1025-23 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 23, Wednesday

Constructed by: Aimee Lucido
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Drum Roll

Themed answers are celebrated drummers. Also, circled letters in the grid represent four DRUM ROLLS:

  • 55A Display of skill one might request from 17-Across and 8- and 28-Down … depicted literally four times in this puzzle : DRUM ROLL
  • 17A Half of a 1990s-2000s rock duo with six Grammys : MEG WHITE
  • 8D Member of Led Zeppelin : JOHN BONHAM
  • 28D One of the Fab Four : RINGO STARR

Bill’s time: 8m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 1982 sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel : TRON

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

5 Basketball great Erving, to fans : DR J

Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who is known as “Dr. J”, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking and other moves above the rim.

8 Lingo : JARGON

The noun “jargon” can describe nonsensical and meaningless talk, or the specialized language of a particular group, trade or profession. The term “jargon” is Old French, with the more usual meaning of “chattering”. How apt …

16 Six Nations people : ONEIDA

The Oneida people originally lived in the area that is now Central New York. They were one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Five Nations (the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca).

17 Half of a 1990s-2000s rock duo with six Grammys : MEG WHITE

Meg White is a former musician who was the drummer in the duo White Stripes, alongside her one-time husband Jack White. Meg and Jack described themselves as siblings in their public life, until it was disclosed that they had married and divorced before White Stripes achieved success. The duo disbanded in 2011, and Meg has kept herself out of the spotlight ever since.

21 Director Jean-___ Godard : LUC

Jean-Luc Godard is a so-called “Nouvelle Vague” (New Wave) cinematographer, making movies that challenge the conventions of both traditional Hollywood and French cinema.

22 Church fixture : ORGAN

The organ that we often see in churches, synagogues and concert halls is a pipe organ. Sound is produced by pressurized air driven through particular pipes selected by keys on a keyboard.

25 Nickname for singer Justin, with “the” : … BIEB

Justin Bieber is a pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …

32 Leader prominent in the 1956 Suez Crisis : NASSER

Gamal Abdel Nasser was the second president of Egypt, and was in office from 1956 until he died in 1970. He stood alongside Muhammad Naguib, Egypt’s first president, during the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 that overthrew the ruling monarchy of Egypt and Sudan. Nasser was an advocate of Pan-Arabism, an ideology promoting unification of Arab peoples and countries. President Nasser went so far as forming the United Arab Republic (UAR), a union between Egypt and Syria that started in 1958 but fell apart in 1961 when Syria withdrew.

The Suez Crisis of 1956 came about when President Nasser of Egypt decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, a response to a withdrawal of funds by Britain and the US for the building of the Aswan Dam. Egypt then refused to allow any Israeli shipping the use the canal. With British and French support, Israel invaded the Sinai in October 1956, starting the military conflict. Combined British, French and Israeli forces eventually took control of the Suez Canal, which was viewed as a military success but a political disaster. The United Nations, led by the US, pressured the British, French and Israelis to withdraw.

36 Poetic form featuring lexical repetition rather than rhyme : SESTINA

A sestina is a poetic form consisting of six stanzas with six lines in each stanza. Although still in contemporary use, the sestina dates back to around 1200.

40 Setting for “The King and I” : SIAM

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

45 Some summer cookouts, informally : BBQS

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

60 John Wayne and Ian Fleming, for two : AIRPORTS

Orange County is home to famous destinations like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. It is also home to John Wayne Airport, also known as Orange County Airport, with the IATA code “SNA”. The “SNA” is a reference to the city of Santa Ana, which is the airport’s mailing address. The airport itself resides in an unincorporated area of the county.

61 Doctor who lent his name to a therapeutic system : MESMER

Franz Mesmer was a German physician, and the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.

62 “___ queen!” : YAS

“Yas” is a slang term used in place of the interjection “yes!”, when it expresses pleasure and excitement. The exclamation often takes the form “Yas, queen!”

Down

1 Channel for vintage film buffs : TCM

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels as it delivers just what its name promises, i.e. classic movies.

