1223-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Dec 22, Friday

Constructed by: Brandon Koppy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Palio di ___, annual Italian horse race held since the 13th century : ASTI

The Palio di Asti is an Italian festival dating back to medieval times, with the highlight being a bareback horse race. The name of the race comes from its location, i.e. Asti, and “palio”, the name of a rectangular sheet of cloth awarded to the winner of the race.

16 Research university adjacent to the C.D.C. : EMORY

Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

17 Sensory deprivation device : FLOAT TANK

An isolation tank (also “flotation tank”) was originally devised to test the effect of sensory deprivation. The tank is completely dark, and soundproof. It is also filled with skin-temperature salt water at a concentration chosen so that individuals float easily.

18 Quinceañera feature : TILDE

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

19 Places with large nest eggs? : EMU FARMS

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

20 Brahman believers : HINDUS

The Hindu Trinity comprises Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also “Siva”) the destroyer or transformer.

21 Broadband inits. : DSL

The initialism “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. It is a technology that allows Internet service to be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

In Internet terms, the word “broadband” is used to describe Internet access that is faster than dialup. In more broad (pun!) telecommunication terms, “broadband” is used to describe “bandwidth” data transmission that is “broad” enough to carry several signals and several different types of traffic at the same time.

22 Debauched sort : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, but one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

23 Bucks : ONES

“Buck” is a slang word meaning “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

32 Ramadan-ending holiday, informally : EID

Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday in the Muslim tradition that is known in English as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. It marks the end of Ramadan, a period of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

39 Hennery : COOP

The Old English word “cypa”, meaning “basket”, evolved in the 14th century to the word “coop” to describe a small cage for poultry. We still use “coop” today.

41 What cows and icebergs do : CALVE

A calf is a young cow of either sex that is not more than a year old. A heifer is a young cow that has not calved, and the term “cow” can be used for a female of the species that has given birth.

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken away from a glacier or ice shelf. Our use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

46 Tahoe neighbor : 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.

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. It is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general behind the five Great Lakes. Tahoe is also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

48 Toy sound : ARF!

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

51 Quinceañera, e.g. : FIESTA

“Quinceañera” is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday, and is an event common in many parts of Latin America.

53 One of a dangerous group in “Robinson Crusoe” : CANNIBAL

When Daniel Defoe wrote his marvelous 1719 novel called “Robinson Crusoe”, he was likely thinking of real-life Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was marooned and lived alone on the Pacific Island called “Mas a Tierra” off the coast of Chile, for four years. The island was officially renamed in 1966, and is now called Robinson Crusoe Island.

56 Jig, e.g. : DANCE TUNE

The jig is a dance most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …

58 Things not good to have next to one’s records : ASTERISKS

The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

60 Classic muscle cars : GTOS

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

By definition, a “muscle car” is a small vehicle with a large and maybe oversized engine.

61 Informal meeting : SESH

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

Down

3 Birthplace of K-pop : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

K-pop (Korean pop) is a genre of music from South Korea that emerged in the early nineties.

4 Character in “Frozen” who says “Some people are worth melting for” : OLAF

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

5 M.L.B. team originally called the Colt .45s : ASTROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

6 ___ McFly, great-great-grandfather of Marty : SEAMUS

Michael J. Fox was the first choice to play the lead character, Marty McFly, in 1985’s “Back to the Future”. Unfortunately, the producers of his TV sitcom “Family Ties” would not release him to make the movie, so the crew started filming with a different choice for the lead, namely actor Eric Stoltz. Weeks into production, it was decided that Stoltz was miscast, and Fox was approached again. An arrangement was made with the “Family Ties” producers to “share” Fox, which led to an exhausting schedule. Fox worked seven days a week, filming “Family Ties” during the day and working on “Back to the Future” at night, usually until 2:30 in the morning.

