0513-23 NY Times Crossword 13 May 23, Saturday

Constructed by: Spencer Leach
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Warning accompanying a link : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

14 “___ can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process”: E. B. White : HUMOR

E. B. (Elwyn Brooks) White was an American writer. His most famous creations were the children’s stories “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little”, but he also co-authored the writing guide “The Elements of Style” (usually referred to as “Strunk & White”).

15 Orphan of British literature : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

17 Like the Count of Monte Cristo : IMPRISONED

“The Count of Monte Cristo” is an 1844 novel by the French author Alexandre Dumas. Dumas’ other famous title is “The Three Musketeers”.

21 Eccentric : BATTY

The expression “bats in the belfry” meaning “mad, crazy” conjures up images of bats flying around Gothic bell towers, but actually it’s a relatively recent addition to our vernacular. The term is American in origin, and dates back only to the early 1900s. The concept is that someone who is “crazy”, with wild ideas flying around his or her head, can be described as having bats (wild ideas) flying around the belfry (head). The terms “bats” and “batty” originated at the same time, and are clearly derivative.

22 Fashion designer Anna : SUI

Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

23 Baddies on TNT’s “Falling Skies,” for short : ETS

“Falling Skies” is a sci-fi television series about life in Boston after an alien invasion.

27 Spicy Thai condiment : SRIRACHA

Sriracha hot chili sauce is named for the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where the recipe likely originated. Here in North America, we are most familiar with the Sriracha sold in a red bottle with a green that is made by Huy Fong Foods in the city of Irwindale, California. The manufacturer was founded by Vietnamese refugee David Tran, who escaped from Vietnam in 1978 on a Taiwanese freighter called the Huey Fong, after which he named his new company.

29 Four-dimensional mathematical model of the universe : SPACETIME

In the world of physics, spacetime is a 4-dimensional model that melds the three dimensions of space with time as a fourth dimension. I’ve tried to understand spacetime so many times, but have never gotten very far. What I hear all the “time” is that the curvature of spacetime is … gravity.

34 Public health org. : CDC

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 …

39 Expression of frustration stronger than a facepalm : HEADDESK

A facepalm is the gesture made by lowering one’s face into the palm of one’s hand or hands. A facepalm can be an expression of surprise perhaps, frustration or embarrassment. A related gesture with a similar meaning is the headdesk, the gentle striking of the forehead against a desk or a wall perhaps.

43 Some users of they/them pronouns, informally : ENBIES

The non-binary (NB, enbie, enby) spectrum of gender identities covers those that do not qualify as exclusively masculine or feminine.

44 Smidge : TAD

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

45 Word with nose or snow : … JOB

We use the phrase “snowed under” to describe a state of being or feeling overwhelmed, as if one was helpless when covered in a snowdrift. The derivative term “snow job” describes an attempt to convince someone that something is true, when in fact it is not.

48 Who controls the leftmost set of buttons on an arcade cabinet : PLAYER ONE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

55 Principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “holds”.

Down

1 Bits of Intel? : CHIPS

Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The company was founded in 1968, and the name “Intel” is derived from the term “int(egrated) el(ectronics)”. Recognition of the Intel brand has been greatly helped by the success of the “Intel Inside” campaign that started back in 1991.

2 Bit of tea, to Brits : RUMOUR

To spill the beans is to divulge a secret. The expression first appeared in American English, in the early 1900s. The phrase arose as an alternative to “spoil the beans” or “upset the applecart”. The similarly meaning phrase “spill the tea” is more prevalent on the other side of the Atlantic.

5 Events people might come out to celebrate : PRIDE PARADES

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

10 Car model named for an antelope : IMPALA

The Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1957. “Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”.

11 Fast food chain whose name becomes another company when its last two letters are removed : DEL TACO

The Del Taco chain of fast food restaurants opened for business in 1964, with the first restaurant called “Casa Del Taco” located in Yermo, California. Del Taco serves American-style Mexican cuisine as well as the typical collection of hamburgers, fries and shakes.

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers when it was Huff Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name “Delta Air Service” was introduced in 1928.

18 Important figures on H.S. transcripts : SAT SCORES

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

24 Game with a lot of instructions : SIMON SAYS

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

26 Tinder, e.g. : APP

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

28 Texas university whose mascot is Sammy the Owl : RICE

Rice University is a private school in Houston, Texas. William Marsh Rice had made a will endowing the funds for the establishment of the school at the time of his death. When he was found dead one morning in his bed, his lawyer announced that his will had been changed, with the bulk of Rice’s estate actually going to the lawyer making the announcement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the lawyer had paid Rice’s valet to murder his employer using chloroform and a fake will was written. Eventually, the original will was deemed valid and the funds were disbursed so that the school could be built.

30 CPR performers : EMTS

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

33 Jellied fish in a traditional English dish : EEL

Jellied eels are a traditional British dish associated with the working class East End of London. Historically, the eels used were caught in the River Thames. The dish is prepared by boiling up eels that have been chopped into rounds in a seasoned stock and then allowing it to set. The eel contains a lot of gelatinous protein so the stock forms a jelly as it cools.

