1203-22 NY Times Crossword 3 Dec 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Kate Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 ___ Secretary : MADAM

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired from 2014 to 2019. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

11 Do some course work? : MOW

Maybe a golf course …?

16 Gardner of film : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

19 Miles Davis ___ (“Birth of the Cool” ensemble) : NONET

Jazz musician Miles Davis was born into a relatively affluent family, so he had plenty of music lessons as a child. After high school, Davis studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York but he dropped out before finishing his studies. He stated later that the Juilliard classes focused too much on European and “white” music, but he acknowledged that the school gave him a foundation in music theory that helped him in later life.

20 The “H” in H.M.S. : HIS

The prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

22 Word with plane or projection : ASTRAL

Some believe that a person’s spirit inhabits the astral plane after dying, and before entering the spirit world.

An astral projection is an out-of-body experience. It is often associated with incidents of near-death and describes the phenomenon of the astral body leaving the physical body and traveling around the astral plane.

25 Brain-tingly feeling that may come from hearing whispering or crinkling, in brief : ASMR

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

28 Inefficient confetti-making tool : HOLE PUNCH

The word “confetti” is related to “confection”. The original confetti were small candies thrown during carnivals in Italy. This custom migrated to England, and eventually evolved into the practice of tossing small pieces of paper instead of confections.

30 “Between ___ Ferns” (Zach Galifianakis web series) : TWO

Zach Galifianakis is a stand-up comedian who is making a name for himself on the big screen. Galifianakis garnered a lot of attention for his role in 2009’s “The Hangover”, and also starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the 2010 release “Due Date”.

37 Sound investment : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

38 They might be capital or cardinal : SINS

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

39 ‘Easter preceder : NOR-

A nor’easter is a storm that blows from the northeast.

42 Empty bottles? : TOPE

To tope is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

44 Org. featured in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” : NASCAR

The acronym “NASCAR” stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The association is actually a privately held company that was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR is very, very popular and commands the second-largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

The Talladega Superspeedway is the longest oval on the NASCAR circuit with a length of 2.66 miles. It also has seating for a whopping 175,000 spectators. The track opened in 1969, built on an abandoned airfield north of the city of Talladega, Alabama. The circuit is renowned for its supposed Talladega Jinx, which is said to have caused a number of accidents and incidents over the years. There has been a relatively high number of fatalities and crashes, including the death of driver Larry Smith in what was apparently a minor wreck, and the death of driver Davey Allison in a helicopter crash in the raceway’s infield. In another strange occurrence, driver Bobby Isaac left his car on the 90th lap of a race as he claims he heard voices that told him to park and get out of his vehicle.

46 “I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to ___ in his own way”: Robert Frost : HELL

The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco, but lived most of life in New England. He also spent a few years in England, just before WWI. Frost was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He was also Vermont’s first Poet Laureate, a position that he held from 1961 until his death in 1963.

51 Malachite, for one : ORE

Malachite is a mineral composed of copper carbonate hydroxide. Samples of the mineral contain opaque green bands. The name “malachite” ultimately derives from the Greek “molochitis lithos” meaning “mallow-green stone”. This is a reference to green leaves of the mallow plant, also known as “malva”. Paradoxically, it is the French name of the malva plant that gives our word “mauve”, referring to the color of the flowers.

55 A daughter of Titans, in myth : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

57 Kind of pad : SOS

S.O.S is a brand of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

58 Cline who was the first solo female artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame : PATSY

Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

59 Novosibirsk negatives : NYETS

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

Down

1 Mo. with multiple federal holidays : JAN

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

5 Couples : YOKES

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

10 ___ Potato Head : MRS

Mr. Potato Head is an enduring and popular toy that has been around since its invention by George Lerner in 1949. In its original form, the toy was a collection of eyes, ears, and other facial features, that were designed to be stuck into a real potato. Mr. Potato Head also has the distinction of being the first toy ever to be advertised on television.

