0317-22 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Daniel Bodily & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Take Out the Trash

Happy Saint Paddy’’s Day, everyone! Themed answers require us to TAKE OUT a synonym of TRASH in order to make sense of the clue:

  • 37A What to do before the answers to the starred clues will make sense : TAKE OUT THE TRASH
  • 18A *Secure : LITTLE ROCK – LITTER = LOCK
  • 23A *Trick : WILD ROSES – DROSS = WILE
  • 50A *Speck : IOWA STATEWASTE = IOTA
  • 59A *Riot : SHOOT CRAPS – SCRAPS = HOOT

Bill’s time: 10m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Pigeons on a platter : SQUABS

A squab is a young domestic pigeon. Squab served as food is usually a pigeon that has been raised to a month old and then slaughtered.

11 ___ trivia : PUB

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

14 Astronomical news : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

16 Strand in a cell : RNA

Both DNA and RNA are complex molecules comprising nucleotide bases arranged in chains. Famously, DNA molecules form a double-helix structure, with two chains coiled around each other. RNA chains are single-stranded structures that usually fold onto themselves.

17 Serious schlep : TREK

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

18 *Secure : LITTLE ROCK – LITTER = LOCK

The city of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and is located in the center of the state. Early French travelers used a small rock formation on the Arkansas River as a landmark, a formation that they named “La Petite Roche” (The Little Rock) in 1722. “The Little Rock” actually lies across the river from a large bluff known as “Big Rock”, which was once the site of a rock quarry.

21 Nail polish brand with an “I’m Not Really a Waitress” shade : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

23 *Trick : WILD ROSES – DROSS = WILE

When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.

26 Some frozen drinks : ICEES

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

27 Global manufacturer of chemical products : OLIN

Olin Corporation is a chemical company based in Clayton, Missouri. The company started out making explosives for the mining industry and quickly moved into the production of cartridges for guns.

28 What Graham Greene called a “failure of imagination” : HATE

Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

30 Unflinching : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

34 “How’s it goin’?” : SUP?

“Sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

43 Didn’t wax, say : WANED

The verb “to wax”, in phrases like “wax lyrical” and “wax poetic”, means “to grow”. “To wax” is the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”. We are probably most familiar with the “waxing and waning” of the moon.

44 Incense, in a sense : ODOR

Incense is a material that produces a fragrant odor when burned. The term “incense” comes from the Latin verb “incendere” meaning “to set on fire”.

46 Senate majority leader from 1996 to 2001 : LOTT

Trent Lott is a political figure who first went to Washington to work as an administrative assistant to Representative William M. Colmer, from Mississippi. After four years working for Colmer, Lott ran for the House seat that Colmer was to leave vacant on his retirement. Colmer endorsed Lott in that election, even though Colmer was a Democrat and Lott ran as a Republican. Lott won the race very handily, launching a 35-year career representing his home state of Mississippi in both the House and the Senate. Lott eventually ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

50 *Speck : IOWA STATE – WASTE = IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

55 Destination of the first marathon (490 B.C.) : ATHENS

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

59 *Riot : SHOOT CRAPS – SCRAPS = HOOT

If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

62 Number of a certain rear bowling pin : TEN

In ten-pin bowling, the pins are arranged in a triangular arrangement. The pin at the front is the 1-pin. The pins at the back are number 7 through 10, from left to right.

63 The hair of one’s chinny chin chin, maybe : GOATEE

A goatee is a beard formed by hair on a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

64 Get on board : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

65 Neighbor of Bolivia: Abbr. : ARG

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America that is bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

67 Optometrist’s offering, casually : SPEX

Starting in the mid-1700s, a device known as an optometer was used for measuring prescriptions for eyeglasses. Over time, a professional using an optometer came to be known as an optometrist.

