0211-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Feb 22, Friday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Themer: None

Bill’s time: 11m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Subject of the so-called “surgeon’s photograph” of 1934 : LOCH NESS MONSTER

The Surgeon’s Photograph is an image that was taken in 1934, supposedly of the Loch Ness Monster. It is perhaps the most famous picture of Nessie to this day, the one with a “head” and “neck” sticking up out of the water. The picture’s renown doesn’t seem to have abated, even though in the mid-nineties the photograph was shown to be a hoax. The picture is called the Surgeon’s Photograph because it was taken by a Dr. Wilson.

18 Squad leader? : ESS

The leading letter in the word “squad” is a letter S (ess).

19 Cinemax competitor : TMC

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of The Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

20 Judicial ratings grp. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

21 Terra’s Greek counterpart : GAIA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (also “Gaia”, and meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

22 British territory in the Atlantic : BERMUDA

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory that is located off the east coast of the US. It is named for the Spaniard Juan de Bermúdez who in 1503 became the first European to discover the archipelago. Bermuda is the oldest remaining British Overseas Territory (since Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949). It is also the most populous British Overseas Territory (since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997).

27 Pioneering automaker : BENZ

It is generally accepted that Karl Benz invented the internal combustion engine, although others were doing similar work around the same time. He certainly was awarded the first patent for an automobile, in 1886. His first automobile, the Patent-Motorwagen, couldn’t get up hills unaided so his wife Bertha Benz suggested the introduction of gears. Sure enough, the next model had two gears. Behind every successful man …

29 “En ___!” : GARDE

“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning (“on guard!”), the phrase is used at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

30 Language spoken along the Mekong : LAO

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

32 Collectible print, in brief : LITHO

Lithography is a printing technique that was invented in 1796 as a cheap way to publish theatrical works. In the litho process the image is drawn on a metal plate, although originally it was drawn on a stone (hence the prefix “litho-“). The image is drawn in such a way that some regions of the plate repel ink, and then when paper is applied to the plate, those areas are ink-free. A “lithograph” is a print that is made using the technique, and is often a reproduction of a work of art.

34 Certain list recipient : SANTA

Santa checks his list of those who are naughty or nice.

35 Bailiwick : AREA

“Bailiwick” is a word dating back to the mid-1600s. The term originally meant “district of a bailiff”.

36 Big ___ : BEN

“Big Ben” is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower (“Elizabeth Tower” since 2012) of the Palace of Westminster (aka “Houses of Parliament”). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who supervised the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way for four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

37 Philosopher Diderot : DENIS

Denis Diderot was a French philosopher and writer who is best known as chief editor and co-founder of “Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers” (Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts). The “Encyclopédie” was published between 1751 and 1772, and is famous for representing the thought of the Age of Enlightenment.

38 High point of the Old Testament, for short : MT ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

40 Blues Hall-of-Famer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

44 Mo. for watching the Perseid meteor shower : AUG

The two most famous meteor showers are the Perseids and Leonids. The Perseid meteor shower is most visible around August 12th each year, and the Leonid meteor shower is most notable around November 17th. The Perseids appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, and the Leonids from the constellation Leo (hence the names “Perseids” and “Leonids”).

48 Gives an earful : READS THE RIOT ACT

The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act to” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

Down

1 Notable founding of 1701 : YALE

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

3 Tolkien creatures : ORCS

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction as well as in fantasy video games.

7 Lover of Italian opera : TOSCA

Unlike so many operas, Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Currently, “Tosca” is the eighth-most performed opera in America.

8 Field stats : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

9 Food named for a world capital (but pronounced differently) : LIMA BEAN

The lima bean is also known as the butter bean or madagascar bean. It was introduced to Europe from the area around Lima, Peru, hence the name.

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

10 1962 pop hit with a rhyming title : ESO BESO

“Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the title of a 1962 hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.

