0302-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Any Preference?

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as a range of possibilities:

  • 17A Lager or I.P.A.? : DRAFT CHOICE
  • 23A Hot fudge or caramel sauce? : SPLIT DECISION
  • 39A Neat or on the rocks? : ICE PICK
  • 50A Jägermeister or Fireball? : SHOT SELECTION
  • 61A Chicken broth or beef bouillon? : STOCK OPTION

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Nova” airer : PBS

“Nova” is an excellent science television series on PBS. “Nova” was created back in 1974, and was inspired by a very similar BBC show called “Horizon”, a show that I grew up with. Many “Nova” episodes are actually co-productions with the BBC with an American narrator used for the PBS broadcasts and a British narrator for the BBC broadcasts.

10 ___ tha Kyd (big name in rap, once) : SYD

“Syd” (also “Syd tha Kyd”) is the stage name of rapper Sydney Loren Bennett.

15 Pothead : STONER

“Stoner” is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

16 Road goo : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

17 Lager or I.P.A.? : DRAFT CHOICE

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

20 James Bond genre, informally : SPY-FI

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

21 Like a brooding teen, maybe : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

23 Hot fudge or caramel sauce? : SPLIT DECISION

The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

29 “Eww, you could have kept that to yourself” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

30 The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

34 Kind of daisy : OXEYE

Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants. Also known as dog daisies or marguerites, the flowers of oxeyes feature white petals surrounding yellow disc florets.

41 Gen ___ : XER

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

42 Part of a wintry mix : SLEET

Apparently, “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets that are smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

44 Salinger heroine : ESME

J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” that was originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

50 Jägermeister or Fireball? : SHOT SELECTION

Jägermeister is a liqueur from Germany with a list of ingredients that includes 56 herbs, fruits, roots and spices. There is an urban legend that Jägermeister contains deer or elk blood, but that’s simply not true. “Jägermeister” translates as “master of hunters”. A drink that is apparently quite popular with the younger set is a Jägerbomb, which is made by dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull energy drink.

55 Keep ___ on (look after) : TABS

To keep tabs on someone is to watch him or her carefully. Back in the late 1800s, the phrase was written as “keep a tab on”, with “tab” being short for “tablet”, in the sense of a writing tablet. By the way, the name of the diet soda “Tab” was chosen as the drink’s target market was those trying to keep “tabs” on their weight.

56 Chow down on, in modern slang : NOM

“Chow” is a slang term for “food” that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

57 Perfumery scents : MUSKS

Musk has such an elegant connotation these days because of its use in the world of perfumery. However, its origin is not quite so glamorous. The original substance called musk, also used in perfumes, was extracted from a gland in the rectal area of the male musk deer. The name “musk” is a Sanskrit word for “testicle”.

60 Part of E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG

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 Chicken broth or beef bouillon? : STOCK OPTION

Bouillon is broth made from water in which have been simmered bones meat or vegetables. There’s a lot of money made selling dehydrated bouillon in cubes.

65 Common text in A.P. Latin : AENEID

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

66 “Star Wars” pilot who, despite his name, flies with a co-pilot : SOLO

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

68 TV comic with a “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” segment : MEYERS

Seth Meyers is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best-known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), for which program he served as head writer. Meyers now hosts his own late night talk show on NBC.

Down

1 Homes, in slang : PADS

Back in the 16th century a pad was a bundle of straw to lie on. “Pad” came to mean “place for sleeping” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

4 L.A. school : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known for the success of its athletic program. USC Trojans have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

7 “Dragon Ball Z” genre of TV and film : ANIME

Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

“Dragon Ball Z” is an anime TV series produced in Japan.

8 Boil down : DECOCT

To decoct is to extract the flavor of a liquid by boiling down and increasing the concentration. A related term is “to concoct”, meaning “to boil together”. We use the verb “to concoct” in a figurative sense to mean to contrive, devise.

10 Some Russian vodka, informally : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

11 Web company that styles its name with an exclamation point : YAHOO!

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

18 Scrabble piece : TILE

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

22 Vitamin that could also be a bingo call : B-SIX

The B vitamins were originally thought to be just one vitamin, which was labeled vitamin B. It was then discovered vitamin B was in fact made up of eight distinct vitamins, which today are given distinct numbers (B1, B6, B12 etc). Supplements often contain a mixture of all eight, a combination known as vitamin B complex.

Our game called “bingo” is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

24 Desktop debut of 1998 : IMAC

When Apple chose the letter “I” prefix for the iMac in 1998, that letter “I” stood for “Internet”. Steve Jobs and his marketing team followed up with the message that I also stood for “individual, instruct, inform and inspire”.

32 Short albums, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

40 Druid, e.g. : CELT

The Celts are a very broad group of people across Europe who are linked by common languages. The original Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in Britain and Ireland. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France.

Druids were priests of Celtic Europe during the Iron Age.

47 Tutor’s charge : MENTEE

A mentor is a trusted teacher or counselor. The term comes from Homer’s “Odyssey” in which there is a character called Mentor. Mentor is a friend of Odysseus, although he is a relatively ineffective old man. However, the goddess Athena takes on Mentor’s appearance in order to guide Odysseus’s young son Telemachus through difficult times.

51 ___-Barbera (onetime cartoon company) : HANNA

William Hanna was an animator who is best known for his collaborations with Joseph Barbera. After creating “Tom and Jerry” for MGM, the partners founded the Hanna-Barbera studio that produced such classics as “The Flintstones”, “The Huckleberry Hound Show”, “The Jetsons”, “Scooby-Doo”, “The Smurfs” and “Yogi Bear”.

52 Women’s health doc : OB/GYN

Obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn)

53 Bonkers : LOONY

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

54 Figure at a roast : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

58 Kind of nut with caffeine : KOLA

The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

59 Elitist : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

61 Cooke who was known as the “King of Soul” : SAM

Sam Cooke was a soul singer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Cooke is considered by many to have been one of the founders of the soul genre. Cooke’s impressive list of hits includes “You Send Me”, Chain Gang” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. Cooke was only 33 years old when he died. He was shot after a drunken brawl by a motel manager in what was deemed by the courts to be a justifiable homicide.

62 Wine aperitif : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a kir royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

63 Some serious hosp. cases : ODS

Overdose (OD)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Nova” airer : PBS
4 Like a rumpled bed : UNMADE
10 ___ tha Kyd (big name in rap, once) : SYD
13 Lead-in to correct : AUTO-
15 Pothead : STONER
16 Road goo : TAR
17 Lager or I.P.A.? : DRAFT CHOICE
19 “Well, what have we here?!” : OHO!
20 James Bond genre, informally : SPY-FI
21 Like a brooding teen, maybe : EMO
22 Lose after being way ahead, as a lead : BLOW
23 Hot fudge or caramel sauce? : SPLIT DECISION
27 “I goofed … who cares!” : SO SUE ME!
29 “Eww, you could have kept that to yourself” : TMI
30 The “E” of Q.E.D. : ERAT
31 [I can hear you, you know] : [AHEM]
34 Kind of daisy : OXEYE
38 Lion-colored : TAN
39 Neat or on the rocks? : ICE PICK
41 Gen ___ : XER
42 Part of a wintry mix : SLEET
44 Salinger heroine : ESME
45 Feud (with) : SPAR
46 Step between “ready” and “fire” : AIM
48 “Thanks, but no thanks” : I’LL PASS
50 Jägermeister or Fireball? : SHOT SELECTION
55 Keep ___ on (look after) : TABS
56 Chow down on, in modern slang : NOM
57 Perfumery scents : MUSKS
60 Part of E.S.L.: Abbr. : ENG
61 Chicken broth or beef bouillon? : STOCK OPTION
64 Whichever : ANY
65 Common text in A.P. Latin : AENEID
66 “Star Wars” pilot who, despite his name, flies with a co-pilot : SOLO
67 “Geez!” : MAN!
68 TV comic with a “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” segment : MEYERS
69 Collar : NAB

