0308-24 NY Times Crossword 8 Mar 24, Friday

Constructed by: Jackson Matz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 ___ Manette, woman in “A Tale of Two Cities” : LUCIE

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is the most printed book that was originally written in English. The novel was first published in 1859 in 31 weekly installments in a literary periodical called “All the Year Round”, which Dickens himself produced. The “two cities” in the title are London and Paris.

15 The Jonas Brothers, e.g. : THREESOME

The Jonas Brothers Pop rock band comprises brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas. They recorded their first song in 2005, and really achieved fame a few years later due to repeated appearances on the Disney Channel. They split up in 2013, citing “creative differences”, but came back as a trio in 2019.

16 Needle on a thread? : TROLL

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

17 Female kangaroos : DOES

In Australia, male kangaroos are known by several names including bucks, boomers, jacks or old men. Females are called does, flyers, or jills. There seems to be just one name for young kangaroos, i.e. joeys. A group of kangaroos might be called a mob, troop or court.

19 Color similar to lilac : MAUVE

The name given to the light violet color that we know as “mauve” comes via French from the Latin “malva”. The Latin term translates as “mallow”, the common name of several species of plants, many of which have mauve-colored flowers.

20 “Herb” … or a lead-in to herb : POT

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

25 A mover … but not a shaker, one hopes : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and so “van” is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

30 Interior secretary Haaland : DEB

Deb Haaland became US Secretary of the Interior in 2021, making her the first Native-American Cabinet secretary. However, she was not the first Native American to serve in the Cabinet. That honor went to Charles Curtis, US Vice President under Herbert Hoover.

35 Big name in construction equipment : CAT

Back in the early 1900s, Benjamin Holt invented a steam tractor that was able to move over soggy land. The new vehicle crawled over the ground using wheels that drove tracks. Someone apparently noted that the tractor moved along like a caterpillar, and so the enterprise that was to be known as the Caterpillar Tractor Company was born.

36 Student enrolled in courses like Contracts and Civil Procedures : ONE L

“One L” is a name used in general for first-year law students, especially those attending Harvard.

40 The U.N.’s smallest member : MONACO

The Principality of Monaco is on the Mediterranean coast, and is otherwise surrounded by France, even though it is just under 10 miles from the Italian border. Monaco is the world’s most densely populated country, and the world’s second smallest country (the smallest being Vatican City). The principality has been very prosperous since the late 1800s, with the economy given a tremendous boost with the opening of several gambling casinos.

41 Pill bug or wood louse : ISOPOD

Isopods are small crustaceans with seven pairs of legs. Examples would be woodlice and pill bugs. The name “isopod” comes from the Greek “iso” (same) and “pod” (foot). All isopods have seven pairs of jointed limbs.

43 Billy Joel’s “___ Always a Woman” : SHE’S

Billy Joel wrote the song “She’s Always a Woman” in 1977 for his wife and business manager Elizabeth Weber Small. Elizabeth was known to be a tough negotiator, one who would “steal like a thief” and “never give in”. But Joel’s stance was that “she’s always a woman to me”.

45 In, in the past : HEP

The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

49 Cameos might be seen on one : TIARA

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

53 Flotsam once in Boston Harbor : TEA CHEST

The famous destruction of tea in Boston Harbor to protest against the Tea Act took place on December 16, 1773. The action was referred to as the “destruction of the tea” for decades, and it wasn’t until 1834 that the term “Boston Tea Party” first appeared in print.

“Flotsam” and “jetsam” are both terms used to describe garbage in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.

Down

5 High winds? : OBOES

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

6 LeAnn of country music : RIMES

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

7 Small part of a watch : STEM

The stem of a watch is the shaft that projects from the body that is used to wind the mechanism. Prior to the introduction of stem watches, the timepieces were wound up using a key.

8 “Gosford Park” director, 2001 : ALTMAN

Film director Robert Altman seemed to have more than his fair share of career ups and downs. He was nominated for the Best Director Oscar five times, but never won. However, he was given an Academy Honorary Award in 2006. He made some great movies, including “MASH” (1970) and “Gosford Park” (2001), but also had some real flops. He directed the terrible film “Popeye” (1980), which was apparently beset by a cast and crew, including Altman himself, that were prone to drug and alcohol abuse.

10 Hunger hyperbole : I COULD EAT A HORSE

Hyperbole is the use of exaggerated speech. The term “hyperbole” is Greek, coming from “hyper-” meaning “beyond” and “bole” meaning “a throwing”. When using hyperbole, our choice of words is “thrown beyond” what is normally necessary to get our point across.

