1122-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Nov 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Wendy L. Brandes
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cutting the Cards

Themed answers each contain a type of CARD as a hidden word. Those CARDS are CUT in the grid by the reveal answer CUTTING THE CARDS:

  • 7D Part of a blackjack dealer’s ritual … or what this answer is doing vis-à-vis the answers to the starred clues : CUTTING THE CARDS
  • 17A *1971 film about coming of age in a small, one-cinema Texas town, with “The” : … LAST PICTURE SHOW (giving “picture card”)
  • 22A *Eloquence said to be acquired by kissing the Blarney Stone : GIFT OF GAB (giving “gift card”)
  • 33A *Exams that value analysis and understanding more than rote memorization : OPEN-NOTE TESTS (giving “note card”)
  • 43A *Van Morrison song aptly featured in “An American Werewolf in London” : MOONDANCE (giving “dance card”)
  • 50A *Owning, as an achievement : TAKING CREDIT FOR (giving “credit card”)

Bill’s time: 6m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Moth’s cocoon phase : PUPA

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

5 Fond du ___, Wis. : LAC

“Fond du lac” is French and translates as “bottom of the lake”. It is an apt name for the Wisconsin city of Fond du Lac, located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called “Miracle Mile”. Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now …

16 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA

Trisha Yearwood is an American country music singer. She was discovered by the man who is now her third husband, country music legend Garth Brooks.

17 *1971 film about coming of age in a small, one-cinema Texas town, with “The” : … LAST PICTURE SHOW (giving “picture card”)

“The Last Picture Show” is a 1966 novel by Larry McMurtry that was adapted into a very successful 1971 film of the same name. Both novel and movie are coming-of-age works set in small-town Texas in the early 1950s.

22 *Eloquence said to be acquired by kissing the Blarney Stone : GIFT OF GAB (giving “gift card”)

Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. “Kissing the Blarney Stone” is a ritual engaged in by many, many tourists (indeed, I’ve done it myself!), but it’s not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don’t fall. The Blarney Stone has been referred to as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you’ve kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the “gift of the gab”, the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. The term “blarney” has come to mean flattering and deceptive talk.

27 Blog feed inits. : RSS

Many websites and blogs publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. The advantage of using an RSS reader is that the user doesn’t have to check the website for new content. That new material is fed to the RSS reader as soon as it is published.

28 Sloth, for one : SIN

“Sloth”, meaning “indolence, sluggishness”, comes from the Middle English word “slowe”, which is also the root of our contemporary word “slow”. The animal, the sloth, is so named as it exhibits slow-moving behavior.

30 Chinese dialect spoken mainly in Hunan province : XIANG

Hunan is a province in south-central China. It is located south of Lake Dongting, which gives the province its name, as “Hunan” translates as “south of the lake”.

32 Major online brokerage : E-TRADE

E-Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E-Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

37 Language in Delhi : HINDI

Hindi is one of the two official languages of India, along with English. Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world (after Mandarin, Spanish and English).

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

38 Nail polish brand with a Mint Candy Apple shade : ESSIE

Essie Cosmetics is a company that was founded by Essie Weingarten, and which is now owned by L’Oreal. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth II will only wear Essie’s Ballet Slippers color nail polish. Well, that’s what Wikipedia claims …

39 Pitcher’s stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

43 *Van Morrison song aptly featured in “An American Werewolf in London” : MOONDANCE (giving “dance card”)

“Moondance” is a song recorded in 1969 by Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. If you go to a “Van the Man” Morrison concert, “Moondance” is the one song that you’re most likely to hear. And, it’s my wife’s favorite song of all time …

46 N.B.A. star Curry : STEPH

Stephen “Steph” Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016. Then, in 2021, he broke the record for career three-pointers.

48 Actress Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy had quite the international upbringing. She was born in Miami, and raised in Buenos Aires and then London. She is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and the lead role in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

Down

2 Some movers : U-HAULS

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

3 Sign between Aquarius and Aries : PISCES

The twelfth astrological sign of the zodiac is called Pisces, and is named for the Pisces constellation. “Pisces” is the Latin word for “fish” in the plural (singular “piscis”).

