0305-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 21, Friday

Constructed by: Sridhar Bhagavathula
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Trace element? : STENCIL

A stencil is a sheet of impervious material with perforations in the shape of letters or a design. The stencil is placed over a surface to be printed and then the printing medium is applied, so that the medium only attaches to the surface beneath the perforations.

14 Two-dimensional : PLANAR

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore, a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

15 Era that began in the late 1950s : SPACE AGE

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957 in a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

17 The Statue of Liberty, for one : COLOSSUS

A colossus (plural “colossi”) is an exceptionally large statue, the most famous of which was the Colossus of Rhodes. This was a statue of the god Helios that stood over 100 feet tall, on the Greek island of Rhodes. New York’s Statue of Liberty was designed to have similar dimensions. The Emma Lazarus poem that is inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is in fact titled “The New Colossus”.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States. It was designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and constructed in France by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame). The statue was disassembled, shipped to the US, and reassembled on its pedestal on Bedloe’s Island (now “Liberty Island). A ceremony of dedication was held in 1886. If you take a boat ride down the Seine in Paris you will probably see a one-third replica of Lady Liberty standing on a small island in the river, looking quite magnificent. That copy was given to the people of Paris by the city’s American community in 1889.

19 End of a three-word U.S. president name : … BUREN

Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the US, and also served as Vice President and Secretary of State under President Andrew Jackson. Although Van Buren was the first president who was born a US citizen, he was the only president whose first language wasn’t English. Our eighth president grew up speaking Dutch.

20 Monopoly token : HAT

The tokens included with a game of Monopoly have changed over the years. Two of the more interesting tokens are the battleship and cannon. These were created by Hasbro for a board game called Conflict. When Conflict failed in the market, the excess tokens were recycled and included with Monopoly.

23 Like lambs : OVINE

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

25 Co-performer with Shakira at Super Bowl LIV, informally : J.LO

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, which was released in 2001.

Shakira is a hugely successful singer from Colombia. She used to appear regularly on TV as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice”.

27 Lecture alternative : SEMINAR

A seminar is a meeting called for the exchange of information, especially in a university. The term comes from the Latin “seminarium” meaning “breeding ground, plant nursery”, which is also the root of our word “seminary”.

29 Home country of N.B.A. phenom Luka Doncic : SLOVENIA

The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe that is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Given its geographic location, the country has been part of various realms over the centuries, most recently being part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and is now a member of the European Union.

32 “God send the companion a better prince! I cannot ___ my hands of him”: “Henry IV, Part II” : RID

The consensus seems to be that William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays in all. Seven of the plays are about kings called “Henry”:

  • Henry IV, Part 1
  • Henry IV, Part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • Henry VI, Part 2
  • Henry VI, Part 3
  • Henry VIII

33 “Stray Dog” director, 1949 : AKIRA KUROSAWA

Akira Kurosawa was an Oscar-winning Japanese film director. His most famous movie to us in the West has to be “The Seven Samurai”, the inspiration for “The Magnificent Seven” starring Yul Brynner, and indeed a basis for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.

37 Spot on advice? : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

44 Fleur-de-___ : LIS

“Lys” (sometimes “lis”) is the French word for “lily” as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

45 Grp. with the motto “Every child. One voice” : PTA

The National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA) was founded back in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers. The PTA uses the slogan “everychild. onevoice” [sic].

46 Choreographer Twyla : THARP

I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her “patented moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named for Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell the grandkids …

47 Prince in “The Little Mermaid” : ERIC

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton. Her best friend is Flounder, who despite his name is not a flounder at all and is actually a tropical fish. Ariel is also friends with Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab whose full name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

51 Widespread destruction : HAVOC

Havoc is great damage or destruction. The term “havoc” comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

53 Sigmatism, by another name : LISP

A sigmatism is a lisp, a difficulty in pronouncing the letter S. The term comes from “sigma” (S) and “ism”.

56 Case for an entomologist : COCOON

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

Entomology is a branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. The etymology(!) of “entomology” is the Greek “entomon” (meaning “insect”) and “logia” (meaning “study of”). In turn, the Greek word “entomos” for insect is a literal translation into Greek of “having a notch or cut”, in deference to the observation by Aristotle that insects have segmented bodies.

Down

3 Resource for music performers : FAKE BOOK

A performer can sometimes use what’s called a musical lead sheet to quickly learn a new song. The lead sheet contains just the melody line, basic chords and lyrics. A collection of lead sheets is called a “fake book”, a book that allows a singer to “fake” familiarity with a song.

5 A katydid’s are found on its legs, strangely enough : EARS

The insects in the cricket family that Americans call katydids, the British call bushcrickets.

7 They may be blowing in the wind : SPORES

Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

9 “If all ___ were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion” (quip attributed to Shaw) : ECONOMISTS

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that goes by the title “My Fair Lady”.

