0331-22 NY Times Crossword 31 Mar 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Oliver Roeder
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Marginalia

Themed answers each include a starting or ending letter that creeps into the MARGINS:

  • 22D Reader’s jottings … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : MARGINALIA
  • 1A Beat in chess : MATED
  • 20A Educator in a smock : ART TEACHER
  • 32A Thoroughbred, e.g. : RACEHORSE
  • 46A Some drinking vessels : GOBLETS
  • 59A Profession in an O’Neill title : ICEMAN
  • 70A Geekish : NERDY
  • 10A Classic Jumbotron shout-out : HI MOM!
  • 22A Figure seen on Athena’s shield : MEDUSA
  • 36A FedEx Cup organizer : PGA TOUR
  • 48A Kind of zone in a city : NO PARKING
  • 62A What “should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy,” per Noël Coward : DRY MARTINI
  • 72A Big name in printers : EPSON

Bill’s time: 16m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Beat in chess : MATED

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

5 Astronomer who lost part of his nose in a sword duel : BRAHE

Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer, and a contemporary of Galileo. Brahe lost his nose in a duel, and wore a replacement made from either silver or gold that was pasted onto his face!

10 Classic Jumbotron shout-out : HI MOM!

A Jumbotron is a big-screen television system that is often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” was introduced by Sony in 1985. “Jumbotron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues as Sony exited the business in 2001.

14 Frost : HOAR

The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.

16 Certain newspaper column : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

18 Sorna y Nublar, en “Jurassic Park” : ISLAS

In Spanish, an “isla” (island) is “tierra en el mar” (land in the sea).

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

20 Educator in a smock : ART TEACHER

A smock is an outer garment that is often worn as protection for one’s clothing. Today, the term often applies to the protective garment worn by a painter.

22 Figure seen on Athena’s shield : MEDUSA

In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of the monstrous female creatures known as Gorgons. According to one version of the Medusa myth, she was once a beautiful woman. She incurred the wrath of Athena who turned her lovely hair into serpents and made her face hideously ugly. Anyone who gazed directly at the transformed Medusa would turn into stone. She was eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her. He carried Medusa’s head and used its powers as a weapon, before giving it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. One myth holds that as Perseus was flying over Egypt with Medusa’s severed head, drops of her blood fell to the ground and formed asps.

24 Skim : NO-FAT

The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometimes “milkfat”). To be labeled whole milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Low-fat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.

26 Bit of letter-shaped hardware : T-NUT

A T-nut is so called because it has a t-shape when viewed from the side.

36 FedEx Cup organizer : PGA TOUR

The FedExCup is a championship trophy that has been awarded since 2007 to golfers on the PGA Tour. Players win points throughout the season, with those earning the most points entering into playoff tournaments at the end of the season.

38 Bluish hues : TEALS

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

40 Muslim leaders : IMAMS

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

50 1948 Literature Nobelist : TS ELIOT

T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

52 Youngest player to score in the FIFA World Cup (age 17) : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

59 Profession in an O’Neill title : ICEMAN

“The Iceman Cometh” is a play written by American playwright Eugene O’Neill that was first performed in 1946 on Broadway. The play centers on some down-and-out men in a shabby saloon in Manhattan. The title is a reference to the “iceman”, the man who would have delivered ice to homes back in the time of the play. The reference is to a bawdy joke in which the “iceman” was having an affair with someone’s wife.

62 What “should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy,” per Noël Coward : DRY MARTINI

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

65 Kid-lit character with a green suit and gold crown : BABAR

“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

66 Midrange club : IRON

That would be golf.

67 Award-winning Ward : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

68 Chess : check :: go : ___ : ATARI

Go is a strategy board game that was invented in China over 5,500 years ago. Go’s name in Chinese translates as “encircling game”, which reflects the objective of surrounding the largest area on the board.

70 Geekish : NERDY

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. Sometimes the term “geek” is used today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

72 Big name in printers : EPSON

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (with “EP” standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

Down

1 Now: Sp. : AHORA

“Ahora” is the Spanish for “now”, although that “now” really means “pretty soon, in the near future”. The phrase “ahora mismo” is used to mean “right now”.

2 Talks up : TOUTS

A tout (mainly in Britain and Ireland) is someone who checks out racehorses and sells information gained to people placing bets.

3 Some bridge positions : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

4 Leader of the house band on “The Muppet Show” : DR TEETH

The Muppet character named Dr. Teeth is the leader of the “The Muppet Show” house band, which is actually called Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

7 “Stormy Weather” composer : ARLEN

Harold Arlen is a composer of popular music who will forever be associated with his composition “Over the Rainbow” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. Arlen also composed the music to “Come Rain or Come Shine”, “It’s Only a Paper Moon”, “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” and the wonderful “Stormy Weather”.

“Stormy Weather” is a 1933 song that is most associated with Lena Horne and Billie Holliday. It was first recorded by Ethel Waters, who debuted the song at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City. “Stormy Weather” spawned a 1943 movie of the same name in which Lena Horne starred and performed the title song.

9 Either end of a school bus? : ESS

There is a letter S (ess) at either end of the term “school bus”.

