0822-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Aug 22, Monday

Constructed by: Doug Burnikel & Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Getting Down to Train

Themed answers each start with a below-ground train system:

  • 17A Black Forest Ham and Cold Cut Combo, for two : SUBWAY SANDWICHES
  • 26A Region encompassing a city and its suburbs : METRO AREA
  • 49A One-size-fits-all hosiery : TUBE SOCKS
  • 62A Nonmainstream productions like “Pink Flamingos” and “Eraserhead” : UNDERGROUND FILMS

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bird with keen binocular vision : OWL

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote a 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

13 Language spoken in Bangkok : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

15 French ___ (region east of Suriname) : GUIANA

Guiana (often “French Guiana”) is an overseas department of France that is located on the northeast coast of South America. Guiana is home to the infamous Devil’s Island (Île du Diable) that France used as a penal colony for just over a century, up until 1953. The territory is also home to the Guiana Space Centre that is frequently used for launches by the European space industry.

The Republic of Suriname is located on the northeast coast of South America, and is the continent’s smallest country. What is now Suriname fell under Dutch rule in the late 1600s, gaining independence in 1975.

17 Black Forest Ham and Cold Cut Combo, for two : SUBWAY SANDWICHES

The SUBWAY chain of fast food restaurants is the largest single-brand restaurant in the world. I’m a big fan of SUBWAY sandwiches, especially the toasted ones …

20 Bible book with 150 sacred poems : PSALMS

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

22 “Favorite” or “prodigal” one : SON

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is related in the Gospel of Luke. Someone who is prodigal is wasteful or extravagant. The parable tells of a man with two sons. The youngest asks for and receives his share of the family estate, and then spends it all unwisely. The prodigal son returns, to an unwelcoming older brother. The father, however, declares happily that his son “was lost and now is found”.

30 Honoree on the third Sunday in June : DAD

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

32 ___ Gagarin, first person in space : YURI

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

39 Pre-calc class : TRIG

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

42 Actor Oldman : GARY

Gary Oldman is an English stage and screen actor. Like many English actors it seems, Oldman has played a lot of villains in Hollywood movies e.g. in “Air Force One” and “The Fifth Element”. My favorite Oldman performance is as Ludwig van Beethoven in “Immortal Beloved”. He also gave an outstanding, and Oscar-winning, portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”.

56 Hall-of-Fame QB Dawson : LEN

Len Dawson is a retired AFL-NFL quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs (originally the Dallas Texans). Dawson played for the Chiefs in the first ever Super Bowl, losing badly to the Green Bay Packers. However, he was on the winning team in Super Bowl IV, when the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Quarterback Dawson was named the MVP that day.

57 Nelson who wrote “Long Walk to Freedom” : MANDELA

“Long Walk to Freedom” is a 1994 autobiography by the revolutionary and eventual statesman Nelson Mandela. The book was adapted into a very successful film entitled “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, with English actor Idris Elba in the title role. The movie was released in South Africa at the end of November 2013, and Nelson Mandela passed away just a few days later.

59 “I’ve got it!” : EUREKA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

66 Goulash or gumbo : STEW

Goulash is a soup or stew that is seasoned with spices, especially paprika. It is a national dish of Hungary, and the term “goulash” comes from the Hungarian word “gulyás”, which actually translates as “herdsman”. The original goulash was a meat dish prepared by herdsmen.

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

67 Online brokerage pioneer : E-TRADE

E-Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E-Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

68 Rolaids competitor : TUMS

The main ingredient in Tums antacid, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is calcium carbonate. Tums have been on the market since 1930. If you want to save a few pennies, Target brand antacid is identical to Tums, or so I hear …

70 Bowling alley rentals : SHOES

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

71 Bartender on “The Simpsons” : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

Down

1 Extra N.B.A. periods, for short : OTS

Overtime (OT)

2 Clobber but good : WHUP

The verb “to clobber” means “to batter severely”. The term originated in 1941 in the RAF, and at that time was probably echoic of the sound of bombs exploding.

3 Scientific workplaces : LABS

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

4 Figure (out) : SUSS

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, and is a shortening of “to suspect”.

5 ___ Maria (liqueur) : TIA

Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur that was invented just after WWII in Jamaica using Jamaican coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla and sugar. The drink’s name translates to “Aunt Maria”.

6 Competed in a 10K, say : RAN

A 10K race is run over ten kilometers.

8 Received quick cash for, in a way : PAWNED

I remember the bad old days growing up in Dublin, Ireland, when my mother had to go to the pawnshop (bad times!). I’d wait outside with my brother, looking up at the pawnbroker’s sign, three gold balls hanging down from a metal bar. This traditional sign used by pawnbrokers is said to date back to the Medici family as the sign had symbolic meaning in the province of Lombardy where the Medici family reigned supreme. Because of this connection, pawnshop banking was originally called Lombard banking.

10 Ellen ___, first Hispanic woman in space : OCHOA

Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space, serving on a nine-day mission on the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. She spent over 1,000 hours in space over the course of four missions. Ochoa is now the Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

12 Oscar winner Spacek : SISSY

Actress Sissy Spacek got her big break in the movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on a Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal MIner’s Daughter”, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin was the actor Rip Torn.

15 Athlete on the pommel horse or parallel bars : GYMNAST

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

The pommel horse is a piece of gymnastics apparatus, one traditionally used in male events. The pommel horse was originally developed to allow soldiers practise the mounting and dismounting. There are even claims that Alexander the Great used such a piece of equipment. However, the name “pommel horse” only dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The term “pommel” dates back to the mid-1600’s when it was first used to mean a “front peak on a saddle”. Before that, a pommel was an ornamental knob.

