0810-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Karen Lurie
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Well, Actually …

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as questions to which one might answer “WELL, ACTUALLY”:

  • 20A Drink from a spring : MINERAL WATER
  • 28A Steakhouse option : MEDIUM-RARE
  • 49A Queasy, perhaps : FEELING ILL

Bill’s time: 8m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Baby aardvark : CUB

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, and a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

17 Tall, slender hound : SALUKI

The Saluki is also known as the Persian greyhound or the royal dog of Egypt. The Saluki breed has been around a long time. Salukis feature in petroglyphs in Iran that date back to over 10,000 years ago.

18 New York canal : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had an immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

23 “You said it!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

27 Shaq’s alma mater : LSU

The Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.

37 “Morning on the Seine” painter : MONET

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works. I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny a few years ago. A beautiful place …

39 Singer who funded Central Park’s Strawberry Fields memorial : ONO

Strawberry Fields is a memorial in Central Park in New York City. It is located on a triangular piece of land found directly across from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered. At the center of the triangle of land is a circular pathway mosaic of stones with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, contributed over one million dollars to help pay for the memorial’s design and upkeep.

When in their teens, Paul McCartney and John Lennon would often head into the center of Liverpool together on the bus. The convenient place for them to meet was at the end of Penny Lane. Years later, Paul McCartney wrote the song “Penny Lane”, which was a big hit in 1967. “Penny Lane” was released as a double A-side record with “Strawberry Fields Forever” penned by John Lennon. Coincidentally, Strawberry Field was also a real location, not far from Penny Lane in Liverpool. Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army Children’s Home in the garden of which Lennon would play as a child. I don’t think Lennon and McCartney ever really forgot their roots …

40 Best-selling video game series beginning in 1997, for short : GTA

“Grand Theft Auto” (GTA) is an extremely successful series of video games. The game garners some negative attention because of its adult themes and the level of violence in the storyline. The original version of “Grand Theft Auto” was actually banned in Brazil.

43 Curved lines on sheet music : SLURS

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

60 Big name in acne medication : OXY

OXY 10 is a brand name for a medication with the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is used as an acne treatment, as well as for dyeing hair, for whitening teeth and in the preparation of flour.

62 Welty with a Pulitzer : EUDORA

Eudora Welty was an author from Jackson, Mississippi who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Welty won a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter”. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1980. The Eudora email system, once used by Mac and Windows operating systems, was named for Eudora Welty.

66 Threw one’s hat in the ring : RAN

One might toss one’s hat in the ring, take up the challenge, show willingness to vie for a position perhaps.

69 First musician to have his first five albums debut at #1 : DMX

“DMX” and “Dark Man X” are stage names used by rap artist Earl Simmons. DMX’s biggest hit is “Party Up (Up in Here)” released in 1999 (I know that song!). DMX seems to get in trouble with the law a lot, an awful lot …

Down

1 Texting format, in brief : SMS

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

3 First in line? : ELL

The first letter in the word “line” is a letter L (ell).

4 Reunion attendees : ALUMNI

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

5 Asgard trickster : LOKI

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse religions. It is where the Norse gods live, and is also home to Valhalla, the enormous hall ruled over by the god Odin.

6 High-minded guides? : SHERPAS

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

7 Glow : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

8 Distinctive BMW feature : GRILLE

The initialism “BMW” stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

14 Goose vis-à-vis Maverick, in “Top Gun” : WINGMAN

“Top Gun” is an entertaining action movie released in 1986 starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The movie is all about pilots training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. A lot of footage was shot on board the Navy’s carrier the USS Enterprise during flight operations. At one point in a day’s shooting, the commander of the Enterprise changed course as needed for normal operations, but this altered the light for the cameras that were filming at the time. Director Tony Scott asked for the course to be changed back, but was informed that a course change would cost the Navy $25,000. Scott wrote out a check there and then, and he got another five minutes of filming with the light he needed.

24 Insultingly small : MEASLY

Back in the 17th century, someone measly was affected with measles. The use of “measly” to describe something insultingly small was initially recorded as slang in the mid-1800s.

29 Sci-fi conveyances : UFOS

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

33 Ladybug, for one : BEETLE

The insect we know as a ladybug (also “ladybird”) has seven spots on its wing covers. These seven spots gave rise to the common name “ladybug”, as in the Middle Ages the insect was called the “beetle of Our Lady”. The spots were said to symbolize the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows, events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary called out in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Although we often use the term “bug” very broadly, describing almost any insect or even microorganisms, “true” bugs belong to the hemiptera order of insects. To further complicate things, species belonging to the suborder heteroptera are also often referred to as “true bugs”. To complicate things even further, the familiar lovebug and ladybug aren’t bugs at all. The lovebug is a fly, and the ladybug is a beetle.

37 Grammy-winning Aimee : MANN

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

49 How blackjack cards are dealt : FACE UP

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in print in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “veintiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

50 Sense of orientation? : GAYDAR

Gaydar is a portmanteau of “gay” and “radar”, and describes the supposed ability to assess someone’s sexual orientation.

52 Production company that’s its founder’s name spelled backward : HARPO

Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia production company is known as Harpo Studios. “Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards, and is also the name of the husband of the character who Winfrey played in the movie “The Color Purple”.

