0309-22 NY Times Crossword 9 Mar 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Apostrophes

Themed answers are common phrases, but with an apostrophe inserted:

  • 16A “You and I should eat that” : LET’S HAVE IT (from “lets have it”)
  • 26A Kid at a college bar who seems, to me as a bouncer, too young to allow in : STUDENT I’D CARD (from “student ID card”)
  • 43A Easter item that the woman is going to decorate : EGG SHE’LL PAINT (from “eggshell paint”).
  • 59A What the couple dressed in lupine costumes said : WE’RE WOLVES (from “werewolves”)

Bill’s time: 9m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Italian sauce with meat and tomatoes : RAGU

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna in Italy, hence the name. The recipe is usually referred to as “ragù alla bolognese” in Italian, or simply “ragù”. Note that the Ragú brand of sauces introduced in North America in 1937 takes its name from the same source (pun … sauce!). However, the brand name uses the wrong accent (“Ragú” instead of “Ragù”), which drives a pedant like me crazy ..

9 Letter that’s only 25% of the way through the Greek alphabet, surprisingly : ZETA

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

13 Cheers for banderilleros : OLES

In bullfighting, the banderillero is the torero (bullfighter) who plants the little flags in the bull’s shoulder. The Spanish “banderilla” translates as “little flag”. I can’t say that I approve …

14 Martial artist/actor who played the emperor of China in 2020’s “Mulan” : JET LI

Actor Jet Li’s real name is Li Jian Jie. Jet Li is a martial artist and international film star from Beijing, China. Li played a villain in “Lethal Weapon 4”, and had a leading role in the 2000 movie “Romeo Must Die”.

15 Good name for an ophthalmologist : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

20 Flowering plants associated with the Augusta National golf course : AZALEAS

The Augusta National Golf Club was built on a former plant nursery. As such, each hole on the course is named for a tree or shrub associated with that hole. For example, the par-5 thirteenth hole is named “Azalea”.

23 Actress Garr : TERI

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

26 Kid at a college bar who seems, to me as a bouncer, too young to allow in : STUDENT I’D CARD (from “student ID card”)

Identity document (ID)

32 Palestinian president starting in 2005 : ABBAS

Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, a position equivalent to “head of state”.

36 Essential point : CRUX

“Crux” is the Latin word for “cross”. The term came into English meaning “a central difficulty” in the early 1700s.

37 Bill worth billions : GATES

Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen met and became friends in high school. Gates was three years younger than Allen, but the pair gravitated towards each other due to a shared interest in computers. One of their first programming projects was to create a computerized version of tic-tac-toe, which they did together on a time-shared computer that was donated to the school by the Mothers’ Association. The two parted company when they graduated and went to different colleges, Allen to Washington State and Gates to Harvard. Allen dropped out of school to start work as a programmer, and he later convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard so that they could create Microsoft.

39 When most Geminis are born : JUNE

“Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

41 Dog breed whose coat resembles dreadlocks : PULI

The puli is a small herding dog that is noted for its coat with tight curls that resemble dreadlocks. Pulik (the plural of “puli”) originated in Hungary.

42 Drinks at soda shops : MALTS

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

48 Short johns? : LAVS

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.

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in less polite moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

49 Nowhere to be found, informally : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

52 Risk territory bordering Siberia : YAKUTSK

Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia. It sits on the Lena River, just south of the Arctic Circle.

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

59 What the couple dressed in lupine costumes said : WE’RE WOLVES (from “werewolves”)

The term “lupine” means “wolf-like”, coming from the Latin “lupus” meaning “wolf”.

The prefix “were-” as in “werewolf” derives from an old word “wer” meaning “man”. Hence a werewolf is a “man-wolf”.

61 It’s worth zero in baccarat : KING

Baccarat, in all of its three variants, is a relatively simple casino card game. Baccarat is the favored game of chance for James Bond 007, and it looks so cool when he plays it! Banco!

64 “For Pete’s ___!” : SAKE

“For Pete’s sake” is a minced oath, meaning it’s a milder version of a less pleasant expression. “For Pete’s sake” probably came from “for God’s sake”, and maybe even refers to St. Peter.

Down

2 Siri : Apple :: ___ : Amazon : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with Amazon Echo smart speakers. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

4 Losing team in the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game : USSR

Team USA won the gold medal in men’s hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The victory was a surprising one given the decades-long dominance of the USSR team. The “big result” for the American team was the epic victory against the Soviets, a victory often referred to as the “Miracle on Ice”. The US went on to defeat Finland in the final and secured the gold medal. The moniker “miracle” comes from words uttered by sportscaster Al Michaels, who was calling the game for ABC. He declared, in the final seconds, “Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!”

6 Shoshonean language : UTE

The Shoshone Native-American people comprise four cultural groups:

  • The Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming
  • The Northern Shoshone in southeastern Idaho
  • The Western Shoshone in Nevada and northern Utah
  • The Gosiute in western Utah and eastern Nevada

One of the more celebrated Shoshone people was Sacagawea, the woman who traveled thousands of miles with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, serving as a guide and interpreter.

7 Director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when he was given the 1998 Academy Honorary Award citing his lifetime achievement in the industry. Kazan also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

8 Little Nabisco crackers : RITZ BITS

Ritz Bits are sandwiches made from two Ritz crackers and a filling.

9 Bag brand : ZIPLOC

Ziploc resealable storage bags came on the market in 1968.

10 Great Lakes port : ERIE

Erie is a port city in the very north of Pennsylvania, sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

11 Mother of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles : TINA

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2002, after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

Solange Knowles is a singer/songwriter, and the younger sister of the incredibly successful singer Beyoncé. Solange was in the news a while back when security camera footage was released showing her punching and kicking Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z in an elevator.

14 Affected by ennui : JADED

Our term “jaded”, meaning tired and feeling a little “ho-hum”, comes from the noun “jade” which in the 14th century was an old, worn-out horse.

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported and haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

17 Most Rwandans and Burundians : HUTUS

The Hutu are the largest population in Rwanda, with the Tutsi being the second largest. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

28 “Jeopardy!” impossibility : TIE

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But, it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek was host from 1984 until his sad passing in 2020.

29 XXX film : ADULT MOVIE

When the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) film rating system was introduced in 1968, the most restrictive class was an X-rating. Persons under 16 were not admitted to such films. A few years later, the guidelines were changed for all ratings, and no one under the age of 17 was admitted to films rated X. Over time, the term “X-rating” became associated with pornographic films, and so the under-17 restriction was relabeled in 1990 to “NC-17”.

31 Batiking needs : DYES

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

38 Last word of the Pledge of Allegiance : ALL

“… and justice for all.” are the closing words of the Pledge of Allegiance.

39 Middle Brady family daughter : JAN

The famous sitcom “The Brady Bunch” originally aired from 1969 to 1974 on ABC. If you ever see a movie called “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda (and remade with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo), you might notice a similarity in storyline. It was because of the success of the 1968 movie that ABC decided to go ahead with the development of “The Brady Bunch”.

45 Waiters at busy restaurants might be handed them : PAGERS

Waiters, those waiting, at a restaurant might be handed pagers.

50 Like helium : INERT

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

52 Sure-footed pack animals : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

60 Tattletale : RAT

Something described as tattletale is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means “to tell secrets”, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tells secrets and informs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Italian sauce with meat and tomatoes : RAGU
5 Person seeking damages : SUER
9 Letter that’s only 25% of the way through the Greek alphabet, surprisingly : ZETA
13 Cheers for banderilleros : OLES
14 Martial artist/actor who played the emperor of China in 2020’s “Mulan” : JET LI
15 Good name for an ophthalmologist : IRIS
16 “You and I should eat that” : LET’S HAVE IT (from “lets have it”)
18 Salmon, e.g. : PINK
19 Force out : EXTRUDE
20 Flowering plants associated with the Augusta National golf course : AZALEAS
22 Utter : SAY
23 Actress Garr : TERI
25 Dating app description : BIO
26 Kid at a college bar who seems, to me as a bouncer, too young to allow in : STUDENT I’D CARD (from “student ID card”)
32 Palestinian president starting in 2005 : ABBAS
34 Place : SITE
35 Calendar box : DAY
36 Essential point : CRUX
37 Bill worth billions : GATES
39 When most Geminis are born : JUNE
40 Spoil : MAR
41 Dog breed whose coat resembles dreadlocks : PULI
42 Drinks at soda shops : MALTS
43 Easter item that the woman is going to decorate : EGG SHE’LL PAINT (from “eggshell paint”).
47 More, in Mexico : MAS
48 Short johns? : LAVS
49 Nowhere to be found, informally : MIA
52 Risk territory bordering Siberia : YAKUTSK
56 Sponsored boys at baptisms : GODSONS
58 Desertlike : ARID
59 What the couple dressed in lupine costumes said : WE’RE WOLVES (from “werewolves”)
61 It’s worth zero in baccarat : KING
62 Gets wind of : HEARS
63 Land whose prime minister is known as the Taoiseach : EIRE
64 “For Pete’s ___!” : SAKE
65 Stops waffling : OPTS
66 Licks, maybe : WETS

