0314-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Mar 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Marinara

Themed answers each include a string of letters that are circled in the grid. Those letter-strings can be rearranged to spell out an ingredient needed to make a MARINARA sauce:

  • 61A. Sauce made from ingredients mixed up in 16-, 24-, 37- and 49-Across : MARINARA
  • 16A. Take dead aim at : ZERO IN ON (hiding mixed “ONION”)
  • 24A. Breakfast order often containing cinnamon : HOT OATMEAL (hiding mixed “TOMATO”)
  • 37A. Indoor stadium surface : ARTIFICIAL GRASS (hiding mixed “GARLIC”)
  • 49A. A cappella genre : BARBERSHOP (hiding mixed “HERBS”)

Bill’s time: 6m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18. Kutcher who played Steve Jobs in “Jobs” : ASHTON

Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role. Kutcher then starred in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”, replacing the “disgraced” Charlie Sheen. In 2009, Kutcher became the first user on Twitter to get over 1 million followers. I wasn’t one of them …

20. CBS series that starred Gary Sinise : CSI: NY

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

Actor Gary Sinise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump”. Sinise then played the lead in television’s “CSI: NY” starting in 2004. Sinise was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bush for his work helping Iraqi school children as well as his work with the USO.

23. “Friends” character ___ Geller : ROSS

Ross Geller is the character on “Friends” played by David Schwimmer. The role was actually written with Schwimmer in mind, and so Ross was the first of the “Friends” to be cast.

29. Result of a successful squeeze bunt, for short : RBI

That would be baseball.

31. Jenner of reality TV : KRIS

Kris Kardashian is the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. She was married to the lawyer Robert Kardashian who was one of O. J. Simpson’s lawyers in his 1995 murder trial. The couple divorced in 1990 and Kris then married the celebrated decathlete from the 1976 Olympic Games, Bruce Jenner. That marriage ended in divorce as well, in 2015.

33. Storytelling uncle of fiction : REMUS

The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Joel Chandler Harris collected across the Southern States.

42. Ancestry.com diagram : TREE

Ancestry.com is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. It operates out of Provo, Utah.

43. Jennings who wrote “Brainiac” : KEN

Ken Jennings is a remarkable man, the person who had the longest winning streak on television’s “Jeopardy”. He has also won more game show money than any other person. He was defeated after 75 appearances on the show, after racking up over $2.5 million in the prior episodes.

49. A cappella genre : BARBERSHOP (hiding mixed “HERBS”)

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African-American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

56. Fanzine favorite : IDOL

A fanzine (also “zine”) is a fan publication with a very limited circulation, dealing with a very specific subject matter. Fanzines are usually desktop published and distributed electronically or as photocopies.

57. Spa amenity that originated in Finland : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

59. “Mr. ___” (1983 Styx hit) : ROBOTO

“Mr Roboto” is a song on the 1983 album “Kilroy Was Here” by the Chicago band Styx. The first lines of the song are:

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

which translates as:

Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
Until the day (we) meet again
Thank you very much, Mr. Robot
I want to know your secret

61. Sauce made from ingredients mixed up in 16-, 24-, 37- and 49-Across : MARINARA

Italians use the term “marinara” not for a sauce, but in the name of a recipe that includes a tomato-based sauce. For example, “spaghetti alla marinara” would be a spaghetti dish, served “mariner’s style”. The tomato sauce that we call “marinara” is called “salsa di pomodoro” in Italy.

63. Simpleton, disparagingly : CRETIN

“Cretin” is a slang term meaning “idiot”, and is a term that I do not like at all. “Cretin” was a medical term in the 1900s that derived from Alpine French dialect. Congenital hypothyroidism was particularly associated with an area in the French Alps and manifested itself as impaired physical and mental development, a condition known as “cretinism”.

64. Brewski : SUDS

“Brewski”, “suds” and “cold one” are slang terms for “beer”.

65. Pres. advisory group : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

66. German state with Wiesbaden : HESSE

Hesse is a German state. The capital of Hesse is Wiesbaden, although the largest city in the state is Frankfurt.

Wiesbaden is the capital city of the federal state of Hesse in southwestern Germany. Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe, and its name translates literally to “meadow baths”.

67. Recipe meas. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Down

2. Words to live by : CREDO

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

3. Rock band fronted by Steven Tyler : AEROSMITH

Steven Tyler is the lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, who are based in Boston. Tyler likes to scream a lot on stage and is the known as the “Demon of Screamin’”. Tyler’s daughter is the actress Liv Tyler.

4. Submachine gun designer ___ Gal : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

7. French possessive : SES

“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its”, when referring to a group of items.

8. “U Can’t Touch This” rapper : MC HAMMER

Rapper MC Hammer (aka Hammer and Hammertime) was born Stanley Kirk Burrell, and was very popular in the 80s and 90s. Being around that early, MC Hammer is considered to be one of the forefathers of rap. Nowadays, MC Hammer is a preacher, and uses the initials MC to stand for “Man of Christ”. If you are so inclined, you can learn a little about Hammer and his family life by watching past episodes of the reality TV show “Hammertime”, which aired in 2009.

11. Cross-dressing role for Streisand : YENTL

“Yentl” is a play that opened in New York City in 1975. The move to adapt the play for the big screen was led by Barbra Streisand, and indeed she wrote the first outline of a musical version herself as far back as 1968. The film was eventually made and released in 1983, with Streisand performing the lead role.

14. Like a cardigan : KNIT

The article of clothing known as a cardigan is named after the British Army Major General James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan. Apparently, the cardigan’s design is similar to the a knitted wool waistcoat that was worn by officers during the Crimean War in which the Earl of Cardigan played a major role.

21. E.R.A.-backing grp. : NOW

National Organization for Women (NOW)

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. So the amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

25. Chain whose mascot is named Bullseye : TARGET

Target Corporation was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as Dayton Dry Goods Company. Dayton developed into a department store, and the company opened up a discount store chain in 1962, calling it Target. Today, Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the country, after Walmart.

29. Indian-born character on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

36. 123-45-6789, on a sample doc. : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

38. Symmetrical images in psychological tests : INKBLOTS

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which a subject is asked to interpret a series of inkblots. The test was created by Swiss Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s.

39. One of Jason’s crew : ARGONAUT

In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called the “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

45. Game show regular ___ Bean : ORSON

Orson Bean is an actor who is perhaps best known for his appearances on television game shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. His most famous game show role was panelist on “To Tell the Truth”. Interestingly, Bean (real name Dallas Burrows) is a first cousin, twice removed, of President Calvin Coolidge.

46. Org. with millimeter wave scanners : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

49. Source of bark for canoes : BIRCH

The bark of birch trees (known as “birchbark”) is a useful material that has been used since prehistoric times as a building, crafting and writing material. Birchbark is readily cut, bent and sewn and resembles cardboard, although unlike cardboard, it is also water-resistant. Birchbark was a popular material with Native Americans, used for making canoes, wigwams, scrolls and maps.

52. Plays a kazoo : HUMS

The modern instrument we know today as the kazoo was invented by one Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia in the 1800s. The kazoo first came to the public’s attention at the Georgia State Fair of 1852, when it was known as the “Down-South Submarine” (because of it’s shape, I would imagine).

54. In itself : PER SE

“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Early maker of color TVs : RCA
4. Stereotypically “blind” official, for short : UMP
7. Like a cigar bar’s atmosphere : SMOKY
12. “___ we there yet?” : ARE
13. Pioneering text adventure game : ZORK
15. Impervious to hackers : SECURE
16. Take dead aim at : ZERO IN ON (hiding mixed “ONION”)
18. Kutcher who played Steve Jobs in “Jobs” : ASHTON
19. Locker room emanation : ODOR
20. CBS series that starred Gary Sinise : CSI: NY
22. Colloquial contraction : AIN’T
23. “Friends” character ___ Geller : ROSS
24. Breakfast order often containing cinnamon : HOT OATMEAL (hiding mixed “TOMATO”)
26. Made a cattle call : MOOED
28. “Kapow!” : WHAM!
29. Result of a successful squeeze bunt, for short : RBI
31. Jenner of reality TV : KRIS
33. Storytelling uncle of fiction : REMUS
37. Indoor stadium surface : ARTIFICIAL GRASS (hiding mixed “GARLIC”)
41. First in a line of 23 popes : JOHN I
42. Ancestry.com diagram : TREE
43. Jennings who wrote “Brainiac” : KEN
44. Garden hose annoyance : KNOT
47. “Hell if I know” : GOT ME
49. A cappella genre : BARBERSHOP (hiding mixed “HERBS”)
53. Hieroglyphics snakes : ASPS
56. Fanzine favorite : IDOL
57. Spa amenity that originated in Finland : SAUNA
58. “Su-u-u-ure it is” : I BET
59. “Mr. ___” (1983 Styx hit) : ROBOTO
61. Sauce made from ingredients mixed up in 16-, 24-, 37- and 49-Across : MARINARA
63. Simpleton, disparagingly : CRETIN
64. Brewski : SUDS
65. Pres. advisory group : NSC
66. German state with Wiesbaden : HESSE
67. Recipe meas. : TSP
68. C major, for one : KEY

Down

1. Whisker whacker : RAZOR
2. Words to live by : CREDO
3. Rock band fronted by Steven Tyler : AEROSMITH
4. Submachine gun designer ___ Gal : UZI
5. “My darling,” in France : MON CHERI
6. Pertaining to the rhythm of speech : PROSODIC
7. French possessive : SES
8. “U Can’t Touch This” rapper : MC HAMMER
9. Less common of two belly buttons : OUTIE
10. Icelandic money : KRONA
11. Cross-dressing role for Streisand : YENTL
14. Like a cardigan : KNIT
15. Request by someone with a tongue depressor : SAY “AH”
17. Words akin to “-ish” : OR SO
21. E.R.A.-backing grp. : NOW
25. Chain whose mascot is named Bullseye : TARGET
27. “All right, you win” : OK, FINE
29. Indian-born character on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ
30. Dude : BRO
32. Plop down : SIT
34. Rakes in the dough : MAKES BANK
35. Put into play : USE
36. 123-45-6789, on a sample doc. : SSN
38. Symmetrical images in psychological tests : INKBLOTS
39. One of Jason’s crew : ARGONAUT
40. Preyers on antelopes : LEOPARDS
45. Game show regular ___ Bean : ORSON
46. Org. with millimeter wave scanners : TSA
48. Major water line : MAIN
49. Source of bark for canoes : BIRCH
50. Be all googly-eyed over : ADORE
51. Choir attire : ROBES
52. Plays a kazoo : HUMS
54. In itself : PER SE
55. Keach of TV’s “Man With a Plan” : STACY
60. Impossible Super Bowl outcome : TIE
62. AOL or MSN : ISP

13 thoughts on “0314-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Mar 2018, Wednesday”

  1. I misspelled MARINARA and had MARANARA. I suppose that I was going mostly by the common way it is pronounced. If I had remembered that the word had something to do with sea-going “mariners” then I am sure I would not have made the mistake. Otherwise, another excellent puzzle from Jeff Chen.

  2. I like Jeff Chen’s puzzles and his comments on others’ over on xwordinfo (cited by Dave K. above). This one was relatively easy, but with a couple of slow-downs and one unsolved crossing: ZORK/PROSODIC. Guessed ZOnK instead of ZORK, when the R in PROSODIC should have fixed it..

  3. 9:45, no errors. Happily avoided the “theme” since, if I wanted to do the JUMBLE, I’d have gone to the comics section and done that. Really annoying what passes for supposedly “clever” these days.

  4. Actually, I think “Jumbles” and “Cryptoquotes”, along with other word puzzles, are very helpful in doing crossword puzzles. Even “Word Searches”, though I tend to look down on them a bit, seem to be good training for the mind and eye. MTCW … ?.

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