0214-23 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 23, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ella Dershowitz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Square Meal

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Themed answers are SQUARE foodstuffs:

  • 62A Nutritiously balanced plateful … or what 17-, 24-, 40- and 51-Across may constitute? : SQUARE MEAL
  • 17A Colorful chewable candies : STARBURSTS
  • 24A Individually wrapped sandwich slices : KRAFT SINGLES
  • 40A Snacks packed in stacks : SALTINE CRACKERS
  • 51A Chocolate-coated ice cream treats : KLONDIKE BARS

Bill’s time: 7m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Dutch lager brand : AMSTEL

Amstel is a Dutch beer and brewery that was founded in 1870 in Amsterdam. The brewery takes its name from the Amstel river that runs through the city.

14 Canal locale : PANAMA

The nation that we now know as Panama sits on an isthmus that formed about 3 million years ago. The isthmus was the result of a land bridge forming between North and South America as two tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust slowly collided. Man first attempted to create a waterway across the Isthmus of Panama in 1881, but the 48-mile long Panama Canal only opened for business in 1914.

The Panama Canal was predated by the Panama Railway. The railway route actually determined the eventual route of the canal. The impetus to build a canal was spurred on by the success of the Suez Canal which opened in 1869. Work on the Panama Canal started in 1881, but things did not go smoothly at all. Companies involved in the project went bankrupt, one after the other. Eventually the US government bought its way into the project with President Roosevelt handing over millions of dollars to the country of Panama. The canal was finally completed in 1914. All in all, about 27,500 workers died during construction. A kind blog reader highly recommends the book “The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough, should anyone want to read more about the fascinating tale of Panama Canal’s construction.

15 Roaring Twenties wrap : BOA

The 1920s are often called the Roaring Twenties, a period of dynamic change across all aspects of life. Things were finally returning to normal after WWI, jazz became popular, some women “broke the mold” by becoming “flappers”, and Art Deco flourished. The whole decade came to a tragic end with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression.

16 Colombian coin : PESO

Not only is the Colombian peso legal tender in Colombia, it is also used in parts of Venezuela due to hyperinflation of the Venezuelan bolívar.

17 Colorful chewable candies : STARBURSTS

Starburst candy was originally called Opal Fruits when it was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1960. It wasn’t until 1967 that the candy was introduced in the United States, and it was rebranded as Starburst.

19 Bus driver on “The Simpsons” : OTTO

Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show “The Simpsons”. He is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on “Ottoman Empire”. Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words “Otto, man!”

20 Second sight, for short : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP). It is also referred to as second sight.

24 Individually wrapped sandwich slices : KRAFT SINGLES

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Kraft Singles cannot be labeled as “cheese” because they contain a lower percentage of milk fat than is required to be classified as cheese. Instead, they are classified as a “pasteurized process cheese product.”

27 Lead role in “Rent” or “La Bohème” : MIMI

The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. The main character in both “La bohème” and “Rent” is named Mimi. In the former, Mimi is a seamstress suffering from tuberculosis. In the latter, Mimi is an erotic dancer with HIV.

30 Psychoactive component of marijuana, for short : THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive in cannabis.

32 Italy’s ___ Coast : AMALFI

Amalfi, Italy is a coastal town on the Gulf of Salerno located about 30 miles southeast of Naples. The town gives its name to the popular tourist destination known as the Amalfi Coast.

35 Uber ___ : EATS

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might be delivered by car, bike or foot depending on the city and courier.

40 Snacks packed in stacks : SALTINE CRACKERS

F. L. Sommer & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri started to produce wafer thin soda crackers in 1876. The crackers were later marketed as “Saltines”, due to the baking salt that was a key ingredient. The company subsequently lost trademark protection of the term “saltine”.

44 Shade of unbleached linen : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

The textile known as linen is made from flax fibers. The name “linen” probably comes from “linum”, which is Latin for both “flax” and “textile made from flax”.

48 Glass of “This American Life” : IRA

“This American Life” is a radio show that is broadcast weekly on National Public Radio (NPR). Host of the show is the much-respected Ira Glass. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

50 ___ bass (percussive technique in jazz) : SLAP

Slap bass is a playing technique commonly used in funk, jazz, and rock music that involves hitting the strings with the thumb and popping or slapping them with the fingers to produce a percussive sound.

51 Chocolate-coated ice cream treats : KLONDIKE BARS

The delicious treat made from an ice cream square covered with chocolate is actually called a “Klondike”, and not the oft-cited “Klondike Bar”. The Klondike “bar” was introduced in the early 1920s and takes its name from the Klondike River of Yukon, Canada.

61 Like many a summer mocha order : ICED

A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a caffè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

62 Nutritiously balanced plateful … or what 17-, 24-, 40- and 51-Across may constitute? : SQUARE MEAL

A square meal is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase “square meal” originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase was first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

68 Annual film celebration, with “the” : … OSCARS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

70 Documentarian Burns : KEN

Ken Burns directs and produces epic documentary films that usually make inventive use of archive footage. Recent works are the sensational “The War” (about the US in WWII) and the magnificent “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, as well as 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”. Burns’ 2017 offering was “The Vietnam War” that he co-directed with Lynn Novick.

71 Snapple alternative : NESTEA

Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

Down

1 Secluded place in a chapel : APSE

An apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

2 Yoga studio rentals : MATS

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

4 La Brea substance : TAR

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

6 Tony-winning actress Benanti : LAURA

Laura Benanti is a Tony Award-winning actress known for her performances on Broadway and in television shows such as “Nashville” and “Supergirl.” She went viral in 2016 for her spot-on impression of former First Lady Melania Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The impression was widely praised and earned Benanti an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.

7 Plank targets : ABS

The plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the abdominals, as well as the back and shoulder muscles. There are variations of the plank, such as the side plank and the reverse plank.

9 Umami broth, in Japanese cuisine : DASHI

Dashi is a style of cooking stock used in Japanese cuisine. Most famously, dashi” is the stock that is used as the base for miso soup. Traditional dashi is a fish stock to which is added edible kelp called kombu and shavings of preserved and fermented skipjack tuna called katsuobushi.

10 Like moss, to the touch : SPONGY

There is a traditionally-held belief that in the northern hemisphere there is a heavier growth of moss on the north-facing side of trees. The assumption is that the sun creates a drier environment on the south side of the tree, an environment that is less conducive to the growth of moss.

11 Fitness weight with a handle : KETTLEBELL

Kettlebells are cast iron (usually) weights that are ball-shaped with a handle. They can be used when exercising to build strength and endurance.

12 Cosmetics mogul Lauder : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

13 Teak and mahogany : WOODS

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

Mahogany is a type of tropical hardwood that is known for its rich color, durability, and beauty. Once widely used in the construction of luxury furniture, boats, and musical instruments due to its desirable qualities, one often sees sustainable alternatives these days as many species of mahogany are now endangered.

23 World Heritage Site grp. : UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is better known by the acronym “UNESCO”. UNESCO’s mission is to help build peace in the world using programs focused on education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The organization’s work is aimed in particular at Africa, and gender equalization. UNESCO also administers a World Heritage Site program that designates and helps conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to humanity across the world.

24 Scottish wedding garment : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

25 “Friday I’m in Love” band, 1992 : THE CURE

The Cure is an English rock band founded in 1976 that is still going strong today, although not with the original line up. The only top-ten hit the Cure had in the US was “Lovesong”, released in 1989.

26 Surgical souvenir : SCAR

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

27 Corn dough used for tortillas : MASA

“Masa” is the Spanish word for “dough”, with the term often used as an abbreviated form of “masa de maíz”. Masa is used to make tortillas and tamales, for example.

28 Big-screen format : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

29 Dudes showing off duds : MALE MODELS

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

34 Business abbr. : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

36 Bar bill : TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

39 Initialism at a car dealership : MSRP

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)

41 “Black Panther” supervillain Killmonger : ERIK

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

42 Postnuptial response to glass-clinking : KISS

Our word “nuptial” is an adjective meaning “of marriage, of the wedding ceremony”. The term derives from “nuptiae”, the Latin for “wedding, marriage”.

47 Waiting at a red light, say : IN IDLE

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

49 “Mamma Mia” group : ABBA

“Mamma Mia,” it is a popular song by the Swedish pop group ABBA, released in 1975. It was not originally intended to be a single, but rather a track on ABBA’s self-titled album. However, after the group performed the song on a television special, it became so popular that it was released as a single and went on to become one of ABBA’s biggest hits. The song is used as the title of the incredibly successful Broadway musical and a feature film “Mama Mia!” (with an exclamation mark).

52 “Star Wars” creator George : LUCAS

George Lucas is a filmmaker best known for creating the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. Lucas initially declined his director’s fee for the first “Star Wars” film in exchange for ownership of the merchandising and sequel rights, which the studio considered to be of little value at the time. This turned out to be a shrewd business move, as the merchandise sales for “Star Wars” have generated billions of dollars in revenue over the years.

54 Burr in “Hamilton” : AARON

Aaron Burr was the third vice-president of the US, and served under Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1805. In the final year of his term in office, Burr fought an illegal duel and killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton. Burr was charged with several crimes as a result, but those charges were eventually dropped. The Democratic-Republican Party had already decided not to nominate Burr as candidate for vice president to run alongside Jefferson in the 1804 election, largely because the relationship between Vice President Burr and President Jefferson was so poor. The subsequent fallout resulting from the killing of Alexander Hamilton effectively ended Burr’s political career.

The musical “Hamilton” is a critically acclaimed and commercially successful Broadway show created by Lin-Manuel Miranda that tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. The show holds the record for the most Tony Award nominations ever received by a musical, with a total of 16 nominations in 2016. “Hamilton” went on to win 11 of those awards, including Best Musical.

55 Witherspoon of “The Morning Show” : REESE

Actress Reese Witherspoon started her own production company, Hello Sunshine, in 2016 to produce films and TV shows that focus on stories by and about women. The company has since produced several successful projects, including the HBO series “Big Little Lies,” which Witherspoon also starred in and co-produced.

“The Morning Show” is a powerful drama TV series that is based on the 2013 book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV” by CNN’s Brian Stelter. The show stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon as two anchors for “The Morning Show”, one very experienced, and one new to the job. Steve Carell plays a former anchor who is ousted due to a sexual misconduct scandal.

59 Fabled tortoise competitor : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

60 Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

63 “___ pasa?” : QUE

In Spanish, ¿Qué pasa? translates literally as “what’s happening?” It is used to mean “how are things going for you?”.

65 Ones making introductions, in brief : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Dutch lager brand : AMSTEL
7 Opposite of take off : ADD
10 Distort : SKEW
14 Canal locale : PANAMA
15 Roaring Twenties wrap : BOA
16 Colombian coin : PESO
17 Colorful chewable candies : STARBURSTS
19 Bus driver on “The Simpsons” : OTTO
20 Second sight, for short : ESP
21 Notable time : ERA
22 Looked high and low : HUNTED
24 Individually wrapped sandwich slices : KRAFT SINGLES
27 Lead role in “Rent” or “La Bohème” : MIMI
30 Psychoactive component of marijuana, for short : THC
31 What views or is viewed through a monocle : EYE
32 Italy’s ___ Coast : AMALFI
35 Uber ___ : EATS
37 “Just like that!” : BAM!
40 Snacks packed in stacks : SALTINE CRACKERS
43 Lumberjill’s feller? : AXE
44 Shade of unbleached linen : ECRU
45 Water heater : BOILER
46 “Cool” sum : MIL
48 Glass of “This American Life” : IRA
50 ___ bass (percussive technique in jazz) : SLAP
51 Chocolate-coated ice cream treats : KLONDIKE BARS
56 One who’s barely existing? : NUDIST
57 Sweetheart, casually : BAE
58 ___/her/hers : SHE
61 Like many a summer mocha order : ICED
62 Nutritiously balanced plateful … or what 17-, 24-, 40- and 51-Across may constitute? : SQUARE MEAL
66 Season for a pumpkin spice latte : FALL
67 In the year of ___ Lord … : OUR
68 Annual film celebration, with “the” : … OSCARS
69 To be, in Latin : ESSE
70 Documentarian Burns : KEN
71 Snapple alternative : NESTEA

Down

1 Secluded place in a chapel : APSE
2 Yoga studio rentals : MATS
3 Break, as a rubber band : SNAP
4 La Brea substance : TAR
5 Campfire remnant : EMBER
6 Tony-winning actress Benanti : LAURA
7 Plank targets : ABS
8 Nickname for Dorothy : DOT
9 Umami broth, in Japanese cuisine : DASHI
10 Like moss, to the touch : SPONGY
11 Fitness weight with a handle : KETTLEBELL
12 Cosmetics mogul Lauder : ESTEE
13 Teak and mahogany : WOODS
18 Whitewater vessel : RAFT
23 World Heritage Site grp. : UNESCO
24 Scottish wedding garment : KILT
25 “Friday I’m in Love” band, 1992 : THE CURE
26 Surgical souvenir : SCAR
27 Corn dough used for tortillas : MASA
28 Big-screen format : IMAX
29 Dudes showing off duds : MALE MODELS
33 Farm divisions : FIELDS
34 Business abbr. : INC
36 Bar bill : TAB
38 Surveyor’s calculation : AREA
39 Initialism at a car dealership : MSRP
41 “Black Panther” supervillain Killmonger : ERIK
42 Postnuptial response to glass-clinking : KISS
47 Waiting at a red light, say : IN IDLE
49 “Mamma Mia” group : ABBA
51 Chef’s chopper : KNIFE
52 “Star Wars” creator George : LUCAS
53 “No worries” : IT’S OK
54 Burr in “Hamilton” : AARON
55 Witherspoon of “The Morning Show” : REESE
58 Find a table for, say : SEAT
59 Fabled tortoise competitor : HARE
60 Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA
63 “___ pasa?” : QUE
64 Coffee container : URN
65 Ones making introductions, in brief : MCS

10 thoughts on “0214-23 NY Times Crossword 14 Feb 23, Tuesday”

  1. 8:47. Interesting theme. Why wasn’t Soylent Green worked into it?? Wasn’t it square?

    I visited the PANAMA Canal once. It looked like this little boat was going through. But then they filled the lock with water and a giant ship arose. Pretty amazing to see when you weren’t expecting it.

    Best –

  2. 8:26, no one errors. I did this after two morning SCUBA dives, and a bit of lazing in the pool and hot tub. Gotta love being in Hawaii.🌴

        1. Really? Isn’t useful to know that there are other people in the world and that some of them phrase things in a way that you don’t?

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