1111-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 22, Friday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Launch party? : NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

15 Higher bet : OVER

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.

16 Popular paper flower variety : DAHLIA

The dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. It was named the national flower of Mexico relatively recently, in 1963. The plant was given the name “dahlia” in 1791, in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.

22 What jigsaw puzzle pieces do : FIT

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.

29 “One heart,” “two hearts,” “three hearts,” etc. : BIDS

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

33 The Big Easy, by another nickname : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

34 Puffin, for one : AUK

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

Puffins are seabirds found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They feed primarily by diving into the water to catch fish, and are known for their ability to swim underwater using a “flying” technique.

35 Wraps that might have sauce on them : APRONS

In Old French, a “naperon” was a “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

45 Owl’s sound : WHOO!

Owls have 14 vertebrae in their necks (compared to our 7). The extra bones in the neck, along with other adaptations allow owls to rotate the head and neck about 270 degrees.

46 She used the Force multiple times in “The Last Jedi” : LEIA

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

56 Baby cheetah : CUB

The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes into English from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.

58 Neutrogena competitor : OLAY

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1952. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

Neutrogena is a brand of skincare products that was founded in 1930 as a cosmetics company called Natone.

62 Big name in streaming : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded. For what it’s worth, Rokus used to be my streaming device of choice …

66 Empty ___ : NESTER

We love our children, but we love our empty nest too …

Down

2 Option for high-temperature cooking : AVOCADO OIL

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

4 Chamber oriented so that those who face it also face Jerusalem : ARK

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which the Torah scrolls are stored. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

5 Ethiopia’s capital, informally : ADDIS

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having been founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Addis Ababa holds an important position within the nations of Africa as it is home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

7 The Sixers, on scoreboards : PHI

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team is one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. The “Sixers” were formed in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals. The team moved to Philadelphia in 1963, and the name 76er was chosen in a fan contest, a name that honors the men who fought for the country’s independence in 1776.

8 ___ Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler : ALFRED

Alfred J. Pennyworth is the loyal butler to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Alfred is sometimes referred to as “Batman’s batman”. Sir Michael Caine played Alfred in three movies: “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

9 Pop bottles, perhaps : LITERS

On the other side of the Atlantic we use the French spelling for measurements that originated in French, so “metre” for “meter” and “litre” for “liter”.

10 Creamy South Asian drink : LASSI

Lassi is a yogurt-based drink from India. Popular variants are namkeen lassi (which is salty), sweet lassi and mango lassi. There is even a bhang lassi, which is infused with a liquid derivative of cannabis.

13 Muppet known for singing duets with “Sesame Street” guests : ELMO

In 2002, The Muppet Elmo got to testify before a US House subcommittee. Elmo’s goal was to get an increase in funding for music education. In the transcript of the hearing, his statements are ascribed to “Elmo Monster” and “Mr. Monster”.

14 Easter confection : PEEP

Peeps are marshmallow candies, usually in the shapes of chicks and bunnies, primarily sold around the Easter holiday. Peeps were introduced in 1952 by a Russian immigrant called Sam Born whose company “Just Born” makes the candies to this day. The original candies were yellow and hand-shaped to look like little chicks, hence the name “Peeps”.

27 Adherent to the Five K’s : SIKH

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

40 Hit HBO show whose main character worked at the nonprofit We Got Y’all : INSECURE

“Insecure” is a comedy-drama TV show that premiered in 2016. It is co-written by and stars Issa Rae, who also created the comedy web series “Awkward Black Girl” on which “Insecure” is based.

45 Big inits. in sports theater : WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is a company promoting professional wrestling as a form of entertainment.

47 Actress Jena of 2001’s “Donnie Darko” : MALONE

Jena Malone is an American musician and actress. Malone played Johanna Mason, one of the combatants in three of “The Hunger Games” series of films.

52 Part of LGBTQ+ : QUEER

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

53 Pennsylvania city or county : YORK

York, Pennsylvania was named for the historic city of York in the North of England. York was one of the cities that served as a capital of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. It was in York that the Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted.

