0312-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Mar 21, Friday

Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Toward the tiller : AFT

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder past can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever at the top of the post called a tiller.

14 End of the White House’s domain : GOV

The .gov domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

15 1996 book on grammar whose title “corrects” a melodramatic cry : WOE IS I

Patricia O’Conner has written five books about the English language, including “Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English”. What a great subject for a book! I need to buy it for my kids. And to be honest, for me too …

16 Classic Camaro : IROC

The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro that was introduced by Chevrolet in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

17 Frozen food brand famously lampooned by comedian Jim Gaffigan : HOT POCKETS

Hot Pockets were introduced in the seventies by brothers David and Paul Merage. Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers filled with cheese, meat or vegetables.

Jim Gaffigan is a standup comedian from Chesterton, Indiana. Gaffigan wrote a book called “Dad is Fat” that was published in 2013. The book is a collection of essays about the raising of children.

23 Dove in a bathtub, say : SOAP

Dove is a brand of personal care products made by Unilever. The brand originated in the UK, back in 1955.

29 Cartoon bartender : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

32 First person to garner 80 Grammy nominations : QUINCY JONES

The Grammy Legend Award has been presented intermittently during the annual Grammy Awards ceremony starting in 1990. The prestigious award recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry. The short list of recipients includes names like Andrew Lloyd Weber, Arethra Franklin, Johnny Cash, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti.

36 Switch to the other side : TURN TRAITOR

Treason is a serious crime committed against the nation (or the sovereign). One who commits “treason” is called a “traitor”. In the past, the term treason also applied to lesser crimes so there was a differentiation between high treason against the king, and “petit treason” against a more common citizen.

38 ___ Aramco, world’s most profitable company : SAUDI

Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, and is state-owned. As it’s not a publicly traded enterprise, its value isn’t known for certain, but it is presumed to be the most valuable company in the world, bar none. That’s oil for you …

39 Self-help guru Ferriss : TIM

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

40 Illegal accessing, of a sort : HACK

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

45 Hip-hop’s Hussle or comedy’s Russell : NIPSEY

Nipsey Russell was a comedian who was best known as a panelist on game shows like “Match Game”, Password”, “Hollywood Squares”, “To Tell the Truth” and “Pyramid”. Russell also played the Tin Min in the 1978 musical film “The Wiz”.

48 One with a solo in Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 : OBOE

Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

49 Prix fixe : SET MENU

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 from French as “table of the host”.

53 Letters preceding a controversial take : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

54 Best Picture winner between “Forrest Gump” and “The English Patient” : BRAVEHEART

“Braveheart” is an excellent 1995 historical drama that was directed by and stars Mel Gibson. “Braveheart” tells the story of William Wallace, the warrior who led the Scottish against King Edward I of England. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Ireland, and I visited Trim Castle not so long ago where that filming took place …

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

The excellent 1996 film “The English Patient” is a romantic drama adapted from a 1992 novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje. The very strong cast of “The English Patient” includes two of my favorite actresses: Kristen Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche.

57 Parker who served as the first president of Facebook : SEAN

Sean Parker came to national attention in 1998 as co-founder of Napster, the file-sharing service for music that caused such a fuss in the recording industry. He started to advise the founders of Facebook in 2004, and became the company’s first president later that year. If you watch the very entertaining movie about Facebook called “The Social Network” you’ll see Parker played by Justin Timberlake. Parker comes across as very obnoxious in the film.

59 Far from a popular spot : ZIT

The slang term “zit”, meaning “pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.

Down

5 Nom de guerre roughly translating to “bringer of light” : HO CHI MINH

Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese Communist leader who was president of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1969. Ho Chi Minh traveled widely in his earlier years. From 1912 to 1918 he actually lived in the US, in New York and Boston. While in America, he held down several jobs including working as a baker in the Parker House Hotel in Boston, and as a line manager for General Motors.

