1128-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Nov 22, Monday

Constructed by: Chloe Revery
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hopping Mad

Several rows in the grid include circled letters that spell out a synonym of “MAD”. Those synonyms each HOP over a black square:

  • 62A Really miffed, or a hint to the circled letters : HOPPING MAD
  • 17A Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale : GHOST CHILI
  • 19A “Veni, ___, vici” (Caesar’s boast) : VIDI (hiding “LIVID”)
  • 23A Chanel No. 5, par exemple : PARFUM
  • 25A They’re the picture of innocence, in the pictures : INGENUES (hiding “FUMING”)
  • 37A The whole ___ : SHEBANG
  • 40A What a flour grain may grow from : RYE SEED (hiding “ANGRY)
  • 50A French farewell : AU REVOIR
  • 54A Relaxed : AT EASE (hiding “IRATE”)

Bill’s time: 7m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Org. for H.I.V. prevention and study : AMFAR

amfAR is an organization that has been supporting AIDS research since 1983. The acronym amFAR stands for American Foundation for AIDS Research.

10 Treadless, as tires : BALD

A retread tire is one that has been recycled, possibly more than once. The tread of the old tire is buffed away, and new rubber tread is applied to the “bare” tire using some special process that seems to work really well (except for truck tires, in my humble opinion!). Retreads are a lot cheaper, and are relatively friendly to the environment.

15 Knights of the Round ___ : TABLE

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

17 Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale : GHOST CHILI

The ghost pepper is also known as the “bhüt jolokia” or Bhutanese pepper. The term “bhüt” somehow morphed into the similar-sounding “ghost”, hence the English name. Guinness World Records declared the ghost pepper the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2007, although the Carolina reaper was given that honor in 2017.

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili peppers. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on the Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly mucous membranes.

19 “Veni, ___, vici” (Caesar’s boast) : VIDI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

21 Israeli port north of Tel Aviv : HAIFA

Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel and the largest city in the north of the country. It is built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, and is a Mediterranean seaport.

22 Drawn-out attack : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

23 Chanel No. 5, par exemple : PARFUM

Chanel No. 5 is a perfume that was released by Coco Chanel back in 1921. Chanel had an affinity for the number “5”, and always presented her dress collection on May 5th (the fifth day of the fifth month). When she was presented with a selection of experimental scents as potential choices for the first perfume to bear the Chanel name, she chose the sample in the fifth vial. Chanel instructed that the “sample number 5” should keep its name, asserting that it would bring the scent good luck.

25 They’re the picture of innocence, in the pictures : INGENUES

So often in literature, the movies and on stage, there is an innocent woman at the center of the story. Such stock characters came to be known as “ingénues”, a term derived from the French adjective “ingénu” meaning innocent, virtuous, candid and “ingenuous”.

30 Mount Etna output : LAVA

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 Owl’s question? : WHO?

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote a 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

37 The whole ___ : SHEBANG

The word “shebang” is probably a derivative of “shebeen”, which is an Irish term describing a “speakeasy”, an establishment where liquor was drunk and sold illegally. In English, a “shebang” was originally a “hut” or a “shed”. Just how this evolved into the expression “the whole shebang”, meaning “everything”, is unclear.

42 ___ es Salaam (Tanzanian city) : DAR

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

43 “___ lips sink ships” : LOOSE

“Loose lips sink ships” is used as a warning that unguarded talk can be dangerous. The phrase originated during WWII when it was coined by the US War Advertising Council for use on posters.

45 Surrealist Paul : KLEE

Artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. We can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

47 Adornment on a fez : TASSEL

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it may have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

50 French farewell : AU REVOIR

“Au revoir” is a French phrase translating literally as “until seen again”, although the accepted usage is “goodbye”.

58 DreamWorks princess who remains an ogress after true love’s kiss : FIONA

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

61 Taj Mahal locale : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India that was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

66 “___ Man” (1984 cult film) : REPO

“Repo Man” is a 1984 sci-fi comedy film starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. I don’t care for this one, but it is considered a great film by those in the know …

Down

1 Skull-and-crossbones fraternity, for short : SIGEP

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity was founded in 1901 in Richmond, Virginia. It is sometimes referred to as “SigEp”. A SigEp badge or sign includes the three Greek letters above a skull and crossbones.