10 Duck Hunt console, for short : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

12 Scaly pet : IGUANA

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

13 News anchor Holt : LESTER

Lester Holt is a television journalist. When Holt became the permanent anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 2015, he became the first African-American solo anchor for a daily network news program.

19 Hand-dyed fabric : BATIK

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

21 Dance club hirees : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

22 Land promised by God to Abraham : CANAAN

The ancient region in the Middle East known as Canaan corresponds roughly to modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel. The term “Canaanite” is used in the Bible to describe various indigenous populations in the region. In fact, “Canaanite” is an ethnic term used more frequently in the Bible than any other.

24 “Myra Breckinridge” novelist : VIDAL

Gore Vidal was an author and political activist from West Point, New York. Vidal’s most celebrated novel is probably “Myra Breckinridge”. His most controversial work has to be “The City and the Pillar” from 1948, which is cited as one of the first major novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality.

Gore Vidal’s 1968 novel “Myra Breckinridge” was considered controversial in its day. I haven’t read it, but I understand it addresses transsexuality and other sexual practices considered outside the norm at the time. There was a movie version of the novel made in 1970, with Raquel Welch in the title role.

26 Goddess who serves as a major character in 2019’s “Hadestown” : PERSEPHONE

In Greek mythology, Persephone was made queen of the underworld after having been abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld.

30 Epithet for the venomous Iago in “Othello” : VIPER

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

31 Northern neighbor of 29-Across: Abbr. : AUS

The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

39 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL

“Wonder Woman” is a 2017 film starring Gal Gadot as the superhero title character. It is listed by many as one of the best superhero movies of all time. Gadot had played Wonder Woman before, in the 2016 film “Batman v Superman”.

41 Where Hamlet overhears Claudius confessing to fratricide : CHAPEL

In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Hamlet’s nemesis is King Claudius, his father’s brother. It’s felt that Shakespeare chose the name “Claudius” as in those days the Roman Emperor Claudius was considered to be the archetype of an evil ruler.

48 Rubicund : ROSY

Someone described as “rubicond” has a healthy rosy complexion. The term arises from the Latin “ruber” meaning ‘red”.

56 E.R. procedure that can be done to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” : CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. I hear that nowadays, emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pitched poorly : OFF KEY
7 Trace element? : STENCIL
14 Two-dimensional : PLANAR
15 Era that began in the late 1950s : SPACE AGE
16 “Any ___?” : TAKERS
17 The Statue of Liberty, for one : COLOSSUS
18 Gets along (with) : GELS
19 End of a three-word U.S. president name : … BUREN
20 Monopoly token : HAT
21 Student’s burden, often : DEBT
22 Showed : CAME
23 Like lambs : OVINE
25 Co-performer with Shakira at Super Bowl LIV, informally : J.LO
26 Overly glib : PAT
27 Lecture alternative : SEMINAR
29 Home country of N.B.A. phenom Luka Doncic : SLOVENIA
32 “God send the companion a better prince! I cannot ___ my hands of him”: “Henry IV, Part II” : RID
33 “Stray Dog” director, 1949 : AKIRA KUROSAWA
37 Spot on advice? : PSA
38 Alternative to going to court : SETTLING
40 Sources of a modern addiction : SCREENS
44 Fleur-de-___ : LIS
45 Grp. with the motto “Every child. One voice” : PTA
46 Choreographer Twyla : THARP
47 Prince in “The Little Mermaid” : ERIC
49 Cover : VEIL
50 Work on a course : EAT
51 Widespread destruction : HAVOC
53 Sigmatism, by another name : LISP
54 Pilots, e.g. : EPISODES
56 Case for an entomologist : COCOON
58 Plant that may yield oil : REFINERY
59 False : PSEUDO
60 Guile : SLYNESS
61 How one should feel after a vacation : RESTED

Down

1 Unsubscribe to a mailing list, with “out” : OPT …
2 Cell propellers : FLAGELLA
3 Resource for music performers : FAKE BOOK
4 Posed in the front row of a team photo, say : KNELT
5 A katydid’s are found on its legs, strangely enough : EARS
6 ’21, ’22, etc. : YRS
7 They may be blowing in the wind : SPORES
8 Account : TALE
9 “If all ___ were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion” (quip attributed to Shaw) : ECONOMISTS
10 Duck Hunt console, for short : NES
11 Make chips become bread? : CASH IN
12 Scaly pet : IGUANA
13 News anchor Holt : LESTER
15 Floating green layer : SCUM
19 Hand-dyed fabric : BATIK
21 Dance club hirees : DJS
22 Land promised by God to Abraham : CANAAN
24 “Myra Breckinridge” novelist : VIDAL
26 Goddess who serves as a major character in 2019’s “Hadestown” : PERSEPHONE
28 Blue : EROTIC
30 Epithet for the venomous Iago in “Othello” : VIPER
31 Northern neighbor of 29-Across: Abbr. : AUS
34 Dinosaur : RELIC
35 Doesn’t make it down the wave : WIPES OUT
36 Directly opposite point : ANTIPODE
39 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL
40 Pilots : STEERS
41 Where Hamlet overhears Claudius confessing to fratricide : CHAPEL
42 Formally approve : RATIFY
43 Lops off : SEVERS
48 Rubicund : ROSY
49 Many indulgences : VICES
52 Some beverage suffixes : -ADES
53 Ditch : LOSE
55 Fathers warn against it : SIN
56 E.R. procedure that can be done to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” : CPR
57 “Hey there” equivalent : NOD

