1222-23 NY Times Crossword 22 Dec 23, Friday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic & Brendan Emmett Quigley
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 23m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Numbers can be read in this : TORAH

The Book of Numbers in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles relates much of the journey of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. The title comes from the numbering of the people that is described in the beginning of the book.

6 Org. that offers free at-home hearing tests : AARP

AARP is the official name now for the interest group that used to be called “The American Association of Retired Persons”. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired. The AARP was founded by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus in 1958 and is a successor to the National Retired Teachers Association, also founded by Andrus over ten years earlier.

10 Scholz of German politics : OLAF

Olaf Scholz succeeded Angela Merkel as the chancellor of Germany in 2021. Prior to leading the country, Scholz had served as Merkel’s vice chancellor for almost four years. Scholz is the first Chancellor of Germany not to belong to a church, but was the second to take the oath of office without reference to God (after Gerhard Schröder in 1998).

22 Children’s TV character whose last name is Márquez : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases. Dora’s constant companion is an anthropomorphic monkey named “Boots”, because he always wears red boots. She also hangs out with Isa, an iguana.

23 Big break : SCHISM

A schism is a split or division, especially in a religion.

25 Some break dancers, informally : B-BOYS

A b-boy is a male devotee of rap-music and breakdancing. Apparently the term “b-boy” comes from either “Bronx boy” or “break boy”.

28 Telenovela profession : TE AMO

“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, “Ich liebe dich” in German, and “je t’aime” in French.

A telenovela is a “television novel”, a form of programming that is very popular in Latin America. A telenovela is somewhat like a soap opera that has an end in sight, and that runs for less than a year. I like this quote from an executive at Telemundo:

A telenovela is all about a couple who wants to kiss and a scriptwriter who stands in their way for 150 episodes.

29 Rama is one, in Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi novel “Rendezvous With Rama” : ALIEN SHIP

“Rendezvous With Rama”, a novel written by Arthur C. Clark, is considered to be a science-fiction classic. It was published in 1972, and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards soon after its release. It tells the story of the exploration of a gigantic alien spaceship that parks itself in our solar system.

32 Locale dubbed the “Las Vegas of the East” : MACAU

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. It was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. Macau was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

34 Who wrote “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” : KEATS

English Romantic poet John Keats wrote the famous “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in 1819, and published it anonymously in 1820. The most famous lines of the poem are the last two:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

38 Elitists : SNOOTS

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout”, and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

43 Lewis who played Grizabella on Broadway : LEONA

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

Grizabella is a character in T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. In the musical ”Cats” that is adapted from the book, Grizabella is the character who sings the show-stopping song “Memory”.

54 Cloverleaf cluster? : INNS

Cloverleaf interchanges allow two highways to cross without the need for stopping traffic. They are so called as when viewed overheard they look like the leaves of a four-leaf clover.

55 Fix, as a bowline : RETIE

As an ex-sailor, I have a thing about knots, and the bowline … it’s one of my favorites. It’s a simple but effective loop knot, the one that’s made by “the frog coming out of the pond, going around the tree, and going back into the pond”. There is also a sliding version called a running bowline.

Down

1 Bigeye, for one : TUNA

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

22 Address components : DOMAIN NAMES

A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. For example, the addresses of my crossword blogs, the domain names, are LAXCrossword.com and nyxcrossword.com.

24 Acrylic finish? : CEE

The word “acrylic” finishes with a letter C (cee).

28 Letters that might make a long story short? : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

29 Course that may cover Dante and Ferrante, familiarly : AP ITALIAN

Dante Alighieri (usually just “Dante”) was an Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His “Divine Comedy” is widely considered to be the greatest literary work ever written in the Italian language. Dante actually gave his masterpiece the title “Comedy” (“Commedia” in Italian). Written in the early 1300s, none of Dante’s original “Comedy” manuscripts survive. Three copies made by author and poet Giovanni Boccaccio in the 1360s do survive. Boccaccio changed the title to “Divine Comedy” (“Divina Commedia”), and that title persists to this day.

Elena Ferrante is an Italian author, best known for her 4-part series known as the “Neapolitan Novels”. What is very interesting about “Ferrante” is that the moniker is a pseudonym, and no one seems to know the author’s real name. There is some speculation that “Elena” is in fact a man.

31 Setting for most Laker home games: Abbr. : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

The Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

36 One of three in Fiji? : DOT

A tittle is a small diacritical mark used in writing. Examples are the cedilla and tilde used in some languages, and the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

39 Misselthwaite ___, setting of “The Secret Garden” : MANOR

“The Secret Garden” is a children’s novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett that was first published in serial form in 1910, and then as a complete book in 1911. The story is so popular that it has been adapted on several occasions for the stage, the big screen, and for television.

45 “Your guide to a better future” website : CNET

CNET is an excellent technology website. It started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a CNET show.

