0123-24 NY Times Crossword 23 Jan 24, Tuesday

Constructed by: Patrick Maher
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Elements of Style

Themed answers each start with a chemical ELEMENT, and end with a potentially STYLISH item of clothing:

  • 38A Principles for good prose in a classic writing guide by Strunk & White … or a hint to the wardrobe assembled at 17-, 25-, 47- and 57-Across : ELEMENTS OF STYLE
  • 17A Breathing aid demonstrated by a flight attendant : OXYGEN MASK
  • 25A Protective drape for an X-ray : LEAD APRON
  • 47A Major-league award for fielding prowess : GOLD GLOVE
  • 57A Headgear designed to block psychic intrusions : TIN-FOIL HAT

Bill’s time: 7m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Wambach with a 2016 ESPY Icon Award : ABBY

Abby Wambach is a retired professional soccer player who was named FIFA World Player of the Year for 2012. She played for the US national team in all four World tournaments from 2003 to 2015.

14 Pioneering synthesizer brand : MOOG

In the sixties, Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …

15 Tirades : RANTS

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

19 Chowder morsel : CLAM

The type of soup known as “chowder” is possibly named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

20 Camouflage : CLOAK

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

28 Mother ___ : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. At birth she was given the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

31 Jazz singer Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

35 Dit’s counterpart in Morse code : DAH

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

38 Principles for good prose in a classic writing guide by Strunk & White … or a hint to the wardrobe assembled at 17-, 25-, 47- and 57-Across : ELEMENTS OF STYLE

Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style” was first published in 1918. “The Elements of Style” is a relatively thin book, when compared to its modern counterpart “The Chicago Manual of Style”. Both books give guidance on the correct use of American English. The Chicago version is one of the most frequently used references on my bookshelf, and a constant reminder of my inadequacies!

41 Coiffures, informally : DOS

“Coiffure” is a French word that we’ve imported into English meaning “hairstyle”. The term comes from the Old French word “coife”, which was used for the inner part of a helmet.

42 Wolflike : LUPINE

The term “lupine” means “wolf-like”, coming from the Latin “lupus” meaning “wolf”.

43 Tumbling spot for Jack and Jill : HILL

The “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme dates back at least to the 1700s:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

45 Hip-hop dance move of the 2010s : NAE NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

47 Major-league award for fielding prowess : GOLD GLOVE

The Gold Glove is an annual award given by Major League Baseball to the player judged to be the best in each fielding position in a season. The award was instituted in 1957 by the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings.

52 Delivery person, for short : OB/GYN

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

57 Headgear designed to block psychic intrusions : TIN-FOIL HAT

Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available as aluminum foil, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

62 Tasty treats, in memespeak : NOMS

“Om Nom Nom Nom” is a slang expression that indicates satisfied eating.

64 A red and white target, for Target : LOGO

The Target Corporation was originally founded in 1902 as a dry goods store called “Goodfellow’s”, by George Dayton in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It wasn’t until 1962 that the first Target store opened, which was designed to be a discount store with a modern, upscale feel.

66 Polynesian Disney heroine : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people. Unlike many of the previous Disney Princess films, Moana’s story is not centered around romance. In fact, she is the first Disney Princess who doesn’t have a love interest.

Down

1 ___, amas, amat … : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

2 Pestilence : POX

A pox is any of the diseases that produces “pocks” on the skin, eruptive pustules. The pox might perhaps be smallpox or chickenpox. When cursing someone by saying “a pox on you”, the reference is to the “great pox”, namely syphilis.

3 Base for tofu and tempeh : SOY

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

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 …

4 Soda fountain treat that contains neither of the ingredients in its name : EGG CREAM

Egg cream is a beverage, and one that I only know from crosswords. It is remarkable, I think, in that it contains neither egg nor cream! The drink supposedly dates back to the late 1800s and was invented in Brooklyn. It is a fountain drink, made up from chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer (soda).

