0329-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 2018, Thursday

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Constructed by: Claire Muscat & David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Nut in Nuts

Themed answers include letters circled in the grid that spell out different types of NUT. I also notice that the three uncircled letters within those NUTS spell out the word NUT:

  • 20A. Light deli offering : LEAN CORNED BEEF (hiding “A-CORN”)
  • 35A. Traditional grave : BURIAL MOUND (hiding “ALMO-ND”)
  • 50A. It’s longer for women than it is for men : LIFE EXPECTANCY (hiding “PEC-AN”)

Bill’s time: 11m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Hatcher on TV : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

15. ___ monster : GILA

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

16. Summer camp craft : CANOE

The boat know as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

17. Complete blocks : EMBARGOES

“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term “embargo” came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

20. Light deli offering : LEAN CORNED BEEF (hiding “A-CORN”)

Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term for a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

22. Kind of ray : MANTA

The manta ray is the largest species of ray, with the largest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds.

23. Apple platform : IOS

iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

24. Dash letters : MPH

Miles per hour (mph)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

31. An end to terrorism? : QAEDA

Osama bin Laden founded his militant Islamist group called al-Qaeda in the late eighties. “Al-Qaeda” translates as “the base”, and can refer to a military base. It was originally the name of a training camp set up for mujahedin fighters opposing the Russians who occupied Afghanistan at the time.

40. Homer, for one : BARD

Homer was a famous poet of Ancient Greece who is believed to be the author of the two classic epic poems “Iliad” and “Odyssey”. However, some scholars believe that Homer did not actually exist, but rather he is the personification of oral tradition that was passed down through the ages.

47. Letters on a beach bottle : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

48. Andre Young a.k.a. Dr. ___ : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

57. Facebook Messenger precursor : ICHAT

iChat was introduced in 2002, and was Apple’s “instant messaging” application that integrated with the Mac Operating System. iChat was replaced by Messages.

58. Jambalaya ingredient, at times : OKRA

Jambalaya is a Creole dish from Louisiana. The recipe has its origins in the Caribbean, and the recipe we know today also has Spanish and French influences.

Down

1. Patron of the high seas : ST ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

2. ___ lion (mythical hunter) : NEMEAN

“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.

3. Suave : URBANE

We use “urbane” today to mean something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s, the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the country folk, and so the usage evolved.

4. Menace in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” : GIANT SQUID

The Jules Verne sci-fi novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” was first published in 1869-1870 as a serial in a French magazine. Star of the novel (to me) is Captain Nemo’s magnificent submarine called the Nautilus. The “20,000 leagues” in the title is the distance travelled by the Nautilus underwater, and not a depth. 20,000 leagues is about three times the circumference of the Earth.

5. Breakfast item in a box : EGGO

Eggo is the brand name of a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

10. Haul aboard : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

18. Descendant of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company : RCA

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

25. Modus operandi : HOW

“Modus operandi” (plural “modi operandi”) is the Latin for “mode of operating”, a term we’ve been using since the mid-1600s. It’s often used by the police when referring to the methods typically employed by a particular perpetrator of a crime, and is usually abbreviated to “M.O.”

28. Law with bldg. requirements : ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

29. Pixar film set in 2805 : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie that was released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot named WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who falls in love with a robot robot EVE.

36. “Eat ___ Chikin” (Chick-Fil-A slogan) : MOR

Chick-fil-A is a chain of fast food restaurants that was founded in 1946 in Georgia. The corporation has a culture that is heavily influenced by the founder’s evangelical Christian faith. As such, Chick-fil-A is one of the only fast food or retail chain of stores that closes for business on Sunday. Chick-fil-A also made the headlines a while back due to the company’s stated opposition to same-sex marriage.

37. “Mystery!” network : PBS

PBS’s wonderful “Masterpiece Theatre” changed its name to “Masterpiece” in 2008. At the same time, three different versions of the show were introduced:

  • “Masterpiece Classic” introduced by Gillian Anderson, and then Laura Linney
  • “Masterpiece Mystery!” introduced by Alan Cumming
  • “Masterpiece Contemporary” introduced by Matthew Goode, and then David Tennant

42. Vamp : SEXPOT

A “vamp” (short for “vampire”) is a seductive woman. The term was first used in reference to the sultry performance of actress Theda Bara in the 1915 film “A Fool There Was”. The movie’s title is a quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s 1897 poem “The Vampire”. Bara’s role was positioned as a “vampire”, a woman out to seduce a man, launching the use of “vamp” as an alternative term for a “femme fatale”.

44. Like the Taj Mahal : ORNATE

“Mahal” is the Urdu word for “palace”, as in “Taj Mahal” meaning “crown of palaces”. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum holding the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The name “Mumtaz Mahal” translates as “the chosen one of the palace”.

45. Like good spellers? : WICCAN

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

48. It’s triangle-shaped : DELTA

Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. We are most familiar with an upper-case delta and its distinctive triangular shape. The letter’s shape has influenced terms such as “deltoid muscle” and “river delta”. The upper-case delta is also used in mathematics and science to indicate a change in value. The lower-case delta looks a bit like our lower-case D, and indeed the Greek letter delta gave us our Latin letter D.

49. Org. that might put on a school carnival : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

53. It begins “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia …” : EZRA

In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Ezra was originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah, with the two being separated in the early days of the Christian Era.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Tucked in, say : SNUG
5. The answer to this clue is located on one : EDGE
9. Laborious tasks : SLOGS
14. Hatcher on TV : TERI
15. ___ monster : GILA
16. Summer camp craft : CANOE
17. Complete blocks : EMBARGOES
19. Scramble : ADDLE
20. Light deli offering : LEAN CORNED BEEF (hiding “A-CORN”)
22. Kind of ray : MANTA
23. Apple platform : IOS
24. Dash letters : MPH
26. ___ place : ONE’S
27. Suburban spreads : LAWNS
30. Powdered ingredient in sweet teas and smoothies : TARO
31. An end to terrorism? : QAEDA
33. Premium 11-Down service : HBO NOW
35. Traditional grave : BURIAL MOUND (hiding “ALMO-ND”)
37. Twisted locks : PLAITS
39. A who-o-o-ole bunch of : LOTSA
40. Homer, for one : BARD
41. ___ manual : USER’S
43. Puts blades to blades, say : MOWS
47. Letters on a beach bottle : SPF
48. Andre Young a.k.a. Dr. ___ : DRE
49. Endangerment : PERIL
50. It’s longer for women than it is for men : LIFE EXPECTANCY (hiding “PEC-AN”)
55. Roll with a hole : BAGEL
56. One with serious acne, pejoratively : PIZZA FACE
57. Facebook Messenger precursor : ICHAT
58. Jambalaya ingredient, at times : OKRA
59. Some fraternity members : ETAS
60. Prefix with fluoride : TETRA
61. Reason for mending : TEAR
62. Departed : WENT

Down

1. Patron of the high seas : ST ELMO
2. ___ lion (mythical hunter) : NEMEAN
3. Suave : URBANE
4. Menace in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” : GIANT SQUID
5. Breakfast item in a box : EGGO
6. J’adore perfume maker : DIOR
7. Place for a stream : GLEN
8. Gently acclimate : EASE IN
9. Cut protections : SCABS
10. Haul aboard : LADE
11. Way some movies are seen : ON DEMAND
12. Driving instructor? : GOLF PRO
13. Intuit : SEE
18. Descendant of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company : RCA
21. Get drunk quickly, in a way : DO SHOTS
25. Modus operandi : HOW
27. Time off : LEISURE
28. Law with bldg. requirements : ADA
29. Pixar film set in 2805 : WALL-E
30. “… just for example” : TO NAME A FEW
32. Bust, maybe : ART
34. Tour aid : BUS
35. Concern for a bouncer : BAR FIGHT
36. “Eat ___ Chikin” (Chick-Fil-A slogan) : MOR
37. “Mystery!” network : PBS
38. French astronomer/mathematician who wrote “Traité de Mécanique Céleste” : LAPLACE
42. Vamp : SEXPOT
44. Like the Taj Mahal : ORNATE
45. Like good spellers? : WICCAN
46. Maximally wily : SLYEST
48. It’s triangle-shaped : DELTA
49. Org. that might put on a school carnival : PTA
51. Source of a nightmare : FEAR
52. Diving position : PIKE
53. It begins “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia …” : EZRA
54. Drug ___ : CZAR
55. Fell for the joke : BIT