0214-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 21, Sunday

Constructed by: Lisa Bunker
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Sealed with a Kiss

Letters circled in the grid are “RED”. Those letters spell out “RUBY LIPS”. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

  • 1A Percussion instrument in a marching band : SNARE DRUM (red R)
  • 34A Born yesterday, so to speak : CREDULOUS (red U)
  • 46A Group tour vehicle : CHARTERED BUS (red B)
  • 74A Kind of dash : HUNDRED-YARD (red Y)
  • 76A Best Supporting Actor winner for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” : JARED LETO (red L)
  • 101A Student’s bonus points : EXTRA CREDIT (red I)
  • 109A British tennis champ who invented the sweatband : FRED PERRY (red P)
  • 125A Sea lion, for one : EARED SEAL (red S)

Bill’s time: 20m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Percussion instrument in a marching band : SNARE DRUM

Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

14 Animals in a pod : ORCAS

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

20 Kitchen brand with a palindromic name : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

23 Fatsis who wrote “Word Freak” : STEFAN

“Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive SCRABBLE Players” is a 2001 book by “Wall Street Journal” sports reporter Stefan Fatsis. The book recounts Fatsis’ own education in the game as he progresses from being a decent player at home to being ranked “expert” by the National Scrabble Association.

26 “Thong Song” singer, 2000 : SISQO

“SisQó” is the stage name of R&B singer Mark Andrews. As well as being a solo artist, SisQó is the lead singer of the group Dru Hill.

32 In the capacity of : QUA

“Qua” is a preposition meaning “in the capacity of”. “Qua” is a form of the Latin word for “who”.

33 Some Ivy Leaguers : ELIS

“Eli” is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, and a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

38 Comfy slip-on, in brief : MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

41 Fleet org. : USN

US Navy (USN)

42 It means business : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

44 Narrow : TAPER

I used to think that the word “taper” was used for a slender candle because said candle was “tapered” in shape, but it’s exactly the opposite. It turns out that our word “tapered” comes from the candle. “Taper” and “tapur” are Old English words meaning “candle”. From these nouns arose the verb “to taper” meaning “shoot up like flame”. This meaning evolved into “become slender” from the idea that a candle’s flame has such a shape.

46 Group tour vehicle : CHARTERED BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

54 Popular beer brand, briefly : PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

57 With 3-Down, one of the Avengers : CAPTAIN …
(3D See 57-Across : … AMERICA)

Captain America is a fictional superhero in comics published by Marvel Comics. He is the alter ego of a weak man called Steve Rogers who was given an experimental serum by the US Government during WWII.

67 French vineyards : CRUS

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

68 Prats : ARSES

Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword on the other side of the pond, as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that name in the UK.

“Prat” is a relatively new word for me, and is a slang term for the buttocks. A “prat-fall” is when someone falls and lands on the buttocks.

69 Contrariwise : VICE VERSA

“Vice versa” is a Latin phrase meaning “with position turned”. We always pronounce this term “incorrectly”. In Latin, a “c” is a hard sound, and a “v” is pronounced like a “w”. The pronunciation should be something like “wee-kay wehr-sa”.

71 North African capital : CAIRO

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

72 Nongendered, as language: Abbr. : NEUT

Neuter (neut.)

73 Sui ___ : GENERIS

“Sui generis” is a Latin expression meaning “of its own kind”. The term can be used in a number of fields, and in philosophy it refers to an idea which cannot be included in a wider concept, and idea of its own kind.

76 Best Supporting Actor winner for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” : JARED LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, Leto is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. He also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, which he portraying a transgender woman.

There’s a stray apostrophe in the clue as “Buyer’s” should just be written as “Buyers”.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 film that tells the real-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof. Woodroof smuggled unapproved AIDS drugs across the US border into Texas in opposition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The movie won the Best Actor Oscar for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

79 Rules out? : ANARCHY

Our word “anarchy”, used to describe a society without a publicly enforced government, comes from the Greek “an-” (without) and “arkhos” (leader).

80 West Coast beer brand, in brief : OLY

The Olympia Brewing Company was founded in the town of Tumwater, Washington in 1896, by a German immigrant. Olympia (familiarly “Oly”) was acquired by Pabst in 1983.

86 Capital of Yemen : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

89 Smell of a rose : ATTAR

Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term often particularly refers to attar of roses.

92 Smell of a rosé : NOSE

Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally, I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

95 ___ Fridays : TGI

T.G.I. Fridays is an American restaurant chain that was founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Fridays restaurants in over 50 countries. I think that Fridays has always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Fridays restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

96 Barrister’s deg. : LLD

The honorary degree of Legum Doctor (LL.D.) translates from the Latin as Doctor of Laws, a plural. This practice of using the plural originated in Cambridge University in England, as one was awarded an LL.D. after having been taught both Canon Law and Civil Law.

In a common law jurisdiction with a split legal profession, such as England, lawyers can be either solicitors or barristers. Someone needing legal help will retain a solicitor for that purpose. If a court trial is required, then a barrister is retained to make representation before a judge and perhaps a jury. The barrister is the lawyer who wears a wig.

103 Drawn-out campaigns : SIEGES

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

105 When doubled, another name for dorado : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” (meaning “very strong”) is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also known as the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

107 Eighth letter : THETA

The Greek letter theta is the one that looks like the number zero with a horizontal line across the middle.

111 ___ impasse : AT AN

“Impasse” is a French word for a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

112 Guardian spirits : GENII

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

116 Soubise sauce is made from them : ONIONS

The onion sauce known as soubise sauce is basically a Béchamel sauce with the addition of onion purée.

Béchamel sauce is a roux made from butter and flour cooked in milk. It is sometimes known simply as white sauce. Béchamel is also considered the “mother sauce” in French cuisine as it is the base of other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce is béchamel with cheese.

119 ___ cake (dim sum dish) : TARO

Taro cake is a Chinese dish made mainly from rice flour and the vegetable taro. As a dim sum dish, it is usually pan-fried and then cut into squares for the table.

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

121 “Wheel of Fortune” freebies : R-S-T-L-N-E

In the bonus round of the game show “Wheel of Fortune”, players are given the letters R, S, T, L, N & E when guessing the hidden word or phrase. The contestant then selects four more letters before trying to come up with the answer.

123 Label for Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes : STAX

Stax Records was founded in 1957 as Satellite Records. The biggest star to record with Stax was the great Otis Redding.

Otis Redding is often referred to as the “King of Soul”, and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

Isaac Hayes was a soul singer and songwriter. Hayes wrote the score for the 1971 film “Shaft”, and the enduring “Theme from ‘Shaft’” won him an Academy Award in 1972.

125 Sea lion, for one : EARED SEAL

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

Down

5 Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

6 Word before and after “a” : MANO

“Mano a mano” is Spanish for “hand-to-hand”, and is used in English to mean “face-to-face”.

10 Singer DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

11 Big name in bubbly : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, and one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

13 “Town square for the global village of tomorrow,” per Bill Gates : INTERNET

Bill Gates is the former CEO of Microsoft, a company that he co-founded with Paul Allen. Gates has been listed as the wealthiest man in the world on several occasions over the past two decades. He now works full-time as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside his wife Melinda. The Gates’ foundation is the largest transparently-operated charitable foundation in the world.

14 Jimmy of the Daily Planet : OLSEN

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

15 L.L. Bean competitor : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

18 Prime snorkeling spots : SHOALS

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an air-shaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

29 PX shopper : NCO

A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX).

31 The Quran, for one : SACRED BOOK

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

35 Mango Madness and Go Bananas, for two : SNAPPLES

Originally, “Snapple” was the name of just one type of juice made by a company called Unadulterated Food Products. The drink’s name was a contraction of “snappy apple”. The company’s name was changed to the Snapple Beverage Corporation in the early 1980s. Snapple was sold in 1994, and is now a brand name owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

37 Ones initiating handoffs, for short : QBS

That would be football.

39 Some mattresses : SERTAS

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

45 Capital of French Polynesia : PAPEETE

French Polynesia (Polynésie française) is a vast overseas territory of France that is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It comprises 118 islands and atolls dispersed over 1,609 square miles, the most populous being Tahiti.

51 Debussy prelude inspired by a water sprite : ONDINE

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, and someone who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

54 Outcast : PARIAH

“Pariah” is an anglicized version of the Tamil word “Paraiyar”. The Paraiyar are a social group of about 9 million people found in some Indian states and in Sri Lanka. The term “pariah” came to be a general term for members of the lowest caste in society, outcasts.

