0916-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 22, Friday

Constructed by: Juliana Tringali Golden
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Poles have them : ICE CAPS

The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the landmass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

8 Dern of cinema : LAURA

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

13 Sugar refinery byproduct : MOLASSES

When sugar cane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

20 “I’ll be with you in a jiffy” : ONE SECOND

“Jiff”, or “jiffy”, meaning “short time, instant” is thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

25 Goal-oriented final match, in brief? : MLS CUP

Major League Soccer (MLS)

29 In the altogether : AU NATUREL

“Au naturel” is a French phrase, one simply meaning “in a natural state”. We use the term in English in the same sense, and also to mean “nude”.

37 Word with PET or CAT : SCAN

A PET scan is a medical diagnostic tool that relies on the detection of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a radioactive tracer isotope introduced into the body. Usually, the tracer isotope is incorporated into a glucose-like sugar and then injected into the bloodstream. After about an hour, the radioactive compound has been concentrated in areas of high metabolic activity, perhaps a malignant tumor. As the isotope decays, it emits positrons. The positrons interact with electrons resulting in annihilation of the particles with emission of gamma photons. These gamma photons are detected and are drawn on a map showing where the molecular tracer has concentrated. The acronym PET stands for positron emission tomography.

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays. High doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time. The initialism “CT” stands for “computed tomography”. The older initialism “CAT” stands for “computed axial tomography”.

41 Driven, say : TYPE-A

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labeled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

43 Classic pop : CREAM SODA

Cream soda is a carbonated soft drink that is flavored with vanilla. There is a suggestion that the name “cream soda” was chosen as the taste is reminiscent of an ice cream soda. I’m not so sure …

45 Dovish declaration? : 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.

47 Disco diva Gloria : GAYNOR

Gloria Gaynor is a singer who had most success during the disco era, most notably with “I Will Survive” in 1979. Gaynor released “I Will Survive” as a B-side to “Substitute”, a cover version to a Righteous Brothers song. “Substitute” made it to #107 in the charts in December 1978. “I Will Survive” hit the #1 spot three months later.

55 “Platoon,” but not “Dunkirk” : IAMB

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” use four sequential iambs, e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With that sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

59 Immediate threat to capture, in a game of Go : ATARI

Go is a strategy board game that was invented in China over 5,500 years ago. Go’s name in Chinese translates as “encircling game”, which reflects the objective of surrounding the largest area on the board.

60 Exemplar of stick-to-itiveness : SUPERGLUE

Super Glue and Krazy Glue are trademarks for the fast-acting cyanoacrylate adhesive, which are also known generically as “super glues”.

Down

1 Film site : IMDB

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering questions one has about movies and actors.

3 Actress Zoe Kazan’s grandfather : ELIA

Actress Zoe Kazan is a granddaughter of famed film and theater director Elia Kazan.

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when he was given the 1998 Academy Honorary Award citing his lifetime achievement in the industry. Kazan also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

4 Treat with a hook : CANDY CANE

Apparently, candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.

6 Wave function symbol : PSI

A wave function in quantum mechanics is usually denoted with the Greek letter psi. It is a mathematical function that describes the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves.

10 Kate on the cover of Vanity Fair’s 100th-anniversary issue : UPTON

Kate Upton is a fashion model from St. Joseph, Michigan. Kate is a niece of US Representative Fred Upton of Michigan. Kate married professional baseball pitcher Justin Verlander in 2014.

11 Music label named for a pachyderm : RHINO

A pachyderm is a large mammal noted for having very thick skin and hooves, or nails resembling hooves. In terms of taxonomy, animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses used to be classified in the order Pachydermata (from the Greek for “thick” and “skin”). That order is now obsolete, as it has been shown that the aforementioned “pachyderms” do not in fact share a common ancestor. Despite the reclassification, “pachyderm” persists in common, non-scientific usage.

14 ___ wave : SINE

A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

23 Proudly LGBTQ+ : OUT

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their sexual orientation.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

25 Yawl pole : MAST

A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern. A yawl is similar to a ketch, in that both rigs have two masts. The mizzen mast is forward of the rudderpost in a ketch, and aft of the rudderpost in a yawl.

26 Leading role in “Being the Ricardos” : LUCY

“Being the Ricardos” is a 2021 biopic about the lives of married couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Lucy and Desi are played by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem. The title comes from the show “I Love Lucy”, in which Ball and Arnaz played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. I haven’t seen this one, but it’s on my list as the film was written and directed by the great Aaron Sorkin …

34 Nerve fiber : AXON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. The axon is surrounded by a myelin sheath, which acts as an electrical insulator and which increases the rate the impulses pass along the axon.

35 Venetian resort : LIDO

The Lido de Venezia is a famous sandbar in Venice, Italy. About 11 km in length, it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort. In the UK, the term “lido” is often used for a recreation facility with a pool. This usage has been adopted on cruise ships, where the lido deck is home to the outdoor swimming pool(s) and related facilities.

36 Bygone Winter Palace resident : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia that was home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). Today, the Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

39 Herb burned in a cleansing ritual : SAGE

The burning of sage is known as “smudging”. It is a ritual that originated with many Native-American peoples, although similar practices are found around the world in other cultures. The most common type of sage used in smudge sticks (sage bundles) is white sage, Salvia apiana.

42 Be cordial : ACT NICE

Back in the 14th century, we used the word “cordial” to mean “from the heart”. The most common meaning today is “courteous and gracious”. The original usage also evolved into the name for a drink that “stimulated the heart”. Today’s cordial beverages are strong, sweetened liqueurs.

