0415-23 NY Times Crossword 15 Apr 23, Saturday - NYXCrossword.com (2023)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 G, as for Google : ICON

The Google search engine was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to “Google”, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

17 Ones tracking disc-overies? : UFOLOGISTS

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.

18 Remoulade ingredient : MAYO

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

A remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce that is similar to tartar sauce. Classic French rémoulade includes vinegar, mustard, shallots, capers, chopped pickles and fresh herbs.

22 Grp. influenced by the 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique” : NOW

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966. The NOW bylaws include a Statement of Purpose:

NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

Betty Friedan was a leading activist in the American Women’s Movement. She was the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and organized the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970. She also authored the book “The Feminine Mystique”, first published in 1963.

24 Many a unicorn : TECH STARTUP

In the world of finance, a unicorn is a privately-held startup company that has a value of over $1 billion. The derivative terms “decacorn” and “hectacorn” refer to companies with valuation of over $10 billion and $100 billion respectively. The use of the term “unicorn” reflects how unlikely such valuations are.

33 Shoe brand whose name evokes flight : AVIA

The Avia brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

41 Update, maybe : AMEND

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”.

44 Frank ___, Progressive-era novelist who wrote “The Octopus” and “McTeague” : NORRIS

“The Octopus: A Story of California” is a 1901 novel by Frank Norris. The novel tells of conflict between wheat growers and a railway company, and was inspired by a true story. Back in the late 1800s there were many disputes between railroad companies and farmers who leased railroad land. At issue was the elevated prices charged by the railroads to purchase property, after the farmers themselves had developed the land while it was under lease.

53 Barrier island that hosts the Venice Film Festival : LIDO

The Lido de Venezia is a famous sandbar in Venice, Italy. About 11 km in length, it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort. In the UK, the term “lido” is often used for a recreation facility with a pool. This usage has been adopted on cruise ships, where the lido deck is home to the outdoor swimming pool(s) and related facilities.

59 Boris Pasternak heroine : LARA

The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara Antipova. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.

61 Red ___, another name for a bobcat : LYNX

The lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

  • The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
  • The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
  • The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
  • The bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

Down

2 Actor in “American Psycho” and “Nightmare Alley” : DAFOE

Willem Dafoe is an American actor, one from Wisconsin. He was born just plain “William” Dafoe, but didn’t like being called “Billy”. So, he changed his name to “Willem”, which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter.

“American Psycho” is a comedy horror film released in 2000 that is based on a 1991 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t do horror, comedic or not …

4 Little brook : RILL

The word “rill”, meaning a small brook or rivulet, has German roots. It has the same roots as “Rhine”, the name of the major European river.

7 Hilarious person, colloquially : STITCH

A very amusing person might be referred to as a card, stitch, wag or riot.

8 Land-clearing tractor attachment : BUSH HOG

A brush hog (note the spelling) is a type of rotary mower designed to whack through dense plant growth using a relatively dull blade. The main brand of brush hog is the Bush Hog made in Selma, Alabama by Bush Hog LLC.

11 Brio : VIM

“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language the term means “vigor and vivacity”. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

14 Produce in pods : SNOW PEAS

The snow pea lives up to its name. It continues to grow when it is snowing.

21 Nickname for France’s Louis VI, with “the” : … FAT

Louis le Gros (“Louis the Fat” aka “Louis VI”) ruled France until his death in 1137. Apparently Louis died of dysentery brought on by a gluttonous lifestyle that had made him grossly overweight.

24 It may have a mess in the Army : TENT

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

26 Ving of “Mission: Impossible” movies : RHAMES

Ving Rhames is a Hollywood actor from New York City. I first noted him in the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction”, in which he played gangster Marsellus Wallace. Rhames also appears alongside Tom Cruise in the “Mission: Impossible” series of films. In fact, only Cruise and Rhames appear in all of the “Mission: Impossible” movies.

30 Best Supporting Actress winner whose parents have each been nominated for “Supporting” Oscars, but never won : LAURA DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!

Diane Ladd is an American actress who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1990 film “Wild at Heart”. The lead roles in the movie were played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Laura Dern is Diane Ladd’s daughter in real life, as she was once married to actor Bruce Dern.

