0820-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Aug 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Hemant Mehta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 34m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 “I Am ___,” best-selling autobiography of 2013 : MALALA

“I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is a memoir co-written by Malala Yousafzai and British journalist Christina Lamb. The title tells the essence of Malala’s story. She started a blog when she was 11 or 12 that outlined her life in northwest Pakistan under occupation by the Taliban. As the Pakistani military regained control of the area, Malala’s story was related in a documentary and she gave frequent interviews. One day a gunman came looking for her, and found her on a school bus. He shot Malala three times, with one bullet going into her forehead. She survived, and was taken to England to recuperate. She was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17, making her the youngest ever Nobel laureate.

10 Foods that can help boost testosterone levels : FIGS

Testosterone is a primary sex hormone. It is a steroid that is secreted by the testicles in males and the ovaries in females. The levels of testosterone are 7-8 times higher in adult males than in females, and so it is often referred to as “the male sex hormone”.

16 Reserve group, in brief? : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

21 Azalée ou chrysanthème : FLEUR

In French, “azalées et chrysanthèmes” (azaleas and chrysanthemums) are “fleurs” (flowers).

22 Bug-eyed toon with a big red tongue : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

24 Add to the kitty : TOSS IN

The pot in a card game has been referred to as “the kitty” since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it comes from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

25 ___ Foundation (nonprofit with a history going back to 1984) : TED

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”. There are also TEDx events, which are locally-run talks presented under license from TED.

26 Locale for a pin : MAT

That might be wrestling.

27 Military leader of old : SHOGUN

The shoguns of Japan were military dictators who generally inherited their position and power. The term “shogun” can be translated as ‘general”. The position of shogun was effectively eliminated in 1867 with the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate. The modern equivalent of a shogun in Japan is a prime minister.

33 Default avatar on Twitter, once : EGG

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of online presences one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

37 Browns, in a way : SAUTES

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

38 Sanskrit honorific : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language and one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It has a rich tradition and is the language in which many historical and religious texts are written. There aren’t many speakers of the language today although efforts are underway to revive spoken Sanskrit.

47 What Kleenexes are created for : ONE-TIME USE

Even though “Kleenex” is sometimes used today as a generic term for a tissue, “Kleenex” is a brand name owned by Kimberly-Clark. Kleenex facial tissues came about after WW1. The material used in the tissue had been developed as a replacement for cotton that was in high demand as surgical tissue during the war. The material developed was called “Cellucotton” and was used in gas mask filters. It was first sold as a facial tissue under the name “Kleenex” in 1924.

48 M.L.B. star Juan : SOTO

Juan Soto is a professional baseball player from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He made his MLB debut with the Washington Nationals in 2018, and in so doing became the youngest player in the majors (at 19).

49 “Oh, hallelujah!” : GOD, YES!

The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

Down

1 Ultimate result : UPSHOT

Back in the 1500s, the “up shot” was the final shot in an archery match. We now use the term “upshot” to describe the end result, the conclusion.

2 Literary character who “alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil” : MR HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story, including that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

3 Louche : SORDID

Something described as louche is shady and disreputable. “Louche” is a French term meaning “squinting”. I guess the idea is that someone disreputable might squint, might avoid direct eye contact.

4 ___ Van Duyn, 1990s U.S. poet laureate : MONA

Mona Van Duyn was a poet from Waterloo, Iowa. Van Duyn won the National Book Award in 1971, the Pulitzer Prize in 1991, and served as US Poet Laureate from 1992 to 1993.

9 Shakespeare’s “pretty worm of Nilus” : ASP

In William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, the heroine of the piece addresses the asp as she uses the snake to commit suicide:

Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch.

Later she says:

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

10 It’s not what it looks like : FOOL’S GOLD

Pyrite is a mineral also known as iron pyrite. Famously, it has an appearance very similar to gold, so has the nickname “fool’s gold”. Pyrite does find its way into some baubles, which go by the name of marcasite jewelry.

23 People born on the 4th of July, e.g. : CANCERS

Cancer is the fourth astrological sign of the zodiac, and is associated with the constellation named Cancer. The zodiac symbol for Cancer is the crab, and “cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”. A person born under the sign of Cancer is sometimes referred to as a Moon Child.

24 Holy trinity? : THE MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

26 King Arthur’s slayer : MORDRED

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

27 Barcelona or Belfast, to Boston : SISTER CITY

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. It is also the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast, and the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, and an important port city. That said, much of Belfast’s success as a port is in the past. In the early 1900s, the Harland and Wolff shipyard was the world’s largest. The most famous vessel built by Harland & Wolff was the RMS Titanic. Belfast was also the largest linen producing center in the world, resulting in the city being nicknamed “Linenopolis”. More recently, Belfast is noted as home to the film studios where “Game of Thrones” was produced.

The city of Boston, Massachusetts was founded in 1630 by Puritan colonists from England. The area was eventually named for the city of Boston in Lincolnshire, England from where several of the colonists hailed.

