1213-22 NY Times Crossword 13 Dec 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Julietta Gervase
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Flowery Answers

Themed answers are the names of plants, reinterpreted:

  • 20A What might smell of Gerber products? : BABY’S BREATH
  • 33A The third “little pig,” with his house of bricks? : WOLF’S BANE
  • 40A Award for a champion angler? : GOLDEN ROD
  • 50A Object found by Prince Charming after the clock struck midnight? : LADY SLIPPER

Bill’s time: 8m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Leftover morsel : SCRAP

A morsel is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term “morsel” comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “bite”.

14 Bit of ancient text : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled by both sail and oars.

15 R&B artist with the 2004 hit “1, 2 Step” : CIARA

Ciara is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. She used to date rapper Bow Wow, but married Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in 2016.

19 Ways to escape a dilemma : OUTS

A lemma is a helping theorem, a subsidiary proposition that helps prove some other proposition. A problem offering two equally acceptable (or unacceptable) possibilities might be described as a “double lemma”, and hence our term “dilemma”. To be on the horns of a dilemma is to be faced with two equally unattractive choices. The suggestion is that one is faced with a “horned” argument, meaning that if you avoid the horn of one choice, you will get impaled on the other.

20 What might smell of Gerber products? : BABY’S BREATH

The Gerber Baby is a famous baby food logo that was introduced in 1928. The manufacturer of Gerber baby foods held a contest in the summer of that year to find a suitable baby face for a planned campaign. The winning entry was an unfinished charcoal drawing by Dorothy Hope Smith of Westport, Connecticut. Her model was Ann Turner Cook, who was a baby of the artist’s neighbor. Young Ann grew up to be a teacher cum mystery novelist. She passed away in 2022, at the age of 95.

27 Pancakes with sweet or savory fillings : CREPES

“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

32 ___ Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow” : LEVAR

Actor LeVar Burton is very much associated with two iconic roles on television, i.e. young Kunta Kinte in “Roots” and Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Burton also hosted the children’s PBS show “Reading Rainbow” for many years. His portrayal of Kunta Kinte in 1977 was Burton’s first acting job. Indeed, Burton’s audition for the part was the first in his professional career!

33 The third “little pig,” with his house of bricks? : WOLF’S BANE

The fairy tale about “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

38 High abode : AERIE

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest, and a young eagle is an eaglet.The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

40 Award for a champion angler? : GOLDEN ROD

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” is an Old English word meaning “hook”.

47 Title role for Bob Odenkirk in a “Breaking Bad” spinoff : SAUL

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

50 Object found by Prince Charming after the clock struck midnight? : LADY SLIPPER

The folktale usually known as “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

56 Condo, e.g. : UNIT

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

58 Awards for Broadway’s best : TONYS

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

59 Often-buggy software stage : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

60 Government takeover : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

61 One running the show : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

62 Boeing 747s, e.g. : JETS

Boeing’s 747 was the first jet to be called a “Jumbo”, as it was the first wide-body airliner. This means that the 747 was the first to have seating laid out with two aisles running the length of the plane. The plane also has three decks for part of its length, with the lower deck being used for cargo and galley space, and the upper deck for extra passenger seating. The Airbus A380 is called a “Superjumbo” as it has two full decks of passengers.

65 Haphazardly assemble, with “together” : SLAP …

Our word “hap” means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like “haphazard” and even “happen”. “To happen” originally meant “to occur by hap, by chance”.

Down

1 Home, in slang : CRIB

A crib is plagiarism. It is most commonly the copying of an answer in an examination.

5 Takes a dive, perhaps : SCUBAS

As a scuba diver descends into the water, the water pressure on the outside of the eardrum increases, whereas the pressure on the inside of the ear remains constant. This difference in pressure can cause the eardrum to distend, creating pain. A diver avoids the problem by holding the nose and gently blowing air through his or her eustachian tubes, equalizing the pressure inside and outside the eardrum. A similar process operates as the diver ascends, although it is the higher pressure in the middle ear that expels excess air through the eustachian tube into the mouth cavity. If the eustachian tube is blocked, perhaps because of an ear infection, then the persistent pressure difference can result in an excruciating earache after a dive.

6 Wispy clouds : CIRRI

Cirrus (plural “cirri”) clouds are those lovely wispy, white strands that are often called “mare’s tails”.

7 Raucous social event : RAGER
11 Potentially raucous social event : HOUSE PARTY

Something described as raucous can be hoarse, as in “raucous voices”. Something raucous can also be disorderly and boisterous, as in “raucous frat house”. The term “raucous” comes from the Latin “raucus” meaning “hoarse”.

8 Word with gray, play or Bay : … AREA

The San Francisco Bay Area comprises the nine counties that impinge on the San Francisco Bay itself: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. The region also includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

28 City that’s an apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

34 Spanish treasure : ORO

In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).

35 Classic soda brand : NEHI

The Nehi cola brand has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees to hint at “knee-high”.

36 “East of ___” (Steinbeck novel) : 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”).

John Steinbeck considered his 1952 novel “East of Eden” to be his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

38 Mammal with a two-foot-long tongue : ANTEATER

Anteaters tear open ant and termite nests using their sharp claws and then eat up the eggs, larvae and mature ants using their tongues. They have very sticky saliva which coats the tongue hence making the feeding very efficient. The tongue also moves very quickly, flicking in and out of the mouth at about 150 times per minute.

41 Noble rank associated with sandwiches : EARL

Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.

42 Actress Reinhart of “Riverdale” : LILI

“Riverdale” is a teen drama TV show based on the “Archie” comic book series. While the “Archie” comics are light in tone, “Riverdale” is a darker production that explores the complex world of the “Archie” characters.

