0220-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Feb 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Byron Walden
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: .EDU

Themed answers are in the format X and Y, where X is the name of respected university, an institution that uses the top-level domain “.EDU”:

  • 7D URL ending associated with the beginnings of the answers to the six starred clues : EDU
  • 12A *Instructions for premade dinner rolls : BROWN AND SERVE (giving “Brown University”)
  • 14A *Noble couple : DUKE AND DUCHESS (giving “Duke University”)
  • 31A *Latin American side dish that combines two food staples : RICE AND BEANS (giving “Rice University”)
  • 34A *Title pair in a 2004-07 Nickelodeon sitcom : DRAKE AND JOSH (giving “Drake University”)
  • 53A *Eponymous founders of a Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer : SMITH AND WESSON (giving “Smith College”)
  • 58A *Duo of magicians who are the longest-running headliners in Las Vegas history : PENN AND TELLER (giving “Penn, the University of Pennsylvania”)

Bill’s time: 6m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Modifier for “film” or “pinot” : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the movie …

12 *Instructions for premade dinner rolls : BROWN AND SERVE (giving “Brown University”)

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

14 *Noble couple : DUKE AND DUCHESS (giving “Duke University”)

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

16 Election day in the U.S.: Abbr. : TUES

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

17 Workplaces for scrub nurses, for short : ORS

Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

25 With 38-Across, hex that’s hard to shake : BAD …
(38A See 25-Across : … MOJO)

The word “mojo”, meaning “magical charm, magnetism”, is probably of Creole origin.

26 Cotton gin inventor Whitney : ELI

The inventor Eli Whitney is a best known for inventing the cotton gin. Whitney also came up with the important concept of “interchangeable parts”. Parts that are interchangeable can be swapped out of equipment or perhaps used in related designs.

31 *Latin American side dish that combines two food staples : RICE AND BEANS (giving “Rice University”)

Rice University is a private school in Houston, Texas. William Marsh Rice had made a will endowing the funds for the establishment of the school at the time of his death. When he was found dead one morning in his bed, his lawyer announced that his will had been changed, with the bulk of Rice’s estate actually going to the lawyer making the announcement. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the lawyer had paid Rice’s valet to murder his employer using chloroform and a fake will was written. Eventually, the original will was deemed valid and the funds were disbursed so that the school could be built.

34 *Title pair in a 2004-07 Nickelodeon sitcom : DRAKE AND JOSH (giving “Drake University”)

Drake University is a private school in Des Moines, Iowa. The school is named for co-founder Francis Marion Drake, who was a Civil War general and Governor of Iowa.

44 Earth Day’s mo. : APR

Earth Day was founded in the US, where it was introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

45 Word of caution : CAVEAT

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

48 Almond-flavored liqueur : AMARETTO

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur with a sweet almond flavor. Even though the drink is sweet, it has a bitterness lent to it by the bitter almonds that are often used as a flavoring. The name “amaretto” is a diminutive of the Italian word “amaro” meaning “bitter”.

51 Ancient kingdom in modern-day Jordan : EDOM

Edom is an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. According to the Bible, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau. “Edom” translates from Hebrew as “red”, and was the name given to Esau when he ate the “red pottage”.

52 Sn, to chemists : TIN

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

53 *Eponymous founders of a Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer : SMITH AND WESSON (giving “Smith College”)

Smith & Wesson is the largest manufacturer of handguns in the US. The company was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson.

Smith College is a private women’s school in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith was founded in 1870 using funds bequeathed by Sophia Smith, who inherited her fortune from her wealthy farmer father.

58 *Duo of magicians who are the longest-running headliners in Las Vegas history : PENN AND TELLER (giving “Penn, the University of Pennsylvania”)

The illusionist Teller, of Penn & Teller, was born Raymond Teller in Philadelphia, although has legally changed his name so simply “Teller”. Teller decided not to speak during his performances way back in his youth. He was doing magic at college fraternity parties and discovered that by remaining silent the potentially rowdy audience focused on his act and refrained from throwing beer at him!

The University of Pennsylvania (also “Penn” and “UPenn”) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, and sometimes the Red & Blue.