4 Garret : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

A garret is a room on the top floor of a house, one under a gabled roof. “Garret” is a synonym of “attic”.

6 Inits. in Congress beginning in 2019 : AOC

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

7 Part of a blackjack dealer’s ritual … or what this answer is doing vis-à-vis the answers to the starred clues : CUTTING THE CARDS

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in print in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “veintiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

8 Swagger like Jagger, say : STRUT

The Rolling Stones lead singer’s full name is Sir Michael Philip Jagger. “Mick” was knighted for his services to popular music in 2003.

10 Fleur-de-___ : LIS

“Lys” (sometimes “lis”) is the French word for “lily” as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

12 Home to “Homeland,” in brief : SHO

“Homeland” is a psychological drama on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I highly recommend it …

18 Letters on old TV dials : UHF

TV frequencies here in North America are divided into two bands. The VHF band covers channels 2 through 13; the UHF band covers channels 14 through 83.

23 Origin of the words “jasmine” and “julep” : FARSI

“Farsi” is one of the local names used for the Persian language.

24 Summer pest : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

26 Tournament advantage : BYE

The word “bye”, as used in sport, originated in cricket. A bye is a run scored due to an error by the wicketkeeper (similar to a catcher in baseball) when he fails to stop a ball bowled by the bowler (like a pitcher in baseball). Later the word “bye” in sport came to mean the position of a player in a tournament who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs. In these commercial times, those byes tend to be awarded to the best (seeded) players, so that the most popular players always advance past the first round of competition.

30 Marked, as a ballot : XED IN

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

32 Sicilian volcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” (sometimes “Muncibeddu”) in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

34 ___ doble (Spanish two-step) : PASO

The lively and dramatic dance called the paso doble (Spanish for “double-step”) is very much associated with the Spanish bullfight, but in fact it originated in southern France, where bullfighting is also legal. The dance is based on music that is played at bullfights when the bullfighters enter the arena, and when they close in for the kill. Not a big fan of bullfighting …

35 Land of the Blarney Stone : EIRE

“Éire” is the Irish name for Ireland, coming from “Ériu”. Ériu was the matron goddess of Ireland in Irish mythology.

36 Garnet, e.g. : GEM

Garnets are silicate minerals that come in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

44 Right ___ : ANGLE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

45 LGA and JFK’s location : NYC

The three big airports serving New York City (NYC) are John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

46 Reached base in a cloud of dust, say : SLID

That would be baseball.

49 Yearly celebration, for short : B-DAY

Birthday (b-day)

50 Longtime channel for Samantha Bee : TBS

Samantha Bee is a comedian from Toronto who found fame as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” starting way back in 2003. Bee left “The Daily Show” in 2015 to host her own late-night talk show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on TBS.

51 Rainbow, for one : ARC

Sunlight reflected by airborne water droplets can produce rainbows. The water droplets act as little prisms, dispersing the white light into its constituent colors. Sometimes we see double rainbows. If we look carefully, we can see that the order of the colors in the first and second arcs is reversed.

52 Cassis cocktail : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a kir royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

53 Ore’s partner in frozen foods : IDA

Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made using potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

