0310-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Mar 22, Thursday

Constructed by: John Westwig
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Switch Jobs

Themed clues refer to two JOBS. If we SWITCH two words in the themed answers, we get two possible tasks involved in those JOBS:

  • 56A Change careers, or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SWITCH JOBS
  • 17A Equestrian is wanted to … / Experience needed: conducting : TRAIN A RIDE / RIDE A TRAIN
  • 23A Baseball pitcher is wanted to … / Experience needed: negotiating : DEAL A STRIKE / STRIKE A DEAL
  • 46A Carpenter is wanted to … / Experience needed: flying : PLANE A BOARD / BOARD A PLANE
  • 12D Museum curator is wanted to … / Experience needed: freestyle dancing : MOVE A BUST / BUST A MOVE
  • 31D Nurse is wanted to … / Experience needed: philanthropy : CHECK A CUT / CUT A CHECK

Bill’s time: 12m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Mad Men” milieu, informally : AD BIZ

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

We use the French term “milieu” (plural “milieux”) to mean “environment, surroundings”. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.

6 Slammin’ Sammy ___ : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

10 33 1/3, 45 and 78, for short : RPMS

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

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.

The first standard for the rotational speed of gramophone records was 78 rpm. Like so many things it seems, the US version of “78” was slightly different from that for the rest of the world. The US record was designed to play at 78.26 rpm, whereas the standard in the rest of the world was 77.92 rpm. So, imported records playing on American equipment didn’t sound quite as they were intended.

14 Sorceress who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs : CIRCE

Circe was a minor goddess in Greek mythology. The goddess of magic, she was fond of transforming those who did not please her into animals by using magical potions. In Homer’s “Odyssey”, Odysseus was given the herb called “moly” to protect him from the magical powers of Circe.

15 Exam that qualifies one for a National Merit Scholarship : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a privately-funded, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1955. The program governs two annual competitions for scholarships, one open to all students and one open to only African Americans.

16 First name of Time’s 2021 Person of the Year : ELON

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

17 Equestrian is wanted to … / Experience needed: conducting : TRAIN A RIDE / RIDE A TRAIN

Something described as equestrian is related to horses or horsemanship. The term “equestrian” comes from the Latin “equus” meaning “horse”.

22 Dummy, in Canadian slang : HOSER

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

26 Scintilla : TAD

A scintilla is a small amount. The term “scintilla” can also be used to describe a spark or a flash (as in “to scintillate”). The term came into English from Latin, in which language it means “spark, particle of fire, atom”.

27 Hearing disorder remedy? : OYEZ!

“Oyez” is an Anglo-French word, traditionally called out three times, with the meaning “hear ye!”

28 Movement that began with Stonewall, informally : GAY LIB

The police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn on June 29th, 1969. That raid triggered a spate of violent demonstrations led by the LGBT community. Now known as the Stonewall riots, those demonstrations are viewed by many as a significant event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in the US. Since then, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month in recognition of the Stonewall riots.

30 It begins “again” : SCHWA

A schwa is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

36 Washington, but not Washington, D.C. (yet!) : STATE

The people from what today is Washington state first petitioned the US Congress for statehood in 1852. At that time the proposal was to name the new state Columbia, but this was rejected as it was felt that a state called Columbia might be confused with the District of Columbia. Somewhat bizarrely, the alternative name of Washington was accepted. Certainly, the name Washington honors the first President, but there’s still potential confusion with the nation’s capital. I hate to admit my ignorance, but as a young man in Ireland, whenever I heard talk of Washington (state), I assumed the discussion was about Washington, D.C. …

The District of Columbia (DC) was established by the Residence Act in 1790. Article One, Section 8 of the US constitution provides for the establishment of a district outside of the states, over which the federal government has authority. The constitution also specifies that the district cannot exceed an area of ten miles square.

41 Número de días en una semana : SIETE

In Spanish, the “número de días en una semana” (number of days in a week) is “siete” (siete).

45 Biathletes do it : SKI

A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

51 Places where you might ask for the Wi-Fi password : CAFES

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

55 Drop it! : ACID

Someone taking the drug LSD is often said to be “dropping acid”. The use of the verb “to drop” was popular slang long before LSD came on the scene, and back then applied to the taking of any illegal drug.

60 Basic skateboard trick : OLLIE

An ollie is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I could do that …

61 Online crafts marketplace : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

62 Member of the “Scooby-Doo” gang : FRED

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem. Shaggy and Scooby’s friends are Velma, Fred and Daphne.

63 Shirts named for a sport : POLOS

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing. The Lacoste line of clothing features a crocodile logo, because René was nicknamed “The Crocodile”.

Down

2 Somber song : DIRGE

A dirge is a slow and mournful piece of music, like perhaps a funeral hymn.

3 Actress Sonia of “Moon Over Parador” : BRAGA

Sonia Braga achieved fame in her native Brazil playing the title role in the movie “Gabriela”. There followed roles in American films such as “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Milagro Beanfield War”. She has also played in the Portuguese version of “Desperate Housewives”.

“Moon Over Parador” is a 1988 romantic comedy that stars Richard Dreyfuss, Raúl Juliá and Sonia Braga. The 1988 film is a remake of a 1939 movie called “The Magnificent Fraud”. The character played by Dreyfus is an actor who is forced to play the part of the dead president of Parador. In the early scenes, when the actor and the president are in the same shot, the president is played by Dreyfuss’ older brother Lorin.

4 “Nous sommes ___!” : ICI

In French, “nous sommes” (we are), “vous êtes” (you are), and “ils/elles sont” (they are).

5 Youngest person to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2020) : ZENDAYA

Zendaya Coleman, known simply as “Zendaya” on stage, is an actress and singer. Her big break as an actress came with the role of Rocky Blue on the Disney sitcom “Shake It Up”. Zendaya gained further attention from TV audiences when in 2013, at 16 years of age, she became the youngest contestant up to that time on “Dancing with the Stars”. She did well, coming in second in the competition.

“Euphoria” is an HBO teen drama show that is loosely based on a miniseries of the same name from Israel. Lead actress in the show is Zendaya, who plays a recovering teenage drug addict.

6 Cocktail made with sparkling wine : SPRITZ

A spritz is a squirt, a brief spray of liquid. The term “spritz” ultimately comes from German, possibly via Yiddish, in which language “spritzen” means “to squirt, spout”. A spritzer is a glass of wine with a spritz of carbonated water, and is a drink we’ve been enjoying since the early sixties.

7 Willow used in basket-weaving : OSIER

Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, “willows”. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called “sallow”, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called “osier”. Osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible. The strong and flexible willow stems are sometimes referred to as withies.

10 Collector’s item? : REPO

Repossession (repo)

12 Museum curator is wanted to … / Experience needed: freestyle dancing : MOVE A BUST / BUST A MOVE

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease. Today, we use the term “curator” particularly for someone in charge of a museum, zoo or other exhibition.

13 Mortimer ___, ventriloquy dummy of old TV : SNERD

Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

18 Brit’s bottom : ARSE

Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword on the other side of the pond, as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that title in the UK.

25 Danny who played Walter Mitty : KAYE

Actor Danny Kaye was a big hit in his native US, but also in France. Kaye was the first ambassador-at-large for UNICEF and the French awarded him the Legion of Honor in 1986 for his work.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story by James Thurber that was first published in 1939 in “The New Yorker”. The story was made into a film in 1947 with Danny Kaye in the title role. The Danny Kaye film was remade in 2013 with Ben Stiller playing Mitty. Mitty is a mild-mannered man with a very active fantasy life.

29 Latin for “lust” : LIBIDO

“Libido” is a term popularized by Sigmund Freud. Freud’s usage was more general than is understood today, as he used “libido” to describe all instinctive energy that arose in the subconscious. He believed that we humans are driven by two desires, the desire for life (the libido, or Eros) and the desire for death (Thanatos).

30 Plant on a farm … or animal on a farm : SOW

A male pig is a boar, and a female is a sow. Young pigs are piglets.

31 Nurse is wanted to … / Experience needed: philanthropy : CHECK A CUT / CUT A CHECK

Checks and checking accounts caused me some language trouble when I first came to the US. Back in Ireland (and the UK) we write “cheques” using funds from our “current” accounts.

Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term “philanthropy” derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.

41 Grinder vendor : SUB SHOP

The etymology of “grinder”, as a name for a sandwich, is unknown. That said, it is known that the term dates back to 1954. It is speculated that eating the large sandwich requires a lot of chewing, and hence the name “grinder”.

44 In ___ verba (verbatim) : HAEC

The Latin word for “this” is either hic (masculine). haec (feminine) or hoc (neuter).

47 “Neat” : NO ICE

A drink served neat is served without ice, not on the rocks.

48 Volcanic vestige : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically, an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside inside the circling coral reef.

We use the word “vestige” for a trace, mark or sign. The term comes from the Latin “vestigium” that also means “trace” as well as “footprint”.

49 Politician Marco : RUBIO

Marco Rubio became the junior US Senator for Florida in 2011. Famously, Rubio ran for the Republican nomination for president in the 2016 race, losing out to future president Donald Trump.

56 Burn notice? : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

57 “Hustlers” co-star, informally : J.LO

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, which was released in 2001.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Mad Men” milieu, informally : AD BIZ
6 Slammin’ Sammy ___ : SOSA
10 33 1/3, 45 and 78, for short : RPMS
14 Sorceress who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs : CIRCE
15 Exam that qualifies one for a National Merit Scholarship : PSAT
16 First name of Time’s 2021 Person of the Year : ELON
17 Equestrian is wanted to … / Experience needed: conducting : TRAIN A RIDE / RIDE A TRAIN
19 Smooth over, in a way : PAVE
20 Prankster’s projectile : EGG
21 Parches : DRIES
22 Dummy, in Canadian slang : HOSER
23 Baseball pitcher is wanted to … / Experience needed: negotiating : DEAL A STRIKE / STRIKE A DEAL
26 Scintilla : TAD
27 Hearing disorder remedy? : OYEZ!
28 Movement that began with Stonewall, informally : GAY LIB
30 It begins “again” : SCHWA
33 Build : PHYSIQUE
35 Words of begrudging agreement : OH, OK
36 Washington, but not Washington, D.C. (yet!) : STATE
38 Tied up : BUSY
39 “No hard feelings” : WE’RE COOL
41 Número de días en una semana : SIETE
42 Exclaim : CRY OUT
43 End of a trip? : THUD
45 Biathletes do it : SKI
46 Carpenter is wanted to … / Experience needed: flying : PLANE A BOARD / BOARD A PLANE
51 Places where you might ask for the Wi-Fi password : CAFES
53 Draws the short straw : LOSES
54 Yours: It. : TUO
55 Drop it! : ACID
56 Change careers, or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SWITCH JOBS
58 Kicked oneself over : RUED
59 What’s picked up in a hurry? : PACE
60 Basic skateboard trick : OLLIE
61 Online crafts marketplace : ETSY
62 Member of the “Scooby-Doo” gang : FRED
63 Shirts named for a sport : POLOS

