0223-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Feb 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Web and TV broadcast about celebrities : TMZ LIVE

TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip website launched in 2005. “TMZ” stands for “thirty-mile zone”, a reference to the “studio zone” in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

8 String of churches? : ROSARY

The Rosary is a set of prayer beads used in the Roman Catholic tradition. The name “Rosary” comes from the Latin “rosarium”, the word for a “rose garden” or a “garland of roses”. The term is used figuratively, in the sense of a “garden of prayers”.

14 Many an American Legion member of the ’50s-’60s : WWII VET

The American Legion was formed in 1919 by WWI veterans returning after the Great War. The man who suggested founding the group was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt and himself a veteran of the American Expeditionary Force that served in Europe.

16 Hometown of Kamala Harris : OAKLAND

The city of Oakland, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, was settled by the Spanish in 1772. The area now known as Oakland was called “Encinal” by those early settlers, which translates as “oak grove”, giving the city its name.

Kamala Harris has been a US Senator for California since 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US President in 2020 election.

17 Mob rule? : RIOT ACT

The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act to” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

21 N.B.A. Western Conference team, familiarly : MAVS

The Mavericks are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

27 DSL device : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

29 Evidence of eligibility for senior discounts : AARP CARD

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

31 Milk-derived : LACTIC

The prefix “lacto-” is used in words from the fields of chemistry and biochemistry like “lactose”, “lactic” and “lactase”. The term comes from the Latin “lac” meaning “milk”.

36 Dweller in the Eastern Himalayas : BHUTANI

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia located between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2008, and has been ranked by “Businessweek” as the “happiest” country in Asia.

38 Fruit with a yellow rind : CASABA

A casaba is type of honeydew melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.

39 Evergreens whose leaves are used culinarily : BAY TREES

The seasoning known as bay leaf is the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel tree or shrub. Fresh bay leaves aren’t very flavorful and need to be dried and aged a few weeks before use in the kitchen.

43 Important word in both physics and religion : MASS

We tend to think of the “mass” of an object as the amount of matter present in the object, and often use the term interchangeably with “weight”. The weight of an object depends on the gravitational pull on the object. So and objects weight changes slightly at different altitudes on Earth, and is very different on the Moon, as the gravitational pull changes. However, the mass of the object remains the same no matter what the gravitational pull.

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

47 Conjunction in a rebus puzzle : OAR

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, and s picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”.

50 Hit 2010s sci-fi series in which a single actress plays multiple clones : ORPHAN BLACK

“Orphan Black” is a Canadian sci-fi TV show about several women who discover that they are in fact clones. Star of the show is Tatiana Maslany, who has what must be an exhausting job, playing all of the clones.

56 ___ rights : MIRANDA

The Miranda warning is given by US police officers to suspects in order to ensure that any statements made by the suspect can be used at trial. The warning became part of police procedure after a 1966 Supreme Court decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona. The crux of the court’s decision was that statements made by a suspect during interrogation were only admissible at trial if the defendant was informed of his or her right to consult an attorney, and right to remain silent. The “Miranda” in the case was Ernesto Miranda, who was arrested by the Phoenix PD on suspicion of kidnapping and rape. The Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda’s conviction as his confession was deemed inadmissible. Miranda was rearrested and retried. At the second trial he was convicted without the use of the contested confession.

57 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band named after its leader : SANTANA

Santana is a Latin rock band from by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, when the band was completely unknown.

59 Prey for a jackal : MEERKAT

The meerkat (also called “suricate”) is a mongoose-like mammal that is native to parts of Africa including the Kalahari and Namib Deserts

Jackals are small omnivorous predators and scavengers that are related to the wolf and dog. Jackals have been deliberately crossbred with certain species of dog. One example is the Russian Sulimov dog, a breed developed by crossing Lapponian herder dogs with Turkmen golden jackals. Sulimov dogs are used in Russia for airport security as sniffer dogs.

