1215-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Dec 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Vichyssoise

Themed answers give us a recipe for VICHYSSOISE:

  • 61A Soup made with this puzzle’s ingredients : VICHYSSOISE
  • 18A Two pounds, peeled and chopped : NEW POTATOES
  • 25A Five cups, after lengthy simmering : CHICKEN STOCK
  • 36A One cup, after cooling : HEAVY CREAM
  • 52A Four cups, cleaned and sliced : SAUTEED LEEKS

Bill’s time: 10m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pulling up pots in Chesapeake Bay, say : EELING

Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. It is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it, including the Potomac.

7 Nobel Institute city : OSLO

The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in Oslo in 1904. The main task of the Institute is to assist the Norwegian Nobel Committee in selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and to organize the annual Nobel event.

11 Like some suspects in lineups, informally : ID’ED

Identity document (ID)

15 Start of a classic question in Shakespeare : O ROMEO …

In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

17 Singer/activist ___ Simone : NINA

“Nina Simone” was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. Simone was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career. She was inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

20 Riga resident : LETT

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

21 ___ souci (carefree) : SANS

“Sans souci” is a French term that translates literally as “without worry”, so we use it to mean “carefree”.

22 Mythical figure often pictured holding a book : CLIO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

32 Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

35 “Toy Story” boy : ANDY

In the 1995 Pixar hit “Toy Story”, the toys are owned by a boy named Andy Davis. Andy’s neighbor is a not-so-nice boy named Sid Phillips. Sid gets a big kick out of destroying and torturing his own toys, and those owned by others.

40 ___ Houdini, co-star in her husband Harry’s act : BESS

43 Stead : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

44 Missionary work? : BIBLE

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with annual sales running at about 100 million copies.

49 Poet who wrote the line “But we loved with a love that was more than love” : POE

Celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond, Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

52 Four cups, cleaned and sliced : SAUTEED LEEKS

The leek is a vegetable closely related to the onion and the garlic. It is also a national emblem of Wales (along with the daffodil), although I don’t think we know for sure how this came to be. One story is that the Welsh were ordered to wear leeks in their helmets to identify themselves in a battle against the Saxons. Apparently, the battle took place in a field of leeks.

56 Home shopping channel : QVC

The QVC shopping channel was founded in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company now has operations not only in the US but also in the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. That means QVC is reaching 200 million households. The QVC initialism stands for Quality, Value and Convenience.

57 Steerable electronic toy, for short : RC CAR

Radio-controlled (RC)

58 ___ Reader (digital digest) : 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.

59 Plains language : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US, Montana is home to most of the Cree nation. They live on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada, most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

61 Soup made with this puzzle’s ingredients : VICHYSSOISE

Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

65 Part of the “back forty” : ACRE

In the Public Land Survey System, land right across the country is divided into townships and sections. A section is roughly equivalent to a square mile, 640 acres. It became the practice to refer to quarter-quarter divisions of a section, with a quarter of a quarter of a section being equal to 40 acres (check the math!). From this sprung phrases like “lower 40” (nominally the lowest elevation 40 acres on a property) and the “back 40” (nominally a 40 acre parcel that was undeveloped on a property, “out the back”).

69 Baking needs : YEASTS

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

Down

1 Way back when : EONS AGO

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

2 Nook, e.g. : E-READER

The Barnes & Noble electronic-book reader is called the Nook. The reader’s name is intended to evoke the usage of “nook” as a familiar place to sit and read quietly.

5 ___-Latin (Renaissance language) : NEO

The Renaissance is the period in European history that bridges the Dark Ages and the Modern Era. “Renaissance” is French for “rebirth”, and is a term reflecting the rebirth of interest in the learnings from ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

6 “April Fools!” : GOTCHA!

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the Western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants, but in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

7 ___ nerve : OPTIC

The optic nerve enters the eyeball at a location on the retina called the optic disc. Because there are no light-sensitive cells at the optic disc, there is a “hole” in our visual field that is called the blind spot. People with normal vision don’t usually notice this blind spot as the brain “fills in” the blind spot with information from the other eye.

23 Yahoo rival : MSN

I think that there’s a minor error in this clue, as the company name “Yahoo!” includes an exclamation mark.

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a Web portal.

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

26 Pitcher : EWER

A pitcher is a container for liquid that has a handle, mouth and spout. The term “jug” is used for the same container in other English-speaking countries. “Ewer” is an older term describing a pitcher/jug. Today, a ewer is a highly decorative pitcher, often with a base and flared spout.

34 Post-op stop : ICU

Intensive care unit (ICU)

37 Soothing application : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

39 Fivers : ABES

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

40 One means of commuting : BUS RIDE

A regular commute often involves large numbers of people traveling from the suburbs into an urban area where they spend the working day, before traveling back home to the suburbs in the evening. A person with a reverse commute does the opposite, living in an urban area and traveling to and from suburbia for the working day. A reverse commute implies encountering less traffic.

45 Cookout entree, in brief : BBQ RIBS

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

46 Court shutout : LOVE SET

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

54 Ill-gotten gains : LUCRE

Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

55 Anesthetic since the 1840s : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

61 Kilmer of “Batman Forever” : VAL

Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a governor? Would never happen …

“Batman Forever” is a 1995 superhero film, one in a string of movies featuring the comic book hero Batman. This one has Val Kilmer in the title role, with the two main villains played by Jim Carrey (the Riddler) and Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pulling up pots in Chesapeake Bay, say : EELING
7 Nobel Institute city : OSLO
11 Like some suspects in lineups, informally : ID’ED
15 Start of a classic question in Shakespeare : O ROMEO …
16 “What a relief!” : PHEW!
17 Singer/activist ___ Simone : NINA
18 Two pounds, peeled and chopped : NEW POTATOES
20 Riga resident : LETT
21 ___ souci (carefree) : SANS
22 Mythical figure often pictured holding a book : CLIO
23 Oils, watercolors and acrylics, for artists : MEDIA
24 Hubbub : ADO
25 Five cups, after lengthy simmering : CHICKEN STOCK
28 Lose : GET BEAT
30 Don’t lose : WIN
31 Teeny-tiny : WEE
32 Mountain nymph : OREAD
33 Daily nourishment : DIET
35 “Toy Story” boy : ANDY
36 One cup, after cooling : HEAVY CREAM
40 ___ Houdini, co-star in her husband Harry’s act : BESS
43 Stead : LIEU
44 Missionary work? : BIBLE
48 Spanish article : UNA
49 Poet who wrote the line “But we loved with a love that was more than love” : POE
50 Keeper of some official documents : DEED BOX
52 Four cups, cleaned and sliced : SAUTEED LEEKS
56 Home shopping channel : QVC
57 Steerable electronic toy, for short : RC CAR
58 ___ Reader (digital digest) : UTNE
59 Plains language : CREE
60 Words repeated in “___ what ___” : IT IS
61 Soup made with this puzzle’s ingredients : VICHYSSOISE
64 Bad impression? : DENT
65 Part of the “back forty” : ACRE
66 Onion-shaped : BULBED
67 Tense : EDGY
68 Villain’s look : LEER
69 Baking needs : YEASTS

Down

1 Way back when : EONS AGO
2 Nook, e.g. : E-READER
3 Bummer : LOW NOTE
4 Little rascals : IMPS
5 ___-Latin (Renaissance language) : NEO
6 “April Fools!” : GOTCHA!
7 ___ nerve : OPTIC
8 Agitated : SHOOK
9 Surname derived from the Chinese word for “plum” : LEE
10 Pained shrieks : OWS
11 Harbor opening : INLET
12 Subside : DIE DOWN
13 Tempted : ENTICED
14 Tool for a cryptographer : DATA KEY
19 Came down : ALIT
23 Yahoo rival : MSN
25 Relinquish : CEDE
26 Pitcher : EWER
27 Time of day in commercials : NITE
29 Cries of disgust : BAHS
33 Some food coloring : DYE
34 Post-op stop : ICU
35 In : AMID
37 Soothing application : ALOE
38 Locked horns (with) : VIED
39 Fivers : ABES
40 One means of commuting : BUS RIDE
41 Put into law : ENACTED
42 Pouring gravy on, say : SAUCING
45 Cookout entree, in brief : BBQ RIBS
46 Court shutout : LOVE SET
47 Tops : EXCEEDS
49 Each : PER
50 Declare not to be so : DENY
51 Barely makes it : EKES BY
53 Delicious : TASTY
54 Ill-gotten gains : LUCRE
55 Anesthetic since the 1840s : ETHER
59 Cherry ___ : COLA
61 Kilmer of “Batman Forever” : VAL
62 Put away : ICE
63 Seek damages : SUE

8 thoughts on “1215-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Dec 22, Thursday”

  1. 20:06, same thing as Bruce, compounded with trying to use “long ago” for 1D, which only made it even more impossible to use some form of “crab”.

    Catching up after driving to Florida for a wedding…

  2. 19:57, no errors. Had a bit of trouble spelling VICHYSSOISE, and like Duncan, tried to use LONGAGO which slowed me down.

  3. 20:49. Another hand up for both putting LONGAGO first as well as not knowing how to spell VICHYSSOISE.

    Even with a few missteps, the top went quickly. It was the bottom left and right corners that really took some time.

    I thought CLIO was the muse of commercials… I’m sure there’s a reason the CLIO awards are named after a muse of history, but I don’t know what it is.

    Best –

  4. 35:50 no errors in what looked like a DNF for sure in as much as I have never cooked or eaten Vichyssoise.
    I am born and bred Marylander and didn’t realize that Eeling was done in the Chesapeake bay…crabbing for sure but eeling was new to me🤪
    Stay safe😀

  5. I just did a little research. Yes, there are eels “throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed” and they are indeed edible, but … they’re an endangered species. So … perhaps they’re all too edible … 😳.

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