1211-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Dec 22, Sunday

Constructed by: Laura Taylor Kinnel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Step on It!

We have a rebus puzzle today, with some squares containing types of insect:

  • 23A Hypotenuse-finding formula : PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM (hiding “ANT”)
  • 40A Having an impeccable reputation, say : ABOVE REPROACH (hiding “ROACH”)
  • 43A One drinking soft drinks at a party, perhaps : DESIGNATED DRIVER (hiding “GNAT”)
  • 67A Symbol of Irish heritage : CELTIC KNOT (hiding “TICK”)
  • 89A “The Pink Panther” character : INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU (hiding “LOUSE”)
  • 92A Having successfully made it, slangily : IN LIKE FLYNN (hiding “FLY”)
  • 110A Composer who studied under Joseph Haydn : LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (hiding “BEE”)

Bill’s time: 21m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 35mm options : SLRS

At the beginning of the 20th century, 35mm was chosen as a standard size for film used in still cameras. 35mm was selected as it was already the standard film size used in motion pictures.

12 Rotter : CAD

Our word “cad”, meaning “person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

20 Tug of war or capture the flag : TEAM GAME

Tug of war is a strength competition between two teams who pull on opposite ends of a rope, vying to pull the opponents over a marked line. The sport was an event in the Summer Olympic Games from 1900 until 1920. The USA teams won all three medals for the tug of war at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis.

The kid’s game “Capture the Flag” has gone hi-tech. There are computer versions of the game now, as well as an intriguing “urban game” version. In the urban game, players head out into the city streets and play in teams while communicating by cell phone.

22 Le Pew of Looney Tunes : PEPE

Pepé Le Pew is a very likable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of “l’amour” and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe accidentally painted down her back.

23 Hypotenuse-finding formula : PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM (hiding “ANT”)

Pythagoras of Samos is remembered by most these days for his work in mathematics, and for his famous Pythagorean theorem that states that in any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Although there is very little of Pythagoras’s own work that survives, much has been written by his successors that shows how great his influence was above and beyond mathematics, in the fields of philosophy and religion in particular. In fact, it is believed that Pythagoras coined the word “philosophy”, coming from the Greek for “loving wisdom or knowledge”. On a “timeline” of famous Greek philosophers, Pythagoras was doing his work over a hundred years before Socrates, who was followed by Plato and then Aristotle.

26 Frost : HOAR

The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.

29 Asia’s vanishing ___ Sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

30 Ethereal glows : AURAS

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets. We’re still using the term “ether” with a similar meaning.

32 Young Henry V, to Falstaff : HAL

“Prince Hal” is a term used for Prince Henry, the son of the title character in Shakespeare’s plays “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2”. Prince Hal then becomes king in Shakespeare’s “Henry V”.

Sir John Falstaff is the lead character in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and a supporting character in the two “Henry IV” plays. Falstaff is a self-promoting, obese and cowardly man. In “Henry IV, part I”, Falstaff refers to his portly size, saying, “thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.”

33 Eins + zwei : DREI

In German, “eins und zwei” (one and two) comes to “drei” (three).

38 Pharmaceutical pioneer Lilly : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

40 Having an impeccable reputation, say : ABOVE REPROACH (hiding “ROACH”)

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

43 One drinking soft drinks at a party, perhaps : DESIGNATED DRIVER (hiding “GNAT”)

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

48 “Le Bonheur de Vivre” painter : MATISSE

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

49 “Dust Tracks __ Road” (Zora Neale Hurston memoir) : ON A

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

50 Egg on : URGE

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

51 Implement at a regatta : OAR

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

53 A Kool-Aid flavor : WATERMELON

The drink we know today as Kool-Aid was invented by Edward Perkins and his wife in Perkins’ mother’s kitchen in southwest Nebraska. Kool-Aid is now the Official Soft Drink of the state.

58 Ham it up : EMOTE

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

60 Eliot’s “___ Marner” : SILAS

“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

67 Symbol of Irish heritage : CELTIC KNOT (hiding “TICK”)

Celtic knots are stylized representations of knots that often feature in Celtic art. It’s difficult to walk down any road in Ireland without “tripping over” a Celtic knot.

Ticks are external parasites that feed on blood, blood mainly harvested from mammals and birds. Animals that feed on blood are known as hematophages.

