0224-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Feb 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Jake Halperin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Sign for Delivery

Themed answers are common two-word phrases with a repeat of the first letter of the second word. The first part of the answer describes a significant letter in the clue:

  • 17A Wight, e.g.? : LONG-I ISLAND
  • 28A Crunch bar and Cadbury Creme Egg, e.g.? : HARD-C CANDIES
  • 44A 1995’s “Johnny Mnemonic,” e.g.? : SILENT-M MOVIE
  • 59A Sloth, e.g.? : CAPITAL-S SIN

Bill’s time: 12m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Parties with smokers : BAR-B-QS

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

17 Wight, e.g.? : LONG-I ISLAND

The Isle of Wight is the largest island in England, and lies about five miles off the south coast of the country. For many centuries, the island was a kingdom in its own right. One popular tourist attraction on the Isle of Wight is Osborne House, a former royal residence that was built as a summer home for Queen Victoria, and that was designed by the queen’s consort Prince Albert. Queen Victoria died in Osborne House, in 1901.

21 Rum drum : CASK

Rum was first distilled by slaves on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 1800s, with the tradition being that the very first production came from Barbados.

22 Soul mates, for short : BFFS

Best friend forever (BFF)

28 Crunch bar and Cadbury Creme Egg, e.g.? : HARD-C CANDIES

The Nestlé Crunch candy bar was introduced way back in 1937.

The Cadbury Creme Egg is the biggest-selling confectionery in the UK from New Year’s Day up to Easter every year, which is no surprise to me. They’re wickedly delicious …

35 Tennis’s Nadal, familiarly : RAFA

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

36 Test for coll. seniors : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

40 One observing the holiday of Arba’een : SHIA

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

41 Common Thanksgiving activity : NAP

Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

42 Home for the Himalayas : ASIA

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

53 Landlocked African country : CHAD

The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.

57 Medieval club : MACE

A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.

59 Sloth, e.g.? : CAPITAL-S SIN

“Sloth”, meaning “indolence, sluggishness”, comes from the Middle English word “slowe”, which is also the root of our contemporary word “slow”. The animal, the sloth, is so named as it exhibits slow-moving behavior.

62 With 63-Across, test for pupils : EYE …

63 See 62-Across : … EXAM

I only understand the expression “20/20 vision” in non-technical terms. Apparently someone with 20/20 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 20 feet from an eye chart. Someone with 20/40 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 40 feet. Someone with 20/100 vision can see just as well as a standard/normal person at 100 feet, and so on. Those of you living in Metric Land use the term 6/6, with the standard distance being 6 meters instead of 20 feet.

Down

1 What most clarinets are tuned to : B-FLAT

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name “clarinet” comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet”, with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

7 Handled sharp objects? : AWLS

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest awls were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

12 Feature of Arthur Ashe Stadium since 2016 : ROOF

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997, and is the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

18 Youth health and safety org. : 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).

24 Chinese dynasty from 206 B.C. to A.D. 220 : HAN

The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.

26 Keystone Kops, e.g. : OAFS

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

27 What makes you unique : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

29 Band with the first platinum-selling double album : CREAM

Cream was a “supergroup” from Britain, meaning the band was composed of musicians from other successful groups. The band’s members were Eric Clapton (from the Yardbirds), and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (both from the Graham Bond Organisation).

30 Northernmost county of Pennsylvania : ERIE

There are three Erie Counties in the US:

  • Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

31 With 6-Down, former White House press secretary portrayed by Melissa McCarthy on “S.N.L.” : SEAN …
(6D See 31-Down : … SPICER)

Sean Spicer became White House press secretary when President Donald Trump assumed office on January 20th, 2017. Prior to taking his position with the Trump administration, Spicer had served as the communications director for the Republican National Committee since 2011. Spicer also appeared as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2019. That was … interesting …

33 Source of a purple purée : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

43 2008 bailout recipient : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

50 Celerity : HASTE

Celerity is swiftness or speed, coming from the Latin “celeritas” that has the same meaning. And as an aside, in Einstein’s famous equation E=mc², the “c” stands for the speed of light, from the Latin “celeritas”.

59 Animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

61 “Rugrats” grandpa : LOU

“Rugrats” is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 2004. The show spawned a series of movies, starting with 1998’s “The Rugrats Movie”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Parties with smokers : BAR-B-QS
7 “In what universe?!” : AS IF!
11 Positive consideration : PRO
14 Make available : FREE UP
15 “Holy cannoli!” : WHOA!
16 Spreadsheet part : ROW
17 Wight, e.g.? : LONG-I ISLAND
19 ___ Productions (company behind the James Bond films) : EON
20 Deployed, as a naval officer : ASEA
21 Rum drum : CASK
22 Soul mates, for short : BFFS
23 Experienced certain growing pains : TEETHED
25 Emulate the Lonely Goatherd : YODEL
28 Crunch bar and Cadbury Creme Egg, e.g.? : HARD-C CANDIES
32 Give it a twirl! : BATON
35 Tennis’s Nadal, familiarly : RAFA
36 Test for coll. seniors : GRE
37 Word after gay or fashion : … ICON
38 Thingamajigs : ITEMS
40 One observing the holiday of Arba’een : SHIA
41 Common Thanksgiving activity : NAP
42 Home for the Himalayas : ASIA
43 When some local news comes on : AT TEN
44 1995’s “Johnny Mnemonic,” e.g.? : SILENT-M MOVIE
48 With the heels elevated : ON TOE
49 Smash success : MEGAHIT
53 Landlocked African country : CHAD
55 Go yachting : SAIL
57 Medieval club : MACE
58 Squirreled away : HID
59 Sloth, e.g.? : CAPITAL-S SIN
62 With 63-Across, test for pupils : EYE …
63 See 62-Across : … EXAM
64 Beat overwhelmingly : ROUTED
65 It may be revolutionary : WAR
66 Monocle, basically : LENS
67 Apartment building V.I.P.s : SUPERS

