1025-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ashleigh Silveira & Nick Shephard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Steps Up One’s Game

Today’s grid includes the names of four board GAMES shown in circled letters that STEP UP from row to row:

  • 7D Improves to meet a challenge … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : STEPS UP ONE’S GAME

The games are:

  1. SCRABBLE
    The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.
  2. CHESS
    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”)
  3. RISK
    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 …
  4. MONOPOLY
    The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

Bill’s time: 6m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 It’s black on one side and white on the other, in Othello : DISC

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

13 Snack item that might be twisted or dunked : OREO

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

16 Lisa with the 1994 #1 hit “Stay (I Missed You)” : LOEB

Singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

17 City in Normandy : CAEN

Caen, on the River Orne, lies in the Calvados department of France in the northwest of the country. Caen is famous for the WWII Battle of Caen that left the town practically destroyed. Caen is also the burial place of Norman King William I of England, also known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

19 T or F, e.g. : ANS

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

20 Business review site : YELP

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”.

22 Soda can opener : POP-TAB

The oldest method of opening a can with a device included in the can’s design is the pull-tab or ring pull, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to fewer injuries and eliminated all those used pull-tabs that littered the streets.

24 Chimichurri or hollandaise : SAUCE

The original recipe for the green sauce called chimichurri comes from the Rio de la Plata area in Argentina. The ingredients are chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and white vinegar. It’s not really clear how the sauce got its name.

Hollandaise sauce is a mixture of egg yolk and melted butter that is then seasoned, usually with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Hollandaise has an exalted position in French cuisine. Although the origin is debated, some say that the recipe was invented in the Netherlands and taken to France by the Huguenots, hence the name “Hollandaise”, meaning “of Holland”.

26 Stuck-up : SNOBBY

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

31 Key above Caps Lock : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

32 Stock launches, in brief : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

33 ___ Culbertson, member of the contract bridge hall of fame : ELY

Ely Culbertson was a great personality in the world of contract bridge (the greatest card game known to man!). He wrote an autobiography called “The Strange Lives of One Man” which is supposed to be an extraordinary read. I will have to put it on my Christmas wish list …

37 Mac maker : APPLE

Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The company incorporated the following year, but without Wayne. He sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak, for $800 …

39 Post-O.R. locale : ICU

The intensive care unit (ICU) is where many patients head after leaving the operating room (OR).

40 Magical writing, as in Dungeons & Dragons : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a complex role-playing game (RPG) introduced in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my youngest son …

41 Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO

Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term “foo fighters” originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

42 Big name in electric toothbrushes : SONICARE

Sonicare is a brand of electric toothbrush made by Dutch electronics giant Philips. I’ve been using my Sonicare for years now, which earns me a pat on the back from my dentist every time I visit her …

50 Like some volleyballs and hair : SPIKED

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

55 Road gunk … or, when doubled, tooth gunk : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

56 Borden Dairy cow : ELSIE

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor of Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

57 Country between Thailand and Vietnam : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

61 Not worth having, as an argument : MOOT

A moot court is a simulated court proceeding engaged in by law students. A moot court is similar to a mock trial, with the former simulating an appellate court or arbitral case, and the latter simulating a jury trial or bench trial. In Anglo-Saxon times, a “moot” was a gathering of prominent men to discuss matters of local importance.

64 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS

INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers. The biggest INXS hits in the US were “The One Thing” (1982), “Devil Inside” (1988) and “Suicide Blonde” (1990).

Down

3 Line from “Dick and Jane” readers : SEE SPOT RUN

In the “Dick and Jane” series of books for children, Spot was a cat back in the thirties, but then became a dog in later editions.

6 Meticulous to a fault : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

8 Fountain ___ : PEN

The fountain pen is the successor to the dip pen. Both pens have a nib, but the fountain pen has its own internal reservoir of ink that flows to the nib as required.

9 Toledo minor-leaguer, named for a marsh bird : MUD HEN

The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. Viewers of the TV show “M*A*S*H” heard about the Mud Hens a lot, as Jamie Farr’s character Max Klinger was a loyal fan. Farr himself was born and raised in Toledo, and the team retired the No. 1 jersey in Farr’s honor.

10 Word before 51 or rug : AREA …

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

11 Educational promos, in brief : PSAS

Public service announcement (PSA)

12 Meeting, informally : SESH

Session (abbreviated to “sess.” formally, and “sesh” informally)

15 Jigsaw item : PIECE

John Spilsbury was an English cartographer who is best remembered for inventing jigsaw puzzles. Spilsbury’s puzzles were maps affixed to wood, and carved out country by country. They were intended for educational purposes.

20 “___ dabba doo!” : YABBA

“Yabba dabba doo!” is one of Fred Flintstone’s catchphrases.

23 Lift on a ski slope : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

25 Battery end : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

29 Loss leader? : ELL

The leading letter in the word “loss” is a letter L (ell).

