0212-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 15, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Jules P. Markey
THEME: Cornerstones … we have a rebus puzzle today, with the word STONE appearing in each of the four corner squares. These “stones” are represented by “ST..” in my grid:

36A. Where one might find a date … with a hint to this puzzle’s theme : CORNERSTONE
30A. Writing on a 36-Across : INSCRIPTION
43A. Something found behind a 36-Across : TIME CAPSULE

1A. Takes the fifth, perhaps : STONEWALLS
10A. Turquoise, e.g. : GEMSTONE
66A. Antediluvian : STONE-AGE
68A. Part of many a country singer’s outfit : RHINESTONE
1D. World Heritage Site that’s more than 4,000 years old : STONEHENGE
13D. Foundation worker : STONEMASON
43D. Standard of comparison : TOUCHSTONE
49D. Part of many a mill : GRINDSTONE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 21s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Takes the fifth, perhaps : STONEWALLS
“To plead the Fifth” is to take advantage of the legal protection provided by the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. As a result of the Amendment, an individual can refuse to answer questions that could provide self-incriminating evidence of an illegal act.

7. Like a spanker’s position on a ship : AFT
On a square-rigged sailing vessel, a spanker is a sail rigged behind the aft-most mast on the ship.

10. Turquoise, e.g. : GEMSTONE
“Turquoise” is the Old French word for “Turkish”. The name was given to the blue mineral because much of it was brought into Europe from Turkey, although most of the turquoise mines were located in the Khorasan Province of Iran.

15. Bow attachment : JIB
A jib is a triangular sail that is set at the bow of a sailboat.

18. ___ Nova (music 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.

23. Big name in jewelry : ZALES
The first Zales jewelry store was opened by Morris and William Zale and Ben Lipshy in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1924. Zales became successful largely by offering credit to their customers, a revolutionary concept at the time.

24. Cable channel that has “Idiotest,” for short : GSN
“Id!otest” is a game show that has aired on the Game Show Network (GSN) since 2014. Never seen it …

25. Most slush pile responses : NOS
In the world of publishing, the slush pile is the collection of unsolicited manuscripts that have been submitted by hopeful authors.

26. Cardinals’ home, on scoreboards : ARI
The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run professional football team in the whole country.

33. British P.M. during the Seven Years’ War : PITT
William Pitt, the Elder was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768. Although a prominent figure in British politics for many years, he refused to accept a title until he took over government of the country. For this refusal, he earned the nickname “The Great Commoner”. It was William Pitt, the Elder who lent his name to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What the British call the Seven Years’ War is usually called the French and Indian War over here in the US. In the broader context, the war was fought between alliances led by Britain and France, and in the American theater was fought between British and French forces alongside their Native American allies.

35. 1998 BP acquisition : AMOCO
Amoco is an abbreviation for the American Oil Company. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?

BP is an oil and gas company headquartered in London, UK. BP started out as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909 with the remit of exploiting oil discovered in Iran. The company name was changed to British Petroleum in 1954, and today the name used is simply “BP”.

40. Part of Rimbaud’s oeuvre : POEME
Arthur Rimbaud was a poet from France who was active in the latter half of the 19th century. Rimbaud was described by Victor Hugo as “an infant Shakespeare”.

The sum of an artist’s work in his or her lifetime is known as his or her “oeuvre”.

41. ___-glace (rich sauce) : DEMI
Demi-glace is a sauce that’s rich and brown, and is used in French cuisine. The name translates as “half glaze” and comprises veal stock mixed with espagnole sauce. It’s a little more work to make demi-glace, as one has to also make an espagnole sauce as one of the main ingredients. As a result, some chefs just use a veal stock instead, which Julia Child used to call a “semi-demi-glace”.

48. “Holy cow!,” in a text : OMG
OMG is text-speak for Oh My Gosh! Oh My Goodness! or any other G words you might think of …

50. She-bear: Sp. : OSA
In Spanish, “osa” is a female bear, and “oso” is a male.

52. Dot, to Ditto, in “Hi and Lois” : SIS
“Hi and Lois” is a comic strop that first appeared in 1954 and is still running today. The strip was created by Mort Walker (also known for “Beetle Bailey”) and was originally illustrated by Dik Browne (also known for “Hägar the Horrible”). The title characters Hi and Lois Flagstone first appeared in “Beetle Bailey”. Lois is Beetle’s sister, and the characters occasionally show up in each other’s strip.

53. 3x, in prescriptions : TER
“Ter” is the Latin word for “three”, commonly used in the medical world on prescriptions as part of the expression “ter in die”. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

58. California’s ___ Valley : SIMI
Nowadays Simi Valley, California is perhaps best known as being home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If you ever get the chance to do so, the library is a great place to visit. There you can tour one of the retired Air Force One planes.

59. Lit ___ : CRIT
Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit. crit.), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

61. B3 : NIACIN
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease pellagra. Pellagra is often described by “the four Ds”, the symptoms being diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death.

65. Part of a singing family : OSMOND
The Osmond Brothers were performing at Disneyland in the early sixties when they were spotted by Andy Williams’ father. He was so impressed by their performance that he told Andy to book them on his TV show, after which they became regulars from 1962-69.

66. Antediluvian : STONE-AGE
Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

– The Stone Age
– The Bronze Age
– The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

Something “antediluvian” is very old. The term comes from “ante” meaning “before” and “diluvium” meaning “flood”. The idea is that something really old took place before Noah’s Flood.

67. Fed. management grp. : GSA
The US Government’s General Services Administration (GSA), as the name suggests, provides general services to other federal agencies. So for example, the GSA manages office space for the other agencies, and transportation.

68. Part of many a country singer’s outfit : RHINESTONE
A rhinestone is a colorless artificial gem made from paste or glass. The original rhinestones were rock crystals that were gathered from the river Rhine in Germany.

Down
1. World Heritage Site that’s more than 4,000 years old : STONEHENGE
The magnificent Stonehenge monument in the south of England was built from 3000 to 2000 BC. “Stonehenge” has given its name to “henges”, a whole class of earthenwork monuments that are circular in form with an internal ditch surrounded by a bank. Paradoxically, Stonehenge doesn’t qualify as a henge by this contemporary definition, as its earthen bank is surrounded by an external ditch.

2. Apple type : WINESAP
A winesap is a small and tart apple, one often used for making cider.

3. Neighbor of Ventnor on a Monopoly board : ATLANTIC
Atlantic and Ventnor Avenue are properties in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

4. Hurdle for an aspiring “Esq.” : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

5. It’s filled with eau : LAC
In French, one can find water (eau) in a lake (lac).

7. Not wide open : AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

8. Second Amendment subject : FIREARMS
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. The actual text of the amendment is:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I hear that the wording and punctuation in the original text has led to some controversy over the years, some debate over the original intent …

9. Cable inits. for sports and comedy : TBS
The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979, to WTBS, and in 1981 adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

10. Ritzy shindig : GALA
“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think, describing a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game similar to field hockey.

11. Latin list ender : ET ALII
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

23. Letter numbers : ZIP CODES
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

25. Certain dragster : NITRO CAR
Laughing gas is the common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestly, but it was Humphrey Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those could afford them.

27. Top card? : RIOT
A “card”, “stitch” or “riot” is a very amusing person.

34. Imbibe : TOPE
“To tope” is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

37. ___ tide : NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

38. Montezuma and others : EMPERORS
Montezuma I and Montezuma II were Aztec emperors. Montezuma II was the ninth Aztec emperor and ruled from 1502 until 1520. He was the leader of the Aztec Empire when the Spanish first made contact and started the conquest of Mexico. Montezuma II was killed in a battle with the Spanish, although the details of his demise are not clear.

39. Means of communication using dots and dashes : EMOTICON
An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂

42. George Harrison’s autobiography : I ME MINE
“I Me Mine” is one of the relatively few Beatles songs to have been written by George Harrison (and indeed performed by him). Harrison chose the same title for his autobiography, published in 1980 just a few weeks before John Lennon was assassinated in New York City.

43. Standard of comparison : TOUCHSTONE
A “touchstone” is an excellent example of something, a sample that is used to test the excellence or genuineness of other samples, a standard.

44. Adriatic peninsula shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia : ISTRIA
Istria is a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea that is shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. It is the largest peninsula in the whole of the Adriatic.

46. Beginning of the Constitution? : USS
“Old Ironsides” was a nickname given to the USS Constitution even though she is actually a wooden-hulled ship. The Constitution was launched in 1797 and can still be seen at sea today. She is the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world. You can visit Old Ironsides at the Boston Navy Yard, where I had the privilege of touring her in 2011. As an old sailor, I’d say she is the best-maintained ship I’ve ever been on and paradoxically, she is also the oldest. Really, really beautiful …

47. Note holder, of sorts : LIENOR
A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid.

57. Smidgen : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Our word “smidgen”, meaning a small amount, might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

58. Laplander : SAMI
Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Takes the fifth, perhaps : STONEWALLS
7. Like a spanker’s position on a ship : AFT
10. Turquoise, e.g. : GEMSTONE
14. Tries to punch : HITS AT
15. Bow attachment : JIB
16. Topic of elementary education? : ATOM
17. Braid, e.g. : ENLACE
18. ___ Nova (music style) : ARS
19. ___ cake (rich dessert) : LAVA
20. Keen : NEAT
21. Edit, in a way : PARE
23. Big name in jewelry : ZALES
24. Cable channel that has “Idiotest,” for short : GSN
25. Most slush pile responses : NOS
26. Cardinals’ home, on scoreboards : ARI
28. “What am ___ you?” : I TO
29. Absorb : EAT
30. Writing on a 36-Across : INSCRIPTION
33. British P.M. during the Seven Years’ War : PITT
35. 1998 BP acquisition : AMOCO
36. Where one might find a date … with a hint to this puzzle’s theme : CORNERSTONE
40. Part of Rimbaud’s oeuvre : POEME
41. ___-glace (rich sauce) : DEMI
43. Something found behind a 36-Across : TIME CAPSULE
48. “Holy cow!,” in a text : OMG
50. She-bear: Sp. : OSA
51. Go ___ : APE
52. Dot, to Ditto, in “Hi and Lois” : SIS
53. 3x, in prescriptions : TER
54. Complete : UTTER
56. Progress : RISE
58. California’s ___ Valley : SIMI
59. Lit ___ : CRIT
60. Where the wild things are? : ZOO
61. B3 : NIACIN
63. Nudge : HINT
64. Verb with “thou” : ART
65. Part of a singing family : OSMOND
66. Antediluvian : STONE-AGE
67. Fed. management grp. : GSA
68. Part of many a country singer’s outfit : RHINESTONE

Down
1. World Heritage Site that’s more than 4,000 years old : STONEHENGE
2. Apple type : WINESAP
3. Neighbor of Ventnor on a Monopoly board : ATLANTIC
4. Hurdle for an aspiring “Esq.” : LSAT
5. It’s filled with eau : LAC
6. Trample : STEP ON
7. Not wide open : AJAR
8. Second Amendment subject : FIREARMS
9. Cable inits. for sports and comedy : TBS
10. Ritzy shindig : GALA
11. Latin list ender : ET ALII
12. Take up new residence in : MOVE TO
13. Foundation worker : STONEMASON
22. Muttonhead : ASS
23. Letter numbers : ZIP CODES
25. Certain dragster : NITRO CAR
27. Top card? : RIOT
31. Has it in one’s heart? : CARES
32. “Watch your ___, young man!” : TONE
34. Imbibe : TOPE
37. ___ tide : NEAP
38. Montezuma and others : EMPERORS
39. Means of communication using dots and dashes : EMOTICON
42. George Harrison’s autobiography : I ME MINE
43. Standard of comparison : TOUCHSTONE
44. Adriatic peninsula shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia : ISTRIA
45. Kind of call : MATING
46. Beginning of the Constitution? : USS
47. Note holder, of sorts : LIENOR
49. Part of many a mill : GRINDSTONE
55. Suffix with kitchen : -ETTE
57. Smidgen : IOTA
58. Laplander : SAMI
60. Turn back : ZAG
62. Relative of -esque : -ISH

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5 thoughts on “0212-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 15, Thursday”

  1. OMG! I have a number of beefs with today's grid, to wit:

    (a) it's a rebus
    (b) it's a rebus
    (c) it's a rebus

    But the theme answers should have given it away, and I ignored it.

    The online version did not correct my RHINES and GEMS inserts in NE and SE. Had no clue on ASS and NOS. "Mer" for LAC, Nos is an energy drink, FWIW. And finally, I would like for one NYT constructor to admit they want to use a Lance ITO reference from the OJ Simpson trial.

  2. 14m, 21s!? Wow! I spent most of an hour on this one, much of which went into figuring out the theme (after which things got easier). Not a bad puzzle, mind you, but not exactly my cup of tea …

    In the Denver Post, the clue for 65A was "Part of a singing amily"; some of my time went into figuring out that was a misprint, rather than a clue.

    B3 = Niacin brings up bad memories for me: several years ago, I began taking moderate doses of slow-release niacin in an attempt to bring down my cholesterol level. What it did instead was give me gout and steal about three years from me. As nearly as I can determine, this happens to a rather select few, but be wary of the stuff: you might be a member of the select group, as well.

  3. Well, no wonder this puzzle made not a bit of sense…. it's one of those damned dirty trick rebuses.

    Why do they continue to foist these on us?????

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