0228-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 22, Monday

Constructed by: Zach Sherwin & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Tri and Tri Again

Themed answers each include a repeated 3-letter sequence:

  • 18A Swamp in “Pogo” : OKEFENOKEE
  • 24A 1990s cartoon series featuring Yakko, Wakko and Dot : ANIMANIACS
  • 39A Baby-boomer series that starred Ken Olin : THIRTYSOMETHING
  • 55A Poet William who wrote “The Prelude” : WORDSWORTH
  • 63A South American rodent with soft, dense fur : CHINCHILLA

Bill’s time: 6m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Jai ___ (sport) : ALAI

Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …

15 Francis of old TV’s “What’s My Line?” : ARLENE

I only discovered the wonderful old American TV show “What’s My Line?” a few years ago. I was familiar with the show’s British adaptation, but hadn’t spotted the US version until relatively recently in reruns. I fell in love with the beautiful Arlene Francis watching those reruns. She was a regular panelist on the show, and the embodiment of elegance. Host of the show was the erudite and genteel John Daly, a much-respected journalist and broadcaster. Daly became the son-in-law of Chief Justice Earl Warren when he married Warren’s daughter, Virginia. One of the legacies of the show is the popularization of the question “Is it bigger than a breadbox?”

18 Swamp in “Pogo” : OKEFENOKEE

“Pogo” is a comic strip launched in 1948 that was the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

22 Museum-funding org. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark.

24 1990s cartoon series featuring Yakko, Wakko and Dot : ANIMANIACS

“Animaniacs” is a cartoon series that aired on Fox Kids and then the WB in the nineties. The show was a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation. One aspect of the show was the occasional humor aimed at an adult audience. Examples were episodes that parodied Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” and “H.M.S. Pinafore”, the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night”, and an episode poking fun at the Three Tenors.

27 Org. featured in the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” : MPAA

“This Film Is Not Yet Rated” is a fascinating 2006 documentary film about the rating system used by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The film is largely critical of the MPAA rating system, and makes some pretty good arguments, in my humble opinion …

28 Abbr. meaning “and others” : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

29 Arizona college town : TEMPE

Tempe is a city in the metropolitan area of Phoenix. The city is named for the Vale of Tempe in Greece.

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

31 Some Best Buy buys, for short : PCS

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

34 Doggie 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”.

36 Bones next to ulnae : RADII

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”. The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

39 Baby-boomer series that starred Ken Olin : THIRTYSOMETHING

Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series “thirtysomething”, playing Michael Steadman. After “thirtysomething”, Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

44 Indian stringed instrument : SITAR

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

46 Letters before an alias : AKA

Also known as (aka)

50 Eve’s man : ADAM

Eve is named as the wife of Adam in the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament. However, Adam’s wife is not specifically named in the Qur’an.

55 Poet William who wrote “The Prelude” : WORDSWORTH

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

“The Prelude” is an autobiographical poem by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth started this epic when he was 28 years old and continued to work on it throughout his whole life, It was eventually published by Wordsworth’s wife in 1850, after the poet had died.

61 Flamenco cheer : OLE!

Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word “flamenco” isn’t clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that “flamenco” is the Spanish word for “Flemish” and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

62 Reproductive cell for a fern : SPORE

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.

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

63 South American rodent with soft, dense fur : CHINCHILLA

A chinchilla is a rodent found in the Andes in South America. It is a little larger than a squirrel, and has velvet-like fur. It takes its name from the local Chincha people who made clothing out of the fur. Chinchillas are quite rare in the wild now as they have been hunted almost out of existence, but there are plenty of farm-raised chinchillas around supporting the fur industry, sad to say …

69 “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” author Joan : DIDION

Joan Didion is a journalist and author who was profiled in the Netflix documentary “The Center Will Not Hold”. She won a Pulitzer for her autobiographical work “The Year of Magical Thinking”, which book she used as the basis for a stage play of the same name. The book focuses on the year following the death of her husband, while the play also encompasses the subsequent death of her daughter.

71 ID in the form xxx-xx-xxxx : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts, i.e AAA-GG-SSSS. Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011, SSNs have been assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

72 X-ray follow-up, perhaps : CT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays. High doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

Down

1 Linguine or fettuccine : PASTA

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

Fettuccine is a popular type of pasta in Italy, particularly in Rome. It is a flat noodle similar to the smaller tagliatelle that is more popular in Bologna. The most common dish made with fettuccine in North America is Fettuccine Alfredo.

