0205-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 21, Friday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 “Rock-a-bye” locale : TREETOP

“Rock-a-Bye Baby” is a lullaby, the history of which is much debated. Some say it originated in England, and others claim that it was the first poem that was written on American soil.

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

19 Reconstruction, e.g. : ERA

The Reconstruction Era followed the American Civil War, which ended in 1865. Reconstruction ended in 1877 when President Rutherford B. Hayes removed the last federal troops from the capitals of the Reconstruction states soon after taking office.

22 ___ Dove, former U.S. poet laureate : RITA

Poet Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and was the second African American to be so honored (the first being Gwendolyn Brooks).

23 Snitch (on), informally : NARC

Back in the 1800s, “to nark” was “to act as a police informer”. The spelling of the term has started to evolve into “to narc”, due to the influence of the noun “narc”, slang for a narcotics officer. The ”nark” spelling is still used on the other side of the Atlantic.

27 Spicy sandwich spread : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

32 Umbilicus, familiarly : NAVEL

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

48 Hip-hop’s ___ Soul : DE LA

De La Soul is a hip hop trio from Long Island, New York. The band’s members are Kelvin Mercer (aka Pos), David Jude Jolicoeur (aka Trugoy) and Vincent Mason (aka Maseo).

59 Provisos : CAVEATS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

62 Observes one of the Five Pillars of Islam : FASTS

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

Down

5 2019 M.L.B. champs : NATS

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

6 Pay, as big bucks : SHELL OUT

One is said to shell out money when disbursing funds. The use of “shell out” is figurative, from the notion of extracting nuts from a shell.

7 Actor James ___ Jones : EARL

James Earl Jones is noted for some very respected stage and film performances, but also for his wonderful voice. Jones had to overcome stuttering as a child, and decades later provided the voice for Darth Vader. James is the son of actor Robert Earl Jones.

10 Revered woman in Islam : FATIMA

Fatimah was the youngest daughter of the prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadija.

14 Many nonfiction films, for short : DOCS

Documentary (doc)

17 Spelman figure, informally : PROF

Spelman College is a women’s school in Atlanta, Georgia that was founded as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary in 1881. Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center, along with the nearby all-male Morehouse College, with which Spelman has a long-standing relationship.

21 Unit officially defined as 42 gallons : OIL BARREL

The volume of one oil barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons. A barrel is correctly abbreviated to “bbl”. Barrels aren’t really used for transporting crude oil anymore. Instead, oil moves in bulk through pipelines and in tankers. “Barrel” is just used as a unit of volume these days.

24 Résumé go-with : COVER LETTER

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

28 Home of many a Sherpa : NEPAL

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

30 Devices sold with motion sensors : WIIS

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

31 Language in which you might be greeted “Hullo, hoo are ye?” : SCOTS

Scots is a variant of English that is commonly spoken in Lowland Scotland. Scots is very different from Scottish Gaelic, a variant of the Celtic language that is more likely to be encountered in the Scottish Highlands. Much of the work of poet Robert Burns was written in Scots.

36 Subject of a Car and Driver report : ROAD TEST

“Car and Driver” is an automotive magazine published in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Car and Driver” first appeared in 1955, when it was called “Sports Cars Illustrated”.

40 Beyoncé became one in 2003 : SOLO ACT

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

42 Dough : MOOLAH

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

49 Inits. one might hear at the office : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

52 Spanish opposite of bajo : ALTO

In Spanish, “bajo” (low) is the opposite of “alto” (high).

53 Inits. one might hear at the office : TGIF

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote to me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

56 “___ Te Ching” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

58 Major export of Kenya : TEA

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Them’s fightin’ words : IT’S ON!
6 Deems suitable : SEES FIT
13 Pop up a lot, perhaps? : NEW DAD
15 Try : HAVE A GO
16 “Rock-a-bye” locale : TREETOP
18 Raised : ERECTED
19 Reconstruction, e.g. : ERA
20 Bit of ancient writing : SCROLL
22 ___ Dove, former U.S. poet laureate : RITA
23 Snitch (on), informally : NARC
25 Concern in geomorphology : SOIL
26 Send off : EMIT
27 Spicy sandwich spread : DIJON
29 What you’re in when you’re in the zone : FLOW STATE
32 Umbilicus, familiarly : NAVEL
34 “Deuce and a quarter” automaker : BUICK
35 Subject of H.R. 40, introduced in every Congress since 1989 : REPARATIONS
38 Product from Bevel or Oui the People : RAZOR
39 Train stations : STOPS
41 “Tell me now” : I’M ALL EARS
45 Beat in the news business : SCOOP
47 Seconds, say : MORE
48 Hip-hop’s ___ Soul : DE LA
50 Be wildly successful, as at a comedy club : KILL
51 ___ Louis, capital of Mauritius : PORT
52 Finally : AT LAST
54 Jazz great Mary ___ Williams : LOU
55 Not much : A LITTLE
57 Pair of rings? : TAG TEAM
59 Provisos : CAVEATS
60 Run through : PIERCE
61 Online magazine co-founded by Henry Louis Gates Jr. : THE ROOT
62 Observes one of the Five Pillars of Islam : FASTS

Down

1 Plan : INTEND
2 Concern in geomorphology : TERRAIN
3 A fine way to discourage foul language? : SWEAR JAR
4 Homage of a sort : ODE
5 2019 M.L.B. champs : NATS
6 Pay, as big bucks : SHELL OUT
7 Actor James ___ Jones : EARL
8 One-named rapper who became a co-host of CBS’s “The Talk” : EVE
9 Underground rap? : SECRET KNOCK
10 Revered woman in Islam : FATIMA
11 “Totally makes sense” : I GET IT
12 Yet : TO DATE
14 Many nonfiction films, for short : DOCS
17 Spelman figure, informally : PROF
21 Unit officially defined as 42 gallons : OIL BARREL
24 Résumé go-with : COVER LETTER
28 Home of many a Sherpa : NEPAL
30 Devices sold with motion sensors : WIIS
31 Language in which you might be greeted “Hullo, hoo are ye?” : SCOTS
33 Do nothing : LAZE
36 Subject of a Car and Driver report : ROAD TEST
37 Features of some film reviews : SPOILERS
40 Beyoncé became one in 2003 : SOLO ACT
41 Influence : IMPACT
42 Dough : MOOLAH
43 Achieve stardom, so to speak : ARRIVE
44 Wood strip : SLAT
46 Distinctive features of Marcus Garvey’s helmet : PLUMES
49 Inits. one might hear at the office : ASAP
52 Spanish opposite of bajo : ALTO
53 Inits. one might hear at the office : TGIF
56 “___ Te Ching” : TAO
58 Major export of Kenya : TEA

6 thoughts on “0205-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 21, Friday”

  1. 16:27 As usual on a Friday my first pass got me a modicum of answers and I just kept chipping away at it. For 21D I had ONE vs OIL for the barrel and that held me up for quite a while. Actually a decent time for a Fri.

  2. 23:03. Not bad considering I almost gave up several times. Oh, well. Payback for yesterday’s fast solve.

  3. 24:25. I seem to have finished last today. I really struggled at the start. As so often happens on Fridays and Saturdays, once I got going it flowed nicely. Just took a while to get there.

    Never heard of Marcus Garvey. I looked up his hat on Google, and it was…uhh….interesting. Something about it made me think of Idi Amin.

    Best –

  4. 16:45. I found this one a bit more difficult than a typical Friday. I don’t know exactly what I thought “Rock-a-bye” was, but the lullaby never occurred to me until I had it all but the “P”.

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