11 Sweet cherry liqueur : MARASCHINO

Maraschino liqueur gets its name from the Marasca cherry that is used in its preparation. Traditionally, whole Marasca cherries would be preserved in the maraschino, giving rise to the name “maraschino cherry”. The maraschino cherries that are served up today are a very different product, with not one Marasca cherry in sight. And, there’s a lot of brine used in the preparation, as well as sulfur dioxide, calcium carbonate, sugar syrup and food coloring. Enjoy …

13 Permanent desire? : WAVES

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

23 Actress Katharine of “The Graduate” : ROSS

Actress Katharine Ross is best known for two major roles, playing Elaine Robinson in “The Graduate” and Etta Place in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Ross is married to the actor Sam Elliott. Although the couple both appeared in “Butch Cassidy …” , in different scenes, they didn’t actually meet. They didn’t start dating until 1978, almost ten years later.

When Mike Nichols was making the 1967 film “The Graduate” he apparently became obsessed with the music of Simon and Garfunkel, who were just coming into the limelight. Nichols made a deal with Paul Simon to write three songs that he could use on the soundtrack of his new movie. Simon and Garfunkel were touring constantly around that time, so Nichols had to badger Simon to hold up his end of the bargain. When Nichols was ready to lay down the film’s soundtrack there was only one commissioned song available, so Nichols had to basically beg Paul Simon for anything. Simon mentioned that he was finishing up one new song, but it wasn’t written for the film. It was more a celebration of former times, with lyrics about baseball great Joe DiMaggio and former First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt. Nichols informed Simon that the song was no longer about Mrs. Roosevelt, and instead was about Mrs. Robinson …

25 Some 4x4s : ATVS

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

33 Orphan of British literature : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

36 Triangular headsails : JIBS

A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

38 Carpels’ counterparts : STAMENS

The stamen is the male reproductive organ of a flower. The part of the stamen known as the anther sits on a stalk called the filament that carries the pollen. The pollen is picked up by insects, especially bees, who then transfer pollen from flower to flower. The pistil is the female reproductive organ, and it accepts the pollen.

47 Miss Piggy or Bette Midler : DIVA

The Muppet named Miss Piggy has a pretentious air, and so refers to herself as “moi”. In 1998, Miss Piggy even released her own perfume called “Moi”.

I am a huge, huge fan of Bette Midler. I love her bawdy humor, her expansive personality, and her amazing voice. Midler will forever be associated with the 1979 film “The Rose”, which is loosely based on the life of the self-destructive singer Janis Joplin, with Bette playing the lead. Midler shows that she can act in this movie, and boy does she show that she can sing. The title song was written by Amanda McBroom and became a huge hit for Midler in 1979.

49 Alternative to a blind, in poker : ANTE

In some variants of poker, a forced bet is made by one or two players sitting to the left of the dealer. These bets are known as “blinds”, and are used instead of antes to ensure that there is some money in the pot. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the “small blind” (usually half the minimum bet), and the next player to the left posts the “big blind” (usually the minimum bet).

52 Vim : PEP

“Vim”, “zip“ and “pep” are all words that mean “energy, power”.

