0623-24 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 24, Sunday

Constructed by: Michael Schlossberg
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: Picture Day

Themed answers are PAINTINGS clued by the NUMBER of particular items depicted within:

  • 113A Kind of craft store kit … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : PAINT BY NUMBERS
  • 23A Two Iowans (1930) : AMERICAN GOTHIC
  • 37A Six Basque villagers (1937) : GUERNICA
  • 42A 12 orbs (1889) : THE STARRY NIGHT
  • 68A One gemstone (1665) : GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
  • 86A With 99-Across, four timepieces (1931) : THE PERSISTENCE …
  • 99A See 86-Across : … OF MEMORY

Bill’s time: 16m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Plant in a bloom : ALGA

When algae growth takes over a body of water, it is known as an “algal bloom”. When this happens, the water gets very discolored and the algae suck up the oxygen in the water, basically asphyxiating other life forms.

5 “La Vie en Rose” singer : PIAF

“La Môme Piaf” (the Little Sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

The literal translation of the title to the French song “La Vie en rose” is “Life In Pink”, but a better translation would be “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”.

9 Mechanical catch : PAWL

In a ratchet, there’s a rotating gear over which runs a spring-loaded finger, the piece of metal that makes the clicks as the gear rotates. That finger is called a “pawl”.

13 Seasonal decoration from the Old French for “sparkle” : TINSEL

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.

19 Atypical band instrument : HARP

The primary materials used to make a harp are wood for the frame, and gut or wire for the strings. The frame is triangular. The top of the triangle is the crossbar or neck, to which the strings are secured and can be adjusted in tension to fine-tune the pitch. The other end of the strings are held by the soundboard, the side of the triangular frame that is hollow, allowing the body of the harp to resonate when strings are plucked. The long side of the triangular frame is the column or pillar, the purpose of which is to hold up the neck under the tension of the strings.

20 Path to Machu Picchu : INCA TRAIL

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

23 Two Iowans (1930) : AMERICAN GOTHIC

The iconic Grant Wood work titled “American Gothic” was painted in 1930. It depicts a farmer holding a pitchfork standing beside his spinster daughter. Grant used his sister as a model for the daughter, and his dentist as a model for the farmer. You can see “American Gothic” on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. You can also visit the house depicted in the painting, in the city of Eldon, Iowa. Perhaps predictably, the house is located on what is now called American Gothic Street.

27 Patton crossed it in 1944 : SEINE

General George Patton was a notorious leader of US forces during WWII. He was also quite the athlete in his day. Patton placed fifth in the modern pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Most famously, he was given command of the US Third Army in 1944. That army had resounding success, liberating more territory in less time than any other army in the history of the world. Patton barely survived the war. He was killed in a car accident outside Mannheim in Germany in December of 1945.

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. It empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

29 Slip in a warehouse : INVOICE

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term “invoice” comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

32 Part of the atmosphere above most weather : NEAR SPACE

The mesosphere (informally “near space”) is a distinct layer of the atmosphere that extends from about 50 to 100 km above the Earth’s surface. The upper parts of the mesosphere can be the coldest place on the planet, with temperatures less than -140 degrees centigrade. It is perhaps the least understood layer in the atmosphere as it lies above the maximum altitude for aircraft and below the minimum for orbital spacecraft.

36 Writer buried in a Baltimore churchyard : POE

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 40 years of age.

37 Six Basque villagers (1937) : GUERNICA

“Guernica” is a painting by Pablo Picasso that he completed in 1937. Picasso painted it soon after the aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The attack was carried out by German warplanes sent by Adolf Hitler at the request of the Spanish Nationalist government. The town was regarded as a bastion of Republican resistance, although it had no military significance. As the town was largely left without men who were fighting for the Republican cause, the vast majority of casualties were women and children.

39 “Real Time With Bill ___” : MAHER

Bill Maher is a stand-up comedian and political commentator. Maher has an HBO television show called “Real Time with Bill Maher” which is essentially a follow-on from the very successful “Politically Incorrect” program that started out on Comedy Central.

