0224-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Feb 19, Sunday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Everything Evens Out in the End

Themed answers each comprise two parts. The second part is made by dropping the even letters from the first:

  • 121A “How lucky was that?” … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
  • 21A *Likely inexpensive place to get one’s hair done : SMALL-TOWN SALON
  • 40A *Tourist activity in northern Scandinavia : REINDEER RIDE
  • 59A *Source of call-ups, in baseball lingo : THE FARM TEAM
  • 64A *Posting that blows in the wind : SWINGING SIGN
  • 72A *Has little excitement for : IS NOT TOO INTO
  • 84A *Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : PROTEST POET
  • 99A *Bottom-of-page design choice : FOOTNOTE FONT

Bill’s time: 26m 30s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • MMA (MTA)
  • SAILOR MOON (Sailor Toon!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Solo partner : CHEWBACCA

Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”. The most notable Wookiee is Chewbacca (aka “Chewie”), the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo who serves as co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

10 Multidecker sandwich : CLUB

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling “club” in Saratoga Springs, New York.

18 Word that follows “standard” and means something nonstandard : … DEVIATION

In the world of statistics, the standard deviation (std. dev.) is a measure of how closely data points are clustered around the mean value. A low standard deviation indicates a relatively tight distribution. A standard deviation is usually represented by the Greek letter sigma in lower case.

20 Nettie’s sister in “The Color Purple” : CELIE

Whoopi Goldberg played Celie Harris Johnson in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”, the 1985 screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alice Walker.

24 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

26 Brownish tint : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

28 Final: Abbr. : ULT

Ultimate (ult.)

33 Jolly time : YULE

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

35 Sports rival of Union College, for short : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

36 Chemistry unit: Abbr. : MOL

Molecule (mol.)

49 Chinese dynasty ended by Kublai Khan : SONG

Kublai Khan was leader of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294. Kublai Khan was a grandson of Genghis Khan. Kublai Khan had a summer garden at Kanadu, which famously was the subject of the 1797 poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

55 Lockup, to Sherlock : GAOL

Both “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same way, mean the same thing, and are rooted in the same Latin word for “cave”. The spelling “gaol” is seen quite often in the UK, although it is gradually being replaced with “jail”. The “gaol” spelling has Norman roots and tends to be used in Britain in more formal documentation.

62 Virgil described its eruption in the “Aeneid” : 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”.

67 Serenaded : SANG TO

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

84 *Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : PROTEST POET

Allen Ginsberg was a poet from from Newark, New Jersey whose name became inextricably linked with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s. His most famous work is the 1955 poem “Howl”, in which Ginsberg denounces capitalism and conformity in the US.

89 Bird akin to the nene? : DODO

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

90 Arab country expelled from the Arab League in 2011 : SYRIA

The Arab League was formed in 1945 in Cairo with six founding members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. As a result of events during the 2011 Arab Spring, the Arab League has suspended Syria’s membership.

94 Governing org. of soccer : FIFA

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA, standing for “Fédération Internationale de Football Association”) is the governing body of the game of soccer.

103 Spanish muralist José María ___ : SERT

José Maria Sert was a painter of murals from Catalan. He was a good friend of fellow-artist Salvador Dali.

105 Actor Cariou : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize Cariou from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

108 Pb : LEAD

Plumbum is the Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those popes was leaking.

112 U.F.C. fighting style : MMA

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.

118 ___-Magnon man : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

127 Seated yoga pose : LOTUS

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

130 What the Joneses may elicit : ENVY

The phrase “keep up with the Joneses”, meaning “want the best and the most expensive things”, was popularized by the comic strip called “Keep up with the Joneses” that first appeared in American newspapers in 1913. The eponymous “Jones” family never appeared in person in the strip, but were referred to constantly,

Down

1 Bank offerings, for short : CDS

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

7 A.F.L. partner : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

13 Part of N.B. : BENE

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”, and is abbreviated to “NB”.

14 Hula dancer’s adornment : LEI

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

15 Subject of many conspiracy theories : ILLUMINATI

Although there were several groups known as the Illuminati, the reference is usually to the Bavarian Illuminati founded in 1776. It was a secret society, and as such was the subject of many rumors and conspiracy theories, which eventually led to the Illuminati being banned by local government and the Roman Catholic Church. Famously, Dan Brown featured the Illuminati in his best-selling 2003 novel “Angels & Demons”.

27 One of South Africa’s capitals : PRETORIA

Pretoria is the executive capital of South Africa (RSA), and one of three capital cities in the country. Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.

30 Don who won an Oscar for “Cocoon” : AMECHE

Don Ameche was such a gentleman. He starred in the fun movie “Trading Places” in 1983, and was required to use the “f-word” in the script. According to co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, Ameche went around the set before the scene was shot, and apologized in advance to everyone for having to use bad language.

