1231-22 NY Times Crossword 31 Dec 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Billy Bratton
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 YouTube influencers have big ones : FAN BASES

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

16 Utopian : IDEALIST

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

17 One end of it might be felt : INK PEN

The felt-tip marking pen was patented in 1910. The marking pen was popularized when the Magic Marker brand was introduced in 1953.

19 Turning point in construction? : SCREW

Screws come with slot-heads (-) and Phillips-heads (+). The Phillips-head screw and screwdriver are named for Henry F. Phillips of Portland, Oregon. Phillips didn’t invent the “+” screw head, but as a businessman he was behind its successful implementation.

21 ___ Solo, son of Leia Organa : BEN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

22 Lab order? : HEEL

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

27 His initial stands for Tureaud : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

28 About one in 10 Muslims : SHIA

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

33 Works in el Museo del Prado : ARTE

In Spanish, a work of “arte” (art) might be in the “Museo del Prado” (Prado Museum) in Madrid.

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

35 David Bowie persona in 1970s glam rock : ZIGGY STARDUST

“David Bowie” was the stage name of English singer David Jones. Bowie adopted the alter ego Ziggy Stardust during his glam rock phase in the 1970s. Sadly, Bowie passed away from liver cancer in early 2016.

38 Rear-view feature on a Jeep? : TIRE

The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

45 Didn’t wait for a restaurant job? : BUSED

A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

54 Producer of many popular singles : KRAFT

In 2012, Kraft foods split into two companies, one specializing in snack foods and the other in grocery items. The grocery company retained the Kraft name, and later merged with Heinz to become Kraft Heinz. The employees of the snack-food company chose the new name of Mondelez themselves. “Mondelez” is a portmanteau of the words for “world” and “delicious” in Romance languages.

59 Kind of pickup : ONE-TON

Pickup trucks are probably so called because they can be used to “pick up” bulky items from say a store, and then deliver them elsewhere. Here in North America, we call a pickup with four rear wheels (instead of two) a “dually”, a colloquial term. A dually can carry more weight on the rear axle than a regular pickup.

60 Mad magazine staple : SPY VS SPY

“Spy vs. Spy” is a comic strip that has run in “MAD” magazine continuously since 1961. It was drawn by Antonio Prohias, a refugee from Cuba, until his retirement. The early storyline was very fitting for the times, a statement about the futility of the arms race, detente and the Cold War.

61 Da bomb : SO DOPE

Apparently, something that is described as “dope” is really, really cool …

Down

1 Barely rustled the net : SWISHED

A swish shot is a basketball shot that goes through the hoop without touching the rim or the backboard, and you can hear that “swish” as it just passes through the net, so they tell me …

2 Sort of spectacles not much seen nowadays : PINCE-NEZ

Pince-nez are eyeglasses clipped to the bridge of the nose. “Pince-nez” is French, and translates as “pinch the nose”.

3 Forum that provides material for many BuzzFeed articles : ASK REDDIT

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

BuzzFeed is an Internet media company that was founded in 2006 in New York City. Buzzfeed’s original focus was the publication of online quizzes and pop culture articles. The company branched into serious journalism in 2011 with the launch of the “Buzzfeed News” website.

5 Fret about a fricassee? : STEW

A fricassée is a dish containing meat that has been cut up, sautéed and braised, and then served in a white sauce. The French term “fricassée” is thought perhaps to be a combination of the verbs “frire” (to fry) and “casser” (to break into pieces).

6 Long division : EON

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

11 Pale ___ : ALE

What’s known as “bitter ale” in the UK corresponds to “pale ale” in the US. I’m a fan …

13 First name in cosmetics : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

14 Duct tube : STENT

In the world of surgical medicine, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, in order to reduce the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

29 Soil-loosening tool : HARROW

Harrows and plows have similar uses, in that they both break up the soil. Plows are used to bring deep soil to the surface, and to bury weeds so that they decay and release nutrients. Harrows break up and smooth just the surface soil, often after plowing.

34 Language with its own “green star” flag : ESPERANTO

Esperanto is an international language specifically constructed to create some level of harmony between people from different parts of the world. It was created in the late 1800s by an ophthalmologist from modern-day Poland. Tens of thousands, and maybe even millions of people speak Esperanto, with some being taught it as a native language from birth.

37 Large unit of computing speed : TERAFLOP

The performance of a computer in carrying out scientific calculations is sometimes measured in “FLOPS”. FLOPS stands for “floating-point operations per second”.

