0901-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Sep 22, Thursday

Constructed by: John Wrenholt
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Do the Math

Themed answers are parts of a MATH EQUATION:

  • 62A “Figure it out!” … or how to arrive at this puzzle’s solution, using the answers to italicized clues : DO THE MATH!
  • 21A Cheats on : TWO-TIMES (2x)
  • 23A What comes after love : FIFTEEN (15)
  • 40A Didn’t quite make it home, say : TRIPLED (x3)
  • 54A Date for a party : PLUS-ONE (+1)
  • 17A This puzzle’s solution : NINETY-ONE (2 x 15 x 3 + 1 = 91)

Bill’s time: 10m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Short-term employment : GIG

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

12 With 68-Across, co-creator of the British parody band the Rutles : ERIC … 68A See 12-Across : … IDLE

Eric Idle is one of the founding members of the Monty Python team. He was very much the musician of the bunch, and is an accomplished guitarist. If you’ve seen the Monty Python film “The Life of Brian”, you might remember the closing number “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. It was sung by Idle, and was also written by him. That song made it to number-3 in the UK charts in 1991.

13 Land next to the Land of Nod : EDEN

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the “Land of Nod”. Nod was located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

19 Schnozzola : SNOUT

Jimmy Durante was a very talented entertainer, with that wonderful, gravelly voice, as well as that large nose that he used in so much of his humor (and earned him the nickname “Schnozzola”). Durante appeared in the Broadway stage musical “Jumbo” in 1935. In one scene, he leads a live elephant across the stage, and gets stopped by a police officer who asks, “What are you doing with that elephant?” Durante replies “What elephant?” and brings the house down every night.

20 Actress Mireille ___ of “Good Omens” : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. She is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

23 What comes after love : FIFTEEN

The exact origins of the scoring system used for a game in tennis seems to be a tad murky. One suggestion is that clock faces were once used to keep score, with a hand pointing to 15, 30, 45 and 60. When the rules were changed to ensure games were won with more than a one-point difference in the score, the concept of “deuce” was introduced. The hand on the clock was then moved back to 40 (for deuce), and 50 was used for “advantage”, with 60 continuing to represent “game”. This resulted in the scores 15, 30, 40 and game.

The origin of the 15, 30, 40 scoring system in a game of tennis is disputed. One theory is that a 60-minute clock face was used to keep score. Points won would advance in quarters, 15, 30, 45 and 60 for game. When the score “deuce” was introduced to avoid a win by a one-point difference, the score of 45 was pushed back to 40, so that 50 could indicate deuce.

28 Claptrap : ROT

“Claptrap” these days means nonsense talk. It was originally a term used on the stage meaning a trick to attract applause, hence the name “clap trap”.

30 Strip lights : NEONS

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

33 Juicers use them : ‘ROIDS

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “‘roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “‘roid rage”.

35 Opera character whose first name is Floria : TOSCA

Unlike so many operas, Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Currently, “Tosca” is the eighth-most performed opera in America.

49 Biz bigwig, in brief : COO

Chief operating officer (COO)

51 ___-deucey (backgammon variety) : ACEY

Acey-deucey is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently, the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.

60 “The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me” author, 1985 : DAHL

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

61 Head-to-toe garment : BURKA

A burqa (also “burka”) is the garment worn by some women in the Islamic tradition to cover up their bodies when in public.

66 Part of R.B.G. : BADER

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) served on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. She finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2020. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

67 One branch of Islam : SHIA

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

71 Not G-rated, say : RACY

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.

Down

2 M.L.B. team that plays at Chase Field, in brief : ARI

Chase Field in Phoenix is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team. The stadium opened in 1998 as Bank One Ballpark, which earned it the nickname “BOB”. The name changed in 2005 following the merger of Bank One with JPMorgan Chase. Chase Field has a natural grass playing surface, and a retractable roof. The roof is kept open almost all the time, and is only closed for games when the temperature needs to be dropped using the stadium’s massive air conditioning plant.

5 Jumbo jet? : GEYSER

The Great Geysir in Iceland is the first known geyser to have been discovered and documented. The name “Geysir” comes from the Icelandic and Old Norse word “geysa” meaning “to gush”. It is the Great Geysir that gives us our English word “geyser”.

9 Current phenomenon : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

14 Novice, informally : NEWB

“Noob” (sometimes “newb”) is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, and often refers to someone who is new to an online community.

16 Symbols used for tagging : ATS

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

31 Mocktail with a rhyming name : NADA COLADA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term that translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. The mocktail version of the drink is known as a nada colada.

32 ___ Island : STATEN

Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

36 Sailing vessel : SLOOP

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

38 “Poppycock!” : MY EYE!

It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

41 Bicycle spokes, e.g. : RADII

“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, a word meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh?

