0210-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Feb 21, Wednesday

Constructed by: Kate Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Stout

Themed answers are each common phrases for which a starting ST- has been taken OUT:

  • 64A Kind of beer … or a multi-word hint to 18-, 22-, 37-, 51- and 57-Across : STOUT or ST OUT
  • 18A “Strike three!” or “Yer out!”? : UMP SPEECH (from “stump speech”)
  • 22A Way to catch a conger? : EEL TRAP (from “steel trap”)
  • 37A The main characters of “Brokeback Mountain,” e.g.? : RANGE BEDFELLOWS (from “strange bedfellows”)
  • 51A Drinking buddy? : ALE MATE (from “stalemate”)
  • 57A Gross messages? : ICKY NOTES (from “sticky notes”)

Bill’s time: 7m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Line crosser, of a sort : SCAB

We first started calling strikebreakers scabs in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word “scab” probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

14 World capital that’s home to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 : HANOI

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

18 “Strike three!” or “Yer out!”? : UMP SPEECH (fom “stump speech”)

That would be baseball.

“To stump” can mean to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then a stump speech was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

22 Way to catch a conger? : EEL TRAP (from “steel trap”)

Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

29 It’s used in soapmaking : LYE

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

34 Mo. with a holiday on its final day : OCT

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

35 Loser at Waterloo : NAPOLEON

Waterloo is a small municipality in Belgium. The name “Waterloo” originated with the Dutch and is probably an anglicization of a Dutch word meaning “wet clearing in a forest”. The town is famous for the Battle of Waterloo that took place nearby in 1815. Said battle was fought between the Imperial French army led by Emperor Napoleon, and an Anglo-Allied army led by Irish-born British Field Marshal, the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo led to his abdication and the restoration of King Louis XVIII to the throne of France. Bonaparte was exiled to the British-owned island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died in 1821. Such is the fame of the battle that the term “Waterloo” is used figuratively today for any decisive or crushing defeat.

37 The main characters of “Brokeback Mountain,” e.g.? : RANGE BEDFELLOWS (from “strange bedfellows”)

The very successful 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” is an adaptation of a short story written by Annie Proulx. The two romantic lead characters were Ennis del Mar (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal).

42 Uno y uno : DOS

In Spanish, “uno y uno” (one plus one) makes “dos” (two).

46 When the Kentucky Derby is held : MAY

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

51 Drinking buddy? : ALE MATE (from “stalemate”)

“Stalemate” is a term used in chess when one player (who is not in check) cannot make a legal move. A game of chess with a stalemate is declared a draw. We use the term metaphorically for a no-win situation in general.

61 “___ World” (“Sesame Street” segment) : ELMO’S

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

62 Princess who says “You’re my only hope” in a hologram : LEIA

In the first “Star Wars” movie, Princess Leia hides plans for the Galactic Empire’s Death Star in the droid named R2-D2. She also records a holographic message, so when it is played we can see Princess Leia as a hologram, asking for help to destroy the Death Star:

I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

63 Number of M.V.P. awards won by Wayne Gretzky : NINE

Wayne Gretzky is regarded by many as the greatest ever player of ice hockey, and indeed he has the nickname “The Great One”.

64 Kind of beer … or a multi-word hint to 18-, 22-, 37-, 51- and 57-Across : STOUT or ST OUT

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

65 Rich soil : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

66 Temperance proponents : DRYS

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

Down

1 Place of worship : CHAPEL

Our word “chapel”, meaning “place of worship”, comes from the Latin word “capella” meaning “small cape”. The reference is to a relic of Saint Martin of Tours, part of his cloak. Tradition has it that when Martin was a soldier, he cut his military cloak in two so as to give half to a beggar in need. The remainder he retained as his “capella”. He did not know that the beggar was Christ in disguise. Martin then left the military to become a monk, then abbot and finally bishop. The cape came into the possession of the Frankish kings who brought the relic as they waged war, housing it in a tent called “the capella”. The priests who said mass in the capella each day were known as the “capellani” (the source of our word “chaplain”).

2 Road hog? : HARLEY

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

13 “Green,” “black” or “white” tree : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

19 Cheese in an Italian sub : PROVOLONE

Provolone cheese originated in Southern Italy, although today is mostly produced in the northern part of the country. Provola is also a cheese, and the name “Provolone” means “large Provola”.

26 Miss ___, famed TV psychic : CLEO

“Miss Cleo” was the stage name of psychic Youree Dell Harris. She was a spokesperson for the Psychic Readers Network, a pay-per-call service, for many years.

28 Till compartment : TENS

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here in that sense …

32 Mil. branch of the U.K. : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

34 Fiona and Shrek, for two : OGRES

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

38 Door-to-door sales company : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

40 Helpful info for a curbside pickup, briefly : ETA

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

46 Big, bushy-tailed squirrel : MARMOT

Marmots are large ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the famous groundhog, but not the equally famous prairie dog.

48 Like some breads and beers : YEASTY

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.

50 Long-term U.S. security : T-BOND

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.

52 European country with a cross on its flag : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

55 “___, meeny, miney, mo …” : EENY

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

59 Sportage automaker : KIA

Kia’s Sportage is a compact SUV that has been manufactured since 1993.

60 Crop item grown in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” : YAM

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe was born in the Ibo region in the south of the country. His first novel was “Things Fall Apart”, a book that has the distinction of being the most widely read in the whole of African literature.

61 Key that exits full-screen video : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hatchling : CHICK
6 Line crosser, of a sort : SCAB
10 Component of a cellphone bill : DATA
14 World capital that’s home to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 : HANOI
15 Show up : COME
16 Blue-violet shade : IRIS
17 Crime investigated by an insurance company : ARSON
18 “Strike three!” or “Yer out!”? : UMP SPEECH (fom “stump speech”)
20 Sit (down) heavily : PLOP
21 Noisy shouting : CLAMOR
22 Way to catch a conger? : EEL TRAP (from “steel trap”)
24 Alley prowler : TOMCAT
29 It’s used in soapmaking : LYE
30 Input : ENTER
33 One of four in the human heart : VALVE
34 Mo. with a holiday on its final day : OCT
35 Loser at Waterloo : NAPOLEON
37 The main characters of “Brokeback Mountain,” e.g.? : RANGE BEDFELLOWS (from “strange bedfellows”)
41 Resisting : AVERSE TO
42 Uno y uno : DOS
43 Apple centers : CORES
44 “Darn it!” : AW MAN!
46 When the Kentucky Derby is held : MAY
49 Breaks things off : ENDS IT
51 Drinking buddy? : ALE MATE (from “stalemate”)
53 Fixate : OBSESS
56 Spot : AREA
57 Gross messages? : ICKY NOTES (from “sticky notes”)
61 “___ World” (“Sesame Street” segment) : ELMO’S
62 Princess who says “You’re my only hope” in a hologram : LEIA
63 Number of M.V.P. awards won by Wayne Gretzky : NINE
64 Kind of beer … or a multi-word hint to 18-, 22-, 37-, 51- and 57-Across : STOUT or ST OUT
65 Rich soil : LOAM
66 Temperance proponents : DRYS
67 Slyly spiteful : CATTY

Down

1 Place of worship : CHAPEL
2 Road hog? : HARLEY
3 Foot support : INSOLE
4 Appropriate : CO-OPT
5 Clan : KIN
6 Bulk up, as muscles : SCULPT
7 Out-of-it state : COMA
8 Toggle on a clock : AM/PM
9 Make drunk, quaintly : BESOT
10 Run out of juice : DIE
11 “___ You My Mother?” (children’s book) : ARE
12 Personal quirk : TIC
13 “Green,” “black” or “white” tree : ASH
19 Cheese in an Italian sub : PROVOLONE
21 “I refuse to believe that!” : CAN’T BE!
23 Economic downturn : RECESSION
25 Places to find food courts and kiosks : MALLS
26 Miss ___, famed TV psychic : CLEO
27 Profess : AVOW
28 Till compartment : TENS
31 Furnish with money : ENDOW
32 Mil. branch of the U.K. : RAF
34 Fiona and Shrek, for two : OGRES
36 Cycles : PEDALS
37 Speed : RACE
38 Door-to-door sales company : AVON
39 Homework lover, say : NERD
40 Helpful info for a curbside pickup, briefly : ETA
45 Society at large, with “the” : … MASSES
46 Big, bushy-tailed squirrel : MARMOT
47 Went to a restaurant : ATE OUT
48 Like some breads and beers : YEASTY
50 Long-term U.S. security : T-BOND
52 European country with a cross on its flag : MALTA
54 Tend to the sauce, say : STIR
55 “___, meeny, miney, mo …” : EENY
57 “___ say!” : I’LL
58 Bus. driver? : CEO
59 Sportage automaker : KIA
60 Crop item grown in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” : YAM
61 Key that exits full-screen video : ESC

6 thoughts on “0210-21 NY Times Crossword 10 Feb 21, Wednesday”

  1. 11:45 About an Average Weds. with a couple early miscues: FRAUD vs ARSON; TBILL vs. TBOND. Figured out the theme on about the 4th themed entry, before getting the revealer.

  2. 13:28, enter this one in the Jeopardy category “Themes I Didn’t Get Until I Read Bill’s Blog”. Some days I just feel “upid” 🙂

  3. 13:08. Good enough theme. It’s the type that makes you think of other examples.

    “Putting alcohol on a stringed instrument ” for RUMMING A BANJO? Or maybe a “Prom car to get sick in” for RETCH LIMO. Ok maybe not. “Paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel” for ART UP? I’ll just stop now…..

    Best –

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