0302-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 20, Monday

Constructed by: Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Nothing Doing

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “NOTHING”:

  • 53A “Forget about it!” … or a clue to the starts of 20-, 27- and 47-Across : NOTHING DOING!
  • 20A Butane-filled item for smokers : ZIPPO LIGHTER
  • 27A Exercises that work the glutes, quads and abs : SQUAT JUMPS
  • 47A Star of Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” : ZERO MOSTEL

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Airer of “48 Hours” and “60 Minutes” : CBS

“48 Hours” is a CBS news magazine show that has aired since 1988.

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

8 Bottom half of a 45 : B-SIDE

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

15 Actress Loughlin of “Full House” : LORI

Lori Loughlin played Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis on the sitcom “Full House”. Loughlin later appeared in a spin-off of the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210” titled, inventively enough, “90210”.

17 Website with a “Buy It Now” option : EBAY

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

19 “A Doll’s House” playwright Henrik : IBSEN

“A Doll’s House” is probably the most famous play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play deals with the feminist awakening of the lead character, Nora Helmer. “A Doll’s House” is sometimes referred to as the “first true feminist play”.

20 Butane-filled item for smokers : ZIPPO LIGHTER

The first Zippo lighter was made in 1933, in Bradford, Pennsylvania. The name “Zippo” was simply a word invented by the company founder, George Blaisdell, as he liked the word “zipper”. You can buy one today for $12.95, or if you want the solid gold model … for $8,675.95.

Butane is a highly flammable organic gas, one that is used as a fuel for lighters, for example. Butane was discovered in 1849, and is closely related to butyric acid, a compound discovered in 1814 and from which the gas gets its name. In turn, butyric acid gets its name from “butyrum”, the Latin for butter. Butyric acid was first isolated from butter.

23 “___ the land of the free …” : O’ER

The words “o’er the land of the free” come from the US national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

32 Russian refusal : NYET

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

34 “Krazy ___” : KAT

“Krazy Kat” is a successful comic strip that ran from 1913-1944 and was drawn by George Herriman.

35 “At Wit’s End” humorist Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

36 With 44-Across, N.B.A. player once married to a Kardashian : LAMAR … (44A See 36-Across : … ODOM)

Lamar Odom is a basketball forward in the NBA. Apparently Odom loves candy, and that’s how he earned his nickname, “The Candy Man”. Odom was married to Khloé Kardashian, and the couple’s wedding featured on an episode of the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Not a show that I have ever seen …

38 Kind of rock for which New Hampshire is known : GRANITE

New Hampshire is called the Granite State, because it has lots of granite quarries and granite formations.

42 “The Godfather” crowd : MAFIA

“The Godfather” series of films is based on “The Godfather” novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969. Francis Ford Coppola worked with Puzo in partnership to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the first film, and to write the screenplays for the two sequels. Coppola holds that there are really only two films in “The Godfather” series, with “The Godfather Part III” actually being the epilogue.

45 Communication means for the deaf, for short : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

47 Star of Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” : ZERO MOSTEL

Zero Mostel was a stage and screen actor best known perhaps for playing Tevye on stage in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Max Bialystock in the original screen version of “The Producers”. Mostel was one of those many actors whose career languished during the 1950s as he found himself blacklisted by Senator McCarthy and co. But he rebounded, and achieved his greatest success in the sixties.

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

50 Tilted, as printed letters : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

63 Old Russian ruler : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

64 Final Greek letter : OMEGA

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

65 Singer of “Let It Go” in Disney’s “Frozen” : ELSA

“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

66 Bingo-like casino game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

68 Applied Clairol to, perhaps : DYED

Clairol had been selling hair coloring products to salons since 1931, and then hit the big time with the introduction of a one-step hair coloring product for use at home. As famous as the product was the “does she … or doesn’t she” advertising campaign. Six years after the launch of the campaign, 70% of women in the US were coloring their hair.

Down

1 At the home of: Fr. : CHEZ

“Chez” is a French term meaning “at the house of”, which comes from the Latin word “casa” meaning “cottage” or “hut”.

