1129-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: David Rockow
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Flock of Birds

We have a FLOCK of BIRDS gathered around a FEATHER in the center of the grid. Nice!

  • 51D Gathering of 1-Down, like that found in the center of this puzzle : FLOCK
  • 1D Tweeters : BIRDS
  • 37A Element of plumage … and a feature shared by every answer crossing this one : FEATHER
  • 19D Its Andean variety has the largest wingspan among all raptors : CONDOR
  • 24D Ratite featured on Uruguayan currency : RHEA
  • 25D American raptor that’s the size of a mourning dove : KESTREL
  • 28D Small brown passerine that holds its tail upright : WREN
  • 35D Goose that might nest on volcanic ash : NENE
  • 37D Its peregrine variety is the world’s fastest avian : FALCON
  • 38D Iconic metaphor for keen-eyed watchfulness : HAWK

Bill’s time: 6m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Flick your ___” (longtime slogan) : BIC

Société Bic is a company based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

4 Mother, in Mexico : MADRE

In Spanish, a “madre” (mother) might have a “niño” (boy).

9 Fella : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

14 Dominated, in sports lingo : OWNED

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. Journalese and legalese would be good examples.

15 1970 hit for the Kinks : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of a young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, and the music is superb.

The Kinks were an English band who participated in the British Invasion of America in the sixties, although only briefly. After touring the US in the middle of 1965, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the Kinks to book concerts for four years, apparently in response to some rowdy on-stage behavior by the band.

18 International service organization with a dove in its logo : PEACE CORPS

The Peace Corps is an organization of American volunteers that is run by the US government. The Peace Corps was established by President Kennedy in 1961, and has a three-part mission:

  1. Providing technical assistance
  2. Helping people outside the US to understand American culture
  3. Helping Americans to understand the culture of other countries

22 City in ancient Crete with a renowned labyrinth : KNOSSOS

Knossos was a city on the island of Crete that is widely believed to be the oldest city in Europe. The ruins of Knossos date back to the Bronze Age and have been extensively excavated since their discovery in 1878.

23 Walks and runs, for two : STATS

That would be baseball.

24 Bygone MGM rival : RKO

During the Golden Age of Cinema (roughly, the thirties and forties), the “Big Five” Hollywood studios were:

  • Lowe’s/MGM
  • Paramount
  • Fox (later “20th Century Fox”)
  • Warner Bros.
  • RKO

26 Formerly : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

29 Hit BBC series since 1963, informally : DR WHO

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963 on the BBC, and relaunched in 2005. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials. Why “Torchwood”? Well, “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”.

36 Mixed martial arts org. : UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …

40 “Dewey Defeats ___,” infamous Chicago Tribune headline of 1948 : TRUMAN

Harry S. Truman became vice president under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in January of 1945. He was in office for only 82 days when he was informed at the Whie House by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt that her husband had died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Truman was sworn in as US president, and served out the remainder of Roosevelt’s term without naming a replacement vice president. When Truman ran for president in his own right in 1948, he shared the ticket with Alben W. Barkley. Truman and Barkely won that election, and were in office until 1953.

As well as being three-term governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey twice ran as Republican candidate for president. He was defeated in both races, in 1944 and 1948. In 1944, Dewey lost to incumbent President Roosevelt, and in 1948 he lost to incumbent President Truman. “The Chicago Tribune” called the latter incorrectly and ran that famous headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”. Dewey didn’t run for president in 1952 but did help General Eisenhower get the nomination, and ultimately secure the White House. If you drive along the New York State Thruway, you’ll see Dewey’s name a lot, as the highway is named in his honor.

43 ___ Mix : CHEX

Chex Mix is a party mix that includes Chex cereal as a major ingredient. The first recipe appeared on boxes of Chex cereal in 1952.

44 L.A.’s region : SOCAL

Southern California (SoCal)

47 Chapel Hill sch. : UNC

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the first public university in the country to open its door to students.

