1129-23 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 23, Wednesday

Constructed by: Ruth Bloomfield Margolin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Decision Fatigue

Themed answers are common phrases that describe various outcomes of DECISION FATIGUE:

  • 38A Modern term for the psychological exhaustion showcased in this puzzle’s theme : DECISION FATIGUE
  • 16A Thinking A or B … hmm … : ON THE FENCE
  • 23A Thinking A … no, B … no, A : WISHY-WASHY
  • 48A Thinking A … but also thinking B? Gah! : OF TWO MINDS
  • 60A Thinking A … B … maybe even C? : UP IN THE AIR

Bill’s time: 9m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Grand ___ (French wine designation) : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

14 Talking point? : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

15 Gumbo green : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

18 Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-winning graphic novel : MAUS

“Maus” is a graphic novel published in 1991, although it appeared in serial form from 1980 to 1991. Written and drawn by cartoonist Art Spiegelman, “Maus” became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer, doing so in 1992.

27 ___ Lingus : AER

Aer Lingus is the flag carrier airline of Ireland. It was founded in 1936 by the Irish government to provide air service between Ireland and the United Kingdom. The airline’s name means “air fleet” in Irish. In the 1950s, Aer Lingus became the first airline in the world to introduce a duty-free shopping service on board its flights.

28 Alternative to an Airbnb : INN

Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation. The company was founded in 2008 as AirBed & Breakfast. The original concept was renting out an “air bed” and providing “breakfast” to someone looking for cheap, temporary accommodation. Yeah, the “Air” in “Airbnb” has nothing to do with “air” travel …

34 Adroit : DEFT

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

41 Raisins, sometimes, for a snowman : EYES

“Raisin” is the French word for “grape”. The French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, which translates literally as “dried grape”.

42 Iconic logo in athletic apparel : SWOOSH

I remember seeing a lady named Carolyn Davidson on the television show “I’ve Got a Secret”. Davidson created the Nike “swoosh” back in 1971 when she was a design student at Portland State. She did it as freelance work for Blue Ribbon Sports, a local company introducing a new line of athletic footwear. The “swoosh” is taken from the wing of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. Years later, BRS changed its name to Nike, so I suppose the company should be grateful to Carolyn for both the great design, and a great company name.

43 Peruvian singer Sumac : YMA

Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. She had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

57 Super conductors? : MAESTRI

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

64 Traditional Hanukkah gift : GELT

In the Jewish tradition, it is common to gift small amounts of money during the festival of Hanukkah. This money is referred to as Hanukkah gelt, or simply “gelt”. Recipients of the gelt are usually children, and perhaps teachers. “Gelt” is the Yiddish word for “money”.

65 Pique : ANNOY

Our term “pique” meaning “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning “prick, sting, irritation”.

Down

2 Author Patchett : ANN

Ann Patchett is an author who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most famous work is probably her novel “Bel Canto”, published in 2001. In 2012, “Time” included Patchett in the magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.

5 Acronym whose “E” stands for “engineering” : STEM

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology. The acronym STEAM adds (liberal) arts to the STEM curriculum.

7 Big name in printers and copiers : RICOH

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

9 Hall-of-Fame coach who purportedly said “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit” : LOMBARDI

Football player and coach Vince Lombardi had quite a few motivating lines, including:

  • Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in awhile … you do them right all the time.
  • The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.

11 Paleontologist’s tool : BRUSH

Paleontology is the study of prehistoric life. My favorite “paleontologist” is Dr. David Huxley played by Cary Grant opposite Katharine Hepburn in the wonderful 1938 comedy “Bringing Up Baby”.

14 Arnaz who loved Lucy : DESI

Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

20 What visitors to Niagara Falls are often in : AWE

The mighty Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forms part of the border between the US and Canada. The river is only about 35 miles long, so some describe it as a “strait”. It has a drop in elevation of 325 feet along its length, with 165 feet of that drop taking place at Niagara Falls.

22 ___ Island (which is actually a peninsula) : CONEY

Cony (or “coney”) is an old English word for rabbit or rabbit fur, and Coney Island in New York takes its name from the same root. The Dutch used the name “Conyne Eylandt” (Rabbit Island) after the large population of rabbits that was hunted there.

24 Rolling Stones album “Get Yer ___ Out!” : YA-YA’S

“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a live album that the Rolling Stones released in 1970. The title “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a slang phrase exhorting one to live life to the full.

30 Bette Midler’s “Divine” nickname : MISS M

One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you’ve ever seen her live show you’ll know that “camp” is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely “out there” and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character “the Divine Miss M” and also earned herself the nickname “Bathhouse Betty”.

33 Airport served by BART, for short : SFO

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a commuter rail system serving the San Francisco Bay Area.

35 Ancient readers of the Book of the Dead : EGYPTIANS

The “Book of the Dead” is an ancient Egyptian text that contained magic spells thought to be needed by a dead person in order to move into the afterlife. It was placed in the coffin or burial chamber with the deceased.

47 In myth they allure, but on the street they alert : SIRENS

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed close to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.

48 “Titanic” award : OSCAR

When James Cameron made his epic movie “Titanic”, released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made and cost about $200 million. It was a good investment for the studio as it became the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing in over $1.8 billion. “Titanic” remained the highest-grossing film until 2010, when Cameron eclipsed the prior record with “Avatar”.

