0326-23 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 23, Sunday

Constructed by: David Karp
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: I Do, I Do … Do!

Themed answers are common phrases but with a letter I dropped from the final word:

  • 119A Band with the 1997 hit “Semi-Charmed Life” … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s theme : THIRD EYE BLIND
  • 23A Preparing to put earrings in an ogre? : PIERCING SHREK (from “piercing shriek”)
  • 31A The Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square, and others? : ORIGIN STORES (from “origin stories”)
  • 52A Pentad for a poetry performance? : FIVE PILLARS OF SLAM (from “Five Pillars of Islam”)
  • 68A Shopping for some cereal? : PICKING ONE’S BRAN (from “picking one’s brain”)
  • 87A Prize in a chowder cook-off? : CERTIFICATE OF CLAM (from “certificate of claim”)
  • 104A Old-timey wizard who needs to learn some manners? : SPITTING MAGE (from “spitting image”)

Bill’s time: 18m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Subject in sexology : G-SPOT

The full name for the G-spot is the “Gräfenberg spot”, named after German doctor Ernst Gräfenberg. Gräfenberg is best known for developing the intrauterine device (IUD).

20 Stacked haphazardly : IN A PILE

Our word “hap” means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like “haphazard” and even “happen”. “To happen” originally meant “to occur by hap, by chance”.

22 Band stan : GROUPIE

“Stan” is a song by rapper Eminem (featuring Dido) that was recorded in 2000. The title refers to a fictional Eminem fan named “Stan” who becomes obsessed with the rapper, and who grows irate when his letters to his idol go unanswered. Stan’s final act is to make a voice recording as he drives into a river, with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk. One of the legacies of the song is that “stan” is now used as a slang term for an obsessed and maniacal fan.

23 Preparing to put earrings in an ogre? : PIERCING SHREK (from “piercing shriek”)

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” that was authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

27 Revealer of the Wizard of Oz : TOTO

Towards the end of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy’s little dog Toto pulls back a green curtain to reveal the true identity of the Wizard.

31 The Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square, and others? : ORIGIN STORES (from “origin stories”)

In the world of superheroes, an origin story outlines how that character gained his or her superpowers.

45 Home to five U.S. national parks : UTAH

The highest number of National Parks (NPs) in any one state is nine, in California. Alaska comes in second with eight, and Utah comes in third with five. The five NPs in Utah are:

  • Arches NP
  • Bryce Canyon NP
  • Canyonlands NP
  • Capitol Reef NP
  • Zion NP

49 E.M.T.’s apparatus, informally : DEFIB

A defibrillator (defib) might be operated by an emergency medical technician (EMT).

51 Org. that facilitates adoptions : ASPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

52 Pentad for a poetry performance? : FIVE PILLARS OF SLAM (from “Five Pillars of Islam”)

A poetry slam is a competition in which poets read their own work (usually), with winners being chosen by members of the audience. Apparently the first poetry slam took place in Chicago in 1984. Now there is a National Poetry Slam that takes place each year, with representatives from the US, Canada and France.

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

57 Infection fighter : T CELL

T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body’s immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

58 In ___ (as found) : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

59 What “O” might stand for : HUG

In the sequence letter sequence “X-O-X”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “O-O-O” is a string of hugs, and “X-X-X” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

61 TV spy drama of the early 2000s : ALIAS

“Alias” is an action show that was aired by ABC from 2001 to 2006. Star of the show is Jennifer Garner. Garner plays a CIA agent named Sydney Bristow who must adopt multiple aliases over the series for her missions, while concealing her real career from family and friends. Sydney’s mother is a former Russian spy played by the marvelous Lena Olin.

66 Supreme Court surname : ROBERTS

John Roberts is the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. Roberts was a nominee of President George W. Bush and assumed office in 2005. President Bush first proposed Roberts as an Associate Justice to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. However, Chief Justice Rehnquist died before Roberts could be confirmed, so President Bush instead nominated Roberts for the vacant Chief Justice seat.

76 One side of a battery : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

80 The “L” of L.V. : LAS

Las Vegas (LV)

82 Vegan alternative to gelatin : AGAR

Gelatin is a foodstuff that is used as a gelling agent in cooking, and for the shells of pharmaceutical capsules. Over 800 million pounds of gelatin are produced every year worldwide. It is produced from by-products of the meat and leather industries. Gelatin is basically modified collagen derived from pork skins and the bones of cattle, pigs and horses. So, vegans usually avoid things like gummy bears and marshmallows.

