0330-22 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jack Murtagh
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Puzzlin’ Soundin’

Themed answers sound like the names of famous people:

  • 17A Cradlin’ a Salinger protagonist? : HOLDIN’ CAULFIELD (sounds like “Holden Caulfield”)
  • 21A “Footloose” star cookin’ a fresh batch of brownies? : KEVIN BAKIN’ (sounds like “Kevin Bacon”)
  • 34A The Great Emancipator sharin’ URLs on his blog? : ABRAHAM LINKIN’ (sounds like “Abraham Lincoln”)
  • 51A Bein’ in debt to a “Wedding Crashers” co-star? : OWIN’ WILSON (sounds like “Owen Wilson”)
  • 57A Massachusetts senator wagin’ conflict? : ELIZABETH WARRIN’ (sounds like “Elizabeth Warren”)

Bill’s time: 10m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Shorthand pro : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

14 Deity with 99 names : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

17 Cradlin’ a Salinger protagonist? : HOLDIN’ CAULFIELD (sounds like “Holden Caulfield”)

“The Catcher in the Rye” is the most famous novel from the pen of J. D. Salinger. The main character and narrator of the story is Holden Caulfield, a teenager who gets expelled from a university prep school. Caulfield also makes appearances in several short stories written by Salinger, as do other members of the Caulfield family. The title “The Catcher in the Rye” is a reference to the 1782 poem “Comin’ Thro” the Rye” by Scottish poet Robert Burns.

20 Vodka brand, informally : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

21 “Footloose” star cookin’ a fresh batch of brownies? : KEVIN BAKIN’ (sounds like “Kevin Bacon”)

Kevin Bacon is an actor from Philadelphia who appeared first on the big screen in the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. That wasn’t to be the big break that Bacon needed though, which came with “Footloose” in 1984. A fun fact about him is that he is the subject of a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.

The 1984 musical drama “Footloose” tells the story of a Chicago teen (played by Kevin Bacon) who moves to a small town in which dancing and rock music has been banned. The storyline is loosely based on real events in the Oklahoma City of Elmore. Dancing was banned in Elmore for almost 100 years, with the ban eventually being lifted in 1980.

26 “Need an ark? I Noah guy,” and others : PUNS

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Noah was instructed to build his ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That’s about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

28 Letters on a luxury handbag : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

29 Chips brand : DORITOS

The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name “Doritos”, starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as “little bits of gold”.

34 The Great Emancipator sharin’ URLs on his blog? : ABRAHAM LINKIN’ (sounds like “Abraham Lincoln”)

President Lincoln’s actions that resulted in the freeing of slaves led to him earning the nickname “the Great Emancipator”.

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 during the Civil War. The order freed slaves in Confederate territory, but did not apply to the five slave states that were not in rebellion. Slavery became illegal in the whole of the United States in December 1865 when the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified.

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

46 ___-C.I.O. : AFL

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

49 Strands in a cell : DNA

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.

50 Four-time Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

51 Bein’ in debt to a “Wedding Crashers” co-star? : OWIN’ WILSON (sounds like “Owen Wilson”)

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

Not only does the 2005 romantic comedy “Wedding Crashers” star Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan, but if you rent it you’ll see cameos from Democratic pundit James Carville, and Republican Senator John McCain.

54 Some burrowing mouselike rodents : VOLES

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then, the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

56 One-point Scrabble draw : N TILE

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

57 Massachusetts senator wagin’ conflict? : ELIZABETH WARRIN’ (sounds like “Elizabeth Warren”)

Elizabeth Warren is the senior US Senator from Massachusetts, and the first female to hold that office for her state. Warren is a prominent Democratic and is a favorite of the progressive wing of the party.

67 Internet admin : SYSOP

System operator (sysop)

Down

2 Chess rating system : ELO

The Elo rating system is used to compare the skill levels of competing chess players. The system is named for a Hungarian-born professor of physics called Arpad Elo, who was also a master-level chess player active in the US Chess Federation.

5 Climb (up), as a pole : SHINNY

A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the use of “shimmy up” has an interesting history. One can also say “shinny up” a rope or pole, meaning to climb using one’s shins. This was the original term for the maneuver, but then it was mixed up with the word “shimmy”, a term from dancing meaning to shake from side to side. Now it seems that about half of us use “shimmy up” and half “shinny up”. I guess we are watching our language evolve!

