0215-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Feb 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Claire Rimkus
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Sporting Puns

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to a sporting event cited in the clue. Also, each phrase starts with a verb, which is reinterpreted as a noun:

  • 20A Catastrophe at a tennis match? : COURT DISASTER
  • 30A Uncertainties at a football game? : FIELD QUESTIONS
  • 36A Security alerts at a boxing match? : RING ALARM BELLS
  • 51A Supplies at a swim meet? : POOL RESOURCES

Bill’s time: 6m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Anthony Hopkins’s role in the “Thor” film franchise : ODIN

The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

The marvelous actor Anthony Hopkins got his big break in movies playing Richard the Lionheart in the 1968 historical drama “The Lion in Winter”. Hopkins hails from the south coast of Wales, and was encouraged in his early career by fellow Welshman Richard Burton, whom he met when he was a teenager. I’d say that Hopkins’ best-known film role was Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”.

14 Element essential to thyroid function : IODINE

The chemical element iodine is a halogen (as are fluorine, chlorine and bromine) and has the symbol “I”. At room temperature, iodine is a purple-black solid. With heat, it melts into violet liquid, and at high temperatures a violet gas. The name “iodine” comes from the Greek “ioeides” meaning “violet-colored”.

The thyroid gland is found in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The gland produces several thyroid hormones, some of which control the rate at which the body uses energy i.e. the body’s rate of metabolism.

15 Director/screenwriter Ephron : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

19 Upstate N.Y. campus : RIT

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private school in Rochester, New York that is actually located in the town of Henrietta. Despite the “technology” moniker, the school has a noted fine arts program. RIT was formed in 1891 when the Rochester Athenaeum (a literary society) merged with the Mechanics Institute (a technical training institute). The school’s first name was the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, but this was changed to RIT in 1944.

25 “%&$@,” in comics : OATH

A string of typographical symbols such as “@#%!” that is used to replace a swear word is called a “grawlix”. The term “grawlix” was coined by Mort Walker, the creator of comic strip “Beetle Bailey”, in 1964.

26 Author Morrison : TONI

Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

34 Promise to pay : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

35 !!!!, in a text : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

44 Country singer LeAnn : RIMES

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

49 Pal, in Pamplona : AMIGA

Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …

55 Honolulu’s island : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

60 Common songbird : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

62 Revolutionary Turner : NAT

Nat Turner was a slave in Virginia who led a slave rebellion in 1831 that led to the deaths of over a hundred people. Half of the casualties were white,and half were black. The 55 white deaths took place on the day of the rebellion as a growing mob of slaves traveled from house-to-house freeing fellow slaves but also killing any white people they came across; men, women and children. The rebellion was suppressed within two days by a white militia. Slaves involved in the rebellion were tried for insurrection and related crimes, and a total of 56 blacks were executed on suspicion of involvement in the uprising. In the aftermath, life for slaves became even more difficult as any freedoms that they had earned were largely curtailed.

63 Campus anti-D.U.I. group : SADD

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was founded in Massachusetts in 1981. SADD’s aim is to prevent road traffic accidents by urging students to avoid potentially destructive decisions (such as driving under the influence of alcohol).

64 Montana’s capital : HELENA

Helena is the capital of the state of Montana, and is known as the Queen City of the Rockies. Helena’s main street has a very colorful name, i.e. Last Chance Gulch.

Down

1 Editor’s bracketed disclaimer : [SIC]

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

4 Spirit guide? : PILOT

Spirit Airlines is a low-cost carrier based in Miramar, Florida that was founded as Charter One in 1980. That said, the 1980 airline service was established as a branch of Clipper Trucking Company that dated back to 1964. Spirit started its low-fare service in 2007.

8 Chips brand whose “Cool Ranch” flavor is called “Cool American” in Europe : DORITOS

The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name “Doritos”, starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as “little bits of gold”.

9 “Fighting” Notre Dame team : IRISH

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

11 “SpongeBob SquarePants,” for one : CARTOON

SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he “lives in a pineapple under the sea”. The character was created by marine biologist, cartoonist and animator Stephen Hillenburg.

13 Falling block game : TETRIS

Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.

21 Stir-fry protein option : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

22 Moe, Larry or Curly : STOOGE

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

23 Figure in a Grimm story : ELF

The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

36 Lasagna filling : RICOTTA

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the milk of a sheep or a cow. It produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make “traditional” cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein precipitates out, producing ricotta cheese. The word “ricotta” literally means “recooked”, which makes sense to me now …

“Lasagna” was originally the name of a cooking pot, but the term came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. “Lasagna” also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you’ll notice the “lasagne” spelling, the plural of “lasagna”. The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

40 TV streaming device : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded. For what it’s worth, Rokus used to be my streaming devices of choice …

43 Reggae relative : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

48 Comedian Anne : MEARA

Anne Meara married fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller in 1954. The couple’s children are actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O’Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom “Archie Bunker’s Place”, a spin-off from “All in the Family”.

