0324-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Mar 19, Sunday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Code Switching

Themed answers each include a word from the NATO ALPHABET. If we replace that word with a homophone of the letter represented, then we get back to a common phrase:

  • 114A With 115-Across, communication system that’s a hint to the answer to each starred clue : NATO …
  • 115A See 114-Across : … PHONETIC ALPHABET
  • 22A *Ballroom dancing event for Beantown residents? : BOSTON TANGO PARTY (giving “Boston Tea Party”)
  • 33A *Annoying member of a New York baseball team? : YANKEE BOTHER (giving “why bother”)
  • 47A *Wager in which the winner gets the loser’s pants and jersey? : UNIFORM BET (giving “you bet”)
  • 67A *Duo ruling a kingdom on Take Your Daughter to Work Day? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PAPA (giving “The Princess and the Pea”)
  • 85A *Exclamation after a performance of “Every Breath You Take”? : BRAVO, STING! (giving “bee sting”)
  • 100A *Amusement park named after a “Peanuts” boy? : CHARLIE WORLD (giving “SeaWorld”)

Bill’s time: 18m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Source of fries : SPUD

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

19 One who didn’t even show? : ALSO-RAN

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

21 It stayed in Pandora’s box : HOPE

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

22 *Ballroom dancing event for Beantown residents? : BOSTON TANGO PARTY (giving “Boston Tea Party”)

In the days of sail, the natural trade routes across the Atlantic involved a lot of ships arriving in Boston directly from West Indies. One of the main cargoes carried by these vessels coming from the West Indies was molasses. An abundance of cheap molasses led to an abundance of baked beans in the port city, and all those baked beans gave rise to Boston’s nickname “Beantown”.

The famous destruction of tea in Boston Harbor to protest against the Tax Act took place on December 16, 1773. The action was referred to as the “destruction of the tea” for decades, and it wasn’t until 1834 that the term “Boston Tea Party” first appeared in print.

25 Relatives of foils : EPEES

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

27 Dundee dissent : NAE

The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name “Dundee” are a little obscure, although the omnipresent “dùn” in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for “fort”.

28 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

29 Imperfect service : LET

That would be tennis.

33 *Annoying member of a New York baseball team? : YANKEE BOTHER (giving “why bother”)

The New York Yankees baseball team has the nickname “the Bronx Bombers”. The nickname reflects where the team plays (the Bronx) and the team’s reputation for hitting (bombers). The New York Yankees were the first team to retire a uniform number, doing so on July 4, 1939. That day they retired the number 4 in honor of Lou Gehrig.

38 Hydrocarbon gas : ETHENE

In organic chemistry, the three basic classes of hydrocarbons are alkanes, alkenes and alkynes. Three of the simplest members of these classes are ethane, ethene (commonly called “ethylene”), and ethyne (commonly called “acetylene”).

39 World capital known as Batavia until 1942 : JAKARTA

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is located on the northwest coast of the island of Java. The city’s name comes from “Jayakarta” meaning “complete victory”.

42 “Witches’ Flight” painter : GOYA

Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter, who was often called the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Two of Goya’s most famous works are “The Nude Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”.

44 Sparkling white wine : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, and is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

46 Pesticide banned in 1972 : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

49 They’re not hard to swallow : GELCAPS

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

53 Casanova : LOTHARIO

There is a character named Lothario in Don Quixote, and in the “Fair Penitent”, a 1703 play by Nicholas Rowe. In both cases the Lothario in question exhibits less than wholesome behavior towards a woman, giving rise to the term “lothario” meaning “roue”.

Giacomo Casanova was an 18th-century adventurer from Venice. We know so much about him, and his reputation as a womanizer, because he left us his autobiography “Histoire de ma vie” (Story of My Life). A guy recounting stories of his love life and conquests? All true, I am sure …

55 Slapstick actor Jacques : TATI

Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.

67 *Duo ruling a kingdom on Take Your Daughter to Work Day? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PAPA (giving “The Princess and the Pea”)

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all live happily ever after …

72 It’s higher on the Scoville scale than a jalapeño : SERRANO

The serrano chili pepper is native to the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name “serrano” comes from the Spanish “sierra” meaning “mountain”.

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili peppers. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly the mucous membranes.

73 Skin pic? : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

75 Certain 35mm camera : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

At the beginning of the 20th century, 35mm was chosen as a standard size for film used in still cameras. 35mm was selected as it was already the standard film size used in motion pictures.

76 Major or minor in astronomy? : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

81 Second-largest branch of Islam : SHIA

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

82 Attacks à la Don Quixote : TILTS AT

The verb phrase “tilt at” meaning “fight with” derives from the sport of jousting,also known as “tilting”, in which contestants fought each other on horseback with lances.

The phrase “tilting at windmills” means “attacking imaginary enemies”. The idiom comes from an episode in the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, in which the hero of the piece charges at windmills that he imagines are giants.

85 *Exclamation after a performance of “Every Breath You Take”? : BRAVO, STING! (giving “bee sting”)

“Sting” is the stage name used by Gordon Sumner, who came to fame initially as the lead singer for the Police. Off stage, Sting is an avid chess player, and he once participated in an exhibition game with chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

“Every Breath You Take” is a 1983 single written by Sting, and released by the Police. It was the biggest hit in the US that whole year, even though essentially it’s a song about stalking an ex-lover!

89 Platform for many tablets : IOS

iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

93 Vegetarian gelatin substitute : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

95 Property recipient : ALIENEE

An alienee is one to whom ownership of property is transferred, alienated.

98 Covert org. : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947. The organization is often referred to familiarly as “the Company”.

99 Sailor’s cry : AVAST!

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

100 *Amusement park named after a “Peanuts” boy? : CHARLIE WORLD (giving “SeaWorld”)

Charlie Brown is the main character in the long-running comic strip called “Peanuts”, created by Charles Schulz. Charlie’s catchphrase is “good grief”. He has several persistent frustrations in his life, including an inability to fly a kite. The focus of his kite-flying frustration is the dreaded Kite-Eating Tree.

SeaWorld was started in San Diego in 1964. The original plan was build an underwater restaurant with a marine life show. Eventually the founders dropped the idea of the eating establishment and just went with a theme park. SeaWorld has been mired in controversy since the 2013 release of the documentary “Blackfish”, which tells of the involvement of a particular orca (killer whale) in the death of two SeaWorld employees and one SeaWorld visitor.

108 Jetson who attends Little Dipper School : ELROY

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are Rosie the household robot and Astro the pet dog.

109 Broadway show about Capote : TRU

“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a one-man play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

112 Pricey fashion label : PRADA

Prada was started in 1913 as a leather-goods shop in Milan, by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn’t believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I’d say the devil loved that …

114 With 115-Across, communication system that’s a hint to the answer to each starred clue : NATO …

115 See 114-Across : … PHONETIC ALPHABET

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

120 They might hold derbies : HAT TREES

I think that a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

122 Spots for hammers and anvils : EARS

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

124 It may have a lot of intelligence : DOSSIER

A dossier is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”.

Down

1 Early tower locale : BABEL

We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

5 Shakespearean sorcerer : PROSPERO

William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

6 Janis ___, singer of the 1975 hit “At Seventeen” : IAN

Janice Ian wrote her lovely song “At Seventeen“ when she herself was 22, looking back at that earlier age with a little maturity. The lyrics were inspired by a newspaper article she read about a teenage debutante who had learned the hard way that her popularity at school was not the answer to life’s problems.

7 Earth-shattering invention? : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

10 Artist Jean : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

12 Greek goddesses of the seasons : HORAE

The Horae of Greek mythology were the goddesses of the seasons. There were several Horae, many of them associated with natural portions of time. Most commonly there were three, and sometimes ten (later twelve) Horae, or “Hours”, associated with the times of the day. For example, Auge was the goddess of first light, Gymnastika was the goddess of the morning hour for exercise, and Dysis was the goddess of sunset.

13 Signature scent since 1968 : ESTEE

“Estée” is the signature fragrance from the Estée Lauder Company. “Estée” was the second fragrance developed by Estée Lauder herself, and was introduced in 1968. Lauder’s first fragrance was “Youth Dew”, introduced in 1953.

18 Early name for Utah : DESERET

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

20 Forensic material : DNA

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

28 What a stiffed server receives : NO TIP

The etymology of our verb “to stiff”, meaning “to fail to tip”, seems unclear. The usage originated in the late 1930s, and is possibly an extension of the noun “stiff” meaning “corpse”. The idea is that dead men don’t leave tips.

31 ___’acte : ENTR

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

32 Noted exile : ADAM

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

34 Falls for someone who’s already married? : NIAGARA

For well over a century now, the twin cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario have been popular spots for honeymoons. Niagara Falls got a boost as a honeymoon destination in 1953 with the release of “Niagara”, a film noir starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton.

35 Testing stage : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

36 Bread box? : SAFE

The use of the word “bread” as a slang term for money dates back to the 1940s, and is derived from the term “breadwinner”, meaning the person in the house who puts bread on the table, brings in the money.

39 Sport that emphasizes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU

Jujitsu (also “jiujitsu”) is a group of martial arts associated with Japan. The name “jujitsu” comes from “ju” meaning “gentle” and “jitsu” meaning “technique”. The name was chosen to represent the principle of using the opponent’s force against himself, rather than relying on one’s own strength.

41 Traps : KISSERS

“Kisser”, “trap” and “yap” are slang terms for the mouth.

42 Former G.M. make : GEO

Geos were small vehicles manufactured by General Motors mainly in the nineties. Geos were designed to compete head-to-head with the small imports that were gaining market share at the time in the US. Some Geo models that you might remember are the Metro, the Prizm and the Storm. The cars were actually built as joint-ventures with Japanese manufacturers. The Prizm was a GM/Toyota project, the Metro was GM/Suzuki, and the Storm was GM/Isuzu.

43 First N.L. player to hit 500 home runs : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

44 Laila of the ring : ALI

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. Now retired, she never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

45 Big maker of lawn care products : SCOTTS

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

50 Secretary on “The Office” : ERIN

The actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper has been playing the title role on the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

54 Mañana preceder : HASTA …

“Hasta mañana” translates from Spanish as “See you tomorrow”, and literally “Until tomorrow”.

61 End of a French film : FIN

“Fin” is the French word for “end”.

62 Snobbish : SNOOTY

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

65 L.B.J.’s veep : HHH

Hubert Horatio Humphrey (HHH) was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

66 “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” heroine : REY

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe. She first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

69 “___ Kett” (old comic strip) : ETTA

“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).

78 ___ Nautilus : USS

The USS Nautilus is a submarine launched in 1954, and decommissioned 1980. When launched, the Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. She was named for a diesel-electric submarine that served with distinction in WWII that was also bore the Nautilus name. All of the US Navy’s “Nautilus” vessels were named for the submarine in the Jules Verne novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. After decommissioning in 1980, the Nautilus was preserved as a floating museum in Groton, Connecticut.

79 Ring letters : WBA

World Boxing Association (WBA)

81 Change one’s mind about changing : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

83 Source of many an imported boot, appropriately : ITALY

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the “ball” being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

84 Site of a 1796 Napoleon victory : LODI

The Battle of Lodi was fought in 1796 between the French and the Austrians at the town of Lodi in northern Italy. The French forces under General Napoleon Bonaparte emerged victorious, although most of the Austrian army were able to withdraw and escape. The victory bolstered Napoleon’s reputation and helped propel him to power in France.

86 “___-voom!” : VA-VA

“Va-va-voom!” is an expression that turns up a lot of places. For example, it was a frequent utterance by comic actor Art Carney, most notably while playing Ed Norton in the sitcom “The Honeymooners” from the 1950s. Carney even released a comedy song “Va Va Va Voom” in 1954.

87 Patron saint of Norway : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

88 One fighting an uphill battle? : SISYPHUS

In the Greek myth, Sisyphus is condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, watch it fall back, then roll it up the hill again for eternity.

90 “C’est magnifique!” : OOH LA LA!

“C’est magnifique!” is French for “It is magnificent!”

94 Pygmalion’s beloved : GALATEA

Pygmalion is a figure from Greek legend who figures prominently in Ovid’s poem “Metamorphoses”. According to Ovid, Pygmalion was a goldsmith from Cyprus who became uninterested in women. However, he carved a beautiful sculpture of a woman (later identified as the sea-nymph Galatea), a statue that was so beautiful he fell in love with it.

99 Reformed demon on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” : ANYA

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on the one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

101 Edith Wharton’s “___ Frome” : ETHAN

“Ethan Frome” is a novel by New York and Massachusetts author Edith Wharton, first published in 1911. Wharton started “Ethan Frome” as a composition in French that she wrote while studying the language in Paris. The novel was adapted into a 1993 film of the same name starring Liam Neeson in the title role, opposite Patricia Arquette.

103 Having less vermouth, as a martini : DRIER

The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

105 Shul scholar : RABBI

“Shul” is another name for a synagogue. “Shul” is the term mostly used in Orthodox Judaism, “synagogue” in Conservative Judaism, and “temple” in Reform Judaism.

106 Dancing partner for Fred : ADELE

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

111 Puts on a show, for short : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

115 Vietnamese noodle soup : PHO

Pho is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

117 Kind of screen, in brief : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

118 Maven : PRO

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Metaphor for an aggressive political arena : BEAR PIT
8 Puts away : STASHES
15 Source of fries : SPUD
19 One who didn’t even show? : ALSO-RAN
20 Frame part : DOORPOST
21 It stayed in Pandora’s box : HOPE
22 *Ballroom dancing event for Beantown residents? : BOSTON TANGO PARTY (giving “Boston Tea Party”)
24 Takes a course : EATS
25 Relatives of foils : EPEES
26 Shade of green : SAGE
27 Dundee dissent : NAE
28 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE
29 Imperfect service : LET
30 Climax : PEAK
33 *Annoying member of a New York baseball team? : YANKEE BOTHER (giving “why bother”)
36 Thrills : SENDS
37 Family moniker : SIS
38 Hydrocarbon gas : ETHENE
39 World capital known as Batavia until 1942 : JAKARTA
42 “Witches’ Flight” painter : GOYA
44 Sparkling white wine : ASTI
46 Pesticide banned in 1972 : DDT
47 *Wager in which the winner gets the loser’s pants and jersey? : UNIFORM BET (giving “you bet”)
49 They’re not hard to swallow : GELCAPS
52 ___ Cuervo (tequila brand) : JOSE
53 Casanova : LOTHARIO
55 Slapstick actor Jacques : TATI
59 “___ over” : IT’S
60 Contingency phrase : IF SO
63 Man’s name that’s the reverse of 60-Down : ARI
64 Don hastily : THROW ON
67 *Duo ruling a kingdom on Take Your Daughter to Work Day? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PAPA (giving “The Princess and the Pea”)
72 It’s higher on the Scoville scale than a jalapeño : SERRANO
73 Skin pic? : TAT
74 Pallid : ASHY
75 Certain 35mm camera : SLR
76 Major or minor in astronomy? : URSA
77 Like chewing gum in Singapore or wearing blue jeans in North Korea (seriously!) : OUTLAWED
81 Second-largest branch of Islam : SHIA
82 Attacks à la Don Quixote : TILTS AT
85 *Exclamation after a performance of “Every Breath You Take”? : BRAVO, STING! (giving “bee sting”)
89 Platform for many tablets : IOS
92 Building blocks, e.g. : TOYS
93 Vegetarian gelatin substitute : AGAR
95 Property recipient : ALIENEE
96 “Looks promising!” : NOT BAD!
98 Covert org. : CIA
99 Sailor’s cry : AVAST!
100 *Amusement park named after a “Peanuts” boy? : CHARLIE WORLD (giving “SeaWorld”)
104 College football rival of 110-Across : NAVY
105 Unembellished : RAW
108 Jetson who attends Little Dipper School : ELROY
109 Broadway show about Capote : TRU
110 College football rival of 104-Across : ARMY
112 Pricey fashion label : PRADA
114 With 115-Across, communication system that’s a hint to the answer to each starred clue : NATO …
115 See 114-Across : … PHONETIC ALPHABET
119 Tireless racer : SLED
120 They might hold derbies : HAT TREES
121 Fall apart : CRUMBLE
122 Spots for hammers and anvils : EARS
123 Common lease period : ONE YEAR
124 It may have a lot of intelligence : DOSSIER

Down

1 Early tower locale : BABEL
2 Skip the ceremony, in a way : ELOPE
3 Strong point : ASSET
4 Mechanical : ROTE
5 Shakespearean sorcerer : PROSPERO
6 Janis ___, singer of the 1975 hit “At Seventeen” : IAN
7 Earth-shattering invention? : TNT
8 Unpleasantly wet : SOGGY
9 Like child’s play : TOO EASY
10 Artist Jean : ARP
11 Defeats soundly : SPANKS
12 Greek goddesses of the seasons : HORAE
13 Signature scent since 1968 : ESTEE
14 Total mess : STY
15 Sword holder : SHEATH
16 Took stock? : POACHED
17 Good news for a stockholder : UPTREND
18 Early name for Utah : DESERET
20 Forensic material : DNA
23 Does some grilling : ASKS
28 What a stiffed server receives : NO TIP
31 ___’acte : ENTR
32 Noted exile : ADAM
34 Falls for someone who’s already married? : NIAGARA
35 Testing stage : BETA
36 Bread box? : SAFE
39 Sport that emphasizes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU
40 Terse bar order : ANOTHER
41 Traps : KISSERS
42 Former G.M. make : GEO
43 First N.L. player to hit 500 home runs : OTT
44 Laila of the ring : ALI
45 Big maker of lawn care products : SCOTTS
48 Like-minded voters : BLOC
50 Secretary on “The Office” : ERIN
51 “Hold it!” : STOP!
54 Mañana preceder : HASTA …
56 Inundated with : AWASH IN
57 Five-star : TOP-LINE
58 Furious : IN A RAGE
60 Man’s name that’s the reverse of 63-Across : IRA
61 End of a French film : FIN
62 Snobbish : SNOOTY
65 L.B.J.’s veep : HHH
66 “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” heroine : REY
68 Idiot, in British slang : PRAT
69 “___ Kett” (old comic strip) : ETTA
70 Something taken in by sailors : SALT AIR
71 Infant’s early word : DADA
78 ___ Nautilus : USS
79 Ring letters : WBA
80 Make a wrong move : ERR
81 Change one’s mind about changing : STET
83 Source of many an imported boot, appropriately : ITALY
84 Site of a 1796 Napoleon victory : LODI
86 “___-voom!” : VA-VA
87 Patron saint of Norway : OLAV
88 One fighting an uphill battle? : SISYPHUS
89 Altar offering : INCENSE
90 “C’est magnifique!” : OOH LA LA!
91 Official with a pistol : STARTER
94 Pygmalion’s beloved : GALATEA
97 Stews (over) : BROODS
98 One of 32 for Ireland : COUNTY
99 Reformed demon on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” : ANYA
101 Edith Wharton’s “___ Frome” : ETHAN
102 Composed : WROTE
103 Having less vermouth, as a martini : DRIER
105 Shul scholar : RABBI
106 Dancing partner for Fred : ADELE
107 Fire extinguisher : WATER
111 Puts on a show, for short : MCS
113 Plows (into) : RAMS
115 Vietnamese noodle soup : PHO
116 Poet’s “before” : ERE
117 Kind of screen, in brief : LCD
118 Maven : PRO

8 thoughts on “0324-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Mar 19, Sunday”

  1. 38:01. Fun theme. I never knew STING’s real name and really didn’t know he was that into chess. I suspect Gary Kasparov took it easy on him. Kasparov is reputed to have an IQ around 190.

    Best –

  2. Took a while but…I persevered. “Alienee” is a new word for me. Had to read explanation of theme. Oh well…but fun.

  3. 1 hour and 28 min. somehow with no errors.
    IMO clues like 104 and 110 across and 63 across and 60 down are unfair because you have to fill in with crosses. Also I have seen 90 down several times as olala and today it’s oohlala, so I guess whatever is needed is what it is.
    Also I am not familiar with Nato phonetic alphabet but will be by the end of this day. END OF RANT

  4. Jack, agree with you on clues that depend on each other. Glad you persevered. Va VA voom and Ooh la la in the same puzzle, well played.

    1. I don’t like clues that depend on each other. Are those really “clues”?

      Also: “Y” corresponds to “why bother”? Seems like a stretch to me.

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