0325-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Mar 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Laura Taylor Kinnel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spring Rolls

Themed clues point to female ROLES on the big and small screens. Each character has a month in SPRING as a name:

  • 59A Chinese appetizers … or a punny description of 17-, 28-, 35- and 45-Across : SPRING ROLLS
  • 17A Laura Dern, in “Little Women” : MARMEE MARCH
  • 28A Sarah Drew, on “Grey’s Anatomy” : APRIL KEPNER
  • 35A Ming-Na Wen, on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” : MELINDA MAY
  • 45A Barbara Billingsley, on “Leave It to Beaver” : JUNE CLEAVER

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tour de France, e.g. : RACE

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

5 Sonny Corleone, for one : CAPO

More properly called a caporegime, a capo is a high-ranking member of the Mafia (Cosa Nostra).

Sonny Corleone was the eldest son of Don Vito Corleone in Mario Puzo’s great novel “The Godfather”. In the movie, Sonny was played by James Caan. Sonny appears as a boy in the movie “The Godfather: Part II”, and is played by director Francis Ford Coppola’s own son, Roman Coppola.

13 Professor in a library, perhaps : PLUM

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

17 Laura Dern, in “Little Women” : MARMEE MARCH

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

19 Prelude to a perspective : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

20 Creepy-crawly, maybe : LARVA

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

23 Actress Thompson of “Selma” : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

25 Swipe : FILCH

“Filch” is a slang word meaning for “steal”. One suggestion is that the term derives from the German “filzen” meaning “comb through”.

26 Big name in Dadaism : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

27 Where R.N.s are always needed : ICU

Registered nurses (RNs) are considered very important people (VIPs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).

28 Sarah Drew, on “Grey’s Anatomy” : APRIL KEPNER

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

34 Hip designs? : TATS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

39 Princess Organa : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

45 Barbara Billingsley, on “Leave It to Beaver” : JUNE CLEAVER

We used to see a lot of American television programming growing up in Ireland, but “Leave It to Beaver” was one show that didn’t make it across the Atlantic. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, and I am not sure it would travel well. The show went on the air for the first time the day that Sputnik was launched by the Russians, and aired its last show just a few months before President Kennedy was assassinated. An iconic series, by all accounts.

49 Santa’s helper? : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

50 QB blunder: Abbr. : INT

In football, if a quarterback’s (QB’s) pass ends up in the hands of a cornerback (CB), then that’s an interception (INT).

51 Half of a centaur : HORSE

A centaur is a figure from Greek mythology. It is a creature with the upper body of a human and lower body of a horse.

52 One of the Obamas : MALIA

Malia Obama is the oldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. Malia graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

56 Golf coup : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

59 Chinese appetizers … or a punny description of 17-, 28-, 35- and 45-Across : SPRING ROLLS

Spring rolls are so called as they were historically a seasonal food consumed in the spring. Those early pancakes were filled with freshly harvested spring vegetables.

64 Academic’s “and others” : ET ALIA

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

65 Christmas season : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

68 Like quiche : EGGY

The classic dish called quiche is made with eggs (“oeufs” in French). Even though the quiche is inextricably linked to French cuisine, the name “quiche” comes from “Kuchen”, the German word for “cake”. The variant called “quiche lorraine” includes bits of smoked bacon as an ingredient.

Down

1 Engine stat : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

2 In the style of : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

6 Dr.’s org. : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

9 Camembert cousin : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

Camembert cheese is named after the place it was first produced, the commune of Camembert in Normandy in the north of France.

12 Positive media coverage : GOOD PR

Public relations (PR)

14 Title for M.L.K. Jr. : REV

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return to the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

15 Prepare, as oysters or corn : SHUCK

To shuck is to remove the husk from (say an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say an oyster).

18 Elizabethan, for one : ERA

The Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age of English history. It was the age of William Shakespeare and the age of the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and the last sovereign of the House of Tudor.