31 Converted splits : SPARES

In ten pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is a knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

34 Holiday marking the end of Ramadan : EID

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is traditionally a period of fasting. The faithful who observe Ramadan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk everyday, a lesson in patience, humility and spirituality.

41 Winter Olympics host before Salt Lake City : NAGANO

Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

45 Wearers of striped shirts : REFS

A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of the official uniform.

54 Mini maker : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

56 Jargons : LINGOS

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. “Journalese” and “legalese” would be good examples.

“Jargon” can mean nonsensical and meaningless talk, or the specialized language of a particular group, trade or profession. The term is Old French, with the more usual meaning of “a chattering”. How apt …

65 Tower construction material : IVORY

In modern usage, an ivory tower is an environment focused on education and intellectual pursuits while isolated from the practicalities of everyday life. The term is often used to describe academia. “Ivory tower” originated in the Song of Solomon in the Bible with the the line “Your neck is like an ivory tower”.

69 Howe nicknamed “Mr. Hockey” : GORDIE

Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player. Regarded as one of the game’s greatest players, Howe is sometimes referred to as “Mr Hockey”. He is the only hockey player to have competed in the NHL for five decades (from the forties through the eighties), and holds the NHL record for most games and most seasons played.

76 Pranks, in a way, informally : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

86 Some Spanish babysitters : TIAS

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “padre” (father) is your “tia” (aunt).

87 Art studio prop : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

95 HuffPo purchaser in 2011 : AOL

“The Huffington Post” (now “HuffPost”) is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.

104 Mother ___ : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

109 Role in “Our Gang” or “Queen Sugar” : DARLA

The marvelous series of “Our Gang” comedy short films was also known as “The Little Rascals”. The series was produced by Hal Roach starting in 1922, and running up until 1944. There were 220 “Our Gang” film shorts made in all, and one feature film title “General Spanky” released in 1936.

“Queen Sugar” is a TV drama that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile. It’s all about three estranged siblings who reunite to save their family’s failing sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

111 “To the Lighthouse” novelist : WOOLF

Virginia Woolf was an English author who was active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay entitled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

122 The Sun Devils, for short : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

124 Opus ___ : DEI

Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic institution that was founded in Spain in 1928, and officially approved by the church in 1950. In 2010, Opus Dei had over 90,000 members, mostly lay people. The institution’s mission is to promote certain aspects of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Opus Dei was portrayed as a sinister organization by Dan Brown in his novel “The Da Vinci Code”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Solo partner : CHEWBACCA
10 Multidecker sandwich : CLUB
14 Stack at Starbucks : LIDS
18 Word that follows “standard” and means something nonstandard : … DEVIATION
19 Abundant : RIFE
20 Nettie’s sister in “The Color Purple” : CELIE
21 *Likely inexpensive place to get one’s hair done : SMALL-TOWN SALON
23 During the time that : WHILST
24 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
25 Auctioneer’s cry : SOLD!
26 Brownish tint : SEPIA
28 Final: Abbr. : ULT
29 En ___ (chess move) : PASSANT
33 Jolly time : YULE
35 Sports rival of Union College, for short : RPI
36 Chemistry unit: Abbr. : MOL
37 Wee devil : IMP
38 Cry like a baby : MEWL
40 *Tourist activity in northern Scandinavia : REINDEER RIDE
44 Backpack filler : GEAR
46 “I dare you!” : DO IT!
48 Make a quick move : DART
49 Chinese dynasty ended by Kublai Khan : SONG
50 It’s groovy : SCREW
52 Get to the bottom of : PLUMB
55 Lockup, to Sherlock : GAOL
57 Villain’s hideout : LAIR
59 *Source of call-ups, in baseball lingo : THE FARM TEAM
61 Prefix with culture : AGRI-
62 Virgil described its eruption in the “Aeneid” : ETNA
63 “You got it, boss man!” : YES, SIR
64 *Posting that blows in the wind : SWINGING SIGN
67 Serenaded : SANG TO
71 Odyssey : VOYAGE
72 *Has little excitement for : IS NOT TOO INTO
77 Florentine : spinach :: lyonnaise : ___ : ONIONS
82 Curry go-with : NAAN
83 To be abroad? : ETRE
84 *Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : PROTEST POET
88 Baby beavers : KITS
89 Bird akin to the nene? : DODO
90 Arab country expelled from the Arab League in 2011 : SYRIA
91 Green, in a way : SOLAR
92 Word cried before and after “all” : LIES
94 Governing org. of soccer : FIFA
96 Reaction of shock : GASP
98 Analytics fodder : DATA
99 *Bottom-of-page design choice : FOOTNOTE FONT
103 Spanish muralist José María ___ : SERT
105 Actor Cariou : LEN
106 Place for a bouquet : URN
107 Boston’s Mass ___ : AVE
108 Pb : LEAD
110 Away from the wind : LEEWARD
112 U.F.C. fighting style : MMA
113 Get Wired again, say : RENEW
116 Hotel visit : STAY
118 ___-Magnon man : CRO
119 Scarecrow portrayer Ray : BOLGER
121 “How lucky was that?” … or a hint to the answers to the starred clues : WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
127 Seated yoga pose : LOTUS
128 Well-being : EASE
129 Seriously worry : LOSE SLEEP
130 What the Joneses may elicit : ENVY
131 Tater : SPUD
132 “Crazy Rich Asians” actress whose stage name puns on a bottled water brand : AWKWAFINA