Down

1 Homes, in slang : PADS
2 Emanation from Barney Gumble on “The Simpsons” : BURP
3 Attends to one’s mental health, say : STAYS SANE
4 L.A. school : USC
5 Last in a series : NTH
6 Participated in a stock exchange? : MOOED
7 “Dragon Ball Z” genre of TV and film : ANIME
8 Boil down : DECOCT
9 Before, to poets : ERE
10 Some Russian vodka, informally : STOLI
11 Web company that styles its name with an exclamation point : YAHOO!
12 ___ one’s sorrows : DROWN
14 Disconcerted : OFF-PUT
18 Scrabble piece : TILE
22 Vitamin that could also be a bingo call : B-SIX
24 Desktop debut of 1998 : IMAC
25 Titter : TE-HEE
26 “Nothing’s broken” : I’M OK
27 Hardens : SETS
28 Like a contract that’s said to be “not worth the paper it’s written on” : ORAL
32 Short albums, for short : EPS
33 Do an impression of : MIMIC
35 Increase in the number of teams in a league, e.g. : EXPANSION
36 Votes for : YEAS
37 Makes a boo-boo : ERRS
39 “No kidding?” : IT IS?
40 Druid, e.g. : CELT
43 Begrudgingly accepts, as a loss : EATS
45 Whales and water fountains produce them : SPOUTS
47 Tutor’s charge : MENTEE
49 Like wet noodles : LIMP
50 Power source for early engines : STEAM
51 ___-Barbera (onetime cartoon company) : HANNA
52 Women’s health doc : OB/GYN
53 Bonkers : LOONY
54 Figure at a roast : EMCEE
58 Kind of nut with caffeine : KOLA
59 Elitist : SNOB
61 Cooke who was known as the “King of Soul” : SAM
62 Wine aperitif : KIR
63 Some serious hosp. cases : ODS

10 thoughts on “0302-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 21, Tuesday”

  1. 12:50 I did this last night about 45 minutes after waking from an unforced nap on the couch. I apparently hadn’t shaken out all the cobwebs. Also spent a couple minutes looking for a fat finger as well. Got hung up a lot by 39D – I kept thinking it should be ISIT, based on the ? in the clue. Oh well. Apparently, it wasn’t.

  2. 8:01. One of the few times I’ve done a puzzle recently when I wasn’t exhausted. It helps.

    I had one run in with Jagermeister in my life, and that was enough. I spent the summer before I started grad school in Huntington Beach, CA – 4 lunatics living in a house 4 blocks from the beach. Our landlord used to take us out drinking whenever we paid rent. One of those nights I’d forgotten to eat dinner and it was Jagermeister night at the bar. I was eventually found by my roommate’s girlfriend passed out on the bathroom floor. Needless to say, I’ve never had Jagermeister since.

    I’d like to take this moment and say how proud I am at my own restraint from making any sophomoric jokes about the word DECOCT – nothing about sex change procedures – Nothing! I’m way too classy to even mention such a thing.

    Best –

  3. @jeff… I’m glad you didn’t mention it.
    Why, how, where did Mr Trudeau find that word??

    I was going to say something about DECOCT too but I’m glad I didn’t either.

  4. 20:58 no errors…as with others DECOCT was new to me and I’ll leave it at that…Fortunately I reviewed my answers and made 5 corrections to dumb mistakes.
    Stay safe😀

  5. The verb “decoct” and the noun “decoction” are familiar to me mostly from their use in cooking. And I am forced to observe: If all the puerile punsters here were to put their heads together, God only knows what they might concoct … 😜.

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