0404-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Apr 24, Thursday

Constructed by: Kevin Curry
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: Martini

Themed answers reference a MARTINI, and we have some nice grid art to match. There is a MARTINI glass in the middle of the grid, with an OLIVE inside, and a toothpick spearing that OLIVE:

  • 57A Subject of this puzzle : MARTINI
  • 39D Five parts … : … GIN
  • 4D One part … : … VERMOUTH
  • 9D Chill with … : … ICE CUBES
  • 3D Famous specification for a 57-Across : SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
  • 43A Garnish with an … : … OLIVE
  • 10D 57-Across, per E.B. White : ELIXIR OF QUIETUDE

Bill’s time: 9m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Apt name for a Feb. 14 baby? : VAL

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

7 Pressure meas. : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

13 What was written as “(annoyed grunt)” on early scripts of “The Simpsons” : D’OH

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

14 Dolly, e.g. : EWE

Dolly was the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

16 Baseball Hall-of-Famer Durocher : LEO

Baseball player and manager Leo Durocher was noted for being outspoken, and was given the nickname “Leo the Lip”. In 1946, while he was manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Durocher expressed the opinion that teams like his successful Dodgers would always do better than teams replete with personable individuals (naming Mel Ott in particular). He used his most memorable phrase to encapsulate the sentiment … “nice guys finish last”.

17 Landmark legislation of 1972, for short : ERA

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn’t make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. The amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

18 What Scott Joplin might yell after a spill? : RAG TIME!

Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populace in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

20 Org. authorized by the 16th Amendment : IRS

The Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution gives the US Congress the right to levy a personal income tax without the need to reapportion the funds collected to the states proportionally based on census results. Prior to the amendment, taxes collected had to be returned to the states based on population.

23 Spot markers : XES

X marks the spot.

26 Letters associated with Joseph Smith : LDS

Joseph Smith, Jr. published the Book of Mormon in 1830, and founded the church that he originally called the Church of Christ, later known as the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Today, the largest of the churches descended from Smith’s organization is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the members of the church referred to as Latter Day Saints. The name “Mormons” is just a nickname, derived from the title of Joseph Smith’s book.

29 Like the German article “das” : NEUTER

The definite article in German is der, die or das, for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. The indefinite article is ein, eine or ein, again depending on the gender of the noun. A further complication, relative to English, is that the masculine form (and only the masculine form) of the article changes when used in the accusative case, when used with the object of a sentence. The accusative forms are “den” and “einen”.

31 Skier’s convenience : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

32 Nancy in the Grammy Hall of Fame : SINATRA

Singer Nancy Sinatra has a few big hits to her name, including 1966’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”, 1967’s “Somethin’ Stupid”, and 1967’s “You Only Live Twice” (theme song for the movie). Nancy is the daughter of the great Frank Sinatra, who sang “Somethin’ Stupid” with her as a duet. Frank also passed on “You Only Live Twice” before the song was offered to Nancy.

37 “___ Back” (2004 Kenny Chesney hit) : I GO

Kenny Chesney is a country music singer and songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. For just a few months in 2005, Chesney was married to actress Renee Zellweger.

44 Gave a red card, informally : DQ’ED

“DQ” is short for “disqualify”.

45 Social stratum : CASTE

Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.

47 Coiner of the term “ambient music” : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

48 “Little Deuce ___” (Beach Boys hit) : COUPE

“Little Deuce Coupe” is one of those hits that was recorded as a B-side. It’s a song written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian that was released by the Beach Boys in 1963 on the B-side to “Surfer Girl”. The title refers to the Ford Model B automobile. In the 1940s, the 1932 Ford Model B was regarded by many as the ideal hot rod. It was given the slang name “deuce coupé”, with “deuce” being a reference to the “two” in the “1932” model year.

52 Things sometimes lined with bubble wrap : MAILERS

Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 in an abortive attempt to make a 3-dimensional wall covering. The result was a material that wasn’t suitable as a “wallpaper” but that did make a great packing material. And don’t forget the last Monday of every January … that’s Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

54 Derby participants in July : BATTERS

Major League Baseball holds the Home Run Derby annually, on the day prior to the league’s All-Star Game. The Derby is a home run hitting competition held between four players from the National League, and four players from the American League.

