0208-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeremy Newton
THEME: Multifaceted … each of our themed answers contains the name of a precious or semi-precious stone, made up of the circled letters in the grid. We also have the letters SET running in the down-direction through the name of each stone, i.e. SET IN STONE. I’ve highlighted the SET of occurrences in red in my grid:

22A. Get noticed : GARNER ATTENTION (hiding “garnet”)
40A. Easily defeats, in sports : CRUISES BY (hiding “ruby”)
47A. Enterprise for which a 14-year-old Buffalo Bill worked : PONY EXPRESS (hiding “onyx”)
67A. Exploit a loophole, say : GAME THE SYSTEM (hiding “amethyst”)
85A. Lean back and enjoy the ride? : POP A WHEELIE (hiding “opal”)
96A. Washington landmark that lent its name to a Senate committee : WATERGATE (hiding “agate”)
115A. Big fall from the sky? : QUARTER-SIZE HAIL (hiding “quartz”)

52D. With 59-Down, permanent … or, literally, a feature of the answers to the seven starred clues : SET IN
59D. See 52-Down : STONE

6D. *Like puberty at age 16 : LATE ONSET
8D. *Biter in Niger : TSETSE
13D. *One making the rounds at a party, perhaps : CHEESE TRAY
50D. *First spacecraft to orbit a comet (2014) : ROSETTA
73D. *Car dealership option : LEASE TO OWN
81D. *Chooses in the end : SETTLES ON
99D. *Goals for underdogs : UPSETS

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … QUARTER-SIZE HAIL (quarter-size rain!!!), RSTLNE (RSTNNE … silly mistake!), HAM (ram)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. “O.G. Original Gangster” rapper : 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.

13. One connected with the force? : CBER
I think the idea is that a CB radio operator can easily connect with the police force.

A CBer is someone who operates a Citizens’ Band radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

19. It’s worth $200 in Monopoly : PASSING GO
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

21. Princess of Power from 1980s cartoons : SHE-RA
“She-Ra: Princess of Power” is an animated television show, a spinoff of the very successful “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”. Both shows are aimed at young people, with “He-Man” targeted at boys and “She-Ra” at girls.

22. Get noticed : GARNER ATTENTION (hiding “garnet”)
Garnets are silicate minerals that comes in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

25. DuVernay who directed “Selma” : AVA
Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison.

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965.

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

27. Ring call, for short : TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

40. Easily defeats, in sports : CRUISES BY (hiding “ruby”)
Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminium oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.

42. ___ Vogue : TEEN
“Teen Vogue” is a version of “Vogue” magazine that targets teenage girls.

44. JFK probers : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks.

46. Director Coen : ETHAN
I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Frances McDormand.

47. Enterprise for which a 14-year-old Buffalo Bill worked : PONY EXPRESS (hiding “onyx”)
Buffalo Bill Cody was a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

51. One of 15 until 1991: Abbr. : SSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

52. “Baywatch” stars often jogged in it : SLO-MO
“Baywatch” is TV series starring David Hasselhoff that is about lifeguards patrolling the beaches of Los Angeles County. Over the life of the show, the lifeguards not only had to rescue swimmers, they also had to deal with earthquakes, shark attacks, serial killers and even nuclear bombs. The trademark “look” on the show was provided by slow-motion shots of the lifeguards running to someone’s rescue in those red bathing costumes.

54. Brownie unit : TROOP
Brownies are a members of the Girl Guiding organization who are seven to ten years old. When the group was founded in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell, they were known as Rosebuds. That name wasn’t popular with the membership and so was changed, taking inspiration from an 1870 story by Juliana Horatia Ewing called “The Brownies”.

57. ___ Nova (musical style) : ARS
“Ars antiqua” is a term used to describe European music of the Middle Ages between c.1170 and 1310. The term “ars nova” applies to the music that followed, between the years c.1310 and 1377.

63. Dickens heroine : NELL
“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of little 14-year-old Nell Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

64. Cold-climate cryptid : YETI
A cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

66. End for an organisation’s name : LTD
In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

67. Exploit a loophole, say : GAME THE SYSTEM (hiding “amethyst”)
Amethyst is form of quartz that is purple in color. There was a belief that the stone protected the owner from drunkenness, which is how amethyst got its name. The Ancient Greek “ἀméthystos” means “not intoxicated”.