22 Trigonometry symbols for angles : THETAS

The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at a corner of a triangle).

25 Actress Drescher of “The Nanny” : FRAN

Fran Drescher’s real name is Francine Jane Drescher. She is a comedian and comic actress best known for playing Fran Fine on the sitcom “The Nanny”. Fran was born in Queens, New York (go figure!). Her big break came with a small role, but in a huge movie. You might recall in “Saturday Night Fever” that John Travolta was asked by a pretty dancer, “Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?” Well, that young lady was Fran Drescher.

29 Canada’s smallest prov. : PEI

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a maritime Canadian province. The island at the center of the province was named for Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. PEI is the smallest Canadian province, both in terms of land area and population.

38 Soviet space station : MIR

Russia’s Mir space station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

39 Energy snack marketed to women : LUNA BAR

The LUNA Bar is a nutrition bar introduced in 1999 that is aimed at women. Apparently, the bar was created by a group of female employees at the Clif Bar company to address nutritional needs specific to women.

42 What might give you that nice warm Christmas feeling? : YULE LOG

A Yule log is a large log made from a very hard wood that is burned as part of the Christmas celebration. There is also a cake called a Yule log that is served at Christmas, especially in French-speaking parts of the world. The cake is made from sponge that is rolled up to resemble a wooden Yule log.

43 Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

45 Mexican root vegetable popular in salads : JICAMA

The plant called the jícama is also known as the Mexican yam and Mexican turnip. Jícama is grown for its tuberous root. The tuber’s interior is usually eaten raw.

48 Related to the stars : ASTRAL

“Astrum” (plural “astra”) is a Latin word meaning “star”.

55 Waze ways: Abbr. : RTES

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

56 Arthurian heroine : ENID

Enid is a Welsh name, from “einit” an old Welsh word meaning “purity”. Enid was the wife of Geraint, one of King Arthur’s knights. Enid is described as “the personification of spotless purity”.

57 ___ Khan : AGA

“Aga Khan” is a hereditary title of the Imam of a large sect within the Shi’a Muslim faith known as the Nizari Ismailis. The current Aga Khan is Shah Karim al-Hussayni, who has held the position since 1957.

60 Bit of land in the Seine : ILE

There are two famous “îles” (islands) in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most renowned of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre Dame.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tour de France, e.g. : RACE
5 Sonny Corleone, for one : CAPO
9 Crow : BRAG
13 Professor in a library, perhaps : PLUM
14 New Testament epistle : ROMANS
16 Second attempt, informally : REDO
17 Laura Dern, in “Little Women” : MARMEE MARCH
19 Prelude to a perspective : IMHO
20 Creepy-crawly, maybe : LARVA
21 Made tight : TAUTENED
23 Actress Thompson of “Selma” : TESSA
25 Swipe : FILCH
26 Big name in Dadaism : ARP
27 Where R.N.s are always needed : ICU
28 Sarah Drew, on “Grey’s Anatomy” : APRIL KEPNER
31 Shorten the sentence, maybe? : COP A PLEA
34 Hip designs? : TATS
35 Ming-Na Wen, on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” : MELINDA MAY
39 Princess Organa : LEIA
41 Avowal to a long-distance lover : I MISS YOU
45 Barbara Billingsley, on “Leave It to Beaver” : JUNE CLEAVER
49 Santa’s helper? : UPS
50 QB blunder: Abbr. : INT
51 Half of a centaur : HORSE
52 One of the Obamas : MALIA
54 To-go : CARRY-OUT
56 Golf coup : EAGLE
58 Blind as ___ : A BAT
59 Chinese appetizers … or a punny description of 17-, 28-, 35- and 45-Across : SPRING ROLLS
63 Hair on the back of the neck : MANE
64 Academic’s “and others” : ET ALIA
65 Christmas season : NOEL
66 Crafts’ companion : ARTS
67 Go downhill fast : SLED
68 Like quiche : EGGY

