0301-20 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Sam Trabucco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Letter Dictation

Themed answers are common phrases used as wordplay involving a single letter(s):

  • 20A GAZACHO : SPLIT PEA SOUP (P split from “gazpacho”)
  • 29A SMEILL : GIVE THE STINK EYE (give “smell” an I)
  • 47A ENTURIES : LONG TIME NO SEE (“centuries”, no C)
  • 62A TECHNIQUEO : OH, BY THE WAY (O by “technique”)
  • 66A DEFINITEL : YEAH, WHY NOT (“definitely”, not with Y)
  • 82A INSTBANT : BE IN THE MOMENT (B in “instant”)
  • 96A ENVIRONMENAL : GREEN TEA EXTRACT (extract T from “environmental”)
  • 110A RUMYSELF : ARE YOU WITH ME? (RU with “myself”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 22m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Magical healer : SHAMAN

A shaman is a supposed intermediary between the human world and the spirit world.

11 Overseas landmark located in Elizabeth Tower : BIG BEN

Big Ben is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower (“Elizabeth Tower” since 2012) of the Palace of Westminster (aka “Houses of Parliament”). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who supervised the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way for four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

18 Classic Mell Lazarus comic strip : MOMMA

Mell Lazarus is known as the creator of two long-running comic strips. “Miss Peach” ran from 1957 to 2002, and “Momma” first appeared in 1970 and is still going strong. Lazarus started his career as an apprentice to famed cartoonist Al Capp.

19 Soaring performer : SOPRANO

The soprano (plural “sopranos” or “soprani”) is the highest singing voice. The term “soprano “ comes from the Italian “sopra” meaning “above”. A male countertenor who is able to sing in the soprano voice range is known as a sopranist. A castrated male who can sing in the same range is known as a “castrato”, and a boy soprano is referred to as a treble.

20 GAZACHO : SPLIT PEA SOUP (P split from “gazpacho”)

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

22 Young antagonist in Super Mario games : BOWSER JR

Bowser is a turtle-like character who is the main antagonist in Nintendo’s “Mario Bros” video games. Bowser’s son is Bowser Jr.

23 Counterpart of the Roman Aurora : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

24 Jargon : ARGOT

“Argot” is a French term. It is the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is a set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.

25 John, to Lennon : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, 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!

John Lennon grew up in a modest home in Liverpool in the northwest of England. Named “Mendips”, the house belonged to Lennon’s maternal aunt and her husband. Lennon was raised by his aunt from the age of five, after his mother was persuaded that the arrangement would be of benefit to young John. Mendips was purchased by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 2002, who then handed it over to the National Trust, a British conservation organization.

26 Mythical archer : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

27 Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system developed by Sony, one often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

29 SMEILL : GIVE THE STINK EYE (give “smell” an I)

The phrase “stink eye”, meaning “dirty look”, dates back to the early 1970s. A suggestion is that the term comes from Hawaiian slang.

34 Poet who wrote “For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love” : DONNE

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

35 Chocolaty Post cereal : OREO O’S

Oreo O’s cereal was made by Post from 1998 to 2007. The pieces of cereal were basically O-shaped (like Cheerios) but chocolate-flavored, dark brown in color and with white sprinkles on them. Oh, and lots of sugar.

36 Org. for which Pelé once played : NASL

The North American Soccer League (NASL) was formed in 1968 with a merger of two competing leagues. The NASL operated until 1984. A new soccer league with the same name has been operating since April 2011.

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

38 Area with a half-dome : 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.

42 Noted Chinese-American fashion designer : ANNA SUI

Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

51 Payment to a freelancer for unpublished work : KILL FEE

A newspaper editor might kill a story and not run it.

53 ___ fixe : IDEE

An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession

56 Some p.m. times : AFTS

The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

57 China flaw : NICK

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

59 Familiar inits. in math : QED

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

60 Original airer of “The Office” : BBC

The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …

61 Lapis lazuli shade : AZURE

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

68 Romeo and Juliet, e.g. : ROLES

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

69 Adam’s ___ : RIB

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

70 Air traffic watchdog, for short : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

71 Literary protagonist named after a king of Israel : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

Ahab was King of Israel, but the power behind his throne was his wife Jezebel, a Phoenician princess. Jezebel’s god was Ba’al, and she used her influence to get temples of Ba’al built in Israel. Jezebel’s name is still associated with the worship of false prophets.

72 Violinist Leopold : AUER

Leopold Auer was a Hungarian violinist, as well as a conductor and composer. Auer wrote a small number of works for the violin, the most famous of which is the “Rhapsodie Hongroise” written for violin and piano.

74 Film character introduced in 1977, who died in a 2015 sequel : HAN SOLO

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

76 ___ Major : 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”.

84 Ability that’s hard to explain : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

88 Woman in Progressive ads : FLO

Progressive is a popular auto insurance company, the one that uses the perky character named “Flo” as a spokeswoman. Flo is played by comedian and actress Stephanie Courtney.

89 Book reviewers, for short : CPAS

Certified public accountant (CPA)

91 1910s flying star : WWI ACE

A flying ace is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of “ace” was during WWI, when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud “l’as” (French for “the ace”) when he shot down his fifth German plane.

94 James Garfield’s middle name : ABRAM

James Abram Garfield, the 20th President of the US, was assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). Inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

96 ENVIRONMENAL : GREEN TEA EXTRACT (extract T from “environmental”)

The process for making most teas involves oxidation. During oxidation, the leaves become darker in color as chlorophyll breaks down and tannins are released. The oxidation step is skipped when producing green teas.

101 Yuletide : NOEL

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

103 Fireside chat prez : FDR

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) gave a total of thirty evening radio addresses that were termed “fireside chats”. President Roosevelt had used similar addresses to further his political agenda while he was Governor of New York. In New York, he faced opposition from a Republican legislature and so Roosevelt appealed directly to voters to apply pressure for him.

106 Home of the Sun Devils, familiarly : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

107 Subj. of Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution : US SENATE

Article One of the US Constitution establishes the US Congress. The second section of Article One establishes the House of Representatives, and the third section establishes the US Senate. Section 8 of Article One lists the powers delegated to the legislature.

115 Rock standard? : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. It is used in sizing gemstones.

116 Big name in skin care : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

Down

1 Help line? : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

4 House of Burgundy? : MAISON

The Burgundy region of France is famous for its wine production. If you’re looking at a label that isn’t translated into English though, you’ll see Burgundy written in French, namely “Bourgogne”.

5 Keyboard key : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

6 Cabernet county : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) 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.

7 Land between Albania and Serbia : KOSOVO

The country name “Kosovo” is an adjectival form of the Serbian word “kos” meaning “blackbird”. The name commemorates the “field of the blackbirds” the site of a 1389 battle between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire. The dispute over Kosovo technically dates back to the implosion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The capital of Kosovo is Pristina.

8 Histrionic sort : EMOTER

The term “histrionic”, meaning “theatrical”, comes to us via Latin from the word “histrio” that is believed to an Etruscan word for “actor”.

9 Bird Down Under : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

12 Computer addresses, for short : IPS

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label assigned to every device on a computer network. The device that you’re reading this blog post on has been assigned a unique IP address. You’re being watched …

16 Language from which “reindeer” comes : NORSE

The reindeer species of deer is also known as the caribou in North America.

18 Christmas gift bearers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

22 ___ nova : BOSSA

Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”. The term “bossa nova” translates from Potuguese as “new trend”, or more colloquially as “new wave”.

25 Sierra ___ : LEONE

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

32 First Nations people : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor Métis people.

34 ___ counter : 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”.

43 Alpine lodging : SKI CHALET

“Chalet” is a Swiss-French name for an alpine cottage.

48 Millennials : GEN-YERS

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

49 Veil over a Muslim woman’s face : NIQAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

55 Org. to which Jordan once belonged : NBA

Michael Jordan is considered by some to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Not only is he a talented sportsman, but he is also very successful in the business world. He became the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team in 2010. Fans refer to Jordan as “His Airness”.

60 Grendel, e.g. : BEAST

“Beowulf” is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf fights a battle, defending the Danish King Hrothgar from the ferocious outcast Grendel. Hrothgar had built a great hall for his people in which they could celebrate; singing, dancing and drinking lots of mead. Grendel was angered by the carousing and attacked the hall, devouring many of the incumbent warriors as they slept. A bit of an extreme reaction to noisy neighbors I’d say …

62 Take to the soapbox : ORATE

Back in the 1650s, a soapbox was just that, a wooden box for holding or transporting soap. Empty soapboxes were easily carried by a potential orator and used as a stand from which to deliver an address.

64 Curse remover : BLEEP CENSOR

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

65 Diana Ross musical, with “The” : … WIZ

“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

66 “Life of Pi” author Martel : YANN

Yann Martel is a Canadian author who was actually born in Spain. His most famous work is the 2001 novel “Life of Pi”, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002. Spanish-Canadian’s first language is French, but he writes in English.

78 Will Ferrell and Tina Fey : SNL ALUMNI

Will Ferrell is a comedian and comic actor from Irvine, California who got his big break as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in the mid-nineties. While appearing on SNL, Ferrell was noted for several impersonations, including President George W. Bush, Neil Diamond, James Lipton, Ted Kennedy and Janet Reno.

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

82 Leafy shelter : BOWER

Our word “bower” comes from the Old English “bur” meaning a hut or dwelling. We’ve been using “bower” to mean a “leafy arbor”, a “dwelling” defined by surrounding trees, since way back in the 1500s.

83 U.S. ally in the Gulf War : OMAN

The Gulf War was a response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. The first major ground engagement of the conflict was the Battle of Khafji. Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade Saudi Arabia from Kuwait, resulting in a brief Iraqi occupation of the Saudi city of Khafji. Coalition air and ground forces regained control of the city after just one night.

86 Nickname of the Miami Heat’s all-time leader in points, games, assists and steals : D-WADE

Dwyane Wade is a basketball player who started his NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003. “D-Wade” was chosen as the “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year in 2006.

90 Old Spanish bread : PESETA

The peseta is the former currency of Spain, and the de facto currency of Spain’s neighbor, the Principality of Andorra. The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002.

92 “Hear ye! Hear ye!” announcers : CRIERS

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

95 Waterside lodging with a portmanteau name : BOATEL

A “boatel” or “botel” is a “boat hotel”. The term can be used to describe a hotel on land close to water that caters mainly for guests arriving on boats. A boatel can also be a ship that has been converted to function as a hotel.

98 Young salamanders : EFTS

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

100 Cross shape : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

109 Chief legal officers: Abbr. : AGS

Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.

110 Target of an athlete’s M.R.I. : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

111 Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE

Charlotte Rae was an American actress best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”. Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Magical healer : SHAMAN
7 Maintain : KEEP
11 Overseas landmark located in Elizabeth Tower : BIG BEN
17 “Fa-a-ancy!” : OO LA LA!
18 Classic Mell Lazarus comic strip : MOMMA
19 Soaring performer : SOPRANO
20 GAZACHO : SPLIT PEA SOUP (P split from “gazpacho”)
22 Young antagonist in Super Mario games : BOWSER JR
23 Counterpart of the Roman Aurora : EOS
24 Jargon : ARGOT
25 John, to Lennon : LOO
26 Mythical archer : EROS
27 Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON
29 SMEILL : GIVE THE STINK EYE (give “smell” an I)
34 Poet who wrote “For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love” : DONNE
35 Chocolaty Post cereal : OREO O’S
36 Org. for which Pelé once played : NASL
37 Something many an A-list celebrity has : EGO
38 Area with a half-dome : APSE
42 Noted Chinese-American fashion designer : ANNA SUI
44 Mystical ball : ORB
47 ENTURIES : LONG TIME NO SEE (“centuries”, no C)
51 Payment to a freelancer for unpublished work : KILL FEE
53 ___ fixe : IDEE
54 Informal “Ugh!” : NO LIKEY!
55 Little thing to pick : NIT
56 Some p.m. times : AFTS
57 China flaw : NICK
59 Familiar inits. in math : QED
60 Original airer of “The Office” : BBC
61 Lapis lazuli shade : AZURE
62 TECHNIQUEO : OH, BY THE WAY (O by “technique”)
66 DEFINITEL : YEAH, WHY NOT (“definitely”, not with Y)
68 Romeo and Juliet, e.g. : ROLES
69 Adam’s ___ : RIB
70 Air traffic watchdog, for short : FAA
71 Literary protagonist named after a king of Israel : AHAB
72 Violinist Leopold : AUER
73 “That’s show ___!” : BIZ
74 Film character introduced in 1977, who died in a 2015 sequel : HAN SOLO
76 ___ Major : URSA
80 French compliment : TRES BON
82 INSTBANT : BE IN THE MOMENT (B in “instant”)
84 Ability that’s hard to explain : ESP
85 Handsewn toy : RAG DOLL
87 Derive (from) : STEM
88 Woman in Progressive ads : FLO
89 Book reviewers, for short : CPAS
91 1910s flying star : WWI ACE
94 James Garfield’s middle name : ABRAM
96 ENVIRONMENAL : GREEN TEA EXTRACT (extract T from “environmental”)
101 Yuletide : NOEL
102 Part of binoculars : LENS
103 Fireside chat prez : FDR
104 “The United States is not, and never will be, at war with ___”: Obama : ISLAM
106 Home of the Sun Devils, familiarly : ASU
107 Subj. of Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution : US SENATE
110 RUMYSELF : ARE YOU WITH ME? (RU with “myself”)
114 Digitally IDs by location : GEOTAGS
115 Rock standard? : CARAT
116 Big name in skin care : AVEENO
117 Features of some dresses and shoes : STRAPS
118 Subtracting : LESS
119 Stifled : HELD IN

Down

1 Help line? : SOS
2 “With any luck!” : HOPE TO GOD!
3 Uncompromising : ALL OR NONE
4 House of Burgundy? : MAISON
5 Keyboard key : ALT
6 Cabernet county : NAPA
7 Land between Albania and Serbia : KOSOVO
8 Histrionic sort : EMOTER
9 Bird Down Under : EMU
10 ___ smear : PAP
11 Play’s final act? : BOW
12 Computer addresses, for short : IPS
13 Fraternity and sorority members : GREEKS
14 Carnival or circus, so to speak : BARREL OF FUN
15 Delight in : ENJOY
16 Language from which “reindeer” comes : NORSE
18 Christmas gift bearers : MAGI
19 Annoyance for Santa : SOOT
21 Rowing machine, in fitness lingo : ERG
22 ___ nova : BOSSA
25 Sierra ___ : LEONE
28 Peachy-keen : NEAT
30 Like some hair and embarrassed friends : TEASED
31 Sweetums : HONEY
32 First Nations people : INUIT
33 Get perfect : NAIL
34 ___ counter : DELI
39 Tiny amount : PINCH
40 Something that’s not easy to blow : SMOKE RING
41 ___ sauce (sushi bar condiment) : EEL
43 Alpine lodging : SKI CHALET
45 Happening again? : RETRO
46 Burdened : BESET
48 Millennials : GEN-YERS
49 Veil over a Muslim woman’s face : NIQAB
50 ___-doke : OKEY
52 No go-getter : LAZY BUM
55 Org. to which Jordan once belonged : NBA
58 “___ complicated” : IT’S
60 Grendel, e.g. : BEAST
61 “I knew it was you!” : AHA!
62 Take to the soapbox : ORATE
63 Store sign info : HOURS
64 Curse remover : BLEEP CENSOR
65 Diana Ross musical, with “The” : … WIZ
66 “Life of Pi” author Martel : YANN
67 Reply of faux innocence : WHO, ME?
70 Have no success with : FAIL AT
73 Speak with swagger : BOAST
74 Spiral : HELIX
75 Words of wonder : OHS
77 Like some web pages and memories : REFRESHED
78 Will Ferrell and Tina Fey : SNL ALUMNI
79 Chemist’s study : ATOM
81 Muffin choice : BRAN
82 Leafy shelter : BOWER
83 U.S. ally in the Gulf War : OMAN
86 Nickname of the Miami Heat’s all-time leader in points, games, assists and steals : D-WADE
90 Old Spanish bread : PESETA
92 “Hear ye! Hear ye!” announcers : CRIERS
93 Obstacle-free courses : EASY AS
95 Waterside lodging with a portmanteau name : BOATEL
96 Drinking sounds : GLUGS
97 Put back to level one, say : RESET
98 Young salamanders : EFTS
99 Congeal : CLOT
100 Cross shape : TAU
105 *big kiss* : MWAH!
108 Quick time out : NAP
109 Chief legal officers: Abbr. : AGS
110 Target of an athlete’s M.R.I. : ACL
111 Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE
112 “___ changed” : I’VE
113 Stretch of history : EON

12 thoughts on “0301-20 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 20, Sunday”

  1. 1:01:41. Never a good sign when I have to use two colons when posting my time. A lot I didn’t know, and I took way too long to figure out the clever, but not overly complicated, theme.

    Good cluing made even some simple answers more challenging. Good puzzle overall.

    Best –

  2. An otherwise interesting, fun, and clever puzzle…. **undone** by the fill for 59D. SCIENCY????? GTFOH!!!!

  3. 51:45, no errors. I’ve observed that the puzzles are calibrated to make the Monday puzzles easiest, and Saturday the most difficult. Sundays are larger, but can vary in difficulty. This was a “Sunday sized Saturday struggle”. A lot of curveballs: I had 7D Bosnia before KOSOVO; 53A prix before IDEE; 64D bleep button before BLEEP CENSOR; 114A geo maps before GEO TAGS. My eraser paid dearly today.

  4. I agree with BruceB. I literally slogged for half of it over an hour and switched to a few lookups… I can only take so much then it’s time to quicken the pace with some help. Too many misdirects and inconsistent theme. A bit contrived to make it work..
    Thank goodness for Bills patience in explaining all those entries…

    I guess that’s the crossworders world. They can make these things any way they want.. But I do appreciate the NYTIMES and the LATIMES because they at least follow a few rules of the trade.

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