0304-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Mar 24, Monday

Constructed by: Samantha Podos Nowak
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Banana Splits

Today’s grid includes the word BANANA hidden in four rows. Each BANANA is SPLIT into two by a black square:

  • 35A With 37-Across, some ice cream confections … or a hint to the second, fifth, eleventh and fourteenth rows of this puzzle : BANANA …
  • 37A See 35-Across : … SPLITS
  • 14A Diving gear : SCUBA
  • 15A Grannies : NANAS
  • 23A Beachside hut : CABANA
  • 26A Skeptical sort : NAYSAYER
  • 49A Just outside a city : SUBURBAN
  • 51A Not digital, as a clock : ANALOG
  • 63A Like residents of Havana : CUBAN
  • 64A Diarist Nin : ANAIS

Bill’s time: 7m 01s

Bill’s errors: 2

HIPS (lips!)
HANDCAR (landcar!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Certain “figure” made in skating : EIGHT

Figure skating started out as a sport in which a skater demonstrated skill at carving out specific patterns into the ice (a figure-8, for example). Over time, the sport placed greater influence on free skating. Compulsory figures were dropped completely from most international competitions in the 1990s, but the name “figure” skating has been retained.

11 Lawyer’s org. : ABA

American Bar Association (ABA)

14 Diving gear : SCUBA

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

17 Disinfectant brand : LYSOL

Lysol disinfectant takes its name from the words “lysosome” and “solvent”. Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

20 Mutt : MONGREL

The original use of the term “mutt” was for a foolish person, and was probably short for “muttonhead”. The usage evolved into today’s “mongrel dog”.

23 Beachside hut : CABANA

Our word “cabana” comes from the Spanish “cabaña”, the word for a small hut or a cabin. We often use the term to describe a tent-like structure beside a pool or at a beach used for bathing.

28 Cereal in a party mix : CHEX

Chex Mix is a party mix that includes Chex cereal as a major ingredient. The first recipe appeared on boxes of Chex cereal in 1952.

29 Scottish Highlander : GAEL

A Gael is anyone of a race that speaks or spoke one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

31 Kind of board at a nail salon : EMERY

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

35 With 37-Across, some ice cream confections … or a hint to the second, fifth, eleventh and fourteenth rows of this puzzle : BANANA …
37 See 35-Across : … SPLITS

The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

40 Id’s counterpart : EGO

Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The superego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

41 They “don’t lie,” per Shakira : HIPS

Shakira’s 2006 song “Hips Don’t Lie” broke a record soon after it was released. It became the most-played pop song in a single week in the history of American radio.

44 Jordanian port city : AQABA

The coastal city of Aqaba is the only seaport in the country of Jordan. It lies at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is off the Red Sea.

48 Coke or Pepsi : COLA

“Cola Wars” is a phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

51 Not digital, as a clock : ANALOG

The phrase “analog watch” is a retronym, meaning that is a relatively new term used to distinguish old-style watches from the more recent digital watches. Prior to the introduction of digital watches, analog watches were known as … “watches”.

56 “You both swiped right!,” on Tinder : IT’S A MATCH!

Many apps on phones are now using “swipe right” and “swipe left” actions to indicate “like” and dislike”. I suppose that the Tinder dating app is the most famous “swipe right/swipe left” app in use today.

58 Ship that sailed with the Niña and the Santa Maria : PINTA

Famously, Christopher Columbus used three ships in his first voyage across the Atlantic: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta. The Pinta was the fastest of the three, and it was from the Pinta that the New World was first spotted by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana who was a lookout on the fateful day. Pinta was a nickname for the ship that translated as “the painted one”. The Pinta’s real name has been lost in the mists of time.

63 Like residents of Havana : CUBAN

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

64 Diarist Nin : ANAIS

“Fire: From A Journal of Love: the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1934–1937)” is a 1995 publication of material from Nin’s diaries. The excerpts were released after her death, and deal with matters considered too sensitive to have been published during her lifetime, or the lifetimes of others mentioned.

65 Gridiron scores, for short : TDS

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades living in the US to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking.

66 In ___ (not yet born) : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

Down

1 Night sch. class : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL)

2 Like roads in need of salting : ICY

Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride, and is also known as “rock salt”. Halite is used to melt ice, as salt water has a lower freezing point than pure water. Adding salt to icy sidewalks can therefore cause any ice to melt (as long as the ambient temperature isn’t too low). A mixture of halite and ice can also be used to cool things below the freezing point of water, perhaps to make ice cream.

3 “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.

4 Streaming service that dropped the first three letters of its name when it rebranded in 2023 : HBO MAX

The HBO Go offering was a “TV Everywhere” service, meaning that paid subscribers could stream content on a choice of platforms just by entering a username and password. HBO Go was superseded by the HBO Max service. Then, HBO Max was rebranded as simply “Max”.

5 Raptor’s claw : TALON

A talon is a claw of a bird of prey. The term “talon” ultimately derives from “talus”, the Latin word for “ankle”.

9 Add (up) : TALLY

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

13 It comes from the heart : ARTERY

Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are vessels carrying blood to the heart.

19 Garlicky shrimp dish : SCAMPI

The Italian dish known as “scampi” is a serving of shrimp in garlic butter and dry white wine.

