0207-24 NY Times Crossword 7 Feb 24, Wednesday

Constructed by: Daniel Mauer
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Re-Re-Re-Refrains

Themed answers are famous refrains that feature repeated syllables:

  • 18A Refrain in a 1970 hit by the Kinks : LA-LA-LA-LA LOLA
  • 28A Refrain in a 1971 hit by David Bowie : CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
  • 47A Refrain in a 1965 hit by the Who : MY G-G-G-GENERATION
  • 64A Refrain in a 2008 hit by Lady Gaga : P-P-P-POKER FACE

Bill’s time: 12m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One who might call you out : UMPIRE

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

7 ___ pepper : CHILI

Chili peppers originated in Bolivia, and were first grown as a crop in Mexico. The spelling of the word “chili” can lead to some confusion. “Chili” is the most common spelling in North America, although the spelling “chile” is usual in Mexico and some parts of the US and Canada. The spelling in Britain and Ireland that I grew up with is “”chilli”.

12 Prez featured in “Annie” : FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)

The Broadway musical “Annie” is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There have been two film adaptations of the musical. Both were really quite successful, including one released in 1982, directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

16 ___ Air, electric vehicle that was named Motor Trend’s 2022 Car of the Year : LUCID

“Motor Trend” is an auto magazine that has been published since 1949. The magazine has been giving its famous Car of the Year award since those early days, with the first award going to the 1949 Cadillac.

18 Refrain in a 1970 hit by the Kinks : LA-LA-LA-LA 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.

20 Crop revered by the Abelam people of Papua New Guinea : YAM

Papua New Guinea is a country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western side of the island is part of Indonesia).

21 Casual vodka order : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

22 Muscat native : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

23 Some reactions on Slack : GIFS

The Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) is an image format developed in the 1980s by CompuServe (remember CompuServe?). GIF images are compressed, reducing the file size, but without losing information. So, the original image can be reconstructed perfectly from the compressed GIF version. But, and it’s a big but, GIF images use only 256 individual colors. This means that GIF is a relatively poor choice of compression for color photographs, while it is usually fine for logos with large blocks of single colors.

Slack is a messaging app aimed at businesses. At its core, Slack is an instant messaging system. Slack also provides tools designed to increase collaboration within teams.

28 Refrain in a 1971 hit by David Bowie : CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

“David Bowie” was the stage name of English singer David Jones. Bowie adopted the alter ego Ziggy Stardust during his glam rock phase in the 1970s. Sadly, Bowie passed away from liver cancer in early 2016.

35 One of over 140 in an Ironman triathlon : MILE

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

36 Serbian American inventor : TESLA

Nikola Tesla was born in the Austrian Empire in a village located in modern-day Croatia, and later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

37 Hindu god embodying virtue : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

42 Flatbread that can be served with dal : ROTI

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

I love dal dishes, which are prepared from various peas or beans (often lentils) that have been stripped of their outer skins and split. Dal is an important part of Indian cuisines. I suppose in Indian terms, split pea soup (another of my favorites) would be called a dal.

43 What offers worldwide protection? : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

47 Refrain in a 1965 hit by the Who : MY G-G-G-GENERATION

“My Generation” is a 1965 song by the Who that is sometimes hailed as an anthem of the mod counterculture that was at its height in the mid-sixties. Reportedly, Pete Townshend was inspired to write the song after the Queen Mother had his 1935 Packard hearse towed off the street as she was offended by its presence as she drove through the neighborhood.

54 Longtime TV singing series, to fans : IDOL

“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016, the show “jumped ship” and moved to ABC starting in the 2018 season.

59 Thing with a ping : RADAR

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym “RADAR”.

64 Refrain in a 2008 hit by Lady Gaga : P-P-P-POKER FACE

“Poker Face” is a 2008 song co-written and recorded by Lady Gaga. Having sold over 14 million copies, it is one of the best-selling singles ever released. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it …

66 What makes most moist? : AN I

The word “most” becomes “moist” with the addition of a letter I.

67 Fleece seeker : JASON

The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.

68 “War and Peace” character who determines through numerology that he is destined to assassinate Napoleon : PIERRE

I have to confess that I have tried to read Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” twice in my life, and failed both times (it is l-o-n-g; 1,225 pages in the first published edition). Even though the 1956 movie adaptation runs for 3 1/2 hours, it’s still the easy way out! The film version stars Audrey Hepburn as Natasha Rostova and Henry Fonda as Count Pierre Bezukhov.

69 East Asian currency : YEN

The Japanese yen (JPY) is the third-most traded currency in the world, after the US dollar and the euro.

71 Trade mag for marketers : ADWEEK

“Adweek” is a weekly trade magazine serving the advertising industry. It is the second-biggest seller in the sector, behind “Advertising Age”.

Down

1 “www” addresses : URLS

In essence, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast collection of documents that is accessible using the Internet, with each document containing hyperlinks which point to other documents in the collection. So the “Web” is different from the Internet, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The Web is a collection of documents, and the Internet is a global network of computers on which the documents reside. The Web was effectively the invention of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I, for one, am very grateful …

2 Defense from some attackers : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

3 Short-sleeved shirt : POLO

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing. The Lacoste line of clothing features a crocodile logo, because René was nicknamed “The Crocodile”.

4 Like a type that leans right? : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

5 Enjoy with gusto : RELISH

“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto” meaning “with great enjoyment”.

8 Dance with a festive skirt : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

9 Like Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” or “Marilyn Diptych” : ICONIC

Andy Warhol went through a period of painting iconic American products, including Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s tomato soup cans. In 1964 he participated in a gallery show called “The American Supermarket”. Along with other pop artists he contributed works including a painting of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. He priced the painting at $1,500, and sold autographed cans of soup for $6 a piece.

The “Marilyn Diptych” is a 1962 work by pop artist Andy Warhol. It features 50 images of actress Marilyn Monroe taken from a publicity photograph used to market the 1953 thriller film “Niagara”. Warhol created the painting by silkscreening 25 of the images in color on one side of the canvas, and 25 of the images in black and white on the other side. The color and black-and-white images are said to represent Monroe’s life and death. Warhol created the “Marilyn Diptych” just weeks after the actress died from a barbiturate overdose.

10 Frasier’s ex-wife on “Frasier” : LILITH

Bebe Neuwirth is a wonderful actress and dancer who famously played Dr. Lilith Sternin, the wife of Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers” and “Frasier”. Neuwirth is a fabulous dancer, having studied ballet at Juilliard. In more recent years she has had starring roles on Broadway, and in 2010 played opposite Nathan Lane in “The Addams Family”. Neuwirth also played a leading role on the show “Madam Secretary”.

“Frasier” is a very successful sitcom that originally ran for eleven seasons, from 1993 to 2004. Kelsey Grammer plays the title character, psychiatrist Frasier Crane. The show is a spinoff of the equally successful sitcom “Cheers” that ended its original run just a few months before “Frasier” premiered. By the time “Frasier” aired its last show, Grammer’s portrayal of Crane tied the record for the longest-running character on primetime TV. As an aside, that tie was with James Arness’ portrayal of Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke”. As a further aside, the record was later broken by Richard Belzer’s portrayal of Detective John Munch on the shows “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU”.

11 State west of Wyo. : IDA

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia

13 The “D” in CODA : DEAF

“CODA” is a 2021 movie, a remake of the 2014 French-Belgian film “La Famille Bélier”. The English-language version stars Emilia Jones as the only hearing member of a deaf family struggling with a fishing business in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “CODA” was the first film distributed by a streaming service (Apple TV+) to win a Best Picture Oscar. The title “CODA” is an acronym standing for “child of deaf adults”.

25 Zenith : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

29 Substance that makes blood red : HEMOGLOBIN

Red blood cells are also known as erythrocytes, and are responsible for delivering oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Iron-rich hemoglobin in the cell binds the oxygen molecules, and is also responsible for the red color. While some waste carbon dioxide (CO2) is carried back to the lungs by red blood cells, most of the CO2 is transported back to the lungs as bicarbonate ions dissolved in the blood plasma.

31 Actor ___ Villechaize of “Fantasy Island” : HERVE

“Fantasy Island” was a fun television series that aired from 1978 to 1984, starring the dashing Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke and Herve Villechaize as Tattoo. Tattoo is Roarke’s colorful sidekick, famous for shouting out, “The plane! The plane!” as the guests arrived on the island at the beginning of each episode. There were lots of celebrity guest stars that appeared over the years, such as Sonny Bono, Tom Jones, Victoria Principal and Heather Locklear.

32 John from England : ELTON

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

34 Big dance : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

41 Actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same traveling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

55 Novel with the desert planet Arrakis : DUNE

“Dune” is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, first published in 1965. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time. The book has a large and dedicated fanbase, who refer to themselves as “Duners” or “Dune fans.”