69 Garnish on a Moscow mule : LIME

A Moscow mule is a cocktail made from vodka, ginger beer and lime. I like the occasional Moscow mule, mainly because ginger beer was my soda of choice as a kid. Vodka … not so much …

70 Some young ladies abroad: Abbr. : SRTAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

72 Things frequently stolen : BASES

That would be baseball.

73 Pierre ou Marie : NOM

In French, one might look up a “nom” (name) in “un annuaire” (a directory).

80 Bum : PATOOTIE

Back in the 1920s, the term “patootie” was used for a sweetheart, a very pretty girl. Somehow, the term has evolved into slang for the posterior, rear end.

84 Non reversal? : OUI

In French, “oui” (yes) or “non” (no) might be responses to “un questionnaire” (a questionnaire).

86 Langston Hughes classic : I, TOO

Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

87 Insta blurb : BIO

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”, or “IG”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

88 Invertebrate with a floral eponym : ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though the sea anemone isn’t a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the food item we call a “sandwich”, named after the Earl of Sandwich.

89 “The Pink Panther” character : INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU (hiding “LOUSE”)

Apparently, some people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is “The Pink Panther”. “Pink Panther” is actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven “Pink Panther” movies in the whole series?

Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects, of which there are thousands of species. There are three species of lice affecting humans, i.e. head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

94 Top-level foreign policy grp. : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. It is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

95 Avant-garde : EDGY

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

96 ___ de leche : DULCE

“Dulce de leche” is Spanish for “candy of milk”, and is a confection made by slowly heating milk and sugar until it develops a pleasing flavor and color.

105 Oil alternative, in baking : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

106 Durable furniture material : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

107 Texter’s transition : BTW

By the way (BTW)

108 ___ Antipova (“Doctor Zhivago” character) : LARA

The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara Antipova. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.

109 Gallic greeting : ALLO

The French use “Allo” as a greeting when answering the phone. I used to watch a very entertaining British sitcom as a young man called “‘Allo ‘Allo!” that was about the resistance movement in WWII France.

110 Composer who studied under Joseph Haydn : LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (hiding “BEE”)

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

115 Bit by a bit : REIN

The type of horse tack known as a bit is placed in a horse’s mouth and is used to aid communication of instruction from rider to mount. The bit is held in place by means of a bridle around the head, and is controlled by the rider using the attached reins.

116 Tournament favorites : ONE SEEDS

A seeded player or team in a tournament is one given a preliminary ranking that is used in the initial draw. The intention is that the better competitors are less likely to meet each other in the early rounds.

118 Day originally marked by a full moon in the early Roman calendar : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

Down

2 Gulf Coast habitat : BAYOU

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

3 Fragrant oil : ATTAR

Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term often particularly refers to attar of roses.

4 Resident of the most populous city in western Asia : TEHRANI

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

5 Income source for some older folks, in brief : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

7 Day-___ : GLO

“Day-Glo” is a registered trademark used for an ink or paint that glows when exposed to a black light in a darkened room. When Day-Glo paint is viewed in daylight, the colors can look particularly vivid because they respond to UV light present in sunlight.

8 “Mean” Joe Greene, e.g. : STEELER

Joe Greene is a retired NFL defensive tackle who played his whole professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, from 1969 to 1981. He was regarded as a competitive and aggressive player, which earned him the nickname “Mean” Joe Greene. His number 75 jersey was formally retired by the Steelers in 2014, making Greene one of only two Steelers so honored (the other being Ernie Stautner).

9 Simple shelter : LEAN-TO

By definition, a lean-to is a building in which the rafters lean against the wall of another building. A lean-to shelter has a similar appearance, although it is free-standing. The shelter has a single-pitched roof and only three walls.

11 Windshield annoyance : SMEAR

What we know as a windshield here in North America, is referred to as a windscreen on the other side of the Atlantic. In America, we use the term “windscreen” for a mesh or foam device placed around a microphone to limit noise caused by wind.

12 Rapper with the 2018 #1 album “Invasion of Privacy” : CARDI B

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

13 Midwest college town : AMES

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

14 Biden or Harris, for short : DEM

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828, when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

15 One on a rack : SPARE RIB

Spare ribs are so called because “spare” can indicate the absence of fat.

