0815-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Aug 22, Monday

Constructed by: Simon Marotte
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Strike One

Themed answers each end with something one might STRIKE:

  • 37A Ump’s call after a first pitch … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 53- and 63-Across : STRIKE ONE
  • 17A Footwear giant headquartered in Boston, Mass. : NEW BALANCE (giving “strike a balance”)
  • 25A Fait accompli : DONE DEAL (giving “strike a deal”)
  • 53A Downward dog, for one : YOGA POSE (giving “strike a pose”)
  • 63A Group of notes that often sounds sad : MINOR CHORD (giving “strike a chord”)

Bill’s time: 6m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fast-food pork sandwich : MCRIB

The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

6 Fail badly at the box office : BOMB

The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

10 $20 dispensers : ATMS

The twenty-dollar bill is called a “Jackson” as it bears the portrait of President Andrew Jackson on the front side of the bill. Jackson’s image replaced that of President Grover Cleveland in 1928, and there doesn’t seem to be any record documenting just why that change was made. Over one-fifth of all notes printed today are 20-dollar bills. The average life of a Jackson is a little over 2 years, after which it is replaced due to wear.

14 Madison Square Garden, e.g. : ARENA

Madison Square Garden (MSG) is an arena in New York City used for a variety of events. In the world of sports it is home to the New York Rangers of the NHL, as well as the New York Knicks of the NBA. “The Garden” is also the third busiest music venue in the world in terms of ticket sales. The current arena is the fourth structure to bear the name, a name taken from the Madison Square location in Manhattan. In turn, the square was named for James Madison, the fourth President of the US.

19 Hit 2021 film based on a Frank Herbert novel : DUNE

2021’s epic film “Dune” is the first of a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. The version of “Dune” did a lot better than the 1984 big-screen adaptation of the same novel, which really flopped at the box office.

25 Fait accompli : DONE DEAL (giving “strike a deal”)

“Fait accompli” is a French term that translates literally as “accomplished fact”. It is used in English to mean “a done deal”.

27 Ex-Marine, e.g., informally : VET

Apparently, the US Marines were nicknamed “Teufel Hunden” (dogs from Hell”) by German soldiers during WWI, although this has been disputed. Notwithstanding, the “Devil Dog” nickname is still used today by the Marines, and with pride.

34 Easter flower : LILY

The Easter lily has distinctive trumpet-shaped, white flowers. The plant gets its name from its use as a symbol in Christian traditions, synbolizing the resurrection of Christ at Easter.

37 Ump’s call after a first pitch … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 53- and 63-Across : STRIKE ONE!

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

40 Actress Ward : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

43 Fencing blade : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

44 The “Aeneid” and “The Faerie Queene,” for two : EPICS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

“The Faerie Queene” is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It is one of the longest poems written in the English language.

49 Raggedy ___ (doll) : ANN

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

50 Certain lap dog, informally : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

53 Downward dog, for one : YOGA POSE (giving “strike a pose”)

The downward-facing dog pose in yoga is more properly known as “adho mukha svanasana”.

59 Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, he is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. Leto also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, in which he portrayed a transgender woman.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 film that tells the real-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof. Woodroof smuggled unapproved AIDS drugs across the US border into Texas in opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The movie won the Best Actor Oscar for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

61 The “S” of A.S.A.P. : SOON

As soon as possible (ASAP)

62 Global center of Shia Islam : IRAN

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

63 Group of notes that often sounds sad : MINOR CHORD (giving “strike a chord”)

Experts, unlike me, can wax lyrical on the technical differences between major and minor keys and scales. To me, music written in major keys is very strident, often very joyful and “honest”. Music written in minor keys (usually my favorite) is more feminine, more delicate and often quite sad.

65 Gossip, so to speak : DIRT

Our word “gossip” comes from the Old English “godsibb” meaning “godparent”. Back then, the term was used for female friends who attended a birth, and later for anyone engaging in idle talk.

69 Golf ball holders : TEES

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

70 “Pointer” for giving presentations : LASER

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

Down

1 Counterpart of a “she-shed” : MAN CAVE

“Man cave” is a slang term for a male sanctuary within a home. That sanctuary is often a spare bedroom (as it is in our house) or a converted garage.

A “she shed” is the equivalent of a “man cave”. It is somewhere that “she” can use as her own space within a home.

6 Snakes that strangle : BOAS

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

9 “Busy” insect : BEE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

11 Canadian P.M. Justin : TRUDEAU

Justin Trudeau ascended to the leadership of Canada’s Liberal Party in 2013, He led the Liberals to a decisive victory in the federal election of 2015, after which he assumed the office of Prime Minister of Canada. Justin is the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who led Canada for 15 years starting in 1968.

26 R&B singer with the 2012 hit “Let Me Love You” : NE-YO

“Ne-Yo” is the stage name of R&B singer Shaffer Chimere Smith.

29 Toy that attaches to a garden hose : SLIP ‘N SLIDE

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.

33 Top-secret government org. : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense (DoD) since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

35 1950s prez : IKE

There’s a lot of talk these days about how much golf is played by US presidents. One of the most enthusiastic golfers to sit in the Oval Office was President Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). “Ike” loved the game so much that he even played through the winter. He had his golf balls painted black so that he could see them against the snow on the ground.

38 Nevada gambling city : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

39 Dory’s friend, in a Pixar film : NEMO

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

Pixar’s 2016 animated feature “Finding Dory” is a sequel to the megahit film “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” seems to have built on the success of its predecessor and had the highest-grossing opening weekend ever in North America for an animated movie.