84 Literary character described as “a stout little fellow with red cheeks” : FRODO

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. He is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

87 Prize in a chowder cook-off? : CERTIFICATE OF CLAM (from “certificate of claim”)

The type of soup known as “chowder” is possibly named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

92 Gen Zer who might be into faux freckles and anime : E-GIRL

E-girls and e-boys (maybe “e-kids”) may spend a lot of time on social media, especially TikTok, hence the use of the prefix “e-”.

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generation that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y). Gen-Zers are also known as “Zoomers”, a portmanteau of “Z” and “boomer” (as in “baby boomer”).

94 Start of many a Father’s Day card : TO DAD …

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

96 ___ mater : ALMA

The term “alma mater” is used to describe a school from which one has graduated. It can also describe a school’s song or hymn.

103 You might need just the “last four” of it: Abbr. : SSN

So often, we are asked for “the last four digits” of our Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

104 Old-timey wizard who needs to learn some manners? : SPITTING MAGE (from “spitting image”)

“Mage” is an archaic word meaning “magician, wizard”.

“Spitting image” is used to describe someone who looks very much like another. The phrase used to be written as “spit and image”, and makes use of the concept that a person is made up of the stuff of one’s parents (i.e. the spit) and has the look of one’s parents (i.e. the image). The expression “you are the very spit of your mother/father” uses the same ideas.

108 Be overly sweet : CLOY

To cloy is to cause distaste by oversupplying something that would otherwise be pleasant, especially something with a sweet taste.

111 Faith founded in Persia : BAHA’I

The Baha’i Faith is relatively new in the scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i scripture specifies some particular architectural requirements for houses of worship, including that the building have a nine-sided, circular shape. It is also specified that there be no pictures, statues or images displayed within a temple.

115 “Black” or “Pink” animal : PANTHER

The big cats known as black panthers are found in Asia, Africa and the Americas. The black panthers of Asia and Africa are black leopards. Those in the Americas are black jaguars.

The Pink Panther is a character who appears in the main title of most of “The Pink Panther” series of films. The character became so popular that he was featured in a whole series of short films, and even merited his own “The Pink Panther Show”, which was a cartoon series that was shown on NBC on Saturday mornings.

125 Klingon speaker, say : TREKKIE

Fans of “Star Trek” refer to themselves as “trekkies”.

Klingons are a warrior race often featured in the “Star Trek” franchise of shows. Back in the first “Star Trek” movie, the actor James Doohan (who played “Scottie”) put together some Klingon dialogue that was used in the film. For subsequent movies, the American linguist Marc Okrand was commissioned to develop a working Klingon language, which he duly did, using the original words from Doohan as its basis.

126 Deadlock : IMPASSE

“Impasse” is a French word describing a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

127 C-suite members : EXECS

The C-suite is the suite of offices assigned to senior management. The “C” reference is to the abbreviation for “Chief”, the word that starts the titles of many senior officers in a company, e.g. chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Down

3 Greek earth goddess : GAEA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (also “Gaia”, and meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

4 Lavender unit : SPRIG

“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. It is used as an ornamental plant, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to the use of essential oils in bathing.

5 Walk in the park … or sit in a park, maybe : PICNIC

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

6 Actor Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

13 Encourage : EGG ON

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

16 “Gloomy” guy : GUS

The original Gloomy Gus was a pessimistic character in newspaper comics in the early 1900s, who was introduced to the public by illustrator Frederick Burr.

19 Rx request : MED

There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

28 Lacquer, e.g. : FINISH

Lacquers are durable varnishes. The original lacquers were all natural products, but there’s a tendency today to use the term “shellacs” for natural finishes, and to use “lacquers” for synthetic finishes. The term “lacquer” ultimately comes from the Sanskrit word “laksha”, which described both the lac insect and the resinous secretion the insect produces.

30 Home to wild Bactrian camels : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. It is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s forward progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a camel is the large deposit of fatty tissue on its back. The dromedary is the most common camel, and has one hump of fatty tissue on its back. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and makes up just 6% of the world’s camel population. Those fatty humps are useful if no food or water is available, as fat can be broken down into water and energy.

33 Lead-in to -logue : IDEO-

Our word “ideology” was imported from French, in which language “idéologie” was coined by philosopher Destutt de Tracy In the late 1800s. He created the word from the Greek “idea” meaning “form, nature, sort”. Within a few years, “ideology” was being used to describe a systematic set of ideas through which the world was interpreted.

34 N.F.L. quarterback Jared : GOFF

Jared Goff is a quarterback who was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the first overall pick in the NFL’s 2016 draft. Jared is the son of former Major League Baseball catcher Jerry Goff.

