0311-24 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 24, Monday

Constructed by: Rebecca Goldstein & Rachel Fabi
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: The Hunger Games

Themed answers are all GAMES, the name of which includes something that one might eat when HUNGRY:

  • 55A Dystopian novel/film series … or what the answers to the starred clues are? : THE HUNGER GAMES
  • 16A *Mattel offering with cards for making “hilarious comparisons” : APPLES TO APPLES
  • 23A *Washington’s official state sport since 2022 : PICKLEBALL
  • 35A *Beanbag-tossing sport : CORNHOLE
  • 46A *App craze of the early 2010s, familiarly : CANDY CRUSH

Bill’s time: 5m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Metric weight unit : GRAM

Today, the gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of a physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (well, up until 2019, when it became more hi-tech than I can explain!). Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

5 Water-skiing spot : LAKE

The sport of water-skiing dates back to 1922, when it was invented by one Ralph Samuelson on Lake Pepin, located on the Mississippi River near Saint Paul in Minnesota.

13 Dalai ___ (spiritual leader) : LAMA

The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

15 Actor Alan of “M*A*S*H” : ALDA

Alan Alda is the only person to win acting, directing, and writing Emmys for the same comedy program. He won five Emmys for his work on “M*A*S*H”, three for acting, one for writing and one for directing.

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

16 *Mattel offering with cards for making “hilarious comparisons” : APPLES TO APPLES

Mensa Select is an award given annually since 1990 by American Mensa for “original, challenging and well-designed” board games. As a big fan of board games, I find the list of past winners to be an informative read. That list includes favorites of mine, such as:

  • Taboo (1990)
  • Scattergories (1990)
  • Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition (1990)
  • Clue: The Great Museum Caper (1991)
  • Apples to Apples (1999)

19 Pescetarianism and veganism, for two : DIETS

A seagan is someone who eats a plant-based diet, but includes fish. A pescatarian is someone who eats a vegetarian diet (plant-based plus eggs and dairy), and also includes fish.

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

20 Title for Walter Scott or Isaac Newton : SIR

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist and playwright, the first English-language author to gain popularity around the world during his own lifetime. The most famous of his works are “Ivanhoe”, “Rob Roy” and “The Lady of the Lake”.

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential people in history, and the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that’s not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother’s garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth’s gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

23 *Washington’s official state sport since 2022 : PICKLEBALL

Pickleball is a sport invented in the 1960s that combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. Originally marketed as a game for children to play in backyards, pickleball is now played on purpose-built courts by many, many adults, but mainly in North and South America.

27 Gazpacho or pho : SOUP

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food. It is often ordered with a side of hanh dam, pickled white onions.

31 Autoinjection device : EPIPEN

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

33 Seriously uncool : DORKY

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

35 *Beanbag-tossing sport : CORNHOLE

Cornhole is a game in which contestants throw bean bags towards a tilted-up platform with a hole in it. Bags that land in the hole score 3 points, and bags that land on the board score 1 point.

43 Sandwich that’s usually toasted, informally : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

44 Actor Hemsworth : LIAM

Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is best known these days for playing Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series of films. Hemsworth met Miley Cyrus while working on the movie “The Last Song”, and the two actors were engaged for a while. Liam is a younger brother of actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the superhero “Thor” on the big screen.

46 *App craze of the early 2010s, familiarly : CANDY CRUSH

“Candy Crush Saga” is an “app” version of the browser video game “Candy Crush”. Apparently it is very, very popular.

50 Swim-bike-run race, for short : TRI

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

53 Olympic great Jesse : OWENS

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

55 Dystopian novel/film series … or what the answers to the starred clues are? : THE HUNGER GAMES

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a series of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

A dystopia is an imaginary community in which the residents live unhappily and in fear. “Dystopia” is the opposite of “utopia”. One example of such a society is that described by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. A more contemporary example would be the setting for the novel “The Hunger Games”.

Down

2 U.S. soccer star Megan : RAPINOE

Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player and a star on the US national team. One of Rapinoe’s many claims to fame is that she is the only player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner kick in an Olympic Games.

4 Grain used in beermaking : MALT

Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried. The cereal is germinated by soaking it in water, and then germination is halted by drying the grains with hot air.

6 “Wherefore ___ thou Romeo?” : ART

In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

7 Stalls at malls : KIOSKS

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

18 ___-Columbian (up to 1492) : PRE

The pre-Columbian era is that period in the history of the Americas before the Europeans really made their presence known. “Pre-Columbian” implies “before 1492, before the voyages of Christopher Columbus”.

25 New Haven’s state: Abbr. : CONN

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. Famously, it is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

28 Jean-Luc ___, captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise : PICARD

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

32 Olympic code for Lisbon’s land : POR

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. Lisbon is also the oldest city in Western Europe, and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

36 Streaming service with “The Bear” : HULU

“The Bear” is a comedy-drama TV show that started airing in 2022. It stars Jeremy Allen White (of “Shameless” fame) as a chef from a Michelin-star restaurant who heads home to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop after his brother dies. I really enjoyed this one …

38 Fiddles (with) : TINKERS

To tinker with something is to adjust or experiment with it. Back in the late 1500’s, “to tinker” was “to work as a tinker”. In those days, a tinker was someone who mended pots and pans.

40 Guide to navigating an internet resource : SITE MAP

A site map is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed site map can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

43 Sturdy shoe, or an Irish accent : BROGUE

It’s possible that the use of the term “brogue”, meaning “Celtic or Irish accent”, is related to the use of “brogue” to mean “stout, heavy shoe”. According to one source, the footwear was “characteristic of the wilder Irish”. I suppose that the accent of the “wilder Irish” came to be known as a “brogue” as a result.

48 Spiral-shelled mollusk : CONCH

Although “conch” is now used as a generic term for largish sea snails and their shells, the true conch belongs to a specific group of gastropods. The “meat” is very popular, and so the conch is the second-most popular edible snail after “escargot”. The conch shell can be used as a wind instrument, and the true conch is also a good source for pearls.

54 Texas city that’s home to Baylor University : WACO

Baylor is a private Baptist university in Waco, Texas that was founded in 1845, making it the oldest continuously-operating university in the state. Baylor is named for US Congressman and Baptist minister Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, who co-founded the school. The list of Baylor’s past presidents includes Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

56 “True Detective” airer : HBO

“True Detective” is a crime drama made by HBO that has an interesting format. Each series has its own narrative and cast. The show seems to be attracting some great actors. The first season was led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and the second by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Metric weight unit : GRAM
5 Water-skiing spot : LAKE
9 Train travel : RAIL
13 Dalai ___ (spiritual leader) : LAMA
14 Hat’s edge : BRIM
15 Actor Alan of “M*A*S*H” : ALDA
16 *Mattel offering with cards for making “hilarious comparisons” : APPLES TO APPLES
19 Pescetarianism and veganism, for two : DIETS
20 Title for Walter Scott or Isaac Newton : SIR
21 Bit of skin ink : TAT
22 Conclude : END
23 *Washington’s official state sport since 2022 : PICKLEBALL
27 Gazpacho or pho : SOUP
29 Negative replies : NOS
30 One nickname for Elizabeth : ELLY
31 Autoinjection device : EPIPEN
33 Seriously uncool : DORKY
35 *Beanbag-tossing sport : CORNHOLE
37 Kick off : START
39 Worried feeling : UNEASE
42 Mix : STIR
43 Sandwich that’s usually toasted, informally : BLT
44 Actor Hemsworth : LIAM
46 *App craze of the early 2010s, familiarly : CANDY CRUSH
50 Swim-bike-run race, for short : TRI
51 Pose questions : ASK
52 Tic-tac-toe win : O-O-O
53 Olympic great Jesse : OWENS
55 Dystopian novel/film series … or what the answers to the starred clues are? : THE HUNGER GAMES
59 Rosemary or mint : HERB
60 Medical breakthrough : CURE
61 Matter before a court : CASE
62 Canadian gas brand : ESSO
63 “Don’t worry your pretty little ___” : HEAD
64 Chooses : OPTS

