0204-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 24, Sunday

Constructed by: Daniel Grinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Punch Lines

Themed answers are LINES hinted at by the corresponding clues, which are common phrases that have been reinterpreted:

  • 23A Fault line? : GUILTY AS CHARGED
  • 31A Fine line? : CAN’T COMPLAIN
  • 47A Fishing line? : TELL ME I’M PRETTY
  • 63A Subway line? : SIX-INCH OR FOOT-LONG
  • 81A Assembly line? : PLEASE BE SEATED
  • 98A Power line? : YOU’RE THE BOSS
  • 110A Subject line? : GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
  • 15D Private line? : SIR, YES, SIR!
  • 75D Party line? : MAKE A WISH

Bill’s time: 22m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pink, purple and blue Pride display, familiarly : BI FLAG

The pride flag representing bisexuality and the bisexual community was introduced in 1998. It comprises blue and pink stripes that overlap to create a purple stripe in the middle. The flag’s designer, Michael Page, explained that the pink color represents sexual attraction to the same sex only, and the blue stripe attraction to the opposite sex only. The overlapping purple stripe represents sexual attraction to both sexes.

13 Frontwoman for the Pussycats : JOSIE

“Josie and the Pussycats” is a comic book aimed at teens, published from 1963 to 1982. The title characters are an all-female rock band.

18 Nipple rings : AREOLAE

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

25 Qualifier for a date : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

26 Olaf’s creator in “Frozen” : ELSA

In the 2013 animated film “Frozen”, Olaf is a happy-go-lucky snowman who provides a lot of comic relief in the movie. He is voiced by actor and comedian Josh Gad.

35 Atomic number of neon : TEN

Neon (Ne) was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

37 Shaped like a kiwifruit : OVATE

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

45 The Green Hornet’s assistant : KATO

In “The Green Hornet” television series, Kato was played by Bruce Lee. The Kato role has been cited as a driving force behind the increase in popularity of martial arts in the US during the sixties.

53 Mediterranean morsel : OLIVE

The olive tree developed in and around the Mediterranean Basin, but has been cultivated in many locations around the world for thousands of years. The fruit of the olive tree is prized as a foodstuff, as well as a source of olive oil. Our word “oil” ultimately derives from the Greek “elaia” meaning “olive”.

56 Long-running police procedural, for short : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

57 Catalan artist Joan : MIRO

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. He immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miró was “the most Surrealist of us all”. There are two museums dedicated to Miró’s work. The Fundació Joan Miró is in his native Barcelona, and the Fundació Miró Mallorca is in Palma de Mallorca, where the artist spent much of his life.

Catalonia is an autonomous community in the northeast of Spain, the capital of which is the city of Barcelona. Sandwiched between Catalonia and France to the north, is the lovely Principality of Andorra that is nestled in the Pyrenees. Andorra is the country in the world in which Catalan is an official language.

59 “To Kill a Mockingbird” setting : ALABAMA

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

62 First color TV manufacturer : RCA

RCA, or the Radio Corporation of America, played a significant role in the history of television as a pioneer in the industry. RCA developed and introduced the first electronic television system in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair. RCA also created the NTSC (National Television System Committee) broadcast standard, which was adopted in the United States in 1953 and is still used today for analog television broadcasting. Additionally, RCA produced the first color television sets in 1954.

63 Subway line? : SIX-INCH OR FOOT-LONG

The SUBWAY chain of fast food restaurants is the largest single-brand restaurant in the world. I’m a big fan of SUBWAY sandwiches, especially the toasted ones …

68 Tittle : DOT

A tittle is a small diacritical mark used in writing. Examples are the cedilla and tilde used in some languages, and the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.

77 Flying formations : VEES

Apparently, birds that fly in a V-formation do so for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

79 March ___ : HARE

The March Hare is a character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. It was the March Hare who hosted the tea party near the start of the story, in which we are introduced to another famous character, the Mad Hatter.

