0514-23 NY Times Crossword 14 May 23, Sunday

Constructed by: Sid Sivakumar
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Alternate Endings

Themed answers are all in the down-direction, and come in pairs. Each element of the pair uses ALTERNATE letters in a shared word as its ENDING. Note that the published grid includes a Y symbol in each black square where the “ALTERNATING ENDING” starts (unlike my grid … apologies!):

  • 34A Divisions represented by the highlighted answers in this puzzle : LANES
  • 114A With 116-Across, procedures in which drivers take turns joining a single stream, as demonstrated five times in this puzzle : ZIPPER …
  • 116A See 114-Across : … MERGES
  • 1D Person with a stopwatch : TIMEKEEPER
  • [47D Many a presidential election occurs in one : LEAP YEAR]
  • 15D Meat-and-vegetables dish with Creole and Cajun varieties : JAMBALAYA
  • [47D Many a presidential election occurs in one : LEAP YEAR]
  • 7D “Is it even possible?!” : HOW CAN THAT BE?!
  • [58D Where newlyweds are typically seated at a wedding reception : HEAD TABLE]
  • 8D It’ll take a second to get it : SILVER MEDAL
  • [58D Where newlyweds are typically seated at a wedding reception : HEAD TABLE]
  • 14D Chinese New Year decoration : RED LANTERN
  • [53D Where hip-hop originated : THE BRONX]
  • 21D Electrical wiring nexus : SWITCH BOX
  • [53D Where hip-hop originated : THE BRONX]
  • 42D Revolutionary cooking device? : ROTISSERIE
  • [87D Exercise that strengthens hip flexors : LEG RAISE]
  • 55D Theoretical substance for which a chemistry law is named : IDEAL GAS
  • [87D Exercise that strengthens hip flexors : LEG RAISE]
  • 46D Hair salon goo : STYLING GEL
  • [89D Compilations of laughably bad takes : GAG REELS]
  • 62D Toddler drop-off locales : DAYCARES
  • [89D Compilations of laughably bad takes : GAG REELS]

Bill’s time: 23m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Greek letter that’s a symbol for torque : TAU

Torque can be thought of as a turning force, say the force needed to tighten a bolt or a nut. In physics, torque is represented by the Greek letter tau.

15 Holding areas in Capture the Flag : JAILS

The kid’s game “Capture the Flag” has gone hi-tech. There are computer versions of the game now, as well as an intriguing “urban game” version. In the urban game, players head out into the city streets and play in teams while communicating by cell phone.

22 Novelist/short-story writer ___ Bender : AIMEE

Author Aimee Benderis known for creating surreal characters and stories, and it sounds like her 2010 novel “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” is a great example. It is about a young girl who can taste the emotions of the food that she eats. Trippy, man …

23 “The Rise of ___” (2019 film subtitle) : SKYWALKER

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is a 2019 film. It comes third in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, and so is also known as “Star Wars: Episode IX”. Even though “The Rise of Skywalker” cost about $275 million to make, it still made a tidy profit.

25 Mrs. or Sra. equivalent : MME

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

28 Western ___ (coll. course) : CIV

Civilization (civ.)

29 Name repeated in a nursery rhyme : MARY

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.

31 Item sometimes made with wiliwili seeds : LEI

Leis are traditional Hawaiian garlands that are made from various types of flowers, leaves, and other materials. They were originally worn by ancient Hawaiians as a symbol of their social status and to signify important events such as weddings and funerals.

32 Flaky, syrupy pastry : BAKLAVA

Baklava is a very sweet and rich (and delicious) dessert pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The name “baklava” comes from the Ottoman Turkish name for the pastry.

40 Small fox with unusually large ears : FENNEC

The fennec fox is a small fox found in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. It is a crepuscular animal, meaning that it is active around dawn and dusk. The name “fennec” comes from the Berber word “fanak” meaning “fox”. It is the national animal of Algeria, and the Algerian national soccer team is nicknamed “Les Fennecs”.

41 University of Cincinnati athlete : BEARCAT

The Bearcats are the athletic teams of the University of Cincinnati. The “Bearcat” name came from a specific football game back in 1914, against the UK Wildcats. Cincinnati’s fullback on the day was Leonard Baehr, so the crowd took up the chant:

They may be the Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side!

