0212-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Tom Pepper
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Briefly State Something

Themed answers are common words that have been rewritten as new words preceded by a US state’s abbreviation:

  • 17A Psychedelic stuff from the Evergreen State? : WA SHROOMS (“Washington shrooms” from “washrooms”)
  • 26A Underwear from the First State? : DE BRIEFS (“Delaware briefs” from “debriefs”)
  • 28A Gambler’s action in the Cornhusker State? : NE WAGER (“Nebraska wager” from “new-ager”)
  • 40A Forest animal in the state nicknamed Old Dominion? : VA MOOSE (“Virginia moose” from “vamoose”)
  • 49A Mosquito from the state nicknamed Land of Opportunity? : AR BITER (“Arkansas biter” from “arbiter”)
  • 51A Highway divider in the Centennial State? : CO MEDIAN (“Colorado median” from “comedian”)
  • 64A Pasta from the Golden State? : CA NOODLES (“California noodles” from “canoodles”)

Bill’s time: 6m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fab Four hairdos : MOPS

The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

5 Spiced tea variety : 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”.

9 Hail Mary, for one : PASS

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of a success, right at the the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance Roman Catholicism.

17 Psychedelic stuff from the Evergreen State? : WA SHROOMS (“Washington shrooms” from “washrooms”)

Washington has been nicknamed “the Evergreen State” since 1890, when the moniker was proposed by journalist turned real estate tycoon Charles Tallmadge Conover. The nickname has never been adopted officially, although it does appear on Washington state license plates. The name is a reference to the abundance of evergreen trees in the state’s forests.

19 Shrek and Fiona : OGRES

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

20 Nash’s “two-l” beast : LLAMA

The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

23 A, to Beethoven : EIN

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

24 Inning : baseball :: ___ : curling : END

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

26 Underwear from the First State? : DE BRIEFS (“Delaware briefs” from “debriefs”)

The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia’s first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as “the First State” as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

28 Gambler’s action in the Cornhusker State? : NE WAGER (“Nebraska wager” from “new-ager”)

The state of Nebraska got its “Cornhusker State” nickname from the University of Nebraska athletic teams (and not the other way round). In turn, the university teams’ name comes from the prevalence of corn as a crop, and the harvesting process known as “cornhusking”, removal of the outer husk from the ear of corn.

32 Member of Islam’s largest branch : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

37 Music genre for the Village People : DISCO

Village People is a disco group formed in New York City in 1977. From day one, the band’s act and music was aimed at the gay community. The name refers to New York’s Greenwich Village, which at the time had a large gay population. The group’s members dressed up as characters associated with stereotypical gay culture, including a cop, Native American, GI, construction worker and cowboy. The biggest hits for Village People are “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy”.

39 Calder Cup rink org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

40 Forest animal in the state nicknamed Old Dominion? : VA MOOSE (“Virginia moose” from “vamoose”)

“The Old Dominion” is a nickname given to Virginia by King Charles II in recognition of the loyalty shown by the colony during the English Civil War.

43 Opposite of día : NOCHE

“Noche y dia” translates from Spanish as “night and day”.

45 ___ stick : POGO

What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall.

46 Snow blower maker : TORO

Toro is a manufacturer of mainly lawn mowers and snow removal equipment based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.

47 Birds on Canadian dollar coins : LOONS

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

49 Mosquito from the state nicknamed Land of Opportunity? : AR BITER (“Arkansas biter” from “arbiter”)

Arkansas has had three official nicknames over the years:

  1. The Wonder State (1923)
  2. The Land of Opportunity (1953)
  3. The Natural State (1995)

51 Highway divider in the Centennial State? : CO MEDIAN (“Colorado median” from “comedian”)

The Territory of Colorado became a US state in 1876, just 28 days after the nation’s centennial celebration. As a result, Colorado is nicknamed “the Centennial State”.

54 Mr. Turkey : TOM

A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently gets into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.

62 Entire range : GAMUT

In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

64 Pasta from the Golden State? : CA NOODLES (“California noodles” from “canoodles”)

“Golden State” has been the official nickname of California since 1968. The nickname reflects the expansion of the state’s economy that followed the discovery of gold in 1848, and also the fields of golden poppies seen growing wild across California in the spring.

69 Frequent Sicilian erupter : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

71 Copyright symbol follower, typically : YEAR

The term “copyright” really derives from the concept of giving another party the “right to copy”. Usually “copyright” gives the holder the power to financially benefit from any copies made. Copyright was invented in essence soon after the development of the printing press, with the first legal statutes put in place in Britain in the early 18th century.

Down

2 October birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

3 Tuscany tower site : PISA

The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

4 Amount of cream cheese : SCHMEAR

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relatively recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

5 Corporate $$$ overseer : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

10 Bailed-out insurance giant : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

16 Some Form 1040 data, for short : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

18 “You ___?” (butler’s response) : RANG

A butler is the head servant in a household. The butler is often in charge of the wine stores in the house. The term “butler” comes from the Old French “boteillier” meaning “officer in charge of wine”, which in terms comes from the Old French “boteille”, the word for a “bottle”.

22 “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” airer : PBS

The “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show starred Fred Rogers. It was the second-longest running series on PBS television after that other iconic children’s show “Sesame Street”.

25 ___ vu : DEJA

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

28 Palindromic bread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

29 Navigate like a whale : ECHOLOCATE

Echolocation when used by animals is known as biosonar. The best-known example of an animal using biosonar is probably the bat, although not all species of bat use sounds to locate objects.

