0916-23 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 23, Saturday

Constructed by: Jonathan Kaufman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 25m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies


1 In all chaos there is a ___, in all disorder a secret order: Carl Jung : COSMOS

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, and the founder of analytical psychology. Jung was very much associated with the analysis of dreams, and also introduced us to the psychological concepts of introversion and extroversion.

16 Component of a Mr. Clean costume, say : BALD CAP

Mr. Clean is a brand of household cleaner from Procter & Gamble. Mr. Clean is sold as Maestro Limpio in Mexico, Monsieur Propre in France, and as Monsieur Net in French Canada.

19 One-third of France’s motto : EGALITE

“Égal” (feminine “égale”) is a French word meaning “equal, alike” that we sometimes use in English. The national motto of France is “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, meaning “Liberty, equality, fraternity”.

21 Trade org. of interest to publishers and authors : ABA

American Booksellers Association (ABA)

22 Actress Hoss of “Tár” : NINA

“Tár” is a 2022 starring Cate Blancett in the title role, a conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic who is accused of sexual misconduct. A concept album titled “Tár (Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture)” was released at the same time as the film. A week or so after release, the album topped “Billboard” magazine’s list of Traditional Classical Albums, beating out albums produced by the real Berlin Philharmonic.

26 U.C. Davis athlete : AGGIE

The University of California, Davis (UCD) is one of the ten campuses of the University of California system. I have a particular affection for UCD for a couple of reasons. My younger son is a graduate of Davis and, in a sense, so am I. I graduated from the other UCD: University College Dublin in Ireland …

28 Remover of dirt … or spreader of dirt RAG

A low-quality newspaper is often referred to as a “rag”. There are lots of rags out there …

34 Nihilistic query : WHAT’S THE POINT?

“Nihil” is the Latin word for “nothing, and is a term we’ve absorbed into English. “Nihil” is also the root from which we get our term “nil”. Someone described as “nihilistic” is very skeptical and tends to believe in nothing.

43 Dallas’s ___ Museum of Nature and Science : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

47 Article of summer wear : TANK TOP

“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US, a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waistcoat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

50 Inexpensive drawing, say : CLIP ART

Clip art is a collection of ready-made images that can be cut and pasted as perhaps an illustration. The original clip art was “clipped”, i.e. cut, from existing printed works for use in some other published works.

55 Dim sum dessert : EGG TART

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.


1 Site of a sea change? : CABANA

Our word “cabana” comes from the Spanish “cabaña”, the word for a small hut or a cabin. We often use the term to describe a tent-like structure beside a pool or at a beach used for bathing.

2 Euphoric : ON A HIGH

“Euphoria” is a Greek word meaning “power of enduring easily”. In the 18th century, the term was imported into English medical jargon to describe a sick person’s condition when feeling healthy and comfortable. Today, “euphoria” is used more generally to describe any feeling of well-being or elation.

3 Grammy-winning artist with the 2016 album “A Seat at the Table” : SOLANGE

Solange Knowles is a singer/songwriter, and the younger sister of the incredibly successful singer Beyoncé. Solange was in the news a while back when security camera footage was released showing her punching and kicking Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z in an elevator.

8 Derivative, essentially : RATE

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

12 Mercedes-Benz sedan : S-CLASS

The S-Class is the most luxurious line of Mercedes cars, and is the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. The name “S-Class” stands for “Sonderklasse”, which translates from German as “special class”.

25 Second-densest naturally occurring metal : IRIDIUM

The element iridium is represented by the symbol Ir. It is a metal that’s very hard, and is in fact the second densest of all the elements (after osmium). It is also the metal that is most resistant to corrosion. Iridium was discovered and first isolated in 1803 by English chemist Smithson Tennant. He called his discovery “iridium” after Iris, the ancient Greek personification of the rainbow. He did so in recognition of the diverse colors of iridium salts.

29 Awards for great pitchers? : CLIOS

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

32 The Grossglockner, for one : ALP

The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria, and the second-highest in the Alps (the highest being Mont Blanc).

36 Nets, e.g. : NBA TEAM

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

38 Imaging tech with “slices” : CT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays. High doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time. The initialism “CT” stands for “computed tomography”. The older initialism “CAT” stands for “computed axial tomography”.

44 Picker-uppers : TONGS

A pair of tongs is a tool with a scissor-like hinge used to pick up things, like meat cooking on a barbecue grill or ice from an ice bucket. The verb “to tong” means “to handle with tongs”.

