0204-22 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 22, Friday

Constructed by: Joseph Greenbaum
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Letters between two names : AKA

Also known as (aka)

10 Like the start of an Ironman race : SWUM

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

14 Ben & Jerry’s sundae with an estimated 14,000 calories : VERMONSTER

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did a correspondence course on making ice-cream in 1977 that was given by Pennsylvania State University’s creamery. The following year they opened an ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Today Ben & Jerry’s has locations in over 20 countries around the world, and theirs was the first brand of ice-cream to go into space.

17 Bowie song that begins with the lyric “It’s a God-awful small affair to the girl with the mousy hair” : LIFE ON MARS

If you listen to David Bowie’s 1973 song “Life on Mars?”, you might notice a similarity to Frank Sinatra’s 1969 hit “My Way” (written by Paul Anka). Both songs are based on a 1967 French tune called “Comme d’habitude”.

18 Nonprofit with the tagline “No More Victims” : MADD

Candace Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drunk-driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

19 Quarters : AREAS

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

20 Company at the heart of an early 2000s scandal : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

22 Driving stabilizer : TEE

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

25 Essence of the Hippocratic oath : DO NO HARM

“First, do no harm” is a translation of the Latin phrase “Primum non nocere”. The phrase is a principle used in the world of medicine that reminds a provider of healthcare that to do nothing might be better than intervening in some situations. It is often said that “First, do no harm” is found in the text of the Hippocratic Oath, but that’s just not true. What is true is that the line “I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them” is included.

30 Fiscal arm of the executive branch, in brief : OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the successor to the Bureau of the Budget that was formed in 1970 during the Nixon administration. The main task of the OMB is to prepare the budget for the federal government. The Director of the OMB is a member of the Cabinet.

33 Henchman : GOON

The term “goon” was coined by American humorist Frederick J. Allen in a 1921 “Harper’s” piece titled “The Goon and His Style”. The article defines a good as “a person with a heavy touch” someone lacking “a playful mind”. The term was popularized in the “Thimble Theater” comic strips featuring Popeye. The first use of “goon” to describe a hired thug was in 1938, with reference to strikebreakers.

40 “Horse, Pipe and Red Flower” painter (1920) : MIRO

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. He immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miró was “the most Surrealist of us all”. There are two museums dedicated to Miró’s work. The Fundació Joan Miró is in his native Barcelona, and the Fundació Miró Mallorca is in Palma de Mallorca, where the artist spent much of his life.

41 Relative of Inc. : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

47 Squares, e.g. : RHOMBI

“Rhomb” is an alternative name for a rhombus (plural “rhombi”), a 4-sided figure with sides of equal length and angles at the corners that aren’t right angles. So, that would make a rhombus a “diamond” shape.

51 Acapulco gold : ORO

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

57 1987 sci-fi comedy spoof : SPACEBALLS

“Spaceballs” is a 1987 spoof of sci-fi films that mainly pokes fun at the “Star Wars” franchise. It was co-written and directed by, and indeed stars, Mel Brooks.

59 Ireland’s best-selling solo artist : ENYA

Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

60 Potentially destructive marine growth : ALGAL BLOOM

An algal bloom that takes on a red or brown color is commonly referred to as “red tide”. The algae causing the bloom are phytoplankton containing photosynthetic pigments that give the red/brown color. Some red tides are extremely harmful to marine life as there can be a depletion of oxygen dissolved in the seawater. The algae can also contain natural toxins that can kill those creatures that eat it.

63 San Francisco’s ___ Valley : NOE

Noe Valley is a neighborhood in San Francisco. The area is named after José de Jesús Noé who was the last Mexican mayor of Yerba Buena, which is what San Francisco was called when it was part of Mexico.

Down

1 Where a high school yearbook club may meet, informally : AV LAB

Audio-visual (AV)

2 Actress Knightley : KEIRA

English actress Keira Knightley had her big break in the movies when she co-starred in 2002’s “Bend It Like Beckham”. Knightley played one of my favorite movie roles, Elizabeth Bennett in 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Knightley won a Golden Globe for that performance, although that 2005 film isn’t the best adaptation of Austen’s novel in my humble opinion …

3 Spoke spaniel? : ARFED

Spaniels are gun dogs or bird dogs, i.e. hunting dogs bred to find and retrieve game. The etymology of “spaniel” suggests that the breed is Spanish in origin, as the term came into English from the Old French “espaigneul” meaning “Spanish”.

6 Lemony Snicket antagonist named after a Salinger orphan : ESME

“Lemony Snicket” is a pen name used by Daniel Handler, a novelist from San Francisco, California. Snicket also appears as the narrator of his books, including the best known of the works: “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. Count Olaf is the antagonist in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.

J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” that was originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

9 Director Welles : ORSON

Orson Welles is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for directing and narrating 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

10 Σ, in math : SUM

Sigma (Σ) is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound, equivalent to our letter S. Sigma is used in mathematics to represent a summation, the adding together of a sequence of numbers.

13 Online hookup : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

15 Comic partner of Stiller : MEARA

Comedian Jerry Stiller wrote a 2000 memoir titled “Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara”. Stiller married Anne Meara in 1954, and was married to him until her passing in 2015.

24 Indiana’s state flower : PEONY

The flowering plant called a peony is named for Paean, the mythical physician to the Greek gods.

26 Comedian Kevin : HART

Kevin Hart is an actor and comedian from Philadelphia. Hart plays the lead role on a reality TV parody on BET called “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.

28 A call for help : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

30 The Magic, on scoreboards : ORL

The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of “Heat”, “Tropics”, “Juice” and “Magic”. A committee then opted for “Orlando Magic”. A good choice I think …

35 Pampering, in brief : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

37 Hebrew letter on a dreidel : SHIN

A dreidel is a spinning top with four sides that is often associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Each of the four sides on a dreidel bears a letter from the Hebrew alphabet (nun, gimel, hei and shin). The four letters are the initials of the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” meaning “a great miracle happened there”. According to tradition, children would be taught Torah while hiding in caves away from the Greeks. When Greek soldiers approached, the children would hide their torah scrolls and play with their dreidels instead.

45 Clan symbol : TOTEM

“Totem” is a word used to describe any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature, and often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

46 H-1B and B-1, for two : VISAS

A visa is usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

49 “The Bare Necessities” bear : BALOO

“The Jungle Book” is a 2016, live-action Disney film based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories with the same title. The impressive voice cast includes Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johnsson as Kaa, and Christopher Walkenb as King Louis. The film was a big success, and for a while held the record for the most successful remake of all time (it was a remake of the 1967 animated feature “The Jungle Book”).

53 Bamboozle : SCAM

It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

56 Popeye’s anchor, e.g., for short : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, ran for ten years before Popeye made an appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even hogged the strip’s title. Before Popeye turned up, Olive Oyl was the main character.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Letters between two names : AKA
4 Deliberately gives bad information : LIES TO
10 Like the start of an Ironman race : SWUM
14 Ben & Jerry’s sundae with an estimated 14,000 calories : VERMONSTER
16 “Yeah … never gonna happen” : UH … NO
17 Bowie song that begins with the lyric “It’s a God-awful small affair to the girl with the mousy hair” : LIFE ON MARS
18 Nonprofit with the tagline “No More Victims” : MADD
19 Quarters : AREAS
20 Company at the heart of an early 2000s scandal : ENRON
22 Driving stabilizer : TEE
23 Issue with image quality, informally? : BAD REP
25 Essence of the Hippocratic oath : DO NO HARM
27 Naval agreement? : AYE, SIR
29 Traces : TADS
30 Fiscal arm of the executive branch, in brief : OMB
33 Henchman : GOON
34 Easy ___ : STREET
36 Uses one’s brain : REASONS
38 Nickname of 6′ 9″ N.F.L. great Ed Jones : TOO TALL
39 Food brand since 1922 with a Chinese character in its logo : LA CHOY
40 “Horse, Pipe and Red Flower” painter (1920) : MIRO
41 Relative of Inc. : LLC
42 Winter Olympics equipment : SKIS
43 Most smelly : RIPEST
45 Stop working for good? : TURN EVIL
47 Squares, e.g. : RHOMBI
51 Acapulco gold : ORO
52 “Jeepers!” : YIPES!
54 Corroded : ATE AT
55 Stain : TINT
57 1987 sci-fi comedy spoof : SPACEBALLS
59 Ireland’s best-selling solo artist : ENYA
60 Potentially destructive marine growth : ALGAL BLOOM
61 Ones in charge: Abbr. : MGMT
62 Apt : SEEMLY
63 San Francisco’s ___ Valley : NOE

Down

1 Where a high school yearbook club may meet, informally : AV LAB
2 Actress Knightley : KEIRA
3 Spoke spaniel? : ARFED
4 Casual, casually : LOOSEY GOOSEY
5 Pensione relative : INN
6 Lemony Snicket antagonist named after a Salinger orphan : ESME
7 Placeholder : STAND-IN
8 Little rascal : TERROR
9 Director Welles : ORSON
10 Σ, in math : SUM
11 “I can’t afford NOT to buy it!” : WHAT A DEAL!
12 Not stress so much? : UNDERSELL
13 Online hookup : MODEM
15 Comic partner of Stiller : MEARA
21 Altogether pretty good : NOT TOO SHABBY
24 Indiana’s state flower : PEONY
26 Comedian Kevin : HART
28 A call for help : SOS
30 The Magic, on scoreboards : ORL
31 Kind of cup : MEASURING
32 “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response” vis-à-vis Amber Alert, e.g. : BACKRONYM
34 Less gracious when losing, say : SORER
35 Pampering, in brief : TLC
37 Hebrew letter on a dreidel : SHIN
38 That’s the point! : TIP
40 Figure that determines an air passenger’s status : MILEAGE
43 ___ effect : RIPPLE
44 Wreck : TOTAL
45 Clan symbol : TOTEM
46 H-1B and B-1, for two : VISAS
48 Head, in slang : MELON
49 “The Bare Necessities” bear : BALOO
50 Part of a classic breakup line : IT’S ME
53 Bamboozle : SCAM
56 Popeye’s anchor, e.g., for short : TAT
58 Not-so-common studio apartment shape : ELL

10 thoughts on “0204-22 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 22, Friday”

  1. 8:14. Smooth sailing until the SW. I’d never heard of BACKRONYM, MGMT threw me off a bit, and I wasn’t thinking of TOTEM for a clan symbol.

  2. 16:29, no errors. A few things I wasn’t sure of in this one. At the end, I paused over “VERMONSTER”, thinking, “Are you serious?” Finally closed my eyes, put in the final letter (somewhere else), opened them again, and … all was well! 😜

  3. 22:41. Getting to this 11 days after the fact. Coincidentally, I was in Acapulco when this puzzle came out, but I didn’t find any ORO there except perhaps the tequila.

    VERMONSTER threw me too. I looked it up. You START with 20 (that’s not a typo) scoops of ice cream (any flavor or combo of flavors), add an entire layer of bananas, throw on three cookies and a brownie on top of all that, add 4 servings of hot fudge or caramel, ten spoonfuls of walnuts, and then whatever toppings you can handle after that. Not recommended as part of a weight loss regimen….

    Best –

  4. Same as everyone else. BACKRONYM
    hit me right between the eyes. Had BACK_ONYM for a good 5 minutes. But I had TU_NEVIL also for a long time. Why couldn’t I get the R!!!!!!!

    I haven’t seen SWUM for a while.
    First time seeing NOE valley.

  5. 31:13, 2 errors: ALGA(E) BLOOM; E(E)L. This felt, to me, like I was wading through waist deep mud.
    If memory serves, a rhombus is a figure with 4 equal sides. A particular type of rhombus which has 4 equal (right angle) corners is called a square.

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