0228-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 20, Friday

Constructed by: Aimee Lucido
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Celle-là, across the Pyrenees : ESA

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

19 Zippo : NADA

“Nada” is the Spanish word for “nothing”.

The use of the words “zip” and “zippo” to mean “nothing” dates back to the early 1900s, when it was student slang for being graded zero on a test.

20 Something Winnie-the-Pooh lacks : PANTS

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

30 ___ boom : SONIC

Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through the air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

37 Stones that diffract light : OPALS

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence known as opalescence.

38 ___ nova : BOSSA

Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”. The term “bossa nova” translates from Potuguese as “new trend”, or more colloquially as “new wave”.

43 Help wanted sign : 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.

45 About .4% of the weight of the human body : NACL

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound. It comprises a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

47 Z4 and i3 : BMWS

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

51 Lone Star State sch. : UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914 as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day, there is a mine shaft on the campus. The mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.

The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolizes Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.

Down

3 Org. that holds many conferences : NCAA

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

4 Prohibition-era guns : GATS

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from “Gatling gun”, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

5 N.T. book after Galatians : EPH

It seems that the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians (Eph.) is now regarded by scholars as written “in the style of Paul” by someone who was influenced by Paul’s thought.

6 Amenity in many a picnic box : WET NAP

“Wet nap” is a term commonly used for a wet wipe, a manufactured paper tissue that comes pre-moistened. Wet naps are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think that “nap” is short for “napkin”, and that “Wet-Nap” is a brand name.

10 Royal Navy letters : HMS

The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

15 Field added to the I.R.S.’s Form 1040 in 2019 : EMAIL

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” …?

20 Controls, of a sort : PLACEBOS

A placebo is a medical treatment that is ineffective, but that is deliberately formulated to deceive the patient into thinking it is real. Placebos can be given as control treatments in trials, and so the level of deception can be relatively low, as the patients are aware of the possibility of being given an ineffective treatment. The term “placebo” is the Latin word for “I shall please”. The idea is that the treatment is given more to please than to benefit the patient.

24 It may get a good licking : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

28 Some farm births : FOALS

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

30 2013 disaster film with a cult following : SHARKNADO

“Sharknado” is a 2013 tongue-in-cheek disaster movie that was made for the Syfy television channel. The basis of the plot is a freak hurricane that hits Los Angeles, resulting in a flood that leaves man-eating sharks roaming the city. I don’t think so …

35 Kanga’s kid : ROO

Kanga is a friend of A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, and is a kangaroo. She is the mother of Roo, who appears more frequently in the storyline.

41 1955 novel with the line “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight” : LOLITA

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” has a famously controversial storyline, dealing with a middle-aged man’s obsession and sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. 38-year-old professor Humbert Humbert privately refers to Dolores as “Lolita”. Although “Lolita” is considered a classic today, after Nabokov finished it in 1953 the edgy subject matter made it impossible for him to find a publisher in the US (where Nabokov lived). In 1955, he resorted to publishing it in English at a printing house in Paris. Publication was followed by bans and seizures all over Europe. A US printing house finally took on the project in 1958, by which time the title had such a reputation that it sold exceptionally quickly. “Lolita” became the first book since “Gone with the Wind” to sell over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks in stores.

42 Part of a bathhouse : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

46 One-named singer with the 2006 hit “Smack That” : AKON

Akon is a Senegalese American R&B and hip hop singer, who was born in St. Louis but lived much of his early life in Senegal. Akon is a stage name, and his real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam. Got that?

48 Spa job, informally : MANI

Manicure (mani)

49 “Because of ___-Dixie” (2000 award-winning children’s book) : WINN

The Winn-Dixie supermarket chain started out as a family concern, growing from a general store in Burley, Idaho in 1914. When the family business was big enough, it took a controlling interest in a chain of stores called Winn-Lovett in 1939. Using the name Winn-Lovett, the company continued to grow and in 1955 bought the Dixie Home chain of stores. At that point the name changed to Winn-Dixie. The original family name? That was Davis …

52 Karaoke need : MIC

“Karate” is a Japanese word meaning “empty hand”, and the related word “karaoke” translates as “empty orchestra”.

