0729-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 22, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Breakout company of the 1970s : ATARI

Breakout is an Atari arcade game that was released in 1976. Breakout is really like a more complex version of Pong, and involves destroying a layer of bricks in the top third of the screen using a “ball” that is “batted” against the brick wall. I wasted a few hours playing Breakout back in the day …

6 What 7-Down is pig Latin for : BEE
[7D Where a town in Wyoming was once sold (for $900,000) : EBAY]

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

9 Unpopular worker : SCAB

We first started calling strikebreakers scabs in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word “scab” probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

16 Machete-like knife : BOLO

A machete is a large knife, one usually 13-18 inches long. The term “machete” is the diminutive of “macho” meaning “male, strong”.

19 Pics on pecs, say : TATS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

20 Rogers of old westerns : ROY

Cowboy actor and singer Roy Rogers’ real name was Leonard Franklin Slye, and his nickname was “King of the Cowboys”. Roy Rogers married Dale Evans in 1947. Evans’ nickname was “Queen of the West”.

25 ___ Hall, former “Today” host with a self-titled daytime talk show : TAMRON

NBC’s “Today” was launched in 1952, becoming the first of the morning news/talk shows on US television. The show’s first host was Dave Garroway, who was at the helm until 1961. Back in those days, “Today” had a mascot who often appeared on air with Garroway: a chimpanzee named J. Fred Muggs.

30 Area around the mouth : DELTA

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

32 Tooth driller’s deg. : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

35 God often represented as a beautiful winged youth : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

36 Falafel shop stock : PITAS

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry for me …

37 Prohibition of Leviticus 11 : PORK

In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Leviticus comes after the Book of Exodus and before the Book of Numbers.

39 It looks better with curls : BICEP

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

45 Retirement plan, informally : ROTH

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

47 World’s busiest airport: Abbr. : ATL

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

53 Cry after pulling a prank : APRIL FOOLS!

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the Western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants, but in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

56 Liquid weapon, or a solid one : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

58 Dishes served in the final scene of “Titus Andronicus” : PIES

“Titus Andronicus” is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, perhaps even the first that he wrote. I’ve never seen the play and apparently it is very gory, perhaps the reason why it was quite popular in Shakespeare’s own lifetime. Over the decades, sensibilities have changed and as a result, “Titus Andronicus” is performed less often today than his other works.

59 Cards, say : IDS

Identity document (ID)

Down

4 Acoustic flourishes during a comic’s set : RIM SHOTS

A rim shot is a sound made when a drummer hits the head of a drum and the rim at the same time. It’s a sound often used by comics to help punctuate a gag.

6 Motley skill set : BAG OF TRICKS

Something described as motley is mottled, marked with different-colored spots. The term probably comes from the Old English word “mot” meaning “speck”. We can use the term “motley” figuratively to mean “diverse, heterogeneous”.

7 Where a town in Wyoming was once sold (for $900,000) : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

8 Man found within state lines? : ELI

The name “Eli” is a hidden word in the phrase “state lines”.

9 Uno alternative : SBARRO

The Sbarro chain of pizza restaurants was founded by Italian immigrants, Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro.

The chain of pizza parlors known today as Uno Chicago Grill used to be called Pizzeria Uno, or just “Uno’s”. Apparently, Uno’s created the world’s first deep-dish pizza.

11 Xenomorph, more familiarly : ALIEN

The antagonists in the “Alien” series of films are extraterrestrials, described at one point in the script as “xenomorphs”. The term “xenomorph” was coined for the screen using the Greek roots “xeno-” (other, strange) and “-morph” (shape).

12 Dutch for “farmer” : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, and a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

14 Eric ___, author of “The Very Lonely Firefly” : CARLE

Eric Carle is a very successful children’s author and book illustrator, with over 100 million of his books sold around the world. Carle’s most famous title is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, and it alone has sold 30 million copies.

22 First Hebrew prophet to have a biblical book named for him : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament’s Book of Amos is attributed to him.

24 Lead-in to a street name, perhaps : AKA

Also known as (aka)

25 Fun times between the sheets? : TOGA PARTIES

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

27 Feudal underling : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

28 Red herring, for one : PLOT DEVICE

The exact origin of the term “red herring”, meaning “something that misleads”, isn’t known. The most common explanation for the use of the phrase is that kippers (strong-smelling smoked herrings) were used by fugitives to distract bloodhounds who were on their trail. Kippers become red-colored during the smoking process, and are no longer “white herrings”.

29 Hall of fame collaborator? : OATES

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo who were most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

33 1/8 oz. : DRAM

I think that the dram is a confusing unit of measurement. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

34 Isle along the Sound of Sleat : SKYE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

36 They’re broken just for fun : PINATAS

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today’s piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

39 Stack at a T.S.A. checkpoint : BINS

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

40 Bun holder : NET

That must be a hairnet.

42 Candy brand with autumn-colored packaging : REESE’S

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “HB” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

44 Land between the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez : SINAI

The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, and is a triangular landform bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six-Day War of 1967.

