0310-23 NY Times Crossword 10 Mar 23, Friday

Constructed by: Claire Rimkus
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 “Man, oh, man!” : HOLY TOLEDO!

The origin of the term “Holy Toledo!” is much debated. My favorite story is that it comes from the days of Vaudeville. Back then, the week before Easter (Holy Week) was the worst week at the box office. Old Vaudeville entertainers used to quip that any week in Toledo was Holy Week, that ticket sales were always bad there. They referred to the city as “Holy Toledo”.

17 Skedaddle unexpectedly : UP AND LEAVE

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away”, one that dates back to the Civil War.

21 High on marijuana, in slang : BAKED

Marijuana cigarettes have been known as reefers since the twenties. It is thought that the term “reefers” comes from either the Mexican Spanish for a drug addict (“grifo”), or from its resemblance to a rolled sail, i.e. a sail that has been “reefed”.

23 Speedo-like : SCANTY

Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

25 Big little role in the Marvel Universe : ANT-MAN

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

29 Tolkien’s Sauron, for one : LORD

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, Sauron is the actual “Lord of the Rings”. Sauron was the Dark Lord Morgoth’s trusted lieutenant.

30 Salt component : ION

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound. It comprises a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na+) ions in between the chlorides.

32 Actress Lindsay : LOHAN

I think that actress Lindsay Lohan’s big break came with the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998. I’ve really only enjoyed one of Lohan’s films though, “Freaky Friday” from 2003 in which she stars alongside the fabulous Jamie Lee Curtis.

34 When “NCIS” has aired for most of its run: Abbr. : TUE

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

40 Out of control : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

42 Schooner filler : ALE

A schooner is a glass of varying capacity, depending on where it’s used. Over in Britain, a schooner is a large sherry glass. The smaller sherry glass is known as a clipper, with both names apparently referring to the size of ships that brought sherry over from Spain. Here in the US, a schooner is usually a beer glass that’s rounded, with a short stem. The size can be anything from 18 oz. to 32 oz.

45 Goddess who helped Perseus defeat Medusa : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

47 “Better Call Saul” character ___ Fring : GUS

Gus Fring is a character on the hit AMC television show “Breaking Bad” and the prequel “Better Call Saul”. Fring is a Machiavellian drug lord who fronts his illegal activities with a successful chain of fast food restaurants called Los Pollos Hermanos. He is played by actor Giancarlo Esposito.

51 Vehicle whose name may or may not be derived from the phrase “just enough essential parts” : JEEP

The Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming need for the armed forces as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies. The design and brand eventually ended up with AMC in the seventies and eighties.

56 Citrus drink since 1979 : MELLO YELLO

Like so many beverages introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, Mello Yello was launched to compete against a successful drink already on the market. Mello Yello first hit the shelves in 1979, and was designed to take market share from Pepsico’s “Mountain Dew”.

59 Toy brick figurine : LEGO PERSON

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

60 Lacking width and depth, for short : ONE-D

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore, a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

Down

3 Page or Ameche of football : ALAN

Alan Page is a former NFL footballer who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. While still playing professional football, Page went to the University of Minnesota Law School and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1978. Outside of the football season, Page then worked at a law firm. In 1992, he was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court, becoming the first African American to serve on the court.

4 Ibsen’s “Peer ___” : GYNT

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

7 Assembly of starships : FLEET

In the “Star Trek” universe, starships were powered by matter-antimatter reactions. The warp speed achieved by the engines is very much like our real-world Mach number. Just as a plane traveling at Mach 1 is moving at the speed of sound, a starship traveling at warp factor 1 is moving at the speed of light. Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound, and warp factor 2 is twice the speed of light. Cool, huh …?

11 Like a hive mind? : APIAN

Something described as apian is related to bees. “Apis” is Latin for “bee”.

12 Things on spines : BOOK TITLES

In the US, the convention is to write the title on the spine of a book from top-to-bottom. In most of Europe, the convention is to write the title from bottom-to-top. We have a lot of books in the “library” in our house from both sides of the Atlantic, and so there is much movement of the head from left to right as we glance along our bookshelves.

14 Jazz trumpeter Jones : THAD

Thad Jones was a jazz trumpeter and bandleader from Pontiac, Michigan. Thad came from a very musical family. His older brother was Hank Jones the jazz pianist, and his younger brother was Elvin Jones the jazz drummer.

22 Poseurs : WANNABES

“Poseur” is a French word that we absorbed into English in the mid-1800s to describe someone who pretends to be what he or she is not. The root French verb “poser” means “to affect an attitude or pose”.

24 Losing dice roll : CRAP

To crap out is to make a losing roll on the first throw in a game of craps. A losing roll (aka “a crap”) is a roll of 2, 3 or 12.

28 People, e.g., informally : MAG

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

31 Cousins of axolotls : NEWTS

An axolotl is a salamander that is native to Central Mexico. The name “axolotl” translates as “water monster”, It’s an ugly little creature …

38 Luggage tag letters for a Delta hub : LGA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers when it was Huff Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name “Delta Air Service” was introduced in 1928.

44 It’s blue on a Risk board : EUROPE

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

48 Sesame Street resident : ELMO

In 2002, The Muppet Elmo got to testify before a US House subcommittee. Elmo’s goal was to get an increase in funding for music education. In the transcript of the hearing, his statements are ascribed to “Elmo Monster” and “Mr. Monster”.

