0113-24 NY Times Crossword 13 Jan 24, Saturday

Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 They have lots of drawings : LOTTOS

Originally, lotto was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

7 Half of a Godfather cocktail, along with whisky : AMARETTO

The cocktail known as the Godfather is a mixture of equal parts Scotch whiskey and amaretto, usually served over ice. Variants of the Godfather are the Godmother (using vodka instead of whiskey) and the French Connection (using Cognac instead of whiskey).

16 Trip before a delivery : BABYMOON

A honeymoon is a celebratory vacation shared by two spouses after getting married. A babymoon is a celebratory vacation shared by two parents-to-be just before the birth of a new baby. I wish my wife and I had known about that concept 40 years ago …

17 Big do : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

20 Sit ___ (mourn) : SHIVA

Shiva is a period of mourning in the Jewish tradition that lasts for one week. “Shiva” is a Hebrew word meaning “seven”. The immediate family members of the deceased usually “sit shiva” in the home of the deceased, and there receive visitors. The ritual of sitting shiva is based on the story in Genesis in which Joseph mourns the death of his father Jacob for seven days.

22 Comedian Wanda : SYKES

Wanda Sykes is a very successful American comedian and comic actress. Interestingly, Sykes spent her first five years out of school working for the NSA. I saw her perform in Reno some years ago, and she is very, very funny.

27 Who might mistakenly respond to a statement beginning “Seriously …” : SIRI

Siri was originally developed as a standalone app by a startup company of the same name. Apple acquired the company in 2010 and integrated the technology into their operating system.

31 Point en pointe? : TOE

“En pointe” is ballet dancing on the tips of the toes, and is a French term. A ballerina wears pointe shoes (sometimes “toe shoes”) to perform this delightful-looking, albeit unhealthy, feat (pun!).

36 Mini-albums, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than a long-play (LP) record.

40 Reptile popular as a pet : IGUANA

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature. They can also be very large lizards, sometimes growing to a length of six feet.

42 Nissan model : SENTRA

The Nissan Sentra is sold as the Nissan Sunny back in Japan.

43 One of a noted septet : SIN

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

49 Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY

Back in the 1950s, to come “out of the closet” was to admit to being an alcoholic. By the seventies, the phrase mainly referred to gay people shrugging off secrecy about their sexual orientation.

51 First daughter of the 2010s : MALIA

Malia Obama is the eldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. She graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

55 Guardians, in the box score : CLE

The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys, named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with the name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves. In 2021, the team dropped the insensitive “Indians” moniker and renamed itself to the Guardians. The “Guardians” name is a reference to four pairs of Art Deco statues on the city’s Hope Memorial Bridge known as the Guardians of Traffic.

57 Surplus : PLETHORA

“Plethora” is such a lovely word, I think. It means “a lot of”, and usually in the sense of “too much”. This usage dates back to about 1700, and before that “plethora” was a word used in the medical field to describe an “excess of bodily fluid”.

Down

1 ___ Leslie, Los Angeles Sparks star in the Basketball Hall of Fame : LISA

Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball player who played in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie is rather tall, and was the first player to dunk the ball in a WNBA game.

2 Their notable behavior is actually involuntary, like fainting : OPOSSUMS

The idiom “playing possum” means pretending to be dead. The phrase is used in recognition of the behavior of the Virginia Opossum that does just that, plays dead as a defense mechanism. We often use the term “possum” colloquially for the opossum species that live here in North America, but in fact, the true “possums” are marsupials native to Australia.

8 Images on some Florida license plates : MANATEES

Manatees, also known as “sea cows”, are very large marine mammals that can grow to 12 feet in length. The manatee is believed to have evolved from four-legged land mammals and probably shares a common ancestor with the elephant.

9 “Abbott Elementary” airer : ABC

“Abbott Elementary” is a sitcom in the mockumentary genre. The show was created by and stars Quinta Brunson as a cup-half-full second-grade teacher in a Philadelphia public school. The premise of “Abbott Elementary” is that a film crew is making a documentary about the lives of teachers working in underfunded schools.

10 Some bottles of Wild Turkey : RYES

Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey that has been distilled in and around Lawrenceburg, Kentucky since 1869. Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller is Jimmy Russell, who is now the longest-serving master distiller in the whole world.

13 Caped crusader? : TORERO

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

21 ___ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

28 Culture writer Tolentino : JIA

Jia Tolentino is a Canadian-American writer and editor. One of her higher-profile pieces of reporting was on the conservatorship of Britney Spears, which she co-authored with Ronan Farrow.

34 Oscar nominee for “Iris” and “Philomena” : DENCH

Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress who has appeared for decades in her home country on stage and screen. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Notes on a Scandal” and “Philomena”. Sadly, Dench suffers from a condition called macular degeneration, which has caused her to lose most of her central vision.

41 ___ Stroker, Tony-winning actress for 2019’s “Oklahoma!” : ALI

Actress Ali Stroker won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance in the 2019 Broadway revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” In doing so, Stroker became the first wheelchair-bound actor to win a Tony. She is paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury incurred in a car accident when she was just two years old.

