ATA is the crossword answer to the clues like
[___ glance], [___ loss], and [One-time connection]

ATA crossword answer clue Alma-Ata, Almaty, crosswords crosswordese definition meaning Almaty
Abay Opera House in Alma-Ata via Kalpak Travel. Is that who I think it is in foreground?

Longer crossword answers are often composed of multiple words–like CUTEASABUTTON [Totally adorable] in today’s New York Times puzzle. But even paltry, button-size, three-letter answers are perfectly capable of containing two word ATA [___ time].

Solvers can be put ATA [___ disadvantage] by ambiguous fill-in-the-blank clues like [___ minimum] and [___ clip], or puns like [One-time link] and [Loss leader?].

Tougher still, instead of the two words in one approach with ATA, crossword puzzles might clue it as half a name: the missing half of [Alma-___, Kazakhstan], the former name of Kazakhtan’s largest city and former capital, Alaty.

Alma-Ata (Alaty), Kazakhstan: “Very Nice!”

“Ata-Alma,” Kazakh for “Father of Apples,” is derived from the medieval settlement, Almatau, meaning “Apple Mountain.” One of the many varieties of local wild apples is thought by some to be the ancestor of the modern domestic apple.

Ata-Alma was the capital of the Kazakh SSR [Ukr., e.g., once]; it’s name was changed to Almaty when Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991. Six years later, the seat was switched ASTANA [Kazakh capital renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019].

Today, Almaty is Kazakhstan’s biggest city with a population of about 2.7 million people, and remains the nation’s cosmopolitan center. It’s also the fictional home of BORAT [Character who popularized the “mankini”]. While the country’s tourism board has embraced the connection (see below), some locals didn’t have “very nice” things to say about Sacha Baron Cohen following the release the sequel.

Long before Borat and the name change, Alma-Ata gained name recognition thanks to the Declaration of Alma-Ata, the result of a 1978 convention of the WHO [U.N. agcy. headquartered in Geneva], [The person in question?], [Word after Doctor or guess].

The Declaration of Alma-Ata & Trotsky’s Exile

Though ultimately unable to achieve its goal “Health for All by 2000,” the Declaration’s legacy endures as landmark shift of focus toward considering access to primary health care.

ATA has also appeared as [Alma-___, city where Trotsky was exiled]. In fact, a year sending him there, in 1929 Stalin expelled Trotsky from Ata-Almy, throwing him out of the Soviet Union completely and sending him to Turkey. Trotsky finally ended up in Mexico City, where Trotsky continued to write.

Trotsky rarely found himself ATA [___ loss for words]. Hopefully, neither will solvers who find themselves needing these three letters when ATA [___ crossroads] in a puzzle grid.