1127-23 NY Times Crossword 27 Nov 23, Monday

Constructed by: Ricky J. Sirois
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: To Be Fair

Themed answers each comprise TWO words, each starting with the letter B, and each a food item:

  • 60A “Admittedly …,” or, when said aloud, a punny description of 18-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across : TO BE FAIR …, or TWO-B FARE
  • 18A Ale-simmered German sausage, informally : BEER BRAT
  • 24A Vegetarian dish on a Mexican menu : BEAN BURRITO
  • 39A French meat stew for which Julia Child penned a popular recipe : BEEF BOURGUIGNON
  • 49A Loaf often made with walnuts : BANANA BREAD

Bill’s time: 5m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Astrology chart : ZODIAC

Most of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are animals. This fact relates to the etymology of the term “zodiac”, which comes from the Greek “zodiakos kyklos”, literally “circle of animals”.

14 List of items to discuss at a meeting : AGENDA

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

15 Actress Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy had quite the international upbringing. She was born in Miami, and raised in Buenos Aires and then London. She is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and the lead role in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

17 Any facial feature of the man in the moon, in reality : CRATER

A mare is a large dark area on the moon. “Mare” is the Latin for “sea”. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Mare Tranquillitatis, the Sea of Tranquility.

18 Ale-simmered German sausage, informally : BEER BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes simply “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

21 Actor Jannings of silent films : EMIL

Emil Jannings was an actor from Switzerland who also held German and Austrian citizenship. Jannings was the very first person to receive an Oscar, as the star of the 1928 silent movie called “The Last Command”. He also starred opposite Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 classic “The Blue Angel”.

24 Vegetarian dish on a Mexican menu : BEAN BURRITO

A burrito is a common dish served in Mexican cuisine. It is a flour tortilla filled with all sorts of good stuff. The term “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”, the diminutive of “burro” meaning “donkey”. It’s thought that the name was applied as a burrito looks like a bedroll or pack that might be carried by a donkey.

26 Altimas and Pathfinders : NISSANS

Nissan has been making the Altima since 1993. In 2007, the company started to produce a hybrid version, Nissan’s first foray into the hybrid market and a successful one by all accounts. Altima hybrids are even used as police cruisers by the New York Police Department.

The Pathfinder is an SUV sold in North America that is marketed in Japan and the rest of the world as the Nissan Terrano.

30 One who keeps order on the court? : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring” to a book, archive etc.

35 Des Moines’s home : IOWA

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

39 French meat stew for which Julia Child penned a popular recipe : BEEF BOURGUIGNON

Beef bourguignon (also “beef Burgundy”) is a stew made with beef braised in red wine. The dish probably doesn’t have roots in the Burgundy region of France, but instead is named for the traditional use of Burgundy wine as a key ingredient in the recipe.

Julia Child was an American chef who is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public. During WWII, Julia Child joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the predecessor to the CIA. She worked for the OSS in Washington, Ceylon and China. While in the OSS, she met her husband Paul Child who was also an OSS employee. Paul joined the Foreign Service after the war, and it was his posting to France that created the opportunity for Julie to learn about French cuisine. If you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly recommend the movie “Julie & Julia”, one of the best films of 2009. Meryl Streep does a fabulous job playing the larger-than-life Julia Child.

43 Women’s links grp. : LPGA

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

44 Turn from cream to butter : CHURN

Butter churns are devices that convert cream into butter. The churn agitates the cream mechanically, disrupting milk fat. Clumps of disrupted milk fat form larger and larger fat globules. Eventually, the mixture separates into solid butter and liquid buttermilk.

47 Fearsome African flies : TSETSES

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

67 The Blues, on scoreboards : STL

The St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

Down

1 Actor Braff of “Scrubs” : ZACH

“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” originally ran from 2001 to 2010.

2 Fairy tale monster : OGRE

An ogre is a monster of mythology and folktales that has the appearance of a man, and which eats human beings. The term “ogre” comes to us via French from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who feasted on the flesh of humans.

6 Veer, as a wildly driven car : CAREEN

The term “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

8 Equivalent of 16 oz. : ONE LB

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

10 “No Exit” playwright : SARTRE

“Huis Clos” means “behind closed doors” in French. It is the title of Jean-Paul Sartre’s one-act play that we in the English-speaking world would better recognize as “No Exit”. The play features four characters who are trapped in a room that they discover is actually located in Hell. One of the characters is Estelle Rigault, a society woman who married her husband for her money, and then has an affair that results in a child whom she murders. Heavy stuff! “No Exit” is the source for one of Sartre’s most famous quotations, “Hell is other people”, meaning that Hell isn’t found in torture or physical punishment, but in the torment inflicted by others.

11 Thanks, in Tours : MERCI

Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. Sitting on the Loire river, it is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country. The French spoken by a local is also said to be free of any accent.

25 Pakistani language : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

28 ___ butter (ingredient in many cosmetics) : SHEA

Shea butter is a common moisturizer and lotion used as a cosmetic. It is a fat that is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. There is evidence that shea butter was used back in Cleopatra’s Egypt.