60 Exceptional athlete : IRON MAN

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

61 Hebrew leaders : ALEPHS

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

Down

3 Mosquito-borne danger in 2016 news : ZIKA VIRUS

The Zika virus causes the disease known as Zika fever, and is mainly spread by the yellow fever mosquito. While the majority of cases of infection result in minor symptoms or even no symptoms at all, Zika virus infections of pregnant women may be linked to newborn microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than normal.

4 Wee wee? : LIL’

Lil’ is a short form of the word “little”.

5 Man’s name that spells a fictional people backward : IVAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

6 Start of an old boast : VENI …

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

7 Strong winds may push them back, in brief : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

20 Did a farrier’s job on : SHOD

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

22 Anatomical dividers : SEPTA

In the world of anatomy, a septum (plural “septa”) is a dividing wall within a chamber or other structure. For example, the interatrial septum separates the left and right atria of the heart, and the nasal septum separates the nostrils of the nose.

27 Dr.’s order : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

28 First-time Winter Olympics participant of 2014 : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

30 Predators of the Amazon : ANACONDAS

Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 550 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing …

32 Around : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

34 Words yawned in the afternoon : I NEED A NAP

Indeed I do …

35 Price abbr. : CTS

When writing an amount of money, the two digits to the right of the decimal point signify a number of cents (cts.).

37 Uncle’s name : SAM

The Uncle Sam personification of the United States was first used during the War of 1812. The “Uncle Sam” term was so widely accepted that even the Germans used it during WWII, choosing the code word “Samland” for “America” in intelligence communiques.

39 Bump on a log : BURL

A burl is a small knot in a piece of wood or in cloth. The term “burl” is derived from the Old French “bourle” meaning “tuft of wool”.

41 Capital NNE of Marrakesh : RABAT

Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.

Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in the northwest African nation of Morocco, with Casablanca, Fes and Tangier being larger.

44 Red-haired film princess : ARIEL

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton. Her best friend is Flounder, who despite his name is not a flounder at all and is actually a tropical fish. Ariel is also friends with Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab whose full name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

45 Bender : SPREE

The terms “jag” and “bender” describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly those involving alcohol. Both words have been in use since the 1800s.

46 Spiffy : SHARP

A spiff is a well-dressed man.

49 Western on A.F.I.’s “100 Years … 100 Movies” list : SHANE

The classic 1953 western movie called “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

51 Symbol of life : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

54 Name attached to a Southeastern “-ville” : KNOX

Knoxville is the third largest city in Tennessee, after Nashville and Memphis. It was also the state’s first capital, serving as such from 1796 until 1817. The city was named for Henry Knox, who was a general in the Revolutionary War and the US’s first Secretary of War.

58 Supply during a boom? : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Web and TV broadcast about celebrities : TMZ LIVE
8 String of churches? : ROSARY
14 Many an American Legion member of the ’50s-’60s : WWII VET
15 “I wouldn’t do that” : BAD IDEA
16 Hometown of Kamala Harris : OAKLAND
17 Mob rule? : RIOT ACT
18 “Yes, that’s it!” : AHA!
19 Best-selling compact S.U.V. introduced in 2007 : NISSAN ROGUE
21 N.B.A. Western Conference team, familiarly : MAVS
23 Blocked from view : HID
24 Captures : NETS
25 Rushes : HIES
27 DSL device : MODEM
29 Evidence of eligibility for senior discounts : AARP CARD
31 Milk-derived : LACTIC
36 Dweller in the Eastern Himalayas : BHUTANI
37 Sticking out : SALIENT
38 Fruit with a yellow rind : CASABA
39 Evergreens whose leaves are used culinarily : BAY TREES
40 Tightly packed, disorderly crowd : SCRUM
42 What ancient Egyptians treated with honey : ACNE
43 Important word in both physics and religion : MASS
47 Conjunction in a rebus puzzle : OAR
48 New contacts, informally : ADDS
50 Hit 2010s sci-fi series in which a single actress plays multiple clones : ORPHAN BLACK
55 Shout of support : RAH!
56 ___ rights : MIRANDA
57 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band named after its leader : SANTANA
59 Prey for a jackal : MEERKAT
60 Exceptional athlete : IRON MAN
61 Hebrew leaders : ALEPHS
62 Celebrity embarrassment, maybe : SEX TAPE