47 Word on a scale : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

53 Wireless network std. : LTE

In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers


1 In all chaos there is a ___, in all disorder a secret order: Carl Jung : COSMOS
7 Roasts : BROILS
13 Does the rite thing? : ANOINTS
15 Lurid : GRAPHIC
16 Component of a Mr. Clean costume, say : BALD CAP
17 Move more : OUTSELL
18 Caught ya! : AHA!
19 One-third of France’s motto : EGALITE
21 Trade org. of interest to publishers and authors : ABA
22 Actress Hoss of “Tár” : NINA
24 Skip it! : STONE
25 Some investments, in brief : IRAS
26 U.C. Davis athlete : AGGIE
28 Remover of dirt … or spreader of dirt RAG
29 Nursery purchases : CRIBS
30 Opposite of independent thinking : HERD MENTALITY
33 Helped out, informally : DID A SOLID
34 Nihilistic query : WHAT’S THE POINT?
38 Tittle-tattles : CHATS
39 Good thing to stretch out before doing yoga : MAT
40 Provide temporary relief (for) : SUB IN
42 Bit of merch : TOTE
43 Dallas’s ___ Museum of Nature and Science : PEROT
45 Barn locks : MANE
46 Comic’s batch of bits : SET
47 Article of summer wear : TANK TOP
49 Bit of merch : TEE
50 Inexpensive drawing, say : CLIP ART
52 How investigators might proceed : ON A LEAD
54 Aims : ASPIRES
55 Dim sum dessert : EGG TART
56 Like some spoons and dolls : NESTED
57 Appear to be the case : SEEM SO


1 Site of a sea change? : CABANA
2 Euphoric : ON A HIGH
3 Grammy-winning artist with the 2016 album “A Seat at the Table” : SOLANGE
4 Lead-in to town or term : MID-
5 Years ago : ONCE
6 Ones sans plus-ones? : STAGS
7 Kind of force : BRUTE
8 Derivative, essentially : RATE
9 Biz ___ (corporate strategy) : OPS
10 That sound isn’t just in your head! : I HEAR IT!
11 Grammy-winning rapper with the 2022 #1 album “It’s Only Me” : LIL BABY
12 Mercedes-Benz sedan : S-CLASS
14 What cucumber slices and seaweed can be part of : SPA TREATMENTS
15 In direct competition : GOING TOE-TO-TOE
20 Figure in the criminal underworld, maybe : LOAN SHARK
23 It’s show time, folks! : AIR DATE
25 Second-densest naturally occurring metal : IRIDIUM
27 Changes, in a way : EDITS
29 Awards for great pitchers? : CLIOS
31 Practice group, for short? : MDS
32 The Grossglockner, for one : ALP
34 Of course it was me! : WHO ELSE?
35 Credit lines? : HAT TIPS
36 Nets, e.g. : NBA TEAM
37 They might make it difficult to compare notes : TIN EARS
38 Imaging tech with “slices” : CT SCAN
41 Must : NEED TO
43 Cut (down) : PARED
44 Picker-uppers : TONGS
47 Word on a scale : TARE
48 Errand runner : PAGE
51 ___ crew : PIT
53 Wireless network std. : LTE

18 thoughts on “0916-23 NY Times Crossword 16 Sep 23, Saturday”

  1. 34:59, no errors. Difficult one for me, but finally got it all. Had the most trouble in the upper left corner. Another good tussle … 🙂.

  2. 25:23, no errors. The stars must be aligned for me today.
    I’m not much of a cook, but I do believe that roasting and broiling are two different processes.

  3. 46:12, my lack of knowledge of rap music reared its head in the NW and NE. Finished, but with those 2 lookups, and even then I tried to fit “Knowles” in there before “Solange”

  4. I went down to many rabbit holes! Ended up with two errors, because I was just so glad to finish (1:42!)
    Tragically unhip regarding modern music, but a self-imposed restriction prevents me from look anything up
    The harder, the better, so props to the creator

  5. NYT Saturday doubleheader:

    Sept. 16, 2023:
    33:47 clean.

    NYT Freebie, Sat. Apr. 21, 2012:
    Time : 122:27
    Errors: 7

    Chalk one up in this case for ‘older is harder’ . I will never say ‘easy,’ but today’s Sat. puzzle was much ‘easier’ than the 2012 freebie, in my book at least.

