1026-22 NY Times Crossword 26 Oct 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Simeon Seigel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: All-Fours

Themed answers can each be broken into FOUR words of FOUR letters each:

  • 38A What you’re on when you’re crawling … or a hint to parsing 18-, 27-, 46- and 61-Across : ALL-FOURS
  • 18A Patsy + French “to be” + Singe + Pop queen = Sales wonk : MARKET RESEARCHER (MARK + ETRE + SEAR + CHER)
  • 27A Boat pole + Old “once” + Pace + Essence = Chief planner : MASTER STRATEGIST (MAST + ERST + RATE + GIST)
  • 46A Fiber source + Auto make + Red planet + Boxing family = Noted jazz saxophonist : BRANFORD MARSALIS (BRAN + FORD + MARS + ALIS)
  • 61A Interpret + Hockey’s Kovalchuk + Colorado ski town + Fit = On hand : READILY AVAILABLE (READ + ILYA + VAIL + ABLE)

Bill’s time: 8m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Autonomous household helper since 2002 : ROOMBA

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking, but I am not sure how effective it is …

17 Inspiration for an often-repeated golf story : HOLE-IN-ONE

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

18 Patsy + French “to be” + Singe + Pop queen = Sales wonk : MARKET RESEARCHER (MARK + ETRE + SEAR + CHER)

The etymology of the word “patsy” meaning “fall guy” isn’t really understood. One colorful theory suggests that the term comes from an 1890s vaudeville character named Patsy Bolivar. Patsy always got the blame when something went wrong.

21 River at Arles : RHONE

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland, passes through Lake Geneva, flows through the southeast of France, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Arles.

22 Leopold’s partner in 1920s crime : LOEB

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two well-heeled students at the University of Chicago who famously murdered a 14-year-old boy, apparently just on a whim, to show that they could commit the perfect crime. The crime turned out to be not quite so perfect and the pair were caught and put on trial for the murder in 1924. The trial was big news, especially after the defendants engaged high-profile attorney Clarence Darrow to represent them. In fact, the court proceedings were dubbed “The Trial of the Century”. The crime itself was the inspiration for the 1929 play called “Rope” by Patrick Hamilton, which in turn was the inspiration for the 1948 Hitchcock film of the same name.

24 1952 Winter Olympics host : OSLO

The 1952 Winter Olympic Games took place in Oslo, Norway. One of the firsts at the 1952 games was the first use of a purpose-built athletes’ village. The 1952 Games also marked the return of Japan and Germany to the Olympic family after being excluded from the 1948 games following WWII.

35 River past Cincinnati : OHIO

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

Cincinnati, Ohio was the first major city to be founded after the American Revolution, and indeed was the first major inland city to be founded in the whole country. Cincinnati was a boomtown in the 1800s, but its growth slowed as the railroads displaced the steamboats as the major form of transportation. The city was founded in 1788, and was named “Cincinnati” two years later. It was named for the Society of Cincinnati, an organization with a mission to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the officers of the Revolutionary War. The society was in turn named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was a farmer in ancient Rome who left his land to serve as Consul and then lawful dictator of Rome during a war emergency, before happily handing back power to the Senate after the war was won.

36 Sound emitted by methane emitters : MOO!

Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas, with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component.

37 Cryer in movies : JON

Actor Jon Cryer first came to public attention playing Duckie Dale in the 1986 John Hughes movie “Pretty in Pink”. Cryer’s most famous role was Alan Harper on the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”.

44 Like some practice courts : 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.

54 Early foe for 007 : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

57 With 58-Across, SEAL missions : NAVAL …
58 See 57-Across : … OPS

“SEAL” is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

61 Interpret + Hockey’s Kovalchuk + Colorado ski town + Fit = On hand : READILY AVAILABLE (READ + ILYA + VAIL + ABLE)

Ilya Kovalchuk is a Russian-born hockey player who turned out for the Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. Kovalchuk returned to his homeland in 2013, and signed a contract with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) that covers Europe and Asia.

The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

68 “Wretched hive of scum and villainy,” per Obi-Wan Kenobi : MOS EISLEY

In the original “Star Wars” movie (later called “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”), Mos Eisley is an outpost and hangout of less than reputable traders. The main drinking hole in the outpost is Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker get attacked there by Sandtroopers, but make their escape.

