0301-23 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 23, Wednesday

Constructed by: Aaron M. Rosenberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): He Sounds Like Some Royal!

Themed answers are common phrases with the last word split into two parts (xxx-king) to fit with the clue:

  • 17A Hark! And hear of the vengeful ruler who took great pleasure in expelling disloyal subjects, for he was the … : PERSONAL BAN KING (personal banking)
  • 28A Listen now! And I shall relate the story of the curious sovereign who adorned his castle with images of red fruit, for he was the … : CHERRY PIC KING (cherry-picking)
  • 47A Lend me your ear! And I will speak of the clumsy monarch who took twice as many golf strokes as his opponents, for he was the … : DOUBLE PAR KING (double parking)
  • 57A Give heed! And listen to my tale of the mad tyrant who decreed that all toilets in his realm be installed the wrong way, for he was the … : BACKWARD LOO KING (backward looking)

Bill’s time: 8m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 French destination that’s one of UNESCO’s “Great Spa Towns of Europe” : VICHY

Vichy is a spa town in the center of France, and people from Vichy are known as Vichyssois. After Paris was occupied by the Germans in WWII, Vichy was chosen as the seat of government for what was called the French State. The Vichy government had theoretical authority even in occupied France, and is remembered for its collaboration with the German authorities. Vichy was chosen as the new seat of government because of its relative proximity to Paris, and simply because the town had the largest hotel room capacity in the “free zone” of the country.

14 October birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

20 Apt recourse for a deal gone sour? : LEMON LAW

Long before we associated the term “lemon” with a defective car, it was used to describe defective items in general.

22 Kind of computer port : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and dealing with electrical power through those connections.

24 Tiny tunneler : ANT

Anthills are actually underground nests. The ants in the colony excavate below ground, resulting in a pile of sand or soil above ground.

32 “Au contraire, ___ frère” : MON

“Au contraire” is French for “on the contrary”.

33 CPR provider : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

34 ___ Day (Down Under holiday) : ANZAC

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was a unit formed in WWI that is most notably associated with the Battle of Gallipoli.

38 Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat : SAJAK

Pat Sajak took over as host of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

42 Sellout sign : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

50 Ice cream order : SUNDAE

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

52 Guitarist Paul : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

63 Element of the Vegas strip? : NEON

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas opened in 1996 and features many old signs from the heyday of the Las Vegas Strip. Much of the museum is a “boneyard”, housing about 150 signs on 6 acres of land.

Down

2 Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE

The first video game featuring the ape named Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That same game introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

3 German engineer who designed and built the first practical automobile (1885) : KARL BENZ

It is generally accepted that Karl Benz invented the internal combustion engine, although others were doing similar work around the same time. He certainly was awarded the first patent for an automobile, in 1886. His first automobile, the Patent-Motorwagen, couldn’t get up hills unaided so his wife Bertha Benz suggested the introduction of gears. Sure enough, the next model had two gears. Behind every successful man …

8 With all judges present : EN BANC

“En banc” is a French term, translating as “on a bench”. It refers to the cases in which all the judges of a court hear a case, as opposed to a case heard just by a panel, a subset of the full complement. The phrase is sometimes written as “in banc” in the US.

12 Din from a gaggle : HONKS

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

18 ___ Little, “The Wire” antihero : OMAR

The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series “The Wire”.

27 Remove from a bulletin board, say : UNTACK

What we know as a thumb tack here in North America is called a drawing pin in British English. Thumbtacks made from brass might be referred to as “brass tacks”, giving us the expression “getting down to brass tacks” meaning “getting down to the finer details”.

35 Gunk : CRUD

The word “crud”, meaning “something disgusting”, is American slang dating back to the 1920s. Originating in the US Army, the term was used in place of “venereal disease”.

40 Actress Hathaway : ANNE

Actress Anne Hathaway is a trained soprano singer. She put that training on display in the 2012 film adaptation of “Les Misérables,” for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

45 “Over There,” for one : WAR SONG

“Over There” is a song that was popular in both WWI and WWII. It was written in 1917 by George M. Cohan, soon after the US declared war against Germany. The song’s title refers to being “over there” in Europe, fighting the good fight.

47 Chowderheads : DUNCES

The word “chowderhead”, applied to someone who is regarded as stupid, has nothing to do with chowder at all. Rather, it is a corruption of an older term “cholter-head” meaning the same thing, but of unknown origin.

50 Screw-up : SNAFU

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

53 Footnote abbr. : IBID

Ibid. is short for the Latin word “ibidem” and is typically found in footnotes and bibliographies. Ibid. is used to refer the reader to the prior citation, instead of giving the same information all over again (title, author etc.).

