0313-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Mar 21, Saturday

Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Actor Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

6 “Right on!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

13 Ancient allegory paralleled in the plot of “The Matrix” : PLATO’S CAVE

Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” appears in his Socratic dialogue titled “Republic”. He uses the allegory to make the point that some people can be comfortable in their ignorance and become hostile towards someone who tries to educate them, to make them aware of their ignorance.

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

15 ___ Addams, first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize : JANE

Jane Addams was a suffragist and social worker from Cedarville Illinois. Her prominence was such that Addams nominated Theodore Roosevelt for the US Presidency at the Progressive Party’s convention in 1912. In 1931, she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

18 Some short releases, for short : EPS

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

21 Spots for fighter jets, in brief : AFBS

Air Force Base (AFB)

22 Journalist who wrote the 1990s-2000s comic strip “Capitol Hell” : TAPPER

Jake Tapper is a journalist working for CNN as Chief Washington Correspondent. Tapper is also a cartoonist. He wrote a comic strip called “Capitol Hell” that appeared in the Washington, DC paper “Roll Call” from 1994 to 2003.

23 Ice cream dessert : BOMBE

The dessert that we called “ bombe” in English, is a shortened version of the French “bombe glacée”. It is a layer of ice cream or sherbet frozen into a hemispherical shape, like half a delicious cannonball on the plate, hence the name.

29 Locale near the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates, some believe : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers run parallel to each other through Iraq and parts of Syria, Turkey and Iran. The fertile land between the rivers was known as Mesopotamia (Greek for “land between two rivers”).

30 Dating inits. : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

32 Holy ___ : SEE

In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop presides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

35 Cheyenne, e.g.: Abbr. : MTN

Cheyenne Mountain is a massive nuclear bunker located near Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The facility included about 5 acres of underground buildings that actually stand free of the surrounding rock, supported by steel springs to aid in survival of a nuclear blast.

36 “That’s a ___” : WRAP

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to wrap, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

38 Forces (upon) : FOISTS

The word “foist”, meaning “to pass off fraudulently as genuine”, comes from the Dutch word meaning “take in hand”. The original concept came from playing dice, in which one die was held surreptitiously in one hand.

39 Inebriate : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

40 “Young Man With a Skull” painter : HALS

Frans Hals was a painter in the Dutch Golden Age who was born in Antwerp but who lived and worked in Haarlem. Hals is best known for his portraits, the most famous of which is probably “The Laughing Cavalier”.

45 Cassius Dio said it went “from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron” : ROMAN EMPIRE

Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom founded by the legendary Romulus. From 509 to 27 BC, Rome was a republic. The Roman Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He was replaced by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”. Octavian effectively became Rome’s first emperor, and took the name “Caesar Augustus”. The “Fall of the Western Roman Empire” took place in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire, which was centered on Constantinople.

50 Winter Olympics feat : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

57 Big buttes : MESAS

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

Down

1 Locale of the Chair of Saint Peter in Saint Peter’s Basilica : APSE

The Catholic Church regards Saint Peter as the first to hold the papal office, as he was the first bishop of Rome. Peter took office in 30 CE and probably died in 64 CE, which makes him the longest-reigning pope.

6 The Taj Mahal complex has 42 of them : ACRES

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

7 Eldest of the Pleiades : MAIA

Maia is one of the Pleiades of Greek mythology, and is the eldest of the Seven Sisters. The month of May is named for Maia.

The Seven Sisters of Greek mythology are also known as the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas, who had been forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders. In an act of kindness, Zeus transformed the sisters first into doves, and then into stars so that they could provide comfort for their father. There is indeed a cluster of seven stars in the night sky named for the myth and known as the Pleiades.

8 When a vesper bell rings : EVENTIDE

Vespers is an evening prayer service in some Christian traditions. “Vesper” is the Latin for “evening”. Vespers is also known as “Evensong”.

9 Beverage brand portmanteau : NESCAFE

Nescafé is an instant coffee brand made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “café”. Nescafé was developed in the thirties and introduced to the market in 1938.

11 Pets that commonly have different-colored eyes, such as one blue and one amber : ANGORA CATS

The Turkish Angora is a breed of domestic cat that is often called simply an Angora or Ankara cat. The Angora is particularly prized for its white coat, although the breed can come in a variety of colors.

21 “Mi ___” (Spanish words of endearment) : AMOR

“Tu eres mi amor” is Spanish for “you are my love”.

23 Portable lunch options from Japan : BENTO BOXES

A bento is a single-person meal that is eaten quite commonly in Japan. A bento can be purchased as a take-out meal, or it may be packed at home. A bento is usually sold as a “bento box”.

25 Is lachrymose : WEEPS

“Lachrymose” means “teary”, from the Latin “lacrima”, the word for “tear”.

37 Marathon runner’s wear : RACE BIB

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

43 Eponymous founder of a San Diego research institute : SALK

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher who developed the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US. It killed thousands and left even more with disabilities, and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim. That quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.

