0306-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 20, Friday

Constructed by: Caitlin Reid
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 “The Emancipation of ___” (6x platinum Mariah Carey album) : MIMI

Mariah Carey produced her first album in 1990 under the guidance of Tommy Mottola, an executive at Columbia Records. Mottola and Carey must have hit it off, because they were married three years later (although Mottola is now married to a different singer …).

17 404 Not Found, e.g. : ERROR CODE

An HTTP 404 error is one of the common errors encountered when browsing the World Wide Web. The error is returned when a user accesses a site successfully, but cannot find the page that is requested. Usually, this 404 Not Found error is encountered when clicking on a broken or dead link. As an aside, I’d appreciate it if any reader could contact me or leave a comment if a broken link is encountered on this web site. Thank you!

18 Shower amenity : LOOFA

The loofah (also “loofa”, “lufah” and “luffa”, all Arabic words) is a vine, with fruit that’s very popular in Asia and Africa. If the fruit is allowed to mature, it can be processed to remove everything but the more rigid xylem structure (remember your high school botany class?) leaving a soft, sponge-like mass that is used as a skin polisher.

20 Turner on a record : TINA

“Tina Turner” is the stage name used by Anna Mae Bullock, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Turner has always loved Europe and moved there in the eighties. She now splits her time between her homes in England, France and Switzerland.

22 Subject of a scandal, maybe : SEXT

Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article.

31 ___ suit : MAO

What we call the Mao suit in the west is known as the Zhongshan suit in China. The style was introduced by Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun Zhongshan) as the form of national dress after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.

34 Alfred who pioneered in I.Q. testing : BINET

The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

42 Dirty look : STINK EYE

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

44 Literary character played by Gregory Peck, Patrick Stewart and Orson Welles : 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.

53 Old knockout? : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

58 Per diem : DAILY

“Per diem” is the Latin for “by the day”. We tend to use the term for a daily allowance for expenses when traveling for work.

61 Make (out) : SUSS

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, and is a shortening of “to suspect”.

63 Co-author of the 1957 memoir “The Untouchables” : NESS

“The Untouchables” is a 1957 memoir by famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness. The book was adapted into a TV show of the same name that in the late fifties and early sixties, starring Robert Stack as Ness. The same memoir was the basis of the 1987 film, again of the same name, with Kevin Costner in the lead role.

Down

1 Standard part of preppy attire : POLO

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

5 Place “rocked” in a 1982 top 10 hit : THE CASBAH

“Rock the Casbah” was a hit for the Clash, a punk rock band from England. It was the first song aired by Armed Forces Radio during Operation Desert Storm.

7 “The Spanish Playing Cards” and “Nude With Mirror” : MIROS

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miró was “the most Surrealist of us all”. There are two museums dedicated to Miró’s work. The Fundació Joan Miró is in his native Barcelona, and the Fundació Miró Mallorca is in Palma de Mallorca, where he the artist spent much of his life.

12 Grammy winner whose name sounds like a beverage : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

13 Low-___ : CAL

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so-called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as it is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be think in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

15 Threat bearing small arms? : T-REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T-rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

21 One famous for seeing double? : NOAH

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

25 Poet Marianne who won a 1952 Pulitzer : MOORE

Marianne Moore is an American poet whose most famous work is probably the poem known as “Poetry”, appropriately enough.

29 Like a bad apple, maybe : MEALY

Something described as “mealy” resembles meal in texture, and so is granular in consistency.

43 Big 12 school, familiarly : K-STATE

Kansas State University (KSU) was founded as the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1863 during the Civil War. The main KSU campus is located in the city of Manhattan, which is 56 miles northwest of Topeka, Kansas.

47 Two whole notes, essentially : BREVE

Where I grew up a whole note is called a semibreve, and a half note is a minim.

50 Drop ___ : TROU

“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

Trousers are pants, the garment covering the lower body and each leg separately. Ultimately, the word “trousers” evolved from the Erse word “triubhas” that described close-fitting shorts. Back in the 1600s there was a colorful saying:

A jellous wife was like an Irish trouze, alwayes close to a mans tayle

52 City on a lake of the same name : ERIE

Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

55 Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the ___” : ELMS

“Desire Under the Elms” is a classic American play written by Eugene O’Neill and published in 1924. It is basically a retelling of a Greek tragedy, but set in contemporary New England. Sophia Loren stars in a movie version released in 1958.

56 Kvass ingredient : RYE

Kvass is an alcoholic beverage made from rye bread that typically has a low-alcohol content (relative to beer, say). Kvass is popular in Eastern and Central European countries.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Artificially inflates : PADS
5 Sub (for) : TEMP
9 “The Emancipation of ___” (6x platinum Mariah Carey album) : MIMI
13 Oath locale : COURT
14 Men’s grooming aid : HAIR TONIC
16 Oath locale : ALTAR
17 404 Not Found, e.g. : ERROR CODE
18 Shower amenity : LOOFA
19 Tight : CLOSE-KNIT
20 Turner on a record : TINA
22 Subject of a scandal, maybe : SEXT
23 “Heavens to Betsy!” : OH MY GOSH!
27 Points : AIMS
31 ___ suit : MAO
32 Smoking or procrastination, e.g. : HABIT
34 Alfred who pioneered in I.Q. testing : BINET
35 “Make it snappy!” : I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY!
38 Set out on the highway? : TIRES
39 Big cast? : HEAVE
40 Barely : ILL
41 Lose sleep (over) : STEW
42 Dirty look : STINK EYE
44 Literary character played by Gregory Peck, Patrick Stewart and Orson Welles : AHAB
48 You can bet on them : ODDS
49 Help to set the scene : STAGE CREW
53 Old knockout? : ETHER
57 Counter sign? : ORDER HERE
58 Per diem : DAILY
59 Wretch : POOR DEVIL
60 Casual phone greeting : IT’S ME
61 Make (out) : SUSS
62 Matches : SEES
63 Co-author of the 1957 memoir “The Untouchables” : NESS