50 Kurylenko of “Black Widow” : OLGA

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian actress and model. Kurylenko played the Bond girl Camille Montes in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace”.

“Black Widow” is a 2021 superhero movie in the Marvel Comics universe. The title character is played by Scarlett Johansson, a role that she played in several earlier films.

51 No-goodnik : JERK

The suffix “-nik” is of Slavic origin. It is somewhat like the suffix “-er” in English. By adding “-nik” to a noun, the new word describes a person related to what that noun describes. Examples of the use of “-nik” in mainstream English are “beatnik” and “”refusenik”. Examples of more casual “-nik” terms are “neatnik” and “peacenik”.

53 North Carolina college town : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

56 Org. for D.C. United : MLS

D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Audi Field, moving from Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 2017.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Protagonist’s pride, often : TRAGIC FLAW
11 Rather : A BIT
15 “Man, oh, man!” : HOLY TOLEDO!
16 Pantsless Disney character : POOH
17 Skedaddle unexpectedly : UP AND LEAVE
18 It has a higher population of pigs than people : IOWA
19 Beginning of a large amount of work : DENT
20 “___ Vidi Vicious” (critically acclaimed 2000 album by the Hives) : VENI
21 High on marijuana, in slang : BAKED
22 “The salt of conversation, not the food,” per William Hazlitt : WIT
23 Speedo-like : SCANTY
25 Big little role in the Marvel Universe : ANT-MAN
29 Tolkien’s Sauron, for one : LORD
30 Salt component : ION
32 Actress Lindsay : LOHAN
33 Pronounced : ORAL
34 When “NCIS” has aired for most of its run: Abbr. : TUE
35 Firm support for a mom-to-be : PREGNANCY PILLOW
39 ___ Highness : HER
40 Out of control : AMOK
41 One who may wear a badge : AGENT
42 Schooner filler : ALE
43 Plays favorites, perhaps : BETS
44 Clears : ERASES
45 Goddess who helped Perseus defeat Medusa : ATHENA
47 “Better Call Saul” character ___ Fring : GUS
48 Community spirit : ETHOS
49 1 on a scale of 1 to 5, maybe : POOR
51 Vehicle whose name may or may not be derived from the phrase “just enough essential parts” : JEEP
55 Reclines : LIES
56 Citrus drink since 1979 : MELLO YELLO
58 Seconds : MORE
59 Toy brick figurine : LEGO PERSON
60 Lacking width and depth, for short : ONE-D
61 Some days reserved for wellness : SPA WEEKEND

Down

1 A bad joke might land with one : THUD
2 Bit of cowboy gear : ROPE
3 Page or Ameche of football : ALAN
4 Ibsen’s “Peer ___” : GYNT
5 “___ be an honor …” : IT’D
6 Civil rights pioneer Claudette of Montgomery : COLVIN
7 Assembly of starships : FLEET
8 Slight advantage, in political forecasting : LEAN
9 Like some boards : ADVISORY
10 Trouble : WOE
11 Like a hive mind? : APIAN
12 Things on spines : BOOK TITLES
13 Words of appreciation : I OWE YOU ONE
14 Jazz trumpeter Jones : THAD
21 They’re easy to read, typically : BAD LIARS
22 Poseurs : WANNABES
24 Losing dice roll : CRAP
25 Dominant : ALPHA
26 Like singer Michelle Williams and actress Michelle Williams : NO RELATION
27 “It’s all gonna be OK” : THERE, THERE
28 People, e.g., informally : MAG
29 Secures : LOCKS
31 Cousins of axolotls : NEWTS
36 Service call? : AMEN!
37 “Shut your mouth!” : NOT A PEEP!
38 Luggage tag letters for a Delta hub : LGA
44 It’s blue on a Risk board : EUROPE
46 Cheated, in slang : HOSED
47 Use smear tactics, say : GO LOW
48 Sesame Street resident : ELMO
50 Kurylenko of “Black Widow” : OLGA
51 No-goodnik : JERK
52 “What ___?” : ELSE
53 North Carolina college town : ELON
54 Turtle’s habitat : POND
56 Org. for D.C. United : MLS
57 “___-haw!” : YEE

5 thoughts on “0310-23 NY Times Crossword 10 Mar 23, Friday”

  1. 23:47. Smooth solve, but I somehow managed to more than double Bill’s time anyway.

    For “Poseurs” I immediately entered “charlatans” until I realized it didn’t fit. Also had a million iterations of “parental leave” trying to fill PREGNANCY PILLOW. Another example of being a little too clever thinking “firm” was work related.

    Had never heard that acronym for JEEP. I had one once, and I loved it. It was the first new car I ever owned after driving a beat up Volkswagen bug and a little Toyota Supra with nearly 200,000 miles on it through college and grad school. But it’s really more of a great second car rather than a main car. Maybe I’ll get one again someday.

    Best –

  2. 23:15, 2 errors: VE(D)I/LEA(D). Cruising through this Friday puzzle, until I got the ‘Almost There’ message at 18 minutes. Spent the last 5 minutes trying, unsuccessfully, to find the error.
    If I weren’t a big fan of Mad magazine in the 60’s, I would have never gotten the axolotl reference.

  3. 50:12 no errors…I was sure this was a DNF until it wasn’t.
    23 & 35A really slowed me down.
    Stay safe😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *