0212-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 22, Saturday

Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Balderdash : CLAPTRAP

“Claptrap” these days means nonsense talk. It was originally a term used on the stage meaning a trick to attract applause, hence the name “clap trap”.

15 1962 #1 hit for the Crystals featuring a biker on the record sleeve : HE’S A REBEL

Gene Pitney wrote the sixties hit song “He’s a Rebel”, and he intended it to be recorded by the Shirelles. The Shirelles passed on the song, and so producer Phil Spector gave the song to the Crystals. At the time the song’s recording was scheduled, the Crystals were on tour so Spector had Darlene Love perform the song in the studio, backed by the Blossoms. But when the recording was released, the song was credited to the Crystals and they had to add it to their concert repertoire. So, the Crystals had a number one hit that they didn’t even record!

21 Actor James of “The Blacklist” : SPADER

Actor James Spader’s breakthrough role was the male lead in the 1989 film “Sex, Lies and Videotape”. After building a successful career on the big screen, Spader played some high-profile characters on the small screen in shows like “The Practice”, “Boston Legal” and “The Blacklist”. Spader worked as a yoga instructor while he was starting out his career, and indeed met his ex-wife while working at a yoga studio in the eighties.

22 People with a language of the same name : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

23 Steamed source of stimulation : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk; there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

25 Famille member : PERE

In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

30 Russian dumplings : PIROGI

Pirogi (also “pierogi”) are Eastern European pies or dumplings, made from unleavened dough, that can have a sweet or savory filling.

37 Miser : SCROOGE

The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” to describe a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

39 Org. tracking metadata : NSA

“Metadata” is usually defined as “data about data”. The classic example is the card catalog of a library. The catalog is a set of data about a collection of books. Each entry in the catalog is data about a specific publication.

40 A sculpture of a three-legged one is considered lucky in feng shui : TOAD

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects, buildings and other structures in a manner that is said to improve the lives of the individuals living in or using the space. “Feng shui” translates as “wind-water”, a reference to the belief that positive and negative life forces ride the wind and scatter, but are retained when they encounter water.

45 Group whose logo is a mirror ambigram : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

48 N.B.A. great Baylor : ELGIN

Elgin Baylor is a retired NBA player and a former NBA general manager. Baylor spent 22 years as GM for the LA Clippers.

53 Central square, perhaps : TAC

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

55 Wicca symbol : PENTAGRAM

A pentagram is a star-shape with five points that has been drawn using five straight lines. The name “pentagram” comes from the Greek for “five line”. The shape is sometimes also called a “pentacle”, “pentalpha” or “pentangle”. The pentagram is used as a prominent symbol in several religions and movements, notably in modern occultism.

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

57 Two-time Grammy winner Bryson : PEABO

Peabo Bryson is a singer from Greenville, South Carolina. Bryson is noted for singing hits on Disney film soundtracks, often duets. Examples are “Beauty and the Beast” with Céline Dion, and “A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme) with Regina Bella.

58 Condiment made with peanuts : SATE SAUCE

The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.

61 Pal of Kent and Lane : OLSEN

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

Down

1 Figure skating move based on the arabesque in ballet : CAMEL SPIN

A camel spin is a figure skating move in which the skater spins on one leg with the free leg extended outwards with the knee held above the hip. The version of the move known as a flying camel spin is initiated with a jump before adopting the formal spin position. The latter was first performed by US figure skater Dick Button.

In the ballet position known as “arabesque”, the dancer stands on one leg, with one leg extended behind the body.

5 Olive ___ : OYL

E. C. Segar’s cartoon character Olive Oyl had quite a large family. Her mother is Nana Oyl, and her father Cole Oyl. Olive’s brother is Castor Oyl, and she has uncles named Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl (my favorite!).

6 Comic relief role in “Tarzan” : CHEETA

The chimpanzee named Cheeta was a very popular character in most of the Tarzan movies and television shows. However, he/she (the sex changed back and forth) never appeared in the original novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

7 1970 music documentary that won an Oscar for Best Original Score : LET IT BE

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact, he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 28 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

8 Hard wood : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

9 Goes for the gold? : PANS

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

13 “Great” man : PETER

Peter the Great (aka “Peter I”) was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, and was famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

16 Zither relative : LYRE

The zither is a stringed instrument, one in which the strings do not extend beyond the bounds of the sounding box. That means that the instrument has no neck, unlike a guitar.

