0210-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Feb 20, Monday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Cinematic Phases

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as if related to the movie industry:

  • 17A Suitable for moviemaking? : WORTH A SHOT
  • 23A Movie munchkin, maybe? : A LITTLE EXTRA
  • 37A Movie clip where the grips, boom operator and gaffer all appear? : CREW CUT
  • 47A Finalize the music for the movie? : SETTLE A SCORE
  • 57A Redo of a movie scene? : DOUBLE TAKE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Mafia enforcer, e.g. : THUG

Murderers and robbers given to harassing travelers in India were known locally as “thuggees”, from the Hindi word for “thief”. This gave us our contemporary word “thug”, meaning “brute”.

15 What Tarzan swings on : VINE

Liana (also “liane”) is a vine that generally grows in moist areas such as rain forests. Lianas grow using the trees in the forest as structural support. My bet is that Tarzan swung from tree to tree on liana vines …

16 College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name Killian.

20 ___ Taylor (clothing chain) : ANN

There was no actual person named “Ann Taylor” associated with the Ann Taylor line of clothes. The name was chosen by the marketing professionals because “Ann” was considered to be “very New England” back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and “Taylor” suggested that clothes were carefully “tailored”.

22 Impressionist Claude : MONET

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

23 Movie munchkin, maybe? : A LITTLE EXTRA

“Munchkin” is a word that we use quite commonly these days, usually to describe a young child. The first Munchkins were characters created by L. Frank Baum in his book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, published in 1900.

29 Speedster Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

30 One of the 40 in “the back 40” : ACRE

In the Public Land Survey System, land right across the country is divided into townships and sections. A section is roughly equivalent to a square mile, 640 acres. It became the practice to refer to quarter-quarter divisions of a section, with a quarter of a quarter of a section being equal to 40 acres (check the math!). From this sprung phrases like “lower 40” (nominally the lowest elevation 40 acres on a property) and the “back 40” (nominally a 40 acre parcel that was undeveloped on a property, “out the back”).

31 Big name in kitchen wrap : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

36 ___-Town (the Windy City) : CHI

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. Firstly, that the weather can be breezy with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

37 Movie clip where the grips, boom operator and gaffer all appear? : CREW CUT

On a film set, grips are lighting and rigging technicians who set up the infrastructure that supports lights, cameras etc. The key grip is the leader of the whole team. The first grips were technicians that worked in circuses in its early days. The name “grip” possibly comes from the bags called grips, in which the technicians carried their tools.

Apparently, the word “gaffer” is a contraction of “godfather”, and so originally was used to me “old man”. This usage extended to a foreman or supervisor, and is used most often today to mean the chief electrician on a film set. That said, back in my part of the world we often refer to the “boss” at work as “the gaffer”.

39 HBO rival : SHO

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of The Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

42 Menial laborer : PEON

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 Image on a valentine : HEART

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

52 Bangs on the head? : HAIR

“Bangs” is another word that caught me out when I arrived in the US. “Bangs” back in Ireland are called “a fringe”. Apparently the US term is somehow derived from the name given to the hair on a horse’s head.

53 Tasseled hat : FEZ

Fes (sometimes “Fez”) is the second largest city in Morocco. Fes is home to the Fes el Bali quarter, a walled part of the city that is thought to be the largest car-free urban area in the world. Fes also gave its name to the red felt hat called a “fez”.

63 Author Waugh : ALEC

Alec Waugh was an older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

64 ___ Picture (Oscars category) : BEST

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

65 Midsection of the body : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

Down

1 Japanese consumer electronics brand : AIWA

Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

2 Rodent control brand : D-CON

d-Con is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.

3 Plant with fronds : FERN

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

7 Part of a drum kit : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

8 Card game with Draw Two cards : UNO

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that UNO is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

12 Felix of “The Odd Couple” : UNGER

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon that was first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

13 Fettuccine or farfalle : PASTA

Fettuccine is a popular type of pasta in Italy, particularly in Rome. It is a flat noodle similar to the smaller tagliatelle that is more popular in Bologna. The most common dish made with fettuccine in North America is Fettuccine Alfredo.

23 Civil War prez : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only 2 out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

25 Jacob’s biblical twin : ESAU

Esau is a son of Isaac, and someone whose story is told in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Esau had three wives, Adah, Aholibamah and Bashemath.

26 “J” in a deck of cards : JACK

The playing card known as a jack is also known as a knave. “Knave” was the original term, the same term used for a male servant of a king and queen. The term “jack” came into usage in games played by “common folk” in the 1600s.

28 Optimist’s perspective : BRIGHT SIDE

Always look on the bright side.

31 Mattress brand : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

35 Broadway award : TONY

Sardi’s is a famous restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan that was opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Vincent Sardi, Sr. Sardi’s is famous for attracting celebrities who sometimes pose for caricatures that are then displayed on the restaurant’s walls. After the death of actress and director Antoinette Perry in 1946, her friend and partner Brock Pemberton was having lunch at Sardi’s and came up with the idea of a theater award that could be presented in Perry’s honor. The award was to be called the Tony Award. In fact, Vincent Sardi, Sr. was presented with a special Tony at the first award ceremony, held in 1947.

