0825-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Olivia Mitra Framke & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tri-State Area

Themed answers comprise THREE STATES, with their names overlapping:

  • 54A U.S. geographical grouping … or a hint to 20-, 27- and 47-Across : TRI-STATE AREA
  • 20A Buckeye-Hawkeye-Yellowhammer : OHIOWALABAMA (OHIO-IOWA-ALABAMA)
  • 27A Pine Tree-Cornhusker-Sunflower : MAINEBRASKANSAS (MAINE-NEBRASKA-KANSAS)
  • 47A Green Mountain-Treasure-Last Frontier : VERMONTANALASKA (VERMONT-MONTANA-ALASKA)
  • Bill’s time: 10m 40s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    14 Device for Arachne, in Greek myth : LOOM

    In Greek and Roman mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman who was a great weaver. Arachne boasted that her weaving was greater than that of the goddess Athena (or Minerva in Roman myth), and this was proven true in a contest. As a result, Arachne was turned into a spider by Athena. “Arachne” is the Greek word for spider.

    15 Corporation that acquired the Gateway computer hardware company in 2007 : ACER

    Gateway was a computer manufacturer that was founded in Sioux City, Iowa in 1985. Gateway competed mainly with Dell, manufacturing and selling computers to order, directly to users. The company developed quite a bit of brand recognition by shipping products in spotted boxes that were patterned after the markings on a Holstein cow. Gateway was purchased by the Korean computer manufacturer Acer in 2007, and Acer discontinued the Gateway brand in 2011.

    16 Antipasto bit : OLIVE

    Antipasto (plural “antipasti”) is the first course of a meal in Italy. “Antipasto” translates as “before the meal”.

    20 Buckeye-Hawkeye-Yellowhammer : OHIOWALABAMA (OHIO-IOWA-ALABAMA)

    Ohio is sometimes referred to as the Buckeye State, taking the name from the state tree. In turn, the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch, thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

    Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

    Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State, in honor of the state bird. Alabama is also called the “Heart of Dixie”.

    23 Spec for computer cables : USB

    Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and dealing with electrical power through those connections.

    27 Pine Tree-Cornhusker-Sunflower : MAINEBRASKANSAS (MAINE-NEBRASKA-KANSAS)

    Maine is the least-densely populated state east of the Mississippi, with almost 90% of its land covered with forests. Perhaps that’s why the state’s nickname is “The Pine Tree State” …

    The state of Nebraska got its “Cornhusker State” nickname from the University of Nebraska athletic teams (and not the other way round). In turn, the university teams’ name comes from the prevalence of corn as a crop, and the harvesting process known as “cornhusking”, removal of the outer husk from the ear of corn.

    One of Kansas’s major crops is the sunflower, and so the state’s official nickname is the Sunflower State. The sunflower is the state symbol, and Mount Sunflower is the highest point in Kansas.

    33 Windy City airport code : ORD

    The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

    It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. Firstly, that the weather can be breezy with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

    35 Buddhist scripture : SUTRA

    The word “sutra” is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

    38 Hammock composition, perhaps : ROPES

    Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, and evolved from a word used to describe a fishing net.

    41 Sweetheart : BEAU

    A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

    46 Some colas : RCS

    Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

    47 Green Mountain-Treasure-Last Frontier : VERMONTANALASKA (VERMONT-MONTANA-ALASKA)

    The state name “Vermont” probably comes from the French “les Verts Monts”, meaning “The Green Mountains”.

    Montana goes by the nicknames “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”.

    “The Last Frontier” is the state nickname of Alaska. The state’s motto is “North to the Future”.

    51 Put the kibosh on : END

    A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

    60 Cocktail made with gin, soda, lemon juice and sugar : TOM COLLINS

    The cocktail known as a Tom Collins is a mixture of gin, lemon juice, sugar and club soda. The original recipe was supposedly invented by a head waiter called John Collins, in a London hotel in the early 1800s. Called a John Collins back then, the drink’s name was changed around 1869 when a popular recipe specifically called for Old Tom gin.

    65 Patsy Cline, for one : ALTO

    Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

    66 Feature of many a beehive : DOME

    A beehive is a structure specially built to house a colony of bees. A bee colony that houses itself naturally is found in a nest.

    69 Infernal river : STYX

    “Stygian” is such a lovely word! Meaning “gloomy, dark” or “infernal, hellish”, it is an adjective coming from the River “Styx”.

