0216-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Feb 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Rich Proulx
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Coat of Many Colors

The MANY themed answers each start with a COLOR and end with part of a COAT:

  • 38A Envy source in Genesis 37 that hints at 18-, 24-, 49- and 58-Across : COAT OF MANY COLORS
  • 18A Worker designation coined by Upton Sinclair : WHITE COLLAR
  • 24A Traditional folk song played by British and Australian ice cream trucks : GREENSLEEVES
  • 49A Upside, when down : SILVER LINING
  • 58A Some sushi menu fish : YELLOWTAILS

Bill’s time: 8m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Weak hit : BLOOP

In baseball, a bloop single is more usually called a blooper. It’s a fly ball that drops for a single between an infielder and an outfielder.

15 Hindi for “palace” : MAHAL

“Mahal” is the Urdu word for “palace”, as in “Taj Mahal” meaning “crown of palaces”. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum holding the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The name “Mumtaz Mahal” translates as “the chosen one of the palace”.

17 “___ Homo” (Nietzsche book) : ECCE

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. He’s not my cup of tea …

18 Worker designation coined by Upton Sinclair : WHITE COLLAR

We are perhaps most familiar with blue-collar and white-collar classifications for groups of workers. There are many more “collar colors” that have been coined:

  • White collar – office worker
  • Blue collar – manual worker
  • Pink collar – service industry worker
  • Gold collar – academic, scientific or hi-tech worker
  • Red collar – government worker
  • No collar – artists and “free spirits”
  • Steel collar – robots who have replaced blue-collar workers

Upton Sinclair was a prolific American author, with almost 100 books to his name. Sinclair’s most famous work is probably “The Jungle”, a 1906 novel about the meatpacking industry. Revelations in “The Jungle” contributed to the Meat Inspection Act being passed by Congress a few months after the book was published. Sinclair also wrote “Oil”, published in 1927, which was the basis of the 2007 film “There Will Be Blood” that stars Daniel Day-Lewis.

20 Key that’s never used alone: Abbr. : CTRL

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

21 Sign of a packed house : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

23 Disney mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

24 Traditional folk song played by British and Australian ice cream trucks : GREENSLEEVES

The rather delightful English ballad known as “Greensleeves” starts with:

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.

There is a persistent urban legend that “Greensleeves” was written by King Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn when he was courting her. In fact the song was more likely written after the king’s death, in the Elizabethan era.

32 French trick-taking game : ECARTE

Écarté is a card game that comes to us from France, with a name that translates into ‘discarded”. Écarté is similar to whist but is played with a stripped-down deck and involves only two players.

34 Doughnut shapes : TORI

A torus (plural “tori”) is a shape resembling a doughnut.

38 Envy source in Genesis 37 that hints at 18-, 24-, 49- and 58-Across : COAT OF MANY COLORS

According to the Bible, Joseph was the eleventh of Jacob’s twelve sons. Ten of Jacob’s sons were borne by his first wife Leah, and two by his second wife Rachel. Joseph was Rachel’s firstborn. Joseph proved to be Jacob’s favorite son, to whom he gave a “long coat of many colors”. Joseph’s half-brothers plotted against him and sold him into slavery. This Biblical story is retold in the hit musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

42 Steve with eight N.B.A. championships : KERR

Steve Kerr is a retired NBA basketball player who moved into team management. Kerr was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the son of an American academic who specialized in Middle East studies. Kerr’s father was assassinated by militant nationalists in Beirut when Steve was 19 years old.

43 They’re placed in locks : OARS

Oarlocks are swiveling braces on the sides of a rowing boat that hold the oars as the boat is being propelled. Back in Ireland, we call them “rowlocks” (pronounced “rollox”).

44 Signs of saints : HALOS

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

49 Upside, when down : SILVER LINING

The idiom “every cloud has a silver lining” suggests that there is something good to be found in every bad situation. The phrase “silver lining” was coined by English poet John Milton in “Comus”, a piece of dramatic entertainment that was first performed in 1634. The relevant lines are:

Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

54 “The Problem With ___” (documentary related to “The Simpsons”) : APU

“The Problem with Apu” is a 2017 documentary that explores the use of racial stereotypes by focusing on the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the animated sitcom “The Simpsons”. The film was written by and stars American stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu.

57 Letter after theta : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

58 Some sushi menu fish : YELLOWTAILS

The Japanese amberjack is also known as yellowtail in English, and “hamachi” or “buri” in Japanese. It might show up on a menu as “yellowtail tuna”, but it isn’t even in the same family as true tuna.