Down

1 Bank offerings, for short : CDS
2 Fashion line : HEM
3 Fashion model Marcille : EVA
4 Documents that name executors : WILLS
5 Tree resin used in fragrances : BALSAM
6 On the same wavelength : ATTUNED
7 A.F.L. partner : CIO
8 Bullies : COWS
9 Grate on : ANNOY
10 Charging station for a smartphone : CRADLE
11 Rapper ___ Yachty : LIL
12 Sci-fi saucers : UFOS
13 Part of N.B. : BENE
14 Hula dancer’s adornment : LEI
15 Subject of many conspiracy theories : ILLUMINATI
16 Knocking out of place : DISLODGING
17 End a lawsuit, say : SETTLE
20 Musical ___ : CHAIRS
22 Speak indistinctly : SLUR
23 Erase : WIPE
27 One of South Africa’s capitals : PRETORIA
29 Oink-filled pen : PIGSTY
30 Don who won an Oscar for “Cocoon” : AMECHE
31 Converted splits : SPARES
32 1400 : TWO PM
34 Holiday marking the end of Ramadan : EID
39 Feature of a Welsh accent : LILT
41 Winter Olympics host before Salt Lake City : NAGANO
42 Dreadfully slow : DRAGGY
43 List in the credits : ROLES
45 Wearers of striped shirts : REFS
47 Calendar column: Abbr. : TUE
51 Part of a trunk : WAIST
53 Worker often found on hands and knees : MASON
54 Mini maker : BMW
56 Jargons : LINGOS
58 Bled : RAN
60 Not to be seen or heard by children : R-RATED
65 Tower construction material : IVORY
66 Men : GENTS
68 Infrequently : NOT OFTEN
69 Howe nicknamed “Mr. Hockey” : GORDIE
70 Restrict with a string : TIE OFF
72 Challenge for a stain remover : INK
73 Popular Japanese manga series with a schoolgirl heroine : SAILOR MOON
74 Counterpart of local channels : NATIONAL TV
75 Beginning : ONSET
76 Pranks, in a way, informally : TPS
78 Mini, for one : IPOD
79 “How fancy!” : OO LA LA!
80 Like a tidied-up room, now : NEATER
81 Bit of hair : STRAND
85 Alternative to .net : ORG
86 Some Spanish babysitters : TIAS
87 Art studio prop : EASEL
93 Alternatives to nets : SNARES
95 HuffPo purchaser in 2011 : AOL
97 Make easier to eat, as an infant’s food : PRECHEW
99 Clumsily drop : FUMBLE
100 Finished : OVER
101 Like a set of measuring cups, typically : NESTED
102 “Later, luv!” : TA-TA!
104 Mother ___ : TERESA
109 Role in “Our Gang” or “Queen Sugar” : DARLA
111 “To the Lighthouse” novelist : WOOLF
114 ___ milk : EWE’S
115 Swatting sound : WHAP!
117 “Jeez, that’s hot!” : YEOW!
120 Man : GUY
122 The Sun Devils, for short : ASU
123 “No, you shouldn’t have” : TSK!
124 Opus ___ : DEI
125 Iniquity site : DEN
126 Springs for a vacation? : SPA

8 thoughts on “0224-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Feb 19, Sunday”

  1. 58:53. Quite a struggle, but I survived. Very impressive theme – at least in terms of creating it. I could only sense the theme while doing the puzzle. I had to look at the NYT blurb last night to see the whole thing. I saw E Agard as the setter, and the puzzle did not disappoint.

    IS NOT TOO INTO IT has got to be a debut answer. I kept racking up vowels there, and I assumed I had made a mistake somewhere until I saw it.

    Best –

  2. 1 hr 17 min. No errors.
    “Sorta” got the theme but didn’t quite get it until Bills explanation.
    This puzzle went from obscure Chinese dynasties to IMO obscure rappers to Star Wars trivia etc
    Tough one but we got it.

  3. About an hour and 20 minutes. No errors. Did not really get the theme until I got here which makes the whole no error thing kind of a fluke!

  4. 58:19, 2 errors on a couple pieces of nonsense I couldn’t decipher. Another waste of a puzzle filled with Shortz’s manufactured difficulty.

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