0913-22 NY Times Crossword 13 Sep 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Adam Wagner
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Here’s the Kicker

Themed answers can all be described as KICKERS:

  • 51A Lead-in to a surprising twist … or a hint to 16-, 22-, 32- and 45-Across : HERE’S THE KICKER …
  • 16A Buffalo Bill, e.g. : FOOTBALL PLAYER
  • 22A Radio City Music Hall performer : ROCKETTE
  • 32A Bun in the oven, so to speak : UNBORN BABY
  • 45A Marsupial stylized in the Qantas logo : KANGAROO

Bill’s time: 8m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Shop for a loxsmith? : DELI

Lox is a brine-cured salmon filet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

13 Micro or macro college subj. : ECON

Macroeconomics is the study of economies as a whole, rather than individual markets. Microeconomics is focused on the actions of individual entities like companies or individuals, and how these actions impact specific markets.

14 Last pharaoh of Egypt, informally : CLEO

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

15 “Hava Nagila” dance : HORA

“Hava Nagila” is a Hebrew folk song, with the title translating into “Let Us Rejoice”. The melody is from a Ukrainian folk song. The words to “Hava Nagila” were composed in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during WWI.

16 Buffalo Bill, e.g. : FOOTBALL PLAYER

The Buffalo Bills NFL team, founded in 1959, was named after an earlier team with the same name that had merged with the Cleveland Browns back in 1950. The “Bills” name was obviously popular with fans, as the name was chosen in a public contest. The older team had been named for “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The team mascot is Billy Buffalo, and the cheerleaders are known as the Buffalo Jills.

19 William of ___ (noted 14th-century philosopher) : OCKHAM

Ockham’s (also “Occam’s”) razor is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something. The principle is referred to as “lex parsimoniae” in Latin, or “the law of parsimony”. Parsimony is being thrifty with money or resources. The principle was developed by 14th-century logician and Franciscan Friar William of Ockham (or “Occam” in Latin). The principle is dubbed a “razor” as it is used as a philosophical tool used to cut out absurd and spurious reasoning in an argument.

20 Real estate burdens : LIENS

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

21 Noodle dish that might be made with a flavor packet : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

22 Radio City Music Hall performer : ROCKETTE

The famous Rockettes can be seen in Radio City Music Hall. They have an amazing schedule during the Christmas season when they perform five high-kicking shows every day, seven days a week. The troupe has been doing this every Christmas since 1932, until a COVID-19 pandemic hit …

New York City’s Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center opened for business in 1932. Originally to be named International Music Hall, the current name was chosen in honor of the Radio Corporation of America, which was one of Rockefeller Center’s first tenants.

25 Jason who sang “I’m Yours” : MRAZ

Jason Mraz is a singer-songwriter from Mechanicsville, Virginia. Jason is of Czech descent, and his name “Mraz” translates as “frost”.

28 Reedy woodwind : OBOE

When the members of a full orchestra tune their instruments, they almost always tune to an “A” played by an oboe. A wind ensemble usually tunes to a B-flat, as this is an “open” note on many instruments, one in which all valves are open on trumpet for example, or the slider on a trombone is in home position.

30 Pro ___ (perfunctory) : FORMA

The Latin term “pro forma” translates as “as a matter of form”, and is used in English to describe actions or documents that are considered merely a formality. In the world of accounting, a pro forma financial statement indicates hypothetical figures based on previous operations, and are as estimates before actual results become available.

35 Bits of tomfoolery : JAPES

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600s, “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke …!

In Middle English, in the mid-14th century, a mentally deficient man might be referred to as a “Thom Foole”. We retain the old pejorative term in our contemporary word “tomfoolery” meaning “clowning around”.

38 Part of the D.O.J. : FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) was created in 1870 by the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, although the office of the Attorney General (AG) had been operating since 1789. The DOJ Building in Washington, D.C. was completed in 1935, and was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001.

39 Diarist Frank : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in rooms concealed behind a bookcase in Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

41 Ruler whose title is derived from the name “Caesar” : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

45 Marsupial stylized in the Qantas logo : KANGAROO

Qantas is the national airline of Australia. The company name was originally an acronym standing for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. QANTAS has featured a koala in advertising campaigns for many years, although the company’s logo is a kangaroo and the company’s nickname is “Flying Kangaroo”.

49 First sign of the zodiac : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

54 The Crimson Tide, to fans : BAMA

The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, which is a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

55 Pueblo people : HOPI

Many members of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

58 Quadrupedal combat vehicle in “Star Wars” films : AT-AT

You might recall the huge walking vehicles that first appeared in the 1980 “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back”. The proper name for such a walker is an All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT).

Down

5 Ponzi scheme, for one : SCAM

Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. Ponzi devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investors a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

9 Title role for Alan Ladd in a classic 1953 western : SHANE

The classic 1953 western movie “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

10 1995 Pixar film that launched a franchise : TOY STORY

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

12 What games like chess, Stratego and Risk simulate : WAR

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

The wonderful board game called Stratego derives from a traditional Chinese game called “Jungle” or “Animal Chess”. The major difference between Stratego and Jungle is that in the latter, the identity of the pieces is not hidden from one’s opponent.

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

18 Albanian currency : LEK

The official currency of Albania is the lek. The first lek was introduced in 1926, and was apparently named after Alexander the Great.

23 Top of the Highlands? : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam o’ Shanter”. A pom-pom adorning a tam is known as a toorie.

24 The “E” in B.C.E. : ERA

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

29 Projectiles from a pellet gun : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

34 Term of endearment : 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”.

35 Airport once called Idlewild, for short : JFK

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

36 Lawyers’ org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

39 “Respect” singer Franklin : ARETHA

I think that Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one on its list of the greatest singers of all time.

“Respect” is a song by Otis Redding, and one that he recorded himself in 1965. It became a hit when Aretha Franklin made her famous cover version in 1967. The Redding and Franklin versions have different storylines though, and different musical “feels”.

42 Aaron who created “The West Wing” : SORKIN

The wonderful screenwriter Aaron Sorkin got his big break when his stage play “A Few Good Men” was picked up by a Hollywood producer. Since then Sorkin has written great films including “The American President”, “The Social Network”, “Charlie Wilson’s War”, “Moneyball” and the excellent “The West Wing” and “The Newsroom” television series.

“The West Wing”, when it was being written by Aaron Sorkin, was such a fabulous television event. It is remarkable how quickly it went downhill after Sorkin moved on. Sorkin is also famous for having written the play “A Few Good Men”, and the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, namely “Charlie Wilson’s War”.

43 Big name in skin care : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

44 Un-gerrymandered, say, as a voting district : REDREW

Elbridge Gerry was the fifth Vice President of the US, serving under James Madison. Gerry only served 1½ years of his term however, as he died of heart failure while still in office. While Gerry was the governor of his home state of Massachusetts he signed a bill that allowed redrawing of electoral boundaries in such a way that it benefited his Democratic-Republican Party. The “Boston Gazette” wrote an article about the bill and termed the political tactic “Gerry-Mandering”. And “gerrymandering” is a term we still use today, and not just in this country but all over the world.

47 The Terminator and HAL 9000, for two : AIS

Artificial intelligence (AI)

I sometimes forget that “the terminator” wasn’t the main character in the first “The Terminator” film. The story revolves around Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn). Reese is sent back from the future to protect Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) from the Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger).

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for “Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer”. Even though Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

51 “Succession” network : HBO

“Succession” is a very popular dark comedy-drama series that premiered in 2018. It’s about a family-owned, global media company. The “succession” in question is who will get to run the empire after the passing of the ailing family patriarch. The marvelous Scottish actor Brian Cox plays the head of the company Logan Roy.

52 ___ de parfum : EAU

In the world of perfumery, eau de parfum (EdP) is generally more concentrated than eau de toilette (EdT), which in turn is generally more concentrated than eau de cologne (EdC).

