0205-24 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 24, Monday

Constructed by: Desirée Penner & Jeff Sinnock
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fighting Words

Themed answers include FIGHTING WORDS hidden within:

  • 37A “Wanna take this outside?,” e.g … or what are found four times in this puzzle’s circled letters : FIGHTING WORDS
  • 18A Underwater divers’ aids : SCUBA MASKS (hiding “BAM!”)
  • 23A “When the moon hits your eye like a big ___, that’s amore” (Dean Martin lyric) : PIZZA PIE (hiding “ZAP!”)
  • 55A Influence through close contact : RUB OFF ON (hiding “BOFF!”)
  • 61A Weird Al Yankovic medley that features “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls : POLKA POWER (hiding “KAPOW!”)

Bill’s time: 5m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 U.F.O. crew, supposedly : ETS

In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

14 Duck known for its soft down : EIDER

Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

Down feathers are the very fine feathers found under the tougher exterior feathers of a bird. There is fossil evidence that some non-avian dinosaurs had down-like feathers.

17 Peach or beech : TREE

There are two broad categories of peaches: freestones and clingstones. Clingstones (also “cling peaches”) have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. Freestones are easier to consume as the flesh separates easily from the pit.

Beech bark is very thin and delicate, and is often scarred by people carving their initials or other forms of graffiti. These markings are permanent because the tree cannot heal itself. There is also a fungal infection that damages the American beech that is called beech bark disease, which can be fatal to the tree.

18 Underwater divers’ aids : SCUBA MASKS (hiding “BAM!”)

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

20 Lowest numbered club for a golfer : ONE-IRON

The golf club known as the 1-iron is the iron with the lowest loft. However, golfer big hitter John Daly owned a 0-iron that was specially made for him by Wilson.

22 Reznor of Nine Inch Nails : TRENT

Not only is Trent Reznor the founder and frontman of the rock band Nine Inch Nails, he also collaborates with fellow band member Atticus Ross in writing film and television scores. The pair scored some very famous movies, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Gone Girl” and “Patriots Day”. They won the Best Original Score Oscar for “The Social Network”.

23 “When the moon hits your eye like a big ___, that’s amore” (Dean Martin lyric) : PIZZA PIE (hiding “ZAP!”)

“That’s Amore” is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. It became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film “The Caddy”. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore …”

28 Deutschland denial : NEIN

The country that we know in English as “Germany” is known as “Deutschland” in German. The name “Germany” comes from “Germania”, which is the Latin name that Julius Caesar gave to the peoples located east of the Rhine. The name “Deutschland” comes from an Old High German word meaning “land belonging to the people”.

29 Rite Aid competitor : CVS

CVS receipts are famous for their length and the amount of information they contain and have become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon. They are so long because they are designed to include as much information as possible about purchases, including details about the products, discounts, and rewards earned. This is part of CVS’s ExtraCare program, which is a marketing tool designed to promote customer loyalty.

36 Nanny : goat :: ___ : sheep : EWE

An adult male sheep is a ram, although a castrated ram is known as a wether. An adult female is a ewe, and a young sheep is a lamb.

42 Can material : TIN

We tend to call tin cans “cans” here in the US, but they’re usually called “tins” in Britain and Ireland.

43 Maple product : SAP

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

44 “___ to Billie Joe” (1967 #1 hit) : ODE

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

60 Bygone Japanese camera brand : MINOLTA

Minolta was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras and related products. Minolta was founded in 1928 to make cameras using imported German technology. One of the company’s most memorable products was the world’s first integrated autofocus 35mm SLR camera. Minolta merged with Konica in 2003 to form Konica Minolta.

61 Weird Al Yankovic medley that features “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls : POLKA POWER (hiding “KAPOW!”)

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).

64 Landing spot for Santa : ROOF

The notion of Santa landing in his sleigh on the roofs of houses originated in the celebrated 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

65 Delta deposit : SILT

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The use of the term “delta” in this context comes from the triangular shape of the Greek letter delta. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

67 Pub projectile : DART

Darts is a game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

Down

1 Legally prohibit : ESTOP

The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. “Estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

3 Reason to say “Gesundheit!” : SNEEZE

“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is quite often here in the US.

4 Famed fable writer : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

5 Meal on a blanket : PICNIC

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

7 Red ink, so to speak : DEBT

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

11 Politicians Gore and Franken : ALS

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

Al Franken became the junior US Senator from Minnesota in 2009 after an extremely close race, a race that he eventually won by just 312 votes. Prior to serving in the Senate, Franken was a noted satirist and a writer for “Saturday Night Live”. Franken announced his intention to resign from the US Senate in 2018, in the face of several accusations of sexual misconduct.

15 “Ta-___ Boom-de-ay” : RA-RA

“Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay” is an old music hall song from the late 1800s. The tune was used in the 20th century for the theme song for the children’s TV show “Howdy Doody”, using the title “It’s Howdy Doody Time”.

26 Female pigs : SOWS

Domestic pigs might be referred to as swine or hogs. Males are boars, females are sows, and young pigs are piglets.

38 What quill pens are dipped in : INKWELLS

Quills have been used as writing implements since the 6th century. Historically, goose, swan and turkey feathers have been the quills of choice. A bird’s feather is well suited for writing, as the hollow shaft acts as a reservoir for ink which then flows to the tip due to capillary action. Choice of feather is important. Right-handed writers are best served by feathers from the left wing, as the feather curves away from the palm of the hand when writing. The tip of the quill is sharpened using a “quill knife”. This quill knife is the ancestor of what we know today as a “penknife”.

39 Sam-___ (Seuss character) : I-AM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

40 Greek theater : ODEON

In ancient Greece, an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

41 Robert ___, Paul Newman’s co-star in “The Sting” : REDFORD

“The Sting” is a marvelous 1973 film about two grifters pulling off a con on a mob boss. The con artists are played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and their target is played by Robert Shaw. The film is memorable for many reasons, one being the soundtrack featuring several Scott Joplin ragtime compositions. The movie also reunited director George Roy Hill with actors Newman and Redford. The trio had last worked together on the 1969 hit “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

42 ___ Mahal : TAJ

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is a magnificent marble mausoleum. It was built in the mid-17th century by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to her 14th child in 1631. When Shah Jahan himself died in 1666, he was buried in the Taj Mahal, alongside his wife.

49 Light units : LUMENS

The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

52 The “M” of G.M. : MOTORS

General Motors (GM) was the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the world for 77 straight years, at least in terms of numbers of cars sold, from 1931 until 2007. GM was established in 1908 in Flint, Michigan as a holding company for Buick, which in turn had been founded in 1899. GM’s Buick brand is the oldest, still-active automotive brand in the US. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, and emerged from that bankruptcy just one month later, with a lot of help from the US taxpayer. In order to do so, GM had to shut down its Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn operations. The revamped General Motors then had a huge Initial Public Offering in 2010 that raised $23 billion.

54 Labor Day’s mo. : SEPT

Labor Day is a federal holiday observed every year on the first Monday in September. The tradition of honoring workers with a holiday started in Boston in 1878, when a day of observance was organized by the Central Labor Union, the major trade union at the time. There was a bloody dispute in 1894 between labor unions and the railroads called the Pullman Strike, which led to the death of some workers when the US Military and US Marshals were instructed to maintain order. President Grover Cleveland submitted a “Labor Day” bill to Congress which was signed into law just six days after the end of the strike. The introduction of a federal holiday to honor the worker was a move designed to promote reconciliation between management and unions after the bitter conflict.

56 Eagles and falcons : BIRDS

Eagles have extraordinary eyesight that is several times stronger than that enjoyed by humans. The average eagle weighs about ten pounds, and yet has eyes that are about the same size as human eyes.

There are about 40 species of the birds of prey classed as falcons, with examples being several species of kestrel. Falcons differ from hawks and eagles in that they kill their prey with their beaks, as opposed to their talons. Famously, falcons swoop down on their prey at great speed. Peregrine falcons have been clocked at well over 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest-moving creatures on the planet.

57 Can./U.S./Mex. treaty : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a treaty between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world. It was replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in 2020, an agreement that is often referred to as NAFTA 2.0 because it largely maintains the provisions in the original NAFTA treaty.

61 “Don’t text and drive” ad, e.g. : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

62 Dipstick coating : OIL

One form of measuring dipstick is used to measure the level of oil in an internal combustion engine.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 U.F.O. crew, supposedly : ETS
4 Mimicked : APED
8 Light bulb, in a comic strip : IDEA
12 Soaks up some rays : SUNS
14 Duck known for its soft down : EIDER
16 Smallest unit of life : CELL
17 Peach or beech : TREE
18 Underwater divers’ aids : SCUBA MASKS (hiding “BAM!”)
20 Lowest numbered club for a golfer : ONE-IRON
22 Reznor of Nine Inch Nails : TRENT
23 “When the moon hits your eye like a big ___, that’s amore” (Dean Martin lyric) : PIZZA PIE (hiding “ZAP!”)
25 Datum for a basketball point guard : ASSIST
28 Deutschland denial : NEIN
29 Rite Aid competitor : CVS
31 Show respect for : HONOR
32 Many a G.I. : NCO
34 Break bread : EAT
36 Nanny : goat :: ___ : sheep : EWE
37 “Wanna take this outside?,” e.g … or what are found four times in this puzzle’s circled letters : FIGHTING WORDS
42 Can material : TIN
43 Maple product : SAP
44 “___ to Billie Joe” (1967 #1 hit) : ODE
45 Commonly sprained joint : ANKLE
48 Prefix that means “bad” : MAL-
50 Dutch cheese : EDAM
53 Stones embedded in a crown : JEWELS
55 Influence through close contact : RUB OFF ON (hiding “BOFF!”)
58 Moved smoothly : EASED
60 Bygone Japanese camera brand : MINOLTA
61 Weird Al Yankovic medley that features “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls : POLKA POWER (hiding “KAPOW!”)
64 Landing spot for Santa : ROOF
65 Delta deposit : SILT
66 What’s in style : TREND
67 Pub projectile : DART
68 To boot : ALSO
69 Fool (with) : MESS
70 Passenger-screening org. : TSA

Down

1 Legally prohibit : ESTOP
2 Submit, as homework : TURN IN
3 Reason to say “Gesundheit!” : SNEEZE
4 Famed fable writer : AESOP
5 Meal on a blanket : PICNIC
6 College email suffix : EDU
7 Red ink, so to speak : DEBT
8 “You underestimate me!” : I CAN SO!
9 Governed by fate : DESTINED
10 Rocky Mountain ___ (state animal of Utah) : ELK
11 Politicians Gore and Franken : ALS
13 Taking by force : SEIZING
15 “Ta-___ Boom-de-ay” : RA-RA
19 Netlike fabric : MESH
21 Cattle farmer’s land : RANCH
24 What “E” stands for in golf : EVEN PAR
26 Female pigs : SOWS
27 Uno + due : TRE
30 Droop : SAG
33 Tie-breaking periods, for short : OTS
35 What it takes to tango : TWO
37 “OK, have it your way!” : FINE!
38 What quill pens are dipped in : INKWELLS
39 Sam-___ (Seuss character) : I-AM
40 Greek theater : ODEON
41 Robert ___, Paul Newman’s co-star in “The Sting” : REDFORD
42 ___ Mahal : TAJ
46 Surreptitiously give, as classified information : LEAK TO
47 “Frozen” queen : ELSA
49 Light units : LUMENS
51 Opposite of sinking : AFLOAT
52 The “M” of G.M. : MOTORS
54 Labor Day’s mo. : SEPT
56 Eagles and falcons : BIRDS
57 Can./U.S./Mex. treaty : NAFTA
59 Campus building : DORM
61 “Don’t text and drive” ad, e.g. : PSA
62 Dipstick coating : OIL
63 Itsy-bitsy : WEE

5 thoughts on “0205-24 NY Times Crossword 5 Feb 24, Monday”

  1. 6:44, no errors. The NYT app causes the ‘FIGHTING WORDS’ to morph into comic style when the puzzle is completed.

  2. 6:20, no errors. When I finished the puzzle in the “NYT Games” app, the four embedded theme words were replaced by comic-book-style renditions of themselves (much to the amusement of my inner child … 😜).

  3. 4:58. Batman puzzle.

    Nice way to start Super Bowl week here in Las Vegas on a very dreary Monday morning. At least I’m not in SoCal where there’s crazy rain going on.

    Lee Trevino, one of my favorite golfers of all time, was famous for walking off the golf course in a storm holding a ONE IRON over his head and saying “Even God can’t hit a ONE IRON” (i.e. with a lightning strike).

    I have a hard enough time hitting a 2-iron. Did not know John Daly hit a 0 iron. That’d be like hitting a ball with a 2×4.

    Best –

  4. 6:09, didn’t want to disturb the cat on my lap, so finished Sunday with 3 minutes to go before midnight, then Wordle, then Monday’s puzzle after which time the cat got up on her own accord and I went to bed. Nice graphics on the app, as those before me have so “app-tly” described

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *