0328-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Mar 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 28m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Eschew the bus or subway, say : HOP A CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

8 Lead-in to -tainment : EDU-

The word “edutainment” describes educational entertainment, a work that is designed to both educate and to entertain. The Walt Disney Company was the first to embrace the term, using it to describe the “True-Life Adventures” series of films produced from 1948 to 1960.

11 Org. overseeing the Epidemic Intelligence Service : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

15 Person on horseback? : CENTAUR

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.

21 Timeline swath : AEON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

24 Fish that may be served meunière : SOLE

The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they do kind of have that shape.

Meunière sauce is a relatively simple sauce that is primarily served with fish. The ingredients are brown butter, chopped parsley and lemon. The simplicity of the recipe is reflected in its name, which means “miller’s wife”.

25 Like a lamb : OVINE

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

31 They don’t give you much to stand on : STILETTO HEELS

The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

35 1980s disco hit that became a gay anthem : IT’S RAINING MEN

“It’s Raining Men” has been labeled as a dance anthem, gay anthem and a classic female anthem; whatever anthem you relate to, it’s a fun song. It sounds very “disco”, and was indeed written in the late disco era. The Disco Divas like Donna Summer passed on it so it was only in the early eighties that it surfaced, when it was recorded by the one-hit wonder act called the Weather Girls. Geri Halliwell came out with a version in 2001, which is the version that I actually prefer, largely because of it’s featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary”.

37 Native name for the Iroquois Confederacy : HAUDENOSAUNEE

The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.

39 Rider on a carousel? : SUITCASE

Apparently, the baggage carousel was developed by a French company. The first installation was in Paris Orly Airport in the 1950s.

41 Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain and Poland, collectively : G-SIX

The G6 are the six most populous states in the European Union (EU), i.e. Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Poland.

42 Endnote abbr. : OP CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

47 Kind of shot that’s the opposite of a 38-Down in a screenplay : INT

Internal (int.)

48 Actor with the 2007 memoir “Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself” : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

49 Trial run : BETA TEST

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

57 Kind of wind across the Aegean : ETESIAN

The etesian winds are an annual occurrence on the Mediterranean. As such, it’s no surprise that “etesian” is Greek for “annual”.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

58 Massachusetts home of Phillips Academy : ANDOVER

Phillips Academy is a university-preparatory school located in Andover, north of Boston. It was founded way back in 1778 as an all-boys school. Phillips merged in 1973 with the neighboring Abbot Academy, an all-girls school founded in 1829.

59 Mystery title: Abbr. : DET

Detective (det.)

60 Alias : AKA

Also known as (aka)

61 Plain lodging : TEEPEES

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

Down

1 Cleveland ___: Abbr. : HTS

Cleveland Heights is a city in Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

3 Vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and meat, classically : PALEOLITHIC DIET

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

4 “Merci ___ aussi” : A TOI

“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

6 Chili variety : ANCHO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

7 Nut variety : BETEL

A betel nut is a type of nut that is chewed, especially in parts of Asia. “Betel nut” is a bit of a misnomer, as the nut in question is actually an areca nut from the Areca palm. For chewing, the areca nut is wrapped in betel leaves and the whole thing is called a “betel nut”.

10 Sports getup, for short : UNI

A unitard is like a leotard, except that it has long legs and perhaps long sleeves. It wouldn’t be a good look for me …

12 Kevlar developer : DUPONT

Kevlar is a remarkably strong synthetic fiber that was introduced by DuPont in 1965. The material was developed as a lightweight substitute for steel. Kevlar fits the bill, as an equal weight of the synthetic fiber is five times stronger than the alloy. One of the downsides of Kevlar is that its strength degrades when exposed to sunlight.

22 Acer offerings : PCS

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

23 Indian flatbread : ROTI

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

25 Rolex competitor : OMEGA

Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon, Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that James Bond has been wearing an Omega watch in the movies since 1995.

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

27 People of NE France : ALSATIANS

“Alsatia” is the Latin name for the region in France known as Alsace. Alsace is home to Strasbourg, a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights.

29 Lima locale : OHIO

Lima is a city located in northwestern Ohio, about 70 miles north of Dayton. The city is home to the Lima Army Tank Plant, where the M1 Abrams battle tank is produced. Lima is also home to the fictional William McKinley High School that is the setting for the TV series “Glee”.

32 Burp, more formally : ERUCT

“To eruct” is to belch gas from the stomach, or matter from a volcano!

36 Refusal overseas : NEIN

In German, one might say “nein!” (no!), “das ist verboten!” (that is forbidden!).

38 Kind of shot that’s the opposite of a 47-Across in a screenplay : EXT

External (ext.)

44 Capital on the Atlantic : RABAT

Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

46 Rock formation : GEODE

A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity that is lined or filled with crystal formations.

49 Proboscis : BEAK

A proboscis is a long appendage attached to the head of an animal, and is sometimes referred to as an elongated “nose”. Many an insect has a proboscis, as does the elephant.

50 Poet ___ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright, and the third woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in 1923 for “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver”). Millay was noted not only for her work, but also for the open arrangement that she and her husband had in their marriage. Millay took many lovers, including the poet George Dillon, for whom she wrote a number of sonnets.

