0112-24 NY Times Crossword 12 Jan 24, Friday

Constructed by: Hemant Mehta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 First American woman in space : RIDE

Sally Ride was a physicist and astronaut who flew two missions on the space shuttle Challenger. In 1983, she became the first American woman in space, having been preceded by two female cosmonauts (in 1963 and 1982). Ride was 32 years on that first mission, making her the youngest astronaut ever to make it into space. In another first, Ride was the first LGBT astronaut, a fact that was revealed after her death in 2012.

24 British sausages : BANGERS

Sausages are often referred to as bangers on the other side of the pond. The term “banger” is a reference to the tendency of the sausage to burst open with a bang while cooking. The rather tasty dish called bangers and mash is traditional British fare and comprises sausages with mashed potatoes, and smothered in brown gravy. Yum …

25 Overly coddled : SPOILED ROTTEN

The verb “to coddle”, meaning “to treat tenderly”, was actually coined in 1815 by Jane Austen in her novel “Emma”. At least, that is the first written record we have of the verb’s usage. John Knightley (younger brother of George Knightley) addresses his wife Isabella (elder sister of Emma Woodhouse) with the following words:

“My dear Isabella,” exclaimed he, hastily, “pray do not concern yourself about my looks. Be satisfied with doctoring and coddling yourself and the children, and let me look as I chuse.”

29 Pair of percussion pieces : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

31 Mole-training grp. : FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

34 Of a feather : AKIN

The phrase “bird of a feather flock together” has been used at least since the 1500s in some form. The idea is that birds of a particular species tend to fly together, and we use the phrase to mean that people with similar tastes tend to congregate.

36 “Bridgerton” actor Regé-___ Page : JEAN

Regé-Jean Page is a Zimbabwe-born, English actor who had his career breakthrough playing the male lead in the period drama “Bridgerton”.

“Bridgerton” is a fascinating period drama TV series based on a series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn. Most of the action takes place in London’s high society during the Regency Era. An intriguing element is the show’s approach to race. There is a common, albeit unfounded, assertion that King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte was of African descent. “Bridgerton” runs with this assertion, portraying the era’s society as quite diverse.

39 Think pieces : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

45 Figures that are best kept low, in brief : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA) … that would be baseball.

46 Serenade : SING TO

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

48 Easily shareable download : PDF

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

55 Tribe related to the Missouri : OTOE

The Native American people known as the Otoe and the Missouri were the first tribes encountered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The meeting took place in 1804 at a point on the Missouri River that is now known as Council Bluffs.

56 Film industry nickname : TINSELTOWN

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strips of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

Down

1 Kitchen qty. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

2 “Survivor” climax : VOTE

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

3 Masterstroke : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

4 Arson-investigating org. : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

8 High ways? : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

11 Chicago’s ___ Planetarium : ADLER

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium opened in 1930, making it the first and oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The facility is named for Max Adler, a former Sears executive and philanthropist who provided the funds for construction.

23 Johnson who directed “Glass Onion” : RIAN

Filmmaker Rian Johnson wrote and directed quite a few major films, including “Looper” (2012), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Knives Out” (2019).

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is a 2022 sequel to “Knives Out”, with both films written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daniel Craig as private investigator Benoit Blanc. Johnson wrote “Glass Onion” during the COVID-19 lockdown, and set the film against the backdrop of the pandemic. The score for both films was written by Nathan Johnson, Rian’s cousin.

25 “I don’t kiss and tell. I ___ and brag, baby!”: Austin Powers : SHAG

The second film in the Austin Powers series, “The Spy Who Shagged Me”, ran into a few problems in the UK and other parts of the world. Over there, the word “shag” is pretty rude.

27 “They’ve really thrown down the gauntlet!” : OH, IT’S ON NOW!

Gauntlets are gloves, usually with an extended cuff that extends to cover the forearm. Gauntlets were often made of metal and were used as part of a suit of armor. In days of yore a knight might “throw down the gauntlet”, tossing one of his gauntlets to the ground symbolizing that he has issued a challenge. The prospective opponent would pick up the gauntlet if he accepted that challenge.

32 Grammy-winning Erykah : BADU

“Erykah Badu” is the stage name of Erica Wright, an American “neo-soul” singer. Badu gained some notoriety in March of 2010 when she shot a scene for a music video in Dallas. In the scene, she walks to the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, removing her clothes until she is nude, and then falls to the ground as if she has been shot in the head. For that stunt she was charged with disorderly conduct.

33 Clouseau, e.g.: Abbr. : INSP

Apparently, some people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is “The Pink Panther”. “Pink Panther” is actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven “Pink Panther” movies in the whole series?

42 Woman “in my dreams,” in song : IRENE

“Goodnight, Irene”, also known as “Irene, Goodnight”, is a lovely American folk song that was first recorded commercially back in 1932 by blues singer Lead Belly. The song made it to number one in the charts for the Weavers in 1950 and for Frank Sinatra in the same year.

