1207-22 NY Times Crossword 7 Dec 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Karen Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): We’re Bilingual

Themed answers are each words that have different meanings in English and in the language specified in the corresponding clue:

  • 16A Vintage car, in German … or veteran, in English : OLDTIMER … or OLD-TIMER
  • 25A High school, in Danish … or building for indoor sports, in English : GYMNASIUM
  • 35A Competition, in French … or agreement, in English : CONCURRENCE
  • 47A Plywood, in Dutch … or theater with several screens, in English : MULTIPLEX
  • 58A Vacation, in Swedish … or half of an academic year, in English : SEMESTER

Bill’s time: 8m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Iconic sportswear logo that was commissioned for $35 in 1971 : SWOOSH

I remember seeing a lady named Carolyn Davidson on the television show “I’ve Got a Secret”. Davidson created the Nike “swoosh” back in 1971 when she was a design student at Portland State. She did it as freelance work for Blue Ribbon Sports, a local company introducing a new line of athletic footwear. The “swoosh” is taken from the wing of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. Years later, BRS changed its name to Nike, so I suppose the company should be grateful to Carolyn for both the great design, and a great company name.

7 Stories that can get pretty hot : ATTICS

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.

13 Northernmost capital in continental South America : CARACAS

Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and is located in the north of the country. The original settlement of Caracas was named by the Spanish using the name of a local indigenous tribe.

15 ___ Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” author : CHINUA

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe was born in the Ibo region in the south of the country. His first novel was “Things Fall Apart”, a book that has the distinction of being the most widely read in the whole of African literature.

20 G.I. food packs : MRES

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

22 Six-time M.L.B. All-Star Mookie : BETTS

Mookie Betts is a professional baseball outfielder from Nashville who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011. Betts is also a professional bowler, and has competed in the PBA’s World Series of Bowling. He has bowled several perfect (300) games.

25 High school, in Danish … or building for indoor sports, in English : GYMNASIUM

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

27 The Cards, on scoreboards : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team plays at Busch Stadium. Busch Stadium is the third stadium in the history of St. Louis to have the Busch name. The first two were named for Gussie Busch, the brewing magnate and former Cardinals team owner. The current stadium is named for the brewery though, and not Gussie per se.

40 Certain real estate purchase : LOT

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”.

41 Verizon sale of 2021 : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the initialism AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

The telecommunications company that we know today as Verizon was founded in 1983 as Bell Atlantic, and was one of the “Baby Bells” that were formed after the breakup of AT&T. Bell Atlantic merged with fellow Baby Bell NYNEX in 1997, and then merged with GTE in 2000 to form Verizon. The new company name is a portmanteau of “veritas” (“truth” in Latin) and “horizon”.

42 Hummer maker : GMC

GMC is a division of General Motors (GM) that was established in 1901 and started out as “GMC Truck”.

“Humvee” and “Hummer” are nicknames for the military vehicle developed by AM General. The full name is High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle i.e. HMMWV, or simply “Humvee”.

44 ___ Gatos, Calif. : LOS

The town of Los Gatos is in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The town’s name translates from Spanish to “the Cats” and comes from the old name for the area “Cat’s Corner”. That name is a reference to the cougars that roamed the foothills in which the town is located.

50 Smidgen : SKOSH

“Skosh” is a slang term meaning “a little bit”, and was originally military slang that came out of the Korean War. “Skosh” derives from the Japanese word “sukoshi” which translates as “few, little, some”.

55 Queens stadium eponym : ASHE

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997, and is the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

58 Vacation, in Swedish … or half of an academic year, in English : SEMESTER

“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester-system has three parts, and a quarter-system has four.

63 Savory South Asian pastry : SAMOSA

A samosa is quite the tasty appetizer. It is usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.

Down

4 Hall’s partner in pop : OATES

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo who were most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

5 Grade school subj. : SCI

Science (sci.)

6 Jon who played Don in “Mad Men” : HAMM

Jon Hamm lived the life of a struggling actor for quite some time before he hit gold with a starring role in the AMC drama “Mad Men”. He plays the main character, advertising executive and man about town Don Draper.

7 Big name in hardware stores : ACE

The Ace Hardware chain of stores was founded in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois. The name “Ace” was chosen after “ace” fighter pilots from World War I.

8 Something to pass, legally : THE BAR

“The bar” is a term often used for “the legal profession”. It is a reference to the “bar” that separates spectators from participants in a courtroom.

14 Twilled suit fabric : SERGE

Serge is a type of twill fabric with diagonal ridges on both sides. The name “serge” comes from the Greek word for “silken”.

The verb “to twill” means to weave a cloth (called “twill”) that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.

24 An identical one isn’t 100% identical : TWIN

DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, which are blueprints used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains why identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.

35 It might say “Scam Likely” : CALLER ID

The basic technology behind caller ID was developed in Athens, Greece by “Ted” Paraskevakos in the late sixties and early seventies. The man should be made a saint …

36 Scrooge McDuck vis-à-vis Donald : UNCLE

Scrooge McDuck is a rich uncle of Donald Duck. Donald first hit the screens in 1934, and Uncle Scrooge made his debut performance in 1947.