34 Subject of modern medical research : STEM CELL

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can become specialized cells. Stem cells are found in embryos (embryonic stem cells), and are especially prevalent about 4-5 days of growth after fertilization. Stem cells are also found throughout the bodies of adults (somatic stem cells). Somatic stem cells are associated with a particular organ and have the potential to regenerate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate.

40 Some pasta : BOW TIES

Farfalle is commonly referred to as bow-tie pasta because of its shape. The name comes from the Italian “farfalla” meaning “butterfly”.

48 Curriculum ___ : VITAE

A curriculum vitae (“CV” or “vita”) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

49 Who had us at “Hello”? : ADELE

“Hello” is a 2015 song by English singer Adele that won her three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

55 Follower of alto or tenor : … SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

57 School of whales : GAM

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Field of computing : ADDRESS BAR
11 Clips, in brief : VIDS
15 Sketchy boardwalk offering? : CARICATURE
16 G, as for Google : ICON
17 Ones tracking disc-overies? : UFOLOGISTS
18 Remoulade ingredient : MAYO
19 Plane, e.g. : TOOL
20 Note taker? : THIEF
22 Grp. influenced by the 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique” : NOW
23 Food traditionally eaten on Japan’s Doyo no Ushi no Hi (“Midsummer Day of the Ox”) : EEL
24 Many a unicorn : TECH STARTUP
27 Smoking : RED HOT
28 Word with party or park : THEME …
29 Words on the street : SLANG
31 Impressive hire, in business lingo : GET
33 Shoe brand whose name evokes flight : AVIA
34 Spread : SCATTER
36 Company with longtime links to Westinghouse : SIEMENS
38 Some short-lived particles : TAUS
39 Fam figure : SIB
41 Update, maybe : AMEND
42 Fluff : ERROR
44 Frank ___, Progressive-era novelist who wrote “The Octopus” and “McTeague” : NORRIS
46 “Your point being …?” : MEANING WHAT …
48 ___ life (nomadism popular on social media) : VAN
51 Sleazo : CAD
52 State line? : MOTTO
53 Barrier island that hosts the Venice Film Festival : LIDO
54 Millions of Ghanaians, ethnically : EWES
56 Payment standards : GOING RATES
59 Boris Pasternak heroine : LARA
60 Flash event in a clothing store, say : ONE-DAY SALE
61 Red ___, another name for a bobcat : LYNX
62 Bun topper : SESAME SEED

Down

1 Sharp : ACUTE
2 Actor in “American Psycho” and “Nightmare Alley” : DAFOE
3 [I’m so-o-o hungry] : [DROOL]
4 Little brook : RILL
5 Lead-in to toxicology : ECO-
6 Not look fresh, in a way : SAG
7 Hilarious person, colloquially : STITCH
8 Land-clearing tractor attachment : BUSH HOG
9 Virtuosi : ARTISTES
10 Kind of button : RESET
11 Brio : VIM
12 Words said when one is speechless : I CAN’T EVEN
13 “May I sit here?” : DO YOU MIND?
14 Produce in pods : SNOW PEAS
21 Nickname for France’s Louis VI, with “the” : … FAT
24 It may have a mess in the Army : TENT
25 Barely beats : EDGES
26 Ving of “Mission: Impossible” movies : RHAMES
27 Sings about : RATS ON
29 Shoo with a “Boo!” : SCARE AWAY
30 Best Supporting Actress winner whose parents have each been nominated for “Supporting” Oscars, but never won : LAURA DERN
32 Papal topper : TIARA
34 Subject of modern medical research : STEM CELL
35 Phone number? : RINGTONE
37 Let out : EMIT
40 Some pasta : BOW TIES
43 Part of a crater : RIM
45 ___ Vincent, bluegrass singer inducted into the Grand Ole Opry : RHONDA
47 Cancellations : NO-GOS
48 Curriculum ___ : VITAE
49 Who had us at “Hello”? : ADELE
50 Poked (into) : NOSED
53 Miss : LASS
55 Follower of alto or tenor : … SAX
57 School of whales : GAM
58 Bakery buy : RYE

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