35 British throne? : 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!

38 Dumpster output : ODOR

“Dumpster” is one of those words that we use generically even though it is actually a brand name. The original “Dumpster” was patented by the Dempster Brothers of Knoxville, Tennessee. “Dumpster” is derived from “dump” and “Dempster”.

40 Blood feud : VENDETTA

“Vendetta” is the Italian word for “blood feud”, and is especially associated with the island of Corsica.

48 The “S” of R.S.V.P. : S’IL

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

50 Doofus : BOZO

A bozo is a person with a low IQ, and someone who is usually quite muscular. We’ve been using the term since the early 1900s and it possibly comes from the Spanish “bozal” that was used to describe someone who spoke Spanish poorly.

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

52 Music copyright org. : ASCAP

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.

59 Ballet bend : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

60 “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” grp. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is famous for ad campaigns featuring implied nudity, often with celebrities appearing front and center. Networks showing the Super Bowl have been known to ban such ads.

61 Belgian river to the North Sea : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

65 Tiebreaker periods, for short : OTS

Overtime (OT)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fab Four hairdos : MOPS
5 Spiced tea variety : CHAI
9 Hail Mary, for one : PASS
13 Totally awesome : EPIC
14 Defense in a snowball fight : FORT
15 Chops finely : RICES
17 Psychedelic stuff from the Evergreen State? : WA SHROOMS (“Washington shrooms” from “washrooms”)
19 Shrek and Fiona : OGRES
20 Nash’s “two-l” beast : LLAMA
21 Lure : TEMPT
23 A, to Beethoven : EIN
24 Inning : baseball :: ___ : curling : END
26 Underwear from the First State? : DE BRIEFS (“Delaware briefs” from “debriefs”)
28 Gambler’s action in the Cornhusker State? : NE WAGER (“Nebraska wager” from “new-ager”)
32 Member of Islam’s largest branch : SUNNI
33 Tennis serving whiz : ACER
34 National Hot Dog Month : JULY
37 Music genre for the Village People : DISCO
39 Calder Cup rink org. : AHL
40 Forest animal in the state nicknamed Old Dominion? : VA MOOSE (“Virginia moose” from “vamoose”)
42 Ate : HAD
43 Opposite of día : NOCHE
45 ___ stick : POGO
46 Snow blower maker : TORO
47 Birds on Canadian dollar coins : LOONS
49 Mosquito from the state nicknamed Land of Opportunity? : AR BITER (“Arkansas biter” from “arbiter”)
51 Highway divider in the Centennial State? : CO MEDIAN (“Colorado median” from “comedian”)
54 Mr. Turkey : TOM
55 Diamonds, slangily : ICE
56 Someone ___ (not mine or yours) : ELSE’S
58 Moving around fast : ZIPPY
62 Entire range : GAMUT
64 Pasta from the Golden State? : CA NOODLES (“California noodles” from “canoodles”)
66 Word next to an arrow on a maze : START
67 Hard ___ (toiling away) : AT IT
68 Lo-cal : LITE
69 Frequent Sicilian erupter : ETNA
70 Daddy-o : POPS
71 Copyright symbol follower, typically : YEAR

Down

1 Whimper : MEWL
2 October birthstone : OPAL
3 Tuscany tower site : PISA
4 Amount of cream cheese : SCHMEAR
5 Corporate $$$ overseer : CFO
6 Hilarious type : HOOT
7 Ready for battle : ARMED
8 Reply to “Who’s there?” : IT’S ME
9 Jut out : PROTRUDE
10 Bailed-out insurance giant : AIG
11 Attachment you might send to a tech person when you have a computer problem : SCREENSHOT
12 “Whatever!” : SEE IF I CARE!
16 Some Form 1040 data, for short : SSNS
18 “You ___?” (butler’s response) : RANG
22 “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” airer : PBS
25 ___ vu : DEJA
27 Magician’s name suffix : -INI
28 Palindromic bread : NAAN
29 Navigate like a whale : ECHOLOCATE
30 Sign of hospitality : WELCOME MAT
31 Backside : RUMP
35 British throne? : LOO
36 Popular fitness class : YOGA
38 Dumpster output : ODOR
40 Blood feud : VENDETTA
41 Put in proper piles : SORT
44 Something a tired gardener might lean on : HOE
46 How wallflowers act : TIMIDLY
48 The “S” of R.S.V.P. : S’IL
50 Doofus : BOZO
51 Pack of butts : CIGS
52 Music copyright org. : ASCAP
53 Old-fashioned “Cool!” : NEATO!
57 Salon sound : SNIP
59 Ballet bend : PLIE
60 “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” grp. : PETA
61 Belgian river to the North Sea : YSER
63 Coffee dispenser : URN
65 Tiebreaker periods, for short : OTS

14 thoughts on “0212-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 19, Tuesday”

  1. I was so happy to finish a Tuesday puzzle. I looked over it a few times to be sure there were no errors. Then i came here and found 32a and 29d were incorrect.

    I thought perhaps the III stood for someone the 3rd instead of the well known Hudini. Ugh. Misspelled SUNNI thinking it looked like “soonee” rather than “sunny”.

    I liked the theme.

  2. 8:39, no errors. Enjoyed the theme. I would argue that Ogden Nash was wrong. A ‘Three-L lllama’ is a large fire in Boston.

  3. The one-L lama is a priest.
    The two-L llama is a beast.
    If you want me to go any higher
    a three alama is fire.

  4. Anonymous II — love the three-alama!

    I also enjoyed this theme.

    Bill — I’d like to suggest that doofus might also come from the German “doof,” meaning dopey, stupid, goofy. (Not as unattractive as yours.)

  5. Late, but want to join those who got a special kick out of 3-alama. (Is Ogden Nash kicking himself for missing that? Probably not.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.