0531-24 NY Times Crossword 31 May 24, Friday

Constructed by: Aidan Deshong
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One might read “Select all images with bicycles” : CAPTCHA

A CAPTCHA is a challenge-and-response test that is used to determine if a user is a human or some automated program. The acronym “CAPTCHA” stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

14 Name meaning “father of many” : ABRAHAM

Abraham is a prominent figure in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions. He was descended from Noah and was the “father” of many tribes, including the Israelites and Ishmaelites. In the Christian tradition Jesus was a descendant of Abraham through the Israelite tribe, and in the Muslim tradition Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through the Ishmaelite tribe.

15 Babies snap out of them : ONESIES

A onesie is a baby’s one-piece bodysuit, and is a common gift at a baby shower.

18 Genealogist’s tool : DNA TEST

Genealogical DNA testing is carried out mainly to estimate a person’s ethnic heritage and to determine ancestral relationships between individuals. Estimates of ethnic heritage are made by comparing a person’s genome with the collective genomes of groups of people from various geographic regions around the world. Ancestral relationships are determined by matching individual genome to individual genome in order to determine how much DNA is shared jointly.

21 “The Tempest” king : ALONSO

In William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”, Alonso is the King of Naples. Alonso helps Antonio to depose his brother Prospero as Duke of Milan and set him adrift in a boat with Prospero’s young daughter Miranda.

22 It ends in septembre : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) starts in “juin” (June) and ends in septembre (September). Note that the names of months are not capitalized in French.

30 Only N.F.L. team to win championships while representing three different cities : RAMS

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951 & 2021) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

37 Clementine lookalikes : MANDARIN ORANGES

The mandarin is a small citrus fruit, a species of orange. Genetic research reveals that the mandarin was one of the original citrus fruits, alongside the pomelo, papeda and citron.

The clementine citrus fruit is a hybrid between mandarin orange and a sweet orange. The hybrid was developed by a French missionary in Algeria named Brother Clément Rodier, hence the fruit’s name.

41 Designer of Dallas’s Meyerson Symphony Center : PEI

Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei was raised in Shanghai. He moved to the US to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Although he transferred soon after to MIT. The list of his designs includes the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the celebrated glass-and-steel pyramid in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Pei passed away in 2019, at 102 years of age.

43 Musical originally released as a French concept album, for short : LES MIS

The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London many years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The theater seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor who had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

55 Search through a trove of digital information : DATA-MINE

The process of data mining is used to extract information from a database and present it in a form that facilitates further use.

61 The “horn” of the Horn of Africa : SOMALIA

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

64 They’ll knock you out : ETHERS

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

65 What might cause 1 + 1 > 2 : SYNERGY

The word “synergy”, meaning “working together”, comes from the Greek “syn-” (together) and “ergon” (work).

Down

2 Titular elementary school on TV : ABBOTT

“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.

6 Reason to turn on headlights : HAZE

The high-beam setting on a car’s headlights directs a bright light to the front of the vehicle. The low-beam setting causes the light to “dip” towards the side of the road to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. This causes a few problems for some vacationing drivers in Europe. Many moons ago, I remember taking my car from Ireland (where we drive on the left), over to France (where cars drive on the right) . By law, I had to place adhesive blackout strips over the headlamps so that the lights did not dazzle oncoming traffic.

8 Mars, but not Venus : GOD

Mars was the god of war in ancient Rome. He was also viewed as the father of the Roman people and the father of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who founded Rome according to Roman mythology.

9 ___ Holmes, founder of the website Jezebel : ANNA

Jezebel.com is a blog focused on women’s interests. The site was launched in 2007 and uses the tagline “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing”.

16 Ones dealing with joint inflammation? : STONERS

“Stoner” is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

The term “joint” has a long history in the drug world. It originally came from French, in which it is the past participle of the word for “to join”. It became an Anglo-Irish term for a side-room “joined” onto a main room in the early 1800s. Towards the end of the 19th century it was US slang for a small, shady establishment, such as an opium den. By the 1930s a joint was a hypodermic needle used to inject heroin, and soon after became the term for a marijuana cigarette.

20 Like many opera lovers : SERENADED

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”.

24 “Angels We Have Heard on High,” e.g. : CAROL

“Angels We Have Heard on High” is a Christmas carol with lyrics that originated in France. The French carol is titled “Les Anges dans nos campagnes” (“Angels in our countryside”).

27 Multinational supermarket chain based in Germany : ALDI

Aldi is an extremely large discount supermarket chain based in Germany with outlets in many countries, including the main European nations and Australia. Here in the US, Aldi owns the Trader Joe’s chain of stores. The chain was founded in 1946 by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. The name “Aldi” is an abbreviation of “Albrecht Diskont”, “Albrecht Discount” in English.

29 Throat ailment : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

31 Prized mushroom : MOREL

A morel is a mushroom with a honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They are highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

32 What “/” can mean : SPARE

In bowling, a spare is recorded on a score sheet with a forward slash mark. A strike is recorded with a large letter X.

36 Tolkien creatures : ENTS

Author J. R. R. Tolkien is best known as the author of the fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of Rings”. After serving as an officer in the First World War, his first job as a civilian was researching the history and etymology of words for the Oxford English Dictionary. In fact, Tolkien was assigned the words from “waggle” through “warlock”.

