0723-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Jul 22, Saturday

Constructed by: John Lieb
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Braveheart” villain : EDWARD I

Edward I of England was on the throne from 1272 to 1307 and was also known as Edward Longshanks. The “Longshanks” name came from Edward’s exceptional height.

“Braveheart” is an excellent 1995 historical drama that was directed by and stars Mel Gibson. “Braveheart” tells the story of William Wallace, the warrior who led the Scottish against King Edward I of England. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Ireland, and I visited Trim Castle not so long ago where that filming took place …

8 Shoddy treatment : RAW DEAL

Something described as shoddy is of inferior quality, especially if it has a delusive appearance of high quality.

15 Monodon monoceros, more familiarly : NARWHAL

The narwhal is a whale species in which the male has a large tusk. The “tusk” is actually a canine tooth that projects from the jaw through the lip. Usually only one tusk develops, on the left side of the jaw. Occasionally, a second tusk develops as well, on the right side of the jaw. The tusk is unlike a tooth in that it contains many nerves, making it a sensory organ. It is rarely used in an act of aggression.

16 Qatar, e.g. : EMIRATE

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

18 Defense secretary under Obama : PANETTA

Leon Panetta was Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and took over as CIA Director in 2009 in the Obama administration. From 2011 to 2013 he also served as Secretary of Defense. Panetta has long been interested in protecting the world’s oceans. As an example, he wrote the legislation that created the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

19 Día después de hoy : MANANA

In Spanish, the day after “hoy” (today) is “mañana” (tomorrow).

20 Utah home of Weber State University : OGDEN

Ogden was the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in what is now the state of Utah.

Weber State University is located in Ogden, Utah. The school was founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is named for a fur trader named John Henry Weber.

21 Shell game? : EGG TOSS

Egg tossing is a game usually associated with Easter. In 1978, one Johnny Dell Foley tossed a fresh hen’s egg a distance of over 323 feet to a Keith Thomas to create a world record.

23 ___ es Salaam : DAR

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

26 Bottom of the barrel : LEES

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

27 Marion ___, Best Actress winner for “La Vie en Rose” : COTILLARD

Marion Cotillard is the French actress who played Édith Piaf in the 2007 movie “La Vie en Rose”. Cotillard won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance, marking the first time that an actress has won a Best Actress Academy Award for a performance in a French language film.

30 20th-century map inits. : SSR

When the former Soviet Union (USSR) dissolved in 1991, it was largely replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The formation of the CIS underscored the new reality, that the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) were now independent states. Most of the 15 former SSRs joined the CIS. Notably, the three Baltic SSRs (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) opted not to join the new commonwealth, and in 2004 joined NATO and the EU.

31 First person to fly solo around the world (1933) : WILEY POST

Wiley Post was a famous aviator from Grand Saline, Texas. Post flew around the world in 1930 with just a navigator as a companion, a journey that the pair completed in the record time of 8 days and almost 16 hours. This beat the existing record of 21 days set by the Graf Zeppelin in the prior year. Post repeated the trip in 1933, this time flying alone and using an autopilot. The circumnavigation took just under 7 days and 19 hours, and was the first time anyone flew solo around the world. Post died when the aircraft he was piloting crashed just two years later, in Alaska. The famous cowboy and actor Will Rogers, a friend of Post, also perished in the crash.

32 Gesture signifying perfection : CHEF’S KISS

A chef’s kiss is a gesture used by a chef to indicate that a dish has achieved perfection. The gesture involves kissing the tips of the gathered fingers.

34 Tip of a writing implement : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning “beak of a bird”. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” describing the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

38 Cash crop of South America : COCA

The coca plant is native to South America and is similar in appearance to a blackthorn bush. Coca leaves have been chewed by humans for centuries, perhaps even as far back as 3,000 years ago. Chewing the leaves apparently produces a pleasurable numb sensation in the mouth and a pleasant taste. The most famous alkaloid in the leaf is cocaine, but this wasn’t extracted in its pure form until the mid-1800s. The extracted cocaine was used in medicines and tonics and other beverages.

41 Like many a chute in Chutes and Ladders : S-SHAPED

The game of “Snakes and Ladders” is usually sold as “Chutes and Ladders” in the US. Milton Bradley introduced “chutes” instead of “snakes” in 1943 as children weren’t too fond of snakes back then. Snakes/Chutes and Ladders is based on an ancient Indian game.

45 Some grilled meat dishes : KABOBS

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

49 ___ Command (classic arcade game) : MISSILE

Missile Command is a fun arcade game that was introduced by Atari in 1980. Playing the game involves protecting six cities that are being attacked by ballistic missiles. The original game’s design featured six cities in California, namely Eureka, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego.

51 Entourage : RETINUE

A retinue is a body of aides who attend an important person. The term “retinue” comes from the Old French “retenue” that had the same meaning, although the literal translation is “that which is retained”. The idea is that the aides are retained to attend the VIP.

Down

5 Animal whose name means, literally, “nose” : RHINO

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

7 ___ du Diable (notorious French penal colony) : ILE

“Papillon” is an excellent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman as convicts in the French penal colony on Devil’s Island (“Île du Diable” in French). “Papillon” is the French word for “butterfly” and is a reference to the character Henri “Papillon” Charrière, played by McQueen.

9 Org. with a snake in its logo : AMA

The Rod of Asclepius (also “Aesculapius”) is a rod around which a serpent is entwined. It was carried by the Greek god Asclepius, hence the name. Asclepius was associated with medicine and healing, and so the Rod of Asclepius has long been associated with health care. It appears in the logo of many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The Rod of Asclepius is sometimes confused with the caduceus, the traditional symbol of the god Hermes. The caduceus features two snakes winding around a winged staff. Famously, the US Army Medical Corps adopted the caduceus as a symbol, apparently in error, and as a result, the caduceus is sometimes associated with healthcare groups to this day.

11 Remnant : DREG

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

22 Method of music education : SOLFEGE

Solfège (also “sol-fa”) is a teaching method used in the world of music. The technique involves the use of the sol-fa syllables for each note, and associating each syllable with a specific pitch.

24 Super-G competitor : ALPINE SKIER

Super Giant Slalom (Super G) is an alpine skiing event introduced in 1982. The Super G isn’t as fast as its sister event the Downhill, but is faster than the more technical Giant Slalom.

28 A.C. : ___ :: D.C. : Edison : 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.

29 Doofus : ASS

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

32 Abbr. on a receipt : CHG

Charge (chg.)

37 Detective ___ Briscoe of “Law & Order” : LENNIE

Detective Lennie Briscoe is a character on the TV show “Law & Order” who appeared for twelve years, from 1992 until 2004. Briscoe was played by respected actor Jerry Orbach.

38 Pays a fare to get there, say : CABS IT

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

39 Atkins diet no-no : SUGAR

Perhaps most notably, the eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

47 Program file suffix : EXE

In the Windows operating system, a file with the extension “.exe” is an “executable” file.

49 1980s TV celeb with a role in “Rocky III” : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

“Rocky III” is the movie in which Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) goes up against Clubber Lang (Mr. T). “Rocky III” is a forgettable film, but Mr. T was grateful for his role no doubt as it launched his career and landed him a spot on television’s “The A-Team”. Also making an appearance was professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, an appearance that raised his profile as well and kick-started his career outside of the ring. But for me the most memorable thing is the song “Eye of the Tiger”, which was commissioned for “Rocky III”. A great tune …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Braveheart” villain : EDWARD I
8 Shoddy treatment : RAW DEAL
15 Monodon monoceros, more familiarly : NARWHAL
16 Qatar, e.g. : EMIRATE
17 “Eh? Eh?” : AM I RITE?
18 Defense secretary under Obama : PANETTA
19 Día después de hoy : MANANA
20 Utah home of Weber State University : OGDEN
21 Shell game? : EGG TOSS
23 ___ es Salaam : DAR
25 Ending with love or tap : -INS
26 Bottom of the barrel : LEES
27 Marion ___, Best Actress winner for “La Vie en Rose” : COTILLARD
30 20th-century map inits. : SSR
31 First person to fly solo around the world (1933) : WILEY POST
32 Gesture signifying perfection : CHEF’S KISS
33 Part of a plan? : PHONE LINE
34 Tip of a writing implement : NIB
37 Circuit building block : LOGIC GATE
38 Cash crop of South America : COCA
39 Use curlers on, say : SET
40 Match : SEE
41 Like many a chute in Chutes and Ladders : S-SHAPED
43 Poorly suited : UNFIT
45 Some grilled meat dishes : KABOBS
46 Ground : GNASHED
49 ___ Command (classic arcade game) : MISSILE
50 Small plane for short flights : AIR TAXI
51 Entourage : RETINUE
52 Things sometimes lost in sofa cushions : REMOTES
53 Brought (out) : TROTTED

