0321-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Damon Gulczynski
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Stay safe, everyone …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 14m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 “We deliver for you” sloganeer, for short : USPS

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

15 They come with strings attached : PARACHUTES

The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defense against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

16 Sports org. headquartered in Indianapolis : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910. The NCAA has been headquartered in Indianapolis since 1999.

17 Fakes : CHARLATANS

A charlatan is someone who makes false claims of skill or knowledge. “Charlatan” is a word we imported from French, although the original derivation is the Italian “ciarlatano”, a term meaning “quack”.

20 Two-time Emmy nominee for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker : DELTA BURKE

Actress and comedian Delta Burke is best known for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker in the sitcom “Designing Women”. Burke ended up leaving the cast in 1991 due to her poor relationship with the creators of the show.

24 Mobile dwelling on a steppe : YURT

A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

34 Civil rights activist buried in Arlington National Cemetery : MEDGAR EVERS

Medgar Evers was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was assassinated by the Klu Klux Klan in 1963. A year after the murder, one Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the crime. Two trials failed to return a decision on Beckwith’s guilt as the juries, composed completely of white males, deadlocked both times. New evidence was unearthed some thirty years later so Beckwith could be retried and he was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. Back in 1963, Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Evers had served in the US Army in France during WWII and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

40 Inits. in 1970s-’80s rock : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

41 Satay dip : PEANUT SAUCE

The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.

44 Little theorem within a bigger theorem : LEMMA

A lemma is a helping theorem, a subsidiary proposition that helps prove some other proposition.

49 Common address ender : COM

The .com domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

50 Classic rock hit that asks “Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?” : PURPLE HAZE

“Purple Haze” is a 1967 song written and recorded by Jimi Hendrix that has been described as a “psychedelic drug song of the sixties”. In fact, the term “purple haze” came to refer to LSD. Hendrix denied any relation of the lyrics to drugs at all.

55 Big Apple? : 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.

60 Race car, e.g. : PALINDROME

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

62 Way to watch shows beginning in 1999 : TIVO

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

65 Ones trying to cover all the bases : INFIELDERS

That would be baseball.

Down

1 Pound sign? : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

2 Hanauma Bay locale : OAHU

Hanauma Bay is located east of Honolulu on the coast of Oahu. In Hawaiian “hana” means bay and “uma” means curve, so the locals usually refer to the area as simply “Hanauma”, as the word “Bay” is extraneous.

4 Tusked savanna dweller : WARTHOG

The warthog is a wild animal from the pig family found in Sub-Saharan Africa. The animal takes its name from four wart-like protrusions on its head that serve as a means of defense, but are also reserves of fat.

A savanna (also “savannah”) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

5 ___ tear : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

7 Instrument with a bent neck : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

8 Proofreader’s abbr. : ITAL

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.

9 R. J. Reynolds brand : KENT

“Readers Digest” published an exposé article in 1952 called “Cancer in the Carton”, creating a scare among cigarette smokers. In response, tobacco manufacturers introduced cigarettes with filters, creating the impression that this would mitigate the harmful effects of smoking. One of the new brands was Kent, which had a much-touted “Micronite filter”. In 1956, it was revealed that Kent cigarettes were made with carcinogenic blue asbestos in the filter, so there was a quick reformulation and a replacement that used charcoal was introduced. The Kent brand is named after Herbert Kent, a former executive of the Lorillard Tobacco Company.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) was founded by Richard Joshua “R. J.” Reynolds. Reynolds founded his business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1875. The company employed nearly 30,000 people in the area at its peak, but now has fewer than 3,000 employees locally.

14 Not just meet the needs of : SATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

21 Bit of osculation : BUSS

To buss is to kiss.

To osculate is to kiss. The term “osculate” comes from Latin, specifically from “os” meaning “mouth” via “osculum” meaning “little mouth”.

23 “Por ___ Cabeza” (tango classic) : UNA

“Por una cabeza” is one of the most famous Argentine tangos, and is oft-featured in memorable scenes in big Hollywood movies. You might recall tangos in 1992’s “Scent of a Woman” and 1994’s “True Lies”, for example, both of which were danced to “Por una cabeza”. The title of the song translates to “by a head”. The “by a head” in this context is the distance by which a horse might win a race. The lyrics tell of a man who compares his addiction to gambling on horses to his attraction to women.

26 Zora ___ Hurston, writer of the Harlem Renaissance : NEALE

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

27 Much-used technology in the 1990s that’s largely outmoded today : CD-ROM DRIVE

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

29 Like a lamb : OVINE

The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine” meaning “like a sheep”.

41 Cathedral eponym : PAUL

The famous and very beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. St. Paul’s was completed in 1708 and was constructed as part of a rebuilding program necessary after the devastation of the Great Fire of London of 1666. St. Paul’s is the second largest church building in the country, after Liverpool Cathedral.

42 Cone head? : SNO-

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

45 Beatlesque hairstyle : MOP TOP

The classic Beatles haircut is called a mop top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and when they arrived at their destination, they had their hair cut that way for the first time.

48 Pop label : PEPSI

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

52 “Death Becomes Her” co-star, 1992 : HAWN

I remember watching the ditsy character played by Goldie Hawn on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Hawn used to give great performances on the show, convincing everyone that she was the stereotypical dumb blonde. Well, what a great career she was to carve out for herself!

“Death Becomes Her” is a dark comedy released in 1992 that stars Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. It’s all about two women downing a magic potion in a quest for eternal youth.

53 Arabic leader : ALIF

“Alif” is the first letter in the Arabic Semitic alphabet, and is equivalent to the Hebrew “aleph”.

