0202-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 16, Tuesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Peter A. Collins
THEME: Above and Below the Horizon … we have a visual separation of themed answer in today’s grid. Above the HORIZON-answer, we have the SKY and a PLANE and BIRDS. Below the HORIZON, we have the SEA and CORAL and FISH:

1A. Something seen in the 6-Across : PLANE
6A. Blue expanse : SKY
20A. Group found above the 37-Across : FLOCK OF BIRDS
37A. Line dividing 6- and 70-Across : HORIZON
57A. Group found below the 37-Across : SCHOOL OF FISH
70A. Blue expanse : SEA
71A. Something seen in the 70-Across : CORAL

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. Melee : BRAWL
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

14. Chick of jazz : COREA
Chick Corea is an American jazz pianist. Corea is noted for his work in the area of jazz fusion, as well as for his promotion of Scientology.

15. Whom Uncle Sam wants, on an old poster : YOU
The famous “I want YOU for the US Army” poster dates back to 1917. It depicts Uncle Sam pointing to the viewer, encouraging young men to report to the nearest recruiting station. The poster was designed by J. M. Flagg and is based on the similar British poster showing Lord Kitchener that was first issued three years earlier.

16. “___ en Rose” (song classic) : LA VIE
The literal translation of the title to the French song “La Vie en rose” is “Life In Pink”, but a better translation would be “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”.

17. Genius’s head? : SOFT G
There is a soft letter G starting the word “genius”.

18. Yule quaff : NOG
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

“Yule” celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

19. Gems with kaleidoscopic colors : OPALS
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%.

26. Old atlas inits. : SSR
Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR)

27. Things spotted in a casino : DICE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

The “casino” originated in the 1700s, first describing a public room for music or dancing. The name “casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

28. Paul ___, 1993 World Series M.V.P. : MOLITOR
Paul Molitor is a former professional baseball player who now provides coaching services for the Minnesota Twins.

30. Prop for the Tin Man : OILCAN
Actor Jack Haley played the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz”. Haley was the second choice for the role, as it was originally given to Buddy Ebsen (who later played Jed Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies”). Ebsen was being “painted up” as the Tin Man when he had an extreme, near-fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup that was being used. When Haley took over, the makeup was changed to a paste, but it was still uncomfortable and caused him to miss the first four days of shooting due to a reaction in his eyes. During filming, Haley must have made good friends with the movie’s star, Judy Garland, as years later Jack’s son married Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli.

32. ___ Mix : CHEX
Chex Mix is a party mix that includes Chex cereal as a major ingredient. The first recipe appeared on boxes of Chex cereal in 1952.

33. Dealer buster : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.

36. Politburo refusals : NYETS
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

The first “politburo” was formed by the Bolshevik Party in Russia in 1917, during that year’s Russian Revolution. The name is a contraction of “Politicheskoye Byuro” meaning “Political Bureau”. The first politburo had seven members, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.

39. Thermonuclear experiment of the ’50s : H-TEST
There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. In an atomic bomb, uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. Fusion devices are also called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy than a fission reaction.

43. Dutch cheese : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

50. Muslim holy month : RAMADAN
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is traditionally a period of fasting. The faithful that observe Ramadan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk everyday, a lesson in patience, humility and spirituality.

53. Mani-pedi spot : SPA
Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

61. Zilch : NIL
We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

67. Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

68. “If ___ a Carpenter” : I WERE
“If I Were a Carpenter” is a 1967 song written and recorded by folk musician Tim Hardin. Covered several times, the most successful recordings were those made by Bobby Darin in 1966, by the Four Tops in 1968, and a duet version by Johnny Cash and June Carter in 1970.

70. Blue expanse : SEA
71. Something seen in the 70-Across : CORAL
Corals are invertebrates found in the sea that live in compact colonies. Some corals secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard exoskeleton, and these type of corals make up the basic infrastructure of coral reefs.