2 Golfer Lorena : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

3 Wheeled vehicle designed to function in low gravity : MOON ROVER

Three countries have sent lunar rovers to the Moon. Famously, the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (aka “moon buggy”) carried American astronauts across the Moon’s surface on the last three missions of the Apollo program in the early seventies. Before the landing of the Apollo vehicles, the Soviet Union sent two unmanned, remote-controlled rovers to the Moon called Lunokhod 1 & 2. Years later, in 2013, the Chinese landed a lunar rover called Yutu (or “Jade Rabbit”).

4 Many a “Star Trek” officer: Abbr. : ENS

Ensign (ens.)

6 When doubled, a brightly colored fish : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” (meaning “very strong”) is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also known as the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

7 Certain collection of criminal evidence and documents : FBI FILE

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

8 The “A” of E. A. Poe : ALLAN

Celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond, Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

9 Big retailer of outdoor gear : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

10 Cowlike : BOVINE

Something described as bovine is related to a cow, ox or buffalo, or indeed any ruminant in the genus Bos. “Bos” is the Latin for “cow”, and “bovinus” a Late Latin derivative term.

11 French farewell : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

12 Après-ski locale : LODGE

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

26 Like many a Tarantino movie : GORY

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino, nor his work. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out to be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

28 Best Picture winner set in Iran : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

30 Acid that’s “dropped” : LSD

Someone taking the drug LSD is often said to be “dropping acid”. The use of the verb “to drop” was popular slang long before LSD came on the scene, and back then applied to the taking of any illegal drug.

33 πr2, for a circle : AREA

The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is often referred to as Archimedes’ constant, which we denote with the Greek letter pi (π). The ratio pi can be used to calculate the area of a disk, by multiplying the constant by the square of the radius (πr²).

41 ___-Ball (arcade game) : SKEE

Skee-Ball is the arcade game in which you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

44 Not solid, as a billiard ball : STRIPED

One side (player) in a game of pool uses the “solid” balls, the other the “stripes”.

49 Eminem hit that has become slang for a superfan : STAN

“Stan” is a song by rapper Eminem (featuring Dido) that was recorded in 2000. The title refers to a fictional Eminem fan named “Stan” who becomes obsessed with the rapper, and who grows irate when his letters to his idol go unanswered. Stan’s final act is to make a voice recording as he drives into a river, with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk. One of the legacies of the song is that “stan” is now used as a slang term for an obsessed and maniacal fan.

50 Big name in arcade games : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

52 Like 86% of New York State, contrary to stereotype : RURAL

What we know today as New York State has its origins in the province of New Netherland that was established in North America’s Dutch Republic in 1614. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the British laid claim to New Amsterdam. King Charles II awarded it to his brother James, Duke of York, who renamed the disputed territory the Province of New York. Following the Third Anglo-Dutch war, the Dutch finally surrendered New Netherland as part of 1674’s Treaty of Westminster that ended the conflict. After the Duke of York ascended to the British throne, as James II, land within the province was reassigned, reducing the Province of New York roughly to present-day New York State and Vermont. The State of New York was established in 1776, at the start of the Revolutionary War. The Vermont Republic gained its independence from New York the following year, in 1777.

55 Potter’s Potions professor : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the “Harry Potter” novels by J. K. Rowling. He is the Potions Professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Snape was played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

59 Gem mined in Australia : 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%.

62 “Euphoria” airer : HBO

“Euphoria” is an HBO teen drama show that is loosely based on a miniseries of the same name from Israel. Lead actress in the show is Zendaya, who plays a recovering teenage drug addict.

63 Aspiring prof’s exam : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Amount between none and all : SOME
5 Org. for H.I.V. prevention and study : AMFAR
10 Treadless, as tires : BALD
14 Clickable image : ICON
15 Knights of the Round ___ : TABLE
16 Scent : ODOR
17 Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale : GHOST CHILI
19 “Veni, ___, vici” (Caesar’s boast) : VIDI
20 Ages and ages : EON
21 Israeli port north of Tel Aviv : HAIFA
22 Drawn-out attack : SIEGE
23 Chanel No. 5, par exemple : PARFUM
25 They’re the picture of innocence, in the pictures : INGENUES
27 Longtime friend : OLD PAL
29 Individual : ONE
30 Mount Etna output : LAVA
32 Brings up, as a child : REARS
34 Owl’s question? : WHO?
37 The whole ___ : SHEBANG
40 What a flour grain may grow from : RYE SEED
42 ___ es Salaam (Tanzanian city) : DAR
43 “___ lips sink ships” : LOOSE
45 Surrealist Paul : KLEE
46 Use a shovel : DIG
47 Adornment on a fez : TASSEL
50 French farewell : AU REVOIR
54 Relaxed : AT EASE
57 Agreement to end a feud : TRUCE
58 DreamWorks princess who remains an ogress after true love’s kiss : FIONA
60 Roadside stopover : INN
61 Taj Mahal locale : AGRA
62 Really miffed, or a hint to the circled letters : HOPPING MAD
64 Inspect for information, as a gas meter : READ
65 Cry from a goat : BLEAT
66 “___ Man” (1984 cult film) : REPO
67 Run without moving, as a car : IDLE
68 In an unusual manner : ODDLY
69 Unspoiled paradise : EDEN