Down

1 Engine stat : RPM
2 In the style of : A LA
3 Gets cozy : CURLS UP
4 Watson, Willard and Woodhouse : EMMAS
5 Unconscious condition : COMA
6 Dr.’s org. : AMA
7 Sequel title ender : PART II
8 Prepared to respond : ON CALL
9 Camembert cousin : BRIE
10 Leftover bit : REMNANT
11 Sticks (to) : ADHERES
12 Positive media coverage : GOOD PR
14 Title for M.L.K. Jr. : REV
15 Prepare, as oysters or corn : SHUCK
18 Elizabethan, for one : ERA
22 Trigonometry symbols for angles : THETAS
23 Nervous habit : TIC
24 Prefix with system : ECO-
25 Actress Drescher of “The Nanny” : FRAN
28 ___ ears : ALL
29 Canada’s smallest prov. : PEI
30 Compensates : PAYS
32 Friend for Françoise : AMIE
33 Swell : PEACHY
36 Go in headfirst : DIVE
37 Mother Bethel ___ Church (Philadelphia congregation since 1794) : AME
38 Soviet space station : MIR
39 Energy snack marketed to women : LUNA BAR
40 Contest hopeful : ENTRANT
42 What might give you that nice warm Christmas feeling? : YULE LOG
43 Big name in nail polish : OPI
44 International powerhouse in women’s soccer : USA
45 Mexican root vegetable popular in salads : JICAMA
46 Relaxed : LOOSE
47 Bursts forth : ERUPTS
48 Related to the stars : ASTRAL
52 Team head: Abbr. : MGR
53 Single-handedly : ALONE
55 Waze ways: Abbr. : RTES
56 Arthurian heroine : ENID
57 ___ Khan : AGA
60 Bit of land in the Seine : ILE
61 Component of a relay : LEG
62 Crafty : SLY

16 thoughts on “0325-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Mar 20, Wednesday”

  1. 13:58. The only theme answer I knew was JUNE CLEAVER. I didn’t even notice the spring months in them. I must have been distracted when doing this. The entire (uncomplicated) theme went over my head.

    Best –

  2. 20:19 At first past I figured I was toast since TV references are a personal week spot….once I solved the reveal the rest filled in relatively easy, sorry to say June Cleaver was the only name I recognized readily, guess that gives away my age….

    1. JMG – Not very common in the U.S. as far as I know. It’s popular in Mexico, however. I see it more in soups than salads. I also see it put on pizza oddly enough down there.

      Best –

  3. 25:48 no errors….I played golf for many years and never heard the term “condor”…that would have to be a hole in one on a par five hole which on the surface seems impossible…Has it ever been done?
    Stay safe.

  4. 11:58, no errors. Enjoyable theme, particularly liked that the months are in proper order. As with previous posters, only theme name I was familiar with was JUNE CLEAVER.

    One thing that stands out to me is the puzzle is highly female-centric. All the name entries: 17A; 23A; 28A; 35A; 39A; 45A; 52A; 4D; 25D; 50D; are female. As well as 18D Elizabethan ERA; 32D AMIE ( female form of friend); and 39D LUNA BAR (didn’t know it was marketed to women). If done deliberately (Women’s Day??), it certainly adds a level of difficulty to the construction.

  5. No errors, no real problems.

    I have always been curious about why Mrs. March was called “Marmee”. Apparently it was never quite explained in the book. It was just an affectionate name used by her four daughters. My guess would be that it was derived from one of the girls attempting the word “Mommy” when first learning to talk.

  6. Enjoyed this one. Slow-downs in the SE corner were JICAMA and LUNABAR. In the middle, MELINDA and KEPNER took a little time, too. Crosses helped finish them all off.

  7. No errors but a little tough for a Wednesday.. Didn’t know Laura Fern had a role in Little Women..
    Be safe.

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