1105-22 NY Times Crossword 5 Nov 22, Saturday

Constructed by: John Westwig
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 18m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Famous game-saving 1954 World Series play by Willie Mays : THE CATCH

Willie Mays’ nickname was “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

15 Many a Zoroastrian : IRANI

Zoroastrianism is a religion founded by the prophet Zoroaster around 600 BCE, making it one of the oldest religions in the world. There are two main Zoroastrian communities today, both of whom migrated to the Indian subcontinent from Greater Iran. The Parsis migrated in the 8th to 10th centuries, and the Irani migrated in the 19th century.

20 Raise people’s spirits? : HOLD A SEANCE

“Séance” is a French word meaning “sitting”. We use the term in English for a sitting in which a spiritualist tries to communicate with the spirits of the dead.

22 Phrase that’s often contracted … or suffix for something contracted : IT IS or -ITIS

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

26 ___ Cherry, singer with the 1988 hit “Buffalo Stance” : NENEH

Neneh Cherry is a rap singer from Stockholm, Sweden. Cherry was born Neneh Karlsson, but she took the name of her stepfather, American jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.

29 Humblebrag, of a sort : I TRY

The term “humblebrag”, meaning “self-deprecating boast”, was coined by Harris Wittels, a writer for the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”.

45 Met for a few hours in the evening? : OPERA

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

46 Makers of Deep Blue, the first computer to beat a world chess champion under tournament conditions : IBM

Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM specifically for playing chess. In 1996 it became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. The champion in question was the great Garry Kasparov, although he came out on top in the end by winning the 6-game competition 4-2.

47 Potato chips, in Britain : CRISPS

French fries are called “chips” back in Ireland where I grew up. And what we call “chips” in the US are known as “crisps” in Britain and Ireland. In France, French fries are known as “pommes frites” (fried potatoes).

49 One in a nursery rhyme pocketful : POSY

“Ring a Ring o’ Roses” is a nursery rhyme that I well remember from my childhood.

Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down.

The lyrics tend to be a little different over here in North America:

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

There’s an urban legend that the rhyme refers to the Great Plague that struck England in 1665. The inference is that “ring o’roses” is a rosy rash, and that “posies” of herbs were carried to ward off the disease. Victims would sneeze “a-tishoo” and “all fall down” dead.

50 Figures in “Knives Out” and “The Maltese Falcon” : PRIVATE EYES

A private eye is a private investigator, a PI, a private “I”.

“Knives Out” is an intriguing murder mystery film released in 2019. There’s a great cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. I really enjoyed this one, partly because it’s a clever, contemporary take on a classic whodunit movie …

The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, a character played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, a film of the same name and released in 1941.

54 ___ space : OUTER

The exploration and use of outer space is governed by the Outer Space Treaty that came into force in 1967. The initial signatories were the US, UK and USSR, and now 102 nations are party to the treaty. For the purposes of the treaty, outer space begins at the Kármán line, a theoretical sphere that lies at an altitude of 100km about the Earth’s sea level.

58 Traditional Polynesian beverage that numbs the mouth : KAVA KAVA

Kava is a plant found in the western Pacific. Its roots are used to make an intoxicating drink also called kava, which acts as a sedative.

59 Brined white cheeses : FETAS

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

60 “The White House” vis-à-vis the executive branch of government, e.g. : METONYM

A metonym is a word that is used for something that is closely associated with that word. For example, “Broadway” is a metonym for “American theater” and “Washington” is a metonym for “the US government”.

The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties, and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

Down

2 Cardamom-containing coffeehouse creation : CHAI TEA

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

5 “The beginning and end of all music,” per Max Reger : BACH

Like so many of the great composers, the extent of Bach’s contribution to the repertoire wasn’t fully recognized until long after his passing. I personally rate Johann Sebastian Bach as the greatest composer of the Baroque period. He is ranked by many as the greatest classical composer of all time.

Max Reger was a German composer and conductor. One of his students was George Szell, the famous Hungarian-born American composer who worked with the Cleveland Orchestra for so many years.

7 September/October zodiac symbol : SCALES

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

10 Marvel Comics character played multiple times in film by Ian McKellen : MAGNETO

In the Marvel Comics universe, Magneto is a powerful mutant, and an enemy of the X-Men. As his name implies, Magneto’s superhuman ability is that he can generate and control magnetic fields. Magneto has been portrayed on the big screen in the “X-Men” series of films by Sir Ian McKellen, and by Michael Fassbender.

Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, one who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in “The Lord of Rings”. In the UK, Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

11 Skip or Reverse : UNO CARD

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. It falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

12 Dole Plantation, e.g. : PINERY

James Dole lent his name to today’s Dole Food Company. He was known as the Pineapple King, as he developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the forerunner to the Dole Food Company. Dole might have had some help on the way, as he was a cousin of Sanford B, Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900.

17 Eminem track with the Guinness World Record for “most words in a hit single” : RAP GOD

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. Mathers grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He was raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

21 Washington hub that’s a portmanteau of two cities : SEA-TAC

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

23 Shot only you can take : SELFIE

A selfie is a self-portrait, one usually taken with a digital camera or cell phone. A “group selfie” is sometimes referred to as a “groufie” or “wefie”. A “couple selfie” is known as an “usie” or “ussie”, although those terms are sometimes also used for a group picture.