37 Built-in Windows application with a palette logo, familiarly : MS PAINT

A palette is a board on which an artist holds and mixes paints. A classical palette is oval in shape, and has a thumbhole and an insert for brushes. Not every artist uses a classical palette. For example, Picasso used a sheet of newspaper.

45 Segment of a game of horseshoes : INNING

In the game of horseshoes, a ringer is scored when the tossed shoe lands around the target stake. A leaner is almost as good as a ringer, and is scored when a horseshoe lands upright or leans against the stake.

46 Good at the game Operation, perhaps : STEADY

The game called Operation was invented by John Spinello and was first produced in 1965 by Milton Bradley. The game is based on the old electric wire loop game where players had to guide a loop along a winding wire without touching it. Touching the wires completed a circuit causing a buzzer to go off and/or a light to come on.

49 Female flying group in W.W. II : WASPS

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were a paramilitary group formed during WWII in 1943. At its largest, the WASP comprised over a thousand female pilots. The group carried out non-combat flying duties such as delivery of aircraft and transportation of cargo. The idea was to free up male pilots for combat duty. Despite a lot of lobbying, the WASP was never given full military status during WWII. That injustice was finally rectified in 1977, and each member of the corps was awarded the WWII Victory Medal in 1984. The WASP was also awarded the Congressional Gold medal in 2009 by President Obama.

56 Loyalist during the American Revolution : TORY

“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and indeed was used to describe those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Today, “Tory” is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One might read “Select all images with bicycles” : CAPTCHA
8 Make more fun and addictive, in a way : GAMIFY
14 Name meaning “father of many” : ABRAHAM
15 Babies snap out of them : ONESIES
17 Disrupt with technology, as an existing industry : UBERIZE
18 Genealogist’s tool : DNA TEST
19 Lack of an edge : SOFTNESS
21 “The Tempest” king : ALONSO
22 It ends in septembre : ETE
23 “One ___ …” : SEC
25 When repeated, informal term for supper : DIN
26 Things on a golf bag : STRAPS
30 Only N.F.L. team to win championships while representing three different cities : RAMS
33 Seething feeling : IRE
34 It might raise a flap : LETTER OPENER
37 Clementine lookalikes : MANDARIN ORANGES
40 Heads-up in a review : SPOILER ALERT
41 Designer of Dallas’s Meyerson Symphony Center : PEI
42 Went flying : SPED
43 Musical originally released as a French concept album, for short : LES MIS
47 Pricey oils, e.g. : ART
48 Wet blanket? : DEW
50 Itty-bitty skitterer : ANT
51 “Curious …” : IT’S ODD …
55 Search through a trove of digital information : DATA-MINE
59 Sisters are a part of it : NUNHOOD
61 The “horn” of the Horn of Africa : SOMALIA
62 Ticket issuer : TROOPER
63 Start of a hypothetical : PRETEND
64 They’ll knock you out : ETHERS
65 What might cause 1 + 1 > 2 : SYNERGY

Down

1 They might be lost : CAUSES
2 Titular elementary school on TV : ABBOTT
3 Go for : PREFER
4 Dessert that rarely lives up to its name : TART
5 Boxer’s target : CHIN
6 Reason to turn on headlights : HAZE
7 “Oy, what ___!” : A MESS
8 Mars, but not Venus : GOD
9 ___ Holmes, founder of the website Jezebel : ANNA
10 Fast break? : MEAL
11 : : IS TO
12 Hankering, slangily : FIENDING
13 “You betcha!” : YES, SIREE!
16 Ones dealing with joint inflammation? : STONERS
20 Like many opera lovers : SERENADED
24 “Angels We Have Heard on High,” e.g. : CAROL
27 Multinational supermarket chain based in Germany : ALDI
28 Rings : PEALS
29 Throat ailment : STREP
31 Prized mushroom : MOREL
32 What “/” can mean : SPARE
35 Beat : TIRED
36 Tolkien creatures : ENTS
37 Built-in Windows application with a palette logo, familiarly : MS PAINT
38 Opening : APERTURE
39 “Nuh-uh!” : NO IT’S NOT!
44 Certain padded container : MAILER
45 Segment of a game of horseshoes : INNING
46 Good at the game Operation, perhaps : STEADY
49 Female flying group in W.W. II : WASPS
52 “I know! I know!” : OH! OH!
53 Sick : DOPE
54 Active type : DOER
56 Loyalist during the American Revolution : TORY
57 “So true!” : AMEN!
58 Pub pal : MATE
60 Hosp. staffers : DRS

4 thoughts on “0531-24 NY Times Crossword 31 May 24, Friday”

  1. 19:05, no errors. GAMIFY? UBERIZE? FIENDING?

    (Oh, what the heck … I’m easy … and old … 🙂.)

  2. 26:28. Day late and a dollar short.

    Never heard of FIENDING nor had I heard of the WASPS. Interesting. Never heard of the term UBERIZE either, but it’s easy to see how it cam about.

    Best –

    1. FIENDING and UBERIZE were not available at/on .

      (WASP) is an excellent read. The WASP organization was formed on 5 August 1943 (and dissolved on 20 December 1944).

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