57 Post production : CEREAL

C. W. Post decided to get into the cereal business after visiting the Battle Creek Sanitarium operated by John Harvey Kellogg. Post was interested in the chemistry of digestion and was inspired by the dietary products offered by Kellogg at his sanitarium. The first breakfast cereal Post introduced was Grape-Nuts, way back in 1897.

60 Turkish officers : PASHAS

A pasha was a high-ranking official in the Ottoman Empire, and was roughly equivalent to the English rank of lord.

63 Instrument in “O! Susannah” : BANJO

“Oh! Susanna” is a song that was published in 1848, written by Stephen Foster. The song is often called “Banjo on My Knee”, an understandable slip given the words of the chorus. “Oh! Susanna” came to be associated with the Forty-Niners, the miners who traveled to California in the 1849 Gold Rush. The lyrics were changed to suit the Gold rush theme with “Alabama” being replaced by “California”, and “banjo” being replaced by “washpan”.

64 They’ll be mist : AEROSOLS

Strictly speaking, the term “aerosol” defines a suspension of either liquid droplets or solid particles in a gas. A good example of an aerosol is smoke. We tend to use the “aerosol” to describe what comes out of a spray can, even though the liquid droplets usually fall out of the gas and don’t stay suspended.

66 Place with robes and sweaters : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

70 Seasick sea serpent of old cartoons : CECIL

“Beany and Cecil” is a cartoon television series originally broadcast in 1962. Beany is a young boy with a propeller beanie with which he can fly. Cecil is a sea serpent with a lisp.

71 Bank posting : CD RATE

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

84 “L’chaim!” : TO LIFE!

“L’Chaim!” is a Hebrew toast meaning “To life!”, with “chai” being the Hebrew word for “life”.

87 Anthem contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

90 France from France : ANATOLE

“Anatole France” was the pen name for French poet and novelist François-Anatole Thibault. France won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921.

91 Singer who founded Fenty Beauty : RIHANNA

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

94 Poem piece : STANZA

“Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

100 Glittery decoration : TINSEL

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strips of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

104 Beau ___ : GESTE

“Beau geste” (plural “beaux gestes”) is a French term meaning “noble deed”, or literally “beautiful gesture”.

105 Ones with plenty of reservations : MAITRE D’S

The full title of a maître d’ is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.

108 Blade brand : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

115 Deli supply : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

117 Surveillance org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Percussion instrument in a marching band : SNARE DRUM
7 Prefix with sexual : PAN-
10 Prefix with sexual : AMBI-
14 Animals in a pod : ORCAS
19 Start of a playground taunt : YO MAMA!
20 Kitchen brand with a palindromic name : OXO
21 What an article may come with? : NOUN
22 Drain, as from soil : LEACH
23 Fatsis who wrote “Word Freak” : STEFAN
24 Most feathery, as clouds : WISPIEST
26 “Thong Song” singer, 2000 : SISQO
27 Sharp, in a way : TART
28 Early tie : ONE ALL
30 The ones over here : THESE
32 In the capacity of : QUA
33 Some Ivy Leaguers : ELIS
34 Born yesterday, so to speak : CREDULOUS
36 Calm : TRANQUIL
38 Comfy slip-on, in brief : MOC
39 What an outstretched arm with an open palm can mean : STOP
41 Fleet org. : USN
42 It means business : INC
43 Stakes : BETS
44 Narrow : TAPER
46 Group tour vehicle : CHARTERED BUS
49 Playground comeback : ARE SO!
52 Build up : HYPE
53 Sci-fi publisher of “Ender’s Game” and “The Wheel of Time” : TOR
54 Popular beer brand, briefly : PBR
57 With 3-Down, one of the Avengers : CAPTAIN …
59 ___ smear : PAP
61 Reduced : ON SALE
63 Opposite of a standing order? : BE SEATED
64 “Do me this one favor …” : ALL I ASK …
67 French vineyards : CRUS
68 Prats : ARSES
69 Contrariwise : VICE VERSA
71 North African capital : CAIRO
72 Nongendered, as language: Abbr. : NEUT
73 Sui ___ : GENERIS
74 Kind of dash : HUNDRED-YARD
76 Best Supporting Actor winner for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” : JARED LETO
78 Prefix with friendly : ECO-
79 Rules out? : ANARCHY
80 West Coast beer brand, in brief : OLY
81 “___ ruled the world …” : IF I
83 : : IS TO
86 Capital of Yemen : SANA’A
87 Kind of modern office plan : OPEN-FLOOR
89 Smell of a rose : ATTAR
92 Smell of a rosé : NOSE
95 ___ Fridays : TGI
96 Barrister’s deg. : LLD
97 Bench tool : VISE
99 Quibble : NIT
101 Student’s bonus points : EXTRA CREDIT
103 Drawn-out campaigns : SIEGES
105 When doubled, another name for dorado : MAHI
106 Call ___ night : IT A
107 Eighth letter : THETA
109 British tennis champ who invented the sweatband : FRED PERRY
111 ___ impasse : AT AN
112 Guardian spirits : GENII
114 Especially : NOT LEAST
116 Soubise sauce is made from them : ONIONS
118 Greenish-brown : HAZEL
119 ___ cake (dim sum dish) : TARO
120 Suffix with social : -ITE
121 “Wheel of Fortune” freebies : R-S-T-L-N-E
122 Sharp : SMART
123 Label for Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes : STAX
124 Latin king : REX
125 Sea lion, for one : EARED SEAL