46 Disputed region between India and Pakistan : KASHMIR

Kashmir is a vast region in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. It has a long and rich history, but the year that is most significant today is perhaps 1947. In that year, Britain pulled out of the Indian subcontinent. The British divided the Indian Empire into the independent countries of India and Pakistan, leaving the Maharajah ruling Kashmir and free to join either India or Pakistan. When the Kashmiri Maharajah wavered in his decision, Pakistani forces advanced into Kashmir, prompting the Maharajah to turn to India for assistance. India did indeed help, but only on condition that Kashmir accede to India. India then called in the United Nations to intercede, but no definitive solution was found that brought peace to the region. There has been conflict there ever since.

48 Ducks that don’t lay eggs : DRAKES

A male duck is a drake, and a female duck is a hen. That said, a female is sometimes just referred to as a duck!

55 Persian Gulf land: Abbr. : UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

57 Certain leg muscle, familiarly : QUAD

The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

58 Origin of the words “khaki” and “pajama” : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

59 N.Y.C. neighborhood bounded by the Bowery to the east : NOHO

“NoHo” is short for “North of Houston (street)”, and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston, both of which are in New York City.

The Bowery is a neighborhood at the south end of Manhattan Island in New York City. The name “Bowery” comes from the old Dutch word for a farm, namely “bouwerij”.

64 Special treatment, for short : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mitts : PAWS
5 Short-term employment : GIG
8 Edible part of a nut : MEAT
12 With 68-Across, co-creator of the British parody band the Rutles : ERIC …
13 Land next to the Land of Nod : EDEN
15 Super-super : ULTRA
17 This puzzle’s solution : NINETY-ONE
19 Schnozzola : SNOUT
20 Actress Mireille ___ of “Good Omens” : ENOS
21 Cheats on : TWO-TIMES
23 What comes after love : FIFTEEN
26 Terminate from an agency, in spy lingo : BURN
27 ___-foot (volume measure) : ACRE
28 Claptrap : ROT
30 Strip lights : NEONS
33 Juicers use them : ‘ROIDS
35 Opera character whose first name is Floria : TOSCA
37 Device that turns plastic into paper? : ATM
39 Front or back : END
40 Didn’t quite make it home, say : TRIPLED
42 The 2 in 1/2, e.g. : DAY
43 Groove on : DIG
44 Relationship with a statistics teacher? : RATIO
45 Blading need : SKATE
47 Relinquished : CEDED
49 Biz bigwig, in brief : COO
51 ___-deucey (backgammon variety) : ACEY
52 Check, with “in” : REIN …
54 Date for a party : PLUS-ONE
56 Aid in some problem-solving : EQUATION
60 “The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me” author, 1985 : DAHL
61 Head-to-toe garment : BURKA
62 “Figure it out!” … or how to arrive at this puzzle’s solution, using the answers to italicized clues : DO THE MATH!
66 Part of R.B.G. : BADER
67 One branch of Islam : SHIA
68 See 12-Across : … IDLE
69 Storm cloud? : DUST
70 Go (for) : OPT
71 Not G-rated, say : RACY

Down

1 What may be filled with ink … or oink : PEN
2 M.L.B. team that plays at Chase Field, in brief : ARI
3 Vintage appliance? : WINE FRIDGE
4 Like some love letters and candles : SCENTED
5 Jumbo jet? : GEYSER
6 Phrase with a hand raise : I DO
7 Fellow : GENT
8 Bibliophile’s recommendations : MUST-READS
9 Current phenomenon : EL NINO
10 High school model, maybe : ATOM
11 “That’s right” : TRUE
14 Novice, informally : NEWB
16 Symbols used for tagging : ATS
18 Corn spot : TOE
22 Someone might order cannabis by this : OUNCE
23 Managed : FARED
24 Widely recognized : ICONIC
25 Playground cry : NOT IT!
29 It’s up for debate : TOPIC
31 Mocktail with a rhyming name : NADA COLADA
32 ___ Island : STATEN
34 Work on the side of a building, perhaps : STREET ART
36 Sailing vessel : SLOOP
38 “Poppycock!” : MY EYE!
41 Bicycle spokes, e.g. : RADII
46 Disputed region between India and Pakistan : KASHMIR
48 Ducks that don’t lay eggs : DRAKES
50 Trite : OLD HAT
53 Indicators of acknowledgment : NODS
55 Persian Gulf land: Abbr. : UAE
56 Go back : EBB
57 Certain leg muscle, familiarly : QUAD
58 Origin of the words “khaki” and “pajama” : URDU
59 N.Y.C. neighborhood bounded by the Bowery to the east : NOHO
63 Help line? : TIP
64 Special treatment, for short : TLC
65 “Listen here!” : HEY!

3 thoughts on “0901-22 NY Times Crossword 1 Sep 22, Thursday”

  1. 12:59, no errors. Ran into some difficulty entering WINE COOLER before WINE FRIDGE; a NADA COLADA is a new one. Clever construction.

  2. 20:53. Very late today. I liked the theme too once I figured out what they were doing.

    NEWB threw me off. Had NOOB originally. SOHO before NOHO too.

    Best –

  3. 30:40 Same as Jeff with Soho and noob, but figured it out a day and a 750 mile drive later, now on to Friday….and Saturday….gulp.

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