0317-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Sounds Puzzlin’

I recommend solving this puzzle while watching “The Quiet Man”, and crying into a pint of Guinness. A Happy (and safe) Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone!

Themed answers are celebrity names that sound like they suit the clue:

  • 17A If you think actors have two left feet, you haven’t seen ___ : TED DANSON (Ted dancin’)
  • 20A If you think country singers can’t do hair, you haven’t seen ___ : DOLLY PARTON (Dolly partin’)
  • 35A If you think pop balladeers can’t run fast, you haven’t seen ___ : MICHAEL BOLTON (Michael boltin’)
  • 52A If you think economists don’t lose their cool, you haven’t seen ___ : JANET YELLEN (Janet yellin’)
  • 55A If you think film directors are always satisfied, you haven’t seen ___ : WES CRAVEN (Wes cravin’)

Bill’s time: 6m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Flatow of public radio : IRA

“Science Friday” is an excellent talk show broadcast every Friday on NPR, and hosted by Ira Flatow. Flatow is known to television audiences as the host of “Newton’s Apple”, which ran from 1983 to 1998.

17 If you think actors have two left feet, you haven’t seen ___ : TED DANSON (Ted dancin’)

Actor Ted Danson is noted in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, the title role on the sitcom “Becker”, and eventually led the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

19 Panasonic subsidiary : SANYO

Sanyo is a Japanese electronics manufacturer based near Osaka and founded in 1947. The company name means “three oceans” reflecting the company’s original aim to sell its products all around the world (across three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian).

Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

20 If you think country singers can’t do hair, you haven’t seen ___ : DOLLY PARTON (Dolly partin’)

Dolly Parton is a country music singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. Parton has written over 3,000 songs, my favorite of which is “I Will Always Love You” that was a huge hit for herself and for Whitney Houston.

30 Nickelodeon “explorer” : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases. Dora’s constant companion is an anthropomorphic monkey named “Boots”, because he always wears red boots.

31 Fears : PHOBIAS

Here are some phobias that I find quite interesting:

  • Somniphobia – fear of falling asleep
  • Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
  • Omphalophobia- fear of the navel
  • Nomophobia- fear of being without mobile phone coverage
  • Triskaidekaphobia- fear of the number 13

35 If you think pop balladeers can’t run fast, you haven’t seen ___ : MICHAEL BOLTON (Michael boltin’)

“Michael Bolton” is the stage name used by singer/songwriter Michael Bolotin. In fact, Bolton’s first album was titled “Bolotin”.

39 Angry outbursts : TIRADES

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

40 Only United Nations member whose name starts with “O” : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

The United Nations was established right after the end of WWII, and was a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations that had been formed after the end of WWI. The US was at the forefront of the founding of the United Nations, led by President Franklin Roosevelt just prior to the start of WWII. The UN’s headquarters is in international territory in New York. There are three regional UN headquarters, also located in international territory, in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi.

45 Barbecue spot : PIT

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

46 Heaven-sent food : MANNA

According to the Book of Exodus, manna was a food eaten by the Israelites as they traveled out of Egypt. The manna “fell” to Earth during the night, six days a week, and was gathered in the morning before it had time to melt.

49 Purpose of a faucet attachment : AERATION

A faucet aerator is a device screwed onto the tip of a faucet to deliver a mixture of air and water. The main purpose of faucet aerators, in these days of dwindling water supplies, is to increase the perceived water pressure.

52 If you think economists don’t lose their cool, you haven’t seen ___ : JANET YELLEN (Janet yellin’)

The economist Janet Yellen was appointed Chair of the Federal Reserve in 2014 by President Obama. When her appointment was confirmed by the US Senate, Yellen became the first woman to hold the position. In the Biden administration, Yellen became the first woman to hold the post of Secretary of the Treasury.

55 If you think film directors are always satisfied, you haven’t seen ___ : WES CRAVEN (Wes cravin’)

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

61 G.I.’s address : APO

Army post office (APO)

63 Hose problems : SNAGS

A snag is a pull or a tear in a fabric. A snag, particularly in stockings, might lead to a run. And on the other side of the Atlantic, a “run” is called a “ladder”.

