0824-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Aug 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Colin Ernst
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Real Estate Agent

Themed clues are each euphemisms that might be used by a REAL ESTATE AGENT in trying to sell the corresponding themed answer:

  • 56A Source of the euphemisms found in the clues for 17-, 23- and 48-Across : REAL ESTATE AGENT
  • 17A “It’s super-cozy, and a breeze to clean!” : STUDIO APARTMENT
  • 23A “You can cancel that gym membership!” : FIVE-FLOOR WALK-UP
  • 48A “The space has endless possibilities!” : MAJOR FIXER-UPPER

Bill’s time: 9m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Lots and lots : SCADS

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

9 Cubist Picasso : PABLO

Artist Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

In the art movement known as Cubism, objects that are the subject of a painting are broken up and reassembled in an abstract form. The pioneers of the Cubist movement were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

15 Something to live by : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “holds”.

16 Baseball’s all-time R.B.I. leader : AARON

The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.

17 “It’s super-cozy, and a breeze to clean!” : STUDIO APARTMENT

“Studio” comes into English via Italian from the Latin “studium” meaning “room for study”. The meaning was extended into “studio apartment” in the early 1900s.

20 Site for sponges : REEF

Sponges are multicellular organisms that live underwater. They are animals with bodies that are full of holes and channels through which seawater freely circulates. Sponges have no digestive or circulatory system as such and instead rely on the movement of water to supply food and oxygen, and to remove waste material.

21 Advertiser of the Year award, e.g. : CLIO

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

22 Shakespearean schemer : IAGO

In William Shakespeare’s “Othello”, Iago is the villain of the piece. At one point he readily admits this, saying “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse”. Here he is claiming to make money out of making fools of others. In this case, he takes money from Roderigo, who believes that Iago will help him bed Othello’s wife Desdemona.

26 Mild yellow cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

28 Symbol in the center of the Japanese flag : SUN

The Japanese flag is white, with a red disc in the center that represents the sun. Japan has been referred to as the land of the rising sun at least since the 12th century.

29 Tiny “tiny”? : LIL’

“Lil’” is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named “Lil’ something”, such as Lil Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

31 Painter’s coat : GESSO

“Gesso” is the Italian word for “chalk” and gives its name to the powdered calcium carbonate that is used as a primer coat under artistic panel paintings. Gesso is mixed with glue and applied to wood so that it acts as an absorbent surface for paint.

35 Sch. with the mascot Mike the Tiger : 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”.

36 Simile’s center : AS A

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”.

37 Tuba sound : PAH

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

39 Jon M. ___, director of “Crazy Rich Asians” : CHU

Jon M. Chu is a movie and television director who is perhaps known for directing 2018’s highly-acclaimed film “Crazy Rich Asians”. Chu’s firstborn child is named “Willow”, after the 1998 film “Willow”. His second-born child is named “Jonathan Heights”, after the 2021 movie “In the Heights”.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is a 2018 rom-com based on a 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film garnered a lot of attention and accolades, not only for the quality of the script and performances. It was the first major Hollywood movie to feature a principal cast of Asian descent since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

53 Eclipse, to some : OMEN

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

55 Onetime “divorce capital” of the U.S. : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

56 Source of the euphemisms found in the clues for 17-, 23- and 48-Across : REAL ESTATE AGENT

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as to trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

The terms “realty” and “real estate” actually date back to the late 1600s. Back then, the terms meant “real possessions, things owned that are tangible and real”.

63 Indian tea region : ASSAM

Assam is a state in the far northeast of India, and just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea, as well as its silk.

64 Hawks : SELLS

The verb “to hawk” has a Germanic origin, and comes from the Low German word “hoken” meaning “to peddle”. A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

65 Gold stds. : KTS

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

Down

2 Place for cultural studies? : PETRI DISH

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

5 Top of the ladder, in brief : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

6 1997 horror film with the tagline “When you can’t breathe, you can’t scream” : ANACONDA

“Anaconda” is one of those adventure-horror films, which is not my favorite genre of cinema. It was released in 1997 and had a big cast that included Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight and Owen Wilson. The critics hated it, but the public flocked to see it. Money talks, so three sequels were made.

10 Creator of Christopher Robin : AA MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

12 Usual beginning? : LONG U

The word “usual” starts with a long letter U.

23 Bloke : FELLA

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

24 Only landlocked country in Southeast Asia : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

25 Zero : AUGHT

An “aught” is a zero. The term can be used in the context of dates as in “the aughts”, the years 2000-2009. I’ve also heard those years referred to as “the noughties”.

