0511-23 NY Times Crossword 11 May 23, Thursday

We have a rebus puzzle today in which some SQUARES contain the letter E (used for an across-answer) and the letters MC (used for a down-answer):

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Latin stars : ASTRA

6 “Star Wars” character who wears Mandalorian armor : FETT

Boba Fett is one of the principal bad guys in the “Star Wars” universe. He appears in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” and in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. A young version of Boba Fett also appears in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones”.

16 Actress Rooney : MARA

Actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and for playing the title character in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

17 Any of 12 children of Uranus and Gaea : TITAN

The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.

18 Onetime extravaganzas that included diving displays and water ballets : AQUACADES

An aquacade is an exhibition of swimming and diving etc, usually set to music. One of the most famous examples of the genre was Billy Rose’s Aquacade that was first produced in 1937. The star lineup included Johnny Weissmuller and a very young Esther Williams.

23 Cambodia’s Angkor ___ : WAT

Angkor Wat is a temple in Cambodia that was built in the 12th century. The beautiful building is iconic in Cambodia and is even featured in the center of the country’s national flag.

28 Indoor recess : APSE

An apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

31 U.S.N. rank below capt. : CMDR

Commander (cmdr.)

32 Palates, e.g. : ROOFS

The roof of the mouth is known as the palate. The anterior part of the palate is very bony, and is called the hard palate. The posterior part is very fleshy and is called the soft palate. The soft palate is muscular and moves to close off the nasal passages while swallowing. We often use the term “palate” figuratively, to describe the sense of taste.

41 Very, in Vichy : TRES

Vichy is a spa town in the center of France, and people from Vichy are known as Vichyssois. After Paris was occupied by the Germans in WWII, Vichy was chosen as the seat of government for what was called the French State. The Vichy government had theoretical authority even in occupied France, and is remembered for its collaboration with the German authorities. Vichy was chosen as the new seat of government because of its relative proximity to Paris, and simply because the town had the largest hotel room capacity in the “free zone” of the country.

43 Cummerbund, e.g. : SASH

A cummerbund is a sash worn around the waist by some men, usually with a dinner jacket or tuxedo. Cummerbands came to us from Afghanistan in the early 1600s.

47 Div. : SEG

A segment (seg.) is part of a circle (circ.).

51 Simu ___, first Asian actor to star in a Marvel movie : LIU

Simu Liu is a Chinese-born Canadian actor. One of his more famous roles was playing the title character in the Marvel Comics 2021 superhero movie “Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings”.

53 Vial fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

56 Standardized point of reference : BENCHMARK

A benchmark is something that serves as a standard used to measure others. The original benchmark was a point of reference used by surveyors. Literally, a benchmark was an angle-iron driven into the ground as a support (or “bench”) for a leveling instrument.

59 Measurement whose name derives from the Latin for “elbow” : CUBIT

The ancient unit of length called a cubit was chosen as the length of the forearm. In some cultures a cubit was divided into 7 palms, the width of the hand excluding the thumb.

62 Coach Rockne : KNUTE

Football coach Knute Rockne was born in the city of Voss in Norway. He came to the United States with his family when he was 5-years-old. Years later, Rockne graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Chemistry, but abandoned that career path when he was offered his first real coaching job.

63 ___ of life : TREE

There is mention in the Bible of both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apparently there is some debate over whether or not the two trees are one and the same.

64 Salon job, informally : PEDI

Pedicure (pedi)

65 Mythical creature associated with Dionysus : SATYR

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

Down

1 Respiratory concern : ASTHMA

In the human body, the windpipe (trachea) divides into the left and right bronchi, which enter the lungs. Inflammation of the bronchi can cause the airways to contract and narrow, leading to the condition known as asthma.

2 Bit of latex pool attire : SWIM CAP

Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

5 Sleep disorder : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

6 Org. issuing recalls : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

7 Expression of relativity depicted five times in this puzzle : E EQUALS MC SQUARED

In Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc², “E” stands for energy, “m” stands for mass, and “c” stands for the speed of light.

Oh boy … Einstein’s general theory of relativity is beyond me. I think that the basic idea behind Albert Einstein’s equivalence principle is that inertial mass and gravitational mass are equivalent. The image that helps me is of a spaceship “floating” in a location with little or no gravitational field so that the astronauts are “weightless”. We can create the equivalence of gravity by accelerating the spaceship. If that rate of acceleration is a steady 9.8 m/s2, then the astronauts will experience the inertial equivalent of Earth’s gravitational field.

8 Heckles : TAUNTS

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant “to question severely”, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

10 “___ big fan” : I’M A

So am I …

19 Trig fig. : COS

Cosine (cos)

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

29 Great Lakes tribe : ERIES

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

37 Pet food brand : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

42 Title lyric after “Ours is a love …” in a Jimmy Dorsey hit : SO RARE

“So Rare” is a song that first became popular with a recording by Guy Lombardo in 1937. It was also a major hit for Jimmy Dorsey twenty years later, in 1957.

45 Video game whose working title was Micropolis : SIMCITY

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

46 Orion, for one : HUNTER

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

55 Selene’s Roman counterpart : LUNA

“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

57 Tony-winning role for Mandy Patinkin : CHE

Mandy Patinkin is a stage and screen actor, and a tenor vocalist. Patinkin played the part of Che in the original Broadway production of “Evita”.

“Evita” was the follow-up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). “Evita” was made into a film in 1996, with Madonna playing the title role and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Juan Perón.

58 ___ Bird, Pulitzer-winning biographer of Robert Oppenheimer : KAI

J. Robert Oppenheimer was a key member of the Manhattan Project team, the man who led the group of scientists and engineers who designed and built the first atomic bombs. After WWII, Oppenheimer became a chief advisor to the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Like many scientists who worked on the development of atomic weapons, Oppenheimer spent many years lobbying against nuclear proliferation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Latin stars : ASTRA
6 “Star Wars” character who wears Mandalorian armor : FETT
10 Title for Abraham in the Quran : IMAM
14 Fly in for the kill, say : SWOOP
15 Sweetums : DEAR
16 Actress Rooney : MARA
17 Any of 12 children of Uranus and Gaea : TITAN
18 Onetime extravaganzas that included diving displays and water ballets : AQUACADES
20 Certain soccer shot : HEADER
22 Dismantle : UNDO
23 Cambodia’s Angkor ___ : WAT
24 Prefix with practice : MAL-
25 Makes bubbly : AERATES
27 Word before and after “on,” “to” or “by” : ONE
28 Indoor recess : APSE
30 Buds : PALS
31 U.S.N. rank below capt. : CMDR
32 Palates, e.g. : ROOFS
34 Assemblages : ARRAYS
36 Like some concepts in theoretical physics : EINSTEINIAN
38 Most inert : IDLEST
40 Smooths, in a way : SANDS
41 Very, in Vichy : TRES
42 640 acres: Abbr. : SQ MI
43 Cummerbund, e.g. : SASH
47 Div. : SEG
48 Turned on : AROUSED
51 Simu ___, first Asian actor to star in a Marvel movie : LIU
52 Like some minor-league baseball : AAA
53 Vial fluids : SERA
54 Ill-tempered : SULLEN
56 Standardized point of reference : BENCHMARK
59 Measurement whose name derives from the Latin for “elbow” : CUBIT
60 Per : EACH
61 What Heron’s formula measures for triangles : AREA
62 Coach Rockne : KNUTE
63 ___ of life : TREE
64 Salon job, informally : PEDI
65 Mythical creature associated with Dionysus : SATYR

Down

1 Respiratory concern : ASTHMA
2 Bit of latex pool attire : SWIM CAP
3 Sum of this and sum of that : TOTALS
4 It’s a drag : ROAD
5 Sleep disorder : APNEA
6 Org. issuing recalls : FDA
7 Expression of relativity depicted five times in this puzzle : E EQUALS MC SQUARED
8 Heckles : TAUNTS
9 Word before secret or paperback : TRADE …
10 “___ big fan” : I’M A
11 2020 Taylor Swift song with the lyric “You’ll poke that bear ’til her claws come out” : MAD WOMAN
12 Celeb’s red-carpet companion, perhaps : ARM CANDY
13 Second degree? : MASTER’S
19 Trig fig. : COS
21 Help make viral, in a way : REPOST
26 Rapids transit? : RAFT
29 Great Lakes tribe : ERIES
31 Swearing up a storm, say : CRASS
33 Switch positions : ONS
34 Big name in organic snacks : ANNIE’S
35 Clear (of) : RID
36 Graceful and stylish quality : ELEGANCE
37 Pet food brand : IAMS
38 “Challenge accepted!” : IT’S A BET!
39 Vehicle you’d buy if money were no object : DREAM CAR
42 Title lyric after “Ours is a love …” in a Jimmy Dorsey hit : SO RARE
44 Not quite : ALL BUT
45 Video game whose working title was Micropolis : SIMCITY
46 Orion, for one : HUNTER
48 Blond shade : ASH
49 Plot again : REMAP
50 Avoids a fastball, say : DUCKS
55 Selene’s Roman counterpart : LUNA
57 Tony-winning role for Mandy Patinkin : CHE
58 ___ Bird, Pulitzer-winning biographer of Robert Oppenheimer : KAI


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