36 Falcon, hawk or eagle : RAPTOR

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

40 City at the foot of the Adirondacks : UTICA

Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

41 What may bring a meeting to order : GAVEL

The small hammer that one raps on a table or desk to call a meeting to order, or perhaps to signify a sale at an auction, is called a gavel. The term “gavel” is actually American English, and is a word that emerged in the early 19th century.

43 Cholesterol-lowering drug : STATIN

Sterols occur in nature in both plants and animals. The most famous of the animal sterols is cholesterol, which is found in all animals as a vital component of cell walls. Cholesterol is made within the body, so it isn’t a necessary part of the diet.

50 Words for a cover : BLURB

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

53 Like many a lumberjack’s shirt : PLAID

“Tartan” is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a plaid is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

55 Ancient marketplace : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

60 Spanish resort island, to locals : MENORCA

The island of Minorca in the Mediterranean takes its name from the larger neighboring island of Majorca. The names come from the Latin “Insula Minor” meaning “Minor Island” and “Insula Major” meaning “Major Island”. The island is known as “Minorca” in English, and “Menorca” in Spanish and Catalan.

62 “Do”-to-“do” delivery : SCALE

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

65 Pioneering computer : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

67 National park in the Canadian Rockies : BANFF

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is located high in the Canadian Rockies and is a popular tourist destination. The town of Banff and the surrounding park were given their name in 1884 by then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He named Banff for his birthplace of Banffshire in Scotland.

69 Former retail giant : KMART

Kmart was the third-largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart was famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

71 Cousin of a stingray : SKATE

Skates (formally “Rajidae”) are a family of fish in the superorder of rays (formally “batoidea”). Skates look very similar to stingrays, but they lack stinging spines.

72 Dwindles, with “out” : PETERS …

The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpeter”, a constituent of gunpowder.

74 Something made in a press : PANINI

In Italy, a sandwich made from sliced bread is called a “tramezzino”, while sandwiches made from non-sliced breads are called “panini” (singular “panino”). We’ve imported the plural term “panini” into English to describe a single pressed and toasted sandwich.

77 Things a plangonologist collects : DOLLS

A plangonologist is a collector of dolls, although it’s a word that I can’t find in a mainstream dictionary. The term derives from the wax doll called a “plaggon” that was used for female roles in Greek theater, as women were not allowed to perform. Over time, “plaggon” became “plangon”, giving us plangonology.

83 “The museum of social decay,” per Gary Oldman : REALITY TV

Gary Oldman is an English stage and screen actor. Like many English actors it seems, Oldman has played a lot of villains in Hollywood movies e.g. in “Air Force One” and “The Fifth Element”. My favorite Oldman performance is as Ludwig van Beethoven in “Immortal Beloved”. He also gave an outstanding, and Oscar-winning, portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”.

85 The so-called “Pearl of Arabia” : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

87 Strapless accessories : CLUTCHES

A clutch purse is a handbag with no strap at all. It is designed to be carried in the hand, to be “clutched”.

88 As above, in citations : IDEM

“Idem” is usually abbreviated as “id.” and is the Latin word for “the same”. In research papers, “idem” is used in a list of references, in place of citations “already mentioned above”.

89 ___ bean : FAVA

The fava bean is also known as the broad bean. “Broad bean” is used “broadly” (pun!) in the UK, whereas “fava bean” is common in the US. “Fava” is the Italian name for the broad bean.

100 Comedy’s ___ the Entertainer : CEDRIC

“Cedric the Entertainer” is the stage name of actor and comedian Cedric Kyles from Jefferson City, MIssouri. Cedric is known as a co-star of “The Steve Harvey Show” sitcom and as a comedian showcased in the Spike Lee film “The Original Kings of Comedy” released in 2000.

102 Cartoon character who said “Van Gogh would’ve sold more than one painting if he’d put tigers in them” : HOBBES

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

105 Like the goddess Hel : NORSE

Hel is a being from Norse Mythology who presides over a realm that is also called Hel. The underworld of Hel receives many of the dead, and the term “go to Hel” is used in Norse accounts to mean “to die”.

106 March 14 dessert, appropriately : PIE

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

107 “The birds and the bees” and others : TALKS

A talk about “the facts of life” might be referred to as a talk about “the birds and the bees”. The idea is that birds laying eggs and bees carrying pollen into flowers are useful metaphors for ovulation and fertilization respectively.

110 Pope writings : ODES

Alexander Pope was an English poet who was famous for his own compositions as well as for a translation of Homer’s works. One of Pope’s most notable poems is “Ode on Solitude” that opens with:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old!