64 Ranger’s home, in brief : NHL

The New York Rangers are an NHL team. They are one of the oldest teams in the league, having joined in 1926. When the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1928, they became the first American team to do so.

65 Something matzo lacks : YEAST

Matzo is an unleavened bread that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating a Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

Down

7 Online provocateur : TROLL

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

10 What locusts do : SWARM

Some species of grasshoppers are known as locusts. The main characteristic defining a locust species is the tendency to swarm under certain circumstances. Those circumstances are usually drought conditions followed by rapid growth of vegetation.

11 Dal ingredient : LENTIL

I love dal dishes, which are prepared from various peas or beans (often lentils) that have been stripped of their outer skins and split. Dal is an important part of Indian cuisines. I suppose in Indian terms, split pea soup (another of my favorites) would be called a dal.

12 Pal of Roo in “Winnie-the-Pooh” : EEYORE

Eeyore is the donkey character in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Eeyore is very lovable, but has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook on life.

23 Leslie ___ Jr. of the original “Hamilton” cast : ODOM

Leslie Odom Jr. is the actor and singer who originated the role of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” on Broadway.

24 Bagel shapes : TORI

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

25 Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” e.g. : TRACT

Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

28 French monastery resident : ABBE

“Abbé” is the French word for “abbot”.

33 Like Mother Hubbard and King Cole : OLD

The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

34 Animal that’s a little weaselly? : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

Weasels are small mammals with long, thin bodies. That body shape is an advantage when weasels chase their prey into narrow burrows.

37 Discontinued Dodge : OMNI

The Dodge Omni is basically the same car as the Plymouth Horizon, and was produced by Chrysler from 1978-90. The Omni is a front-wheel drive hatchback, the first in a long line of front-wheel drive cars that were very successful for Chrysler. The Omni was actually developed in France, by Chrysler’s Simca division. When production was stopped in the US in 1990, the tooling was sold to an Indian company that continued production for the Asian market for several years.

38 Discontinued iPod : NANO

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

41 Bread served with dal, maybe : NAN

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

42 Indian royalty : RAJAHS

“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.

44 One hanging around a party with swingers? : PINATA

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today’s piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

46 Salvador Dalí contemporary : MAN RAY

Man Ray was an American modernist artist who spent most of his working life in Paris. Man Ray was born in South Philadelphia in 1890, and his real name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. His family shortened “Radnitzky” to “Ray” in response to the anti-Semitic feeling that was prevalent at the time. Emmanuel was known as “Manny”, and he decided to assume the name Man Ray and use it for his work.

49 Letter in El Al’s logo : ALEPH

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

50 Counterpart of la luna : EL SOL

In Spanish, “el sol” (the sun) rises in the “este” (east).

53 Actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

58 Loop loopers : ELS

The historic commercial center of Chicago is known as the Loop. One theory is that the “loop” got its name from the cable loops in the city’s old cable car system. An alternative theory is that the term only arose with the construction of the elevated railway “loop” that forms the hub of the city’s “L” system.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Get on : BOARD
6 It may be found on the side of a bank : ATM
9 Parts of some chains : ISLES
14 Film festival entry, informally : INDIE
15 Flatow of public radio : IRA
16 Message that, despite the name, isn’t necessarily chirpy : TWEET
17 If you think actors have two left feet, you haven’t seen ___ : TED DANSON (Ted dancin’)
19 Panasonic subsidiary : SANYO
20 If you think country singers can’t do hair, you haven’t seen ___ : DOLLY PARTON (Dolly partin’)
22 Barbershop amenity : HOT TOWEL
26 Look up to : ADMIRE
27 Deck out : ADORN
28 Consumed : ATE
29 Headed up : LED
30 Nickelodeon “explorer” : DORA
31 Fears : PHOBIAS
35 If you think pop balladeers can’t run fast, you haven’t seen ___ : MICHAEL BOLTON (Michael boltin’)
39 Angry outbursts : TIRADES
40 Only United Nations member whose name starts with “O” : OMAN
42 Tombstone letters : RIP
45 Barbecue spot : PIT
46 Heaven-sent food : MANNA
47 In : AMIDST
49 Purpose of a faucet attachment : AERATION
52 If you think economists don’t lose their cool, you haven’t seen ___ : JANET YELLEN (Janet yellin’)
54 To love, in Italy : AMARE
55 If you think film directors are always satisfied, you haven’t seen ___ : WES CRAVEN (Wes cravin’)
60 One without a kind word to say : HATER
61 G.I.’s address : APO
62 Like a tightrope walker : AGILE
63 Hose problems : SNAGS
64 Ranger’s home, in brief : NHL
65 Something matzo lacks : YEAST

