0122-24 NY Times Crossword 22 Jan 24, Monday

Constructed by: Jake Halperin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Birds and Bees

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first being a BIRD and the second starting with a letter B (BEE):

  • 56A Subject of “the talk” about sex … or a hint to the answers to the four starred clues : BIRDS AND BEES
  • 20A *British publishing house founded in 1935 : PENGUIN BOOKS
  • 39A *Certain ice cream or soap product : DOVE BAR
  • 11D *Bodily response to something eerie : GOOSE BUMPS
  • 29D *Thanksgiving football game : TURKEY BOWL

Bill’s time: 6m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Metal for a blacksmith : IRON

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

18 Entree served in a bowl : STEW

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

19 “Rainbow” fish : TROUT

The steelhead and rainbow trout are actually the same species. The difference is that rainbow trout spend almost their whole lives in freshwater. Steelheads spend much of their lives in estuaries or open ocean, returning to freshwater to spawn.

23 Cookie with “Stuf” inside : OREO

Double Stuf Oreos were introduced in 1975, and have twice the normal amount of white cream filling as the original cookie. Nabisco really went big in 2013, introducing the Mega Stuf Oreo that has even more white cream filling.

30 Initialism meaning “Be wary of looking at this in the office” : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

34 Numbered classical pieces : OPUSES

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English, but that’s just to annoy me …

39 *Certain ice cream or soap product : DOVE BAR

The Dove Bar is an ice cream bar that was distributed locally in Chicago from 1956 until 1985, when Mars purchased the brand and made it available nationally.

Dove is a line of personal care products made by Unilever. The brand originated in the UK, back in 1955.

42 Cambridge sch. that sends out acceptance letters to students on Pi Day : MIT

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

43 Singer Paul with the memoir “My Way” : ANKA

Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, the song entitled “Diana”. Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called “Lonely Boy”.

The song “My Way” has lyrics that were written by Paul Anka in 1969, but the tune itself was composed two years earlier by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. The song had been released with completely different lyrics in France as “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). When Anka heard the song on television in Paris he sought out and obtained the rights to use it himself, for free. Supposedly, “Comme d’habitude” has been recorded in more languages, by more artists than any other song in the contemporary repertoire.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

46 Soy-based protein source : TEMPEH

Tempeh is a soy product that originated in Indonesia. It is made from soybeans that have been partly cooked and fermented. I’ve had quite a bit of tempeh used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. It doesn’t have an appealing texture to me, so I’m not a fan …

48 Went kaput, as a battery : DIED

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

49 Fashion legend Wang : VERA

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she is a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

51 Hermann who wrote philosophical fiction : HESSE

Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. His best known work is probably his 1927 novel “Steppenwolf”. Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

52 Impede the progress of : STYMIE

The word “stymie” comes from golf, and is a situation in which one’s approach to the hole is blocked by an opponent’s ball. We use the term more broadly as a verb to describe standing in the way of something.

56 Subject of “the talk” about sex … or a hint to the answers to the four starred clues : BIRDS AND BEES

A talk about “the facts of life” might be referred to as a talk about “the birds and the bees”. The idea is that birds laying eggs and bees carrying pollen into flowers are useful metaphors for ovulation and fertilization respectively.

61 Habitat’s flora and fauna : BIOTA

The fauna (plural “faunae”) is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora (plural “florae”) is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

66 What a score of 70 or less signifies on a common standardized test : LOW IQ

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

67 Spill the beans : TELL

To spill the beans is to divulge a secret. The expression first appeared in American English, in the early 1900s. The phrase arose as an alternative to “spoil the beans” or “upset the applecart”. The similarly meaning phrase “spill the tea” is more prevalent on the other side of the Atlantic.

Down

1 Asset in playing Whac-A-Mole : AIM

The Whac-A-Mole arcade game was invented in 1976. Players use a mallet to force five plastic moles back into their holes. Whacking the moles can be so frustrating that we sometimes use the term “whac-a-mole” to describe a repetitive and futile task.

5 Magazine installment : ISSUE

The word “magazine” was originally used to denote a place for storing goods, particularly military arms and ammunition, back in the late 1500s. This usage was extended to include packs of ammunition attached to automatic weapons. The first use of “magazine” in the sense of a periodical or journal dates back to 1731, with the publication of “Gentleman’s Magazine”. “Magazine” had come to mean a printed list of military stores, and the idea was that the new periodical was to be a “storehouse” of information.

11 *Bodily response to something eerie : GOOSE BUMPS

The terms “goose bumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.

