1112-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Nov 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Billy Bratton
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Word with top or tin : … HAT

A paranoid person (“tin hat”) might wear a hat made of aluminum foil in the belief that it provides protection against mind-control and mind-reading.

16 Where polo was invented : IRAN

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back then primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

20 Southwestern city that produces most of the U.S.’s Snickers bars : WACO, TEXAS

The Texas city of Waco is named for the Wichita people known as the “Waco”, who occupied the area for thousands of years.

Snickers is a candy bar made by Mars. When I was growing up in Ireland, the same candy bar was sold as a Marathon. The name was changed in Europe to Snickers in 1990. 75% of the world’s Snickers bars are made in the Mars factory in Waco, Texas.

21 LED component? : DIODE

A diode is a component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

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.

22 Small role in a superhero movie? : ANT-MAN

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

23 Big ___ (Red Sox nickname) : PAPI

The Dominican-American baseball player David Ortiz has the nickname “Big Papi”. After each home run that Ortiz scores, he looks upwards and points to the sky in a tribute to his mother who died in a car crash in 2002 when she was only 46 years old.

25 Grammy-winning actress Carrere : TIA

Tia Carrere is an actress from Honolulu who got her break in the soap opera “General Hospital”. Carrere is perhaps best known for playing Cassandra Wong in the “Wayne’s World” movies.

29 Sci. class for accelerated H.S. students : AP CHEM

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

31 Dessert served in a boat : BANANA SPLIT

The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

34 Time when it helps to be flexible : YOGA SESSION

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

35 Platform for a modern job interview : ZOOM MEETING

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

38 Hollywood’s Ryan : MEG

Meg Ryan is the stage name of the actress Margaret Mary Hyra. Ryan’s big break came with the excellent 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally …”, from which she went on to star in some of the most popular romantic comedies ever made.

41 [!!!] : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

42 Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR

Peter the Great (aka “Peter I”) was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, and was famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

Paul I was Tsar of Russia, and the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great. Paul was on the throne for only five years, before being assassinated in a conspiracy that brought his son Alexander I to power.

45 Lose one’s posse : GO SOLO

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”

54 Supergirl, e.g. : ALIEN

Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin, and is also known as Supergirl. Supergirl’s father and Superman’s father were brothers. On Earth, Supergirl uses the name “Linda Lee”.

55 Some budget graphics : PIES

A pie chart can also be referred to as a circle graph. It is often stated that Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart. While this is not in fact true, she is due credit for popularizing it, and for developing the pie chart variation known as the polar area diagram. The earliest known pie chart appears in a book published in 1801 by Scottish engineer William Playfair.

56 Just awful, with “the” : … PITS

“The pits” is an American slang term for something really bad, and has been in use since the early fifties. Apparently, “pits” is short for “armpits”.

58 Many a population fig. : EST

Estimate (est.)

Down

5 Variety of agate : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

7 “Minnesota March” composer : SOUSA

John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor from Washington, D.C. Sousa was well known for his patriotic marches and earned himself the nickname “The American March King”. He served as a member of the US Marine Band from 1868 to 1875, and after leaving the Marines learned to conduct and compose. One of the Sousa compositions that is well-known around the world is called “The Liberty Bell”, a tune used as the musical theme for BBC Television’s “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Sousa also wrote “Semper Fidelis”, which is the official march of the US Marine Corps.

8 Common symbol in a rebus : EYE

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, a picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”, and a picture of an “awl” might represent the word “all”.

9 Fuzzy fruit that’s technically a berry :

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

10 Certain cookie spinoff : OREO THIN

For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.

12 Line of jeans? : INSEAM

Denim fabric originated in Nîmes in France. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (meaning “from Nîmes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

18 One growing up in a cave? : STALAGMITE

A stalactite is a mineral deposit that hangs from the roof of a cave, formed by continuous dripping of mineral-rich water. “Stalactite” comes from the Greek word “stalasso” meaning “to drip”. A stalagmite is a rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave as a result of mineral deposits dissolved in water dripping from the ceiling.

30 Apt shoe for a plumber? : CLOG

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

31 Loutish one : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

33 Dog in “The Thin Man” : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

35 It resurfaces after 20 minutes : ZAMBONI

The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The eponymous Zamboni machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.

36 Fill, as a moving van : LOAD UP

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and so “van” is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

38 Title subject of a best-selling 1997 memoir : MORRIE

“Tuesdays with Morrie” is a novel by Mitch Albom, first published in 1997. The story is a work of nonfiction, telling the tale of sociologist Morrie Schwartz and his students, one of whom is the author Mitch Albom. Albom has frequent visits with his old professor when he discovers that Morrie is dying from ALS.

