0318-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Mar 24, Monday

Constructed by: Trent H. Evans
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Growth Areas, Finally!

Themed answers each end with a societal grouping, with those groupings growing in size as we descend the grid:

  • 17A In Europe, it’s known as a “twin town” : SISTER CITY
  • 29A Hotly contested area in a U.S. election : PURPLE STATE
  • 45A France, for the 2024 Olympics : HOST COUNTRY
  • 60A Extraterrestrial’s home, to us : ALIEN WORLD

Bill’s time: 5m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 1960s activist Hoffman : ABBIE

Abbie Hoffman was the founder of the Yippies, an activist group that had violent clashes with the police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Hoffman, along with six other defendants, were eventually brought up on charges related to the protests and became known collectively as the Chicago Seven.

10 Abruptly leave, as a lover : JILT

To jilt someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot, loose woman”.

16 App connecting riders with drivers : UBER

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”.

19 ___ Millions (lottery) : MEGA

The Mega Millions lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Powerball.

22 Unruly ’60s hairdo : MOP TOP

The classic Beatles haircut is called a mop top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and when they arrived at their destination, they had their hair cut that way for the first time.

24 Digital diary : BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.’

29 Hotly contested area in a U.S. election : PURPLE STATE

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

35 Luke and Leia’s mother in “Star Wars” : PADME

In the “Star Wars” universe, Padmé Amidala is the Queen of the planet Naboo. Played very ably by Natalie Portman, Padmé becomes the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker, later revealed to be Darth Vader. As such, Padmé is also the mother of Luke Skywalker and his sister, Princess Leia Organa.

38 Game show icon Trebek : ALEX

Alex Trebek was the host of “Jeopardy!” from the launch of the syndicated version of the game show in 1984 until his passing in 2020. Trebek missed just one episode during that time, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke. In 2014, Trebek picked up the Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a game show.

39 Constellation with a belt : ORION

A subset of three particularly bright stars in the constellation of Orion is named “Orion’s Belt”. The three bright stars sit almost in a straight line and are about equidistant. They’re usually the easiest way to spot the constellation of Orion in the night sky.

42 Queen of the Nile, informally : CLEO

“Queen of the Nile” is a common description used for Cleopatra VII of Egypt, the last pharaoh to rule the country. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

44 Lucy’s pal on “I Love Lucy” : ETHEL

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

45 France, for the 2024 Olympics : HOST COUNTRY

When Paris hosts the Summer Olympics in 2024, it will become only the second city to host the Olympics three times (London hosted in 1908, 1948 and 2012).

59 Artist who co-authored a book about his mustache : DALI

The famous surrealist Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection of art.

64 Neighbor of Turkey : IRAN

The Iran-Turkey border runs for just over 330 miles, in a roughly north-south direction. It extends from a tripoint with Azerbaijan in the north to a tripoint with Iraq in the south.

65 Window ledge : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

66 “Star Wars” droid, familiarly : ARTOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2 (also “Artoo-Detoo”). R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 feet 8 inches tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

69 Ocular annoyances : STYES

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

Down

2 Creamy French cheese : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry with fig jam.

7 New York theater award : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. They have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

9 Hinders : STYMIES

The word “stymie” comes from golf, and is a situation in which one’s approach to the hole is blocked by an opponent’s ball. We use the term more broadly as a verb to describe standing in the way of something.

10 Bring back to life, as an auto battery : JUMP-START

On most cars using a 12V battery, the recommended sequence of connections used when jump-starting is:

  1. Dead battery positive terminal … to good battery positive terminal
  2. Good battery negative terminal … to bare metal on the dead car, as far away from the battery as possible.

The final connection is made to bare metal (like an engine mounting bolt) because such parts are connected to the negative terminal of the dead battery. The final connection is made away from the battery so that any spark created is less likely to ignite the explosive hydrogen gas that might be emitted by a battery.

12 Toy brand documented on the website Brickipedia : LEGO

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

18 Barilla competitor : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ”Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off in the name of the sauce. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

Barilla is a supplier of Italian foods that is headquartered in Parma, Italy. It was founded as a bakery shop in Parma back in 1877, and now supplies almost 50% of the pasta sold in Italy, and about 15% of pasta sold in the US.

27 Geological time unit : EPOCH

Geologic time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

28 Monte ___ (gambling destination) : CARLO

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

32 Farewell celebration for those leaving the Hawaiian Islands : ALOHA PARTY

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

33 Fundamental belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he/she/it holds”.

36 It’s no longer worth talking about : MOOT POINT

To moot is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able to get that right, which drives me crazy …

56 Crowdsourced review site : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

61 Commit perjury : LIE

An act of perjury is the willful giving of false testimony under oath. The term “perjury” ultimately comes from the Latin “per” meaning “away” and “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

63 Half of cuatro : DOS

In Spanish, “cuatro” (four) is “dos y dos” (two plus two).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 1960s activist Hoffman : ABBIE
6 Santa’s sackful : TOYS
10 Abruptly leave, as a lover : JILT
14 Intoxicated : DRUNK
15 Help with a crime : ABET
16 App connecting riders with drivers : UBER
17 In Europe, it’s known as a “twin town” : SISTER CITY
19 ___ Millions (lottery) : MEGA
20 Part of a needle or hurricane : EYE
21 Took in some takeout? : ATE
22 Unruly ’60s hairdo : MOP TOP
24 Digital diary : BLOG
26 Clothing ensembles, slangily : FITS
27 Earth-friendly prefix : ECO-
29 Hotly contested area in a U.S. election : PURPLE STATE
35 Luke and Leia’s mother in “Star Wars” : PADME
37 “Unfortunately …” : ALAS …
38 Game show icon Trebek : ALEX
39 Constellation with a belt : ORION
40 Greek “T” : TAU
41 Swedish currency : KRONA
42 Queen of the Nile, informally : CLEO
43 “How ya ___?” : DOIN’
44 Lucy’s pal on “I Love Lucy” : ETHEL
45 France, for the 2024 Olympics : HOST COUNTRY
48 Legal professional: Abbr. : ATT
49 What dogs do with their tongues sticking out : PANT
50 On the double : ASAP
52 Accompany : ESCORT
55 “Just a heads-up …” : FYI …
57 Sheep’s sound : BAA!
59 Artist who co-authored a book about his mustache : DALI
60 Extraterrestrial’s home, to us : ALIEN WORLD
64 Neighbor of Turkey : IRAN
65 Window ledge : SILL
66 “Star Wars” droid, familiarly : ARTOO
67 Slight coloration : TINT
68 Hang on to : KEEP
69 Ocular annoyances : STYES

Down

1 Social media posts tagged as “Sponsored,” e.g. : ADS
2 Creamy French cheese : BRIE
3 Meddling sorts : BUSYBODIES
4 Info for a spy : INTEL
5 Barely make do, with “by” : EKE …
6 Delicate use of words : TACT
7 New York theater award : OBIE
8 Nevertheless : YET
9 Hinders : STYMIES
10 Bring back to life, as an auto battery : JUMP-START
11 “Yeah … sure you did” : I BET
12 Toy brand documented on the website Brickipedia : LEGO
13 Crab pot for crabbing, e.g. : TRAP
18 Barilla competitor : RAGU
23 N.B.A. tiebreakers, for short : OTS
25 Store sign lit up during business hours : OPEN
26 Show off shamelessly : FLAUNT
27 Geological time unit : EPOCH
28 Monte ___ (gambling destination) : CARLO
30 Snitch on : RAT OUT
31 Like a doughnut with no icing or filling : PLAIN
32 Farewell celebration for those leaving the Hawaiian Islands : ALOHA PARTY
33 Fundamental belief : TENET
34 Glorify : EXALT
36 It’s no longer worth talking about : MOOT POINT
41 Custodian’s ringful : KEYS
43 “You’d rather not know” : DON’T ASK
46 Airport rental : CAR
47 Drought ender : RAIN
51 Command to cancel a countdown : ABORT
52 Arrange some video clips, e.g. : EDIT
53 Wrapped Indian garment : SARI
54 Hip-hop’s Wu-Tang ___ : CLAN
55 Something found in a computer folder : FILE
56 Crowdsourced review site : YELP
58 Plant that soothes burns : ALOE
61 Commit perjury : LIE
62 “As I ___ saying …” : WAS
63 Half of cuatro : DOS

4 thoughts on “0318-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Mar 24, Monday”

  1. 6:51, no errors. Monday speed test. 36D: thanks Bill for the clarification of the word MOOT. I am, apparently, one of many who have our understanding of the word backward. However, it seems the majority share this misunderstanding, so to use the word correctly would create confusion nowadays. On the plus side, in the Lord of Rings, Treebeard calling for an ‘Ent Moot’ now makes sense.

  2. 6;25. One more theme answer would have been in outer space.

    How Bill describes is the correct way to jumpstart a battery. Most people – including mechanics – just put that last connection on the negative side of the dead battery.

    I think spring is here. Gorgeous Monday here. Sunny and 75 degrees.

    Best –

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