0214-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 20, Friday

Constructed by: Daniel Larsen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band led by Iggy Pop : THE STOOGES

Iggy Pop is a punk rock performer from Muskegon, Michigan. When he was in high school, he was a drummer for a local band called the Iguanas, and so was given the nickname “Iggy”. He was the vocalist for a band called the Stooges, and is often referred to as the Godfather of Punk.

19 See 20-Across : STAR
20 19-Across pitcher : ACE

That would be baseball.

27 0 on the Beaufort scale : DEAD CALM

The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

31 Billionaire philanthropist ___ Broad : ELI

Eli Broad made his fortune in real estate and was one of the founders of Kaufman and Broad, a construction company that we know these days as KB Homes. Broad is the only person to have created two companies that made the Fortune 500 list (KB Homes and SunAmerica).

32 Some road trip entertainment : AUDIO BOOKS

Love ‘em. Have done for decades …

34 Basement feature : SUMP

The term “sump” has been used for a “pit to collect water” since the middle of the 17th century. Prior to that, “sump” meant “marsh, morass”.

38 Former Supreme Court justice William : BRENNAN

William J. Brennan was an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court for almost 34 years. Brennan was appointed to the Court by President Eisenhower in 1956. President Clinton presented Justice Brennan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.

41 Low, low price, in an expression : SONG

Going for a song.

46 Losing money : IN THE RED

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

51 Message in smoke signals, maybe : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

53 “___ So Fine,” 1963 #1 hit for the Chiffons : HE’S

“He’s So Fine” is a great little song that was released by the Chiffons in 1962. Famously, the owners of the rights to the song sued George Harrison in 1971, claiming that he was guilty of plagiarising “He’s So Fine” in writing his hit “My Sweet Lord”. Harrison was found guilty of “subconscious” plagiarism. In a strange twist, the Chiffons recorded a version of “My Sweet Lord” a year before the case was decided.

59 ___ Douglas-Home, 1960s British P.M. : ALEC

Sir Alec Douglas-Home was Prime Minister of the UK from 1963 to 1964. Nowadays the British Prime Minister is chosen from the membership of the House of Commons, and Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last Prime Minister to be chosen from the House of Lords. He had to give up his peerage though (he was the Earl of Home) in order to take up the post.

60 Corellia, to Han Solo : HOME PLANET

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

63 Roman counterpart of the Greek goddess Selene : LUNA

“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

64 “Flash Gordon” genre : SPACE OPERA

Space opera is a type of science fiction with storylines that resemble those in westerns, but set in outer space in the future. The term “space opera” derives from “horse opera”, which is used to describe formulaic western films.

Down

3 ___ Candy, friend of Wonder Woman : ETTA

Etta Candy was introduced into Wonder Woman’s universe by DC Comics in 1942. She started out as an undernourished young woman who Wonder Woman encountered in a local hospital. The next time Etta appeared in the comics, she was a rather rotund woman who claims to have been rejuvenated by eating candy. That was 1942 …

4 Thought experiment in quantum physics : SCHRODINGER’S CAT

Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian theoretical physicist, one of the so-called “fathers of Quantum Mechanics”. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 for developing the Schrödinger Equation, the “Newton’s Law” of Quantum Mechanics. Famously, Schrödinger devised a thought experiment that illustrates the concept of a paradox. The scenario, known as “Schrödinger’s Cat”, presents us with a cat that can be both alive and dead at the same time. I used to think that I understood Schrödinger’s Cat, and then I became old and wise, and recognized my weaknesses …

8 Composer Puccini : GIACOMO

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

9 Automotive sponsor of “Wagon Train” in the 1950s : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

“Wagon Train” is a TV Western that originally aired from 1957 until 1965. The show (which I loved as a kid) was inspired by a 1950 John Ford movie called “Wagon Master”. The televison series is about a wagon train making its way from Missouri to California.

12 Get tangled up : RAVEL

While “to avel” can mean “to get tangled up”, the term is usually used to mean “to unravel, disentangle”. Yep, “ravel” and “unravel” mean the same thing!

14 Constitutional amendment regarding states’ rights : TENTH

The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution deals with the relationship between the federal government and the states of the union. The gist of the amendment, as I understand it, is that the federal government possesses only those powers specifically called out in the Constitution, and all remaining powers belong to the state or to the people.