62 Tech review site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

63 Like prunes vis-à-vis plums : DRIER

A prune is a dried plum. The name “prune” comes from the Latin “prunum”, the word for “plum”.

65 Sedgwick of “The Closer” : KYRA

Actress Kyra Sedgwick is perhaps best known for playing Deputy Chief Johnson, the lead character on the crime drama show “The Closer”. Sedgwick married fellow actor Kevin Bacon in 1988. Sedgwick appeared on a family history show, and discovered that she and her husband are cousins, albeit tenth cousins once removed. I bet that was a surprise …

66 “The Lorax” author : SEUSS

“The Lorax” is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It is an allegorical work questioning the problems created by industrialization, and in particular its impact on the environment. At one point in the story, the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. “The Lorax” was adapted into an animated film that was released in 2012, with Danny DeVito voicing the title character.

67 Stun gun : TASER

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

Down

1 X1, M2 and i3 : BMWS

The initialism “BMW” stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

2 Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

3 Lima’s home : OHIO

Lima is a city located in northwestern Ohio, about 70 miles north of Dayton. The city is home to the Lima Army Tank Plant, where the M1 Abrams battle tank is produced. Lima is also home to the fictional William McKinley High School that is the setting for the TV series “Glee”.

4 Nondairy milk option : OAT

Oat milk is one of the alternatives to cow’s milk, and is lactose free. I’m a big fan …

6 Mushrooms produce them : SPORES

Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

7 Children’s author who wrote “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day” : MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

8 Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL

Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band Guns N’ Roses.

Guns N’ Roses (GNR) is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii’s “family” names that led to the band being called Guns N’ Roses.

9 “Cheap Thrills” singer, 2016 : SIA

“Cheap Thrills” is a 2015 song that was the first number-one hit in the US for Australian singer/songwriter Sia.

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. She is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler. Sia is a very private person, and even covers her face with a blond wig while performing.

13 Rocky debris : SCREE

When a rock face erodes, lumps of rock and dust fall to the ground. The pile of rocks gathered around the rock face is called “scree”, a word derived from the old Norwegian term for a landslide.

23 ___ Lingus : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline Ryanair.

26 Prognosticate with a crystal ball : SCRY

To descry is to catch sight of, to discern. The derivative verb “to scry” is used to mean “to see images that reveal the past or foretell the future”.

27 Secular : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

29 First Native American tribe to meet with Lewis and Clark : OTOE

The Native American people known as the Otoe and the Missouri were the first tribes encountered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The meeting took place in 1804 at a point on the Missouri River that is now known as Council Bluffs.

31 Verdi opera originally titled “Amore e Morte” (“Love and Death”) : LA TRAVIATA

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” was originally titled “Violetta” after the main character in the piece. The title “La Traviata” translates into “The Woman Gone Astray”, reflecting Violetta’s life as a courtesan.

34 Foot bones : TARSI

The tarsals (also “tarsi”) are the ankle bones, and are equivalent to the carpals in the wrist.

36 Cherubic god : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

A cherub (plural “cherubim”) is an angel. The term “cherub” ultimately comes from the Hebrew “kerubh” (plural “kerubhim”) meaning “winged angel”.

46 Dog doc : VET

“Vet” is an abbreviation for “veterinarian”, a professional who treats animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

49 Carrot’s counterpart : STICK

There is some debate about the “carrot/stick” metaphor. Some say that a carrot represents an incentive and a stick represents a threat, with the idea being that an incentive is more effective than a threat. Another version of the metaphor is that the carrot is dangled on a stick before a donkey, incentivizing the animal to move forward. There’s no threat, just a reward that never gets any more attainable …

51 Frasier’s brother on “Frasier” : NILES

In the sitcom “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Frasier is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted the remarkable similarity in appearance between David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer.

55 Ballet bend : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

58 R.B.’s stat : YDS

In football, aspects of a running back’s (RB) performance is measured in yards (yds).

