1214-22 NY Times Crossword 14 Dec 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Matthew Stock
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Lucky Breaks

Four rows of the grid have shaded letters spelling out something LUCKY, BROKEN by black squares.

  • 34A Fortunate circumstances … or a punny hint to the shaded letters : LUCKY BREAKS

Those LUCKY BREAKS are:

  • NUMBER SEVEN
  • RAINBOW
  • SHAMROCK
  • HORSESHOE

Bill’s time: 9m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Kept in the loop, in a way : CC’ED

I wonder if the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

9 Org. originally founded to protect carriage horses : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

13 Oregon-based shoe company : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

14 Ring light? : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

17 Gaelic language : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

20 Larson who won Best Actress for 2015’s “Room” : BRIE

I mainly recognize actress Brie Larson from playing the daughter of Toni Collete’’s character on the excellent TV show “United States of Tara”. Larson is from Sacramento, and trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where she was the youngest person ever admitted.

21 ___ Heights : GOLAN

Geographically speaking, the Golan Heights is a plateau in the Middle East with the western two-thirds of its area falling within Israel, and the eastern third falling within Syria. The name Golan Heights also applies to the geopolitical region that was captured from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and occupied by Israel.

29 Projection from the fashionably late : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

37 Some tap offerings, in brief : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

39 Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY

Actress Susan Dey first appeared on “The Partridge Family” when she was 17-years-old when she had no acting experience. Years later, Dey won a Golden Globe for playing the leading role of Grace Van Owen in “L.A. Law”.

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California license plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

40 Cousin of a cassowary : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

The cassowary is a large, flightless bird found mainly in New Guinea. One species of cassowary is the third tallest bird on the planet, second only to the ostrich and the emu.

42 Actress Thompson of “Sorry to Bother You” : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”. She also portrays superheroine Valkyrie in movies based on Marvel Comics characters.

48 John who wrote “The Pelican Brief” : GRISHAM

John Grisham is a lawyer and an incredibly successful author best known for his legal thrillers. After graduating from law school, Grisham practiced law for about ten years and then went into politics. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for six years, during which time he wrote his first novel, “A Time to Kill”.

“The Pelican Brief” is a 1992 novel by John Grisham, one of his signature legal-suspense thrillers. It was adapted into a very good movie released in 1993 starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts.

54 Surveillance org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

56 Short meeting? : SESH

Session (abbreviated to “sess.” formally, and “sesh” informally)

57 French breakfast item that sounds like a response to a gut punch : OEUF

In French, an “oeuf” (egg) is the main ingredient in “une omelette” (an omelet), which may be seasoned with “sel” (salt).

60 Avatar of Vishnu : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

62 A moose has a big one : NOSE

The moose is the largest species in the deer family, and can stand almost at 7 feet at the shoulder. Moose are a little unusual in that they are solitary animals, unlike other deers who tend to move in herds. We use the term “moose” here in North America, but confusingly, the same animal is referred to as “elk” in British English.

63 “Less Than Zero” writer ___ Easton Ellis : BRET

Bret Easton Ellis wrote a trio of novels that were made into very successful movies:

  1. “Less Than Zero” (1987, starring Andrew McCarthy)
  2. “American Psycho” (2000, starring Christian Bale)
  3. “The Rules of Attraction” (2002, starring James van der Beek).

Down

1 Big bakery/cafe chain : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

2 Seeds-to-be : OVULES

As we all remember from botany class (don’t we?), an ovule is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization.

4 Place to conduct forensics : LAB

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

5 French beloved : CHERI

“Chéri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear”. “Chéri” is the form used when talking to a male, and “chérie” when addressing a female.

8 Mommie deer-est? : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

9 Something you need to do to solve crosswords : SPELL

Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now know as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

10 Universal solutions : PANACEAS

Panacea was the Greek goddess of healing. She lent her name to the term “panacea” that was used by alchemists to describe the beguiling remedy that could cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

11 Pastries with a portmanteau name : CRONUTS

A cronut is a pastry that resembles a doughnut but is made using a croissant-like dough. It is filled with cream and deep-fried in grapeseed oil. It is a relatively new pastry, having been invented by New York bakery owner Dominique Ansel in 2013. The term “cronut” is a portmanteau of “croissant” and “doughnut”.

21 Colonel Sanders feature : GOATEE

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

25 Some Ph.D. students : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

28 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat in its logo : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

37 Gerund suffix : -ING

A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to solve” is “solving”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the solving experience”.

38 Bit of preachy prose : PARABLE

A parable is a story told to illustrate a lesson or principle. It is similar to a fable, differing in that a fable uses mainly animals as characters, and a parable uses humans.

47 Oslo Accords figure : ARAFAT

Yasser (also “Yasir”) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father’s funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat’s explanation was that he wanted to “study the mentality” of the Jewish people.

