0722-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Jul 22, Friday

Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Big ___ (athletic conference) : EAST

The Big East collegiate athletic conference was founded in 1979. The conference went through a major realignment between 2010 and 2013 with 14 schools departing, and 15 schools joining the lineup.

13 Medicinal plant : 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.

16 Sail holder … or sale holder? : YARD

Yards are the horizontal spars that are attached to a mast and used to support square sails on older sailing vessels. Each end of a yard is known as a yardarm.

18 Camouflage fabric : KHAKI

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

20 Many string compositions by Haydn : TRIOS

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

26 Weighed unscientifically : HEFTED

The heft of something is its weight, its heaviness. The term “heft” is derivative of the verb “to heave” meaning “to lift, raise”.

27 Quaker of Pennsylvania? : ASPEN

While I see the association between quakers and Pennsylvania, and between quaking and aspen, but still don’t understand the clue/answer connection …

29 Sudoku or anagrams : BRAIN GAME

Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”
  • “William Shakespeare” and “I’ll make a wise phrase”
  • “Schoolmaster” and “the classroom”

34 Like Goliath, in the Bible story : SLAIN

In the story of David and Goliath, the Israelites and the Philistines faced each other in battle at the Valley of Elah. Goliath was the warrior champion of the Philistines and each day he challenged the Israelites to send out their champion to decide the battle in a one-on-one fight. No one was courageous enough to accept the challenge until young David agreed to face the mighty Goliath. David felled the giant soldier with a stone from his sling.

41 City near Kobe : OSAKA

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

Kobe is a port city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here in North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant was named after that very same beef.

43 Only singer to have seven consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 : WHITNEY HOUSTON

Whitney Houston was the only singer to have a run of seven consecutive Billboard number-one hits. Houston’s recording of the wonderful Dolly Parton song “I Will Always Love You”, from the soundtrack of 1992’s “The Bodyguard”, is the best-selling single for a female artist in the history of recorded music. Houston died at the age of 48 in 2012, drowning in her bathtub.

47 First Black female billionaire, informally : OPRAH

What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.

52 Slice in a salad, maybe : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

56 World’s leading saffron producer : IRAN

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. It is derived from the saffron crocus. The spice itself is the dried stigma found in the flower of the plant.

57 Saxophone piece : REED

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

Down

2 French phrase with a grave accent : A LA

In French, accents over the letter E can be acute (é, “accent aigu”) or grave (è, “accent grave”).

4 Spicy sweets : RED HOTS

Red Hots are cinnamon-flavored candy pieces. I recently found out that Red Hots are sometimes used in apple sauce …

6 Reaches online, in a way : IMS

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

7 Source of oil from the sea : COD

Cod liver oil is a nutritional supplement that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and D. I remember being dosed with the stuff as a kid. Ugh …

8 Brian who was a pioneer in ambient music : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

9 Vermeer painted a girl with a pearl one : EARRING

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. The name “Vermeer” is a contraction of “van der meer”, which translates as “from the sea/lake”. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

11 Descendant of a prominent family : SCION

“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.

15 Story segue : … SO THEN …

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break. The oft-used term “segway” is given the same meaning, although the word “segway” doesn’t really exist. It is a misspelling of “segue” that has been popularized by its use as the name of the personal transporter known as a Segway.

19 They share our blood types : APES

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

21 Company behind the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee : WHAM-O

Wham-O was founded in 1948, with the company’s first product being the Wham-O slingshot. Since then, Wham-O has marketed a string of hit toys including the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Slip ‘N Slide, Silly String, Hacky Sack and Boogie Board.

22 Foe of Skeletor in “Masters of the Universe” : HE-MAN

Masters of the Universe is a sword-and-sorcery multimedia franchise that was introduced by Mattel in the 1980s. The main characters in the storyline are superhero He-Man, who battles against Skeletor on the planet Eternia, and He-Man’s sister She-Ra, who rebels against the Horde on the planet Etheria.

23 Relative of fennel : CARAWAY

Caraway is a plant in the carrot family that is prized for its fruits. The caraway “seeds” that we use in cooking are actually caraway “fruits” that each contain a single “seed”.

Fennel is a hardy perennial plant species in the celery family that is used as a herb. It also goes by the name “sweet anise”. Personally, I can’t stand the stuff …

24 Bolt for the finish line? : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

29 Fellow : BLOKE

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

30 Ship-to-ship communication : AHOY THERE!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

31 “Carpe diem,” for one : MOTTO

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

32 Japanese-based electronics giant : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (with “EP” standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

34 Man’s nickname that’s a baseball team’s nickname backward : STAN

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

38 Queen celebrated at an annual feast : ESTHER

Esther was a Jewish queen, wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus and the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

39 Line in music : SLUR

In the world of music, a slur is a curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

42 Latin lovers, officially speaking? : POPES

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

49 Org. whose logo features a leaning silhouette : NBA

Jerry West is a retired basketball player who played for 14 years with the LA Lakers. One of West’s nicknames is “The Logo”, as it is his silhouette that is used in the famous NBA logo.

50 Barbie, e.g. : TOY

The famous Barbie doll was created by businesswoman Ruth Handler and first appeared on store shelves in 1959. Barbie was based on a German fashion doll called Bild Lilli that was introduced in 1955. Lilli had been a German cartoon character before taking on a three-dimensional form. Prior to the introduction of Bild Lilli and Barbie, children’s dolls were primarily representations of infants.

