0915-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Sep 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Ruth Bloomfield Margolin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Raise, or Lower

Themed answers at the top of the grid have been RAISED, so that the first letter misses the top edge of the grid. Themed answers at the bottom of the grid have been LOWERED, so that the last letter misses the bottom edge of the grid:

  • 3D Make one’s opposition known, literally : Raise O-BJECTIONS
  • 5D Protest, literally : Raise a S-TINK
  • 9D Alleviate income insufficiency, literally : Raise the M-INIMUM WAGE
  • 11D See children through to adulthood, literally : Raise a F-AMILY
  • 29D De-escalate tension, literally : Lower the TEMPERATUR-E
  • 36D Demonstrate a bit of bathroom etiquette, literally : Put down the TOILET SEA-T
  • 52D Show respect to one’s neighbors late at night, literally : Lower the VOLUM-E
  • 60D Put on sale, literally : Lower the PRIC-E

Bill’s time: 12m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Wanes : EBBS

The verbs “to wax” and “to wane” come from Old English. To wax is to increase gradually in size, strength, intensity or number. To wane is to decrease gradually.

5 Clark with the #1 country hit “Girls Lie Too” : TERRI

Terri Clark is a country music artist from Montreal in Canada who has had success right across North America, and who now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

10 ___ fide : MALA

“Mala fide” is Latin for “in bad faith” and is in essence the opposite to “bona fide” meaning “in good faith”. Bad faith is a concept defined by the law that addresses the motives behind certain actions.

14 Title dog in a 1981 thriller : CUJO

“Cujo” is a 1981 Stephen King horror novel, which means that I haven’t read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

15 Like the creator deity Viracocha : INCAN

Viracocha was an important deity in the Inca civilization, the creator of all things.

23 Name on a Chinese menu : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

24 Mötley ___ : CRUE

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

26 Prefix with center : EPI-

The epicenter is the point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

28 Flour in Indian cuisine : ATTA

Atta is a whole-wheat flour used to make flatbreads in South Asian cuisine, such as chapati and naan. “Atta” is the Hindi or Urdu word for “dough”.

31 Something a game may have, for short : MVP

MVP (most valuable player)

40 “Schitt’s Creek” matriarch : MOIRA

“Schitt’s Creek” is a very entertaining Canadian sitcom created by two of the four leading actors: Dan Levy and his father Eugene Levy. The other two leads are played by Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. It is about a very wealthy family who lose their money and relocate to a small town called Schitt’s Creek, which they had once purchased as a joke. Recommended …

47 Number of puppeteers needed to manipulate Topo Gigio : TRE

In Italian, “uno” (one) plus “due” (two) makes “tre” (three).

48 Walkie-talkie word : OVER

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. It is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

50 Big D cager : MAV

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are an NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

53 Beaux-___ : ARTS

In French, one might view “beaux-arts” (fine arts) at a “musée” (museum).

57 Product made by smelting : IRON BAR

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

59 Like accommodations for friars and nuns, typically : SPARTAN

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

67 Savory sensation : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

68 Seven ___ : SEAS

The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

  • The North Pacific Ocean
  • The South Pacific Ocean
  • The North Atlantic Ocean
  • The South Atlantic Ocean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Southern Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean

69 Thanksgiving dish : YAMS

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

70 The Shroud of Turin, e.g. : RELIC

The Shroud of Turin has to be one of the most controversial, and most studied, human artifacts ever unearthed. The Shroud is a linen cloth on which there is the image of a man who appears to have wounds inflicted by crucifixion. Many believe that the Shroud is the burial cloth in which Jesus Christ was placed after he died on the cross. The Shroud was kept in various locations in France for centuries before being moved to Turin Cathedral in 1578, from which it gets its name, and where it has been located ever since.

Down

1 Neutral hue : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

2 Good, in Guadalajara : BUEN

Guadalajara is a populous city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Mexican city is named after the city of the same name in the center of Spain.

6 Slaughter in Cooperstown : ENOS

Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter’s record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

7 Alternatives to Cokes and Pepsis : RCS

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

10 “La Bohème” seamstress : MIMI

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second-most frequently performed opera in the US (after “Madama Butterfly”, also by Puccini). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

19 Binchy who wrote “Circle of Friends” : MAEVE

Maeve Binchy was a fabulous Irish novelist, and in my day a famous newspaper columnist whose column I would read daily. A few of her novels have made it to the big screen, including two I would recommend: “Circle of Friends” starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver, and “Tara Road” starring Andie MacDowell.

“Circle of Friends” is a 1990 Maeve Binchy that was adapted into a very successful 1995 feature film. The story revolves around two childhood friends and the life they lead while attending in their teens University College Dublin (my own alma mater). The film verison stars (American) actor Chris O’Donnell and (English) actress Minnie Driver.

21 Horse of a certain color : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

24 Where $50 bills and crossing your legs may be considered bad luck : CASINOS

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

26 Toaster waffle : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

27 Fictional character who says “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside” : POOH

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

30 Helium, on the periodic table : TWO

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

32 City planner’s map : PLAT

A plat is a map showing actual and planned features, so a town might have a plat showing existing and intended buildings.

37 Major theme of “Othello” : ENVY

William Shakespeare was one of the first to associate the color green with envy. He called jealousy the “green-eyed monster” in his play “Othello”.

38 Defend borders? : DEES

The borders (ends) of the word “defend” are letters D (dees).

41 M.L.K. Jr., for one : REV

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return to the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

44 Dubai denizens : ARABS

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply “resident”, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, somewhat like today’s resident alien.

50 Rapper Elliott : MISSY

Melissa “Missy” Elliott is a rap artist who was childhood friends with fellow rapper Timbaland.

56 Potato chip, in England : CRISP

French fries are called “chips” back in Ireland where I grew up. And what we call “chips” in the US are known as “crisps” in Britain and Ireland. In France, French fries are known as “pommes frites” (fried potatoes).

59 Finno-Ugric language group : SAMI

Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wanes : EBBS
5 Clark with the #1 country hit “Girls Lie Too” : TERRI
10 ___ fide : MALA
14 Title dog in a 1981 thriller : CUJO
15 Like the creator deity Viracocha : INCAN
16 Declaration after getting a hand : I’M IN
17 Stagger : REEL
18 What a red flag at a beach may signify : NO SWIMMING
20 Pops, in a way : UNCORKS
22 Computer correspondent : EMAILER
23 Name on a Chinese menu : TSO
24 Mötley ___ : CRUE
25 “Fabulous!” : YAY!
26 Prefix with center : EPI-
28 Flour in Indian cuisine : ATTA
31 Something a game may have, for short : MVP
33 “Which do you want to hear first?” option : GOOD NEWS
35 Like some upholstery : WELTED
39 Used up : GONE
40 “Schitt’s Creek” matriarch : MOIRA
42 Top-of-the-line : A-ONE
43 Praise for a zinger : OH SNAP!
45 Downside : NEGATIVE
47 Number of puppeteers needed to manipulate Topo Gigio : TRE
48 Walkie-talkie word : OVER
49 River of France and Belgium : LYS
50 Big D cager : MAV
53 Beaux-___ : ARTS
55 Word in “___ or no ___?” : ICE
57 Product made by smelting : IRON BAR
59 Like accommodations for friars and nuns, typically : SPARTAN
63 Totally out : SO LAST YEAR
65 Spot on a map : ISLE
66 Self-satisfied : SMUG
67 Savory sensation : UMAMI
68 Seven ___ : SEAS
69 Thanksgiving dish : YAMS
70 The Shroud of Turin, e.g. : RELIC
71 History, with “the” : … PAST

Down

1 Neutral hue : ECRU
2 Good, in Guadalajara : BUEN
3 Make one’s opposition known, literally : Raise O-BJECTIONS
4 Goes it alone : SOLOS
5 Protest, literally : Raise a S-TINK
6 Slaughter in Cooperstown : ENOS
7 Alternatives to Cokes and Pepsis : RCS
8 Pinker or greener, perhaps : RAWER
9 Alleviate income insufficiency, literally : Raise the M-INIMUM WAGE
10 “La Bohème” seamstress : MIMI
11 See children through to adulthood, literally : Raise a F-AMILY
12 Top of an I.R.S. form : LINE-A
13 More than miffed : ANGRY
19 Binchy who wrote “Circle of Friends” : MAEVE
21 Horse of a certain color : ROAN
24 Where $50 bills and crossing your legs may be considered bad luck : CASINOS
26 Toaster waffle : EGGO
27 Fictional character who says “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside” : POOH
29 De-escalate tension, literally : Lower the TEMPERATUR-E
30 Helium, on the periodic table : TWO
32 City planner’s map : PLAT
34 Job for an auto shop : DENT
36 Demonstrate a bit of bathroom etiquette, literally : Put down the TOILET SEA-T
37 Major theme of “Othello” : ENVY
38 Defend borders? : DEES
41 M.L.K. Jr., for one : REV
44 Dubai denizens : ARABS
46 One of five in “La Bohème” : ARIA
50 Rapper Elliott : MISSY
51 Bakery product that can’t be purchased : AROMA
52 Show respect to one’s neighbors late at night, literally : Lower the VOLUM-E
54 “You might be surprised” : TRY ME
56 Potato chip, in England : CRISP
58 Pesters : NAGS
59 Finno-Ugric language group : SAMI
60 Put on sale, literally : Lower the PRIC-E
61 [Sigh] : [ALAS]
62 Fit together, as mixing bowls : NEST
64 Ending with arbor : -EAL

5 thoughts on “0915-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Sep 22, Thursday”

  1. 27:02. This is a case of my getting the theme but not realizing I’d gotten it. I kept thinking the letters that extended above and below the grid spelled out something or at least meant something. I guess not. An interesting theme nonetheless.

    Couldn’t figure out what a SOLAST YEAR was for a long time. Sheeesh.

    Now that I know that $50 bills are considered bad luck in casinos, I’m going to offer to take anyone’s 50’s who doesn’t want them….

    If I made up a stupid saying about hating city maps, would I have a bad PLATitude?

    Best –

  2. 1:02:35 Sorry Jeff, you’re not alone, took me until Friday to figure out the NE corner. Figured out the theme after 45 minutes, also thought the missing letters would have a secondary implication. Finally figured out “Raise a family” would eliminate my error of “bona fide”…..on to mow the lawn, then try Friday’s

  3. The theme to this puzzle made no real sense – cutting off first or last letters of words. Why? In the world of crossword puzzles there is usually some point or internal clue to the particular theme.
    Frustratingly, the clues were not grammatical unless you figured out the rather obscure clue format i.e. add ‘raise’ or ‘lower’ to the answer.
    Alleviate low income – ‘raise’ minimum wage
    De-escalate tension – ‘lower’ temperature
    Overall I guess there was some cleverness to the construction – but some malice as well.

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