1016-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Oct 22, Sunday

Constructed by: Paolo Pasco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Terminal Connections

Themed answers start off in the down-direction and then turn 90 degrees into the across-direction. They also come in pairs, TERMINATING side-by side inside a shared across-answer:

  • 24A Old-fashioned letter opener : DEAR MADAM …
  • 6D *Baseball pitching style … or a weapon : SIDEARM
  • 14D *Big name in hotels : RAMADA
  • 53A Online promotions, collectively : E-MARKETING
  • 36D *Indentation on a chew toy : BITE MARK
  • 38D *Light again : REIGNITE
  • 56A What businesses go by : TRADE NAMES
  • 40D *Whom Holmes tells “You do find it very hard to tackle the facts” : LESTRADE
  • 43D *Many a Viking : NORSEMAN
  • 89A Rock commonly used in asphalt : SANDSTONE
  • 62D *Grand : THOUSAND
  • 65D *Early French Protestants : HUGUENOTS
  • 91A Part of a hotel with décor fitting a certain motif : THEME ROOM
  • 67D *Basic rivalry : US VS THEM
  • 70D *”G.I. Jane” star, 1997 : DEMI MOORE
  • 122A “Be My Baby” group, 1963 : THE RONETTES
  • 100D *”Encore!” : ANOTHER ONE!
  • 106D *Actress Angela : BASSETT

Bill’s time: 21m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 ___ axis, half of an ellipse’s shorter diameter : SEMIMINOR

One way to envision the two foci of an ellipse is to imagine two nails sticking up out of a board, placed a small distance apart. A loop of string is placed on the board, with the nails in the middle. A pen is placed inside the loop, and moved as far away from the nails as possible, confined by the string. The pen is then run around the nails, stretching out the string so that it is taut. The pen will draw an ellipse, and the point where the nails are, they are the ellipse’s two foci.

15 See-worthy? : PAPAL

In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop presides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

21 Singer of “Fame” fame : IRENE CARA

“Fame” is a 1980 musical film that follows students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts. Irene Cara sings the hugely successful theme song “Fame”, and stars as one of the students. Cara had in fact attended the High School of Performing Arts in real life. The movie “Fame” was so successful that it led to a spinoff TV series, stage shows and a 2009 remake.

22 “___: Game Over” (2014 video game documentary) : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

23 Grown-up efts : NEWTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

25 Turn into confetti : SHRED

The word “confetti” is related to “confection”. The original confetti were small candies thrown during carnivals in Italy. This custom migrated to England, and eventually evolved into the practice of tossing small pieces of paper instead of confections.

28 ___ Lewis, singer of the 2007 #1 hit “Bleeding Love” : LEONA

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

29 Tennis star Naomi, who was born in 29-Across : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles. She was also the first ever tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron during an opening ceremony, doing so for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

33 Mossy growths : LICHENS

Lichens are interesting organisms, as they are made up of a partnership of a fungus and either an alga or a bacterium existing in a symbiotic relationship. The algae or bacteria are capable of photosynthesis, and so manufacture simple sugars using light and carbon dioxide from the air. The fungus uses the manufactured sugars, and in return provides a stable environment for the algae or bacteria to thrive.

36 River with a “White” counterpart : BLUE NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

38 Lil ___ Howery (“Get Out” actor) : REL

“Get Out” is a 2017 horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. I don’t do horror, but I do hear that this one is well made …

44 F-, for one : ION

Fluorine is a gaseous element with the symbol F and the atomic number 9. It is very reactive, and very dangerous.

45 Ritual with bamboo utensils : TEA CEREMONY

The Japanese tea ceremony is called “chanoyu” in Japanese, and involves the preparation and presentation of powdered green tea. When leaf tea is used, the ceremony is called “senchado”.

49 Repeated word in an “Animal House” chant : TOGA!

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

51 Pastry with the same shape as an Argentine medialuna : CROISSANT

Although similar pastries have been around since the 13th century, the croissant was introduced in a Viennese bakery in Paris in 1839. The pastry was named for its shape, as “croissant” is French for “crescent”.

