0922-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Sep 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Helen Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Blackjack

Themed answers relate to gambling in a casino. Each answer includes a playing card as a hidden word. The sum of those cards adds up to 21, a great count in BLACKJACK:

  • 34A *Casino game associated with the sum of this puzzle’s shaded squares : BLACKJACK
  • 17A *Wagers at the casino (11) : PLACES A BET (hiding “ACE”)
  • 25A *Profit at the casino (+2 = 13) : AMOUNT WON (hiding “TWO”)
  • 48A *They’re worth 10 points at the casino (+1 = 14) : FACE CARDS (hiding “ACE”)
  • 56A *Has a wash at the casino (+7 = 21!) : BREAKS EVEN (hiding “SEVEN”)

Bill’s time: 9m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Shots of shooting stars, say : ARCS

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body traveling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

14 Not online, to a texter : IRL

In real life (IRL)

15 Where Hemingway worked on “For Whom the Bell Tolls” : HAVANA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

Ernest Hemingway moved around a lot. He was born in Illinois, and after leaving school headed to the Italian front during WWI. There he served as an ambulance driver, an experience he used as inspiration for “A Farewell to Arms”. He returned to the US after being seriously wounded, but a few years later moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Spanish War as a journalist, from Spain, using this experience for “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. During the thirties and forties he had two permanent residences, one in Key West, Florida and one in Cuba. In the late fifties he moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in 1961.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” is a 1940 novel by author Ernest Hemingway that tells the story of an American fighting for a republican guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. The novel is based on Hemingway’s own experiences during the conflict. The title is taken from a work by metaphysical poet John Donne called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”.

17 *Wagers at the casino (11) : PLACES A BET

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

20 “___ away” (“RuPaul’s Drag Race” catchphrase) : SASHAY

RuPaul is a famous drag queen who has developed a diverse career beyond performing on stage. He works as an actor, model, author and a recording artist. Famously, RuPaul doesn’t mind whether one addresses him as “he” or as “she” …

You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.

He currently hosts his own reality TV show called “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, which is billed as a search for “America’s next drag superstar”.

21 Water-confiscating org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) loosened the ban on liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on baggage in 2006, From that date onwards, passengers had to abide by the 3-1-1 rule, i.e. 3.4-ounce or less containers (3), in a one-quart ziploc bag (1), one bag per person (1).

23 Commercial prefix with Pen : EPI-

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

29 Certain buckwheat pancake : BLIN

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

Despite the name, “buckwheat” is not related to wheat, and nor is it a grass. Buckwheat is related to rhubarb. As the seeds are eaten, it is known as a “pseudocereal”. The name comes from “beech wheat”, a reference to the resemblance of buckwheat seeds to beech nuts from the “beech” tree, and the fact that buckwheat seeds are used like “wheat”.

33 Device making robocalls : DIALER

Robocalls; why can’t they be stopped? Why not, why not …?

34 *Casino game associated with the sum of this puzzle’s shaded squares : BLACKJACK

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in print in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “veintiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

45 Neighbor of a Saudi : OMANI

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

47 Sue at Chicago’s Field Museum, e.g. : T-REX

The largest and best-preserved dinosaur fossil ever found can be seen on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The fossil is a Tyrannosaurus rex that is thought to have weighed over 7 tons when alive. It was discovered in South Dakota in 1990 by paleontologist Sue Hendrickson. The specimen is nicknamed “Sue” after Hendrickson.

59 Creatures on an Escher Möbius strip : ANTS

M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. One such work is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

A Möbius strip is a surface that has only one side. One is easily made by taking a strip of paper and joining the ends together, but with a twist so that it isn’t a regular “band”.

60 Kind of culture satirized in “American Psycho” : YUPPIE

The term “yuppie” first appeared in the 1980s and is short for “young urban professional”. Yuppies are generally regarded as upper middle class or upper class men and women in their twenties or thirties.

