0228-19 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Randolph Ross
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Jays, Bees, Seas and Peas

Themed clues use homophones of the letters J, B, C and P to refer to pairs words starting with those letters:

  • 16A Blue jays : JASMINE AND JEANS (blue jasmine & blue jeans)
  • 26A Honey bees : BADGERS AND BEARS (honey badgers & honey bear)
  • 33A Dry eyes : ICE AND INK (dry ice & dry ink)
  • 46A High seas : COMEDY AND CRIMES (high comedy & high crimes)
  • 59A Green peas : PEACE AND PEPPERS (Greenpeace & green peppers)

Bill’s time: 11m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Crowd on the move : HORDE

The Golden Horde was a group of Mongols who ruled over what is now Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the Caucasus, from the 1240s until 1502. It has been suggested that the name of the group derives from the yellow tents used by the rulers of the Golden Horde. And, the Golden Horde’s influence and rule led to the term “horde”, meaning large crowd, entering the English language via many languages spoken in Slavic Eastern Europe.

14 Crossing the keel : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

19 Game with 501 points : DARTS

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

24 Bygone compacts : GEOS

Geos were small vehicles manufactured by General Motors mainly in the nineties. Geos were designed to compete head-to-head with the small imports that were gaining market share at the time in the US. Some Geo models that you might remember are the Metro, the Prizm and the Storm. The cars were actually built as joint-ventures with Japanese manufacturers. The Prizm was a GM/Toyota project, the Metro was GM/Suzuki, and the Storm was GM/Isuzu.

30 “I can see clearly now” : AHSO

The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.

31 Second-largest moon of Saturn : RHEA

Rhea is the second-largest of Saturn’s moons, and the ninth-largest of all the moons in our solar system. The moon is named after the Titan Rhea from Greek mythology. Unlike our moon, Rhea might have an atmosphere of sorts, and even rings.

32 Alternative to AOL : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

33 Dry eyes : ICE AND INK (dry ice & dry ink)

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). The material’s main use is to preserve food and for cooling in general. It is also used in fog machines in theaters and haunted houses.

38 Abbr. at a tire shop : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

41 To boot : ALSO

The noun “boot” was used once to describe something of advantage in trying to accomplish a goal. This obsolete term really only exists in the adverb “to boot” meaning “in addition, over and above”, literally “to advantage”.

42 Autobahn auto : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

51 Candy bar with chocolate and caramel around a wafer : TWIX

I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in the British Isles. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979. The name “Twix” is a portmanteau of “twin bix”, short for “twin biscuit”.

52 Tributary of the Rio Grande : PECOS

The Pecos River rises north of the village of Pecos in New Mexico, and flows almost a thousand miles before entering the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas.

53 Gandhi and others, for short : PMS

Prime Minister (PM)

Indira Gandhi’s father was Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. Indira herself became prime minister in 1966. She was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards, as she was walking to meet Peter Ustinov who was about to interview her for Irish television.

57 Follower of debate in the General Assembly, in brief : UN VOTE

The Allies of World War II were the countries opposing the Axis powers, the most prominent of which were Germany, Japan and Italy. When war broke out in 1939, the Allies consisted of France, Poland and the UK, with the independent countries of the British Commonwealth, such as Australia and Canada, joining a few days later. Although the Americans provided material support to the Allies throughout the conflict, the US did not officially join until December 1941, immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It took until 1942 for the member countries to agree on a formal treaty of cooperation, doing so in a document known as the Declaration by United Nations. This declaration became the basis of the United Nations (UN), with the UN Charter being signed by 50 countries in 1945.

64 Farm refrain : E-I-E-I-O

There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

Down

1 Leon Uris novel, with “The” : HAJ

“The Haj” is a novel by the very successful American author Leon Uris. Set in Palestine in the first half of the 20th century, the novel follows the life of a Palestinian named Ishmael against the backdrop of the political events taking place in the area in that period of time.

2 Shortest Old Testament book : OBADIAH

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Hebrew Bible. It consists of just one chapter that is divided into 21 verses.

5 Albert Einstein, notably : EMIGRE

After Albert Einstein moved to the US in 1933, he became quite a celebrity and his face was readily recognizable. Einstein was frequently stopped in the street by people who would naively ask him if he could explain what “that theory” (i.e. the theory of relativity) was all about. Growing tired of this, he finally learned to tell people that he was sorry, but folks were constantly mistaking him for Albert Einstein!

6 ‘L’ train overseer, for short : CTA

The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

8 Funny Foxx : REDD

Redd Foxx was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, best known for starring in “Sanford and Son”. “Sanford and Son” was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called “Steptoe and Son”.

9 Indian chief : RAJA

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

11 Thunder, but not Lightning : NBA TEAM

The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team arrived in the city in 2008 after relocating from Seattle, where they were named the SuperSonics. The “Thunder” name was chosen as a reference to Oklahoma City’s exposure to the storms of Tornado Alley, and to the 45th Infantry Division “Thunderbirds” who were headquartered there until 1968.

12 Bleeps : CENSORS

The original censor was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

13 QB’s accumulation: Abbr. : YDS

In football, a goal of the quarterback (QB) is to gain yards (yds.).

15 Nikola Tesla’s countrymen : SERBS

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

20 Not yet on the sched. : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

25 Private info, for short : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

28 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”.

35 Seat of White Pine County, Nev. : ELY

Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station, and then experienced a mining boom after copper was discovered locally in 1906. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.

37 China’s Chiang ___-shek : KAI

Chiang Kai-Shek was the leader of the Nationalist Movement in China right through to the end of WWII. The Nationalists lost out in a Civil War to the Communists backed by the Soviet Union after war, and Chiang Kai-Shek and his government were forced to flee to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek claimed rule over China from Taiwan until his death in 1975.

38 Election fig. : PCT

Percent (pct.)

39 Unlikely source of a silk purse : SOW’S EAR

The old proverb “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” was apparently coined by English clergyman Stephen Gross in his 1579 story “Ephemerides”. Gosson wrote therein “Seekinge too make a silke purse of a Sowes eare.”

43 Lots of : UMPTEEN

The word “umpty” was introduced as slang for a Morse code dash. In the early 1900’s, the same term came to mean “of an indefinite number”, and was associated with the numerals divisible by ten, i.e. twenty, thirty, forty etc. The extended adjective “umpteen” began to appear during WWI as army slang.

45 Magazine no. : ISS

Issue (iss.)

47 Tough-to-win horse racing bet : EXACTA

To win a bet called an exacta (also called “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second, and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

48 Certain intimate apparel sizes : D-CUPS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

50 Got back (to) : RSVP’ED

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

58 Andy Taylor’s kid on old TV : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

59 Keglers’ org. : PBA

Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)

A kegler is a person who plays ten-pin bowling. “Kegel” is a German word meaning “bowling pin”.

62 Kind of pad : SOS

“S.O.S” is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Crowd on the move : HORDE
6 Valuable paper : CURRENCY
14 Crossing the keel : ABEAM
15 It holds water : STREAM BED
16 Blue jays : JASMINE AND JEANS (blue jasmine & blue jeans)
18 “Watch out!” : DANGER!
19 Game with 501 points : DARTS
20 ___ plate : TIN
21 Temple title : RABBI
24 Bygone compacts : GEOS
26 Honey bees : BADGERS AND BEARS (honey badger & honey bear)
30 “I can see clearly now” : AHSO
31 Second-largest moon of Saturn : RHEA
32 Alternative to AOL : MSN
33 Dry eyes : ICE AND INK (dry ice & dry ink)
38 Abbr. at a tire shop : PSI
41 To boot : ALSO
42 Autobahn auto : AUDI
46 High seas : COMEDY AND CRIMES (high comedy & high crimes)
51 Candy bar with chocolate and caramel around a wafer : TWIX
52 Tributary of the Rio Grande : PECOS
53 Gandhi and others, for short : PMS
54 Much of the back of a baseball card : STATS
57 Follower of debate in the General Assembly, in brief : UN VOTE
59 Green peas : PEACE AND PEPPERS (Greenpeace & green peppers)
63 AA and AAA : BATTERIES
64 Farm refrain : E-I-E-I-O
65 Parts of tourist guides : AREA MAPS
66 Jobs at a body shop : DENTS

Down

1 Leon Uris novel, with “The” : HAJ
2 Shortest Old Testament book : OBADIAH
3 Smooths over : RESANDS
4 Very, informally : DAMN
5 Albert Einstein, notably : EMIGRE
6 ‘L’ train overseer, for short : CTA
7 Caterer’s container : URN
8 Funny Foxx : REDD
9 Indian chief : RAJA
10 Surface : EMERGE
11 Thunder, but not Lightning : NBA TEAM
12 Bleeps : CENSORS
13 QB’s accumulation: Abbr. : YDS
15 Nikola Tesla’s countrymen : SERBS
17 ___ miss : NEAR
20 Not yet on the sched. : TBA
22 Without exception : BAR NONE
23 Like a crisp picture, say : IN HD
25 Private info, for short : SSN
27 “There but for the grace of God ___” : GO I
28 Opus ___ : DEI
29 Kick out for good : BAN
34 Real heel : CAD
35 Seat of White Pine County, Nev. : ELY
36 “Now!” : ASAP!
37 China’s Chiang ___-shek : KAI
38 Election fig. : PCT
39 Unlikely source of a silk purse : SOW’S EAR
40 Mirror : IMITATE
43 Lots of : UMPTEEN
44 Teacher’s punishment : DEMERIT
45 Magazine no. : ISS
47 Tough-to-win horse racing bet : EXACTA
48 Certain intimate apparel sizes : D-CUPS
49 Traffic director : CONE
50 Got back (to) : RSVP’ED
55 Abound : TEEM
56 Tegan and ___ (pop duo) : SARA
58 Andy Taylor’s kid on old TV : OPIE
59 Keglers’ org. : PBA
60 Quick drink : NIP
61 Paris’s Jardin ___ Tuileries : DES
62 Kind of pad : SOS

10 thoughts on “0228-19 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 19, Thursday”

  1. A long slog but I stayed with it for almost two hours, having the time to waste.
    And my only reason for doing so was to enjoy those “aha” moments when the wordplays revealed themselves.
    No lookups but lots of erasures.
    Soul building.

  2. 12 minutes and no errors. This site would not load for me earlier in the day. Anyone else have that problem?

  3. @eureka joe –

    Yeah, I tried all day after doing the puzzle Thursday morning and never got it to come on. Glad to see it’s back today (4/5) .

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