36 Figure calculated at the end of a ride : CAB FARE

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

42 It might be 70 feet long : SONNET

A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific structure and rhyming scheme. A popular rhyming scheme for what is known as the Italian sonnet is ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE. Compare this with the Shakespearean sonnet which rhymes as ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

In poetry, a foot is the natural unit of stressed and unstressed syllables which make up the work. For example, an iambic foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

50 Mother of the first generation of Olympian gods : RHEA

In Greek mythology, Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and wife of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.

52 Format with “extras” : DVD

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fingertips-only rock-climbing grip : CRIMP
6 Warning accompanying a link : NSFW
10 “Understood,” once : I DIG
14 “___ can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process”: E. B. White : HUMOR
15 Orphan of British literature : EYRE
16 Supersized : MEGA
17 Like the Count of Monte Cristo : IMPRISONED
19 Undesirable sound at a stone-skipping contest : PLOP!
20 Do some spinning at a club? : POLE DANCE
21 Eccentric : BATTY
22 Fashion designer Anna : SUI
23 Baddies on TNT’s “Falling Skies,” for short : ETS
24 Comfort : SOLACE
25 Gains grains : REAPS
27 Spicy Thai condiment : SRIRACHA
29 Four-dimensional mathematical model of the universe : SPACETIME
31 Boat propeller : OAR
32 It may be entered when checking out : PROMO CODE
34 Public health org. : CDC
37 Place for an exhibition : ART CENTER
39 Expression of frustration stronger than a facepalm : HEADDESK
41 Things getting stepped on : SOLES
43 Some users of they/them pronouns, informally : ENBIES
44 Smidge : TAD
45 Word with nose or snow : … JOB
47 Irks : MIFFS
48 Who controls the leftmost set of buttons on an arcade cabinet : PLAYER ONE
51 Vegetarian symbol on a menu, perhaps : LEAF
52 Subtly signals interest : DROPS A HINT
53 It might be a lot : ACRE
54 Flower shower : VASE
55 Principle : TENET
56 What a zythophile loves : BEER
57 Changed the locks? : DYED
58 Like some regrettable decisions : HASTY

Down

1 Bits of Intel? : CHIPS
2 Bit of tea, to Brits : RUMOUR
3 Gets at : IMPLIES
4 Seconds, e.g. : MORE
5 Events people might come out to celebrate : PRIDE PARADES
6 Electric shades : NEONS
7 Match up : SYNC
8 Priceless? : FREE
9 Middle col. on a calendar : WED
10 Car model named for an antelope : IMPALA
11 Fast food chain whose name becomes another company when its last two letters are removed : DEL TACO
12 “Understood” : I GOTCHA
13 Break before starting college, for some : GAP YEAR
18 Important figures on H.S. transcripts : SAT SCORES
21 Yawning incessantly, say : BORED TO DEATH
24 Game with a lot of instructions : SIMON SAYS
26 Tinder, e.g. : APP
27 A little bit of company? : STOCK
28 Texas university whose mascot is Sammy the Owl : RICE
30 CPR performers : EMTS
33 Jellied fish in a traditional English dish : EEL
34 Place for reactions and solutions : CHEM LAB
35 Soul singer Williams : DENIECE
36 Figure calculated at the end of a ride : CAB FARE
38 Meets up with again : REJOINS
40 Stand out (from) : DIFFER
42 It might be 70 feet long : SONNET
44 Like some TV shows and athletes’ joints : TAPED
46 Titular girl in a 2020 Taylor Swift tune : BETTY
48 Speak while kneeling, say : PRAY
49 Leave in the dust : LOSE
50 Mother of the first generation of Olympian gods : RHEA
52 Format with “extras” : DVD

3 thoughts on “0513-23 NY Times Crossword 13 May 23, Saturday”

  1. 23:33, no errors. Entering SPACE-TIME, with no crossing letters, was a huge leap of faith. 10A evolved from GROK > IM IN > I DIG.

    This was one of those days I was totally surprised to get the congratulations pop-up when entering the last letter.

  2. 21:48, no errors. I had a tough time in the NE, but finally got a handhold there. OK, I’ll show myself out… 😉

  3. 21:05. Enjoyed this one. I especially liked the reference to RICE where I went to undergrad.

    I’m a huge fan of SRIRACHA sauce. I put on anything I can think of. There’s been a shortage of it recently due to a drought in Mexico where they grow the specialized red jalepeno chiles that are used to make it. The owner chose to close down rather than use a different strain of chile.

    Owner of SRIRACHA, David Tran, was also part of a bit of controversy. The company was growing so fast that the farm in California where the chiles were grown had to expand. Under an agreement with Tran, they purchased more land to grow the extra peppers. While they were doing this, Tran went behind their backs and hired a farm in Mexico to grow the chiles – even showing them the California farm’s secrets in how they grow them. Eventually Tran had to pay the California farm a huge settlement.

    So Tran makes a great product, has a bit of an heroic past……but is also a bit of a weasel. I found all this out when I realized I could almost never find SRIRACHA in stores anymore…

    Best –

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