5 Title Bond villain : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

6 Actor Malcolm-___ Warner : JAMAL

Malcolm-Jamal Warner was the child actor who played Theo Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”. You can see the grown-up Warner today, playing Dr. Alex Reed on the BET sitcom “Reed Between the Lines”.

8 Flying saucer crew, for short : ETS

Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era, the event that launched the term “flying saucer” was a UFO sighting in 1947, which was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects, he repeatedly used the words “saucer”, “disc” and “pie-plate”. Newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we’ve been seeing flying “saucers” ever since.

11 Hay-collecting machine : BALER

Hay is dried grass that is stored for use as animal fodder. Straw consists of the dried stalks of cereal plants, the residue left after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw can also be used as animal fodder, as well as fuel, bedding and thatch.

12 Congratulatory-sounding letter in the NATO alphabet : BRAVO

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

13 Country across a strait from Djibouti : YEMEN

Djibouti is a country in the Horn of Africa that is located to the northwest of Somalia, with coasts on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Once known as French Somaliland, the country gained independence from France in 1977. The newly independent nation adopted the same name as Djibouti, the capital city.

18 Fraternal order : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

21 Culottes or corduroys : PANTS

In women’s fashion, the word “culottes” is used for a garment that hangs like a skirt but is actually pants. The term was imported from French, in which language culottes were originally split skirts used for horse riding.

There’s a myth that the name of the textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

24 French setting for many van Goghs : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

37 Actress Mirren : HELEN

Helen Mirren, one of my favorite English actresses, has played three different queens on film and television. She played Queen Elizabeth II on the 2006 film “The Queen”, the title role in the TV drama “Elizabeth I”, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of the title character in the 1994 film “The Madness of King George”. Mirren won the “Triple Crown of Acting” for playing:

  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (winning Best Actress Oscar)
  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience” (winning Best Actress in a Play Tony)
  • Detective Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” (winning Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy)

39 Verse of mourning : ELEGY

An elegy is a mournful poem or funeral song, and is also known as a dirge.

44 Polish city by the sea : GDANSK

Gdańsk is a port city on the Baltic coast of Poland and is the country’s biggest seaport. Gdańsk was where the European Solidarity movement was born, with Lech Wałęsa in the leadership position. Wałęsa was an electrician working in the Gdańsk shipyards.

46 Isao of golf : AOKI

Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers. Aoki’s best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

47 Colossal : GIANT

A colossus (plural “colossi”) is an exceptionally large statue, the most famous of which was the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a statue of the god Helios that stood over 100 feet tall, on the Greek island of Rhodes. New York’s Statue of Liberty was designed to have similar dimensions. The Emma Lazarus poem that is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is in fact titled “The New Colossus”. We get our adjective “colossal”, meaning “of exceptional size”, from “colossus”.

48 How a ballerina pirouettes : ON TOE

We took our word “pirouette” directly from French, in which language it has the same meaning, i.e. a rotation in dancing. “Pirouette” is also the French word for “spinning top”.

49 Camelid sometimes used to guard sheep : LLAMA

The llama is a camelid mammal very much associated with the Andean cultures. Despite the association with South America, it is thought that the ancestors of the modern llama migrated south from the Great Plains of North America about 40 million years ago.

50 Game show co-host who could be called a “woman of letters,” familiarly : VANNA

Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

57 When repeated, a kind of drum : TOM

A tom-tom is a drum without snares. The name “tom-tom” came from the Hindi name “tam-tam”, which in turn was likely imitative of the sound made by the instrument.

58 ___ 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.