Down

1 Forest clearings : GLADES
2 U.S. soccer star Megan : RAPINOE
3 Filled with intense excitement : AMPED UP
4 Grain used in beermaking : MALT
5 Ozs. and ozs. : LBS
6 “Wherefore ___ thou Romeo?” : ART
7 Stalls at malls : KIOSKS
8 Send a message by computer : EMAIL
9 Genre for Da Brat or DaBaby : RAP
10 Full of hot air : ALL TALK
11 “In a perfect world …” : IDEALLY …
12 “In conclusion …” : LASTLY …
17 Mind-reading ability, for short : ESP
18 ___-Columbian (up to 1492) : PRE
24 Unreactive : INERT
25 New Haven’s state: Abbr. : CONN
26 Get serious : BE REAL
28 Jean-Luc ___, captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise : PICARD
32 Olympic code for Lisbon’s land : POR
33 Dos and ___ : DON’TS
34 Cry at a soccer stadium : OLE!
36 Streaming service with “The Bear” : HULU
37 Apt rhyme of “caches” : STASHES
38 Fiddles (with) : TINKERS
40 Guide to navigating an internet resource : SITE MAP
41 Sincere : EARNEST
42 Harshly denounce : SCATHE
43 Sturdy shoe, or an Irish accent : BROGUE
45 Opposites of hits : MISSES
47 “Who asked ___?” : YOU
48 Spiral-shelled mollusk : CONCH
49 Refuse to share : HOG
54 Texas city that’s home to Baylor University : WACO
56 “True Detective” airer : HBO
57 Period of history : ERA
58 “___ (Taylor’s Version),” #1 album of 2021 : RED

11 thoughts on “0311-24 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 24, Monday”

  1. 8:39, no errors. Fumbled my way through it, but corrected all my mistyping before filling the final square … 🫣.

    Lonely here today … 😳.

    1. Actually, my time on this one (as recorded by the NYT app) was 7:24. By the time the blog became available (in the evening), I had done the NYT puzzle for Tuesday and accidentally repeated its time here.

  2. 9:37, sorry for the late post, Dave K. Got busy all day after sleeping late(woke up to snow on the ground, rolled over and went back to bed😇) Only problem I had was never having heard of the game “Apples To Apples”, so filled that in with down answers and a rare moment of common sense. Now on to Tuesday

  3. 9:42. The puzzle wasn’t posted yesterday until the evening so posting now. That said, I’d just like to add that I have nothing to add.

    Best-

  4. Looks like about 9 minutes for me.

    I just ate so I’m not hungry.

    @davek – reference to yesterday’s boolean thread. I think you may have taken the definition out of context. NOR is what it says. It’s a LOGICAL NOR used in logical connectives derived from boolean logic, not a boolean operator. The clue was “boolean operator”. If you do a search for boolean operator. NOR is not one of them.

    1. I agree Anon Mike. Nor is not an boolean operator. The equivalent of ‘nor a nor b’ is ‘not a AND not b’.

      I gather Dave K come to the defence of the constructor on “nor” as a boolean operator LOL. I haven’t read it, I’m done with yesterdays’ thread, but that was predictable.

      I’m finding the site unpredictably blocking posts and I have more to say about today’s puzzle so I will try to post it in chunks below.

      1. Yeah. There is no disagreement then. Nor is not a word used in boolean logic, not an operator. You got ‘or,’ ‘and’, and ‘not’.

        The only other one seen is XOR , or “exclusive or”, a variation on “or.”

        With OR, if one or both inputs is true, the statement evaluates to true whereas XOR is true if and only if the inputs differ (one is true, one is false).
        Nick

  5. As for today, it’s déjà vu all over again, with that phenomenon I mentioned, as the ‘newbie’ came in under much of the group’s solve times— today all of them I think— for an early week puzzle, though with one typo which was actually just a type-over I had right at first.

    X-words 4 fun

    Today’s xwstats average was 5:12 which the group didn’t even come near, but the typical pattern is some of them come through with much more impressive times , relatively speaking, for the harder late week puzzles, even at or around the xwstats average, as occurred last week. Not saying I know the explanation but it is an interesting statistical anomaly. I would have expected them at that level to have more competitive times for the early week puzzles as well. My own solve time graph look would look like a hockey stick, with significantly longer times, proportionately, for the end of week puzzles Fri/Sat, though my times have been improving , on average.

  6. Re 2D, personally was not familiar with the name except from NYT puzzles. If they’re stars, why not let their names stand on their own recognition as with men sports stars (could be wrong on the latter point , willing to be proved wrong).

    DISCLAIMER: not a commentary on women’s soccer.
    Nick

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