21 thoughts on “0305-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 21, Friday”

  1. 19:26 As usual with Fridays, very little with the first pass. Then it slowly came together. Got 33A with just a few letters and that opened up the middle. Had 21A as LOAN for a long time. The NW corner gave the most trouble.

    I saw in another blog that the 3-letter country code for Austria is AUT (Autriche in French) vs. AUS for Australia. Guess Mr. Shortz is considering AUS as the abbreviation for Austria

  2. 30:24 but needed a wee bit of help in the lower corners. Sometimes orange smaller words that get me *sigh*

  3. 29:38. AKIRA KUWOSAWA was cruel. I had to get pretty much all of that via crosses although once I saw it, I did remember seeing him in other crosswords.

    I always thought a FAKE BOOK was that thing I show the government at tax time.

    Best –

  4. 13:39, no errors, no complaints. Fifty years ago, I worked for a scientist named Akira Kasahara, and that somehow fixed Akira Kurosawa in my memory as well.

  5. @jeff – agreed – with AKIRA right smack dab in the middle made it tough to do any quick crosses.. when I finally got WIPESOUT , and I got BATIK, then KUROSAWA jumped in my head. I remembered him from some of the old movies on TMC. But, I didn’t remember his first name. So once the right hand side fell, I moved to the left and just kept chipping away. PERSEPHONE was absolutely no gimme either. But then FAKEBOOK? and THARP messed with me for awhile. Never heard of either one.

  6. 58:50 no errors but I admit to help from “previous puzzle notes” and the use of a spell checker…If the setters name is ever a clue in a puzzle then I’m in big trouble.
    Stay safe😀

    1. @Jack …

      If the setter’s name is ever a clue in a puzzle, then I’m in big trouble.

      You and me both, Jack! … 😜

  7. 19:08, no errors. Many complaints, chief of which being the one mentioned above (AUS vs. AUT). But it’s expected that crossword setters and editors make up stuff. They do it all the time.

    1. @Glenn …

      If you do a thorough search, you will find that the abbreviation “AUS” is indeed often used for “Austria”. Setters and editors do not, in general, “make up stuff”. They use what they find in use elsewhere.

      1. Setters and editors DO “make up stuff”. Give me any 3 letters and I will make up a clue answer that can be construed to fit.

        1. @Anonymous …

          I have no way of judging your abilities in this regard but, in any case, I’m doubtful that the combination of my three-letter offering and your made-up clue could be justified by a search of the appropriate references. In my experience, the vast majority of entries that I encounter, as well as the clues for them (even ones I’m initially a bit dubious about), can be so justified. The use of “AUS” as an abbreviation for “Austria” is a case in point.

  8. Today’s Newsday crossword (which I seem to recall being mentioned here on occasion) has a most intriguing theme (to me, at least). I was a bit underwhelmed by it until I realized that it is based on a curious set of coincidences. (I hesitate to say more, for fear of spoiling anyone’s fun, but will explain, if necessary, upon request.)

    The title of the puzzle is “Argon” and (per @Glenn) you can download it from here:

    https://cdn2.amuselabs.com/pmm/date-picker?set=creatorsweb&embed=1

      1. @Dave …

        What I found most interesting about that puzzle was the theme (and, beware, there be spoilers ahead): ARGON is the 18th element in the periodic table and its chemical symbol is “Ar”, which is also a name for the 18th letter of the English alphabet (“R”). Meanwhile, the name suggests the phrase “R gone” and, indeed, the letter “R” is nowhere to be found, either in the grid or in the clues. It took awhile for all of this to sink in, during which time my appreciation for the cleverness of the construction steadily increased.

        I briefly wondered if the name of the element was chosen with some of this in mind, but it turns out that it’s simply named after a Greek word meaning “lazy” or “inactive”.

  9. 41 minutes, no errors etc. but I got hung up in the northwest corner for a long time. I’ve never heard of fake book. Thought the answer was songbook.

  10. 17:53, no errors. 29A: couldn’t decide between SLOVENIA or Slovakia; just filled in the common letters until CANAAN decided for me.

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