0202-22 NY Times Crossword 2 Feb 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Meredith Colton Hazy
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Grid Positions

Themed answers are each in two parts. The relative position of each part in the grid is used to give the full answer:

  • 18A With 20-Across, goes to great lengths : BENDS (OVER) …
  • 20A See 18-Across : BACKWARDS
  • 35A With 39-Across, superior : A CUT (ABOVE)
  • 39A See 35-Across : THE REST
  • 41A With 36-Across, plays dirty : HITS (BELOW)
  • 36A See 41-Across : THE BELT
  • 60A With 55-Across, no longer an issue : WATER (UNDER)
  • 55A See 60-Across : THE BRIDGE

Bill’s time: 12m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Basis of a trivia question : FACT

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

5 Selects from various places : CULLS

To cull is to pick out the best, get rid of the rejects.

10 Main component of soapstone : TALC

The metamorphic rock known as soapstone or steatite has a myriad of uses, largely because it is relatively soft. It feels quite soapy to the touch, hence the name “soapstone”. It can be used for making countertops, or as a medium for artistic and decorative carving. It’s also used by tailors as a marking tool on cloth.

14 Party with poi and poke : LUAU

Nowadays, the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

15 Threat to the Allies in W.W. II : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German word “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

16 Brouhahas : ADOS

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

17 Website links : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

22 Roll of fabric : BOLT

“Bolt” is the name given to a roll of cloth of specific length, especially one coming directly off a loom.

34 Solidify, as Jell-O : SET

If you like Jell-O, then you might want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …

44 Actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from Britain and Ireland, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

45 “The price is negotiable,” in classified ads : OBO

Or best offer (OBO)

49 Airport inits. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

50 Prominent Venetian Renaissance painter : TITIAN

Titian was an Italian painter and a founding member of the Venetian School of the 16th century. His most famous work is probably “Assumption of the Virgin”, which was commissioned for the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice and which can be seen there on the high altar to this very day.

52 Particle binding quarks together : GLUON

A gluon is a hypothetical, subatomic particle postulated as being necessary to bind (or “glue”) together quarks, hence the name “gluon”.

65 Lead-in to wolf : WERE

The prefix “were-” as in “werewolf” derives from an old word “wer” meaning “man”. Hence a werewolf is a “man-wolf”.

67 Sources for longbow wood : YEWS

Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

Down

3 Class with integrals, for short : CALC

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

4 Walrus weapons : TUSKS

Walruses are large marine mammals with very prominent tusks. Their natural habitat is in and around the northern hemisphere’s Arctic Ocean.

6 Took a car, in a way : UBERED

Transportation network company Uber was founded in 2009 as “UberCab”. The company name was changed to “Uber” in 2011. The name change was largely driven by complaints from taxi operators in San Francisco.

7 La capital de Inglaterra : LONDRES

In Spanish, “la capital de Inglaterra” (the capital of England) is “Londres” (London).

10 Vehicle named after a lake : TAHOE

The Chevrolet Blazer SUV was renamed, and is now known as the Chevy Tahoe. And, the GMC Yukon is basically the same car. All very confusing …

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. It is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general behind the five Great Lakes. Tahoe is also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

13 Winter hrs. in New Orleans : CST

Central Standard Time (CST)

21 Surname of Batman, by day : WAYNE

Bruce Wayne is the secret identity of Batman in the comic series created by DC Comics. The first name of Bruce was chosen as a homage to the Scottish king and heroic figure, Robert the Bruce. The family name was a nod to “Mad Anthony” Wayne, the US Army general and statesman who rose to prominence in the Revolutionary War.

24 Piano-playing sister in “Little Women” : BETH

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

28 Abstainer from alcohol : TEETOTALER

Teetotalism is the practice of abstaining from alcohol. The teetotalism movement started in England in the 1800s.

33 C-section performers : OBS

In Latin, the word for midwife is “obstetrix”. “Obstetrix” translates more literally as “one who stands opposite” i.e. the one opposite the woman giving birth. The Latin term gives rise to our modern word “obstetrics” used for the branch of medical science concerned with childbirth.

