0202-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Feb 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Adesina O. Koiki
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Tennis Court

Themed answers each start with a TENNIS COURT surface:

  • 56A Playing area usually having one of the surfaces seen at the starts of 16-, 28- and 43-Across : TENNIS COURT
  • 16A Insect with powerful hind legs : GRASSHOPPER
  • 28A Difficulties in life : HARD KNOCKS
  • 43A Film technique used in old California Raisins ads : CLAYMATION

Bill’s time: 7m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Bump fists : DAP

The dap is a form of handshake, and often a complicated and showy routine of fist bumps, slaps and shakes. Some say that “dap” is an acronym standing for “Dignity And Pride”.

10 Form of jazz : BOP

“Bop” is a shortened form of “bebop”, a jazz style that dates back to the early 1940s. “Bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, which were words of encouragement uttered by Latin-American bandleaders to their musicians.

14 Sonic the Hedgehog company : SEGA

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot Mario.

15 Actress de Armas : ANA

Ana de Armas is an actress from Cuba. Having attended the National Theater School of Cuba, she moved to Spain at the age of 18. Thre, she made a name for herself in a Spanish TV series called “El Internado”. De Armas moved to Los Angeles in 2014, after which her performance opposite Ryan Gosling in 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049” earned her critical acclaim.

18 Mormons, in brief : LDS

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

19 Something Santa makes (and checks twice) : LIST

Santa checks his list of those who are naughty or nice.

20 Riddle-me-___ : REE

There’s an old English nursery rhyme that goes:

Riddle-me riddle-me riddle-me-ree,
Perhaps you can tell what this riddle may be:
As deep as a house, as round as a cup,
And all the king’s horses can’t draw it up.

And the answer is …

… a well!

21 ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES

Estes Park is a town in a beautiful part of the US, in northern Colorado. Estes Park is home to the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park.

27 Clouseau’s rank: Abbr. : INSP

Apparently, some people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is “The Pink Panther”. It’s actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven “Pink Panther” movies in the whole series?

31 Objectivist 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.

33 The Wildcats of the N.C.A.A., informally : K-STATE

The athletic teams of Kansas State University (KSU) are called the Wildcats. The Wildcats official “colors” are just one: the color royal purple.

35 Rubes, in Canadian lingo : HOSERS

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

41 Longing : 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.

42 Animator’s sheet : 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.

43 Film technique used in old California Raisins ads : CLAYMATION

Clay animation, also known as “claymation”, is a stop motion animation technique that has been around since the early 1900s. The list of famous claymation productions includes the “Gumby” series of TV show segments, the California Raisins musical group ad campaign, and “Wallace and Gromit” British comedy series.

47 Novelist Jaffe : RONA

Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.

50 Wilma’s pal on “The Flintstones” : BETTY

In the animated series “The Flintstones”, Betty Rubble is the wife of Barney Rubble, the adoptive mother of Bamm-Bamm Rubble, and best friend of neighbor Wilma Flintstone. For most of the original run of “The Flintstones”, Betty was voiced by Bea Benaderet, the actress who also played Kate Bradley on “Petticoat Junction”. Rosie O’Donnell played Betty in the 1994 film adaptation of the show.

51 Responses of “the unheard,” per Martin Luther King Jr. : RIOTS

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return to the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

53 Japanese drama : NOH

Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, including the female parts.

56 Playing area usually having one of the surfaces seen at the starts of 16-, 28- and 43-Across : TENNIS COURT

There are four different surfaces used for playing tennis competitively:

  • Clay courts (used for the French Open)
  • Hard courts (used for the US Open and the Australian Open)
  • Grass courts (used for Wimbledon)
  • Carpet courts

60 Rechewed food : CUD

Animals that chew the cud are called ruminants. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work.

62 News anchor Mitchell : ANDREA

Andrea Mitchell is a TV journalist who works for NBC News. Mitchell is married to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

63 Mil. mess personnel : KPS

The initialism “KP” is US military slang that stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

Down

1 Sea ___ (enemy of Popeye) : HAG

The Sea Hag is Popeye’s archenemy, and sails the seas with her pet vulture Bernard on her boat called “The Black Barnacle”.