33 Energy unit : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

34 Colorful banded rocks : AGATES

Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (and so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.

38 Raggedy ___ (classic dolls) : ANNS

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

40 ___ Korbut, four-time Olympic gold-medal gymnast : OLGA

Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren’t used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

48 Ringed planet : SATURN

Saturn is easily visible from Earth with the unaided eye, but we need some help to see the planet’s famous rings. Galileo was the first person to see Saturn’s rings, when he turned his primitive telescope towards the night sky in 1610. However, he misinterpreted what he was observing and assumed that the rings were in fact two smaller planets located at either side of the larger Saturn.

51 Prize declined by 10-Down : NOBEL
[10D “No Exit” playwright : SARTRE]

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

52 Neutral shade : BEIGE

Our word “beige” comes from the Old French “bege”, a term that applied to the natural color of wool and cotton that was not dyed.

57 Color lead-in to marine : AQUA-

The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. Traces of iron cause the blue color, and traces of chromium give the green hue.

58 Tallow source : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

59 One-named Brazilian soccer icon : PELE

“Pelé” was the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. For my money, Pelé was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He was the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and was a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames was “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

63 Keanu Reeves’s role in “The Matrix” : NEO

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Astrology chart : ZODIAC
7 Inner parts of ears of corn : COBS
11 Newsstand item, informally : MAG
14 List of items to discuss at a meeting : AGENDA
15 Actress Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA
16 Female sheep : EWE
17 Any facial feature of the man in the moon, in reality : CRATER
18 Ale-simmered German sausage, informally : BEER BRAT
20 Villain’s opposite : HERO
21 Actor Jannings of silent films : EMIL
23 Unstated but understood : TACIT
24 Vegetarian dish on a Mexican menu : BEAN BURRITO
26 Altimas and Pathfinders : NISSANS
30 One who keeps order on the court? : REF
31 Hate : ABHOR
32 Noggin : HEAD
35 Des Moines’s home : IOWA
39 French meat stew for which Julia Child penned a popular recipe : BEEF BOURGUIGNON
42 “Now!,” in a hospital : STAT!
43 Women’s links grp. : LPGA
44 Turn from cream to butter : CHURN
45 Hairpiece : WIG
47 Fearsome African flies : TSETSES
49 Loaf often made with walnuts : BANANA BREAD
54 Now, in Spanish : AHORA
55 Toward the rising sun : EAST
56 Fight for breath : GASP
60 “Admittedly …,” or, when said aloud, a punny description of 18-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across : TO BE FAIR …, or TWO-B FARE
62 One-of-a-kind : UNIQUE
64 Long-handled garden tool : HOE
65 Rim : EDGE
66 Fill up the gas tank again : REFUEL
67 The Blues, on scoreboards : STL
68 Afflictions : WOES
69 Put music to paper : NOTATE

Down

1 Actor Braff of “Scrubs” : ZACH
2 Fairy tale monster : OGRE
3 First word of many a letter : DEAR …
4 Excited about : INTO
5 Suffix with lemon or lime : -ADE
6 Veer, as a wildly driven car : CAREEN
7 Woodsy home : CABIN
8 Equivalent of 16 oz. : ONE LB
9 “See ya!” : BYE!
10 “No Exit” playwright : SARTRE
11 Thanks, in Tours : MERCI
12 Be in store for : AWAIT
13 Start annoying : GET TO
19 Pub brawl : BAR FIGHT
22 Song created from multiple songs : MASH-UP
24 Sharp part of a wire fence : BARB
25 Pakistani language : URDU
26 Catches, as a criminal : NABS
27 “Yeah, o-o-o-kay …” : I BET …
28 ___ butter (ingredient in many cosmetics) : SHEA
29 Computer programs : SOFTWARE
33 Energy unit : ERG
34 Colorful banded rocks : AGATES
36 Weight to carry : ONUS
37 Had on : WORE
38 Raggedy ___ (classic dolls) : ANNS
40 ___ Korbut, four-time Olympic gold-medal gymnast : OLGA
41 Treated, as a sprain : ICED
46 “Soon” : IN A FEW
48 Ringed planet : SATURN
49 Alternatives to showers : BATHS
50 Something hilarious : A HOOT
51 Prize declined by 10-Down : NOBEL
52 Neutral shade : BEIGE
53 Some hard-to-find collectibles : RARES
56 Present : GIFT
57 Color lead-in to marine : AQUA-
58 Tallow source : SUET
59 One-named Brazilian soccer icon : PELE
61 Commotion : ADO
63 Keanu Reeves’s role in “The Matrix” : NEO

8 thoughts on “1127-23 NY Times Crossword 27 Nov 23, Monday”

  1. Pretty typical easy Monday. I would expand on the theme: all four are types of food, and the punny revealer could be read aloud as “2-B-fare”.

  2. 7:34 after correcting a one-square fat-fingering. And I think JamesG has the right of it … good catch … 🙂.

  3. One error in 39A which I got from all crosses😥
    Ravens 56 Dolphins 19…wow🏈🏈
    Happy new year to all 😀😀

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