Down
1. Windows runners : PCS
The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

2. Bathroom, in Bath : LOO
It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!

Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

4. Big name in on-demand media : NETFLIX
Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997. Although now focused on video streaming, the company delivered its billionth DVD in 2007. I presume the renter wasn’t charged for that movie …

5. Bald baby? : EAGLET
The bald eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.

7. Nutcases : KOOKS
“Kooky” is a slang word meaning “out there, crazy”. It has been around since the beatnik era, and it may be a shortened version of the word “cuckoo”.

8. Cheap 1980s car imports : YUGOS
The Yugo is a notoriously unreliable subcompact car built by the Zastava corporation of Yugoslavia.

11. One of the seven deadly sins : AVARICE
Our word “avarice”, meaning a desire for wealth, ultimately derives from the Latin word for crave, “avere”.

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:

– wrath
– greed
– sloth
– pride
– lust
– envy
– gluttony

12. University of Kentucky athlete : WILDCAT
The sports teams of the University of Kentucky are known as the Kentucky Wildcats. The fans of the Wildcats are referred to as the Big Blue Nation, as the school’s official colors are blue and white.

21. Maine university town : ORONO
The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine, founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

22. 1960s Angela Davis do, informally : ‘FRO
Angela Davis is a political activist and former leader of the Communist Party USA. Davis also ran twice in the eighties as candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket, alongside Presidential candidate Gus Hall.

23. Channel for cinephiles : TMC
The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.

25. ___ de France : ILE
Île-de-France (literally “Island of France”) isn’t an island at all. It is the name given to the most populous of France’s 26 administrative regions. Île-de-France is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

29. Like a 1913 Liberty Head nickel : RARE
The LIberty Head nickel was officially struck from 1883 until 1912, after which it was replaced by the Buffalo nickel. No one seems to know how, but at least five 1913 LIberty Head nickels were also struck, without authorization. As a result of the 1913 coins extreme rarity, they are among the most prized and valued coins in the world, valued at over $3 million each.

35. Peter or Ivan : CZAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

37. Brooklyn ___, N.Y.: Abbr. : HTS
The part of the borough of Brooklyn known as Brooklyn Heights was the first commuter town for New York, blossoming when the a steam ferry service started to run between the Heights and Wall Street in the early 19th-century.

38. Saudi neighbor : OMANI
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

39. Trendy urbanite : HIPSTER
Back in the early 40s, hipsters were just folks who were “hip”.

40. Windpipe : TRACHEA
The windpipe, or trachea, connects the lungs to the pharynx, the cavity of the mouth. The trachea is lined with special cells that secrete mucus which is then moved upwards by tiny hairs (cilia). The mucus traps dirt and dust particles inhaled with the air and cilia move the mucus contaminant away from the lungs’ delicate air sacs, into the mouth. Cigarette smoke overwhelms the mucus and cilia, so that smoke particles make it all the way into the lungs. Not a good thing …

41. Aviation’s Amelia : EARHART
Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

44. Supersonic speed : MACH TWO
The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is it’s speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane travelling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

45. Follower of indiana., ohio. or colorado. : EDU

– Indiana University owns the indiana.edu domain name
– Ohio University owns the ohio.edu domain name
– The University of Colorado owns the colorado.edu domain name

49. Immigrant’s course, for short : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

51. Subway artwork, maybe : MOSAIC
In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

54. Skin cream brand : POND’S
When Pond’s Cream was formulated in 1846 by Theron T. Pond, it was marketed as a medicine. The original product was a healing tea extracted from witch hazel that was effective in treating small cuts and other ailments.

63. Anthem contraction : O’ER
The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

64. 2nd Amendment advocate : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)

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.

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

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Something seen in the 6-Across : PLANE
6. Blue expanse : SKY
9. Melee : BRAWL
14. Chick of jazz : COREA
15. Whom Uncle Sam wants, on an old poster : YOU
16. “___ en Rose” (song classic) : LA VIE
17. Genius’s head? : SOFT G
18. Yule quaff : NOG
19. Gems with kaleidoscopic colors : OPALS
20. Group found above the 37-Across : FLOCK OF BIRDS
23. Field worker, e.g. : TOILER
26. Old atlas inits. : SSR
27. Things spotted in a casino : DICE
28. Paul ___, 1993 World Series M.V.P. : MOLITOR
30. Prop for the Tin Man : OILCAN
32. ___ Mix : CHEX
33. Dealer buster : NARC
36. Politburo refusals : NYETS
37. Line dividing 6- and 70-Across : HORIZON
39. Thermonuclear experiment of the ’50s : H-TEST
43. Dutch cheese : EDAM
44. “Didn’t you get the ___?” : MEMO
48. Poker declaration : I RAISE
50. Muslim holy month : RAMADAN
52. Go separate ways : PART
53. Mani-pedi spot : SPA
56. “Hey, wait your turn in line!” : NO CUTS!
57. Group found below the 37-Across : SCHOOL OF FISH
60. Express appreciation for : THANK
61. Zilch : NIL
62. Request forgiveness for : ATONE
66. Strangely coincidental, say : EERIE
67. Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE
68. “If ___ a Carpenter” : I WERE
69. Dog-eared : RATTY
70. Blue expanse : SEA
71. Something seen in the 70-Across : CORAL

Down
1. Windows runners : PCS
2. Bathroom, in Bath : LOO
3. Bark : ARF!
4. Big name in on-demand media : NETFLIX
5. Bald baby? : EAGLET
6. Coordinate : SYNC
7. Nutcases : KOOKS
8. Cheap 1980s car imports : YUGOS
9. Lump : BLOB
10. At a clip : RAPIDLY
11. One of the seven deadly sins : AVARICE
12. University of Kentucky athlete : WILDCAT
13. Alleviates : LESSENS
21. Maine university town : ORONO
22. 1960s Angela Davis do, informally : ‘FRO
23. Channel for cinephiles : TMC
24. “How delightful!” : OOH!
25. ___ de France : ILE
29. Like a 1913 Liberty Head nickel : RARE
31. Quaint lodging : INN
34. Expunge : RID
35. Peter or Ivan : CZAR
37. Brooklyn ___, N.Y.: Abbr. : HTS
38. Saudi neighbor : OMANI
39. Trendy urbanite : HIPSTER
40. Windpipe : TRACHEA
41. Aviation’s Amelia : EARHART
42. “Oh, shut up!” : SIT ON IT!
44. Supersonic speed : MACH TWO
45. Follower of indiana., ohio. or colorado. : EDU
46. Wrestling need : MAT
47. Clip-___ (some sunglasses) : ONS
49. Immigrant’s course, for short : ESL
51. Subway artwork, maybe : MOSAIC
54. Skin cream brand : POND’S
55. Blazing : AFIRE
58. “___-doke!” : OKEY
59. Bother for Bowser : FLEA
63. Anthem contraction : O’ER
64. 2nd Amendment advocate : NRA
65. Slippery swimmer : EEL

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5 thoughts on “0202-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Feb 16, Tuesday”

  1. 9:55, no errors. Cute theme. Like Sfingi, I had never heard of Paul Molitor. And It never occurred to me that dice could be left- or right-handed. And I had never considered the etymology of the word 'mosaic". So there are still things for me to learn, I guess … 🙂

  2. No errors. Yes, it's an interesting fact about left- and right-handed dice. But I'm reasoning that it would make no difference whatsoever in the odds for which face would come up after a throw?

  3. @Sfingi: Milwaukee Brewers, a part of Harvey's Wallbangers. Early 80s, if I recall correctly.

    11:06, no errors, but got mildly stuck a time or two. Head wasn't in it today…

  4. 8:10, no errors. I remember Paul Molitor from my sons' baseball card collecting days. Interesting trivia about the right hand/left hand dice, learn something new every day.

    @Dale: your reasoning is correct. As long as the die is properly balanced, there is no difference in the odds.

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