42 ___✓ (T.S.A. convenience) : PRE-

The Transportation Security Administration operates its precheck program known as “TSA Pre✓” or “TSA PreCheck”). Members of the program receive expedited screening at airports at most airports. In order to become a member, a traveler must apply online, appear in person at a designated office for a background check and fingerprinting, and pay a fee for a 5-year membership.

44 Big name in athletic shoes : ETONIC

Etonic is a manufacturer of sporting shoes that is particularly known for its golf shoes. The company was founded in 1876 in Brockton, Massachusetts and was named for its founder, Charles A. Eaton.

45 Drudgery, in older usage : MOIL

To moil is to toil or to slave away. The verb “to moil” originally applied to laboring in the mire, the swamp. The term comes from the Old French “moillier” meaning “to wet”, as in getting wet in the mire.

47 Letter before tau : SIGMA

Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound, equivalent to our letter S. Sigma is used in mathematics to represent a summation, the adding together of a sequence of numbers.

50 Go by taxi, in slang : CAB IT

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

53 Ump’s call for a batted ball : FAIR

That would be baseball.

55 Digit in binary code : ZERO
58 Digit in binary code : ONE

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

59 W.B.A. result, in brief : TKO

Technical knockout (TKO)

World Boxing Association (WBA)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cost for a radio or TV commercial : AD FEE
6 Mafia enforcer, e.g. : THUG
10 Bra size specification : B-CUP
14 Glacier climber’s tool : ICE AX
15 What Tarzan swings on : VINE
16 College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
17 Suitable for moviemaking? : WORTH A SHOT
19 Hauls with effort : LUGS
20 ___ Taylor (clothing chain) : ANN
21 Geometric calculation : AREA
22 Impressionist Claude : MONET
23 Movie munchkin, maybe? : A LITTLE EXTRA
26 Sharply punched : JABBED
29 Speedster Bolt : USAIN
30 One of the 40 in “the back 40” : ACRE
31 Big name in kitchen wrap : SARAN
33 Ump’s call for a batter : OUT!
36 ___-Town (the Windy City) : CHI
37 Movie clip where the grips, boom operator and gaffer all appear? : CREW CUT
39 HBO rival : SHO
40 Party item that has a tap : KEG
41 Caustic : HARSH
42 Menial laborer : PEON
43 Image on a valentine : HEART
45 Like wetlands : MARSHY
47 Finalize the music for the movie? : SETTLE A SCORE
51 “There, there …” : IT’S OK …
52 Bangs on the head? : HAIR
53 Tasseled hat : FEZ
56 Make headway : GAIN
57 Redo of a movie scene? : DOUBLE TAKE
60 Style of skirt that reaches just below the knees : MIDI
61 Opposed : ANTI
62 Chairlift rider, perhaps : SKIER
63 Author Waugh : ALEC
64 ___ Picture (Oscars category) : BEST
65 Midsection of the body : TORSO

Down

1 Japanese consumer electronics brand : AIWA
2 Rodent control brand : D-CON
3 Plant with fronds : FERN
4 Dine on : EAT
5 What to do after you breathe in : EXHALE
6 Appliance with a screen and a remote : TV SET
7 Part of a drum kit : HI-HAT
8 Card game with Draw Two cards : UNO
9 Understand : GET
10 Mississippi port city with an Air Force base : BILOXI
11 Add up the number of people present : COUNT NOSES
12 Felix of “The Odd Couple” : UNGER
13 Fettuccine or farfalle : PASTA
18 Low-humidity : ARID
22 Had in mind : MEANT
23 Civil War prez : ABE
24 Move suddenly and unsteadily : LURCH
25 Jacob’s biblical twin : ESAU
26 “J” in a deck of cards : JACK
27 Feel sore : ACHE
28 Optimist’s perspective : BRIGHT SIDE
31 Mattress brand : SERTA
32 Sounds at a nursery viewing window : AWS
34 “Someone made a boo-boo!” : UH-OH!
35 Broadway award : TONY
37 White stuff on a blackboard : CHALK
38 Few and far between : RARE
42 ___✓ (T.S.A. convenience) : PRE-
44 Big name in athletic shoes : ETONIC
45 Drudgery, in older usage : MOIL
46 Put in handcuffs : ARREST
47 Letter before tau : SIGMA
48 Cybercommerce : E-TAIL
49 Closes : SHUTS
50 Go by taxi, in slang : CAB IT
53 Ump’s call for a batted ball : FAIR
54 Barely makes it, with “by” : EKES …
55 Digit in binary code : ZERO
57 Small amount of cream : DAB
58 Digit in binary code : ONE
59 W.B.A. result, in brief : TKO

13 thoughts on “0210-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Feb 20, Monday”

  1. 12:13. Struggled way too much for a Monday. I think I’m still half asleep this morning.

    Has anyone in the history of mankind ever finished a roll of SARAN wrap without destroying it first?? It’s impossible.

    Best –

  2. 8:48, no errors. Entertaining Monday puzzle. Lost time with a couple erasures, 11D COUNT HEADS before COUNT NOSES; 53D SAFE before FAIR.

  3. Bangs refers to the other end of the horse, i.e. the tail, not the head. It alludes to the practice of cutting the end of the tail in a straight line across, rather than leaving it in a natural taper. It’s called a bang-cut tail.

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