0306-19 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): March(ing) Beasts

The circled letters in today’s grid define a word ladder taking us from LION to LAMB, which is a reference to the month of MARCH “coming in like a LION, out like a LAMB”:

  • 5A Rung #1 of an apt word ladder : LION
  • 32A Rung #2 of the ladder : LIMN
  • 48A Rung #3 of the ladder : LIMB
  • 71A Rung #4 of the ladder : LAMB

Also, the starting words in themed answers MARCH from WINTER to SPRING:

  • 17A History moving forward : MARCH OF PROGRESS
  • 41A Snowy expanse : WINTER WONDERLAND
  • 62A Cry when warmer weather returns : SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Bill’s time: 8m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Michael who played the title role in 2014’s “Cesar Chavez” : PENA

César Chávez was a Mexican American farm worker, and co-founder of the union today known as the United Farm Workers. Chávez was born in Yuma, Arizona, but moved to California as a child with his family. He never attended high school, dropping out to become a full-time migrant farm worker. In 1944, at 17 years of age, he joined the US Navy and served for two years. 5-6 years after returning from the military, back working as a farm laborer, Chávez became politically active and rose to national attention as an articulate union leader during some high profile strikes. He is remembered annually here in California on his birthday, March 31, which is a state holiday.

15 Melville work following “Typee” : OMOO

Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby-Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

16 Exploding stars : NOVAE

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

21 Same-___ marriage : SEX

The concept of same-sex marriage isn’t a new one by any means, as there are references to such legal arrangements in the days of the Roman Empire and the Ming Dynasty in China. These days, same-sex marriage is legal in nations such as the United States, and my homeland of Ireland. In fact, in 2015 Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage as the result of a nationwide referendum.

30 Alternative to Target : KOHL’S

Kohl’s is a department store chain with its headquarters in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The store takes its name from the founder, Maxwell Kohl.

32 Rung #2 of the ladder : LIMN

To limn is to describe, or portray in a painting or a drawing. “Limn” has the same root as “illuminate”, in the sense of illuminating a manuscript.

38 Actress Falco : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

39 Supermarket section : DELI

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

45 Lowest number not found on a grandfather clock : XIII

There are several sizes of longcase clocks, tall and freestanding clocks driven by a pendulum swinging inside a tower below the clock face. A longcase clock over 6 feet tall is called a grandfather, and one below five feet is a granddaughter, One that falls between five and six feet is known as a grandmother. The name of the clock derives from an 1876 song called “My Grandfather’s Clock”.

46 Woman’s name that’s a city in Oklahoma : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

52 Italian province where Moscato is produced : ASTI

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco). Moscato is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content, and is usually served as a dessert wine.

54 Follower of crack or crock : -POT

We often use the term “crockpot” as an alternative for “slow cooker”. The generic term comes from the trademark “Crock-Pot”, which is now owned by Sunbeam products.

58 Where Hawks soar: Abbr. : 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.

60 South side? : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

67 Taqueria option : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

68 Jai ___ : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

69 Funny Samberg : ANDY

Andy Samberg is an actor and comedian who was a “Saturday Night Live” cast member from 2005 until 2012. Samberg also plays the lead on the police sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.

Down

1 Typist’s stat: Abbr. : WPM

Words per minute (WPM)

3 Latin phrase on memos : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

4 New World parrots : MACAWS

Macaws are beautifully colored birds of native to Central and South America, and are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaw are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

5 English head : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

6 Global financial org. : IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

9 Dutch banking giant : ING

ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.

10 Stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese : CORDON BLEU

A “cordon bleu” dish is a meat dish, one prepared by wrapping the meat around cheese, covering with breading and then pan-frying. Specifically, veal cordon bleu is made using veal that is pounded thin and wrapped around slices of ham and cheese. The term “cordon bleu” translated from French as “blue ribbon”.

18 Charlemagne’s domain: Abbr. : HRE

Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe from 962 until 1806.

19 Losing line in tic-tac-toe : O-X-X

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

24 I-, in chemistry : IODIDE

In chemistry, when a metal combines with a nonmetal, the nonmetal is often given the suffix “-ide”. One example would be iron sulfide, made from iron (a metal) and sulfur (a nonmetal).

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

29 1950s-’60s TV emcee Jack : PAAR

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

35 National Zoo animal on loan from China : GIANT PANDA

The phrase “panda diplomacy” is used to describe China’s practice of presenting giant pandas to other countries as diplomatic gifts. One of the more famous examples of panda diplomacy was the presentation of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the US following President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972.

36 Current event? : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

40 Gift for a ukulele player : LEI

“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

42 To whom “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” is sung : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

43 “It’s mine!” : DIBS!

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

56 Area abutting a transept : APSE

The 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.

A transept is a transverse section that crosses the main body of a building. Transepts are important features in many Gothic Christian churches, which often have a cross-shaped floor plan.

59 ___ land : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

61 Part of a Viking message : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled both by sail and by oars.

64 Singer/songwriter Smith : SAM

Sam Smith is a singer from London. I think that the only recording I’ve heard of his is “Writing’s on the Wall”, which is the theme song from the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre”.

66 OB/___ : GYN

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Caprice : WHIM
5 Rung #1 of an apt word ladder : LION
9 “Too frustrating for me!” : I CAN’T!
14 Michael who played the title role in 2014’s “Cesar Chavez” : PENA
15 Melville work following “Typee” : OMOO
16 Exploding stars : NOVAE
17 History moving forward : MARCH OF PROGRESS
20 Bring up … or something brought up : REAR
21 Same-___ marriage : SEX
22 “Phooey” : DRAT
23 Canine command : SIT!
25 “The Amazing Spider-Man” director, amazingly enough : WEBB
28 Trade show : EXPO
30 Alternative to Target : KOHL’S
32 Rung #2 of the ladder : LIMN
34 Ire : ANGER
38 Actress Falco : EDIE
39 Supermarket section : DELI
40 Readily open to change : LABILE
41 Snowy expanse : WINTER WONDERLAND
44 In a nervous manner : EDGILY
45 Lowest number not found on a grandfather clock : XIII
46 Woman’s name that’s a city in Oklahoma : ENID
47 Takes five : RESTS
48 Rung #3 of the ladder : LIMB
49 “And yet …” : BUT NO …
50 Quench : SATE
52 Italian province where Moscato is produced : ASTI
54 Follower of crack or crock : -POT
55 Shadow : TAIL
58 Where Hawks soar: Abbr. : ATL
60 South side? : OKRA
62 Cry when warmer weather returns : SPRING HAS SPRUNG!
67 Taqueria option : ASADA
68 Jai ___ : ALAI
69 Funny Samberg : ANDY
70 Subscription option : RENEW
71 Rung #4 of the ladder : LAMB
72 Not nice : MEAN

Down

1 Typist’s stat: Abbr. : WPM
2 Experience auditory hallucinations : HEAR THINGS
3 Latin phrase on memos : IN RE
4 New World parrots : MACAWS
5 English head : LOO
6 Global financial org. : IMF
7 “Didn’t intend for that!” : OOPS!
8 Irish girl’s name related to the word “honor” : NOREEN
9 Dutch banking giant : ING
10 Stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese : CORDON BLEU
11 Allege : AVER
12 Big employer in Huntsville, Ala. : NASA
13 Try : TEST
18 Charlemagne’s domain: Abbr. : HRE
19 Losing line in tic-tac-toe : O-X-X
23 Spit in the food? : SKEWER
24 I-, in chemistry : IODIDE
26 Gusted : BLEW
27 City just east of Gulfport : BILOXI
29 1950s-’60s TV emcee Jack : PAAR
31 Not be bothered by something : LET IT SLIDE
33 Lower limits, in math : MINIMA
35 National Zoo animal on loan from China : GIANT PANDA
36 Current event? : EL NINO
37 Hindu’s bindi, traditionally : RED DOT
39 Needing moisturizer : DRY
40 Gift for a ukulele player : LEI
42 To whom “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” is sung : ELSA
43 “It’s mine!” : DIBS!
48 Deadly : LETHAL
49 Style of yoga in a heated room : BIKRAM
51 Identify : TAG
53 Best : TOP
55 Peter or Paul : TSAR
56 Area abutting a transept : APSE
57 Country with a Supreme Leader : IRAN
59 ___ land : LA-LA
61 Part of a Viking message : RUNE
63 “Uh-uh” : NAW
64 Singer/songwriter Smith : SAM
65 One you might squabble with in the back seat : SIB
66 OB/___ : GYN

12 thoughts on “0306-19 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 19, Wednesday”

  1. LIMN and LABILE are new to me, but trusted the downs. Still made 3 square errors (5 words). This is actually very good for me.

    1. Well, Jack, you reported that as I would have done and you get points for honesty, but you can take solace in the fact that it doesn’t reflect badly on your basic crosswording skills and the universe will regard it as a moral victory for you … 😜

  2. 15:33, 2 errors: IODI(N)E; E(N)GILY. In the same boat as @Harvey above. Had to double check, verified that my printed paper does indeed give the clue as “I- in chemistry”, but I literally had to use a magnifying glass to see the minus sign.

  3. This one was not easy to sort out, but in finally doing so I was glad to finish. Avoided an error at the IODIDE/EDGILY cross.

  4. I too had the lack of ability to make out the minus sign on the capital letter I. I went back and looked for it in my newspaper. It appeared as a small imperfection in the newsprint and was imperceptible otherwise.

    So…having IODIDE unwittingly spelled wrong as IODINE caused a cascading effect into four other words.

    Therefore I am left with only one choice and that is to declare a “Default” on this whole puzzle today. Shucks.

  5. 22:08, 1 dumb error. Couldn’t see the – in my paper for IODIDE either. Finally changed it when I noticed after a few minutes things weren’t working around 44-A.

  6. I luckily guessed LABILE, but had not encountered it before today’s juicy puzzle.
    I will spend the rest of the my week/life trying to work it into a sentence.

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