1116-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Nov 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: John Hawksley
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): NOT, a Great Puzzle 🙂

Themed answers are relatively obscure terms, but reinterpreted with meanings that would seem to make sense:

  • 17A Obsession with being published … NOT a flurry of transcription errors : TYPOMANIA
  • 24A Lover of teddy bears … NOT a devotee of polar regions : ARCTOPHILE
  • 35A Fear of everything … NOT a fear of trousers : PANTOPHOBIA
  • 50A Chews … NOT elaborates condescendingly to a female : MANDUCATES
  • 59A Science of measurement … NOT the study of urban areas : METROLOGY

Bill’s time: 10m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Title for Geraint or Gawain : SIR

“Idylls of the King” is a cycle of twelve poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that retells the tale of King Arthur. One of the “idylls” is the story of Geraint and Enid. This story is told in two parts: “The Marriage of Geraint” and “Geraint and Enid”. Tennyson’s Enid gave her name to the city of Enid, Oklahoma.

Sir Gawain was a Knight of the Round Table of Arthurian legend. He was also King Arthur’s nephew, and the trusted friend of Sir Lancelot.

4 “A Thousand ___” (1992 Pulitzer winner) : ACRES

“A Thousand Acres” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jane Smiley. The novel is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear”. Just as in “King Lear”, the plot features a father with three rival daughters.

9 Doesn’t wax : WANES

The verbs “to wax” and “to wane” come from Old English. To wax is to increase gradually in size, strength, intensity or number. To wane is to decrease gradually.

14 Here, in Saint-Tropez : ICI

Saint-Tropez is a town in southeastern France on the French Riviera. These days, Saint-Tropez is very much associated with the European and American jet set. The town is named for a legendary martyr named Saint Torpes of Pisa. Torpes was supposedly executed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Nero. Having been beheaded, his head was tossed into the river Arno, and his body placed in a boat along with a cock and a dog who were to eat the body. The boat came ashore at the present-day location of Saint-Tropez, with the body untouched by the cock and the dog. The local people named their village in honor of Saint Torpes.

16 Paper-saving invoice : E-BILL

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

19 Term of address for a young man : BUCKO

“Bucko” was originally a nautical term of address. It dates back at least to 1883 when it referred to a cocky, swaggering sort of guy.

20 Biblical unit of weight : SHEKEL

The shekel is the currency used today in Israel. The first use of the word “shekel” was in Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE when it probably referred to a specific weight of barley. Each shekel is worth 100 agorot (singular “agora”).

21 Venue with a token-based currency : ARCADE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

23 Donkey ___ : KONG

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.

24 Lover of teddy bears … NOT a devotee of polar regions : ARCTOPHILE

The stuffed toy known as a teddy bear was introduced in the early 1900s and was named for President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The toy was inspired by a political cartoon that was drawn in 1902 showing President Roosevelt on a bear hunt and refusing to kill a black bear cub.

30 Staycation option : SPA DAY

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

31 “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” author : AESOP

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of Aesop’s fables, and the tale that gives rise to our phrase “to cry wolf” meaning “to give a false alarm”. In the fable, a shepherd boy is in the habit of tricking nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock by crying “Wolf!”. When an actual attack is made, the villages assume it’s another false alarm and the sheep are eaten by the wolf.

34 One crying to Mami or Papi : BEBE

In Spanish, a “madre’s” (mother’s) treasure is her “bebe” (baby).

39 Common burrito topping, informally : GUAC

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

41 Journalist/podcaster Rehm : DIANE

Diane Rehm is host of the NPR-syndicated radio show called “The Diane Rehm Show”. The show used to be called “Kaleidoscope”, when Rehm took over as host in 1979. It was rebranded in 1984.

57 Earthy color : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

63 “Norma ___” : RAE

“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

64 Like many a rom-com or maple tree : SAPPY

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words are derived from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

There are two types of sap in a plant. Xylem sap is a watery solution that moves from the roots to the leaves. Phloem sap is a sugary solution that moves from the leaves (where sugars are produced) to the parts of the plant where sugars are used.

65 Tots : TYKES

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902 For centuries before that, a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

66 Coin-___ (some laundromats) : OPS

If you go looking for a laundromat in the UK or Ireland, folks will likely know what you’re talking about. However, the local name for such a facility is “launderette” or sometimes “laundrette”.

Down

2 Balm with a paradoxical name : ICY HOT

Icy Hot is a topical heat rub that is used to relieve muscular discomfort and pain from arthritis and rheumatism. The active ingredient doesn’t provide any heat or cold, but it does stimulate nerve receptors in the skin causing the user to experience a cool sensation followed by warmth.

4 Fictional manufacturer of giant rubber bands and cactus costumes : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

7 “Giant Brain” in 1946 news : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

10 Capital near Dubai : ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.

12 Big game : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

18 Indie band known for their high-concept, viral music videos : OK GO

OK Go is a rock band that formed in Chicago before relocating to Los Angeles. Apparently, OK Go is known for producing some zany music videos.

22 Sin : y-axis :: ___ : x-axis : COS

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

26 Word with chocolate or crime : … LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

32 Nail polish brand with the shade “I’m Not Really a Waitress” : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

35 Fast cash establishment : PAWN SHOP

I remember the bad old days growing up in Dublin, Ireland, when my mother had to go to the pawnshop (bad times!). I’d wait outside with my brother, looking up at the pawnbroker’s sign, three gold balls hanging down from a metal bar. This traditional sign used by pawnbrokers is said to date back to the Medici family as the sign had symbolic meaning in the province of Lombardy where the Medici family reigned supreme. Because of this connection, pawnshop banking was originally called Lombard banking.

