0306-24 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 24, Wednesday

Constructed by: Brad Wiegmann
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Reading Letters Out Loud

Themed answers are common phrases that sound as if they reference single letters. Interpreted that way, the phrases describe the well-known names cited in the corresponding clues. Clever …

  • 19A Nicholson and Nicklaus, e.g.? : ONE-EYED JACKS (Jacks with one letter “I”)
  • 26A Soren Kierkegaard and Chris Isaak, e.g.? : DOUBLE AGENTS (gents with double letters “A”)
  • 41A Percy Bysshe Shelley and Billy Ray Cyrus, e.g.? : THREE WISE MEN (men with three letters “Y”)
  • 48A Henry the Eighth and Hubert H. Humphrey, e.g.? : FOUR-H LEADERS (leaders with four letters “H”)

Bill’s time: 13m 03s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Machu Picchu visitor, say : HIKER

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

18 Knitter’s stitch : PURL

As all of us knitters know, the purl stitch and knit stitch are very similar, one being sort of the inverse of the other. Yes, I’ve knitted a few sweaters in my day …

19 Nicholson and Nicklaus, e.g.? : ONE-EYED JACKS (Jacks with one letter “I”)

Jack Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award more times than any other male actor. He also became the youngest recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, when he was so honored in 1994.

Jack Nicklaus is a professional golfer from Columbus, Ohio. Nicknamed “the Golden Bear”, Nicklaus holds the record for winning the most major championships (18). Tiger Woods is in second place, having won 14 to date.

22 Persephone’s lover : ADONIS

In Greek mythology, Adonis is a beautiful young god loved by Aphrodite. Adonis dies in a hunting accident (gored by a boar), but not before he gives Aphrodite a child. Adonis was originally a Phoenician god “absorbed” into Greek lore (Phoenicia is modern day Lebanon). The child born of Adonis to Aphrodite was called Beroe, after which is named Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. We also use the term “adonis” to mean “beautiful male”.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was made queen of the underworld after having been abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld.

26 Soren Kierkegaard and Chris Isaak, e.g.? : DOUBLE AGENTS (gents with double letters “A”)

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian, and I’ve never really understood anything that he wrote!

Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

31 Kaput : DONE

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

35 Qatari dignitary : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry.

36 Broncos and Explorers : FORDS

The Bronco is an SUV that was made by Ford from 1966 to 1996. O. J. Simpson was driving a white Ford Bronco in that famous low-speed chase by the LAPD that resulted in Simpson’s arrest.

The Ford Explorer SUV was introduced in 1990, and is still going strong. The same car has been sold as the Mercury Mountaineer and the Lincoln Aviator.

37 Who might call French fries “chips” : BRIT

French fries are called “chips” back in Ireland where I grew up. And what we call “chips” in the US are known as “crisps” in Britain and Ireland. In France, French fries are known as “pommes frites” (fried potatoes).

39 Constellation named for a mythical ship : ARGO

The constellation Argo Navis (“Argo the Ship” in Latin) is no longer officially recognized. Instead, it has been divided into its constituent parts: Puppis (“The Poop Deck”), Vela (“The Sails”) and Carina (“The Keel”).

41 Percy Bysshe Shelley and Billy Ray Cyrus, e.g.? : THREE WISE MEN (men with three letters “Y”)

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called “A Vindication of Natural Diet” in 1813.

48 Henry the Eighth and Hubert H. Humphrey, e.g.? : FOUR-H LEADERS (leaders with four letters “H”)

Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

  1. Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  2. Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
  3. Jane Seymour (Died)
  4. Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  5. Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  6. Catherine Parr (Survived).

Hubert Humphrey was the running mate of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign. Humphrey was sworn in as Vice President in 1965, becoming the 38th person to hold the office. Humphrey was the Democratic candidate for president in the 1968 election, but lost to Richard Nixon.

4-H is a youth organization in the US. The first 4-H clubs were set up at the start of the 20th century and were focused on agricultural communities. Although 4-H no longer has the rural focus, because of the organization’s history it is administered with the Department of Agriculture. The four Hs are Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

54 Frog transformer : KISS

“The Frog Prince” is a fairy tale about a princess and her encounter with a frog who magically turns into a prince. In the version that is most common today, the prince appears when the princess kisses the frog. In the original Brothers Grimm version of the tale, the transformation takes place when the princess throws a gold ball against a wall in disgust at seeing the frog. In even earlier versions of the tale, the frog changes into the prince when it is allowed to spend a night on the princess’s pillow.

58 Club soda garnish : LIME

We call carbonated water “club soda”, because “Club Soda” used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, and is owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …

59 Dorothy, to Em : NIECE

In the children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

63 Bar that gets smaller and smaller : SOAP

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

Down

1 Candy whose name derives from the German “Pfefferminz” : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name “PEZ” comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

2 Airbnb had one in 2020, for short : IPO

Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation. The company was founded in 2008 as AirBed & Breakfast. The original concept was renting out an “air bed” and providing “breakfast” to someone looking for cheap, temporary accommodation. That’s right; the “Air” in “Airbnb” has nothing to do with “air” travel …

3 Certain fire sign : LEO

Each of the twelve astrological signs is associated with one of the classical elements:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
  • Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

5 Cheese with a white rind : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry with fig jam.

8 Fish thought to be named after a region in Italy : SARDINES

Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. They are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …

Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, and an island in the Mediterranean off the west coast of the country. It lies to the south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is the second largest island in the whole of the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily is the largest).

9 Relatives of custard apples : PAPAWS

The papaw (also “pawpaw”) tree is native to North America and has a fruit that looks similar to a papaya. Papaw probably gets its name from the word papaya, but papaw and papaya are two distinct species.

The custard apple or sugar apple is the fruit of a small deciduous tree native to the New World. It is also called a “sweetsop” in some parts of the world. The soursop, the fruit of an evergreen tree that’s related to the pawpaw, has a more sour taste.

10 The Boss, familiarly : BRUCE

Bruce Springsteen is a rock singer and songwriter who is famously from New Jersey. A lot of Springsteen’s works are centered on his home state and the American heartland. His most famous album is “Born in the USA”, which was released in 1984. Springsteen lives in New Jersey, with his wife Patti Scialfa and their children.

11 Snack whose name comes from the Quechua for “dried meat” : JERKY

Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat and dried. The term “jerky” comes into English via Spanish from the Incan Quechua “ch’arki” meaning “dried flesh”.

22 Seine send-off : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God” The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

34 Cardiologist’s insert : STENT

In the world of surgical medicine, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, in order to reduce the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

36 Most of Nebraska : FARMLAND

Nebraska gets its name from the Platte River which flows through the state. “Nebraska” is an anglicized version of Otoe and Omaha words meaning “flat water”.

37 Rathskeller offerings, informally : BREWSKIS

A city hall in Germany is called a Rathaus. In days gone by there was often a restaurant located in the basement or cellar of a Rathaus, and this restaurant was given the name Rathskeller.

40 Target of a 1917 uprising : TSAR

The year 1917 saw two revolutions in Russia, with the pair collectively called “the Russian Revolution”. As a result of the February Revolution that centered on Petrograd, the last Emperor of Russia (Tsar Nicholas II) abdicated and members of the Imperial parliament took control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was itself overthrown in the October Revolution, which was led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party.

49 Falco of “Nurse Jackie” : EDIE

“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on “The Sopranos”. I binge-watched “Nurse Jackie” a while back and found it to be a very well-written show …

50 Some summer libations : ADES

Back in the 14th century, libation was the pouring of wine in the honor of a god. The term “libation” comes from the Latin word “libare”, which basically means the same thing. Nowadays we tend to use “libation” as a somewhat ornate word meaning “drink”.

56 Domain of SpongeBob SquarePants : SEA

SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he “lives in a pineapple under the sea”. The character was created by marine biologist, cartoonist and animator Stephen Hillenburg.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Lead-in to box or bug : PILL …
5 Encumbers, with “down” : BOGS …
9 Gooey sandwiches, informally : PBJS
13 Weapon whose name has two accents : EPEE
14 Lighthearted refrain : TRA-LA
15 Surface calculation : AREA
16 Popular videoconferencing app : ZOOM
17 Machu Picchu visitor, say : HIKER
18 Knitter’s stitch : PURL
19 Nicholson and Nicklaus, e.g.? : ONE-EYED JACKS (Jacks with one letter “I”)
22 Persephone’s lover : ADONIS
25 “Next one’s on me” : I OWE YA
26 Soren Kierkegaard and Chris Isaak, e.g.? : DOUBLE AGENTS (gents with double letters “A”)
30 Little bits : IOTAS
31 Kaput : DONE
32 “NCIS” airer : CBS
35 Qatari dignitary : EMIR
36 Broncos and Explorers : FORDS
37 Who might call French fries “chips” : BRIT
38 “Oh, what’s the ___?” : USE
39 Constellation named for a mythical ship : ARGO
40 Overworked : TRITE
41 Percy Bysshe Shelley and Billy Ray Cyrus, e.g.? : THREE WISE MEN (men with three letters “Y”)
44 Second number on a pants tag : INSEAM
47 Least experienced : RAWEST
48 Henry the Eighth and Hubert H. Humphrey, e.g.? : FOUR-H LEADERS (leaders with four letters “H”)
52 Stadium sounds : OLES
53 New wing, say : ADD-ON
54 Frog transformer : KISS
58 Club soda garnish : LIME
59 Dorothy, to Em : NIECE
60 Something to bat around : IDEA
61 The yearling in the 1939 Pulitzer winner “The Yearling,” e.g. : DEER
62 Receptionist’s spot : DESK
63 Bar that gets smaller and smaller : SOAP

