0320-24 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 24, Wednesday

Constructed by: E. M. Capassakis
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Numeracy

Themed clues are all numbers:

  • 17A 101 : INTRO CLASS
  • 19A 007 : BOND
  • 31A 420 : CANNABIS
  • 47A 666 : THE BEAST
  • 62A 411 : INFO
  • 64A 360 : FULL CIRCLE

Bill’s time: 7m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 “Highway to Hell” band : AC/DC

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. Malcolm and Angus chose the name “AC/DC” after their sister Margaret noticed them on a sewing machine (the abbreviation for alternating current/direct current). The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.

10 “Go ___” (game cry) : FISH

Go Fish is a very simple card game, one usually played by children:

Q. Do you have any queens?
A. No.
Q. Go fish!

14 Marx brother with a curly wig : HARPO

Harpo Marx was the second-oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously, Harpe didn’t speak on screen, a routine that he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak! He would usually whistle or toot a hand-held horn instead of speaking.

16 End of a noodle? : IDEA

Slang terms for “head” include “bean”, “coconut”, “gourd”, “noodle” and “noggin”.

19 007 : BOND

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

20 Seder holiday : PESACH

Pesach is an alternative name for Passover.

26 Small intimate restaurant : BISTRO

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

34 Cry repeated in the 1980s dance tune “Hot Hot Hot” : OLE!

“Hot Hot Hot” is a song written and first recorded in 1982 by Arrow, a singer-songwriter from the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. “Hot Hot Hot” became a dance floor hit for Arrow, and then really took off when it was covered in 1987 by Buster Poindexter. Ole ole …

39 Instrument for Bela Fleck : BANJO

Béla Fleck is a banjo player who performed with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He was born in New York City and was given the name Béla Anton Leoš Fleck. He was named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Austrian composer Anton Webern, and Czech composer Leoš Janáček. That’s quite a name to live up to, but by all accounts Fleck is one of the most technically proficient banjo players the world has ever known.

41 Mini maker : BMW

The original Mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, which was a sporty version. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

42 Prolonged attack : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

43 Eponym of a neighborhood in Queens : ASTOR

Astoria is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens, New York. The area sits on the East River, and was originally called Hallet’s Cove after the first landowner William Hallet, who settled there in 1659. The area was renamed Astoria in a deal to get John Jacob Astor, then the wealthiest man in the country, to invest $2,000 in the neighborhood. Astor only put up $500 in the end, but the name stuck.

44 This sucks! : LEECH

We are most familiar with medicinal leeches, which feed on the blood of mainly vertebrate animals. However, most leeches are predatory and swallow other invertebrates for food.

47 666 : THE BEAST

666 is the number of the beast that is linked to Satan or the Antichrist, according to the Book of Revelation in the Bible. The fear of the number 666 has been given a name, i.e. hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Don’t forget that …

52 Golf hazard : TRAP

Sand traps on a golf course are referred to as bunkers on the other side of the Atlantic.

58 Members of a woolly herd : LLAMAS

The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

62 411 : INFO

Several large US cities started using the telephone number “411” in the 1930s for local directory assistance. “411” was used in markets where the Bell System of telephone companies was prevalent. The number “113” served the same purpose on markets dominated by GTE and other telephone companies, with the last such usage of “113” disappearing in the 1980s. The term “4-1-1” is now used in North America as slang for “information”.

67 Chimney vent : FLUE

The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

69 Commits a faux pas : ERRS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

Down

1 Arizona in Hawaii, e.g. : SHIP

The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor sits across the sunken hull of the battleship, the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,117 sailors of the Arizona who were killed during the 1941 attack. After the attack, the superstructure of the Arizona protruded above the surface of the water. This was removed during and after WWII, hence leaving just a submerged hull. The memorial itself was approved by President Eisenhower in 1958, and the building was opened in 1962. In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was permanently moored in Pearl Harbor, docked nearby and perpendicular to the Arizona. It was on board the Missouri that the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of WWII.

9 Winter melon : CASABA

A casaba is a type of honeydew melon that ripens relatively late in the season, and so is classed as a winter melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.

10 “I’m busy that night,” often : FIB

To fib is to tell a lie. The verb “to fib” likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, with “fibble-fable” coming from “fable”.

12 Title with a tilde : SENOR

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

18 Niña : CHICA

In Spanish, a “niña” is a young girl, a child. The term “chica” applies to an older girl or perhaps a young woman. The term “muchacha” applies to girls in general, I think …

22 Full stop : KIBOSH

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

27 Norwegian name that gained global prominence in 2010 : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

28 ___ Fett, “Star Wars” bounty hunter : BOBA

Boba Fett is one of the principal bad guys in the “Star Wars” universe. He appears in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” and in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. A young version of Boba Fett also appears in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones”.