46 Figure in Sherpa folklore : YETI

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

49 Preantepenultimate letter : PHI

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Numbers can be read in this : TORAH
6 Org. that offers free at-home hearing tests : AARP
10 Scholz of German politics : OLAF
14 Spanish count : UNO, DOS, TRES
16 Make it up? : RISE
17 Making headlines, say : NEWSWORTHY
18 Bed cover : SOIL
19 Emphatic suffix : -ASS
20 Big name in vegan cheese : DAIYA
21 Like conventional music : TONAL
22 Children’s TV character whose last name is Márquez : DORA
23 Big break : SCHISM
25 Some break dancers, informally : B-BOYS
27 Plays the wrong way : CHEATS
28 Telenovela profession : TE AMO
29 Rama is one, in Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi novel “Rendezvous With Rama” : ALIEN SHIP
32 Locale dubbed the “Las Vegas of the East” : MACAU
33 Knock hard : PAN
34 Who wrote “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” : KEATS
35 Words from someone who doesn’t want to be taken seriously : I’M KIDDING!
37 Deservingness : MERIT
38 Elitists : SNOOTS
39 Riffs on, modernly : MEMES
40 Lovely, in Spanish : BONITA
41 Buds : PALS
42 Tackles : HAS AT
43 Lewis who played Grizabella on Broadway : LEONA
45 Texter’s “Ta-ta!” : CYA!
48 Little bit of make-up? : ATOM
49 One working on a keynote : PIANO TUNER
51 Card-dealing casino device : SHOE
52 Last-ditch remedies for computer problems : HARD RESETS
53 Authors : PENS
54 Cloverleaf cluster? : INNS
55 Fix, as a bowline : RETIE

Down

1 Bigeye, for one : TUNA
2 Gender-neutral possessive : ONE’S
3 Parts of tables : ROWS
4 Stream interrupters : ADS
5 Question expressing amazement : HOW DO YOU DO IT?
6 They may have glass ceilings : ATRIA
7 Appealing to an indie audience, maybe : ARTY
8 Meeting extender : REHASHING
9 ___.D (therapist’s deg.) : PSY
10 “… apparently” : … OR SO IT SEEMS
11 Largest part : LION’S SHARE
12 Exactly the way you see me : AS I AM
13 Was defeated : FELL
15 Skyrockets : SOARS
21 “Take my word for it, you’re going to love this” : THANK ME LATER
22 Address components : DOMAIN NAMES
24 Acrylic finish? : CEE
25 Support piece : BEAM
26 “Didn’t you just leave?” : BACK SO SOON?
27 Family units : CLANS
28 Letters that might make a long story short? : TMI
29 Course that may cover Dante and Ferrante, familiarly : AP ITALIAN
30 Terse affirmation : IT IS
31 Setting for most Laker home games: Abbr. : PST
36 One of three in Fiji? : DOT
39 Misselthwaite ___, setting of “The Secret Garden” : MANOR
40 Soak (in) : BATHE
41 Scummy locales : PONDS
42 Gate feature : HASP
44 Get on the job : EARN
45 “Your guide to a better future” website : CNET
46 Figure in Sherpa folklore : YETI
47 19-Across, to a Brit : ARSE
49 Preantepenultimate letter : PHI
50 Single-___ : USE

8 thoughts on “1222-23 NY Times Crossword 22 Dec 23, Friday”

  1. 25:02, no errors. The symmetrically-placed DAIYA and LEONA were the entries that I paused over for the longest time, but the entire puzzle seemed “Friday-worthy” … 😜.

  2. 29:25 no errors. Never heard of DAIYA, don’t care either. Most of my troubles were on the right side of the grid.

  3. 40:28, “torch” instead of “Torah”….oops. Bill, your Googlie for 6 down is a repeat of the one for 1 down, not that we don’t all know the difference between a tuna and an atria :- )

    1. Thanks, DuncanR. Let’s pretend that it was a deliberate error to find out who actually reads any of the drivel I produce every day 🙂 You win the star prize!

      All fixed now. I appreciate the help.

  4. 25:44. Still trying to get back to doing these every day. BEQ cluing is always good.

    Probably the first time preantepenultimate has been used in a clue. I wanted to put “W”, but it didn’t fit

    Same as Alaska Steve – left side went much faster than the right side.

    Have to brave the airport and fly for 4 and a half hours from Las Vegas to Florida tomorrow to see the family. I’ve been racking my brain for weeks trying to find a way out of this but to no avail. Sigh.

    Best –

  5. As soon as I saw Brendan Emmet Quigley, I knew I never had a chance. He seems to live in a whole different world — or maybe I do.

  6. 23:18 no errors after confidently entering BIBLE at 1a, ETC at 28d and trying to figure out how to spell W with three letters!

  7. Take 2 setters add a boatload of obscure clues and throw in some foreign words for good measure and what do you get.
    You’re looking at it👎👎
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🏈🏈

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