0912-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 22, Monday

Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shonda Rhimes

Themed answers each start with a RHYME for the word “SHONDA”:

  • 54A Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” … or, when said aloud, a hint to the starts of 20-, 30 and 45-Across : SHONDA RHIMES
  • 20A Los Angeles venue named for the star of “12 Angry Men” : FONDA THEATRE
  • 30A Disney+ series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe : WANDAVISION
  • 45A First car from a Japanese manufacturer to be made in the U.S. (1982) : HONDA ACCORD

Bill’s time: 6m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Facts and figures : DATA

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

5 Snacks for aardvarks : ANTS

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, and a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

9 Pictionary, Boggle, Scrabble and so on : GAMES

The marvelous game Pictionary was introduced in 1985. It’s a word-guessing game that’s played in teams. Pictionary is a big hit in our house with family and friends. It must be said, a glass of wine does help boost the level of enthusiasm of all concerned …

Boggle is a word game in which one uses 16 lettered dice in a 4×4 tray to find words. There was even a “Boggle” game show that ran on the Family Channel for a few months in 1994.

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

15 ___-chic (hippie-influenced fashion) : BOHO

Boho-chic is a style of fashion that grew out of the bohemian and hippie looks.

16 “Workers of all lands ___” (phrase on Marx’s tombstone) : UNITE

The “Communist Manifesto” written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels contains the phrase “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” (“Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” in German). This evolved into the English saying “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” The words “Workers of all lands, unite“ are written on Karl Marx’s headstone in Highgate Cemetery in London.

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

17 South American palm with a black-purple berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

20 Los Angeles venue named for the star of “12 Angry Men” : FONDA THEATRE

Actor Henry Fonda had already started his Hollywood career when along came WWII. Fonda enlisted in the Navy, and served for three years on the destroyer USS Satterlee. Then he served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Pacific, earning the Bronze Star.

25 Network with an eye logo : CBS

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

28 Yellowfin tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

30 Disney+ series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe : WANDAVISION

“WandaVision” is a TV miniseries featuring characters from Marvel Comics. The title characters are Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) played by Elizabeth Olsen and Vision played by Paul Bettany. I am by no means a fan of screen adaptations of comic characters, but I might take a look at “WandaVision”. Wanda and Vision are living in suburbia, trying to conceal their superhero identities. Each episode progresses the storyline through several decades, using situations encountered in sitcoms of the day. Episodes use the format of shows such as:

  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • I Love Lucy
  • Bewitched
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Brady Bunch
  • Good Times
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Full House
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Modern Family
  • Out of this World
  • The Twilight Zone

Sounds very intriguing …

37 Apartment you own : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

38 “Butch Cassidy” and “The Sundance Kid,” for two : ALIASES

The Old West train and bank robber Robert Parker was better known by the name Butch Cassidy. His partner in crime Harry Longabaugh was known as the Sundance Kid. Famously, the exploits of Butch and Sundance were reenacted in the marvelous 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

40 “The Canterbury Tales” author : CHAUCER

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author. He is often referred to as the father of English literature because he established vernacular English as a legitimate language for artistic works, as up to that point authors used French or Latin. Chaucer’s most famous work is actually unfinished, a collection of stories called “The Canterbury Tales” that were all written at the end of the 14th century.

“The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories penned by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. Written in MIddle English, the tales are presented as a storytelling contest held by a group of pilgrims as they travel from London to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. “The Canterbury Tales” is often cited as a landmark piece of English literature as it popularized the use of vernacular English, as opposed to the French or Latin works that were commonly published up to that time.

44 Stadium seating section : LOGE

In most theaters and stadiums today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

45 First car from a Japanese manufacturer to be made in the U.S. (1982) : HONDA ACCORD

Honda started manufacturing the Accord model in Marysville, Ohio in 1982, making the Accord the first Japanese car to be produced in the US. The Accord was the best-selling Japanese car in America from 1982 to 1997, and 1989 was the first import to become the best-selling car in the US.

51 Eye affliction : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

54 Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” … or, when said aloud, a hint to the starts of 20-, 30 and 45-Across : SHONDA RHIMES

Shonda Rhimes is the creator and head writer of the TV shows “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”. She also serves as executive producer for the crime shows “How to Get Away with Murder” and “The Catch”. Rhimes also runs her own production company called Shondaland.