44 ___ Command (Atari game of the 1980s) : MISSILE

Missile Command is a fun arcade game that was introduced by Atari in 1980. Playing the game involves protecting six cities that are being attacked by ballistic missiles. The original game’s design featured six cities in California, namely Eureka, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego.

51 Minecraft block with a fuse : TNT

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It is the most popular video game of all time, with well over 200 million units sold.

54 Designer of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art : PEI

Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei was raised in Shanghai. He moved to the US to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Although he transferred soon after to MIT. The list of his designs includes the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the celebrated glass-and-steel pyramid in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

63 Honey ___! (ring-shaped cereal) : OHS

There used to be two varieties of Oh’s made by the Quaker Oats Company. One was Honey Nut Oh’s (later known as Crunchy Nut Oh’s), but it was phased out. The second type was called Crunchy Graham Oh’s, and it is still available today as Honey Graham Oh’s.

67 Last word in “America the Beautiful” : … SEA

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

68 Anna of Arendelle’s elder sister : ELSA

“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.

69 Festival with lion dances : TET

The lion dance is a traditional dance in Chinese cultures in which performers move around in an elaborate lion costume. Apparently we Westerners often mistake the lion for a dragon. The Chinese dragon dance does exist, and is similar, but the dancers perform outside of the costume and hold up the dragon on poles.

74 Start-up loan agcy. : SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency with the mission of assisting small businesses. The SBA doesn’t give loans itself, but it does act as a guarantor under the right circumstances. The SBA was set up in 1953, and isn’t a favorite with fiscal conservatives.

75 Damascene’s country : SYRIA

Damascus is the second largest city in Syria (after Aleppo), and is the country’s capital. Damascus has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously-inhabited city in the world, having been settled in the 2nd millennium BC. Also, it has the nickname “City of Jasmine”.

77 What “gladiator” literally translates to : SWORDSMAN

The term “gladiator” means “swordsman”, and comes from “gladius”, the Latin word for “sword”.

80 Beer brand with mountains in its logo : COORS

Adolph Coors founded the Coors brewing company in 1873, in Golden, Colorado. Coors was originally from the Rhine Province in Prussia, and worked in various brewers around what is today Germany before immigrating to the US in 1868. Despite all of his success as a brewer here in America, Coors ended up taking his own life in 1929, by jumping to his death out of a hotel window.

84 It “sounds like a clarinet with a cold,” per Victor Borge : OBOE

Victor Borge was such a talented Danish entertainer. He was nicknamed “The Great Dane” as well as “The Clown Prince of Denmark”. Borge was a trained concert pianist, but soon discovered that the addition of a stand up comedy routine to his musical presentations brought him a lot of work. He toured Europe in the 1930s, and found himself in trouble for telling anti-Nazi jokes, so when Germany occupied Denmark during WWII Borge escaped to America.

85 Battery in a Wii Remote : AA CELL

“Wiimote” is an alternative name for the Wii Remote, the controller for the Nintendo Wii gaming console.

88 Stinging pests : RED ANTS

Fire ants are stinging ants, and many species are known as red ants. Most stinging ants bite their prey and then spray acid on the wound. The fire ant, however, bites to hold on and then injects an alkaloid venom from its abdomen, creating a burning sensation in humans who have been nipped.

89 Some residents of the eastern Mediterranean : GAZANS

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

94 Like a dirty film : RATED X

When the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) film rating system was introduced in 1968, the most restrictive class was an X-rating. Persons under 16 were not admitted to such films. A few years later, the guidelines were changed for all ratings, and no one under the age of 17 was admitted to films rated X. Over time, the term “X-rating” became associated with pornographic films, and so the under-17 restriction was relabeled in 1990 to “NC-17”.

95 Chlorophyte, e.g. : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

96 Org. for D.C. United and the L.A. Galaxy : MLS

D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Audi Field, moving from Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 2017.

The L.A. Galaxy is one of the ten charter clubs of Major League Soccer (MLS). The team is known for signing some high-profile players from more established leagues. England star and celebrity David Beckham played for the Galaxy from 2007 to 2012.

103 Fred who co-created “Portlandia” : ARMISEN

“Portlandia” is a satirical sketch show that airs on the Independent Film Channel (IFC). The show is set in Portland, Oregon and takes its name from a statue called “Portlandia” which sits above the entrance to a building in downtown Portland. The statue is a copper repoussé work, and is second in size in the US only to the Statue of Liberty.

107 Campus part : QUAD

A university often features a central quadrangle (quad).

112 Captain of fiction : NEMO

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne (1869-1870), the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

113 Address that’s often shown in blue letters : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

114 With 116-Across, procedures in which drivers take turns joining a single stream, as demonstrated five times in this puzzle : ZIPPER … 116 See 114-Across : … MERGES

The “zipper merge” or “late merge” is encouraged by most traffic authorities when two lanes of traffic are merging into one. The alternative “early merge”, where cars move out of the lane that is closing before reaching the merge point, tends to be discouraged. The favored technique is to use both lanes until the merge point, and then alternate (zipper) from each lane through the merge itself. That said, one should always obey whatever instructions are given by the traffic authorities at the scene. And I know, I know … a lot of people think it rude to merge late …

118 Crow’s cry : CAW!

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

120 Air Seoul’s parent airline : ASIANA

Asiana is the second-largest airline in South Korea, behind Korean Air. Asiana was founded in 1988, and as a result ended the monopoly that had been enjoyed by Korean Air.

122 Actress Mowry of “Sister, Sister” : TIA

“Sister, Sister” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1994 to 1999 starring identical twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry. Tia and Tamera play two sisters who were separated at birth, one being adopted by a single mother, and the other by a single father. The sisters happen upon each other 14 years later, and hilarity ensues …

Down

4 Person who worships Jah : RASTA

“Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah”, and is a name often associated with the Rastafari movement.

5 Puffins, e.g. : AUKS

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

Puffins are seabirds found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They feed primarily by diving into the water to catch fish, and are known for their ability to swim underwater using a “flying” technique.

8 It’ll take a second to get it : SILVER MEDAL

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

10 “A ___ begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness”: Robert Frost : POEM

The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco, but lived most of life in New England. He also spent a few years in England, just before WWI. Frost was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He was also Vermont’s first Poet Laureate, a position that he held from 1961 until his death in 1963.

11 Boba tea is often served with a wide one : STRAW

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

12 Miniature cheese wheel brand : BABYBEL

The Babybel brand of cheese was launched in 1952 by the Bel Group, a multinational supplier of cheese that is headquartered in Paris. Babybel cheese is sold in distinctive packaging. It comes in a netted bag, with small pieces of the cheese encased in red wax with an outer cellophane wrapper. That’s a lot of packaging for a small amount of cheese …

13 “___ Maria” : AVE

“Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary” in English) is the prayer at the core of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which itself is a set of prayers asking for the assistance of the Virgin Mary. Much of the text of the “Hail Mary” comes from the Gospel of Luke. The words in Latin are:

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

The prayer has been adapted as a hymn. The two most famous musical versions of “Ave Maria” are by Charles Gounod (based on a piece by Bach) and by Franz Schubert.

15 Meat-and-vegetables dish with Creole and Cajun varieties : JAMBALAYA

Jambalaya is a Creole dish from Louisiana. The recipe has its origins in the Caribbean, and the recipe we know today also has Spanish and French influences.

20 Witherspoon of Hollywood : REESE

“Reese” is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. “Reese” is her mother’s maiden name.

27 Pigmented eye layer : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

37 Site with gadget reviews : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. It started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

45 Cocktails named after motorcycle attachments : SIDECARS

The sidecar is one of my very favorite cocktails. It was invented around the end of WWI, possibly in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It’s a simple drink to make, and contains brandy, cointreau or triple sec, and lemon or lime juice. It’s really the brandy version of a margarita (or vice versa).

48 Prospective eBay buyer’s figure : BID PRICE

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

53 Where hip-hop originated : THE BRONX

The New York City borough known as the Bronx takes its name from the Bronx River that runs through it. The river was named after Jonas Bronck, an early immigrant to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Bronck’s farm gave rise to the name “Broncksland” and “Bronck’s River”.