“Oklahoma!” was the first musical written by the great duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The storyline comes from a 1931 stage play called “Green Grow the Lilacs”.

44 Paese di Napoli : ITALIA

In Italian, “paese di Napoli” (Naples’ country) is “Italia” (Italy).

54 Palindromic example of onomatopoeia : TOOT

Onomatopoeia is the naming of something by vocally imitating the sound associated with it. Examples of onomatopoeia are “chirp”, “clash”, “click” and “hiccups”.

58 Half of the iconic 1/22/81 Rolling Stone cover : ONO

The wonderful, wonderful photographer Annie Leibovitz was given the assignment to capture images of the iconic musician John Lennon. During the photoshoot, Lennon insisted that his wife Yoko Ono be included in the shot. The result was the memorable “Rolling Stones” cover in which a naked Lennon is kissing Yoko Ono while the two lie on the ground. Sadly, very sadly, Lennon was shot and killed just five hours later.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They have lots of drawings : LOTTOS
7 Half of a Godfather cocktail, along with whisky : AMARETTO
15 Something unlocked with Face ID : IPHONE
16 Trip before a delivery : BABYMOON
17 Big do : SOIREE
18 Again : ONCE MORE
19 Something you might kick : ASS
20 Sit ___ (mourn) : SHIVA
22 Comedian Wanda : SYKES
23 Fam member : SIS
25 Must give : OWE TO
27 Who might mistakenly respond to a statement beginning “Seriously …” : SIRI
28 “I’ll be right with you” : JUST A MOMENT
31 Point en pointe? : TOE
32 Ascribe, as blame : IMPUTE
33 Emphatic agreement : YES I DO!
35 How synchronized swimmers move : AS ONE
36 Mini-albums, for short : EPS
37 Tendencies : BENTS
40 Reptile popular as a pet : IGUANA
42 Nissan model : SENTRA
43 One of a noted septet : SIN
45 Work to overcome a late start : PLAY CATCH-UP
47 Memo header : ATTN
49 Coming-out phrase : I’M GAY
50 When repeated, a giggle : HEE
51 First daughter of the 2010s : MALIA
53 Take a round trip : ORBIT
55 Guardians, in the box score : CLE
57 Surplus : PLETHORA
59 Surprising absentee : NO-SHOW
61 Tuned in : LISTENED
62 Stream, e.g. : GO LIVE
63 Friendly video game setting : EASY MODE
64 Dopehead : STONER

Down

1 ___ Leslie, Los Angeles Sparks star in the Basketball Hall of Fame : LISA
2 Their notable behavior is actually involuntary, like fainting : OPOSSUMS
3 “Aargh, why bother?!” : THIS IS POINTLESS!
4 Crag : TOR
5 Till portion : ONES
6 Escort, in a way : SEE HOME
7 “That’s why you get the big bucks and not me” : ABOVE MY PAY GRADE
8 Images on some Florida license plates : MANATEES
9 “Abbott Elementary” airer : ABC
10 Some bottles of Wild Turkey : RYES
11 Annual event since 1949 : EMMYS
12 Stoically endured misfortune : TOOK IT ON THE CHIN
13 Caped crusader? : TORERO
14 First garment, perhaps : ONESIE
21 ___ Jima : IWO
24 Wounded : STUNG
26 Word after clip or walk : -ONS
28 Culture writer Tolentino : JIA
29 Couldn’t get enough of : ATE UP
30 Where the Brahmaputra flows : TIBET
34 Oscar nominee for “Iris” and “Philomena” : DENCH
36 Smitten : ENAMORED
38 Romantic’s quest : TRUE LOVE
39 Weaken : SAP
41 ___ Stroker, Tony-winning actress for 2019’s “Oklahoma!” : ALI
42 Proverbs, for example : SAYINGS
43 Part of a test : SAMPLE
44 Paese di Napoli : ITALIA
46 One called to go places : CAB
48 ___-gritty : NITTY
52 Sound in a clearing? : AHEM
54 Palindromic example of onomatopoeia : TOOT
56 Centerpiece of many a still life : EWER
58 Half of the iconic 1/22/81 Rolling Stone cover : ONO
60 ___-mo : SLO

6 thoughts on “0113-24 NY Times Crossword 13 Jan 24, Saturday”

  1. 22:34 no problems, for once. Todd Rundgren did a rather amusing song about onomatopoeia. That’s all I have for today…

  2. 13:02, no errors (but I stared at BABYMOON for quite a while before finally deciding all the crosses were solid).

  3. 14:52. 2 seconds longer than my record for a Saturday puzzle. If only I’d hurried…. Amazing how often a Friday puzzle seems harder than a Saturday. I’m beginning to think their designation as one or the other is arbitrary.

    Interesting origin of PLETHORA. I’ll remember that next time I’m drinking a lot of beer.

    I dare anyone to say “sit SHIVA” five times fast in public…

    Best –

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