0229-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Feb 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time:12m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Base for many a chef’s rose garnish : RADISH

Radishes are edible root vegetables that are commonly grown for use in salads. Gardeners also use radishes as companion plants as the odor given off can deter pests such as aphids, ants and cucumber beetles.

7 Big name in Irish whiskey : JAMESON

Jameson is a brand of Irish whiskey from Dublin, and is the best selling Irish whiskey in the world. It’s not my favorite though, with that “honor” going to Bushmills.

14 Self-titled 1961 debut album : ARETHA

I think that Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one on its list of the greatest singers of all time.

23 Some “Grey’s Anatomy” settings, for short : ICUS

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

28 Bugs used to be seen on it : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” while addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd, in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”.

30 Reduce in intensity : BATE

To bate is to restrain, as in “with bated breath” meaning “with restrained breath”. “Bate” can also mean “lessen”, and is a shortening of “abate”.

31 Market built around short-term engagements : GIG ECONOMY

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

33 Cranial : skull :: brachial : ___ : ARM

“Bracchium” is the Latin word for “arm”, and the brachial artery is the major artery that runs the length of the arm.

34 Early arrival : PREEMIE

A “preemie” (sometimes “premie”) is a preterm or premature birth.

35 “___ Death” (2006-10 Fox sitcom) : ‘TIL

Fox’s sitcom “‘Til Death” stars Brad Garrett alongside Joely Fisher, and is a pretty good show in my humble opinion. It ran for four seasons, before being canceled early in 2010.

36 Frank type : BEEF HOT DOG

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog gets its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

39 Feeling akin to the German “Weltschmerz” : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

40 Long : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

41 “Critique of Pure Reason” philosopher : KANT

Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century, German philosopher. Kant published “Perpetual Peace” in 1795, laying out what he believed were conditions for ending all wars and creating a lasting peace. The good news for us is that one of these conditions was to have a world full of constitutional republics, so it seems we are on the right track here in the US!

43 Skort circuit? : LPGA TOUR

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

47 Follower of Marx? : -ISM

Marxism is the political and economic philosophy espoused by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-to-late 1800s. The main tenet of Marxism is that bourgeois suppression of lower classes in a capitalistic society inevitably leads to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

53 Title pig of children’s literature : OLIVIA

Olivia is a pig featured in a series of children’s books that is written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. The character was inspired by Falconer’s niece, who was also named Olivia.

55 Chef in a grocery store : BOYARDEE

The Chef Boyardee brand of canned food products was named after Ettore Boiardi who introduced the product line in the twenties. Boiardi was an Italian immigrant who owned an Italian restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. He started the line of canned recipes based on the demand for samples of his dishes from satisfied customers at his restaurant.

57 Siberian stretches : STEPPES

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

58 Lively wit : ESPRIT

Our word “esprit”, meaning “liveliness of mind”, comes to us from Latin via French. The Latin “spiritus” means “spirit

Down

1 Accompaniment at an Indian restaurant : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

2 Major-league All-Star turned TV analyst, informally : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from baseball in 2016.

4 Member of the Addams Family : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

6 Titular comic strip character from the A.D. 800s : HAGAR

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

7 Grammy-nominated singer who made her on-screen film debut in “Moonlight” : JANELLE MONAE

Janelle Monáe is a singer and actress. I’m not familiar with her as a singer, but did see Monáe play NASA engineer Mary Jackson in the excellent 2016 film “Hidden Figures”.

“Moonlight” is a 2016 semi-autobiographical film based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “Moonlight” won the season’s Best Picture Oscar, thus becoming the first film to do so with an all-black cast, and the first with an LGBT storyline.

10 Something Cap’n Crunch has : ELISION

“Elision” is a linguistic term describing the omission of a sound or sounds in a word or phrase. Examples of elisions are found in “bo’s’n”, “Will-o’-the-wisp” and “‘Enry” (Eliza Dolittle’s “Henry”).