32 Site of a Herculean feat : NEMEA

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called “Heracles”. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

33 Diamondbacks’ div. : NL WEST

The Arizona Diamondbacks (also “D-backs”) joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, they became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

35 Like Kia and Samsung : KOREAN

Kia Motors is the second-largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of bicycle parts, and did indeed produce Korea’s first domestic bicycle. The company’s original name was Kyungsung Precision Industry, with the Kia name introduced in 1952.

Samsung is a huge multinational company based in Seoul, South Korea. We tend to think of Samsung as a supplier of consumer electronics perhaps, but the company is into so much more. Samsung Heavy Industries is the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder, and Samsung Techwin is a major manufacturer of aeronautic and weapons systems. The name “Samsung” means “three stars” in Korean.

40 English version of 61-Down : JOHN
61D Irish version of 40-Down : SEAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian” or “Iain”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

51 Skin care product : TONER

A skin toner is a cosmetic used to cleanse the skin and to shrink pores.

59 Future doc’s exam : MCAT

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

60 Brand of shoes and handbags : ALDO

ALDO is a chain of shoe stores that was founded in Montreal in 1972 by Moroccan-born Canadian Aldo Bensadoun. Bensadoun is the son of a retailer of shoes in Morocco and France, and the grandchild of a cobbler. A man with shoe leather in his blood …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Twitch, e.g. : SPASM
6 “Highway to Hell” band : AC/DC
10 “Go ___” (game cry) : FISH
14 Marx brother with a curly wig : HARPO
15 “Wait, what?!” : WHOA!
16 End of a noodle? : IDEA
17 101 : INTRO CLASS
19 007 : BOND
20 Seder holiday : PESACH
21 Reach a max : PEAK
23 “Just kidding!” : NOT!
24 Passing fancy : WHIM
26 Small intimate restaurant : BISTRO
28 Berate, with “out” : BAWL …
31 420 : CANNABIS
34 Cry repeated in the 1980s dance tune “Hot Hot Hot” : OLE!
35 Czech form of Charles : KAREL
36 Subjects of a “Twist on it” ad campaign : OREOS
39 Instrument for Bela Fleck : BANJO
41 Mini maker : BMW
42 Prolonged attack : SIEGE
43 Eponym of a neighborhood in Queens : ASTOR
44 This sucks! : LEECH
46 Anger : IRE
47 666 : THE BEAST
49 Arise (from) : STEM
50 Like some music that’s challenging to sing : ATONAL
52 Golf hazard : TRAP
54 Shout after sneaking up on someone : BOO!
55 Really not feeling it? : NUMB
58 Members of a woolly herd : LLAMAS
62 411 : INFO
64 360 : FULL CIRCLE
66 Pricey : DEAR
67 Chimney vent : FLUE
68 Spanish for “roasted” : ASADA
69 Commits a faux pas : ERRS
70 Toy on many a vintage Christmas card : SLED
71 Determined to do : SET ON

Down

1 Arizona in Hawaii, e.g. : SHIP
2 One in a mullion? : PANE
3 Ceramics, cinema, etc. : ARTS
4 Manspread, e.g. : SPRAWL
5 Be a sponge : MOOCH
6 Hole-punching tool : AWL
7 Become dry, as lips : CHAP
8 Pharmacist’s amount : DOSE
9 Winter melon : CASABA
10 “I’m busy that night,” often : FIB
11 “Where?” : I DON’T SEE IT
12 Title with a tilde : SENOR
13 Was left with no other choice : HAD TO
18 Niña : CHICA
22 Full stop : KIBOSH
25 Kind of cake with a swirl : MARBLE
27 Norwegian name that gained global prominence in 2010 : SIRI
28 ___ Fett, “Star Wars” bounty hunter : BOBA
29 Sighed aside : ALAS
30 Overstepped : WENT TOO FAR
32 Site of a Herculean feat : NEMEA
33 Diamondbacks’ div. : NL WEST
35 Like Kia and Samsung : KOREAN
37 Folklore monster : OGRE
38 Look : SEEM
40 English version of 61-Down : JOHN
45 Copy command on a PC : CTRL-C
48 Steep banks : BLUFFS
49 Unimpressive, attendance-wise : SPARSE
50 Put up with : ABIDE
51 Skin care product : TONER
53 Smith or Jones, on occasion : ALIAS
56 Contemplate : MULL
57 Down : BLUE
59 Future doc’s exam : MCAT
60 Brand of shoes and handbags : ALDO
61 Irish version of 40-Down : SEAN
63 Option words : ORS
65 Played first after the deal : LED

4 thoughts on “0320-24 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 24, Wednesday”

  1. 17:32 another bit of music trivia from today’s puzzle…Buster Poindexter, aka David Johansen, former lead singer of the New York Dolls👍👍

  2. 14:38. I could have used a 10-100 while solving this, but I made it through just fine.

    Saw one of the most bizarre phobias the other day. Apparently anatidaiphobia is the fear of ducks watching you. My guess is that if you have that phobia, you have other more pressing problems to deal with….

    Saw that on a list of rarest phobias along with fear of walking, fear of peanut butter and fear of phobias (phobiaphobia??).

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *