0323-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Mar 17, Thursday

Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

THEME: Not As Wide
There is a note with the electronic version of the puzzle that I solved:

In the print version of this puzzle, the columns consisting of 14-/42-Down, 16-/49-Down and 22-Down are not as wide as all the other columns.

Today’s themed answers are in the down-direction and are located in columns that are “not as wide” as the others in the grid. We need to take into account the lack of width of these answers to make full sense of the corresponding clues:

14D. Girl Scout cookie offering : THIN MINTS
16D. Barely successful avoidance of calamity : NARROW ESCAPE
22D. Brand for weight-watchers : LEAN CUISINE
42D. What a long shot has : SLIM CHANCE
49D. Form-fitting casual wear : SKINNY JEANS


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

1. Cable channel owned by Time Warner : TBS
The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with TBS standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

10. “Un ___” (answer to “Parlez-vous français?”) : PEU
In French, “Parlez-vous français?” means “Do you speak French?”

“Un peu” is French for “a little”.

13. Fashionable : A LA MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

15. Distinctive filmmakers : AUTEURS
We use the term “auteur” to describe a film director with a distinctive style, one that is distinct enough to overcome the influence of a movie studio and other commercial pressures. Examples often cited are Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks and Jean Renoir. “Auteur” is a French word meaning “author”.

18. Alley seen on TV : KIRSTIE
Kirstie Alley was born Kirstie Deal, and takes her stage name from her first marriage, to Robert Alley. Her most famous role was that of Rebecca Howe, Sam Malone’s boss on the sitcom “Cheers” from 1987 to 1993.

23. ___ Ming, 2016 Hall of Fame inductee : YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

32. Pickup line? : RAM
Chrysler put ram hood ornaments on all of its Dodge branded vehicles starting in 1933. When the first line of Dodge trucks and vans were introduced in 1981, they were named “Rams” in honor of that hood ornament.

37. Keats ode subject : URN
Here’s the first verse of the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats:

THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

38. 2017 symbol in the Chinese zodiac : ROOSTER
The 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar uses the following animals in order:

  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig

43. Actress Skye : IONE
Ione Skye is an American actress born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything …”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

50. Certain varietal, for short : CAB
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.

62. Big to-do : SHINDIG
“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think, describing a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

65. German direction : OST
“Ost” is German for “east”.

67. Show filmed at Rockefeller Center, for short : SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

What is now called the GE Building in New York City, was originally known as the RCA Building, with the name changing in 1988 after the 1986 takeover of RCA by GE. The building was completed in 1933 as part of the Rockefeller Center and was named for its main tenant RCA. Famously, the skyscraper’s address of 30 Rockefeller Center is routinely shortened to “30 Rock”.

1. “It is ___ that is golden, not silence”: Samuel Butler : TACT
Samuel Butler was a British novelist and satirist. His best known novels are “Erewhon” (1872) and “The Way of All Flesh” (1903). Butler also made translations of Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” that are still widely used.

3. Article of apparel that often leaves one arm bare : SARI
The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

7. Olajuwon of the N.B.A. : HAKEEM
Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian American basketball player. Hakeem was born in Lagos in Nigeria, and came the US to play for the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1984, ahead of the likes of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.

11. Lake connected with lake-effect snow : ERIE
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.

14. Girl Scout cookie offering : THIN MINTS
Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookie, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes the Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel Delites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name of “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookie sold is Thin Mints.

22. Brand for weight-watchers : LEAN CUISINE
Lean Cuisine is a brand of frozen dinners that was created in 1981, introduced as a healthy, low-fat and low-calorie alternative to Stouffer’s frozen meals.

25. Caterpillar stage : LARVA
The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

26. Godlike, in a way : OMNISCIENT
“Omniscience” is the quality of having complete knowledge and awareness. The term comes from the Latin “omnis” meaning “all” and “scientia” meaning “knowledge”.

31. River through Nottingham, England : TRENT
The River Trent in England is one of the few rivers that flows north for much of its route. The Trent rises in Staffordshire and empties into the River Ouse in Yorkshire.

Nottingham is a city in the East Midlands of England. To outsiders, perhaps Nottingham is most famous for its links to the legend of Robin Hood.

54. Auctioned car, perhaps : REPO
Repossession (repo)

59. Old typesetting machine, informally : LINO
Linotype printing was the main technology used in the publication of newspapers and magazines for most of the 20th century, up until the 1970s when it was gradually replaced by offset printing and computer typesetting. Linotype printing was so called as a complete “line of type” was produced at one time.

60. Pop of rock : IGGY
Iggy Pop is a punk rock performer from Muskegon, Michigan. When he was in high school, he was a drummer for a local band called the Iguanas, and so was given the nickname “Iggy”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Cable channel owned by Time Warner : TBS
4. Lead-in to toe or top : TIP-
7. Countdown abbr. : HRS
10. “Un ___” (answer to “Parlez-vous français?”) : PEU
13. Fashionable : A LA MODE
15. Distinctive filmmakers : AUTEURS
17. One-horse carriage : CARIOLE
18. Alley seen on TV : KIRSTIE
19. One may be deep : THINKER
20. Passed : ENACTED
21. Again … and again : THRICE
23. ___ Ming, 2016 Hall of Fame inductee : YAO
24. Thereabouts : CLOSE
27. Unfeeling : NUMB
29. Line at a barbershop : PART
32. Pickup line? : RAM
33. Broadway opening : ACT I
35. Perhaps not at all : IF EVER
37. Keats ode subject : URN
38. 2017 symbol in the Chinese zodiac : ROOSTER
40. Accented approval : OLE!
41. Boots : EVICTS
43. Actress Skye : IONE
44. Can : TIN
45. Eye protector : LASH
46. Writing on many a chalkboard : MENU
48. Tape recorder button : EJECT
50. Certain varietal, for short : CAB
52. Provide with oxygen : AERATE
54. Game day disappointment : RAIN-OUT
57. Singer of the anthem “Hatikvah” (“The Hope”) : ISRAELI
61. Carry out : EXECUTE
62. Big to-do : SHINDIG
63. Sticky stuff : PINE TAR
64. Some playfulness : TEASING
65. German direction : OST
66. Short : SHY
67. Show filmed at Rockefeller Center, for short : SNL
68. Play (with) : TOY

1. “It is ___ that is golden, not silence”: Samuel Butler : TACT
2. When tripled, et cetera : BLAH
3. Article of apparel that often leaves one arm bare : SARI
4. Was encouraged : TOOK HEART
5. Layabout : IDLER
6. Look at searchingly : PEER INTO
7. Olajuwon of the N.B.A. : HAKEEM
8. Wreckage : RUIN
9. Good candidate for adoption : STRAY
10. Settle by calling the question : PUT TO A VOTE
11. Lake connected with lake-effect snow : ERIE
12. Exhausted : USED
14. Girl Scout cookie offering : THIN MINTS
16. Barely successful avoidance of calamity : NARROW ESCAPE
22. Brand for weight-watchers : LEAN CUISINE
24. Barbarous : CRUEL
25. Caterpillar stage : LARVA
26. Godlike, in a way : OMNISCIENT
28. French well : BIEN
30. Museum piece : RELIC
31. River through Nottingham, England : TRENT
34. Ending with micro- : -COSM
36. Incentive for buying a new product, maybe : FREE TRIAL
39. Buyers of guidebooks : TOURISTS
42. What a long shot has : SLIM CHANCE
47. Lunch spot : EATERY
49. Form-fitting casual wear : SKINNY JEANS
51. Matches : BOUTS
53. Wan : ASHEN
54. Auctioned car, perhaps : REPO
55. x or y : AXIS
56. Pac-12 team : UTAH
58. Make some changes to : EDIT
59. Old typesetting machine, informally : LINO
60. Pop of rock : IGGY

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7 thoughts on “0323-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Mar 17, Thursday”

  1. 12:59, no errors. I did this one online and immediately got a flashing message indicator and was told about the narrowed columns, as a result of which all of the entries in those columns were gimmes or near-gimmes. I'm not sure I'd have responded as quickly to the actual narrowed columns in the print version. Cute gimmick and a relatively easy puzzle.

    @Carrie … Welcome! And enjoy! FWIW, when I started doing most of the puzzles online (about a year ago), I found the mechanics of it seriously distracting for quite a while. At this point, I've almost completely gotten over that and I enjoy doing the puzzles either way.

  2. First gimmicky puzzle I've ever solved without getting…or even noticing…the gimmick.

    As I suggested to Carrie yesterday, I printed this one out from the online version and there was nothing thinner about those columns nor was there a note once I printed it out. Who knew that printing would actually be a hindrance in this very next puzzle!

    But like I said, I finished it anyway. The "thin" answers made enough sense anyway – even without the hints. CUISINE lacking "Lean" was very obvious but I got it anyway and didn't notice anything else while completing the grid.

    Strange crossword day…

    Best –

  3. 22:41, no errors. The syndicated print edition does have the three vertical columns narrower than the rest, with no additional comment. The theme became apparent quickly with narrow ESCAPE, I then able to fill in the remaining four with no cross help. My downfall was the upper left corner, looking to put TCM in 1A, TALK or CHAT in 1D, YADA in 2D and TOGA in 3D. Not familiar with ALA MODE (in fashion terms) or CARIOLE.

    Again my pet peeve with English language puzzles: PEU, BIEN, OST (and to some extent OLE) non-English words which are not in common English use, have no place.

  4. No note, but not needed. Finished correctly thinking it was just a vague theme about narrowness or some such, not coming up with each of the precise, unstated words.

  5. Two errors centering around SARI in upper left. I entered CAMI, thinking of CAMISOLE. Close, but not good enough.

    I work on paper so when I first saw the thin columns I knew immediately what the theme was going to be. Very easy for a Thursday.

  6. 15:24 and no errors, surprisingly enough. This one was far from easy. The theme was cute, and not "forced" like so many others.

  7. DNF on this one after about 45 minutes. Easily got the gimmick but couldn't get past the crazy and cynical cluing on this one.

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