2 Caviar : ROE

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

6 Vegetable with a purple top : RUTABAGA

The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What’s called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I’d just give up altogether …

7 Ballpark fare served with raspberries? : JEERING

Not so much here in America, but over in Britain and Ireland “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think that it’s usually called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

8 Member of Led Zeppelin : JOHN BONHAM

John Bonham was the much-admired drummer of the English band Led Zeppelin. In 2011, Bonham was voted by readers of “Rolling Stone” magazine as the best drummer of all time. Bonham died in 1980 at the age of 32 after having choked on his own vomit. In the 24 hours prior to his death, the coroner determined that Bonham had consumed 40 shots of vodka.

11 Dwarfs’ representative in the Fellowship of the Ring : GIMLI

Gimli is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Gimli is one of the Dwarves of Middle Earth and is chosen as the Dwarves’ representative in the Fellowship of the Ring.

12 Ancient Greek theater : ODEUM

In ancient Greece, an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

20 Many M.I.T. grads: Abbr. : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

22 Olds, Keats or Shelley : ODIST

Poet Sharon Olds won a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2013. She was also the first American woman to win the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called “A Vindication of Natural Diet” in 1813.

23 Star-crossed Montague : ROMEO

Two lovers who are “star-crossed” are ill-fated, thwarted by the stars. The term was coined by William Shakespeare in the prologue to his play “Romeo and Juliet”

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life

24 Dress (up) : GUSSY

To gussy up is to dress showily. The term “gussy” was a slang term that was used to describe an overly-dressed person.

28 One of the Fab Four : RINGO STARR

Ringo Starr is a musician, best known as the drummer for the Beatles. In addition to his music career, Ringo Starr has appeared in a number of films. In addition to his film work, Ringo Starr has also done voiceover work for several animated television shows and movies. He has lent his distinctive voice to characters in shows like “Thomas & Friends” and “The Simpsons,” as well as movies like “Yellow Submarine”.

33 Hearty draft pick : STOUT

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

34 First name in “wabbit” hunting : ELMER

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

35 Duane ___ (drugstore chain) : READE

The chain of drug and convenience stores in New York City known as Duane Reade was founded in 1960 by three brothers. The first three stores were serviced by a warehouse in lower Manhattan located on Broadway between Duane and Reade streets, streets that gave the chain its name.

38 Flowering plant that lent its name to a lane on “Desperate Housewives” : WISTERIA

Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the bean family. As such, wisterias climb up any available support by twining their stems around that support. They have been known to climb as high as 65 feet off the ground, and can spread over very large areas. The largest known single wisteria plant has spread over an acre of ground, and is estimated to weigh about 250 tons.

The TV drama “Desperate Housewives” ran for eight seasons. During pre-production, the show was called “Wisteria Lane” and then “The Secret Lives of Housewives”. The “desperate housewives” lived on the fictional Wisteria Lane in the fictional town of Fairview in the fictional Eagle State. That’s a lot of fiction …

43 Something “spilled” by a gossip : TEA

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.

44 Lemonlike fruit : CITRON

Most of our citrus fruits are hybrids of four original fruits: the pomelo, mandarin, papeda and citron.

47 Targets of squats, informally : QUADS

The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

51 Genial boatswain in “Peter Pan” : SMEE

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

57 Letters in the corner of a phone screen : 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”.

58 Drug that’s “dropped” : LSD

Someone taking the drug LSD is often said to be “dropping acid”. The use of the verb “to drop” was popular slang long before LSD came on the scene, and back then applied to the taking of any illegal drug.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 1982 sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel : TRON
5 Basketball great Erving, to fans : DR J
8 Lingo : JARGON
14 Materialize : COME TRUE
16 Six Nations people : ONEIDA
17 Half of a 1990s-2000s rock duo with six Grammys : MEG WHITE
18 Hit hard : HAMMER
19 One sharing school drop-off duties, maybe : CO-PARENT
21 Director Jean-___ Godard : LUC
22 Church fixture : ORGAN
25 Nickname for singer Justin, with “the” : … BIEB
26 Purposes : AIMS
27 Unsmiling in demeanor : DOUR
28 Return payments? : RANSOMS
30 WeChat chats, in brief : IMS
31 Online news aggregator founded in 2004 : DIGG
32 Leader prominent in the 1956 Suez Crisis : NASSER
36 Poetic form featuring lexical repetition rather than rhyme : SESTINA
38 Carve (away) : WHITTLE
39 Fiddling (with) : TOYING
40 Setting for “The King and I” : SIAM
41 German 53-Across : OMA
42 Number one focus? : EGOTISM
44 Gave prompt attention? : CUED
45 Some summer cookouts, informally : BBQS
48 Splinter group : SECT
49 Petrol measure : LITRE
50 “___ rock!” : YOU
51 Extended form of surveillance : STAKEOUT
53 Nana : GRAMMA
55 Display of skill one might request from 17-Across and 8- and 28-Down … depicted literally four times in this puzzle : DRUM ROLL
59 Scandal, to a career, say : UNDOER
60 John Wayne and Ian Fleming, for two : AIRPORTS
61 Doctor who lent his name to a therapeutic system : MESMER
62 “___ queen!” : YAS
63 It’s a must : NEED