Down

1 See 2-Down : BIT
2 With 1-Down, the smallest amount : ONE
3 Throw in : ADD
4 Cleared (of) : RID
5 Exact : DEAD ON
6 Ticket specification : AISLE
7 Online provocateur : TROLL
8 A host of : MANY
9 Cry while shaking hands : IT’S A DEAL!
10 What locusts do : SWARM
11 Dal ingredient : LENTIL
12 Pal of Roo in “Winnie-the-Pooh” : EEYORE
13 High : STONED
18 “Quit your stalling!” : NOW!
21 Barbecue spots : PATIOS
22 Consumed : HAD
23 Leslie ___ Jr. of the original “Hamilton” cast : ODOM
24 Bagel shapes : TORI
25 Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” e.g. : TRACT
28 French monastery resident : ABBE
31 Equal pay, e.g. : PARITY
32 Passion : HEAT
33 Like Mother Hubbard and King Cole : OLD
34 Animal that’s a little weaselly? : STOAT
36 Many regulars at artisan coffee shops : HIPSTERS
37 Discontinued Dodge : OMNI
38 Discontinued iPod : NANO
41 Bread served with dal, maybe : NAN
42 Indian royalty : RAJAHS
43 1967 hit that starts “Well, my pad is very messy and there’s whiskers on my chin” : I’M A MAN
44 One hanging around a party with swingers? : PINATA
46 Salvador Dalí contemporary : MAN RAY
48 Removal of restrictions, informally : DEREG
49 Letter in El Al’s logo : ALEPH
50 Counterpart of la luna : EL SOL
51 Kind of room : REC
53 Actor McGregor : EWAN
56 Get on in years : AGE
57 Through : VIA
58 Loop loopers : ELS
59 Dot follower, maybe : … NET

11 thoughts on “0317-21 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 21, Wednesday”

  1. 10:09 Struggled more than the time indicates. Trying to think of something witty to say I shook out the cobwebs and came up with “Tom Tryon”, who might have been more of an obscure actor reference – such as -> If you think male cats always catch the mouse, you haven’t seen ==>> Tom Tryon.

    Guess I need some St. Pat’s Day green beer early in the morning to shake the cobwebs further.

  2. 8:48, no errors. Too tired from being sick and shoveling snow to think much about this one.

    And, @Bill, someone had probably already said this, but it appears that yesterday’s theme has crept into today’s blog … 😳.

  3. 17:52 finally finished after going through the alphabet to get 46D/A. Not familiar with either one.

    Nonny, I assume you’re in the Colorado/Wyoming area? Coming from “lake effect” land, I know what it’s like…

  4. 15:59. Just got back from a very brief trip to Houston. From the time I walked out my door to the time I came back through it, I was gone all of 35 hours. It wore me out anyway.

    I can’t think of any additional theme answers such as “If you think all classic writers are smart, you never met Alexander Dumas”. Once again, I’m a little too highbrow for that.

    Best –

  5. Did ok til I got to the SW corner.. really got confused . Worked it out.. took way too long.. AMARE?

  6. 30:18 and the same as @Glen…of course it’s where two foreign words cross…what’s new👎
    Stay safe😀

  7. All I can say is that these NYT’s crossword creators are brainiacs and so is Bill Butler and the rest of you who do well. Me? Not so much but I love doing them and use crossword answer books to help. Oh, I know it is cheating but what the hell.

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