0320-20 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 20, Friday

Constructed by: Wyna Liu & Paolo Pasco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Stay safe, everyone …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 18m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 One whose coat of arms displays a unicorn : SCOT

The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms used by the Scottish monarchs until the United Kingdom of Great Britain (uniting Scotland and England) was formed in 1707. The coat of arms features a shield supported by two chained unicorns on either side.

15 Sporty/casual fashion trend : ATHLEISURE

The wearing of clothing designed for athletic activity in casual, non-athletic environments is termed “athleisure”, which is a portmanteau of “athletic” and “leisure”.

17 Acted cheekily (in two senses?) : STOLE A KISS

One might steal a cheeky kiss on a cheek.

21 They touch people’s funny bones : HUMERI

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). The ulnar nerve is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes an electric-type shock known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

23 Icon of the small screen? : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate.

28 Required wear in some Hindu temples : SARONG

“Sarong” is the Malay word for “sheath. The term originally described a garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

30 Google search results : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

33 Sponsor of the Poetry Out Loud program, for short : NEA

Poetry Out Loud is an annual recitation contest that was founded in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation.

36 They’re kept at Area 51, supposedly : ETS

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

41 “Errare humanum ___” : EST

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.

52 El ___ : GRECO

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

56 Botanical opening : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of stoma, not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

57 Dance craze mentioned in the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” : WATUSI

The dance called the Watusi was almost as popular as the twist in the early sixties. The Watusi took its name from the Batutsi tribe in Rwanda.

When the track “Revolution 9”, from the Beatles’ “White Album”, is played backwards, there is a section that appears to say “Turn me on, dead man”. This helped fuel an existing urban legend that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by someone who just looked like him.

67 Sticker in a restaurant window : ZAGAT-RATED

The Zagat Survey is best known for rating restaurants across the major cities of the US, but it also rates things like hotels, nightlife, shopping, airlines and even zoos. The survey was started by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979, and back then the survey was simply a collection of New York City restaurant ratings provided by friends of the couple.

69 Pen name of Ruth Crowley and Eppie Lederer : ANN LANDERS

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

Down

2 Place for dogs to rest : OTTOMAN

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

Apparently, the phrase “my dogs are barking” meaning “my feet are hurting” originated in America in the 1920s. From there evolved the use of the term “dogs” for “feet”.

3 Tabloid question next to two people in the same outfit : WHO WORE IT BETTER?

“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.

7 “The Tin Drum” narrator : OSKAR

“The Tin Drum” is a novel by German author Günter Grass that was first published in 1959. The book was adapted into a very successful 1979 film of the same name, which won that season’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

8 Cataclysmic : RUINOUS

Our word “cataclysm”, meaning “violent upheaval”, comes from the Greek “kataklyzein”, meaning “deluge, flood” or more literally “to wash down”.

24 ___ Watson, role for Lucy Liu on “Elementary” : JOAN

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I do enjoy one of Liu’s more recent projects in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

26 Actor Benjamin of “Law & Order” : BRATT

Actor Benjamin Bratt’s most noted role has to be Detective Rey Curtis on the NBC cop show “Law & Order”. Bratt dated the actress Julia Roberts for a few years.

42 Big name in baked goods : SARA LEE

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

46 Mother of Persephone : DEMETER

In Greek mythology, Demeter was the goddess of the harvest. Her Roman equivalent was Ceres.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was made queen of the underworld after having been abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld.

53 Family name in New York politics : CUOMO

Mario Cuomo was Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994. I well remember Mario Cuomo’s keynote address to the 1984 Democratic National Convention soon after I moved to America. For a new immigrant it was an interesting glimpse into American politics. Here’s a little bit of trivia about Mario Cuomo: he was the first ever guest for Larry King on his CNN talk show “Larry King Live”, back in 1985. Cuomo passed away in January 2015 at the age of 82.

Andrew Cuomo won the gubernatorial election for the State of New York (NYS) in 2010. Andrew is the son of former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo. Andrew was also married for 13 years to Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.

55 Lead, e.g. : METAL

Lead is a heavy metallic element with the symbol Pb (standing for “plumbum”, Latin for “lead”). Although lead proves to be a very useful metal, it is very toxic and is poisonous if absorbed into the body.