45 Hindi for “king” : RAJA

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

48 It has coronoid and styloid processes : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

49 Spots for shams : BEDS

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Actor Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN
6 “Right on!” : AMEN!
10 Driver’s place : CAB
13 Ancient allegory paralleled in the plot of “The Matrix” : PLATO’S CAVE
15 ___ Addams, first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize : JANE
16 Tales of woe : SOB STORIES
17 Prod : URGE
18 Some short releases, for short : EPS
19 “Oh, gimme a break!” : I MEAN, COME ON!
21 Spots for fighter jets, in brief : AFBS
22 Journalist who wrote the 1990s-2000s comic strip “Capitol Hell” : TAPPER
23 Ice cream dessert : BOMBE
25 One who’s taken a vow : WIFE
26 Chafed, say : RAW
28 Gobble up : DEVOUR
29 Locale near the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates, some believe : EDEN
30 Dating inits. : BCE
31 Unmotivated, and then some : INERT
32 Holy ___ : SEE
33 Sustenance : BREAD
35 Cheyenne, e.g.: Abbr. : MTN
36 “That’s a ___” : WRAP
38 Forces (upon) : FOISTS
39 Inebriate : SOT
40 “Young Man With a Skull” painter : HALS
41 Throws heavenward : LOFTS
42 Split : BISECT
44 Really soak up the sun : BAKE
45 Cassius Dio said it went “from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron” : ROMAN EMPIRE
47 Mac : BUB
50 Winter Olympics feat : AXEL
51 Product of tissue engineering, such as artificial skin : BIOTEXTILE
53 Contemptible sort : JERK
54 “Come help me with this” : I NEED A HAND
55 Contemptible sort : ASS
56 Doesn’t check, say : BETS
57 Big buttes : MESAS

Down

1 Locale of the Chair of Saint Peter in Saint Peter’s Basilica : APSE
2 Unappetizing bowlful : SLOP
3 Things often seen in windows : TABS
4 “___ magic!” : IT’S
5 Statement of inevitability : NOT IF, BUT WHEN
6 The Taj Mahal complex has 42 of them : ACRES
7 Eldest of the Pleiades : MAIA
8 When a vesper bell rings : EVENTIDE
9 Beverage brand portmanteau : NESCAFE
10 High on the job? : CAREER BEST
11 Pets that commonly have different-colored eyes, such as one blue and one amber : ANGORA CATS
12 Existed : BEEN
14 Like many minor-key compositions : SOMBER
15 Sharp increase : JUMP
20 Hardly a test of one’s memory : OPEN-BOOK EXAM
21 “Mi ___” (Spanish words of endearment) : AMOR
23 Portable lunch options from Japan : BENTO BOXES
24 Dingy kitchen items? : OVEN TIMERS
25 Is lachrymose : WEEPS
27 Brings together : WEDS
28 Brings down : DIMS
32 Place of drudgery : SALT MINE
34 Riddled : RIFE
37 Marathon runner’s wear : RACE BIB
38 Like bootleg pants : FLARED
43 Eponymous founder of a San Diego research institute : SALK
44 Really stinks : BITES
45 Hindi for “king” : RAJA
46 Amanda Gorman, e.g. : POET
47 Diagonal kind of cut : BIAS
48 It has coronoid and styloid processes : ULNA
49 Spots for shams : BEDS
52 When italicized, word before something exemplary : THE …

17 thoughts on “0313-21 NY Times Crossword 13 Mar 21, Saturday”

  1. 24:43 Slow to get started then several things fell into place and even having to search for a couple fat fingers – a Sat. solve in under 25 minutes – I MEAN COME ON!!

    1. Beautiful picture. I’ve also hiked (Yellow Aster Butte and Church Mt.) and climbed some peaks in that area – Baker, Shuksan, Mt. Ruth.

  2. 29:00. Agree with AS. Good Saturday challenge. As usual on a Saturday, the long answers saved me.

    The actual example in PLATOS CAVE is three men chained from birth in a cave. They only see a few shadows of some things from a fire behind them. One is eventually taken out of the cave and sees the “real” things that make the shadows. He can’t distinguish between them. Eventually he comes around, wants to educate the other two in the cave, but they freak out and want nothing to do with him and want to remain chained.

    Strange strange story. Fortunately, I already know everything so none of this applies to me…..

    If a sham pillow is a fake pillow, what is shampoo? What exactly am I putting in my hair??

    Best –

  3. 1:06:43 the one advantage to coming in late(and last) is being able to read Jeff’s post, almost always good for a laugh!👍

  4. 27:27, with a stupid one-square error: Early on, I had entered “BUMP” instead of “JUMP”, thought “BANE” looked funny and decided to come back and look at it later. When I didn’t get the “success” message, I knew just where to look for the problem.

    Another late post, as I’ve been sick for the last two days.

    1. Ditto for me and the Albuquerque Journal!!! Nothing made sense and I realized that the printed clues were identical to the puzzle from the prior Wednesday. I figured it was a local error but maybe not? It sometimes seems as if the local rag hires people to work in composition that were unqualified to screw up orders at a fast food drive-thru window. The other feature that suffers from frequent “creativity” is the syndicated bridge column.

  5. No errors, but not without a struggle. Needed crosses and some logic to complete, as usual. The long answers seemed to jump out which helped. Fri/Sat sweep; I’ll take it.

  6. Well, I did it. Error-free Saturday N Y T crossword. It’s been a while. I admit to being a rookie solver; I’ve only been doing them since 1982.

  7. Re 11D: Complete heterochromia (two different colored eyes) is not uncommon in animals with a strong white component in their genetic makeup – pinto horses, Siberian huskies and Malemutes, Blue merle Shetland sheepdogs and Australian shepherds and many other animals as well as cats. I enjoyed this puzzle, seemed a little easier than the usual Saturday puzzle.

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