8 Toner alternative : INK

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

9 High-tech security device : RETINAL SCANNER

An iris scan is a method of biometric identification. It relies on the fact that the complex patterns in the irises are unique to an individual. Note that an iris scan differs from a retinal scan. The latter uses technology that scans the unique pattern of blood vessels in an individual’s retina.

10 “The ___ Show” (2002 12x platinum album) : EMINEM

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. He grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end, he made it pretty big …

12 Language that gave us “cummerbund” : URDU

A cummerbund is a sash worn around the waist by some men, usually with a dinner jacket or tuxedo. Cummerbands came to us from Afghanistan in the early 1600s.

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

13 Old-fashioned options : RYES

An Old Fashioned cocktail is usually made from whiskey or brandy that is muddled with sugar and bitters, and then a twist of citrus rind added.

For whiskey to be labeled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

20 First of the Minor Prophets : HOSEA

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. The Twelve Prophets are also known as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

24 Button on a scientific calculator : TAN

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

25 Dragon roll ingredient : EEL

A dragon roll is a sushi dish made from eel, cucumber, seaweed, rice and avocado. I am sure it’s delicious … without the eel!

26 Schreiber of “Ray Donovan” : LIEV

Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”.

“Ray Donovan” is a very successful Showtime crime drama series starring Liev Schreiber in the title role. Donovan is a law firm’s “fixer” who helps out the rich and famous clients.

28 “Stay out of it!” : MYOB!

Mind your own business (MYOB)

29 You might perform the Creeper, the Sleeper or Rock the Baby with this : YO-YO

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

34 “Aquaman” actor Jason : MOMOA

Jason Momoa is a model and actor who is perhaps best known for playing superhero Aquaman in several DC Comics films. He also played warrior leader Khal Drogo in the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones”. In 2017, Momoa married actress Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”.

35 Fish with a valuable liver : COD

Cod liver oil is a nutritional supplement that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and D. I remember being dosed with the stuff as a kid. Ugh …

37 Pine ___ (baseball player’s grip enhancer) : TAR

Pine tar is applied to the handles of baseball bats as it is a sticky substance and improves the batter’s grip. In a 1983 game, the Yankees manager Billy Martin protested a home run hit by George Brett of the Royals because the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the regulation 18 inches. The home run was later allowed as it was determined that the 18-inch rule was in place for economic reasons, and had nothing to do with competitive advantage. If pine tar gets on a baseball it renders it unusable for play, and baseballs cost money!

40 “The Daily,” to pick a popular example : PODCAST

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

43 “Technicolor ___,” nickname for Lucille Ball : TESSIE

Lucille Ball was at the height of her success while she was married to Desi Arnaz. The couple met in 1940 and not long afterwards eloped. Lucy had several miscarriages before she gave birth to her first child in 1951, just one month before her fortieth birthday. A year and a half later, while “I Love Lucy” was garnering large audiences, she became pregnant with her second child, a pregnancy that was written into the television show’s script. In fact, the day that Lucy gave birth on the show, was the same day that she gave birth in real life.

44 Simple structure : 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.

50 “I, to you, am lost in the gorgeous errors of ___”: Sylvia Plath : FLESH

Sylvia Plath was a poet from Boston, Massachusetts who lived much of her life in the UK where she married fellow poet Ted Hughes. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, and Plath had a long battle with depression. Plath wrote just one novel, called “The Bell Jar”, which is semi-autobiographical. It describes the main character’s descent into mental illness. Plath herself lost her battle with depression in 1963, committing suicide at the age of 30 years, and just one month after “The Bell Jar” was published.

51 Relief org. : FEMA

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

52 Good name for a florist or optometrist : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

56 Nobelist Hammarskjöld : DAG

Dag Hammarskjöld was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, right up until his death in a plane crash in Rhodesia in 1961. The crash was considered suspicious at the time as the bodyguards were found to have bullet wounds when they died, but this was put down to bullets exploding in the fire after the crash.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Really, really : OH SO
5 Palio di ___, annual Italian horse race held since the 13th century : ASTI
9 Happen periodically : RECUR
14 Is comforted by not being ignored : FEELS SEEN
16 Research university adjacent to the C.D.C. : EMORY
17 Sensory deprivation device : FLOAT TANK
18 Quinceañera feature : TILDE
19 Places with large nest eggs? : EMU FARMS
20 Brahman believers : HINDUS
21 Broadband inits. : DSL
22 Debauched sort : ROUE
23 Bucks : ONES
24 Culture subject : TISSUE SAMPLE
28 “Bro!” : MY MAN!
31 Part usually thrown away : PEEL
32 Ramadan-ending holiday, informally : EID
33 Co-writer of Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” : YOUNG MC
36 Final stretch : LAST LEG
38 Cries of frustration : OYS
39 Hennery : COOP
41 What cows and icebergs do : CALVE
42 End of one’s money : BOTTOM DOLLAR
46 Tahoe neighbor : RENO
47 Administrator with a list : DEAN
48 Toy sound : ARF!
51 Quinceañera, e.g. : FIESTA
53 One of a dangerous group in “Robinson Crusoe” : CANNIBAL
55 Wipe : ERASE
56 Jig, e.g. : DANCE TUNE
57 Some skirt options : MIDIS
58 Things not good to have next to one’s records : ASTERISKS
59 It’s a plus : ASSET
60 Classic muscle cars : GTOS
61 Informal meeting : SESH

Down

1 Took out : OFFED
2 Directs, in Hollywood lingo : HELMS
3 Birthplace of K-pop : SEOUL
4 Character in “Frozen” who says “Some people are worth melting for” : OLAF
5 M.L.B. team originally called the Colt .45s : ASTROS
6 ___ McFly, great-great-grandfather of Marty : SEAMUS
7 Become stiff or tight : TENSE UP
8 Toner alternative : INK
9 High-tech security device : RETINAL SCANNER
10 “The ___ Show” (2002 12x platinum album) : EMINEM
11 Follower of an arctic blast : COLD SPELL
12 Language that gave us “cummerbund” : URDU
13 Old-fashioned options : RYES
15 Game that often ends in tears : STARING CONTEST
20 First of the Minor Prophets : HOSEA
24 Button on a scientific calculator : TAN
25 Dragon roll ingredient : EEL
26 Schreiber of “Ray Donovan” : LIEV
27 Nose (out) : EDGE
28 “Stay out of it!” : MYOB!
29 You might perform the Creeper, the Sleeper or Rock the Baby with this : YO-YO
30 Novel purchases that everyone’s talking about? : MUST-READS
34 “Aquaman” actor Jason : MOMOA
35 Fish with a valuable liver : COD
37 Pine ___ (baseball player’s grip enhancer) : TAR
40 “The Daily,” to pick a popular example : PODCAST
43 “Technicolor ___,” nickname for Lucille Ball : TESSIE
44 Simple structure : LEAN-TO
45 Single-use spears : LANCES
48 Take advantage of, and then some : ABUSE
49 Captain and lieutenant : RANKS
50 “I, to you, am lost in the gorgeous errors of ___”: Sylvia Plath : FLESH
51 Relief org. : FEMA
52 Good name for a florist or optometrist : IRIS
54 “Verily” : IT IS
56 Nobelist Hammarskjöld : DAG

8 thoughts on “1223-22 NY Times Crossword 23 Dec 22, Friday”

  1. 17:56. Pretty easy Friday puzzle except a few places where it wasn’t. Strange solve in that I had all of the right 9 columns filled in while the left 6 columns were almost blank at one point.

    A few missteps – ShAMUS before SEAMUS (??) and SESs before SESH to name 2.

    Piece of trivia – LIEV in Russian and a lot of Slavic languages means “lion”. Lion Schreiber. No relation to Tiger Woods..

    Best –

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