0215-19 NY Times Crossword 15 Feb 19, Friday

Constructed by: Wyna Liu
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 25m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Titan, once : OILER

The Houston Oilers were an AFL charter team, founded in 1960. The team moved to Tennessee in 1997, and became the Tennessee Titans in 1999.

18 Keynote, maybe : ORATE

The “keynote” is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

20 World Series of Poker venue in Las Vegas : THE RIO

The Rio casino in Las Vegas was opened in 1990, originally targeting the local population as it is located off the famous Strip where most of the tourists hang out. Famously, the Rio opened up the adults-only Sapphire Pool in 2008, a pay-to-enter (only men paid) topless pool club that featured music and dancers. A year later the Sapphire Pool was closed down after there were eleven arrests for drugs and prostitution offences during an undercover police operation.

The World Series of Poker is an annual event held in Las Vegas. The winner of each event is given a much-coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.

25 Left in a hurry, with “out” : PEELED

One might peel out at the start of a drag race, for example.

26 Mother of Mars, in myth : JUNO

Juno was the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, and also looked after the interests of the women of Rome. Juno was the sister and wife of Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods.

27 Relief pitcher? : ADVIL

Advil is Wyeth’s brand of ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.

29 Power unit : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

37 Baseball family name : ALOU

Matty Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Jesus and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

39 Party spec : BYOB

Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

54 Late Peabody-winning journalist and newscaster : GWEN IFILL

Gwen Ifill was a television journalist who was regularly seen on PBS’s “Newshour”. Ifill was also the moderator on the weekly PBS show “Washington Week”, and was also selected to moderate the US Vice Presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

55 County name in five East Coast states : ESSEX

There are four counties named Essex in the northeast of the US:

  • Essex County, Massachusetts
  • Essex County, New Jersey
  • Essex County, New York
  • Essex County, Vermont

Down

2 1/100 de un siglo : ANO

In Spanish, there are 100 “años” (years) in “un siglo” (a century).

4 Petrify, say : FOSSILIZE

Originally, the term “fossil” described anything that was unearthed, dug up. We tend to define the term more narrowly today, reserving it for the geological remains of a plant or animal. “Fossil” comes from the Latin “fossilis” meaning “dug up”.

7 Animals whose fur may change color in the winter : HARES

Hares belong to the genus Lepus, and young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

12 Unit measure for chili : ALARM

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

14 Gas once used in aerosols : FREON

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and also as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

20 Toy company whose name comes from the Dakota Sioux word for “big” : TONKA

The toy manufacturer today known as Tonka started out as a manufacturer of garden implements in Mound, Minnesota in 1946. By 1955, toys had become the main product line for the company. At that time the owners decided to change the company name and opted for “Tonka”, a Dakota Sioux word meaning “great, big”.

22 Don ___, “Don Giovanni” role : PEDRO

“Don Giovanni” is a comic opera by Mozart, with a libretto in Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The opera follows the adventures of Don Giovanni, a young rakish nobleman who finally comes to a bad end.

23 Actor Burton : LEVAR

Actor LeVar Burton is very much associated with two iconic roles on television: young Kunta Kinte in “Roots”, and Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Burton also hosted the children’s PBS show “Reading Rainbow” for many years. His portrayal of Kunta Kinte in 1977 was Burton’s first acting job. Indeed, Burton’s audition for the part was the first in his professional career!

24 Chinese martial arts : WUSHU

“Wushu” is a Mandarin term describing Chinese martial arts. An equivalent term is “kung fu”, a term that we might recognise more readily.

26 Most popular U.S. baby name for boys, 1999-2012 : JACOB

The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of the 1,000 most common baby names for the prior year annually, just before Mother’s Day. The list is compiled using applications for Social Security cards.

28 Greek island where a famous armless statue was found : MILOS

Milos is a one the Cyclades group of Greek islands. Famously, the statue of Aphrodite that can been seen in the Louvre was discovered on the island in 1820. The more famous name for the statue, “Venus de Milo”, is a reference to the island of Milos.

30 “Biography” cable channel : A AND E

The A&E television network used to be a favorite of mine, with the “A&E” standing for “arts and entertainment”. A&E started out airing a lot of the old classic dramas, as well as biographies and arts programs. Now there seems to be more reality TV, with one of the flagship programs being “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. A slight change of direction I’d say …

34 Fabric name since 1924 : RAYON

Rayon is a little unusual in the textile industry in that it is not truly a synthetic fiber, but nor can it be called a natural fiber. Rayon is produced from naturally occurring cellulose that is dissolved and then reformed into fibers.

35 Zesty bowlful : SALSA DIP

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

39 Shots for dudes? : BROTOX

The use of botox by men, for cosmetic reasons, can be termed “brotox”.

40 Cry after a lucky snag : GOT ONE!

Got one, I snagged a fish!

45 Imbroglio : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

An imbroglio is difficult or tangled situation. As one might expect, “imbroglio” comes to us from Italian. The Old Italian word “imbrogliare” means to tangle or confuse.

47 Cry querulously : MEWL

“To mewl” is to cry weakly like a baby, with the word being somewhat imitative.

49 Old British sports cars : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

51 High lines : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

52 Machiavellian : SLY

It is Niccolo Machiavelli’s political treatise titled “The Prince”, and the philosophical opinions expressed therein, that give rise to the word “Machiavellian”. The term describes something cunning and devious, especially at the level of state politics.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Misrepresents oneself to on the internet, in a way : CATFISHES
10 Place to unload : WHARF
15 Savory treat that is often caramelized : ONION TART
16 Titan, once : OILER
17 “My bad” : OOPS, SORRY
18 Keynote, maybe : ORATE
19 “___ alive!” : SAKES
20 World Series of Poker venue in Las Vegas : THE RIO
21 Thin strips used in building construction : SPLINES
24 Lumberjacks, e.g. : WOODMEN
25 Left in a hurry, with “out” : PEELED
26 Mother of Mars, in myth : JUNO
27 Relief pitcher? : ADVIL
28 Obscure : MASK
29 Power unit : WATT
33 Highest-grossing rom-com of the 2010s : CRAZY RICH ASIANS
36 Days gone by : YORE
37 Baseball family name : ALOU
38 Void : ANNUL
39 Party spec : BYOB
40 Cheerful response after helping : GLAD TO
41 Selected N.F.L. stars : ALL-PROS
45 Facetious superlative : MOSTEST
46 Become tiresome to : WEAR ON
47 Music genre that’s the focus of Decibel magazine : METAL
48 Not shy away from a potential embarrassment : OWN IT
49 Composes beautifully : MELODIZES
53 Little buddy : KIDDO
54 Late Peabody-winning journalist and newscaster : GWEN IFILL
55 County name in five East Coast states : ESSEX
56 Have no worries : SLEEP EASY

Down

1 Something babies do (and people do at babies) : COO
2 1/100 de un siglo : ANO
3 Line on a bill : TIP
4 Petrify, say : FOSSILIZE
5 Without a bit of sense : INSANELY
6 Pumped : STOKED
7 Animals whose fur may change color in the winter : HARES
8 Slips : ERRS
9 Dump : STY
10 “Yay!” : WOOHOO!
11 Contracted : HIRED
12 Unit measure for chili : ALARM
13 Fix, as laces : RETIE
14 Gas once used in aerosols : FREON
20 Toy company whose name comes from the Dakota Sioux word for “big” : TONKA
21 Not all there : SPACY
22 Don ___, “Don Giovanni” role : PEDRO
23 Actor Burton : LEVAR
24 Chinese martial arts : WUSHU
26 Most popular U.S. baby name for boys, 1999-2012 : JACOB
28 Greek island where a famous armless statue was found : MILOS
29 Be successful, informally : WIN AT LIFE
30 “Biography” cable channel : A AND E
31 Bits of hardware that can fit inside 32-Downs : T-NUTS
32 Opening for 31-Down : T-SLOT
34 Fabric name since 1924 : RAYON
35 Zesty bowlful : SALSA DIP
39 Shots for dudes? : BROTOX
40 Cry after a lucky snag : GOT ONE!
41 Stirred : AWOKE
42 Sports Illustrated’s “Olympian of the Century” : LEWIS
43 Touches down : LANDS
44 “In general, ___ is at the bottom of all great mistakes”: John Ruskin : PRIDE
45 Imbroglio : MELEE
47 Cry querulously : MEWL
49 Old British sports cars : MGS
50 Khaleda ___, first female P.M. of Bangladesh (1991-96, 2001-06) : ZIA
51 High lines : ELS
52 Machiavellian : SLY

9 thoughts on “0215-19 NY Times Crossword 15 Feb 19, Friday”

  1. 20:53 after correcting an error at the intersection of 50D and 53A (two names I didn’t know how to spell): I had an “E” instead of an “I”.

  2. 20:53 after finding and fixing a one-square error at the intersection of 50D and 54A (names I didn’t know how to spell). I had an “E” instead of an “I”.

  3. After an hour it was obvious that the bottom right quad was not coming to me. Didn’t know 47,49,54, and 56 across. To much for this amateur

  4. Pretty straight forward except for SE corner. Not sure why it has to be a “lucky” snag before you say “got one”. Wouldn’t you say that anytime you hooked a fish?

  5. Couple squares short of a load today. I, too, had E instead of I in the southeast. Also DARK instead of MASK. Friday as it should be, I guess.

  6. 49:53, 4 errors: MELODI(O)(U)S; GWEN IF(F)(E)L; (O)(F)A; (U)(E)S. Got blown up by four boxes in the bottom right corner. The rest of the grid was “Friday Difficult” as well.

  7. 45 minutes and 2 squares short of a happy dance. Had DARK instead of MASK. Should have known MILOS sigh …

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