59 Bit of pond scum : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

Down

5 Fills a cargo hold : LADES

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

6 Unaffiliated voters: Abbr. : INDS

Independent (Ind)

7 URL ending associated with the beginnings of the answers to the six starred clues : EDU

The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

8 P.M. who inspired a 1960s jacket : NEHRU

A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

9 Trilogy of tragedies by Aeschylus : ORESTEIA

Aeschylus was one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. The first of these was Aeschylus, the second Sophocles, and the third Euripides. Aeschylus is sometimes referred to as the father of tragedy, as his work is the earliest known representation of the style.

10 I.C.U. drippers : IVS

One might see an intravenous drips (IV) in an intensive care unit (ICU) or an operating room (OR).

12 Enter to steal from : BURGLE

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

13 Upbraid : SCOLD

To upbraid is to reproach, find fault with, and is a term of Swedish origin.

15 School support grps. : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

19 Shakes one’s booty : TWERKS

Twerking is a dancing move in which someone (usually a woman) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

25 Hootenanny instrument : BANJO

The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

Our colloquial word “hootenanny” is now used for a party featuring folk music. The term came into English as a word similar to “thingamajig” or “whatsit”. Out current usage is more akin to its original meaning back in Scotland, i.e. “celebration, party”.

28 Barbershop quartet voice : TENOR

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African-American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

29 Pilgrimage to Mecca : HADJ

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

33 Rigel or Spica, by spectral type : B STAR

Stars are commonly classified by the color of the light that they emit. These classifications are, from hottest to coolest, O, B, A, F, G, K and M. One way to remember the order of these letters is to use the mnemonic “Oh, be a fine girl, kiss me”. The colors of these stars range from blue (class O) to red (class M). Our sun is class G, a yellow star. I think we all know that …

Rigel is the sixth brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. If you can imagine the stars in Orion laid out, Rigel is at his left foot. The name “Rigel” is an abbreviated version of the Arabic term for “Left Foot of the Central One”.

Spica is the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Spica is actually a “binary star”, meaning that it is composed of two individual stars so close together that they cannot be resolved through a telescope. The two stars orbit each other every four days.

34 Johnny of 2005’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” : DEPP

Johnny Depp got his big break as an actor on television, in the eighties television show “21 Jump Street”. Depp’s first film success came when he played the title role in 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands”. He has twice been named Sexiest Man Alive by “People” magazine.

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

42 School founded by Henry VI : ETON

King Henry VI of England succeeded to the throne when he was just nine months old, making him the youngest monarch ever to sit on the English throne.

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provided free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

45 Caravan animals : CAMELS

A camel train carrying passengers or goods across a desert can be referred to as a caravan. “Caravan” derives from the Persian “karwan”, which has the same meaning. Over in Britain, “caravan” is the name given to travel trailers.

47 Insurance giant based in Hartford : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mount Etna, the Italian volcano.

Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut. The city is home to the headquarters of many insurance companies. As such Hartford is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”.

53 Employer of a masseur : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

54 Brooks with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

55 “Brokeback Mountain” director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

“Brokeback Mountain” is a 2005 movie about the romantic and sexual relationship between two cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Matt Damon was asked to play one of the leads but declined. Damon gave the excuse, “I did a gay movie (The Talented Mr. Ripley), then a cowboy movie (All the Pretty Horses). I can’t follow it up with a gay-cowboy movie!”

57 One of 100 in D.C.: Abbr. : SEN

Senator (sen.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Not so!” : IT’S A LIE!
8 Modifier for “film” or “pinot” : NOIR
12 *Instructions for premade dinner rolls : BROWN AND SERVE (giving “Brown University”)
14 *Noble couple : DUKE AND DUCHESS (giving “Duke University”)
15 With 4-Down, each year : PER …
16 Election day in the U.S.: Abbr. : TUES
17 Workplaces for scrub nurses, for short : ORS
18 Wrestling combos : TAG TEAMS
21 Come through in the ___ : CLUTCH
24 Completely mistaken : ALL WET
25 With 38-Across, hex that’s hard to shake : BAD …
26 Cotton gin inventor Whitney : ELI
27 Have the wheel : STEER
28 Holier-___-thou : THAN
30 Partiality : BIAS
31 *Latin American side dish that combines two food staples : RICE AND BEANS (giving “Rice University”)
34 *Title pair in a 2004-07 Nickelodeon sitcom : DRAKE AND JOSH (giving “Drake University”)
37 Practically an eternity : EONS
38 See 25-Across : … MOJO
39 Set aside for later : TABLE
43 Bath tissue layer : PLY
44 Earth Day’s mo. : APR
45 Word of caution : CAVEAT
46 Items scattered on bridal paths : PETALS
48 Almond-flavored liqueur : AMARETTO
50 Cool, in dated slang : HEP
51 Ancient kingdom in modern-day Jordan : EDOM
52 Sn, to chemists : TIN
53 *Eponymous founders of a Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer : SMITH AND WESSON (giving “Smith College”)
58 *Duo of magicians who are the longest-running headliners in Las Vegas history : PENN AND TELLER (giving “Penn, the University of Pennsylvania”)
59 Bit of pond scum : ALGA
60 Mark ___, longtime game show partner of Bill Todman : GOODSON

