0917-22 NY Times Crossword 17 Sep 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Grant Thackray
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 22m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sign of spring : THE RAM

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”.

15 Lays into, with “out” : REAMS …

I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.

16 Inventor played by David Bowie in “The Prestige” : TESLA

“The Prestige” is a 2006 film based on a 1995 novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. The story revolves around two rival magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. The real-life inventor Nikola Tesla appears as a character in the movie, portrayed by the great David Bowie.

21 Things once kept in towers : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

26 Red or green lights, maybe : AURORA

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

28 Kind of network : NEURAL

It used to be that “neural network” was just the name given to a network of nerve cells in an organism. In the modern world, the term “neural net” (short for “neural network”) also applies to virtual or electronic devices designed to mimic the function of the human brain, and in particular learning from past experiences.

36 What can’t be done alone, famously : THE TANGO

It takes two to tango …

The dramatic tango dance originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

38 Ballyhoo : ADO

“Ballyhoo”, meaning “hype, publicity”, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland named Ballyhooly!

39 Some social media postings : GIFS

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

42 Rooster raised for eating : CAPON

A capon is a castrated cockerel (poor guy!). Castration has a profound effect on the bird (duh!), making the meat more tender to eat when it is slaughtered.

46 Disney’s “___ Dragon” : PETE’S

“Pete’s Dragon” is a Walt Disney feature film released in 1977. It’s all about an orphan named Pete who has a dragon named Elliott as a friend.

50 Buckwheat and others : LITTLE RASCALS

Buckwheat was one of moviedom’s “Little Rascals”, also known as “Our Gang”. He was played by Billie Thomas, a child actor from Los Angeles.

52 Compound that becomes a man’s name when its last letter is removed : ETHANE

Ethane is the second largest component of natural gas after methane. Ethane’s main use is in the production of ethylene, a compound that is widely used in the chemical industry.

Down

2 Name on a truck : HESS

Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them ever since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

3 Jacobean ___ : ERA

The Jacobean era is that period in England and Scotland when the thrones were occupied by King James VI of Scotland, also known as King James I of England. “Jacobus” is the Latin for “James”.

7 Org. running global championships since 1930 : FIFA

The International Federation of Association Football (“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” in French) is usually referred to by the acronym “FIFA”. FIFA is the governing body of the game of soccer (association football), and the organizer of the FIFA World Cup held every four years.

9 Sam of Hollywood : RAIMI

Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer. He was behind the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV shows such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”. In 1993, Raimi married Gillian Green, the youngest daughter of actor Lorne Greene of “Bonanza” fame. Raimi and Greene named their eldest son Lorne, after his grandfather.

10 Mascot whose head is a baseball : MR MET

Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head. There’s also a Mrs. Met, a mascot who was previously known as Lady Met.

13 One for the money : DOLLAR SIGN

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

14 The most well-known one is named for a Greek hero : TENDON

Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscles to bones. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle.

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the leg, above the heel. The name is a reference to Achilles, the hero of Greek myth who was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel.

19 Hideout for Blackbeard : PIRATE COVE

Blackbeard was the nickname of the celebrated English pirate Edward Teach who plied his trade around the West Indies and up and down the North American coast.

20 Savage : FERAL

“Feral”, meaning “existing in a wild or untamed state”, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “wild animal”.

27 The land down under? : ATLANTIS

The legendary city of Atlantis was first referred to in writing by the Greek philosopher Plato. The story is that a navy from Atlantis attempted to invade Athens but failed, and as a result the city of Atlantis sank into the ocean.

40 In which Nunavut means “our land” : INUIT

Nunavut is a Canadian territory that dates back to 1999, when it was separated from the Northwest Territories. That makes Nunavut the youngest of all Canada’s territories. It is also the nation’s largest territory, the least populous, as well as the furthest north. Even though it is the second-largest country subdivision in North America (after Greenland), Nunavut is home to just over 30,000 people, who are mostly Inuit.

43 Role in 2020’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” : SEALE

Bobby Seale is a civil rights activist who co-founded the Black Panther Party with Huey Newton. Seale was one of the Chicago Eight, eight people charged as a result of anti-Vietnam war protests that took place during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The judge ordered Seale severed from the case, reducing the group of defendants to the Chicago Seven. However, Seale’s vehement protests during the trial led to the judge ordering him bound, gagged and chained to his chair, and eventually sentenced him to four years in jail for contempt of court. That conviction was quickly overturned on appeal.

45 Metal that can be drawn into a wire an atom wide : GOLD

Gold is a metallic chemical element with the symbol “Au”. It is extremely unreactive. Silver and other base metals dissolve in nitric acid, and so testing an unknown sample with nitric acid can confirm the presence of gold. This assaying practice gave rise to the figurative use of the term “acid test” to describe any definitive test.

49 21st-century health inits. : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sign of spring : THE RAM
7 Performs repetitive tasks to gain experience points, in gaming slang : FARMS
12 Question in a lot of cars? : WHERE DID I PARK?
14 Hourglass contents, poetically : THE SANDS OF TIME
15 Lays into, with “out” : REAMS …
16 Inventor played by David Bowie in “The Prestige” : TESLA
17 Litter whimper : MEW
18 Pot grower? : ANTE
19 Like certain corrections : PENAL
20 Doesn’t stick out, say : FITS
21 Things once kept in towers : CDS
22 Twitter-sphere? : BIRD CAGE
24 Thereabout : YONDER
26 Red or green lights, maybe : AURORA
28 Kind of network : NEURAL
30 Focus of the law of the land? : ESTATE
32 Emmy winner Patricia of “Thirtysomething” : WETTIG
34 “Good enough” : IT’LL DO
36 What can’t be done alone, famously : THE TANGO
38 Ballyhoo : ADO
39 Some social media postings : GIFS
42 Rooster raised for eating : CAPON
43 Impertinent sort : SNIP
44 Small sample : ONE
45 Many a Hollywood production assistant : GOFER
46 Disney’s “___ Dragon” : PETE’S
47 Slide behind a speaker, maybe : AUDIOVISUAL AID
50 Buckwheat and others : LITTLE RASCALS
51 Went head over heels? : STOOD
52 Compound that becomes a man’s name when its last letter is removed : ETHANE

Down

1 Word with song or party : THEME …
2 Name on a truck : HESS
3 Jacobean ___ : ERA
4 Possible source of monthly income : RENTER
5 Supplements : ADDENDA
6 Go out too late, perhaps : MISS A CUE
7 Org. running global championships since 1930 : FIFA
8 Felicitous : APT
9 Sam of Hollywood : RAIMI
10 Mascot whose head is a baseball : MR MET
11 Isn’t objective with : SKEWS
12 “How’ve you been?” : WHAT’S NEW?
13 One for the money : DOLLAR SIGN
14 The most well-known one is named for a Greek hero : TENDON
15 Blue-ish : RACY
19 Hideout for Blackbeard : PIRATE COVE
20 Savage : FERAL
22 Where one might drift off on a boat : BERTH
23 Exasperated, say : GOT TO
25 Relationship strains? : DUETS
27 The land down under? : ATLANTIS
29 Motivated, with “under” : LIT A FIRE …
31 Went round and round, in a way : EDDIED
33 Watches amazedly : GAPES AT
35 Line after a drop : OOPS!
37 Opposite of “Stat!” : NO RUSH!
39 Designs : GOALS
40 In which Nunavut means “our land” : INUIT
41 Given on a platter : FED TO
43 Role in 2020’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” : SEALE
45 Metal that can be drawn into a wire an atom wide : GOLD
46 Work out : PLAN
48 Acclaimed manga artist Junji ___ : ITO
49 21st-century health inits. : ACA

4 thoughts on “0917-22 NY Times Crossword 17 Sep 22, Saturday”

  1. 13:40. Hard cluing, and the bottom–SW in particular–slowed me down a bit. But I never got truly “stuck” anywhere.

  2. 39:32, no errors. Very slow and deliberate solve. Some of my initial guesses turned out wrong, such as 2D MACK before HESS. Fortunately there were others that helped me through: MR. MET; LITTLE RASCALS; ETHANE. After the fiascos of the last two days, happy to start a new streak.

  3. 38:20, “Little Rascals” was my first correct answer, then slowly built from the bottom up. I did snicker at some of the puns in the clues, happy to finish!

  4. 32:43. Good Saturday challenge. Very difficult to get any traction at first. Had DOLLAR bill before SIGN. Otherwise just a slow solve.

    For 3D I wanted to put Jacobean MEYERS, but it didn’t fit….

    Best –

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