0203-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Joe Krozel
THEME: Initial Words … each of today’s across-clues is an initialism. The answer to each clue is the word represented by an asterisk in each abbreviation.

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 25s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. *PS : GLOBAL
The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

7. US*S : POSTAL
The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

13. I*S : REVENUE
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

15. GE* : DIPLOMA
The General Education Diploma (GED) is a substitute for a high school diploma. The GED might be awarded to high school dropouts who later complete their education, or to students who are homeschooled.

16. *PO : INITIAL
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

17. H*MES : ONTARIO
HOMES is a famous mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes, i.e. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

18. T*IF : GOD
“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

19. T*T : NITRO
Trinitrotoluene (TNT) was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

21. SWA* : KISS
SWAK is an initialism standing for “sealed with a kiss”. SWAK, and the related SWALK (sealed with a loving kiss), are postal acronyms that originated during WWII.

22. F*C : TRADE
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

24. B*W : THE
By the way (BTW)

26. I*U : CARE
Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

28. *NT : EAR
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

30. V*T : ADDED
A value-added tax (VAT) is a tax paid only on the value added to a product or service by a seller. VAT is similar to sales tax, in that both taxes are paid in full the by the end customer. The difference is that government collects sales tax once, at the final purchase. The government collects VAT right along the production chain, each time a purchase is made. For example, VAT might be paid on raw materials by a manufacturer. A further payment of VAT is made on the value added by the manufacturer in using the raw material to make the final product.

34. *TA : PARENT
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

36. S*O : ROOM
Standing Room Only (SRO)

38. C*T : RAY
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

39. *M : ANTE
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

40. BP*E : ORDER
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.

42. *OS : SAVE
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

43. FW*W : IT’S
For what it’s worth (FWIW)

44. *TC : OVER
Over-the-counter drugs don’t need a prescription.

45. R*I : BATTED
Runs batted in (RBI)

47. H*H : ROYAL
His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

49. *YI : FOR
For your information (fyi)

51. W*D : MASS
The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

52. NAS*AR : CAR
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is very, very popular and commands the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.

54. GO* : PARTY
The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”.

56. W*W : WIDE
The World Wide Web (WWW) was effectively the invention of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I for one am very grateful …

59. G* : ISSUE
The initialism “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

61. *YSE : NEW
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement.

64. USN* : ACADEMY
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

66. B*T : LETTUCE
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

69. AA*P : RETIRED
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

70. N*F : SCIENCE
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research and education in all scientific fields outside of medicine. The NSF was founded in 1950 during the Truman administration. Today it has a budget of almost 7 billion dollars.

71. U*PS : STATES
United States Postal Service (USPS)

72. *RA : EARNED
Earned run average (ERA)

Down
1. Small eel : GRIG
A young eel is called a “grig”.

2. Jay formerly of “The Tonight Show” : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

3. Virgil contemporary : OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Ovid was very popular in his day, but somehow he fell foul of Emperor Augustus. For a reason unknown today, Augustus banished Ovid to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. He lived there for about ten years, until he died.

Publius Vergilius Maro (better known as Virgil) was a poet from Ancient Rome. Virgil’s best known works are:

– The “Eclogues” (or Bucolics)
– The “Georgics”
– The “Aeneid”

6. Actress Patten or Anders : LUANA
Luana Patten was an actress from Long Beach, California. Patten’s best-known role was probably her first, playing young Ginny Favers in the 1946 Disney musical “Song of the South”.

Actress Luana Anders was a member of a group of actors who met in acting class, some of whom became quite famous, including Jack Nicholson and Sally Kellerman. Anders never really won any huge roles. She was played Vincent Price’s sister in 1961’s “The Pit and the Pendulum”. She also played one of the hippies who go skinny dipping with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider”.

7. Wine grape variety : PINOT
The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the DVD…

9. Quenched : SLAKED
“To slake” is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one’s thirst.

10. Doughnuts, mathematically : TORI
A torus (plural “tori”) is a shape resembling a doughnut.

11. Les Trois Mousquetaires, to one another : AMIS
In French, “The Three Musketeers” (“Les Trois Mousquetaires’) are friends (amis).

12. Ho Chi Minh trail setting : LAOS
The Vietnam War’s Ho Chi Minh Trail wasn’t just one trail, but rather a whole maze of routes that ran from North Vietnam to South Vietnam and through the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia. Practically the entire trail was hidden from the air using natural and man-made camouflage that was constantly maintained.

20. Things “on my guitar” in a 2008 Taylor Swift hit : TEARDROPS
“Teardrops on My Guitar” is a song that was co-written and released by Taylor Swift in 2007.

Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

23. Stimpy’s pal in cartoons : REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

25. One going for big laughs, say : HAM
The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is apparently a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

26. Division of a long poem : CANTO
A canto is a section of a long poem, and is a term first used by the Italian poet Dante. “Canto” is the Italian for “song”.

27. Like many young Brooklynites, stereotypically : ARTSY
The New York City borough of Brooklyn used to be its own city, but was annexed by its larger neighbor in 1989. Brooklyn takes its name from the original village that was settled by the Dutch, which they called Breuckelen. The village in turn took its name from the town of Breukelen back in the Netherlands.

35. Good, in a Jewish exclamation : TOV
“Tov” is the Hebrew word for “good”, as in “mozel tov”, meaning “good luck”.

44. Ending with pay or plug : -OLA
“Payola” is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

“Plugola” is the public promotion of something in which the promoter has a financial interest, but without the promoter disclosing that interest. Plugola is similar to “payola” in that it is a form of promotion, but unlike payola, it’s perfectly legal.

50. Actor Julia and others : RAULS
Raúl Juliá was a Hollywood actor from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He had a very distinguished career, but is perhaps best known for portraying Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations of “The Addams Family”.

53. Layers of frost : RIMES
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

55. Sports star-turned-model Gabrielle : REECE
Gabrielle Reece is quite the athlete. She was on the team that won the first ever Beach Volleyball World Championship, in 1997. She is also a great golfer, and tried hard to make it onto the LPGA circuit.

56. Events of 1914-18 and 1939-45 : WARS
World War I began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. Over 9 million military personnel died in WWI, and over 7 million civilians. World War II started in 1 September 1939 and ended on 2 September 1945. Over 24 million military personnel died in WWII, and over 49 million civilians.

57. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

58. Numbers to crunch : DATA
Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

60. Rocker Barrett of the original Pink Floyd : SYD
Syd Barrett was the lead singer and a founding member of the English rock band Pink Floyd. Barrett was only active as a musician for just over ten years. He retired from the music scene in 1975 and spent the next 30 years living off Pink Floyd royalties until he passed away in 2006.

61. Former Georgia senator Sam : NUNN
Sam Nunn served as a US Senator for the state of Georgia as a Democrat, for 24 years until 1997. Nunn is married to Colleen O’Brien, whom he met for the first time in the US Embassy in Paris where she was working as a spy for the CIA.

62. Behold, to Cicero : ECCE
“Ecce!” is Latin for “look!” or “behold!”

67. Aunt, in Latin America : TIA
In Spanish, an aunt (tia) is a member of the family (la familia).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. *PS : GLOBAL
7. US*S : POSTAL
13. I*S : REVENUE
15. GE* : DIPLOMA
16. *PO : INITIAL
17. H*MES : ONTARIO
18. T*IF : GOD
19. T*T : NITRO
21. SWA* : KISS
22. F*C : TRADE
24. B*W : THE
26. I*U : CARE
28. *NT : EAR
30. V*T : ADDED
34. *TA : PARENT
36. S*O : ROOM
38. C*T : RAY
39. *M : ANTE
40. BP*E : ORDER
42. *OS : SAVE
43. FW*W : IT’S
44. *TC : OVER
45. R*I : BATTED
47. H*H : ROYAL
49. *YI : FOR
51. W*D : MASS
52. NAS*AR : CAR
54. GO* : PARTY
56. W*W : WIDE
59. G* : ISSUE
61. *YSE : NEW
64. USN* : ACADEMY
66. B*T : LETTUCE
69. AA*P : RETIRED
70. N*F : SCIENCE
71. U*PS : STATES
72. *RA : EARNED

Down
1. Small eel : GRIG
2. Jay formerly of “The Tonight Show” : LENO
3. Virgil contemporary : OVID
4. Transaction with a bookie : BET
5. “Wheel of Fortune” purchase : AN I
6. Actress Patten or Anders : LUANA
7. Wine grape variety : PINOT
8. Choose : OPT
9. Quenched : SLAKED
10. Doughnuts, mathematically : TORI
11. Les Trois Mousquetaires, to one another : AMIS
12. Ho Chi Minh trail setting : LAOS
14. Skip, as the “f” and “the” in “two of the clock” : ELIDE
15. Golden, in France : D’OR
20. Things “on my guitar” in a 2008 Taylor Swift hit : TEARDROPS
22. Decision-maker’s drawing : TREE
23. Stimpy’s pal in cartoons : REN
25. One going for big laughs, say : HAM
26. Division of a long poem : CANTO
27. Like many young Brooklynites, stereotypically : ARTSY
29. Food traditionally eaten with a miniature spoon : ROE
31. Cries of annoyance : DRATS
32. Gutters are attached to them : EAVES
33. Like purple hair : DYED
34. Put together, as socks : PAIR
35. Good, in a Jewish exclamation : TOV
37. Sun or planet : ORB
41. One counting to 10, maybe : REF
42. “Don’t leave me!” : STAY!
44. Ending with pay or plug : -OLA
46. Qty. : AMT
48. Nailed the test : ACED IT
50. Actor Julia and others : RAULS
53. Layers of frost : RIMES
55. Sports star-turned-model Gabrielle : REECE
56. Events of 1914-18 and 1939-45 : WARS
57. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T
58. Numbers to crunch : DATA
60. Rocker Barrett of the original Pink Floyd : SYD
61. Former Georgia senator Sam : NUNN
62. Behold, to Cicero : ECCE
63. Do some yard work : WEED
65. Before, in poetry : ERE
67. Aunt, in Latin America : TIA
68. Three: Prefix : TER-

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6 thoughts on “0203-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Feb 15, Tuesday”

  1. I guess this is a case of different strokes, etc. I enjoy working on puzzles with a twist like this one rather than more of the same, day to day. Obviously, not everyone agrees.

  2. Wow…. a lot of vitriol directed at this one!!! It was tough…. but manageable. I've seen far worse "clever tricks" perpetrated by Shortz' minions!

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