17 Disorder from which Dostoyevsky and many characters in his novels suffered : EPILEPSY

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s most famous novels are “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov”. Dostoyevsky was arrested in 1849 and sentenced to death by Tsar Nicholas I for being part of a liberal intellectual group. He endured a mock execution before being told that his sentence was commuted to four years hard labor and exile in a camp at Omsk in Siberia.

24 Protein-mimicking molecule : 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.

29 Compound at a nail salon : ACETONE

Acetone is the active ingredient in nail polish remover, and in paint thinner.

33 Sublime soprano : DIVA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. It is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

37 39+ weeks, for a pregnancy : TERM

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

39 Mane character in “The Wizard of Oz”? : LION

The Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum’s “Land of Oz” books was portrayed by Bert Lahr in the celebrated 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. The costume that Lahr wore in the film was made from real lion fur, and weighed a whopping 60 pounds.

43 Wedding cake supports : DOWELS

A dowel is a rod made from plastic, wood or metal. In its complete form, it is referred to as a “dowel rod”. We are perhaps more used to the rod cut into short lengths known as “dowel pins”.

47 Physicist Schrödinger : ERWIN

Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian theoretical physicist, one of the so-called “fathers of Quantum Mechanics”. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 for developing the Schrödinger Equation, the “Newton’s Law” of Quantum Mechanics. Famously, Schrödinger devised a thought experiment that illustrates the concept of a paradox. The scenario, known as “Schrödinger’s Cat”, presents us with a cat that can be both alive and dead at the same time. I used to think that I understood Schrödinger’s Cat, and then I became old and wise, and recognized my weaknesses …

52 Like carbon monoxide : DIATOMIC

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is slightly lighter than air and highly toxic. Its toxicity arises because it easily combines with hemoglobin in the blood, displacing the sites that normally transport oxygen around the body.

54 James who sang “A Sunday Kind of Love” : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

55 Like sumo wrestlers, medically speaking : OBESE

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

62 Blackthorn fruit : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

63 Shiny top : SILK BLOUSE

A blouse is a loose-fitting shirt, particularly one worn by women or children. The term “blouse” is French, and originally described a peasant’s smock.

77 Digital digest with the motto “Cure ignorance” : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

82 Prevaricate : TELL A LIE

To prevaricate is to stray from the truth. The term “prevaricate” comes from a Church Latin word meaning “walk crookedly”.

83 Preceders of pis : OMICRONS

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe (Ω) when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

85 Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA

President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (JEC) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (USNA). Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shut down the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimize exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

90 Cloud nine feeling : ECSTASY

I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and fluffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …

91 Swirling storm : CYCLONE

A severe tropical storm is called a hurricane when it occurs in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, a typhoon in the Northwest Pacific, and a cyclone in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Tropical storms form over warm water, picking up energy from the evaporation from the ocean surface.

98 Many a Winter Olympian : SKIER

The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The Winter and Summer Games were held in the same year until 1992 after which they were staggered, so that we have an Olympic Games every two years.

102 Cousin of a crow : RAVEN

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

104 Painter Édouard often confused with painter Claude : MANET

Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist and Impressionist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works. I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny a few years ago. A beautiful place …

106 Fancy Feast flavor : TUNA

Fancy Feast is a brand of cat food that was introduced by the Carnation Company in 1982.

107 Some boxers : BVDS

The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.

109 Name found in “Variety” : ARI

The name “Ari” is found in the middle of the word “Variety”.

111 Onetime auto make with the Metro and Prizm models : GEO

Geos were small vehicles manufactured by General Motors, mainly in the nineties. They were designed to compete head-to-head with the small imports that were gaining market share at the time in the US. Some Geo models that you might remember are the Metro, the Prizm and the Storm. The cars were actually built as joint-ventures with Japanese manufacturers. The Prizm was a GM/Toyota project, the Metro was GM/Suzuki, and the Storm was GM/Isuzu.

112 Stately shade tree : BEECH

Beech bark is very thin and delicate, and is often scarred by people carving their initials or other forms of graffiti. These markings are permanent because the tree cannot heal itself. There is also a fungal infection that damages the American beech that is called beech bark disease, which can be fatal to the tree.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Letting up : ABATING
8 35mm options : SLRS
12 Rotter : CAD
15 What a cafeteria tray can be used as : SLED
19 Creative, as thinking : LATERAL
20 Tug of war or capture the flag : TEAM GAME
22 Le Pew of Looney Tunes : PEPE
23 Hypotenuse-finding formula : PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM (hiding “ANT”)
25 Opposed to, in dialect : AGIN
26 Frost : HOAR
27 Prefix with pronoun : NEO-
28 “No ifs, ___ or buts” : ANDS
29 Asia’s vanishing ___ Sea : ARAL
30 Ethereal glows : AURAS
32 Young Henry V, to Falstaff : HAL
33 Eins + zwei : DREI
34 A-lister : CELEB
36 Evening, informally : NITE
38 Pharmaceutical pioneer Lilly : ELI
40 Having an impeccable reputation, say : ABOVE REPROACH (hiding “ROACH”)
43 One drinking soft drinks at a party, perhaps : DESIGNATED DRIVER (hiding “GNAT”)
48 “Le Bonheur de Vivre” painter : MATISSE
49 “Dust Tracks __ Road” (Zora Neale Hurston memoir) : ON A
50 Egg on : URGE
51 Implement at a regatta : OAR
52 Doesn’t comply with : DISOBEYS
53 A Kool-Aid flavor : WATERMELON
56 Serve : WAIT ON
58 Ham it up : EMOTE
59 Member of the fam : SIB
60 Eliot’s “___ Marner” : SILAS
61 Cause of class struggle? : ESSAY
66 Boor : LOUT
67 Symbol of Irish heritage : CELTIC KNOT (hiding “TICK”)
69 Garnish on a Moscow mule : LIME
70 Some young ladies abroad: Abbr. : SRTAS
72 Things frequently stolen : BASES
73 Pierre ou Marie : NOM
75 Auditioners’ goals : ROLES
76 Like some lips : PURSED
78 Common frequency for college classes : SEMIWEEKLY
80 Bum : PATOOTIE
84 Non reversal? : OUI
86 Langston Hughes classic : I, TOO
87 Insta blurb : BIO
88 Invertebrate with a floral eponym : ANEMONE
89 “The Pink Panther” character : INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU (hiding “LOUSE”)
92 Having successfully made it, slangily : IN LIKE FLYNN (hiding “FLY”)
94 Top-level foreign policy grp. : NSC
95 Avant-garde : EDGY
96 ___ de leche : DULCE
97 Internet star Majimbo known for her comedy videos : ELSA
99 Prince, but not a princess : SON
101 “Go jump in a lake!” : SCRAM!
105 Oil alternative, in baking : LARD
106 Durable furniture material : TEAK
107 Texter’s transition : BTW
108 ___ Antipova (“Doctor Zhivago” character) : LARA
109 Gallic greeting : ALLO
110 Composer who studied under Joseph Haydn : LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (hiding “BEE”)
115 Bit by a bit : REIN
116 Tournament favorites : ONE SEEDS
117 Group of tonal languages : CHINESE
118 Day originally marked by a full moon in the early Roman calendar : IDES
119 Hunk : WAD
120 Like some forecasts and complexions : ROSY
121 Wish otherwise : HOPE NOT