50 Actor Schwarzenegger : ARNOLD

Body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic “black plowman”. In his bodybuilding days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

53 Baghdad citizen : IRAQI

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

61 Antiracist movement since 2013, in brief : BLM

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of African-American youth Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Three civil rights activists, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, originated the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Make it snappy!” : ASAP!
5 Metal for a blacksmith : IRON
9 “Well, shucks!” : AW, GEE!
14 Bug bite annoyance : ITCH
15 Put money in the bank : SAVE
16 Emotional states : MOODS
17 What the suffix “-er” may mean : MORE
18 Entree served in a bowl : STEW
19 “Rainbow” fish : TROUT
20 *British publishing house founded in 1935 : PENGUIN BOOKS
23 Cookie with “Stuf” inside : OREO
24 Lover boys : ROMEOS
27 Opposite of “It is I” : NOT ME
30 Initialism meaning “Be wary of looking at this in the office” : NSFW
33 Having the means : ABLE
34 Numbered classical pieces : OPUSES
36 “I gotta decline” : NAH
37 In one’s birthday suit : NUDE
38 Sea: Fr. : MER
39 *Certain ice cream or soap product : DOVE BAR
42 Cambridge sch. that sends out acceptance letters to students on Pi Day : MIT
43 Singer Paul with the memoir “My Way” : ANKA
45 Produce whoppers : LIE
46 Soy-based protein source : TEMPEH
48 Went kaput, as a battery : DIED
49 Fashion legend Wang : VERA
51 Hermann who wrote philosophical fiction : HESSE
52 Impede the progress of : STYMIE
54 Wander : ROAM
56 Subject of “the talk” about sex … or a hint to the answers to the four starred clues : BIRDS AND BEES
61 Habitat’s flora and fauna : BIOTA
63 Apple music player discontinued in 2022 : IPOD
64 Midday rests : NAPS
66 What a score of 70 or less signifies on a common standardized test : LOW IQ
67 Spill the beans : TELL
68 Lumberjack’s target : TREE
69 Prefix with media or cultural : MULTI-
70 Spiral down the sink, say : EDDY
71 A single time : ONCE

Down

1 Asset in playing Whac-A-Mole : AIM
2 “I can’t take it any longer!” : STOP!
3 Farm measurement : ACRE
4 Minors who look to be headed to the majors : PHENOMS
5 Magazine installment : ISSUE
6 Mete out : RATION
7 Kitchen fixture : OVEN
8 Inexperienced gamer, informally : NEWB
9 Playground retort : AM TOO!
10 One who makes his living with his hands : WORKMAN
11 *Bodily response to something eerie : GOOSE BUMPS
12 End of a school’s URL : EDU
13 Winter clock setting in N.Y.C. : EST
21 Trait of the fabled fisherman’s wife : GREED
22 “Alternatively …???” : OR WHAT …???
25 Songs from the ’60s and ’70s, say : OLDIES
26 Be quietly furious : SEETHE
27 Wanderers : NOMADS
28 Order to a birthday girl or boy : OPEN IT!
29 *Thanksgiving football game : TURKEY BOWL
31 Contemptuous expression : SNEER
32 “Mahvelous!” : FAB!
35 Figured out, as a mystery : SOLVED
40 Compete (for) : VIE
41 Goal of an intervention, maybe : REHAB
44 “Enough denying!” : ADMIT IT!
47 Token of past times : MEMENTO
50 Actor Schwarzenegger : ARNOLD
53 Baghdad citizen : IRAQI
55 “As ironic as it sounds …” : ODDLY …
57 Place for a construction project : SITE
58 Mimicked : APED
59 Make, as money : EARN
60 Display size or camera res, e.g. : SPEC
61 Antiracist movement since 2013, in brief : BLM
62 Letters acknowledging debt : IOU
65 “‘I ___,’ said the blind man, as he picked up a hammer and saw” : SEE

8 thoughts on “0122-24 NY Times Crossword 22 Jan 24, Monday”

  1. 11:45, because I never took French(“mar” instead of “mer”) and because I am an idiot and put Baghdad in Iran…

  2. 6:06, no errors. Never gave any thought to the theme. Very cute, now that it’s been pointed out to me.

    @Duncan … I know how just you feel about putting Baghdad in Iran. I’ve done it more than once myself (though I somehow managed to avoid it this time).

    1. “I know how just you feel”??!?! I seem to have lost the ability to actually see what I’ve typed … 😳😜.

  3. 6:34. I’m never ready to think while doing a Monday puzzle.

    Didn’t (don’t) know what a DOVE BAR ice cream is. What am I missing?

    Best –

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