1123-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Erica Hsiung Wojcik and Matthew Stock
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Adding Color

Themed clues are increasing numbers of colored circles:

  • 15A 🔴🟡 : MASTERCARD LOGO
  • 25A 🔴🟡🟢 : TRAFFIC LIGHT
  • 46A 🔴🟡🟢🔵 : TWISTER MAT
  • 54A 🔴🟡🟢🔵⚫ : OLYMPIC RINGS

Bill’s time: 7m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Home of “Cribs” : MTV

The first video played at the launch of MTV the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” (I love that song), followed by Pat Benatar singing “You Better Run”.

8 TV’s Grey and House, for short : MDS

The very successful hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has been on television since 2005. The title is a reference to the show’s central character, Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo), as well as a reference to the classic human anatomy textbook commonly called “Gray’s Anatomy”.

I think that “House” is one of the better shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me, coming from the other side of the Atlantic, to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the dramatic title role. I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously, he played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”, as well as one of the bumbling “bad guys” in the film “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

11 Assent in the House : YEA

The number of seats in the US House of Representatives has been 435 since the year 1913, although there was a temporary increase to 437 seats at the time of the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union. The number of representatives assigned to each state is proportional to that state’s population, except that each state is guaranteed a minimum of one delegate by the US Constitution.

14 Falafel-making need : OIL

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry for me …

15 🔴🟡 : MASTERCARD LOGO

Mastercard is a financial services company that is headquartered in Harrison, New York. The company was originally called Master Charge and was set up by a group of California banks to compete with BankAmericard (which later became Visa).

19 Takes care of taxes without help from the post office : E-FILES

E-file: that’s certainly what I do with my tax return …

21 Gemstone that can come from petrified wood : OPAL

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, i.e. about 80%.

24 Poet who wrote “The cow is of the bovine ilk; / One end is moo, the other, milk” : NASH

Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

25 🔴🟡🟢 : TRAFFIC LIGHT

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

28 What “port” is on a ship : LEFT SIDE

The left side of a ship used to be called the “larboard” side, but this was dropped in favor of “port” as the pronunciation of “larboard” was easily confused with “starboard”, the right side of the vessel. The term “port” was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.

36 Genetic messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

43 Evergreen tree with poisonous seeds : YEW

The family of trees and shrubs known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxane and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.

44 Energy field that can be “read” : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

46 🔴🟡🟢🔵 : TWISTER MAT

Twister is a game requiring a lot of physical dexterity and flexibility. It involves players placing specific hands and feet onto colored pads on a mat, as directed by a spinning arrow on a board. Sales of the game got a great boost in 1966, when Eva Gabor played Twister with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show”.

52 TV series with a Time Lord, informally : DR WHO

The Time Lords are an alien race on the BBC sci-fi show “Doctor Who”. The title character, known as “the Doctor”, is in fact a Time Lord.

54 🔴🟡🟢🔵⚫ : OLYMPIC RINGS

The symbol of the Olympic Games consists of five interlocking rings, with each ring representing one of the five continents involved in the Olympics. The five continents are Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and America (North and South combined). The symbol was designed in 1912, adopted in 1914, and introduced at the 1920 Games.

58 Natural stew thickener : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

59 ___ Mountains, formation made by the collision of the continents Laurasia and Kazakhstania : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

61 Ancient letter : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

62 Pile of paper : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

63 Figure in Maori mythology : TIKI

A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form that is found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries surrounding sites that are sacred to the locals.

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

64 Some 911 call respondents, in brief : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

The first use of a national emergency phone number was in 1937 in the UK, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

65 Author Janowitz : TAMA

Tama Janowitz is an American writer. She was born in San Francisco but has lived much of her life in New York City. In New York, Janowitz hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol and became well known in literary circles. Her most famous work is a collection of short stories called “Slaves of New York”, which was made into a film of the same name in 1989.

66 Expressed agitation, as a llama : SPAT

Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead, llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.

Down

3 Poet Elizabeth Bishop’s alma mater : VASSAR

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York is now a coeducational school, after over a century of operating as a women’s college since its founding in 1861. The school was officially declared co-ed in 1969, although it had accepted a handful of male students on the GI Bill after WWII.

5 Abbr. preceded by a comma : ETC

The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”

6 In-flight announcement, for short : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

7 Italian tire company : PIRELLI

Pirelli is a tire manufacturer located in Milan. Among its many claims to fame, Pirelli is known for the Pirelli Calendar, the company’s limited-distribution trade calendar that has been produced since the mid-sixties.

8 Dough : MOOLAH

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

13 Many a download : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications and platforms, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

23 Coolers, for short : ACS

Air conditioner (AC)

38 Jet-setter’s need : PASSPORT

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

40 “Where the Wild Things ___” : ARE

Maurice Sendak is an American writer and illustrator of children’s books. Sendak’s best known work is “Where the Wild Things Are”, published in 1963. The “Wild Things” of the tale are beasts conjured up in the imagination of a young boy named Max, after he is sent to bed without supper.

41 “Patton” or “Platoon” : WAR DRAMA

“Patton” is an excellent biographical movie about General George Patton and his exploits during WWII. The film was released in 1970 and starred George C. Scott in the title role. “Patton” won seven Oscars including Best Picture and one for Scott as Best Actor. Scott refused his award saying that he disliked “acting competitions”. In so doing, he became the first actor to refuse an Oscar.

