0908-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Sep 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Matthew Stock
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Four Corner

We have a rebus puzzle today. FOUR squares in the FOUR quadrants of the grid contain the postal codes for the FOUR states that meet in the FOUR CORNERS region of the US. Those states are:

Utah (UT)
When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

Colorado (CO)
The state of Colorado took its name from the prior Territory of Colorado that existed from 1861 to 1876. The name was chosen for the Colorado river that originated in the territory. The river in turn was named by the Spanish as “Rio Colorado”, meaning “ruddy, reddish river”.

Arizona (AZ)
Arizona was admitted as a Confederate Territory in February 1862, in a declaration signed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Almost exactly 50 years later, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union, on Valentine’s Day in 1912.

New Mexico (NM)
The region now covered by the US state of New Mexico (NMex) was known as “Nuevo México” at least since 1563. Spanish explorers gave the area this name due to an erroneous belief that it was home to a branch of the Mexica, an indigenous people living in the Valley of Mexico. So, the region has had the “New Mexico” name for centuries before the nation of Mexico adopted its name in 1821.

34A U.S. tourist locale that inspired this puzzle : FOUR CORNERS
The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

Bill’s time: 12m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Twitter handle used by the White House : FLOTUS

First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS)

15 Hawaii’s ___ Palace : ‘IOLANI

The ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is unique within this country. It is the only royal palace in the US that was used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 so the palace was used by successive governments even after Hawaii was awarded statehood in 1959. The palace has been a public museum since 1978.

16 Prioritized, in a way : TRIAGED

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

18 Member of “The Squad” in D.C., for short : AOC

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

In the US Congress, the term “the Squad” was applied to four House Representatives elected in 2017 and who represent the more progressive side of the Democratic Party. The four original Squad members are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan). Soon after election day, the four took a group photo together after a live-streamed interview. Ocasio-Cortez published the picture on Instagram, and used the caption “Squad”. The label seems to have stuck since then.

21 Love of texting? : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

22 Apt focus of an annual festival in Holland, Mich. : TULIP

Tulip festivals are held in a few cities around the world. The largest of these is the Canadian Tulip Festival that is held every year in the capital city of Ottawa. The tradition of growing tulips in Ottawa really started at the end of WWII. The Dutch royal family presented the city with 100,000 tulip bulbs as an act of thanks for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her children while the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The first Canadian Tulip Festival took place in 1953.

25 Verse : POESY

“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, and is often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

26 Lacto-___ vegetarianism : OVO

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but who does eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

29 “Inside the N.B.A.” airer : TNT

“Inside the NBA” is a postgame show that airs on TNT. The list of regulars on the show includes ex-players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

33 Award-winning Berry : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

38 Corn plant part : TASSEL

The thread-like fibers that make up the tuft on an ear of corn is known as “corn silk”. The fibers are the female parts of the plant. Pollen from the tassel at the top of the plant lands on the fibers, which are actually fine tubes. The pollen travels down the tube, where fertilization occurs. Each fertilization results in the development of a kernel of corn.

39 Lager descriptor : PALE

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

41 Keys on a piano : ALICIA

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

49 Kind of cycle : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

50 He’s saved by his sister, in a story : HANSEL

“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after …

52 Grass : POT

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

59 Goo for a batter : PINE TAR

Pine tar is applied to the handles of baseball bats as it is a sticky substance and improves the batter’s grip. In a 1983 game, the Yankees manager Billy Martin protested a home run hit by George Brett of the Royals because the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the regulation 18 inches. The home run was later allowed as it was determined that the 18-inch rule was in place for economic reasons, and had nothing to do with competitive advantage. If pine tar gets on a baseball it renders it unusable for play, and baseballs cost money!

Down

4 Programming language named after a pioneering programmer : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name and title was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

5 Collectible disk of the 1990s : POG

The game of pogs was originally played with bottle caps from POG fruit juice. The juice was named for its constituents, passion fruit, orange and guava.

9 Heavy British vehicle : LORRY

On the other side of the Atlantic, a truck is called a “lorry”, a term that probably comes from the English dialectal verb “to lurry” meaning “to drag, tug”.

24 Arouse, as intrigue : PIQUE

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening, or awakening one’s interest or desire.

30 Press material : GARLIC

Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

35 Org. whose annual budget isn’t public : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

37 Key concept in feminist theory : MALE GAZE

The term “male gaze” describes the act of depicting women in artistic works as sexual objects for the pleasure of maculine, heterosexual viewer. The male gaze can manifest itself as perhaps a man behind a camera in a movie, a male character in a story, or male spectators of a work.