23 Italian for “tied together” : LEGATO

Staccato (stac.) is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato, indicating long and continuous notes played very smoothly.

27 Parent of a cygnet : COB

An adult male swan is a cob, and an adult female is a pen. Young swans are swanlings or cygnets.

28 Antithesis of a hedonist : ASCETIC

A hedonist is someone who seeks to maximize the amount of pleasure in his or her life. “Hedone” is the Greek word for “pleasure”.

29 Noted spelling expert : MERLIN

Merlin is a figure of legend, and is the wizard in the stories of King Arthur.

38 Ashram sounds : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

“Ashram” is a term used in the Hindu tradition to describe a place of spiritual retreat, one that is typically located in a remote location conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation.

41 Fast-food chain with the slogan “UnFreshing Believable” : DEL TACO

The Del Taco chain of fast food restaurants opened for business in 1964, with the first restaurant called “Casa Del Taco” located in Yermo, California. Del Taco serves American-style Mexican cuisine as well as the typical collection of hamburgers, fries and shakes.

44 Annual event with Ski Slopestyle and Skateboard Vert : X GAMES

The X Games are annual events, with a Summer X Games held every year as well as a Winter X Games. It’s very much a commercial venture, with all aspects controlled by the TV station ESPN. The games focus on extreme action sports, like skateboarding and freestyle motocross in the summer and various extreme snowboarding events in the winter.

45 Starters, for short : APPS

Appetizer (app)

46 It’s found at the bottom of the food pyramid : BREAD

The first food guide pyramid was issued in 1974, in Sweden. The food pyramid that we’re most familiar with in this country is the one published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992, which was replaced in 2011. Instead of a pyramid, we now have a guide called MyPlate (available on the website ChooseMyPlate.gov). MyPlate urges us to eat about 30% grains, 30% vegetables, 20% fruits, 20% proteins on our plates, accompanied by a small serving of dairy.

47 Language family of Swahili or Zulu : BANTU

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

52 2011 Pulitzer winner Jennifer : EGAN

Jennifer Egan is an author who grew up in San Francisco. Egan’s 2010 work “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Usually termed a novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is structured in such a way that it is sometimes described as a collection of linked short stories.

54 Spa offering : PEEL

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the look and feel of the skin. It involves using a chemical to deliberately injure the outermost layer of the skin. The damaged skin dies and peels off, revealing regenerated skin below.

57 Aromatic noodle soup : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fast food order : COMBO
6 Balderdash : CLAPTRAP
14 Making of an impression? : APERY
15 1962 #1 hit for the Crystals featuring a biker on the record sleeve : HE’S A REBEL
17 Rock genre : METAL
18 Bit of census data : ETHNICITY
19 Slips : ERRS
20 ___ hulu manu (feathery adornment) : LEI
21 Actor James of “The Blacklist” : SPADER
22 People with a language of the same name : LAO
23 Steamed source of stimulation : LATTE
25 Famille member : PERE
26 Voting rights activist who founded Fair Fight Action : STACEY ABRAMS
30 Russian dumplings : PIROGI
31 Facility : EASE
32 Some undergrad degs. : BAS
35 Where an athlete might dunk : ICE BATH
37 Miser : SCROOGE
39 Org. tracking metadata : NSA
40 A sculpture of a three-legged one is considered lucky in feng shui : TOAD
42 ___ James, the so-called “King of the Slide Guitar” : ELMORE
43 “You have to look at the bigger picture” : CONTEXT IS KEY
45 Group whose logo is a mirror ambigram : ABBA
48 N.B.A. great Baylor : ELGIN
49 Goddess: Lat. : DEA
50 Cavort : PRANCE
53 Central square, perhaps : TAC
54 Though commonly known as vegetables, botanically they are fruit : PEAS
55 Wicca symbol : PENTAGRAM
57 Two-time Grammy winner Bryson : PEABO
58 Condiment made with peanuts : SATE SAUCE
59 Conversation starter : HELLO
60 Dodge S.U.V.s : DURANGOS
61 Pal of Kent and Lane : OLSEN

