0326-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 21, Friday

Constructed by: Daniel Larsen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

19 Where to find the Whiffenpoofs, who have been singing since 1909 : YALE

The Yale Whiffenpoofs are an a cappella group based in Yale University. They are the oldest such university group in this country, established in 1909. “The Whiffenpoof Song” is the group’s traditional closing number. The song was first performed back in 1909, and has been recorded by many artists including Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby.

We’re poor little lambs
Who have lost our way,
Baa Baa Baa,
We’re little black sheep
Who have gone astray
Baa Baa Baa.

24 Seafarer’s patron : ST ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

27 Darth Vader, e.g. : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

30 Voluptuary : HEDONIST

A hedonist is someone who seeks to maximise the amount of pleasure in his or her life. “Hedone” is the Greek word for “pleasure”.

36 Stravinsky’s “Le ___ du Printemps” : SACRE

“The Rite of Spring” (“Le Sacre du Printemps” in French) is a ballet and orchestral work by Igor Stravinsky. The ballet premiered in Paris in 1913 and was received very, very poorly as the music and dancing was quite avant-garde. Since then, “The Rite of Spring” has become an extremely influential work, but to be honest, it’s not a favorite of mine …

Composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

42 Club club, for short : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

43 Assist with some heavy lifting : SPOT

People at the gym who are doing weight-training will often “spot” for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the lifter to work with more weight than usual.

47 Composer’s “forte” : LOUD

The musical term “pianissimo” is abbreviated to “pp”, and is an instruction to the performer to sing or play very softly. The concept can be extended to “ppp”, short for “pianississimo”, an instruction of play even more softly. The opposite instructions are fortissimo (ff) and fortississimo (fff), instructions to perform very loudly, and even more loudly.

51 “Cimarron” novelist Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

“Cimarron” is a 1929 novel by Edna Ferber that was adapted into a film of the same name two years later. The novel is all about the Oklahoma Land Rush. Unsettled land back then was known as Cimarron Territory, a familiar name used by settlers, giving the title to the novel. There is a 1931 film adaptation that won three of that season’s Oscars, including the award for Outstanding Production.

52 Animator Klasky who co-created “Rugrats” : ARLENE

“Rugrats” is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 2004. The show spawned a series of movies, starting with 1998’s “The Rugrats Movie”.

54 Water under the bridge? : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

61 Phil Silvers character of 1950s TV : SERGEANT BILKO

Master Sergeant Ernie Bilko was played by Phil Silvers in his TV show that aired in the fifties. “The Phil Silvers Show” was hugely successful in reruns in Britain and Ireland, even more so than over here in the US. Master Sergeant Bilko is routinely referred to as the lower-ranking Sergeant Bilko by viewers, and even by those airing the show in reruns.

62 Place for a hot date? : DESERT OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

Down

1 Provenance of many superheroes : STAN LEE

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

Something’s provenance is its place of origin or derivation. The use of the term can be extended to mean the history of ownership of some object, such a valuable painting or antique.

5 Fifth element, to Aristotle : ETHER

In ancient Greece, Aristotle believed that there was a fifth element, beyond the accepted four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. This fifth element he called aether, postulating it was the makeup of celestial bodies. In Middle French in the 14th century, the “fifth element” was called “quinte essence”, coming into English as “quintessence” in the early 15th century. In the late 1500s, “quintessence” came to mean “purest essence” in a more general sense, with quintessential meaning “at it’s finest”.

7 Key ___ : FOB

A fob is attached to an object to make it easier to access. And so, a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, and the pocket in a vest in which a watch can be placed is called a fob. In fact, the original use of the term “fob” was for a small pocket in which one could carry valuables.

9 Kind of block : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

28 Stud alternatives : HOOPS

Those would be worn in the ears.

33 Member of the working class : PROLE

Author George Orwell introduced us to the proles, the working class folk in his famous novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Collectively, the proles make up the section of society known as the proletariat.

37 Ancient markets : AGORAS

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

38 Filled in some gaps : CAULKED

The term “caulk” comes from old Norman French “cauquer”, and described the action of filling gaps with lime. “Caulk” has the same root as our word “chalk”.

44 River through the Carolinas : PEEDEE

The Pee Dee River, which flows through North Carolina and South Carolina, takes its name from the Pee Dee tribe of Native Americans from the southeast of the United States.