40 Souvlaki go-with : PITA

Souvlaki is a “fast food” from Greece consisting of meat (often lamb) grilled on a skewer, and sometimes served in a pita sandwich.

41 Hashtag’s neighbor on a keyboard : AT SIGN

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial world, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

42 12 orbs (1889) : THE STARRY NIGHT

“The Starry Night” (“La Nuit Étoilée” in French) is a Van Gogh masterpiece depicting what the artist could see from the window of his room in a sanitarium near the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is a lovely piece, and was acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1941 …

49 Runner Down Under : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

51 Modern-day Phoenicia : LEBANON

The ancient kingdom of Phoenicia lay on the Mediterranean in the region making up much of modern-day Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The Latin for “Phoenicia” is “Poenus”, giving us the term “Punic”, as in “Punic Wars”.

56 TV host Joy : REID

Joy Reid is a liberal TV host and political commentator best known for her regular appearances on MSNBC. In 2020, Reid took over the channel’s evening slot following the retirement of Chris Matthews, hosting her show “The ReidOut”.

65 “Ted Lasso” footballer Jamie ___ : TARTT

“Ted Lasso” is a marvelous sports-comedy TV show about an American college football coach who moves to the UK to manage an English soccer team. The title character is played very admirably by Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis first played Lasso in a series of TV commercials commissioned to promote NBC’s coverage of the British Premier League. The character became so popular that he inspired a whole TV series. Great stuff, and highly recommended …

67 Good name for a nuclear engineer? : ROD

A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

68 One gemstone (1665) : GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. The name “Vermeer” is a contraction of “van der meer”, which translates as “from the sea/lake”. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

73 Component of the immune system : T CELL

T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body’s immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

74 Sauce in Philippine cuisine : ADOBO

Philippine adobo is sometimes cited as the country’s national dish. The term “adobo” comes from the Spanish “adobar” meaning “marinade, sauce” The marinade used comprises vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns.

75 Wacky : INANE

Something or someone described as wacky or wacko is crazy, eccentric. The term “wacky” probably comes from “whack”, the idea being that a wacky person might have been whacked on the head a little too often.

76 Feature of a Raggedy Ann doll : RED HAIR

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

79 Crazy Horse and kin : OGLALAS

The Oglala are a subtribe of the Lakota Native American people. The name “Oglala” translates from the Lakota language as “to scatter one’s own”.

Crazy Horse’s Lakota name translates literally into English as “His Horse is Crazy or Spirited”. Crazy Horse was one of the tribal war party leaders at the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. Crazy Horse surrendered to the US Army in 1877. He was fatally stabbed while in custody, apparently trying to escape after having surrendered. The circumstances surrounding his death are still shrouded in controversy.

81 Name on a box of fruit-flavored candy : IKE

“Mike and Ike” is a brand of fruit-flavored candy made by Just Born starting in 1940. Just Born launched quite a unique marketing campaign in 2012 asserting that Mike and Ike had “split up due to creative differences”. The campaign involved production of two different boxes for the candy showing one or the other name scratched out. Clever …

86 With 99-Across, four timepieces (1931) : THE PERSISTENCE …
99 See 86-Across : … OF MEMORY

“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work. It features the celebrated melting clocks/watches, and you can see them in the painting in the MoMA in New York City.

101 Prefix with genetics : EPI-

DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, which are blueprints used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains why identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.

102 Instrument “played” in the “Bill & Ted” movies : AIR GUITAR

The concept of playing an imaginary electric guitar (an “air guitar”) is so popular that there are several championship competitions held. There has even been a world championship since 1996. Crazy …

“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is a 1989 comedy sci-fi film, starring Alex Winter as Bill and Keanu Reeves as Ted. It’s about two lazy students traveling through time in preparation for a history assignment, with a lot of “Dude!” and “Excellent!” scattered throughout the dialog. Reading the plot, this isn’t a movie that I’d normally go for, but somehow, I enjoyed it …

106 Shanties : LEAN-TOS

Our word “shanty” is used for a rough cabin. It comes from the Canadian French word “chantier”, which is a “lumberjack’s headquarters”.

