1123-23 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 23, Thursday

Constructed by: Vasu Seralathan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Body Parts, Literally

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Themed answers are literal interpretations of the clues, and include body parts:

  • 16A OPTO- : EYE-OPENING
  • 23A MAR : ARM TWISTING
  • 32A VALENTIN- : HEART-STOPPING
  • 46A _IGS_ _ : JAW-DROPPING
  • 55A BEL LY : GUT-BUSTING

Bill’s time: 10m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 “Hulk” action : SMASH

The comic book hero Hulk first made an appearance in 1962. Hulk is the alter ego of reserved and withdrawn physicist Bruce Banner. Banner transforms into the Hulk when he gets angry.

14 Place for an Adirondack chair : PATIO

An Adirondack chair is a wooden seat designed for use outdoors. The original Adirondack chair was designed in 1903 by one Thomas Lee, who was vacationing in Westport, New York in the Adirondack Mountains.

15 Stockings : HOSE

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

18 Spot food, perhaps : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo dog food in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

19 No. on a check : AMT

Amount (amt.)

22 Bush hopper, informally : ROO

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

28 England’s largest all-boys boarding school : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

29 Portend : AUGUR

The verb “to augur” means “to bode, serve as an omen”. The term comes from the name of religious officials in ancient Rome called augurs whose job it was to interpret signs and omens.

50 Bon ___ (good friend) : AMI

In French, a male friend might be described as a “bon ami” (good friend).

51 What the Dutch call “klompen” : CLOGS

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

52 Knock-off weapon? : LANCE

The verb phrase “tilt at” meaning “fight with” derives from the sport of jousting,also known as “tilting”, in which contestants fought each other on horseback with lances.

58 Animal in a romp : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

62 Sean Taro ___ Lennon : ONO

Sean Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and godson of Elton John. Sean is a musician and composer, and has a band called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

Down

1 Site of what many regard as the first Thanksgiving : PLYMOUTH

The early settlers of the Plymouth Colony were known as English Dissenters and belonged to congregations that separated from the Church of England. Many English Dissenters headed for Holland in the Netherlands, but the Mayflower Pilgrims opted to set up a new colony in North America in an effort to maintain their English cultural identity.

Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

5 Button-shaped bit of candy : M AND M

Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that give the name to the candy.

7 Brawn : SINEW

“Sinew” is another name for “tendon”. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

13 Actor Guy of “L.A. Confidential” : PEARCE

Guy Pearce is an Australian actor (actually born in England) who got his break playing in the Aussie soap opera “Neighbours”. I remember him playing drag queen Felicia Jollygoodfellow in the entertaining Australian film “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (1994). He also appeared in several hit American movies, such as “L.A. Confidential”, “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Time Machine”.

31 Pan, e.g. : GOD

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god who was part-man and part-goat, and one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

35 Company featured in the documentary “Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine” : IBM

Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM specifically for playing chess. In 1996 it became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. The champion in question was the great Garry Kasparov, although he came out on top in the end by winning the 6-game competition 4-2.

37 Grab and not let go : GLOM ONTO

“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

41 Important component of oral health : SALIVA

Ultimately, our contemporary term “saliva” is the Latin word for “spittle”.

46 Major clothing retailer with both stores and catalogs : J.CREW

J.Crew is a clothing and accessory retailer. Never been there, but I’ve seen the name turn up on credit card statements somehow …

47 Second-most massive of the solar system’s known dwarf planets : PLUTO

Eris is the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system. It is also the ninth largest body orbiting the sun, a fact that helped relegate Pluto (the tenth largest body) from its status of planet in 2006. Eris was discovered in 2005, and named for the goddess of discord.

Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris. This relegation led to the word “pluto” being used as a noun meaning “give a less important position than before”.

48 Smith with the 1978 hit “Because the Night” : PATTI

Patti Smith is a singer-songwriter who was a big player in the seventies punk rock movement in New York City. Smith’s most successful song is “Because the Night”, a song co-written with Bruce Springsteen and recorded by Smith in 1978. Her influence in the punk rock scene earned Smith the nickname “Godmother of Punk”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Org. founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers : PTA
4 “Hulk” action : SMASH
9 Grill past perfection, say : CHAR
13 Make one’s way, as through snow : PLOD
14 Place for an Adirondack chair : PATIO
15 Stockings : HOSE
16 OPTO- : EYE-OPENING
18 Spot food, perhaps : ALPO
19 No. on a check : AMT
20 What’s the scoop? : LADLE
21 Managed by : UNDER
22 Bush hopper, informally : ROO
23 MAR : ARM TWISTING
25 Movie shots that take a closer look : CUT-INS
27 They’re mandatory : MUSTS
28 England’s largest all-boys boarding school : ETON
29 Portend : AUGUR
32 VALENTIN- : HEART-STOPPING
38 Audibly enthused : OOHED
39 Emphatic type : BOLD
41 Lieu : STEAD
44 “Me as well!” : I AM TOO!
46 _IGS_ _ : JAW-DROPPING
50 Bon ___ (good friend) : AMI
51 What the Dutch call “klompen” : CLOGS
52 Knock-off weapon? : LANCE
53 Whole bunch : TON
54 Replete (with) : RIFE
55 BEL LY : GUT-BUSTING
57 At any point : EVER
58 Animal in a romp : OTTER
59 A strong attraction, with “the” : … HOTS
60 “Star” follower, in Hollywood : … WARS
61 Invalidates : VOIDS
62 Sean Taro ___ Lennon : ONO

Down

1 Site of what many regard as the first Thanksgiving : PLYMOUTH
2 How combatants may go : TOE TO TOE
3 Agitation : ADO
4 Hunting tips? : SPEARS
5 Button-shaped bit of candy : M AND M
6 Not quite perpendicular : ATILT
7 Brawn : SINEW
8 One taking the lion’s share : HOG
9 Repeats a mantra : CHANTS
10 “Time out!” : HOLD IT!
11 Trees that form colonies from a single root system : ASPENS
12 Corporate shuffle, for short : REORG
13 Actor Guy of “L.A. Confidential” : PEARCE
17 Not play it by ear : PLAN
21 Seize illegally : USURP
24 “Are you awake?” response : I’M UP
26 “___ perfect world …” : IN A
29 Flick of a flicker? : ASH
30 Sporty vehicle, in brief : UTE
31 Pan, e.g. : GOD
33 Intimidating sounds : ROARS
34 Heading above a list : TO-DO
35 Company featured in the documentary “Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine” : IBM
36 What composers use to settle the score? : NOTATION
37 Grab and not let go : GLOM ONTO
40 Activities : DOINGS
41 Important component of oral health : SALIVA
42 Double deal : TWOFER
43 Trimming tools : EDGERS
44 Acquires, as a penalty : INCURS
45 How long it can feel like to wait : AGES
46 Major clothing retailer with both stores and catalogs : J.CREW
47 Second-most massive of the solar system’s known dwarf planets : PLUTO
48 Smith with the 1978 hit “Because the Night” : PATTI
49 Where one might let sleeping dogs lie : IN BED
55 Nonpublic domain extension : GOV
56 Howe’er : THO’

12 thoughts on “1123-23 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 23, Thursday”

  1. 19:58, no errors. Not an easy one for me Dave. Didn’t get the gimmick at all. Things were going well until the end. Trouble in the NW.

  2. 27:14, 3 errors. Thought my errors would involve the PEARCE/CUT INS cross. Instead they came from entering SLOG instead of PLOD.

  3. 12:49. Fun theme. A lot of “wish I’d thought of that” clues.

    ARROWS before SPEARS killed a lot of time for me.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. A holiday of food, football, and beer….and it lasts 4 or 5 days.

    Best –

  4. I realize this may be too late for anyone to see, but I think Bill has made one of his rare lapses in his entry on the Pilgrims. They had actually emigrated to Holland and were living there when they decided to go to America. They did dock in Southampton to transfer to the Mayflower, so they did sail from England, but they were absolute separatists, and their idea was not so much to carry England to the New World as to establish a “New Jerusalem” there.

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