55 Popular boba flavor : TARO

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

58 Brand name in the freezer : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Basis of a trivia question : FACT
5 Selects from various places : CULLS
10 Main component of soapstone : TALC
14 Party with poi and poke : LUAU
15 Threat to the Allies in W.W. II : U-BOAT
16 Brouhahas : ADOS
17 Website links : URLS
18 With 20-Across, goes to great lengths : BENDS (OVER)
19 Party giver : HOST
20 See 18-Across : BACKWARDS
22 Roll of fabric : BOLT
23 More reasonable : SANER
24 Bottom-first birth position : BREECH
26 “Scram!” : GIT!
29 One in peak singing condition? : YODELER
31 Saint, in Portuguese : SAO
32 Pull a fast ___ : ONE ON
34 Solidify, as Jell-O : SET
35 With 39-Across, superior : A CUT (ABOVE)
36 See 41-Across : THE BELT
39 See 35-Across : THE REST
41 With 36-Across, plays dirty : HITS (BELOW)
42 “Impressive!” : OOH!
44 Actress Zellweger : RENEE
45 “The price is negotiable,” in classified ads : OBO
46 What might display a little spirit? : MINIBAR
49 Airport inits. : TSA
50 Prominent Venetian Renaissance painter : TITIAN
52 Particle binding quarks together : GLUON
54 Like some tales : TALL
55 See 60-Across : THE BRIDGE
59 Isolate, in modern lingo : SILO
60 With 55-Across, no longer an issue : WATER (UNDER)
61 Discovery : FIND
62 Notable nights : EVES
63 Wear away : ERODE
64 It might come with breakfast in bed : TRAY
65 Lead-in to wolf : WERE
66 ___-turvy : TOPSY
67 Sources for longbow wood : YEWS

Down

1 Blunder : FLUB
2 Emanation : AURA
3 Class with integrals, for short : CALC
4 Walrus weapons : TUSKS
5 Sandwich invented in Florida, despite what its name suggests : CUBANO
6 Took a car, in a way : UBERED
7 La capital de Inglaterra : LONDRES
8 Fellas : LADS
9 Crosswalks cross them: Abbr. : STS
10 Vehicle named after a lake : TAHOE
11 One between 10 and 20, say : ADOLESCENT
12 They’re hopeless : LOST CAUSES
13 Winter hrs. in New Orleans : CST
21 Surname of Batman, by day : WAYNE
22 Cold comment? : BRR!
24 Piano-playing sister in “Little Women” : BETH
25 Something brewing : HOT TEA
26 Went on a lucky streak : GOT HOT
27 Constraining : INHIBITIVE
28 Abstainer from alcohol : TEETOTALER
30 Tennis call : LET!
33 C-section performers : OBS
35 “So there you ___!” : ARE
37 Pork order : LOIN
38 Boatload : TON
40 Blunder : ERROR
43 Style of sneaker : HIGH-TOP
46 Bad, in French : MAL
47 Demands blackmail from : BLEEDS
48 ___ Beardsley, 19th-century English illustrator : AUBREY
51 Words of concession : I LOSE
53 Dandy : NIFTY
55 Popular boba flavor : TARO
56 Grim : DIRE
57 Chew (on) : GNAW
58 Brand name in the freezer : EDY’S
59 Do a bit of tailoring : SEW
60 Rainy : WET

11 thoughts on “0202-22 NY Times Crossword 2 Feb 22, Wednesday”

  1. 26:31 – 3 cheats. GLUON, AUBREY, LONDRES.

    For a newbie and a Wednesday, I’m happy with it.

    “Partially” got the theme, caught on to “over”, etc. Didn’t get the “placement” until reading Bill’s commentary.

    Even so, getting part of it really helped.

    Be Well.

  2. Forgot to go back and change my 34A from GEL to SET!!

    cute grid position theme. Wasn’t too hard.

  3. 13:23, no errors. I remember thinking ‘It would be better if they put in the missing word’ after filling A CUT … THE REST. It wasn’t until I backfilled BEND … BACKWARDS that I realized how positioning played a part.

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