0317-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mixed Feelings

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone. Please celebrate at home, and stay safe. Themed answers are each common phrases in the format “X AND Y”, where X and Y are FEELINGS:

  • 59A Ambivalence … or a hint to 20-, 25- and 41-Across : MIXED FEELINGS
  • 20A Child, to doting parents : PRIDE AND JOY
  • 25A Classic Hunter S. Thompson novel, familiarly : FEAR AND LOATHING
  • 41A Strategy during the 2003 invasion of Iraq : SHOCK AND AWE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

14 Mexican money : PESO

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

15 Justice who replaced O’Connor : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Sandra Day O’Connor is a former associate justice on the US Supreme Court. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

16 Slangy prefix meaning “super” : UBER

“Über” is the German word for “over, across, above”.

17 One who goes a-courting : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

25 Classic Hunter S. Thompson novel, familiarly : FEAR AND LOATHING

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is a 1971 novel by Hunter S. Thompson that first appeared as a two-part feature in “Rolling Stone” magazine. The story is semi-autobiographical and tells the tale of a man and his attorney who explore Las Vegas, mainly in an LSD-induced haze.

Famously, journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson had a wild and rocky career, with his name consistently associated with the use of drugs. His early life was tough too, as he didn’t get to finish high school and instead found himself in jail as a convicted accessory to robbery. The end of his life was pretty tragic. With failing health he committed suicide when he was 67 years old. Thompson left very specific instructions for his funeral ceremony. His ashes were fired out of a cannon, in the presence of a long list of friends including Johnny Depp, Senator John Kerry and Jack Nicholson.

35 U.K. lexicon : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

A lexicon was originally just a dictionary, but we tend nowadays to use the term more to mean a vocabulary that relates to some specific area of activity.

36 “Rubber Duckie” singer on “Sesame Street” : ERNIE

“Rubber Duckie” is a song performed by the muppet Ernie on “Sesame Street”. Rubber Duckie is also Ernie’s favorite toy, his rubber duck. “Rubber Duckie” was released as a single in 1970 and actually made it into the charts.

37 Vaper’s buy : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

38 Palmer with an “army” : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

40 German chancellor ___ von Bismarck : OTTO

Germany first became a country of her own in 1871 when the Princes of the various independent German states met at Versailles outside Paris to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as the Emperor of the German Empire. The man behind this historic development was Wilhelm’s Ministerpräsident, Otto von Bismarck. Von Bismarck was a powerful figure in Prussia and indeed on the world stage, earning him the nickname “Iron Chancellor”.

44 Dot over an “i” or “j” : TITTLE

A tittle is a small diacritical mark used in writing. Examples are the cedilla and tilde used in some languages, and the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

46 Singer with the 1994 hit “You Gotta Be” : DES’REE

Des’ree is an R&B singer from London, England. One of her biggest hits is the song “Kissing You”, which was used in the 1996 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

54 ___ whiskey : RYE

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

55 “Fiddling” emperor : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

59 Ambivalence … or a hint to 20-, 25- and 41-Across : MIXED FEELINGS

The prefix “ambi-” that we use to mean “both” is a Latin word that actually means “around” or “round about”. “Ambivalence” was originally just a psychological term, describing “serious conflicting feelings”. Later it came to mean uncertainty about which course to follow.

Down

1 Police alert, for short : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

5 Presidential absolution, as for a Thanksgiving turkey : PARDON

The tradition of the US President “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey was only formalized in 1989, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. The pardoned turkey is taken to a farm where it gets to live out its life. Prior to 1989, the tradition was more focused on the presentation of a turkey to the White House, and less on the fate of the bird. President Eisenhower was presented with a turkey in each year of his two terms, and he ate them all …

6 Out of the wind, at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

7 Nickname for Angel Stadium, with “the” : BIG A

Angel Stadium of Anaheim is sometimes called the Big A. The Big A opened for business in 1966, making it the fourth oldest stadium in the major leagues, after Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium.

8 Pal of Kyle and Kenny on “South Park” : STAN

“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

10 Takedowns at dojos : JUDO THROWS

Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”. Practitioners of judo proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu-dan system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

11 Toe the line : OBEY

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

12 Actress Aniston, in tabloids : JEN

Jennifer Aniston won a 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom “Friends”. Jennifer’s parents are both actors, and her godfather was the actor Telly Savalas.

