0213-24 NY Times Crossword 13 Feb 24, Tuesday

Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Team Players

Themed answers comprise two words, each of which is a PLAYER on a TEAM in the professional league cited in the corresponding clues:

  • 49A Ones unconcerned with individual achievements … or what both words in the answers to the starred clues are examples of : TEAM PLAYERS

33A *Louis XIV’s nickname [N.B.A.] : SUN KING (Phoenix Suns & Sacramento Kings)
54A *Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” e.g. [M.L.B.] : GUARDIAN ANGEL (Cleveland Guardians & Anaheim Angels)
3D *Indication that a gas stove is functioning properly [N.H.L.] : BLUE FLAME (St. Louis Blues & Calgary Flames)
11D *Grizzly, for one [N.F.L.] : BROWN BEAR (Cleveland Browns & Chicago Bears)

Bill’s time: 5m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Delivery at un hôpital : BEBE

In French, a “bébé” (baby) might be delivered in “un hôpital” (a hospital).

14 Sch. near Bel Air : UCLA

Bel Air is a ritzy neighborhood in Los Angeles that was once home to many, many stars of film and television. Famously, the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was set in the neighborhood. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan had a home in Bel Air, and in fact the former president passed away there in 2004.

17 Uncouth sort : LOUT

The word “couth” existed in Middle English with the meaning “well-known, customary”. The term died out, but was resurrected in the late 19th century as a back-formation of the word “uncouth” meaning “rude, lacking in polish”.

20 Piece of volleyball gear : KNEEPAD

Indoor volleyball was invented in 1895 and was originally called “mintonette”, a reference to the related game of “badminton”. The variant called beach volleyball originated in 1915 on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, but was popularized on the beaches of Santa Monica starting in 1920.

22 Captain von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” e.g. : WIDOWER

Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy who achieved worldwide fame when his family became the inspiration for the musical “The Sound of Musical”.

24 Ukulele ridge : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

25 National park in southwest Utah : ZION

The highest number of National Parks (NPs) in any one state is nine, in California. Alaska comes in second with eight, and Utah comes in third with five. The five NPs in Utah are:

  • Arches NP
  • Bryce Canyon NP
  • Canyonlands NP
  • Capitol Reef NP
  • Zion NP

26 Harry Belafonte album whose first song is “Day-O” : CALYPSO

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

Singer and actor Harry Belafonte was of Caribbean descent, from Jamaica through his mother’s heritage and from Martinique through his father. Born in New York City, Belafonte came to be known as the “King of Calypso”. His most famous recording is 1956’s “The Banana Boat Song”, and I suspect that his most famous movie performance is in Otto Preminger’s “Carmen Jones”.

32 Most populous member of NATO, in brief : USA

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

33 *Louis XIV’s nickname [N.B.A.] : SUN KING

Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

The Phoenix Suns NBA team are in the Pacific Division, and are the only team in that division not based in California.

The Sacramento Kings are one of the oldest basketball franchises still operating, having been founded way back in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams. The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985 from Kansas City, Missouri.

36 Friend of Thumper and Flower : BAMBI

In the 1942 animated feature “Bambi”, the title character is a white-tailed deer. His best friends are a pink-nosed rabbit named Thumper, a skunk named Flower, and another deer named Faline with whom Bambi eventually falls in love.

38 Alexander Hamilton’s bill : TEN

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who established the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

44 Slugger who ended his career four shy of the 700 home run club : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.

47 Kimono sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

54 *Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” e.g. [M.L.B.] : GUARDIAN ANGEL

The Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, and is a Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Remember the famous swimming pool scene? That was shot in the Beverly High School gym, and the pool is still in use today.

60 Garment for the Grim Reaper : ROBE

The Grim Reaper is one of the personifications of death, along with the Hooded One and the Angel of Death. Death has been depicted since the 1400s as a skeleton in a hooded, black cloak and carrying a scythe. The name “Grim Reaper” only dates back to the mid-1800s.

61 ___ code : MORSE

Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 Morse was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse-messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time that Morse arrived his wife had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

65 “Monday Night Countdown” cable channel : ESPN

“Monday Night Countdown” is an ESPN show, a runup to that evening’s Monday Night Football game.