36 What might change your mind, in a way : ACID TRIP

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

37 Going wild : ON A SPREE

Our word “spree”, meaning “carefree outing”, might be an alteration of the French “esprit”, a term meaning “spirit, lively wit”.

40 “De ___ Vez” (first Spanish-language single by Selena Gomez) : UNA

Selena Gomez is an actress and singer from Grand Prairie, Texas. Gomez’s first television role was in the children’s show “Barney & Friends”. She then played the lead in the TV series “Wizards of Waverly Place”. Gomez’s fans often refer to themselves as “Selenators”. Offscreen, Gomez made a splash as the girlfriend of Canadian singer Justin Bieber for a couple of years.

56 Concerns for property developers : LOTS

Our use of the word “lot” to describe a parcel of land dates back to the 1630s when ownership of the best property in new settlements was decided by castings “lots”.

57 Bygone spy grp. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

58 Expert in filing : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Title for Geraint or Gawain : SIR
4 “A Thousand ___” (1992 Pulitzer winner) : ACRES
9 Doesn’t wax : WANES
14 Here, in Saint-Tropez : ICI
15 Feature of many a sit-in : CHANT
16 Paper-saving invoice : E-BILL
17 Obsession with being published … NOT a flurry of transcription errors : TYPOMANIA
19 Term of address for a young man : BUCKO
20 Biblical unit of weight : SHEKEL
21 Venue with a token-based currency : ARCADE
23 Donkey ___ : KONG
24 Lover of teddy bears … NOT a devotee of polar regions : ARCTOPHILE
28 “Don’t reach for your wallet!” : IT’S ON ME!
30 Staycation option : SPA DAY
31 “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” author : AESOP
34 One crying to Mami or Papi : BEBE
35 Fear of everything … NOT a fear of trousers : PANTOPHOBIA
39 Common burrito topping, informally : GUAC
41 Journalist/podcaster Rehm : DIANE
42 Ill-advised : UNWISE
45 Fun find for a bargain hunter : SALE TAG
50 Chews … NOT elaborates condescendingly to a female : MANDUCATES
53 “For here” alternative : TO GO
54 Walked in long steps : STRODE
55 Having a metal coating : PLATED
57 Earthy color : OCHRE
59 Science of measurement … NOT the study of urban areas : METROLOGY
61 Go bad : SPOIL
62 Small box on a map : INSET
63 “Norma ___” : RAE
64 Like many a rom-com or maple tree : SAPPY
65 Tots : TYKES
66 Coin-___ (some laundromats) : OPS

Down

1 Para alpine sport equipment : SITSKI
2 Balm with a paradoxical name : ICY HOT
3 Gets ready to eat? : RIPENS
4 Fictional manufacturer of giant rubber bands and cactus costumes : ACME
5 Timothée of “Beautiful Boy” and “Dune” : CHALAMET
6 Tried to get elected : RAN
7 “Giant Brain” in 1946 news : ENIAC
8 Button next to “Select” on old game controllers : START
9 Google Sheets, e.g. : WEB APP
10 Capital near Dubai : ABU DHABI
11 “Ooh, that could work!” : NICE IDEA!
12 Big game : ELK
13 ___-mo : SLO
18 Indie band known for their high-concept, viral music videos : OK GO
22 Sin : y-axis :: ___ : x-axis : COS
25 Fix up, as a lawn : RESOD
26 Word with chocolate or crime : … LAB
27 Peer at suspiciously : EYE
29 Mum’s mum : NAN
32 Nail polish brand with the shade “I’m Not Really a Waitress” : OPI
33 Step for clinical trials : PHASE
35 Fast cash establishment : PAWN SHOP
36 What might change your mind, in a way : ACID TRIP
37 Going wild : ON A SPREE
38 ___-Air (upscale L.A. neighborhood) : BEL
39 What might accompany a baseball card : GUM
40 “De ___ Vez” (first Spanish-language single by Selena Gomez) : UNA
43 “___ you jest!” : SURELY
44 Green: Prefix : ECO-
46 “… and others too,” more officially : ET AL
47 “My Neighbor ___,” acclaimed 1988 Japanese animated film : TOTORO
48 A big one may be hard to overcome in a relationship : AGE GAP
49 Resounding agreement : GOD YES!
51 Accept, as a college applicant : ADMIT
52 Itty-bitty : TEENY
56 Concerns for property developers : LOTS
57 Bygone spy grp. : OSS
58 Expert in filing : CPA
60 Syllable of disapproval : TSK

4 thoughts on “1116-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Nov 22, Wednesday”

  1. 48:34 learned a bunch of new words that I don’t think I’ll ever use in daily conversation, thank you “down” answers for helping with that. NW took a long time to ponder and solve with multiple distractions watching the Artemis launch, so there’s all my excuses….er….reasons for my hideous time.

  2. 14:43. More errors – didn’t know the letters at the CHALOMET/SHEKEL/OKGO nexuses (plural is not nexi). Loved the theme.

    I had MAstiCATES before MANDUCATES. I looked up the difference between those two words. Although I saw some blurbs trying to explain the difference, I still am not positive I know what it is.

    “Masticate” is to chew – the actual grinding of food to begin digestion. MANDUCATE is chewing (presumably anything), but it can also simply mean “to eat”.

    Enough time wasted for one morning.

    Best –

  3. 31:25, 4 errors: all involving SHEKEL; OKGO; CHALAMET; PANTOPHOBIA. For some reason, ‘Teddy bears’ stuck in my head from 24A; and my brain insisted on PAN(D)OPHOBIA for 35A.

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