibis : THOTH

Thoth was an ancient Egyptian god who was depicted as a man with the head of either a baboon or an ibis. He was the god of many things, including wisdom, writing, magic and the dead.

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

39 Arouse : GIN UP

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

41 ___ jacket : PEA

A peacoat (also “pea jacket”) is a heavy woolen outer jacket originally associated with sailors. Nowadays anyone wears them (they’re very comfortable and warm). The female equivalent of a peacoat is often called a Jackie O jacket, after Jackie Onassis.

43 Supergroup at Woodstock, familiarly : CSNY

The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to “CSNY” when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y”.

45 E.R. units : CCS

Cubic centimeter (cc)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something you might write on : SPEC
5 Perhaps : SAY
8 Cutoff point : CAP
11 God is one in a 2018 Ariana Grande hit : WOMAN
13 Some rings on a plate : CALAMARI
15 Result of tails, perhaps : I LOSE
16 Soldier Doll, Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy, in “The Nutcracker” : SOLO PARTS
17 Name synonymous with longevity : METHUSELAH
19 Handled well : DEFT
20 Beloved pop : DEAR OLD DAD
22 Words on a jacket : BIO
23 Mythical race : DWARVES
24 Beckham of the N.F.L. : ODELL
26 Edit, e.g. : ALTER
27 Google search strings useful to linguists and literary historians : N-GRAMS
28 Philadelphia art museum, with “the” : … BARNES
30 Sources of some beams : LASERS
31 Like a raccoon’s tail : BANDED
32 Onetime Edison protégé : TESLA
33 Blast of the past, in brief : A-TEST
34 Curling iron’s functional opposite : HOT COMB
36 Curveball stat, for short : RPM
37 Initiate post production? : START A BLOG
40 One might be a pop-up : SHOP
42 Like a bajillion dollars : HYPERBOLIC
44 Brightness or darkness, in musical terms : TONE COLOR
46 Gets in line : EVENS
47 Oscar Wilde’s “Salome,” e.g. : ONE-ACTER
48 Deja view? : RERUN
49 World Wide ___, nickname of an N.B.A. power broker : WES
50 Short : SHY
51 Viscous : ROPY

Down

1 Get in the ___ : SWIM
2 Propelled oneself on skis : POLED
3 Wasn’t stoic : EMOTED
4 Some prizes : CASH AWARDS
5 Putting greens in these courses might be expected : SALADS
6 Kind of shirt : ALOHA
7 Piehole : YAP
8 Funshine or Love-a-Lot, in toondom : CARE BEAR
9 Small pictures, perhaps : ART FILMS
10 Some race starters : PISTOLS
12 Deep-learning tech : NEURAL NETS
13 Farther away, in a sense : COLDER
14 Very, informally : MAD
16 “That men may rise on stepping-stones / Of their dead ___ to higher things”: Tennyson : SELVES
18 In order : SORTED
21 Byproduct of kissing a pet, maybe : DOG SLOBBER
25 “Someone to comfort and hold me,” in a #1 Mariah Carey hit : DREAMLOVER
27 Its participants are always tired : NASCAR
28 Emergency device in DC : BATPHONE
29 Buttercup relatives : ANEMONES
30 Printer setting : LETTER
31 California city in the Mojave Desert : BARSTOW
32 Inactivity : TORPOR
34 Actress Atwell : HAYLEY
35 Slow dance : BOLERO
38 God with the head of an ibis : THOTH
39 Arouse : GIN UP
41 ___ jacket : PEA
43 Supergroup at Woodstock, familiarly : CSNY
45 E.R. units : CCS

7 thoughts on “0716-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Jul 22, Saturday”

  1. 25:11
    Have decided to join the digital age and use the app. Posting my first “day of” time today…gutsy for a Saturday, yeah?…not so sure the tyranny of the clock is good for my heart but I like the challenge.

    I’ve been enjoying all of your comments for a long time…you help me learn. Thank you, Bill, for a wonderful site.

    Greetings from Minnesota,
    Formerly Syndicated Mary

    1. Welcome to the real-time solve! 🙂

      When I went from paper to app (or in my case laptop), my solving times sped up quite a bit, because I can type a lot faster than I can write!

      1. Yes, it’s true for me, too! Sadly, I’m a world-class speller but the world’s worst typist…one of the universe’s cruel jokes.🤣
        Am using a phone but will try this on a laptop soon.

  2. 21:05. Hard one for me. Upper left took me forever. GET IN THE SWIM? Never heard that (“get in the swim of things” I’ve heard, but that seems different). And for whatever reason NEURAL NETS didn’t come easily, plus I had no idea the name of the Philly art museum.

  3. 32:50. One cheat. I think we had Get in the SWIM a while back, and it had a similar response.

    I wanted to put “striped” before BANDED, but it didn’t fit. Also wanted to put “football” (as in nuclear) before BATPHONE, but I waited to see if any crossings fit, but none did so I never actually entered it. Should have noticed the lack of periods in DC.

    Good one.

    Best –

  4. 40:16, no errors. Up and down solve for me today. Entries like METHUSELAH and CARE BEAR (thanks to my daughter, who grew up in the 80’s) came easily. Others were total unknowns.
    I don’t think that TESLA should be considered a protégé of Edison. TESLA admired Edison, and immigrated to the U.S. specifically to work for the Edison Electric Co.. They became bitter rivals after Edison purportedly stiffed Tesla. Tesla quit and eventually teamed up with George Westinghouse to form a rival company to Edison’s General Electric.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.