0320-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 22, Sunday

Constructed by: Brad Wiegmann
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Exes & Nos

Themed answers are common phrases “punnily” reinterpreted with reference to several failed relationships, prior to achieving success:

  • 22A “It’s tough finding the right person. My first boyfriend was a perfectly nice atheist, but he …” : … HAD NO PRAYER
  • 28A “So then I dated a fun couch potato, but he …” : … DIDN’T WORK OUT
  • 48A “Then my friend set me up with a recluse, but he …” : … CAME TO NOTHING
  • 66A “I dated my rock climbing instructor for a while, but he just …” : … LET ME DOWN
  • 80A “Then I had a fling with a Pittsburgh Penguin, but I knew he …” : … WOULD NEVER FLY
  • 104A “I was in a serious relationship with a hippie, but he …” : … MISSED THE CUT
  • 110A “Finally, I started seeing a charming magician, and he …” : … DID THE TRICK

Bill’s time: 25m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “___ and Janis” (comic strip) : ARLO

The comic strip “Arlo and Janis” is written by Jimmy Johnson. Introduced in 1985, Arlo and Janis are a baby booming couple with an easy approach to life, and who are very much in love.

17 Word from the French for “high wood” : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

24 Tour de France seasons : ETES

In French, “printemps: (spring) is followed by “été” (summer).

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

25 Side dish at a fish fry : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch term “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

26 Main component of Saturn’s rings : ICE

The eight planets of our solar system can be sorted into two categories. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are “terrestrials” as they are largely composed of rock. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are “gas giants”, as they are largely composed of gaseous material. Uranus and Neptune can be called “ice giants”, a subcategory of gas giants. Ice giants have a lower mass than other gas giants, with very little hydrogen and helium in their atmospheres and a higher proportion of rock and ice.

27 Lena of “Enemies, a Love Story” : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the TV show “Alias”.

28 “So then I dated a fun couch potato, but he …” : … DIDN’T WORK OUT

Apparently, the phrase “couch potato” was coined in 1976 by one Tom Iacino of Pasadena. Iacino had a friend named Bob Armstrong who eschewed an active life and liked to lie back on the couch watching TV, the “boob tube”. This lazy guy did have the energy to send out a newsletter called “The Tuber’s Voice”, with Armstrong being the “tuber”, the one watching the “tube”. Iacino then referred to Armstrong as the “couch potato”, the tuber lying on the couch.

33 Toeing the line : OBEDIENT

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

34 Fútbol cheer : OLE!

In Spanish, a “fútbol” (football) supporter might shout “olé!” (bravo!).

35 Italian wine region : ASTI

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco). Moscato is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content, and is usually served as a dessert wine.

36 “30 for 30” airer : ESPN

“30 for 30” is a series of ESPN documentary films that has aired since 2009. The series originated as a celebration of ESPN’s 30th birthday. To recognize that anniversary, the network commissioned 30 filmmakers to make 30 one-hour films covering the big stories in ESPN’s 30-year history. The series was so well received that ESPN continues to make similar documentaries using the “30 for 30” umbrella title.

39 The 1 in {1,2,3}: Abbr. : MIN

Minimum (min.)

42 Camphor, e.g. : KETONE

Ketones are organic compounds. Many sugars are ketones, as is the solvent acetone.

Camphor is a white, waxy solid that has a strong, aromatic odor. It is found in the wood of some trees and notably in the plant called camphor basil. Camphor can also be produced synthetically, usually from oil of turpentine. Camphor has many uses, and we probably most associate it with camphor balls, a moth repellent. But it also has other uses, as diverse as cooking and embalming!

47 They’re found near traps : LATS

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is Latin for “broadest”, and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

The trapezius (commonly“traps”) is a muscle in the neck and upper back that moves the shoulder blade and supports the arm.

52 Comedian Mort : SAHL

Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

54 Classic Hawaiian folk song : ALOHA ‘OE

“Aloha ‘Oe” is a song of Hawaii composed by Liliuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii and her only queen. The title translates as “Farewell to Thee”.

55 Superman and others, for short : ETS

Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents, who remained on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth, the child was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark, which was Ma Kent’s maiden name.

56 Book with a notable world premiere? : GENESIS

The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and Abraham. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.

60 Noisy beachgoer : GULL

Gulls are a family of seabirds that is most closely related to terns. Some species of gull can be quite clever. For example, they can reportedly use pieces of bread as bait to catch goldfish in ponds. Others can be quite fearless, and have been known to land on the backs of whales and peck out pieces of flesh.

62 Bun in a bamboo steamer : BAO

A baozi (also “bou, bao”) is a steamed, filled bun in Chinese cuisine.

63 Internet encryption inits. : HTTPS

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

68 ___-Pacific : ASIA

The term “Asia-Pacific” is often used, particularly in the world of business. However, it tends to be quite imprecise, as the exact definition of which countries and regions are included in Asia-Pacific isn’t really clear. Sometimes Asia-Pacific might include the United States for example, and sometimes not.

72 Baloney : BUNK

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

“Baloney” is an American English variant of “Bologna” as in the sausage. The term came to be used to mean “nonsense” in the 1920s. “Baloney” was popularized in the 1930s by New York Governor Alfred E. Smith as he used the term quite often.

77 U.K. track star-turned-politician Sebastian : COE

Sebastian Coe is a retired middle-distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. In the year 2000, he was made a Life Peer, and so Coe now sits in the House of Lords. Lord Coe headed up London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

80 “Then I had a fling with a Pittsburgh Penguin, but I knew he …” : … WOULD NEVER FLY

The Penguins are the professional hockey team based in Pittsburgh. They have been around since 1967, and were one of the first expansion teams when the NHL grew from six to twelve teams. The expansion team were to play in Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena, a domed structure known locally as the Igloo. It was the “Igloo” name that inspired a fan to suggest the “Penguins” moniker, which won a contest to choose the name of the new franchise.

83 Cuisine featuring som tam : THAI

The dish usually listed as green papaya salad on menus in Thai restaurants in North America is referred to as “som tam” in Thailand. Som tam really goes for all of one’s taste buds, as it includes sour lime, hot chili, savory fish sauce and palm sugar for sweetness.

86 Drill command : TEN-HUT!

“Ten-hut!” is a term used in the US military that means “Come to attention!”.

93 Starters, for short : APPS

Appetizer (app)

97 Outback speedster : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

101 Wisconsin town with a clothing namesake : OSHKOSH

Oshkosh is a city in east-central Wisconsin that was named for Chief Oshkosh of the Menominee Native American people. The word “oshkosh” means “the claw” in the Ojibwe language.

104 “I was in a serious relationship with a hippie, but he …” : … MISSED THE CUT

I guess that the reference here is to the stereotypical long hair of someone labeled as a hippie.

106 Org. issuing vaccine standards starting in 2021 : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

107 It may be part of a solution : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide (NaOH), although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

108 Together, in music : A DUE

“A due” is a musical term meaning “together” that translates literally from Italian as “by two”.

109 Fading sea name : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

113 Pan, in part : GOAT

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god who was part-man and part-goat, and one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

117 Happening offline, to a texter : IRL

In real life (IRL)

119 Devotee of Haile Selassie, 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.

Down

1 Big name in pricey cigars : COHIBA

The brand name “Cohiba” is actually used by two cigar manufacturers. The first is produced by Habanos S.A. which is a state-owned tobacco company in Cuba. The second is produced by a US company in the Dominican Republic. The name “cohíba “ means “tobacco”.

2 You can’t say it doesn’t count : ABACUS

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

3 Lizzie is one, in the “Cars” movies : MODEL T

The Ford Model T was the first really affordable car that was offered for sale, and it was produced from 1908 to 1927. It was the Model T that ushered in the era of assembly line production, which greatly cut down the cost of manufacture. The Model T’s engine was designed to run on petrol, kerosene or ethanol. Ford stated in 1909 that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”. In actual fact, from 1908 through 1913, the Model T wasn’t available in black, and only gray, green, blue and red. The “black only” strategy applied from 1914.

4 Crossword solving option : PEN

Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now know as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

5 Watch maker since 2015 : APPLE

The Apple Watch was announced in 2014 and started shipping in 2015. The device works as an extension to a user’s smartphone, although it also has capabilities of its own. I’m not a big fan of smartwatches; I really don’t see the point …

6 It lands on the White House’s South Lawn : MARINE ONE

Marine One is the call sign used by a Marine Corps helicopter when it is carrying the US president. In fact, the call sign can be used by any Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president, but usually refers to either a Sea King or White Hawk helicopter that is used routinely in transportation to and from the White House.

7 ___ Bator, Mongolia : ULAN

The name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (formerly anglicized as “Ulan Bator”) translates as “the Red Hero”. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

10 Making change : AMENDING

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

12 “My Fair Lady” composer : LOEWE

Frederick Loewe was a composer who was best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady”, “Gigi” and “Camelot”.

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

13 Actor/comedian who was a regular on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” : ORSON BEAN

Orson Bean is an actor who is perhaps best known for his appearances on television game shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. His most famous game show role was as a panelist on “To Tell the Truth”. Interestingly, Bean (real name Dallas Burrows) is a first cousin, twice removed of President Calvin Coolidge.

14 Meathead : PALOOKA

The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

15 Military uniform feature : EPAULET

An epaulet (also “epaulette”) is an ornamental shoulder pad, particularly one worn with a military uniform. The term “epaulet”comes from French, and translates literally as “little shoulder”.

16 Bluish-gray shades : PEWTERS

Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

19 Scintilla : DRIB

A drib is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

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”.

23 Alley-___ : OOP

An alley-oop is a play in basketball in which one player lobs the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.

30 Way to go: Abbr. : RTE

Route (rte.)

37 Lead-in to Cat : SNO-

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

38 Something that all but three U.S. presidents have had while in office : PET

Of all the pets of the US Presidents, perhaps none had a more exalted position than Laddie Boy, the Airedale terrier belonging to President Warren G. Harding. Laddie Boy even had his own chair on which to sit during cabinet meetings. After President Harding died, newsboys across the country collected 19,134 pennies which were melted and sculpted into a statue of Laddie Boy. You can see that statue today in the Smithsonian.

48 Jokesters : CARDS

A very amusing person might be referred to as a card, stitch, wag or riot.

49 Some native Alaskans : ALEUTS

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

50 Tile work : MOSAIC

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

51 Leadership position : HELM

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

56 Rubberneck : GAWK

We have been rubbernecking since the late 1800s, although the word ”rubberneck” originally applied to someone with a tendency to listen in other people’s conversations. The term really became popular when people started rubbernecking in automobiles.

57 “A house divided against ___ cannot stand” : ITSELF

Just after Abraham Lincoln accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for US senator representing Illinois, he made a speech in the Illinois State Capitol. Lincoln’s 1858 address contrasted the two halves of the Union, those states allowing slavery, and those not:

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

The phrase “A house divided cannot stand” first appeared in the Christian Bible. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said:

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

58 Rubylike gem : SPINEL

Spinel is a magnesium aluminate mineral that is sometimes used as a gemstone. Two of the more famous gem-quality spinels are the Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby, both of which are in the British Crown Jewels collection. Spinels are distinct from rubies, but the rose-tinted variety used to be called Balas rubies.

60 Richard of “Chicago” : GERE

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

The 2002 musical film “Chicago” is based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name, which in turn is based on a 1926 play, also of the same name. 2002’s “Chicago” was a big hit, and was the first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar since “Oliver!” in 1968.

61 Native people for whom a state is named : UTE

The Ute are a group of Native-American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

66 So-called “Father of Liberalism” : LOCKE

John Locke was an English philosopher whose most famous work was “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”. Locke’s position was that at birth the mind is a blank slate, a “tabula rasa”, and that knowledge is determined by experiences perceived through our senses.

70 Soccer star Messi, to fans : LEO

Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

73 Capital of Fiji : SUVA

Suva is the capital city of Fiji, and is located on the island of Viti Levu. Suva is the largest city in the southern Pacific Ocean.

74 “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

76 Beloved site for the Irish … and French : NOTRE DAME

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle of the River Seine in Paris. Notre-Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them. Well, you used to be able to, until the tragic fire of 2019.

77 Journalist who was the first woman to guest-host “Jeopardy!” : COURIC

After the sad passing of host Alex Trebek in 2020, producers announced that the game show “Jeopardy!” would be fronted by a series of interim guest hosts. The list included “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, TV news anchor Katie Couric, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and “The Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik.

78 Hard stuff that jiggles : JELL-O SHOT

The earliest published recipe for Jell-O shots (or equivalent) was published in 1862 in a book called “How to Mix Drinks” by Jerry Thomas. That recipe called for gelatin, cognac, rum and lemon juice.

81 Dr. of 112-Down : DRE
(112D See 81-Down : RAP)

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

82 Counterpart of full, in a way : NEW

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

83 Wise guys? : THE MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

84 One might be smoke-filled : HUMIDOR

A humidor is a box or room that has a controlled environment optimized for the storage of cigars, cigarettes and pipe tobacco. The main factor to be controlled is “humidity”, hence the storage area is called a “humidor”.

87 Big name in hot dogs : NATHAN’S

Nathan’s Famous is a chain of fast food restaurants that specialize in hot dogs. The chain’s first outlet was a hot dog stand in Coney Island set up by husband and wife Nathan and Ida Handwerker. Nathan’s Famous has held a Hot Dog Eating Contest every July 4th since 1916, and always at the same place on Coney Island, where that first hot dog stand was located..

90 Face on a penny, familiarly : ABE

The US one-cent coin has borne the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. Fifty years later, a representation of the Lincoln Memorial was added to the reverse side.

92 Strong suit : METIER

“Métier” is French for “trade, profession”.

95 Cupid’s love : PSYCHE

In the myth of Cupid (aka “Eros”) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.

96 Mideast currency unit : SHEKEL

The shekel is the currency used today in Israel. The first use of the word “shekel” was in Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE when it probably referred to a specific weight of barley. Each shekel is worth 100 agorot (singular “agora”).

102 Twin sister of He-Man : SHE-RA

Masters of the Universe is a sword-and-sorcery multimedia franchise that was introduced by Mattel in the 1980s. The main characters in the storyline are superhero He-Man, who battles against Skeletor on the planet Eternia, and He-Man’s sister She-Ra, who rebels against the Horde on the planet Etheria.

106 Redding who wrote “Respect” : OTIS

“Respect” is a song by Otis Redding, and one that he recorded himself in 1965. It became a hit when Aretha Franklin made her famous cover version in 1967. The Redding and Franklin versions have different storylines though, and different musical “feels”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Band of supporters : CAMP
5 Something absolutely necessary : A MUST
10 “___ and Janis” (comic strip) : ARLO
14 Oomph : PEP
17 Word from the French for “high wood” : OBOE
18 Washed out : PALLID
20 Dock : MOOR
21 Something a winner may run into : TAPE
22 “It’s tough finding the right person. My first boyfriend was a perfectly nice atheist, but he …” : … HAD NO PRAYER
24 Tour de France seasons : ETES
25 Side dish at a fish fry : SLAW
26 Main component of Saturn’s rings : ICE
27 Lena of “Enemies, a Love Story” : OLIN
28 “So then I dated a fun couch potato, but he …” : … DIDN’T WORK OUT
31 Non-starters? : BULLPEN
33 Toeing the line : OBEDIENT
34 Fútbol cheer : OLE!
35 Italian wine region : ASTI
36 “30 for 30” airer : ESPN
39 The 1 in {1,2,3}: Abbr. : MIN
40 Lab vessel : BEAKER
42 Camphor, e.g. : KETONE
45 One getting depressed during exams? : TONGUE
47 They’re found near traps : LATS
48 “Then my friend set me up with a recluse, but he …” : … CAME TO NOTHING
52 Comedian Mort : SAHL
54 Classic Hawaiian folk song : ALOHA ‘OE
55 Superman and others, for short : ETS
56 Book with a notable world premiere? : GENESIS
59 What middlemen do : RESELL
60 Noisy beachgoer : GULL
62 Bun in a bamboo steamer : BAO
63 Internet encryption inits. : HTTPS
65 Binary : DUAL
66 “I dated my rock climbing instructor for a while, but he just …” : … LET ME DOWN
68 ___-Pacific : ASIA
69 Not sparkling : STILL
71 Blast furnace supply : ORE
72 Baloney : BUNK
73 Bad signs for a bank robber : SIRENS
75 Academic journal with a “Breakthrough of the Year” award : SCIENCE
77 U.K. track star-turned-politician Sebastian : COE
78 Mishmashes : JUMBLES
79 Swindled : TOOK
80 “Then I had a fling with a Pittsburgh Penguin, but I knew he …” : … WOULD NEVER FLY
83 Cuisine featuring som tam : THAI
86 Drill command : TEN-HUT!
88 Feel another’s pain : RELATE
89 Cavalryman of old : HUSSAR
91 Big ___ (Olympic snowboarding event) : AIR
92 Whimper : MEWL
93 Starters, for short : APPS
97 Outback speedster : EMU
98 Keep rhythm, as a conductor might : BEAT TIME
101 Wisconsin town with a clothing namesake : OSHKOSH
104 “I was in a serious relationship with a hippie, but he …” : … MISSED THE CUT
106 Org. issuing vaccine standards starting in 2021 : OSHA
107 It may be part of a solution : LYE
108 Together, in music : A DUE
109 Fading sea name : ARAL
110 “Finally, I started seeing a charming magician, and he …” : … DID THE TRICK
113 Pan, in part : GOAT
114 Fun-size : MINI
115 Kind of thesis : SENIOR
116 Weekend warrior’s woe : ACHE
117 Happening offline, to a texter : IRL
118 Relaxation : EASE
119 Devotee of Haile Selassie, informally : RASTA
120 Bit of kitchen waste : PEEL

Down

1 Big name in pricey cigars : COHIBA
2 You can’t say it doesn’t count : ABACUS
3 Lizzie is one, in the “Cars” movies : MODEL T
4 Crossword solving option : PEN
5 Watch maker since 2015 : APPLE
6 It lands on the White House’s South Lawn : MARINE ONE
7 ___ Bator, Mongolia : ULAN
8 On the ___ : SLY
9 Fastened, in a way : TIED ON
10 Making change : AMENDING
11 Well past the freshness date, say : ROTTING
12 “My Fair Lady” composer : LOEWE
13 Actor/comedian who was a regular on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” : ORSON BEAN
14 Meathead : PALOOKA
15 Military uniform feature : EPAULET
16 Bluish-gray shades : PEWTERS
19 Scintilla : DRIB
21 “Shameful!” : TSK!
23 Alley-___ : OOP
29 Possessive types? : DEMONS
30 Way to go: Abbr. : RTE
32 “You’re so wrong about that!” : LIKE HELL IT IS!
37 Lead-in to Cat : SNO-
38 Something that all but three U.S. presidents have had while in office : PET
41 “Time out” in the N.B.A. : ALL-STAR BREAK
43 What makes the short list? : ET AL
44 Total jerk : TOOL
45 Boxing highlight : TITLE BOUT
46 Apply to : USE ON
48 Jokesters : CARDS
49 Some native Alaskans : ALEUTS
50 Tile work : MOSAIC
51 Leadership position : HELM
53 Bit of a chuckle : HEH
56 Rubberneck : GAWK
57 “A house divided against ___ cannot stand” : ITSELF
58 Rubylike gem : SPINEL
60 Richard of “Chicago” : GERE
61 Native people for whom a state is named : UTE
62 When doubled, a candy : BON
64 Quick with a clapback : SASSY
66 So-called “Father of Liberalism” : LOCKE
67 Conflict taking a couple of seconds? : DUEL
70 Soccer star Messi, to fans : LEO
73 Capital of Fiji : SUVA
74 “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET
76 Beloved site for the Irish … and French : NOTRE DAME
77 Journalist who was the first woman to guest-host “Jeopardy!” : COURIC
78 Hard stuff that jiggles : JELL-O SHOT
80 “We’ll be in touch!,” often : WHITE LIE
81 Dr. of 112-Down : DRE
82 Counterpart of full, in a way : NEW
83 Wise guys? : THE MAGI
84 One might be smoke-filled : HUMIDOR
85 Not surprisingly : AS USUAL
87 Big name in hot dogs : NATHAN’S
90 Face on a penny, familiarly : ABE
92 Strong suit : METIER
94 Regulate : POLICE
95 Cupid’s love : PSYCHE
96 Mideast currency unit : SHEKEL
99 Features of some halls : ATRIA
100 Mucky substances : MUDS
102 Twin sister of He-Man : SHE-RA
103 What, in multiple senses, might get tipped : HAT
105 Take place? : SET
106 Redding who wrote “Respect” : OTIS
111 Crispr material : DNA
112 See 81-Down : RAP

5 thoughts on “0320-22 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 22, Sunday”

  1. 36:20. I really needed the theme answers to finish. A lot of the fill was out of my comfort zone.

    I didn’t know “som tam”, but I saw the answer was 4 letters so I guessed THAI. I had a lot of that this puzzle.

    Another starters/appetizers as APPS reference. Is that a new crossword thing, or are the setters just messing with me at this point??

    Best –

  2. 21:14, after a minute or two to find and fix an error. Nothing overly hard, but nothing overly easy either.

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