12 Justice Dept. bigwigs : AGS

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) was created in 1870 by the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, although the office of the Attorney General (AG) had been operating since 1789. The DOJ Building in Washington, D.C. was completed in 1935, and was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001.

13 N.Y.C.’s first subway line : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

23 The X-Men, for example : MUTANTS

The X-Men are a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays, the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains whom the X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

24 Muse for Galileo : URANIA

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

The great Italian polymath Galileo Galilei made many discoveries in the world of astronomy. For example, he was the first to identify Jupiter’s four largest moons. Notably, Galileo used his telescope to confirm the heliocentric model, in which the planets revolve around the Sun. For his denial of geocentrism, Galileo spent his final days under house arrest, having been deemed “suspect of heresy” by the Roman Inquisition in 1615.

25 Muscles strengthened by push-ups, informally : DELTS

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

27 Flat-bottomed riverboat : BATEAU

“Bateau” is a French word meaning “boat”. The term can be used in English to describe any small craft, but in particular in North America to describe a flat-bottomed boat with a shallow draft that was especially popular in the colonial period.

32 Hasty getaways : LAMS

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

37 Reynolds’s co-star in 1981’s “The Cannonball Run” : DELUISE

Dom DeLuise was a talented comic actor, but also an avid cook. DeLuise wrote several books on cooking and appeared regularly on radio cooking shows. He also wrote a few children’s books.

Actor Burt Reynolds is famous for playing Bandit in “Smokey and the Bandit” and Lewis Medlock in “Deliverance”, but his critically acclaimed performance was as Jack Horner in the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights”. Off the screen, Reynolds was quite the man around town, and was romantically linked to the likes of Tammy Wynette, Lucie Arnaz (daughter of Lucille Ball), Sally Field, Dinah Shore and Chris Evert. He was married to Judy Carne, as well as Loni Anderson.

“The Cannonball Run” and “The Gumball Rally” are a pair of movies inspired by the real-life Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. The “Dash” was a less-than-legal race run four times in the seventies using public highways to get from the east to the west coast. “Cannonball Run” was an action film, whereas “The Gumball Rally” is more of a comedy.

39 Carol opener : ADESTE …

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitled “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather than “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

46 Big name in frozen confections : ICEE

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

47 Some terminal info, for short : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

48 Piece of BBQ : RIB

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

49 Amarillo-to-Dallas dir. : ESE

Amarillo, in the Texas Panhandle, is known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” because Amarillo is the Spanish for “yellow”. The city was originally called Oneida.

The settlement that was to become the Texas city of Dallas was established in 1841. The settlement became a city in 1856, and owed its early growth to the construction of railroads starting in 1873.

51 Company that introduced Saran Wrap : DOW

Dow Chemical Company was founded back in 1897 by a chemist called Herbert Henry Dow, and initially manufactured and sold bleach and potassium bromide. Dow merged with DuPont in 2017 to create DowDuPont, the world’s largest chemical company.

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

52 Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

53 Onetime cable giant acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI

Tele-Communications, Inc (TCI) was the largest provider of cable television service in the US for a while. The company was founded in 1968 and was headquartered in Denver. TCI was bought by AT&T in 1999.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Words to a skeptic : YE OF LITTLE FAITH
16 What friendly opponents may do : AGREE TO DISAGREE
17 Subject of the so-called “surgeon’s photograph” of 1934 : LOCH NESS MONSTER
18 Squad leader? : ESS
19 Cinemax competitor : TMC
20 Judicial ratings grp. : ABA
21 Terra’s Greek counterpart : GAIA
22 British territory in the Atlantic : BERMUDA
27 Pioneering automaker : BENZ
28 Handmade signs? : GESTURES
29 “En ___!” : GARDE
30 Language spoken along the Mekong : LAO
31 Account : TALE
32 Collectible print, in brief : LITHO
33 Morale booster : WIN
34 Certain list recipient : SANTA
35 Bailiwick : AREA
36 Big ___ : BEN
37 Philosopher Diderot : DENIS
38 High point of the Old Testament, for short : MT ARARAT
40 Blues Hall-of-Famer James : ETTA
41 [How horrible!] : [SHUDDER!]
42 Word of regret : ALAS
43 Down : EAT
44 Mo. for watching the Perseid meteor shower : AUG
45 Fade away : DIE
48 Gives an earful : READS THE RIOT ACT
54 Rhetorical question lamenting a lack of respect : IS NOTHING SACRED?
55 Implicatively : BETWEEN THE LINES

Down

1 Notable founding of 1701 : YALE
2 Impediments to teamwork : EGOS
3 Tolkien creatures : ORCS
4 “Yuck!” : FEH!
5 Gradually slowing, in music : LENTANDO
6 Inventory : ITEMIZE
7 Lover of Italian opera : TOSCA
8 Field stats : TDS
9 Food named for a world capital (but pronounced differently) : LIMA BEAN
10 1962 pop hit with a rhyming title : ESO BESO
11 Some unauthorized drawings : FAN ART
12 Justice Dept. bigwigs : AGS
13 N.Y.C.’s first subway line : IRT
14 Buttonless garment : TEE
15 Singer with a 2018 Grammy for Best R&B Album : HER
21 ___ Richter, contemporary artist whose painting “Abstraktes Bild (599)” sold at auction for a record-setting $46.3 million dollars : GERHARD
23 The X-Men, for example : MUTANTS
24 Muse for Galileo : URANIA
25 Muscles strengthened by push-ups, informally : DELTS
26 Offshore : ASEA
27 Flat-bottomed riverboat : BATEAU
28 Flash : GLINT
29 Circumference : GIRTH
32 Hasty getaways : LAMS
33 Become harder to bear : WEAR THIN
34 Give oneself something to aim for : SET A GOAL
36 “Just try to be calm …” : BREATHE …
37 Reynolds’s co-star in 1981’s “The Cannonball Run” : DELUISE
39 Carol opener : ADESTE …
42 Exclamation of exasperation : AARGH!
45 Exclamation of disappointment : DARN!
46 Big name in frozen confections : ICEE
47 Some terminal info, for short : ETDS
48 Piece of BBQ : RIB
49 Amarillo-to-Dallas dir. : ESE
50 Creature without ears that uses vibrations to “hear” : ANT
51 Company that introduced Saran Wrap : DOW
52 Tolkien creature : ENT
53 Onetime cable giant acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI

12 thoughts on “0211-22 NY Times Crossword 11 Feb 22, Friday”

  1. 22:14, no errors. An elegant grid, IMO, but I had more problems than it seems I should have had with the top three rows, and I finished there, filling them in more or less from right to left. (Awkward … but … eventually … I got ‘er done … 🙂.)

  2. 24:23 Did the down answers first, which opened up the long across answers for me. Sort of like having dessert first👍

  3. 26:40. Most of my issues were in the top 3 rows. I had mEH before FEH so YEOm to start a phrase meant nothing to me. Took me way too long to figure that out.

    Another saran wrap reference. At least I know now to blame DOW chemical for it…

    Best –

  4. Apparently “feh” is a word of Yiddish origin, typically used as an exclamation of disapproval or disgust. No, I didn’t know that off the top of my head….and actually I didn’t even notice it in the grid after I got the music of success. Stuff you learn from these puzzles….

  5. 15:27. Made good progress with the downs and with enough letters in the gaps, the long acrosses then came easily. Also have no idea about “FEH”

  6. Tough for me.. I also ended up working right to left. Cornered myself at LITHO and GERHARD intersection. Misspelled both of them. I had LITRE and GERRARD. I didn’t know them either.
    I thought I did good. Even guessed BATEAU right. Flat bottomed boat! Huh!

    Not sure what happened to my Thursday post but I liked that one too!

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