49 Less than 90º : ACUTE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

57 “___ Explain Things to Me” (Rebecca Solnit essay collection) : MEN

“Men Explain Things to Me” is a 2014 collection of seven essays by American writer Rebecca Solnit. The book’s title is taken from the first essay, a 2008 work that explores the silencing of women, and the concept that men always know better. This essay inspired the use of the term “mansplaining”.

58 Covert org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rise to the challenge : STEP UP
7 Anthony Hopkins’s role in the “Thor” film franchise : ODIN
11 Foldable bed : COT
14 Element essential to thyroid function : IODINE
15 Director/screenwriter Ephron : NORA
16 “___ you good?” : ARE
17 Might have, informally : COULDA
18 Parched, as land : ARID
19 Upstate N.Y. campus : RIT
20 Catastrophe at a tennis match? : COURT DISASTER
23 Overjoy : ELATE
25 “%&$@,” in comics : OATH
26 Author Morrison : TONI
27 Leased : LET
28 Prefix with futurism : AFRO-
29 Ransacks like a pirate : LOOTS
30 Uncertainties at a football game? : FIELD QUESTIONS
34 Promise to pay : IOU
35 !!!!, in a text : OMG!
36 Security alerts at a boxing match? : RING ALARM BELLS
44 Country singer LeAnn : RIMES
45 Stars might have big ones : EGOS
46 “A mouse!” : EEK!
47 Two times quadri- : OCTA-
48 Signify : MARK
49 Pal, in Pamplona : AMIGA
51 Supplies at a swim meet? : POOL RESOURCES
54 Traveler’s approx. : ETA
55 Honolulu’s island : OAHU
56 Season for pumpkin-spiced everything : AUTUMN
59 “Oh, ___ on!” : IT’S
60 Common songbird : WREN
61 Rude looks : STARES
62 Revolutionary Turner : NAT
63 Campus anti-D.U.I. group : SADD
64 Montana’s capital : HELENA

Down

1 Editor’s bracketed disclaimer : [SIC]
2 “___ cute!” : TOO
3 Teach : EDUCATE
4 Spirit guide? : PILOT
5 Excessive : UNDUE
6 Prickly ___ (cactus variety) : PEAR
7 How some risks are taken : ON A DARE
8 Chips brand whose “Cool Ranch” flavor is called “Cool American” in Europe : DORITOS
9 “Fighting” Notre Dame team : IRISH
10 Diddly-squat : NADA
11 “SpongeBob SquarePants,” for one : CARTOON
12 Points in the right direction : ORIENTS
13 Falling block game : TETRIS
21 Stir-fry protein option : TOFU
22 Moe, Larry or Curly : STOOGE
23 Figure in a Grimm story : ELF
24 Neckwear in Honolulu : LEI
28 Ocean shade : AQUA
29 Arm or branch : LIMB
31 Of direct descent : LINEAL
32 Some four-footed friends : DOGS
33 Casual shoe brand : TOMS
36 Lasagna filling : RICOTTA
37 “Things don’t look good for me!” : I’M TOAST
38 Restrained : LEASHED
39 Beached, as a boat in sand : AGROUND
40 TV streaming device : ROKU
41 Off-duty time : LEISURE
42 Part of a relay race : LEG
43 Reggae relative : SKA
44 Ensnare using deceptive strategies : ROPE IN
48 Comedian Anne : MEARA
49 Less than 90º : ACUTE
50 Valuable part of ore : METAL
52 Exercises on an ergometer : ROWS
53 Not well thought through : RASH
57 “___ Explain Things to Me” (Rebecca Solnit essay collection) : MEN
58 Covert org. : NSA

8 thoughts on “0215-22 NY Times Crossword 15 Feb 22, Tuesday”

  1. 9:42. Tripped over myself a few times in the upper left.

    Spirit Airlines just got bought out by Frontier Airlines so I guess the clue for 4D won’t age well.

    $%&** is a “grawlix”? I guess that word is cromulent enough….

    Best –

  2. 8:51, as Jeff makes me look up “cromulent”….

    Nice to see the hometown school get some love in the puzzle, go RIT Tigers!!

  3. 6:44, no errors. Can solve much faster online. But still, I haven’t improved any in a long while on either point which I’ll admit is frustrating.

  4. No errors.
    Never heard of RIT or TOMS shoes.

    But it’s NY TIMES so I’m sure they’re popular up there somewhere.

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