0905-22 NY Times Crossword 5 Sep 22, Monday

Constructed by: Adam Simpson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Double-Cross

Themed answers each comprise two words that are often preceded by “CROSS-”. And, we have some grid art, with a DOUBLE set of CROSSES in the middle of the grid:

  • 57A Betray … or a hint to what can precede each half of 17-, 25- and 43-Across : DOUBLE-CROSS
  • 17A Where flutes are played, in an orchestra : WIND SECTION (“crosswind” & “cross section”)
  • 25A Qualifying hurdle for practicing law : BAR EXAMINATION (“crossbar” & “cross examination”)
  • 43A Prehiring formality, often : REFERENCE CHECK (“cross-reference” & “cross-check”)

Bill’s time: 7m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 ___ Day (early September observance) : LABOR

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Labor Day is a federal holiday observed every year on the first Monday in September. The tradition of honoring workers with a holiday started in Boston in 1878, when a day of observance was organized by the Central Labor Union, the major trade union at the time. There was a bloody dispute in 1894 between labor unions and the railroads called the Pullman Strike, which led to the death of some workers when the US Military and US Marshals were instructed to maintain order. President Grover Cleveland submitted a “Labor Day” bill to Congress which was signed into law just six days after the end of the strike. The introduction of a federal holiday to honor the worker was a move designed to promote reconciliation between management and unions after the bitter conflict.

11 ___ Today : USA

The title of the widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by “The Wall Street Journal”, “The New York Times” and “USA Today”, with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers). “USA Today” was launched in 1982.

15 “Caveman diet,” familiarly : PALEO

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

17 Where flutes are played, in an orchestra : WIND SECTION (“crosswind” & “cross section”)

A flute is a woodwind instrument that doesn’t have a reed. Instead, sound is produced by blowing air across an opening. A flute player is often referred to as a flautist (sometimes “flutist”). Flutes have been around a long, long time. Primitive flutes found in modern-day Germany date back 43,000 to 35,000 years, which makes the flute the oldest known musical instrument.

24 Vaping apparatus, informally : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

25 Qualifying hurdle for practicing law : BAR EXAMINATION (“crossbar” & “cross examination”)

The legal profession is referred to as “the bar”. The term arose in medieval times when European courtrooms were divided into two with “barring” furniture, basically a wooden rail that separated the public from the participants in the trial.

32 Doily fabric : LACE

There was a draper in London in the seventeenth century named Doiley, and he gave his name to the lace fabric that he sold. The fabric in turn gave its name to the ornamental mat that we call a “doily”. I can’t stand doilies …

33 Triangular traffic sign : YIELD

The first yield sign in the US was designed by Tulsa police officer Clinton Riggs, and was installed at an intersection in the city in 1950. It was a yellow sign with black lettering saying “Yield Right of Way”. The original design was eventually replaced with the inverted equilateral triangle with which we are familiar today.

34 Goose egg : ZERO

The use of the phrase “goose egg” to mean “zero” is baseball slang that dates back to the 1860s. The etymology is as expected: the numeral zero and a goose egg are both large and round.

35 Enjoyed a smorgasbord, say : ATE

A smorgasbord is a buffet-style meal that originated in Sweden. “Smörgåsbord” is a Swedish word comprised of “smörgås” meaning “slice of bread and butter” and “bord” meaning “table”.

36 1950s presidential inits. : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

38 Breakfast restaurant chain : IHOP

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests.

42 Basmati, e.g. : RICE

Basmati is a long grain rice that is commonly used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. The name “basmati” comes from the Sanskrit word “vasmati” meaning “fragrant”. I am a big fan …

46 ___ of the matter (pivotal point) : CRUX

“Crux” is the Latin word for “cross”. The term came into English meaning “a central difficulty” in the early 1700s.

47 Liquor in a mai tai : RUM

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

48 ___ Keller, first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree : HELEN

Helen Keller became a noted author, despite being deaf and blind, largely through the work of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Keller was left deaf and blind after an illness (possibly meningitis or scarlet fever) when she was about 18 months old. She was to become the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The relationship between Sullivan and Keller is immortalized in the play and film called “The Miracle Worker”.