29 Church inits. : LDS

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

36 It has a significant part in the Bible : RED SEA

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

39 What “#” means in chess notation : MATE

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

42 Noted virtual community : SIMS

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

44 Drink that can be spiced … or spiked : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

45 German pronoun : SIE

“Sie” is a German word meaning “you”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pauses in discussion : UMS
4 “I Am ___,” best-selling autobiography of 2013 : MALALA
10 Foods that can help boost testosterone levels : FIGS
14 Some discount offerings : PROMO CODES
16 Reserve group, in brief? : OPEC
17 Moving film? : SHRINK WRAP
18 Words before and after “deal” : OR NO
19 Enemy organization in Marvel Comics : HYDRA
20 Truck part : BED
21 Azalée ou chrysanthème : FLEUR
22 Bug-eyed toon with a big red tongue : ODIE
23 Part of an oil well, maybe : CAP
24 Add to the kitty : TOSS IN
25 ___ Foundation (nonprofit with a history going back to 1984) : TED
26 Locale for a pin : MAT
27 Military leader of old : SHOGUN
28 Demand for honesty : DONT LIE TO ME!
30 Expression in an uncomfortable situation : FORCED SMILE
31 “No need to elaborate” : I UNDERSTAND
32 ___-eyed (naïvely idealistic) : STARRY
33 Default avatar on Twitter, once : EGG
34 It’s raised by the best : BAR
37 Browns, in a way : SAUTES
38 Sanskrit honorific : SRI
39 “Faster!” : MOVE!
40 Brought on board : HIRED
41 Buddy : MAC
42 Sunk one’s teeth into? : SAWED
43 “Why haven’t you …?” retort : I DID!
44 Sign outside a hospital room, maybe : NO VISITORS
46 Alternative to a finger poke : PSST!
47 What Kleenexes are created for : ONE-TIME USE
48 M.L.B. star Juan : SOTO
49 “Oh, hallelujah!” : GOD, YES!
50 Garden activity : TEA

Down

1 Ultimate result : UPSHOT
2 Literary character who “alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil” : MR HYDE
3 Louche : SORDID
4 ___ Van Duyn, 1990s U.S. poet laureate : MONA
5 Comic strip cry : ACK!
6 Plight of the 1%? : LOW BATTERY
7 Pro pitcher : AD REP
8 Help for a case : LEAD
9 Shakespeare’s “pretty worm of Nilus” : ASP
10 It’s not what it looks like : FOOL’S GOLD
11 “It seems to me …” : I PRESUME …
12 Straight up : GENUINE
13 Hold in contempt : SCORN
15 Embroil : MIRE
21 Something you hope to find while rock climbing : FOOTING
23 People born on the 4th of July, e.g. : CANCERS
24 Holy trinity? : THE MAGI
26 King Arthur’s slayer : MORDRED
27 Barcelona or Belfast, to Boston : SISTER CITY
28 Provided with funds : DONATED TO
29 Church inits. : LDS
30 One who’s always thinking ahead? : FUTURIST
31 Not-very-satisfying explanation : I SAID SO
34 Leave gracefully : BOW OUT
35 Disinclined : AVERSE
36 It has a significant part in the Bible : RED SEA
37 Places for cabins : SHIPS
38 On a hard disk, say : SAVED
39 What “#” means in chess notation : MATE
41 Prefix with -cratic : MONO-
42 Noted virtual community : SIMS
44 Drink that can be spiced … or spiked : NOG
45 German pronoun : SIE

8 thoughts on “0820-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Aug 22, Saturday”

  1. 17:47. Another toughie. My first foothold was in the SW, and after that I was jumping around quite a bit. The NW was the last section to fall. I’m glad I knew HYDRA or otherwise I might not have gotten it.

  2. 25:17, no errors. Struggled. Yesterday’s Croce: 1:18:39. Today’s WSJ: 33:06. Today’s LAT: 25:29. Today’s Newsday: 37:29. Each one a struggle. By some kind of miracle, no lookups and no errors, but (to borrow a phrase from my grandfather) I feel like I’ve been “rode hard and put away wet” … 😳. Time for a nice long walk in the woods … 🤪.

  3. 52:01, no errors. NW corner was nasty for me as well, and the last to fall. Originally entered ODIE, but deleted it in favor of entering 1A ERS and 1D END ALL (big mistake). I did not know HYDRA, MONA nor ‘Louche’. The more difficult the puzzle, the more satisfying to defeat it.

  4. 29:53. Tough to break into this one. Really got some momentum going at times, but I’d always run into another difficult part.

    So it was not that hard of a puzzle except when it really was…For the most part, this was a very methodical solve.

    I thought in 6D the 1% was referring to something LOW fAT…which caused some problems for a while.

    Louche was completely new to me.

    Best –

  5. 49:44 Started on Friday night, finished on Sunday morning. Lots of both good (fleur, hydra) and bad guesses(promotions)…across errors that were corrected by down answers and vice versa.

  6. 18:06, no errors. Nowhere near a struggle as the WSJ (36:57, 3 errors), but there was quite a few crossings in that one that shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day. (MESABI/IERI for one)

    We’ll see what Newsday, Croce (that may have been the wheels off thing on Friday, been doing a lot of his and Ries the last couple of days), and LAT bring, though I think the last one won’t be as much an issue.

  7. @glen- You are a glutton for punishment… but , you seem to do well.

    This one was technically a DNF. looked up 2 words.

    Even though I got MORDRED, I didn’t know the legend. So I looked it up . Now I know more about king Arthur.

    Let’s see how long before I get to Remember it..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.