Down

1 Figure skating move based on the arabesque in ballet : CAMEL SPIN
2 Theatrically exaggerated behavior : OPERATICS
3 Population calculation scope : METRO AREA
4 Cuup products : BRAS
5 Olive ___ : OYL
6 Comic relief role in “Tarzan” : CHEETA
7 1970 music documentary that won an Oscar for Best Original Score : LET IT BE
8 Hard wood : ASH
9 Goes for the gold? : PANS
10 What comes before the fall? : TRIP
11 Features of many season premieres : RECAPS
12 Stomach : ABIDE
13 “Great” man : PETER
16 Zither relative : LYRE
20 Flatter effusively : LAY IT ON
23 Italian for “tied together” : LEGATO
24 Modern and Classical periods : ERAS
27 Parent of a cygnet : COB
28 Antithesis of a hedonist : ASCETIC
29 Noted spelling expert : MERLIN
32 Focus of literary agents : BOOK DEALS
33 Obliging : AGREEABLE
34 “Later!” : SEE YA SOON!
36 Not fancy in the least : HATE
38 Ashram sounds : OMS
41 Fast-food chain with the slogan “UnFreshing Believable” : DEL TACO
43 Three-beat gait : CANTER
44 Annual event with Ski Slopestyle and Skateboard Vert : X GAMES
45 Starters, for short : APPS
46 It’s found at the bottom of the food pyramid : BREAD
47 Language family of Swahili or Zulu : BANTU
51 ___ Milà, landmark building in Barcelona : CASA
52 2011 Pulitzer winner Jennifer : EGAN
54 Spa offering : PEEL
56 Word after throw or scatter : … RUG
57 Aromatic noodle soup : PHO

11 thoughts on “0212-22 NY Times Crossword 12 Feb 22, Saturday”

  1. 20:20 Kind of quick for a Sat. Got hung up with 2D and 35A. For 2D I had OVERxxxxx for a long time – thinking of overacting, which didn’t quite fit, and I had INAPOOL early on for 35A.

    @Bill – the item about Linda McCartney felt like it had her dying too young (1988 – 18 years after Let it Be). According to Wikipedia, she died in 1998, 28 years after Let it Be. So be it – not as “catchy” as a song title.

  2. 29:38, no errors. For me, enjoyable, but a bit of a grind. Not much that I didn’t know … eventually … just a lot of things that didn’t come readily to mind.

  3. 24:26. One error- Olive OiL/APERi. Not sure what I was thinking. Overall not bad for a Saturday. I seemed to see through a lot of the punny cluing which helped me along the way.

    I must admit I’m much closer to being a hedonist than an ASCETIC..

    Best –

  4. Your times are all safe with me! 53:04, NW corner had me bogged down at the end. I was bothered by the spelling of “Cheeta” without the second “h”, which was the way I always spelled it(like the large feline, yep). More importantly I was bothered by “Del Taco”, who in my earlier life, bought up the Naugles taco chain and ruined it. Naugles in California was the best!!

  5. I bombed. DNF.
    got the bottom half in good order. Then just drew too many blanks on top half. Several look ups.

    I even knew HES A REBEL! Rats!

    Maybe I gave up too soon. On to the next one.

  6. 22:49, no errors. Appreciate puzzles which elicit obscure memories. Had difficulty accepting SATE SAUCE vice Satay sauce, thanks @Bill for explaining the difference.
    I can remember listening to ‘ HE’S A REBEL ‘ on a cheap Japanese transistor radio.
    My 2 cents: ABBA is a mirror ambigram because the first B is reversed in the logo.

  7. For me, for a Saturday, I got through this one in record (ahem) time because, as a former radio DJ, I know way too much music trivia. For instance, didja know that the #1 hit 1940s song, “Linda,” is named for the songwriter’s attorney’s daughter Linda Eastman? Who became Mrs. Paul McCartney. Anyway, immediately got “He’s a Rebel” and was off to the races.

    Also, I find it ironic that Scrooge became the best celebrator of the spirit of Christmas but he is immortalized as the souless miser. So much for redemption/salvation in the public mind.

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