2 Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname : BIBI

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu became Prime Minister of Israel in 2009, when he became the first leader of the country who was born in the state of Israel. After graduating high school, Netanyahu served in the Israeli special forces and participated in several combat missions, getting wounded on multiple occasions. After leaving the army in 1972, Netanyahu studied at MIT in the US, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in business.

4 Airline that doesn’t schedule flights on Shabbat : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

Shabbat is the day of rest in the Jewish tradition, and is observed weekly from Friday evening through Saturday evening. Shabbat is welcomed a few minutes before Friday’s sunset, according to Jewish law, and bid farewell on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.

5 Actress Spelling of “Beverly Hills 90210” : TORI

Tori Spelling is an American actress who made a name for herself playing Donna Martin on television’s “Beverly Hills, 90210”. Tori is the daughter of film and television producer Aaron Spelling.

“Beverly Hills, 90210” is a drama that aired on Fox from 1990 to 2000. The show follows the lives of little rich kids in Beverly Hills. Many of the cast members have made it big following their appearances on “90210”, including Jason Priestly, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. I’ve never even seen one episode …

7 Genre for Cardi B and Nicki Minaj : HIP-HOP

“Cardi B” is the stage name of rap artist Belcalis Almánzar from the Bronx in New York City. The name “Cardi B” comes from the brand name “Bacardi”.

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from the New York borough of Queens who was born in Trinidad.

9 Teenage witch of TV : SABRINA

The hit TV show “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” is based on a comic book series of the same name. The title character is played by actress Melissa Joan Hart. Sabrina lives with her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda, who are both 600 years of age. There’s also a cat called Salem, who has magical powers.

10 “___ Superman!” : IT’S

Here’s a famous line from the “Superman” television show from the fifties:

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. it’s Superman!

11 Casino cube : DIE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

14 Kind of personality a go-getter has : TYPE A

The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

21 Brand of taco shells and salsas : ORTEGA

The Ortega food manufacturing company has been around for about 150 years. It was founded by Maria Concepcion Jacinta Dominguez Ortega, known affectionately as Mama Ortega within the company.

22 Profs’ aides : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

25 Someone who might say “There, there” : SYMPATHIZER

“Sympathy” and “empathy” are related but different terms. A person exhibiting sympathy acknowledges another person’s emotional distress. A person exhibiting empathy also acknowledges distress, but understands the emotions felt as they have had a similar experience, or can at least put themselves in the shoes of the person affected.

26 Funeral vehicle : HEARSE

We use the term “hearse” for a vehicle used to transport a dead body to the place of burial. The original meaning, still used sometimes today, is for a framework hanging over a coffin that holds candles.

28 Resident of Doha : QATARI

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

29 ___ Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings” : JRR

J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author best known by far for his fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

30 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

31 Bruce Wayne’s home, for one : MANOR

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

33 One living under a bridge, in fairy tales : TROLL

“Troll” is a term that comes from Norse mythology. Trolls are less than helpful creatures that tend to live on isolated mountains, in caves and under bridges.

36 Greg ___, three-time Tour de France winner : LEMOND

In 1986, American cyclist Greg LeMond became the first non-European to win the Tour de France. Now retired, LeMond won the Tour three times in all, repeating the feat in 1989 and 1990. He is America’s only official winner of the Tour de France, as Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven victories for using performance-enhancing drugs. For his part, LeMond is a vocal advocate of keeping doping out of the sport of cycling.

40 Male turkey : TOM

A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently gets into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.

47 Clearasil target, in slang : ZIT

Clearasil acne medication was developed in 1940 by Ivan Combe and Kedzie Teller. Combe promoted the product by sponsoring the television show “American Bandstand” for many years.

51 True-blue : LOYAL

The use of “true blue” to mean loyal and constant has been around since the days of Chaucer, but no one seems to know its etymology.

54 How thumbs are twiddled : IDLY

“To twiddle one’s thumbs” is to do nothing, to spend time aimlessly. The phrase originated in the mid-1800s. In the early part of the 19th century, the equivalent phrase was “to twirl one’s thumbs”.