The Oslo Accords grew out of secret negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in a residence in Oslo in the early nineties. The delegates shared the same house while they conducted 14 meetings. While eating all their meals together at the same table, the negotiators came to respect one another and apparently, friendships developed.

53 Philippine currency : PESO

The writing on bank notes in the Philippines used to be in English, so the national currency was recorded as the “peso”. Since 1967 the language on the notes has been Filipino, and now the name of the currency is written as “piso”.

55 Start of a kindergarten ditty : ABC

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

56 Good picnic forecast : SUN

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word with straw or exit : … POLL
5 Kept in the loop, in a way : CC’ED
9 Org. originally founded to protect carriage horses : SPCA
13 Oregon-based shoe company : AVIA
14 Ring light? : HALO
15 Broken up : APART
16 Atingle, maybe : NUMB
17 Gaelic language : ERSE
18 The hate in hate mail : VENOM
19 Name in price lists? : ELI
20 Larson who won Best Actress for 2015’s “Room” : BRIE
21 ___ Heights : GOLAN
22 Instruct for a new job, say : RETRAIN
24 Unfashionable unisex hairstyle : BOWL CUT
26 Burros : ASSES
27 Black-tie affairs : GALAS
29 Projection from the fashionably late : ETA
30 Short life? : BIO
32 Groove : RUT
33 Fresh talk : SASS
34 Fortunate circumstances … or a punny hint to the shaded letters : LUCKY BREAKS
37 Some tap offerings, in brief : IPAS
39 Susan of “L.A. Law” : DEY
40 Cousin of a cassowary : EMU
41 Like some of the mil. : NAV
42 Actress Thompson of “Sorry to Bother You” : TESSA
44 Super-super- : ULTRA
48 John who wrote “The Pelican Brief” : GRISHAM
50 More up-and-down, as a relationship : ROCKIER
52 Up : ASTIR
53 Guitarist’s accessory : PICK
54 Surveillance org. : NSA
55 Really hate : ABHOR
56 Short meeting? : SESH
57 French breakfast item that sounds like a response to a gut punch : OEUF
58 A little of this, a little of that : BLEND
59 One who may need credentials : USER
60 Avatar of Vishnu : RAMA
61 Give up : CEDE
62 A moose has a big one : NOSE
63 “Less Than Zero” writer ___ Easton Ellis : BRET

Down

1 Big bakery/cafe chain : PANERA
2 Seeds-to-be : OVULES
3 Caps : LIMITS
4 Place to conduct forensics : LAB
5 French beloved : CHERI
6 What sharing is, per a rhyming expression : CARING
7 Otherwise : ELSE
8 Mommie deer-est? : DOE
9 Something you need to do to solve crosswords : SPELL
10 Universal solutions : PANACEAS
11 Pastries with a portmanteau name : CRONUTS
12 Where bills get passed, for short : ATM
15 Swears : AVOWS
20 Meat-and-potatoes : BASIC
21 Colonel Sanders feature : GOATEE
23 “U R A Q-T!,” e.g. : REBUS
24 “It was all a ___” : BLUR
25 Some Ph.D. students : TAS
28 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat in its logo : ARBY’S
31 “Whatever you say, hon” : OK, DEAR
33 Move furtively : SKULK
34 Showered, as with gifts : LAVISHED
35 Quaint response of agreement : YES’M
36 “Duck ___” (classic Warner Bros. cartoon short) : AMUCK
37 Gerund suffix : -ING
38 Bit of preachy prose : PARABLE
42 Left base? : THIRD
43 Emerges : ARISES
45 Lack of musical skill : TIN EAR
46 Take up again : RESUME
47 Oslo Accords figure : ARAFAT
49 Gem : STONE
51 Earthy hue : OCHRE
53 Philippine currency : PESO
55 Start of a kindergarten ditty : ABC
56 Good picnic forecast : SUN
57 56-Down, e.g. : ORB

5 thoughts on “1214-22 NY Times Crossword 14 Dec 22, Wednesday”

  1. 11:22, no errors.

    However, I’m here to post my favorite clue of the day (from the New Yorker crossword): “App that might teach you how to say ‘I am eating bread and crying on the floor’ in Norwegian”. A delightful bit of whimsy!

    I spent several minutes listening to Google translations of that sentence into a variety of languages. (My favorite was in Chinese.)

    And I know what my significant other will say when I report this: “Nerd, nerd, nerd!” … 😜.

  2. 12:33. Good theme.

    Had issues at 33D. I kept reading the clue as “More furtively” so I wanted to put “slyer”, but of course nothing fit. Finally looked at it closely enough to see my error. “MoVe…”

    Someone told me Christmas is 11 days away. That can’t possibly be true, is it? Wasn’t New Year’s Day just a few days ago? I am unprepared for this holiday season.

    Best –

  3. 17:23, no errors. Have done enough of these puzzles to know that, by Wednesday, the four letter “Oregon-based shoe company” is probably AVIA and not NIKE.

Leave a Reply

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