Down

2 Short-legged herding dog : CORGI

The Welsh corgi is a herding dog that originated in Britain, with two recognized breeds: the Pembroke and Cardigan. Corgis aren’t fast enough to do their job by running around livestock like collies, and instead nip at the heels. “Corgi” is Welsh for “dwarf dog”.

4 Uncouth untruth : NAKED LIE

The word “couth” existed in Middle English with the meaning “well-known, customary”. The term died out, but was resurrected in the late 19th century as a back-formation of the word “uncouth” meaning “rude, lacking in polish”.

8 QB stat: Abbr. : ATT

In football, one statistic (stat) used to track the performance of a quarterback (QB) is attempts (ATT).

9 Bitter feeling : BILE

In days past, health was said to depend on the balance between the body’s four “humors”, four vital fluids. These humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (aka “choler”) and black bile. Excesses of yellow and black bile were thought to produce aggression and depression. As a result, we use the terms “bile” and “choler” today to mean “ill temper” and “anger”.

11 Voyager 1, for one : PROBE

NASA’s Voyager program launched two unmanned probes to explore the outer limits of our solar system. The probes were launched on different dates in 1977, with each date chosen to take advantage of particular alignments of the planets. The two probes are still active to some extent, and will be so for at least another decade. Voyager 1 is now the farthest man-made object from the Earth. In fact, Voyager 1 left our solar system in 2012, making it the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Cool …

12 Cry to end a pin : UNCLE!

To say uncle is to submit or yield. This peculiarly American use of “uncle” dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

24 Having mucho dinero : RICO

In Spanish, most would say it’s better to be “rico” (rich) than “pobre” (poor).

“Dinero” is a Spanish word meaning “money”, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

29 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.

30 Disco-dancing enthusiast on “The Simpsons” : STU

On “The Simpsons”, the character Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although the original intent was for him to be voiced by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.

32 Company whose name comes from a term in the game of Go : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

36 Many a prof has one : PHD

“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”.

39 Uncommon bills : TWOS

The US two-dollar bill features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson. The bill was introduced in 1862, and withdrawn in 1966. It was reintroduced in 1976, and is still legal tender. That said, there are relatively few two-dollar bills in circulation. Some people even hold that possession of a two-dollar bill is bad luck.

40 Some hairstyles in punk fashion : RATTAILS

A rat’s tail (also “rattail”) is a hairstyle with a tail-like, thin tuft of hair growing down the back of the neck.

44 ___ O’s : OREO

Oreo O’s cereal was made by Post from 1998 to 2007. The pieces of cereal were basically O-shaped (like Cheerios) but chocolate-flavored, dark brown in color and with white sprinkles on them. Oh, and lots of sugar.

47 Certain Pan-Africanist, informally : RASTA

I must admit that I don’t really know much about Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, such as Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

48 Air up there : ETHER

The Greek philosopher Empedocles proposed that there are four elements that made up the universe, namely earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle later proposed a fifth element which he called aether (also “ether”). Aether was the divine substance that made up the stars and planets. We’re still using the term “ether” with a similar meaning.

51 Keynote, e.g. : ORATE

The keynote is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

53 What a jalapeño has that a habanero lacks : TILDE

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

The habanero chili has a very intense flavor. Interestingly, the correct spelling of the chili’s name is “habanero”. We often try to be clever in English and add a tilde making it “habañero”, which isn’t right at all …