57 Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX

The lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

  • The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
  • The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
  • The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
  • The bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

58 Something to pitch : TENT

Our word “tent”, describing a fabric shelter”, comes from the Latin “tentus” meaning “stretched”. The idea is that a tent is a portable shelter made from something “stretched” out over a framework.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Quite the bargain : STEAL
6 Wilts : SAGS
10 Baby aardvark : CUB
13 Relaxed, as a vibe : MELLOW
15 Damage : HURT
16 Mined find : ORE
17 Tall, slender hound : SALUKI
18 New York canal : ERIE
19 Mature : AGE
20 Drink from a spring : MINERAL WATER
23 “You said it!” : AMEN!
26 Blank space : GAP
27 Shaq’s alma mater : LSU
28 Steakhouse option : MEDIUM-RARE
31 Soaking spots : TUBS
35 It may be checked at check-in : BAG
36 “Not so!” : FALSE!
37 “Morning on the Seine” painter : MONET
38 Not let go to waste : USE
39 Singer who funded Central Park’s Strawberry Fields memorial : ONO
40 Best-selling video game series beginning in 1997, for short : GTA
42 “Get it?” : SEE?
43 Curved lines on sheet music : SLURS
45 Muscle : BRAWN
47 Had for lunch : ATE
48 Promotional buzz : HYPE
49 Queasy, perhaps : FEELING ILL
51 “Got it!” : AHA!
53 “Dear” one : SIR
54 Fruity drinks : ADES
55 Nitpicker’s lead-in … or a response to 20-, 28- and 49-Across, if they were posed as questions : WELL, ACTUALLY
60 Big name in acne medication : OXY
61 It winds up on a fishing boat : REEL
62 Welty with a Pulitzer : EUDORA
66 Threw one’s hat in the ring : RAN
67 Defer a decision, informally : PUNT
68 Junk ___ : DRAWER
69 First musician to have his first five albums debut at #1 : DMX
70 Chooses : OPTS
71 Construct : ERECT

Down

1 Texting format, in brief : SMS
2 Iced ___ : TEA
3 First in line? : ELL
4 Reunion attendees : ALUMNI
5 Asgard trickster : LOKI
6 High-minded guides? : SHERPAS
7 Glow : AURA
8 Distinctive BMW feature : GRILLE
9 Some slow-cooked meals : STEWS
10 Nail polish layer : COAT
11 Hankering : URGE
12 Lead-in to bottle or batter : BEER …
14 Goose vis-à-vis Maverick, in “Top Gun” : WINGMAN
21 Place for a stud : EARLOBE
22 Basic camera setting : AUTO
23 Sneak attack : AMBUSH
24 Insultingly small : MEASLY
25 Approach gradually : EDGE UP
29 Sci-fi conveyances : UFOS
30 Crowns and scepters, collectively : REGALIA
32 Merely implied : UNSAID
33 Ladybug, for one : BEETLE
34 Toughens : STEELS
37 Grammy-winning Aimee : MANN
41 Played with, as a mustache : TWIRLED
44 Not made up : REAL
46 Sports scores : RESULTS
49 How blackjack cards are dealt : FACE UP
50 Sense of orientation? : GAYDAR
52 Production company that’s its founder’s name spelled backward : HARPO
55 One of six in this clue : WORD
56 Reason to cram : EXAM
57 Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
58 Something to pitch : TENT
59 Entice : LURE
63 Carry a balance : OWE
64 Remote button : REC
65 Coffee table book subject : ART

19 thoughts on “0810-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 22, Wednesday”

  1. 12:52 no major, or even minor issues. Solved while watching our AAA baseball team get their rear ends handed to them…we lost 11-4 and it really wasn’t that close… plenty of time to solve unfortunately :- (

  2. 12:27. I had sWIRLED/GsA (I don’t know video games) for an error. I don’t know why TWIRLED didn’t occur to me. Maybe because I don’t have a mustache?

    I got SALUKIS because I remember Southern Illinois U’s sports teams are called the SALUKIS. Heard the name a lot growing up in St. Louis.

    Goose was NOT Maverick’s WINGMAN. A WINGMAN is a PILOT who flies behind the lead aircraft for air support or to watch his back in combat situations. Goose was in the same aircraft as Maverick and was his REEL – a term that comes from saying RIO real fast (pardon the pun). RIO is short for Radar Intercept Officer which is what Goose was.

    I was very reluctant to enter WINGMAN in that space for that very reason.

    I always defend the NYT as they almost never make this kind of mistake, but this seems like an egregious one to me.

    Best –

    1. In total agreement with your technical definition of WINGMAN. However, there is another context according to the urban dictionary: “A wingman is a friend that you can bring to a bar or party in order to find women more easily.” Goose filled that position as well.

  3. 10:32
    Love the learning, too.

    Appreciating 67A PUNT, defer a decision…

    Have most often heard punt as a “wild stab” option for a solution, a chancy move forward without surefooting (or is it sure footing?)

    Language is fun!

  4. 6:01, no errors.

    Honestly posting these does nothing to massage my ego (on either blog), especially since I’m reminded non-stop that I’m not really that good at these.

  5. Thanks, @Glenn for yesterday’s
    direction. Went there, did that,
    :21:12, first time trying to navigate digitally, had difficulty finding the right boxes, but a pleasure to do a good puzzle.

    1. Usually I just print a copy of the puzzle from that site and do it on paper. I try to do about half and half paper and online. I wasn’t thinking about crosswords when I bought my printer, but I definitely go through a ton of paper and toner since I began doing this.

      Especiallly since there’s a huge plethora of options you can find out there. When I started, I had a certain amount of time per day I devote to crosswords and found when I started figuring out to do them that I ran out of crosswords for crossword time. So just started doing more and it went from there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.