11 Device used in interactive museum displays : IPAD

The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.

22 Reader’s jottings … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : MARGINALIA

Marginalia are comments and scribbles that are written in the margins of a book.

27 Title derived from “Caesar” : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

29 Most of a sugar cane : STALK

When sugar cane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

30 Marisa of “In the Bedroom” : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“In the Bedroom” is a thought-provoking film released in 2001, set in a small community on the coast of Maine. The “bedroom” in the title refers to the inner compartment of a lobster trap (in Ireland we call them lobster pots). The outer chamber of the trap is baited and the lobster lured in. When the lobster enters the small “bedroom” at the rear of the trap, it cannot escape.

31 Writer Sontag : SUSAN

Susan Sontag was a writer and political activist from New York City. Sontag wrote extensively on a number of subjects, including photography. She spent the last decade of her life in a relationship with renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.

33 Some salads : COBBS

Ty Cobb’s first cousin, Robert H. Cobb, owned the Brown Derby chain of restaurants. One of his regular customers was the famous Sid Grauman, who ran Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Late one night, Grauman asked for a snack, and Cobb came up with a chopped salad simply made from ingredients he happened to have in the refrigerator. Grauman liked it so much that he continued to request it, and the Cobb salad was born.

34 French “equivalent” : EGALE

“Égal” (feminine “égale”) is a French word meaning “equal, alike” that we sometimes use in English. The national motto of France is “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, meaning “Liberty, equality, fraternity”.

35 Gusto : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto” meaning “with great enjoyment”.

44 Scan options for the claustrophobic : OPEN MRIS

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the images produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

47 Kind of milk or sauce : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. Charming …

56 Under-the-sink fixture : P-TRAP

Most sinks in a home have a P-trap in the outlet pipe that empties into the sewer line. This P-trap has at its heart a U-bend that retains a small amount of water after the sink is emptied. This plug of water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gases entering into the home. By virtue of its design, the U-bend can also capture any heavy objects (like an item of jewelry) that might fall through the plughole. But the “trapping” of fallen objects is secondary to the P-trap’s main function of “trapping” sewer gases.

58 Film composer Morricone : ENNIO

Ennio Morricone was an Italian composer best known for writing music for films and television shows. It was Morricone who wrote the fabulous scores for the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, including the theme for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

61 The blue part of blue cheese : MOLD

Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly, a very poor one), the term “bleu cheese” has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Beat in chess : MATED
5 Astronomer who lost part of his nose in a sword duel : BRAHE
10 Classic Jumbotron shout-out : HI MOM!
14 Frost : HOAR
15 Takes a bit off : PARES
16 Certain newspaper column : OP-ED
17 Boot : OUST
18 Sorna y Nublar, en “Jurassic Park” : ISLAS
19 Long locks : MANE
20 Educator in a smock : ART TEACHER
22 Figure seen on Athena’s shield : MEDUSA
23 Thumbs-up : ASSENT
24 Skim : NO-FAT
26 Bit of letter-shaped hardware : T-NUT
28 Rangers’ domain : FORESTS
32 Thoroughbred, e.g. : RACEHORSE
36 FedEx Cup organizer : PGA TOUR
37 ___ of war : FOG
38 Bluish hues : TEALS
40 Muslim leaders : IMAMS
41 “A Promised Land” author, 2020 : OBAMA
43 Get into trouble, in a way : RAT ON
45 Grassy expanse : LEA
46 Some drinking vessels : GOBLETS
48 Kind of zone in a city : NO PARKING
50 1948 Literature Nobelist : TS ELIOT
52 Youngest player to score in the FIFA World Cup (age 17) : PELE
53 Two-word tribute : TO YOU!
55 Bottle topper : NIPPLE
59 Profession in an O’Neill title : ICEMAN
62 What “should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy,” per Noël Coward : DRY MARTINI
64 Declare : AVOW
65 Kid-lit character with a green suit and gold crown : BABAR
66 Midrange club : IRON
67 Award-winning Ward : SELA
68 Chess : check :: go : ___ : ATARI
69 “Pretty please?” : CAN I?
70 Geekish : NERDY
71 Fixes : MENDS
72 Big name in printers : EPSON

Down

1 Now: Sp. : AHORA
2 Talks up : TOUTS
3 Some bridge positions : EASTS
4 Leader of the house band on “The Muppet Show” : DR TEETH
5 Low-budget feature : B-PICTURE
6 Like decisions made on a dare, typically : RASH
7 “Stormy Weather” composer : ARLEN
8 Learn secondhand : HEAR OF
9 Either end of a school bus? : ESS
10 Side that usually has the most supporters : HOME TEAM
11 Device used in interactive museum displays : IPAD
12 What a “hamburger button” opens : MENU
13 Dedicated works : ODES
21 Reader’s jotting, e.g. : ANNOTATION
22 Reader’s jottings … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : MARGINALIA
25 Fancy-pants : FOP
27 Title derived from “Caesar” : TSAR
29 Most of a sugar cane : STALK
30 Marisa of “In the Bedroom” : TOMEI
31 Writer Sontag : SUSAN
32 Underway : AFOOT
33 Some salads : COBBS
34 French “equivalent” : EGALE
35 Gusto : ELAN
39 Dot on a subway map : STOP
42 Dissolve : MELT AWAY
44 Scan options for the claustrophobic : OPEN MRIS
47 Kind of milk or sauce : SOY
49 Put on sale, say : REPRICE
51 So far : TO DATE
54 Densely packed, in a way : URBAN
56 Under-the-sink fixture : P-TRAP
57 Animals depicted on the Ishtar Gate : LIONS
58 Film composer Morricone : ENNIO
59 Tried something? : CASE
60 At any time : EVER
61 The blue part of blue cheese : MOLD
63 About .914 meters : YARD
65 “Pow!” : BAM!

