0103-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Jan 20, Friday

Constructed by: Will Treece
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 14m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Shakespeare character who introduced the phrase “primrose path” : OPHELIA

According to the idiom, one might be “led down the primrose path”, meaning that one can be led astray or deceived. It’s likely that the phrase “primrose path” was coined by William Shakespeare, in “Hamlet”. Ophelia says:

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads

And recks not his own rede.

14 Economic lose-lose : STAGFLATION

Stagflation is a portmanteau, as one might expect, formed from the words stagnation and inflation. Stagflation is the condition when a country’s inflation rate is high, and at the same time unemployment is high (i.e. the economy is stagnating).

16 Cell stuff : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA. An added complication is that small changes in the sequence of amino acids specified by DNA sometimes takes place in a process known as RNA editing. This RNA editing occurs after the nucleotide sequence has been transcribed from DNA, but before it is translated into protein.

17 Raw fish dish : TUNA TARTARE

Steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s. Back then, the dish went by the name “steak à l’Americaine”, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was dubbed “steak tartare”. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat. There are now similar “tartare” dishes made with raw salmon, or raw tuna.

19 Syllabus section : UNIT

“Syllabus” (plural “syllabi”) is the Latin word for “list”.

21 2013 Literature Nobelist : MUNRO

Alice Munro is a writer from southwestern Ontario in Canada. Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

27 Saltine alternative : RITZ CRACKER

I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

F. L. Sommer & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri starting making wafer thin soda crackers in 1876. The crackers were later marketed as Saltines, due to the baking salt that was a key ingredient. The company subsequently lost trademark protection of the term “saltine”.

32 “One” is its final number : A CHORUS LINE

“One” is “one” of the big numbers in the hit musical “A Chorus Line”.

One singular sensation
Every little step she takes
One thrilling combination
Every move that she makes
One smile and suddenly nobody else will do
You know you’ll never be lonely with you know who

33 Riboflavin, alternatively : B-TWO

Riboflavin is vitamin B2. At one time, riboflavin was known as vitamin G.

37 “v,” upturned : CARET

The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

42 Lead-in to some important articles? : WE THE PEOPLE …

The US Constitution begins with the words “We the People …” So, the first “article” in the text of the document is the definite article, i.e. “the”.

47 Antigone’s sister : ISMENE

According to Greek mythology, Ismene is a daughter, and at the same time half-sister, of Oedipus, King of Thebes. Jocasta was the mother of Oedipus, and then his wife, with the incestuous union resulting in the birth of Ismene.

Antigone is the daughter of King Oedipus of Thebes, and was born out of the incestuous relationship of the king with his mother Jocasta.

49 “Casablanca” co-star : LORRE

The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

Signor Ugarte is a wonderful character in the classic 1942 film “Casablanca”. Ugarte is played by Peter Lorre, and is the man who has possession of the crucial letters of transit that were obtained by murdering two German couriers.

53 Bavaria’s locale : ALPS

Bavaria in southeast Germany is the largest state in the country. The capital and largest city in Bavaria is Munich.

55 Signs in the 2002 sci-fi film “Signs” : CROP CIRCLES

Don’t believe what you hear. Crop circles are hoaxes …

61 Cassandra, for one : SEERESS

I think Cassandra is such a great name, translating from Greek as “she who entangles men”. The Cassandra of Greek mythology was so beautiful that Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. There is another story though, that she gained her gift as a seer by spending the night in Apollo’s temple where snakes licked her ears clean so that she could hear the future. Ugh …

62 Employer of Wonder Woman in old comics: Abbr. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

Superhero Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named after the Greek mythological figure. Wonder Woman had several signature expressions, including “Merciful Minerva!”, “Suffering Sappho!” and “Great Hera!”. She also has several devices that she uses in her quest for justice, e.g. the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets and a tiara that can be used as a deadly projectile. Wonder Woman uses the name “Diana Prince” when “out of uniform”.

Down

2 Program that started as SoundJam : ITUNES

iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. It connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money. Plans are afoot to break up iTunes into separate applications focused on music, podcasts and TV.

6 Belabor, with “on” : HARP

To harp on something is to talk too much about it. The original expression with the same meaning was “to harp on the same string”, which is a reference to the musical instrument.

7 “___ Is Betta Than Evvah!” (1976 album) : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

13 Kind of alphabet : NATO

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

15 Heaters : GATS

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from “Gatling gun”, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

22 Cave man? : UNCLE

“To say uncle” is an American expression meaning “to submit, yield”. Its usage dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

28 Leader of an olden clan : THANE

Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (Thane of Glamis, later “Thane of Cawdor”, and still later “King of Scotland”) and MacDuff (Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

29 Hero of film and literature who rode the horse Tornado : ZORRO

The character Zorro was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of stories and pulp fiction, the first title being “The Curse of Capistrano”. The name “Zorro” is the secret identity of a Spanish colonial nobleman called Don Diego de la Vega.

33 Start of a texter’s aside : BTW

By the way (BTW)

34 Something a Jedi uses : THE FORCE

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

43 Adamant refusal : HELL NO!

The words “adamant” and “adamantine” can mean hard like rock or stony, in the literal sense. In the more figurative sense, someone who is adamant or adamantine is stubborn or inflexible, like a mule, mulish.

44 Removes, as from a currency control : UNPEGS

When an exchange rate is unpegged, it means that the currencies in question float freely on the market, with the rate of exchange being determined by demand for one currency over another. A government might choose to peg its currency with another, fixing the exchange rate. The US dollar is often chosen as the currency to which others are pegged.

48 Hand-held weapon : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

51 Abbr. next to a star : OPER

That would be on a phone.

56 Actress Issa : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

57 Certain trailers : RVS

Recreational vehicle (RV)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Point : AIM
4 Shakespeare character who introduced the phrase “primrose path” : OPHELIA
11 Word with rights or sights : GUN
14 Economic lose-lose : STAGFLATION
16 Cell stuff : RNA
17 Raw fish dish : TUNA TARTARE
18 In the back : AFT
19 Syllabus section : UNIT
20 Go for a few rounds : SPAR
21 2013 Literature Nobelist : MUNRO
23 Service group? : TEA SET
25 Mark on the foreheads of Hindu women : BINDI
26 Screen-minimizing key : ESC
27 Saltine alternative : RITZ CRACKER
32 “One” is its final number : A CHORUS LINE
33 Riboflavin, alternatively : B-TWO
37 “v,” upturned : CARET
38 Swirl : EDDY
39 “No way!” : THAT’S UNREAL!
42 Lead-in to some important articles? : WE THE PEOPLE …
43 Bees make it : HUM
46 Believes : FEELS
47 Antigone’s sister : ISMENE
49 “Casablanca” co-star : LORRE
50 Cover : COAT
53 Bavaria’s locale : ALPS
54 Baseball or basketball, but not football : ORB
55 Signs in the 2002 sci-fi film “Signs” : CROP CIRCLES
58 Crackerjack : ACE
59 Retaliate : TAKE REVENGE
60 Did catering for : FED
61 Cassandra, for one : SEERESS
62 Employer of Wonder Woman in old comics: Abbr. : OSS

Down

1 Sharp : ASTUTE
2 Program that started as SoundJam : ITUNES
3 Nut : MANIAC
4 ___-repeated : OFT
5 Disposable party supply : PLASTIC CUPS
6 Belabor, with “on” : HARP
7 “___ Is Betta Than Evvah!” (1976 album) : ETTA
8 Yarn spinner : LIAR
9 Poster finish? : -IOR
10 Weaknesses : ANEMIAS
11 IV vis-à-vis II, e.g. : GRANDKID
12 Cut off online : UNFRIEND
13 Kind of alphabet : NATO
15 Heaters : GATS
22 Cave man? : UNCLE
24 Period of time : ERA
25 Savage acts : BRUTALITIES
28 Leader of an olden clan : THANE
29 Hero of film and literature who rode the horse Tornado : ZORRO
30 Inch : CREEP
31 Occupant of the Zarzuela Palace : REY
33 Start of a texter’s aside : BTW
34 Something a Jedi uses : THE FORCE
35 Article of furniture first used for medical purposes : WATERBED
36 Unlisted : OTHER
40 Picks : SELECTS
41 Beginning of many French stories : LES …
43 Adamant refusal : HELL NO!
44 Removes, as from a currency control : UNPEGS
45 Things toddlers make : MESSES
48 Hand-held weapon : MACE
49 Idle : LOAF
50 Jack and ___ (bar order) : COKE
51 Abbr. next to a star : OPER
52 A lot of farmland : ACRE
56 Actress Issa : RAE
57 Certain trailers : RVS

12 thoughts on “0103-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. 43:30… “Red Solo Cups”, “B ten”, “Othello”… all proving I don’t party much, take vitamins or know Shakespeare….

  2. 27:57. SE really got me. I had to look up ISMENE to finish it. Antigone? I think I’ll be antigone from the bar this evening for happy hour…

    Best –

  3. No errors, but another one of those in the “not sure how” category.
    Took a long look before I dug in then started with RITZ/ZORRO and worked my way around. Especially liked UNCLE for Cave man.
    A Friday worthy puzzle.

  4. About 20 minutes and no errors so Happy Friday all. Had tuna sashimi vs. tartare for a brief moment but quickly realized that wasn’t going to fly.

  5. 23:33, no errors. Fell for several traps: 6D DRAG before HARP; 9D IZE before IOR; 30D CRAWL before CREEP; 33A B TEN before B TWO; 44D UNPINS before UNPEGS.

    Cassandra is memorable as a prophet because she was both blessed and cursed by Apollo. She agreed to favor Apollo in exchange for the ability to see the true future. After Apollo bestowed the gift, she apparently reneged on her promise (depending on which version of the story is told). Since Apollo could not take the divine gift back, he added a second ‘gift’; that no one would believe her prophesies. Modern usage of Cassandra is one who makes predictions (usually of misfortune) that no one believes.

  6. No errors – and lots of fun.
    Victory in Friday’s puzzle usually means bad luck in Friday night’s poker tournament 😬

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