0319-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Mar 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Wayne Bergman & Gary Otting
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shortcut

Stay safe, everyone …

Themed answers are common two-word phrases, with one word replaced with a PC keyboard SHORTCUT that uses the CTRL key:

  • 36D Timesaver … as a computer user would see in four answers in this puzzle? : SHORTCUT
  • 19A Protection from piracy : COPYRIGHT (CTRL-C = COPY)
  • 49A Crest, e.g. : TOOTHPASTE (CTRL-V = PASTE)
  • 15D Jeans that have been summerized : CUTOFFS (CTRL-X = CUT)
  • 28D “Way to go!,” to an antiques buyer : NICE FIND! (CTRL-F = FIND)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Ralphie’s ammo in 1983’s “A Christmas Story” : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

The 1983 film “A Christmas Story” has become a holiday classic. The movie is based on short stories and anecdotes by Jean Shepherd, whose voice appears in the soundtrack as the adult “Ralphie”. All young Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun.

13 Broadway auntie : MAME

The musical “Mame” opened on Broadway in 1966, with Angela Lansbury in the title role. The musical is based on the 1955 novel “Auntie Mame” written by Patrick Dennis.

18 It’s bound to be big : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

19 Protection from piracy : COPYRIGHT (CTRL-C = COPY)

The term “copyright” really derives from the concept of giving another party the “right to copy”. Usually “copyright” gives the holder the power to financially benefit from any copies made. Copyright was invented in essence soon after the development of the printing press, with the first legal statutes put in place in Britain in the early 18th century.

31 Like God’s name, in the Lord’s Prayer : HALLOWED

Our Father … (“Pater noster” in Latin) are the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, which is probably the best-known prayer in the Christian tradition.

35 Snitch (on) : NARC

Back in the 1800s, to nark was to act as a police informer. The spelling of the verb “nark” evolved into “narc” due to the influence of the noun “narc”, slang for “narcotics officer”.

38 Crumbly salad topper : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

42 Old pal : CRONY

A crony is a friend or companion. The term originated as slang in Cambridge University in England in the 1600s. “Crony” is probably derived from the Greek “khronios” meaning “long-lasting”.

43 Neighborhood bisected by the Pomona Fwy. : EAST LA

East Los Angeles (usually “East LA”) is the most populous census-designated place in California, and is home to over 125,000 people.

47 Cards, on a scoreboard : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team plays at Busch Stadium. Busch Stadium is the third stadium in the history of St. Louis to have the Busch name. The first two were named for Gussie Busch, the brewing magnate and former Cardinals team owner. The current stadium is named for the brewery though, and not Gussie per se.

48 An old gym sock may have one : ODOR

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

49 Crest, e.g. : TOOTHPASTE (CTRL-V = PASTE)

Crest is a Procter & Gamble brand of toothpaste that was introduced in 1953.

55 Parsley relative : DILL

Dill is a herb in the celery family. Dill seeds can be used for flavoring food, as can dill leaves. In this sense, dill “leaves” are sometimes referred to as dill “weed”.

56 U.S. attack helicopter : COBRA

The Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter was the mainstay of the US Army’s helicopter fleet, until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache.

60 New Orleans side dish : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

61 Saucer users, in brief : ETS

Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era, the event that launched the term “flying saucer” was a UFO sighting in 1947, which was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects, he repeatedly used the words “saucer”, “disc” and “pie-plate”. Newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we’ve been seeing flying “saucers” ever since.

63 Chop ___ : SUEY

Many believe that the Chinese dish known as chop suey was invented in America, by Chinese immigrants. In fact, by the time it showed up in the US it already existed in the Taishan district of Guangdong in southeast China, the origin of many of those immigrants. “Chop suey” translates as “assorted pieces”, and is made up of some meat and eggs quickly cooked with vegetables in a thickened sauce.

Down

1 Apple variety : 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.

3 Leader of Qatar : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

8 Pal of Piglet : POOH BEAR

Hundred Acre Wood is where Winnie the Pooh lives with his friends. According to a map illustrating the books by A. A. Milne, Hundred Acre Wood is part of a larger forest, with Owl’s house sitting right at the center. Piglet also lives in the Hundred Acre Wood, in a beech tree next to a sign that says “TRESPASSERS W”. Piglet says this is short for Trespassers William, which is his grandfather’s name.

10 Hit that goes over the infielders’ heads : BLOOP

In baseball, a bloop single is more usually called a blooper. It’s a fly ball that drops for a single between an infielder and an outfielder.

11 Disney movie with fewer than a thousand words of dialogue : BAMBI

The 1942 Disney classic “Bambi” is based on a book written by Felix Salten called “Bambi, A Life in the Woods”. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.

15 Jeans that have been summerized : CUTOFFS (CTRL-X = CUT)

Summerized, altered for the summer.

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

20 Standing on the street : CRED

“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

24 “That’s funny!,” in a text : LOL!

Gr8 joke! (great joke!); LOL (laugh out loud).

26 “___ Almighty,” 2007 film : EVAN

Steve Carell’s “Evan Almighty” was actually a sequel, to Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty”. “Evan Almighty” is a cute enough film, with Evan mutating into a Noah character who goes as far as building an ark in his front yard.

29 Little ___ (state nickname) : RHODY

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

34 Just the facts : DATA

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

40 Sign of a sellout : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

41 Course after trig : CALC

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

43 Actor Hawke and others : ETHANS

Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke used to be married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

46 Some historic Amelia Earhart flights : SOLOS

Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

47 Longtime senator Thurmond : STROM

Strom Thurmond was a US Senator for the state of South Carolina for 48 years, until he stepped down in 2003. Thurmond was the oldest-serving senator in US history. He retired from his office at the age of 100-years-old, and passed away just a few months after leaving Washington.

50 Award started by the Village Voice : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

“The Village Voice” is a free newspaper distributed in New York City. It had a great advertising slogan in the eighties: “Some people swear by us … other people swear AT us”.

51 Things not found in binary code, paradoxically : TWOS

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

52 TV streaming device : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded.

54 Feb. 14 : V-DAY

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tends to, as a sprain : ICES
5 Popular fitness magazine : SHAPE
10 Ralphie’s ammo in 1983’s “A Christmas Story” : BBS
13 Broadway auntie : MAME
14 Pull : TUG ON
15 Scratch maker : CLAW
16 Where dogs are believed to have been domesticated 10,000+ years ago : ASIA
17 In ___ (irritable) : A MOOD
18 It’s bound to be big : TOME
19 Protection from piracy : COPYRIGHT (CTRL-C = COPY)
21 Courtroom coverage? : ROBE
22 Extreme, in a U.S. Forest Service fire danger rating : RED
23 Play area at some fast-food restaurants : BALL PIT
25 Authored : PENNED
29 Prepare for sending on, say : RE-BOX
30 Elude : AVOID
31 Like God’s name, in the Lord’s Prayer : HALLOWED
35 Snitch (on) : NARC
36 Keep for later : STORE
38 Crumbly salad topper : FETA
39 Tangled up : ENMESHED
41 B equivalent : C-FLAT
42 Old pal : CRONY
43 Neighborhood bisected by the Pomona Fwy. : EAST LA
44 Twist : DISTORT
47 Cards, on a scoreboard : STL
48 An old gym sock may have one : ODOR
49 Crest, e.g. : TOOTHPASTE (CTRL-V = PASTE)
55 Parsley relative : DILL
56 U.S. attack helicopter : COBRA
57 Golfer’s choice : WOOD
58 Horse (around) : GOOF
59 Strike force? : UNION
60 New Orleans side dish : OKRA
61 Saucer users, in brief : ETS
62 Swarms : TEEMS
63 Chop ___ : SUEY

Down

1 Apple variety : IMAC
2 Wear after an accident : CAST
3 Leader of Qatar : EMIR
4 Conclude, as a deal : SEAL
5 Showed obvious interest : STARED
6 Like summer in the South : HUMID
7 On pins and needles : AGOG
8 Pal of Piglet : POOH BEAR
9 Place to set a TV remote : END TABLE
10 Hit that goes over the infielders’ heads : BLOOP
11 Disney movie with fewer than a thousand words of dialogue : BAMBI
12 “That’s awesome!” : SWEET
15 Jeans that have been summerized : CUTOFFS (CTRL-X = CUT)
20 Standing on the street : CRED
24 “That’s funny!,” in a text : LOL!
25 You might see right through it : PANE
26 “___ Almighty,” 2007 film : EVAN
27 It’s what you would expect : NORM
28 “Way to go!,” to an antiques buyer : NICE FIND! (CTRL-F = FIND)
29 Little ___ (state nickname) : RHODY
32 Possible symptom of an allergic reaction : WELT
33 List curtailer : ET AL
34 Just the facts : DATA
36 Timesaver … as a computer user would see in four answers in this puzzle? : SHORTCUT
37 12:50 : TEN TO ONE
40 Sign of a sellout : SRO
41 Course after trig : CALC
43 Actor Hawke and others : ETHANS
44 Elude : DODGE
45 Peabrain : IDIOT
46 Some historic Amelia Earhart flights : SOLOS
47 Longtime senator Thurmond : STROM
50 Award started by the Village Voice : OBIE
51 Things not found in binary code, paradoxically : TWOS
52 TV streaming device : ROKU
53 Tales of the past : LORE
54 Feb. 14 : V-DAY

13 thoughts on “0319-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Mar 20, Thursday”

  1. 23:28 Got rolling relatively quickly(for me!) after I got over the ‘that can’t be right” moment with the first “CTRL” combination in the northeast…

  2. 24:21. Took a while getting the theme going. I waited until TOOTH”paste” at the end to get it. I got CTRLV by crosses, then I got it. Then I got the rest.

    Best –

  3. 26:13 no errors…unlike most of you I know little about the world of internet and have no idea what CTRL means and even with Bills explanation of 49A I still have no idea what that means.
    To finish a puzzle and still be in the dark tells me where I stand in this “online” world.

  4. I think the shortcuts come from an early version of
    WordStar (?©? ?®?) software which predated the IBM PC and
    first Apple computers. There was no menu or mouse so
    everything had to be some kind of keystoke.

  5. @Jack and Cochran-

    Not trying to be snide, but if you truly don’t understand, the
    CTRL (control) key on a computer keyboard allows the computer to follow “ shortcut” commands to perform various functions,
    like cut and paste, find a file and copy a document. Hitting
    the CTRL key and one other (c,f,v whatever) accomplishes this function.

  6. I got everything right on this puzzle mostly by getting all the crosses. About all I know about the CTRL key is that it is there on the keyboard for some reason. I have never used it.

    I had to read all of the explanations by the above commenters to get an inkling of what this theme is all about.

    Except for the theme, the puzzle was otherwise quite easy. Sometimes I think that the constructors and editors deliberately give us some easy crosses when they know that the theme is going to bewilder a big bunch of us.

  7. 12:57, no errors. Recognized the CTRL- theme fairly early, but the only shortcut functions I could remember were ‘copy’ and ‘paste’. I knew that 15D had to be CUT OFFS, but needed REBOX to fill the crossing square. Similarly needed GOOF to fill 28D.

  8. Fun puzzle as Thursdays generally are. The only Ctrl function I’ve ever used is …
    CTRL – ALT – DELETE.
    Once I understood the theme I enjoyed the clever cluing and answers.

  9. No errors.. The use of the CTRL key is contemporary to today. Its use has evolved over time. The author today tried to apply how it’s used today. It was cute. I’ve seen it’s use evolve in my computing experience over the past 40 years.
    Be safe.

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