52 Lavatory fixture : COMMODE

A commode is a toilet. Back in the 1700s, a commode was a chest of drawers, a name derived from the French word “commode” meaning “convenient”. In the mid-1800s, the term was applied to a chamber pot, which was regarded as a “convenience”.

55 Low-scoring soccer result : ONE-NIL

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

56 Traditional habitats for pigeons : URBAN AREAS

Taxonomically, doves and pigeons are the only members of the order Columbidae. The terms “dove” and “pigeon” are often used interchangeably. Scientifically speaking, dove species tend to be smaller than pigeon species. Colloquially though, many refer to doves as the white or nearly white species in the family.

59 Paul of “There Will Be Blood” : DANO

Paul Dano is an actor and musician from New York City. I best know him for playing Brian Wilson in “Love & Mercy”, a fascinating film about the Beach Boys.

“There Will Be Blood” is a 2007 film starring Daniel Day Lewis. The movie is based (loosely) on the 1927 novel by Upton Sinclair called “Oil!”

60 Finch feeder filler : SEED

True finches are relatively small, colorful birds known for their robust conical bills that have evolved for eating nuts and seeds. Back in the day, finches were used (along with canaries) in coal mines to detect the presence of carbon monoxide.

64 Noted seasonal worker : SANTA

The name “Santa Claus” is American English, and came into the language as a phonetic variant of “Sinterklaas”, the Dutch for “Saint Nicholas”.

65 Forest ranger? : 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 …

Down

3 Unruffled : COOL AS A CUCUMBER

Apparently, scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber (“cuke” for short) growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

6 Molecule whose structure was discovered by Rosalind Franklin : DNA

Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge. In 1962, along with molecular biologist Maurice Wilkins, Watson and Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

8 Garden west of Nod : EDEN

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the “Land of Nod”. Nod was located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

9 Ninth-inning relievers, often : CLOSERS

That would be baseball.

10 Desert wanderer’s mount in a 1972 hit by America : HORSE WITH NO NAME

“A Horse with No Name” is a fabulous song from the early seventies that was released by the band America. The song was originally banned by some radio stations in the US, due to claims that the “horse” in the title is a reference to the drug heroin.

11 Chow for a chow, perhaps : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

19 Its Andean variety has the largest wingspan among all raptors : CONDOR

The condor is actually a vulture, and is the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere. There are two species: the Andean Condor found in the Andes in South America, and the California Condor found in the west of the US and Mexico.

21 “Gangnam Style” musician : PSY

“PSY” is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2012 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time. The title of the song refers to a lifestyle experienced in the Gangnam District of Seoul.

24 Ratite featured on Uruguayan currency : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. It takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. That’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

Ratites are species of birds that cannot fly. They are different physiologically than other birds in that they have nowhere on their sternum to attach the muscles needed for flight.

25 American raptor that’s the size of a mourning dove : KESTREL

The name kestrel applies to several different types of falcon. What distinguishes kestrels from other falcons is their behavior. Kestrels hover when hunting, at 50-60 feet above the ground, and then swoop down when they spot their prey.

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

28 Small brown passerine that holds its tail upright : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

31 African antelope : ORYX

The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range. As a result, the oryx is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.

35 Goose that might nest on volcanic ash : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is an imitation of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

37 Its peregrine variety is the world’s fastest avian : FALCON

There are about 40 species of the birds of prey classed as falcons, with examples being several species of kestrel. Falcons differ from hawks and eagles in that they kill their prey with their beaks, as opposed to their talons. Famously, falcons swoop down on their prey at great speed. Peregrine falcons have been clocked at well over 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest-moving creatures on the planet.

45 With 4-Across, mountain range in 44-Across : SIERRA …
4A Mother, in Mexico : MADRE
[44A L.A.’s region : SOCAL]

“Sierra Madre” is Spanish for “Mother Mountain Range”, and is a name given to several mountain ranges around the world.