55 AMC competitor : REGAL

The Regal Entertainment Group chain of theaters is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

57 Subject of this puzzle : MARTINI

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

59 Showmanship : BRAVURA

“Bravura” is an Italian word meaning “bravery, spirit”. We started using the term in English to describe a piece of music that is florid and colorful, and requires great skill to play. The meaning was extended in the early 1800s to also describe a show of brilliancy or daring.

62 Screening with a lot of characters? : EYE TEST

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.

Down

3 Famous specification for a 57-Across : SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (like James Bond, 007)? For one thing, the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

4 One part … : … VERMOUTH

Vermouth is a fortified wine that is infused with various aromatic flavors. The vermouth that we use today originated in Turin, Italy in the mid-1700s. The various vermouths produced all use a neutral grape wine as a base, with alcohol added to fortify it. Dry ingredients like herbs or roots are added to give a distinctive flavor, and then sugar can be added to make the drink sweeter. Today, most vermouth comes from Italy and France.

10 57-Across, per E.B. White : ELIXIR OF QUIETUDE

[57A Subject of this puzzle : MARTINI]
E. B. (Elwyn Brooks) White was an American writer. His most famous creations were the children’s stories “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little”, but he also co-authored the writing guide “The Elements of Style” (usually referred to as “Strunk & White”).

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

11 Accessory in many Rembrandt self-portraits : BERET

The celebrated Dutch painter’s full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes “Ryn”). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

19 “For those wanting a summary,” in internet-speak : TL;DR

Too long, didn’t read (TL;DR)

30 Ben Folds Five, e.g., oddly enough : TRIO

Ben Folds Five was a rock group for Chapel Hill, North Carolina that was active, on and off, from 1993 until 2003. Ben Folds formed the group, and despite the name, it comprised just three members.

32 “Abbott Elementary,” for one : SITCOM

“Abbott Elementary” is a sitcom in the mockumentary genre. The show was created by and stars Quinta Brunson as a cup-half-full second-grade teacher in a Philadelphia public school. The premise of “Abbott Elementary” is that a film crew is making a documentary about the lives of teachers working in underfunded schools.

36 “___ Game” (sci-fi classic) : ENDER’S

Orson Scott Card is a science fiction author (mainly). Card’s most famous work is his novel “Ender’s Game” first published in 1985. “Ender’s Game” was adapted into a movie and released in 2013, with a cast that includes Harrison Ford.

42 One is seen on the poster for “The Devil Wears Prada” : STILETTO

The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

“The Devil Wears Prada” is a 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger that is set in the fashion industry. One of the main characters in the story is Miranda Priestly, the tyrannical editor-in-chief of the fictional fashion magazine “Runway”. It has been suggested that the Priestly character was inspired by Anna Wintour, the real life editor-in-chief of “Vogue”. Weisberger’s book was adapted into a very successful film with the same title that was released in 2006, with Meryl Streep playing Priestly.

46 Lamenting lines : ELEGIES

An elegy is a mournful poem or funeral song, and is also known as a dirge.

57 Mission involving Spirit and Opportunity, in brief : MER

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity. The China National Space Administration landed its first rover, named Zhurong (“Rover” in English), five months after Perseverance started its mission on the planet.

