0315-24 NY Times Crossword 15 Mar 24, Friday

Constructed by: Daniel Grinberg
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Vegetable whose name comes from Igbo : OKRA

The Igbo (also “Ibo”) people are an ethnic group living in southeastern Nigeria.

9 Bill originating in Texas : PECOS

Pecos Bill has become a character in tall tales of the Old West after having been introduced in 1917 by author Edward O’Reilly. Legend has it that Bill was traveling in a covered wagon from Texas with his family when he fell out unnoticed by the party. He was lost near the Pecos River, hence his name. He was found and raised by a pack of coyotes, but years later was recovered by his real brother. Pecos Bill grew up to be a cowboy and married a woman called Slue-Foot Sue who he met riding a giant catfish down the Rio Grande.

14 It has its standards, for short : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

20 Nobody else can take it : SELFIE

A selfie is a self-portrait, one usually taken with a digital camera or cell phone. A “group selfie” is sometimes referred to as a “groufie” or “wefie”. A “couple selfie” is known as an “usie” or “ussie”, although those terms are sometimes also used for a group picture.

21 Campaign platforms, perhaps : ROSTRA

A rostrum (plural “rostra”) is an elevated platform, particularly one for public speaking. The original rostrum was the platform used by public speakers in the Forum of ancient Rome.

23 Milquetoast : WIMP

Someone described as a “milquetoast” is weak and timid. The term comes from a character called Caspar Milquetoast in the comic strip “The Timid Soul” drawn by H. T. Webster. Webster came up with Caspar’s name by deliberately misspelling “milk toast”, which is a bland food that is suitable for someone with a weak stomach.

36 Got taken for a ride, in a way : UBERED

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

38 Occasion to ask the Four Questions : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

  • Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

45 Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl,” e.g. : POP ART

Roy Lichtenstein was a pop artist from New York City, and a contemporary of Andy Warhol. He was famous for his “cartoon-strip” paintings, especially works called “Whaam!” and “Drowning Girl”. If you saw the Ben Stiller film “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, you might remember Lichtenstein’s painting “Crying Girl” coming to life as part of the plot.

49 Cocktail with caffeine : ESPRESSO MARTINI

An espresso martini is a cocktail that is often served with a couple of coffee beans as a garnish. Most recipes call for a mixture of vodka, espresso coffee, Kahlua and sugar syrup.

57 Real prat : ARSE

“Prat” is a slang term for the buttocks. A “prat-fall” is when someone falls and lands on the buttocks. The term “prat” is also British slang for “contemptible person”.

Down

2 Opposite of rubicund : ASHEN

Someone described as “rubicond” has a healthy rosy complexion. The term arises from the Latin “ruber” meaning ‘red”.

3 Battle site in Tennessee : SHILOH

The Battle of Shiloh was a major engagement in the Civil War, and was fought in 1862 at Pittsburg Landing in southwestern Tennessee. The battle started with a surprise attack by Confederate forces led by Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard. The attackers gained the upper hand on the first day over the Union forces led by Major General Ulysses S. Grant. Union reinforcements arrived during the night and the tide of the battle turned the next day and the Confederates were forced to withdraw. Almost 3,000 men died in the course of the Battle of Shiloh, thus making it the bloodiest battle in US history up to that point in time.

6 Decks and floors, informally? : KOS

Knockout (KO)

10 Words from a paper pusher? : EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA!

A newspaper extra is a special issue with content that arrived too late for the regular edition. Sale of a newspaper extra by street vendors, starting in the mid-1800s, was usually accompanied by the cry “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

13 What Charlotte lives above in “Charlotte’s Web” : STY

“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.

18 “The Lord of the Rings” actress : LIV TYLER

Actress and model Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler, lead singer with Aerosmith, and Bebe Buell, a celebrated model and singer. Apparently, Buell hid the fact that Tyler was Liv’s father until Liv was 8 years old. Buell wanted to insulate her child from the rock-and-roll lifestyle. Liv Tyler plays the Elf maiden Arwen Undómiel in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

25 Vichyssoise ingredient : LEEK

Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

26 Source of the words “plaid” and “trousers” : ERSE

There are 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).

“Tartan” is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a plaid is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

Trousers are pants, the garment covering the lower body and each leg separately. Ultimately, the word “trousers” evolved from the Erse word “triubhas” that described close-fitting shorts. Back in the 1600s there was a colorful saying:

A jellous wife was like an Irish trouze, alwayes close to a mans tayle

28 Bacteriologist Walter who conducted yellow fever research : REED

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland on a site that was selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The facility is named for US Army physician Walter Reed who discovered in 1901 that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes rather than by direct contact. Originally called Walter Reed General Hospital, it was renamed in 1951 to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). The WRMAC was absorbed into the tri-service Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011.

29 Preserver’s purchase : MASON JAR

Mason jars were invented in 1858 in Philadelphia by a tinsmith, a tinsmith named John Landis Mason.

34 Fuji, for one : RED APPLE

The Fuji apple is a cross between two American varieties of apple that was developed in Japan, i.e. a cross between Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet.

35 Dom maker : MOET

Dom Pérignon is a prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

39 Pages on the left side : VERSOS

The left and right pages of a book or magazine are known in publishing circles as verso and recto. Recto comes from the Latin for “right”, and verso comes from the Latin word for “turned”. The idea is that the left side of the page is “turned” and is the reverse of the recto/right side.

40 Profession : METIER

“Métier” is French for “trade, profession”.

42 “And She ___” (Talking Heads hit) : WAS

Talking Heads was a New Wave band from New York City that formed in 1974 and was active until 1991. To be honest, I couldn’t name one of their songs …

44 Indie output : ZINES

A zine is a magazine. The term “zine” is often reserved for noncommercial publications, including those issued online.

47 Common additive to white rice : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

48 Fish named for a weapon : PIKE

A pike is a spear-like weapon that was used as early as the Middle Ages, mainly by European soldiers. It was very long, usually over 10 feet in length, and sometimes over 20 feet.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Put on blast : BASH
5 Vegetable whose name comes from Igbo : OKRA
9 Bill originating in Texas : PECOS
14 It has its standards, for short : OSHA
15 17-Across, for one : POET
16 Raise : EXALT
17 “On Being Brought From Africa to America” writer, 1768 : PHILLIS WHEATLEY
20 Nobody else can take it : SELFIE
21 Campaign platforms, perhaps : ROSTRA
22 Ground rule? : NO TV
23 Milquetoast : WIMP
24 Suffix that turns a verb into an adjective : -ABLE
27 Proportion of customers that make a purchase, in business-speak : HIT RATE
29 More trifling : MERER
30 “Baloney!” : MY EYE!
31 Gets ready to fly : TAXIES
32 Forgetting to finish this clue, for examp : CARELESS MISTAKE
36 Got taken for a ride, in a way : UBERED
37 Your ___ : HONOR
38 Occasion to ask the Four Questions : SEDER
39 After Brazil, the world’s second-largest producer of coffee : VIETNAM
41 Give a hand? : SLAP
42 Left for the country? : WEST
43 “My goodness!” : JEEZ!
45 Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl,” e.g. : POP ART
47 Bit of deductive reasoning? : TAX TIP
49 Cocktail with caffeine : ESPRESSO MARTINI
52 Can’t stand the heat, say : WILTS
53 Kind of fixation : ORAL
54 Foul smell : REEK
55 Rip (from) : WREST
56 iPhone command : SYNC
57 Real prat : ARSE

Down

1 Catchy tunes : BOPS
2 Opposite of rubicund : ASHEN
3 Battle site in Tennessee : SHILOH
4 Components of some sports broadcasts : HALFTIME REPORTS
5 Swing-era bandleader ___ Cates : OPIE
6 Decks and floors, informally? : KOS
7 Alters the narrative, in a way : REWRITES HISTORY
8 Familiar (with) : AT HOME
9 Laphroaig flavorer : PEAT
10 Words from a paper pusher? : EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA!
11 Region of Italy that lends its name to a pepper : CALABRIA
12 Scream for a team : OLE!
13 What Charlotte lives above in “Charlotte’s Web” : STY
18 “The Lord of the Rings” actress : LIV TYLER
19 Unlikely gift : ESP
23 Courses : WAYS
25 Vichyssoise ingredient : LEEK
26 Source of the words “plaid” and “trousers” : ERSE
28 Bacteriologist Walter who conducted yellow fever research : REED
29 Preserver’s purchase : MASON JAR
31 Salon offering : TINT
32 Swear : CUSS
33 Name that’s a homophone of 24-Across : ABEL
34 Fuji, for one : RED APPLE
35 Dom maker : MOET
39 Pages on the left side : VERSOS
40 Profession : METIER
42 “And She ___” (Talking Heads hit) : WAS
44 Indie output : ZINES
46 Threat to crops : PEST
47 Common additive to white rice : TALC
48 Fish named for a weapon : PIKE
49 *grimaces, sticks out tongue* : EWW!
50 “Which one of Arthur’s knights built the Round Table? ___ Cumference!” (groaner) : SIR
51 “My goodness!” : MAN!

4 thoughts on “0315-24 NY Times Crossword 15 Mar 24, Friday”

  1. 41:18(!), no errors. Struggled with every part of it. Not quite sure why.

    Most startling revelation: Talc is added to white rice?!?! Now I’m really glad I was raised on potatoes! 🫣. (And I finally understand why recipes almost always say to wash the rice before putting it on to boil. 🧐)

  2. 35:51, no errors. What Dave said…

    Put SALK in 28D before REED (heard of Walter REED Hospital, now I know why).

  3. DNF. Couldn’t get much traction anywhere. Then I lost patience and gave up. I have other things to get to today.

    Would take less time to list what I did know than what I didn’t.

    There’s always tomorrow….but tomorrow is Saturday. Gulp.

    Best –

  4. Wow. You’ll write about selfies and Uber but not about the the first African-American author of a published book of poetry? Pretty telling about this blogger’s feelings on black excellence, as in he doesn’t respect it. I’m sure some whitey who complains that everything is about race…

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