53 Cookie with a creme filling : OREO

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

55 Worker protection agcy. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

58 QB’s throw: Abbr. : ATT

In football, a quarterback’s (QB’s) performance can be measured by attempts (ATT), a statistic (stat).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Flick your ___” (longtime slogan) : BIC
4 Mother, in Mexico : MADRE
9 Fella : CHAP
13 Promising words : I DO
14 Dominated, in sports lingo : OWNED
15 1970 hit for the Kinks : LOLA
16 Hoot : RIOT
18 International service organization with a dove in its logo : PEACE CORPS
20 Exercise in a pool : DO LAPS
22 City in ancient Crete with a renowned labyrinth : KNOSSOS
23 Walks and runs, for two : STATS
24 Bygone MGM rival : RKO
26 Formerly : NEE
27 Words from a pourer : SAY WHEN
29 Hit BBC series since 1963, informally : DR WHO
32 Bleats : BAAS
34 Low-___ (blurry, maybe) : RES
35 More prone to prying : NOSIER
36 Mixed martial arts org. : UFC
37 Element of plumage … and a feature shared by every answer crossing this one : FEATHER
39 Oversee, as a case : TRY
40 “Dewey Defeats ___,” infamous Chicago Tribune headline of 1948 : TRUMAN
42 Managed : RAN
43 ___ Mix : CHEX
44 L.A.’s region : SOCAL
45 Attached, as a patch : SEWED ON
47 Chapel Hill sch. : UNC
48 Sort : ILK
49 Kind of switch : ON/OFF
52 Lavatory fixture : COMMODE
55 Low-scoring soccer result : ONE-NIL
56 Traditional habitats for pigeons : URBAN AREAS
59 Paul of “There Will Be Blood” : DANO
60 Finch feeder filler : SEED
61 Chicken stock, e.g. : BROTH
62 PC alternative : MAC
63 Skin opening : PORE
64 Noted seasonal worker : SANTA
65 Forest ranger? : ELK

Down

1 Tweeters : BIRDS
2 Turkey : IDIOT
3 Unruffled : COOL AS A CUCUMBER
4 Swabs : MOPS
5 Wide-eyed wonderment : AWE
6 Molecule whose structure was discovered by Rosalind Franklin : DNA
7 Consider : RECKON
8 Garden west of Nod : EDEN
9 Ninth-inning relievers, often : CLOSERS
10 Desert wanderer’s mount in a 1972 hit by America : HORSE WITH NO NAME
11 Chow for a chow, perhaps : ALPO
12 Mountain route : PASS
17 Quaint farewells : TA-TAS
19 Its Andean variety has the largest wingspan among all raptors : CONDOR
21 “Gangnam Style” musician : PSY
24 Ratite featured on Uruguayan currency : RHEA
25 American raptor that’s the size of a mourning dove : KESTREL
28 Small brown passerine that holds its tail upright : WREN
30 Roll call call : HERE!
31 African antelope : ORYX
32 Qualifying words : BUTS
33 Style featuring natural curl : AFRO
35 Goose that might nest on volcanic ash : NENE
37 Its peregrine variety is the world’s fastest avian : FALCON
38 Iconic metaphor for keen-eyed watchfulness : HAWK
41 Artificial : MAN-MADE
43 Funnel-shaped : CONED
45 With 4-Across, mountain range in 44-Across : SIERRA …
46 Put on : DON
50 Important exam : FINAL
51 Gathering of 1-Down, like that found in the center of this puzzle : FLOCK
52 Edge : CUSP
53 Cookie with a creme filling : OREO
54 Small amounts : DABS
55 Worker protection agcy. : OSHA
57 Very long time : EON
58 QB’s throw: Abbr. : ATT

2 thoughts on “1129-22 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 22, Tuesday”

  1. 7:22. Interesting theme and construction thereof. Even more impressive is that this was this setter’s NYT debut.

    I was looking for some kind of flipping the bird comment for this puzzle, but I liked it enough that I couldn’t make one work.

    I Googled a peregrine FALCON in flight. Yes – they are fast, but to the eye (albeit on a computer screen and not in the wild) it didn’t look quite 200 mph. Maybe that figure just comes from the peregrines sitting around boasting to one another over a few beers?

    Best –

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