53 Tropical islet : CAY

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida “Keys”. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Skittish : JUMPY
6 ___ Secretary : MADAM
11 Do some course work? : MOW
14 Guilt trip? : APOLOGY TOUR
16 Gardner of film : AVA
17 “Too late to change your mind now!” : NO TAKE BACKS
18 Crank : REV
19 Miles Davis ___ (“Birth of the Cool” ensemble) : NONET
20 The “H” in H.M.S. : HIS
21 Peel : PARE
22 Word with plane or projection : ASTRAL
24 Takes nothing in : FASTS
25 Brain-tingly feeling that may come from hearing whispering or crinkling, in brief : ASMR
28 Inefficient confetti-making tool : HOLE PUNCH
30 “Between ___ Ferns” (Zach Galifianakis web series) : TWO
31 Wild side? : WEST
32 Couple of laughs? : HEE-HEE
34 Newbies : VIRGINS
36 Good cheer : JOLLITY
37 Sound investment : STEREO
38 They might be capital or cardinal : SINS
39 ‘Easter preceder : NOR-
40 “Do my eyes deceive me?” : COULD IT BE?
42 Empty bottles? : TOPE
43 Prepare, as chicken for tacos : SHRED
44 Org. featured in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” : NASCAR
46 “I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to ___ in his own way”: Robert Frost : HELL
47 Block : DAM
48 Starters : A-TEAM
51 Malachite, for one : ORE
52 One getting bent out of shape at preschool? : PIPE CLEANER
55 A daughter of Titans, in myth : EOS
56 At all : EVEN A LITTLE
57 Kind of pad : SOS
58 Cline who was the first solo female artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame : PATSY
59 Novosibirsk negatives : NYETS

Down

1 Mo. with multiple federal holidays : JAN
2 Atop : UPON
3 “Hello ___” (classic ringtone) : MOTO
4 Like a flat surface : PLANAR
5 Couples : YOKES
6 “That’s on me,” slangily : MY B
7 Not progressing : AT A HALT
8 Unlikely to cause a stir, say : DOCILE
9 Great ones are extinct : AUKS
10 ___ Potato Head : MRS
11 Sweet cherry liqueur : MARASCHINO
12 Excessive : OVER-THE-TOP
13 Permanent desire? : WAVES
15 Be approved to proceed : GET THE NOD
21 Piece in a sewing project : PANEL
23 Actress Katharine of “The Graduate” : ROSS
24 Stokes : FUELS
25 Some 4x4s : ATVS
26 Quite the reverse : SWITCHEROO
27 “Close enough” : MORE OR LESS
29 Something that has a ring to it : PHONE CALL
31 Brandish : WIELD
33 Orphan of British literature : EYRE
35 Soupy fare : GRUEL
36 Triangular headsails : JIBS
38 Carpels’ counterparts : STAMENS
41 Cheesed off : IN A PET
42 Compact : TREATY
43 Things horses may have that other farm animals usually don’t : SHOES
45 Cleared home plates? : ATE IN
47 Miss Piggy or Bette Midler : DIVA
49 Alternative to a blind, in poker : ANTE
50 What chocolate and hearts may do : MELT
52 Vim : PEP
53 Tropical islet : CAY
54 “Hi” follower : -RES

11 thoughts on “1203-22 NY Times Crossword 3 Dec 22, Saturday”

  1. 11:49. There was a lot of 3-letter fill for a Saturday puzzle here (though, that being said, the NE was still the last part I got done).

  2. ASMR is “familiar” to me from having appeared in a lot of crossword puzzles recently, but only to the extent that I remember there is such a thing, so I also leaned on crosses to get it.

    So … repeat after me: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response … Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response … Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response … 😜

  3. 20:43, no errors. Like Bruce I had no idea about ASMR. Started with a lot of holes in this grid and finally finished up in the NW. Good Saturday for me. Cheers!

  4. 31:16. Getting to this a little late in the day. I’ll just use that as my excuse.

    Tingling feeling in the brain? I thought it was an IDEA…since I’ve never really had one to know.

    Oh well, I USED to like MARASCHINO cherries. Like McRibs, now Bill has ruined these as well. Can you order them without the sulfur dioxide, I wonder?

    Best –

    1. The clue refers to carpels rather than carpals. Carpels and stamens are the (female and male) reproductive parts of a flower.

  5. This was a long, steady, solve for me… Finally finished with no errors. Which means tonight’s poker tournament will not go in my favor. There is about a 10 year trend of losing poker tournaments when I solve the Friday or Saturday puzzles. DOH

  6. The phrases “cheesed off” and “in a pet” are slang terms for “irritated”. More info can probably be obtained from Dr. Google.

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