41 Narcissist’s “journey” : EGO TRIP

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, falling in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, taken was he by his own image that he could not leave it, and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

42 Works made of toy bricks : LEGO ART

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

45 Not alfresco : INDOORS

Our word “alfresco” means outdoors, in the fresh air. The term came into English from Italian.

46 One of about 53 in a typical Oreo cookie : CALORIE

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so-called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as it is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be thinking in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

55 “___, meenie, miney, mo” : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

64 Sheet of an animated cartoon : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fast-food pork sandwich : MCRIB
6 Fail badly at the box office : BOMB
10 $20 dispensers : ATMS
14 Madison Square Garden, e.g. : ARENA
15 Minor hurt, in kidspeak : OWIE
16 “Dagnabbit!” : DRAT!
17 Footwear giant headquartered in Boston, Mass. : NEW BALANCE (giving “strike a balance”)
19 Hit 2021 film based on a Frank Herbert novel : DUNE
20 Give a hoot : CARE
21 App customer : USER
22 TV, print, radio, etc. : MEDIA
23 Parenthetical remarks : ASIDES
25 Fait accompli : DONE DEAL (giving “strike a deal”)
27 Ex-Marine, e.g., informally : VET
28 Sounds of contented pleasure : AHS
30 Do some threadwork : SEW
31 Civil Rights ___ of 1964 : ACT
32 Places of bliss : EDENS
34 Easter flower : LILY
36 Cry to a birthing mother : PUSH!
37 Ump’s call after a first pitch … or a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 53- and 63-Across : STRIKE ONE!
40 Actress Ward : SELA
43 Fencing blade : EPEE
44 The “Aeneid” and “The Faerie Queene,” for two : EPICS
48 Not get any younger : AGE
49 Raggedy ___ (doll) : ANN
50 Certain lap dog, informally : POM
52 Quick snooze : NAP
53 Downward dog, for one : YOGA POSE (giving “strike a pose”)
56 Scribble absentmindedly : DOODLE
58 Portly : STOUT
59 Jared of “Dallas Buyers Club” : LETO
61 The “S” of A.S.A.P. : SOON
62 Global center of Shia Islam : IRAN
63 Group of notes that often sounds sad : MINOR CHORD (giving “strike a chord”)
65 Gossip, so to speak : DIRT
66 Work on, as an essay : EDIT
67 Like the sound of a creaky basement door : EERIE
68 Makes a choice : OPTS
69 Golf ball holders : TEES
70 “Pointer” for giving presentations : LASER

Down

1 Counterpart of a “she-shed” : MAN CAVE
2 Folded, as paper : CREASED
3 Overhaul, as an article : REWRITE
4 Under the covers : IN BED
5 What did ewe say? : BAA!
6 Snakes that strangle : BOAS
7 Possessed : OWNED
8 Super-quick snooze : MICROSLEEP
9 “Busy” insect : BEE
10 Did some summing : ADDED
11 Canadian P.M. Justin : TRUDEAU
12 Fiends : MANIACS
13 Kind of technology in some modern military aircraft : STEALTH
18 Rich with vegetation : LUSH
22 Kitten’s cry : MEW
24 Either “E” of ESE : EAST
26 R&B singer with the 2012 hit “Let Me Love You” : NE-YO
29 Toy that attaches to a garden hose : SLIP ‘N SLIDE
33 Top-secret government org. : NSA
35 1950s prez : IKE
36 Liveliness : PEP
38 Nevada gambling city : RENO
39 Dory’s friend, in a Pixar film : NEMO
40 Commits at the altar : SAYS “I DO”
41 Narcissist’s “journey” : EGO TRIP
42 Works made of toy bricks : LEGO ART
45 Not alfresco : INDOORS
46 One of about 53 in a typical Oreo cookie : CALORIE
47 Hardly a penny pincher : SPENDER
49 Like the name Rob Banks, for a criminal : APT
51 Bad smell : ODOR
54 Mothers’ sisters : AUNTS
55 “___, meenie, miney, mo” : EENIE
57 Irish surname that anagrams to A SHOE : O’SHEA
60 Young ‘uns : TOTS
63 Was introduced to : MET
64 Sheet of an animated cartoon : CEL

7 thoughts on “0815-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Aug 22, Monday”

  1. 5:45. Whiffed on the theme and really didn’t even see it after I finished until I went to Wordplay and saw what it was. I kept looking for something that was omitted or struck out.

    I used to like MCRIBs until I read Bill’s writeups on it.

    Best –

  2. 11:03, no errors. If ‘getting the theme’ was a criterion for completion, I would not have finished. Got off on the wrong foot, entering PO’BOY in 1A and FLOP in 6A.

  3. 5:56, no errors. (Average is 5:42, I just have to wonder again how so many are doing this so much quicker. But then again I’m writing and not in the app, but I know a lot of people could do a lot better than that writing too.)

  4. Glen, I literally can’t write that fast. Plus the time to read, then switch to writing. Plus I’m lefthanded so I’m constantly lifting my arm to read the clue. Oh the horror!

    Maybe there’s a more efficient way but that’s not my goal so…

    No errors today.

    1. I think my main thought is how the average times (not even best) that come up for Monday are so fast in general (last week’s being nearly sub 5 shocked me I think). Of course, it being the app, I’m sure that helps some. But that many fast Monday solvers just kind of astounds me.

      I’m having to lift my arm too, as a right hander. I think that’s more because the grid being in the upper part of the paper. I’ve seen some grids that will print on the lower right, which is definitely nice to solve with. I will also note if you get AcrossLite, it has options to print the grid where ever you want. If you can get PUZ files, you can definitely experiment on the grid part as to where on the page would make you more comfortable.

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