0302-24 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 24, Saturday

Constructed by: Natan Last
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 27m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Performance featuring masklike kumadori makeup : KABUKI

Kabuki is a Japanese form of theater involving dance and drama. In the original Kabuki theater, both male and female parts were played by women. In contrast, the Noh dramas have the male and female parts played by men.

7 Dock ___, pitcher who claimed to have thrown a no-hitter on LSD in 1970 : ELLIS

Dock Ellis was a pitcher who played in the Majors from 1968 to 1979. Famously, Ellis pitched a no-hitter in 1970 and later claimed to have done so under the influence of the drug LSD. Ellis’ life story is told in the 2014 documentary film “No No: A Dockumentary”.

13 Currency that replaced the British West African pound : LEONE

Leones are the currency of Sierra Leone. The Leone was introduced in 1964 to replace the British West African pound. The move was a practical one, as the Leone is a decimal currency and replaces the old British system of pounds, shillings and pence.

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of Blacks, with some Whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

17 First word of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” : TWO

Robert Frost had a poem published in 1916 in which he describes the road he took in the last lines:

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Because of these last lines, the poem is often assumed to be titled “The Road Less Traveled”. In fact, the poem’s correct name is “The Road Not Taken”. Quite interesting …

22 “___ Nagila” (song of celebration) : HAVA

“Hava Nagila” is a Hebrew folk song, with the title translating into “Let Us Rejoice”. The melody is from a Ukrainian folk song. The words to “Hava Nagila” were composed in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during WWI.

28 Action toys, perhaps? : STUNT DOGS

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

36 Fight club? : MACE

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

37 “We’re all ___ here. I’m ___. You’re ___”: Cheshire Cat : MAD

The Cheshire Cat is a character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The Cheshire Cat has an expansive grin, and at one point magically disappears in front of Alice, leaving just the grin visible.

Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; `but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!

38 Event of 1/31/2020 : BREXIT

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for the vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so that revived speculation about Scotland leaving the UK. There is also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

40 Refuge : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

43 Many meetings, these days : ZOOMS

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

45 Rapper/singer with the 2005 hit “Temperature” : SEAN PAUL

“Sean Paul” is the stage name of Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, a Jamaican reggae artist.

47 Scratch : DOUGH

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

49 Having an itch : ANTSY

The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.

50 ___ Horn (British sheep breed) : DORSET

Dorset Horn (or simply “Dorset”) sheep are named for the county of Dorset in south-west England where the breed originated.

Down

5 Scope : KEN

“Ken” is a noun meaning “understanding, perception”. One might say, for example, “half the clues in Saturday’s crossword are beyond my ken, beyond my understanding”.

7 Furry monster of children’s TV : 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”.

9 Cute images with captions like “If it fits, I sits” : LOLCATS

A lolcat is an image of a cat with a humorous message superimposed in text. Such images have been around since the late 1800s, but the term “lolcat” only surfaced in 2006 as the phenomenon was sweeping across the Internet. “Lolcat” is a melding of the acronym for “laugh out loud” (LOL) and “cat”.

14 Comedian who played Louie the Lilac on “Batman” : BERLE

Comedian Milton Berle was known as “Uncle Miltie” and “Mr. Television”, and was arguably the first real star of American television. Berle was hosting “Texaco Star Theater” back in 1948.

26 Fake online followers : BOTS

A bot is a computer program designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

32 Big name in power tools : STIHL

Stihl is a manufacturer of power tools mainly used in landscaping and forestry. The company headquarters is located not far from Stuttgart in Germany. Stihl was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, and first manufactured chainsaws.

35 Lease signatory : TENANT

A tenant is a person or entity “holding” property by virtue of title or lease. The term “tenant” comes from the Latin “tenere” meaning “to hold”.

36 Protegé maker : MAZDA

The Protegé was a brand name of a whole family of compact cars made by Mazda between 1964 and 2003, with the whole group of cars going under the name of Familia. At one point, the guts of the Familia/Protegé was rebranded as the Ford Escort here in North America.