53 Clean air org. : EPA

The Clean Air Act of 1963 is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shop for a loxsmith? : DELI
5 Religious offshoot : SECT
9 Put in the overhead bin, say : STOW
13 Micro or macro college subj. : ECON
14 Last pharaoh of Egypt, informally : CLEO
15 “Hava Nagila” dance : HORA
16 Buffalo Bill, e.g. : FOOTBALL PLAYER
19 William of ___ (noted 14th-century philosopher) : OCKHAM
20 Real estate burdens : LIENS
21 Noodle dish that might be made with a flavor packet : RAMEN
22 Radio City Music Hall performer : ROCKETTE
25 Jason who sang “I’m Yours” : MRAZ
26 Unsolemnly swear : CUSS
27 Paddle lookalike : OAR
28 Reedy woodwind : OBOE
30 Pro ___ (perfunctory) : FORMA
32 Bun in the oven, so to speak : UNBORN BABY
35 Bits of tomfoolery : JAPES
37 Porridge base : OATS
38 Part of the D.O.J. : FBI
39 Diarist Frank : ANNE
41 Ruler whose title is derived from the name “Caesar” : TSAR
45 Marsupial stylized in the Qantas logo : KANGAROO
48 Piloted : DROVE
49 First sign of the zodiac : ARIES
50 Grew disenchanted : SOURED
51 Lead-in to a surprising twist … or a hint to 16-, 22-, 32- and 45-Across : HERE’S THE KICKER …
54 The Crimson Tide, to fans : BAMA
55 Pueblo people : HOPI
56 Straight poker? : TINE
57 Give the boot : OUST
58 Quadrupedal combat vehicle in “Star Wars” films : AT-AT
59 Skier’s “powder” : SNOW

Down

1 Bend out of shape : DEFORM
2 Green machine : ECOCAR
3 Words shouted before “No hands!” : LOOK, MA!
4 Experiencing a flow state : IN THE ZONE
5 Ponzi scheme, for one : SCAM
6 90° bend : ELL
7 Instruments played pizzicato in Britten’s “Simple Symphony” : CELLOS
8 Subjects : TOPICS
9 Title role for Alan Ladd in a classic 1953 western : SHANE
10 1995 Pixar film that launched a franchise : TOY STORY
11 Mined-over matter : ORE
12 What games like chess, Stratego and Risk simulate : WAR
17 Forbiddance : BAN
18 Albanian currency : LEK
22 Regretful soul : RUER
23 Top of the Highlands? : TAM
24 The “E” in B.C.E. : ERA
26 Murmur lovingly : COO
29 Projectiles from a pellet gun : BBS
30 The marbling in marbled beef : FAT
31 Gets in the way of : OBSTRUCTS
32 Passionately protesting : UP IN ARMS
33 Running by the pool, e.g. : NO-NO
34 Term of endearment : BAE
35 Airport once called Idlewild, for short : JFK
36 Lawyers’ org. : ABA
39 “Respect” singer Franklin : ARETHA
40 A 0% chance, colloquially : NO SHOT
42 Aaron who created “The West Wing” : SORKIN
43 Big name in skin care : AVEENO
44 Un-gerrymandered, say, as a voting district : REDREW
46 Whopping : GREAT
47 The Terminator and HAL 9000, for two : AIS
48 Enthusiastic response to “Want some ice cream?” : DO I!
50 Variety show routine : SKIT
51 “Succession” network : HBO
52 ___ de parfum : EAU
53 Clean air org. : EPA

4 thoughts on “0913-22 NY Times Crossword 13 Sep 22, Tuesday”

  1. 15:30, no errors. Very slow start for me today. Several missteps before finally getting a handle on things. Then the last half went quickly. As the father of 6 kids, I had to laugh at UNBORNBABY. They all were quite THEKICKER.

  2. 11:19, no errors. As usual, I learned a lot from Bill’s wiki-est explanations. Did not know that OCKHAM and Occam were the same person. I also now know what a ‘toorie’ is.
    Growing up in NYC in the 50’s and early 60’s I’m still more familiar with Idlewild Airport than JFK. Have also seen the Radio City Christmas show, it was amazing.

  3. 7:00. Didn’t want to miss any of Monday Night Football last night so I was in a hurry to finish this one. Really didn’t pay attention to the theme.

    I had no interest in seeing “Succession”, but I’ve had half a dozen people tell me how good it is. Maybe I’ll give in and watch it.

    Best –

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