0316-24 NY Times Crossword 16 Mar 24, Saturday

Constructed by: Carly Schuna
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Fluffy toy, familiarly : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

16 Sink feature : DISPOSAL

Garbage disposal units are found in about 50% of homes in North America. Frankly, I’ve never seen one anywhere else in the world. Apparently, about 5% of homes in the UK have garbage disposal units installed.

17 “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme : RACISM

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

20 Ren Faire rides : STEEDS

A Renaissance faire (Ren faire) is an outdoor public event in which many participants recreate historical settings by dressing in costume. Usually held in North America, many such fairs are set during the English Renaissance, and more particularly during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The definition of “Renaissance” is often stretched quite a bit, with fairs also set during the reign of Henry VIII, and maybe even during medieval times.

21 Alveoli, e.g. : SACS

The alveoli are the air sacs in the lungs, and as such are the basic units of respiration. They are hollow cavities around which the alveolar membranes perform the gas-exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. That gas exchange surface is about 800 sq. ft. (!) in the average human.

22 One of the five stages of grief : ANGER

Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published a book called “On Death and Dying” in 1969. In this book she proposed a five-step model to describe the emotions experienced by patients after they are given a fatal diagnosis. That same model is often extended to describe the series of emotions experienced by survivors after losing a family member or intimate friend. In this context, the series is referred to as “the five stages of grief”.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

25 Small bit of mint? : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

27 First name in children’s literature : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. He was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “A Light in the Attic”, a collection of poems that was first published in 1981. Some parents have tried to get the book banned from libraries. The collection includes the poem “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes”, which encourages disobedience and making a mess. Scandalous …

29 Metalworker’s union : SOLDER

Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.

31 “National Treasure” star : CAGE

Actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are Nic Cage’s father’s siblings.

34 Big inits. in camping : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

40 City known as “The Soul of the Southwest” : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

42 Prove false : DEBUNK

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

46 Fantasy trilogy, familiarly : LOTR

J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel “The Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) consists of the three volumes:

  • “The Fellowship of the Ring”
  • “The Two Towers”
  • “The Return of the King”

57 Stat : PRONTO

The Spanish and Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

58 Clotting agent : PLATELET

Platelets are cell-like structures in the blood, although they have no nucleus nor any DNA. When bleeding occurs, the wall of the damaged blood vessel is covered with a clot made up of platelets enmeshed in a protein called fibrin.

60 Name on a counter : GEIGER

A Geiger counter is a particle detector that measures ionizing radiation, such as alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays. Often a Geiger counter is equipped with a speaker through which clicks are broadcast each time a particle is detected. We’ve all heard those terrifying clicks in movies, I am sure …

61 It owes its kick to capsaicin : HOT SAUCE

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili peppers. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on the Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly mucous membranes.

62 Daisylike flower : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

Down

2 Accessories that sound like a snack brand : LEIS

Leis are traditional Hawaiian garlands that are made from various types of flowers, leaves, and other materials. They were originally worn by ancient Hawaiians as a symbol of their social status and to signify important events such as weddings and funerals.

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, traveling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

3 Meeting, casually : SESH

Session (abbreviated to “sess.” formally, and “sesh” informally)

9 Drinks sometimes topped with whipped cream : MOCHAS

A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a caffè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

10 Artisanal hamburger option : BRIOCHE BUN

“Brioche” is a French bread that has been enriched with lots of egg and butter, to the extent that it is also considered a pastry.

11 The “wire,” so to speak : LAST SECOND

To go down to the wire is to leave things unsettled until the last minute. The phrase comes from the world of horse racing, where the custom was to stretch a wire across and above the track at the finish line.

14 Dog park? : FOOTREST

Apparently, the phrase “my dogs are barking” meaning “my feet are hurting” originated in America in the 1920s. From there evolved the use of the term “dogs” for “feet”.

15 Talk Like a Pirate Day greeting : ARR!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th every year, a “holiday” that was created in 1995. The event started out as an inside joke between John Baur and Mark Summers of Albany, Oregon, but when they shared the notion with columnist Dave Barry, he promoted the idea and it took off.

32 Occasions to read letters : EYE TESTS

The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

41 First part of an ancient Greek ode : STROPHE

In general terms, in poetry a “strophe” is a pair of stanzas with alternating form. So, a poem might be made up from a number of strophes, and twice that number of stanzas.

52 Chihuahua, e.g. : STATE

Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. It is the largest state in the country, earning it the nickname “El Estado Grande”. Chihuahua takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

54 ___ Books, sci-fi/fantasy imprint : TOR

Tor Books is a publishing house in New York City that specializes in science fiction and fantasy novels.

55 Ijeoma ___, author of 2020’s “Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America” : OLUO

Author Ijeoma Oluo is known for her writings about racism, misogyny, and social justice. Three of her more famous titles are:

  1. “The Badass Feminist Coloring Book” (2015)
  2. “So You Want to Talk about Race” (2018)
  3. “Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America”

57 Org. featured in the documentary series “Full Swing” : PGA

Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA)

59 Entrance or exit of Target? : TEE

The word “Target” starts and ends with a letter T (tee).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word of elaboration : ALSO
5 Fluffy toy, familiarly : POM
8 Stroll : AMBLE
13 Convincing scam video : DEEP FAKE
15 Without a compass, say : AMORAL
16 Sink feature : DISPOSAL
17 “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme : RACISM
18 Go for it, slangily : SHOOT YOUR SHOT
20 Ren Faire rides : STEEDS
21 Alveoli, e.g. : SACS
22 One of the five stages of grief : ANGER
25 Small bit of mint? : DIME
27 First name in children’s literature : SHEL
29 Metalworker’s union : SOLDER
31 “National Treasure” star : CAGE
33 Power-saving mode : ECO
34 Big inits. in camping : KOA
35 Clinch, with “up” : SEW …
37 Settle : PAY
38 Sweetie : BOO
39 Break off : END
40 City known as “The Soul of the Southwest” : TAOS
42 Prove false : DEBUNK
44 Sprays, say : WETS
46 Fantasy trilogy, familiarly : LOTR
48 Takes care of : TENDS
49 Flag carrier of Panama : COPA
51 Took the lead? : ERASED
53 Animal shelter slogan : ADOPT, DON’T SHOP
57 Stat : PRONTO
58 Clotting agent : PLATELET
60 Name on a counter : GEIGER
61 It owes its kick to capsaicin : HOT SAUCE
62 Daisylike flower : ASTER
63 Farm mother : EWE
64 Booster, e.g. : DOSE

Down

1 Elaborate : ADD
2 Accessories that sound like a snack brand : LEIS
3 Meeting, casually : SESH
4 Like naysayers : OPPOSED
5 Wallop : PASTE
6 Let through : OKAYED
7 Euphonious : MELODIC
8 Collect : AMASS
9 Drinks sometimes topped with whipped cream : MOCHAS
10 Artisanal hamburger option : BRIOCHE BUN
11 The “wire,” so to speak : LAST SECOND
12 Furniture wood : ELM
14 Dog park? : FOOTREST
15 Talk Like a Pirate Day greeting : ARR!
19 Geography classroom staple : US MAP
22 Word that, when searched, causes Google to display all results at an angle : ASKEW
23 “Let me play the world’s smallest violin for you” : NO ONE CARES
24 “My pleasure” : GLAD TO DO IT
26 “Yikes!” : EGAD!
28 “___ good!” : LOOKS
30 Very, informally : REAL
32 Occasions to read letters : EYE TESTS
36 Wined and dined : WOOED
41 First part of an ancient Greek ode : STROPHE
43 #iwokeuplikethis style : BED HEAD
45 Quick learner : SPONGE
47 Was in need of more : RAN LOW
50 More fitting : APTER
52 Chihuahua, e.g. : STATE
54 ___ Books, sci-fi/fantasy imprint : TOR
55 Ijeoma ___, author of 2020’s “Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America” : OLUO
56 Bench press muscles, familiarly : PECS
57 Org. featured in the documentary series “Full Swing” : PGA
59 Entrance or exit of Target? : TEE

3 thoughts on “0316-24 NY Times Crossword 16 Mar 24, Saturday”

  1. 29:29, no errors. Had to go through this grid several times, depositing clues in the back of my brain, and letting them percolate. Hoping that crosses would come to the rescue. 60A ‘Name on a counter’ was a head slapper, when GEIGER became apparent. 55D: it’s the NYT, expect nothing less.

  2. 17:06, no errors. Never heard of “COPA” Airlines, but the crosses were solid. A nice relief after yesterday’s NYT (which, for me, was a difficult solve, in a way that I still find puzzling) and yesterday’s Croce, which was more than a bit heavy on “never-heard-ofs” (most of which I had actually guessed, but the collective weight of my uncertainty finally broke me down, so I used Google to finish).

  3. 28:49. Well it’s better than yesterday’s result. NW was my big time killer.

    I just Googled ASKEW, and they’re right. The letters themselves aren’t tilted like italics (which is how I understood it), rather the entire text of entries and their contents are listed at an angle. It’s like you’re reading like a document that gets scanned in but at an angle because the machine fed it wrong. Pretty funny.

    Dave – Copa used to be a subsidiary of Continental Airlines and still code shares with United – so much so that the colors and plane interiors of Continental, now United, and Copa are pretty much identical. I’ve flown on it several times, and it’s a very good airline. Largest in Latin America, I believe.

    Best –

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