“American Psycho” is a comedy horror film released in 2000 that is based on a 1991 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t do horror, comedic or not …

61 Figures on “The X-Files,” in brief : ETS

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

64 Henna, for one : DYE

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, for leather and wool as well as hair and skin. In modern days, henna is often used for temporary tattoos.

Down

1 A bit more buzzed : TIPSIER

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

2 Location of the “The Most Magical Place on Earth” : ORLANDO

The Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida receives more visitors annually than any other theme park in the whole world. The Magic Kingdom alone received about 17½ million visitors in 2012, and that’s not including the visitors to nearby Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

6 Actress Noblezada who got a Grammy for “Hadestown” : EVA

Eva Noblezada is an actress and singer who debuted on Broadway playing the lead in a 2017 revival of “Miss Saigon”. That performance earned her a Tony nomination, as did her portrayal of Eurydice in “Hadestown”.

7 Mischievous fairy queen : MAB

In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio refers to the fairy known as Queen Mab. It seems that Queen Mab was Shakespeare’s creation, although she became popular in subsequent works of literature. For example, she is referred to in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, and Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a large poetic work called “Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem”.

8 Approximate weight of the Liberty Bell : ONE TON

The Liberty Bell was commissioned in 1752 and installed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The bell bears the inscription “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”, a quotation from the Book of Leviticus in the Bible. Famously, the bell cracked when it was first rung in Philadelphia after arriving from the foundry where it was made in London, England. The bell’s fame originated with a short story by George Lippard published in 1847 that gave a fictional account of an old bell-ringer ringing it on July 4, 1776 upon hearing that the Second Continental Congress had voted for independence. That ringing of the bell never actually happened, even though the account was constantly presented as fact in school texts around the country for generations.

12 Yoga asana often paired with Cow : CAT POSE

The yoga pose called bidalasana is also referred to as the cat pose. The practitioner usually kneels on all fours, and arches the back. The counterpose, with the back lowered, is the cow pose.

13 Max ___, Academy Award-winning composer of “Now, Voyager” : STEINER

Max Steiner was an Austrian-born composer who moved to Hollywood in 1929, and who earned himself the moniker “the father of film music”. Steiner composed over 300 film scores, including, “King Kong” (1933), “Little Women” (1933), “Casablanca” (1942) and “Gone with the Wind” (1939).

The 1942 movie “Now, Voyager” stars Bette Davis, Paul Henreid and Claude Rains. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Olive Higgins Prouty. Prouty lifted the title of her book from the Walt Whitman poem “The Untold Want”:

The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

22 Shenanigan : ANTIC

I suppose one might be forgiven for thinking that “shenanigan” is an Irish term, as it certainly sounds Irish. Usually written in the plural, shenanigans are acts of mischief, pranks. Apparently the word is of uncertain derivation, but was coined in San Francisco or Sacramento, California in the mid-1800s.

25 Smart ___ : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

26 Chewy chocolaty morsel : MILK DUD

A morsel is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term “morsel” comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “bite”.

35 Camera brand with a red circle logo : LEICA

Leica is a German optics company that is famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

39 Polo brand : LACOSTE

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing. The Lacoste line of clothing features a crocodile logo, because René was nicknamed “The Crocodile”.

49 “Sir, this is an ___” (meme punch line) : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

50 “The Ballad of ___ Jones” : CASEY

Casey Jones was a famous railroad engineer who is remembered in the traditional song “The Ballad of Casey Jones”. The song tells us the story of Jones trying to stop his speeding train as it races towards another locomotive on the same line.

57 Clean water org. : EPA

The main legislation governing water pollution in the US is the Clean Water Act (CWA), which became law in 1972.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of the deck from which a dealer deals : TOP
4 Appear to be fine : SEEM OK
10 Shots of shooting stars, say : ARCS
14 Not online, to a texter : IRL
15 Where Hemingway worked on “For Whom the Bell Tolls” : HAVANA
16 Kind of wave : HEAT
17 *Wagers at the casino (11) : PLACES A BET
19 It goes in the middle of a table : ANTE
20 “___ away” (“RuPaul’s Drag Race” catchphrase) : SASHAY
21 Water-confiscating org. : TSA
23 Commercial prefix with Pen : EPI-
24 Lead-in to state or stellar : INTER-
25 *Profit at the casino (+2 = 13) : AMOUNT WON
28 Woman’s name that sounds like a pair of letters of the alphabet : EDIE
29 Certain buckwheat pancake : BLIN
30 Bait : TEASE
31 What some toy horses do : ROCK
32 Burrower in sand or mud : EEL
33 Device making robocalls : DIALER
34 *Casino game associated with the sum of this puzzle’s shaded squares : BLACKJACK
37 Isolated : SILOED
40 The tallest one in the U.S. is California’s Oroville : DAM
41 Icicle locale : EAVE
45 Neighbor of a Saudi : OMANI
46 Offload quickly : DUMP
47 Sue at Chicago’s Field Museum, e.g. : T-REX
48 *They’re worth 10 points at the casino (+1 = 14) : FACE CARDS
50 Command for hard copies : CTRL-P
51 Years ___ : AGO
52 Suffix with second, but not third : -ARY
53 It’s mouth-watering : SALIVA
54 Knoll : RISE
56 *Has a wash at the casino (+7 = 21!) : BREAKS EVEN
59 Creatures on an Escher Möbius strip : ANTS
60 Kind of culture satirized in “American Psycho” : YUPPIE
61 Figures on “The X-Files,” in brief : ETS
62 Flow slowly : SEEP
63 Like good catchphrases and comebacks : SNAPPY
64 Henna, for one : DYE

Down

1 A bit more buzzed : TIPSIER
2 Location of the “The Most Magical Place on Earth” : ORLANDO
3 An estimated 80% of marine debris : PLASTIC
4 Fleece : SHEAR
5 Like pie, but not cookies? : EASY
6 Actress Noblezada who got a Grammy for “Hadestown” : EVA
7 Mischievous fairy queen : MAB
8 Approximate weight of the Liberty Bell : ONE TON
9 Japanese fried cutlet : KATSU
10 “Got it!” : AHA!
11 What may be cheaper if it’s automatic : RENEWAL
12 Yoga asana often paired with Cow : CAT POSE
13 Max ___, Academy Award-winning composer of “Now, Voyager” : STEINER
18 What’s highlighted in some makeup tutorials : CHEEKBONE
22 Shenanigan : ANTIC
25 Smart ___ : ALEC
26 Chewy chocolaty morsel : MILK DUD
27 It whistles in the kitchen : TEAKETTLE
29 Bit of condensation : BEAD
33 A little sweaty, say : DAMP
35 Camera brand with a red circle logo : LEICA
36 Some copier woes : JAMS
37 To the extent that : SO FAR AS
38 Picture : IMAGINE
39 Polo brand : LACOSTE
42 Last word in GPS directions, often : ARRIVED
43 Buttery-soft : VELVETY
44 It’s a stretch : EXPANSE
46 Rehearsal : DRY RUN
49 “Sir, this is an ___” (meme punch line) : ARBY’S
50 “The Ballad of ___ Jones” : CASEY
53 Bypass : SKIP
55 It’s a “gift” : ESP
57 Clean water org. : EPA
58 Messenger, for one : APP

4 thoughts on “0922-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Sep 22, Thursday”

  1. 15:23. Amazing how many missteps I took in this puzzle. I couldn’t figure out who Sue TREX was, e.g….. Felt a lot longer than 15 minutes to finish. Somehow this puzzle managed to be both easy and hard.

    I think the theme would have been more Thursday-ish if they’d have just left the clues as is without the numerical hints. That made the shaded squares a layup. But like a lot of things, nobody asked me first.

    Best –

  2. 20:53. Flew through this until I circled back to the top and got stuck. Finally finished in the NE. After I finished I wondered why that gave me trouble.

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