39 Currency in The Legend of Zelda : RUPEE

“The Legend of Zelda” is a whole series of video games. First released in 1986, I hear that it is very successful …

42 Connect, as a Bluetooth device : PAIR

Bluetooth is a standard for wireless technology that was introduced by Swedish telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994. The name was chosen in honor of Harald Bluetooth, a medieval King of Denmark and Norway. Harald is said to have earned his name because of his love of blueberries, which stained his teeth. Harald was said to have a gift for convincing diverse factions to talk to one another, so Ericsson’s communication protocol was given Harald’s name.

44 Some vintage roadsters : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Performance featuring masklike kumadori makeup : KABUKI
7 Dock ___, pitcher who claimed to have thrown a no-hitter on LSD in 1970 : ELLIS
12 Place for some nonstarters : BULLPEN
13 Currency that replaced the British West African pound : LEONE
14 Common party store purchase : BALLOONS
15 “Grazie ___!” (“Thank you so much!”) : MILLE
16 Bring up : MENTION
17 First word of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” : TWO
19 Not forward : COY
20 Put forward : ARGUED
21 “___ mair will the bonnie callants / Mairch tae war”: Hamish Henderson : NAE
22 “___ Nagila” (song of celebration) : HAVA
23 Talk trashed? : SLUR
24 Conversation piece? : SOUND BITE
27 With it : HEP
28 Action toys, perhaps? : STUNT DOGS
29 At once : FORTHWITH
30 Unusual change : RARE COINS
31 Sound often heard doubled : TSK!
34 “Nothing to see here, folks …” : MOVE ALONG …
35 “Later” : TA-TA
36 Fight club? : MACE
37 “We’re all ___ here. I’m ___. You’re ___”: Cheshire Cat : MAD
38 Event of 1/31/2020 : BREXIT
40 Refuge : ARK
41 Schmuck : ASS
42 Like one with a spare tire : PAUNCHY
43 Many meetings, these days : ZOOMS
45 Rapper/singer with the 2005 hit “Temperature” : SEAN PAUL
47 Scratch : DOUGH
48 Clear : EVIDENT
49 Having an itch : ANTSY
50 ___ Horn (British sheep breed) : DORSET

Down

1 Civilization, to Freud : KULTUR
2 ___ B. Latimer, civil rights activist in the National Women’s Hall of Fame : ALLIE
3 They’re in circulation : BLOODSTREAMS
4 Over : UPON
5 Scope : KEN
6 Yield of some scratch-off tickets : INSTANT WIN
7 Furry monster of children’s TV : ELMO
8 Accessory with a scent : LEI
9 Cute images with captions like “If it fits, I sits” : LOLCATS
10 Gaga, say : IN LOVE
11 “Later” : SEE YA!
12 First-rate : BANG UP
14 Comedian who played Louie the Lilac on “Batman” : BERLE
16 Pulpify : MASH
18 Altar exchange : WEDDING BANDS
21 Sister state? : NUNHOOD
22 Weather datum : HIGH
25 Put to shame, say : OUTCLASSED
26 Fake online followers : BOTS
28 Cross : SORE
29 Pet, informally : FAVE
30 Play music loudly and energetically : ROCK OUT
31 Stereotypical campaign promise : TAX CUT
32 Big name in power tools : STIHL
33 “What ___ Did” (classic children’s book with insects on the cover) : KATY
34 Strand : MAROON
35 Lease signatory : TENANT
36 Protegé maker : MAZDA
39 Currency in The Legend of Zelda : RUPEE
41 Like spent briquettes : ASHY
42 Connect, as a Bluetooth device : PAIR
44 Some vintage roadsters : MGS
46 Discontinued Mitsubishi sports sedan, informally : EVO

7 thoughts on “0302-24 NY Times Crossword 2 Mar 24, Saturday”

  1. 36:01, no errors. For me, a difficult puzzle, with a lot of “never heard of that” entries. At the end, I guessed the “E” of “SEAN PAUL” and “EVO” (both of which were unknown to me) and entered it with trepidation … and it was correct! A large sigh of relief ensued … 🫣🙂.

  2. 32:44, no errors. Happy rebound from yesterday’s debacle, which was tossed after about 15 minutes. Didn’t bother to post that result.

  3. Wouldn’t even think about telling how long this took, but I managed to finish clean . It took some long staring at the southeast before some things began to emerge, same with the northwest. Good week with a valued Fri/Sat sweep.

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