52 Attorney general before Garland : BARR

William Barr was US Attorney General for two years in the administration of President George H. W. Bush before being appointed Attorney General by President Donald Trump in 2019. When not working, Barr is a very enthusiastic player of the Scottish bagpipes.

60 “Eureka!” : I GOT IT!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

64 Provide change in quarters? : REHOUSE

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

68 Long, tragic stories : ILIADS

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

74 Best Supporting Actress nominee for “The Power of the Dog,” 2021 : DUNST

Kirsten Dunst is a Hollywood actress from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She is perhaps best known for playing the love interest and female lead in the “Spider-Man” series of movies opposite Tobey Maguire. Personally, my favorite Dunst films are “Wimbledon” and “Marie Antoinette”. Dunst is a dual citizen of the US and Germany, as her father is from Hamburg.

76 Phanerozoic ___ (what we live in) : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

77 Classroom aides, for short : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

79 British term of address : GUV

“Guv” is an informal word used in the UK, and a shortened form of “governor”. It is usually a friendly address to a man, sort of like our “Mac” or “Dad”.

80 Currency for the prize on “Squid Game” : WON

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

“Squid Game” is a brutal survival drama TV series made in South Korea for Netflix. The title refers to a Korean children’s game, and the show itself features a series of children’s games. The players are adults, all of whom are in debt. They play a deadly series of games in the hope of surviving, and winning a multimillion-dollar prize. As I said, brutal …

81 Reddit Q&A session, in brief : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

82 Most unpleasantly old and mildewy : MUSTIEST

Something described as “musty” has a stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

85 Letters before Constitution or Enterprise : USS …

86 Popular subcompact hatchback from Japan : HONDA FIT

The Honda Fit (“Honda Jazz” in some markets) is a subcompact hatchback. We looked at the Fit when shopping for a new car not that long ago, but opted for the larger Toyota Prius instead, a choice that we have not regretted …

89 Rock commonly used in asphalt : SANDSTONE

The asphalt surface on roads (or basketball courts) is more properly called asphaltic concrete because asphalt itself (also known as “bitumen”) is just a sticky black liquid that comes from crude petroleum. Asphalt is used as a binder with aggregate to form asphaltic concrete.

93 Video game series with settings in Liberty City and San Andreas, for short : GTA

“Grand Theft Auto” (GTA) is an extremely successful series of video games. The game garners some negative attention because of its adult themes and the level of violence in the storyline. The original version of “Grand Theft Auto” was actually banned in Brazil.

96 “Everything Everywhere ___ at Once” (Michelle Yeoh movie) : ALL

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a 2022 comedy-drama movie starring Michelle Yeoh as a woman undergoing an IRS audit. That mundane storyline gets lost completely in a film full of science-fiction, fantasy, animation and martial arts. The screenplay was originally written for Jackie Chan, but it was reworked intentionally so that a female lead carried the plot. Frankly, this one sounds a little haphazard for my mundane and aging tastes …

Michelle Yeoh is an actress from Malaysia who appeared in several Hong Kong action films in which she did her own stunts and martial arts scenes. Her most famous action performance was in the 2000 movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, although I best know her for playing opposite Pierce Brosnan in the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

101 Travis of country music : TRITT

Travis Tritt is a country singer from Marietta, Georgia.

105 One of 2,297 for Hank Aaron, for short : RBI

The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.

107 Annoyance for a Twitch streamer : LAG

Twitch is a live-streaming platform used primarily by gamers. Folks playing games can broadcast their game play live to an audience.

110 Figure with equal angles : ISOGON

An isogon is a polygon with equal angles in the corners. Examples are squares and equilateral triangles.

114 Country whose flag depicts a machete : ANGOLA

Angola is a country in south-central Africa on the west coast. It is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

116 With 121-Across, company that sells scuba gear : AQUA …
121 See 116-Across : … LUNG

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

117 Certain furniture store purchases : OTTOMAN SETS

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

120 Missing : AWOL

122 “Be My Baby” group, 1963 : THE RONETTES

The Ronettes were a sixties girl group from New York City who worked with famed record producer Phil Spector. Their most famous hit was probably “Be My Baby” from 1963. The lead singer of the group was Veronica “Ronnie” Bennett, who ended up marrying Spector in 1968.

124 The lights in fairy lights : LEDS

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs were used in early digital watches, and are getting more and more popular even though their use in electronic equipment is fading away. LEDs are used as replacements for the much less-efficient tungsten light bulbs. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights many years ago and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

125 Some travel considerations, in brief : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

127 Donkey Kong and others : APES

The first video game featuring the ape named Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That same game introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

Down

2 ___ Eats : UBER

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might be delivered by car, bike or foot depending on the city and courier.

3 Ninja Turtle’s catchphrase : COWABUNGA!

“Cowabunga!” is an exclamation adopted by surfers in the sixties. The original use of “cowabunga!” was on television, as a catchphrase of Chief Thunderthud in “The Howdy Doody Show” in the fifties. The term got even more exposure in the nineties when it was adopted by the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.

12 Tennis’s “King of Clay” : NADAL

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

14 *Big name in hotels : RAMADA

The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.

17 Actress who played “Jessica” in “Parasite” : PARK SO DAM

“Parasite” is a 2019 comedy thriller movie from South Korea that became the nation’s highest-grossing film of all time. It was also the first movie not filmed in English to win the Oscar for Best Picture. I haven’t seen “Paradise” yet, but I hear great things from friends and family who have …

34 Period in ancient history : IRON AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

37 Textile-making device : LOOM

There are many types of loom used to weave cloth, but they all hold parallel threads in tension in one direction, while allowing the interweaving of threads in the perpendicular direction. The threads held under tension are the warp threads, and the “woven” threads are the “weft” threads.

40 *Whom Holmes tells “You do find it very hard to tackle the facts” : LESTRADE

Inspector Lestrade is a policeman from Scotland Yard who appears in many of the “Sherlock Holmes” stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle pinched “Lestrade” from a friend of his from his university days, a medical student named Joseph Alexandre Lestrade.

43 *Many a Viking : NORSEMAN

The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled by both sail and oars.

47 College near Vassar : MARIST

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York is now a coeducational school, after over a century of operating as a women’s college since its founding in 1861. The school was officially declared co-ed in 1969, although it had accepted a handful of male students on the GI Bill after WWII.

50 Where van Gogh and Gauguin briefly lived together : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

Vincent van Gogh was visited by fellow-artist Paul Gauguin in Arles in 1888. At one point the two argued quite violently, with van Gogh eventually threatening his friend with a razor blade. In a panic, van Gogh fled the house and made his way to a local brothel. Famously, he cut off his own left ear later that night.

52 Dyeing method using wax : BATIK

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

55 Where feudal workers worked : ESTATES

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

61 Academic acronym : STEM

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology. The acronym STEAM adds (liberal) arts to the STEM curriculum.

65 *Early French Protestants : HUGUENOTS

Members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France in the 16th and 17th centuries were known as Huguenots. The term might derive from the name of an early Swiss politician named Besançon Hugues, who paradoxically worked to prevent the spread of the Protestant Reformation in his native city of Geneva. Hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled Catholic France in order to escape prosecution, with some settling in English colonies in North America that were religiously tolerant.

70 *”G.I. Jane” star, 1997 : DEMI MOORE

Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes and took the name Demi Moore when she married her first husband, Freddy Moore. Moore’s second husband was Bruce Willis. She changed her name to Demi Guynes Kutcher a few years after marrying her third husband, Ashton Kutcher. However, Kutcher and Moore split in 2013.

G.I. Joe was the original “action figure”, the first toy to carry that description. G.I. Joe first hit the shelves in 1964. There have been a few movies based on the G.I. Joe figure, but, more famous than all of them I would say is the 1997 movie “G.I. Jane” starring Demi Moore in the title role. I thought that “G.I. Jane” had some potential, to be honest, but it really did not deliver in the end.

73 Believers in Jah, informally : RASTAS

“Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah”, and is a name often associated with the Rastafari movement.

83 Explosive stuff : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

84 U.S. ID? : IDAHO

Idaho was admitted as the 43rd state of the union in 1890. The passage to statehood was not without difficulty. There had been plans in Washington to split what is now Idaho between the new states of Washington and Nevada.

