1103-22 NY Times Crossword 3 Nov 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Chase Dittrich & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): It’s in the Clue

Themed answers are common phrases in the form X in the Y, where X is a word hidden in the clue, and Y is a synonym of that clue:

  • 20 _N_ _ _ERS : KICK IN THE PANTS (KNICKERS)
  • 25 CRAWL SP_ _ _ : ACE IN THE HOLE (CRAWL SPACE)
  • 42 _EABR_ _ _ : PAIN IN THE ASS (PEABRAIN)
  • 49 COLD S_ _U_ _ER : HOLD IN CONTEMPT (COLD SHOULDER)

Bill’s time: 15m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tinker (with) : FUTZ

To futz around is to waste time on trivial matters, to fool around. “Futz” is probably derived from a “not-so-nice” word that has been merged with “putz”.

14 Memo starter : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

17 Persian for “country” : STAN

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

18 Taqueria menu adjective : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

20 _N_ _ _ERS : KICK IN THE PANTS (KNICKERS)

Back in the early 1900s, young boys would wear short pants in summer and longer “knee pants” in winter. The “knee pants” came to be known as “knickers” or “knickerbockers” in honor of the fictional author Diedrich Knickerbocker who appears in Washington Irving’s “History of New York”. Knickerbocker’s attire included knee-breeches.

23 Téa of “Madam Secretary” : LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role: Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I quite enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired from 2014 to 2019. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

24 “No ___!” (cry in a queue) : CUTS

Our word “queue”, meaning “waiting line”, comes from French. “Queue” is the French word for “tail”, and the phrase “queue à queue” translates as “one after another” (literally “tail to tail”).

25 CRAWL SP_ _ _ : ACE IN THE HOLE (CRAWL SPACE)

“Stud poker” is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

31 Brand owned by Whirlpool : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

Whirlpool is a manufacturer of home appliances that was founded as the Upton Machine Company in 1911.

35 Trojans’ sch. : USC

The athletic teams of the University of Southern California are called the USC Trojans. The women’s teams are also called the Trojans, but are sometimes referred to as Women of Troy.

36 The “seven” referenced by the film title “Seven” : SINS

The 1995 film “Seven” is a crime thriller starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives tasked with tracking down a serial killer. The bad guy, played by Kevin Spacey, engages in thematic murder, basing each killing on one of the seven deadly sins. I hear that critics and audiences liked this one, but also that it is pretty brutal.

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

39 Exam taken by many jrs. : ACT

ACT is an abbreviation for American College Testing. The ACT is an entrance exam used by many universities. It has four sections, English, Reading, Math and Science, and an optional 30-minute essay.

41 Sauce that often contains nuts : PESTO

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

46 First name in cosmetics : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

54 Goes over or under, in a way : BETS

An over-under bet is a wager that a number will be over or under a particular value. A common over-under bet is made on the combined points scored by two teams in a game.

57 Product with a Mini variety : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

58 Role on “Stranger Things” : ERICA

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

59 University in a town of the same name : ELON

Elon University School of Law is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was established in 2006, and fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 2011.

Down

1 Nashville university attended by W.E.B. DuBois and John Lewis : FISK

Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee was founded in 1866 as the Fisk Free Colored School. It was established soon after the end of the Civil War with the mission of providing education for freedmen.

4 Riddles in Buddhism : ZEN KOANS

The concept of koan appears in the Zen Buddhist tradition. A koan is a story, question or perhaps a statement that is used as an aid to meditation. It often takes the form of a problem or riddle that has no logical solution and is intended to help the meditator break free of reason and develop intuition.

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. “Zen” is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

5 ___ Baby : BEANIE

There were originally just nine Beanie Babies when Ty Warner introduced the stuffed animal in 1993. In the late nineties the toy became a real fad, largely due to innovative marketing techniques. For example, there was no mass marketing with constant TV ads, and the production volume was limited pushing the line into the realm of collectibles. Beanie Baby models were also “retired” on a regular basis, fueling a “must have” behavior in the market.

9 Popular app originally launched under the name Picaboo : SNAPCHAT

Snapchat is a messaging system that allows users to send photos and video clips to a limited list of recipients. The photos and clips, called “snaps”, can be viewed for only a few seconds before they are deleted from the recipient’s device, and from the Snapchat servers.

10 Column base : PLINTH

A plinth is a block on which something is placed, especially a column. The Greek word “plinthos” means “squared stone”.

12 Enterprise rival : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car was established in 1957 by Jack. C. Taylor in St. Louis, Missouri, where the company is still headquartered today. The company was originally called Executive Leasing Company. The name was changed in 1962 in honor of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, on which Taylor served during WWII.

21 Ancient worshiper of Pachamama (“earth mother”) : INCA

Pachamama is a goddess worshiped by indigenous peoples in the Andes of South America. “Pachamama” translates best as “Mother World” and embraces the whole universe as opposed to just the Earth.

22 Violinist Leopold : AUER

Leopold Auer was a Hungarian violinist, as well as a conductor and composer. Auer wrote a small number of works for the violin, the most famous of which is the “Rhapsodie Hongroise” written for violin and piano.