58 Dennings of “2 Broke Girls” : 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like some plants that don’t need watering : FAKE
5 “G’day, ___!” : MATE
9 French destination that’s one of UNESCO’s “Great Spa Towns of Europe” : VICHY
14 October birthstone : OPAL
15 Bun holder, so to speak : OVEN
16 Allergic reaction : ACHOO!
17 Hark! And hear of the vengeful ruler who took great pleasure in expelling disloyal subjects, for he was the … : PERSONAL BAN KING (personal banking)
20 Apt recourse for a deal gone sour? : LEMON LAW
21 Lead-in to an alias : AKA …
22 Kind of computer port : USB
24 Tiny tunneler : ANT
25 What a pitcher allows in a baseball shutout : NO RUNS
28 Listen now! And I shall relate the story of the curious sovereign who adorned his castle with images of red fruit, for he was the … : CHERRY PIC KING (cherry-picking)
31 Common theme park sight : LINE
32 “Au contraire, ___ frère” : MON
33 CPR provider : EMT
34 ___ Day (Down Under holiday) : ANZAC
36 Young seal : PUP
38 Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat : SAJAK
42 Sellout sign : SRO
44 Glimpsed : SAW
46 Walker’s aid : CANE
47 Lend me your ear! And I will speak of the clumsy monarch who took twice as many golf strokes as his opponents, for he was the … : DOUBLE PAR KING (double parking)
50 Ice cream order : SUNDAE
51 Fury : IRE
52 Guitarist Paul : LES
53 Quaint lodging : INN
54 Letter opening : MAIL SLOT
57 Give heed! And listen to my tale of the mad tyrant who decreed that all toilets in his realm be installed the wrong way, for he was the … : BACKWARD LOO KING (backward looking)
62 Worrier’s words : I FEAR
63 Element of the Vegas strip? : NEON
64 French girlfriend : AMIE
65 Like many attics : DUSTY
66 Zesty flavor : TANG
67 Holler : YELL

Down

1 Dandy : FOP
2 Donkey Kong, e.g. : APE
3 German engineer who designed and built the first practical automobile (1885) : KARL BENZ
4 Otherwise : ELSE
5 Cher or Madonna, e.g. : MONONYM
6 Experimental-but-accessible music genre : AVANT-POP
7 What a poker player wears shades to hide : TELL
8 With all judges present : EN BANC
9 Mobile dwelling for modern nomads : VAN
10 “So gross!” : ICK!
11 Award-winning science fiction writer Ted : CHIANG
12 Din from a gaggle : HONKS
13 Class with mats : YOGA
18 ___ Little, “The Wire” antihero : OMAR
19 Came to : AWOKE
22 Sch. whose newspaper is the Daily Bruin : UCLA
23 Knee/ankle connector : SHIN
26 Parts of glasses : RIMS
27 Remove from a bulletin board, say : UNTACK
29 What “Why?” tries to uncover : REASON
30 Occupied : IN USE
35 Gunk : CRUD
37 French for “butterfly” : PAPILLON
39 Certain legal consequence : JAIL TIME
40 Actress Hathaway : ANNE
41 Beer holders : KEGS
43 With Springsteen, co-host of the podcast “Renegades: Born in the USA” : OBAMA
45 “Over There,” for one : WAR SONG
47 Chowderheads : DUNCES
48 Discovered, British-style : LEARNT
49 Move, in real estate jargon : RELO
50 Screw-up : SNAFU
53 Footnote abbr. : IBID
55 It’s just a thought : IDEA
56 Verbal thumbs-up : OKAY
58 Dennings of “2 Broke Girls” : KAT
59 Ironically humorous : WRY
60 Zilch : NIL
61 Come together, as plans : GEL

8 thoughts on “0301-23 NY Times Crossword 1 Mar 23, Wednesday”

  1. 23:14 wanted to enter “lemonade” for 20A, but couldn’t make it work after filling in the “down” answers. And you wonder why ai do the “down” answers first….

  2. 9:48. Just kinda sensed the theme until after I finished. I just filled in the squares rather than try to parse those long clues. That said, it was a clever theme.

    After working outside or something, I’ll never claim I’m covered in CRUD again after Bill’s explanation.

    OMAR was such a great character in “The Wire”. Michael K Williams, the actor who played him, died after an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. Sad. He was only 54.

    The mountains behind the Vegas strip today are white with snow. It’s been a crazy winter here. We’ve been 10-20 degrees below normal since November….but I doubt I’ll get much sympathy from Duncan about that. We’re (finally) supposed to hit 70 again late next week.

    Best –

  3. Jeff, you’ll be amused to know that while Buffalo got pummeled twice, Rochester has gone 351 consecutive days without exceeding 3 inches of snow in any one day. Of course, that’s gonna change on Friday….(insert sinister movie music here)

  4. 22:11
    Completed with 2 errors
    Sunday and backwandlooking

    ***

    My rules/definitions – computer crosswords.

    Solved = the last letter entered in the last blank square in the grid triggers success message.

    Completed with error(s) – entered a letter in all squares in the grid, with no success message.

    Incomplete = quit with blanks.

    Look-up. Automatic disqualification.

  5. 21:06 no errors…the theme took a minute but then helped.
    Candidate for obscure clue of the month Anzac.
    Stay safe😀

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