0319-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Mar 21, Friday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 16m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sandwich originally named the Aristocrat : BIG MAC

The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar “Big Boy” sandwich offered by the competing Big Boy restaurant chain.

7 Trans-Siberian Railway hub : OMSK

Omsk is a city in southwest Siberia. It is located over 1400 miles from Moscow and was chosen as the destination for many internal exiles in the mid-1900s. Perhaps the most famous of these exiles was the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) connects Moscow to the Russian Far East. At almost 6,000 miles in length, it is the longest railway line in the world. Although it is still being expanded today, the bulk of the track was laid between 1891 and 1916 at the behest of Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. Branches of the TSR connect Russia to Mongolia, China and North Korea.

11 Symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

16 Tom and Jerry, e.g. : DUO

“Tom and Jerry” is a series of cartoons produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera starting in 1940. These short films feature Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse who are always going at it, with Jerry usually emerging victorious.

22 Director Anderson : WES

Film director Wes Anderson’s most famous movie is probably “The Royal Tenenbaums” that was released in 2001, and is not my favorite film by any stretch. However, Anderson’s 2007 release “The Darjeeling Limited”, that I enjoyed.

24 Gaudy and cheap : CHINTZY

Chintz is a calico fabric that is very florid, and which originated in India. Indian chintz was in such great demand in Europe in the 17th-century, and so much was sold, that both England and France banned its import. This contributed to the term “chintz” being applied derogatively to a fabric, and from there to anything cheap or gaudy.

36 Candies shaped like truncated cones : ROLOS

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

38 What the French call “poor man’s asparagus” : LEEK

The leek is a vegetable closely related to the onion and the garlic. It is also a national emblem of Wales (along with the daffodil), although I don’t think we know for sure how this came to be. One story is that the Welsh were ordered to wear leeks in their helmets to identify themselves in a battle against the Saxons. Apparently, the battle took place in a field of leeks.

46 Something you can count on? : BASE TEN

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9).

51 Just beyond the visible spectrum : ULTRAVIOLET

At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lies just below the violet end.

57 Output from a bass : ROE

The freshwater and marine species of fish called bass resemble perch. The word “bass” comes from the Middle English “bars” meaning “perch”.

58 Manhattan strip synonymous with the golden age of American songwriting : TIN PAN ALLEY

Tin Pan Alley was originally a specific location, i.e. West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. The area was associated with the music publishing business from about 1885 to the start of the Great Depression The name itself is possibly a reference to the tinny sound of cheap pianos that were common at the time.

60 As : QUA

“Qua” is a preposition meaning “in the capacity of”.

61 Relief from a leaf : ALOE VERA GEL

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

64 Score at the half? : DECADE

Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such as livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

Down

4 Grammy winner for 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” : MYA

Mya is an R&B singer-songwriter. I don’t know her music, but I did see her get to the runner-up spot on the ninth series of “Dancing with the Stars”. On the show, Mya was beaten out of first place by Donny Osmond (don’t ask!).

“Lady Marmalade” is a song that was most famously recorded by Labelle in 1975. A 2001 cover version by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink was also very successful, released from the soundtrack of the film “Moulin Rouge!”. The song is noted for its suggestive chorus “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”, which translates from French as “Do you want to sleep with me tonight?”

6 Shut up : CLOISTER

Cloisters are usually such beautifully peaceful areas. They are found as part of religious buildings in particular. Cloisters are rectangular open spaces surrounded by covered walkways that are attached to other structures. The use of the term “cloister” has evolved to also describe a monastery or convent, and “cloistered” is used figuratively to mean “sheltered from the outside world”.

7 Wind up on the pitch? : OBOE

When the members of a full orchestra tune their instruments, they almost always tune to an “A” played by an oboe. A wind ensemble usually tunes to a B-flat, as this is an “open” note on many instruments, one in which all valves are open on trumpet for example, or the slider on a trombone is in home position.

10 Journalist Ronald whose book “The Bureau” identified Deep Throat as W. Mark Felt : KESSLER

Ronald Kessler is the chief correspondent of the conservative news website Newsmax.com. Kessler was the first to present evidence that Bob Woodward’s Watergate source called “Deep Throat” was W. Mark Felt of the FBI.

11 “Fare thee well!” : ADIEU!

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

12 Like Morocco and the Maldives, religiously : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

The country of Morocco is located in North Africa, but lies just 9 miles south of Spain. Spain and Morocco, and hence Europe and Africa, are separated by those 9 miles across the Mediterranean Sea known as the Straits of Gibraltar.

The Maldives is an island nation consisting of two chains of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The population of over 300,000 people is distributed over 192 inhabited islands, with about 1,000 islands remaining uninhabited. The Maldives is one of the countries in the world that is extremely endangered by rising sea levels.

15 Groovy things you can groove to? : LPS

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

21 Parts of ears from the Latin for “snail” : COCHLEAS

The cochlea is a spiral structure in the inner ear. Included in the cochlea are hair cells that receive sound vibrations, causing them to move. The movement of the hairs is converted into nerve impulses that are interpreted in the brain.

22 More charming : WINSOMER

“Winsome” is such a lovely-sounding word, with a lovely meaning. Someone described as winsome has a childlike charm and innocence.

25 Victor in France, once : HUGO

Victor Hugo was a French writer who is known in his native country mainly for his poetry. Outside of France, Hugo is perhaps more closely associated with his novels such as “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

26 Places to bear witness? : ZOOS

The world’s first zoo opened in Britain in 1820. Now known as “London Zoo”, the facility was referred to back then as the “Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London”. The term “zoo” is a shortening of “zoological”.

27 Holiday times : YULES

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

29 Partner “4 lyfe” : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

42 Served raw : TARTARE

Steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s. Back then, the dish went by the name “steak à l’Americaine”, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was dubbed “steak tartare”. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat. There are now similar “tartare” dishes made with raw salmon, or raw tuna.

46 Head-to-toe garment : BURQA

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

49 Sheer fabric : NINON

“Ninon” is pronounced “nee-no”, and is a sheer material that can be made out of silk or some man-made fibers. It is very delicate, with a soft silky feel to it. Ninon may also be called “French tergal”.

52 Angled piece : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

53 Flat facility : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

56 Lovett of country music : LYLE

As well as being famous in his own right, country singer Lyle Lovett is known for his 1993 marriage to actress Julia Roberts. The pair had a whirlwind romance lasting just three weeks before they eloped and were wed. The marriage itself was also relatively whirlwind, lasting less than two years.

59 Switzerland’s ___ Léman : LAC

Lake Geneva straddles the border between France and Switzerland. The lake has a lot of “official” names!

  • English: Lake Geneva
  • French: Lac Léman or Lac de Genève
  • German: Genfersee or Genfer See
  • Italian: Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sandwich originally named the Aristocrat : BIG MAC
7 Trans-Siberian Railway hub : OMSK
11 Symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt : ASP
14 “This has gotta be a trick, but …” : OKAY, I’LL BITE
16 Tom and Jerry, e.g. : DUO
17 Heavily populated urban complex : MEGALOPOLIS
18 Sign : INK
19 What many have received in history, for short : BAS
20 Staging and design, to a dramaturge : MISE EN SCENE
22 Director Anderson : WES
23 City that’s been home to four N.F.L. franchises : ST LOUIS
24 Gaudy and cheap : CHINTZY
28 Bit of time : SEC
29 Liberal : BOUNTEOUS
31 Rap, per old-school rappers : RHYME
35 Mistifies? : FOGS
36 Candies shaped like truncated cones : ROLOS
38 What the French call “poor man’s asparagus” : LEEK
39 Blow away : FLOOR
41 Relax : SET AT EASE
43 Nick, say : MAR
45 Water-softening compound : SODA ASH
46 Something you can count on? : BASE TEN
50 Certain frontline workers: Abbr. : DRS
51 Just beyond the visible spectrum : ULTRAVIOLET
54 Night ___ : OWL
57 Output from a bass : ROE
58 Manhattan strip synonymous with the golden age of American songwriting : TIN PAN ALLEY
60 As : QUA
61 Relief from a leaf : ALOE VERA GEL
62 Stir in : ADD
63 Lean : TEND
64 Score at the half? : DECADE

Down

1 Fail spectacularly : BOMB
2 ___ effect, bias toward products that consumers assemble themselves : IKEA
3 Comic’s repertoire : GAGS
4 Grammy winner for 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” : MYA
5 What’s the trouble? : AILMENT
6 Shut up : CLOISTER
7 Wind up on the pitch? : OBOE
8 Flier’s accumulation : MILES
9 Tours abroad, say : STINTS
10 Journalist Ronald whose book “The Bureau” identified Deep Throat as W. Mark Felt : KESSLER
11 “Fare thee well!” : ADIEU!
12 Like Morocco and the Maldives, religiously : SUNNI
13 Reminds, in a way : POKES
15 Groovy things you can groove to? : LPS
21 Parts of ears from the Latin for “snail” : COCHLEAS
22 More charming : WINSOMER
24 Play it ___ : COOL
25 Victor in France, once : HUGO
26 Places to bear witness? : ZOOS
27 Holiday times : YULES
29 Partner “4 lyfe” : BFF
30 Mississippi’s De ___ National Forest : SOTO
32 Consensus from a bloc : YEAS
33 It breathes well : MESH
34 Squeeze (out) : EKE
37 Cast down : SADDENED
40 It’s a rap : RAT-A-TAT
42 Served raw : TARTARE
44 Just hate : REVILE
46 Head-to-toe garment : BURQA
47 Audibly : ALOUD
48 Position : STEAD
49 Sheer fabric : NINON
52 Angled piece : OP-ED
53 Flat facility : LAV
54 2018 Literature Nobelist Tokarczuk : OLGA
55 Sort (through) : WEED
56 Lovett of country music : LYLE
59 Switzerland’s ___ Léman : LAC

11 thoughts on “0319-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Mar 21, Friday”

  1. 16:43 At first I had HOURS for 10D thinking of pilots as “fliers”. Had LOO vs. LAV. Also had to run the alphabet a bit for 60A, as I had BURKA for 48D. Otherwise I might have edged out @Bill – on a Friday!! Unthinkable! Seems my educated guesses were mostly right this time.

    Unfamiliar with NINON and KESSLER.

  2. 18:00, no errors. Spent quite a while (especially in the lower left) just a-sittin’ and a-starin’, waitin’ for the lights to come on. C’est la vie … it is what it is … all’s well that ends well … (please insert here your favorite platitude) … 🤪.

  3. 15:17, a little slow in the south (because TIN PAN ALLEY was something with which I was only vaguely familiar, and it also took me a little while to hit on BURQA). No complaints.

  4. TINPANALLEY came to me via The Who’s “Who Are You?”

    “Eleven hours in the Tin Pan,
    God there’s got to be another way.”

  5. 1:05:32 To quote the words of John Cleese in “The Parrot Sketch”…I wish to register a complaint!! Not because I’m slower than tar in The Arctic, that’s a given. 51A infrared/near IR is just beyond the visible spectrum. Ultraviolet is just below…even Bill worded it that way in his “Googlies”. I get what the constructor was aiming for, but after spending half my working career dealing with IR systems, it still lights me up….🤣

  6. 29:58 but I needed a few cheats for this one. I was trying to finish within a certain timeframe which is never a good idea, but I had to be somewhere. I’ll never know if I’d have finished on my own or what my time would have been.

    Oh well you WINSOM ER you lose some…

    Best –

  7. 28:02, no errors and I’m shocked I didn’t have dozens of errors. The terrible puzzle streak at two now (and oddly enough for the same reasons as yesterday).

  8. 1:08:45 and somehow no errors…I was sure that 20A was wrong but it turned out to be right…am I the only one who has no idea what it means?
    Stay safe😀

  9. This one tore me up. Could never get a foothold.. DNF but I soldiered on with several cheats… I was schooled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.