0302-22 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Dylan Schiff
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Three Places

Themed answers are three places with names with overlapping letters:

  • 21A Three world capitals (5,4,10) : CAIRO MEXICO CITY (CAIRO, ROME, MEXICO CITY)
  • 38A Three U.S. states (4,4,10) : OHIO WASHINGTON (OHIO, IOWA, WASHINGTON)
  • 59A Three countries (6,4,9) : PANAMA LITHUANIA (PANAMA, MALI, LITHUANIA)

Bill’s time: 9m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 The girl next door, for one : TROPE

A trope is a figure of speech. The term “trope” comes from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

10 Claire Dunphy of “Modern Family,” for one : TV MOM

Actress Julie Bowen is probably best known today for playing Claire Dunphy on the excellent sitcom “Modern Family”.

15 Act like some poles : REPEL

Refrigerator magnets … I can’t stand them! But, there is something interesting about their structure. If we place two fridge magnets back to back, and slide them slowly against each other, then we can feel an alternating attraction and repulsion. This is because they are manufactured with alternating north and south poles on the back side, and do not have two distinct poles. Who knew …?!

16 One joining in the chorus : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

17 Energy-healing discipline : REIKI

The Japanese practice of hands-on healing called “Reiki” was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922. “Reiki” is a Japanese term meaning “universal energy”. Practitioners of Reiki believe that they are transferring this universal energy through the palms of the hand into the patient’s body.

20 Record of the year : ANNAL

“Annal” is a rarely used word, and is the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

21 Three world capitals (5,4,10) : CAIRO MEXICO CITY (CAIRO, ROME, MEXICO CITY)

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

According to tradition, Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. The pair had a heated argument about who should be allowed to name the city and Romulus hit Remus with a shovel, killing him. And so, “Rome” was born, perhaps instead of “Reme”!

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, and the most populous city in North America. It is also the oldest city in all the Americas, having been founded in 1325 as Tenochtitlan.

24 My Chemical Romance genre : EMO

My Chemical Romance was an alternative rock band from Jersey City that was active from 2001 to 2013.

27 Like some meds : OTC

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

29 Hired security guard : RENT-A-COP

“Rent-a-cop” is a derogatory term for a security guard. The phrase was used in 1988 as the title for a much-panned comedy-action film starring Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli. Minnelli was named Worst Actress at the 1988 Golden Raspberry Awards for her performance in “Rent-A-Cop”, and also for “Arthur 2: On the Rocks” that came out the same year.

33 Pi follower : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R. It is the 17th letter in the Greek alphabet.

34 ___ Lovelace, computer programming pioneer : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name and title was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

35 Display one’s humanity, in a way : ERR

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.

38 Three U.S. states (4,4,10) : OHIO WASHINGTON (OHIO, IOWA, WASHINGTON)

The state of Ohio shares the nickname “Mother of Presidents” with the state of Virginia, as seven US presidents were born there:

  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Rutherford B. Hayes
  • James A. Garfield
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • William McKinley
  • William Howard Taft
  • Warren G. Harding

Additionally, Virginia-born Henry Harrison lived most of his life in Ohio, and indeed is buried there.

Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

Washington has been nicknamed the Evergreen State since 1890, when the moniker was proposed by journalist turned real estate tycoon Charles Tallmadge Conover. The nickname has never been adopted officially, although it does appear on Washington state license plates. The name is a reference to the abundance of evergreen trees in the state’s forests.

47 Club workers, informally : DJS

Disc jockey (DJ, deejay)

54 Sr.’s test : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

57 Cow’s mouthful : CUD

Animals that chew the cud are called ruminants. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely, exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work.

59 Three countries (6,4,9) : PANAMA LITHUANIA (PANAMA, MALI, LITHUANIA)

The nation that we now know as Panama sits on an isthmus that formed about 3 million years ago. The isthmus was the result of a land bridge forming between North and South America as two tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust slowly collided. Man first attempted to create a waterway across the Isthmus of Panama in 1881, but the 48-mile long Panama Canal only opened for business in 1914.

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

The nation of Lithuania is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) sitting on the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius, and 16 miles north of Vilnius is a point that is officially recognized as the geographic center of Europe.