15 thoughts on “0331-22 NY Times Crossword 31 Mar 22, Thursday”

  1. 19:31, no errors. One that I’d have found easier to do on paper (and, oddly enough, it’s because I often write notes to myself as I do a difficult puzzle … 🤓).

    Yesterday, almost two months into my eightieth year, as a result of seeing “UNADON” in a recent crossword puzzle (not to mention seeing “EEL” in a host of other puzzles over the years), I went to a Japanese restaurant and ordered it. Good, but not spectacular; a bit bland; odd texture for a fish; rather expensive. All in all, I’ll probably do it again on my hundredth birthday (unless I get a bit more curious about the taste of “jellied eel” … 😜).

    1. And, by one of those strange coincidences (that seem to happen more often than one would expect), tomorrow’s WSJ crossword contains the clue “Eel eaten in Osaka”.

      I also Googled “jellied eel” and it appears that I will have to go back to England to sample it. (Who knows? Could happen … 🤨.)

    2. My Great Uncle used to take me fishing off the north shore of Long Island. We seemed to catch more eels than fish. He made his own version of “jellied eel” which had chunks of carrots, celery and who knows what else suspended in the gelatin along with the eel. Not even if I lived to be a hundred…

    3. As one who has also sauntered around the block a few times (about two months shy of my 77th notch), I highly suggest that you curb your curiosity concerning jellied eel. Two words: British cuisine. (Chop)Stick with the Japanese. Just sayin’.

  2. 43:06, no errors. Still trying to get used to tablet solving. Concur with Nonny, the ability to write outside the grid would have made this easier. I think I will stop posting ‘no errors’. A completion time in the NYT app implies ‘no errors’.
    61D: Agree with @Bill on the use of mixed language. As much as I dislike the use of foreign words in an English language puzzle, at least the setter had the cojones to make 18A entirely in Spanish.
    47D: What if Soy Milk is just Spanish milk introducing itself??

    1. A completion time in the NYT app implies ‘no errors’.

      Not for me. As I tried to explain some time ago, if I don’t get a “success” indication from the app and I thereafter find and correct an actual error or errors that I made, I report it as such: “mm:ss after finding and correcting the following error(s): …”. As I’ve said in the past, though, one of the things I don’t like about solving on my iPad Mini is the frequency of “fat-fingering” errors of a sort that I very, very rarely make when solving on paper. I still report them as errors, but I don’t view them in quite the same way: if my finger goes off and hits an “m” instead of an “n” or an “e” instead of an “r’, it annoys the heck out of me, but I don’t feel the same sense of responsibility for it that I feel for other kinds of errors.

  3. 32:15, the major shortcoming of solving on an electronic device, in my case an IPhone. I knew the answers extended beyond the grid, but was too burned out from solving after cataract surgery to go back and establish what the letters were.

  4. 23:10. Another hand up for those who think this may have been easier using pen and paper. In fact, I never really paid attention to what was written outside the margins until I came here.

    I don’t know how you guys do these on ipads or phones. I use a full size laptop with a real physical keyboard. I’d hate to see my times on those things.

    Had to go look up ATARI. It’s a situation in the game Go that really is similar to check in chess.

    I’ve had both OPEN MRIs and the standard ones. They aren’t all that much different – ie the open MRI’s aren’t all that open. It only takes about 5 minutes to do an MRI scan, but they do 7 or 8 different scans and that’s why it takes 40 minutes or so to do an MRI.

    I’m not a fan of blue cheese. Whenever it’s served to me I have to ask, “Is this something I eat or something I ate?” …

    Best –

  5. 28:29. I agree, solving on paper would have been most helpful. I was at 11 minutes halfway through, and then…my usual.

  6. Upon first review, I thought I would never be able to finish this puzzle. Anyway I did manage to finish it in 42 minutes with no errors. I agree that it is probably easier to use pen and paper although I don’t have online capabilities so no way of comparing.

  7. 12:52. Started on the wrong foot with ‘mate’ for 1A and ‘Tycho’ for 5A before catching on.

    Doing puzzles with pen and paper definitely made this one easier. I’ve tried it on the computer, but don’t like it much. Pen and paper is probably faster, at least for me.

  8. Pen and paper easier? I’m not sure why. I always do p&p and finished this puzzle fairly easily without marginalia. You just use your head.

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