59 Present a case at the Supreme Court, say : ARGUE

The US Constitution doesn’t specify the size of the Supreme Court, but authorizes the Congress to determine the number of justices. The court started with six justices in 1789, and the size of the bench grew with the size of the country and the number of judicial circuits. There were as many as ten justices, from 1863 to 1866. There have been nine justices since 1869.

64 Oyster’s prize : PEARL

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lay down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

65 Gospel singer Winans : CECE

CeCe Winans (real given name “Priscilla”) is a Gospel music singer. She is part of a duo with her brother, BeBe Winans (real name Benjamin).

66 “Battle ___ of the Republic” : HYMN

In 1856, William Steffe wrote the tune that was eventually used for “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Before long, it was one of the most popular tunes of the day, sung with a number of different lyrics. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Thomas Bishop composed lyrics to a famous abolitionist version of the tune “John Brown’s Body”. The words to “John Brown’s Body” became less remembered than the strident melody, so Julia Ward Howe wrote the famous patriotic lyrics that spread through the ranks of the Union forces under the title of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Down

2 With the bow, in music : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

5 Help with a heist : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

6 Trevor of “The Daily Show” : NOAH

Trevor Noah is an outstanding comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa. Noah took over as host of the Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” after Jon Stewart retired. Noah can speak several languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and German.

“The Daily Show” is a satirical news program on Comedy Central that first aired in 1996. The show was presented by Craig Kilborn from 1996 until 1998, and then very successfully by Jon Stewart from 1999 until 2015. Trevor Noah took over as host when Jon Stewart left.

8 Beethoven’s “Moonlight ___” : SONATA

Beethoven subtitled his “Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2” as “Quasi una fantasia”, or “sonata in the manner of a fantasy” in English. Five years after Beethoven died, a music critic wrote that the first movement of the piece had an effect like that of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, the work has been known as the “Moonlight Sonata”.

9 Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece : GUERNICA

“Guernica” is a painting by Pablo Picasso that he completed in 1937. Picasso painted it soon after the aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The attack was carried out by German warplanes sent by Adolf Hitler at the request of the Spanish Nationalist government. The town was regarded as a bastion of Republican resistance, although it had no military significance. As the town was largely left without men who were fighting for the Republican cause, the vast majority of casualties were women and children.

10 Brontë sister who wrote “Agnes Grey” : ANNE

Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

11 Soccer star Hamm : MIA

Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player. She played as a forward on the US national team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm scored 158 international goals, which was more than any other player in the world, male or female, until the record was broken in 2013. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

22 “Mazel ___!” : TOV

“Mazel tov!” is a Yiddish phrase meaning “Good luck!”

25 Annual celebration of Mexican heritage : CINCO DE MAYO

The celebration known as Cinco de Mayo is observed all over the US and in parts of Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is not, as some believe, Mexico’s Independence Day. Independence is celebrated on September 16, whereas Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

26 Neighborhood grocery store : BODEGA

“Bodega” is a Spanish term describing a winery, or these days a grocery store.

28 Sugarhill Gang song with the repeated line “Jump on it!” : APACHE

The Sugarhill Gang are a rap music group from Englewood, New Jersey. The group’s biggest hit by far was “Rapper’s Delight”, released in 1979.

32 “Illmatic” rapper : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

33 First Pixar film with a Black protagonist : SOUL

“Soul” is a 2020 animated film from Pixar about a jazz pianist whose soul separates from his body after an accident. Jamei Foxx voices the main character, and the supporting cast includes Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Richar Ayoade and Phylicia Rashad. Critics and audiences alike loved this one …

40 Dove’s sound : COO

Taxonomically, doves and pigeons are the only members of the order Columbidae. The terms “dove” and “pigeon” are often used interchangeably. Scientifically speaking, dove species tend to be smaller than pigeon species. Colloquially though, many refer to doves as the white or nearly white species in the family.

41 “Ben-___” : HUR

Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, that was made into a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.

47 Skeptical sorts : CYNICS

Antisthenes was a Greek philosopher, and a pupil of Socrates. He was one of the founders of the cynicism school of thought, which holds that the purpose of life is to live in virtuous harmony with nature. The name “cynic” comes from the Greek for “dog”, and that name was originally applied to the cynics as an insult.

55 Rainbow shapes : ARCS

Sunlight reflected by airborne water droplets can produce rainbows. The water droplets act as little prisms, dispersing the white light into its constituent colors. Sometimes we see double rainbows. If we look carefully, we can see that the order of the colors in the first and second arcs is reversed.

57 Ticklish Muppet : ELMO

The Tickle Me Elmo toy was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.