59 Use a pogo stick : HOP

What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall. The highest jump on a pogo stick was achieved by Fred Grzybowski in 2010. He jumped over three cars and reached a height of 9 feet, 6 inches.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 A wing for a prayer : APSE
5 Club gig with prerecorded tracks, informally : DJ SET
10 Wambach with a 2016 ESPY Icon Award : ABBY
14 Pioneering synthesizer brand : MOOG
15 Tirades : RANTS
16 Give a hoot : CARE
17 Breathing aid demonstrated by a flight attendant : OXYGEN MASK
19 Chowder morsel : CLAM
20 Camouflage : CLOAK
21 Irritate : PEEVE
22 Swindler at the pool table : SHARK
25 Protective drape for an X-ray : LEAD APRON
28 Mother ___ : TERESA
30 Tenant’s payment : RENT
31 Jazz singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
32 Playfully bites : NIPS AT
35 Dit’s counterpart in Morse code : DAH
38 Principles for good prose in a classic writing guide by Strunk & White … or a hint to the wardrobe assembled at 17-, 25-, 47- and 57-Across : ELEMENTS OF STYLE
41 Coiffures, informally : DOS
42 Wolflike : LUPINE
43 Tumbling spot for Jack and Jill : HILL
44 First, second, third or reverse : GEAR
45 Hip-hop dance move of the 2010s : NAE NAE
47 Major-league award for fielding prowess : GOLD GLOVE
52 Delivery person, for short : OB/GYN
53 Decorative woodwork technique : INLAY
54 Cut from the same cloth : ALIKE
56 ___ all-time high : AT AN
57 Headgear designed to block psychic intrusions : TIN-FOIL HAT
62 Tasty treats, in memespeak : NOMS
63 Take responsibility for something : OWN IT
64 A red and white target, for Target : LOGO
65 Weather-resistant wood : TEAK
66 Polynesian Disney heroine : MOANA
67 Eject with force : SPEW

Down

1 ___, amas, amat … : AMO
2 Pestilence : POX
3 Base for tofu and tempeh : SOY
4 Soda fountain treat that contains neither of the ingredients in its name : EGG CREAM
5 Title Bond villain : DR NO
6 Actor Malcolm-___ Warner : JAMAL
7 Plumber’s drain-clearing device : SNAKE
8 Flying saucer crew, for short : ETS
9 Cluck of disapproval : TSK
10 Tolerate : ACCEPT
11 Hay-collecting machine : BALER
12 Congratulatory-sounding letter in the NATO alphabet : BRAVO
13 Country across a strait from Djibouti : YEMEN
18 Fraternal order : ELKS
21 Culottes or corduroys : PANTS
22 Knight’s mount : STEED
23 “Greetings!” : HELLO!
24 French setting for many van Goghs : ARLES
26 Bad match on tinder? : ARSON
27 Overwhelm with noise : DEAFEN
29 Like most holidays and physicals : ANNUAL
33 Specialist in P.C. problem-solving : IT PRO
34 Greek letter shaped like a pitchfork : PSI
35 Going out, as embers : DYING
36 Ease, as worries : ALLAY
37 Actress Mirren : HELEN
39 Verse of mourning : ELEGY
40 Poe poem with the line “How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle” : THE BELLS
44 Polish city by the sea : GDANSK
46 Isao of golf : AOKI
47 Colossal : GIANT
48 How a ballerina pirouettes : ON TOE
49 Camelid sometimes used to guard sheep : LLAMA
50 Game show co-host who could be called a “woman of letters,” familiarly : VANNA
51 Small and pixieish : ELFIN
55 Speck : IOTA
57 When repeated, a kind of drum : TOM
58 ___ Jima : IWO
59 Use a pogo stick : HOP
60 Ripen nicely, as wine : AGE
61 Haul : TOW

8 thoughts on “0123-24 NY Times Crossword 23 Jan 24, Tuesday”

  1. 8:41. Interesting theme although I can’t really see how any MASK could be even potentially stylish. Then again what do I know about style?

    I used Strunk and White’s ELEMENTS OF STYLE all through school. I think I still have a copy of it.

    I always thought a “POX on you” referred to smallpox. Now that I know it’s referring to syphilis, I’ll have to use it more often.

    Best –

  2. I have no Idea what “Strunk and white” is but I just assumed the word “element” was the twist. GOLD, OXYGEN, LEAD , TINFOIL..

    never heard of EGG CREAM soda.
    Had a cream soda.

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