53 Lead-in to light : TWI-

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 See the seasons pass quickly? : BINGE-WATCH
11 Celle-là, across the Pyrenees : ESA
14 Something that requires thinking inside the box? : ESCAPE ROOM
15 What mustache-twirling might suggest : EVIL
16 Dangerous places : DEATH TRAPS
17 Dress style : MAXI
18 They’re often high, but never dry : SEAS
19 Zippo : NADA
20 Something Winnie-the-Pooh lacks : PANTS
21 Equal ___ : PAY
22 Fire a second time : RELIGHT
24 “I’m blushing!” : OH STOP!
28 Sows and cows : FEMALES
29 Edited, as a film : RECUT
30 ___ boom : SONIC
31 Common middle name : LEE
33 Momentous : EARTH-SHATTERING
36 Labor of love? : ODE
37 Stones that diffract light : OPALS
38 ___ nova : BOSSA
39 Those who practice energy medicine : HEALERS
41 Like many Egyptian pyramids : LOOTED
42 Upper part of a cruise ship : SUN DECK
43 Help wanted sign : SOS
44 Pays (up) : ANTES
45 About .4% of the weight of the human body : NACL
47 Z4 and i3 : BMWS
51 Lone Star State sch. : UTEP
52 Give out cash freely : MAKE IT RAIN
54 Store one inside another : NEST
55 “You can’t make me!” : I DON’T WANNA!
56 Exhibits at an exhibition : ART
57 Bottling up : CONTAINING

Down

1 Twins, e.g. : BEDS
2 “Gotcha” : I SEE
3 Org. that holds many conferences : NCAA
4 Prohibition-era guns : GATS
5 N.T. book after Galatians : EPH
6 Amenity in many a picnic box : WET NAP
7 Assemblage : ARRAY
8 Its scientific name is Bufo bufo : TOAD
9 Separated couple with kids, say : CO-PARENTS
10 Royal Navy letters : HMS
11 Proselytizer : EVANGELIST
12 Intuition : SIXTH SENSE
13 Group of stars : A-LIST
15 Field added to the I.R.S.’s Form 1040 in 2019 : EMAIL
20 Controls, of a sort : PLACEBOS
21 Driving hazards : POTHOLES
23 Discharge : EMIT
24 It may get a good licking : OREO
25 Recruiter : HEADHUNTER
26 Audition : SCREEN TEST
27 When repeated, a reproof : TUT
28 Some farm births : FOALS
30 2013 disaster film with a cult following : SHARKNADO
32 “Holy moly!” : EGAD!
34 On ___ (without a firm commitment) : SPEC
35 Kanga’s kid : ROO
40 Crackerjack : ADEPT
41 1955 novel with the line “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight” : LOLITA
42 Part of a bathhouse : SAUNA
43 Pine, for one : SCENT
46 One-named singer with the 2006 hit “Smack That” : AKON
47 Bread enricher : BRAN
48 Spa job, informally : MANI
49 “Because of ___-Dixie” (2000 award-winning children’s book) : WINN
50 Slight problem : SNAG
52 Karaoke need : MIC
53 Lead-in to light : TWI-

11 thoughts on “0228-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 20, Friday”

  1. 23:11. I never realized I was so salty. Pretty easy for a Friday. Nothing earth shattering in this one…well maybe one answer..

    Best –

  2. Did a lengthy review before digging in then things fell together quickly. No major curve balls to swing at. Enjoyable.

  3. You guys think this was easy huh?…I took 1:01:24 to finish and somehow had no errors…I guess I am playing in the wrong league.

  4. 18:20, no errors. Compared to those Friday puzzles which I didn’t finish, this was relatively easy. In case anyone was curious, Celle-là is French for ‘that one’, ESA is Spanish for ‘that’.

  5. LOLITA got me too… Maybe there’s a book called ROLITA, then my ROOMED pyramids would work along with EVANGELISM…. maybe..??
    Oh well, did good for a Friday.

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