54 Big tubes : ZITI

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

61 “We move the world” sloganeer : DHL

Back in the sixties, Larry Hillblom was making pocket money as a Berkeley law student by doing courier runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After law school, Hillblom decided to parlay his experience into his own business and set up a courier service flying bills of lading ahead of freight from San Francisco to Honolulu. He brought in two buddies, Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn, as partners and the three were soon hopping on and off commercial flights and gradually making more and more money. And DHL was born … D (for Dalsey) H (for Hillblom) L (for Lynn). DHL was acquired by Germany’s Deutsche Post in 2002.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Slangy part of a conversation recap : SO, I WAS LIKE …
11 “We deliver for you” sloganeer, for short : USPS
15 They come with strings attached : PARACHUTES
16 Sports org. headquartered in Indianapolis : NCAA
17 Fakes : CHARLATANS
18 It’s the truth : FACT
19 Woman with a 32-Down : AUNT
20 Two-time Emmy nominee for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker : DELTA BURKE
22 Peach or plum : HUE
24 Mobile dwelling on a steppe : YURT
25 Commanding the situation : IN CONTROL
31 Move clandestinely : SLINK
34 Civil rights activist buried in Arlington National Cemetery : MEDGAR EVERS
36 Wrong : SIN
37 Something to shoot for : PAR
38 Special : ELITE
39 Go with : SEE
40 Inits. in 1970s-’80s rock : ELO
41 Satay dip : PEANUT SAUCE
44 Little theorem within a bigger theorem : LEMMA
46 “You betcha!” : YES INDEED
47 Arrange, in a way, as hair : DO UP
49 Common address ender : COM
50 Classic rock hit that asks “Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?” : PURPLE HAZE
55 Big Apple? : IMAC
59 Doing the job : ON IT
60 Race car, e.g. : PALINDROME
62 Way to watch shows beginning in 1999 : TIVO
63 Tricky swap : SWITCHEROO
64 Algorithm part : STEP
65 Ones trying to cover all the bases : INFIELDERS

Down

1 Pound sign? : SPCA
2 Hanauma Bay locale : OAHU
3 Where the biblical Esther and Daniel are purported to be buried : IRAN
4 Tusked savanna dweller : WARTHOG
5 ___ tear : ACL
6 Ash, e.g. : SHADE TREE
7 Instrument with a bent neck : LUTE
8 Proofreader’s abbr. : ITAL
9 R. J. Reynolds brand : KENT
10 Attempt : ESSAY
11 Roll out : UNFURL
12 Sign of healing : SCAR TISSUE
13 Get ready, in a way : PACK
14 Not just meet the needs of : SATE
21 Bit of osculation : BUSS
23 “Por ___ Cabeza” (tango classic) : UNA
25 Encourage : IMPEL
26 Zora ___ Hurston, writer of the Harlem Renaissance : NEALE
27 Much-used technology in the 1990s that’s largely outmoded today : CD-ROM DRIVE
28 Event that’s not for singles : RELAY
29 Like a lamb : OVINE
30 “___ remember …” : LET US
32 Girl with a 19-Across : NIECE
33 Dealt a low blow : KNEED
35 Reserve : RETICENCE
41 Cathedral eponym : PAUL
42 Cone head? : SNO-
43 Like idols : ADMIRED
45 Beatlesque hairstyle : MOP TOP
48 Pop label : PEPSI
50 Some ironware : POTS
51 Something that’s often named after a scientist : UNIT
52 “Death Becomes Her” co-star, 1992 : HAWN
53 Arabic leader : ALIF
54 Big tubes : ZITI
56 Seconds : MORE
57 Spanish sweetheart : AMOR
58 Biz bigs : CEOS
61 “We move the world” sloganeer : DHL

7 thoughts on “0321-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 20, Saturday”

  1. 34:24. This one didn’t seem all that difficult, but I looked up and this was my time. I think it just took longer than usual to get started, then I was able to solve it apace. I really enjoyed this one. All puzzles should be Saturdays.

    Interesting note about this puzzle – it was slated to be one of the puzzles at this year’s ACPT that had to be canceled. Bill’s 14 minutes and my 34 minutes shows why I wasn’t signed up for it.

    I had no idea “race car” was a PALINDROME. How could I have missed that? KENT cigarettes were tobacco smoke mixed with asbestos? Sounds tasty.

    I always like to look back at the syndicated puzzles after posting here. It’s like going back in time 5 weeks. Today I’d like to look forward 5 weeks and see where we are. This puzzle will come out in syndication on April 25th. Here’s hoping things are much more normal when this comes out in syndication.

    Best –

  2. 35:29 Really thought “doup” was incorrect, agonized for a while around that. I wonder if Jeff Lynne knows how often his band initials turn up in crossword puzzles?

  3. 41:31, 2 errors: MEDG(E)R EVERS; UN(E). A lot of difficulty for me with this puzzle. 5D ON A before ACL; 9D KOOL > KENT; 13D PREP > PACK; 21D KISS > BUSS; 31A SNEAK > SLINK; 53D EMIR > ALIF. Also tried to fit BILLY BURKE into 20A, although I was sure her first name was Billie.

  4. 52:09 with the same 2 errors as Bruce B…frustrating to work so hard and come up short.
    Stay safe and don’t drink any Lysol

  5. Jeff,.. Well it’s May 1st.. Things are a little better but not by much..

    This one was tough for me.. Had a couple of lookups. I couldn’t let go of DELLA BURKE instead of DELTA BURKE.. Too bull headed.
    Never heard of LEMME..

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