Down

1 What most clarinets are tuned to : B-FLAT
2 Became apparent : AROSE
3 ___ Montgomery, retired W.N.B.A. star : RENEE
4 Shameless fund-raising drive, informally : BEGATHON
5 Who is this in France : QUI?
6 See 31-Down : … SPICER
7 Handled sharp objects? : AWLS
8 Deliberately amateurish filming technique : SHAKY CAM
9 Particle with a superscript : ION
10 Flavor of the month : FAD
11 When pilots go through their checklists : PREFLIGHT
12 Feature of Arthur Ashe Stadium since 2016 : ROOF
13 Has : OWNS
18 Youth health and safety org. : SADD
22 Resting place : BED
24 Chinese dynasty from 206 B.C. to A.D. 220 : HAN
26 Keystone Kops, e.g. : OAFS
27 What makes you unique : DNA
29 Band with the first platinum-selling double album : CREAM
30 Northernmost county of Pennsylvania : ERIE
31 With 6-Down, former White House press secretary portrayed by Melissa McCarthy on “S.N.L.” : SEAN …
32 Donation receptacles : BINS
33 Source of a purple purée : ACAI
34 Washing machine that opens upward : TOP-LOADER
38 Analogy words : IS TO
39 Window, of a sort : TIME SPAN
40 Gets foggy : STEAMS UP
42 Leaf-cutter, e.g. : ANT
43 2008 bailout recipient : AIG
45 Abolish : END
46 Leave out : OMIT
47 Both consonants in “geek,” phonetically : VELARS
50 Celerity : HASTE
51 Less sympathetic : ICIER
52 Is prone : TENDS
53 Mull (over) : CHEW
54 “Greetings!” : HIYA!
56 Goes (for) : AIMS
59 Animation frame : CEL
60 Eliminate : AXE
61 “Rugrats” grandpa : LOU

16 thoughts on “0224-22 NY Times Crossword 24 Feb 22, Thursday”

  1. 24:52 after fixing a typo of the sort I thought I’d gotten over making. C’est la vie … 😳. (That said, I thought the upper left corner was difficult … but … I had trouble with pretty much everything I tried to do yesterday. Too preoccupied with thoughts of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I guess … 😳)

  2. 19:12 Like @Nonny, I struggled with the NW corner. Must have spent about 5 minutes there alone, trying to get a toehold. Finally got 20A and that gave me an entry. I also had QUI for 5D, but expected 1A to be BBQs, not literally sounded out as BAR-B-Q-S.

  3. 19:59. No, really. Very clever theme even if it might not be Thursday-ish

    I would not use the word OAF to describe the Keystone Kops. They weren’t big, slow, and clumsy. They were small quick and…uhhh….error prone?

    Never heard the term BEGATHON, but I’ll definitely use it going forward.

    Best –

  4. 36:38 – maybe six cheats, etc.

    Struggled, this is almost out of my (current) league. For a NYT Thursday I’ll happily take it …

    Could’ve put a gun to my head and I wouldn’t get the theme without Bill’s guidance.

    @Bill – your 12:34 looks pretty good!

    Be Well.

  5. 19:30, no errors. Did this right after 2 scuba dives. Interesting gimmick. As did most of us, I lost quite a bit of time in the NW but I persevered.

  6. No errors.
    Was also stuck in NW corner for a while. Once I got TEETHED it went quick.

    Got the theme early when I got SILENT M MOVIE.

    SHIA and VELARS and the clue CELERITY were new to me.

  7. 39 minutes with no errors or look ups etc.. I think I would’ve done better if I hadn’t forgotten that Thursdays puzzle always has some gimmick.

  8. I enjoyed this tricky tester.

    Yes, the northwest corner was dicey, but for me – they are all dicey. I truly enjoy taking my time and pondering each puzzle as it gets more difficult by the end of the week. Lots of fun, no errors, yay!

  9. GRE true story: having taken more than the required classes, having had my thesis accepted and passed my oral defense, Illinois State University refused to grant my MA degree until I took the GRE, which I had not but was supposed to after acceptance in the program. So I just answered the questions at random, finished in five minutes (to the amazement of others in the room). Got my degree, but had what must have been the lowest GRE score in history!

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