109 Eyelike openings : OCULI

“Oculus” (plural “oculi”) is the Latin word for “eye”, and is a term used in architecture for a circular window.

113 Kind of craft store kit … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : PAINT BY NUMBERS

The concept of painting by numbers was patented in 1923. The idea didn’t take off until 1951, when the Craft Master brand of paint-by-number kits was introduced. The kits were marketed with the strapline “A beautiful oil painting the first time you try”.

121 River through Kazakhstan : URAL

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

122 Yarn label number : DYE LOT

As the color of dyed yarn can vary slightly from batch to batch, yarn manufacturers put a dye lot number on their product so that consumers can be sure to purchase yarn for a single project that has all been dyed in the same vat.

123 World capital that’s part of the NATO alphabet : LIMA

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

125 Cable channel with horror/fantasy programming : SYFY

Syfy is a cable television channel that used to be known as the “Sci-Fi Channel”, which of course specializes in broadcasting science fiction shows. The brand name “Syfy” was chosen because “Syfy” could be trademarked whereas the generic term “sci-fi” could not.

Down

4 Knowable without experience : A PRIORI

In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier”) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

8 “Oliver Twist” antagonist : FAGIN

Fagin is the colorful antagonist in the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. Fagin leads a band of children who earn their keep by picking pockets and committing other petty crimes. Fagin’s most successful pickpocket is the Artful Dodger.

9 Press conference organizers : PR TEAMS

Public relations (PR)

12 Business name ender : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

14 Actress Graff of “Mr. Belvedere” : ILENE

Ilene Graff is an American actress, probably best known for playing Marsha Owens, the wife of George in the TV series “Mr. Belvedere”.

“Mr. Belvedere” originally ran from 1985 to 1990. The show is based on the novel “Belvedere” by Gwen Davenport that was published in 1947. There was also a film called “Sitting Pretty“ released in 1948 that’s based on the same book, and starring Robert Young and Maureen O’Hara.

16 Words woven into Charlotte’s web : SOME PIG

In E. B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web”, The spider Charlotte weaves the words “SOME PIG” into her web, praising her friend Wilbur the pig.

17 Director who is part of filmdom’s Splat Pack : ELI ROTH

Eli Roth is one of a group of directors of horror movies known quite graphically as “The Splat Pack”. I can’t stand “splat” movies and avoid them as best I can. Roth is also famous for playing Donny Donowitz in the Quentin Tarantino movie “Inglourious Basterds”.

18 “Mangia!” : LET’S EAT!

“Mangia!” is Italian for “Eat!” and is a word often used in the names of Italian restaurants or in brand names of Italian foods.

28 Vocalist Vikki : CARR

“Vikki Carr” is the stage name of singer Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martínez Cardona, born in El Paso. Most of Carr’s success came with songs released in Spanish, but also had a big hit in 1967 with the English-language song “It Must Be Him”.

29 Supermarket chain inits. : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

34 Sorry excuse for a pillowcase? : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

38 QB stat: Abbr. : ATT

In football, a quarterback’s (QB’s) performance can be measured by attempts (ATT), a statistic (stat).

40 About 40% of a yard : PINT

A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass, splashing you in the face.

45 Gossip : YENTA

“Yenta” (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

46 One of two openings under a bridge : NOSTRIL

The nostrils are also known as the nares (singular “naris”).

51 Bock or dunkel : LAGER

A bock is a strong lager from Germany that was first brewed in the town of Einbeck. The famous brewers of Munich adopted the style of beer, calling it Einbeck after the town of its origin. However, with the Bavarian accent “Einbeck” came out as “ein Bock”, the German for “a billy goat”. The name “bock” stuck, and so you’ll often see a billy goat on the labels of bock beers.

54 The Hawks, on scoreboards : ATL

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, although after only a few months the team was moved to Moline, Illinois as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were one of the 17 original teams playing at the founding of the National Basketball Association. There was another move in 1951 and a renaming to the Milwaukee Hawks, and yet again in 1955 when the team became the St. Louis Hawks. The latest move was to Atlanta, in 1968.