68 Role once played on TV by Jay Silverheels : TONTO

Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels In the television version of “The Lone Ranger”. In the terrible 1981 movie “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, Tonto was portrayed by Michael Horse. Tonto was then played by Johnny Depp In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”. Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. But, in the early TV shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

69 You, in Uruguay : USTED

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

70 Big name in little gumdrops : DOTS

Dots are a brand of gum drops. Apparently, four billion Dots are produced annually.

71 Spurred (on) : EGGED

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

Down

4 Jury member : PEER

A jury is a group of people who have sworn to render a verdict. The term “jury” comes into English via French, ultimately from the Latin “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

5 Sir Walter Raleigh’s goal : EL DORADO

The original El Dorado was a Muisca chief who was covered with gold dust in a tribal ritual and then dove into Lake Guatavita in present-day Colombia. Later, “El Dorado” was adopted as the name for a mythical “Lost City of Gold” that became a quest from many Spanish Conquistadors who explored the Americas.

Sir Walter Raleigh was an adventurer in the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England who is famous for popularizing tobacco-smoking in Europe. Here in the US, North Carolina’s state capital Raleigh was named after him. Walter Raleigh is not very popular in Ireland as he spent many years there after crushing a rebellion, living on thousands of acres awarded by the Crown. It was in Ireland that he was famously doused by a servant who saw smoke emanating from his master as he enjoyed a pipe of tobacco.

7 Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Trebek : ALEX

Alex Trebek was the host of “Jeopardy!” from the launch of the syndicated version of the game show in 1984 until his passing in 2020. Trebek missed just one episode during that time, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke. In 2014, Trebek picked up the Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a game show.

11 Start of a Caesarean boast : VENI …

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

22 Colorful parrot : MACAW

Macaws are beautifully colored birds native to Central and South America that are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaws are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

23 Something a coxswain lacks : OAR

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The word “coxswain” is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

36 Jean who wrote “Wide Sargasso Sea” : RHYS

“Wide Sargasso Sea” was written by Jean Rhys and first published in 1966. It’s a clever work that was written as a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s famous “Jane Eyre”, which dates back to 1847.

The Sargasso Sea is an area within the Atlantic Ocean that is famous as the home to many species of Sargassum, the algae floating on the surface that gives the area its name. The Sargasso Sea is also where both European and American species of eel lay their eggs and hatch their young. The young eels (or “elvers”) then head east or west, depending on the species.

38 Part of a highway cloverleaf : OVERPASS

Cloverleaf interchanges allow two highways to cross without the need for stopping traffic. They are so called as when viewed overheard they look like the leaves of a four-leaf clover.

43 United Nations, e.g.: Abbr. : ORG

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.

Today there are six official languages of the United Nations:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish

48 ___ session : JAM

The use of “jam”, meaning an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

52 Ballet technique : POINTE

“En pointe” is ballet dancing on the tips of the toes, and is a French term. A ballerina wears pointe shoes (sometimes “toe shoes”) to perform this delightful-looking, albeit unhealthy, feat (pun!).

53 Neptune, for one : SEA GOD

Given that Neptune was the Roman god of the freshwater and the sea, the moons of the planet Neptune are all named with reference to water. For example, the largest moon is Triton, named for the Greek sea god and son of Poseidon. The innermost moon is Naiad, named for the female water spirits of Greek mythology.

61 Monogram part: Abbr. : INIT

A monogram is a design with two or more letters intertwined or combined in some way to make a single symbol. The term “monogram” comes from the Greek “mono” meaning “single” and “gramma” meaning “letter”.

