0301-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 21, Monday

Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: World’s Fair

Themed answers are celebrated structures built for WORLD’S FAIRS:

  • 58A Events for which the answers to the three starred clues were built : WORLD’S FAIRS
  • 18A *Seattle, 1962 : SPACE NEEDLE
  • 27A *Paris, 1889 : EIFFEL TOWER
  • 45A *Chicago, 1893 : FERRIS WHEEL

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Houston team : ASTROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

14 “___ Father who art in heaven …” : OUR

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.

17 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

18 *Seattle, 1962 : SPACE NEEDLE

The famed Seattle landmark called the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. It stands at a height of 605 feet, and was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.

20 “And you?,” to Caesar : ET TU?

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

23 Photos at the dentist’s : X-RAYS

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

26 Pigs’ digs : STY

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”. Where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

27 *Paris, 1889 : EIFFEL TOWER

The “Exposition Universelle” (World’s Fair) of 1889 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower. The tower is sometimes referred to in French “La Dame de Fer”, meaning “the Iron Lady”.

38 Theme park with an “Imagination!” pavilion : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

Imagination! Is a pavilion in “Future World” at Florida’s Epcot Center. The pavilion comprises glass pyramids, and opened in 1982 as home to the 3-D film “Magic Journeys”. The name “Imagination!” was adopted in 1999, after a major renovation.

40 Mont Blanc and Matterhorn : ALPS

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

“Matterhorn” is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is “Monte Cervino”, and the French call it “Mont Cervin”. “Matterhorn” comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning “meadow” and “peak”. “Cervino” and “Cervin” come from the Latin name for the mountain, i.e. “Mons Silvius” meaning “Forest Mountain”.

43 Laudable Lauder : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

44 Salt Lake City athlete : UTE

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

45 *Chicago, 1893 : FERRIS WHEEL

The first Ferris Wheel was built for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. That wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. who lent his name to wheels built from then on.

48 “___ appétit!” : BON

The phrase “Enjoy your meal” translates into French as “Bon appétit”, and into German as “Guten Appetit”.

50 Word before shell or mail : SNAIL …

Snail mail is regular mail delivered by the postal service. The term “snail mail” arose as email gained in popularity, and is a reference to the difference in speed between email and paper mail.

53 Rock band that electrifies audiences? : AC/DC

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.

58 Events for which the answers to the three starred clues were built : WORLD’S FAIRS

The first “World’s Fair” was held in 1851, known back then as the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The fair was the idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. It was held in a magnificent glass and cast-iron structure called the Crystal Palace that was purpose-built for the occasion. The “Great Exhibition” spawned a tradition of what became known as World’s Fairs, expositions that feature national pavilions created by participating countries. The term “Expo” was coined for Expo 67, a 1967 World’s Fair held in Montreal. Since then, we’ve been using “expo” to describe any large exposition or trade show.

61 Jack Nicholson’s weapon in “The Shining” : AXE

“Here’s Johnny!” is a famous line spoken by a crazed Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) as he chops through a bathroom door in “The Shining”. The film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. I haven’t seen the whole movie because I can’t cope with Stephen King stories …

62 Burn soother : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

63 The “P” in UPS : PARCEL

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.

65 Wanders (about) : GADS

To gad about is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.

Down

4 Nincompoop : ASS

The word “nincompoop”, meaning a fool, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

5 One of the Twin Cities : ST PAUL

Saint Paul is the state capital of Minnesota, and is one half of the “Twin Cities” , also known as Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Saint Paul used to be called Pig’s Eye, named after a popular tavern in the original settlement in the area. In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier established a log chapel nearby that he dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, giving the city its current name. The magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul now sits on the site where the log chapel was built.

6 Cups, saucers, pot, etc. : TEA SET

A saucer is a shallow plate used to support a cup or other vessel from which a liquid can spill. The term “saucer” comes from the Anglo-Latin “saucerium” meaning “sauce dish”.

8 Cheers at a fútbol match : OLES

“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for “football, soccer”.

9 Nine-digit government ID : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

10 Manicurist’s board : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

11 Musical finale : CODA

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

26 Sunni or Shia, in Islam : SECT

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

27 TV channel for college sports : ESPNU

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

28 Arctic native : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

29 ___ the Grouch : OSCAR

Oscar the Grouch is the Muppet that lives in a garbage can. Oscar’s persona comes from various sources. He is named after Oscar Brand who was one of the board members of the Children’s Television Workshop, the backers for “Sesame Street” as the Muppets were being developed in the sixties. Oscar’s personality was inspired by an angry waiter that once served Jim Henson (father of the Muppets). The voice was modeled on a grumpy New York cab driver encountered one day by Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who brings Oscar to life.

32 Shelter that might be made of buffalo skin : TEPEE

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.

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

33 ’50s Ford flop : EDSEL

Edsel Ford was the only child of automobile manufacturing pioneer Henry Ford. Edsel became president of Ford Motors, as Henry’s sole heir, and served in that capacity from 1919 until his death in 1943. Henry’s name is very much associated with the Model T, the Tin Lizzie. Edsel was the man behind the subsequent development of the more fashionable Model A. However, despite Edsel’s many successes, his name is inextricably linked with the highly unsuccessful Edsel line of cars.

42 Words spoken after a big raise? : I FOLD

That might be the card game poker.