Down

1 Smooth veneers : ENAMELS
2 Award in a lawsuit : DAMAGES
3 Metaphor for a difficult ordeal : WRINGER
4 “Oh, darn!” : AW, RATS
5 Animal whose name means, literally, “nose” : RHINO
6 Field of informatics : DATA SCIENCE
7 ___ du Diable (notorious French penal colony) : ILE
8 Status, informally : REP
9 Org. with a snake in its logo : AMA
10 No matter what : WIN OR LOSE
11 Remnant : DREG
12 Suffer abject humiliation : EAT DIRT
13 Opposite of cut : ATTEND
14 Has a list : LEANS
22 Method of music education : SOLFEGE
23 Aids in making craft projects, in brief : DIY KITS
24 Super-G competitor : ALPINE SKIER
28 A.C. : ___ :: D.C. : Edison : TESLA
29 Doofus : ASS
31 Question asked when going through an old family photo album, perhaps : WHO IS THAT?
32 Abbr. on a receipt : CHG
33 Joint venture? : POT FARM
34 What a circular argument has : NO POINT
35 Color of a glacier : ICE BLUE
36 Person who’s corrupt by nature : BAD SEED
37 Detective ___ Briscoe of “Law & Order” : LENNIE
38 Pays a fare to get there, say : CABS IT
39 Atkins diet no-no : SUGAR
42 Must : HAS TO
44 Relationship phrase : IS TO
47 Program file suffix : EXE
48 Lead-in to course : DIS-
49 1980s TV celeb with a role in “Rocky III” : MR T

5 thoughts on “0723-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Jul 22, Saturday”

  1. Tough one. 18:32. Didn’t know COTILLARD, WILEY POST, or SOLFEGE, so the O and L in SOLFEGE were guesses. Also I’ve never seen CHG on a receipt (I guess for “change”), or at least never noticed it. The upper right and lower right came (relatively) easily, then the other two corners, and finally the middle.

  2. 31:17. Just happy to finish. Puzzle didn’t seem that difficult, but the timer gave me that number at the end. Puzzle certainly kept me engaged the entire time.

    I knew WILEY POST, TESLA, LOGICGATE and a few others off the top of my head, but the rest of the puzzle just took me some time. The O at SOLFEGE/COTILLARD was the last square to fall, and I just guessed every vowel until I got the music.

    Overall, the puzzle was not too difficult except when it was….

    An EGG TOSS of 323 feet is incredible. The acceleration you’d need to launch it that far would break the shell unless the pressure is perfect all around the egg itself. Would love to know what grip he used. It would take one of the best arms in the majors to throw a baseball that far much less an egg.

    Best –

  3. @Cullin (from yesterday) …

    Thanks for asking about old Nonny. As I told @Jack (in syndie time) a while back, he was last seen shuffling down a deserted road, idly kicking at pebbles and muttering something about the world going somewhere in a hand basket (whatever that may be). I did manage to contact him and got this note:

    Give everyone my best. Enjoying having the time for other things. Losing the FOMO I was struggling with. Still doing crosswords, though. Managed to do today’s NYT in 14:20, with no errors, so I guess I’m not totally senile. The Newsday “Saturday Stumper” was a bear, though (54:31, no errors); it was attributed to Stella Zawistoski, but I think that may be a pseudonym for “Morey Ruff” (the brother of “Lester Ruff”).

    So there you have it. (And, BTW, “FOMO” stands for “Feeling Of Missing Out”. As usual, Nonny lamely tries to show off his command of recent coinages … 😳)

  4. 46:22. Needed one lookup to finish today. Learned that 15A is a NARWHAL and not a WARTHOG.
    CHEF’S KISS is a term I have only seen in crosswords.
    29D: I would be more inclined to believe the word ‘doofus’ is a variant of the name in a comic strip, ‘Goofus and Gallant’, which ran in ‘Highlights for Children’ magazine from the mid 1940’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.