44 Vital signs : PULSES

One’s pulse is the rhythmic throbbing of arteries that is usually detected at the wrist or the neck. The contraction of the heart creates a pressure wave in the blood that moves the arterial walls, which is detected as the pulse.

There are four primary vital signs that are measured by health professionals:

  1. Body temperature
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Pulse
  4. Breathing rate

45 Food ___ (curbside dining option) : TRUCK

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

46 Home of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum : HANOI

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a huge memorial to the former Vietnamese leader that is located at the center of Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi. The mausoleum’s design was inspired by Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square in Moscow. Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is on display in a central hall in a glass case and visitors file past it every day to pay their respects.

51 Rotunda feature : DOME

In architecture, the word “rotunda” describes a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn’t a strict requirement. The term can also refer to a round room within a building. The most famous example in this country is the Rotunda in the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

52 Common lunchbox sandwiches, informally : PBJS

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

53 Banana skin : PEEL

The banana is actually a berry, botanically speaking. And, bananas don’t really grow on trees. The “trunk” of the banana plant is in fact a pseudostem. The pseudostem is a false stem comprising rolled bases of leaves, and it can grow to 2 or 3 meters tall.

54 James in both the Blues and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame : 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.

57 “Decorates” as a prank, informally : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Order for a birthday party or wedding reception : CAKE
5 Leftover morsel : SCRAP
10 Brainiac : WHIZ
14 Bit of ancient Viking text : RUNE
15 R&B artist with the 2004 hit “1, 2 Step” : CIARA
16 Sharpen : HONE
17 Smooth (out) : IRON
18 Cravings : URGES
19 Ways to escape a dilemma : OUTS
20 What might smell of Gerber products? : BABY’S BREATH
23 Collectible group : SET
24 Tresses : HAIR
25 Seeking company, maybe : LONELY
27 Pancakes with sweet or savory fillings : CREPES
31 Ab-toning exercise : SIT-UP
32 ___ Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow” : LEVAR
33 The third “little pig,” with his house of bricks? : WOLF’S BANE
37 Words after get or sleep : … ON IT
38 High abode : AERIE
39 Raised, as livestock : BRED
40 Award for a champion angler? : GOLDEN ROD
42 Gracefully limber : LITHE
43 Shred, as cheese : GRATE
44 Chinese transliteration system : PINYIN
45 “And ___ off!” : THEY’RE
47 Title role for Bob Odenkirk in a “Breaking Bad” spinoff : SAUL
49 Sprinted : RAN
50 Object found by Prince Charming after the clock struck midnight? : LADY SLIPPER
56 Condo, e.g. : UNIT
58 Awards for Broadway’s best : TONYS
59 Often-buggy software stage : BETA
60 Government takeover : COUP
61 One running the show : EMCEE
62 Boeing 747s, e.g. : JETS
63 Smooch : KISS
64 Takes ten : RESTS
65 Haphazardly assemble, with “together” : SLAP …

Down

1 Home, in slang : CRIB
2 Otherworldly glow : AURA
3 Door opener : KNOB
4 ___-weeny (small) : EENY
5 Takes a dive, perhaps : SCUBAS
6 Wispy clouds : CIRRI
7 Raucous social event : RAGER
8 Word with gray, play or Bay : … AREA
9 Previous incarnation : PAST LIFE
10 A question of identity : WHO?
11 Potentially raucous social event : HOUSE PARTY
12 What a spy collects : INTEL
13 Having some kick, as food : ZESTY
21 “Fer ___!” : SHER
22 Intense attraction, with “the” : … HOTS
26 Small ear of corn : NUBBIN
27 Target of a plumber’s snake : CLOG
28 City that’s an apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO
29 Difficult-to-outsmart villain : EVIL GENIUS
30 Blot with a towel, maybe : PAT DRY
31 Lost traction : SLID
33 “What ___ you thinking?” : WERE
34 Spanish treasure : ORO
35 Classic soda brand : NEHI
36 “East of ___” (Steinbeck novel) : EDEN
38 Mammal with a two-foot-long tongue : ANTEATER
41 Noble rank associated with sandwiches : EARL
42 Actress Reinhart of “Riverdale” : LILI
44 Vital signs : PULSES
45 Food ___ (curbside dining option) : TRUCK
46 Home of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum : HANOI
47 Aligns : SYNCS
48 Until now : AS YET
51 Rotunda feature : DOME
52 Common lunchbox sandwiches, informally : PBJS
53 Banana skin : PEEL
54 James in both the Blues and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame : ETTA
55 Scratchy voice : RASP
57 “Decorates” as a prank, informally : TPS

6 thoughts on “1213-22 NY Times Crossword 13 Dec 22, Tuesday”

  1. 10:51 with one square wrong. Didn’t know NIBBIN or PINYIN. Guessed a T there for NIBBIT and PITYIN?? Made as much sense as anything else there.

    Had keGER before RAGER. Too bad it’s spelled kegger…Perhaps I’ve been to one too many.

    Took me a second to get WOLFS BANE…as in the third pig was the bane of his existence. Good one.

    The food at food TRUCKS is underrated IMO. It’s almost always good. Maybe I just don’t have a gourmet palate…

    Best –

  2. 12:29, no errors. Same issue with the PINYIN/NUBBIN cross. Just started going down the alphabet until I got finished screen. Really wanted to make NIBLET work, in place of NUBBIN.

  3. Same issue with PINYIN/NUBBIN.. rats.

    Another use of 1D CRIB is that it refers to your place of residence (or home), in slang of course.

  4. Got Nubbin but wrote “lastlife” instead of “pastlife” and
    never went back to question it. So – – DNF’ed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *