0212-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Rich Proulx
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: God

Themed answers each include a set of circled letters that spell out the name of a god. The first letter of each themed answer is the realm controlled by that god:

  • 62A What each set of circled letters is, relative to the first word in its answer : GOD
  • 17A Optimistic maxim from Virgil : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “VENUS”, god of love)
  • 27A Reliable things, to Ben Franklin : DEATH AND TAXES (hiding “HADES”, god of death)
  • 43A They make loud noises during showers : THUNDERSTORMS (hiding “THOR”, god of thunder)
  • 54A Overly optimistic 1910s appellation : WAR TO END ALL WARS (hiding “ARES”, god of war).

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Vegetable that can get slimy when overcooked : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

14 Frozen treats : SNO-CONES

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

16 Locale in the Lord’s Prayer : HEAVEN

“… on earth as it is in heaven” are words from “The Lord’s Prayer”.

17 Optimistic maxim from Virgil : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “VENUS”, god of love)

“Omnia vincit amor” is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as “love conquers all”.

Venus was the Roman goddess of love and, according to Roman myth, was the mother of the Roman people. Her Greek counterpart was Aphrodite.

22 Jacob had 12 of them : SONS

In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob’s sons were:

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

23 Call to a toreador : OLE!

“Toreador” is an old Spanish word meaning “bullfighter”, but it’s a term not used any more in Spain nor in Latin America. In English we use the term “toreador”, but in Spanish a bullfighter is a “torero”. A female bullfighter in a “torera”.

24 Genre for Fall Out Boy : EMO

Fall Out Boy is a rock band from Chicago that formed in 2001.

27 Reliable things, to Ben Franklin : DEATH AND TAXES (hiding “HADES”, god of death)

In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy dated 13 Nov 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In classical mythology, the god of the underworld was named Hades. Over time, “Hades” came to mean the underworld itself and the name for the god became “Pluto”. Pluto’s character was more positive than the god Hades, and he represented a more rewarding afterlife compared to that offered by the darker Hades.

30 Business index, with “the” : DOW

Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day. The most famous of these metrics is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as “the Dow 30” or simply “the Dow”.

31 Chi-Town or Beantown team : SOX

The Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team was established in Chicago in 1900 and originally was called the White Stockings. The name was changed because the abbreviation “Sox” for “Stockings” was regularly used in newspaper headlines.

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so command a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

32 Team sharing an arena with the Flyers, informally : SIXERS

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team is one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. The “Sixers” were formed in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals. The team moved to Philadelphia in 1963, and the name 76er was chosen in a fan contest, a name that honors the men who fought for the country’s independence in 1776.

The Philadelphia Flyers hockey team was founded in 1967. The team’s name was chosen using a “name-the-team” fan contest.

37 About : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

38 Mint in a tin : ALTOID

Altoids breath mints have been around since 1780, when they were introduced in Britain. The famous tin in which Altoids are sold is often reused for other purposes. The most famous use is as a container to hold a mini-survival kit.

42 Extra periods, in brief : OTS

Overtime (OT)

43 They make loud noises during showers : THUNDERSTORMS (hiding “THOR”, god of thunder)

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

47 Lead-in to a Pen used by nurses : EPI-

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

48 Old Pontiacs : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

50 Actress Hagen : UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

51 Car rental add-on : GPS

Global positioning system (GPS)

54 Overly optimistic 1910s appellation : WAR TO END ALL WARS (hiding “ARES”, god of war).

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

60 Phrase on an egg carton : ONE DOZEN

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

61 Pest : NOODGE

“Noodge” is a slang term meaning “to nag”, or as a noun meaning “nag”. It comes into English from the Yiddish word “nudyen” meaning “to bore, be tedious”.

Down

1 Where Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is displayed : OSLO

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian expressionist, and most famous for his painting “The Scream”, painted in 1893. What a wonderful work that is, a true representation of expressionism. The Munch Museum in Oslo is dedicated to his work and life. In 2004, two of Munch’s paintings, “The Scream” and “Madonna”, were stolen from the Munch Museum by armed robbers who subdued the museum guards. The paintings were missing for two years, but recovered in 2006.

2 Apt radio station to air “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” (and it does!) : KNOW

Chicago Public Radio produces one of my favorite radio shows, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” It is indeed a fun game show, hosted by Peter Sagal. The “Morning Edition” newsreader Carl Kasell used to act as judge and scorekeeper, until he retired in 2014. There should be more game shows of that ilk on the radio, in my humble opinion …

4 Hole in one : ACE

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

7 Name ender for a lawyer : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

11 “Me” in the Oscar-winning song “You Must Love Me” : EVA

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

12 Moray, e.g. : EEL

Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.