7 Sedative in a blowgun dart, informally : TRANK

A tranquilizer (familiarly “tranq, trank”) is a downer, a drug designed to reduce tension or anxiety. Tranquilizers can also be used to sedate animals.

8 Old French coin : ECU

The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

9 Org. for Ducks and Penguins : NHL

The Walt Disney Company founded the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey team in 1993, with the franchise’s name being a nod to the 1992 Disney movie called “The Mighty Ducks”. The name was changed to the Anaheim Ducks when Disney sold the team before the 2006-2007 season.

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.

21 Actress Dennings : KAT

Kat Dennings is the stage name of actress Katherine Litwack, who is noted today for her co-starring role on CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls”. Dennings is an avid blogger, and you can check out her video blog on YouTube.

22 Philosopher Zeno’s birthplace : ELEA

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

24 “American ___” : IDOL

“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016, the show “jumped ship” and moved to ABC starting in the 2018 season.

25 “Moi? Never!” : NOT I!

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

32 Gotham City supervillain in a cryogenic suit : MR FREEZE

Mr. Freeze is one of Batman’s enemies. In the original “Batman” television series, Mr. Freeze was played by three big names in different episodes, namely George Sanders, Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach. More recently, Mr. Freeze was played on the big screen in 1997’s “Batman & Robin” by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Gotham” had been a nickname for New York City long before it was picked up by comic books as a setting for Batman tales. The term was coined by Washington Irving in a periodical that he published in 1807. Irving was lampooning New York politics and culture, and lifted the name from the village of Gotham in Nottinghamshire, England. The original Gotham was, according to folklore, inhabited by fools.

33 Intl. standard used by many astrologers : GMT

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time at the Prime Meridian, the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.

36 Our genus : HOMO

The literal translation of “Homo sapiens” from Latin is “wise or knowing man”. The Homo genus includes the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we’re the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man … sometimes called “hobbit”), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space …

38 Roadside bombs, for short : IEDS

Improvised explosive device (IED)

39 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-

The prefix “nano-” is used for units of one thousand-millionth part. “Nano-” comes from the Greek “nanos” meaning “dwarf”.

42 Solo in spaceflight? : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

46 “Ode to Joy,” for the European Union : ANTHEM

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” has to be one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the classical repertoire. “Ode to Joy”, based on the final movement of the work, is now the anthem of the European Union. If you’d like to see a fictional tale that explores Beethoven’s life at the time he was writing the “Ninth Symphony”, I highly recommend you take a look at the 2006 movie “Copying Beethoven”. Ed Harris plays Beethoven, and the soundtrack is superb.

47 Texter’s “I think” : FWIW

For what it’s worth (FWIW)

48 New Hampshire state flowers : LILACS

The ornamental flowering plant known as lilac is native to the Balkans, and is a member of the olive family.

53 The “L” of Samuel L. Jackson : LEROY

According to some sources, Samuel L. Jackson is the highest-grossing actor of all time. He earns that ranking because of his talent and box-office draw, but also because of the large number of films in which he appears.

58 As an aside, in a text : BTW

By the way (BTW)

59 The “E” of B.C.E. : ERA

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

60 Info in an apt. listing : RMS

An apartment (apt.) contains several rooms (rms.)

61 Texter’s “I think” : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They may be switched while cycling : GEARS
6 Shorthand pro : STENO
11 Crossword solver’s cry : AHA!
14 Deity with 99 names : ALLAH
15 Raphael, Gabriel or Michael : ARCHANGEL
17 Cradlin’ a Salinger protagonist? : HOLDIN’ CAULFIELD (sounds like “Holden Caulfield”)
19 Preserve, as ashes : INURN
20 Vodka brand, informally : STOLI
21 “Footloose” star cookin’ a fresh batch of brownies? : KEVIN BAKIN’ (sounds like “Kevin Bacon”)
26 “Need an ark? I Noah guy,” and others : PUNS
27 Blond at the bar, say : ALE
28 Letters on a luxury handbag : YSL
29 Chips brand : DORITOS
31 Sentence … or something found in a sentence : TERM
33 Did so-so at school : GOT A C
34 The Great Emancipator sharin’ URLs on his blog? : ABRAHAM LINKIN’ (sounds like “Abraham Lincoln”)
40 Cover for illicit activity : FRONT
41 “Right on!” : YEAH!
43 “I don’t want to hear the gory details” : SPARE ME
46 ___-C.I.O. : AFL
49 Strands in a cell : DNA
50 Four-time Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE
51 Bein’ in debt to a “Wedding Crashers” co-star? : OWIN’ WILSON (sounds like “Owen Wilson”)
54 Some burrowing mouselike rodents : VOLES
56 One-point Scrabble draw : N TILE
57 Massachusetts senator wagin’ conflict? : ELIZABETH WARRIN’ (sounds like “Elizabeth Warren”)
63 Houseplant that some think brings luck and prosperity : MONEY TREE
64 One in 1,000? : COMMA
65 Beat it! : EGG
66 Bee teem? : SWARM
67 Internet admin : SYSOP