38 Blog, perhaps : JOURNAL

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

41 Current unit : AMPERE

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

42 Ingredient in some holiday cookies : GINGER

Ginger snap cookies are known as ginger nut biscuits back in Ireland where I come from …

46 Tibetan ethnic group : SHERPA

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

49 H.S. exam org. : ETS

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) was founded in 1947, and produces standardized tests for students from kindergarten through college. Perhaps most famously, ETS operates the SAT testing process.

51 Casey in the National Radio Hall of Fame : KASEM

Not only was Casey Kasem closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40”, but he was also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series.

54 Some med. plans : HMOS

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

57 Sheeran and Sullivan : EDS

English singer Ed Sheeran has appeared as an actor quite a few times. After several cameos in various films, Sheeran had a substantial role playing himself in the excellent 2019 film “Yesterday”. Sheeran chose some novel names for his first three studio albums: “+” (also “Plus”, released in 2011), “x” (also “Multiply”, released in 2014), and “÷” (also “Divide”, released in 2017).

Ed Sullivan’s most famous television role was as host of the “The Ed Sullivan Show”, which ran from 1948 to 1971, a total of 23 years. In that final year, a new set of CBS executives wanted to update the image of the network and announced the cancellation of most of the “old” shows including “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Sullivan was so mad at the decision that he refused to make a “farewell” episode.

59 Little ___, who sang “The Loco-Motion” : EVA

Carole King and her longtime partner Gerry Goffin have been writing hit songs since the early sixties. Carole and Gerry had a babysitter, one Eva Narcissus Boyd, who was always bopping around the house in an unusual dance style. They wrote a song about her dance and they called it “The Loco-Motion”. Then they gave it to the babysitter to record. Ms. Boyd chose as a stage name a character in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” named Little Eva.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Iconic sportswear logo that was commissioned for $35 in 1971 : SWOOSH
7 Stories that can get pretty hot : ATTICS
13 Northernmost capital in continental South America : CARACAS
15 ___ Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” author : CHINUA
16 Vintage car, in German … or veteran, in English : OLDTIMER … or OLD-TIMER
18 In a spooky way : EERILY
19 Get out fast : FLEE
20 G.I. food packs : MRES
22 Six-time M.L.B. All-Star Mookie : BETTS
23 Famine’s counterpart : FEAST
25 High school, in Danish … or building for indoor sports, in English : GYMNASIUM
27 The Cards, on scoreboards : STL
28 Teeny : WEE
30 One hearing things? : EAR
31 “___ you serious?” : ARE
32 When doubled, like a good situation : WIN
33 Relatives, slangily : FAM
34 Scarfed down : ATE
35 Competition, in French … or agreement, in English : CONCURRENCE
38 Tooth holder : JAW
39 Unspecified amount : ANY
40 Certain real estate purchase : LOT
41 Verizon sale of 2021 : AOL
42 Hummer maker : GMC
43 Regard : EYE
44 ___ Gatos, Calif. : LOS
47 Plywood, in Dutch … or theater with several screens, in English : MULTIPLEX
50 Smidgen : SKOSH
52 Spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, say : PREEN
53 Engrave with an acid : ETCH
55 Queens stadium eponym : ASHE
56 Inflame : ENRAGE
58 Vacation, in Swedish … or half of an academic year, in English : SEMESTER
60 Boosted : RAISED
61 Light punch : LOVE TAP
62 So-called “wisdom-keepers” : ELDERS
63 Savory South Asian pastry : SAMOSA

Down

1 Says “Hah!,” say : SCOFFS
2 Place for some bills : WALLET
3 Flying a commercial airline, often : ORDEAL
4 Hall’s partner in pop : OATES
5 Grade school subj. : SCI
6 Jon who played Don in “Mad Men” : HAMM
7 Big name in hardware stores : ACE
8 Something to pass, legally : THE BAR
9 Exhausts : TIRES
10 Kick off : INITIATE
11 Something grown in a lab : CULTURE
12 “Because that’s what I want!” : SAYS ME!
14 Twilled suit fabric : SERGE
17 Reina’s chess “mate” : REY
21 Glasses annoyance : SMEAR
24 An identical one isn’t 100% identical : TWIN
26 That is to say : NAMELY
29 Set up a temporary base : ENCAMP
32 Amaze : WOW
33 Overheat, as a circuit : FRY
34 Do something : ACT
35 It might say “Scam Likely” : CALLER ID
36 Scrooge McDuck vis-à-vis Donald : UNCLE
37 Rejections : NOES
38 Blog, perhaps : JOURNAL
41 Current unit : AMPERE
42 Ingredient in some holiday cookies : GINGER
43 Get all A’s, say : EXCEL
44 Was defeated by : LOST TO
45 Vegas casino with bars named Dublin Up, Lucky and Blarney : O’SHEAS
46 Tibetan ethnic group : SHERPA
48 Kid : TEASE
49 H.S. exam org. : ETS
51 Casey in the National Radio Hall of Fame : KASEM
54 Some med. plans : HMOS
57 Sheeran and Sullivan : EDS
59 Little ___, who sang “The Loco-Motion” : EVA