60 “Oedipus ___” : REX

“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes. Famously, Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

61 Thing to mind between the train and platform : GAP

“Mind the gap” is a very famous announcement made in several stations on the London Underground. The announcement is needed as there can be a large gap between the doorways of trains and the platform. This gap arises because the platforms of some stations are quite curved, while the train cars are, of course, straight.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Facts and figures : DATA
5 Snacks for aardvarks : ANTS
9 Pictionary, Boggle, Scrabble and so on : GAMES
14 Makes a mistake : ERRS
15 ___-chic (hippie-influenced fashion) : BOHO
16 “Workers of all lands ___” (phrase on Marx’s tombstone) : UNITE
17 South American palm with a black-purple berry : ACAI
18 Make, as money : EARN
19 Put into law : ENACT
20 Los Angeles venue named for the star of “12 Angry Men” : FONDA THEATRE
23 Do some needlework : SEW
24 Lots and lots : A TON
25 Network with an eye logo : CBS
28 Yellowfin tuna : AHI
30 Disney+ series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe : WANDAVISION
34 Animals that may be subject to an apartment restriction : PETS
36 What electric cars don’t need : GAS
37 Apartment you own : CONDO
38 “Butch Cassidy” and “The Sundance Kid,” for two : ALIASES
40 “The Canterbury Tales” author : CHAUCER
42 Identical copy : CLONE
43 Promise-to-pay letters : IOU
44 Stadium seating section : LOGE
45 First car from a Japanese manufacturer to be made in the U.S. (1982) : HONDA ACCORD
49 “Dear old” family member : DAD
50 Letter before tee : ESS
51 Eye affliction : STYE
52 Take advantage of : USE
54 Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” … or, when said aloud, a hint to the starts of 20-, 30 and 45-Across : SHONDA RHIMES
59 Present a case at the Supreme Court, say : ARGUE
62 Faux-humble response to a compliment : I TRY
63 Swanky party : GALA
64 Oyster’s prize : PEARL
65 Gospel singer Winans : CECE
66 “Battle ___ of the Republic” : HYMN
67 Kick out : EXPEL
68 Talk back to : SASS
69 Made off with : TOOK

Down

1 Not able to hear : DEAF
2 With the bow, in music : ARCO
3 “So, anyway, …” and “On that note …,” e.g. : TRANSITIONS
4 Parenthetical comment : ASIDE
5 Help with a heist : ABET
6 Trevor of “The Daily Show” : NOAH
7 Clothes, slangily : THREADS
8 Beethoven’s “Moonlight ___” : SONATA
9 Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece : GUERNICA
10 Brontë sister who wrote “Agnes Grey” : ANNE
11 Soccer star Hamm : MIA
12 List-ending abbr. : ETC
13 Where a TV show is filmed : SET
21 Reaction to cuteness : AWW!
22 “Mazel ___!” : TOV
25 Annual celebration of Mexican heritage : CINCO DE MAYO
26 Neighborhood grocery store : BODEGA
27 Made sounds while sound asleep : SNORED
28 Sugarhill Gang song with the repeated line “Jump on it!” : APACHE
29 Greetings : HELLOS
31 Golden ___ (classic time) : AGE
32 “Illmatic” rapper : NAS
33 First Pixar film with a Black protagonist : SOUL
35 Something brought home unintentionally from the beach : SAND
39 Something brought home intentionally from the beach : SEASHELL
40 Dove’s sound : COO
41 “Ben-___” : HUR
43 Chilled drink that might be served with a lemon wedge : ICED TEA
46 From ___ Z (everything) : A TO
47 Skeptical sorts : CYNICS
48 “Oh, that was so obvious!” : DUH!
53 One of the five senses : SIGHT
54 Word that conveys skepticism when its vowel sound is dragged out : SURE
55 Rainbow shapes : ARCS
56 Some loaves or whiskeys : RYES
57 Ticklish Muppet : ELMO
58 Went down, as hearts or ships : SANK
59 Animal aptly found in “banana peel” : APE
60 “Oedipus ___” : REX
61 Thing to mind between the train and platform : GAP

4 thoughts on “0912-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 22, Monday”

  1. 6:26. I don’t suppose SHONDA RIMES also created the movie Anaconda? THEATer before THEATRE was about my only stumble.

    WANDAVISION sounds just odd enough that I might check it out. I’d never even heard of it before this puzzle.

    Best –

  2. 10:45. Have not gotten into streaming anything other than live sporting events. Tried (R)HONDA RH(Y)MES before SHONDA RHIMES.

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