0311-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Mar 17, Saturday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Natan Last
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 15m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Fellow : BLOKE
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

18. Longtime TV tavern : MOE’S
Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

20. To whom Durocher was referring when he said “Nice guys finish last” : OTT
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”.

22. Little wriggler : EFT
Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

23. Wise one : SAVANT
A “savant” is a learned person. The term “savant” can also be short for “idiot savant”, the outdated name for someone with a mental disability but who has above-normal capabilities in perhaps calculation or musical expression.

28. It’s described as fine and flakelike in Exodus : MANNA
According to the Book of Exodus, manna was a food eaten by the Israelites as they traveled out of Egypt. The manna “fell” to Earth during the night, six days a week, and was gathered in the morning before it had time to melt.

34. Insect that’s born pregnant : APHID
Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called ladybirds in Ireland!).

38. Course on courses, for short : HOME EC
Home economics (home ec)

42. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony, for one : INN
The Prancing Pony is an inn at the center of the village of Bree in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

54. Repeated lyric in the Who’s “Tommy” : SEE ME
“Tommy” is the fourth album recorded by the British band called the Who. “Tommy” was the original rock opera and was adapted for both the stage and screen, with both adaptations becoming huge successes. The title character has an uncanny ability to play pinball, giving rise to the hit song “Pinball Wizard”.

Down
3. Word with family or Christmas : TREE
The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

5. Sculler : OARSMAN
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

6. Wave function denoter in quantum mechanics : PSI
A wave function in quantum mechanics is usually denoted with the Greek letter psi. A wave function is a mathematical function that describes the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves.

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics dealing with processes involving “the very small”: atoms, photons and the like.

7. Some Vietnam War protests : BE-INS
Just before 1967’s “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a Human Be-In was held in the city’s Golden Gate Park. The Be-In is described as a “happening”, a gathering triggered by a new state law banning the use of LSD. The term “Human Be-In” is a play on “humanist sit-in”.

8. Disney’s “___ & Stitch” : LILO
“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

12. Popular word game : GHOST
In the word game “Ghost”, players take turns in adding letters to a word fragment. The intent is not to complete a word, even though the fragment itself must be the start of some real word. I have never played it, I must admit …

13. Soap box? : TV SET
The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

15. Like Tom Thumb : WEE
The story “Tom Thumb” was originally published in 1621, making it the first fairy tale ever printed in English. The title character is a boy who is no bigger than his father’s thumb, hence his name.

23. Kind of roe : SHAD
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

24. What had a double standard in the Bible? : ARK
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

27. Ruckus : STIR
The word “ruckus” is used to mean a commotion, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

28. Fashion designer Ecko : MARC
Marc Ecko is a fashion designer from New Jersey. Marc was born Marc Milecofsky. In college, he became a fan of graffiti and used the name “Ecko” to tag his drawings.

29. Traveler to a certain 27-Across : HAJI
(27A. Where bows may be made : SHRINE)
A Haji (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj” or “hajj”.

40. Red ___ : ARMY
The association of the color red with communism dates back to the French Revolution. A red flag was chosen as a symbol by the revolutionaries, with the color representing the blood of workers who had died in the fight against capitalism.

51. Biological duct : VAS
“Vas” is an anatomical term for a tube. The vasa deferentia are the ducts that carry sperm into the urethra during ejaculation. In a vasectomy, the vasa deferentia are cut and the ends tied to prevent sperm from reaching the urethra.

52. Palooka : LUG
The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Genre akin to indie rock : ALT-POP
7. Fellow : BLOKE
12. Co-organizer of the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality : GLORIA STEINEM
14. Modern topic in race relations : WHITE PRIVILEGE
15. Sci-fi natives of the planet Kashyyyk : WOOKIEES
16. Little monsters : SNOTS
17. Programming keyword : ELSE
18. Longtime TV tavern : MOE’S
20. To whom Durocher was referring when he said “Nice guys finish last” : OTT
22. Little wriggler : EFT
23. Wise one : SAVANT
26. Go through the roof : SOAR
27. Where bows may be made : SHRINE
28. It’s described as fine and flakelike in Exodus : MANNA
29. Piece of glib journalism often written under a tight deadline : HOT TAKE
32. Theatrical hybrid : DRAMEDY
34. Insect that’s born pregnant : APHID
35. 8, e.g. : FIGURE
37. “Are you blind, ump?,” e.g. : JEER
38. Course on courses, for short : HOME EC
39. Tearing up, say : SAD
42. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony, for one : INN
43. 3, 4, 5 and occasionally more : PARS
44. Opposite of doddery : SPRY
45. Quite off : WEIRD
47. Lover of history? : OLD FLAME
51. Field in which a helmet and gloves are often worn : VIRTUAL REALITY
53. Award-winning Cartoon Network series with Finn the Human and Jake the Dog : ADVENTURE TIME
54. Repeated lyric in the Who’s “Tommy” : SEE ME
55. Twist and turn : GYRATE

Down
1. Uniform : ALIKE
2. “There’s not a ___ can do” : LOT I
3. Word with family or Christmas : TREE
4. Main, say : PIPE
5. Sculler : OARSMAN
6. Wave function denoter in quantum mechanics : PSI
7. Some Vietnam War protests : BE-INS
8. Disney’s “___ & Stitch” : LILO
9. Corresponding exactly : ONE-TO-ONE
10. Frat party stunt : KEG STAND
11. Suffix in linguistics : -EME
12. Popular word game : GHOST
13. Soap box? : TV SET
14. Bolt (down) : WOLF
15. Like Tom Thumb : WEE
19. Wired : ON EDGE
21. What someone may be holding while waiting : TRAY
23. Kind of roe : SHAD
24. What had a double standard in the Bible? : ARK
25. Try to win : VIE FOR
26. Uniform : SAME
27. Ruckus : STIR
28. Fashion designer Ecko : MARC
29. Traveler to a certain 27-Across : HAJI
30. Request at the dentist’s : OPEN WIDE
31. “How dare they!” : THE NERVE!
33. Regret : RUE
36. “Apologies” : I’M SORRY
38. Rushed : HAD AT
39. Rush : SPATE
40. Red ___ : ARMY
41. Red ___ : DYE
43. Cut back : PRUNE
44. Snail trail : SLIME
46. Paragraph in the newspaper, say : ITEM
48. Look the wrong way? : LEER
49. Subject of a cellphone cap : DATA
50. Move like a fairy : FLIT
51. Biological duct : VAS
52. Palooka : LUG

Return to top of page

11 thoughts on “0311-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 11 Mar 17, Saturday”

  1. 26:13, no errors. Difficult. Weird spelling of WOOKIEES. Never heard of ALT POP or ADVENTURE TIME. Had MEL'S before MOE'S and EEL before EFT. But it all came together in the end …

  2. This is the last solution that's showing up for me. (Today is a Monday 13 March.) Did Sunday's puzzle fall victim to spotty data service? I hope very much that there was no road accident or misfortune of any kind.

  3. 20 mins 32 seconds, and 3 errors. I filled MAJI for HAJI and didn't quite "get" the double-standard pun that would have seen me correctly fill ARK. Not too hard for a Saturday, but enough of a banana peel to deny me an error-free fill.

  4. 21:11, no errors. Looked initially like a non-starter. Made it to the bottom of the grid with only LILO, MOES and MANNA filled in. Finally broke into the puzzle in the bottom left corner, and slowly expanded out.

    @bapham: to 'bolt' something down, is to eat it quickly, in large gulps. It can be synonymous with 'WOLF down'.

    Added to my favorite clues: 'Lover of history?' = OLD FLAME

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.