0320-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Emily Carroll
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Muhammad Ali was one, famously : TRASH-TALKER

One of Muhammad Ali’s famous most famous lines is “I am the greatest!” So famous is the line that in 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word that had the title “I Am the Greatest!”

16 Big galoot : APE

“Galoot” is an insulting term describing an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

17 Show that opens with “I Hope I Get It” : A CHORUS LINE

“A Chorus Line” is a phenomenal hit musical first staged in 1975, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. The original Broadway production ran for well over 6,000 performances, making it the longest running production in Broadway history up to that time, a record held for over 20 years (until “Cats” came along).

22 Che Guevara’s real first name : ERNESTO

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

29 Doc performing tympanostomies : ENT

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

32 Locale of Aconcagua : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

42 Dos letras en “Trinidad y Tobago” : TES

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean that largely comprises the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Something related to Trinidad is Trinidadian.

45 Bob Hoskins’s role in 1991’s “Hook” : SMEE

“Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.

Bob Hoskins was an English actor who is perhaps best remembered for playing the male lead in “Mona Lisa” (1986), Mario Mario in “Super Mario Bros.” (1993) and Mr. Smee in “Hook” (1991).

46 For nearly all to see? : RATED PG

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

53 Brouhaha : STIR

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

54 Important time for Ph.D. students : ORALS

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

56 Flour in Indian cuisine : ATTA

Atta is a whole-wheat flour used to make flatbreads in South Asian cuisine, such as chapati and naan. “Atta” is the Hindi or Urdu word for “dough”.

57 Carol contraction : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

58 It flies around Florence : ITALIAN FLAG

The Italian tricolor is made up of three vertical blocks of green, white and red. The three colors have been said to signify many different things. One interpretation is that the green represents the country’s plains and hills, the white represents the snowy Alps and the red represents blood spilled in the Wars of Italian Independence.

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

62 ___ ipsa loquitur : RES

The literal translation of “res ipsa loquitur” is “the thing speaks for itself”. The phrase is used in law and refers to situations when there is an injury, and the nature of the injury is such that one can assume that negligence had to have taken place.

63 Oscar winner from “The Little Mermaid” for Best Original Song : UNDER THE SEA

“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.

Down

2 One who’s in the heat? : RACER

The term “heat”, meaning “qualifying race”, dates back to the 1660s. Originally, a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to “heat” it up.

8 Humdinger : LULU

We call a remarkable thing or a person a lulu. The term “lulu” was coined in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

9 Common Jewish deli order : KNISH

A knish is a snack food from Germany and Eastern Europe that was made popular in the US by Jewish immigrants. A knish has a filling, often made of mashed potato and ground meat, covered by a dough that is baked or fried.

10 The planets in our solar system, once : ENNEAD

The Ennead is a group of nine gods in Egyptian mythology. The Ennead were all in the same family, all descendents of the god Atum. The word “ennead” is also used more generically for any group of nine things. The term comes from “ennea”, the Greek word for “nine”.

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood” in 2006. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

21 New York college named after a Franciscan friar : SIENA

Siena College is a Roman Catholic school, a Franciscan liberal arts college founded in 1937 in Loudonville, New York near Albany. The college is named for Saint Bernardino of Siena, a Franciscan friar who lived in the 15th century.

23 Blotto : SMASHED

The term “blotto” meaning “drunk” dates back to the early 1900s. It supposedly is derived from the word “blot”, in the sense that being drunk one must have soaked up a whole load of booze.

25 Chrome, e.g. : BROWSER

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

Google’s Chrome is the most popular web browser by far, with Mozilla Firefox in second place and Apple’s Safari in third. I find Chrome to be much, much more user-friendly than Safari, and more featured than Firefox. Chrome also works very seamlessly with other Google products and with Android phones.

27 “L’Absinthe” painter : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

29 Novelist who received a Nobel nomination at least 20 times, but never won : EM FORSTER

English novelist E.M. Forster penned three hugely successful novels, all of which were turned into exceptional films of the same name:

  • “A Room with a View” (1908)
  • “Howard’s End” (1910)
  • “A Passage to India” (1924)

30 What a P.R. firm wants to control : NARRATIVE

Public relations (PR)

33 One helping you find a cab? : SOMMELIER

“Sommelier” is the French word for “wine steward”. If that steward is a female, then the term used in French is “sommelière”.

36 Fragrant compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

49 Blooper : GAFFE

Our word “gaffe”, meaning “social blunder”, comes from the French “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was a word describing a boat hook. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

50 He’s got a lot on his shoulders : ATLAS

In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was tasked with holding up the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The Greeks observed the planets moving and the stars in fixed positions. They believed that the stars were on the surface of a single starry sphere, the celestial sphere that was supported by Atlas.