80 South American grassland : LLANO

Llano is the Spanish word for “plain, flat region”.

85 Boxing stats : TKOS

Technical knockout (TKO)

89 British bottoms : ARSES

Well, the word “arse” would never make it into a crossword on the other side of the pond, as it would be considered too rude. I have a similar reaction to the word “shag” as in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The film would never have been released with that title in the UK (where it was released as “Austin Powers 2”).

90 Ladybugs and fireflies : BEETLES

The insect we know as a ladybug (also “ladybird”) has seven spots on its wing covers. These seven spots gave rise to the common name “ladybug”, as in the Middle Ages the insect was called the “beetle of Our Lady”. The spots were said to symbolize the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows, events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary called out in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Some living organisms are able to produce light, a phenomenon known as “bioluminescence”. A famous example on land is the firefly, with its glowing tail.

92 Some sports car features : T-TOPS

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

95 Currency replaced by the euro : MARK

One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as “deutschmark” in English).

97 North American fish with toxic roe : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

108 Z, to Zeno : ZETA

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

119 “The Shining” prop : AXE

“Here’s Johnny!” is a famous line spoken by a crazed Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) as he chops through a bathroom door in “The Shining”. The film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. I haven’t seen the whole movie because I can’t cope with Stephen King stories …

Down

1 There’s a hole in one : BAGEL

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

3 One-named indie singer with the 2007 hit “1234” : FEIST

“Feist” is the stage name of Canadian singer-songwriter Leslie Feist. She sings as a solo act, and is also a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene.

4 Kinks hit that starts “I met her in a club down in old Soho” : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of a young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, and the music is superb.

6 Sense of orientation : GAYDAR

Gaydar is a portmanteau of “gay” and “radar”, and describes the supposed ability to assess someone’s sexual orientation.

7 Peacock parent : NBC

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) has had a number of different logos in its history, including the famous peacock with which we are familiar today. The first peacock logo was introduced in the early days of color television and was designed to illustrate how wonderful color television would be, so go buy one! (NBC was owned by RCA, and so had a vested interest in sales of color television sets).

11 Ukraine’s third most populous city : ODESA

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

12 Where a lot of lying happens : BED

I do love that lying …

13 Item in a trunk : JACK

“Jack” is a nickname for “John”. Back in the 1500s, the term “jack” came to be used colloquially to describe any man of low status (as in “jack of all trades, master of none”). The usage was extended to describe any tool that saved work, perhaps replaced menial labor. By the end of the 1600s, the term “jack” became particularly associated with a portable device used to lift heavy weights using leverage.

In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large traveling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

14 Post-surgery prescription : OPIATE

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

15 Private line? : SIR, YES, SIR!

The lowest military rank of soldier is often a private (pvt.). The term “private” comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a “private army”. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

21 Moved like a cat burglar : CREPT

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

32 Communal housing arrangements : COOPS

The Old English word “cypa”, meaning “basket”, evolved in the 14th century to the word “coop” to describe a small cage for poultry. We still use “coop” today.

34 Director Lupino : IDA

Actress Ida Lupino was also a successful director, in the days when women weren’t very welcome behind the camera. She had already directed four “women’s” shorts when she stepped in to direct the 1953 drama “The Hitch-Hiker”, taking over when the original director became ill. “The Hitch-Hiker” was the first film noir movie to be directed by a woman, and somewhat of a breakthrough for women in the industry.

36 Co-founder of the Joining Forces initiative, with Michelle Obama : JILL BIDEN

First Lady Jill Biden has a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from the University of Delaware. She became a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College in 2009. She continued in that post after she became Second Lady of the United States in 2009, making her the first Second Lady of the US to hold a paying job while her husband was in office.

39 One role in a classic interrogation trope : GOOD COP

A trope is a figure of speech. The term “trope” comes from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning. The term has evolved in meaning to also describe a common or overused device or theme.

41 World Heritage Site in Sicily : ETNA

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.

43 Dame Edna, for Barry Humphries : ALIAS

Dame Edna Everage was the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater a couple of times, and what great shows they were …

44 “Enough! I get the picture already!” : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

45 Capital of Japan until 1868 : KYOTO

The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan. Indeed, the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.

50 Like many retired professors : EMERITA

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

52 TLC or Run-D.M.C. : TRIO

The girl band called TLC is from Atlanta, Georgia. The band’s name comes from the trio’s original members:

  • Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
  • Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
  • Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

58 HBO comedy about a sports agent : ARLISS

“Arli$$” is an HBO sitcom about sports agent Arliss Michaels, played by Robert Wuhl. Nearly every episode of the show features a guest appearance by some real personality from the world of sports. The most frequent guest to make an appearance is broadcaster Bob Costas (5 times) and fellow sportscaster Van Earl Wright (4 times).

60 Salamander named after an Aztec deity : AXOLOTL

An axolotl is a salamander that is native to Central Mexico. The name “axolotl” translates as “water monster”, It’s an ugly little creature …

61 ___ knife : BOWIE

A Bowie knife is a fixed-blade knife that was made famous by Colonel Jim Bowie in the early 1800s. A Bowie knife is one that comes with a sheath and has a crossguard at the end of the hilt. It also has a clip point, meaning that the forward third of the blade appears to be “clipped off”, leaving a sharp point.

67 Kids and nannies : GOATS

Male goats are bucks or billies, although castrated males are known as wethers. Female goats are does or nannies, and young goats are referred to as kids.

82 Second-year: Abbr. : SOPH

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

83 Bunny ___ (photo prank) : EARS

Remember rabbit ears television antennas? I don’t recall being told this when I was younger, but to get the best reception the length of the “ears” needs to be set at about one half of the wavelength of the signal of the target channel. If only I had known …

86 Janitor’s ringful : KEYS

A janitor is someone who takes care of the maintenance or cleaning of a building. An older definition of the term “janitor” is “doorman”. Our word comes from the Latin “ianitor” meaning “doorkeeper”.

91 Kind of clef : TREBLE

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

93 Actress Thompson of “Westworld” : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”. She also portrays superheroine Valkyrie in movies based on Marvel Comics characters.

“Westworld” is an HBO series that is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, which was written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Westworld is a high-tech theme park populated by androids that interact with the guests.

94 Canadian Tulip Festival location : OTTAWA

Tulip festivals are held in a few cities around the world. The largest of these is the Canadian Tulip Festival that is held every year in the capital city of Ottawa. The tradition of growing tulips in Ottawa really started at the end of WWII. The Dutch royal family presented the city with 100,000 tulip bulbs as an act of thanks for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her children while the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The first Canadian Tulip Festival took place in 1953.

95 Light-headed sorts? : MOTHS

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

99 School name that sounds like a Canadian territory : UCONN

The University of Connecticut (UConn) was founded in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School, taking its name from the Storrs brothers who donated the land and provided initial funding. The school is in the village of Storrs, Connecticut located about 25 miles east of Hartford.

Canada’s federal territory known as Yukon takes its name from the Yukon River. “Yukon” means “Big Stream” in the local Gwich’in language.

100 Hip Hop Awards channel : BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET) is a TV network with programming primarily aimed at the African-American community. BET was launched in 1980, and is now owned by Viacom.

101 Gestational metric : WEEKS

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

108 New Mexican tribe : ZUNI

The Zuni are a Pueblo people. They live on the Zuni River in western New Mexico, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.

111 Shot in the arm, slangily : VAX

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity, until mRNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

112 Word after stink or pink : … EYE

The phrase “stink eye”, meaning “dirty look”, dates back to the early 1970s. A suggestion is that the term comes from Hawaiian slang.