75. Cable airer of vintage films : TCM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises: classic movies.

78. Word between two last names : NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

82. Baloney : TRIPE
“Tripe” is an informal term meaning “rubbish, of little value”. Tripe is actually the rubbery lining of say a cow, that in the UK is traditionally eaten with onions.

83. Newswoman Curry : ANN
The television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

85. Lean back and enjoy the ride? : POP A WHEELIE (hiding “opal”)
“To pop a wheelie” is a lift the front wheels of a vehicle off the ground by accelerating rapidly with the rear wheels.

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

91. ___ fide : BONA
“Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

92. A Giants giant : OTT
At 5′ 9″, Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

96. Washington landmark that lent its name to a Senate committee : WATERGATE (hiding “agate”)
The Watergate scandal is so named because it involved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate complex is made up of five units, three of which are apartment buildings, one an office building, and one a hotel-office building (which housed the DNC headquarters).

Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.

111. Company with two lameds in its name : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

Lamed is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and is equivalent to our Latin letter L.

112. Lifesaver’s inits. : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT)

113. Facetious string? : AEIOU
All of the vowels AEIOU are found in the word “facetious”, and in alphabetical order.

115. Big fall from the sky? : QUARTER-SIZE HAIL (hiding “quartz”)
Quartz is a form of silicon oxide, and is the second most abundant mineral found in the Earth’s crust, after feldspar. The name “quartz” comes into English via German and probably ultimately derives from a Slavic word meaning “hard”.

120. Wavering wail : ULULATION
A ululation is a high-pitched trill, a sound usually practiced by women in ritual situations. I came across the practice not too long ago as an expression of celebration at an Arab-American wedding.

122. One of the Ivies, informally : PENN
The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

123. Organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELKS
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.

Down
1. Hero in a John Irving best seller : TS GARP
John Irving’s 1978 novel “The World According to Garp” is somewhat biographical. In fact, Irving’s mother found parts of the novel difficult to read, recognizing elements of herself in Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields.

2. “Eureka!” : I HAVE IT!
Eureka translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

4. It was a dark period for Poe : E’EN
Using poetic terminology, morn’s (morning’s) counterpart is e’en (evening).

Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

8. *Biter in Niger : TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa that gets its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country lies within the bounds of the Sahara Desert.

10. Specialty of Industrial Light & Magic, for short : CGI
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is a visual effects company that was founded by George Lucas in 1975. Lucas set up the company when he started production of the movie “Star Wars”. For many years, ILM led development in the world of computer-generated imagery (CGI).

12. Buff : TONED UP
Something that is “buffed” is polished, made attractive. This gives us the adjective “buff” meaning “physically attractive”.

14. Having an unfavorable outlook : BEARISH
The terms “bull” and “bear” markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

18. Bad recollection? : REPO
Repossession (repo)

23. Peanut : RUNT
Back around 1500. a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

29. Topmost part of a face : XII
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

33. Drill sgts., e.g. : NCOS
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant.

35. What buckets are made in, for short : NBA
Basketball is truly an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

36. Ob-___ : GYN
Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

43. Chinese restaurant assurance : NO MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a “test tube” shouldn’t be in our food …

50. *First spacecraft to orbit a comet (2014) : ROSETTA
Rosetta is a space probe that was launched by the European Space Agency in 2004. Rosetta reach its target, the comet 67P, in 2014. The probe sent a lander called Philae to the surface of the comet, which made two huge bounces before coming to rest.

51. What always comes in halves? : SILENT L
There is a silent letter L in the word “halves”.

56. Certain operatic voices : ALTI
In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

60. Symbol of equality, briefly : MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 35 years old when he won the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the youngest person to be so honored. King was given the award for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination using non-violent means. The following year he was awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Community.

61. Ahab’s father : OMRI
Omri was the sixth king of Israel, and was succeeded by his son Ahab.

63. Randy types : NYMPHOS
Hypersexuality in humans is termed “satyriasis” in males and “nymphomania” in females.

69. Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

70. Hank’s wife on “Breaking Bad” : MARIE
“Breaking Bad” is a crime drama series that originally aired on AMC from 2008 to 2013. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as producer and writer of “The X-Files”. Fans of “Breaking Bad” might like to know that there is spin-off show coming to AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman.

84. Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster, for one : NERF GUN
Nerf is the name given to the soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

86. Linear, informally : ONE-D
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

87. Amazon activity : E-TAILING
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

90. Agent 007, e.g. : ETONIAN
The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

James Bond was of course the creation of the writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”.

91. Really involved : BAROQUE
Something described as “baroque” is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period, in which many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design.

98. What a general may lead : JUNTA
A junta is a group of military officers that rule a country, usually after having seized power forcibly. “Junta” is a Spanish word meaning “council”.

100. “I’m such a ___” (klutz’s comment) : SPAZ
I don’t like the term “spaz” at all. “Spaz” describes someone who is clumsy or inept, and comes from the word “spastic”.

102. Givens on “Wheel of Fortune” : RSTLNE
On the game show “Wheel of Fortune”, players are given the letters R, S, T, L, N, E when guessing the hidden word or phrase. The contestant then selects four more letters before trying to come up with the answer.

113. Android runner, often : APP
Android is the operating system (and more) for mobile devices that is now owned by Google.

116. Arctic flier : AUK
Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

117. Olympics host after London : RIO
Even though the 2016 Olympic Games is a “summer” competition, it will be held in Rio de Janeiro in the winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the planned date of the opening of 5th August 2016 falls in the local season of winter. The 2016 games will also be first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

118. Spotlight hog : 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. You may find it on your hands or side : TIME
5. Use a scalpel on : SLIT
9. “O.G. Original Gangster” rapper : ICE-T
13. One connected with the force? : CBER
17. Not as brazen : SHIER
19. It’s worth $200 in Monopoly : PASSING GO
21. Princess of Power from 1980s cartoons : SHE-RA
22. Get noticed : GARNER ATTENTION (hiding “garnet”)
24. Wiped : WEARY
25. DuVernay who directed “Selma” : AVA
26. 100% : PURE
27. Ring call, for short : TKO
28. More hot : SEXIER
30. “Sounds about right” : RECKON SO
32. In stitches : SEWN
34. Knocking : DISSING
37. Load of money : PILE
38. Like some windows : TINTED
40. Easily defeats, in sports : CRUISES BY (hiding “ruby”)
42. ___ Vogue : TEEN
44. JFK probers : TSA
45. You may put stock in it : SOUP
46. Director Coen : ETHAN
47. Enterprise for which a 14-year-old Buffalo Bill worked : PONY EXPRESS (hiding “onyx”)
51. One of 15 until 1991: Abbr. : SSR
52. “Baywatch” stars often jogged in it : SLO-MO
54. Brownie unit : TROOP
55. Japanese “yes” : HAI
57. ___ Nova (musical style) : ARS
60. Will, given the chance : MEANS TO
62. Ninny : ASS
63. Dickens heroine : NELL
64. Cold-climate cryptid : YETI
66. End for an organisation’s name : LTD
67. Exploit a loophole, say : GAME THE SYSTEM (hiding “amethyst”)
71. Radio knob abbr. : VOL
72. Switch off : KILL
74. Unjammed : FREE
75. Cable airer of vintage films : TCM
76. Feeling low : IN A FUNK
78. Word between two last names : NEE
79. Trouble : AIL
80. Conductor announcements : STOPS
82. Baloney : TRIPE
83. Newswoman Curry : ANN
85. Lean back and enjoy the ride? : POP A WHEELIE (hiding “opal”)
88. Jumbo-sized : OBESE
91. ___ fide : BONA
92. A Giants giant : OTT
93. Pick out : ESPY
96. Washington landmark that lent its name to a Senate committee : WATERGATE (hiding “agate”)
98. Equally : JUST AS
101. Get the show on the road : TOUR
103. Pursued, as perfection : SHOT FOR
104. Big bra feature : D-CUP
106. Sticks in a purse? : LIP BALMS
108. Rotten : NO GOOD
110. Little ___ : ‘UNS
111. Company with two lameds in its name : EL AL
112. Lifesaver’s inits. : EMT
113. Facetious string? : AEIOU
115. Big fall from the sky? : QUARTER-SIZE HAIL (hiding “quartz”)
119. Large shrimp : PRAWN
120. Wavering wail : ULULATION
121. Like crayons : WAXEN
122. One of the Ivies, informally : PENN
123. Organization with an Exalted Ruler : ELKS
124. Aid in identifying a bird : SONG
125. Insignificant : MERE

Down
1. Hero in a John Irving best seller : TS GARP
2. “Eureka!” : I HAVE IT!
3. Sainthood prerequisite : MIRACLE
4. It was a dark period for Poe : E’EN
5. Short supply : SPARSITY
6. *Like puberty at age 16 : LATE ONSET
7. Fatal ending? : -IST
8. *Biter in Niger : TSETSE
9. Following behind : IN TOW
10. Specialty of Industrial Light & Magic, for short : CGI
11. Alphas might clash over them : EGOS
12. Buff : TONED UP
13. *One making the rounds at a party, perhaps : CHEESE TRAY
14. Having an unfavorable outlook : BEARISH
15. Blunder : ERR
16. Bit of hope : RAY
18. Bad recollection? : REPO
20. Tattooed : INKED
21. Alternatives to cheddars : SWISSES
23. Peanut : RUNT
29. Topmost part of a face : XII
31. Persevere : KEEP ON
33. Drill sgts., e.g. : NCOS
35. What buckets are made in, for short : NBA
36. Ob-___ : GYN
39. It may be a high percent for the 1% : TAX RATE
41. Football stat : RUSHES
43. Chinese restaurant assurance : NO MSG
45. Natl. Courtesy Month : SEP
48. Disapproving (of) : NOT A FAN
49. Swank : POSH
50. *First spacecraft to orbit a comet (2014) : ROSETTA
51. What always comes in halves? : SILENT L
52. With 59-Down, permanent … or, literally, a feature of the answers to the seven starred clues : SET IN
53. Cider server : LADLE
56. Certain operatic voices : ALTI
58. Energize : REV UP
59. See 52-Down : STONE
60. Symbol of equality, briefly : MLK
61. Ahab’s father : OMRI
63. Randy types : NYMPHOS
65. Variety : ILK
68. Underwater trap : EEL POT
69. Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
70. Hank’s wife on “Breaking Bad” : MARIE
73. *Car dealership option : LEASE TO OWN
77. Event with a cantina, maybe : FIESTA
80. ___ treatment : SPA
81. *Chooses in the end : SETTLES ON
84. Zombie Strike SlingFire Blaster, for one : NERF GUN
86. Linear, informally : ONE-D
87. Amazon activity : E-TAILING
88. Hurtful comments? : OWS
89. “Ridiculous!” : BAH!
90. Agent 007, e.g. : ETONIAN
91. Really involved : BAROQUE
94. Long-reaching weapon of yore : POLEAXE
95. More delish : YUMMIER
97. Bit of baby talk : GOO
98. What a general may lead : JUNTA
99. *Goals for underdogs : UPSETS
100. “I’m such a ___” (klutz’s comment) : SPAZ
102. Givens on “Wheel of Fortune” : RSTLNE
105. Weightlifter’s exercise : CURLS
107. Went off : BLEW
109. Yawn-inducing : DULL
113. Android runner, often : APP
114. Poet’s “prior to” : ERE
116. Arctic flier : AUK
117. Olympics host after London : RIO
118. Spotlight hog : HAM

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3 thoughts on “0208-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 8 Feb 15, Sunday”

  1. Once again a labored, forced theme that's pretty much impossible to see in the large grid. I could find the "stones" of course… but the SETs? Not even worth the trouble to notice.

    I'm really of the opinion that Shortz and his constructors need to stop thinking they're so darned clever and just churn out some decent, straightforward puzzles.

  2. as someone who lives north of the border, i'll have to comment on a few of your explanations.

    although basketball was invented in the u.s., it's inventor James Naismith, was born, raised and educated in canada. so it's perhaps not "truly" an american sport.

    on top of the information you gave (of which i'd never heard before!) the james bond character was based on the real life "man they called intrepid", William Stephenson who was born & raised in my home of winnipeg, manitoba, canada

    love your blog!

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