0331-20 NY Times Crossword 31 Mar 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Christina Iverson & Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Clap Back

Themed answers each end with a type of CLAP:

    • 63A Respond quickly and sharply to criticism … or a hint to 17-, 28- and 46-Across : CLAP BACK
  • 17A Frisbee sport : DISC GOLF (giving “golf clap”)
  • 28A Name of a celebrated 1970s concert tour with Bob Dylan : ROLLING THUNDER (giving “thunderclap”)
  • 46A “We shouldn’t rush this” : LET’S TAKE IT SLOW (giving “slow clap”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Group consisting of Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

5 Four-year degs. : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

15 Home of the statue Christ the Redeemer, familiarly : RIO

The iconic statue of Jesus overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is known as “Cristo Redentor” (Christ the Redeemer). The statue was constructed between 1922 and 1931. It is the largest Art Deco statue in the world, as it stands at over 30 meters tall.

17 Frisbee sport : DISC GOLF (giving “golf clap”)

Disc golf is also known as Frisbee golf, and sometimes even Frolf. Believe it or not, disc golf predates the introduction of the Frisbee. The first game was played at a school in Bladworth, Saskatchewan in 1926. The participating schoolkids threw tin lids into circles drawn on a course they created in the school grounds. They named the game “Tin Lid Golf”.

A golf clap is a deliberately quiet and soft clap, a form of applause that is considered appropriate at a golf tournament.

23 Tune also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” : TAPS

“Taps” is played nightly by the US military to indicate “lights out”. It’s also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” as it is a variation of an older bugle called the “Scott Tattoo”, arranged during the Civil War by the Union Army’s Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The tune is called “Taps”, from the notion of drum taps, as it was originally played on a drum, and only later on a bugle. The whole tune comprises just 24 notes, with there only being four different notes within the 24, i.e. “low G”, C, E and “high G”. Minimalism at its best …

24 Card game akin to crazy eights : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

28 Name of a celebrated 1970s concert tour with Bob Dylan : ROLLING THUNDER (giving “thunderclap”)

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

The real name of singer Bob Dylan is Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman chose that particular stage name because he was greatly influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

36 French fashion magazine since 1945 : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

37 Animal whose full name means “nose horn” : RHINO

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

44 Algerian port : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

50 Rapper ___ Uzi Vert : LIL

“Lil Uzi Vert” is the stage name of rapper Symere Woods from Philadelphia.

51 Common chip dip, slangily : GUAC

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

56 Tiki bar cocktail : MAI TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

61 The “A” of SAG : ACTORS

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was formed back in 1933, at a time when Hollywood stars were really being exploited by the big movie studios, especially the younger and less inexperienced performers. Early supporters of the Guild included famous names like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney (you could imagine them in a negotiation!). Past presidents of SAG were also big names, such as Eddie Cantor, James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, Howard Keel, Charlton Heston, Ed Asner and Melissa Gilbert. SAG merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 2012 to create SAG-AFTRA.

65 Like the middle band of the flag of México : BLANCA

The Mexican flag consists of three vertical stripes of green, white and red. The national coat of arms is displayed in the center of the white stripe.

70 Coke or 7Up : SODA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. The first sales were in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, where a glass of the new beverage sold for five cents. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

7UP was introduced to the world as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda”, and was a patent medicine that contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. The introduction of a mood-stabilizing medication was pretty timely, as the 1929 Wall Street Crash happened just two weeks later. 7UP’s “Uncola” advertising campaign dates back to 1967.

Down

2 Cheese with a white rind : 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.

4 They can be sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” : ABCS

“The Alphabet Song” was copyrighted in 1835 in the US. The tune that goes with the words is the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”, used by Mozart for a set of piano variations. The same tune is used for the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

5 Some future Girl Scouts : BROWNIES

Brownies are members of the Girl Guiding organization who are seven to ten years old. When the group was founded in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell, they were known as Rosebuds. That name wasn’t popular with the membership and so was changed, taking inspiration from an 1870 story by Juliana Horatia Ewing called “The Brownies”.

7 Seating for two or more : SOFA

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

8 Good-hearted sort : MENSCH

“Mensch” is a word that comes to us via Yiddish, and is ultimately derived from the German “mensch” meaning “human being”. We use the term to describe someone of integrity and honor.

10 Short stiletto shoe : KITTEN HEEL

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.

11 Grammy-winning James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

18 Ancient France : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

27 “Ben-___” : HUR

The celebrated 1959 Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but has never been beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Rings”.

28 ___ the Riveter (W.W. II figure) : ROSIE

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon that represented women working in factories across the country during WWII as part of the war effort. The term “Rosie the Riveter” first appeared as the title of a 1942 song that was a national hit. The image that we bring to mind today that supposedly depicts “Rosie” is a wartime poster with the words “We Can Do It!”, which shows a woman in blue overalls and a red and white polka-dot headscarf. However, this image was used by Westinghouse as an internal motivation tool only for a two-week period in 1943, and was never associated with the Rosie the Riveter persona. The “Rosie” association to that image came decades later, in the 1980s. The best-known WWII representation of Rosie the Riveter was a “Saturday Evening Post” cover drawn by Norman Rockwell in 1943. This image shows a female worker with a rivet gun, and a lunch box bearing the name “Rosie”.

29 Keats or Pindar : ODIST

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

Pindar was an ancient Greek poet who is best known perhaps for composing a series of “Victory Odes” that celebrated triumph in competition, most notably the Olympian Games of the day.

30 Tiny change to a master clock : LEAP SECOND

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the primary time standard used to regulate clocks around the world. Because the Earth’s rotational speed is decreasing ever so slowly, UTC can vary slightly from solar time. As a result, leap seconds are added as required to UTC, on average about once every 19 months. Leap seconds are always added on June 30th or December 31st.

31 Give someone the stink eye, e.g. : GLARE

The phrase “stink eye”, meaning “dirty look”, dates back to the early 1970s. A suggestion is that the term comes from Hawaiian slang.

32 Wild Australian dog : DINGO

The dingo is a wild dog of Australia. It is thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that were brought to Australia with humans that settled the land centuries ago.

34 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS

Ross Geller is the character on “Friends” played by David Schwimmer. The role was actually written with Schwimmer in mind, and so Ross was the first of the “Friends” to be cast.

43 Depot: Abbr. : STA

Our term “depot”, meaning “station, warehouse”, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

48 Bit of Three Stooges comedy : SLAP

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term “slapstick” described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect augmented the audience reaction when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

52 Bruins’ sch. : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

53 Slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

55 Electrically flexible : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

57 Long-billed wading bird : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

58 ___ Bell : TACO

Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny. Taco Bell has been using the “Live Más” slogan since 2012, with “más” being the Spanish word for “more”.

60 Home furnishings store with a three-syllable name : IKEA

Every IKEA store features a restaurant that serves traditional Swedish food, including Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam. Each store also has a Swedish Food Market where customers can purchase specialty foods from Sweden.

62 ___ Records : RCA

RCA Records is the second-oldest recording label in the US, after Columbia Records.

64 Singer Reed : LOU

Lou Reed was best known as a rock musician and songwriter, and was especially associated with the fabulous 1973 hit “Walk on the Wildside”. Reed is less well known as a photographer, but he published two collections of his work. The first was released in 2003 under the title “Emotions in Action”, and the second in 2006 called “Lou Reed’s New York”. Reed passed away in 2013.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Group consisting of Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid : ABBA
5 Four-year degs. : BAS
8 Muddle through : MAKE DO
14 Dreary : DRAB
15 Home of the statue Christ the Redeemer, familiarly : RIO
16 Left : EXITED
17 Frisbee sport : DISC GOLF (giving “golf clap”)
19 Earned in the end : NETTED
20 Swing wildly back and forth : SEESAW
21 Sounds in a dentist’s office : AHS
23 Tune also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” : TAPS
24 Card game akin to crazy eights : UNO
26 Word after head, heart or belly : … ACHE
28 Name of a celebrated 1970s concert tour with Bob Dylan : ROLLING THUNDER (giving “thunderclap”)
35 Foretell : BODE
36 French fashion magazine since 1945 : ELLE
37 Animal whose full name means “nose horn” : RHINO
38 Where the four most widely practiced religions all originated : ASIA
39 “Me too” : SO AM I
41 Means justifiers, perhaps : ENDS
42 Has trouble with S’s : LISPS
44 Algerian port : ORAN
45 Problems that a group project might face : EGOS
46 “We shouldn’t rush this” : LET’S TAKE IT SLOW (giving “slow clap”)
49 Relieve : EASE
50 Rapper ___ Uzi Vert : LIL
51 Common chip dip, slangily : GUAC
54 $$$ for old age : IRA
56 Tiki bar cocktail : MAI TAI
61 The “A” of SAG : ACTORS
63 Respond quickly and sharply to criticism … or a hint to 17-, 28- and 46-Across : CLAP BACK
65 Like the middle band of the flag of México : BLANCA
66 Point : DOT
67 Sugary frozen beverage : ICEE
68 Blue period? : SAD DAY
69 Signal to go onstage : CUE
70 Coke or 7Up : SODA