61 Santa ___, Calif. : ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Weak hit : BLOOP
6 Big hit : SMASH
11 Speak disrespectfully to : SASS
15 Hindi for “palace” : MAHAL
16 Mischievous fairy : PIXIE
17 “___ Homo” (Nietzsche book) : ECCE
18 Worker designation coined by Upton Sinclair : WHITE COLLAR
20 Key that’s never used alone: Abbr. : CTRL
21 Sign of a packed house : SRO
22 “Confound it!” : DARN!
23 Disney mermaid : ARIEL
24 Traditional folk song played by British and Australian ice cream trucks : GREENSLEEVES
28 Devoid of pleasure : JOYLESS
32 French trick-taking game : ECARTE
33 Really bothered : ATE AT
34 Doughnut shapes : TORI
35 Get ready : PREP
38 Envy source in Genesis 37 that hints at 18-, 24-, 49- and 58-Across : COAT OF MANY COLORS
42 Steve with eight N.B.A. championships : KERR
43 They’re placed in locks : OARS
44 Signs of saints : HALOS
45 Cry for help : SAVE US!
47 Most likely to preen : VAINEST
49 Upside, when down : SILVER LINING
52 Characteristic : TRAIT
53 “Understood” : I SEE
54 “The Problem With ___” (documentary related to “The Simpsons”) : APU
57 Letter after theta : IOTA
58 Some sushi menu fish : YELLOWTAILS
62 Tech review site : C|NET
63 Like prunes vis-à-vis plums : DRIER
64 Nonstudio film : INDIE
65 Sedgwick of “The Closer” : KYRA
66 “The Lorax” author : SEUSS
67 Stun gun : TASER

Down

1 X1, M2 and i3 : BMWS
2 Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR
3 Lima’s home : OHIO
4 Nondairy milk option : OAT
5 Promise that one will : PLEDGE TO
6 Mushrooms produce them : SPORES
7 Children’s author who wrote “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day” : MILNE
8 Rose of Guns N’ Roses : AXL
9 “Cheap Thrills” singer, 2016 : SIA
10 That ship : HER
11 Scheme : SECRET PLAN
12 Important part : ACTIVE ROLE
13 Rocky debris : SCREE
14 What sex does, they say : SELLS
19 Train units : CARS
23 ___ Lingus : AER
25 Highlighter shades : NEONS
26 Prognosticate with a crystal ball : SCRY
27 Secular : LAIC
28 Plug receptacle : JACK
29 First Native American tribe to meet with Lewis and Clark : OTOE
30 After quite some time : YEARS LATER
31 Verdi opera originally titled “Amore e Morte” (“Love and Death”) : LA TRAVIATA
34 Foot bones : TARSI
36 Cherubic god : EROS
37 “You there!” : PSST!
39 Author Jonathan Safran ___ : FOER
40 Rough up : MAUL
41 Line when you’re late to the punch line : OH, I GET IT
46 Dog doc : VET
47 Features of some bike helmets : VISORS
48 Freshly : ANEW
49 Carrot’s counterpart : STICK
50 Complaining about social media on Facebook, say : IRONY
51 Frasier’s brother on “Frasier” : NILES
54 Gives a hand : AIDS
55 Ballet bend : PLIE
56 Employer : USER
58 R.B.’s stat : YDS
59 Before, to Shakespeare : ERE
60 Simu ___, star of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” : LIU
61 Santa ___, Calif. : ANA

14 thoughts on “0216-22 NY Times Crossword 16 Feb 22, Wednesday”

  1. 17:47. More missteps than I can mention in a single post. Not sure why I struggled with this one so much. Good theme.

    SCRY was new to me as was SCREE. Any more SCRxx words for me?? I should add ECARTE to this list as well. Never heard of it.

    Best –

    1. Also unfamiliar with SCRY. I hike a lot, so I am quite familiar with SCREE and have had the scrapes and bruises to show for it. I just typed SCR into google and came up with SCRAB, SCRAD, SCROD – just for starters.

      I seemed to be in tune with today’s puzzle with a 9:06 time

  2. 22:28. I’m right there with you @Jeff. Seemed way harder than it should have been. Can I chalk it.up to “Island Fever?”

  3. 15:07, no errors. As others have noted, it took a while to get into the setters head. Several erasures, including 3D PERU before OHIO and 22A DANG > DAMN > DARN.

  4. Gosh, I thought this was easy for a Wednesday (didn’t time my solve but, with getting the cat off my newspaper several times, I’m guessing around 9 or 10 minutes). Must just have been in sync with the setter.
    (Bill, were you to create a puzzle, would you be an Irish setter? HAHAHA, uh, sorry — that joke was a dog, yeah?

  5. Only one letter wrong—namely the C cross for ECARTE and SCRY. I put in a P after several times passing over the C. My only mistake on an otherwise nice puzzle.

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