0206-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Feb 21, Saturday

Constructed by: Kameron Austin Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 First name in Russian literature : LEO

Russian author Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”. He also wrote the much-respected novellas “Hadji Murad” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.

4 Big jackpot, for short : MIL

The term “jackpot” dates back to the 1800s and comes from the game of poker. In some variants there are progressive antes. This means that players have to ante up, add to the “pot”, when no player has a pair of “jacks” or better. They build a “jackpot”.

14 Princess of Monaco : STEPHANIE

American actress Grace Kelly led the US delegation to the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and there she met Prince Rainier III, at a photo-op in the Palace of Monaco. Twelve months later the pair were married and Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26. She suffered a stroke while driving her car in 1982, not long before her 53rd birthday. Kelly died in the resulting car crash but her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, survived the accident.

16 ___ Hufflepuff, one of the co-founders of Hogwarts : HELGA

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

17 Nice pair of boxers? : PECS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

18 Chronicles from a feminist perspective : HERSTORIES

“Herstory” is history that emphasizes the role of women. It is “her-story” as opposed to “his-tory”.

20 Long-proposed constitutional inits. : ERA

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn’t make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. The amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

21 Once-popular resort area in the Catskills, informally : BORSCHT BELT

For much of the 20th century, summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains were popular vacation spots for many families from the New York City Jewish community. This led to the area being nicknamed “Borscht Belt” and “Jewish Alps”.

Borscht is a beetroot soup that originated in Ukraine. Borscht can be served both hot and cold.

22 Sad song : DIRGE

A dirge is a slow and mournful piece of music, like perhaps a funeral hymn.

24 A real cinematic tour de force? : STAR WARS

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

25 Fault-finds to a fault : CARPS

The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later, the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “to carp” so that it came to mean “to find fault with”.

32 Charles ___, how Angelo Siciliano is better known : ATLAS

Charles Atlas’ real name was Angelo Siciliano. He was an Italian who moved to America in his teens. The story he told, and turned into a great advertising campaign, was that as a 97-pound weakling he once had sand kicked into his face by a bully. He went on a bodybuilding regime, developed his muscles, and then marketed the concept across America. He took the name “Charles Atlas” after he was told that his new-found body looked like that of a statue of the Greek god Atlas sitting on top of a hotel in Coney Island.

36 Stuffed : SATIATED

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

39 Onetime Apple Store stock : NANOS

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

If you see a robbery at an Apple Store, does that make you an iWitness?

41 Government program? : THE WEST WING

“The West Wing”, when it was being written by Aaron Sorkin, was such a fabulous television event. It is remarkable how quickly it went downhill after Sorkin moved on. Sorkin is also famous for having written the play “A Few Good Men”, and the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, namely “Charlie Wilson’s War”.

45 Young amphibians : EFTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

49 Hardwood option : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

51 Many characters in “Kill Bill” : ELS

Many of the characters in the title “Kill Bill” are letters L (els).

53 “Inside the N.B.A.” airer : TNT

“Inside the NBA” is a postgame show that airs on TNT. The list of regulars on the show includes ex-players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

Down

1 Did a Daffy Duck impression, say : LISPED

Daffy Duck appears as sci-fi hero Duck Dodgers in a series of cartoons, starting with “Duck Dodgers in the 24½ Century” from 1953. Clearly, that’s a spoof of the sci-fi series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”.

3 Like many engagement stones : ONE-CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. It is used in sizing gemstones.

5 Home of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation : IDAHO

The Nez Perce tribe of the Pacific Northwest call themselves the Nimiipuu, meaning “The Real People”. The name Nez Perce means “pierced nose” in French (nez percé), a name applied in error to the Nimiipuu instead of the neighboring Chinook tribe, who did in fact practice nose piercing.

8 Author of 1884’s “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” : ENGELS

Friedrich Engels was a German political theorist who worked closely with Karl Marx to develop what became known as Marxist Theory. Along with Marx, he also co-authored the “Communist Manifesto” in 1848, and later he supported Marx as he worked to publish “Das Kapital”.

9 You might get a rise out of this : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

11 Some records, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

16 Getting started the wrong way? : HOT-WIRING

To hot-wire a vehicle is to start it by bypassing the keyed ignition.

26 Mercedes-Benz sedan type : S-CLASS

The S-Class is the most luxurious line of Mercedes cars, and is the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. The name “S-Class” stands for “Sonderklasse”, which translates from German as “special class”.

31 What a mule kicks with : HIND FOOT

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

36 Big scoop : SHOVEL

A shovel is a manual tool used for lifting and throwing material such as earth and coal. Our words “shovel” and “shove” are related etymologically, as a “shovel” is used to “shove” things aside.

37 Hero of Virgil : AENEAS

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

38 Attacked, in a way : DISSED

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

40 Octave’s follower in a Petrarchan sonnet : SESTET

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines each) and a final couplet (2 lines). The Petrarchan sonnet comprises two quatrains (4 lines each) followed by two tercets (3 lines each).

