0211-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Feb 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Howard Barkin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Neapolitan

Themed answers start with the flavors that make up neapolitan ice cream:

  • 56A. Kind of ice cream suggested by the starts of 21-, 27- and 47-Across : NEAPOLITAN
  • 21A. 2001 Tom Cruise thriller : VANILLA SKY
  • 27A. Nickname for former N.B.A. star Darryl Dawkins : CHOCOLATE THUNDER
  • 47A. Amy Adams or Emma Stone, hairwise : STRAWBERRY BLONDE

Bill’s time: 4m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 [Guests must provide their drinks] : BYOB

Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

16 Sheep-related : OVINE

The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine” meaning “like a sheep”.]

17 Where the first presidential caucuses are held : IOWA

The Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in the nominating process for President since 1972.

A caucus is a meeting of supporters of a particular political group. It is believed that the term was first used in the original North American colonies.

19 Squiggly mark in “piñata” : TILDE

The tilde (~) diacritical mark is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

20 Earl ___ tea : GREY

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey was British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Beyond his political achievements, Grey lent his name to the Earl Grey blend of tea.

25 James who sang “At Last” : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

35 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

36 Maya who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial : LIN

Maya Lin is a Chinese American from Athens, Ohio, who is an artist and architect. Her most famous work is the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Lin was only 21-years-old when she won a public design competition in 1981 to create the memorial. Although her design is very fitting, sadly Lin was not a popular choice for the work given her Asian heritage. As she said herself, she probably would not have been picked had the competition been judged with the knowledge of who was behind each submission.

37 Diamond pattern : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

42 Connected PC system : LAN

Local Area Network (LAN)

47 Amy Adams or Emma Stone, hairwise : STRAWBERRY BLONDE

Amy Adams is an American actress, although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

The actress Emma Stone is from Scottsdale, Arizona. Stone really came to prominence with her performance in the 2010 high school movie called “Easy A”. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 2016 movie “La La Land”. Now one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, Stone values her privacy and works hard to maintain a low profile. Good for her, I say …

63 Largest city in South Florida : MIAMI

The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.

64 Japanese dog breed : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

66 Shenanigan : ANTIC

I suppose one might be forgiven for thinking that “shenanigan” is an Irish term, as it certainly sounds Irish. Usually written in the plural, shenanigans are acts of mischief, pranks. Apparently the word is of uncertain derivation, but was coined in San Francisco and Sacramento, California in the mid-1800s.

Down

1 Makeshift knife : SHIV

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

3 Japanese noodle type : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

4 Pudding ingredient : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

5 Patron for sailors : ST ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

7 Hertz rival : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

8 ___ Road, route for Marco Polo : SILK

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice and a famous traveler throughout Asia. Polo journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco tends to be the member of the party we remember today though, because it was he who documented their travels in a book called “Il Milione”.

10 Director Spike : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

11 Beginning of the universe : BIG BANG

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe came into being just under 14 billion years ago. According to the theory, the universe started out as a hot and dense mass that began to expand rapidly (in a “big bang”). Within three minutes of the “bang”, the universe cooled so that energy was converted into subatomic particles like protons, electrons and neutrons. Over time, subatomic particles turned into atoms. Clouds of those atoms formed stars and galaxies.

22 Rapper ___ Wayne : LIL

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

23 Maneuver upon missing a GPS instruction : U-TURN

The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system 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.

28 Symbol on a valentine : HEART

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

32 “The Times They Are a-Changin'” singer : DYLAN

President Obama used the words “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” when awarding musician Bob Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Dylan was in good company. On the same day, the president awarded the medal to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Justice John Paul Stevens, former Israeli President Shimon Peres and astronaut John Glenn. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

33 African antelope : ELAND

An eland is a large African antelope, and in fact the largest antelope on the continent. Both male and female elands have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

34 Opera singer Fleming : RENEE

Renée Fleming is a marvelous soprano from Indiana, Pennsylvania. Famous for her appearances in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, Fleming is also noted for her willingness to bring her craft to the masses. She was a guest on “Sesame Street”, singing “counting lyrics” to an aria from “Rigoletto”, and she has appeared a few times on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

40 Group that inspired “Mamma Mia!” : ABBA

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

48 Pacific weather phenomenon : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

53 College entrance exams : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

55 Mr. Pibb or Dr Pepper : SODA

The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper was introduced in 1885 in Waco, Texas, one year before the competing Coca-Cola was released to the market. I spent an entertaining few hours at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco a few years ago.