“Nom de guerre” is a French term meaning “name of war”. It describes the practice of adopting a pseudonym when in a conflict, perhaps to protect family or to symbolize a separation between one’s life in the military and as a civilian. The term originates with the French Foreign Legion, in which recruits routinely adopted noms de guerre as they broke with their past lives and started afresh.

8 2017 A.L. M.V.P. Jose Altuve, for one : ASTRO

José Altuve is a Major League baseball player who came to the US in 2007 after being signed to a contract at a Houston Astros’ tryout camp in his native city of Maracay, Venezuela. Altuve is just 5 feet 6 inches in height, and became the shortest player active in the Majors when he started playing for the Astros in 2011.

22 Drug sometimes used for a vision quest : PEYOTE

The peyote is a small, spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a recreational drug of choice for the likes of Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

33 Bearish : URSINE

Something described as ursine is related to a bear. The term “ursine” comes from “ursus” (plural “ursi”), Latin for “bear”.

34 Meryl Streep or Lupita Nyong’o, collegiately : YALIE

Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and educated in the US. Nyong’o got her big break in movies with an Oscar-winning supporting role in the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave”. She was named “People” magazine’s “ Most Beautiful Woman” in 2014.

35 Singer who lent his name to a brand of breakfast sausages : JIMMY DEAN

The Jimmy Dean brand of sausage was introduced in 1969 by singer and actor Jimmy Dean. Although he was at the height of his singing and acting career in the 1950s and 1960s, I best remember Dean for playing reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever”.

42 Onetime host for ABC News, NBC News and CBS News : COURIC

I thought that “one-time” had to be spelled with a hyphen, but maybe it’s just me …

Katie Couric left NBC’s “The Today Show” in 2006 and took over as news anchor for “CBS Evening News”. In doing so, she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”.

50 Common campus health diagnosis : MONO

Mononucleosis is a viral disease that is also known as “glandular fever”, or simply “mono”. The virus that causes the disease can only be contracted through direct exposure to infected saliva. As a result, mono is often called “the kissing disease”.

52 Resistance figures : OHMS

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

55 ___ Krieger, U.S. women’s soccer star : ALI

Ali Krieger was a member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup-winning US soccer team. Krieger lived for five years in Germany, playing for FFC Frankfurt.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Toward the tiller : AFT
4 It might be laid down if broken : THE LAW
10 It carries an added tax in Philadelphia and San Francisco : SODA
14 End of the White House’s domain : GOV
15 1996 book on grammar whose title “corrects” a melodramatic cry : WOE IS I
16 Classic Camaro : IROC
17 Frozen food brand famously lampooned by comedian Jim Gaffigan : HOT POCKETS
19 To avoid the risk that : LEST
20 In a new way : AFRESH
21 One who takes it all back? : REPO MAN
23 Dove in a bathtub, say : SOAP
24 Complaint after a tough workout : I’M SORE
27 Brief confirmation : I DO
28 Tops and blocks, e.g. : TOYS
29 Cartoon bartender : MOE
30 “I’ve been thinkin’ …” : Y’KNOW …
32 First person to garner 80 Grammy nominations : QUINCY JONES
36 Switch to the other side : TURN TRAITOR
37 Motorcyclist’s wear : CRASH HELMET
38 ___ Aramco, world’s most profitable company : SAUDI
39 Self-help guru Ferriss : TIM
40 Illegal accessing, of a sort : HACK
44 “___ noticed!” : I’VE
45 Hip-hop’s Hussle or comedy’s Russell : NIPSEY
48 One with a solo in Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 : OBOE
49 Prix fixe : SET MENU
51 Get smart? : DOLL UP
53 Letters preceding a controversial take : IMHO
54 Best Picture winner between “Forrest Gump” and “The English Patient” : BRAVEHEART
57 Parker who served as the first president of Facebook : SEAN
58 Shining : AGLEAM
59 Far from a popular spot : ZIT
60 Division word : INTO
61 Lowers oneself : DEIGNS
62 Brand of hairstyling gel : ECO