21 1998 Winter Olympics host : NAGANO

Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. It hosted the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

24 Moby Dick’s pursuer : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

33 “Horrible” Viking of comics : HAGAR

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

36 Cloud in outer space : NEBULA

In astronomical terms, a nebula is a cloud of dust and ionized gases (“nebula” is the Latin for “cloud”). Many nebulae form as gases collapse in on themselves under the influence of enormous gravitational forces. Ultimately these collapses can result in the creation of new stars.

38 Gimlet or screwdriver : TOOL

A gimlet is a small hand tool with a screw thread at the tip, and grooves along the shank. It is used for boring small holes, and is designed to do so without splitting the wood.

41 Small vehicle on a railroad track : HANDCAR

The most notable handcar design used on railroad tracks is powered by a walking beam that passengers alternately push up and down. Thousands of handcars were built for the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.

48 Many a Vegas establishment : CASINO

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

52 Country on the south side of Mount Everest : NEPAL

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese-Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

57 Film franchise that includes “The Avengers,” “Thor” and “Iron Man,” in brief : MCU

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Certain “figure” made in skating : EIGHT
6 Closes : SHUTS
11 Lawyer’s org. : ABA
14 Diving gear : SCUBA
15 Grannies : NANAS
16 “___ out!” (ump’s call) : YER
17 Disinfectant brand : LYSOL
18 Plane passenger’s preference, perhaps : AISLE SEAT
20 Mutt : MONGREL
22 Birthday dessert : CAKE
23 Beachside hut : CABANA
26 Skeptical sort : NAYSAYER
28 Cereal in a party mix : CHEX
29 Scottish Highlander : GAEL
31 Kind of board at a nail salon : EMERY
32 Took a load off : SAT
33 Sentry’s “Stop right there!” : HALT!
34 Yodeler’s mountain : ALP
35 With 37-Across, some ice cream confections … or a hint to the second, fifth, eleventh and fourteenth rows of this puzzle : BANANA …
37 See 35-Across : … SPLITS
40 Id’s counterpart : EGO
41 They “don’t lie,” per Shakira : HIPS
42 Squeak stopper : OIL
44 Jordanian port city : AQABA
47 Part of a superhero’s costume : CAPE
48 Coke or Pepsi : COLA
49 Just outside a city : SUBURBAN
51 Not digital, as a clock : ANALOG
53 Music genre akin to rhythm and blues : SOUL
54 Puts up with : ENDURES
56 “You both swiped right!,” on Tinder : IT’S A MATCH!
58 Ship that sailed with the Niña and the Santa Maria : PINTA
62 Understand : SEE
63 Like residents of Havana : CUBAN
64 Diarist Nin : ANAIS
65 Gridiron scores, for short : TDS
66 In ___ (not yet born) : UTERO
67 Runs with long, bounding strides : LOPES

Down

1 Night sch. class : ESL
2 Like roads in need of salting : ICY
3 “Gloomy” guy : GUS
4 Streaming service that dropped the first three letters of its name when it rebranded in 2023 : HBO MAX
5 Raptor’s claw : TALON
6 Minor holdup : SNAG
7 Headwear in a cafeteria kitchen : HAIRNET
8 Open, as classified records : UNSEAL
9 Add (up) : TALLY
10 Opposite of NNW : SSE
11 “Yes, captain!” : AYE AYE!
12 Chemistry lab container : BEAKER
13 It comes from the heart : ARTERY
19 Garlicky shrimp dish : SCAMPI
21 1998 Winter Olympics host : NAGANO
23 Loops in, on an email : CCS
24 Moby Dick’s pursuer : AHAB
25 Letter after alpha : BETA
27 Opposite of buys : SELLS
30 In the manner of : A LA
33 “Horrible” Viking of comics : HAGAR
34 Seem (to be) : APPEAR
36 Cloud in outer space : NEBULA
37 Tiny drink : SIP
38 Gimlet or screwdriver : TOOL
39 Farm storage building : SILO
41 Small vehicle on a railroad track : HANDCAR
43 Dawdle : LAG
44 Help : ASSIST
45 Recited, as a line of poetry : QUOTED
46 Takes advantage of badly : ABUSES
47 “No way!” : CAN’T BE!
48 Many a Vegas establishment : CASINO
50 Real gem : BEAUT
52 Country on the south side of Mount Everest : NEPAL
55 “Well … I’ll pass” : UH … NO
57 Film franchise that includes “The Avengers,” “Thor” and “Iron Man,” in brief : MCU
59 Midday rest : NAP
60 Knot, as shoelaces : TIE
61 Kick-___ (awesome) : ASS

8 thoughts on “0304-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Mar 24, Monday”

  1. 10:22, no errors. Wasted a lot of time going through the entire grid to find and correct the misspelling of ANAIS. I, too, initially entered LIPS before HIPS, but then remembered…Shakira. Odd that she would perform a song about dieting…

  2. 5:40. Nice BANANA theme (wonder if those words have ever been used together like that?).

    Haven’t had a BANANA SPLIT in a long time, but I remember they were made with (among other things) butterscotch. You never see butterscotch anything anymore. Why is that? Maybe I should launch an investigation.

    Now I have to go back and do the 4 puzzles I missed over the weekend.

    Get well wishes to Will Shortz who apparently suffered a stroke recently. Get back to puzzling soon, Will.

    Best –

  3. 6:57 must be because I like banana splits, but with chocolate syrup or strawberry topping, not caramel🤮

  4. From my records: 10:26, and I think I also got tripped up, putting LIPS before HIPS, but forgot to record it. I did the puzzle at a time when I was very distracted by a medical issue (still not completely resolved, unfortunately … 😳).

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