88 “Have ___ make my email stop” (Destiny’s Child lyric) : AOL

Destiny’s Child was an R&B group active from 1990 to 2006. The trio’s lineup changed over the years, and probably the most famous former member of the group is Beyoncé Knowles.

90 Cable in the middle of a tennis court : NET CORD

Our modern sport of tennis evolved from the much older racquet sport known as real tennis. Originally just called “tennis”, the older game was labeled “real tennis” when the modern version began to hold sway. Real tennis is played in a closed court, with the ball frequently bounced off the walls.

100 *”Encore!” : ANOTHER ONE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

102 Fidel ___, 1990s Philippine leader : RAMOS

Fidel Ramos was President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. I used to live in Manila, and one of my claims to fame is that I once went SCUBA diving with President Ramos. Well, we were in the same diving party, and there were three very burly guys between me and him the whole time …

103 Tehran’s home : IRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

106 *Actress Angela : BASSETT

Angela Bassett is an actress from New York whose breakthrough role was playing Tina Turner in the 1993 film about the pop icon’s life “What’s Love Got to Do with It”. Bassett married fellow actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997, having first met him while both were studying at Yale School of Drama.

108 How to play solitaire : ALONE

I think that a single-player card game is usually called “Solitaire” in the US whereas we use the name “Patience” back in Ireland.

109 They have high ratings on the Beaufort scale : GALES

The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

113 Alien-seeking org. : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

115 Strip near Tel Aviv : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

118 Beverage at un café : THE

In French, a “tasse” (cup) might contain perhaps “thé” (tea) or “café” (coffee).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Te quiero ___” (Spanish words of endearment) : MUCHO
6 ___ axis, half of an ellipse’s shorter diameter : SEMIMINOR
15 See-worthy? : PAPAL
20 Volume on an iPad, say : E-BOOK
21 Singer of “Fame” fame : IRENE CARA
22 “___: Game Over” (2014 video game documentary) : ATARI
23 Grown-up efts : NEWTS
24 Old-fashioned letter opener : DEAR MADAM …
25 Turn into confetti : SHRED
26 12/25, e.g. : RATIO
28 ___ Lewis, singer of the 2007 #1 hit “Bleeding Love” : LEONA
29 Tennis star Naomi, who was born in 29-Across : OSAKA
30 “I’m gonna tell you something huge” : BIG NEWS
33 Mossy growths : LICHENS
36 River with a “White” counterpart : BLUE NILE
38 Lil ___ Howery (“Get Out” actor) : REL
41 Stuffs into a hole, say : RAMS DOWN
44 F-, for one : ION
45 Ritual with bamboo utensils : TEA CEREMONY
48 God, in Italy : DIO
49 Repeated word in an “Animal House” chant : TOGA!
51 Pastry with the same shape as an Argentine medialuna : CROISSANT
52 Attorney general before Garland : BARR
53 Online promotions, collectively : E-MARKETING
56 What businesses go by : TRADE NAMES
59 Cut down : LESSEN
60 “Eureka!” : I GOT IT!
61 Word with easy or stop : STREET
64 Provide change in quarters? : REHOUSE
68 Long, tragic stories : ILIADS
72 Up to this point : THUS FAR
74 Best Supporting Actress nominee for “The Power of the Dog,” 2021 : DUNST
75 Letter opener, pencil cup, inbox tray, etc. : DESK SET
76 Phanerozoic ___ (what we live in) : EON
77 Classroom aides, for short : TAS
79 British term of address : GUV
80 Currency for the prize on “Squid Game” : WON
81 Reddit Q&A session, in brief : AMA
82 Most unpleasantly old and mildewy : MUSTIEST
85 Letters before Constitution or Enterprise : USS …
86 Popular subcompact hatchback from Japan : HONDA FIT
89 Rock commonly used in asphalt : SANDSTONE
91 Part of a hotel with décor fitting a certain motif : THEME ROOM
93 Video game series with settings in Liberty City and San Andreas, for short : GTA
94 Gobsmack : AWE
95 Scottish interjection : AYE
96 “Everything Everywhere ___ at Once” (Michelle Yeoh movie) : ALL
97 R&B artist whose name sounds like a pronoun : HER
99 Eats : HAS
101 Travis of country music : TRITT
105 One of 2,297 for Hank Aaron, for short : RBI
107 Annoyance for a Twitch streamer : LAG
110 Figure with equal angles : ISOGON
112 Sunday ___ (end-of-week anxiety, casually) : SCARIES
114 Country whose flag depicts a machete : ANGOLA
116 With 121-Across, company that sells scuba gear : AQUA …
117 Certain furniture store purchases : OTTOMAN SETS
120 Missing : AWOL
121 See 116-Across : … LUNG
122 “Be My Baby” group, 1963 : THE RONETTES
123 Bygone Microsoft media player : ZUNE
124 The lights in fairy lights : LEDS
125 Some travel considerations, in brief : ETDS
126 Tarnish : SOIL
127 Donkey Kong and others : APES

Down

1 Bachelors, e.g. : MEN
2 ___ Eats : UBER
3 Ninja Turtle’s catchphrase : COWABUNGA!
4 One who’s super-good-looking : HOTTIE
5 Affirmative gesture : OK SIGN
6 *Baseball pitching style … or a weapon : SIDEARM
7 Afore : ERE
8 Dining hall offerings : MEALS
9 About, on a 10-Down : IN RE
10 See 9-Down : MEMO
11 Volunteer’s words : I CAN
12 Tennis’s “King of Clay” : NADAL
13 Hour, in Italy : ORA
14 *Big name in hotels : RAMADA
15 Access providers : PASSES
16 Within reach : AT HAND
17 Actress who played “Jessica” in “Parasite” : PARK SO DAM
18 No-go ___ : AREA
19 Something to pry or twist off : LID
27 Volunteer’s words : ON IT
29 [Gasp!] : [OH MY!]
31 Chooses : ELECTS
32 More run-down : WEARIER
34 Period in ancient history : IRON AGE
35 Like a defeatist’s attitude : CAN’T-DO
36 *Indentation on a chew toy : BITE MARK
37 Textile-making device : LOOM
38 *Light again : REIGNITE
39 “I mean …” sounds : ERS
40 *Whom Holmes tells “You do find it very hard to tackle the facts” : LESTRADE
42 Telegram : WIRE
43 *Many a Viking : NORSEMAN
46 Pulled a fast one on : CONNED
47 College near Vassar : MARIST
50 Where van Gogh and Gauguin briefly lived together : ARLES
52 Dyeing method using wax : BATIK
54 Chief ___ (rapper with a rhyming name) : KEEF
55 Where feudal workers worked : ESTATES
57 French equivalent of “Stephen” : ETIENNE
58 ___ van der Poel, Olympic speed skater : NILS
61 Academic acronym : STEM
62 *Grand : THOUSAND
63 Hits shore unintentionally : RUNS AGROUND
65 *Early French Protestants : HUGUENOTS
66 Burden : ONUS
67 *Basic rivalry : US VS THEM
69 “Continuing where we left off last time …” : AS A FOLLOW UP …
70 *”G.I. Jane” star, 1997 : DEMI MOORE
71 Field goal avg., e.g. : STAT
73 Believers in Jah, informally : RASTAS
75 Fatalistic sort, in slang : DOOMER
78 Place in an overhead bin : STOW
80 No ___! (punnily named dairy-free chocolate brand) : WHEY
83 Explosive stuff : TNT
84 U.S. ID? : IDAHO
87 Bad place to pour grease : DRAIN
88 “Have ___ make my email stop” (Destiny’s Child lyric) : AOL
90 Cable in the middle of a tennis court : NET CORD
92 Would really rather not : HATES TO
97 “What’s up, everyone!” : HI, ALL!
98 -ish : -ESQUE
100 *”Encore!” : ANOTHER ONE!
102 Fidel ___, 1990s Philippine leader : RAMOS
103 Tehran’s home : IRAN
104 Fork prongs : TINES
106 *Actress Angela : BASSETT
108 How to play solitaire : ALONE
109 They have high ratings on the Beaufort scale : GALES
111 Jokester’s arsenal : GAGS
112 “Leave it,” on paper : STET
113 Alien-seeking org. : SETI
115 Strip near Tel Aviv : GAZA
118 Beverage at un café : THE
119 Business card abbr. : TEL