Down

1 Leader of the pack : ALPHA
2 Gulf Coast habitat : BAYOU
3 Fragrant oil : ATTAR
4 Resident of the most populous city in western Asia : TEHRANI
5 Income source for some older folks, in brief : IRA
6 Do more than nudge : NAG
7 Day-___ : GLO
8 “Mean” Joe Greene, e.g. : STEELER
9 Simple shelter : LEAN-TO
10 When doubled, overly enthusiastic : RAH
11 Windshield annoyance : SMEAR
12 Rapper with the 2018 #1 album “Invasion of Privacy” : CARDI B
13 Midwest college town : AMES
14 Biden or Harris, for short : DEM
15 One on a rack : SPARE RIB
16 “In witness whereof,” “as hereinbefore mentioned,” etc. : LEGALESE
17 Disorder from which Dostoyevsky and many characters in his novels suffered : EPILEPSY
18 Cozy spot : DEN
21 Approach : GO NEAR
24 Protein-mimicking molecule : RNA
29 Compound at a nail salon : ACETONE
31 Ink on a contract : SIGNATURE
32 Beats around the bush … or bushes : HEDGES
33 Sublime soprano : DIVA
35 Brings up, as a subject : BROACHES
37 39+ weeks, for a pregnancy : TERM
39 Mane character in “The Wizard of Oz”? : LION
41 Leaves out : OMITS
42 Prefix with constriction : VASO-
43 Wedding cake supports : DOWELS
44 Charm : ENAMOR
45 Didn’t participate : SAT OUT
46 Big cheese’s place? : DELI CASE
47 Physicist Schrödinger : ERWIN
52 Like carbon monoxide : DIATOMIC
54 James who sang “A Sunday Kind of Love” : ETTA
55 Like sumo wrestlers, medically speaking : OBESE
57 Single-handedly : ALONE
60 Adheres : STICKS
62 Blackthorn fruit : SLOE
63 Shiny top : SILK BLOUSE
64 Voting rights matriarch ___ Boynton Robinson : AMELIA
65 “Who, me?” response : YES, YOU
68 Deceived, in a way : LED ON
71 Like one who’s seen a ghost : SPOOKED
72 In a few words : BRIEFLY
74 Hand warmer : MITTEN
75 Post-merger overhauls, informally : REORGS
77 Digital digest with the motto “Cure ignorance” : UTNE
78 Tastes : SIPS
79 Something to knock on : WOOD
80 Remunerated : PAID
81 Made invalid : ANNULLED
82 Prevaricate : TELL A LIE
83 Preceders of pis : OMICRONS
85 Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA
89 Post-merger acquisitions? : INLAWS
90 Cloud nine feeling : ECSTASY
91 Swirling storm : CYCLONE
93 Essential : NEEDED
98 Many a Winter Olympian : SKIER
100 ___ goal (soccer blunder) : OWN
102 Cousin of a crow : RAVEN
103 Childish retort : ARE SO!
104 Painter Édouard often confused with painter Claude : MANET
106 Fancy Feast flavor : TUNA
107 Some boxers : BVDS
109 Name found in “Variety” : ARI
110 Setting for simmering : LOW
111 Onetime auto make with the Metro and Prizm models : GEO
112 Stately shade tree : BEECH
113 Howe’er : THO’
114 Ball-and-socket joint : HIP

8 thoughts on “1211-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Dec 22, Sunday”

  1. 18:08. Amusing theme, although I personally wouldn’t put bees in the same category as the others (possibly excepting ants), which are pests.

  2. 45:28, no errors. Needed a slow, careful solve to figure out where to insert the rebuses. To expand on Tom R’s observation, I think it is futile to attempt to step on a GNAT, TICK, LOUSE or ROACH. Perhaps ‘Looking for Bugs’ or ‘Debugging’ might be preferable.

  3. 41:59, no errors. It took me quite a while to finally get the rebus trick. Pretty clever after the fact. Then I needed to find a few fat fingered errors. Overall, a decent challenge for me.

  4. 28:59. A few hiccups along the way but no real problems. Got the theme with PYTHAGORE ANT HEOREM. I knew it would have to be a rebus, but it took me a while to figure out what and where.

    I don’t remember any watermelon Kool-Aid when I was a kid. I don’t care for watermelon, but it’s just the principle…

    Schrodinger’s cat is actually meant to disprove some quantum interpretations. A cat can’t be both dead and alive, but some quantum interpretations would assume it was neither until observed – i.e. until the box is opened. In quantum mechanics, the cat is a particle and we don’t know where (how) it is. Quantum states that it’s nowhere until we observe it. Schrodinger designed this thought experiment to show that absurd notion could lead to insane thoughts….like this one.

    So not understanding how a cat could be alive and dead is precisely the point. It’s supposed to not make any sense. So rest easy, Bill.

    Best –

  5. 55:56 solved on a hotel after driving all day, that’s my excuse for my time and I’m s(tick)ing to it…

    Too bad nobody will see that for five weeks…. :- (

  6. Could someone please explain the answer to 92 across, “Having successfully made it, slangily,” IN LIKE FLYNN?

  7. No errors but a bit of a slog.

    To be honest, never heard “in like flynn”, but we used to use “in like flint”.

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