Down

1 Channel for vintage film buffs : TCM
2 Caviar : ROE
3 “WHOA!” : OMG!
4 Stereotypical game show prize : NEW CAR
5 Boring person : DRIP
6 Vegetable with a purple top : RUTABAGA
7 Ballpark fare served with raspberries? : JEERING
8 Member of Led Zeppelin : JOHN BONHAM
9 Vet school subj. : ANAT
10 Dreamy sleep stage : REM
11 Dwarfs’ representative in the Fellowship of the Ring : GIMLI
12 Ancient Greek theater : ODEUM
13 Deal breakers, informally? : NARCS
15 Read-a-___ : THON
20 Many M.I.T. grads: Abbr. : EES
22 Olds, Keats or Shelley : ODIST
23 Star-crossed Montague : ROMEO
24 Dress (up) : GUSSY
26 Helper: Abbr. : ASST
28 One of the Fab Four : RINGO STARR
29 Badly hurt : MAIM
31 Fender blemish : DING
33 Hearty draft pick : STOUT
34 First name in “wabbit” hunting : ELMER
35 Duane ___ (drugstore chain) : READE
37 Fastens with string : TIES
38 Flowering plant that lent its name to a lane on “Desperate Housewives” : WISTERIA
40 Short time off work : SICK DAY
43 Something “spilled” by a gossip : TEA
44 Lemonlike fruit : CITRON
45 “I mean it!”, quaintly : BY GUM!
46 Carried along : BORNE
47 Targets of squats, informally : QUADS
49 Sugar serving : LUMP
51 Genial boatswain in “Peter Pan” : SMEE
52 Not just mine : OURS
54 Stereotypical word in a heart tattoo : MOM
56 Mine yield : ORE
57 Letters in the corner of a phone screen : LTE
58 Drug that’s “dropped” : LSD

8 thoughts on “1025-23 NY Times Crossword 25 Oct 23, Wednesday”

  1. 16:15(!) after fixing a stupid error. Kind of a repeat of my problem with yesterday’s puzzle.

    I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my eyesight. (I know, I know … lame excuse … but it’s true. I’ve been doing an unusual amount of reading – mostly, of a huge sci-fi trilogy by a Chinese author named Cixin Liu – and it seems to be causing problems).

    Bill’s comments about the epitaph of John Keats make me want to know more. Have to look that up.

  2. 17:20, no errors. Today I started at the bottom and worked my way up finishing in the NW corner. @Dave, I started The Three Body Problem but bogged down in the first book…and I’m a SciFi fanatic.

    1. Steve …

      I’m on the home stretch, in some sense, with a little over 200 pages to go in “Death’s End”. I have certainly found it an interesting read, but I have very mixed feelings about various aspects of the story. (I may have more to say after I’ve finished the thing.)

  3. 17:17. Felt like I was tripping all over myself this entire puzzle. I knew RINGO STARR, but the other two drummers were new to me.

    Had DENT before DING. COALESCE before COME TRUE. I got a little too clever for my own good there.

    Didn’t know what COPA RENT was until I came here. Oops.

    I’m confident I will never use the expression YAS queen.

    Best –

  4. YAS Queen got me. Had YES queen.
    Didn’t know WISTERIA.

    Must have been band/ musician day at the crossword builders get together.

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