58 Chichén ___ (Mayan city) : ITZA

Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Needs to recharge, maybe : POWER CORDS
11 One whose coat of arms displays a unicorn : SCOT
15 Sporty/casual fashion trend : ATHLEISURE
16 Derisive interjections : HAHS
17 Acted cheekily (in two senses?) : STOLE A KISS
18 Cry of frustration : ARGH!
19 Drag : TOW
20 Advance : LOAN
21 They touch people’s funny bones : HUMERI
23 Icon of the small screen? : EMOJI
25 With 27-Across, what you might do “to pay Paul” : ROB …
27 See 25-Across : … PETER
28 Required wear in some Hindu temples : SARONG
30 Google search results : URLS
32 ___ flour : OAT
33 Sponsor of the Poetry Out Loud program, for short : NEA
34 Discounted : ON SALE
36 They’re kept at Area 51, supposedly : ETS
37 Host’s responsibility : INTRO
39 Complete … or completely destroy : TOTAL
41 “Errare humanum ___” : EST
43 Marvel : ODDITY
45 Scolding word : BAD!
47 Go on and on : GAB
48 Visibly forbidding : DOUR
49 Hastily applied, as makeup : DAUBED
52 El ___ : GRECO
54 Surround, with “in” : HEM …
56 Botanical opening : STOMA
57 Dance craze mentioned in the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” : WATUSI
59 Pants part : SEAT
61 Go “Vroom vroom!” : REV
62 Kind of horn pitched in E♭ : ALTO
63 Online commentariat : TWITTERATI
66 Appear : SEEM
67 Sticker in a restaurant window : ZAGAT-RATED
68 Beau ideal : HERO
69 Pen name of Ruth Crowley and Eppie Lederer : ANN LANDERS

Down

1 Wallops : PASTES
2 Place for dogs to rest : OTTOMAN
3 Tabloid question next to two people in the same outfit : WHO WORE IT BETTER?
4 Wing : ELL
5 Land, at sea : REEL IN
6 “Gotta run!” : CIAO!
7 “The Tin Drum” narrator : OSKAR
8 Cataclysmic : RUINOUS
9 Shrinks, e.g., briefly : DRS
10 Group hangout time, slangily : SESH
11 “Tsk, tsk!” : SHAME!
12 “Can you say more about that?” : CARE TO ELABORATE?
13 “Just what I needed,” sarcastically : OH GREAT
14 They might be shot from a basketball court : T-SHIRTS
22 Shaken : UPSET
24 ___ Watson, role for Lucy Liu on “Elementary” : JOAN
26 Actor Benjamin of “Law & Order” : BRATT
29 Fat: Sp. : GORDO
31 Man’s name that’s an anagram of DOLLY : LLOYD
35 “Uh, yeah!” : NO, DUH!
38 Chores : TO-DOS
40 Be up against : ABUT
41 It lends a golden color to baked goods : EGG WASH
42 Big name in baked goods : SARA LEE
44 Chess concession : I RESIGN
46 Mother of Persephone : DEMETER
50 Toward the rear : ASTERN
51 ___ Bridal, wedding dress chain : DAVID’S
53 Family name in New York politics : CUOMO
55 Lead, e.g. : METAL
58 Chichén ___ (Mayan city) : ITZA
60 Start of an encouragement : ATTA …
64 Colorless : WAN
65 “Sweet!” : RAD!

4 thoughts on “0320-20 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 20, Friday”

  1. 26:13, no errors. I paused for quite a while over “ZAGAT RATINGS”, but finally decided it was just something I’d never heard of (and all the crossing entries seemed solid). I also had problems in the upper left corner, but again, crossing entries finally gave me “ATHLEISURE”. Good Friday-level puzzle.

  2. 29:37. ATHLEISURE describes about 50% of my entire wardrobe. I remembered it from a previous puzzle eventually.

    ITZA came to me via my crossword lizard brain and aided by ZAGAT… which I used to use extensively traveling on business in the pre-internet era. It was a long thin red book with a great list of restaurants for a given city. I suppose it’s all online now.

    NYT Wordplay showed an old video of people doing the WATUSI. I saw a couple of dozen people doing it, but for the life of me I still don’t know what it is. No one seemed to be doing the same thing, but there was usually some very fancy footwork and arm swinging involved.

    Best –

  3. 29:08, took forever to see I had “bah” instead of “bad” *sigh*. I’ll second Nonny’s props to Bill, as we enter a new phase of quarantine lockdown in New York. I understand it is with the best interest of the population at heart, but at least I have the archives and Bill’s blog to get me through….as they say:” stay healthy” Bill, Nonny and Jeff!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.