Down

1 Wee hour : TWO AM
2 Villain’s cackle : MWAHAHAHA!
3 Mosquito-borne danger in 2016 news : ZIKA VIRUS
4 Wee wee? : LIL’
5 Man’s name that spells a fictional people backward : IVAN
6 Start of an old boast : VENI …
7 Strong winds may push them back, in brief : ETDS
8 Disappointing news at an outdoor sports event : RAIN DELAY
9 Stink : ODOR
10 Not publicize for now : SIT ON
11 Words to live by : ADAGE
12 Did a film editing job on : RECUT
13 Sally of the Obama administration : YATES
15 Rope, essentially : BRAID
20 Did a farrier’s job on : SHOD
22 Anatomical dividers : SEPTA
26 Hard covers : SCABS
27 Dr.’s order : MRI
28 First-time Winter Olympics participant of 2014 : MALTA
29 Multiple choice choices : ABC
30 Predators of the Amazon : ANACONDAS
32 Around : CIRCA
33 “Riverdale” or “The O.C.” : TEEN DRAMA
34 Words yawned in the afternoon : I NEED A NAP
35 Price abbr. : CTS
37 Uncle’s name : SAM
39 Bump on a log : BURL
41 Capital NNE of Marrakesh : RABAT
43 Parental nickname : MOMMA
44 Red-haired film princess : ARIEL
45 Bender : SPREE
46 Spiffy : SHARP
49 Western on A.F.I.’s “100 Years … 100 Movies” list : SHANE
51 Symbol of life : ANKH
52 Unchanged : AS IS
53 Customer ___ : CARE
54 Name attached to a Southeastern “-ville” : KNOX
58 Supply during a boom? : TNT

10 thoughts on “0223-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Feb 19, Saturday”

  1. 35:36, 15 or 20 frustrating minutes of which were spent in searching for an error: Early on, I entered BWAHAHAHA instead of MWAHAHAHA, giving me TBZ LIVE instead of TMZ LIVE (a name only vaguely familiar to me) and finally had to turn to Google to figure out what was wrong. I suppose, when I put in the final letter of a puzzle and don’t get the happy music, I should just do a “reveal” and take my lumps, but I think I learn more by trying to figure it out for myself and I’m sure that watching the timer tick away as I struggle is a character-building experience … 😜.

    (I also had some problems with ORPHAN BLACK, something I’d never heard of, but crosses finally came to my rescue there.)

  2. After one hour the bottom 5 rows were still pretty much blank and I gave up ….. Orphan black was IMO one of the best shows of the 2010s and I still couldn’t get it. You win some etc etc

  3. Had to google “Orphan black”but otherwise clever puzzle. In particular 2,4, 5, 6, 7 downs.
    One hour with pencil and eraser.

  4. Only error was tBzlive which I should have caught. Agree that Orphan Black rocked and it helped that I could just fill that one in immediately. Had Yemen instead of Malta for awhile for some damn reason but managed to work it out. Fun Saturday.

  5. 30:32, no errors. Do setters deliberately set pitfalls? Equally valid, similarly spelled, entries which are wrong?? Or, are they just coincidences? I had MINERAL rights before MIRANDA, which led me to ARCH and MEERCATS. Also entered BON JOVI before SANTANA, ETAS before ETDS, BOLE and then BOLL before BURL. Only a very vague recollection allowed me to enter TMZ LIVE (and MWAH HA HA) instead of TBZ LIVE. Definitely a two cupper today, enjoyed the challenge.

    1. @BruceB … Re “Do setters deliberately set pitfalls?” …

      I’ve often asked myself that question and I think the answer is, “Sometimes, but mostly not.” I’ve found only a few instances in which I was essentially certain that I’d fallen into a carefully constructed trap and they’ve mostly been in harder puzzles than these, on websites belonging to particular setters (where I think they post things that an editor might not okay).

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