The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.

11 ___ tax : SIN

A sin tax is a levy placed goods that are considered to be harmful. Examples might be taxes placed specifically on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, sweetened beverages, fast food and gambling. Sin taxes are imposed to discourage use. The related Pigovian tax is imposed to offset the cost to society of using the “sinful” goods or services.

12 It’s on the St. Lawrence: Abbr. : ONT

The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

The Saint Lawrence River (“Fleuve Saint-Laurent”) in French” rises as the principal outflow of Lake Ontario. It runs almost 2,000 miles before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which is the largest estuary on the planet. The first European known to have navigated the river was Jacques Cartier, the Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Cartier arrived in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 1534 on the feast day of Saint Lawrence, and so gave the estuary the saint’s name.

24 Tributary of the Hudson : CROTON RIVER

The Hudson River flows through eastern New York State from Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The river is named for the English explorer Henry Hudson, who navigated the waterway in 1609.

25 Site in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, for short : US MINT

Mint marks are inscribed on coins to indicate where the coin was minted. In the US, the current mint marks are:

  • “P” for the Philadelphia Mint
  • “D” for the Denver Mint
  • “S” for the San Francisco Mint
  • “W” for the West Point Mint

31 Miracle-___ : GRO

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

34 Symbol for the golden ratio : PHI

The golden ratio, sometimes called the “golden mean” and denoted by the Greek letter phi, is a mathematical constant that often turns up in the world of art. Phi is approximately equal to 1.61, and is represented by the two distances, a and b, where (a+b)/a = a/b. Somehow we perceive the ratio of 1.61 as “pleasing” so it appears in many works of art and in building design. For example, many aspects of the Parthenon in Athens have a ratio of 1.61 (width compared to height). Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man also illustrates the golden ratio in the proportions of the human body, where he shows that the distance from the foot to the navel, compared to the distance from the navel to the head, is 1.61.

38 Two before 34-Down : TAU
(34D Symbol for the golden ratio : PHI)

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

41 Tree huggers Down Under : KOALAS

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

43 Paul of the old “Hollywood Squares” : LYNDE

Paul Lynde was a character actor noted for playing Uncle Arthur on the TV sitcom “Bewitched”. He was also known as the longtime “center square” on “Hollywood Squares”, for thirteen years.

The popular game show “Hollywood Squares” was first aired in 1965, in glorious black and white. The list of celebrities who regularly appeared on the show over the years includes Rich Little, Roddy McDowell, Florence Henderson, Buddy Hackett, Barbara Eden, Vincent Price, Jonathan Winters and Joan Rivers.

44 Bond backed by the govt. : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

46 Big name in Old West justice : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

48 Tech assistant : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

50 Core part, informally : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

52 Rebus symbol for a pronoun : EYE

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”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Base for many a chef’s rose garnish : RADISH
7 Big name in Irish whiskey : JAMESON
14 Self-titled 1961 debut album : ARETHA
15 Barbecue variety featuring vinegar-based sauces : CAROLINA
16 Attend by oneself : GO STAG
17 Approximate proportion of the world’s population that lives on an island : ONE NINTH
18 Spots : ADS
19 Main issues? : GAS LEAKS
21 Easter activities : EGG ROLLS
23 Some “Grey’s Anatomy” settings, for short : ICUS
27 Game : PREY
28 Bugs used to be seen on it : CEL
29 Trounce : WORST
30 Reduce in intensity : BATE
31 Market built around short-term engagements : GIG ECONOMY
33 Cranial : skull :: brachial : ___ : ARM
34 Early arrival : PREEMIE
35 “___ Death” (2006-10 Fox sitcom) : ‘TIL
36 Frank type : BEEF HOT DOG
38 It may rise in anger : TONE
39 Feeling akin to the German “Weltschmerz” : ENNUI
40 Long : YEN
41 “Critique of Pure Reason” philosopher : KANT
42 Leave agape : STUN
43 Skort circuit? : LPGA TOUR
45 Former home of the Seattle SuperSonics : KEYARENA
47 Follower of Marx? : -ISM
50 Information on a game box : AGE RANGE
53 Title pig of children’s literature : OLIVIA
55 Chef in a grocery store : BOYARDEE
56 They have chairs at the circus : TAMERS
57 Siberian stretches : STEPPES
58 Lively wit : ESPRIT

