0330-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 20, Monday

Constructed by: Lee Taylor
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Modified Names

Themed answers are common phrases comprising a given name preceded by an adjective (modifier):

  • 18A Cocktail often served with a celery stick : BLOODY MARY
  • 60A All settled up : EVEN-STEVEN
  • 4D Sandwich that might spill onto your hands : SLOPPY JOE
  • 31D Very cheap wine, in slang : SNEAKY PETE
  • 37D Revolving tray on a dinner table : LAZY SUSAN

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Swiss peaks : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

5 Cracked open, as a door : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

15 Sport with mallets : POLO

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back then primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

16 God, to Muslims : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

18 Cocktail often served with a celery stick : BLOODY MARY

The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite cocktails, perhaps because it seems to taste so differently depending on who makes it. It has numerous ingredients above and beyond the requisite vodka and tomato juice, and has been described as “the world’s most complex cocktail”.

20 Alternative to FaceTime or Google Hangouts : SKYPE

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

22 “Gil Blas” author Alain-René ___ : LESAGE

Alain-René Lesage was a novelist and playwright from France. Lesage is best known for his novels “The Devil upon Two Sticks” (1707) and “Gil Blas” (1715-1735).

23 Says “Our Father, who art in heaven …,” e.g. : PRAYS

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.

25 Largest city in Switzerland : ZURICH

Zurich is located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the largest city in the country.

29 Yellowstone attraction : GEYSER

The Great Geysir in Iceland is the first known geyser to have been discovered and documented. The name “Geysir” comes from the Icelandic and Old Norse word “geysa” meaning “to gush”. It is the Great Geysir that gives us our English word “geyser”.

Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

31 One of 100 in D.C. : SEN

Senator (sen.)

32 ___ chi (martial art) : TAI

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

33 Pilgrimage to Mecca : HADJ

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

34 Horse with a reddish coat : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

41 Adele, voicewise : ALTO

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

42 Sign of the Ram : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

44 A son of Isaac : ESAU

Esau is a son of Isaac, and someone whose story is told in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Esau had three wives, Adah, Aholibamah and Bashemath.

45 Utah national park : ZION

The highest number of National Parks (NPs) in any one state is nine, in California. Alaska comes in second with eight, and Utah comes in third with five. The five NPs in Utah are:

  • Arches NP
  • Bryce Canyon NP
  • Canyonlands NP
  • Capitol Reef NP
  • Zion NP

46 Film director Spike : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

47 Month with Earth Day: Abbr. : APR

Earth Day was founded in the US, where it was introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

49 Many a marathon winner : KENYAN

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

53 Greek sandwiches : GYROS

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

56 From Holland : DUTCH

Some Dutch people can get a little annoyed if one refers to their country as “Holland”, as the correct name is “the Netherlands”. North and South Holland are two of the country’s twelve provinces. The use of “Holland” instead of “the Netherlands” is analogous to the former Soviet Union being referred to as “Russia” and the United Kingdom being called “England”. That said, sometimes even the Dutch people themselves refer to the country as Holland, especially at a soccer match!

64 Event on Black Friday or Cyber Monday : SALE

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer incentives to online shoppers in the hope of boosting sales. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 in a press release issued by the website Shop.org. In recent years, consumers have been spending more money online on Cyber Monday than any other day in the year.

65 Typographic flourish : SERIF

Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

66 Actress Moreno or Hayworth : RITA

Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaptation of “West Side Story”. And, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2004.

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

67 Enemy alliance in W.W. II : AXIS

Before WWII, Hungary’s prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy and worked towards such a relationship that he called an “axis”. The main Axis powers during the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.

68 “Bad, Bad ___ Brown” (1973 #1 hit) : LEROY

“Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” is a song written and first performed by Jim Croce. It was a number-one hit for him in 1973. The song was inspired by a real-life Leroy Brown, who was someone that Croce met while serving in the US Army.

Down

1 Grain bristles : AWNS

“Awn” is the name given to hair- or bristle-like structures found in numerous species of plants. In some species, like barley, the awns can contain photosynthetic tissue.

3 My Little ___ (Hasbro toy) : PONY

My Little Pony is a toy aimed at girls that was introduced in 1981 by Hasbro. The toy became a big winner for Hasbro, as they were able to use the basic concept in the development of a whole media franchise.

4 Sandwich that might spill onto your hands : SLOPPY JOE

Sloppy joe is a dish usually made of ground beef, onions, ketchup and seasonings, all served on a bun. There are two stories that supposedly explain the origin of the name “sloppy joe”. One is that it comes from Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida; the other is that it was invented by a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa.

5 Police dispatch, for short : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

6 Pirate flag : JOLLY ROGER

The Jolly Roger is a flag that was flown by pirates to identify their vessels, basically to strike fear in the hearts of the crews they were attacking. We usually think of the Jolly Roger’s design as a white skull and crossbones on a black background. There is a theory that pirates originally flew a red flag, and this was known colloquially as the “pretty red”, or “joli rouge” in French. “Joli Rouge” then evolved into “Jolly Roger”.

7 Plants that yield a soothing gel : ALOES

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

8 Aussie jumpers : ROOS

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

10 Fudd who hunts “wabbits” : ELMER

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

11 Lead-in to carte or king : A LA …

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates as “table of the host”.

A dish prepared “à la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is prepared in a cream sauce with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.

21 Triage centers, for short : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

26 Home of Milano and Firenze : ITALIA

In Italian, “Milano” (Milan) and “Firenze” (Florence) are cities in “Italia” (Italy).

27 Ohio city that’s home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame : CANTON

The city of Canton, Ohio is located 60 miles south of Cleveland in the northeastern part of the state. It was founded in 1805 and was named for the Chinese city of Guangzhou (often “Canton” in English). Canton, Ohio is a home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum.

29 Setting for much of “La Bohème” : GARRET

A garret is a room on the top floor of a house, one under a gabled roof. “Garret” is a synonym of “attic”.

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second-most frequently performed opera in the US (after “Madama Butterfly”, also by Puccini). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

31 Very cheap wine, in slang : SNEAKY PETE

“Sneaky Pete” is a slang term for cheap fortified wine that is often associated with down-and-outs sleeping rough on skid row.

35 Weatherman Roker and others : ALS

Al Roker is best known as the weatherman on the “Today” show on NBC. He has successfully branched out from that platform though, and even co-wrote a novel called “The Morning Show Murders”, about a celebrity chef and TV host who gets entangled in mystery. Topical stuff …

37 Revolving tray on a dinner table : LAZY SUSAN

A lazy Susan is a circular tray at the center of a dining table that can be rotated by those partaking in the meal. The term “lazy Susan” was introduced in the early 1900s, first appearing in an article in the magazine “Good Housekeeping”. Before this designation, the device had been called a “dumbwaiter”, a term that we now reserve for a small elevator used for transporting food from the kitchen to the dining room.

52 Prenatal procedure, informally : AMNIO

Amniocentesis (“amnio” for short) is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