54 State of matter in the sun : PLASMA

When I was a schoolkid, I was taught that there were three fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. I think it is now generally accepted that there is a fourth fundamental state matter, namely plasma. Plasma is a state without a definite shape or volume, and in that sense is similar to a gas. In a plasma, electrons have been ripped away from their nuclei, forming a conductive electron “sea”. Plasmas are created from gases by applying a massive voltage difference or an extremely high temperature.

Our sun is a sphere of hot plasma that forms the center of our solar system. The Sun’s mass has two main components, with almost three quarters made up by hydrogen, and a quarter by helium. The continual nuclear fusion reaction in the Sun’s core converts hydrogen into helium, and generates a lot of energy. We should all be pretty grateful to the Sun for generating that energy …

55 Theoretical substance for which a chemistry law is named : IDEAL GAS

Ah yes, the Ideal Gas Law! I remember this from my chemistry classes. One of the basic conclusions one can draw from the law is that under ideal conditions, all gases have the same volume at the same temperature and pressure. The idea is that the individual molecules in a gas are so far away from each other that the actual components of the molecule has negligible influence on the physical properties of the gas. A gas molecule is just a gas molecule. Well, sort of …

56 Fifth in a scale : SOL

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

57 Stadium with the first animated scoreboard : ASTRODOME

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.

76 Home to the sport of hurling : IRELAND

Hurling is the national sport of my homeland of Ireland. It’s played with a stick called a hurley and a ball called a “sliotar”. It’s thought to be the fastest team sport in the world, and certainly has to be the oldest as it predates Christianity and was brought to Ireland by the Celts.

78 Americans usually spell “cancelled” with this : ONE L

Not only is Noah Webster’s name inextricably linked with his series of dictionaries, but he is also renowned as an advocate for English spelling reform. He argued that “traditional” English is hard to learn, and that it should be simplified and standardized (instead of “standardised”). He published spelling books that were used in schools, and from edition to edition he changed the spelling of words in order to simplify the language. Examples are the use of “s” over “c” in words like “defense” (in Ireland we have “defence” and “defense” depending on usage), “-re” became “-er” as in “center” instead of “centre” (reversing the influence of French), and he dropped one of the Ls in words like “traveler” (I learned “traveller”). Mind you, he also spelled “tongue” as “tung”, but he didn’t get very far with that one.

79 Queens players : METS

The New York Mets (NYM) baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

86 Grammy-winning Mexican singer Downs : LILA

“Lila Downs” is the stage name used by singer Ana Lila Downs Sánchez from Mexico. Downs has lived in both the US and in Mexico at various stages in her life. She is also known for her political activism, mainly in support of Latin America’s indigenous population.

87 Exercise that strengthens hip flexors : LEG RAISE

A flexor muscle is one that works to bend a limb. An extensor muscle is one that straightens it.

90 Bit that bonds : ATOM

Chemical compounds consist of atoms that are attracted to each other in “chemical bonds”. Chemical bonds are primarily of two types: bonds resulting from electrostatic attraction between atoms with opposite charges (ionic and metallic bonds), and bonds formed through the sharing of electrons (covalent bonds).

100 Taco topping : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

101 Job increasingly replaced by speech-to-text programs : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

102 G7 member, informally : THE US

The G6 was a group of six industrialized nations that formed in 1975 and whose governments met on a periodic basis. The founding members were France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The membership expanded in 1976 with the addition of Canada, forming the G7. Russia was given representation in the group in 1997, forming the G8. Russia’s membership was suspended in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

111 The Hindu god Ganesha is often depicted with four of them : ARMS

Ganesha is a Hindu deity usually depicted with the head of an elephant.