57 Paragon : IDEAL

A paragon is a model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term “paragon” derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.

58 Cereal with a Mega Stuf variety : OREO O’S

Oreo O’s cereal was made by Post from 1998 to 2007. The pieces of cereal were basically O-shaped (like Cheerios) but chocolate-flavored, dark brown in color and with white sprinkles on them. Oh, and lots of sugar.

61 Often-frayed parts of papyrus : EDGES

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

64 Penguins play in it, for short : NHL

The Penguins are a professional hockey team based in Pittsburgh. They have been around since 1967, and were one of the first expansion teams when the NHL grew from six to twelve teams. The expansion team were to play in Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena, a domed structure known locally as the Igloo. It was the “Igloo” name that inspired a fan to suggest the “Penguins” moniker, which won a contest to choose the name of the new franchise.

65 It circles the earth : TROPIC

Lines of latitude are imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

66 Neighbor of Montana: Abbr. : ALB

Alberta (Alta.) is a big province, one about the size of Texas. It is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

71 Vaccine component : RNA

Traditional vaccines typically use weakened or inactivated viruses, or pieces of the virus, to stimulate an immune response. mRNA vaccines use a small piece of genetic material from the virus, called messenger RNA (mRNA), to instruct cells in the body to produce a harmless piece of the virus to trigger the immune response. mRNA vaccines are developed more quickly than traditional vaccines. This was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, where mRNA vaccines were developed and authorized for emergency use within months of the emergence of the novel coronavirus.

78 Kind of dish that you wouldn’t want to eat from : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

82 “Bridesmaids” co-star : WIIG

Kristen Wiig is a comic actress who appears on “Saturday Night Live”. She also made an appearance on the first season of Spike TV’s quirky “The Joe Schmo Show”, playing “Dr. Pat”. More recently, she co-wrote and starred in the 2011 hit film “Bridesmaids”, and co-starred in the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters”.

“Bridesmaids” is a 2011 comedy movie co-written by and starring Kristen Wiig. I wasn’t crazy about this film until Chris O’Dowd turned up as a traffic cop. Wiig and O’Dowd were great together, I thought. Pity about the rest of the movie …

83 Biblical figure whose “whole body was like a hairy garment” : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

85 Con head? : NEO-

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a formerly left-aligned politician who has moved to the right, and who now supports the use of American power and military might to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

86 Danced like Cardi B : TWERKED

Twerking is a dancing move in which someone (usually a woman) shakes their hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

88 Large building : EDIFICE

To edify is to provide instruction in order to improve spiritually, morally or intellectually. The intent is to “build up” someone’s faith or morality, and so “edify” comes from the Latin “aedificare” meaning “to build, construct”. This Latin root also gives us our word “edifice”, meaning “massive building”.

90 Country that had a nonviolent “singing revolution” in the late 1980s : ESTONIA

Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

96 Kvetchers’ cries : OYS

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

100 Lighter igniters : FLINTS

Flint is a form of the mineral quartz. Flint can be used to start a fire. The hard edge of flint when struck against steel can shave off a particle of the metal. The particle of steel contains exposed iron that reacts with oxygen in the air creating a spark that can light dry tinder.

104 When Macbeth fights Macduff : ACT V

There is a superstition in the theatrical world that uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater will bring disaster of some sort. To avoid this, the euphemism “the Scottish Play” is used instead.

110 Vega’s constellation : LYRA

Lyra (Latin for “lyre, harp, lute”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

115 Company that once generated more than 4,000 patents in a single year : IBM

Tech giant IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name “International Business Machines” (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then to its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

116 Security Council member : USA

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and who have veto power over any resolution. The 10 non-permanent members are elected into place, and hold their seats for two years. The UN charter requires that authorized representatives of the member nations are always present at UN headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time. The permanent members are:

  • China
  • France
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

117 Subj. of Churchill’s “Never … was so much owed by so many to so few” : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

118 Canny : SLY

The adjective “canny” is of Scottish origin, and was formed from the verb “to can” meaning “to know how to”. The idea is that someone who is “knowing” is careful, canny.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Plant in a bloom : ALGA
5 “La Vie en Rose” singer : PIAF
9 Mechanical catch : PAWL
13 Seasonal decoration from the Old French for “sparkle” : TINSEL
19 Atypical band instrument : HARP
20 Path to Machu Picchu : INCA TRAIL
22 World Cup cheer : OLE! OLE!
23 Two Iowans (1930) : AMERICAN GOTHIC
25 Renovation need, perhaps : PERMIT
26 Succor : AID
27 Patton crossed it in 1944 : SEINE
28 Stuff left behind by an old flame? : CINDERS
29 Slip in a warehouse : INVOICE
32 Part of the atmosphere above most weather : NEAR SPACE
36 Writer buried in a Baltimore churchyard : POE
37 Six Basque villagers (1937) : GUERNICA
39 “Real Time With Bill ___” : MAHER
40 Souvlaki go-with : PITA
41 Hashtag’s neighbor on a keyboard : AT SIGN
42 12 orbs (1889) : THE STARRY NIGHT
47 Adorable one : CUTEY
49 Runner Down Under : EMU
50 Many moons : EON
51 Modern-day Phoenicia : LEBANON
56 TV host Joy : REID
58 Performing, perhaps : ON STAGE
62 Wane : ABATE
63 About to bloom : IN BUD
65 “Ted Lasso” footballer Jamie ___ : TARTT
67 Good name for a nuclear engineer? : ROD
68 One gemstone (1665) : GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
72 Just manage, with “out” : EKE …
73 Component of the immune system : T CELL
74 Sauce in Philippine cuisine : ADOBO
75 Wacky : INANE
76 Feature of a Raggedy Ann doll : RED HAIR
78 Frog-hopping-into-water sound : PLOP!
79 Crazy Horse and kin : OGLALAS
81 Name on a box of fruit-flavored candy : IKE
82 Minute : WEE
84 Wash out : RINSE
86 With 99-Across, four timepieces (1931) : THE PERSISTENCE …
91 Too much, musically : TROPPO
97 Plugs : WADS
98 Unreliable narrators : LIARS
99 See 86-Across : … OF MEMORY
101 Prefix with genetics : EPI-
102 Instrument “played” in the “Bill & Ted” movies : AIR GUITAR
106 Shanties : LEAN-TOS
107 Goes straight : REFORMS
109 Eyelike openings : OCULI
111 Not in the dark : LIT
112 Kitchen drawer section : KNIVES
113 Kind of craft store kit … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : PAINT BY NUMBERS
119 Sheathe : ENCASE
120 They’re comfortable alone or in a crowd : AMBIVERTS
121 River through Kazakhstan : URAL
122 Yarn label number : DYE LOT
123 World capital that’s part of the NATO alphabet : LIMA
124 Viking group? : NASA
125 Cable channel with horror/fantasy programming : SYFY

