0819-22 NY Times Crossword 19 Aug 22, Friday

Constructed by: Patrick John Duggan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Former British colony whose national flag includes the Union Jack : FIJI

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

The national flag of Fiji was adopted during the state’s colonial period, and has not been changed since the nation achieved independence from Britain in 1970. It comprises a Union Jack and a shield from Fiji’s coat of arms, all on a light blue background.

15 Like Venus vis-à-vis Serena Williams : OLDER

Venus Williams is the older of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. In 2002, Williams became the first African-American woman to earn the World No. 1 ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association in the Open Era.

Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

16 Part of YOLO : ONCE

You only live once (YOLO)

17 Putdown to a klutz, in dated slang : SMOOTH MOVE, EX-LAX

Ex-Lax is a brand of laxative. That should get you going …

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

21 From which we get “Hakuna matata” : SWAHILI

Swahili is one of the many Bantu languages spoken in Africa. There are hundreds of Bantu languages, with most being spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

“Hakuna matata” is a Swahili phrase, with a literal translation of “there are no worries”, or more colloquially perhaps, “no problem”. The phrase is used as the title for a hit song from the musical “The Lion King”.

22 Politician’s platform : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

23 Drags : TOKES

“Toke” is a slang term describing a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

29 Opera daughter of Amonasro : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radamès is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

30 Green sort : INGENUE

So often in literature, the movies and on stage, there is an innocent woman at the center of the story. Such stock characters came to be known as “ingénues”, a term derived from the French adjective “ingénu” meaning innocent, virtuous, candid and “ingenuous”.

37 Sea that’s fed by the Jordan River : GALILEE

The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake, the largest freshwater lake in Israel and the lowest elevation freshwater lake in the world. The main source of the water in the Sea of Galilee is the Jordan River that flows through it.

The Jordan River forms the border between the nations of Israel and Jordan, and flows into the Dead Sea. According to the Christian Bible, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist. The country of Jordan takes its name from the river.

39 One in a state of disbelief : ATHEIST

The term “atheism”, meaning “disbelief in the existence of a god or gods”, comes from the Greek “atheos” meaning “without god”.

42 Bigwig in the admissions dept.? : ST PETER

In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:

I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

46 Member of high society? : POT USER

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

49 He wrote “All good things are wild and free” : THOREAU

Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine. He is best known for his book called “Walden” published in 1854. The book outlines his philosophy of life and details his experiences living in a cabin near Walden Pond just outside Concord, Massachusetts.

54 Writer who founded Objectivism : RAND

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

The philosophy of objectivism comes in several forms, all holding that reality is objective and independent of the mind. The emphasis is on reality based on the observation of objects and events rather than feelings or thoughts that grow out of literature or art.

55 Striped cat : TABBY

Tabbies aren’t a breed of cat, but rather are cats with particular markings regardless of breed. Tabbies have coats with stripes, dots and swirling patterns, and usually an “M” mark on the forehead.

56 Author of the six-book poem “Fasti” : OVID

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is known today simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, Ovid spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus and so was banished to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. What led to this disfavor seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

57 They move around in orbits : EYES

The orbits are the eye sockets in the skull.

59 Like casting Michael Keaton in “Birdman” as an actor who used to play a superhero : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is a 2014 film that was an incredible critical success. The title character was played by Michael Keaton. I know I am in the minority, but I really did not enjoy “Birdman” …

Michael Keaton is an actor from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Keaton is perhaps best known for roles he played in Tim Burton films. Keaton had the title role in “Beetlejuice” in 1988, and the title role in “Batman” in 1989 and “Batman Returns” in 1992.

Down

3 What makes you question everything you know? : JEOPARDY!

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But, it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek was host from 1984 until his sad passing in 2020.

4 Literally, “sulfur island” : IWO JIMA

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

6 Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the ___” : ELMS

“Desire Under the Elms” is a classic American play written by Eugene O’Neill and published in 1924. It is basically a retelling of a Greek tragedy, but set in contemporary New England. Sophia Loren stars in a movie version released in 1958.

10 Shelter from attack : FOXHOLE

A foxhole, as one might expect, is another name for a fox’s den. Starting in WWI the term was used to describe a shallow pit dug by a soldier to provide quick-and-dirty protection from gunfire.

13 Like policies prohibited by Title IX : SEXIST

Title IX is a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination in the field of education on the basis of gender. The statute doesn’t mention sports in particular, but it is in the field of athletics that the law has had the biggest effect. After the law was enacted, the number of female sports teams ballooned in schools as funds started to flow more fairly through the system.

18 Leave stunned, in a way : TASE

To tase is to use a taser, a stun gun.

25 With 5-Down, Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in atomic theory : NIELS …
[5D See 25-Down : … BOHR]

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

27 Dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter : CERES

Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. It was discovered in 1801 and is the largest body in the asteroid belt, and is the only asteroid that is classified as a dwarf planet. For fifty years, Ceres was classified as the eighth planet circling our sun. The Dawn space probe launched by NASA entered Ceres orbit in March 2015, and became the first mission to study a dwarf planet at close range.

31 Jazz great Evans : GIL

Gil Evans was a jazz musician who collaborated with Miles Davis.

33 Central part of town: Abbr. : MAIN ST

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

34 It’s not your fault : LET SERVE

That could be tennis, for example.

37 Kicking and screaming, often : GERUNDS

A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to solve” is “solving”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the solving experience”.

47 Many fire dept. members, by training : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

48 Mideast capital : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in one rial.

49 Big purveyor of frozen desserts : 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”.

51 Certification letters : USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies meat into eight different grades:

  • Prime
  • Choice
  • Select
  • Standard
  • Commercial
  • Utility
  • Cutter
  • Canner

53 L.A. and N.Y.C. are each represented in it twice : NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

The Los Angeles Clippers NBA team started off life as the Buffalo Braves in 1970. The Braves took on the Clippers name when the franchise moved to San Diego in 1978. The new team name was chosen in honor of the great clipper ships that used to pass through San Diego Bay. The San Diego Clippers were sold in 1982 to real estate developer Donald Sterling, who moved the team to his native Los Angeles two years later. That move was not approved by the NBA, which resulted in a lawsuit and a $6 million fine, but the team was allowed to stay in its new home.

The New York Knickerbockers (“Knicks”) team is one of only two founding members of the original National Basketball Association that still plays in its original home city. The other is the Boston Celtics.

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Former British colony whose national flag includes the Union Jack : FIJI
5 It might slowly grow on you : BEARD
10 Be hot and bothered : FUSS
14 Freshly : ANEW
15 Like Venus vis-à-vis Serena Williams : OLDER
16 Part of YOLO : ONCE
17 Putdown to a klutz, in dated slang : SMOOTH MOVE, EX-LAX
20 They’re open to change : TIP JARS
21 From which we get “Hakuna matata” : SWAHILI
22 Politician’s platform : DAIS
23 Drags : TOKES
24 The drinks are on me! : BAR MENU
27 Maximally neat : COOLEST
29 Opera daughter of Amonasro : AIDA
30 Green sort : INGENUE
32 Shot : TRY
33 Selfish demand : ME FIRST!
34 Part of a cup : LIP
37 Sea that’s fed by the Jordan River : GALILEE
38 Big name in sandals : TEVA
39 One in a state of disbelief : ATHEIST
42 Bigwig in the admissions dept.? : ST PETER
44 Like some enemies : SWORN
45 Devil-may-care : RASH
46 Member of high society? : POT USER
49 He wrote “All good things are wild and free” : THOREAU
52 “Let me be frank …” : I WON’T MINCE WORDS …
54 Writer who founded Objectivism : RAND
55 Striped cat : TABBY
56 Author of the six-book poem “Fasti” : OVID
57 They move around in orbits : EYES
58 Knocks dead : SLAYS
59 Like casting Michael Keaton in “Birdman” as an actor who used to play a superhero : META

Down

1 Unfading : FAST
2 Flying : IN MIDAIR
3 What makes you question everything you know? : JEOPARDY!
4 Literally, “sulfur island” : IWO JIMA
5 See 25-Down : … BOHR
6 Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the ___” : ELMS
7 Big scene : ADO
8 Races, in a way : REVS
9 Acted sketchy? : DREW
10 Shelter from attack : FOXHOLE
11 As opposed to : UNLIKE
12 Runs up and down? : SCALES
13 Like policies prohibited by Title IX : SEXIST
18 Leave stunned, in a way : TASE
19 Go for a bite, say : EAT OUT
24 Be up : BAT
25 With 5-Down, Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in atomic theory : NIELS …
26 Ill-suited : UNFIT
27 Dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter : CERES
28 Dawn : ONSET
31 Jazz great Evans : GIL
33 Central part of town: Abbr. : MAIN ST
34 It’s not your fault : LET SERVE
35 “Oh, just stop!” : I’VE HAD IT!
36 Something to shoot for : PAR
37 Kicking and screaming, often : GERUNDS
38 Russian ___ (iconic restaurant near New York’s Central Park) : TEA ROOM
39 Have a target : ASPIRE
40 Involving a give-and-take : TWO-WAY
41 Scorcher : HOT ONE
43 Projecting front : PROW
47 Many fire dept. members, by training : EMTS
48 Mideast capital : RIAL
49 Big purveyor of frozen desserts : TCBY
50 Cries for attention : HEYS
51 Certification letters : USDA
53 L.A. and N.Y.C. are each represented in it twice : NBA