21 Rebus symbol for “everything” : AWL

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, a picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”, and a picture of an “awl” might represent the word “all”.

24 1987 #1 hit with Spanish lyrics : LA BAMBA

“La Bamba” is a folk song from Veracruz, Mexico that became a huge hit for Ritchie Valens in 1958. The most notable cover version of the Valens hit was recorded by Los Lobos in 1987 as the title track of 1987 movie “La Bamba”.

26 Kim Jong-un and others : DESPOTS

A despot is a ruler with absolute power, and often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century that is ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.

Did you know that the official leader of North Korea is actually dead? Kim Jong-il carried out the responsibilities of the country’s leader until his death in 2011, when his son Kim Jong-un took over. However, Kim Jong-il’s father Kim Il-sung (d. 1994) is designated in the North Korean constitution as “Eternal President”.

28 Capital of Latvia : EURO

The euro sign (€) looks like a letter C, but with two horizontal lines drawn across the middle. Inspiration for the design comes from the Greek letter epsilon.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

29 Mideast’s Gulf of ___ : ADEN

The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

30 Actress Anderson of old TV : LONI

Loni Anderson’s best-remembered role was Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

33 Grammy-winning metal band with a tasty-sounding name : KORN

Korn is an alternative metal band from Bakersfield, California. The band’s name is derived from a fan suggestion of “Corn”. The suggested name was considered too bland and so was prettied up to Korn, with the letter “r” capitalized and written backwards.

35 Georgia was once a part of it : USSR

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

36 Social media phenomenon : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

37 V.A. concern : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1930 to manage pre-existing government benefits for war veterans. Some of those benefits dated back to the Continental Congress. Today, the most visible benefit is probably the network of VA medical centers that provide comprehensive healthcare services to veterans.

45 Nellie who circumnavigated the world : BLY

“Nellie Bly” was a pen name used by American journalist Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in Eighty Days”. She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the “eighty days”. The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman …

47 Precious collection of Queen Victoria : OPALS

Queen Victoria ruled over the UK from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign saw the expansion of the British Empire, especially with the incorporation of British possessions on the Indian subcontinent. Indeed, for the last quarter century of her reign, Victoria also used the title Empress of India.

49 Author Ferrante of the “Neapolitan Novels” : ELENA

Elena Ferrante is an Italian author, best known for her 4-part series known as the “Neapolitan Novels”. What is very interesting about “Ferrante” is that the moniker is a pseudonym, and no one seems to know the author’s real name. There is some speculation that “Elena” is in fact a man.

54 §, in a legal footnote: Abbr. : SECT

Section (sect.)

58 Greek η’s : ETAS

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

60 Presidential monogram : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

62 Not just a “heh” : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

es” class=”bordered_link”>

Read on, or …
… return to top of page

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band led by Iggy Pop : THE STOOGES
11 Intermediate gait : TROT
15 Do thumb traveling? : HITCH A RIDE
16 Someone who’s well-off : HAVE
17 “Well, then …” : IN THAT CASE …
18 Balanced : EVEN
19 See 20-Across : STAR
20 19-Across pitcher : ACE
21 “No you ___!” : AREN’T
22 Tankerful : OIL
25 Successor language to Common Brittonic : OLD WELSH
27 0 on the Beaufort scale : DEAD CALM
31 Billionaire philanthropist ___ Broad : ELI
32 Some road trip entertainment : AUDIO BOOKS
34 Basement feature : SUMP
38 Former Supreme Court justice William : BRENNAN
39 (x, y), in math : OPEN SET
41 Low, low price, in an expression : SONG
42 Subuniverses : MICROCOSMS
44 Lessen : EBB
46 Losing money : IN THE RED
47 Superimposed : OVERLAIN
51 Message in smoke signals, maybe : SOS
52 Chummy : PALSY
53 “___ So Fine,” 1963 #1 hit for the Chiffons : HE’S
55 Deal with it : COPE
59 ___ Douglas-Home, 1960s British P.M. : ALEC
60 Corellia, to Han Solo : HOME PLANET
63 Roman counterpart of the Greek goddess Selene : LUNA
64 “Flash Gordon” genre : SPACE OPERA
65 Trousers part : SEAT
66 Driving distractions : TEXT ALERTS