44 Monterey runner : MAC

That would be the Apple operating system.

46 Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

48 G.O.A.T. material : CHAMP

Greatest of all time (GOAT)

49 Letterboxd or Yelp user, perhaps : RATER

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

50 Roasted: Sp. : ASADO

In much of South America, the event we know as a barbecue is referred to as an “asado”, with “asado” translating from Spanish as “roast”. The “asador” is the “roaster”, the person roasting the meat.

51 Anna of “Mom” : FARIS

Comic actress Anna Faris broke through to the big time when she landed a leading role in the 2000 horror parody “Scary Movie”. She reprised that “Scary Movie” role in three sequels. TV audiences will likely recognize Faris as the main character in the sitcom “Mom”. Faris was married to fellow actor Chris Pratt from 2009 until 2018.

“Mom” is a sitcom, starring Anna Faris and the great Allison Janney, that premiered in 2013. Famously, the show deals head on with the problems of alcoholism and drug abuse.

56 Jai ___ : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

58 Chess prodigy protagonist of “The Queen’s Gambit” : BETH

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

62 Big name in outdoor gear : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Poles have them : ICE CAPS
8 Dern of cinema : LAURA
13 Sugar refinery byproduct : MOLASSES
15 Tending to dominate : ALPHA
16 Savor the moment : DRINK IT IN
18 ___ finish : SATIN
19 Fulani braid decoration : BEAD
20 “I’ll be with you in a jiffy” : ONE SECOND
22 “It could happen” : YOU NEVER KNOW
25 Goal-oriented final match, in brief? : MLS CUP
28 Vapor trail? : -IZE
29 In the altogether : AU NATUREL
32 Like playing cards : DEALT
37 Word with PET or CAT : SCAN
38 Sounds of bells : PEALS
40 Turning point : AXIS
41 Driven, say : TYPE-A
43 Classic pop : CREAM SODA
45 Dovish declaration? : COO
47 Disco diva Gloria : GAYNOR
48 Making paper flowers, e.g. : CRAFT PROJECT
54 Thinks of something : HAS AN IDEA
55 “Platoon,” but not “Dunkirk” : IAMB
59 Immediate threat to capture, in a game of Go : ATARI
60 Exemplar of stick-to-itiveness : SUPERGLUE
63 Battlefield figure : MEDIC
64 Behold a sunrise, say : FACE EAST
65 Essay writing, e.g. : PROSE
66 Somewhat hard-boiled : NOIRISH

Down

1 Film site : IMDB
2 Heart : CORE
3 Actress Zoe Kazan’s grandfather : ELIA
4 Treat with a hook : CANDY CANE
5 Pose : ASK
6 Wave function symbol : PSI
7 Committed to : SET ON
8 Used a cutting-edge surgical technique on : LASERED
9 “Woe!” : ALACK!
10 Kate on the cover of Vanity Fair’s 100th-anniversary issue : UPTON
11 Music label named for a pachyderm : RHINO
12 Oldest restaurant chain in America, founded in 1919 : A AND W
14 ___ wave : SINE
17 Longbottom at Hogwarts : NEVILLE
21 Mentions, casually : SEZ
23 Proudly LGBTQ+ : OUT
24 Toddler’s “Carry me!” : UP! UP!
25 Yawl pole : MAST
26 Leading role in “Being the Ricardos” : LUCY
27 [Like that!] : [SNAP!]
30 Unbeaten feats : RECORDS
31 Knack for notes : EAR
33 “Hey, hold your horses!” : EASY, TIGER
34 Nerve fiber : AXON
35 Venetian resort : LIDO
36 Bygone Winter Palace resident : TSAR
39 Herb burned in a cleansing ritual : SAGE
42 Be cordial : ACT NICE
44 Monterey runner : MAC
46 Big name in nail polish : OPI
48 G.O.A.T. material : CHAMP
49 Letterboxd or Yelp user, perhaps : RATER
50 Roasted: Sp. : ASADO
51 Anna of “Mom” : FARIS
52 French egg : OEUF
53 Country where almost half the world’s zippers are made : JAPAN
56 Jai ___ : ALAI
57 Ruffle : MUSS
58 Chess prodigy protagonist of “The Queen’s Gambit” : BETH
61 Prefix with conscious : ECO-
62 Big name in outdoor gear : REI

3 thoughts on “0916-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 22, Friday”

  1. 11:21. I was zipping right along until I got to the bottom, the SW in particular. Also still not really sure how hard-boiled and NOIRISH relate–I’m guessing it has something to do with film descriptors.

  2. 21:13. I didn’t get the NOIRISH-hard-boiled connection either. It is explained in Wordplay today. I guess “hard-boiled” refers to a detective, perhaps, who has been around a while.

    Both the terms “cordial” and ACT NICE were completely new to me….

    So to produce MOLASSES, sugar cane is crushed, mashed, and boiled 3 times? That’s pretty much how I feel on a Friday afternoon this time of year..

    PET scans work similarly to MRIs, but MRIs use magnets (about the same strength as the magnets they use to pick up cars) to excite the protons in the hydrogen atoms in your body to align with the magnet’s field. The machine then sends out a radio signal that the hydrogen atoms absorb and then “spit out” when the magnet is turned off. The emitted particles from the H atoms’ protons snapping back into place is how the image is created.

    Interestingly, to create a magnet that strong, the MRI creates a super conductor using liquid nitrogen at about 10 degrees Kelvin which creates a virtually zero resistance coil. Fascinating machines.

    Best –

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