    Down

    2 Rider of the lost ark? : NOAH

    The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

    3 Nobelist Morrison : TONI

    Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

    7 Greek letter (but not the last one) : ZETA

    Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

    8 Deity born from Chaos : EREBUS

    In Greek mythology, Chaos was the first of the primeval gods born at the creation of the universe. Following Chaos came:

    • Gaia, the primordial goddess of the Earth
    • Tartaros, the primordial god of the Underworld
    • Eros, the primordial god of Love
    • Nyx, the primordial goddess of the Night
    • Erebus, the primordial god of Darkness
    • Aither, the primordial god of Light
    • Hemera, the primordial goddess of the Day

    9 What cats ride around on in some internet videos : ROOMBAS

    The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

    10 ___ mater : ALMA

    The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

    12 Smart TV feature : DVR

    Digital video recorder (DVR)

    19 Wine container in a Poe title : CASK

    “The Cask of Amontillado” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1846. The story tells of a vengeful man who lures his enemy into the catacombs, locks him in chains and then traps him in a niche by sealing it with a brick wall. Nice man …

    24 Butterfly-attracting flowers : ASTERS

    Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

    25 Presidential first name : BARACK

    Despite rumors to the contrary, Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. Future US President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

    26 Chant for the Dream Team : USA! USA!

    In 1989, the International Basketball Federation changed its rule requiring amateur status for participants in the Olympic Games (although prior to the ruling, European and South American professionals could play). So the US was able to field the “Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Since the rules changed, the US won gold in four out of the five Olympic tournaments.

    28 Like a phoenix from the ashes : ARISEN

    A phoenix is a fabulous bird of Greek mythology, which can also be found in the mythologies of Persia, Egypt and China. The phoenix is a fire spirit, which lives from 500 to 1000 years. At the end of its lifespan, it builds a nest for itself (a pyre) and self-ignites, burning itself and the nest, creating a pile of ashes. A young phoenix arises from the ashes and the cycle starts all over again.

    30 Home to Maracanã Stadium : RIO

    Maracanã Stadium is a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro that opened in 1950, when it acted as host for that year’s FIFA World Cup. The facility was partially rebuilt in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was also used during the 2016 Summer Olympics, most notably for the opening and closing ceremonies.

    31 Greek letter (definitely not the last one) : ALPHA

    “Alpha” is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and gave rise to our Latin letter “A”. In turn, alpha is derived from the Phoenician letter “aleph”.

    37 “Sex and the City” actress Cattrall : KIM

    Kim Cattrall is a Canadian-English actress best known for playing Samantha Jones on HBO’s “Sex and the City”. My favorite film in which Cattrall features is the excellent 2010 film “The Ghost Writer”, in which she does a great job playing an Englishwoman.

    39 Aachen article : EIN

    Aachen is a city in the very west of Germany, right on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. In English, we quite often refer to this city by its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

    45 Fruity liqueur base : SLOE

    The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

    48 Astrophysicist ___ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who is noted for his ability to communicate science to the masses. Tyson is well known for his appearances on the great PBS show “Nova”.

    49 Units of magnetic flux density : TESLAS

    The Tesla unit measures the strength of a magnetic field, and is named after the physicist Nikola Tesla. Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

    50 Oscar and Edgar : AWARDS

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

    The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (“Edgars”) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. There are several categories of awards. For example, the Ellery Queen Award honors “writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry”. The Raven Award is presented to non-writers, who contribute to the mystery genre.

    54 Dairy Queen competitor : TCBY

    TCBY is a chain of stores selling frozen yogurt that was founded in 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The acronym TCBY originally stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt”, but this had to be changed due to a lawsuit being pressed by a competitor called “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt”. These days TCBY stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

    Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …

    55 Tessellation piece : TILE

    In the world of tiling, a tessellation is a collection of shaped tiles (usually all the same shape) that fill a space with no gaps. Some of the shapes can be quite complex, but clever use of geometry allows them to fit together seamlessly. A simple example of a tessellated design is a collection of hexagons, in a honeycomb pattern.

    57 Turnip or beet : ROOT

    The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What’s called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I’d just give up altogether …

    Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. It is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia, it’s even known as spinach.

    58 Primetime ___ : EMMY

    The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras. The Emmy statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948, and depicts a woman holding up an atom. McManus used his wife as a model for the woman.

    59 Ne plus ultra : APEX

    “Ne plus ultra” is French for “no more beyond” and means just that in English, the high-point.