57 Has a nosh : EATS

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

59 Ocean motion : TIDE

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Closes : SHUTS
6 Like the voice of someone who’s stuffed up : NASAL
11 [Guests must provide their drinks] : BYOB
15 Went after : HAD AT
16 Sheep-related : OVINE
17 Where the first presidential caucuses are held : IOWA
18 “Crossing my fingers!” : I HOPE!
19 Squiggly mark in “piñata” : TILDE
20 Earl ___ tea : GREY
21 2001 Tom Cruise thriller : VANILLA SKY
23 Some rides from the airport, nowadays : UBERS
24 Leave out : OMIT
25 James who sang “At Last” : ETTA
27 Nickname for former N.B.A. star Darryl Dawkins : CHOCOLATE THUNDER
35 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA
36 Maya who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial : LIN
37 Diamond pattern : ARGYLE
38 Suffix with different or confident : -IAL
39 “Chill out!” : CALM DOWN!
42 Connected PC system : LAN
43 Ready to assemble, as a home : PREFAB
45 Reef predator : EEL
46 Flowy hair : MANE
47 Amy Adams or Emma Stone, hairwise : STRAWBERRY BLONDE
51 Keep it ___ (be honest) : REAL
52 Sound from a ghost : MOAN
53 “What a shame” : SO SAD
56 Kind of ice cream suggested by the starts of 21-, 27- and 47-Across : NEAPOLITAN
62 Swear : AVOW
63 Largest city in South Florida : MIAMI
64 Japanese dog breed : AKITA
65 “Look how great I did!” : TA-DA!
66 Shenanigan : ANTIC
67 Enticed : LED ON
68 Kill, as a dragon : SLAY
69 Sits for a photo : POSES
70 Venue often named for its sponsor : ARENA

Down

1 Makeshift knife : SHIV
2 Funny (or sarcastic) joke response : HA HA
3 Japanese noodle type : UDON
4 Pudding ingredient : TAPIOCA
5 Patron for sailors : ST ELMO
6 Friendly response to “Do you mind?” : NOT AT ALL
7 Hertz rival : AVIS
8 ___ Road, route for Marco Polo : SILK
9 “Still …” : AND YET …
10 Director Spike : LEE
11 Beginning of the universe : BIG BANG
12 Days of ___ : YORE
13 One with a debt : OWER
14 Large inlets : BAYS
22 Rapper ___ Wayne : LIL
23 Maneuver upon missing a GPS instruction : U-TURN
26 Take out of the freezer : THAW
27 Video excerpts : CLIPS
28 Symbol on a valentine : HEART
29 Floating fuel carrier : OILER
30 Race official : TIMER
31 Rear-___ (auto accident) : ENDER
32 “The Times They Are a-Changin'” singer : DYLAN
33 African antelope : ELAND
34 Opera singer Fleming : RENEE
39 Made the sound of a crow : CAWED
40 Group that inspired “Mamma Mia!” : ABBA
41 The first modern one was held in Athens in 1896 : OLYMPICS
44 Off in the distance : FARAWAY
46 Nickname : MONIKER
48 Pacific weather phenomenon : EL NINO
49 Unfortunate crowd reaction to a performer : BOO!
50 [I don’t know the words to this part] : LA LA LA!
53 College entrance exams : SATS
54 Egg-shaped : OVAL
55 Mr. Pibb or Dr Pepper : SODA
57 Has a nosh : EATS
58 French female friend : AMIE
59 Ocean motion : TIDE
60 Heaps : A TON
61 Nickname for grandma : NANA
63 It may include the words “You are here” : MAP

8 thoughts on “0211-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Feb 19, Monday”

  1. My timer is on my iPad and my wife took it to look at some videos of our newborn second great grandchild .A healthy 8 and a half pound boy (Henry).
    About 10 min with no errors. TGIM

  2. A belated “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” to you, Bill. I enjoyed your comment on 66-Across, “Shenanigan”. I remember well the song “Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, And Shenanigans” as a perennial favorite Irish tune. In looking it up on YouTube, I found lots of instances where the word “shenanigans” has been incorporated into modern-day Irish culture terminology. Maybe this is just an Irish-American thing? Do the people back in Ireland use the word? Or even know of it?

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