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs Wellcome) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, which described newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

13 Stitching sites, briefly : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

21 Apple introduced in 1998 : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

22 Ballerina’s springing jump : JETE

A jeté is a leap in ballet, with the term “jeté” coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.

25 A.T.M. expense : FEE

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

28 Square figure? : DORK

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

29 Dunham of “Girls” : LENA

Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in an ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot, she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.

30 Father of Thor : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

31 Period during which a throne is vacant : INTERREGNUM

The original meaning of the word “interregnum” is the gap between the reign of a sovereign and his or her successor. The word has also come to mean a gap in continuity in general. Interregnum is from the Latin “inter” (between) and “regnum” (reign).

39 Icelandic saga : EDDA

The “Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century in Iceland.

42 When repeated, a World Cup chant : OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

43 ___ Lingus : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline Ryanair.

44 Highest point value for a Scrabble tile : TEN

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

48 Moray, for one : EEL

Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

52 ___ Bo (workout system) : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

53 Pups : WHELPS

A whelp is a young dog, and also a young wolf, bear, lion, tiger and seal. The term has largely been replaced by “pup” or “puppy”.

60 “Frozen” snow queen : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

62 ___ year (2020, for example) : LEAP

I wasn’t sure of the origin of the term “leap year”, and when I checked I found it to be fairly obvious. As a reference, let’s use March 25, 2007, a Sunday. The year before, in 2006, March 25th fell one weekday earlier on a Saturday. That follows the rule that any particular date moves forward in the week by one day, from one year to the next. However, the next year (2008) has an extra day, February 29th. So March 25, 2008 falls on a Tuesday, “leaping” two weekdays forward, not one, as 2008 is a “leap” year. I think I am more confused now then when I started this paragraph …

64 Tax whiz, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

66 Homer’s neighbor on “The Simpsons” : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Vacationing, say : AWAY
5 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST
10 “___ Rabbit,” 2019 Oscar-nominated film : JOJO
14 Mexican money : PESO
15 Justice who replaced O’Connor : ALITO
16 Slangy prefix meaning “super” : UBER
17 One who goes a-courting : BEAU
18 Befitting a king or queen : REGAL
19 Homes for cubs : DENS
20 Child, to doting parents : PRIDE AND JOY
23 Offshoot of punk music : EMO
24 “That being said …” : YET …
25 Classic Hunter S. Thompson novel, familiarly : FEAR AND LOATHING
34 Set of values : ETHIC
35 U.K. lexicon : OED
36 “Rubber Duckie” singer on “Sesame Street” : ERNIE
37 Vaper’s buy : E-CIG
38 Palmer with an “army” : ARNIE
40 German chancellor ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
41 Strategy during the 2003 invasion of Iraq : SHOCK AND AWE
44 Dot over an “i” or “j” : TITTLE
46 Singer with the 1994 hit “You Gotta Be” : DES’REE
49 Prefix with freak or warrior : ECO-
50 Dispute between Wikipedia page updaters : EDIT WAR
54 ___ whiskey : RYE
55 “Fiddling” emperor : NERO
57 “Nothin’ doin’!” : NAH!
58 On an even ___ (steady) : KEEL
59 Ambivalence … or a hint to 20-, 25- and 41-Across : MIXED FEELINGS
64 Novelist Ahern with the best sellers “PS, I Love You” and “Love, Rosie” : CECELIA
65 Made privy to : LET IN ON
67 Doesn’t stop performing : PLAYS ON
68 Place to graze : PASTURE
69 As a minimum : AT LEAST
70 Suffered from cramps, say : SPASMED