Down

1 Showed some character? : ACTED
2 Somber song : DIRGE
3 Actress Sonia of “Moon Over Parador” : BRAGA
4 “Nous sommes ___!” : ICI
5 Youngest person to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2020) : ZENDAYA
6 Cocktail made with sparkling wine : SPRITZ
7 Willow used in basket-weaving : OSIER
8 Cause for pity : SAD SIGHT
9 Dug in : ATE
10 Collector’s item? : REPO
11 DC Comics supervillain : PLASTIQUE
12 Museum curator is wanted to … / Experience needed: freestyle dancing : MOVE A BUST / BUST A MOVE
13 Mortimer ___, ventriloquy dummy of old TV : SNERD
18 Brit’s bottom : ARSE
22 Casual greetings : HEYS
24 Chill : LOW-KEY
25 Danny who played Walter Mitty : KAYE
29 Latin for “lust” : LIBIDO
30 Plant on a farm … or animal on a farm : SOW
31 Nurse is wanted to … / Experience needed: philanthropy : CHECK A CUT / CUT A CHECK
32 Alarms : HORRIFIES
33 Bud : PAL
34 Human organ with its own immune system : EYE
36 Kind of food or music : SOUL
37 All-out military conflict : TOTAL WAR
40 Steals, slangily : COPS
41 Grinder vendor : SUB SHOP
43 Checked out : TESTED
44 In ___ verba (verbatim) : HAEC
45 Alarm : SCARE
47 “Neat” : NO ICE
48 Volcanic vestige : ATOLL
49 Politician Marco : RUBIO
50 Just what the doctor ordered : DOSES
52 Swirl in a toilet bowl, say : EDDY
56 Burn notice? : SPF
57 “Hustlers” co-star, informally : J.LO

13 thoughts on “0310-22 NY Times Crossword 10 Mar 22, Thursday”

  1. 15:21, no errors. Had a bit of trouble grokking exactly how the theme worked. I think Bill’s explanation just cleared away the remaining fog.

    1. Ditto. I realized the theme after I finished, but it took me 23:07. I read the TIME person of the year a couple months back but could not recall who it was until a got a cross or two. Memory coming and going….

      Earlier in the day I had done a puzzle with SNEAD as one of its answers, so I immediately started typing 6A as SNEA and had to retract that.

  2. Too many cheats to post a time. Really a DNF.

    One of the most difficult puzzles I’ve tried in a while.

    I just couldn’t gain traction not knowing BRAGA, ZENDAYA, PLASTIQUE, HAEC, etc. Just not good enough to get the crosses.

    Got the theme early with DEALASTRIKE but the vertical crosses ate me alive.

    Be Well.

  3. Same as Lou. My lack of knowledge on current movies bit me. Tried to fit Saldana in 5 down, epic failure. I did make a successful guess at Plastique only via the across answers. Finally flew the white flag at 45 minutes

  4. 39:17. Ditto Lou and Duncan on my lack of knowledge of much of this puzzle. ZENDAYA? BRAGA? PLASTIQUE? among others. I did get the theme; it just didn’t help enough.

    Just to clarify what Bill has up there – a Spritzer is white wine and seltzer. A SPRITZ is sparkling wine, bitters and club soda. I haven’t tended bar since I was in college 37 years ago, but I still remember some things. I also remember that I don’t care for either one of them.

    “DC was created for the establishment of a district OUTSIDE OF THE STATES , over which the federal government has authority.” This is part of the constitution plain as day, and it’s why DC cannot/should not ever be a state. It was created for a reason specifically to not be a state.

    Best –

  5. Was ripping right through this and cornered my self in the NW corner.
    Once ADBIZ and CIRCE fell then the other “never heard of” names fell. BRAGA? ZENDAYA?.. I guessed right on those.

    The other foreign word got me though down in SE corner. Went with PIETE for 41A and PUBSHOP for 41D.
    Should have known better. I actually knew clue was “how many days in a week”? And also deduced it should start with an S. I went with a P. Dang.

  6. All the foreign crap and the obscure clueing put this one right where it belonged, the trash can. What an ego👎

  7. Really liked the theme after I figured it out but it took me 45 minutes to finish primarily because I had never heard of the word schwa.

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