19 Attachment to a dog collar, informally : ID TAG

Identity document (ID)

24 Stay at home during, as a hurricane : WAIT OUT

Hurricanes are given names primarily to help the public keep track of dangerous systems. The names are decided ahead of the hurricane season, with the first system given a name beginning with A, the second, B etc. The names are alternated between male and female names throughout the season. Also, if the first storm of the season is male, then the following year a female name is chosen. For hurricanes in the North Atlantic, names are assigned for every letter, except Q, U, X, Y and Z. The most frequently used name is Arlene, which was used for ten different storms from 1959 to 2011.

27 Continental currency : EURO

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

29 Aussie hoppers : ROOS

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

36 Soft mineral : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

44 Tool for boring holes : AUGER

An auger is a drill, a boring tool [yawn] … just kidding …

50 Medieval worker : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

52 Christmas list keeper : SANTA

Santa checks his list for those who are naughty and who are nice.

53 Range from Venezuela to Chile : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

60 “America’s Got Talent” judge Heidi : KLUM

German-born Heidi Klum was married to the successful English singer, Seal. Klum is a talented lady and has built a multi-faceted career based on her early success as a model. She is the force behind the Bravo reality show called “Project Runway” that has been on the air since 2004. Klum has been nominated 4-5 times for an Emmy for her association with the show. Klum was also signed up as the official ambassador for Barbie in 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll, and for her service that year a Heidi Klum Barbie was produced. She has been adding a touch of class to the judging panel on the show “America’s Got Talent” from 2013 through 2020.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks and Terry Crews.

61 Snowballs, in a snowball fight : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

63 Gold, in Guadalajara : ORO

Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

64 Dubai’s country, for short : UAE

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bird with keen binocular vision : OWL
4 Unit of bacon or cloth : STRIP
9 Throw away : TOSS
13 Language spoken in Bangkok : THAI
15 French ___ (region east of Suriname) : GUIANA
16 First part of a play : ACT I
17 Black Forest Ham and Cold Cut Combo, for two : SUBWAY SANDWICHES
20 Bible book with 150 sacred poems : PSALMS
21 Away from the sun, say : INDOORS
22 “Favorite” or “prodigal” one : SON
23 Sugary : SWEET
25 ___ port in a storm : ANY
26 Region encompassing a city and its suburbs : METRO AREA
30 Honoree on the third Sunday in June : DAD
32 ___ Gagarin, first person in space : YURI
33 Cube or sphere : SOLID
35 Must, informally : GOTTA
39 Pre-calc class : TRIG
40 Keep the beat with one’s feet, say : TOE-TAP
42 Actor Oldman : GARY
43 Commotion : HOO-HA
45 Clean vigorously : SCOUR
46 Utter delight : GLEE
47 Spot for a soak : TUB
49 One-size-fits-all hosiery : TUBE SOCKS
51 Free ___ bird : AS A
54 Hotel customer : GUEST
56 Hall-of-Fame QB Dawson : LEN
57 Nelson who wrote “Long Walk to Freedom” : MANDELA
59 “I’ve got it!” : EUREKA!
62 Nonmainstream productions like “Pink Flamingos” and “Eraserhead” : UNDERGROUND FILMS
66 Goulash or gumbo : STEW
67 Online brokerage pioneer : E-TRADE
68 Rolaids competitor : TUMS
69 “Child’s play!” : EASY!
70 Bowling alley rentals : SHOES
71 Bartender on “The Simpsons” : MOE

Down

1 Extra N.B.A. periods, for short : OTS
2 Clobber but good : WHUP
3 Scientific workplaces : LABS
4 Figure (out) : SUSS
5 ___ Maria (liqueur) : TIA
6 Competed in a 10K, say : RAN
7 Not mainstream : INDIE
8 Received quick cash for, in a way : PAWNED
9 Food in a hard or soft shell : TACO
10 Ellen ___, first Hispanic woman in space : OCHOA
11 Back of a boat : STERN
12 Oscar winner Spacek : SISSY
14 “Told you so!” : I WAS RIGHT!
15 Athlete on the pommel horse or parallel bars : GYMNAST
18 ___ gobi (curry dish) : ALOO
19 Attachment to a dog collar, informally : ID TAG
23 Chooses : SELECTS
24 Stay at home during, as a hurricane : WAIT OUT
26 Story that’s not to be believed : MYTH
27 Continental currency : EURO
28 Quartet minus one : TRIO
29 Aussie hoppers : ROOS
31 “Shucks!” : DOGGONE IT!
34 Smear on, as makeup : DAUB
36 Soft mineral : TALC
37 Arduous journey : TREK
38 Thumbs-up votes : AYES
41 Orchestral introduction in a musical or opera : PRELUDE
44 Tool for boring holes : AUGER
48 Sticks out : BULGES
50 Medieval worker : SERF
51 Cause to chuckle : AMUSE
52 Christmas list keeper : SANTA
53 Range from Venezuela to Chile : ANDES
55 Habitat for humanity? : EARTH
58 Like early-morning grass : DEWY
59 Finishes up : ENDS
60 “America’s Got Talent” judge Heidi : KLUM
61 Snowballs, in a snowball fight : AMMO
63 Gold, in Guadalajara : ORO
64 Dubai’s country, for short : UAE
65 Opposite of NNW : SSE