0312-24 NY Times Crossword 12 Mar 24, Tuesday

Constructed by:Andrew Kingsley & Garrett Chalfin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Read Music

Themed clues are MUSICAL notes that we READ aloud to match the corresponding answers:

  • 33D Follow a composer’s notation … or a hint to interpreting four clues in this puzzle : READ MUSIC
  • 17A A♭? : APARTMENT (a flat)
  • 38A B♭? : LIE DOWN (be flat)
  • 63A B♯? : LOOK ALIVE (be sharp)
  • 11D E♯? : TECH SAVVY (“e” sharp)

Bill’s time: 6m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 ___ cake (dessert with a liquid chocolate core) : LAVA

Molten chocolate cake is chocolate cake with a warm and liquid chocolate center. A dessert often called “lava cake”, it was invented by French chef Michel Bras, and dates back to 1981. It was popularized in the US by French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, initially in his New York restaurant Jean-Georges.

9 Skewered meat dish : SATAY

The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.

16 Reply to “Grazie” : PREGO

“Prego” literally means “I pray” in Italian, but it is usually translated into English as “you’re welcome” when it is used in response to a “thank you” (“grazie”, in Italian).

17 A♭? : APARTMENT (a flat)

“Flat”, describing an apartment or condominium, is a word more commonly used in Britain and Ireland than on this side of the pond. The term “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it used to mean “floor in a house”.

20 Blanc who was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices” : MEL

Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s all folks”.

22 “Hello,” in Mandarin : NI HAO

Mandarin Chinese is a group of dialects that are spoken across northern and southwestern China. If Mandarin is considered as one language, then it has more native speakers than any other language on the planet.

26 Where visitors take photos pretending to hold up a landmark : PISA

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. It is known for its nearly four-degree lean, which is caused by an unstable foundation. The tower was built in the 12th century and began to lean during construction. The lean worsened over time, and by the 1990s, the tower was at risk of collapse with a lean of 5½ degrees. A major stabilization project was undertaken in the 1990s, which reduced the lean to 3.97 degrees.

31 Rocker Lavigne : AVRIL

Avril Lavigne is a Canadian musician. Lavigne was the youngest female solo artist to reach number one in the charts in the UK, which she did at 17 years of age in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go”.

34 Offering from the miller or the cook, in Chaucer : TALE

“The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories penned by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. Written in MIddle English, the tales are presented as a storytelling contest held by a group of pilgrims as they travel from London to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. “The Canterbury Tales” is often cited as a landmark piece of English literature as it popularized the use of vernacular English, as opposed to the French or Latin works that were commonly published up to that time.

41 X–III : VII

In Roman numerals, X–III (10-3) is VII (7).

42 Berry rich in antioxidants (and vowels) : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

47 Smallest unit of purchasing power, in an idiom : RED CENT

Something that is not worth a red cent has very little value. The “red” reference is to the color of a copper penny.

49 Start of a spell : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

56 High-end Honda : ACURA

Acura is a luxury vehicle brand produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. Acura was the first Japanese luxury car brand to be introduced to the US, in 1986. The Acura Legend and Acura Integra were the first two models released.

58 Pancakes sometimes served with caviar : BLINI

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

62 Put forward : POSIT

To “posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

70 Dudes : GUYS

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

Down

2 Double Dutch equipment : ROPES

Double Dutch is a skipping game that uses two jump ropes that are turned in opposite directions.

8 Flik and Dot, in “A Bug’s Life” : ANTS

“A Bug’s Life” is a 1998 animated feature film from Pixar. The storyline is based on the film “The Seven Samurai” and the fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

9 Kind of cord or column : SPINAL

The human spine comprises five regions of vertebrae, which are (starting at the neck):

  • Cervical (C1 – C7)
  • Thoracic (T1 – T12)
  • Lumbar (L1 – L5)
  • Sacral (S1 – S5)
  • Coccyx (also known as the tailbone)

24 Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

28 “Hi,” in Lanai : ALOHA
29 Lanai neckwear : LEIS

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

30 Mother of Kim, Kylie and Kourtney : KRIS

Kris Kardashian is the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. She was married to the lawyer Robert Kardashian who was one of O. J. Simpson’s lawyers in his 1995 murder trial. The couple divorced in 1990 and Kris then married the celebrated decathlete from the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner. That marriage ended in divorce as well, in 2015.

40 Fictional land ruled by Aslan : NARNIA

Apparently, it’s not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children’s books, including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

In the C. S. Lewis series of books known as “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the lion character (as in the title “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is the Turkish word for “lion”. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

50 Anonymous creator of a painting sold at auction that subsequently shredded itself : BANKSY

Banksy is an English graffiti artist who is noted for his contempt of the British government for condemning his work as vandalism. Banksy’s work can fetch a pretty penny at auction. No one seems to know for sure who Banksy actually is …

53 A kind of poem / Found within this crossword clue / Serendipity : HAIKU

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

54 “Sheesh!” : OY VEY!

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that translates literally as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

64 Daily record : LOG

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Discontinue : DROP
5 ___ cake (dessert with a liquid chocolate core) : LAVA
9 Skewered meat dish : SATAY
14 Wander : ROVE
15 “Victory is mine!” : I WIN!
16 Reply to “Grazie” : PREGO
17 A♭? : APARTMENT (a flat)
19 Feeling the need to scratch : ITCHY
20 Blanc who was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices” : MEL
21 Tries not to be found : HIDES
22 “Hello,” in Mandarin : NI HAO
23 Categorize : ASSORT
25 Give lip to : SASS
26 Where visitors take photos pretending to hold up a landmark : PISA
28 Not playing any songs, as a radio station : ALL TALK
31 Rocker Lavigne : AVRIL
34 Offering from the miller or the cook, in Chaucer : TALE
36 Never Have I ___ (party game) : EVER
37 Shakespearean “Tsk!” : FIE!
38 B♭? : LIE DOWN (be flat)
41 X–III : VII
42 Berry rich in antioxidants (and vowels) : ACAI
44 Accessory that may denote military rank : SASH
45 Deep chasm : ABYSS
47 Smallest unit of purchasing power, in an idiom : RED CENT
49 Start of a spell : ABRA-
51 Liquid-ate? : MELT
52 “You can say that again!” : AND HOW!
56 High-end Honda : ACURA
58 Pancakes sometimes served with caviar : BLINI
61 Apt anagram of “yea” : AYE
62 Put forward : POSIT
63 B♯? : LOOK ALIVE (be sharp)
65 Speak one’s mind : OPINE
66 Cereal crop : OATS
67 Gave the go-ahead : OK’ED
68 Quick kisses : PECKS
69 Occasion for blowing out candles, informally : B’DAY
70 Dudes : GUYS

Down

1 Field of play? : DRAMA
2 Double Dutch equipment : ROPES
3 Racetrack shapes : OVALS
4 Pay-___-view : PER
5 City ___ (place for a population sign) : LIMITS
6 Wowed : AWED
7 Botanical climber : VINE
8 Flik and Dot, in “A Bug’s Life” : ANTS
9 Kind of cord or column : SPINAL
10 Skilled performer : ARTISTE
11 E♯? : TECH SAVVY (“e” sharp)
12 Persian honorific : AGHA
13 Fluctuate wildly : YO-YO
18 Skydiving or a ride on a roller coaster : THRILL
24 Big name in nail polish : OPI
25 Whole host : SLEW
27 Corroded : ATE AT
28 “Hi,” in Lanai : ALOHA
29 Lanai neckwear : LEIS
30 Mother of Kim, Kylie and Kourtney : KRIS
31 A ways away : AFAR
32 The “V” of V.P. : VICE
33 Follow a composer’s notation … or a hint to interpreting four clues in this puzzle : READ MUSIC
35 Show stoppers? : ADS
39 “Winning ___ everything” : ISN’T
40 Fictional land ruled by Aslan : NARNIA
43 Winter Olympics facility : ICE RINK
46 Naughty : BAD
48 Fills with delight : ELATES
50 Anonymous creator of a painting sold at auction that subsequently shredded itself : BANKSY
53 A kind of poem / Found within this crossword clue / Serendipity : HAIKU
54 “Sheesh!” : OY VEY!
55 Tends to an overgrown garden : WEEDS
56 Each : A POP
57 Make do : COPE
58 Amorphous shape : BLOB
59 Hamperful : LOAD
60 Smallest bit : IOTA
64 Daily record : LOG

7 thoughts on “0312-24 NY Times Crossword 12 Mar 24, Tuesday”

  1. 12:09, no errors. Burned a lot of clock entering 9A KEBAB and 32D VERY (didn’t notice the clue was VP not VIP).

  2. 13:31, no errors. LOL @Bruce. Same two clock burning areas. Plus I had to look for fat fingers and my fat fingers actually made a word…so hard to find. Oh, well.

  3. 11:24. No idea what was going on with the theme. I know nothing of reading music so it may as well have been in Chinese.

    FWIW – an yung is “hello” in Cantonese. I dated a girl from Hong Kong while in grad school…

    I remembered the story surrounding BANKSY from past crosswords, but I couldn’t recall the actual name. Had to get it via crosses.

    Best –

  4. 10:37 no problem with the musical notation references. Spent three separate trips photographing steam locomotives in Inner Mongolia, one year I got one of our drivers saying “ni hao, duuuude” in the morning. Ran into him a couple years later on a subsequent trip and was greeted with the same greeting. :- )

  5. I don’t understand why there’s a big paragraph about the leaning tower of Pisa, abracadabra, another about dudes, but nothing in here about obscure terms like fie and agha.

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