26 Language family in Canada : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada. A member of the Inuit people is known as an “Inuk”.

29 Khan Academy subj. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

“Khan Academy” is a not-for-profit organization that aims to provide a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. Founded by educator Sal Khan in 2006, the academy mainly teaches mathematics and science through the medium of YouTube videos. Check out some of the videos. They are really excellent …

31 “Go, go, go!” : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

32 Mineral whose name means “crumb” in Latin : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes” in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

43 Wrestling maneuver : NELSON

The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

44 Trojan hero born of Aphrodite : AENEAS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

47 Actor Hirsch : EMILE

Emile Hirsch is an actor from Topanga, California. Hirsch’s most famous role was the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.

48 Printer brand : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (with “EP” standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

50 Name that’s a conjunction + an article : NORA

NORA = NOR + A

53 Bazaar sight : TENT

Our word “bazaar”, meaning “market”, comes from the Persian “bazar” that means the same thing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tinker (with) : FUTZ
5 Obscures, in a way : BLURS
10 Acts as one? : PLAY
14 Memo starter : IN RE
15 Garden of ___ (punnily named snack brand) : EAT-IN
16 Word with bird or nest : LOVE …
17 Persian for “country” : STAN
18 Taqueria menu adjective : ASADA
19 “You sure about that?” : IS IT?
20 _N_ _ _ERS : KICK IN THE PANTS (KNICKERS)
23 Téa of “Madam Secretary” : LEONI
24 “No ___!” (cry in a queue) : CUTS
25 CRAWL SP_ _ _ : ACE IN THE HOLE (CRAWL SPACE)
31 Brand owned by Whirlpool : AMANA
34 Absence of musical ability : NO EAR
35 Trojans’ sch. : USC
36 The “seven” referenced by the film title “Seven” : SINS
37 Intoxicated, in modern slang : TURNT
38 Meh : BLAH
39 Exam taken by many jrs. : ACT
40 Works at a restaurant … or what many diners experience at popular restaurants : WAITS
41 Sauce that often contains nuts : PESTO
42 _EABR_ _ _ : PAIN IN THE ASS (PEABRAIN)
45 Small valley : DELL
46 First name in cosmetics : ESTEE
49 COLD S_ _U_ _ER : HOLD IN CONTEMPT (COLD SHOULDER)
54 Goes over or under, in a way : BETS
55 Worst possible turnout : NO ONE
56 It might help you get a grip : VISE
57 Product with a Mini variety : OREO
58 Role on “Stranger Things” : ERICA
59 University in a town of the same name : ELON
60 Org. : ASSN
61 What good pitches often result in : SALES
62 ___ control (city law subject) : RENT

Down

1 Nashville university attended by W.E.B. DuBois and John Lewis : FISK
2 To : UNTIL
3 Go over, in a way : TRACE
4 Riddles in Buddhism : ZEN KOANS
5 ___ Baby : BEANIE
6 Anchor’s position : LAST
7 Home of the Uintah and Ouray reservation : UTAH
8 Nag, nag, nag : RIDE
9 Popular app originally launched under the name Picaboo : SNAPCHAT
10 Column base : PLINTH
11 Directionless sorts : LOST SOULS
12 Enterprise rival : AVIS
13 Lead-in to a counterargument : YET …
21 Ancient worshiper of Pachamama (“earth mother”) : INCA
22 Violinist Leopold : AUER
26 Language family in Canada : INUIT
27 Up : NORTH
28 All wound up : TENSE
29 Khan Academy subj. : LSAT
30 Comeback : ECHO
31 “Go, go, go!” : ASAP!
32 Mineral whose name means “crumb” in Latin : MICA
33 Cures for what ails you : ANTIDOTES
37 Marks in the sand, perhaps : TAN LINES
38 All-time greatest : BEST EVER
40 Feral : WILD
41 “Hey, over here!” : PSST!
43 Wrestling maneuver : NELSON
44 Trojan hero born of Aphrodite : AENEAS
47 Actor Hirsch : EMILE
48 Printer brand : EPSON
49 From half of a couple, maybe : HERS
50 Name that’s a conjunction + an article : NORA
51 It’s all wound up : COIL
52 Some time ago : ONCE
53 Bazaar sight : TENT
54 It’s a wrap : BOA

7 thoughts on “1103-22 NY Times Crossword 3 Nov 22, Thursday”

  1. Bill: Your answer for “ 37 A” was meant for “36A” (unless you are implying “ intoxicated” should now be included as one of the seven deadly sins ).

  2. After completing the puzzle, I went down to my local Greek whisperers (local diner) to confirm one of Bill’s ‘origins’ for 57A and as we would all suspect, Bill is right. OREO does mean ‘beautiful’ in Greek, though it’s pronounced aw-RAY-o. When describing a beautiful woman, the Greek word is aw-RAY-ah.

  3. 25:44. Solved like a themeless. All kinds of issues in the NW especially FUTZ/ZENKOANZ.

    By the time I got the theme, I only had one theme answer left. I had ….IN THE PANTS, and I kept wanting to put ANTS, but it didn’t fit the clue.

    TURNT? Really?

    Best –

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