0205-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Sounds Like a Plan

Themed answers end with the words ARE-AINGE-MINT, which sounds like “arrangement”, i.e. SOUNDS LIKE A “PLAN”:

  • 58A. “Let’s do it!” … or comment on the last words of 16-, 26- and 47-Across, when said together out loud : SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
  • 16A. “I’m game — just give me the signal” : READY WHEN YOU ARE
  • 26A. Celtics player-turned-executive : DANNY AINGE
  • 47A. Something to take after a garlicky meal : BREATH MINT

Bill’s time: 6m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Leg muscle, in sports slang : HAMMY

The hamstrings are four tendons connected to three posterior thigh muscles, although the term “hamstring” is sometimes used for the thigh muscles themselves.

6. Beach lotion letters : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

13. Tough H.S. science course : AP BIO

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

14. “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer, 1989 : CHER

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

19. Iowa senator Ernst : JONI

Joni Ernst was elected as a US Senator for Iowa in 2014. Ernst is a Republican who had previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. She is the first female veteran in the US Senate, and the first woman to represent Iowa in the US Congress.

20. Kind of cord for a daredevil : BUNGEE

The first Bungee jump using the modern latex cord was from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England. It was an illegal jump, with all five jumpers getting arrested soon after “hitting” the ground.

21. Emmy-nominated Lucy : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

23. ___-ray Disc : BLU

A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

25. Costa ___ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

26. Celtics player-turned-executive : DANNY AINGE

Danny Ainge is a retired professional basketball and baseball player. Ainge was an outstanding athlete from an early age, and is the only person to be named a high-school All American in the three sports of football, basketball and baseball.

35. Something a pedant picks : NIT

A pedant is a person “who trumpets minor points of learning”, a person who tends to nit-pick. “Pedant” comes via Middle French from the Italian word “pedante” meaning “teacher”.

36. Cambridge sch. : MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

40. Dallas sch. : SMU

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Mustangs. Also, SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

47. Something to take after a garlicky meal : BREATH MINT

Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

50. Cinnamony tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

52. 1914-18 conflict, for short : WWI

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, what we now know as World War I was referred to as “the World War” or “the Great War”.

56. 1960s British P.M. ___ Douglas-Home : ALEC

Sir Alec Douglas-Home was Prime Minister of the UK from 1963 to 1964. Nowadays the British Prime Minister is chosen from the membership of the House of Commons, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last Prime Minister to be chosen from the House of Lords. He had to give up his peerage though (he was the Earl of Home) in order to take up the post.

66. Oreo filler : CREME

Nabisco launched an ad campaign for the Oreo brand of in 2012, telling us that the cookie is “wonderfilled”, that the modest little Oreo cookie can bring about a positive change of perspective and create a sense of wonder. I think that’s the idea …

67. The first “O” in YOLO : ONLY

You only live once (YOLO)

Down

2. Human’s closest relative : APE

The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “apeman” is discounted these days by the scientific community, who now favor the theory of evolution.

3. Many a C.F.O.’s degree : MBA

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

4. When the abolition of slavery is commemorated : MID-JUNE

“Juneteenth” is a holiday celebrated on June 19th every year, a commemoration of the emancipation of slaves throughout the Confederate South. President Abraham Lincoln’s executive order known as the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1st, 1863 but it only applied to Confederate State that were not in Union hands. The order freeing the last slaves in the US was issued at the end of the Civil War, on June 19th 1865. That order applied specifically to the State of Texas. Over a decade later, in 1980, Texas became the first state to declare June 19th (“Juneteenth”) a state holiday.

5. Toy on a string : YO-YO

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

6. “Thar ___ blows!” : SHE

“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!

7. Calligraphy tool : PEN

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

9. Cape Canaveral event : LAUNCH

The famous headland in Florida called Cape Canaveral was named by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century. As the Cape acts as a launching station for many of NASA’s rockets, when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 the NASA facility on nearby Merritt Island was renamed the Kennedy Space Center, and President Johnson went as far as renaming the whole of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. The name change for the cape didn’t go down well in Florida though, as the headland had been called Cape Canaveral for over 400 years. So, the name was restored in 1973, and Cape Kennedy is no more.

12. Sword’s name with two accents : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

14. “Four-alarm” food : CHILI

The spiciness or “heat” of a serving of chili is often designated by an unofficial scale ranging from one-alarm upwards.

17. Org. for the Indiana Fever and the Atlanta Dream : WNBA

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996. The WNBA had to compete with the American Basketball League (ABL), a professional women’s basketball league that started playing games the same year the WNBA was founded. The ABL folded in its third season.

21. Sonia Sotomayor, e.g. : LATINA

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

30. Biles of the 2016 Olympics : SIMONE

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

38. Smokey of R&B : ROBINSON

Singer Smokey Robinson started his musical career in 1955 when he formed a singing group called the Five Chimes in his native Detroit. The group’s name changed to the Matadors in 1957, and eventually to the Miracles. In 1959, Robinson married Claudette Rogers, who was in the Miracles lineup at the time.