Down

1 Accompaniment at an Indian restaurant : RAGA
2 Major-league All-Star turned TV analyst, informally : A-ROD
3 List of frozen assets? : DESSERT MENU
4 Member of the Addams Family : ITT
5 Long, thick and unkempt : SHAGGY
6 Titular comic strip character from the A.D. 800s : HAGAR
7 Grammy-nominated singer who made her on-screen film debut in “Moonlight” : JANELLE MONAE
8 Spheres : AREAS
9 Title whose name comes from the Greek for “alone” : MONK
10 Something Cap’n Crunch has : ELISION
11 ___ tax : SIN
12 It’s on the St. Lawrence: Abbr. : ONT
13 Casual turndown : NAH
15 Job requirement, often : COLLEGE DEGREE
20 Bygone parts of newspapers with local gossip : SOCIETY PAGES
22 “Wowzers!” : GEE!
24 Tributary of the Hudson : CROTON RIVER
25 Site in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, for short : US MINT
26 Barber : STYLE
27 One raising an issue : PARENT
29 Down state? : WOE
30 Nursery contents : BABES
31 Miracle-___ : GRO
32 Part of a pack, in slang : CIG
34 Symbol for the golden ratio : PHI
37 Bass-heavy hybrid music genre : FUNK RAP
38 Two before 34-Down : TAU
41 Tree huggers Down Under : KOALAS
43 Paul of the old “Hollywood Squares” : LYNDE
44 Bond backed by the govt. : T-NOTE
46 Big name in Old West justice : EARP
48 Tech assistant : SIRI
49 A boom might come out of it : MAST
50 Core part, informally : ABS
51 Pulled a fast one on : GOT
52 Rebus symbol for a pronoun : EYE
54 Small annoyance : IMP

14 thoughts on “0229-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Feb 20, Saturday”

  1. 29:21 with one error. I had iDS for “Spots” at 18A instead of ADS. Makes sense as long as you don’t know what a RAGi or RAGA is.

    Had to get JANELLE MONAE totally via crosses, but I liked the movie “Hidden Figures”. One of those women, Katherine Johnson, just died a couple of days ago at age 101.

    Best –

  2. 21:32, no errors. Tough one, I thought, with several nests of unfamiliar things that I had to make educated guesses at. JANELLE MONAE must have passed before my eyes at some point, because, as I filled in the last letter of it, I somehow knew it was correct.

    1. Steve –

      OED lists “worst” as a a noun, adj, adverb and verb. As a verb it means to get the better of; defeat….i.e. trounce.

      But it’s interesting that to best someone essentially means the same thing. I don’t hear worst used as such very often.

      Best (Worst?) –

  3. 24:35 How did THAT happen for me on a Saturday?? Not sure about “worst” and “trounce”, I only filled it using the “downs”

  4. Knowing 24-D would have bailed me out but I didn’t so I was left with a couple of might-have-beens: TOE and TOAST. I really didn’t care for Trounce/Worst either.

  5. 24:43, 2 errors: 47A IS(T); 53A OLIVI(E); 49D (T)(E)ST. Only thing that would have saved me was if I knew a cartoon pig was named OLIVIA vice OLIVIE; I did not.

  6. Surprisingly… No errors. Had to make four or five poorly educated guesses and got them all correct. I should go to Vegas – except, alas there is no Vegas.

  7. NE corner got me. Too many fractured words and couldn’t get traction. Leave it to Bill for his Jameson AND Bushmills Irish whiskey knowledge. Never heard of Carolina barbecue.

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