Down

1 No, not that! : THIS!
2 Very small amount : HINT
3 ___ Candy, friend of Wonder Woman : ETTA
4 Thought experiment in quantum physics : SCHRODINGER’S CAT
5 Fourth letter in Arabic : THA
6 Kind of grass : OAT
7 Apex predator of the sea : ORCA
8 Composer Puccini : GIACOMO
9 Automotive sponsor of “Wagon Train” in the 1950s : EDSEL
10 Date : SEE
11 “You’re doomed!” : THERE IS NO ESCAPE!
12 Get tangled up : RAVEL
13 Things with timers : OVENS
14 Constitutional amendment regarding states’ rights : TENTH
21 Rebus symbol for “everything” : AWL
23 Much-admired person : ICON
24 1987 #1 hit with Spanish lyrics : LA BAMBA
26 Kim Jong-un and others : DESPOTS
27 Uses a tissue, maybe : DABS
28 Capital of Latvia : EURO
29 Mideast’s Gulf of ___ : ADEN
30 Actress Anderson of old TV : LONI
33 Grammy-winning metal band with a tasty-sounding name : KORN
35 Georgia was once a part of it : USSR
36 Social media phenomenon : MEME
37 V.A. concern : PTSD
40 Second coming? : ECHO
43 Premium channel since 1980 : CINEMAX
45 Nellie who circumnavigated the world : BLY
47 Precious collection of Queen Victoria : OPALS
48 Prize : VALUE
49 Author Ferrante of the “Neapolitan Novels” : ELENA
50 “Fingers crossed!” : I HOPE!
54 §, in a legal footnote: Abbr. : SECT
56 Remarkable person : ONER
57 Cheeky : PERT
58 Greek η’s : ETAS
60 Presidential monogram : HST
61 Word with sweet or snow : … PEA
62 Not just a “heh” : LOL

11 thoughts on “0214-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 20, Friday”

  1. 18:53. I finished everything except the SW, and I just had to start guessing vowels to get OPALS, ALEC, ELENA, and LUNA. Then I just got lucky.

    I didn’t know KORN is spelled with the “R” capitalized and reversed. Written that way, it’s the last letter of the Russian alphabet “ya” which happens to mean the same as our first person singular, “I”. No idea if there’s any significance in that as far as their name is concerned.

    LONI Anderson is now considered “old tv”?? Yikes.

    Steve – I’m not certain of that either, but maybe I can think of ONE R two ways to use it in a sentence….

    Best –

  2. 27:30 after an 11 hour drive. I had high hopes after immediately filling in “The Stooges” and “Korn”, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call the vegetable ‘tasty’. Thank you Big Bang Theory for “Schrödingers Cat” and Jeff? Sorry to say that Loni Anderson is 74. Yeah, we’re old….

  3. There was a theme for this puzzle: Schrodinger’s Cat. Theme answers was Schrodinger’s Cat at 4 Down and There Is No Escape at 11 Down.

  4. According to Lexico.com it’s informal, archaic British; as in “So that makes him a oner, instead of a twoer or a threeer.” I know, I rolled my eyes too.

  5. 50:43 no errors….I had to refer to “my notes” from previous puzzles for some help especially in the SW corner and no I don’t know the first and last names of everyone to ever serve on the Supreme Court

  6. I also needed a bit of luck in the south west but still ended up with
    SEAT/….SCAM for a one square error. Also had RIGA for a bit before
    changing it to EURO after a “Doh!” moment.

  7. 19:20, no errors. I like puzzles that stretch my thinking. Had to construct entries that I didn’t know. Thought Iggy Pop was British, (have not heard of The Stooges). Have never heard the band Korn, but have heard ‘of’ the band. Same reaction seeing Loni Anderson and ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ referred to as “old tv’.

    @Bill: I think there is a minor typo in 12D ‘to avel’. Sent me searching for some archaic verb ‘avel’, but couldn’t find any.

  8. Enjoyed this puzzle a lot. One write-over in the SW corner: had SEAm before SEAT, which was filled by Schrodinger’s CAT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.