0207-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Feb 20, Friday

Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 11m 04s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • KATANAS (katinas)
  • EQUABLY (equibly!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 ___ 500 : S AND P

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company that is famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to AA+.

6 Building manager, informally : SUPE

Supervisor (supe)

10 Mimics Nicki Minaj : RAPS

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from the New York borough of Queens who was born in Trinidad.

14 Role for Nichelle Nichols and Zoë Saldana : UHURA

Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, and is played by Nichelle Nichols. The role is significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first interracial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner claims that he deliberately ran long on the first take (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second take (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

American actress Zoë Saldana played the Na’vi princess in “Avatar”, and Uhura in the 2009 movie “Star Trek” (and sequels). Saldana seems to pick the right movies, as she is the only actress to have three different films in the top twenty at the box office for three consecutive weeks (“Avatar”, “The Losers” and “Death at a Funeral”).

15 Sue at Chicago’s Field Museum, e.g. : T REX

The largest and best preserved dinosaur fossil ever found can be seen on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The fossil is a Tyrannosaurus rex that is thought to have weighed over 7 tons when alive. It was discovered in South Dakota in 1990 by paleontologist Sue Hendrickson. The specimen is nicknamed “Sue” after Hendrickson.

20 Tar : SEAMAN

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

23 Adolph Coors or Frederick Pabst : MASTER BREWER

Adolph Coors founded the Coors brewing company in 1873, in Golden, Colorado. Coors was originally from the Rhine Province in Prussia, and worked in various brewers around what is today Germany before immigrating to the US in 1868. Despite all of his success as a brewer here in America, Coors ended up taking his own life in 1929, by jumping to his death out of a hotel window.

Frederick Pabst was a brewer from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area who had immigrated to the US from Prussia with his parents. Pabst bought himself into his father-in-law’s small brewery and over the years grew the enterprise into a public company. The most famous beer from Pabst is of course Pabst Blue Ribbon.

30 Big name in cosmetics : AVEDA

Horst Rechelbacher was travelling in India in 1970 when he was introduced to the Hindu science of longevity called Ayurveda, which inspired him to set up his own company of skin and hair care products that he called Aveda. The company opened its doors in 1978 and is based in Blaine, Minnesota.

32 Actress ___ Dawn Chong : RAE

Rae Dawn Chong is the daughter of Tommy Chong, of “Cheech and Chong” fame. Rae Dawn acted in quite a few films in the eighties and nineties, including “The Color Purple” and “Commando”.

36 Samurai swords : KATANAS

A katana is a curved sword worn by the samurai of Japan. A katana is sometimes referred to as a “samurai sword”.

38 Car company that sponsors the World Cup : KIA

The International Federation of Association Football (“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” in French) is usually referred to by the acronym “FIFA”. FIFA is the governing body of the game of soccer (association football), and the organizer of the FIFA World Cup held every four years.

49 Comics title character who says “Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery” : CALVIN

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

54 Pittsburgh is its most populous city : APPALACHIA

The Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh was named in 1758 for British statesman and future prime minister William Pitt the Elder. Originally known as Fort Duquesne, the settlement was renamed after it was captured from the French during the Seven Years’ War. The most commonly used nicknames for Pittsburgh are “Steel City”, referring to the history of steel-related industry, and “City of Bridges”, referring to the 446 bridges in the metropolis.

60 Special ops force : SEALS

“SEAL” is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

61 Super Bowl LIII winners, informally : PATS

The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.

Down

1 Tanning agent : SUN

Melanin is a natural pigment found in most organisms. In humans, melanin is the pigment in the skin, the production of which accelerates in response to UV radiation causing a “suntan”. Melanin is also what is released as cephalopod ink, a defensive cloud squirted into the water by squids and octopodes.

2 “Eureka!” moments : AHAS

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

5 Emmy-nominated host of “Top Chef” : PADMA LAKSHMI

Padma Lakshmi is a model from India. She is very much into cooking and has published an award-winning cookbook. Lakshmi is now the host of the American TV show “Top Chef”.

8 Something a bodybuilder might flex, informally : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

10 Breakfast quantity : RASHER

What we tend to call “Canadian bacon” in the US, we know as “rashers” on the other side of the Atlantic. One of my uncles worked in the meat trade in Dublin, and his nickname was “Rasher”.

13 Fencing piece : SABER

A saber (sometimes “sabre”) is a sword with a curved blade and a relatively large hand guard. It is thought that the term originated with the Hungarian verb “szabni” meaning “to cut”.

22 Certain P.R., in two different senses : PRESS RELEASE

Public relations (PR)

Press release (PR)

26 Say mockingly : JAPE

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600s, “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke …!

33 Fictional Ethiopian princess : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

44 Equivocates : WAVERS

The verb “to equivocate” comes from the Latin “aequus” meaning “equal” and “vocare” meaning “to call”. So, to equivocate is “to call equally”, and is used in the sense of giving equal emphasis to two sides of an argument, to be non-committal, to hedge, to equivocate. So, something described as “unequivocal” is the opposite, is unambiguous and clear.

45 Farmer’s place, in song : DELL

“The Farmer in the Dell” is a nursery rhyme and singing game that probably originated in Germany.