48 Gymnast Simone : BILES

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

50 Promotional goodies handed out at an event : SWAG

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, and a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. “Swag” is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional version of “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

51 The Big Easy, in brief : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

52 Three-time A.L. M.V.P. (2003, 2005 and 2007), informally : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from baseball in 2016.

54 Sweetheart, in Salerno : CARA

Salerno is a port city on the southwest coast of Italy. In WWII, after the Italians negotiated a peace treaty with the Allies in 1943, the King of Italy relocated to Salerno from Rome. The new Italian government was set up in the city, and so for a few months, Salerno was the nation’s capital.

56 One of several on a tractor-trailer : AXLE

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

57 Pants holder-upper : BELT

The term “pants”, meaning “trousers”, is an abbreviated form of “pantaloons” and first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy named “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

59 Tanning lotion stat : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Unruly throng : MOB
4 Houston team : ASTROS
10 Sound heard in a long hallway, maybe : ECHO
14 “___ Father who art in heaven …” : OUR
15 Engages in thievery : STEALS
16 Emotional state : MOOD
17 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
18 *Seattle, 1962 : SPACE NEEDLE
20 “And you?,” to Caesar : ET TU?
22 Queries : ASKS
23 Photos at the dentist’s : X-RAYS
24 Happen next : ENSUE
26 Pigs’ digs : STY
27 *Paris, 1889 : EIFFEL TOWER
31 Partook of a meal : ATE
34 Wake others up while you sleep, perhaps : SNORE
35 Ostensible : SO-CALLED
37 100% : PURE
38 Theme park with an “Imagination!” pavilion : EPCOT
40 Mont Blanc and Matterhorn : ALPS
41 “Why didn’t I think of that!” : NICE IDEA!
43 Laudable Lauder : ESTEE
44 Salt Lake City athlete : UTE
45 *Chicago, 1893 : FERRIS WHEEL
48 “___ appétit!” : BON
49 More recent : NEWER
50 Word before shell or mail : SNAIL …
53 Rock band that electrifies audiences? : AC/DC
55 Dull-colored : DRAB
58 Events for which the answers to the three starred clues were built : WORLD’S FAIRS
61 Jack Nicholson’s weapon in “The Shining” : AXE
62 Burn soother : ALOE
63 The “P” in UPS : PARCEL
64 “___ get you!” : I’LL
65 Wanders (about) : GADS
66 Like some college bros : FRATTY
67 After tax : NET

Down

1 Undercover operative : MOLE
2 Remove from power : OUST
3 Inelegant problem-solving technique : BRUTE FORCE
4 Nincompoop : ASS
5 One of the Twin Cities : ST PAUL
6 Cups, saucers, pot, etc. : TEA SET
7 Eight lamb chops, typically, or a frame for 15 pool balls : RACK
8 Cheers at a fútbol match : OLES
9 Nine-digit government ID : SSN
10 Manicurist’s board : EMERY
11 Musical finale : CODA
12 Sacred : HOLY
13 Lyric poems : ODES
19 Like a 10th or 11th inning, in baseball : EXTRA
21 Not at liberty : UNFREE
25 Visualize : SEE
26 Sunni or Shia, in Islam : SECT
27 TV channel for college sports : ESPNU
28 Arctic native : INUIT
29 ___ the Grouch : OSCAR
30 Ply with chocolates and roses, say : WOO
31 Kind of vehicle to take off-road : ALL-TERRAIN
32 Shelter that might be made of buffalo skin : TEPEE
33 ’50s Ford flop : EDSEL
36 Made a verbal attack, with “out” : LASHED …
38 Garden of earthly delights : EDEN
39 Pay-___-view : PER
42 Words spoken after a big raise? : I FOLD
43 “Yu-u-uck!” : EWW!
46 Charge with a crime : INDICT
47 Hush-hush : SECRET
48 Gymnast Simone : BILES
50 Promotional goodies handed out at an event : SWAG
51 The Big Easy, in brief : NOLA
52 Three-time A.L. M.V.P. (2003, 2005 and 2007), informally : A-ROD
53 Miles away : AFAR
54 Sweetheart, in Salerno : CARA
56 One of several on a tractor-trailer : AXLE
57 Pants holder-upper : BELT
59 Tanning lotion stat : SPF
60 Sneaky : SLY

10 thoughts on “0301-21 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 21, Monday”

  1. 5:25. I latched onto two of the three theme answers early before getting the revealer. Living in Seattle, I know that 1962 was the year of the World’s Fair giving me the NEEDLE. Hence, the Paris answer was a gimme. But did not know the Ferris wheel was is Chicago. Though Ferris was an alumnus of my college (and he was mentioned in early engineering classes), I didn’t know where the wheel was first built. Thought these might help me crack sub 5-minute time, but not today.

  2. 5:48. Nothing like a Monday puzzle to get your crossword-ego going again.

    42D caught me off guard. Clue of the day.

    Is it too early to start complaining about daylight savings time coming in 2 weeks?

    Best –

  3. 6:32, no errors. About as fast as I can hand write the entries.
    The original Ferris Wheel was 264 feet high, with a capacity of over 2,000 people. Many years ago, I was surprised to learn that the Ferris Wheel was got its name from its inventor, and not the fact that it was made mostly of iron.
    Another interesting tidbit: if you strip away the copper sheathing from the Statue of Liberty, the supporting structure would look very similar to the Eiffel Tower. Both were designed by Gustave Eiffel.

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