Down

2 Somali-born congresswoman from Minnesota : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

3 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

4 ___ Day (Jan. observance) : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

6 Playwright Miller : ARTHUR

Arthur Miller was a remarkable playwright, best known for his plays “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”. Famously, Arthur Miller left his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The two divorced five years later, just over a year before Monroe died of an apparent drug overdose.

7 “Interwebs” : THE NET

The Internet (uppercase letter I) is a system of interconnected networks that use the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to link devices around the world. In common usage, the word “internet” (lowercase letter I) is often used interchangeably with “World Wide Web”, although “the Web” is just one of many services and applications that uses the Internet.

8 Gas pump attachment : HOSE

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

10 Drink “for two” in song : TEA

“Tea for Two” is a 1924 song that became popular when it was included in the 1925 stage musical “No, No, Nanette”. The phrase “tea for two” dates back to the 1700s when it was used by street vendors touting the price of tea, and was not a reference to “tea, enough for two people”. The original “tea for two” was a reference to a price reduction for a cup of tea, from thrupence (three pence) to tuppence (two pence).

13 Silver salmon : COHO

The coho salmon is dark blue with silver along the side of its body, but only during the phase of its life while it is in the ocean. When spawning and heading up into a freshwater river, the coho has bright red sides.

14 Bend it, like Beckham? : KNEE

“Bend It Like Beckham” is a 2002 British-Indian movie that centers on a young Punjabi Sikh living in London who loves soccer, but is forbidden to play by her parents. The two leads in the film are Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley. Nagra went on to play Dr. Neela Rasgotra in TC medical drama “ER”, and Knightley went on to a remarkably successful Hollywood career.

15 Nikola Tesla, ethnically : SERB

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

19 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS

Ross Geller is the character on “Friends” played by David Schwimmer. The role was actually written with Schwimmer in mind, and so Ross was the first of the “Friends” to be cast.

24 Pearl Harbor National Memorial locale : OAHU

The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor sits across the sunken hull of the battleship, the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,117 sailors of the Arizona who were killed during the 1941 attack. After the attack, the superstructure of the Arizona protruded above the surface of the water. This was removed during and after WWII, hence leaving just a submerged hull. The memorial itself was approved by President Eisenhower in 1958, and the building was opened in 1962. In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was permanently moored in Pearl Harbor, docked nearby and perpendicular to the Arizona. It was on board the Missouri that the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of WWII.

26 Presidents Harrison, Hoover, Clinton and Obama, by birth : LEOS

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States. President Harrison is the only US president to be the grandson of a former president. Benjamin was the grandson of the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. One of the things that President Benjamin Harrison’s administration is remembered for is bringing the level of federal spending to one billion dollars for the first time.

President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa, and is the only president to have been born in that state. His birthplace is now a National Landmark, and he and his wife were buried in the grounds of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch. President Hoover died at the age of 90 years old in 1964, outliving his nemesis Franklin Delano Roosevelt by almost 20 years.

President Bill Clinton was born not as a Clinton, but as William Jefferson Blythe. Bill’s father was killed in a car accident just three months before he was born. His mother remarried a few years later, to Roger Clinton. Bill didn’t formally adopt the Clinton name until he was fourteen years old, although he used it as he was growing up.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. Future US President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

27 Uninspiring or low-paying work : MCJOB

“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

30 Young inhabitant of the Hundred Acre Wood : ROO

In A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” collection of stories, Pooh has many friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Besides Christopher Robin, who doesn’t actually live in the woods, the list includes Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Tigger and Owl.

38 Radio toggle : AM/FM

Amplitude modulation/frequency modulation (AM/FM)

39 Lake bird : LOON

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in Britain and Ireland. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

40 ___ Greiner, the so-called “Queen of QVC” : LORI

On the TV show “Shark Tank”, Lori Greiner is one of the “sharks”, one of the investors who choose whether or not to back entrepreneurs making a pitch for their businesses. Greiner has been described as a “serial inventor” and made millions selling those inventions on QVC. Her success on the shopping channel earned her the nickname “the Queen of QVC”.

41 Co. making arrangements : FTD

Back in 1910, fifteen florists from around America agreed to fulfill each other’s orders using the telegraph system, setting up what they called the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery. The concept grew so large that in 1965 the group started to offer international service, and changed its name to Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD).

47 “Gourd” : NOODLE

Slang terms for “head” include “bean”, “coconut”, “gourd”, “noodle” and “noggin”.