Down

1 Standard part of preppy attire : POLO
2 An exhausted person might be on it : AUTO
3 Like a hospital gown, maybe : DRAFTY
4 They’re in good hands : STRAIGHTS
5 Place “rocked” in a 1982 top 10 hit : THE CASBAH
6 Noble sort : EARL
7 “The Spanish Playing Cards” and “Nude With Mirror” : MIROS
8 Novel filler : PROSE
9 Faux alcoholic drink : MOCKTAIL
10 A part of : IN ON
11 French for “noon” : MIDI
12 Grammy winner whose name sounds like a beverage : ICE-T
13 Low-___ : CAL
15 Threat bearing small arms? : T-REX
21 One famous for seeing double? : NOAH
23 Cuts out : OMITS
24 “I’ve ___!” : HAD IT
25 Poet Marianne who won a 1952 Pulitzer : MOORE
26 Sources of buzz : HIVES
28 Opposite of mainstream : INDIE
29 Like a bad apple, maybe : MEALY
30 Punk, e.g. : STYLE
33 Hand dryers : TEA TOWELS
34 Wasn’t conspicuous : BLENDED IN
36 Crystal collectors, maybe : NEW-AGERS
37 Like big fans : AVID
43 Big 12 school, familiarly : K-STATE
45 Do a cowboy’s job : HERD
46 Pines : ACHES
47 Two whole notes, essentially : BREVE
49 Soaks (up) : SOPS
50 Drop ___ : TROU
51 Dustups : ADOS
52 City on a lake of the same name : ERIE
54 Cat sound : HISS
55 Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the ___” : ELMS
56 Kvass ingredient : RYE

15 thoughts on “0306-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 20, Friday”

  1. 17:25, no errors. A halting solve, with lots of missteps. I think I’m still feeling the effects of my recent move (and yes, that’s a pretty lame excuse … 😜).

  2. 42:07 most of it went fast after “Rock The Casbah” until the northwest which caused me to hit the wall. Finally came to accept “loofa” without the “h” and realized we were looking for a poker hand in “straight”….

  3. @Michael Cassio/Guy Haines/Big Fellah/et al …

    On Bill’s blog for February 1, I posted the following (in response to your latest accusation concerning my solve times):

    “I have the advantage of being present while I’m doing the puzzle, so that I know exactly what my time is. You, on the other hand, are not in the room with me (thank God!) and therefore have only your own misguided, opinionated, and self-centered notions of what is or is not possible to base a judgment on. The simple fact is that I am a lot better at solving puzzles than you are, and there are a lot of solvers out there who are far better than I am. Wake up! Do a little research!”

    By now, Bill may have deleted our posts on that day. My hope is that he will leave this one for you to read.

    Please consult your better nature and stop posting pointless and mistaken accusations.

    1. OMG I’ve seen people whip through puzzles like “no mañana”. I can usually complete Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday’s as fast as I can write. So I understand that you have the mojo!! Sarah

  4. 29:38. About 13 minutes in, I had perhaps 3 words filled in. I DONT HAVE ALL DAY hit me and the rest filled a lot faster. Took me a long time to understand STRAIGHTS as in being in good hands of poker. Groaner of the day for me. Thought this was a sure DNF at one point.

    I had kvass in Russia a few times. If you could imagine bread soda – as in a soda/soft drink that tastes like bread – that’s what kvass tastes like. I never figured out if I liked it or not. The Russians love it, however.

    Best –

  5. Thought the cluing was just clever enough to make it fun, though maybe a bit easy for a Friday. I needed some crosses to unravel the north east but got’er done.

  6. For me this was anything but “a bit easy”…one hour in I was ready to give up but having no other place to go I hung in and finished in 1:36:00 with no errors…a real surprise to me.
    Stay safe you all.

  7. 20:23, no errors. Always surprised at how similar my solving experience is to others. Looked like ‘cannot even start’ until I got to the southwest corner, where ETHER and DAILY gave me a starting point. Did not connect STRAIGHTS with poker until I saw the above posts. Add me to the group with our hands raised, wondering how Barely=ILL?

  8. Try this: “She could ill afford the cost of new curtains.” “She could barely afford the cost of new curtains.” Close enough?

  9. Yeah. Got 100% right. Struggled with Top left corner a bit. Put it aside and came up with CAL, pads and loofa! Bingo! I really wanted it to say “all right” for “their in good hands”, but alas it had the ‘s’ at the end. Sarah

  10. Like Jack said.. Stated and only got a few in the few passes. Still, several errors after working on it for an hour. I took the bait on practically all the misdirects and had a hard time backing out. TEATOWELS?? MOCKTAIL? MEALY and ILL Got me too. I had HABIT for 32A right away then scrapped it because I couldn’t get anything to fit… After all that and a couple of googles, I got back on track. Then at the very end, I hit the proverbial TROU on 50D. Why is that word so popular lately?? Never heard of it til now… Ok enough.. I stunk on this one but I liked the challenge.
    Be safe.

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