13 Where an artist works on a sketch, for short? : SNL

SNL

15 Lorena who was the #1 female golfer for 158 consecutive weeks : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

25 Paid soldiers, informally : MERCS

Mercenary (merc.)

26 Mount near Olympus : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

28 Leaps on the ice : AXELS

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

30 Home to India’s Red Fort and Lotus Temple : DELHI

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

36 Fertilizer found in caves : BAT GUANO

Guano is the droppings of seabirds, bats and seals. It is prized as fertilizer as it doesn’t really smell, and contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. The word “guano” means “seabird droppings” in the Quechua language spoken in the Andes region of South America.

45 Dahl who wrote “James and the Giant Peach” : ROALD

“James and the Giant Peach” is a 1961 children’s novel by British author Roald Dahl. The title character is a young orphan who enters into a surreal world inside a huge, magical peach.

53 Entries on 1040s, for short : SSNS

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deductions. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

55 Start of a Latin conjugation : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

56 Old auto with its founder’s monogram : REO

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

58 Pad Thai pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

The delicious dish called pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Vegetable that can get slimy when overcooked : OKRA
5 Exhausted, with “up” : ATE …
8 Basketball shots from beyond the arc : THREES
14 Frozen treats : SNO-CONES
16 Locale in the Lord’s Prayer : HEAVEN
17 Optimistic maxim from Virgil : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “VENUS”, god of love)
19 “You ___ me one” : OWE
20 Chart topper : HIT
21 Fanfare : POMP
22 Jacob had 12 of them : SONS
23 Call to a toreador : OLE!
24 Genre for Fall Out Boy : EMO
27 Reliable things, to Ben Franklin : DEATH AND TAXES (hiding “HADES”, god of death)
30 Business index, with “the” : DOW
31 Chi-Town or Beantown team : SOX
32 Team sharing an arena with the Flyers, informally : SIXERS
33 Means of control : REINS
35 Bit of Halloween décor : WEB
37 About : CIRCA
38 Mint in a tin : ALTOID
40 Research facility : LAB
42 Extra periods, in brief : OTS
43 They make loud noises during showers : THUNDERSTORMS (hiding “THOR”, god of thunder)
46 Nurse : SIP
47 Lead-in to a Pen used by nurses : EPI-
48 Old Pontiacs : GTOS
49 Pasta ___ Norma : ALLA
50 Actress Hagen : UTA
51 Car rental add-on : GPS
54 Overly optimistic 1910s appellation : WAR TO END ALL WARS (hiding “ARES”, god of war).
59 “Let me try that again …” : I MEANT …
60 Phrase on an egg carton : ONE DOZEN
61 Pest : NOODGE
62 What each set of circled letters is, relative to the first word in its answer : GOD
63 Tumbler turners : KEYS

Down

1 Where Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is displayed : OSLO
2 Apt radio station to air “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” (and it does!) : KNOW
3 Ramble : ROVE
4 Hole in one : ACE
5 Selects, as a successor : ANOINTS
6 Circus : TENT SHOW
7 Name ender for a lawyer : ESQ
8 Parents and grandparents, in teen lingo : THE OLDS
9 Airtight : HERMETIC
10 Scrape : RASP
11 “Me” in the Oscar-winning song “You Must Love Me” : EVA
12 Moray, e.g. : EEL
13 Where an artist works on a sketch, for short? : SNL
15 Lorena who was the #1 female golfer for 158 consecutive weeks : OCHOA
18 Atop : UPON
22 Affixed, like a patch : SEWN ON
24 Puts forth, as effort : EXERTS
25 Paid soldiers, informally : MERCS
26 Mount near Olympus : OSSA
27 Throw a party grandly : DO IT UP
28 Leaps on the ice : AXELS
29 Starts to geometric proofs : AXIOMS
30 Home to India’s Red Fort and Lotus Temple : DELHI
33 “Shoot!” : RATS!
34 Indirect, as a glance : SIDELONG
36 Fertilizer found in caves : BAT GUANO
39 Use up : DEPLETE
41 Alternative to canned : BOTTLED
44 Director Johnson : RIAN
45 Dahl who wrote “James and the Giant Peach” : ROALD
49 Not much : A TAD
51 Stare intensely : GAZE
52 Hunted animals : PREY
53 Entries on 1040s, for short : SSNS
54 Come out ahead : WIN
55 Start of a Latin conjugation : AMO
56 Old auto with its founder’s monogram : REO
57 Follow relentlessly : DOG
58 Pad Thai pan : WOK

2 thoughts on “0212-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 20, Wednesday”

  1. 12:49. I saw VENUS in the first set of circles and assumed it was a planet based theme. I then got the A in the second set of circles and thought it might be “earth”. It wasn’t. In the end it was a pretty interesting theme.

    Best –

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