52 Underground rock? : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term that describes a thick ointment.

58 Critical area, for short : ICU

Intensive care unit (ICU)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Muhammad Ali was one, famously : TRASH-TALKER
12 Admit (to) : COP
15 Animal that produces eggs once a year : EASTER BUNNY
16 Big galoot : APE
17 Show that opens with “I Hope I Get It” : A CHORUS LINE
18 It’s not gross : NET
19 Be it, say : SEEK
20 Pardon, informally : ‘SCUSE
21 Old-fashioned letter opener : SIRS …
22 Che Guevara’s real first name : ERNESTO
24 Element : HABITAT
26 Care about : MIND
28 Attracted : DREW TO
29 Doc performing tympanostomies : ENT
32 Locale of Aconcagua : ANDES
34 Sign that indicates “Quiet!” : ON AIR
35 Stable figures : MARES
37 “Me” problem : EGO
38 Give up : WAIVE
39 Hot off the press : FRESH
40 Restrains, as one’s emotions : DAMPS
42 Dos letras en “Trinidad y Tobago” : TES
43 Provides an address : ORATES
45 Bob Hoskins’s role in 1991’s “Hook” : SMEE
46 For nearly all to see? : RATED PG
48 Sensation from a song that you’re really, really into, slangily : EARGASM
53 Brouhaha : STIR
54 Important time for Ph.D. students : ORALS
56 Flour in Indian cuisine : ATTA
57 Carol contraction : ‘TIS
58 It flies around Florence : ITALIAN FLAG
60 Twelfth Night vis-à-vis Three Kings’ Day : EVE
61 Website full of low-quality, aggregated articles : CONTENT FARM
62 ___ ipsa loquitur : RES
63 Oscar winner from “The Little Mermaid” for Best Original Song : UNDER THE SEA

Down

1 Flirt : TEASE
2 One who’s in the heat? : RACER
3 Hardly rosy : ASHEN
4 Incite : STOKE
5 “I Used to Know ___” (2019 Grammy-nominated album) : HER
6 Rely upon : TRUST IN
7 Made a quick getaway : ABSCONDED
8 Humdinger : LULU
9 Common Jewish deli order : KNISH
10 The planets in our solar system, once : ENNEAD
11 Common Jewish deli choice : RYE
12 “I’m a little busy, you see?” : CAN IT WAIT?
13 Agent : OPERATIVE
14 Places to buy food you wouldn’t want to eat yourself : PET STORES
21 New York college named after a Franciscan friar : SIENA
23 Blotto : SMASHED
25 Chrome, e.g. : BROWSER
27 “L’Absinthe” painter : DEGAS
29 Novelist who received a Nobel nomination at least 20 times, but never won : EM FORSTER
30 What a P.R. firm wants to control : NARRATIVE
31 Expositions : TREATISES
33 One helping you find a cab? : SOMMELIER
36 Fragrant compound : ESTER
41 Field worker : PEASANT
44 “Precisely!” : SPOT ON!
47 K : GRAND
49 Blooper : GAFFE
50 He’s got a lot on his shoulders : ATLAS
51 React to a public scene, maybe : STARE
52 Underground rock? : MAGMA
55 ___ Oper (famed German concert hall) : ALTE
58 Critical area, for short : ICU
59 Higher power? : NTH

15 thoughts on “0320-21 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 21, Saturday”

  1. 12:36. Enjoyable solve. EASTERBUNNY elicited a snicker and EARGASM an eye roll (think I’ve encountered that one in a puzzle not to long ago). I liked the cluing on this one.

  2. 27:48 I was done in 17 minutes late last night except for the large NW corner and I even had a few correct down entries there. Just kept staring. For 15A I even had … BU–Y and I kept thinking “A bunny doesn’t lay eggs”. Slept on it and stared for 4 more minutes.
    Once I tried TEASE for 1D it all just fell into place and I went DOH – EASTER bunny. Of course!! Then had to search for 2 fat fingers. Otherwise I might have a Saturday best if I had gone with BUNNY a7 17 minutes.

  3. 18:26, no errors. Good one. Praying for rain (instead of the predicted snow 😜), but it’s actually pretty nice out there; I’m just tired from this past week’s activities.

  4. 26:55. Another week where it feels like the Friday and Saturday puzzles were switched at birth. Today seemed much easier to me than yesterday’s.

    NW was also my biggest issue. Had EARworm before EARGASM and tames before DAMPS but otherwise a clean solve.

    There’s a documentary out called Somm (2013) that chronicles 4 people’s quest to become a master SOMMELIER – something only a couple of hundred people in the world had ever done at the time. Pretty amazing movie. It was on Netflix, but I think it’s on Hulu now. I highly recommend it whether or not you’re into wine.

    Best –

  5. 44:43 “Heavyweight” to start off instead of “trash talker”, which in retrospect was far too obvious. Many other bits of puzzlement, finally had to look up “atta”, only ever heard that preceding “boy”. Side note: having spent many years in operating vacuum systems, it took a long time for me to learn “Degas” was not pronounced “De-gas”, which was a setting used to prep ion tubes…

  6. About 30 minutes. The SW corner dragged me down under the sea as I had lyricist Howard Ashman as the Oscar winner instead of the song itself. (Went to Indiana University with Mr. Ashman back in the day.) As for Bob Hoskins, a favorite of mine, I will forever extol his role as Eddie Valiant in the remarkable “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Great cluing. (Had a chuckle with Easter bunny.)

  7. Returned from a short trip so spent Saturday morning on the Thurs/Fri/Sat puzzles. No errors Thursday but it was a diabolical construction and theme, Friday was a no-go and no fun, and Saturday finally felt normal, i.e. difficult but doable so no errors and a good end to the week.
    My favorite Bob Hoskins’ role was as the music salesman in Dennis Potter’s brilliant “Pennies from Heaven.”

  8. 21:14, no errors. Initial thought for 1A was DRAFT DODGER, but didn’t think NYT would allow that in one of their puzzles, eventually let the crosses fill it in. Always enjoy the Saturday challenge.
    @Jack: once again my pet peeve pops up: foreign language in an English puzzle. The clue translates: “Two letters in Trinidad & Tobago”. Those two letters would be tees (in English) or TES (in Spanish).

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