40 They require glasses : TOASTS

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

43 Extreme racing event : IRONMAN

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

44 Daisy relatives : 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.

51 Film character depicted using C.G.I. and old footage in “The Rise of Skywalker” : LEIA

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is a 2019 film. It comes third in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, and so is also known as “Star Wars: Episode IX”. Even though “The Rise of Skywalker” cost about $275 million to make, it still made a tidy profit.

54 Paul of fame : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

57 “The Simpsons” character in a green sweater : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned was married to Maude, with whom he had two children Rod and Todd. Maude died in an accident involving a T-shirt cannon. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One on the run : ESCAPEE
8 Twitter handle used by the White House : FLOTUS
14 Computer menu command : SHUT DOWN
15 Hawaii’s ___ Palace : ‘IOLANI
16 Prioritized, in a way : TRIAGED
17 Officially noted : ON RECORD
18 Member of “The Squad” in D.C., for short : AOC
19 Evening fare : SUPPER
21 Love of texting? : BAE
22 Apt focus of an annual festival in Holland, Mich. : TULIP
25 Verse : POESY
26 Lacto-___ vegetarianism : OVO
27 Paradisiacal : EDENIC
29 “Inside the N.B.A.” airer : TNT
30 Spider-___, character in Marvel’s “Spider-Verse” : GWEN
31 Low power? : SQUARE
33 Award-winning Berry : HALLE
34 U.S. tourist locale that inspired this puzzle : FOUR CORNERS
36 One might be cracked : SMILE
38 Corn plant part : TASSEL
39 Lager descriptor : PALE
40 “Ah yes, yes indeed” : ‘TIS
41 Keys on a piano : ALICIA
45 In a bad way : ILL
46 Small grinder, maybe : TOOTH
48 Leaves with a traumatic memory : SCARS
49 Kind of cycle : REM
50 He’s saved by his sister, in a story : HANSEL
52 Grass : POT
53 Like many Hollywood heartthrobs, seemingly : AGELESS
55 What to do “when you’re not strong,” in a 1972 hit : LEAN ON ME
58 Least likely to get up from the couch, say : LAZIEST
59 Goo for a batter : PINE TAR
60 Picks up : SENSES
61 Puts down? : SADDENS

Down

1 Word with sale, tax or planning : ESTATE
2 Envelop : SHROUD
3 Manicure target : CUTICLE
4 Programming language named after a pioneering programmer : ADA
5 Collectible disk of the 1990s : POG
6 ___ milk : EWE’S
7 Ultimately become : END UP
8 First-rate : FINEST
9 Heavy British vehicle : LORRY
10 Big whoop? : OLE!
11 Some Tex-Mex meals : TACO BOWLS
12 Get to the bottom of : UNRAVEL
13 First half : SIDE ONE
17 First games : OPENERS
20 Entrees cooked in slow cookers : POT ROASTS
23 Step on it! : INSOLE
24 Arouse, as intrigue : PIQUE
28 Good-for-nothing : CUR
30 Press material : GARLIC
32 What many verbs indicate : ACTIONS
33 Some formal attire : HEELS
34 “I wanna know what I missed!” : FILL ME IN!
35 Org. whose annual budget isn’t public : NSA
36 Starts to go out of control : SPIRALS
37 Key concept in feminist theory : MALE GAZE
40 They require glasses : TOASTS
42 2005 biopic in which Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the title role : CAPOTE
43 Extreme racing event : IRONMAN
44 Daisy relatives : ASTERS
46 What have we here? : THESE
47 Is beneficial : HELPS
51 Film character depicted using C.G.I. and old footage in “The Rise of Skywalker” : LEIA
54 Paul of fame : LES
56 + : AND
57 “The Simpsons” character in a green sweater : NED

3 thoughts on “0908-22 NY Times Crossword 8 Sep 22, Thursday”

  1. I’ve been humbled. 24:58, no errors. I got FOURCORNERS pretty quickly but sussing out where to place the states was a little tricky. LEANONME was my first. Finished up with a delicious TACOBOWL.

  2. 21:05. I figured out the reveal soon enough, but similar to Alaska Steve it took a while to get the 4 rebuses. I think my first one was CUTICLE.

    Here in Las Vegas sometimes it feels like a 4 corners situation in that I’m about 30 mins from Utah, Arizona, or California but there’s no nexus of the 4 states.

    I wondered if HALLE Berry was Chuck Berry at first. I waited to see which it was via a cross or two.

    What’s this obsession with TULIPs? Why all these festivals? It reminds me of the Monty Python skit with Dennis Moore stealing lupins and re-distributing them to the poor who didn’t even want them.

    Best –

  3. 51:50 “Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore…dumb de dum dum di” Oops, Jeff got me started…

    I’m sure I lost some time watching the Bills. Warning: don’t go to Four Corners in summer with a five year old. She will want to pose standing on her Dad’s back while he’s on his hands and knees, one in each state …on 100 degree concrete…ouch!

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