Down

1 Police alert, for short : APB
2 Eensy : WEE
3 “Stat!” : ASAP!
4 “I agree” : YOU’RE RIGHT
5 Presidential absolution, as for a Thanksgiving turkey : PARDON
6 Out of the wind, at sea : ALEE
7 Nickname for Angel Stadium, with “the” : BIG A
8 Pal of Kyle and Kenny on “South Park” : STAN
9 “See? Just as I said!” : TOLD YA!
10 Takedowns at dojos : JUDO THROWS
11 Toe the line : OBEY
12 Actress Aniston, in tabloids : JEN
13 Stitching sites, briefly : ORS
21 Apple introduced in 1998 : IMAC
22 Ballerina’s springing jump : JETE
25 A.T.M. expense : FEE
26 “… yadda, yadda, yadda” : ETC
27 Ignoring the record of past events : AHISTORICAL
28 Square figure? : DORK
29 Dunham of “Girls” : LENA
30 Father of Thor : ODIN
31 Period during which a throne is vacant : INTERREGNUM
32 Minor gripe : NIT
33 Prefix with political or physics : GEO-
38 Completed perfectly : ACED
39 Icelandic saga : EDDA
42 When repeated, a World Cup chant : OLE!
43 ___ Lingus : AER
44 Highest point value for a Scrabble tile : TEN
45 Winter sidewalk application : ICE MELT
47 Weedy vacant lot, e.g. : EYESORE
48 Moray, for one : EEL
51 Newborn : INFANT
52 ___ Bo (workout system) : TAE
53 Pups : WHELPS
56 Kind of daisy : OXEYE
58 Makes socks, e.g. : KNITS
60 “Frozen” snow queen : ELSA
61 God: Sp. : DIOS
62 ___ year (2020, for example) : LEAP
63 Celebratory words before “boy” or “girl” : IT’S A …
64 Tax whiz, for short : CPA
66 Homer’s neighbor on “The Simpsons” : NED

14 thoughts on “0317-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 20, Tuesday”

  1. 10 minutes and change, I think. Strange happenings with the NYT app all of a sudden. It’s changing my times. Yesterday my time was 8:48, bit it’s now listed as a time of 4:51. Similarly, I THINK my time on today’s puzzle was a little over 10 minutes. I did it last night so I don’t remember exactly. The app is saying my time was 7:29 which I know isn’t true.

    Two possibilities: There’s something wrong with the app. or 2) The NYT app is traveling at the speed of light so my real time seems shorter to them than what I am experiencing as an observer.

    Nonny/Duncan – are you having any such issues with your times posted on the app? Just curious if it’s just me or if they’re having issues….or is there a time warp issue going on?

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I checked the last eight times reported by the NYT crossword app and they are unchanged from what I recorded just after doing the puzzles. Perhaps you’re getting time off for good behavior?

      A few months ago, the app decided that I had not done a couple of weeks worth of puzzles in a timely enough fashion to count against my current streak. I was pretty unhappy about that, but shrugged and let it go and, a few days later, the problem was fixed. All of the puzzles involved were done during a cruise; how that relates to the issue I do not know but, at least, the times remained the same after the glitch was fixed. Perhaps your glitch will also fix itself in time.

      1. Nonny – I sent a note to the NYT crossword support email (NYTimesCrossword@nytimes.com ) . They are looking into it so we’ll see what happens.

        In your case, it sounds like there could have been internet issues. But it’s been my experience that if I don’t finish one puzzle by the time the next one is published, I get “credit” for a solve, but my consecutive solve streak goes away. Currently I’m on a 42 day streak which is a record for me and an indication of how crazy my life gets at times – the fact that 42 days is a record.

        If I hear anything interesting, I’ll post it here

        Best –

  2. 25:09 no errors but I did not understand Bills XY explanation of the theme…I honestly think if you guys would go back to pencil and paper instead of this app and that app that you might find the experience enjoyable. I do.

    1. Hmmm. What makes you think we’re not enjoying the app?

      (Mind you, all the other crossword puzzles I do are pen-and-paper affairs, but the NYT app does offer certain benefits: for example, it keeps track of my solving statistics.)

    2. @Jack: Bill’s explanation that the theme answers are in an ‘X and Y’ format means that the answers contain two different emotions separated by the word ‘AND’. 20A X = PRIDE; Y = JOY. Hope this helps.

    1. I don’t have access to a hard copy of the NYT. I started doing puzzles online when I stopped receiving newspapers in print form a few years ago. Now I can’t imagine doing them any other way.

      But more importantly, the app keeps track of every puzzle you’ve solved. It tells me my average times for every day of the week, how many I’ve completed in total, and how many I’ve done in a row. It also keeps track of my best times for every day of the week. I get addicted to looking at those stats on an almost daily basis.

      That as much as anything is why I like doing them online – esp the NYT.

      The app itself works fine. My issue back in March was an issue with the stats page.

      Best –

  3. No errors today.

    I am a paper and erasable-ink solver. I couldn’t care less about all those bells-and-whistles of the online sites. I don’t even time myself. I take the time to savor the experience. I just love the words. Why ruin it with all the distractions? That’s my two cents worth.

  4. Ah, Rubber Ducky…Love that song…Know all the words as my husband found out when I got to 36 across. Be thankful you’re weren’t there.

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