30 You can’t get lower than this : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

37 Part of PG : PARENTAL

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

38 Big name in laptops : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

41 “Anne of Green Gables” town : AVONLEA

“Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that she set in the fictional Prince Edward Island community of Avonlea. Montgomery wrote several sequels to “Anne”, with them all being set on Prince Edward Island (PEI), from where the author hailed.

42 Something usually found in brackets : TAX RATE

In a progressive tax system, brackets are income divisions with different rates of taxation.

45 P.M. times : AFTS

The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

47 Form of attachment? : JPEG

The JPEG image file format (also “.jpg”) was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), hence the name.

48 Where Gandalf declares “You shall not pass!” : MORIA

Moria is a Middle-earth location in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series of fantasy novels. It is home to the Dwarf clan called the Longbeards.

50 Clothes that may come ripped : JEANS

Denim fabric originated in Nîmes in France. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (meaning “from Nîmes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.’

52 Eurasian range : URALS

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

58 Plumber’s joint : ELL

“Plumbum” is Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes were leaking.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 On point : APT
4 Lots and lots : SCADS
9 Cubist Picasso : PABLO
14 She/___ : HER
15 Something to live by : TENET
16 Baseball’s all-time R.B.I. leader : AARON
17 “It’s super-cozy, and a breeze to clean!” : STUDIO APARTMENT
20 Site for sponges : REEF
21 Advertiser of the Year award, e.g. : CLIO
22 Shakespearean schemer : IAGO
23 “You can cancel that gym membership!” : FIVE-FLOOR WALK-UP
26 Mild yellow cheese : EDAM
27 No one in particular : ANY
28 Symbol in the center of the Japanese flag : SUN
29 Tiny “tiny”? : LIL’
30 Says yes silently : NODS
31 Painter’s coat : GESSO
35 Sch. with the mascot Mike the Tiger : LSU
36 Simile’s center : AS A
37 Tuba sound : PAH
39 Jon M. ___, director of “Crazy Rich Asians” : CHU
40 Winning : AHEAD
42 Discretion : TACT
43 Cereal staple : OAT
44 Word on Italian street signs : VIA
46 Exist : ARE
47 “Practical” thing : JOKE
48 “The space has endless possibilities!” : MAJOR FIXER-UPPER
53 Eclipse, to some : OMEN
54 Undecided : TORN
55 Onetime “divorce capital” of the U.S. : RENO
56 Source of the euphemisms found in the clues for 17-, 23- and 48-Across : REAL ESTATE AGENT
60 Like the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars : INNER
61 In the slightest : AT ALL
62 ___ engr. : CIV
63 Indian tea region : ASSAM
64 Hawks : SELLS
65 Gold stds. : KTS

Down

1 Sounds of relief : AHS
2 Place for cultural studies? : PETRI DISH
3 Fair market price, say : TRUE VALUE
4 Not flexible : STIFF
5 Top of the ladder, in brief : CEO
6 1997 horror film with the tagline “When you can’t breathe, you can’t scream” : ANACONDA
7 Moves into position, as troops : DEPLOYS
8 A step up, perhaps : STAIR
9 Comforting gesture : PAT
10 Creator of Christopher Robin : AA MILNE
11 Take ten : BREAK
12 Usual beginning? : LONG U
13 Winning : ON TOP
18 Consider : DEEM
19 Noisy squabbles : ROWS
23 Bloke : FELLA
24 Only landlocked country in Southeast Asia : LAOS
25 Zero : AUGHT
30 You can’t get lower than this : NADIR
32 Low-cut T-shirt feature : SCOOP NECK
33 Seal the deal : SHAKE ON IT
34 Like the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune : OUTER
37 Part of PG : PARENTAL
38 Big name in laptops : ACER
41 “Anne of Green Gables” town : AVONLEA
42 Something usually found in brackets : TAX RATE
45 P.M. times : AFTS
47 Form of attachment? : JPEG
48 Where Gandalf declares “You shall not pass!” : MORIA
49 Cries of agreement : AMENS
50 Clothes that may come ripped : JEANS
51 Little bits : IOTAS
52 Eurasian range : URALS
57 “Uhh …” : ERM …
58 Plumber’s joint : ELL
59 Array in an electronics store : TVS

4 thoughts on “0824-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Aug 22, Wednesday”

  1. 18:53, no errors. Same comment as DuncanR, only familiar with it from crosswords. Remembered (from a few days ago) that AUGHT means the same as naught.

  2. 16:23. Yikes. It’s been a rough week already. I like the theme..and anything else that makes fun of realtors and/or attorneys.

    And incidentally, when are they going to make saying the word “realtor” as “real-a-tor” a felony and lock those people up???

    Never knew that RENO was the divorce capital of the world. Are the legalized brothels there the cause or the effect??

    If you had 2 cubists walking toward you, would there really be 8 of them??

    Best –

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