54 Sunburn soother : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

55 Tend to a Zen garden, say : RAKE

Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

61 Popular beer, informally : PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Launch party? : NASA
5 Horrify : APPALL
11 ___ school : PREP
15 Higher bet : OVER
16 Popular paper flower variety : DAHLIA
17 Are awesome : RULE
18 Are awesome : ROCK
19 Doesn’t stay in any one place too long : DRIFTS
20 Writer ___ Weijun Wang : ESME
21 Environmentally friendly opening : ECO-
22 What jigsaw puzzle pieces do : FIT
23 Breaking point? : REST STOP
25 Set of books that may have an invented language : FANTASY SERIES
28 Milk source : UDDER
29 “One heart,” “two hearts,” “three hearts,” etc. : BIDS
30 Chef’s creation : MENU
33 The Big Easy, by another nickname : NOLA
34 Puffin, for one : AUK
35 Wraps that might have sauce on them : APRONS
37 Introspective question : DO I?
38 Noun phrase that’s present perfect indicative? : WISH LIST
41 M.L.B. All-Star Anderson : TIM
42 Slightly burned : SINGED
44 Content of some pads : INK
45 Owl’s sound : WHOO!
46 She used the Force multiple times in “The Last Jedi” : LEIA
47 They help you find your routes : MAPS
49 Luxurious and expensive : SWANK
50 Film technique for revealing a character’s psychological state : DREAM SEQUENCE
53 Attraction for a bargain hunter : YARD SALE
56 Baby cheetah : CUB
57 Sportscaster Adams who hosted “Good Morning Football” : KAY
58 Neutrogena competitor : OLAY
59 Hindi or Hebrew : TONGUE
61 Ritual pile : PYRE
62 Big name in streaming : ROKU
63 Stomach : ENDURE
64 Word with image or language : BODY …
65 Castle fortress : KEEP
66 Empty ___ : NESTER
67 Bit of trickery : RUSE

Down

1 “You bought it? It’s yours” : NO REFUNDS
2 Option for high-temperature cooking : AVOCADO OIL
3 Dance section of a 33-Across brass-band parade : SECOND LINE
4 Chamber oriented so that those who face it also face Jerusalem : ARK
5 Ethiopia’s capital, informally : ADDIS
6 Wild ride? : PARTY BUS
7 The Sixers, on scoreboards : PHI
8 ___ Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler : ALFRED
9 Pop bottles, perhaps : LITERS
10 Creamy South Asian drink : LASSI
11 Event for journalists, informally : PRESSER
12 Reddish brown : RUST
13 Muppet known for singing duets with “Sesame Street” guests : ELMO
14 Easter confection : PEEP
22 A ways away : FAR
24 Entice : TEMPT
26 “A true warrior, like ___, shows his strength in hot water” (Chinese proverb) : TEA
27 Adherent to the Five K’s : SIKH
31 Pass words? : NO THANK YOU
32 Many factory workers carry them : UNION CARDS
34 Mutual ___ : AID
35 Big ___ (“the moon and the stars,” e.g.) : ASK
36 Blended style of facial makeup : SMOKEY EYE
38 Dresses in : WEARS
39 They can be red or read : LIPS
40 Hit HBO show whose main character worked at the nonprofit We Got Y’all : INSECURE
43 Cry to a horse : GIDDYUP!
45 Big inits. in sports theater : WWE
47 Actress Jena of 2001’s “Donnie Darko” : MALONE
48 Atonement for a mistake : AMENDS
49 Go in (for) : SUB
51 Not drunk? : EATEN
52 Part of LGBTQ+ : QUEER
53 Pennsylvania city or county : YORK
54 Sunburn soother : ALOE
55 Tend to a Zen garden, say : RAKE
60 Stomach : GUT
61 Popular beer, informally : PBR

9 thoughts on “1111-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 22, Friday”

  1. 22:34. Good grief, this one was a struggle for me. Couldn’t get a foothold anywhere. I was also stymied by being apparently sure that Batman’s butler was Albert.

  2. 28:01, no errors, and I also thought it was rather difficult. (I took a long hike yesterday and it has left me sufficiently trashed today to be a little … sloowww … so I thought that was most of the problem, but … maybe not … 🤨).

    Actually, the cluing I see here is reminiscent of some of Erik Agard’s first, very hard (for me) puzzles – right on, but with some extra head-scratching thrown in. I recently did all of the USA Today puzzles from August 1st through October 31st just to see how Agard is doing as an editor and was pleased to find that his cluing is altogether appropriate to that particular venue. In the interest of inclusivity, he includes references to things that a lot of people (including me) would not know, but he makes it easy to infer the answers from crossing entries. (So that, if you wish, you can learn about things from outside your particular confines.) He’s also not afraid to get out of the way and share the spotlight with others (as, perhaps, in this case). A very impressive young man.

  3. 53:09, no errors. Sooo many pitfalls. Entered HAROLD in 8D, but my lizard brain kept searching through my recollections of watching Batman on TV.

  4. 35:30 with two errors, but I have an excuse for those two errors. I didn’t know the answers…

    First puzzle after yet another week on the road. 14 flights in about 6 weeks time is more than I ever want to see again. Glad to be home for a while.

  5. 29:34 with 39 minutes left until midnight! Finished a Friday on Friday. Also Thursday. And Wednesday. So I got a little behind on solving….

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