Down

1 “So that’s your game!” : AHA!
2 Flight : LAM
3 Shin armor : GREAVES
4 Knowable without experience : A PRIORI
5 Proof of meeting a celeb, say : PIC
6 “Hold on!” : IN A SEC!
7 What pore clogging can lead to : ACNE
8 “Oliver Twist” antagonist : FAGIN
9 Press conference organizers : PR TEAMS
10 Sound at the doctor’s office : AAH
11 Console with a wireless controller : WII
12 Business name ender : LLC
13 Something to talk about : TOPIC
14 Actress Graff of “Mr. Belvedere” : ILENE
15 Enthusiast : NERD
16 Words woven into Charlotte’s web : SOME PIG
17 Director who is part of filmdom’s Splat Pack : ELI ROTH
18 “Mangia!” : LET’S EAT!
21 Answering machine signal : TONE
24 Bouncer’s job : ID’ING
28 Vocalist Vikki : CARR
29 Supermarket chain inits. : IGA
30 Enthusiast : NUT
31 Fünf : German :: ___ : Spanish : CINCO
33 Put a value on : RATED
34 Sorry excuse for a pillowcase? : SHAM
35 20-Across setting : PERU
38 QB stat: Abbr. : ATT
40 About 40% of a yard : PINT
43 Like some teas : HERBAL
44 Look at desirously : EYE UP
45 Gossip : YENTA
46 One of two openings under a bridge : NOSTRIL
48 Divider’s counterpart : UNITER
51 Bock or dunkel : LAGER
52 Chargeable transport : E-BIKE
53 Like one’s soul in a heart-to-heart : BARED
54 The Hawks, on scoreboards : ATL
55 Fresh perspective : NEW TAKE
57 Paragon : IDEAL
58 Cereal with a Mega Stuf variety : OREO O’S
59 Helvetica-like typeface : ARIAL
60 “I’m ___ Git You Sucka” (1988 parody film) : GONNA
61 Often-frayed parts of papyrus : EDGES
64 Penguins play in it, for short : NHL
65 It circles the earth : TROPIC
66 Neighbor of Montana: Abbr. : ALB
69 Less emotional : ICIER
70 Deck out : ADORN
71 Vaccine component : RNA
77 Starts of some cheers : HIPS
78 Kind of dish that you wouldn’t want to eat from : PETRI
80 “Ya dig?” : GET ME?
82 “Bridesmaids” co-star : WIIG
83 Biblical figure whose “whole body was like a hairy garment” : ESAU
85 Con head? : NEO-
86 Danced like Cardi B : TWERKED
87 Two farthings, colloquially : HA’PENNY
88 Large building : EDIFICE
89 Some cameras, for short : SLRS
90 Country that had a nonviolent “singing revolution” in the late 1980s : ESTONIA
92 Sphere : REALM
93 Kind of spending bill : OMNIBUS
94 That’s a bunch of crock! : POTTERY
95 Hardly a noob : PRO
96 Kvetchers’ cries : OYS
100 Lighter igniters : FLINTS
102 Childish retort : ARE SO!
103 “No more for me, thanks” : I’M SET
104 When Macbeth fights Macduff : ACT V
105 Politico Gallego : RUBEN
108 Like some mirrors : OVAL
110 Vega’s constellation : LYRA
113 Mate : PAL
114 113-Down, in French : AMI
115 Company that once generated more than 4,000 patents in a single year : IBM
116 Security Council member : USA
117 Subj. of Churchill’s “Never … was so much owed by so many to so few” : RAF
118 Canny : SLY

9 thoughts on “0623-24 NY Times Crossword 23 Jun 24, Sunday”

  1. 40:29. Wow, a proper slog! Genuinely just glad to have finished that.

    Not much into art/paintings, so the theme was of little use to me. Got lucky with some guesses on the partially-filled theme entries and just ploughed through to the end.

    On a positive note, I’ll add that themes based on my trivia ‘blind spots’ often provide me the best learning opportunities. And by the looks of it, I have plenty to learn today!

    Cheers, all!

  2. 36:23. Outside of AMERICAN GOTHIC, this was a themeless puzzle for me.

    Bill’s write of of Edith PIAF’s life is amazing. She wasn’t ever run over by a freight train, but just about everything else happened to her.

    A HARP is also another name for a harmonica so maybe it isn’t so atypical…

    Best –

  3. 27:02, no errors. Didn’t grasp the significance of the numbers, but I have at least a nodding acquaintance with all of the paintings, which was helpful. Good puzzle.

  4. 42:32. Bit of a slog until I got going. Then a big slowdown at the end in the NE. Never got a flow going, but glad to finish.

  5. 39:18, no errors. Definitely no art expert, but I was able to mentally visualize all of the paintings referenced. Recalling the names of the paintings was another thing.
    Visited the National Gallery of Art in D.C. week before last. Surprised and shocked to walk around a corner and come face-to-face with old Vincent van (at least one of his many self-portraits) just hanging on the wall.

  6. It’s insane how many obscure words like greave and ha’penny this blogger doesn’t address in these columns.

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