“Platoon” is a 1986 movie written and directed by Oliver Stone. The storyline comes out of Stone’s own experiences in Vietnam as an infantryman. It is gritty stuff, and is Stone’s response to the more “glamorous” movie “Green Berets” starring John Wayne. And that famous piece of classical music included the soundtrack, that is “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber.

49 Test taken in a tube, in brief : MRI

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the images produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

53 Tennis champion Naomi : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles. She was also the first ever tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron during an opening ceremony, doing so for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

55 International brand with a three-syllable name : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

57 Quattro meno uno : TRE

In Italian, “quattro meno uno” (four minus one) is “tre” (three).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Home of “Cribs” : MTV
4 Profound : DEEP
8 TV’s Grey and House, for short : MDS
11 Assent in the House : YEA
12 Gesture of greeting or gratitude : HAT-TIP
14 Falafel-making need : OIL
15 🔴🟡 : MASTERCARD LOGO
18 Group : ASSORT
19 Takes care of taxes without help from the post office : E-FILES
20 Not on the rocks : NEAT
21 Gemstone that can come from petrified wood : OPAL
24 Poet who wrote “The cow is of the bovine ilk; / One end is moo, the other, milk” : NASH
25 🔴🟡🟢 : TRAFFIC LIGHT
28 What “port” is on a ship : LEFT SIDE
29 Like 🙁 vis-à-vis :/ : WORSE
32 Say what you want? : ORDER
36 Genetic messenger : RNA
37 Symptom of urban expansion : SPRAWL
42 Modern ___ : ERA
43 Evergreen tree with poisonous seeds : YEW
44 Energy field that can be “read” : AURA
45 One of many for the goddess Durga : ARM
46 🔴🟡🟢🔵 : TWISTER MAT
51 Laughing syllables : HA HAS
52 TV series with a Time Lord, informally : DR WHO
54 🔴🟡🟢🔵⚫ : OLYMPIC RINGS
57 ___/them pronouns : THEY
58 Natural stew thickener : OKRA
59 ___ Mountains, formation made by the collision of the continents Laurasia and Kazakhstania : URAL
61 Ancient letter : RUNE
62 Pile of paper : REAM
63 Figure in Maori mythology : TIKI
64 Some 911 call respondents, in brief : EMTS
65 Author Janowitz : TAMA
66 Expressed agitation, as a llama : SPAT

Down

1 “You really came through, buddy!” : MY MAN!
2 Social service? : TEA SET
3 Poet Elizabeth Bishop’s alma mater : VASSAR
4 Run away suddenly : DART OFF
5 Abbr. preceded by a comma : ETC
6 In-flight announcement, for short : ETA
7 Italian tire company : PIRELLI
8 Dough : MOOLAH
9 Absorb, as new information : DIGEST
10 Sound a wader makes : SLOSH
12 Singer/songwriter with the 2021 Oscar-winning song “Fight for You” : HER
13 Many a download : PDF
16 Comes to : TOTALS
17 Wait around : LINGER
22 Word before bull or after ball : PIT
23 Coolers, for short : ACS
26 List at a department of motor vehicles : FEES
27 Worshiped person : IDOL
29 Like a mocking grin : WRY
30 Sole : ONE
31 Natural resource? : RAW TALENT
33 Super-tight grasp : DEATH GRIP
34 Goof : ERR
35 Rhyming parent of a lamb : RAM
38 Jet-setter’s need : PASSPORT
39 Boring routine, metaphorically : RUT
40 “Where the Wild Things ___” : ARE
41 “Patton” or “Platoon” : WAR DRAMA
47 “As a matter of fact, that’s right” : WHY, YES
48 Response to “Who’s in?” : I AM
49 Test taken in a tube, in brief : MRI
50 “Oh, fudge!” : AW, NUTS
51 Just OK : HO-HUM
53 Tennis champion Naomi : OSAKA
55 International brand with a three-syllable name : IKEA
56 Stuff : CRAM
57 Quattro meno uno : TRE
60 Descriptor for a candle or a party : LIT

5 thoughts on “1123-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 22, Wednesday”

  1. 16:43 solved from the bottom up asI got nowhere starting from the top. Other amusement from “House” was listening to Hugh Laurie speaking with an “American” accent :- )

  2. 17:20. Got bogged down in several areas where I really didn’t need to. Tripped all over myself the entire puzzle, but there’s always tomorrow.

    I wonder if they could have started with just a red circle with the theme answer of Japan? Just a thought.

    Best –

  3. 15:03 (a bit meaningless, due to interruptions), no errors. In the NYT app on my iPad, the theme clues used color names instead of actual colors. So, for example, the clue for 15 Across was “red and yellow circles”. I don’t know if that made the solve easier or harder, but I think it did keep me from seeing the progression from one theme entry to the next. I speculate that the guys who prepared the app version of the puzzle were afraid that the colors wouldn’t work on some platforms.

    Now … about that walk … 😜 (that I didn’t get to do yesterday because everything went wrong … 😳).

  4. My app went wonky today. The timer got stuck on 5 minutes. I kept going and when I got to 3/4 done it erased everything I entered after the 5 minute mark. Is this a DNF or DNC (did not care)?

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