0209-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Feb 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Colin Ernst
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Grab your Clothes!

Themed answers are each common phrases that call for a metaphorical adjustment to clothing:

  • 17A Stay cool : KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON
  • 37A Get ready for something amazing : HANG ONTO YOUR HAT
  • 58A Don’t spend so much money : TIGHTEN YOUR BELT

Bill’s time: 6m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 ___ of the Unknowns : TOMB

The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument in Arlington National Cemetery that is dedicated to service members who have died without their remains being identified. The Tomb Guards serve a ceremonial role by the monument, “walking the mat”, i.e. parading respectfully across the front of the tomb in a carefully orchestrated routine. Those of you who have visited the monument will know how moving the ceremony is.

15 Part of jeans that might be ripped : KNEE

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

16 A couple of octaves, for most singers : RANGE

I find that terminology in music can be confusing. My way of looking at an octave (my way … don’t shout at me!) is thinking of a piano keyboard. In the key of C, the seven notes of the octave are C, D, E, F, G, A, B (or “do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti”). These are all white keys. Most of these “white notes” are separated by whole tones, so there is room to add a “semitone” in between most of them, and these are the black keys (C-sharp for example). There is room for five black keys in an octave, and 7 + 5 adds up to 12. I assume we use the term “octave” because we often add an eighth note on the end “to bring us back to do” as the song says (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do … or … C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C). That eighth note is really the first note in the next octave up.

22 Supply for an indebted tattoo artist? : RED INK

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

28 ___-compliant (wheelchair-accessible, maybe) : ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

36 “Think box” : NOGGIN

Slang terms for “head” are “bean”, “coconut”, “gourd”, “noodle” and “noggin”.

43 No-no : TABOO

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

45 Spam caller, e.g. : BOT

A bot is a computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

49 Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO

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.

51 Nutritional drink brand : ENSURE

Ensure is a line of liquid nutritional supplements that has been on the shelves since 1973.

63 “___ chic!” : TRES

“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

Down

1 Turkey’s capital : ANKARA

Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey, after Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). After WWI, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and the Allies occupied the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The victors planned to break up most of Turkey, leaving native Turks just part of their country for their own. In the inevitable War of Independence that followed, the Turkish Nationalists used Ankara as their base. When the Nationalists emerged victorious, they declared Ankara the new capital of Turkey.

3 New York tribe or city : ONEIDA

The Oneida people originally lived in the area that is now Central New York. The Oneida were one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Five Nations (the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca).

4 Product once advertised with the slogan “The choice of a new generation” : PEPSI

Pepsi has used many, many slogans over the years. The slogans range from “The Choice of a New Generation” featuring Michael Jackson in the eighties and nineties, to the original “Twice as Much for a Nickel” that ran from 1939 to 1950.

5 Certain boxing win, in brief : TKO

Technical knockout (TKO)

7 Old World blackbird : MERL

A merl (also “merle”) is often called a blackbird over in Europe. The male merl is completely black, with just a yellow beak.

10 Numismatic classification : RARE

A numismatist is a coin collector. The term “numismatics” comes into English via French from the Latin word “nomisma” meaning ”coin”.

11 Member of a colonial army? : ANT

“Formicary” is another name for “ant nest”, and comes from the Latin “formica” meaning “ant”. The phrase “ant colony” describes the ants living in an ant nest. A formicarium is similar to an aquarium, and used to house an ant colony perhaps for study. The phrase “ant farm” is usually reserved for ant nests built by an ant colony in a formicarium.

12 Greenpeace, for one, in brief : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

Environmental organization Greenpeace was founded in 1971, and is headquartered in Amsterdam. Famously, the organization uses seagoing vessels in some of its campaigns. The most renowned of these ships was the refitted fishing trawler Rainbow Warrior. The original Rainbow Warrior was known for disrupting activities like whale-hunting, dumping of radioactive waste and nuclear testing. In response to the latter, the French government secretly bombed the vessel while in harbor in Auckland, New Zealand. A Dutch freelance photographer died in that bombing.

13 Understanding : KEN

“Ken” is a noun meaning “understanding, perception”. One might say, for example, “half the clues in Saturday’s crossword are beyond my ken, beyond my understanding”.

18 What a “Y” with a pair of horizontal lines through it is the symbol for : YEN

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

23 Some paradoxical questions : KOANS

The concept of koan appears in the Zen Buddhist tradition. A koan is a story, question or perhaps a statement that is used as an aid to meditation. It often takes the form of a problem or riddle that has no logical solution and is intended to help the meditator break free of reason and develop intuition.

25 Grant for a filmmaker? : HUGH

English actor Hugh Grant’s full name is Hugh John Mungo Grant. Grant’s breakthrough came with his leading role in 1994’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. That was a fabulous performance. Largely, I think Grant has basically been playing the same character ever since …

26 Home to more than 4.5 billion : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

31 Goddess of spring : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

34 Frozen waffle brand : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

35 Uprights at Stonehenge, e.g. : MONOLITHS

The magnificent Stonehenge monument in the south of England was built from 3000 to 2000 BC. “Stonehenge” has given its name to “henges”, a whole class of earthwork monuments that are circular in form with an internal ditch surrounded by a bank. Paradoxically, Stonehenge doesn’t qualify as a henge by this contemporary definition, as its earthen bank is surrounded by an external ditch.

39 Pen tips : NIBS

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

47 Like students at semester’s end : TESTED

“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester-system has three parts, and a quarter-system has four.

52 Longtime home of Terry Gross : NPR

“Fresh Air” is a marvelous radio talk show broadcast on NPR, and hosted by Terry Gross. The first broadcast of the program was made in 1975, with Judy Blank hosting. Terry Gross took over a few months later, and Gross has been presenting and producing the show ever since. I had the privilege of hearing Terry Gross give a talk here in my hometown some years ago. What a fascinating woman she is, full of great stories about her experiences interviewing so many interesting personalities.

53 Cavalry weapon : SABER

A saber (sometimes “sabre”) is a sword with a curved blade and a relatively large hand guard. It is thought that the term originated with the Hungarian verb “szabni” meaning “to cut”.

54 Land south of Libya : CHAD

The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.

The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. These provinces became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya. The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.

55 Songwriter Laura : NYRO

Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.

60 Drinking game? : GIN

Gin rummy is a faster variant of standard rummy. It was introduced in 1909 by one Elwood Baker and his son.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Upon : ATOP
5 ___ of the Unknowns : TOMB
9 Plain-speaking : FRANK
14 Score for a bull’s-eye in archery : NINE
15 Part of jeans that might be ripped : KNEE
16 A couple of octaves, for most singers : RANGE
17 Stay cool : KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON
20 What situations and needs do : ARISE
21 Record holder : SLEEVE
22 Supply for an indebted tattoo artist? : RED INK
24 Early afternoon hour : TWO
25 Owns : HAS
28 ___-compliant (wheelchair-accessible, maybe) : ADA
29 Slays, in gang talk : OFFS
32 No-goodnik : LOUSE
34 What a “swoooosh” sound may signal is on its way : EMAIL
36 “Think box” : NOGGIN
37 Get ready for something amazing : HANG ONTO YOUR HAT
41 Puts in order : ALIGNS
42 Good news from one’s employer : RAISE
43 No-no : TABOO
44 Is worth it : PAYS
45 Spam caller, e.g. : BOT
48 Suffix with host : -ESS
49 Philosopher ___-tzu : LAO
51 Nutritional drink brand : ENSURE
54 Referencing : CITING
57 Cuts back : PARES
58 Don’t spend so much money : TIGHTEN YOUR BELT
62 ___ Heep (rock band) : URIAH
63 “___ chic!” : TRES
64 Effortlessness : EASE
65 Doesn’t follow to the letter, as rules : BENDS
66 Peeved : SORE
67 Regretted : RUED

Down

1 Turkey’s capital : ANKARA
2 Having multiple levels : TIERED
3 New York tribe or city : ONEIDA
4 Product once advertised with the slogan “The choice of a new generation” : PEPSI
5 Certain boxing win, in brief : TKO
6 Responsibility : ONUS
7 Old World blackbird : MERL
8 Threatens persistently : BESETS
9 Not serious, as a lawsuit : FRIVOLOUS
10 Numismatic classification : RARE
11 Member of a colonial army? : ANT
12 Greenpeace, for one, in brief : NGO
13 Understanding : KEN
18 What a “Y” with a pair of horizontal lines through it is the symbol for : YEN
19 Split, as logs : HEW
23 Some paradoxical questions : KOANS
25 Grant for a filmmaker? : HUGH
26 Home to more than 4.5 billion : ASIA
27 On the way : SENT
30 In shape : FIT
31 Goddess of spring : FLORA
33 People eater : OGRE
34 Frozen waffle brand : EGGO
35 Uprights at Stonehenge, e.g. : MONOLITHS
36 Creak or squeak : NOISE
37 “___ is too great a burden to bear”: Martin Luther King Jr. : HATE
38 Expression of grief : ALAS
39 Pen tips : NIBS
40 “Whoopee!” : YAY!
44 North, east, south and west : POINTS
45 Government department : BUREAU
46 End of an ultimatum : OR ELSE
47 Like students at semester’s end : TESTED
50 Ingested : ATE
52 Longtime home of Terry Gross : NPR
53 Cavalry weapon : SABER
54 Land south of Libya : CHAD
55 Songwriter Laura : NYRO
56 Ending with church or party : -GOER
58 Clumsy boat : TUB
59 Indignation : IRE
60 Drinking game? : GIN
61 “It’s no ___!” : USE

5 thoughts on “0209-21 NY Times Crossword 9 Feb 21, Tuesday”

  1. 7:01. Flowed more easily than Monday. But unfamiliar with KOANS. I’m familiar with the concept as @Bill described it, just didn’t know the word.

  2. 13:14. Really struggled in parts of this one. No explanation other than sometimes that happens.

    Had ENdURE before ENSURE. Made sense to me – add to your endurance, e.g. ??

    I still don’t see how a KOAN is expected to help someone relax. I think it would just irritate me. Maybe I’m just not the meditation type.

    Best –

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