11 Jewelry gift for a 25th anniversary : SILVER BRACELET

Some traditional gifts for wedding anniversaries are:

  • 5th: wooden
  • 10th: tin
  • 15th: crystal
  • 20th: china
  • 25th: silver
  • 30th: pearl
  • 40th: ruby
  • 50th: gold
  • 60th: diamond

15 Throw for six, informally : TD PASS

In football, a touchdown (TD) is worth six points (pts.)

25 One of seven for Salome : VEIL

In the New Testament, Salome was a dancer and a seductress. She was the stepdaughter of Herod and when she danced for him on his birthday, her mother demanded as a reward the execution of John the Baptist. Salome is not actually named in the account in the gospels, and historians rely on other sources to determine that she was indeed “Salome”. Famously, the seductive dance that she performed is said to be the Dance of the Seven Veils. The dance isn’t named in the Biblical account, and is an elaboration that developed in later Christian mythology.

30 Pest control brand once touted by Muhammad Ali : D-CON

d-CON is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years. The name is an abbreviation for “decontamination”. The d-CON Company was founded in 1950 by Chicago businessman Lee Ratner, yes, “Ratner” …

33 Hot rods popular in the ’60s : GTOS

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

34 Pre-algebra class calculations : SLOPES

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

38 Casual dining setting : BISTRO

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

40 Person of integrity : MENSCH

“Mensch” is a word that comes to us via Yiddish, and is ultimately derived from the German “mensch” meaning “human being”. We use the term to describe someone of integrity and honor.

42 World leader associated with the justicialism movement : PERON

Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well-known than his second wife, Eva Perón of “Evita” fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973 after which he served for only nine months before he passed away. Juan was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

43 State capital dubbed the “Cherry City” : SALEM

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

51 Michael of “Saturday Night Live” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 2014. He became co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show, alongside Colin Jost. They make a great team …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cries : CLAMORS
8 What something unexpected might do : ARISE
13 “Just give it time” : WAIT A BIT
14 ___ Manette, woman in “A Tale of Two Cities” : LUCIE
15 The Jonas Brothers, e.g. : THREESOME
16 Needle on a thread? : TROLL
17 Female kangaroos : DOES
18 Swarm : TEEM
19 Color similar to lilac : MAUVE
20 “Herb” … or a lead-in to herb : POT
21 What some consume on a diet : LESS
22 Court figure, informally : BALLER
23 Balanced, as some molecules : APOLAR
25 A mover … but not a shaker, one hopes : VAN
26 Practice squad?: Abbr. : DRS
27 Welcome : SEE IN
28 “You guys STINK!,” e.g. : JEER
30 Interior secretary Haaland : DEB
31 Things going beyond your control? : SELF-DRIVING CARS
35 Big name in construction equipment : CAT
36 Student enrolled in courses like Contracts and Civil Procedures : ONE L
37 Wreck : TOTAL
38 Chap : BUB
39 Overextend : TAX
40 The U.N.’s smallest member : MONACO
41 Pill bug or wood louse : ISOPOD
43 Billy Joel’s “___ Always a Woman” : SHE’S
45 In, in the past : HEP
46 Water ___, mammal dubbed the “cheetah of the wetlands” for its speed and stealth : SHREW
47 Bread with charred brown spots : NAAN
48 Give (out) : DOLE
49 Cameos might be seen on one : TIARA
50 Things to settle : OLD SCORES
52 Give it a whirl! : ROTOR
53 Flotsam once in Boston Harbor : TEA CHEST
54 Nonstop : ON END
55 “A party? Count me in!” : I’M THERE!

Down

1 “Wanna tell me more?” : CARE TO ELABORATE?
2 “History is a set of ___ agreed upon” (remark attributed to Napoleon) : LIES
3 Suffix with liquid : -ATE
4 Get down : MASTER
5 High winds? : OBOES
6 LeAnn of country music : RIMES
7 Small part of a watch : STEM
8 “Gosford Park” director, 2001 : ALTMAN
9 Like the homes of roughly one in six Americans : RURAL
10 Hunger hyperbole : I COULD EAT A HORSE
11 Jewelry gift for a 25th anniversary : SILVER BRACELET
12 Some fishermen : EELERS
13 Butt of a joke? : WHOOPEE CUSHION
15 Throw for six, informally : TD PASS
21 Secure : LAND
22 Word with door or dance : BARN …
24 Steal : LIFT
25 One of seven for Salome : VEIL
28 “That’s what I just said!” : JINX!
29 Good name for a last-minute planner? : EVE
30 Pest control brand once touted by Muhammad Ali : D-CON
32 It’s between the shoulders : ROAD
33 Hot rods popular in the ’60s : GTOS
34 Pre-algebra class calculations : SLOPES
38 Casual dining setting : BISTRO
39 Nearing : TOWARD
40 Person of integrity : MENSCH
42 World leader associated with the justicialism movement : PERON
43 State capital dubbed the “Cherry City” : SALEM
44 Attacked : HAD AT
47 Terse denial : NOT I
48 Active person : DOER
51 Michael of “Saturday Night Live” : CHE

12 thoughts on “0308-24 NY Times Crossword 8 Mar 24, Friday”

  1. 14:32, no errors.

    Re 31-Across: I’m probably just an old fogy, but the little voice in my head says, “Self-driving cars? Self-driving cars. Hmmm. What do you suppose could go wrong?”

    We are becoming increasingly dependent on electronic devices. I use ‘em, but I don’t entirely trust ‘em … 🫣.

  2. 22:23, no errors.
    Whole heartedly concur with Dave’s assessment of SELF-DRIVING CARS. I’m a retired mechanical engineer. It is my opinion that the technocrats are biting off more than they can chew. Notice how the car companies tout their ‘self-driving’ capabilities, but then require the driver to always be attentive and have their hands on the wheel. Rather than making the giant leap to autonomous vehicles, just build cars that will not run red lights or stop signs, exceed the speed limit, or change lanes into another vehicle.

  3. 21:26. Filled this puzzle from right to left. Had a much harder time on the left side.

    Agree with Dave and Bruce:

    I was attending a Vegas hockey game a couple of weeks ago. All tickets are electronic now. You enter via a QR code on your phone. It’s all to make things faster and all tickets are traceable. Well…something happened with the software, and there were literally thousands of people outside unable to get into the arena. Needless to say, there were a lot of “modern technology” snarks to be heard.

    The biggest problem with self driving cars is I wouldn’t know who to flip off if a car cuts me off….

    Clue of the day was “Needle on a thread” for TROLL. Sheesh. Didn’t get that one until I had ROLL and did an alphabet run to see what could go before it.

    Best –

  4. 35:33 over the course of two days.

    I agree with Dave, Bruce and Jeff.
    Or I think in Jeff’s case: Dave, Bruce, and, Jeff.

    I’m particularly bothered by the recent Chevy commercial where they are showing manly men in a pickup truck towing a trailer of ATV’s where they switch to autonomous steering mode, again, towing a trailer. What could possibly go wrong? I know, I’m old and need to keep up with the times. No, no I don’t.

  5. No errors. I was probably 80% done at about 25 minutes. 13D had me befuddled from 38A to 54A in the SW corner. POT didn’t help either.

    Had LENIN at 42D for awhile. I had BISTRO for 38D but started to question it…

    Another 30 minutes later and LENIN turned into PERON. Then off to the races.

    I spent almost my entire professional career in computers. For every good thing made , there is a bad actor lurking to take advantage with the same elegance.

  6. Not quite a skull cracker but definitely a stumper, in my book at least. Finished clean eventually.
    No complaints. Gotta like the idioms, e.g. ‘care to elaborate’ and ‘I could eat a horse.’
    Continue to be impressed by some solvers who report downright doltish performances on the easier early week puzzles compared with the impressive times they seem to pull off for the Fri/Sat puzzles.
    X-words 4 fun

    1. Just to elaborate on that last comment:

      Today’s ave. solve time from xwstats (basically mostly advanced solver stats) was 24:26 and it was rated “very hard.”

      So coming in around that time is quite an accomplishment in my book. I took triple that. That’s why I gotta say hats off to those who come in consistently below xwstat averages for say M-W (or even Thurs.?) but came in around, or better than, the xwstat average for hard or very hard Fridays.
      Impressive.

    2. Total time = Time A + Time B.

      Time A is what is required to read clues, position a pen or a cursor, write/type the necessary characters, correct temporary missteps, etc. (Mechanics.)

      Time B is what is required to understand misleading clues and come up with correct answers.

      Solvers who feel that fast times are super-important put a lot of effort into minimizing Time A. Solvers who couldn’t care less … don’t.

      I think the explanation for the conundrum that seems to puzzle you so much lies in the above observations.

  7. If I could have gotten 13D I might have been OK but I didn’t so I wasn’t …49A is a stretch IMO👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  8. Had trouble in the SW because the clue “NONSTOP” made me think
    the answer should be “NO END” – not “ON END”. Can anyone explain how to get “ON END” from “NONSTOP”?

  9. 1D started at “Care to explain it” complicating things On End. Finally got it and 13D was the last to arrive. Tough SW as a result.

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