2 El Al et al. : AIRLINES

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

3 Lionel collection : TRAIN SET

Lionel is the brand name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first Lionel trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young’s financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

5 Red-cards, in a soccer match : OUSTS

A series of colored penalty cards is used by referees and umpires in several sports, most notably in soccer. The cards were first used in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, after language difficulties created confusion during the prior competition in 1966. The main cards used are a yellow card indicating a caution, and a red card indicating expulsion from the game.

10 Second-least valuable avenue in Monopoly after Mediterranean : BALTIC

Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue are properties in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

11 Batting next : ON DECK

That would be baseball.

14 Bit of asparagus : SPEAR

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant that is grown mainly for its edible shoots. The shoots must be harvested when they are very young, as they become woody very quickly.

17 Financial expert Suze : ORMAN

Suze Orman is a financial advisor who has gotten her message out on television, in books and on the speaking circuit. She often appears on PBS, and indeed is the most successful fundraiser public television has ever had.

28 “Laughing” animals : HYENAS

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

29 ___ Deion (onetime football nickname) : NEON

Deion Sanders is a former NFL footballer, and a former Major League Baseball player. He is the only person to play in a Super Bowl and in a World Series. And, in the 1989 season Sanders became the only person to hit a major league home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week. While playing, he earned the nicknames “Neon Deion” and “Prime Time Sanders”.

40 Containing tin : STANNIC

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

41 Dinosaur in Super Mario World : YOSHI

Yoshi is a dinosaur-like character in some Nintendo video games. Yoshi first appeared as a sidekick to Mario and Luigi in the 1991 game called “Super Mario World”.

43 Once-popular place to store music : CD RACK

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

50 Skin problem portmanteau : BACNE

Back acne (“bacne”)

52 Old TV’s “___ Search” : STAR

“Star Search” is a TV show hosted by Ed McMahon that ran from 1983 to 1995. It was an audition show and an opportunity for performers in many genres of entertainment to get some exposure. Included in the list of “Star Search” competitors who later made it into the big time are:

  • Adam Sandler
  • Beyoncé
  • Brad Garrett
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Drew Carey
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Sharon Stone
  • Usher

57 Prefix with skeleton : EXO-

An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

58 Pizzeria owner in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL

“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie that was released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).’

59 Amy who wrote “The Joy Luck Club” : TAN

Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ Garden, London district known for diamond trading : HATTON
7 Bump fists : DAP
10 Form of jazz : BOP
13 Ventilate thoroughly : AIR OUT
14 Sonic the Hedgehog company : SEGA
15 Actress de Armas : ANA
16 Insect with powerful hind legs : GRASSHOPPER
18 Mormons, in brief : LDS
19 Something Santa makes (and checks twice) : LIST
20 Riddle-me-___ : REE
21 ___ Park, Colo. : ESTES
23 Grade downgrade : MINUS
24 Hand: Sp. : MANO
26 Naughty’s opposite : NICE
27 Clouseau’s rank: Abbr. : INSP
28 Difficulties in life : HARD KNOCKS
30 Jeanette ___, billiards legend nicknamed the Black Widow : LEE
31 Objectivist Rand : AYN
32 Slow-cooked dish : STEW
33 The Wildcats of the N.C.A.A., informally : K-STATE
35 Rubes, in Canadian lingo : HOSERS
39 Princes, e.g. : SONS
41 Longing : YEN
42 Animator’s sheet : CEL
43 Film technique used in old California Raisins ads : CLAYMATION
47 Novelist Jaffe : RONA
48 Go steady with : DATE
49 Plant pouches : SACS
50 Wilma’s pal on “The Flintstones” : BETTY
51 Responses of “the unheard,” per Martin Luther King Jr. : RIOTS
53 Japanese drama : NOH
54 Starting : AS OF
55 Use a “+” : ADD
56 Playing area usually having one of the surfaces seen at the starts of 16-, 28- and 43-Across : TENNIS COURT
60 Rechewed food : CUD
61 x or y, in plane geometry : AXIS
62 News anchor Mitchell : ANDREA
63 Mil. mess personnel : KPS
64 1990s Fox dramedy with Charles S. Dutton : ROC
65 Abate : LESSEN

Down

1 Sea ___ (enemy of Popeye) : HAG
2 El Al et al. : AIRLINES
3 Lionel collection : TRAIN SET
4 50-50 chance : TOSS UP
5 Red-cards, in a soccer match : OUSTS
6 To the ___ degree : NTH
7 Ambivalent reply to “Can you do me a favor?” : DEPENDS
8 It’s “just a number” : AGE
9 Trim : PARE
10 Second-least valuable avenue in Monopoly after Mediterranean : BALTIC
11 Batting next : ON DECK
12 Overtakes : PASSES
14 Bit of asparagus : SPEAR
17 Financial expert Suze : ORMAN
22 Winter falls : SNOWS
23 Cereal go-with : MILK
25 “Um, all righty” : OK THEN
28 “Laughing” animals : HYENAS
29 ___ Deion (onetime football nickname) : NEON
31 Tiny bit : ATOM
34 Until now : AS YET
36 Trips to support conservation : ECOTOURS
37 Not paying a cent, as a tenant : RENT FREE
38 Leave rolling in the aisles : SLAY
40 Containing tin : STANNIC
41 Dinosaur in Super Mario World : YOSHI
43 Once-popular place to store music : CD RACK
44 In bed after an injury, say : LAID UP
45 Quarreling : AT ODDS
46 Trash cans on computer screens, e.g : ICONS
47 Covers again, as a lawn : RESODS
50 Skin problem portmanteau : BACNE
52 Old TV’s “___ Search” : STAR
57 Prefix with skeleton : EXO-
58 Pizzeria owner in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL
59 Amy who wrote “The Joy Luck Club” : TAN

11 thoughts on “0202-21 NY Times Crossword 2 Feb 21, Tuesday”

  1. 8:54 Started out with COVENT for 1A – only 6 letter Garden in London I could think of. Then entered AERATE for 13A. Not a good start. Also unfamiliar with 15A, 20A, 30A (this one seemed kind of obscure to get LEE – more like a Saturday clue), 53A, and 64A. Good thing there are down entries to fill in the gaps.

  2. 10:14 spent a bit of time guessing letters to fill in “stannic” and “Roc”…I apparently am not a metallurgist and don’t watch enough television 🙂

    1. As other commentators have also indicated, I was not sure about the ROC/STANNIC cross. This square was my last one to fill. I was 100% sure that I had every other square correct. I was just stuck on that last square.

      Going back a few days on this discussion board, my ambivalence on that last square illustrates exactly what I was saying about the online solver having the advantage over the pen-and-paper solver. When left with only one unknown square (which happens frequently) the online solver only needs to insert letters one-by-one until they get the “success” signal. They could simply go through all 26 letters in the alphabet if they had to. They are bound to hit the right one at some point. Mind you, they did not know the correct letter, they only took advantage of the computer program.

      The pen-and-paper solver has no such advantage. Their ultimate fill to the square is their best logical guess but they have no assurance that it is correct. The entire successful completion vs. having one mistake (or two, depending on how you count it) hangs in the balance.

      The same online trickery can go out beyond the “one last square” and can be of use on a second or perhaps a third square. At that point the advantage begins to break down and it becomes of lesser value the further it goes into doubtful squares.

      I say that we are not on a level playing field. Crossword puzzles are about knowing WORDS. They are not about knowing how to manipulate a computer. We can’t compare apples and oranges. This is why I stick with pen-and-paper. Win or lose, I know that I came by my answers in the spirit that crosswords were originally conceived. I hope that I have made my point.

      1. @Joe … I have a lot to say about this, but it’s been a long day, and tomorrow promises to be an even longer day, so it’ll have to wait … 😳.

  3. 8:35 – one square off. I had YOSsI/NOs instead of YOSHI/NOH??

    I thought Barney and BETTY Rubble just found Bamm-Bamm. I don’t know if they actually went through a legal adoption process. I may look into Bedrock county records to make sure..

    I have a better clue for 7D: “Do you wear adult diapers?” DEPENDS. A little grade school humor never hurt anyone.

    Best –

  4. Messed up on ROC and STANNIC. didn’t know either one. Never saw RON. I’m going to watch the pilot.

  5. 17:24 no errors…I liked ROC and Charles C Dutton..the show was supposed to be filmed in Baltimore but I doubt it was.
    Stay safe😀

  6. The suggested clue for DEPENDS reminds me of our NYT crossword editor’s favorite clue: BEQUEATH UNDERWEAR – which translates into Will Shortz…

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