3 ___ pants (cropped style popularized in the 1960s) : CAPRI

Capri pants first became popular on the island of Capri, apparently. They were invented in Europe in 1948, but only became stylish in the US in the sixties. Mary Tyler Moore often wore Capri pants on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and to some extent she sparked a fashion trend. After a lull in the seventies and eighties there was a resurgence in sales after Uma Thurman wore them (and danced in them) in “Pulp Fiction”.

4 Instruction to Kate in a Cole Porter title : KISS ME

“Kiss Me, Kate” is a musical written by Cole Porter first produced on Broadway in 1948. Cole Porter had a string of successes in the twenties and thirties including “Gay Divorce” and “Anything Goes”, but he found his career in decline in the forties. “Kiss Me, Kate” proved to be a dramatic comeback, and was the only one of his shows that ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. Famously, “Kiss Me, Kate” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”.

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

5 “___ Te Ching” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”, “Laozi”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

7 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

11 Popular online reference : WIKIPEDIA

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and is the most-used reference site on the Internet. The site was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

12 Amtrak express train : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

19 Tuba sound : OOMPAH

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

25 Dark shade of blue : NAVY

Navy blue is a dark blue shade that was named for the color of uniforms worn by officers in the British Royal Navy as early as 1748. When the color’s name first took on the association with uniforms in the early 1800s, it was known as “marine blue”, but soon changed to “navy blue”.

26 Parts of a French archipelago : ILES

In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “l’océan” (the ocean).

“Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. The Aegean Sea was once known as the Archipelago. The usage of “Archipelago” migrated over time, eventually applying only to the Aegean Islands. As a result, we use the term “archipelago” today not for a sea, but for a group or chain of islands.

30 Actor with the famous line “I pity the fool!” : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

31 Six for a TD, e.g. : PTS

Touchdown (TD)

32 Ho ___ Minh City : CHI

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

38 “Hometown proud” supermarket : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

40 Jeannette ___, first woman elected to Congress : RANKIN

Jeannette Rankin was a Montana politician and activist who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916, making her the first woman to hold a US federal office. Ranking, a Republican, was a lifelong pacifist. Along with 49 of her House colleagues, she opposed the 1917 declaration of war against Germany. Decades later, Rankin was the sole member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

42 Cultural anthropologist Margaret : MEAD

“Coming of Age in Samoa” sounds like a fascinating book. It was written by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and published in 1928. In the book, Mead examines the behavior of youths in Samoa, making some comparisons with youths in America. One major observation she made was the smooth transition from childhood to adulthood of Samoan girls, compared to what she described as a more troublesome transition in the US. Mead followed up “Coming of Age in Samoa” with a similar work in 1930 titled “Growing Up in New Guinea”, which documented her observations of the people of the Manus Province of Papua New Guinea.

Anthropology is the scientific study of human beings, both in the present and in the past. The term “anthropology” combines the Greek “anthropos” (meaning “human”) and “logos” (meaning “study”).

48 Like some well-pitched games : TWO-HIT

That would be baseball.

49 One side in eight-ball pool : SOLIDS

In a game of eight-ball pool, the solid-colored balls are numbered 1 through 7, and the striped balls are numbered 9 through 15. The “eight-ball” is solid black in color.

54 Amazon speakers introduced in 2014 : ECHOS

Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled hardware device that can be used to provide several services including playing radio programs and music, recording of shopping lists, and managing a calendar. The device just sits in the home listening, until it hears a “wake up” command.