113 Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL

Anil Kapoor is an Indian actor who is probably best known in North America for playing the game show host in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also played the president of the fictional nation of Kamistan in the eighth season of the hit TV show “24”.

The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. A low-budget movie, it ended up winning eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

114 Two weeks after calends, approximately : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

115 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame architect : PEI

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be visited on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 and started inducting artists in 1986. The Foundation didn’t get a home until the museum was dedicated in Cleveland in 1995. I had the great privilege of visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years ago and really enjoyed myself. The magnificent building was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

118 Wand-waving org. : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

120 Spell of bad luck? : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Businesses that might offer “pawdicures” : DOG SPAS
8 Subject in sexology : G-SPOT
13 Feeling of auditory bliss, in a modern coinage : EARGASM
20 Stacked haphazardly : IN A PILE
21 Some religious artwork : ICONS
22 Band stan : GROUPIE
23 Preparing to put earrings in an ogre? : PIERCING SHREK (from “piercing shriek”)
25 Understood : GRASPED
26 Treat, as wood : STAIN
27 Revealer of the Wizard of Oz : TOTO
28 Hostile parties : FOES
29 Nickname for Luigi : GIGIO
31 The Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square, and others? : ORIGIN STORES (from “origin stories”)
39 Harbor boat : TUG
42 Downside : CON
43 Had trouble with, as an icy road : SLID ON
44 Defeat decisively : THRASH
45 Home to five U.S. national parks : UTAH
47 Instruction in a meringue recipe : BEAT
49 E.M.T.’s apparatus, informally : DEFIB
51 Org. that facilitates adoptions : ASPCA
52 Pentad for a poetry performance? : FIVE PILLARS OF SLAM (from “Five Pillars of Islam”)
56 Outdo : TOP
57 Infection fighter : T CELL
58 In ___ (as found) : SITU
59 What “O” might stand for : HUG
60 “What’s ___ …” : MORE
61 TV spy drama of the early 2000s : ALIAS
63 Watch all at once, say : BINGE
66 Supreme Court surname : ROBERTS
68 Shopping for some cereal? : PICKING ONE’S BRAN (from “picking one’s brain”)
72 Deep-fried appetizer often served with chutney : PAPADAM
75 Big fuss : STINK
76 One side of a battery : ANODE
79 “Good heavens!” : EGAD!
80 The “L” of L.V. : LAS
82 Vegan alternative to gelatin : AGAR
84 Literary character described as “a stout little fellow with red cheeks” : FRODO
86 What “X” might stand for : TEN
87 Prize in a chowder cook-off? : CERTIFICATE OF CLAM (from “certificate of claim”)
92 Gen Zer who might be into faux freckles and anime : E-GIRL
94 Start of many a Father’s Day card : TO DAD …
95 Campy stuff? : GEAR
96 ___ mater : ALMA
97 Was completely depleted : RAN OUT
99 Smartphone, e.g. : DEVICE
101 “Well, ___-di-dah!” : LAH
103 You might need just the “last four” of it: Abbr. : SSN
104 Old-timey wizard who needs to learn some manners? : SPITTING MAGE (from “spitting image”)
106 Fly : PILOT
108 Be overly sweet : CLOY
109 “No chickening out!” : DO IT!
111 Faith founded in Persia : BAHA’I
115 “Black” or “Pink” animal : PANTHER
119 Band with the 1997 hit “Semi-Charmed Life” … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s theme : THIRD EYE BLIND
123 They might wipe the slate clean : ERASERS
124 Spine-tingling : EERIE
125 Klingon speaker, say : TREKKIE
126 Deadlock : IMPASSE
127 C-suite members : EXECS
128 Pots and pans, e.g. : VESSELS