Down

1 Word with sound or solar : … SYSTEM
2 Few : NOT A LOT
3 See 57-Across : … AMERICA
4 Subsequent versions : REDRAFTS
5 Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA
6 Word before and after “a” : MANO
7 Turned on : POWERED UP
8 Kind of symmetry : AXIAL
9 A pretty capable sort : NO SLOUCH
10 Singer DiFranco : ANI
11 Big name in bubbly : MOET
12 Small woodland songbird : BUSHTIT
13 “Town square for the global village of tomorrow,” per Bill Gates : INTERNET
14 Jimmy of the Daily Planet : OLSEN
15 L.L. Bean competitor : REI
16 Medieval helmet : CASQUE
17 Exonerate : ACQUIT
18 Prime snorkeling spots : SHOALS
25 Like many stuffed animals : PLUSHY
29 PX shopper : NCO
31 The Quran, for one : SACRED BOOK
35 Mango Madness and Go Bananas, for two : SNAPPLES
37 Ones initiating handoffs, for short : QBS
39 Some mattresses : SERTAS
40 Indulgence : TREAT
45 Capital of French Polynesia : PAPEETE
47 Show again : REAIR
48 Caterer’s container : URN
50 A fine mesh this is! : SIEVE
51 Debussy prelude inspired by a water sprite : ONDINE
54 Outcast : PARIAH
55 Out of focus : BLURRY
56 Surface anew, say : RESOD
57 Post production : CEREAL
58 Without a doubt : ASSUREDLY
60 Turkish officers : PASHAS
62 Timid sort : SCAREDY CAT
63 Instrument in “O! Susannah” : BANJO
64 They’ll be mist : AEROSOLS
65 Super Bowl of 2022 : LVI
66 Place with robes and sweaters : SAUNA
70 Seasick sea serpent of old cartoons : CECIL
71 Bank posting : CD RATE
73 Words after throwing a ball : GO FETCH!
75 Grams : NANAS
77 Unbalance : TIP
82 Packaging list : INGREDIENTS
84 “L’chaim!” : TO LIFE!
85 (a, b), e.g. : ORDERED PAIR
87 Anthem contraction : O’ER
88 Suit perfectly : FIT TO A T
90 France from France : ANATOLE
91 Singer who founded Fenty Beauty : RIHANNA
92 What ponies express? : NEIGHS
93 Field-plowing duo : OX TEAM
94 Poem piece : STANZA
97 Notable point in geometry : VERTEX
98 U.N. member since 1949: Abbr. : ISR
100 Glittery decoration : TINSEL
102 Listing : ATILT
104 Beau ___ : GESTE
105 Ones with plenty of reservations : MAITRE D’S
108 Blade brand : ATRA
110 Days of old : YORE
113 Suffix with court or cash : -IER
115 Deli supply : LOX
117 Surveillance org. : NSA

16 thoughts on “0214-21 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 21, Sunday”

  1. I finished this puzzle after finding and fixing a stupid error: I had entered CALQUE in place of CASQUE, and I’d never heard of SISQUO or his “Thorn Song”, so I had a hard time finding the problem. And I’m not reporting my time, as it includes a series of annoying interruptions having nothing to do with the process of solving the puzzle. (An enjoyable solve, once I figured out the gimmick, but a rather annoying evening for other reasons.)

