0322-24 NY Times Crossword 22 Mar 24, Friday

Constructed by: Mansi Kothari & Erik Agard
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 29m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Name on a Chinese menu : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

13 Pie preference : EXTRA CHEESE

That’s probably a pizza pie.

17 One of two in Mötley Crüe : METAL UMLAUT

An umlaut (also “diaeresis”) is a diacritical mark consisting of two horizontal dots placed over a letter, usually a vowel. Here in the West, we are perhaps most familiar with umlauts in German, as in “Schön”.

It seems that quite a few rock bands like to use umlauts to “decorate” their band names. Such diacritics are known as “metal umlauts” (also “röck döts”). Notable examples are Blue Öyster Cult, Motörhead, Mötley Crüe and even the fictional Spın̈al Tap.

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

18 Black church initials : AME

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church was formed in New York City. The church was established by African-American Christians who faced discrimination when attending other churches. Initially the African-American congregations were led by Caucasian Methodist ministers, with the first African American being ordained in 1820.

23 Water-loving dogs, for short : LABS

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

27 Half of a Melville title : MOBY-

The full title of Herman Melville’s novel is “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale”. Note that the convention is to hyphenate “Moby-Dick” in the title, as that was how the book was first published, in 1851. However, there is no hyphen in the name of the whale “Moby Dick” as reproduced throughout the text.

28 Aunt ___ (“Bel-Air” role) : VIV

“Bel-Air” is a TV drama that started airing in 2022. It is a reboot of the famed show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that was broadcast in the 1990s. Will Smith played a fictionalized version of himself in the original. In the reboot, Smith is played by Jabari Banks.

30 Primary directive : VOTE!

The US is one of just a few countries that uses primary elections, selections of party candidates by popular vote. In the runup to most national elections outside of the US, political parties select their own candidates. Indeed, primaries weren’t introduced into the US until relatively recently. The first presidential primary took place in 1920, in New Hampshire.

37 July birthday celebrant : USA

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

42 Article in El Mundo : LOS

“El Mundo” is one of the three national newspapers of record in Spain, along with “El País” and “ABC”. “El Mundo” is a relatively young publication, being first published in 1989.

47 Reserved : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

48 ___ Dutta, winner of the Miss Universe 2000 pageant : LARA

The Miss Universe beauty pageant was founded in 1952. The organization running the contest was bought by Donald Trump in 1996.

54 Modeling software, familiarly : CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD)

58 Stalemate : TIE

“Stalemate” is a term used in chess when one player (who is not in check) cannot make a legal move. A game of chess with a stalemate is declared a draw. We use the term metaphorically for a no-win situation in general.

60 ’60s peace org. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

Down

5 Danny Aiello’s character in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL

“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie that was released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

8 Southwest sch. known for its numerous online offerings : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

9 One-named actress on “Parks and Recreation” : RETTA

“Parks and Recreation” (sometimes just “Parks and Rec”) is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

10 Slogan on a blue, pink and white pin : TRANS PRIDE

The transgender community has widely adopted a blue, pink and white flag to represent transgender pride. The flag was designed by transgender activist and US Navy veteran Monica Helms in 1999. It comprises five horizontal stripes: light blue, pink, white, pink and light blue. The light blue stripes at the top and bottom are the traditional color associated with baby boys. The abutting pink stripes are the traditional color associated with baby girls. The white stripe in the center represents those who are transitioning, or those who consider themselves gender-neutral.

15 Some annual plans : HMOS

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

22 Publishing bigwigs, for short : EDS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

30 PowerPoint, perhaps : VISUAL AID

Given that PowerPoint is a Microsoft product, it is perhaps a bit of a paradox that the original application that became PowerPoint was designed for the Macintosh computer. This first release was called “Presenter”. The company that designed Presenter was purchased by Microsoft in 1987.

32 Capital southeast of Mecca : SANAA

Sana (also “Sana’a” and “Sanaa”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year, several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

41 Shortest of a group of 12 : LEO

In astronomical terms, the zodiac is a group of 13 constellations that together form a roughly circular pattern in the night sky. Most of these constellations are named for animals, which explains why the word “zodiac” comes from the Greek “zodiakos” meaning “circle of little animals”. We can’t see the whole Zodiac at any one time in the year, but one constellation does dominate the sky every four weeks. In astrological terms, there are only 12 signs of the zodiac. Astrologists skip the constellation Ophiuchus (visible November/December). Ophiuchus is the serpent bearer.

46 They may be AA or A : BRAS

The brassiere is a relatively modern invention, with the first contemporary bra being patented in 1914. However, there are ancient artifacts that show that women have been wearing garments to support their breasts for thousands of years. One of the most famous examples is a mosaic from Sicily that dates back to the 4th century AD. It depicts women athletes wearing bra-like garments while throwing the discus, lifting weights, and playing ball games.

53 Ring bearer? : TREE

Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section of a tree trunk. These rings are caused by a change in the rate of growth of a tree that comes with the seasons, so the rings are more easily discerned in trees that grow in regions with marked seasonal changes.

56 Lowercase ones look like v’s : NUS

Nu is the thirteenth letter in the Greek alphabet, and is the equivalent of our letter N. An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, but the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase V. Very confusing …

57 A.P. subj. : LIT

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something to deliver, with “the” : … GOODS
6 Toast, say : CHAR
10 Name on a Chinese menu : TSO
13 Pie preference : EXTRA CHEESE
16 Moved cross-country? : RAN
17 One of two in Mötley Crüe : METAL UMLAUT
18 Black church initials : AME
19 Winter coat : SNOW
20 Option for emphasis : BOLD
21 2020 sci-fi film with a palindromic title : TENET
23 Water-loving dogs, for short : LABS
25 Causes : LEADS TO
27 Half of a Melville title : MOBY-
28 Aunt ___ (“Bel-Air” role) : VIV
29 Place : SPOT
30 Primary directive : VOTE!
31 Loses power : WANES
33 Cereal ___ : RYE
34 Newly immigrated, say : FIRST GENERATION
37 July birthday celebrant : USA
38 Staid : SOBER
39 Tamil ___, India : NADU
40 Invalid : NULL
42 Article in El Mundo : LOS
43 Low-lying area : DALE
44 Go head-to-head : FACE OFF
46 Something used to hunt and peck : BEAK
47 Reserved : ALOOF
48 ___ Dutta, winner of the Miss Universe 2000 pageant : LARA
50 Light shade : TINT
54 Modeling software, familiarly : CAD
55 Petty person? : ANIMAL LOVER
58 Stalemate : TIE
59 It’s in the neighborhood : GUESSTIMATE
60 ’60s peace org. : SDS
61 Indie pop duo Sylvan ___ : ESSO
62 The difference between who I was and who I am? : TENSE

Down

1 Keepers : GEMS
2 Farm team : OXEN
3 Quattro + quattro : OTTO
4 Decide randomly : DRAW LOTS
5 Danny Aiello’s character in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL
6 Building block of life : CELL
7 Festival closing act : HEADLINER
8 Southwest sch. known for its numerous online offerings : ASU
9 One-named actress on “Parks and Recreation” : RETTA
10 Slogan on a blue, pink and white pin : TRANS PRIDE
11 Inapt response when somebody says “Happy birthday!,” presumably : SAME TO YOU
12 Scale range : ONE TO TEN
14 Small storage space : CUBBY
15 Some annual plans : HMOS
22 Publishing bigwigs, for short : EDS
24 Assists on offense? : ABETS
26 Until now : EVER
27 Sets of values : MORAL CODES
28 Parts of windmills : VANES
30 PowerPoint, perhaps : VISUAL AID
31 Intricately plotted fiction : WEB OF LIES
32 Capital southeast of Mecca : SANAA
34 Icebreaker tidbits : FUN FACTS
35 Go clubbing? : GOLF
36 “What’s up?” : TALK TO ME
41 Shortest of a group of 12 : LEO
43 Handed out : DEALT
45 Coming ___ : OF AGE
46 They may be AA or A : BRAS
49 Childish retort : AM SO!
51 Tommy in the Hockey Hall of Fame : IVAN
52 Clears : NETS
53 Ring bearer? : TREE
56 Lowercase ones look like v’s : NUS
57 A.P. subj. : LIT

7 thoughts on “0322-24 NY Times Crossword 22 Mar 24, Friday”

  1. 23:57, no errors. Difficult in spots. Grateful to Bill for explaining “metal umlauts”, which I neglected to look up, thinking, “That’s must be a weird coinage created for this puzzle!” Also, I was unaware of “RETTA” and “TENET”, so I was grateful that the clue pointed out the latter was a palindrome.

  2. 57:05, no errors. Finishing this one felt like a triumph. Same experience and comments as Dave. Found myself way out in the weeds several times. For example, entering OCHO in 3D lead me to wanting some form of CRACKER instead of EXTRA CHEESE. If I can finish at or less than double Bill’s time I’m happy.

  3. thanks for mansplaining to us what an HMO and a PowerPoint are, but not what Tamil Nadu or who Lara Dutta are

  4. 53:12 Knew about umlauts, never heard of “metal umlauts”. Having “ocho” then “otro” obviously didn’t help. Finally went with “otto” only because at least “metal” was a word.

    Anonymous, Google is your friend, too…perhaps you aren’t aware of its existence?

  5. Why is a “petty person” am animal lover. I’m sure it’s simple, but I just can’t see it.
    Thanks

  6. 35:23. Glad it wasn’t just me. I think I DNF’d last Friday. Came close today too. My guess is Erik Agard came up with a lot of these clues.

    Several missteps including Stoic before SOBER, fadES before WANES, Val before VIV, and several others.

    Brand new clue for ESSO now rather than Canadian oil company.

    Very odd clue for SAME TO YOU.

    Best –

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