48 Mower handle? : DEERE

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

55 Group with a member-centric acronym : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

56 Push-up targets, for short : TRIS

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

59 Distinctive part of a Batman costume : EAR

Batman and Robin are somewhat unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

60 Restaurateur Zabar : ELI

Zabar’s is a famous food store and deli in Manhattan that shows up a lot in TV shows and movies. Zabar’s ran into some problems a few years ago when a journalist reported that the store’s lobster salad, which had been a hit for 15 years, did not in fact contain any lobster. The spread is now called “Zabster Zalad”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Parts of a leak : SECRET FILES
12 Pop around a lot? : STAY-AT-HOME DAD
14 “Whoa, there!” : WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?!
16 One with a nest egg : HEN
17 They provide added height for a swing : TEES
18 Achieved success : GOT FAR
19 Where to find the Whiffenpoofs, who have been singing since 1909 : YALE
21 Like sauces in French cuisine, typically : RICH
23 Result of a good pitch : SALE
24 Seafarer’s patron : ST ELMO
27 Darth Vader, e.g. : SITH
29 Org. with 1-Across : CIA
30 Voluptuary : HEDONIST
32 Warms up the crowd, say : OPENS
34 Steadiness : EVEN TENOR
36 Stravinsky’s “Le ___ du Printemps” : SACRE
39 Loser that loses it, say : BAD SPORT
42 Club club, for short : PGA
43 Assist with some heavy lifting : SPOT
45 Like a tingly foot, maybe : ASLEEP
47 Composer’s “forte” : LOUD
49 V.P., e.g. : EXEC
51 “Cimarron” novelist Ferber : EDNA
52 Animator Klasky who co-created “Rugrats” : ARLENE
54 Water under the bridge? : MOAT
57 Zonked : OUT
58 “Stop … don’t panic” : TAKE A DEEP BREATH
61 Phil Silvers character of 1950s TV : SERGEANT BILKO
62 Place for a hot date? : DESERT OASIS

Down

1 Provenance of many superheroes : STAN LEE
2 Not fast : EAT
3 Dermatologist’s concern : CYST
4 Going amount : RATE
5 Fifth element, to Aristotle : ETHER
6 Heart of an academic paper : THESIS STATEMENT
7 Key ___ : FOB
8 “We’ll see” : I MIGHT
9 Kind of block : LEGO
10 Corrects copy : EDITS
11 🙁 : SAD FACE
12 Place to store a weapon : SHEATH
13 Give a hand : DEAL IN
14 Reasons : WHYS
15 Spaces : AREAS
20 Matriarch, for example : ELDER
22 Gave credit : CITED
25 Rolls the dice, say : MOVES
26 What a raised index finger may stand for : ONE
28 Stud alternatives : HOOPS
31 ___ zero (status of no unanswered emails) : INBOX
33 Member of the working class : PROLE
35 Org. with 1-Across : NSA
36 Sound associated with rotten tomatoes : SPLAT!
37 Ancient markets : AGORAS
38 Filled in some gaps : CAULKED
40 Amazon comedy/drama set in a New Jersey country club in the 1980s : RED OAKS
41 “Hold it,” in music : TENUTO
44 River through the Carolinas : PEEDEE
46 Track : PATH
48 Mower handle? : DEERE
50 Admit : COP TO
53 Bugs : NAGS
55 Group with a member-centric acronym : ABBA
56 Push-up targets, for short : TRIS
59 Distinctive part of a Batman costume : EAR
60 Restaurateur Zabar : ELI

12 thoughts on “0326-21 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 21, Friday”

  1. 27:45 Once again, I was halfway done in just over 6 minutes and today I was stymied by the right side and the upper triple stack. I had 4D, 10D, and 11D correct several times as I played with entering and erasing them to try to figure out the stacks. For 3D I went from ACNE to RASH to CYST. The CIA, NSA answers should have led me to SECRET a lot sooner.

  2. 15:45. That was a tough one for me. I lot of stuff I didn’t know and some difficult cluing. Nice challenge.

  3. 25:13. I was distracted today. Bouncing puppy. 🐶 It took a bit to break into this one. Started at the bottom and worked up.

  4. 32:44 almost nothing on the first pass in either direction, then started filling in slowly…happy to finish at all on a Friday👍

  5. 24:02. Very Friday-ish. Good challenge. We’ll see what they have in store for us on Saturday.

    Aristotle was almost correct. I’m pretty sure the fifth element is tequila.

    For some reason the PEEDEE river reminds me of a few college parties I went to back in the day.

    Best –

  6. This was a tough start for me. Got hit on 40D. Settled on RED LAKE. Which made DESERT OASIE ?? and LIT for 57A. And TENITO for 41D….. Suffice it to say I was wrong on all counts but I consider it a win for a friday.. and I enjoyed it!!!!!

  7. 39:57 no errors…a good time for me on Friday…for some reason everything just fell into place which it usually does not on Friday.
    Stay safe😀

  8. 19:08, no errors. I enjoy how a puzzle like this can tease out memories that I don’t remember. To quote the King of Siam: “There are times I almost think I am not sure of what I absolutely know.”

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