0203-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Feb 20, Monday

Constructed by: Michael Schlossberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Animal Body Parts

Themed answers are animal parts:

  • 20A Theme song for “Rocky III” : EYE OF THE TIGER
  • 28A Height of excellence, metaphorically : THE BEE’S KNEES
  • 46A Hangover remedy in which one continues drinking : HAIR OF THE DOG
  • 57A Classic horror tale by W. W. Jacobs : THE MONKEY’S PAW

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 50s

Bill’s errors: 2

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Crumbly cheese in a Greek salad : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

5 ___ Xtra (Dr Pepper alternative) : PIBB

The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

9 World faith founded in Persia : BAHA’I

The Baha’i Faith is relatively new in the scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i scripture specifies some particular architectural requirements for houses of worship, including that the building have nine-sided, circular shape. It is also specified that there be no pictures, statues or images displayed within a temple.

14 Fatty ingredient in pie crust : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

15 Raison d’___ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

18 Prized blackjack cards : ACES

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

20 Theme song for “Rocky III” : EYE OF THE TIGER

“Rocky III” is the movie in which Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) goes up against Clubber Lang (Mr. T). “Rocky III” is a forgettable film, but Mr. T was grateful for his role no doubt as it launched his career and landed him a spot on television’s “The A-Team”. Also making an appearance was professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, an appearance that raised his profile as well and kick-started his career outside of the ring. But for me the most memorable thing is the song “Eye of the Tiger”, which was commissioned for “Rocky III”. A great tune …

23 ___ Hawkins of “Li’l Abner” : SADIE

Sadie Hawkins is a character in Al Capp’s comic strip “Li’l Abner”. Sadie was in search of a husband and so declared a “Sadie Hawkins Day” in which she chased the local men in a foot race, with marriage as the prize when one was caught. Starting in 1938, Sadie Hawkins Dances were introduced in schools across the US, to which the woman invites the man of her choosing.

24 Red wine choice, for short : ZIN

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

25 Combat sport fought in a cage: Abbr. : 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.

28 Height of excellence, metaphorically : THE BEE’S KNEES

There was a whole series of phrases involving animals that developed in the 1920s, with all designed to indicate a superlative. Some are still around today, such as “the cat’s pajamas” and “the bee’s knees”. Others didn’t last too long, e.g. “the eel’s ankle” and “the snake’s hip”.

33 Company nicknamed “Big Blue” : IBM

The origin of the IBM nickname “Big Blue” seems to have been lost in the mists of time. That said, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the IBM logo is blue, and almost every mainframe they produced was painted blue. I remember visiting IBM on business a few times in my career, and back then we were encouraged to wear white shirts and blue suits “to fit in” with our client’s culture.

37 Lowly laborers : PEONS

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

43 Singer Mann : AIMEE

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

44 “No seats remaining” sign : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

45 “I 💗 Mom” on a bicep, e.g. : TAT

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

46 Hangover remedy in which one continues drinking : HAIR OF THE DOG

The hair of the dog is an alcoholic drink that is taken to lessen the symptoms of an existing hangover. The expression is written more completely as “the hair of the dog that bit you”. It originated with the belief that if a dog bit someone, placing some hairs of the dog into the wound who fend off the potential of rabies. The more contemporary practise is to treat a hangover with a glass of the same alcoholic drink that caused it in the first place.

51 Surgery sites, briefly : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

62 Wiener topper that’s “sauer” : KRAUT

“Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changes its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

64 Common downtown street name : MAIN

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forego the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

65 Killer whale : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

67 ___ Domini : ANNO

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

Down

1 Chimney pipes : FLUES

The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

2 Course that’s a cakewalk : EASY A

The Cakewalk is a dance that originated in the African American community from the “Prize Walk”, in the days of slavery. The Prize Walk was a procession in which couples “walked” with as much style as possible, with the intent of winning the big prize, a large cake. Our term “cakewalk”, meaning something easily accomplished, derives from this tradition. The expression “take the cake” has the same etymology.

4 Deft : ADROIT

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

5 Bog fuel : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

6 Poison ivy reaction : ITCH

Two of the plants that are most painful to humans are poison oak and poison ivy. Poison oak is mainly found west of the Rocky Mountains, and poison ivy to the east.

10 Sheltered, at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

12 The “A” of MoMA : ART

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

26 High-I.Q. bunch : MENSA

If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

29 Fuel economy authority, for short : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

30 Athletic club? : BAT

The Oakland Athletics (OAK) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968. Today, the Athletics are usually referred to as “the A’s”.

31 Speed limit letters, abroad : KPH

Kilometres per hour (kph)

33 State known for its potatoes : IDAHO

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me …

34 Br’er Rabbit’s hideaway : BRIAR

“Briar” is a generic name describing several plants that have thorns or prickles, including the rose. Famously, Br’er Rabbit lives in a briar patch.

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The “Uncle Remus” stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.

39 “On ___ Majesty’s Secret Service” : HER

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is the sixth of the James Bond series films, and the only one to star George Lazenby in the leading role. He wasn’t a great choice for 007 …

40 Help-wanted inits. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

44 Doo-wop rock band that performed in the movie “Grease” : SHA NA NA

Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties, hosted the variety show “Sha Na Na” from 1977 to 1981, and are still performing today.

48 Supreme Court justice Clarence : THOMAS

Clarence Thomas is the second African American to serve on the US Supreme Court. Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall who was the first American with African heritage to serve. Thomas is generally regarded as the most conservative member of the court. He doesn’t have a lot say, verbally anyway. Thomas made a joking remark in January 2013 during oral argument, the first time he had spoken at all during oral argument for almost seven years.

55 Chinese region dubbed the “Vegas of Asia” : MACAU

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. It was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

56 Feathered Tchaikovsky dancers : SWANS

“Swan Lake” is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette’s “evil twin”. Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina. Odette’s love interest is Prince Siegfried, the only character in the ballet to appear in all four acts.

58 ___ Lewis and the News : HUEY

Huey Lewis and the News are a local band out here in the Bay Area, based in San Francisco. When the movie “Ghostbusters” came out in 1984, the band sued Ray Parker, Jr. who wrote the film’s theme song, claiming that it was very similar to their own song “I Want a New Drug”. The case was settled out of court, and the following year “Huey Lewis and the News” made the most of an opportunity to write a movie theme themselves. Their smash hit “The Power of Love” was written for “Back to the Future”, and propelled the band into stardom.

59 Periodic Sicilian erupter : 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”.

60 Piece between a bishop and a queen : KING

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

61 Son of Seth : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve, and nephew of Cain and Abel. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

62 Flattens in boxing, for short : KOS

A kayo is a knockout (KO).

63 Issa of HBO’s “Insecure” : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Crumbly cheese in a Greek salad : FETA
5 ___ Xtra (Dr Pepper alternative) : PIBB
9 World faith founded in Persia : BAHA’I
14 Fatty ingredient in pie crust : LARD
15 Raison d’___ : ETRE
16 Warning : ALERT
17 App customer : USER
18 Prized blackjack cards : ACES
19 Old-school “Cool!” : NEATO!
20 Theme song for “Rocky III” : EYE OF THE TIGER
23 ___ Hawkins of “Li’l Abner” : SADIE
24 Red wine choice, for short : ZIN
25 Combat sport fought in a cage: Abbr. : MMA
28 Height of excellence, metaphorically : THE BEE’S KNEES
33 Company nicknamed “Big Blue” : IBM
36 Paper for jotting notes on : PAD
37 Lowly laborers : PEONS
38 Feature of a 95° day in Phoenix, but not Miami : DRY HEAT
41 Not outsourced : IN-HOUSE
43 Singer Mann : AIMEE
44 “No seats remaining” sign : SRO
45 “I 💗 Mom” on a bicep, e.g. : TAT
46 Hangover remedy in which one continues drinking : HAIR OF THE DOG
51 Surgery sites, briefly : ORS
52 Cry of discovery : AHA!
53 Wanders : ROAMS
57 Classic horror tale by W. W. Jacobs : THE MONKEY’S PAW
62 Wiener topper that’s “sauer” : KRAUT
64 Common downtown street name : MAIN
65 Killer whale : ORCA
66 Like some whiskey barrels : OAKEN
67 ___ Domini : ANNO
68 Need for a cash-strapped car buyer : LOAN
69 “Peace out!” : SEE YA!
70 Slumps : SAGS
71 Burden : ONUS

Down

1 Chimney pipes : FLUES
2 Course that’s a cakewalk : EASY A
3 Out on a limb, literally : TREED
4 Deft : ADROIT
5 Bog fuel : PEAT
6 Poison ivy reaction : ITCH
7 Glided effortlessly (through) : BREEZED
8 Favoritest friend : BESTIE
9 Gun noise : BANG!
10 Sheltered, at sea : ALEE
11 “I know you think this is a ludicrous idea, but …” : HEAR ME OUT …
12 The “A” of MoMA : ART
13 “Who am ___ judge?” : I TO
21 “Bah!” : FEH!
22 Drop-___ (unexpected visitors) : INS
26 High-I.Q. bunch : MENSA
27 Real estate or money in the bank : ASSET
29 Fuel economy authority, for short : EPA
30 Athletic club? : BAT
31 Speed limit letters, abroad : KPH
32 Prefix with classical : NEO-
33 State known for its potatoes : IDAHO
34 Br’er Rabbit’s hideaway : BRIAR
35 “Oops, sorry!” : MY MISTAKE!
39 “On ___ Majesty’s Secret Service” : HER
40 Help-wanted inits. : EEO
41 Fury : IRE
42 Doze (off) : NOD
44 Doo-wop rock band that performed in the movie “Grease” : SHA NA NA
47 Mom, pop and the kids, say : FAM
48 Supreme Court justice Clarence : THOMAS
49 Suffix with direct or deposit : -ORY
50 Leave the band to make it big on one’s own : GO SOLO
54 Cook’s garment : APRON
55 Chinese region dubbed the “Vegas of Asia” : MACAU
56 Feathered Tchaikovsky dancers : SWANS
58 ___ Lewis and the News : HUEY
59 Periodic Sicilian erupter : ETNA
60 Piece between a bishop and a queen : KING
61 Son of Seth : ENOS
62 Flattens in boxing, for short : KOS
63 Issa of HBO’s “Insecure” : RAE

6 thoughts on “0203-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Feb 20, Monday”

  1. 5:52. I was out of town when this puzzle first came out so I’m catching up now. BEES KNEES is new to me.

    The only real issue I had was the clue for 41A. I read is as “Not outscored” so INHOUSE made no sense to me. It pays to read these things more closely.

    Best –

  2. 40 min – 2 errors (49D and 57A) ORS and MONKESS.
    Now it would have been better for me to have Re-read 49D. I put in DEPOSIT(ORS) and DIRECTOR(S). In proof reading I had to persist in think that was the Operating Room, which was already used in 51A. I wanted MONEYS but it just didn’t fit. Looked up MONKESS and sure enough the word exists, but is (rare) usage of a female MONK; a Nun. FEH!

    I wonder what Bill’s mistakes were.

  3. 8:52, no errors. Marching to the same drummer as @Jeff &@Jack; in my case it is old age……..and minuscule fonts used for clues.

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