Down

1 Hats, so to speak : ROLES
2 Siri : Apple :: ___ : Amazon : ALEXA
3 Seat of Pennsylvania’s Adams County : GETTYSBURG
4 Losing team in the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game : USSR
5 Harsh : SEVERE
6 Shoshonean language : UTE
7 Director Kazan : ELIA
8 Little Nabisco crackers : RITZ BITS
9 Bag brand : ZIPLOC
10 Great Lakes port : ERIE
11 Mother of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles : TINA
12 Requests : ASKS
14 Affected by ennui : JADED
17 Most Rwandans and Burundians : HUTUS
21 Member of a support staff : AIDE
24 Impart, as values : INSTILL
27 Dodgers might not pay it : TAX
28 “Jeopardy!” impossibility : TIE
29 XXX film : ADULT MOVIE
30 Speak hysterically : RANT
31 Batiking needs : DYES
32 High point : ACME
33 Talk big : BRAG
37 “Tell me if you recognize me from just my voice and the feel of my hands over your eyes” : GUESS WHO
38 Last word of the Pledge of Allegiance : ALL
39 Middle Brady family daughter : JAN
41 Cool, in old slang : PHAT
42 Botch : MISDO
44 Photocopy flaw : SMUDGE
45 Waiters at busy restaurants might be handed them : PAGERS
46 Declares openly : AVOWS
50 Like helium : INERT
51 Sure-footed pack animals : ASSES
52 Sure-footed pack animals : YAKS
53 Number that’s often in Italian : ARIA
54 Sharp twist, as in a hose : KINK
55 Remain fresh : KEEP
57 Whole bunch : SLEW
60 Tattletale : RAT

14 thoughts on “0309-22 NY Times Crossword 9 Mar 22, Wednesday”

  1. 25:52, see Lou? You’re already crushing my pathetic times, congrats!

    “phat” is cool in old slang? How old? Seems like that was a late 90’s or early
    “oughts” thing…

  2. Liked the puzzle and thought I understood it, but I don’t get 16 across (“LET’S HAVE IT”). What does “Lets have it” mean, without the apostrophe? A tennis reference?

  3. 16:22. Some tricky areas in this one. Interesting theme.

    Does anyone say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore? We used to say it every morning in grade school along with the singing of “It’s a Grand Old Flag”. I fear none of that goes on anymore in schools.

    Jim – It’s LET’S HAVE IT as in “let’s dig in” vs. “LETS HAVE IT” as in : really tears into someone or berates someone. “I really let him have it after he spilled my beer.”, e.g.

    Best –

    1. “It’s a Grand Old Flag?” The old Cohan song? Surely you mean the old English pub song that became our national anthem. And yes, my grade school mornings also began with the Pledge of Allegiance (without the “under God” addition until about 4th grade).

      1. Dan – Actually it WAS the old Cohan song, although I didn’t know that at the time. We even marched in place to it. I think our teacher was a patriot but also thought its peppiness and the marching in place got our minds and bodies moving for the day.

        One of the best songs ever written, and boy do we need it these days

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsv8LF8y9Uk

  4. Almost. Thought about PHAT but wasn’t sure PULI was a thing. And I didn’t think PHAT qualified as “cool, In old slang”. Went with NHAT and NULI.
    Oh well..

  5. Bill, you didn’t say a thing about taoiseach! Goodness. Thought sure you’d at least mention the pronunciation. I think I have taoiseach down but don’t even try to figure out the term for the minority leader.

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