50 Hawaiian raw fish dishes : POKE BOWLS

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

56 Outback bird that can go two months without food : EMU

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

59 One of 24 in the human skeleton : RIB

In the human rib cage, the top seven sets of bones are known as true ribs as they are attached directly to the sternum or breastbone. The five sets below the true ribs are called false ribs as they don’t have this direct connection. The bottom two of the false ribs are also called floating ribs as they don’t connect to the sternum at all.

60 Nobel-winning chemist Curie : MARIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

61 Egyptian dam : ASWAN

The Aswan Dam on the River Nile is actually two dams. The Low Dam was first built in 1902 (and modified later). The High Dam was completed in 1970.

62 U.F.O. pilots, some believe : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

63 Largest Greek island : CRETE

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. It figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

Down

3 Hot dog holders : BUNS

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

6 Org. with a Shelter Support Fund : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

7 LeBlanc of “Friends” : MATT

Actor Matt LeBlanc is best known for his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in the sitcom “Friends”. LeBlanc was born in Newton Massachusetts. In 2011, LeBlanc started playing a fictionalized version of himself in the excellent BBC/Showtime collaboration called “Episodes”. In my opinion, Leblanc’s performances in “Episodes” were the best in his career …

The six title characters in the sitcom “Friends” met each other in the Central Perk coffeehouse from the very first episode. There is now a Central Perk franchise in reality, with locations all around the globe. The Central Perk in Dubai was opened by actor James Michael Tyler, who played the coffeehouse manager Gunther on the show.

9 Company head, for short : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

10 Camera brand that merged with Minolta in 2003 : KONICA

Konica was a Japanese manufacturer of photographic film and film cameras, as well as related photographic and photocopying equipment. The company was founded in 1873, and was in the photography business before Kodak. Konica merged with Minolta in 2003 to form Konica Minolta.

11 Not sanitary : UNHYGIENIC

Hygieia was both the Greek and Roman goddess of health and cleanliness. She was a daughter of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. The name “Hygieia” gives us our contemporary term “hygiene”.

12 AMC’s “Better Call ___” : SAUL

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

13 Brother of Cain and Seth : ABEL

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

18 Adhesive resin : EPOXY

Epoxy resins are thermosetting polymers that have high adhesive strength. In order to achieve mechanical and adhesive strength, the epoxy has to be cured. The “curing” is a cross-linking reaction that takes place between individual molecules in the material. In some cases, the cross-linking is brought about by mixing the epoxy with a co-reactant known as a “hardener”. In other cases, the epoxy is cured by exposing it to heat.

26 Certain card that can be either high or low in a deck : ACE OF CLUBS

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

27 Gallagher of “The Umbrella Academy” : AIDAN

“The Umbrella Academy” is a superhero television show based on Gerard Way’s comic book series of the same name. The title refers to a group of seven children adopted by a billionaire and trained as a crime-fighting team of superheroes.

29 ___ Chaiken, co-creator of “The L Word” : ILENE

Ilene Chaiken is the co-creator of the Showtime drama series “The L Word”. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to “the L word”: lesbian.

30 Hoover competitor : ORECK

The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

40 Dinosaur in “Toy Story” : REX

In the excellent Pixar film “Toy Story”, Rex is a tyrannosaurus, and a pretty clumsy one at that. He is voiced by actor Wallace Shawn, whose name is perhaps less familiar than his face. Shawn played the neighbor on “The Cosby Show” as well as many, many other supporting characters on TV and the big screen.

41 Patch of loose rock that aptly rhymes with “debris” : SCREE

When a rock face erodes, lumps of rock and dust fall to the ground. The pile of rocks gathered around the rock face is called “scree”, a word derived from the old Norwegian term for a landslide.

44 Trio with a hip-hop cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” : RUN-DMC

Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

“Walk This Way” is a 1975 song by Aerosmith that was famously covered by rap trio Run-DMC in 1986. The latter recording sparked a resurgence in popularity for Aerosmith. Aerosmith and Run-DMC appeared together in a hit music video featuring “Walk This Way”.