Down

1 Shocked : AGHAST
2 “Little bunny” of a nursery rhyme : FOO FOO
3 Light, foldable table : TV TRAY
4 Low pair : TWOS
5 Nom de guerre roughly translating to “bringer of light” : HO CHI MINH
6 Sound from a chicken? : EEK!
7 Be flat : LIE
8 2017 A.L. M.V.P. Jose Altuve, for one : ASTRO
9 Knowing better : WISER
10 Isolate so as to hinder cooperation and communication in business : SILO
11 One getting the lead out, say : ORE MINER
12 Back-to-back: Fr. : DOS-A-DOS
13 End of a sales pitch : ACT NOW!
18 Court entertainers : PEP SQUAD
22 Drug sometimes used for a vision quest : PEYOTE
25 Slash preceder : MONTH
26 Hard things to carry alone : SECRETS
31 Opening on a trunk : KNOTHOLE
33 Bearish : URSINE
34 Meryl Streep or Lupita Nyong’o, collegiately : YALIE
35 Singer who lent his name to a brand of breakfast sausages : JIMMY DEAN
36 “Word!” : TRUE THAT!
37 Primitive sorts : CAVEMEN
38 Emphatic agreement in Latin America : SI SI SI!
41 Lit : ABLAZE
42 Onetime host for ABC News, NBC News and CBS News : COURIC
43 Carefully followed : KEPT TO
46 Not on good terms : IN BAD
47 Completely remove : PURGE
50 Common campus health diagnosis : MONO
52 Resistance figures : OHMS
55 ___ Krieger, U.S. women’s soccer star : ALI
56 Chill out : VEG

17 thoughts on “0312-21 NY Times Crossword 12 Mar 21, Friday”

  1. 14:59. I got bogged down in the SE for a few minutes. ZIT as “far from a popular spot” was a groaner.

  2. 25:07 with a lookup. I was 1/2 done in about 6:30 and then the hard parts came. Completely stymied in the SE corner (except for 54A), so I took a lookup. Now that I see that corner, just one good entry would have triggered me. I kept putting in AFLAME for 41D and TO-A-TEE for 43D and couldn’t shake the cobwebs from those answers

  3. 25:43. I couldn’t parse HOCHIMINH until I came here. I just got it with crosses and thought “what a weird word.” As Homer Simpson would say to MOE, “D’oh!”

  4. 21:20. Same as everyone else, I had issues in the SE. ABLAZE and AFRESH in the same puzzle is hard to take.

    If SAUDI Aramco is government run, I’m not sure it qualifies as a real company, but I’m sure its noted profitability is accurate.

    Several maladies came to mind regarding campus health diagnoses, but MONO wasn’t one of them.

    I believe Jim Gaffigan’s bit on HOT POCKETS is his making fun of how hot they are. I’ve heard a similar routine about chicken pot pies.

    Best –

  5. No errors. Got hung up in SE corner until BRAVEHEART finally appeared. Like others, until Bill revealed HO CHI MINH , I was drawing a blank.

  6. A few rough spots, but was able to finish clean. Generally enjoyable and the cluing, though containing a few groaners as noted, was creative. On to Saturday.

  7. 1:09:57 no errors but I had to Google 32A…how can someone win 80 Grammy nominations and be unknown to me ?…just shows you how well rounded I am (not).
    Stay safe😀

  8. I solved the puzzle but don’t understand the symbols beside several clues (62A, 12D, 42D, etc) “.. – only the dots are raised. Is this something everyone but me understands?

  9. 24:20, no errors. Was ready to give up after 19:02, the SE corner looked completely opaque to me, even with OBOE & BRAVEHEART filled in. Didn’t help that I had entered 30A SO NOW; and 36A TURN TRAILER. Put the puzzle down, and did some gardening. When I came back, ABLAZE came to me; but I then entered 59A as ZOO. Everything eventually worked itself out.

  10. @Willie: Jose Altuve was NOT one of the cheaters on the 2017 World Series champion Astros. He didn’t need to cheat. Other players did, but NOT Altuve.

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