Down

1 Heftiness : BULK

The heft of something is its weight, its heaviness. The term “heft” is derivative of the verb “to heave” meaning “to lift, raise”.

3 *Indication that a gas stove is functioning properly [N.H.L.] : BLUE FLAME

The St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

The Flames are a professional hockey team based in the Alberta city of Calgary. The team has been in Calgary since 1980, but was founded in 1972 in the US as the Atlanta Flames.

4 Diner or bistro : EATERY

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

5 Therapy whose name is Japanese for “finger pressure” : SHIATSU

“Shiatsu” is a Japanese word meaning “finger pressure”, and is the name given to a style of massage.

9 Redditor, e.g. : NETIZEN

A netizen is an “Internet citizen”, someone with a presence on the Internet. I guess I would be a netizen, then …

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

10 Margaret ___, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” : ATWOOD

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a set in a dystopian New England of the near future, after the overthrow of the US government. The central character is named Offred, who is a “handmaid” forced to bear children for the male ruling class. The novel was adapted into a highly successful TV series of the same name, starring Elisabeth Moss as Offred.

11 *Grizzly, for one [N.F.L.] : BROWN BEAR

The North American brown bear is usually referred to as the grizzly bear. The name “grizzly” was given to the bear by Lewis and Clark. The term “grizzly” might mean “with gray-tipped hair”, or “fear-inspiring”. Both definitions seem to be apt …

The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl. And, the Browns are the only NFL team without a logo on their helmets.

The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other being the Arizona Cardinals, also based in Chicago in 1921).

21 Coke competitor : PEPSI

“Cola Wars” is a phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

23 Wild canine of Australia : DINGO

The dingo is a wild dog of Australia. It is thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that were brought to Australia with humans that settled the land centuries ago.

28 “I’m ___ your tricks!” : ONTO

Me too …

29 Windshield feature : TINT

What we know as a windshield here in North America, is referred to as a windscreen on the other side of the Atlantic. In America, we use the term “windscreen” for a mesh or foam device placed around a microphone to limit noise caused by wind.

30 Best Picture winner that becomes an earlier Best Picture nominee when an “F” is added to the front : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

“Fargo” is one of my favorite films of all time, and stars perhaps my favorite actress: Frances McDormand. The movie was directed by the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Frances McDormand is Joel’s wife.

42 Branded lollipops : DUM DUMS

Dum Dums are a brand of lollipops that were introduced in 1924 by the Akron Candy Company in Bellevue, Ohio.

46 Road surface : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

48 London’s Big ___ : BEN

“Big Ben” is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower (“Elizabeth Tower” since 2012) of the Palace of Westminster (aka “Houses of Parliament”). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who supervised the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way for four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

49 Engine supercharger : TURBO

A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor that is powered, cleverly enough, by the engine’s own exhaust gases.

50 Champagne grape : PINOT

Champagne is made primarily using Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier grapes (both of which are mainly used to make red wine), as well as white Chardonnay grapes. Rosé Champagne is made from a blend of all three grapes, Blanc de noir Champagne from Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, and Blanc de blanc from 100% Chardonnay.

51 Bird with a lot of stuffing? : LARRY

Larry Bird played basketball for the Boston Celtics from 1978 to 1992. Bird has a lot of very loyal fans, and some might even be described as fanatical. In 2005 an Oklahoma City man was convicted of a crime involving a shooting. On being sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, the guilty man requested that the sentence be changed to 33 years so that it matched the number on Larry Bird’s jersey. The judge obliged. Or so the story goes …

52 Pastis flavoring : ANISE

The essential oil in the anise plant is anethole. Anethole has a licorice-like flavor, and is used extensively in cooking and to flavor several distilled alcoholic drinks.