45 Wheel cover that may be chrome-plated : HUBCAP

Hubcaps cover the hub of a wheel, and not much else. Wheel covers cover the entire face of the wheel, and attach to the wheel’s rim. There is a tendency to call wheel covers “hubcaps”, and I think that’s just to drive pedantic old me crazy …

51 Death notice, in brief : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

52 Abstract artist Paul : KLEE

Artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. We can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

54 Hurdle for aspiring attorneys, for short : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

55 Tax IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

58 Scull propeller : OAR

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ Day (early September observance) : LABOR
6 Sound of a big kiss : SMACK
11 ___ Today : USA
14 Escape capture by : ELUDE
15 “Caveman diet,” familiarly : PALEO
16 Catch in the act : NAB
17 Where flutes are played, in an orchestra : WIND SECTION (“crosswind” & “cross section”)
19 Color variant : HUE
20 Vanish into thin air : DISSIPATE
21 Peaceful, pastoral scene : IDYLL
23 Fuss : ADO
24 Vaping apparatus, informally : E-CIG
25 Qualifying hurdle for practicing law : BAR EXAMINATION (“crossbar” & “cross examination”)
32 Doily fabric : LACE
33 Triangular traffic sign : YIELD
34 Goose egg : ZERO
35 Enjoyed a smorgasbord, say : ATE
36 1950s presidential inits. : DDE
37 Bit of equipment in tennis and basketball : NET
38 Breakfast restaurant chain : IHOP
40 Pours down : RAINS
42 Basmati, e.g. : RICE
43 Prehiring formality, often : REFERENCE CHECK (“cross-reference” & “cross-check”)
46 ___ of the matter (pivotal point) : CRUX
47 Liquor in a mai tai : RUM
48 ___ Keller, first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree : HELEN
50 Hawaiian raw fish dishes : POKE BOWLS
56 Outback bird that can go two months without food : EMU
57 Betray … or a hint to what can precede each half of 17-, 25- and 43-Across : DOUBLE-CROSS
59 One of 24 in the human skeleton : RIB
60 Nobel-winning chemist Curie : MARIE
61 Egyptian dam : ASWAN
62 U.F.O. pilots, some believe : ETS
63 Largest Greek island : CRETE
64 Nuisances : PESTS

Down

1 Apt rhyme for “rude” and “crude” : LEWD
2 Et ___ (and others: Lat.) : ALII
3 Hot dog holders : BUNS
4 “I’d wager that …” : ODDS ARE …
5 Dwell : RESIDE
6 Org. with a Shelter Support Fund : SPCA
7 LeBlanc of “Friends” : MATT
8 “That’s ___!” (“Not true!”) : A LIE
9 Company head, for short : CEO
10 Camera brand that merged with Minolta in 2003 : KONICA
11 Not sanitary : UNHYGIENIC
12 AMC’s “Better Call ___” : SAUL
13 Brother of Cain and Seth : ABEL
18 Adhesive resin : EPOXY
22 Scatterbrained sort : DITZ
24 Finish : END
25 Wash oneself : BATHE
26 Certain card that can be either high or low in a deck : ACE OF CLUBS
27 Gallagher of “The Umbrella Academy” : AIDAN
28 First responder on a battlefield : MEDIC
29 ___ Chaiken, co-creator of “The L Word” : ILENE
30 Hoover competitor : ORECK
31 Jot down : NOTE
32 Home for a wild animal : LAIR
39 Father: Fr. : PERE
40 Dinosaur in “Toy Story” : REX
41 Patch of loose rock that aptly rhymes with “debris” : SCREE
42 Aching sense of guilt : REMORSE
44 Trio with a hip-hop cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” : RUN-DMC
45 Wheel cover that may be chrome-plated : HUBCAP
48 Where “you are” on a mall directory : HERE
49 Give off : EMIT
50 Unadulterated : PURE
51 Death notice, in brief : OBIT
52 Abstract artist Paul : KLEE
53 Really impresses : WOWS
54 Hurdle for aspiring attorneys, for short : LSAT
55 Tax IDs : SSNS
58 Scull propeller : OAR

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