55 Submarine sandwich : HERO

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

59 Gas company with toy trucks : HESS

Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

60 Immigrants’ class subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

61 Geese’s flying formation : VEE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Swiss peaks : ALPS
5 Cracked open, as a door : AJAR
9 DO something : REACT
14 Fabric for a winter coat : WOOL
15 Sport with mallets : POLO
16 God, to Muslims : ALLAH
17 It’s against the rules : NO-NO
18 Cocktail often served with a celery stick : BLOODY MARY
20 Alternative to FaceTime or Google Hangouts : SKYPE
22 “Gil Blas” author Alain-René ___ : LESAGE
23 Says “Our Father, who art in heaven …,” e.g. : PRAYS
25 Largest city in Switzerland : ZURICH
29 Yellowstone attraction : GEYSER
31 One of 100 in D.C. : SEN
32 ___ chi (martial art) : TAI
33 Pilgrimage to Mecca : HADJ
34 Horse with a reddish coat : ROAN
36 Incline : SLANT
38 Thus : ERGO
39 Eyes up and down : OGLES
41 Adele, voicewise : ALTO
42 Sign of the Ram : ARIES
44 A son of Isaac : ESAU
45 Utah national park : ZION
46 Film director Spike : LEE
47 Month with Earth Day: Abbr. : APR
49 Many a marathon winner : KENYAN
51 Layers of rock : STRATA
53 Greek sandwiches : GYROS
54 Minor accident : MISHAP
56 From Holland : DUTCH
60 All settled up : EVEN-STEVEN
64 Event on Black Friday or Cyber Monday : SALE
65 Typographic flourish : SERIF
66 Actress Moreno or Hayworth : RITA
67 Enemy alliance in W.W. II : AXIS
68 “Bad, Bad ___ Brown” (1973 #1 hit) : LEROY
69 Ten C-notes : ONE G
70 Little bites : NIPS

Down

1 Grain bristles : AWNS
2 “Here’s the thing …” : LOOK …
3 My Little ___ (Hasbro toy) : PONY
4 Sandwich that might spill onto your hands : SLOPPY JOE
5 Police dispatch, for short : APB
6 Pirate flag : JOLLY ROGER
7 Plants that yield a soothing gel : ALOES
8 Aussie jumpers : ROOS
9 Weapons in classic sci-fi : RAY GUNS
10 Fudd who hunts “wabbits” : ELMER
11 Lead-in to carte or king : A LA …
12 It goes back and forth on a street or up and down in an elevator shaft : CAR
13 “___ will be done …” : THY
19 Groggy state : DAZE
21 Triage centers, for short : ERS
24 Prefix with -naut : AERO-
26 Home of Milano and Firenze : ITALIA
27 Ohio city that’s home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame : CANTON
28 Make a pass at : HIT ON
29 Setting for much of “La Bohème” : GARRET
30 More jittery : EDGIER
31 Very cheap wine, in slang : SNEAKY PETE
33 Gets better, as a wound : HEALS
35 Weatherman Roker and others : ALS
37 Revolving tray on a dinner table : LAZY SUSAN
40 Litigant : SUER
43 Hit the spot : SATISFY
48 Opposite of future : PAST
50 Silent sign of approval : NOD
52 Prenatal procedure, informally : AMNIO
53 California governor Newsom : GAVIN
55 Submarine sandwich : HERO
57 Conveyance preceding Uber and Lyft : TAXI
58 Video segment : CLIP
59 Gas company with toy trucks : HESS
60 Immigrants’ class subj. : ESL
61 Geese’s flying formation : VEE
62 Make a boo-boo : ERR
63 Keep pestering : NAG

12 thoughts on “0330-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 20, Monday”

  1. 7:05. I had to fix one error to get the victory music. I had ONE k before ONE G. I didn’t look at NAk at first.

    I can’t find any laundry detergent around here so maybe I’ll head up to Old Faithful to do my laundry.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … FWIW, I managed to find a big box of laundry detergent at Home Depot (a place I wouldn’t have gone looking for it if my SO hadn’t suggested it).

  2. I thought someone might have broken the 4 minute barrier on this one. Who will be the Roger Bannister of the NYT crossword.

  3. Nice Monday. Enjoyed the given name entries. Interesting to note that several of them have no precise origins. BLOODY MARY, for example, I thought surely must be about the biblical Mary. Not so. I’m glad of that. It would have been a cheap shot.

    1. @Joe — Mary I of England (1516–1558), Queen of England and Ireland, so called because of her execution of numerous Protestants. (Wikipedia)

  4. Well-made Monday puzzle, drawing an eye to NONO, POLO, AERO, ERGO, ALTO, AMNIO, and the paired HERO/GYRO.

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