NY Times crossword loves its ‘Mayberry moppet’

I’ve been disappointed to find such ho-hum North Caroliniana in the digital archives of the venerable New York Times crossword puzzle. The archives go back to 1993, covering the editorship of NPR stalwart Will Shortz.

OK, I did laugh at seeing our Venus flytrap described as “botanical snapper.”

A sampling:

“North Carolina” (that is, NORTHCAROLINA) has been an answer only once, in the same puzzle that included “Kitty Hawk” and “powered flight.”

“Raleigh”  has appeared six times, as the answer to “North Carolina’s capital” (thrice), “Durham’s twin city,” “Elizabethan knight” and “Andrew Johnson’s birthplace.”

“Charlotte”? Once — as “Eastern Conference N.B.A. city.” Am I being an insufferable homer to consider this a lame representation?

“UNC” has made it 13 times, including “James K. Polk’s alma mater” and “Jordan left it after his jr. year.” “Duke”: “Where Nixon went to law school” and five others.

But here’s what really startled me: One character on “The Andy Griffith Show” has made no fewer than 90 appearances. Ninety! What ever would the Times’ puzzle constructors do without “Opie”?