30 Henna, e.g. : 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.

38 The fuzz : PO-PO

“Po-po” is a slang term meaning “police”.

40 Antipest spray : RAID

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

44 Belief system : CREED

A creed or credo is a profession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

47 Heron varieties : EGRETS

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

Herons are birds with long legs that inhabit freshwater and coastal locales. Some herons are routinely referred to as egrets, and others as bitterns. Herons look a lot like storks and cranes, but differ in their appearance in flight. Herons fly with their necks retracted in an S-shape, whereas storks and cranes have their necks extended.

51 Ballet dip : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

52 Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA

In Spanish, Cuba “por ejemplo” (for example), is an “isla” (island).

58 Keydets’ sch. : VMI

The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is one of the six senior military colleges in the country, and is located in Lexington, Virginia. The sports teams of VMI are known as the Keydets, southern slang for “cadets”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It’s black on one side and white on the other, in Othello : DISC
5 Scratchy voice : RASP
9 Trailhead displays : MAPS
13 Snack item that might be twisted or dunked : OREO
14 Casino buy-in : ANTE
15 Holder of keys, phone and IDs : PURSE
16 Lisa with the 1994 #1 hit “Stay (I Missed You)” : LOEB
17 City in Normandy : CAEN
18 Things that thinkers think of : IDEAS
19 T or F, e.g. : ANS
20 Business review site : YELP
21 Go over again, as plans : REHASH
22 Soda can opener : POP-TAB
24 Chimichurri or hollandaise : SAUCE
26 Stuck-up : SNOBBY
27 Like a weedy garden, perhaps : UNTENDED
31 Key above Caps Lock : TAB
32 Stock launches, in brief : IPOS
33 ___ Culbertson, member of the contract bridge hall of fame : ELY
34 Word before firma or incognita : TERRA …
36 Doze (off) : NOD
37 Mac maker : APPLE
39 Post-O.R. locale : ICU
40 Magical writing, as in Dungeons & Dragons : RUNE
41 Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO
42 Big name in electric toothbrushes : SONICARE
45 Li’l slip : OOPSIE
48 Lets the tears flow : CRIES
49 Wining and dining, say : WOOING
50 Like some volleyballs and hair : SPIKED
53 Fellow, informally : GENT
55 Road gunk … or, when doubled, tooth gunk : TAR
56 Borden Dairy cow : ELSIE
57 Country between Thailand and Vietnam : LAOS
58 Aura : VIBE
59 Wasn’t well : AILED
60 Luxury hotel chain : OMNI
61 Not worth having, as an argument : MOOT
62 Butt : REAR
63 Try the patience of : TEST
64 “Need You Tonight” band, 1987 : INXS

Down

1 Practice swimming : DO LAPS
2 Like some T-shirt graphics : IRON-ON
3 Line from “Dick and Jane” readers : SEE SPOT RUN
4 Inner ear? : COB
5 Fly past : RACE BY
6 Meticulous to a fault : ANAL
7 Improves to meet a challenge … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : STEPS UP ONE’S GAME
8 Fountain ___ : PEN
9 Toledo minor-leaguer, named for a marsh bird : MUD HEN
10 Word before 51 or rug : AREA …
11 Educational promos, in brief : PSAS
12 Meeting, informally : SESH
15 Jigsaw item : PIECE
20 “___ dabba doo!” : YABBA
21 They’re hard to get out of : RUTS
23 Lift on a ski slope : T-BAR
25 Battery end : ANODE
28 Testimony under oath : DEPOSITION
29 Loss leader? : ELL
30 Henna, e.g. : DYE
32 Harden (to) : INURE
34 “___ but a scratch!” : ‘TIS
35 Green prefix : ECO-
37 In progress : AFOOT
38 The fuzz : PO-PO
40 Antipest spray : RAID
43 More “ew”-inducing : ICKIER
44 Belief system : CREED
45 Takes responsibility for a mistake : OWNS IT
46 How breakfast cereal is usually packaged : IN A BOX
47 Heron varieties : EGRETS
50 Scorch on a grill : SEAR
51 Ballet dip : PLIE
52 Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA
54 Periods longer than eras : EONS
57 Place to park : LOT
58 Keydets’ sch. : VMI

2 thoughts on “1025-22 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 22, Tuesday”

  1. 13:17, no errors. Felt easier than the time would indicate. A few initial wrong guesses: 16A MONA before LOEB; 22A POP TOP before POP TAB; 45D OWNS UP before OWNS IT.

  2. 7:55. Fun theme.

    I’m a huge fan of the game of CHESS. I often tell the story of how I really thought I was a good CHESS player…until I actually played a really good CHESS player. If I only had more time. I don’t play as often as I used to.

    I’ve been told I’d love the game of contract bridge, but I’ve never played. Indeed, I don’t even know the rules.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *