0223-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Feb 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Kate Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Potty Mouth

Themed answers each end with a synonym of “POTTY”:

  • 57A One using crude language … or one saying the last parts of the answers to the starred clues? : POTTY MOUTH
  • 18A *Seat for the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros : IRON THRONE
  • 24A *Devotee of Jerry Garcia’s band : DEADHEAD
  • 36A *”Can You Feel the Love Tonight” singer/composer : ELTON JOHN
  • 52A *Decisive defeat : WATERLOO

Bill’s time: 5m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Stat!” : ASAP!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

5 Long, loose dress : CAFTAN

A kaftan (also “caftan”) is a long robe that has been associated for centuries with Islamic cultures.

11 “___ NewsHour” : PBS

“NewsHour” is the evening news program broadcast daily by PBS. The show started out as “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” in 1975, and transitioned into the hour-long program “The NewsHour” in 1983. That transition made “NewsHour” the nation’s first hour-long nightly news broadcast.

14 Lady ___, anthem singer at Biden’s inauguration : GAGA

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

16 Ad ___ : HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

17 Leader of an oil-rich land, maybe : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

20 T, in a sorority : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter that gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

23 “Movin’ ___” (“The Jeffersons” theme) : ON UP

The very popular sitcom called “The Jeffersons” ran from 1975 until it came to an abrupt end in 1985. CBS cancelled the show without even allowing a series finale that “wrapped things up”. In fact, lead actor Sherman Hemsley learned of the show’s cancellation in the newspaper.

24 *Devotee of Jerry Garcia’s band : DEADHEAD

The Grateful Dead were a rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area that was founded in 1965. “The Dead” disbanded in 1995 following the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. Grateful Dead fans (the ranks of whom include my wife) refer to themselves as “Deadheads”.

28 Pants measurement : WAIST

The term “pants”, meaning “trousers”, is an abbreviated form of “pantaloons” and first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy named “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

35 Map abbr. until 1991 : SSR

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” or “USSR”) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

36 *”Can You Feel the Love Tonight” singer/composer : ELTON JOHN

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is a hit song from the 1994 movie “The Lion King” that was composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice. The song was performed by voice actors during the film, and Elton John reprised it during the movie credits.

39 Home of the N.B.A.’s Thunder, for short : OKC

Oklahoma City (OKC)

The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team arrived in 2008 after relocating from Seattle, where they were named the SuperSonics. The “Thunder” name was chosen as a reference to Oklahoma City’s exposure to the storms of Tornado Alley, and to the 45th Infantry Division “Thunderbirds” who were headquartered there until 1968.

47 Canadian city whose name consists of two consecutive boys’ names : CALGARY

Calgary, the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta, is named for Calgary on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. The Canadian Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

49 “Hot” place for a cat in theater : TIN ROOF

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is the play that won Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play was adapted into a famous film version in 1958, with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman playing the leads.

52 *Decisive defeat : WATERLOO

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.

53 Word after wild or rolled : … OATS

Oat cereals all start out as “groats”, toasted oat grains with the hull still intact:

  • Steel-cut oats, sometimes called “Irish oats”, are groats that have been chopped into chunks about the size of sesame seeds.
  • Stone-ground oats, sometimes called “Scottish oats”, have been ground into smaller pieces, about the size of poppy seeds.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats are made by first steaming the toasted groats, and then rolling them into flakes.
  • Quick-cooking oats are similar to rolled oats, but thinner flakes.
  • Instant oats have been chopped, rolled, pre-cooked, dehydrated and often have salt and sugar added.

56 Key near Caps Lock : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

64 Lanai strings : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

65 “The ___ Show” (best-selling album of 2002) : EMINEM

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. Mathers grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He was raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

66 County name in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania : ERIE

There are three Erie Counties in the US:

  • Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

Down

2 Dr. Seuss’ ___-I-am : SAM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

5 CBS forensic series : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

6 Space shuttle supply : AIR

NASA’s Space Shuttle program was the agency’s fourth human spaceflight program, following Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Five fully functional shuttles were built and deployed into space:

  1. Columbia made its first flight in 1981, but was destroyed during a tragic reentry disaster in 2003.
  2. Challenger made its first flight in 1983, but was destroyed in an accident just after launch in 1986.
  3. Discovery made its first flight in 1984, and was retired to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex at Washington Dulles Airport
  4. Atlantis made its first flight in 1985, and was retired to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  5. Endeavour made its first flight in 1992, and was retired to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

13 King’s rod : SCEPTER

A scepter (“sceptre” in Britain and Ireland) is a ceremonial staff, one often held by a monarch.

19 Speckled horse : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

27 Lover of Cleopatra : ANTONY

Marc Antony rose to power in ancient Rome as the very loyal friend of Julius Caesar. Before he was assassinated, Caesar was the lover of Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt, and they had a child together. After Caesar’s death, Antony maintained a strong political alliance with Cleopatra, and in time the two became lovers. Antony and Cleopatra sided against Julius Caesar’s legal heir (later to be known as Augustus), leading to the Final War of the Roman Republic. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the Battle of Actium, and soon after the lovers committed suicide. Antony stabbed himself with his sword, and Cleopatra used a venomous asp.

30 Tex-Mex dish served in a soft tortilla : FAJITA

“Fajita” is a Tex-Mex term that refers to grilled meat served on a tortilla. The original Mexican-Spanish term “fajita” is used to describe a small strip of chicken or beef. Nowadays, fajitas are often served on a sizzling platter with the tortillas and condiments on the side.

37 Exam for a future D.A. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

39 Creature that might squirt ink and use tools : OCTOPUS

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

Octopodes and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopoda) and is stored in an ink sac. The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

40 Activity done while reading a screen : KARAOKE

“Karate” is a Japanese word meaning “empty hand”, and the related word “karaoke” translates as “empty orchestra”.

41 Apt anagram of RATTLE + C : CLATTER

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”

44 Late-night rival of Kimmel and Fallon : COLBERT

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.

Jimmy Kimmel is the host of the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kimmel also co-hosted “The Man Show” and my personal favorite, “Win Ben Stein’s Money”.

Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014. I’m not a big Fallon fan …

46 Hub NW of LAX : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines. Even though SFO is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, the airport is located to the south in San Mateo County.

54 Actress Watson of the “Harry Potter” films : EMMA

Emma Watson is an English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

62 ___ Grande : RIO

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Stat!” : ASAP!
5 Long, loose dress : CAFTAN
11 “___ NewsHour” : PBS
14 Lady ___, anthem singer at Biden’s inauguration : GAGA
15 Like the first “d” in “Wednesday” : SILENT
16 Ad ___ : HOC
17 Leader of an oil-rich land, maybe : EMIR
18 *Seat for the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros : IRON THRONE
20 T, in a sorority : TAU
22 Poem of tribute : ODE
23 “Movin’ ___” (“The Jeffersons” theme) : ON UP
24 *Devotee of Jerry Garcia’s band : DEADHEAD
28 Pants measurement : WAIST
29 Craftsperson : ARTISAN
30 Bride-to-be : FIANCEE
32 Honeybunch? : BEES
33 Makes plenty angry : STEAMS
35 Map abbr. until 1991 : SSR
36 *”Can You Feel the Love Tonight” singer/composer : ELTON JOHN
39 Home of the N.B.A.’s Thunder, for short : OKC
42 Submit : SEND IN
43 Delays no more : ACTS
47 Canadian city whose name consists of two consecutive boys’ names : CALGARY
49 “Hot” place for a cat in theater : TIN ROOF
51 Attribute : TRAIT
52 *Decisive defeat : WATERLOO
53 Word after wild or rolled : … OATS
54 I : EGO
56 Key near Caps Lock : TAB
57 One using crude language … or one saying the last parts of the answers to the starred clues? : POTTY MOUTH
61 Life is a long one : TERM
64 Lanai strings : UKE
65 “The ___ Show” (best-selling album of 2002) : EMINEM
66 County name in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania : ERIE
67 To be, in Spanish : SER
68 Like some truck trailers : TANDEM
69 Stash : STOW

Down

1 What a tot might indicate by holding up fingers : AGE
2 Dr. Seuss’ ___-I-am : SAM
3 Stir up : AGITATE
4 Heaven : PARADISE
5 CBS forensic series : CSI
6 Space shuttle supply : AIR
7 Inundate : FLOOD
8 Be in charge of, as a bar : TEND
9 Kick in seed money : ANTE
10 Last in a mathematical series : NTH
11 Subject that teaches the varying “ch” sounds of “cheap,” “chaos” and “charade” : PHONICS
12 Add-ons : BONUSES
13 King’s rod : SCEPTER
19 Speckled horse : ROAN
21 Speech fillers : UHS
24 Little bit, as of cream : DAB
25 Before, in poetry : ERE
26 Day for an egg hunt : EASTER
27 Lover of Cleopatra : ANTONY
28 Laundry : WASH
30 Tex-Mex dish served in a soft tortilla : FAJITA
31 “Just leave the job to me” : I’M ON IT
34 Last part : END
37 Exam for a future D.A. : LSAT
38 Does voice work for a documentary, say : NARRATES
39 Creature that might squirt ink and use tools : OCTOPUS
40 Activity done while reading a screen : KARAOKE
41 Apt anagram of RATTLE + C : CLATTER
44 Late-night rival of Kimmel and Fallon : COLBERT
45 Exceedingly : TOO
46 Hub NW of LAX : SFO
48 Heart : GIST
50 Court divider : NET
52 Concern for a medic : WOUND
54 Actress Watson of the “Harry Potter” films : EMMA
55 Enter : GO IN
58 Although : YET
59 Shirt named for its shape : TEE
60 “I dunno …” : HMM …
62 ___ Grande : RIO
63 Kitten’s sound : MEW

6 thoughts on “0223-21 NY Times Crossword 23 Feb 21, Tuesday”

  1. 12:27 Ironic puzzle, given that one of the ads on the blog suggests I “should stop wiping my butt” 😉

    Are any of the rest of the solvers seeing these ads for “Clear Rear” or am I the only one?

    1. @DuncanR …

      On my iPad, I use something called “AdBlock”, an add-on for Safari that gets rid of ads, so … no, I’m not seeing the ads that you are. In any case, the ads you see depend somewhat on your browsing history, so others may or may not be seeing the ads you mention.

      More and more sites won’t let me continue until I turn off the ad blocker, but, when I do turn it off, the number of ads I see is overwhelming. I fear that the internet may become useless in time. Perhaps its epitaph will be “A wonderful tool, ruined by commercialism”.

  2. My assumption regarding the ads was that they were part of the blog, perhaps as a tool to offset the costs of the blog itself(?) I’ll initiate a “Safari ad block sequence” and hopefully it will clear the Clear Rear and ear wax images/ads that keep showing up as part of the blog. I’m more amused by them than anything…fwiw, I go into Safari every other day and delete cookies and web scripts as they can take up quite a bit of space…

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