Down

1 Ballroom dance moves : DIPS
2 “Will do!” : ON IT!
3 Greek earth goddess : GAEA
4 Lavender unit : SPRIG
5 Walk in the park … or sit in a park, maybe : PICNIC
6 Actor Mahershala : ALI
7 Lookouts : SENTINELS
8 General idea : GIST
9 Classy establishment? : SCHOOL
10 ___ favor : POR
11 United : ONE
12 “You should know better!” : TSK!
13 Encourage : EGG ON
14 Stop the progress of : ARREST
15 Entree that might be prepared with a brown sugar glaze : ROAST HAM
16 “Gloomy” guy : GUS
17 What some people use to solve a New York Times crossword : APP
18 German “you” : SIE
19 Rx request : MED
24 Slimy stuff : GOO
28 Lacquer, e.g. : FINISH
30 Home to wild Bactrian camels : GOBI
32 Clears (of) : RIDS
33 Lead-in to -logue : IDEO-
34 N.F.L. quarterback Jared : GOFF
35 Surgery sites, in brief : ORS
36 Falcon, hawk or eagle : RAPTOR
37 Usher : ESCORT
38 Tot’s geometry lesson, perhaps : SHAPES
39 Clump of hair : TUFT
40 City at the foot of the Adirondacks : UTICA
41 What may bring a meeting to order : GAVEL
43 Cholesterol-lowering drug : STATIN
46 Landing site : HELIPAD
48 Cover, of a sort : ALIBI
50 Words for a cover : BLURB
53 Like many a lumberjack’s shirt : PLAID
54 Certain footholds : RUNGS
55 Ancient marketplace : AGORA
60 Spanish resort island, to locals : MENORCA
62 “Do”-to-“do” delivery : SCALE
64 Understood : GOT
65 Pioneering computer : ENIAC
67 National park in the Canadian Rockies : BANFF
69 Former retail giant : KMART
70 Captivate : ENGAGE
71 Cousin of a stingray : SKATE
72 Dwindles, with “out” : PETERS …
73 It’s 2.3 years for the average heterosexual American couple : AGE GAP
74 Something made in a press : PANINI
77 Things a plangonologist collects : DOLLS
78 Some semihard cheeses : EDAMS
81 Stubbornly old-fashioned : STODGY
83 “The museum of social decay,” per Gary Oldman : REALITY TV
85 The so-called “Pearl of Arabia” : OMAN
87 Strapless accessories : CLUTCHES
88 As above, in citations : IDEM
89 ___ bean : FAVA
90 “Groovy!” : I DIG!
91 Like some tradition : ORAL
93 Spoil : ROT
98 Some bathroom contractors : TILERS
100 Comedy’s ___ the Entertainer : CEDRIC
102 Cartoon character who said “Van Gogh would’ve sold more than one painting if he’d put tigers in them” : HOBBES
105 Like the goddess Hel : NORSE
106 March 14 dessert, appropriately : PIE
107 “The birds and the bees” and others : TALKS
110 Pope writings : ODES
112 Sharp increase : HIKE
113 Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL
114 Two weeks after calends, approximately : IDES
115 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame architect : PEI
116 River offshoot : ARM
117 Power ___ : NAP
118 Wand-waving org. : TSA
119 Merch table offering : TEE
120 Spell of bad luck? : HEX
121 Seething state : IRE
122 Before, in poetry : ERE

9 thoughts on “0326-23 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 23, Sunday”

  1. 31:56, no errors. Good mental calisthenics today. Impressed that the theme answers were all structured to have the third ‘i’ missing. Lost time guessing BAKED HAM before ROAST HAM. Have always associated ‘baked’ with ham, and ‘roast’ with turkey or beef. Not sure why.
    PI Day observed ad absurdum: On 3/14/15 between 9:26:53 and 9:26:54 the exact value of pi occurred.

  2. 33:36. A lot of missteps doing this one. “Impede” before ARREST cost the most time. I was really stubborn about “impede” being correct.

    petSPA before DOGSPA, and “pen” and “ink” before APP created various messes I had to back out of.

    Kudos to Gary Oldham. REALITY TV being the “museum of social decay” sounds accurate to me.

    Best –

  3. “Themed answers are common phrases but with a letter I dropped from the final word.” Not only THAT, but the THIRD (of THREE, only) I’s is dropped from the grid theme answers. This solver is VERY impressed!

  4. 46:25, started Sunday night, finished on Monday night, just glad to finish. Totally agree on the opinion if “reality TV”, which likely is not reality at all. Fortunately I pretty much gave up on TV years ago :- )

  5. Long time to get this one…1:31:27 but no errors…also agree with Jeff about reality TV.
    In a previous puzzle 119A was identified as Third Blind Eye and today it’s Third Eye Blind.
    Stay safe😀

  6. Hi Bill, just fyi, your clue for 36D is different than in my (Seattle Times) paper! Mine reads “Toronto NBA player”. Yours: “falcon, hawk, or eagle”. The answer is the same!

    1. Re Reality TV. I find Judge Judy downright stimulating . I might watch an old Fear Factor with Joe Rogan for fun.

  7. Like @bruceB – great mental gymnastics…. except when I got to the section to complete. The SE corner. I must have been brain dead by then.

    Could not see HIKE for 112D. Didn’t know BAHAI , … went with DIKE and BADAI. AAAAARRRRGGGHH!

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