56 Archaeologist’s find : RELIC

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

57 Contest with roping and riding : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

64 Public health agcy. : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

65 Mauna ___ (Hawaiian volcano) : LOA

Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

66 Journalist Curry : ANN

Television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bunch of wolves or cards : PACK
5 Busy with other things : TIED UP
11 The Beatles’ “Till There ___ You” : WAS
14 Jai ___ (sport) : ALAI
15 Francis of old TV’s “What’s My Line?” : ARLENE
16 It clinks in a drink : ICE
17 Nurses, as a drink : SIPS
18 Swamp in “Pogo” : OKEFENOKEE
20 In few words : TERSE
22 Museum-funding org. : NEA
23 Like auto shop rags : OILY
24 1990s cartoon series featuring Yakko, Wakko and Dot : ANIMANIACS
27 Org. featured in the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” : MPAA
28 Abbr. meaning “and others” : ET AL
29 Arizona college town : TEMPE
31 Some Best Buy buys, for short : PCS
34 Doggie doc : VET
36 Bones next to ulnae : RADII
39 Baby-boomer series that starred Ken Olin : THIRTYSOMETHING
44 Indian stringed instrument : SITAR
45 Around 50.25% of the world’s adult population : MEN
46 Letters before an alias : AKA
47 Meters and liters : UNITS
50 Eve’s man : ADAM
53 Pinnacle : PEAK
55 Poet William who wrote “The Prelude” : WORDSWORTH
60 Play opener : ACT I
61 Flamenco cheer : OLE!
62 Reproductive cell for a fern : SPORE
63 South American rodent with soft, dense fur : CHINCHILLA
67 One may be half-baked or brilliant : IDEA
68 “___ soon?” : TOO
69 “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” author Joan : DIDION
70 Must-have : NEED
71 ID in the form xxx-xx-xxxx : SSN
72 X-ray follow-up, perhaps : CT SCAN
73 Deities : GODS

Down

1 Linguine or fettuccine : PASTA
2 Not from Earth : ALIEN
3 ___ pants (cropped style popularized in the 1960s) : CAPRI
4 Instruction to Kate in a Cole Porter title : KISS ME
5 “___ Te Ching” : TAO
6 Rub the wrong way : IRK
7 Justice Kagan : ELENA
8 Reason for a markdown : DEFECT
9 Disquieted state : UNEASE
10 Writing implement filled with 37-Down : PEN
11 Popular online reference : WIKIPEDIA
12 Amtrak express train : ACELA
13 “So long!” : SEE YA!
19 Tuba sound : OOMPAH
21 Enjoy a meal : EAT
25 Dark shade of blue : NAVY
26 Parts of a French archipelago : ILES
30 Actor with the famous line “I pity the fool!” : MR T
31 Six for a TD, e.g. : PTS
32 Ho ___ Minh City : CHI
33 Word before room or comedy : SITUATION …
35 Male cat : TOM
37 10-Down filler : INK
38 “Hometown proud” supermarket : IGA
40 Jeannette ___, first woman elected to Congress : RANKIN
41 Prefix between bi- and quad- : TRI-
42 Cultural anthropologist Margaret : MEAD
43 Make ___ meet : ENDS
48 Like some well-pitched games : TWO-HIT
49 One side in eight-ball pool : SOLIDS
51 “How cute!” sounds : AWS
52 In a sulk : MOPING
53 Agreements : PACTS
54 Amazon speakers introduced in 2014 : ECHOS
56 Archaeologist’s find : RELIC
57 Contest with roping and riding : RODEO
58 Cornered, in a way : TREED
59 Two are better than one, they say : HEADS
64 Public health agcy. : CDC
65 Mauna ___ (Hawaiian volcano) : LOA
66 Journalist Curry : ANN

8 thoughts on “0228-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Feb 22, Monday”

  1. 9:32 despite leaning on the theme quite a bit. Didn’t feel like I was going that slowly, but I guess I was.

    I was a fan of “What’s My Line” as a kid, but by then Wally Bruner had taken over so I never saw the John Daly version. Interestingly, Bruner also had a journalist background before doing the show as did Daly.

    Best –

  2. 9:54. Like @Jeff said. Didn’t seem slow until it was. I also got the gray square gimmick early. I guess my fingers are just slow (again). Happy Monday.

  3. 6:01, no errors. I thought that I had posted this earlier, but … no … just … no. Weird.

    I didn’t really understand the theme, so I checked the “WordPlay” column:

    “Each theme entry is carrying its own ‘head’ (the three letters at the beginning of the word) inside it in a way that is, to use Mr. Sherwin’s word, ‘cephalophoric.’ In Christian art, cephalophores are depictions of saints carrying their own heads, usually indicating that the saint was martyred by beheading. It’s a little macabre, but in this case, it leads to a nice set of theme entries.”

    Oof … 😳 … 😜.

    1. 6:40. I never looked at the gray area while solving, so I didn’t really get the theme. I also looked at the Wordplay article describing the “cephalophores”. And I must say that it seemed a bit confusing as “cephalopods” are mollusks such as octopi, squid, etc. I wonder how the etymology explains that – or perhaps the martyred saints all got consigned to the ocean and reincarnated!!

  4. 8:03 never noticed the theme until coming here.

    cephalophores: I think I learned something today from you folks…or maybe I didn’t… :- )

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