  2. 41:09 with one lookup (for the SISQO, CASQUE, QUA crossings – kind of tough) and about 5 minutes for a fat-finger since I had ASSES not ARSES. After I also figured out that there was a RED in the rebus (at first I was “looking for LOVE” to be in the rebus but I was obviously looking in all the wrong places) it got simpler. Did not realize the extra letters spelled out RUBY LIPS until coming here.

  3. 24:41. Took me a couple minutes to find a typo. Plus I originally had SHORES for 18D which slowed me down in the NE.
    I embiggen the puzzle on my laptop screen, which often puts the “Rebus” button off the screen, which meant quite a bit of scrolling up and down. Mildly irritating and definitely slowing.

    I felt the cluing on this one was a touch harder than a typical Sunday.

  4. 54:37 with a few errors (read: guesses) I had to go back and do alphabet runs to finish. One of the most difficult Sunday puzzles for me in recent memory for whatever reason. A lot I didn’t know…ok maybe THAT’s the reason.

    Got the theme early and leaned on it as much as I could. I just got the RED part. I didn’t see the rest until the blog.

    Agree with Tom R. This was more like Saturday cluing.

    We had a monsoon here in Las Vegas yesterday with 73 mph gusts of wind. It was like being in the tornado scene of The Wizard of Oz. 15 mins after it started, it was over.

    I was driving home midday and saw a wall of dust coming my way. I parked my car in my garage and within 15 seconds it hit. My backyard and pool furniture was thrown all over the place. I was fishing several cushions out of the pool. Some heavy chairs were blown several meters from their normal place. Tables were upside down. It was crazy.

    Long story short (if that’s still possible at this point), I’m now going out to try to put everything back in its place.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff: for future crossword reference (or just trivia in general) I believe the phenomenon you experienced is called a Haboob. You probable already knew that.

  5. 1:16:41 Figured out the gimmick when I finally came around to accept that there would be an extra letter attached to the word “red”, but as is obvious, took a while to come to grips with that. Definitely a challenge, but a good excuse to sit in my recliner for over an hour with a Coke and some chips.

  6. @Jeff. I agree with just about everything you said. 54:07 with a couple of “hints.” You had a dust storm, we had a snowstorm here in Western Washington. I had to get a truck with a winch to get my car out of my daughter’s yard when it slid off the driveway. Hard Sunday all the way around.

  7. Over 2 hours and still had 2 errors in 57D…a struggle all the way.
    I don’t think I want to do any more puzzles by this setter.
    Stay safe😀

    1. I feel the same way. I ended up throwing out the puzzle unfinished, a first for me. I will remember the name of the maker and if comes up again I will pass.

  8. 39:57, no errors. Actually figured out that the rebuses contained RED (something) about halfway through the solve; they added up to RUBY L; so I was able to enter the remaining 3 before solving the bottom half of the puzzle.

  9. It took me a while to cotton on to RED. As a Scot, I, worried a bit about ‘arses’ – surely not, I thought! I also didn’t know Sisqo, yomama, Stax, or Wheel of Fortune freebee RSTLNE. Otherwise, I think I did pretty well by 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon. Before COVID-19 lockdown in Montreal, the N.Y. Times Sunday Crossword took me a week to finish!
    To folks south of the US-Canada border. Be well, stay safe.
    Please wear a mask, then maybe I can visit my family in CO – it’s been a year and four months!

  10. I think this was the worst and most frustrating Sunday nyt puzzles ever. I don’t think I would want to do another of this person’s puzzles.

  11. Never heard of STEFAN Fatsis, SISQO, QUA, Sui generis, OLY, Taro cake, STAX, REI, ONDINE, Beany and Cecil, Anatole France
    Able to get almost everything
    Only stopped by SISQO -REI cross and ONDINE-generis cross.

    Q: Are puzzlemakers trying to tell us something by 7 and 10 A?

    Also wanted to use a RED pen to put single letters in the shaded squares.

  12. In reference to the Las Vegas storm noted by @Jeff, there was a “Q” storm in the NE corner of this grid. I couldn’t keep up.
    Got the theme but I was hoping it also created a drawing of some lips. I connected the circles but it looks like what I believe I looked like in my first kiss. Very ackward!!!

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