The conjunctivae are membranes on the outer surface of the eye and in the inner surface of the eyelid. If the conjunctivae get inflamed, due to an infection or perhaps an allergy, then this condition is called conjunctivitis, or more commonly “pinkeye”.

113 What’s what in Oaxaca : QUE

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pink, purple and blue Pride display, familiarly : BI FLAG
7 Hound : NAG
10 Kind of opening : JOB
13 Frontwoman for the Pussycats : JOSIE
18 Nipple rings : AREOLAE
20 Target of an inventory scan : BARCODE
22 Acting like : APING
23 Fault line? : GUILTY AS CHARGED
25 Qualifier for a date : CIRCA
26 Olaf’s creator in “Frozen” : ELSA
27 Nickname that drops “An-” : DRE
28 A gig has a thousand of these : MEGS
29 Permitted : OKAYED
30 Permitted : LET
31 Fine line? : CAN’T COMPLAIN
35 Atomic number of neon : TEN
36 Preserves things? : JARS
37 Shaped like a kiwifruit : OVATE
38 Processes : DIGESTS
41 ___ attachment : EMAIL
44 Anatomical stabilizer : TOE
45 The Green Hornet’s assistant : KATO
46 Not down, in a way : SIP
47 Fishing line? : TELL ME I’M PRETTY
53 Mediterranean morsel : OLIVE
55 Get just right : NAIL
56 Long-running police procedural, for short : NCIS
57 Catalan artist Joan : MIRO
58 Thought the world of : ADORED
59 “To Kill a Mockingbird” setting : ALABAMA
61 Match well with : BEFIT
62 First color TV manufacturer : RCA
63 Subway line? : SIX-INCH OR FOOT-LONG
68 Tittle : DOT
69 1970s-’80s Supreme Court justice ___ F. Powell Jr. : LEWIS
70 Scams : RIPS OFF
73 With an eager spirit : GAMELY
76 Landed : ALIT
77 Flying formations : VEES
79 March ___ : HARE
80 South American grassland : LLANO
81 Assembly line? : PLEASE BE SEATED
84 Variety : ILK
85 Boxing stats : TKOS
88 Celestial shape : ORB
89 British bottoms : ARSES
90 Ladybugs and fireflies : BEETLES
92 Some sports car features : T-TOPS
95 Currency replaced by the euro : MARK
97 North American fish with toxic roe : GAR
98 Power line? : YOU’RE THE BOSS
101 Simple card game : WAR
104 Groundskeeping equipment : MOWERS
106 It’s signed after a break : CAST
107 Otherworldly creatures, for short : ETS
108 Z, to Zeno : ZETA
109 Illegal offering : BRIBE
110 Subject line? : GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
114 Passage of rite? : AISLE
115 Two outs left, in baseball : ONE AWAY
116 Performed really badly : STUNK AT
117 Timetable: Abbr. : SCHED
118 “There’s more to the story, right?” : AND?
119 “The Shining” prop : AXE
120 Quakes : SEISMS

Down

1 There’s a hole in one : BAGEL
2 Gloater’s cry : I RULE!
3 One-named indie singer with the 2007 hit “1234” : FEIST
4 Kinks hit that starts “I met her in a club down in old Soho” : LOLA
5 Neighbor of Ctrl : ALT
6 Sense of orientation : GAYDAR
7 Peacock parent : NBC
8 Exclamation of amazement : AAH!
9 Alternative to nana : GRAMMA
10 Shake slightly : JOGGLE
11 Ukraine’s third most populous city : ODESA
12 Where a lot of lying happens : BED
13 Item in a trunk : JACK
14 Post-surgery prescription : OPIATE
15 Private line? : SIR, YES, SIR!
16 Motivator : INCENTIVE
17 “Crikey!” : EGAD!
19 Brings in : EARNS
21 Moved like a cat burglar : CREPT
24 Word after dead or data : … SET
29 Volunteer’s declaration : ON IT!
31 Soothe : CALM
32 Communal housing arrangements : COOPS
33 /, in math : OVER
34 Director Lupino : IDA
36 Co-founder of the Joining Forces initiative, with Michelle Obama : JILL BIDEN
39 One role in a classic interrogation trope : GOOD COP
40 Zoomed : SPED
41 World Heritage Site in Sicily : ETNA
42 Ground grain : MEAL
43 Dame Edna, for Barry Humphries : ALIAS
44 “Enough! I get the picture already!” : TMI!
45 Capital of Japan until 1868 : KYOTO
48 Hostile state : ENMITY
49 Volunteer’s declaration : I CAN!
50 Like many retired professors : EMERITA
51 Petty arguments : TIFFS
52 TLC or Run-D.M.C. : TRIO
54 Person of interest? : LOAN SHARK
58 HBO comedy about a sports agent : ARLISS
60 Salamander named after an Aztec deity : AXOLOTL
61 ___ knife : BOWIE
64 Gives a hand? : CLAPS
65 Hot spot : HELL
66 Genealogist’s chart : TREE
67 Kids and nannies : GOATS
71 Liberated : FREE
72 N.S.A. agents, e.g. : FEDS
73 Superficial, in a way : GLIB
74 Rich with metaphor : ALLEGORIC
75 Party line? : MAKE A WISH
77 What might lead to a bridge : VERSE
78 Subside : EBB
82 Second-year: Abbr. : SOPH
83 Bunny ___ (photo prank) : EARS
86 Janitor’s ringful : KEYS
87 Spanish “bear” : OSO
91 Kind of clef : TREBLE
92 Switched : TRADED
93 Actress Thompson of “Westworld” : TESSA
94 Canadian Tulip Festival location : OTTAWA
95 Light-headed sorts? : MOTHS
96 Selling points : ASSETS
99 School name that sounds like a Canadian territory : UCONN
100 Hip Hop Awards channel : BET
101 Gestational metric : WEEKS
102 First-stringers : A-TEAM
103 Posts in a rage, perhaps : RANTS
104 Degrees for C.F.O.s : MBAS
105 Bog plant : REED
108 New Mexican tribe : ZUNI
110 ___-courtin’ : GO A
111 Shot in the arm, slangily : VAX
112 Word after stink or pink : … EYE
113 What’s what in Oaxaca : QUE

9 thoughts on “0204-24 NY Times Crossword 4 Feb 24, Sunday”

  1. 26:41. Knew just enough to think this should be a breeze but didn’t know enough to actually make it a breeze. Didn’t get the theme while solving, but I was able to use the theme answers to help solve the puzzle. Go figure.

    JOSIE and the Pussycats is going way way back in time. I remember the cartoon as a kid.

    AXOLOTL (?) is really digging deep into the crossword pile. Sounds like a texting acronym.

    Best –

    1. Wow – I was right. AXOLOTL is a texting acronym.

      Apparently it’s used after giving someone a tongue and cheek roasting, and it stands for “Actually hugs and kisses and Lots of Tremendous Laughter”. Amazing

      Best –

  2. 40:33 after finding and fixing an error. Early on, I had entered “JOT” for 68-Across (which, IMNSHO, makes a lot more sense than “DOT”, given the clue “Tittle”) and then somehow failed to notice that it gave me “JILL BIJEN” for 36-Down. It then took me the better part of forever to find the error when I failed to get the “success” message. (I guess I was tired from a series of very long days. At least, that’s going to be my feeble excuse … 😜.

    @Jeff … Re “axolotl” in a text message. Amazing, indeed (and very creative … 😉).

    Google tells me that, in Nahuatl, the word is pronounced “ah-sho-LOH”. So I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all my life. Live and learn … and (probably) forget again … 🧐.

  3. 34:11, finished at 3 minutes before midnight and with 6% left on my phone battery(started at 12%) I rule!!! Oh wait, that was gloating….

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