53 Unaccounted-for, briefly : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Eschew the bus or subway, say : HOP A CAB
8 Lead-in to -tainment : EDU-
11 Org. overseeing the Epidemic Intelligence Service : CDC
14 Words said while pointing : THAT ONE
15 Person on horseback? : CENTAUR
17 Something David Copperfield has that Penn and Teller don’t : SOLO ACT
18 Salon, fancily : HAIR SPA
19 Some choice words : EITHER/OR
21 Timeline swath : AEON
22 With 51-Down, part of a golf club : PRO …
24 Fish that may be served meunière : SOLE
25 Like a lamb : OVINE
26 Flavor of some bottle-shaped gummies : COLA
28 Section often symbolized by a speech bubble : COMMENTS
31 They don’t give you much to stand on : STILETTO HEELS
35 1980s disco hit that became a gay anthem : IT’S RAINING MEN
37 Native name for the Iroquois Confederacy : HAUDENOSAUNEE
39 Rider on a carousel? : SUITCASE
41 Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain and Poland, collectively : G-SIX
42 Endnote abbr. : OP CIT
43 Rock formation : CRAG
47 Kind of shot that’s the opposite of a 38-Down in a screenplay : INT
48 Actor with the 2007 memoir “Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself” : ALDA
49 Trial run : BETA TEST
52 Number in a pharmacy, informally : PAIN MED
54 Opposite of “Yay!” : BOO HISS!
57 Kind of wind across the Aegean : ETESIAN
58 Massachusetts home of Phillips Academy : ANDOVER
59 Mystery title: Abbr. : DET
60 Alias : AKA
61 Plain lodging : TEEPEES

Down

1 Cleveland ___: Abbr. : HTS
2 “Well, looky there!” : OHO!
3 Vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and meat, classically : PALEOLITHIC DIET
4 “Merci ___ aussi” : A TOI
5 Chesterfield and others : COATS
6 Chili variety : ANCHO
7 Nut variety : BETEL
8 Unwanted effect on a recording : ECHO
9 Treasured : DEAR
10 Sports getup, for short : UNI
11 Like email addresses, practically : CASE INSENSITIVE
12 Kevlar developer : DUPONT
13 Parts of many an urban skyline : CRANES
16 Drink container that doesn’t easily spill : TRAVEL MUG
20 Catch up : RECONNECT
22 Acer offerings : PCS
23 Indian flatbread : ROTI
25 Rolex competitor : OMEGA
27 People of NE France : ALSATIANS
29 Lima locale : OHIO
30 Shoe size specification : MEN’S
32 Burp, more formally : ERUCT
33 “I did it!” : TA-DA!
34 Draws : TIES
36 Refusal overseas : NEIN
38 Kind of shot that’s the opposite of a 47-Across in a screenplay : EXT
39 Got sudsy : SOAPED
40 Watching TV after midnight, say : UP LATE
44 Capital on the Atlantic : RABAT
45 Apologize with actions : ATONE
46 Rock formation : GEODE
49 Proboscis : BEAK
50 Poet ___ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA
51 See 22-Across : … SHOP
53 Unaccounted-for, briefly : MIA
55 “Wasn’t I right?” : SEE?
56 Many promgoers: Abbr. : SRS

19 thoughts on “0328-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Mar 20, Saturday”

  1. 23:56, no errors. Agard certainly deserves some kind of award for using HAUDENOSAUNEE and ETESIAN in the same puzzle and making it possible to get them using crossing entries. I’d never heard of either one (and I’d bet good money that few others have). A good puzzle, in any case … 😜.

  2. Haven’t attempted the puzzle yet, but have any of you folks using the app been having an issue leaving comments the last few days? When I tapped the link, it just brought up the blog page again.

  3. You normally beat the pants off of me, Bill. But I got this in 10:48. My first answer was 24A followed by 7D. Everything else just flowed. “Haudenosaunee” is a new one! But the crosses got it for me.

    1. That was the hardest NYT crossword I’ve attempted in at least two years. Not complaining. I’ll take my a$$-kicking and do better on the next difficult one.

  4. 31:54. I still wish all puzzles were Saturday level, but I’ll probably be lynched for saying that. Agard’s puzzles are as clever as they are frustrating, but the man is talented.

    HAUDENOSAUNEE (apparently it means “they built the house”) and ETESIAN were total unknowns, but the crosses made them fillinable (did I just make up a word?). I knew ERUCT because it’s the same in Spanish – eructar means “to burp”.

    The clue for PAINMED baffled me until I realized I had fallen for the same pun about 6 times now. “Number” as in something that numbs. Duh. Maybe the 7th time is the charm?

    I turn 57 today. I guess when the syndicated crew sees this I’ll be 57 years plus 5 weeks.

    Best –

    1. Thanks for explaining 52A. I can recall getting bit by the pun in the past too, but even after finishing it didn’t occur to me until I read your comment!

    2. I, too, prefer the more difficult puzzles — I don’t do Monday through Wednesday as I find them too easy. Then again, I’ve been doing crosswords since 1982. Started late, I was already 37.
      Speaking of age, a belated happy and safe birthday wish to you, Jeff. Enjoy your youth while ye may!

    1. I think there were no comments on those days, because potential posters also couldn’t get to the comment section. Don’t know why … 🤨.

  5. A very brutal Friday/Saturday one-two punch but I was able to finish both WNE, although Saturday’s took forever and required a few crosses to complete. I can picture Mr. Agard constructing the grid and saying, “I’ll show ’em.”

  6. One definitely feels a sense of accomplishment when completing a Saturday Agard with no errors. I agree he should get an award for 37A and 57A!

  7. Had no chance on this one from the start…I’m glad someone enjoys this kind of puzzle but it certainly isn’t me…Thank you Mr Agard

  8. 27:45, 2 errors: 38D EX(O); 47A IN(O). Several minutes with no entries, then tried to put Dancing Queen into 35A. When that didn’t fit, my first correct entry was IT’S RAINING MEN.

    Glad to see the Comments section return.

  9. Brutal, for an amateur. It took me about 90 minutes but I finally did get it. I enjoyed the challenge. I would agree though that I have never heard the phrase “hop a cab“ used.A minor point though

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