43 Early American fur tycoon : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

44 Mazda model : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan. The name “Miata” comes from an Old High German word meaning “reward”.

47 2, for He: Abbr. : AT NO

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

49 Columnist Maureen : DOWD

Maureen Dowd is a celebrated columnist for “The New York Times” as well as a best-selling author. Dowd won a Pulitzer for her columns about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

50 The Big Apple’s “bravest,” in brief : FDNY

New York City Fire Department (FDNY)

54 Powerful Pontiac of old : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 What might make the news, for short? : TV CAM
6 Sweetie : BAE
9 Dry and crack : CHAP
13 Butt-dials? : BOOTY CALLS
16 First American woman in space : RIDE
17 It doesn’t run below the bridge : STUFFY NOSE
18 Like some speculation : IDLE
19 Enliven, with “up” : PEP …
20 Rough patch? : ACNE
21 Temper, quaintly : DANDER
23 Governance : RULE
24 British sausages : BANGERS
25 Overly coddled : SPOILED ROTTEN
29 Pair of percussion pieces : HI-HAT
30 Unmasks : BARES
31 Mole-training grp. : FBI
34 Of a feather : AKIN
35 Essential framework : BONES
36 “Bridgerton” actor Regé-___ Page : JEAN
37 A-list guest, to a host : GET
38 Ice cream shop purchase : FLOAT
39 Think pieces : OP-EDS
40 Made big changes : SHOOK THINGS UP
43 Figures : AMOUNTS
45 Figures that are best kept low, in brief : ERAS
46 Serenade : SING TO
47 One who puts one past you : ACER
48 Easily shareable download : PDF
51 Zip : TANG
52 Like mischief-makers : UP TO NO GOOD
55 Tribe related to the Missouri : OTOE
56 Film industry nickname : TINSELTOWN
57 Sexy growl : RAWR
58 Sleep on it : COT
59 “Mercy me!” : LORDY!

Down

1 Kitchen qty. : TBSP
2 “Survivor” climax : VOTE
3 Masterstroke : COUP
4 Arson-investigating org. : ATF
5 “Sorry, I messed up” : MY FAULT
6 Merriam-Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary and “Where’s Waldo?,” once, surprisingly : BANNED BOOKS
7 Ingredient in some soaps : ALOE
8 High ways? : ELS
9 Response to an approaching embarrassment : CRINGE
10 Cause of some buyer’s remorse : HIDDEN FEES
11 Chicago’s ___ Planetarium : ADLER
12 Pressure source : PEERS
14 The seasons, e.g. : CYCLE
15 Preps for surgery : SEDATES
22 Marching band? : ANTS
23 Johnson who directed “Glass Onion” : RIAN
24 Covered expenses : BORE THE COST
25 “I don’t kiss and tell. I ___ and brag, baby!”: Austin Powers : SHAG
26 Long-nosed swimmer : PIKE
27 “They’ve really thrown down the gauntlet!” : OH, IT’S ON NOW!
28 Assailed : RAN AT
32 Grammy-winning Erykah : BADU
33 Clouseau, e.g.: Abbr. : INSP
35 Eclipse : BLOT OUT
36 Some 53-Down files : JPGS
38 Futura, for one : FONT
39 Killing it : ON A ROLL
41 One welcoming with open arms : HUGGER
42 Woman “in my dreams,” in song : IRENE
43 Early American fur tycoon : ASTOR
44 Mazda model : MIATA
47 2, for He: Abbr. : AT NO
48 Below C level, say : POOR
49 Columnist Maureen : DOWD
50 The Big Apple’s “bravest,” in brief : FDNY
53 See 36-Down : PIC
54 Powerful Pontiac of old : GTO

10 thoughts on “0112-24 NY Times Crossword 12 Jan 24, Friday”

  1. 21:38 after searching for a stupid fat finger for several minutes. STUFFYNOSE…I’ve got one this morning. Funny thing about our brains. They can supply the right spelling to a fat finger even when you see it and it’s wrong. Auto correct for Xword dorks. 😂

  2. 27:37. More missteps than I could list here.

    So John Jacob ASTOR was a drug dealer.

    Did not know the way we first detected helium. Seems like something I should have known.

    I always assumed BANGERS were so named for the after effects of eating them….

    Best –

  3. Lots of inksudges today.
    But I only messed up on JEAN and JPGS. I was thinking WPGS???

    Guessed on other with the cross help and I guessed right. AKIN was a brain ache for me.

  4. I don’t understand 47 across: ACER for “One who puts one past you”. ACE yes, but ACER? Is this even a word, other than a genus of tree?

  5. My maternal grandmother, Rose Adler, was Max Adler’s niece. I’ve never been to the planetarium but if I ever find myself in Chicago, that will be at the top of the list.

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