Down

1 Candy whose name derives from the German “Pfefferminz” : PEZ
2 Airbnb had one in 2020, for short : IPO
3 Certain fire sign : LEO
4 Tart treat : LEMON BAR
5 Cheese with a white rind : BRIE
6 Like wine aged in casks : OAKY
7 Sheer delight : GLEE
8 Fish thought to be named after a region in Italy : SARDINES
9 Relatives of custard apples : PAPAWS
10 The Boss, familiarly : BRUCE
11 Snack whose name comes from the Quechua for “dried meat” : JERKY
12 Chip dip : SALSA
14 “If ___ walls could talk …” : THESE
20 Zeros, in soccer : NILS
21 Little bit : JOT
22 Seine send-off : ADIEU
23 Unhappy fates : DOOMS
24 Convex navel : OUTIE
27 Be nuts about : ADORE
28 Pig out : GORGE
29 Provide resources for : ENDOW
32 Word before ring or after true : CRIME
33 Snacks : BITES
34 Cardiologist’s insert : STENT
36 Most of Nebraska : FARMLAND
37 Rathskeller offerings, informally : BREWSKIS
40 Target of a 1917 uprising : TSAR
41 More succinct : TERSER
42 Taunting laugh : HAH!
43 Name that becomes another name when its first letter is dropped : IRENE
44 Poker declaration : I FOLD
45 “I kid you not!” : NO LIE!
46 “Sorry, not sorry” : SUE ME
49 Falco of “Nurse Jackie” : EDIE
50 Some summer libations : ADES
51 Berth place : DOCK
55 Wedding words : I DO
56 Domain of SpongeBob SquarePants : SEA
57 Sticky stuff : SAP

12 thoughts on “0306-24 NY Times Crossword 6 Mar 24, Wednesday”

  1. 15:54, started out with “a pair of Jacks”, obviously that failed, corrected it with the “down” clues. 2+ more minutes of solving enjoyment than Bill :- )

  2. 11:07. Really enjoyed the theme. Would “MAKE” and “MARK”, e.g. be
    Two FIFTHS OF MAKERS MARK? (4 of 10 letters).

    PAPAya before PAPAWS but otherwise a smooth solve.

    Best –

  3. This is not the puzzle my paper (Long Beach Press-Telegram) ran today. This one has a much better theme.

  4. PACAW instead of PAPAW. CURL instead of PURL.. oops.

    Didn’t fully understand all the theme answers until I read Bill’s here..

    Cute.

    1. Ditto, same error here. Not a knitter either. Otherwise, pretty fast fill though it did feel somewhat harder than most Wednesdays. Interestingly, Rex Parker, who seems to rate puzzles hard rarely from what I’ve seen so far, rated this one hard.
      X-words 4 fun

      1. I’m probably just going to post commentary from now on, if I have any on the puzzle of the day, without stats. If anyone wants to know, I post my stats/results/video daily to my rumble channel.

        For one thing, blog readers may not wanna know. Some only post commentary without their stats.

        For those who do post stats, though they may deny it, in effect it amounts to an informal leader board, ipso facto. But it’s sort of a cliquey one I find, whose participants may play on different platforms and by different rules. When it comes down to it, a crossword leader board is based on presumption of honesty; it’s not pinball. I don’t dismiss people’s claims as complete fabrications, but I feel skeptical enough, say around 5-10% skeptical (e.g. re error reporting or even times) , to make my participation feel like an exercise in futility.

        1. to make my participation feel like an exercise in futility.

          That’s kinda where I’ve gotten with this place, on the most part, for posting anything. I’m sure you’ve figured out the reasons.

    1. Oops. 10:55, no errors. (Puzzles are not the only things I can fat-finger, apparently … 🙂.)

  5. No errors but I could have taken 4 days, 10minutes and 29 seconds and still not figured this theme out😥😥
    Stay safe😀

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