47 M.L.B. all-time leader in grand slams (25), informally : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.

54 It’s written as a vertical line bisecting a circle : PHI

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

55 Org. with trust issues? : FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Breakout company of the 1970s : ATARI
6 What 7-Down is pig Latin for : BEE
9 Unpopular worker : SCAB
13 What often has Fox, but not FX : BASIC CABLE
16 Machete-like knife : BOLO
17 Comment upon calling back : IT’S ME AGAIN
18 “Ma Belle ___” (1970 #5 hit) : AMIE
19 Pics on pecs, say : TATS
20 Rogers of old westerns : ROY
21 Employment history : CAREER
23 One of two : HALF
25 ___ Hall, former “Today” host with a self-titled daytime talk show : TAMRON
26 “Well, my comment sure sounds dumb now …” : I SPOKE TOO SOON …
30 Area around the mouth : DELTA
31 Blows wildly : RAGES
32 Tooth driller’s deg. : DDS
35 God often represented as a beautiful winged youth : EROS
36 Falafel shop stock : PITAS
37 Prohibition of Leviticus 11 : PORK
38 Not forward : AFT
39 It looks better with curls : BICEP
40 “You must be dreaming” : NO WAY
41 Remark from one who gets a round : DRINKS ARE ON ME
44 Judged to be : SEEN AS
45 Retirement plan, informally : ROTH
46 Strip : DIVEST
47 World’s busiest airport: Abbr. : ATL
48 Sound of an unsuccessful attempt at stone skimming : PLOP
52 French liqueur flavoring : ANIS
53 Cry after pulling a prank : APRIL FOOLS!
56 Liquid weapon, or a solid one : MACE
57 Sole proprietors? : SHOE STORES
58 Dishes served in the final scene of “Titus Andronicus” : PIES
59 Cards, say : IDS
60 Coffer, e.g. : CHEST

Down

1 Some : A BIT
2 “Cheerio!” : TA-TA!
3 One who helps out briefly? : ASST
4 Acoustic flourishes during a comic’s set : RIM SHOTS
5 Something can’t be neat if you add this : ICE
6 Motley skill set : BAG OF TRICKS
7 Where a town in Wyoming was once sold (for $900,000) : EBAY
8 Man found within state lines? : ELI
9 Uno alternative : SBARRO
10 Daytime TV catchphrase : COME ON DOWN!
11 Xenomorph, more familiarly : ALIEN
12 Dutch for “farmer” : BOER
14 Eric ___, author of “The Very Lonely Firefly” : CARLE
15 Wraps up : ENCASES
22 First Hebrew prophet to have a biblical book named for him : AMOS
24 Lead-in to a street name, perhaps : AKA
25 Fun times between the sheets? : TOGA PARTIES
26 Impression : IDEA
27 Feudal underling : SERF
28 Red herring, for one : PLOT DEVICE
29 Hall of fame collaborator? : OATES
33 1/8 oz. : DRAM
34 Isle along the Sound of Sleat : SKYE
36 They’re broken just for fun : PINATAS
37 Dismiss : POOH-POOH
39 Stack at a T.S.A. checkpoint : BINS
40 Bun holder : NET
42 Candy brand with autumn-colored packaging : REESE’S
43 Takes a turn, in a way : ROLLS
44 Land between the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez : SINAI
46 Still not done in the dryer, say : DAMP
47 M.L.B. all-time leader in grand slams (25), informally : A-ROD
49 Legends : LORE
50 Cries during a match : OLES
51 Secret indication : PSST!
54 It’s written as a vertical line bisecting a circle : PHI
55 Org. with trust issues? : FTC

5 thoughts on “0729-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 22, Friday”

  1. 20:59, no errors. Got most of the long entries pretty quickly. Twas the short ones that got me today.

  2. 11:29. Got stuck in the upper right corner for a bit. After BOER, I guessed at AMIE, and then that got me COME ON DOWN and that was that.

    ANIS and AMIE are at symmetrical locations in the grid. Très intéressant.

  3. 25:11, no errors. Spent a lot of time backing out of incorrect entries which fit. 44A DEEMED before SEEN AS; 57A FISH MONGER before SHOE STORES; etc.. Never heard of Eric CARLE or TAMRON Hall.

  4. 23:33. Well I finished. Not much else to report.

    The most important thing I learned from this puzzle? The wrapping paper for a REESE’S is autumn colored. Now if I could only figure out why.

    How long before PLOT DEVICE is used as a clue for “hoe”??

    Crazy monsoon season weather in Las Vegas last night. 70 mph winds throwing rain into my house. I think I finally got everything dry now.

    I thought I got rid of rain water coming into my house when I moved from Houston. I suppose not. I can’t even escape flooding in the desert!

    Best –

    1. Re “Plot device” for “HOE”: I like it! There’s a future for you in crossword-clue editing, Jeff! Don’t pass it up!

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