56 Scary 13th, to some: Abbr. : FRI

In our Gregorian calendar there is always at least one occasion annually when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, with the dreaded day only coming three times at most each year. Someone with a fear of Friday the 13th is said to be “friggatriskaidekaphobic”, from “Frigg”, the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and from “triskaidekaphobia”, the fear of the number thirteen. No one seems to know for sure from where the superstition arises, but it was first documented in the mid-1800s, apparently in an 1869 biography of the composer Rossini.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Delivery at un hôpital : BEBE
5 Fish eggs : SPAWN
10 Fundamentals : ABCS
14 Sch. near Bel Air : UCLA
15 Flexible pronoun with a slash : HE/SHE
16 “T” on a test : TRUE
17 Uncouth sort : LOUT
18 Map detail : INSET
19 Had on : WORE
20 Piece of volleyball gear : KNEEPAD
22 Captain von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” e.g. : WIDOWER
24 Ukulele ridge : FRET
25 National park in southwest Utah : ZION
26 Harry Belafonte album whose first song is “Day-O” : CALYPSO
29 Mix drinks : TEND BAR
32 Most populous member of NATO, in brief : USA
33 *Louis XIV’s nickname [N.B.A.] : SUN KING
35 “Before” of yore : ERE
36 Friend of Thumper and Flower : BAMBI
38 Alexander Hamilton’s bill : TEN
39 No longer a minor : OF AGE
41 Sword with a three-sided blade : EPEE
42 Streaming channel sometimes shown at grooming salons and veterinarians’ offices : DOGTV
44 Slugger who ended his career four shy of the 700 home run club : A-ROD
45 “Father ___” (2022 Mark Wahlberg film) : STU
47 Kimono sash : OBI
49 Ones unconcerned with individual achievements … or what both words in the answers to the starred clues are examples of : TEAM PLAYERS
54 *Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” e.g. [M.L.B.] : GUARDIAN ANGEL
56 Military post : FORT
57 Strip of gear, as a ship : UNRIG
58 Plot line? : AXIS
60 Garment for the Grim Reaper : ROBE
61 ___ code : MORSE
62 Office note : MEMO
63 Apple product from 2001 to 2022 : IPOD
64 Eye afflictions : STYES
65 “Monday Night Countdown” cable channel : ESPN

Down

1 Heftiness : BULK
2 Class that covers price ceilings and price floors, in brief : ECON
3 *Indication that a gas stove is functioning properly [N.H.L.] : BLUE FLAME
4 Diner or bistro : EATERY
5 Therapy whose name is Japanese for “finger pressure” : SHIATSU
6 Remain undecided : PEND
7 Donkey : ASS
8 “That was too close for comfort!” : WHEW!
9 Redditor, e.g. : NETIZEN
10 Margaret ___, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” : ATWOOD
11 *Grizzly, for one [N.F.L.] : BROWN BEAR
12 Medical breakthrough : CURE
13 Visionary : SEER
21 Coke competitor : PEPSI
23 Wild canine of Australia : DINGO
26 27, for 3 : CUBE
27 Rush job letters : ASAP
28 “I’m ___ your tricks!” : ONTO
29 Windshield feature : TINT
30 Best Picture winner that becomes an earlier Best Picture nominee when an “F” is added to the front : ARGO
31 Part of an oboe : REED
34 Beer dispenser : KEG
37 “All rise” undoer : BE SEATED
40 Legitimate object of attack : FAIR GAME
42 Branded lollipops : DUM DUMS
43 Long journeys : VOYAGES
46 Road surface : TAR
48 London’s Big ___ : BEN
49 Engine supercharger : TURBO
50 Champagne grape : PINOT
51 Bird with a lot of stuffing? : LARRY
52 Pastis flavoring : ANISE
53 Spices (up) : SEXES
54 Sticky substance : GOOP
55 Like a wet noodle : LIMP
56 Scary 13th, to some: Abbr. : FRI
59 Prince, but not a princess : SON

5 thoughts on “0213-24 NY Times Crossword 13 Feb 24, Tuesday”

  1. 8:20, no errors. I’m not into team sports, so the theme was minimally helpful. (Not complaining, just commenting.)

    Evan Birnholz’s puzzle in Sunday’s Washington Post was a marvel, with a theme of a related nature. It wasn’t just a simple large crossword puzzle, but a collection of eight small ones, each of which is missing its down clues. You have to figure out how to do them anyway and then grok how to use a certain common feature to come up with a couple of meta answers that explain the rationale for the whole design. (Easier to do than to describe … 😜.)

  2. 6:58. Been last every day lately.

    Been a St. Louis BLUEs fan since I was 4 so nice to see a shout out to them.

    Best –

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