    60 General name on a menu : TSO

    General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Prefix with particle : ANTI-
    5 Assess, with “up” : SIZE …
    9 Lustful : RANDY
    14 Device for Arachne, in Greek myth : LOOM
    15 Corporation that acquired the Gateway computer hardware company in 2007 : ACER
    16 Antipasto bit : OLIVE
    17 Smooth, in a way : SAND
    18 Disruptive moviegoers, perhaps : LATECOMERS
    20 Buckeye-Hawkeye-Yellowhammer : OHIOWALABAMA (OHIO-IOWA-ALABAMA)
    22 Espouse : WED
    23 Spec for computer cables : USB
    24 Part of some Arabic names : ABU
    27 Pine Tree-Cornhusker-Sunflower : MAINEBRASKANSAS (MAINE-NEBRASKA-KANSAS)
    33 Windy City airport code : ORD
    34 Mold for a castle, maybe : PAIL
    35 Buddhist scripture : SUTRA
    36 There’s one every second : TICK
    38 Hammock composition, perhaps : ROPES
    41 Sweetheart : BEAU
    42 “To repeat …” : I SAID …
    44 Stat on a baseball card : HITS
    46 Some colas : RCS
    47 Green Mountain-Treasure-Last Frontier : VERMONTANALASKA (VERMONT-MONTANA-ALASKA)
    51 Put the kibosh on : END
    52 “Well, I’ll be!” : GEE!
    53 Do crew : ROW
    54 U.S. geographical grouping … or a hint to 20-, 27- and 47-Across : TRI-STATE AREA
    60 Cocktail made with gin, soda, lemon juice and sugar : TOM COLLINS
    63 Easy victory : ROMP
    64 Covid test components : SWABS
    65 Patsy Cline, for one : ALTO
    66 Feature of many a beehive : DOME
    67 How ham might be served : ON RYE
    68 Spotted : SEEN
    69 Infernal river : STYX

    Down

    1 As well : ALSO
    2 Rider of the lost ark? : NOAH
    3 Nobelist Morrison : TONI
    4 “Sounds like a plan!” : I’M DOWN!
    5 Place to pick some vegetables? : SALAD BAR
    6 Suffix with period : -ICAL
    7 Greek letter (but not the last one) : ZETA
    8 Deity born from Chaos : EREBUS
    9 What cats ride around on in some internet videos : ROOMBAS
    10 ___ mater : ALMA
    11 Never: Ger. : NIE
    12 Smart TV feature : DVR
    13 “Excellent!” : YES!
    19 Wine container in a Poe title : CASK
    21 Tear a lot : WEEP
    24 Butterfly-attracting flowers : ASTERS
    25 Presidential first name : BARACK
    26 Chant for the Dream Team : USA! USA!
    27 Whodunit plot element : MOTIVE
    28 Like a phoenix from the ashes : ARISEN
    29 Item checked by a bouncer : ID CARD
    30 Home to Maracanã Stadium : RIO
    31 Greek letter (definitely not the last one) : ALPHA
    32 Well-used pencil, say : NUB
    37 “Sex and the City” actress Cattrall : KIM
    39 Aachen article : EIN
    40 Begins : STARTS ON
    43 Flower with a canine-sounding name : DOG ROSE
    45 Fruity liqueur base : SLOE
    48 Astrophysicist ___ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL
    49 Units of magnetic flux density : TESLAS
    50 Oscar and Edgar : AWARDS
    54 Dairy Queen competitor : TCBY
    55 Tessellation piece : TILE
    56 A couple of chips, perhaps : ANTE
    57 Turnip or beet : ROOT
    58 Primetime ___ : EMMY
    59 Ne plus ultra : APEX
    60 General name on a menu : TSO
    61 Have free and clear : OWN
    62 Scratch : MAR

    6 thoughts on “0825-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 22, Thursday”

    1. 20:29 took me a second to realize the compression of the state names, other than that, no problems, which is nice to be able to say on a Thursday for me.

    2. 19:17, no errors. I was able to see the theme early in 20A, which helped fill 27A and 47A. Lost time by not seeing the errors created by ending 54A with EARTH rather than AREA.

    3. I had a such a good time doing this. I recognized the states right away, but it took me a while to see the overlap. I also enjoyed how the puzzle didn’t have a lot of names and TV clues. Happy to completely solve a Thurs. today. I’m still working to get better at NYT puzzles.

    4. 14:58. I think we saw a theme a lot like this recently.

      Wanted to put GAUSS before TESLAS, but the plural didn’t work. Both measure the same thing.

      Isn’t EREBUS a competitor of Boeing??

      Best –

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