51 Unit of the Swedish krona : ORE

“Krona” (plural “kronor”) translates in English as “crown”, and is the currency of Sweden. As a member of the European Union, Sweden is required to adopt the euro as its official currency. Such a move isn’t really popular in Sweden and so the Swedish government has been using a legal loophole to allow the country to retain the krona.

54 Worker in a tunnel, maybe : ANT

“Formicary” is another name for “ant nest”, and comes from the Latin “formica” meaning “ant”. The phrase “ant colony” describes the ants living in an ant nest. A formicarium is similar to an aquarium, and used to house an ant colony perhaps for study. The phrase “ant farm” is usually reserved for ant nests built by an ant colony in a formicarium.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 [Ooh, you’re sexy!] : RAWR!
5 Bed in the kitchen? : RICE
9 Big ___ (athletic conference) : EAST
13 Medicinal plant : ALOE
14 Tangy-and-sweet dessert topping : LEMON SAUCE
16 Sail holder … or sale holder? : YARD
17 “Everything comes down to this” : IT’S DO OR DIE
18 Camouflage fabric : KHAKI
20 Many string compositions by Haydn : TRIOS
21 Butt of a joke? : WHOOPEE CUSHION
26 Weighed unscientifically : HEFTED
27 Quaker of Pennsylvania? : ASPEN
28 Store up : AMASS
29 Sudoku or anagrams : BRAIN GAME
33 Chip, e.g. : MAR
34 Like Goliath, in the Bible story : SLAIN
35 Short flight : HOP
36 Going from club to club, say : ON THE TOWN
39 Things some people do at bars : SHOTS
41 City near Kobe : OSAKA
42 Perform for the approval of : PLAY TO
43 Only singer to have seven consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 : WHITNEY HOUSTON
46 Not just bold : BRASH
47 First Black female billionaire, informally : OPRAH
48 “Hey, I’m talking here!” : LISTEN TO ME!
52 Slice in a salad, maybe : FETA
55 Ones who put you to sleep : UTTER BORES
56 World’s leading saffron producer : IRAN
57 Saxophone piece : REED
58 Pros : AYES
59 Comment from one who’s all thumbs? : TEXT

Down

1 Line in geometry : RAY
2 French phrase with a grave accent : A LA
3 Real gem : WORK OF ART
4 Spicy sweets : RED HOTS
5 Make fast again : RETIE
6 Reaches online, in a way : IMS
7 Source of oil from the sea : COD
8 Brian who was a pioneer in ambient music : ENO
9 Vermeer painted a girl with a pearl one : EARRING
10 Kind of feed : AUDIO
11 Descendant of a prominent family : SCION
12 Some tourist shop wares : TEES
14 Popular : LIKED
15 Story segue : … SO THEN …
19 They share our blood types : APES
21 Company behind the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee : WHAM-O
22 Foe of Skeletor in “Masters of the Universe” : HE-MAN
23 Relative of fennel : CARAWAY
24 Bolt for the finish line? : USAIN
25 Quick drive, informally : SPIN
29 Fellow : BLOKE
30 Ship-to-ship communication : AHOY THERE!
31 “Carpe diem,” for one : MOTTO
32 Japanese-based electronics giant : EPSON
34 Man’s nickname that’s a baseball team’s nickname backward : STAN
37 Raised : HOISTED
38 Queen celebrated at an annual feast : ESTHER
39 Line in music : SLUR
40 Flips : HAS A FIT
42 Latin lovers, officially speaking? : POPES
43 Put down : WRITE
44 Precipitance : HASTE
45 Divisions of subdivisions : HOMES
46 Motion picture? : BLUR
49 Org. whose logo features a leaning silhouette : NBA
50 Barbie, e.g. : TOY
51 Unit of the Swedish krona : ORE
53 Line on a receipt : TAX
54 Worker in a tunnel, maybe : ANT

7 thoughts on “0722-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Jul 22, Friday”

  1. 9:56. RAWR/RAY/YARD were the last things I filled in. Other than the occasional “LOL” I can’t bring myself to use texting slang, (which makes me sound about 30 years older than I am).

  2. 28:25 as my run of struggling with Friday puzzles continues. Maybe I’m wiped from the week or some other reason. Saturdays don’t feel as difficult to me.

    Maybe I should just do the Friday puzzles on Saturday? I remember once when I was talking to a golf pro about not being able to hit a 2 iron. He said turn the 2 iron upside down, etch in the number 3 instead of 2, and you’ll be able to hit it. This feels the same way.

    Agree with what Bill says about the Quaker, ASPEN, Pennsylvania connections. The only link I could find between ASPEN trees and Pennsylvania is that Pennsylvania does indeed have ASPEN trees…..but so do 46 states in the U.S. A thin at best connection.

    I also saw on Wordplay that the intersection of WHOOPEE CUSHION and WORK O _ _ _ _ was absolutely intentional. One can fill in those blanks themselves……

    Best –

  3. 34:32, with constant interruptions and forgetting to pause the puzzle. Completed while participating in ferroequinological studies at Elmhurst I’ll.

    The clue for 8 down made me feel like Brian Eno had died, fortunately he is quite alive. Aspens in PA? I always think of fall in Colorado….

  4. 22:12
    Loved seeing “ESTHER”…my Mom’s name…rare these days (sigh)

    Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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