48 Does a background check on : VETS

The verb “to vet” comes from the term “veterinarian”. The idea is that to vet something is to subject it to careful examination, like a veterinarian checking out an animal.

50 November 13, e.g. : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

52 “Krazy ___” (comic strip that influenced “Calvin and Hobbes”) : KAT

“Krazy Kat” is a successful comic strip that ran from 1913-1944 and was drawn by George Herriman.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word with top or tin : … HAT
4 Hopeless : NO USE
9 Actor Siriboe of “Queen Sugar” : KOFI
13 De ___ manera (elsewise: Sp.) : OTRA
15 Get to : ANNOY
16 Where polo was invented : IRAN
17 “Oh, I’m on next!” : THAT’S MY CUE!
19 Unionizes? : WEDS
20 Southwestern city that produces most of the U.S.’s Snickers bars : WACO, TEXAS
21 LED component? : DIODE
22 Small role in a superhero movie? : ANT-MAN
23 Big ___ (Red Sox nickname) : PAPI
25 Grammy-winning actress Carrere : TIA
26 Lines on a map: Abbr. : RDS
27 Toss-up? : LOB
29 Sci. class for accelerated H.S. students : AP CHEM
31 Dessert served in a boat : BANANA SPLIT
34 Time when it helps to be flexible : YOGA SESSION
35 Platform for a modern job interview : ZOOM MEETING
36 Hernandez of Team USA gymnastics : LAURIE
37 “What else …?” : AND …
38 Hollywood’s Ryan : MEG
41 [!!!] : OMG!
42 Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR
45 Lose one’s posse : GO SOLO
47 Not willing to stoop to : ABOVE
49 “Travel” for someone who’s feeling bad? : GUILT TRIP
51 Pamper to a fault, with “on” : DOTE …
52 “Uh … in a way …” : KINDA … SORTA
53 Course, in college-speak : UNIT
54 Supergirl, e.g. : ALIEN
55 Some budget graphics : PIES
56 Just awful, with “the” : … PITS
57 Present, for one : TENSE
58 Many a population fig. : EST

Down

1 Conflict with fighting : HOT WAR
2 Within reach : AT HAND
3 Political pamphlets : TRACTS
4 Refuse to squeal : NAME NO NAMES
5 Variety of agate : ONYX
6 Pop open, perhaps : UNCAP
7 “Minnesota March” composer : SOUSA
8 Common symbol in a rebus : EYE
9 Fuzzy fruit that’s technically a berry : KIWI
10 Certain cookie spinoff : OREO THIN
11 Juice cleanse, e.g. : FAD DIET
12 Line of jeans? : INSEAM
14 Small matter : ATOM
18 One growing up in a cave? : STALAGMITE
21 “Ice Cream of the Future” : DIPPIN’ DOTS
24 It’s left on a major highway : PASSING LANE
28 Headquarters : BASE
30 Apt shoe for a plumber? : CLOG
31 Loutish one : BOOR
32 Previously : NEE
33 Dog in “The Thin Man” : ASTA
34 “Correct!” : YOU GOT IT!
35 It resurfaces after 20 minutes : ZAMBONI
36 Fill, as a moving van : LOAD UP
38 Title subject of a best-selling 1997 memoir : MORRIE
39 High-level classes : ELITES
40 Exceed : GO PAST
43 Like most athletes : AGILE
44 Encounter : RUN-IN
46 “You’re doing it all wrong!” : STOP!
48 Does a background check on : VETS
50 November 13, e.g. : IDES
52 “Krazy ___” (comic strip that influenced “Calvin and Hobbes”) : KAT

6 thoughts on “1112-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Nov 22, Saturday”

  1. 23:13, no errors. 5D OPAL before ONYX; 21A LIGHT before DIODE.

    We incrementally replaced our incandescent bulbs with the ‘latest technology’ (at the time): Compact Fluorescent Lights. We are now replacing our CFL’s with LED’s as the CFL’s burn out. Technically I realize we are using less energy, but can’t really say that I have ever noticed a change our electric bill.

  2. 14:15, no errors. Easy Saturday this time. Also, what Tom R said. My time would suggest it was more of a Wednesday.

  3. 16:40. Easy Saturday. I wouldn’t have finished earlier, except that I didn’t.

    Friday and Saturday puzzles once again switched at birth.

    I took the AP CHEM test back in high school. It was the only one I didn’t pass. It was a casualty of my senior slump. I did well on AP Calculus and AP Physics exams, however. AP Bio was such a senior slump casualty that I didn’t even bother to take it.

    Oh well, enough of going down memory lane.

    Best –

  4. …I would have finished earlier. Not “wouldn’t have”.

    We used to be able to edit these posts if we saw an error within a minute or two. Those were the days. Oops. Yet another trip down memory lane…

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