The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

47 Lightweight wood : BALSA

Balsa is a very fast-growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

51 Muay ___ (martial art) : THAI

Muay Thai is a combat sport that originated in Thailand. It is also known as “the art of eight limbs”, a reference to the combined use of the fist, elbows, knees and shins.

55 Plague : POX

A pox is any of the diseases that produces “pocks” on the skin, eruptive pustules. The pox might perhaps be smallpox or chickenpox. But, when cursing someone by saying “a pox on you” the reference is to the “great pox”, namely syphilis.

57 Intensifying suffix, in modern slang : -ASS

As in “bad-ass” and “hard-ass”.

54 Ocean State sch. : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ 500 : S AND P
6 Building manager, informally : SUPE
10 Mimics Nicki Minaj : RAPS
14 Role for Nichelle Nichols and Zoë Saldana : UHURA
15 Sue at Chicago’s Field Museum, e.g. : T REX
16 Glow : AURA
17 Seminal William S. Burrows novel, 1959 : NAKED LUNCH
19 Proof of purchase : STUB
20 Tar : SEAMAN
21 Galaxy competitor : IPHONE
23 Adolph Coors or Frederick Pabst : MASTER BREWER
26 Crown ___ : JEWELS
29 “Te ___” (Spanish words of affection) : QUIERO
30 Big name in cosmetics : AVEDA
31 Corporate bigs : SUITS
32 Actress ___ Dawn Chong : RAE
35 Start of a citation : PER …
36 Samurai swords : KATANAS
38 Car company that sponsors the World Cup : KIA
39 Before, in odes : ERE
40 Sty occupants : SLOBS
41 Some marsh flora : REEDS
43 Spinning : AWHIRL
45 Help to cover : DEFRAY
46 “The fault lies here” : I BLAME MYSELF
49 Comics title character who says “Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery” : CALVIN
50 Folds : PLEATS
53 Instead : ELSE
54 Pittsburgh is its most populous city : APPALACHIA
58 Manipulative sort : USER
59 Ring bearers : TOES
60 Special ops force : SEALS
61 Super Bowl LIII winners, informally : PATS
62 Course obstacle : EXAM
63 Defaults? : EDITS

Down

1 Tanning agent : SUN
2 “Eureka!” moments : AHAS
3 Quickly heat up : NUKE
4 Fantasized : DREAMED
5 Emmy-nominated host of “Top Chef” : PADMA LAKSHMI
6 ___ double : STUNT
7 Spigot site : URN
8 Something a bodybuilder might flex, informally : PEC
9 Case opener : EXHIBIT A
10 Breakfast quantity : RASHER
11 Bodybuilder? : AUTOWORKER
12 Trim : PRUNE
13 Fencing piece : SABER
18 Miss : LASS
22 Certain P.R., in two different senses : PRESS RELEASE
24 In an even manner : EQUABLY
25 Remains : RUINS
26 Say mockingly : JAPE
27 “Do I ___!” : EVER
28 “Good to go!” : WE’RE ALL SET!
31 Rant and rave : STORM
33 Fictional Ethiopian princess : AIDA
34 “Careful now” : EASY
37 Put off : ALIENATE
42 Erased : EFFACED
44 Equivocates : WAVERS
45 Farmer’s place, in song : DELL
46 Freeze : ICE UP
47 Lightweight wood : BALSA
48 Sudden movement : SPASM
51 Muay ___ (martial art) : THAI
52 It may be fine in a stream : SILT
55 Plague : POX
56 ___-brained : PEA
57 Intensifying suffix, in modern slang : -ASS

12 thoughts on “0207-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Feb 20, Friday”

  1. 49:14 Have never seen Top Chef, so that down answer was filled in slowly by across answers. Stared at “Sandp” the whole time, thinking it was supposed to be an auto race. “Vex” instead of “pox” initially also didn’t help….tough on for this kid….

  2. 23:07. Same error area as Bill’s. EQUABLY? I had EQUAlLY and SLOLS – something I just didn’t catch or I’d have at least tried something else.

    RASHER is totally new to me as well.

    PADMA LAKSHI has been in other puzzles. I had taken note of her only because one of the judges on the show, Tom Colicchio, has a really nice steakhouse here in Las Vegas, and I went there for a bachelor party not long ago.

    Best –

  3. 51:53 and somehow no errors…for me to finish an Agard puzzle is a win…..to finish one where he teams up (as he usually does lately) was ( for me) an even bigger win despite A NONNY MUSS saying it was easy

  4. 22:06, no errors. Challenging clues. Had the same ‘I’ error as @Bill (and others) in EQUIBLY for a long time, but knew that 36A had to be KATANA. I think we were conflating it with ‘equitably’. Also wanted EQUALLY but SLOLS didn’t make sense. Was trying to justify it with some kind of nickname for swine. Eventually SLOBS popped into my head.

    1. For 5D, luckily I was thinking along the lines of Padme Amidala (Star Wars character), so PADMA LAKSHMI didn’t seem too far, far away.

  5. Luckily many of the more difficult fills sounded faintly familiar – So I was able to make sense of them with the help of the crosses. Naked lunch, katanas, rasher and Padma Lakshmi. No errors on a Friday puzzle generally means I do poorly in Friday nights poker tournament. That will not be the case tonight – as all tournaments have been canceled due to the worldwide health concerns. Stay well!

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