116 N.Y.C. commuter rail overseer : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Greek letter that’s a symbol for torque : TAU
4 Done without foresight : RASH
8 Small samples : SIPS
12 Chocolatier’s unit : BAR
15 Holding areas in Capture the Flag : JAILS
17 Thoughtless mode : AUTOPILOT
19 Declares confidently : AVERS
22 Novelist/short-story writer ___ Bender : AIMEE
23 “The Rise of ___” (2019 film subtitle) : SKYWALKER
24 Coat with small droplets : BEDEW
25 Mrs. or Sra. equivalent : MME
26 Prepares to deal, perhaps : CUTS
28 Western ___ (coll. course) : CIV
29 Name repeated in a nursery rhyme : MARY
31 Item sometimes made with wiliwili seeds : LEI
32 Flaky, syrupy pastry : BAKLAVA
34 Divisions represented by the highlighted answers in this puzzle : LANES
36 Livestream, e.g. : WEBCAST
38 Worry-free : AT EASE
39 French for “between” : ENTRE
40 Small fox with unusually large ears : FENNEC
41 University of Cincinnati athlete : BEARCAT
44 ___ Command (Atari game of the 1980s) : MISSILE
47 Abbr. in a birth announcement : LBS
49 Longtime : OLD
50 Invitation in a therapist’s office : SIT
51 Minecraft block with a fuse : TNT
54 Designer of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art : PEI
55 Analogy words : IS TO
57 “Yes, that spot right there …” : AHH …
60 Added streaks to, say : DYED
63 Honey ___! (ring-shaped cereal) : OHS
65 Young bloke : LAD
66 Ruin : DO IN
67 Last word in “America the Beautiful” : … SEA
68 Anna of Arendelle’s elder sister : ELSA
69 Festival with lion dances : TET
70 Mobile ___ : APP
71 Ultimatum word : ELSE
72 Pitch : TAR
73 Part of a gas mileage rating : CITY
74 Start-up loan agcy. : SBA
75 Damascene’s country : SYRIA
77 What “gladiator” literally translates to : SWORDSMAN
80 Beer brand with mountains in its logo : COORS
82 Jessica ___, astronaut who participated in the first all-female spacewalk : MEIR
83 Not the same : ANOTHER
84 It “sounds like a clarinet with a cold,” per Victor Borge : OBOE
85 Battery in a Wii Remote : AA CELL
88 Stinging pests : RED ANTS
89 Some residents of the eastern Mediterranean : GAZANS
91 Banks : RELIES
93 Lung or brain segments : LOBES
94 Like a dirty film : RATED X
95 Chlorophyte, e.g. : ALGA
96 Org. for D.C. United and the L.A. Galaxy : MLS
97 Impediments to team productivity : EGOS
98 Get in a knot : ENSNARL
101 “Thou God ___ me” (Genesis quote) : SEEST
103 Fred who co-created “Portlandia” : ARMISEN
107 Campus part : QUAD
108 In a scuffle : AT IT
110 Hopping herbivore : HARE
112 Captain of fiction : NEMO
113 Address that’s often shown in blue letters : URL
114 With 116-Across, procedures in which drivers take turns joining a single stream, as demonstrated five times in this puzzle : ZIPPER …
116 See 114-Across : … MERGES
118 Crow’s cry : CAW!
119 Backside : ASS
120 Air Seoul’s parent airline : ASIANA
121 Hubbub : TUMULT
122 Actress Mowry of “Sister, Sister” : TIA
123 Green expanse : LEA
124 Commander for Joe Biden, e.g. : PET DOG
125 Pass judgment on : ASSESS
126 Tricksy : SLY

Down

1 Person with a stopwatch : TIMEKEEPER
2 Drink that may be spiced : ALE
3 Potential scenario in which a piece of software might be helpful : USE CASE
4 Person who worships Jah : RASTA
5 Puffins, e.g. : AUKS
6 Total dump : STY
7 “Is it even possible?!” : HOW CAN THAT BE?!
8 It’ll take a second to get it : SILVER MEDAL
9 Similar group : ILK
10 “A ___ begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness”: Robert Frost : POEM
11 Boba tea is often served with a wide one : STRAW
12 Miniature cheese wheel brand : BABYBEL
13 “___ Maria” : AVE
14 Chinese New Year decoration : RED LANTERN
15 Meat-and-vegetables dish with Creole and Cajun varieties : JAMBALAYA
16 Target : AIM AT
18 Coat that may take awhile to put on : PAINT
20 Witherspoon of Hollywood : REESE
21 Electrical wiring nexus : SWITCH BOX
27 Pigmented eye layer : UVEA
30 Lower-interest deal, for short : REFI
33 Blood work, colloquially : LABS
34 Start of a detective’s trail : LEAD
35 Uno + dos + tres : SEIS
37 Site with gadget reviews : C|NET
42 Revolutionary cooking device? : ROTISSERIE
43 Conflict over seceding from the Galactic Republic, in sci-fi : CLONE WAR
45 Cocktails named after motorcycle attachments : SIDECARS
46 Hair salon goo : STYLING GEL
47 Many a presidential election occurs in one : LEAP YEAR
48 Prospective eBay buyer’s figure : BID PRICE
52 “Better than I thought” : NOT SO BAD
53 Where hip-hop originated : THE BRONX
54 State of matter in the sun : PLASMA
55 Theoretical substance for which a chemistry law is named : IDEAL GAS
56 Fifth in a scale : SOL
57 Stadium with the first animated scoreboard : ASTRODOME
58 Where newlyweds are typically seated at a wedding reception : HEAD TABLE
59 Severity : HARSHNESS
61 Latin “is” : EST
62 Toddler drop-off locales : DAYCARES
64 Equilibria : STASES
76 Home to the sport of hurling : IRELAND
78 Americans usually spell “cancelled” with this : ONE L
79 Queens players : METS
81 Enters like slime : OOZES IN
86 Grammy-winning Mexican singer Downs : LILA
87 Exercise that strengthens hip flexors : LEG RAISE
89 Compilations of laughably bad takes : GAG REELS
90 Bit that bonds : ATOM
92 Mineral collection site : SALT PIT
94 Motion to ___ (court request) : REARGUE
98 Are : EQUAL
99 Certain essential worker : NURSE
100 Taco topping : SALSA
101 Job increasingly replaced by speech-to-text programs : STENO
102 G7 member, informally : THE US
104 Some offshoots : SECTS
105 What might have attachment issues? : EMAIL
106 “You’re kidding!” : NO WAY!
109 Tablet you might take in the bathroom : IPAD
111 The Hindu god Ganesha is often depicted with four of them : ARMS
114 Ray gun sound : ZAP
115 Makeshift towel : RAG
116 N.Y.C. commuter rail overseer : MTA
117 Pedestrians cross them: Abbr. : STS

10 thoughts on “0514-23 NY Times Crossword 14 May 23, Sunday”

  1. 32:46, no errors. An astonishingly clever puzzle! And not really all that hard, once I figured out the gimmick, but I had more than my usual problems with “seeing” vertical answers in the online app. (When I solve puzzles on paper and I have portions of a vertical answer filled in, I will often write it out horizontally in order to more easily see what the missing letters might be; that seems to enable some visual-processing part of my brain trained by all my years of reading.)

  2. 38:03. Very impressed by the construction of this one even though the setter used a computer program to find the word pairings. Doesn’t anyone think anything up themselves anymore??

    RED ANTS are just one more thing I don’t miss about Houston. I constantly had to deal with them.

    Best –

  3. The clue for DOWN-18 is just plain WRONG! “Coat that may take awhile to put on” should be “Coat that may take a while to put on.” Careless, lazy, and sloppy users of the English language are a pet peeve of mine, as are (professional?) lexicographers who allow this type of solecism to creep into dictionaries.

    1. EDW I believe is correct. You can paint awhile, but it would take a while to paint it onto the walls. Adverb vs noun phrase…

  4. I found this puzzle irritating, even when I finally got the answers explained to me. Based on a trick that has nothing to do with language and concepts. I think the puzzle editors, including Will Shortz, got sucked into this one. Just too clever by half.
    Sylvia

  5. 33 minutes or so this time through with no errors, handwritten – opted to purchase the paper today (why I don’t know?). Syndicated print has rather helpful merge signs in the black squares ahead of the theme entries. I don’t know if people got that much help on the NYT app or not. Anyway, I know that kind of help won’t be in the three weeks hence version.

    Don’t know if I’ll attempt this one again or not.

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