40 Breath-freshening brand : DENTYNE

Dentyne chewing gum was formulated back in 1899 by a druggist in New York called Franklin Canning. He came up with the name of his new gum by combining the words “dental” and “hygiene”.

45 Sights in the Arctic : BERGS

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”.

47 Disreputable : SEAMY

We’ve used “seamy” to mean “the least pleasant, the worst” since the 1600s. The idea comes from the seamed side of a sewn garment being the less attractive.

54 Casino game with “hits” and “catches” : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

56 Patty and Selma’s workplace on “The Simpsons,” for short : DMV

In most states, the government agency responsible for vehicle registration and the issuing of driver’s licenses is called the DMV. This initialism usually stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but there are “variations on the theme”. For example, in Arizona the responsible agency is called the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and in Colorado the familiar abbreviation “DMV” stands for Division of Motor Vehicles.

In “The Simpsons”, Marge Simpson has two older twin sisters. Their full names are Patricia “Patty” Bouvier and Selma Bouvier-Terwilliger-Hutz-McClure-Stu-Simpson. Selma acquired that multiple-barreled name through a string of unsuccessful marriages.

57 Floors in a ring : KOS

Knockout (KO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Few and far between : SPARSE
7 YouTube influencers have big ones : FAN BASES
15 In on : WISE TO
16 Utopian : IDEALIST
17 One end of it might be felt : INK PEN
18 Mario character with a mushroom head and pink braids : TOADETTE
19 Turning point in construction? : SCREW
20 Jollity : MIRTH
21 ___ Solo, son of Leia Organa : BEN
22 Lab order? : HEEL
23 Perfectly cromulent : FINE
24 Heretofore : AS YET
26 Windup : END
27 His initial stands for Tureaud : MR T
28 About one in 10 Muslims : SHIA
30 Devote (to) : DEDICATE
33 Works in el Museo del Prado : ARTE
35 David Bowie persona in 1970s glam rock : ZIGGY STARDUST
38 Rear-view feature on a Jeep? : TIRE
39 Sent to the junkyard : SCRAPPED
41 Some social media posts, for short : VIDS
43 Trifle (with) : TOY
44 Afore : ERE
45 Didn’t wait for a restaurant job? : BUSED
48 “Man, that hurts!” : OW! OW!
50 Edible husk : BRAN
51 Suffix with official : -ESE
52 Sap : DRAIN
54 Producer of many popular singles : KRAFT
55 Understand without listening : READ LIPS
57 At a high interest rate? : KEENLY
58 Caused all sorts of problems with : GUMMED UP
59 Kind of pickup : ONE-TON
60 Mad magazine staple : SPY VS SPY
61 Da bomb : SO DOPE

Down

1 Barely rustled the net : SWISHED
2 Sort of spectacles not much seen nowadays : PINCE-NEZ
3 Forum that provides material for many BuzzFeed articles : ASK REDDIT
4 Ward off : REPEL
5 Fret about a fricassee? : STEW
6 Long division : EON
7 Not stick out like a sore thumb : FIT IN
8 Thinks the world of : ADORES
9 Dandy : NEAT
10 Something winds might cause : BAD HAIR DAY
11 Pale ___ : ALE
12 Not get involved : SIT BY
13 First name in cosmetics : ESTEE
14 Duct tube : STENT
20 Grubby little paws : MITTS
23 Raggedy : FRAYED
25 Snapped out of a daydream, perhaps : SAT UP
27 Fast-food fare in which two pancakes form a sandwich : MCGRIDDLES
29 Soil-loosening tool : HARROW
31 Resignation notice? : I GIVE
32 35-Across and others, in brief : ETS
34 Language with its own “green star” flag : ESPERANTO
36 Follow, as a lead : ACT ON
37 Large unit of computing speed : TERAFLOP
40 Breath-freshening brand : DENTYNE
42 Get frothy : SOAP UP
45 Sights in the Arctic : BERGS
46 Burn through : USE UP
47 Disreputable : SEAMY
49 Feathery : WISPY
50 Stir up : BREED
53 Purges : RIDS
54 Casino game with “hits” and “catches” : KENO
56 Patty and Selma’s workplace on “The Simpsons,” for short : DMV
57 Floors in a ring : KOS

3 thoughts on “1231-22 NY Times Crossword 31 Dec 22, Saturday”

  1. 41:26 fwiw, in some offshore manufacturing companies, the two types of screw heads are simply referred to as “plus” and “minus”,which actually makes a lot of sense.

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