50 Zaps, in a way : TASES

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

51 National Gallery of Art architect : IM PEI

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. comprises an original West Building and a contemporary East Building. The West Building was opened in 1941 and is a neoclassical structure that was designed by John Russell Pope (who later designed the Jefferson memorial). The East Building opened in 1978 and was designed by I.M. Pei, who later was awarded the renovation of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

54 Fast, bygone jet, for short : SST

Supersonic transport (SST)

58 Language spoken along the Mekong : THAI

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Places for light bites : CAFES
6 Grand ___ (French wine designation) : CRU
9 Tosses up, as an easy question : LOBS
13 Make into legislation : ENACT
14 Talking point? : DAIS
15 Gumbo green : OKRA
16 Thinking A or B … hmm … : ON THE FENCE
18 Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-winning graphic novel : MAUS
19 Awakens : COMES TO
20 Bottomless chasm : ABYSS
21 Have tired muscles : ACHE
23 Thinking A … no, B … no, A : WISHY-WASHY
25 Toot one’s horn : BOAST
27 ___ Lingus : AER
28 Alternative to an Airbnb : INN
29 “It’s going to have to wait” : I’M BUSY
34 Adroit : DEFT
38 Modern term for the psychological exhaustion showcased in this puzzle’s theme : DECISION FATIGUE
41 Raisins, sometimes, for a snowman : EYES
42 Iconic logo in athletic apparel : SWOOSH
43 Peruvian singer Sumac : YMA
44 “Targeted” things on the internet : ADS
46 In accordance with : AS PER
48 Thinking A … but also thinking B? Gah! : OF TWO MINDS
55 Very small, informally : ITSY
56 Window blind elements : SLATS
57 Super conductors? : MAESTRI
59 “___ only” (store sign) : CASH
60 Thinking A … B … maybe even C? : UP IN THE AIR
63 Carpet measurement : AREA
64 Traditional Hanukkah gift : GELT
65 Pique : ANNOY
66 Musical symbol for silence : REST
67 A man of ___ word : HIS
68 Matter of debate : ISSUE

Down

1 Corporate V.I.P. : CEO
2 Author Patchett : ANN
3 “Like that’s ever gonna happen!” : FAT CHANCE
4 REPEATS, repeats, repeats … : ECHOES
5 Acronym whose “E” stands for “engineering” : STEM
6 Tilts : CANTS
7 Big name in printers and copiers : RICOH
8 Get value from : USE
9 Hall-of-Fame coach who purportedly said “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit” : LOMBARDI
10 Approves : OKAYS
11 Paleontologist’s tool : BRUSH
12 Impudent : SASSY
14 Arnaz who loved Lucy : DESI
17 “Select” or “chosen” quantity : FEW
20 What visitors to Niagara Falls are often in : AWE
21 Tolerate : ABIDE
22 ___ Island (which is actually a peninsula) : CONEY
24 Rolling Stones album “Get Yer ___ Out!” : YA-YA’S
26 “Indeed!,” quaintly : ‘TIS!
30 Bette Midler’s “Divine” nickname : MISS M
31 What might help wrap up a gift … or a performance : BOW
32 Spanish number : UNO
33 Airport served by BART, for short : SFO
35 Ancient readers of the Book of the Dead : EGYPTIANS
36 Running on ___ : FUMES
37 A little emotional, say : TEARY
39 “Hey, caught ya!” : I SAW THAT!
40 Hip-hop article : THA
45 Twice 32-Down : DOS
47 In myth they allure, but on the street they alert : SIRENS
48 “Titanic” award : OSCAR
49 Emergency signal : FLARE
50 Zaps, in a way : TASES
51 National Gallery of Art architect : IM PEI
52 Spots for polish : NAILS
53 Bad impression? : DENT
54 Fast, bygone jet, for short : SST
58 Language spoken along the Mekong : THAI
60 “Eww!” : UGH!
61 Letters for debtors : IOU
62 Bread for a patty melt : RYE

8 thoughts on “1129-23 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 23, Wednesday”

  1. 15:18. Tripped all over myself in the lower left.

    DECISION FATIGUE is actually a thing? I could write a book on what I find annoying and ridiculous about that phrase, but I’ve decided not to. Is there anything anymore that requires any effort whatsoever that doesn’t create some kind of psychological trauma for us all ??

    Interesting tidbit about the origin of Airbnb. I think I now have Airbnb fatigue from reading all those words in that post…

    How did the EGYPTIANS expect the dead to read a book when it’s so dark in the coffins?? Maybe they put reading lamps in there with them.

    Best –

  2. ..One more note about the word EGYPTIAN. I once had a teacher tell me to write the word EGYPTIAN 500 times in cursive with a capital E. It’s a very hard word to write with lots of change of direction etc. …as I soon found out.

    And btw – As hard as it is to believe, I was occasionally a smart — when I was a young student.

    Best –

  3. 12:06, no errors. Spent a few minutes looking for one fat finger until I realized super conductors was plural. @Jeff, I just tried to write EGYPTIANS in cursive. Dang that’s hard!

  4. @Jeff (and Steve) …

    So I got sucked in … and I do understand the difficulty of writing “Egyptians” in cursive … but, honestly, I didn’t have that much trouble with it. That’s probably because, in order to write legibly, I write slowly … and I blame that on (owe it to?) the voice of my departed father in my head (a long story … 😳🙂😜).

  5. That’s funny… I tried writing AND printing EGYPTIAN.. it is very busy.

    No errors today.

    Didn’t know MAUS book. Did a little look up. Powerful message ..

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