0209-23 NY Times Crossword 9 Feb 23, Thursday

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Like some committees : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

6 Many a Syrian or Yemeni : ARAB

The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.

Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, and lies just south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman. Yemen is the only state on the peninsula that is a republic (its official name is the Republic of Yemen). Everyone over the age of 18 gets to vote, but only Muslims can hold elected office.

14 “Je t’aime” : French :: “___” : Spanish : TE AMO

“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, “Ich liebe dich” in German, and “je t’aime” in French.

17 Firm fruit : DOLE [Fruit firm]

James Dole lent his name to today’s Dole Food Company. He was known as the Pineapple King, as he developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the forerunner to the Dole Food Company. Dole might have had some help on the way, as he was a cousin of Sanford B, Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900.

21 Supreme Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA

Amun-Ra (also “Amon, Amen”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

22 Centerpiece of an agenda : MAIN ITEM

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

24 Actor George of “The Goldbergs” : SEGAL

Actor George Segal was one of my favorite Hollywood stars when I was growing up. I most remember him from the dramatic role he played in 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” alongside Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and the comedic role he played in 1973’s “A Touch of Class” opposite Glenda Jackson. Segal made a successful transition to television in recent years, playing lead roles on the sitcoms “Just Shoot Me!” and “The Goldbergs”.

“The Goldbergs” is a very entertaining sitcom that started airing in 2013. The show was created by Adam F. Goldberg and is based on Goldberg’s own childhood and family. My favorite part of the show comes at the end of each episode, when a clip from Goldberg’s real home movies is shown, which clip relates back to that episode’s storyline.

27 Museum curators’ degs. : MFAS

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease. Today, we use the term “curator” particularly for someone in charge of a museum, zoo or other exhibition.

41 Young musician : NEIL [Musician Young]

Neil Young is a singer and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. Young is known for his solo work, as well as his earlier recordings with Buffalo Springfield and as the fourth member of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Young is also a successful movie director, although he uses the pseudonym “Bernard Shakey” for his movie work. Included in his filmography are “Human Highway” and “Greendale”.

42 Mount Olympus : TRIPOD [Olympus mount]

The Japan-based Olympus Corporation is probably most famous as a manufacturer of cameras and lenses. Olympus was founded in 1919 as a supplier of microscopes and thermometers. Today, the company supplies about 70% of the world’s gastrointestinal endoscopes, which is equivalent to about $2 billion in sales.

45 One of the Three Magi : CASPAR

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

47 Insurance giant bailed out in 2008 : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

48 Some turban wearers : SIKHS

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

49 Hwy. accident respondent : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

53 Singer with the 2016 #1 hit “Cheap Thrills” : SIA

“Cheap Thrills” is a 2015 song that was the first number-one hit in the US for Australian singer/songwriter Sia.

54 Gossip : DISH

To dish the dirt is to talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information). To be dishy is to be given to gossip.

65 Thick Japanese noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

69 Cuts short : BOBS [Short cuts]

A bob cut is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s, “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

72 Water buffalo : ERIE [Buffalo water]

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

Buffalo is the second-most populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

73 ___ Midas Wolf (Disney’s “Three Little Pigs” antagonist) : ZEKE

The Big Bad Wolf is a character in many folklore stories, including “Little Red Riding” and “Three Little Pigs”. Walt Disney’s version of the Big Bad Wolf is called Zeke Wolf, and has a son called Li’l Bad Wolf, or just “Li’l Wolf” to his friends.

74 Senator Joni of Iowa : ERNST

Joni Ernst was elected as a US Senator for Iowa in 2014. Ernst is a Republican who had previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. She is the first female veteran in the US Senate, and the first woman to represent Iowa in the US Congress.

Down

1 Gillette razor name : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

5 Emend : CORRECT

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

7 Caviar, for example : ROE

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

8 Only human, briefly : ADAM

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

10 Actor Elba of “Cats” : IDRIS

English actor Idris Elba played the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

The 2019 movie “Cats” is a much-panned big screen adaptation of the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical of the same name. Great musical, horrible film …

23 Lil ___ (“Old Town Road” rapper) : NAS X

“Lil Nas X” is the stage name of rapper Montero Lamar Hill. He was born and raised just outside of Atlanta. His first hit was “Old Town Road”, which is classified as country rap.

25 U.S.A., USB or U.S.C. : ABBR

Abbreviation (abbr.)

26 Wild West show rope : LARIAT

Our word “lariat” comes from the Spanish “la reater” meaning “the rope”.

28 Word with square or line : … DANCE

A square dance is a dance for eight participants, i.e. four couples. For much of the time, the couples are arranged so that they form the sides of a square, hence the name of the dance.

32 Symbol of sharp wit : RAPIER

A rapier is a very thin sword with a sharp point that is used to kill and maim by thrusting the point into the body, rather than by slashing.

33 Does not : BUCKS [Not does]

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

34 Official beer sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

35 Group thinking : MENSA [Thinking group]

Mensa is a high-IQ society that was founded in Oxford, England in 1946. The founders were two lawyers: Australian Roland Berrill and Englishman Lancelot Ware. Apparently, the elitist founders were unhappy with the development of Mensa, given that most members came from the working and lower classes.

37 Grossglockner, for one : ALP

The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria, and the second-highest in the Alps (the highest being Mont Blanc).