57 Tech product officially discontinued in 2022 : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s discontinued signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all used flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

58 Carter of jazz and Perlman of film : RONS

Ron Perlman is a Hollywood actor noted for playing roles that require heavy make-up, as well as for voice-over work. Notably, he played the title character in the superhero film “Hellboy”, and its sequel “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”.

65 Org. with an Office of Water : EPA

The main legislation governing water pollution in the US is the Clean Water Act (CWA), which became law in 1972.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One who might call you out : UMPIRE
7 ___ pepper : CHILI
12 Prez featured in “Annie” : FDR
15 Enthusiastic fan : ROOTER
16 ___ Air, electric vehicle that was named Motor Trend’s 2022 Car of the Year : LUCID
17 Grassy expanse : LEA
18 Refrain in a 1970 hit by the Kinks : LA-LA-LA-LA LOLA
20 Crop revered by the Abelam people of Papua New Guinea : YAM
21 Casual vodka order : STOLI
22 Muscat native : OMANI
23 Some reactions on Slack : GIFS
24 “Yep, noticed that” : I SAW
26 “Oh, you wanna fight!” : IT’S ON!
28 Refrain in a 1971 hit by David Bowie : CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
34 ___-owned (merchandise designation) : PRE
35 One of over 140 in an Ironman triathlon : MILE
36 Serbian American inventor : TESLA
37 Hindu god embodying virtue : RAMA
39 Everlasting, poetically : ETERNE
42 Flatbread that can be served with dal : ROTI
43 What offers worldwide protection? : OZONE
45 State boldly : AVOW
46 “hahahaha” : LOL
47 Refrain in a 1965 hit by the Who : MY G-G-G-GENERATION
52 Corporate department : LEGAL
53 Privy to : IN ON
54 Longtime TV singing series, to fans : IDOL
56 Places for evil geniuses : LAIRS
59 Thing with a ping : RADAR
63 Sandwich you really need two hands to eat : SUB
64 Refrain in a 2008 hit by Lady Gaga : P-P-P-POKER FACE
66 What makes most moist? : AN I
67 Fleece seeker : JASON
68 “War and Peace” character who determines through numerology that he is destined to assassinate Napoleon : PIERRE
69 East Asian currency : YEN
70 Things dragged uphill : SLEDS
71 Trade mag for marketers : ADWEEK

Down

1 “www” addresses : URLS
2 Defense from some attackers : MOAT
3 Short-sleeved shirt : POLO
4 Like a type that leans right? : ITALIC
5 Enjoy with gusto : RELISH
6 Big Band ___ : ERA
7 $1 bill, in slang : CLAM
8 Dance with a festive skirt : HULA
9 Like Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” or “Marilyn Diptych” : ICONIC
10 Frasier’s ex-wife on “Frasier” : LILITH
11 State west of Wyo. : IDA
12 Going it alone : FLYING SOLO
13 The “D” in CODA : DEAF
14 Head-butts, e.g. : RAMS
19 Tackle at the knees, e.g. : LOW HIT
23 One who’s finished : GONER
25 Zenith : ACME
27 Took a load off : SAT
28 Outrageous : CRAZY
29 Substance that makes blood red : HEMOGLOBIN
30 Fair and honest : CLEAN
31 Actor ___ Villechaize of “Fantasy Island” : HERVE
32 John from England : ELTON
33 Whiz (through) : SAIL
34 Big dance : PROM
38 Sweetheart : ANGEL
40 Surefire : NO-RISK
41 Actor McGregor : EWAN
44 Something a person with an ovomucoid allergy cannot eat : EGG
48 Female friend, informally : GAL PAL
49 Go by : ELAPSE
50 Hot, hot, hot : TORRID
51 Shortly : IN A FEW
54 “Oho!” : I SAY!
55 Novel with the desert planet Arrakis : DUNE
57 Tech product officially discontinued in 2022 : IPOD
58 Carter of jazz and Perlman of film : RONS
60 Take the leap : DARE
61 Land unit : ACRE
62 Raise a big stink : REEK
64 Slumber duds : PJS
65 Org. with an Office of Water : EPA

4 thoughts on “0207-24 NY Times Crossword 7 Feb 24, Wednesday”

  1. 22:33 Kept trying to put all “G”s in rather than an opening “my”.
    As a young lad playing with Hot Wheels, I would always sing the chorus of “Lola” when I sent my Lola down the orange track. I had no idea what the song was about, my parents must have wondered….

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