49 Thomas ___ Edison : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Autonomous household helper since 2002 : ROOMBA
7 “I feel your pain!” : THAT SUCKS!
16 More bountiful : AMPLER
17 Inspiration for an often-repeated golf story : HOLE-IN-ONE
18 Patsy + French “to be” + Singe + Pop queen = Sales wonk : MARKET RESEARCHER (MARK + ETRE + SEAR + CHER)
20 Be nosy : PRY
21 River at Arles : RHONE
22 Leopold’s partner in 1920s crime : LOEB
23 Give a few laughs : AMUSE
24 1952 Winter Olympics host : OSLO
27 Boat pole + Old “once” + Pace + Essence = Chief planner : MASTER STRATEGIST (MAST + ERST + RATE + GIST)
34 Study at the eleventh hour, say : CRAM
35 River past Cincinnati : OHIO
36 Sound emitted by methane emitters : MOO!
37 Cryer in movies : JON
38 What you’re on when you’re crawling … or a hint to parsing 18-, 27-, 46- and 61-Across : ALL-FOURS
42 Flat … or inflate? : PAD
43 Part of a stable diet? : OAT
44 Like some practice courts : MOOT
45 Sticky note, maybe : MEMO
46 Fiber source + Auto make + Red planet + Boxing family = Noted jazz saxophonist : BRANFORD MARSALIS (BRAN + FORD + MARS + ALIS)
52 Prefix with present : OMNI-
53 Cloudless : CLEAR
54 Early foe for 007 : DR NO
57 With 58-Across, SEAL missions : NAVAL …
58 See 57-Across : … OPS
61 Interpret + Hockey’s Kovalchuk + Colorado ski town + Fit = On hand : READILY AVAILABLE (READ + ILYA + VAIL + ABLE)
66 Regards : APPLIES TO
67 Arrived on horseback : RODE IN
68 “Wretched hive of scum and villainy,” per Obi-Wan Kenobi : MOS EISLEY
69 Gently rocked : SWAYED

Down

1 Incline : RAMP
2 Somali-born congresswoman from Minnesota : OMAR
3 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY
4 ___ Day (Jan. observance) : MLK
5 Slangy request at a kegger : BEER ME
6 Playwright Miller : ARTHUR
7 “Interwebs” : THE NET
8 Gas pump attachment : HOSE
9 Quaff of gruit and wort, in days of yore : ALE
10 Drink “for two” in song : TEA
11 Entitled Brit? : SIR
12 Open, in a way : UNCLOG
13 Silver salmon : COHO
14 Bend it, like Beckham? : KNEE
15 Nikola Tesla, ethnically : SERB
19 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS
23 Bank drive-thru convenience : ATM
24 Pearl Harbor National Memorial locale : OAHU
25 Begin to wake : STIR
26 Presidents Harrison, Hoover, Clinton and Obama, by birth : LEOS
27 Uninspiring or low-paying work : MCJOB
28 Erupting with noise : AROAR
29 One getting credit for seasonal gifts : SANTA
30 Young inhabitant of the Hundred Acre Wood : ROO
31 Push on : IMPEL
32 “Ditto” : SO AM I
33 Fusses : TO-DOS
38 Radio toggle : AM/FM
39 Lake bird : LOON
40 ___ Greiner, the so-called “Queen of QVC” : LORI
41 Co. making arrangements : FTD
45 Tag, key or chip, say : MAR
47 “Gourd” : NOODLE
48 James who plays Professor X in film : MCAVOY
49 Thomas ___ Edison : ALVA
50 Shows for a later audience : RE-AIRS

3 thoughts on “1026-22 NY Times Crossword 26 Oct 22, Wednesday”

  1. 17:26, no errors. Breezed through this, except when I didn’t. Had to back out of entering BLACK OPS before NAVAL OPS.
    Thank you Bill. I was going to comment on your explanation for 68A. I didn’t know that Stormtroopers dispatched to desert planets were called Sandtroopers. Learn something new every day.

  2. 13:05. Got a little mesmerized by the theme answers. Clever. Complete guess at the Y nexus of MCAVOY/MOSEISLEY. Made the same mistake as Bruce with “black” OPS before NAVAL OPS.

    Back in town. I know I’ve been away from crosswords too long when I don’t get what a THENET is until I come here and see THE NET. Sheeesh.

    Best –

  3. 13:58, no errors. Did this in the Miami Airport on my my back to Alaska from Roatan. It’s been a few weeks of diving so my crossword brain is a wee bit rusty.

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