59 ___ Pérignon : DOM

Dom Pérignon is a prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

60 Rock music subgenre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Airer of “48 Hours” and “60 Minutes” : CBS
4 Inscribe, as on a trophy : ETCH
8 Bottom half of a 45 : B-SIDE
13 Clue for the clueless : HINT
15 Actress Loughlin of “Full House” : LORI
16 10:1, e.g. : RATIO
17 Website with a “Buy It Now” option : EBAY
18 Not give ___ (not care) : A RAP
19 “A Doll’s House” playwright Henrik : IBSEN
20 Butane-filled item for smokers : ZIPPO LIGHTER
23 “___ the land of the free …” : O’ER
24 Clumsy : OAFISH
27 Exercises that work the glutes, quads and abs : SQUAT JUMPS
32 Russian refusal : NYET
34 “Krazy ___” : KAT
35 “At Wit’s End” humorist Bombeck : ERMA
36 With 44-Across, N.B.A. player once married to a Kardashian : LAMAR …
37 “Who am ___ judge?” : I TO
38 Kind of rock for which New Hampshire is known : GRANITE
41 Con’s opposite : PRO
42 “The Godfather” crowd : MAFIA
44 See 36-Across : … ODOM
45 Communication means for the deaf, for short : ASL
46 Stiffly formal : PRIM
47 Star of Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” : ZERO MOSTEL
50 Tilted, as printed letters : ITALIC
52 To the ___ degree : NTH
53 “Forget about it!” … or a clue to the starts of 20-, 27- and 47-Across : NOTHING DOING!
59 Airport bummer : DELAY
62 Indication that it’s time to take out the trash : ODOR
63 Old Russian ruler : CZAR
64 Final Greek letter : OMEGA
65 Singer of “Let It Go” in Disney’s “Frozen” : ELSA
66 Bingo-like casino game : KENO
67 Runway walker : MODEL
68 Applied Clairol to, perhaps : DYED
69 Crunchy, as carrots : RAW

Down

1 At the home of: Fr. : CHEZ
2 Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname : BIBI
3 “Get real, for heaven’s sake!” : SNAP OUT OF IT!
4 Airline that doesn’t schedule flights on Shabbat : EL AL
5 Actress Spelling of “Beverly Hills 90210” : TORI
6 Handhold for a rock climber : CRAG
7 Genre for Cardi B and Nicki Minaj : HIP-HOP
8 Lawyer’s document : BRIEF
9 Teenage witch of TV : SABRINA
10 “___ Superman!” : IT’S
11 Casino cube : DIE
12 Long, long time : EON
14 Kind of personality a go-getter has : TYPE A
21 Brand of taco shells and salsas : ORTEGA
22 Profs’ aides : TAS
25 Someone who might say “There, there” : SYMPATHIZER
26 Funeral vehicle : HEARSE
27 Pinch pennies : SKIMP
28 Resident of Doha : QATARI
29 ___ Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings” : JRR
30 Actress Thurman : UMA
31 Bruce Wayne’s home, for one : MANOR
33 One living under a bridge, in fairy tales : TROLL
36 Greg ___, three-time Tour de France winner : LEMOND
39 Wedding vow : I DO
40 Male turkey : TOM
43 “Somehow it all gets done” : I MANAGE
47 Clearasil target, in slang : ZIT
48 Went “Hello … ello … llo … lo …” : ECHOED
49 Keep on the shelves : STOCK
51 True-blue : LOYAL
54 How thumbs are twiddled : IDLY
55 Middle of the face : NOSE
56 May or June gown wearer : GRAD
57 Mom’s mom : NANA
58 Get taller : GROW
59 ___ Pérignon : DOM
60 Rock music subgenre : EMO
61 Was in first place : LED

4 thoughts on “0302-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 20, Monday”

  1. Jeff:

    Thanks for some timely answers to my questions. Do you subscribe to OED online (re: your “worst” answer from the other day)? Do you use a crossword dictionary?

  2. 5:57. Had tsar before CZAR but otherwise zipped through this one. “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” are two of my favorite movies of all time, but I never bothered to see Part III since it was panned so badly. Recently a friend of mine has almost talked me into sitting through it.

    Steve – I just use Google when I need info like that. That always seems enough for me.

    Best –

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