54 One of England’s so-called “home counties” : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

56 Boat that’s good in shallow water : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often, a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something to click : ICON
5 Pigeons on a platter : SQUABS
11 ___ trivia : PUB
14 Astronomical news : NOVA
15 Term of address for many a respected elder : AUNTIE
16 Strand in a cell : RNA
17 Serious schlep : TREK
18 *Secure : LITTLE ROCK – LITTER = LOCK
20 Monstrous sort : OGRE
21 Nail polish brand with an “I’m Not Really a Waitress” shade : OPI
22 Give permission to : ENABLE
23 *Trick : WILD ROSES – DROSS = WILE
26 Some frozen drinks : ICEES
27 Global manufacturer of chemical products : OLIN
28 What Graham Greene called a “failure of imagination” : HATE
30 Unflinching : STOIC
32 Requested pickup time on many online orders : ASAP
34 “How’s it goin’?” : SUP?
37 What to do before the answers to the starred clues will make sense : TAKE OUT THE TRASH
41 Boom times : UPS
42 Voting bloc : NAYS
43 Didn’t wax, say : WANED
44 Incense, in a sense : ODOR
46 Senate majority leader from 1996 to 2001 : LOTT
47 Like men’s double-breasted suits, e.g. : RETRO
50 *Speck : IOWA STATE – WASTE = IOTA
55 Destination of the first marathon (490 B.C.) : ATHENS
57 ___-roaring : RIP
58 Words that may scare off a buyer : AS IS
59 *Riot : SHOOT CRAPS – SCRAPS = HOOT
61 Afflictions : ILLS
62 Number of a certain rear bowling pin : TEN
63 The hair of one’s chinny chin chin, maybe : GOATEE
64 Get on board : LADE
65 Neighbor of Bolivia: Abbr. : ARG
66 ___ manual : OWNER’S
67 Optometrist’s offering, casually : SPEX

Down

1 Being pulled along : IN TOW
2 Short-legged herding dog : CORGI
3 Totally misses …or totally surveys : OVERLOOKS
4 Uncouth untruth : NAKED LIE
5 Watering hole in many westerns : SALOON
6 Wisecracks : QUIPS
7 Leave with no strings attached? : UNTIE
8 QB stat: Abbr. : ATT
9 Bitter feeling : BILE
10 Words repeated while scrolling through a Netflix list, perhaps : SEEN IT
11 Voyager 1, for one : PROBE
12 Cry to end a pin : UNCLE
13 Makes, as cakes : BAKES
19 ___ to the bottom : RACE
24 Having mucho dinero : RICO
25 “___ of Sunset” (Bravo series) : SHAHS
29 Galoot : APE
30 Disco-dancing enthusiast on “The Simpsons” : STU
31 Select : TAP
32 Company whose name comes from a term in the game of Go : ATARI
33 Farm outbuilding : STY
34 Popular site for holiday gift orders : SANTA’S LAP
35 Application : USE
36 Many a prof has one : PHD
38 ___ Attack (card game variant) : UNO
39 Uncommon bills : TWOS
40 Some hairstyles in punk fashion : RATTAILS
44 ___ O’s : OREO
45 “Wait!” : DON’T GO!
46 Expires : LAPSES
47 Certain Pan-Africanist, informally : RASTA
48 Air up there : ETHER
49 Flip-flop : THONG
51 Keynote, e.g. : ORATE
52 Car part that moves rhythmically : WIPER
53 What a jalapeño has that a habanero lacks : TILDE
54 One of England’s so-called “home counties” : ESSEX
56 Boat that’s good in shallow water : SCOW
60 Took off : RAN

11 thoughts on “0317-22 NY Times Crossword 17 Mar 22, Thursday”

  1. 12:51, no errors. Very clever. I wonder how long it took to come up with those four theme entries … 🤨.

  2. 17:17. That has to mean something on St Patrick’s Day, but I don’t know what..

    Fun theme, but I REFUSE to try to think of other synonyms for trash..

    Best –

  3. 25:01. Even though I didn’t have any trouble areas, I was just poking along. Brian waterlogged from 3 scuba dives today.

  4. Had a tough time with this one. Didn’t know SQUABS. sounds delicious, NOT!

    I was looking for a double meaning in the theme answers. I guess there wasn’t one. I made it a lot harder than it actually was.

  5. No too tough – I caught on to the trash gimmick early and that helped. It was disappointing that the long theme answers were just random terms or names, completely unrelated to each other or anything in the puzzle.

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