Down

1 Skull-and-crossbones fraternity, for short : SIGEP
2 Golfer Lorena : OCHOA
3 Wheeled vehicle designed to function in low gravity : MOON ROVER
4 Many a “Star Trek” officer: Abbr. : ENS
5 Spending time away from parents for the summer, say : AT CAMP
6 When doubled, a brightly colored fish : MAHI
7 Certain collection of criminal evidence and documents : FBI FILE
8 The “A” of E. A. Poe : ALLAN
9 Big retailer of outdoor gear : REI
10 Cowlike : BOVINE
11 French farewell : ADIEU
12 Après-ski locale : LODGE
13 Towels off : DRIES
18 “Clunk!” : THUD!
22 Just have a feeling : SENSE
24 Fatty flesh : FLAB
26 Like many a Tarantino movie : GORY
28 Best Picture winner set in Iran : ARGO
30 Acid that’s “dropped” : LSD
31 “I’ve got it!” : AHA!
33 πr2, for a circle : AREA
34 On the mark, as an insult or a dart : WELL AIMED
35 ___-haw (donkey sound) : HEE
36 Praiseful poem : ODE
38 “Stayin’ ___” (Bee Gees song often used in CPR training) : ALIVE
39 Called off, as a launch : NO-GO
41 ___-Ball (arcade game) : SKEE
44 Not solid, as a billiard ball : STRIPED
46 Twenties or fifties, but not fives : DECADE
48 Ability to think rationally : SANITY
49 Eminem hit that has become slang for a superfan : STAN
50 Big name in arcade games : ATARI
51 Encouraged : URGED
52 Like 86% of New York State, contrary to stereotype : RURAL
53 “This poker hand’s no good!” : I FOLD!
55 Potter’s Potions professor : SNAPE
56 ___ a high note : END ON
59 Gem mined in Australia : OPAL
62 “Euphoria” airer : HBO
63 Aspiring prof’s exam : GRE

6 thoughts on “1128-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Nov 22, Monday”

  1. 10:15, no errors. Disappointed to not break 10 minutes on a Monday. Had difficulty with the upper third. SIG EP? Vaguely familiar with the Skull and Bones at Yale. Also Phi Kappa Sigma uses the skull and crossbones.

  2. 5:52. Caught onto the theme eventually, something I seldom do on a Monday.

    Interesting note in Wordplay – apparently there was some debate within the NYT crossword group on whether this was a Monday or Tuesday puzzle.

    Many thought this was a Tuesday level theme. I don’t really know the difference, but it’s interesting that these decisions aren’t always easy.

    I have a pretty high tolerance to spicy food, but I don’t think I’d go anywhere near a GHOST CHILI. I’ve seen guys have to guzzle milk (which dulls the pain a bit) and/or pour milk on their faces and eyes after eating one in competitions. Those people are nuts.

    Best-

  3. Today’s New Yorker crossword took me 3:12:16 (some of which was “walk-away” time), with no errors and no look-ups in spite of entries like UTQIAGVIK (“Northernmost city in the United States”), KARTS (“Options for Peach and Toad”), PARETO (“Italian economist Vilfredo whose namesake principle states that eighty per cent of effects come from twenty per cent of causes”), ANKLE (“Place to wear ‘ghungroo’”), ALAIA (“Couturier Azzedine”), and, thankfully, a few easier things, one of which (for reasons I need not explain … 😜) reminded me of our very own Jeff: AS EVER (“Best alternative”).

  4. Billiard balls are not striped. Pool balls (#9-#15) are striped.
    The game of “striped vrs. solids” is 8-ball.

    1. Billiard balls are either striped or solid. They are all billiard balls, and you can use those balls to play various different games as you reference.

      The way the clue is worded is probably where your confusion is. “Not solid, as a billiard ball” is saying the clue’s way of saying “Not solid, as in not a solid billiard ball, would mean it would be STRIPED. If a billiard ball is not solid, it is STRIPED.

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