63 ___ de parfum : EAU

In the world of perfumery, eau de parfum (EdP) is generally more concentrated than eau de toilette (EdT), which in turn is generally more concentrated than eau de cologne (EdC).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 The girl next door, for one : TROPE
6 Polite term of address : MA’AM
10 Claire Dunphy of “Modern Family,” for one : TV MOM
15 Act like some poles : REPEL
16 One joining in the chorus : ALTO
17 Energy-healing discipline : REIKI
18 Put in the pot : ANTED
19 Eager : KEEN
20 Record of the year : ANNAL
21 Three world capitals (5,4,10) : CAIRO MEXICO CITY (CAIRO, ROME, MEXICO CITY)
24 My Chemical Romance genre : EMO
25 “Groovy!” : RAD!
26 “Fancy ___!” : THAT
27 Like some meds : OTC
29 Hired security guard : RENT-A-COP
32 Sounds of hesitation : ERS
33 Pi follower : RHO
34 ___ Lovelace, computer programming pioneer : ADA
35 Display one’s humanity, in a way : ERR
37 Visible : SEEN
38 Three U.S. states (4,4,10) : OHIO WASHINGTON (OHIO, IOWA, WASHINGTON)
43 Racing shape : OVAL
44 Metaphor for many a college dorm room : STY
45 Dug-out material : ORE
46 Gun, as an engine : REV
47 Club workers, informally : DJS
49 Malt shop selections : SODA POPS
54 Sr.’s test : GRE
55 “Bummer!” : RATS!
57 Cow’s mouthful : CUD
58 Sorrow : WOE
59 Three countries (6,4,9) : PANAMA LITHUANIA (PANAMA, MALI, LITHUANIA)
63 Believe unquestioningly : EAT UP
64 Speaker’s quality : TONE
65 Going from 0 to 100, say : AGING
66 Line to the house : ASIDE
67 Put forth : EMIT
68 Role once played on TV by Jay Silverheels : TONTO
69 You, in Uruguay : USTED
70 Big name in little gumdrops : DOTS
71 Spurred (on) : EGGED

Down

1 Post office inquiry : TRACER
2 Edit, in a way, as a computer file : RENAME
3 Possibility : OPTION
4 Jury member : PEER
5 Sir Walter Raleigh’s goal : EL DORADO
6 Manage : MAKE DO
7 Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Trebek : ALEX
8 Wiped out : ATE IT
9 French term of endearment : MON CHERI
10 Large expanses : TRACTS
11 Start of a Caesarean boast : VENI …
12 Cookie with a green creme center : MINT OREO
13 “Well, alrighty!” : OKAY THEN!
14 “Cool” amount of cash : MIL
22 Colorful parrot : MACAW
23 Something a coxswain lacks : OAR
28 Pro’s counterpart : CON
30 Follow closely : TAIL
31 Annoyance : PEST
36 Jean who wrote “Wide Sargasso Sea” : RHYS
37 Dance element : STEP
38 Part of a highway cloverleaf : OVERPASS
39 “Dig right in!” : HAVE AT IT!
40 Per the preceding discussion : AS STATED
41 “Obvs!” : NO DUH!
42 Degree recipient : GRADUATE
43 United Nations, e.g.: Abbr. : ORG
47 Hung loosely : DRAPED
48 ___ session : JAM
50 Stable electron configurations : OCTETS
51 Admitting to, as a mistake : OWNING
52 Ballet technique : POINTE
53 Neptune, for one : SEA GOD
56 Replay feature : SLO-MO
60 Neutral lipstick shade : NUDE
61 Monogram part: Abbr. : INIT
62 Brimming with anticipation : AGOG
63 ___ de parfum : EAU

11 thoughts on “0302-22 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 22, Wednesday”

  1. 14:32, no errors. Struggled a bit, but I don’t think it was the fault of the puzzle; I just did it at the end of a long day.

  2. 10:59 When I saw the clue for world capitals with 5, 4, 10 I was thinking that perhaps Rome or Lima might be one of them, but I also thought they would be concatenated – I didn’t add 5+4+10 = 19 (see possible “nerdle.com” puzzle) and realize that was too wide for the grid. Only when I got to 59A did I realize that one of the capitals was embedded within the other answers.

    Never heard of REIKI – seems like it would be a natural for Reykjavík and all their geothermal baths – especially if I spelled it REIKE-VIK, or the head masseuse as REIKI-Vic

  3. 14:58. Clever theme. I’d try to think of other examples if I had time, but I don’t.

    I still want to know the source of Bill’s hatred towards refrigerator magnets.

    Best –

  4. 16:29. Lost close to 5 minutes on the NW corner. Everything else fell into place. I have no explanation for that.🤷

  5. 17:04 some time lost while eating chili and solving, quite frequently the chili dominated the activity *burp* :- )

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