29 Apple product : IOS APP

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

33 Food item often accompanied by tzatziki : GYRO

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

Tzatziki is a sauce made from cucumbers mixed into yogurt with other flavorings. It is a sauce primarily associated with Greece, although variants are found in cuisines of other parts of Southeastern Europe and the Middle East.

39 Average American, allusively : PEORIAN

Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel “Five Hundred Dollars” by Horatio Alger, Jr.

40 Press secretary’s asset, informally : PR SAVVY

Public relations (PR)

44 Gadget that might be disguised as something else : SPY CAM

From what I’ve read, it is legal to record video with a hidden camera, at least to monitor the behavior of a caregiver in your home. Apparently there is also a law that prohibits the recording of audio. So, “nanny cams” are sold without audio capability. But (disclaimer) that’s just what I read, so don’t take my word for it!

51 Designer Wang : VERA

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she is a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

56 Ring call, for short : TKO

In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Amanuenses : SCRIBES
8 Clog : JAM UP
13 Famous game-saving 1954 World Series play by Willie Mays : THE CATCH
15 Many a Zoroastrian : IRANI
16 Nice place to read or watch TV : EASY CHAIR
18 Mad about : BIG ON
19 It might be dry or biting : WIT
20 Raise people’s spirits? : HOLD A SEANCE
22 Phrase that’s often contracted … or suffix for something contracted : IT IS or -ITIS
24 Oozed : SEEPED
25 Location of a daith piercing : EAR
26 ___ Cherry, singer with the 1988 hit “Buffalo Stance” : NENEH
28 Long account : SAGA
29 Humblebrag, of a sort : I TRY
30 Order against disclosure : GAG LAW
32 Bad : NOT GOOD
34 Romps : FIELD DAYS
36 This clue’s answer might contain more than seven letters : MAILBAG
38 Bad : CRAPPY
42 Gave a hard time : RODE
43 Fusses : ADOS
45 Met for a few hours in the evening? : OPERA
46 Makers of Deep Blue, the first computer to beat a world chess champion under tournament conditions : IBM
47 Potato chips, in Britain : CRISPS
49 One in a nursery rhyme pocketful : POSY
50 Figures in “Knives Out” and “The Maltese Falcon” : PRIVATE EYES
53 Peter Pettigrew’s Animagus, in the Harry Potter books : RAT
54 ___ space : OUTER
55 Keeping one’s thoughts to oneself, say : SECRETIVE
57 One who’s a charmer, maybe : FLIRT
58 Traditional Polynesian beverage that numbs the mouth : KAVA KAVA
59 Brined white cheeses : FETAS
60 “The White House” vis-à-vis the executive branch of government, e.g. : METONYM

Down

1 In an agitated state : STEWING
2 Cardamom-containing coffeehouse creation : CHAI TEA
3 At ease : RESTING
4 Unsalted, perhaps : ICY
5 “The beginning and end of all music,” per Max Reger : BACH
6 Shared values : ETHOS
7 September/October zodiac symbol : SCALES
8 Agreed : JIBED
9 Part of a 45-Across : ARIA
10 Marvel Comics character played multiple times in film by Ian McKellen : MAGNETO
11 Skip or Reverse : UNO CARD
12 Dole Plantation, e.g. : PINERY
14 Game where It always counts : HIDE AND GO SEEK
17 Eminem track with the Guinness World Record for “most words in a hit single” : RAP GOD
21 Washington hub that’s a portmanteau of two cities : SEA-TAC
23 Shot only you can take : SELFIE
27 “Peas” or “golf balls” : HAIL
29 Apple product : IOS APP
31 Creative works with net proceeds? : WEB ART
33 Food item often accompanied by tzatziki : GYRO
35 Word before or after “first” : LADIES
36 Ochlocracy : MOB RULE
37 “You know what you did!” : ADMIT IT!
39 Average American, allusively : PEORIAN
40 Press secretary’s asset, informally : PR SAVVY
41 “We did it!” : YAY, TEAM!
42 Scam : RIP OFF
44 Gadget that might be disguised as something else : SPY CAM
47 Alternatives to baskets : CARTS
48 A bad one is your fault : SERVE
51 Designer Wang : VERA
52 Race winner’s prize : SEAT
56 Ring call, for short : TKO

3 thoughts on “1105-22 NY Times Crossword 5 Nov 22, Saturday”

  1. 13:24. Lively fill in this one. And the stuff that was obscure (to me) was well-distributed so I could get it all from crosses.

  2. 18:06, no errors. What Tom said.

    Last night, while doing Tim Croce’s latest puzzle, I ran into yet another case of a puzzle claiming that “ewe” is a homonym of “yew” and “you”. Once again, I shrugged and treated it as just a bit of crossword conceit. (After all, the better part of eighty years ago, I was a farm boy. Who better than me to know that “ewe” is actually a homonym of “eww”!) But … this morning … I looked it up … and … I was wrong! My self-respect is shattered!

    This is going to take some getting “ewes”t-to … 😜.

  3. 26:26. Very difficult until it got easier. You really needed to fill in a few squares before you could start filling in a few squares…

    Bill’s time today is identical to mine yesterday which means…uhh….not much.

    Had PR Sense before PR SAVVY. Otherwise, just a slow steady solve.

    Some very good cluing – e.g. the clue for ITIS/IT IS.

    I’ve seen Willie Mays’ THE CATCH a thousand times, and I still don’t understand what the big deal was. Outfielders today make catches more spectacular than that almost daily. I’ve made that catch in softball games. I think everyone says it’s the best because everyone says it’s the best.

    uhh….Best –

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