Down

1 Rankle : IRK
2 Sock tip : TOE
3 Try to hit, as a fly : SWAT AT
4 See 15-Across : … ANNUM
5 Fills a cargo hold : LADES
6 Unaffiliated voters: Abbr. : INDS
7 URL ending associated with the beginnings of the answers to the six starred clues : EDU
8 P.M. who inspired a 1960s jacket : NEHRU
9 Trilogy of tragedies by Aeschylus : ORESTEIA
10 I.C.U. drippers : IVS
11 Hi-___ monitor : RES
12 Enter to steal from : BURGLE
13 Upbraid : SCOLD
14 Gave out hands : DEALT
15 School support grps. : PTAS
19 Shakes one’s booty : TWERKS
20 Unnervingly strange : EERIE
21 Positive kind of attitude : CAN-DO
22 Extended family : CLAN
23 Sound of contemptuous disapproval : HISS
25 Hootenanny instrument : BANJO
28 Barbershop quartet voice : TENOR
29 Pilgrimage to Mecca : HADJ
30 “Act like you’re supposed to!” : BEHAVE!
32 Sleeps in a tent, say : CAMPS
33 Rigel or Spica, by spectral type : B STAR
34 Johnny of 2005’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” : DEPP
35 Part to play : ROLE
36 “Can I get you ___?” : ANYTHING
40 Casino patron : BETTOR
41 Language of 15-Across 4-Down : LATIN
42 School founded by Henry VI : ETON
44 ___ male : ALPHA
45 Caravan animals : CAMELS
47 Insurance giant based in Hartford : AETNA
48 Supplement : ADD TO
49 Cut the lawn : MOWED
51 Prefix meaning “within” : ENDO-
53 Employer of a masseur : SPA
54 Brooks with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards : MEL
55 “Brokeback Mountain” director Lee : ANG
56 ___-pitch softball : SLO
57 One of 100 in D.C.: Abbr. : SEN

15 thoughts on “0220-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Feb 19, Wednesday”

  1. @Bill … I seem to have verified that any post on this blog under the form of my name that I have always used (with a nickname replacing my first name) just silently disappears. When you get a chance, could you look into it? (Meanwhile, I’ll just use my full name,) Thanks …

    1. @David Kennison
      Sure enough, your earlier comments ended up in the spam folder. I have “unspammed” them, which process should get you on the “nice” list. As you pointed out earlier, the fact that you made a lot of posts in a row might have aroused the suspicions of the paranoid anti-spam filter. Let’s hope things are sorted now.

  2. 9:29 Glad to see the site up and running again. Also glad to see where I went to undergrad, Rice University, mentioned…..just wish it wasn’t necessarily in connection with beans….

    Best –

  3. I hate to say it but I had one square wrong on this easy as pie puzzle. I had 33-Down as BETA R. I thought it somehow was using the Greek alphabet to classify stars. The cross JOEH didn’t make any sense but I stubbornly went with it anyway.

    Being inflexible has always been a problem for me. When I have something that looks obviously wrong, I need to learn to loosen up and consider other possibilities.

  4. Arg! Dale, I made the same mistake. I had never heard of Drake and Josh – I had Drake and Joe H.
    Otherwise it was a fairly quick fill for a Wednesday.

  5. I reviewed this puzzle this morning after quickly finishing it yesterday then running off to an appointment. Fixed one error only to find out that I should have looked more closely at questionable new words to me. The most obvious being SCERD instead of SCOLD. 4 errors. But still agree that it was a very easy Wednesday

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