0218-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Feb 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Parallel Park

Today’s grid includes the name of 5 US National PARKS running PARALLEL in the grid, reading from the top left to the bottom right. Those parks are:

  • ARCHES
  • ACADIA
  • REDWOOD
  • GLACIER
  • DENALI

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Word after martial or culinary : … ARTS

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term “martial” ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

Our word “culinary” means “of the kitchen, of food”. The term derives from the Latin “culina” meaning “kitchen, food”. As an aside, “culina” is also the source of our word “kiln”.

5 “Very,” en español : MUY

“Español” is Spanish for “Spanish”.

16 Ukrainian peninsula seized by Russia in 2014 : CRIMEA

Crimea is a peninsula jutting out into the Black Sea that is almost completely surrounded by water. It is connected to the Ukrainian mainland to the north by the Isthmus of Perekop, and is separated from the nearby Russian region of Kuban by the narrow (less than 10 miles) Kerch Strait. Crimea has been occupied by foreign powers many times over the centuries, and now control of the region is disputed by Ukraine and Russia.

24 Old, ineffective sort : DOTARD

A dotard is a person who is in his or her dotage, someone who has become senile.

26 1930s boxing champ Max : BAER

Max Baer was an American Heavyweight Champion of the World in the thirties. Baer held the title for 364 days, and then went into the ring after hardly any training at all against the well-prepared James J. Braddock. Braddock was a huge underdog, and yet emerged victorious after 15 rounds (Braddock is the subject of the 2005 movie “Cinderella Man”). By the way, Baer’s son is Max Baer, Jr., the actor who played Jethro on “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

27 The “C” of I.C.U. : CARE

Intensive care unit (ICU)

29 “What is Pyramus? a lover, ___ tyrant?”: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : OR A

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. An interesting characteristic of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes a troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.

31 Prioritize in the trauma center : TRIAGE

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

34 Mandates : DICTA

“Dictum” (plural “dicta”) is a legal term describing a statement by a court as part of a judgment.

40 Guitarist May of Queen : BRIAN

Brian May is the lead guitarist of the English rock band Queen. As well as performing with the group, May composed some of Queen’s biggest hits, including “We Will Rock You” and “I Want It All”. May is also a qualified astrophysicist. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics and worked several years towards a PhD at Imperial College London before abandoning his studies to pursue his career in music. May went back to his PhD studies some 32 years later, and graduated in 2008.

41 Like zombies : UNDEAD

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

46 Abbreviation in ancient dates : BCE

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.

49 Part of many a woodwind : REED

Woodwind instruments are a subcategory of wind instruments that were traditionally made of wood, although some are now made from metal. There are two main classes of woodwind: flutes and reed instruments. Flutes produce sound by blowing air across the edge of a hole in a cylindrical tube. Reed instruments produce sounds by blowing into a mouthpiece, which then directs the air over a reed or reeds, causing them to vibrate.

54 “Atlas Shrugged” author Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

55 Novelist McEwan : IAN

Ian McEwan is an English novelist with a track record of writing well-received novels. His most famous work of recent years I would say is “Atonement” which has benefited from the success of a fabulous movie adaptation released in 2007.

58 Single things : MONADS

A monad is a single-celled organism, especially one of the genus Monas, flagellate protozoans.

63 Coral rings : ATOLLS

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

64 Dog guarding the gates of the underworld : CERBERUS

Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and preventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, “to give a sop to Cerberus”, which means to give someone a bribe, or pay someone off. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

65 Karate instructor : SENSEI

“Sensei” is a Japanese form of address used for figures of authority, from lawyers to martial arts instructors.

Down

1 Insurance giant on the N.Y.S.E. : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in a National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

2 Nutrient fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

3 Glass showcases for small animals : TERRARIA

A “terrarium” (plural “terraria”) is a contained environment used to house land animals. The term comes from the equivalent “aquarium”, a tank for holding mainly fish. In general, a contained environment for keeping live animals or plants is known as a “vivarium”

4 Singer of “Smooth Operator” : SADE

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

5 Sal of “Rebel Without a Cause” : MINEO

Actor Sal Mineo’s most famous role was John “Plato” Crawford, the kid who was in awe of the James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Sadly, Mineo was murdered in 1976 when he was just 37 years old. He was attacked in the alley behind his Los Angeles apartment and stabbed through the heart. When an arrest was made it was discovered that the murderer had no idea that his victim was a celebrity, and that his plan was just to rob anyone who came along.

“Rebel Without a Cause” is a 1955 drama movie starring actor James Dean, who died just before the film’s release. The title comes from a 1944 book by psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner “Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath”, although the content of the book has no bearing on the movie’s storyline. The three lead actors in the movie all died tragically, and while relatively young:

  • James Dean (24), in a car crash in 1955
  • Sal Mineo (37), in a stabbing in 1976
  • Natalie Wood (43), in a drowning in 1981

7 “So far,” on a quarterly pay stub: Abbr. : YTD

Year-to-date (YTD)

10 [not my mistake] : [SIC]

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

11 Resident of Nebraska’s largest city : OMAHAN

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

15 Lascivious : LEWD

“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means “lecherous, salacious”.

23 Relative of a zither : HARP

The zither is a stringed instrument, one in which the strings do not extend beyond the bounds of the sounding box. That means that the instrument has no neck, unlike a guitar say.

30 Lee of Marvel Comics : STAN

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

32 Needlefish : GARS

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

33 Two-time Super Bowl M.V.P. Manning : ELI

Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titled “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

35 PC core : CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

37 Father of Rachel and Leah in Genesis : LABAN

Laban is Rebekah’s brother and also the father of Leah and Rachel, making him brother-in-law to Isaac, and both uncle and father-in-law to Jacob.

38 Backsides : KEISTERS

Back in the early 1900s, a keister was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that “keister” was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, “keister” appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

44 Cactus known for its psychoactive effects : PEYOTE

The peyote is a small, spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a recreational drug of choice for the likes of Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.

45 One of the Beatles : LENNON

John Lennon and Paul McCartney made an agreement before they became famous that they would always give joint credit for their songs. In the early days, the duo wrote their songs together, working alongside each other. Soon they would write songs individually, with one giving the other limited input. Regardless, the Lennon-McCartney attribution was used for all the songs they wrote either individually or together right up to 1974. The partnership was officially dissolved in December 1974, in the Polynesian Resort in Walt Disney World, Florida. There, John Lennon put his signature to official documents couriered to him by Apple’s lawyers (Apple being the Beatles record label).

47 ___ Fisher, women’s clothing brand : EILEEN

The Eileen Fisher brand fashion brand is known for using regular folks to model its clothes in print advertising.

59 Lou Gehrig’s disease, for short : ALS

Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have a number retired.

60 Horned Frogs’ sch. : TCU

The athletic teams of Texas Christian University (TCU) are known as the TCU Horned Frogs. The Texas horned lizard is known colloquially as the “horned frog”.

62 Government agcy. for retirees : SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to be 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word after martial or culinary : … ARTS
5 “Very,” en español : MUY
8 Soak up : ABSORB
14 Person who cherishes high principles : IDEALIST
16 Ukrainian peninsula seized by Russia in 2014 : CRIMEA
17 Made the bed? : GARDENED
18 It may be issued for a defective product : RECALL
19 Exchange new vows : REWED
20 1-1, e.g. : TIE
21 Hasten : HIE
22 “Oh, now I get it!” : AHA!
24 Old, ineffective sort : DOTARD
26 1930s boxing champ Max : BAER
27 The “C” of I.C.U. : CARE
29 “What is Pyramus? a lover, ___ tyrant?”: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” : OR A
30 Mails : SENDS
31 Prioritize in the trauma center : TRIAGE
34 Mandates : DICTA
36 Does a driving test task – or an apt description of the five circled diagonals in this puzzle : PARALLEL PARKS
40 Guitarist May of Queen : BRIAN
41 Like zombies : UNDEAD
43 Not quite a C : D-PLUS
46 Abbreviation in ancient dates : BCE
48 “Your majesty” : SIRE
49 Part of many a woodwind : REED
50 Howling at the moon, say : BAYING
53 Back-and-forth tool : SAW
54 “Atlas Shrugged” author Rand : AYN
55 Novelist McEwan : IAN
56 Jumped : LEAPT
58 Single things : MONADS
60 Like baby shampoo : TEARLESS
63 Coral rings : ATOLLS
64 Dog guarding the gates of the underworld : CERBERUS
65 Karate instructor : SENSEI
66 Young ___ (tots) : ‘UNS
67 Plying the waves : ASEA

Down

1 Insurance giant on the N.Y.S.E. : AIG
2 Nutrient fig. : RDA
3 Glass showcases for small animals : TERRARIA
4 Singer of “Smooth Operator” : SADE
5 Sal of “Rebel Without a Cause” : MINEO
6 Once did : USED TO
7 “So far,” on a quarterly pay stub: Abbr. : YTD
8 Biting : ACRID
9 Village of the Prancing Pony inn in “The Lord of the Rings” : BREE
10 [not my mistake] : [SIC]
11 Resident of Nebraska’s largest city : OMAHAN
12 Depended (on) : RELIED
13 Machines on hay farms : BALERS
15 Lascivious : LEWD
20 Fall behind : TRAIL
22 Something a false person puts on : ACT
23 Relative of a zither : HARP
25 Fervor : ARDENCY
26 Shadows that have grown long? : BEARDS
28 Part of a listening pair : EARBUD
30 Lee of Marvel Comics : STAN
32 Needlefish : GARS
33 Two-time Super Bowl M.V.P. Manning : ELI
35 PC core : CPU
37 Father of Rachel and Leah in Genesis : LABAN
38 Backsides : KEISTERS
39 “Storms are brewin'” in her eyes, in a 1986 #1 hit : SARA
42 Beads on the morning grass : DEW
43 Many hour-long TV shows : DRAMAS
44 Cactus known for its psychoactive effects : PEYOTE
45 One of the Beatles : LENNON
47 ___ Fisher, women’s clothing brand : EILEEN
50 Low voices : BASSI
51 Approaches : NEARS
52 Dress : GARB
55 Kind of hands said to be the devil’s playthings : IDLE
57 ___ bargain : PLEA
59 Lou Gehrig’s disease, for short : ALS
60 Horned Frogs’ sch. : TCU
61 Take to court : SUE
62 Government agcy. for retirees : SSA

8 thoughts on “0218-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Feb 20, Tuesday”

  1. Okay Bill, clue me in. On the puzzle graphic you have “not quite a C” as “Dplur”, in the list of solution words you have “dplus” . I ended up with a DNF, likely because of this…I, by default ,had “dplur” in spite of it not making sense…

    1. Please, no pejorative self-references….

      We are “intellectually challenged” or, as we say a lot around our house, the brain has turned into large-curd cottage cheese.

  2. No errors. This was a pretty good challenge for Tuesday. I had never heard of Cerberus or Laban, so very happy to learn something new. The day is not wasted 😉

    Yet

  3. This one took me way longer than usual which is indicative of its difficulty. I, however, do not time myself—-choosing rather to savor the makeup of the puzzle as I go through it. The “fish” thing threw me at first also. My first thought was that it was singular instead of plural. I also had to guess on 8-Across as to ABSORB vs. ADSORB. But, with a little luck, I finally managed to finish error-free.

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