41 Certain govt. security : 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.

42 World leader with a role in 1961’s annexation of Goa : NEHRU

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi through marriage, though she was not related to Mahatma).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 First name in Russian literature : LEO
4 Big jackpot, for short : MIL
7 “What do you think you’re doing?!” : HEY!
10 Requiring : IN NEED OF
13 Give an edge : HONE
14 Princess of Monaco : STEPHANIE
16 ___ Hufflepuff, one of the co-founders of Hogwarts : HELGA
17 Nice pair of boxers? : PECS
18 Chronicles from a feminist perspective : HERSTORIES
20 Long-proposed constitutional inits. : ERA
21 Once-popular resort area in the Catskills, informally : BORSCHT BELT
22 Sad song : DIRGE
24 A real cinematic tour de force? : STAR WARS
25 Fault-finds to a fault : CARPS
27 Share, as a plot? : SPOIL
28 Informal address at school : TEACH
30 Kind of tone : EARTH
32 Charles ___, how Angelo Siciliano is better known : ATLAS
34 Marketing ploy : TIE-IN
36 Stuffed : SATIATED
39 Onetime Apple Store stock : NANOS
41 Government program? : THE WEST WING
43 ___ process : DUE
44 Just-the-facts-please : NO NONSENSE
45 Young amphibians : EFTS
46 Plain as day : OVERT
47 Not hold back on criticism : DISH IT OUT
49 Hardwood option : TEAK
50 Music genre that includes “geeksta rap” : NERDCORE
51 Many characters in “Kill Bill” : ELS
52 Twain : DUO
53 “Inside the N.B.A.” airer : TNT

Down

1 Did a Daffy Duck impression, say : LISPED
2 Intestine-related : ENTERIC
3 Like many engagement stones : ONE-CARAT
4 [Shrug] : [MEH]
5 Home of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation : IDAHO
6 Ones practicing social distancing : LONERS
7 More venerated … or ventilated? : HOLIER
8 Author of 1884’s “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” : ENGELS
9 You might get a rise out of this : YEAST
11 Some records, for short : EPS
12 Some records : FIRSTS
13 Traditional 19-Down soother : HERBAL TEA
15 Get out : ESCAPE
16 Getting started the wrong way? : HOT-WIRING
19 See 13-Down : THROAT
21 “Give it time” : BE PATIENT
23 “Nice job!” : GREAT WORK!
26 Mercedes-Benz sedan type : S-CLASS
29 High-___ (looked down on) : HATTED
31 What a mule kicks with : HIND FOOT
33 Like jacket lining, typically : SEWN IN
35 Intersection sign : NO U-TURN
36 Big scoop : SHOVEL
37 Hero of Virgil : AENEAS
38 Attacked, in a way : DISSED
40 Octave’s follower in a Petrarchan sonnet : SESTET
41 Certain govt. security : T-NOTE
42 World leader with a role in 1961’s annexation of Goa : NEHRU
45 Abbr. sometimes written three times in a row : ETC
48 Affirmation of commitment : I DO

18 thoughts on “0206-21 NY Times Crossword 6 Feb 21, Saturday”

  1. 20:12 Got a slow start but was 1/2 way done in just under 10 min so the solving flowed fairly evenly. I seemed to struggle / fat finger with the spelling of BORSCHT, tho I know better. I also had FEET in 31D for a long time.

    1. @Nonny: FWIW I replied to your question on Thurs. 3/11, don’t know if you went back to see it. My comments usually show up on this blog after a delay of about 3 hours. Makes a two way conversation difficult. Maybe that’s intent.

    1. Richard – with the delay in posting, for all I know 5 people have already answered this. Just in case that haven’t – Presumably a boxer (the athlete, not the dog) would have a nice pair of PECS.

      Best –

  2. 24:53, for a Saturday? I must have moved into an alternate universe…

    “iWitness”…good one, Bill. iWonder if Jeff will top your pun…

  3. 18:32. I was whipping through this one, but the NE slowed me down considerably. BORSCH(T) spelling confused me for a while. I guess both are accepted.

    Russians often call BORSCH simply “soup”. You’ll sometimes hear them ask why Americans don’t seem to like soup which can raise an eyebrow or two. BORSCH is one of those things that if you told me what’s in it, I’d avoid it. But it’s surprisingly good. I’ve had it hot and cold. I prefer it hot, but it’s fine cold.

    Ok – I think I’ve BEETen this topic to death.

    Best –

  4. 39:08 with 2 errors…I had hardcore for nerd core ..is that really a thing?
    A contestant on jeopardy last night claims an 8 minute solve on a NYT Saturday puzzle…I will be very happy to ever break 30.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 21:24, 2 errors: SESTE(N); TNN. Similar to previous posters, cruised through this one until getting mired, axle deep, in the SE corner. Tried various combinations of BACK/HIND; FOOT/FEET/LEGS until the cross entries made sense. Still managed to mess up the southeasternmost square.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.