60 Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA

“V for Vendetta” is a 2006 movie based on the political thriller graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film stars Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman and Stephen Rea. Two other Moore novels made it to the big screen: “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They’re good to know : INS
4 Apt name for a Feb. 14 baby? : VAL
7 Pressure meas. : PSI
10 Coastal retreat? : EBB
13 What was written as “(annoyed grunt)” on early scripts of “The Simpsons” : D’OH
14 Dolly, e.g. : EWE
15 ___ Specs (sports eyewear brand) : REC
16 Baseball Hall-of-Famer Durocher : LEO
17 Landmark legislation of 1972, for short : ERA
18 What Scott Joplin might yell after a spill? : RAG TIME!
20 Org. authorized by the 16th Amendment : IRS
21 Hit up : ASK
22 Having muscle pain : MYALGIC
23 Spot markers : XES
24 Deal with : SEE TO
26 Letters associated with Joseph Smith : LDS
27 Kind of candle at a wedding ceremony : UNITY
29 Like the German article “das” : NEUTER
31 Skier’s convenience : T-BAR
32 Nancy in the Grammy Hall of Fame : SINATRA
34 Certain soccer kick : TOE POKE
37 “___ Back” (2004 Kenny Chesney hit) : I GO
38 Game show host John Michael : HIGGINS
40 Bog : FEN
41 Sounds of disapproval : TUTS
43 Garnish with an … : … OLIVE
44 Gave a red card, informally : DQ’ED
45 Social stratum : CASTE
47 Coiner of the term “ambient music” : ENO
48 “Little Deuce ___” (Beach Boys hit) : COUPE
49 Betting recklessly, in poker slang : ON TILT
51 More piddling : PUNIER
52 Things sometimes lined with bubble wrap : MAILERS
54 Derby participants in July : BATTERS
55 AMC competitor : REGAL
56 “My gut says …” : I’D BET
57 Subject of this puzzle : MARTINI
59 Showmanship : BRAVURA
62 Screening with a lot of characters? : EYE TEST
63 Broke off : SECEDED
64 Second chances : REDOS
65 Work with one’s hands : KNEAD

Down

1 Possible solutions : IDEAS
2 Origin of the words “reindeer” and “husband” : NORSE
3 Famous specification for a 57-Across : SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
4 One part … : … VERMOUTH
5 Out : AWAY
6 Court hotshot : LEGAL EAGLE
7 Self-righteous types : PRIGS
8 Vehicle with an underride guard : SEMI
9 Chill with … : … ICE CUBES
10 57-Across, per E.B. White : ELIXIR OF QUIETUDE
11 Accessory in many Rembrandt self-portraits : BERET
12 Giving orders : BOSSY
19 “For those wanting a summary,” in internet-speak : TL;DR
25 Leaves in hot water : TEA
28 Alternative to an energy drink, perhaps : NAP
30 Ben Folds Five, e.g., oddly enough : TRIO
31 Soften, with “down” : TONE …
32 “Abbott Elementary,” for one : SITCOM
33 Chuckwalla relative : IGUANA
34 Early DVR : TIVO
35 Real gem : KEEPER
36 “___ Game” (sci-fi classic) : ENDER’S
39 Five parts … : … GIN
42 One is seen on the poster for “The Devil Wears Prada” : STILETTO
44 “You’d better not go there …” : DON’T EVEN …
46 Lamenting lines : ELEGIES
48 Tighten the purse strings : CUT BACK
50 Prefix with fix : TRANS-
51 Member of la familia : PADRE
53 Vent feature : SLIT
54 Racers’ wear : BIBS
57 Mission involving Spirit and Opportunity, in brief : MER
58 Homophone of a body part and a letter : AYE
60 Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA
61 Do a simple calculation : ADD

7 thoughts on “0404-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Apr 24, Thursday”

  1. Second attempt to post.
    22:37, no errors. Fun surprise when using the NYT app: a stylistic green olive with red pimento appears when the puzzle is finished.

  2. 25:05 after finding and fixing two errors. A frustrating solve, due to the fact that the NYT Games app decided I was no longer a subscriber, so I had to do the puzzle directly on the NYT site and the backspace key, which I ended up using a lot, was in a position new to me.

    Yesterday, out of curiosity, I gave “xwstats” access to my NYT crossword data and it turned out to be a three-hour task, given that two of the three advertised methods for doing this did not work. It was afterwards (and, I think, because of it) that I discovered the problem with the NYT Games app. (And, now that I have “xwstats” working for me, I’m totally unimpressed with it … 😳.)

    And now … to see if this will post … 😳

    1. And, much to my surprise, it did! But it also gave me an error message (something about being unable to find “that page”). Weird.

      1. How come when I go to nyt puzzle archive and select a puzzle, the printer icon doesn’t come up…only just the puzzle to play on my iPad. I can’t print it.

        Maybe you know the answer, Dave

        Mark

        1. @Mark …

          I don’t know why the NYT “Games” app was done that way. When I want to print a New York Times puzzle, I go to “nytimes.com”, log in, navigate to the “Crossword Archives”, find the puzzle I want, and click on it to get the “printer” icon. One would think they’d have made it possible to do all that from the “Games” app, but … as far as I can tell, they didn’t … 🤨.

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