Down

1 Cry of frustration : GAH!
2 Chess rating system : ELO
3 ___ fours : ALL
4 Minute hands, essentially : RADII
5 Climb (up), as a pole : SHINNY
6 Related to religious rites : SACRAL
7 Sedative in a blowgun dart, informally : TRANK
8 Old French coin : ECU
9 Org. for Ducks and Penguins : NHL
10 Bunglers : OAFS
11 Get too old to qualify : AGE OUT
12 “Over my dead body!” : HELL NO!
13 Hugo-winning “Hothouse” author Brian : ALDISS
16 Particularly particular : NITPICKY
18 Pencil remnants : NUBS
21 Actress Dennings : KAT
22 Philosopher Zeno’s birthplace : ELEA
23 Crow, but not magpie : VERB
24 “American ___” : IDOL
25 “Moi? Never!” : NOT I!
30 Went on, as an errand : RAN
32 Gotham City supervillain in a cryogenic suit : MR FREEZE
33 Intl. standard used by many astrologers : GMT
35 Amount to : ARE
36 Our genus : HOMO
37 Freshly : ANEW
38 Roadside bombs, for short : IEDS
39 One-billionth: Prefix : NANO-
42 Solo in spaceflight? : HAN
43 “I need a hero!” : SAVE ME!
44 Computer language that sounds like a literary intro : PROLOG
45 Under the weather : AILING
46 “Ode to Joy,” for the European Union : ANTHEM
47 Texter’s “I think” : FWIW
48 New Hampshire state flowers : LILACS
52 Bury : INTER
53 The “L” of Samuel L. Jackson : LEROY
55 Declares : SAYS
58 As an aside, in a text : BTW
59 The “E” of B.C.E. : ERA
60 Info in an apt. listing : RMS
61 Texter’s “I think” : IMO
62 Catch some Z’s : NAP

9 thoughts on “0330-22 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 22, Wednesday”

  1. 13:36, no errors, but … for some reason, I made an unusual number of missteps in this one, so, at the end, before filling the final square, I spent a couple of minutes rechecking absolutely everything, sure that I would find at least one error I had missed. I don’t know if that says something about the puzzle or something about me … 😳.

  2. 14:51, no errors. Still getting used to 2 things: working on a tablet, and not clicking on the syndicated link when I come here.

  3. 11:09. It’s been a good theme week, and that continued today.

    Indeed, I had SHImmY before SHINNY as per Bill’s write up of 5D.

    DORITOS came from Disneyworld? It has to be the best thing Disney ever made…

    Best –

  4. Forgot to welcome Bruce to the present day. Nice to see you stopped living in the past.

    I guess you can still do all the puzzles in between your last syndicated one and first current puzzle, if you’re so inclined.

  5. 15:42, no errors. For some reason the NW sorta stumped me today. I circled all the way around and finished there.

  6. 1 / 2 errors. Messed up on 20A . Had STOLE instead of STOLI. that made 13D ALDESS instead of ALDISS. Not up on my “Hothouse” authors.

    NW corner was kind of a guess. Didn’t kne the chess rating system. ELO? And GAH is a frustration? Hmmm.

    Had no idea ELEA was Zeno birthplace. Have to put that in my collection of “odd references crossword constructors use to misdirect” places.

  7. I forgot to stop the timer but it was about 25:00 and no errors.
    Clever theme👍
    Stay safe😀

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