54 Unagi, e.g. : EEL

“Unagi” is the Japanese term for” freshwater eel”, and “anago” is the term for “saltwater eel”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Moth’s cocoon phase : PUPA
5 Fond du ___, Wis. : LAC
8 Unwanted effect in Olympic diving : SPLASH
14 Words of sudden recognition : OH, IT’S YOU!
16 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA
17 *1971 film about coming of age in a small, one-cinema Texas town, with “The” : … LAST PICTURE SHOW (giving “picture card”)
19 One-named satirist of ancient Greece : LUCIAN
20 Therefore : THUS
21 Send to Washington, say : ELECT
22 *Eloquence said to be acquired by kissing the Blarney Stone : GIFT OF GAB (giving “gift card”)
27 Blog feed inits. : RSS
28 Sloth, for one : SIN
29 Lustful, informally : RANDY
30 Chinese dialect spoken mainly in Hunan province : XIANG
32 Major online brokerage : E-TRADE
33 *Exams that value analysis and understanding more than rote memorization : OPEN-NOTE TESTS (giving “note card”)
36 Assigned letter evaluations to, as term papers : GRADED
37 Language in Delhi : HINDI
38 Nail polish brand with a Mint Candy Apple shade : ESSIE
39 Pitcher’s stat : ERA
40 “Scram!” : GIT!
43 *Van Morrison song aptly featured in “An American Werewolf in London” : MOONDANCE (giving “dance card”)
46 N.B.A. star Curry : STEPH
48 Actress Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA
49 Careless or carefree : BLITHE
50 *Owning, as an achievement : TAKING CREDIT FOR (giving “credit card”)
55 Like some long trains : BRIDAL
56 College applicant’s concern : DEADLINE
57 Abrasion : SCRAPE
58 Crafty : SLY
59 “Vous ___ d’ici?” (“Are you from around here?”: Fr.) : ETES

Down

1 One sampling public opinion : POLLER
2 Some movers : U-HAULS
3 Sign between Aquarius and Aries : PISCES
4 Garret : ATTIC
5 It’s like cheatin’ : LYIN’
6 Inits. in Congress beginning in 2019 : AOC
7 Part of a blackjack dealer’s ritual … or what this answer is doing vis-à-vis the answers to the starred clues : CUTTING THE CARDS
8 Swagger like Jagger, say : STRUT
9 Like most bulk mail : PRESORTED
10 Fleur-de-___ : LIS
11 Gritty residue in a chimenea : ASH
12 Home to “Homeland,” in brief : SHO
13 Hem’s partner in hesitation : HAW
15 Tiff : SPAT
18 Letters on old TV dials : UHF
22 Name hidden in “margin of error” : GINO
23 Origin of the words “jasmine” and “julep” : FARSI
24 Summer pest : GNAT
25 Chimes in with : ADDS
26 Tournament advantage : BYE
28 Take the edge off, in a way : SAND
30 Marked, as a ballot : XED IN
31 Tired phrase? : I NEED A NAP
32 Sicilian volcano : ETNA
33 “Ish” : OR SO
34 ___ doble (Spanish two-step) : PASO
35 Land of the Blarney Stone : EIRE
36 Garnet, e.g. : GEM
40 Popular New Year’s resolution : GET FIT
41 Galaxy alternative : IPHONE
42 “___ Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” (2017 hit by Shawn Mendes) : THERE’S
44 Right ___ : ANGLE
45 LGA and JFK’s location : NYC
46 Reached base in a cloud of dust, say : SLID
47 Noble designation : TITLE
49 Yearly celebration, for short : B-DAY
50 Longtime channel for Samantha Bee : TBS
51 Rainbow, for one : ARC
52 Cassis cocktail : KIR
53 Ore’s partner in frozen foods : IDA
54 Unagi, e.g. : EEL

4 thoughts on “1122-22 NY Times Crossword 22 Nov 22, Tuesday”

  1. 16:38, no errors. Ignored the theme until after the grid was filled. Took a while to realize that the reference to ‘cards’ didn’t apply to playing cards (eg 43A ACE; 50A KING).
    After reading Bill’s entry on MOONDANCE, had to check it out on YouTube. Turns out I have heard it many, many, many times…never interested me enough to learn the title. If I attended a Van Morrison concert, would anticipate hearing Brown Eyed Girl, instead. (To each their own)

  2. 11:07. One square/two word error at EStIE/PAtO. I guess I was thinking of Estee (Lauder) and then “pato” means “duck” in Spanish so maybe it was a duck dance?? I guess nail polish and dances aren’t really my fortes.

    Whiffed on the theme. I figured there was some sort of card “cut” up within the theme answers – as in the letters were separated – so I didn’t bother looking for any of them. Just as well.

    Best –

  3. 9:12, no errors. Understood the theme only after staring at the completed puzzle for a couple of minutes. Cute.

    Time to go walk around my favorite local lake … 😳.

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