    1. Re the statement from one of the other users, “Finished, but with 2 lookups.” Again, no offense to the poster— I don’t think it was necessarily intentional on their part— but that’s wrong.

      “Finishing” is the objective of the crossword game, i.e, filling in all the squares, just as in the game of bowling, to use that analogy, the objective is to knock down all the pins. Of course it goes without saying, it means using your ability to throw the ball, not the pinsetter machine’s ability to clear the pins. The Google machine is like the pinsetter in bowling.

      It’s the same as the ‘no errors’ statement. Some people write, ‘no errors, after correcting x number of errors.’ You cannot claim that any more than you can unthrow the bowling ball once you realize it did not knock down all the pins.

      Similarly, you also cannot say ‘finished with lookups’ any more than you can say you knocked down all the pins by clearing them with the reset button. In bowling, that’s a scratch. In a crossword, I’m not sure of the term but some people say DNF which I think is like a ‘scratch’ in bowling i.e pins were left standing. That’s the honest and appropriate term if a player used the machine to clear the pins they not able to knock down using their ability.

      1. Again, your comments are based on an understanding of the reasons for doing crosswords that is not accepted by everyone.

        If someone chooses to supplement his or her lack of knowledge by researching some of the references in its clues, I would not have the heart to say that they did not “finish” a puzzle (in the dictionary sense of the term).

        1. I’ll confine a reply to today so it doesn’t spill over to the following days. Besides, it may be a long post as I’m going to speak my mind fully on this subject in this post and make my views clear as I think it may be misunderstood. Anyone who’s not interested does not have to keep reading from this point on.

          Actually for my part, I cannot guarantee I always go back and look at the replies anymore because what seem to be your supporters, who never post here otherwise—or maybe disguised regulars, I don’t know and I’m not accusing them of such— come out of the woodwork with anonymous handles, and get into name-calling (‘dick’, ‘prick’, etc.) which is a level I’m not looking to get into. I could join twitter, or x I guess now, for that, and I can give as good as I get if I want to.

          I try not to even read the comments from the ‘NYT club’ regulars anymore to avoid getting into the issue at all, but I happened to see that one inadvertently and decided to comment while taking pains to make it clear I was not trying to insult the user. Why do people get so angry about this issue? I have a theory on that which I touched on a few days ago which I’ll come back to below.

          As I’ve said before, this blog has no rules I’m aware of as some blogs do, and there’s not even a requirement to register with an account. If there had been, I would not have bothered to start posting here. It was very easy to post a comment with no rigmarole, and I actually liked that about Bill’s blog. In a way, you could say I’m a radical free speech supporter. I support anyone’s freedom to say what they want, including personal insults, if that’s what they want to do. I believe public opinion takes care of the fringe extremist views by marginalizing them into insignificance. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it but for this latest one, since I read it despite myself and could not unread it, I decided to comment, which is also fair game as there are no rules here about what you can say.

          First, I grant that this is not a consequential issue, and it’s not even about crosswords, it’s about the use of language which is common to all of us and to that extent everyone’s business. You’re a very informed person, you’re probably familiar with George Orwell’s essay , ‘Politics and the English language.’ It talks about the deterioration of the language which can be very consequential politically. In this case, it’s not a consequential matter but I just think we should get our terms straight. Also we’re in a forum where people are reporting the degree of success for comparison with others so in a way it’s a little bit consequential and I will explain why below.

          If you say that I’m trying to force people to use my definition of terms, I do not agree, but I do say that I’m putting forth arguments to dissuade people from using contradictory terms phrases like , ‘no errors, after correcting x number of errors [after completing the grid]’ , or ‘finished with look-ups.’

          You may say, it’s their business if they want to describe it that way, and as I have said above, I support anyone saying anything anyway they choose, but I also support my putting forth arguments to persuade them why their use of language is, probably unintentionally, wrongheaded.

          Also, it does affect other people’s use of those terms like ‘no errors’ or ‘finished’. Today is a very good illustration. Another user above, following the post I commented on, also used the word ‘finish’ (‘I’m so glad to finish’, he said) but after that added that he had a “self-imposed restriction of no look-ups.” I cannot say for sure, but I believe that he was obligated to add that clarification because the previous user co-opted the term ‘finished’ to include ‘with look-ups.’ That’s where terms get degraded by sloppy usage, as Orwell describes in his essay—and again, by no means suggesting this on the level of having any societal consequences but it’s the same process that Orwell describes which he attributes largely to ‘bad habits.’

          “I finished’ or “I had no errors” should mean just that, not the opposite. “I finished with lookups” means “I did not finish” and “I had no errors, after correcting errors” means, ” I had errors.” That’s where the term ‘doublespeak’ came from. I believe what I’m observing is doublespeak and I’m calling it out. It’s just as silly to say, “I knocked down all the pins , but with the help of the pinsetter” than to say, “I finished the puzzle, but with the help of the Google machine.” It’s just as silly to say, “I had no errors, but only after correcting certain errors,” than to say, “I left no pins standing in this frame, but I used a third throw to knock them down.”

          There is only one reason to talk like that in my view, and this is where I come back to the reason people seem to get so angry about this subject. I think it’s very simply a way of making a not quite so successful outcome sound better, in what is in effect a social forum. It sounds better to say, ‘finished with look-ups’ than to say ‘DNF’ just as a ‘strike’ sounds better than a ‘scratch.’ In bowling you cannot finesse it, you cannot get a ‘strike with help’—except if you walk up the alley and knock down the pins, or use the reset button to claim a spare—which would get you kicked out of the game by your bowling pals, but the concept is the same. They are both games and every game has a point and measure of a successful outcome. In this forum, people are reporting their outcomes to compare with others, sort of like a friendly game of bowling on a Sunday morning. But even in that friendly game of bowling, if one player hit the reset button and called it a ‘strike with help’ , he’d be laughed out of the alley, if not called every name in the book. People have disputes even in friendly games of golf, tennis, cards, board games, or other games. I don’t see why crossword is any different from other games in that sense, and the NYT includes them along with other games on their games site, as to do other game providers like Arkadium.

  6. DNF.

    unlike others, I ripped through NW corner like a Steed!!!! Then ppfffffffttttttt!

    Got parts of the bottom but I just said “I’m out”.

    AIRTIME instead of AIRDATE
    … there’s more but….

  7. @Glenn – you mentioned recently that you record some of your puzzle solves.

    Are they available – I’d love to see them a perhaps learn?

    Be Well.

    Lou lu

    1. First off, 22:36, no errors on today’s. A little bit off the xwstats average. Guess a fair number of people (67% on xwstats) didn’t have a lot of problems with this. Mine was getting too stuck on my original answer to 2D.

      @lou lu
      I’ve been recording about every NYT and LAT solve for several months along with other stuff. Recently I wiped out everything except October. Clicking the link above (there’s some on yesterday’s post too) will get a recording and you can navigate to the others from there. Like I’ve mentioned before, there’s no audio, so I just solve them and don’t slow down to explain why I’m doing some of the things I do. Hope it can be enlightening in some way, in any event.

      I did today’s Saturday Stumper this morning on paper while I was out, and it definitely illustrated what the ones that are not Lester Ruff (“less rough”) are. The clues very much get stretched (14A!) to absurdity to the point I’ll sometimes just get completely wrong answers (two today), know something isn’t right, but can’t think of anything else that seems reasonable. Usually I spend about 2-3X more time in those cases too. But that’s par for the course, and the appeal to those that still want “hard” puzzles.

      1. Re 14-Across in today’s “Stumper”:

        The clue is “Smattering” and the answer is “LICK”, as in, “Those idiots in the House of Representatives don’t have a lick of sense!” Is that not clear?

        The example you give illustrates why I have so often disagreed with your criticism of particular clues (and, indeed, whole puzzles).

        Please, for once, understand that my disagreement does not constitute an “attack”.

        My results on the Newsday puzzle: 1:02:00, no errors. A very difficult solve, but, in the end, all the clues made sense to me except, possibly, 34-Across (“Wharton ex-offering” for “BBA”). After the fact, I checked with Dr. Google; as far as I can tell, Wharton still offers this degree. (Maybe the “ex” stands for “executive”? If so, I probably would be a bit critical of the clue.)

        Posting this with great trepidation … 😳.

  8. Had a real tough time getting a foothold but managed to work my way through. Luckily SPATREATMENT jumped out at me so I fed off of that. No errors (really).

    1. If you’re complimenting someone by crediting them with a particular achievement, your action might also be described as a “tip of the hat”. Tricky … 🙂.

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