40 CBS forensic drama : CSI

I quite enjoy the “CSI” franchise of television shows, all except “CSI: Miami”. I find the character played by David Caruso to be extremely annoying. “CSI: Miami” was canceled in 2012. No loss …

43 Giant storybook : OGRE [Storybook giant]

An ogre is a hideous monster of legend. There is a suggestion that “ogre” is French in origin and comes from “Orcus”, the name of an Etruscan underworld god who fed on human flesh. Nice guy …

51 1978 movie musical starring Diana Ross : THE WIZ

“The Wiz”, the 1974 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

52 U.N. member until 1991 : USSR

When the former Soviet Union (USSR) dissolved in 1991, it was largely replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The formation of the CIS underscored the new reality, that the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) were now independent states. Most of the 15 former SSRs joined the CIS. Notably, the three Baltic SSRs (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) opted not to join the new commonwealth, and in 2004 joined NATO and the EU.

54 Like a neutron star : DENSE

Neutron stars are extremely dense, and extremely small. They may have the mass of two of our suns, and yet measure only 14 miles in diameter. Neutron stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons and are the result of the gravitational collapse of a massive star after a stellar explosion known as a supernova.

57 Part IV : TUBE [IV part]

Intravenous (IV) drip

59 Cold Asian desert : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. It is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s forward progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

62 Cold Spanish dessert : FLAN

Flan (also “crème caramel”) is a delicious dessert comprising a molded custard topped with a clear caramel sauce. The related crème brûlée is a dessert made from molded custard with a hard, burnt caramel layer on top.

63 Pelts : FURS

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

64 Lampooned, with “up” : SENT …

A lampoon is a parody, a spoof or send-up.

67 Pan Asian : WOK [Asian pan]

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like some committees : AD HOC
6 Many a Syrian or Yemeni : ARAB
10 “Ri-i-i-ight” : I BET
14 “Je t’aime” : French :: “___” : Spanish : TE AMO
15 Does some tech work : CODES
17 Firm fruit : DOLE [Fruit firm]
18 With 66-Across, hint for solving this puzzle : REVERSE EACH …
20 “Roll doubles to get out of jail,” or “You do not talk about Fight Club” : RULE
21 Supreme Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA
22 Centerpiece of an agenda : MAIN ITEM
24 Actor George of “The Goldbergs” : SEGAL
27 Museum curators’ degs. : MFAS
28 “Lah-di-___!” : DAH
31 Some nightclub performances : CABARETS
33 Sound of impact : BAM!
36 Vexed : ATE AT
38 Garment patented in 1914 by Mary Phelps Jacob : BRA
39 “My alarm didn’t go off,” for one : EXCUSE
41 Young musician : NEIL [Musician Young]
42 Mount Olympus : TRIPOD [Olympus mount]
44 Look good : SCAN [Good luck]
45 One of the Three Magi : CASPAR
47 Insurance giant bailed out in 2008 : AIG
48 Some turban wearers : SIKHS
49 Hwy. accident respondent : EMT
50 Call home : BATTER UP! [Home call]
53 Singer with the 2016 #1 hit “Cheap Thrills” : SIA
54 Gossip : DISH
55 Sticky plant stuff : RESIN
57 As a unit : TOGETHER
61 Takes a whiff : SNIFFS
65 Thick Japanese noodle : UDON
66 Continuation of 18-Across : … TWO-WORD CLUE
69 Cuts short : BOBS [Short cuts]
70 Feature of a helmet, maybe : VISOR
71 Absorb, as information : LEARN
72 Water buffalo : ERIE [Buffalo water]
73 ___ Midas Wolf (Disney’s “Three Little Pigs” antagonist) : ZEKE
74 Senator Joni of Iowa : ERNST

Down

1 Gillette razor name : ATRA
2 Judge : DEEM
3 Give birth to : HAVE
4 Signs of trouble : OMENS
5 Emend : CORRECT
6 No soft serve : ACE
7 Caviar, for example : ROE
8 Only human, briefly : ADAM
9 Wasn’t, then was : BECAME
10 Actor Elba of “Cats” : IDRIS
11 Engagement ring : BOUT [Ring engagement]
12 What is she in France? : ELLE
13 Abound : TEEM
16 Went to third, say : SHIFTED
19 Story spanning generations : SAGA
23 Lil ___ (“Old Town Road” rapper) : NAS X
25 U.S.A., USB or U.S.C. : ABBR
26 Wild West show rope : LARIAT
28 Word with square or line : … DANCE
29 Crew top : A-TEAM [Top crew]
30 Job bank : HEIST [Bank job]
32 Symbol of sharp wit : RAPIER
33 Does not : BUCKS [Not does]
34 Official beer sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics : ASAHI
35 Group thinking : MENSA [Thinking group]
37 Grossglockner, for one : ALP
40 CBS forensic drama : CSI
42 Object of hate-watching, perhaps : TRASH TV
43 Giant storybook : OGRE [Storybook giant]
46 Not very much : A BIT
48 Rod used to make yarn : SPINDLE
51 1978 movie musical starring Diana Ross : THE WIZ
52 U.N. member until 1991 : USSR
54 Like a neutron star : DENSE
56 Not as nasty : NICER
57 Part IV : TUBE [IV part]
58 Evidence of expiration : ODOR
59 Cold Asian desert : GOBI
60 National flower of England : ROSE
62 Cold Spanish dessert : FLAN
63 Pelts : FURS
64 Lampooned, with “up” : SENT …
67 Pan Asian : WOK [Asian pan]
68 Rock hard : ORE [Hard rock]


Share: 10