49. Piece of a mosaic : TILE

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

59. Airport code hidden in FUEL GAUGE : LGA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

62. Mornings, for short : AMS

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Leg muscle, in sports slang : HAMMY
6. Beach lotion letters : SPF
9. Grease, informally : LUBE
13. Tough H.S. science course : AP BIO
14. “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer, 1989 : CHER
15. Per item : A POP
16. “I’m game — just give me the signal” : READY WHEN YOU ARE
19. Iowa senator Ernst : JONI
20. Kind of cord for a daredevil : BUNGEE
21. Emmy-nominated Lucy : LIU
23. ___-ray Disc : BLU
25. Costa ___ : RICA
26. Celtics player-turned-executive : DANNY AINGE
29. Snake warning : HISS
32. On the open ocean : AT SEA
33. Stitch line : SEAM
35. Something a pedant picks : NIT
36. Cambridge sch. : MIT
37. Come before : PRECEDE
40. Dallas sch. : SMU
41. Prefix with brow : UNI-
42. Fly majestically : SOAR
43. Suppress : SIT ON
45. Pots’ partners : PANS
47. Something to take after a garlicky meal : BREATH MINT
50. Cinnamony tea : CHAI
52. 1914-18 conflict, for short : WWI
53. Broke a fast : ATE
54. Get hold of : OBTAIN
56. 1960s British P.M. ___ Douglas-Home : ALEC
58. “Let’s do it!” … or comment on the last words of 16-, 26- and 47-Across, when said together out loud : SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
64. Laundry basketful : LOAD
65. Horrible person : OGRE
66. Oreo filler : CREME
67. The first “O” in YOLO : ONLY
68. Scot’s “not” : NAE
69. Lift up : HOIST

Down

1. Sarcastic laugh syllable : HAR
2. Human’s closest relative : APE
3. Many a C.F.O.’s degree : MBA
4. When the abolition of slavery is commemorated : MID-JUNE
5. Toy on a string : YO-YO
6. “Thar ___ blows!” : SHE
7. Calligraphy tool : PEN
8. Naan-like Native American food : FRY BREAD
9. Cape Canaveral event : LAUNCH
10. In quite a spot : UP AGAINST IT
11. Yawner : BORE
12. Sword’s name with two accents : EPEE
14. “Four-alarm” food : CHILI
17. Org. for the Indiana Fever and the Atlanta Dream : WNBA
18. “Yes, Pierre” : OUI
21. Sonia Sotomayor, e.g. : LATINA
22. Like a gut feeling : INSTINCTUAL
24. Remove, as a light bulb : UNSCREW
26. Block, as a stream : DAM UP
27. Pups’ protests : YAPS
28. “___ whiz!” : GEE
30. Biles of the 2016 Olympics : SIMONE
31. Publicity-grabbing move, maybe : STUNT
34. Go together well : MESH
38. Smokey of R&B : ROBINSON
39. Body part that might be “sympathetic” : EAR
44. Pricey Apple computer : IMAC PRO
46. Beer-and-lemonade drink : SHANDY
48. Slumbering no more : AWAKE
49. Piece of a mosaic : TILE
51. Assistance : AID
54. Flight hub for Norwegian : OSLO
55. Godsend : BOON
57. Per item : EACH
59. Airport code hidden in FUEL GAUGE : LGA
60. Ticked-off feeling : IRE
61. Island garland : LEI
62. Mornings, for short : AMS
63. Court divider : NET

14 thoughts on “0205-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 19, Tuesday”

  1. 7:56. I tore my HAMMY a few years ago. It was one of the most painful injuries I’ve ever had. My car was about 200 meters from me, and it took me a good 15-20 minutes to “walk” to it after I did it. My advice…..don’t tear your hamstring

    Best –

  2. 10:13, no errors. I’m glad that Bill figured out the “theme”; it was far too vague and irrelevant for me to even notice it.

  3. I understood the theme okay after trying it out vocally. But I agree that it was pretty lame. This is not one of Erik Agard’s better outings.

    1. Yes, of course, to each his own, Tom. But what was it that you liked about the theme? Can you describe what it was that you liked?

  4. That works for me. I did not know the name AINGE (in fact, it didn’t even look like a name) so I think that is the main reason that I did not feel comfortable with the part that it played in the homophone. The very first thing that I did when coming to Bill’s blog was to see if I had done AINGE correctly.

    It seems that Erik Agard represents a new generation of constructors so we may be seeing more of these types of puzzles.

  5. I thought i aced this one until I had to guess the final squares:
    First off I spelled 14D CHILI as CHILE
    That did not help
    17d WNBL why not, and a guess
    26a DANNY LENGE had no idea
    35a NUT
    40a SSU total shot in the dark
    30d SUSONE again, no idea

    Felt like a Monday at first. Theme … to me a strech for a Tuesday, but who am i to say?

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