Down

1 Enhances, with “to” : ADDS …
2 Cheese with a white rind : BRIE
3 Core political supporters : BASE
4 They can be sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” : ABCS
5 Some future Girl Scouts : BROWNIES
6 Not feel well : AIL
7 Seating for two or more : SOFA
8 Good-hearted sort : MENSCH
9 Item in a box marked “In case of fire …” : AXE
10 Short stiletto shoe : KITTEN HEEL
11 Grammy-winning James : ETTA
12 Profound : DEEP
13 3:1 or 4:1, e.g. : ODDS
18 Ancient France : GAUL
22 Poison-pen letters : HATE MAIL
25 Rubbernecker, e.g. : ONLOOKER
27 “Ben-___” : HUR
28 ___ the Riveter (W.W. II figure) : ROSIE
29 Keats or Pindar : ODIST
30 Tiny change to a master clock : LEAP SECOND
31 Give someone the stink eye, e.g. : GLARE
32 Wild Australian dog : DINGO
33 Provide, as with a scholarship : ENDOW
34 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS
35 Sports item absent from wrestling and track : BALL
40 Highly personal : INTIMATE
43 Depot: Abbr. : STA
47 “My opinion has always been …” : AS I SAY …
48 Bit of Three Stooges comedy : SLAP
51 Chatters : GABS
52 Bruins’ sch. : UCLA
53 Slightly : A TAD
55 Electrically flexible : AC/DC
57 Long-billed wading bird : IBIS
58 ___ Bell : TACO
59 Got 100% on : ACED
60 Home furnishings store with a three-syllable name : IKEA
62 ___ Records : RCA
64 Singer Reed : LOU

15 thoughts on “0331-20 NY Times Crossword 31 Mar 20, Tuesday”

  1. 11:23 “Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to recognize the theme while I work the puzzle.”, said the guy who had “blow back” instead of “clap back”…

  2. 7:04. The theme seemed a bit of a stretch. CLAPBACK? GOLFCLAP? I’ve been around the game of golf my whole life, but I’ve never heard that expression. SLOWCLAP? Oh well, if people know these things, so be it.

    The earth’s rotation slows about 1.8 milliseconds every century so it won’t stop spinning any time soon…

    Best –

  3. I forgot to comment about it above, but I’ve never heard any of the phrases “CLAP BACK”, “GOLF CLAP”, or “SLOW CLAP”. When I finished the puzzle, I thought about that for a second or two, decided they must be actual things, and moved on. As Jeff says, “Oh well.” … 😜

  4. Maybe Clapback refers to Pelosi’s response to trumps State of the Union address. Otherwise I’ve never heard of it. Slow clap is legit but I’ve played golf for 40 years and have never heard of a golf clap. 8min.

    1. Probably most of us have seen the now-classic photo of Pelosi’s SLOW CLAP BACK response to Trump’s SOU introduction. Thanks for citing it.

  5. 18:26 no errors…I agree with all of the above comments and would like to add that 45A fits perfectly with this and other puzzles that have 2 setters.

  6. No errors. Fairly typical ease for a Tuesday (if indeed it is a Tuesday… I am trying out an early retirement due to COVID)
    The theme was a bit thin. I am giving it a barely audible golf clap.

  7. Immediately dropped in “BLANCO” for 65A. Didn’t know it could also be spelled “BLANCA” … learned all my rudimentary Spanish working in the lettuce fields in the Salinas Valley as a teenager. (There is even “Blanco Road” at the south end of the city). Even though my mother taught Spanish and ESL in the schools, everything I picked up was out on the farm. That was my only hang on this puzzle. But still didn’t “get” the theme. Saw the “thunder clap” but not know “golf clap” or “slow clap”. Oh well, I still learn something every day!

  8. 9:48, no errors. Breezed through the upper half; bogged down in the lower half. BLANCO before BLANCA; SNAP BACK/CLAW BACK before CLAP BACK.

  9. No errors but had all of the same issues as others have already noted. Attempting to decipher the theme was a waste of time.

    The word BLANCA is an adjective in Spanish and therefore must agree in gender with its noun. The noun in this case is “banda” (from the clue word “band”). So it is correctly matched. The editors, however, are playing fast and loose jumping back and forth between Spanish and English for this clue and answer.

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