0226-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 17, Sunday

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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Josh Knapp
THEME: Mixed Feelings
Each of today’s themed answers is a common that includes a FEELING, but that FEELING has been MIXED, anagrammed to suit the clue:

23A. Fashionable enough for a runway model? : STRUT WORTHY (from “trustworthy”)
25A. Assault involving a hatchet? : TINY AXE ATTACK (from “anxiety attack”)
44A. “Stop insisting Ra doesn’t exist!”? : CURB YOUR SUN ATHEISM (from “curb your enthusiasm”)
64A. Stories from bankruptcy court? : TALES OF OWE (from “tales of woe”)
68A. Be too broke to take the bus? : HAVE NO FARE (from “have no fear”)
82A. “The king really wants to be around people right now”? : MY SIRE LOVES COMPANY (from “misery loves company”)
109A. Celebration after a coup? : UPRISERS’ PARTY (from “surprise party”)
112A. Negative Nancy? : DOWNER WOMAN (from “Wonder Woman”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 22m 22s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Word before “Ooh, didn’t mean to make you cry” in Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” : MAMA
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a marvelously unique song in the pop repertoire. It has a very appealing structure, with no chorus but three distinct parts and with three distinct “sounds”. The opening is truly a slow ballad, which morphs into an operatic middle section, ending with a really heavy, rock-guitar conclusion. The song monopolized the number one slot in the UK charts for weeks in 1975/76, and made a comeback in 1996 when it appeared in the movie “Wayne’s World”. Great stuff …

19. ___ Palmer (“Twin Peaks” victim) : LAURA
“Twin Peaks” is a TV drama about an FBI murder investigation in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. I’ve never seen it, but I hear good things …

20. Jacobin revolutionary who was stabbed in a bathtub : MARAT
Jean-Paul Marat was a prominent figure in the French Revolution. Marat was famously murdered in his bath by a young woman named Charlotte Corday who was a Royalist. The gruesome event was immortalized in a celebrated painting by Jacques-Louis David called “The Death of Marat”.

27. Broadway’s Eugene ___ Theater : O’NEILL
The playwright Eugene O’Neill was born in a New York City hotel room in what is now called Times Square, in 1888. That building no longer exists and there is a Starbucks on the site today, but you can go take a look at the commemorative plaque at the Northeast corner of 43rd and Broadway. O’Neill died in 1953, in room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room.” Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer for his play “Anna Christie”.

31. 1982 Dustin Hoffman film : TOOTSIE
“Tootsie” is a hilarious 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role, a male actor who adopts a female identity in order to land an acting job. Jessica Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. “Tootsie” was also provided Geena Davis with her first movie role.

32. Place for a sponge : REEF
Sponges are multicellular organisms that live underwater. They are animals with bodies that are full of holes and channels through which seawater freely circulates. Sponges have no digestive or circulatory system as such and instead rely on the movement of water to supply food and oxygen, and to remove waste material.

34. Annoying sort : NOODGE
Noodge is a slang term, meaning “to nag”, or as a noun it can mean “a nag”. It comes into English from the Yiddish word “nudyen” meaning “to bore, be tedious”.

40. Some scans, for short : MRIS
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

56. Andean gold : ORO
The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

61. Fast-food sandwich not available in Muslim countries : MCRIB
The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

70. Country singer Black : CLINT
Clint Black is a country music singer. Black was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Texas.

71. Grammy category : OPERA
The first Grammy Awards Ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.

73. Beast in rare “sightings” : YETI
The yeti, also called the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.

74. Poet/musician ___ Scott-Heron : GIL
Gil Scott-Heron was jazz poet and musician who is best remembered as spoken word performer from the seventies and eighties. Scott-Heron’s most famous work is the poem and song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, the title of which became a popular slogan for the Black Power movements in the sixties.

77. ___-Lay : FRITO
The manufacturers of Frito and Lay potato chips merged to form Frito-Lay in 1961. Frito-Lay then merged with Pepsi-Cola in 1965 to form PepsiCo.

87. Professor’s goal, one day : TENURE
A job in a university that is described as “tenure-track” is one that can lead to a tenured position. A tenured position is a “job for life”. A person with tenure can only be dismissed for cause.

88. Marvel role for Chris Hemsworth : THOR
The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

95. Actor Curry : TIM
Tim Curry is a marvelous actor from England who is perhaps best known on this side of the Atlantic for playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Curry also played the title role in the original Broadway play “Amadeus”.

105. Trader ___ : JOE’S
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain based in Monrovia, California that was founded in 1979 by Joe Coulombe. Trader Joe’s is very popular where I live, even though it stocks less than 10% of the items found in a typical grocery store. 80% of the items on the shelves are sold under a Trader Joe’s brand name, and are obviously chosen well. One of the more successful items is Charles Shaw wine, known as “Two Buck Chuck” here in California as it sold for many years at a price of $1.99.

112. Negative Nancy? : DOWNER WOMAN (from “Wonder Woman”)
Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named for the Greek mythological figure. Wonder Woman had several signature expressions, including “Merciful Minerva!”, “Suffering Sappho!” and “Great Hera!”.

119. Orange-and-white Pixar title character : NEMO
“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

122. Rapper with the most-viewed YouTube video of all time : PSY
PSY is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2102 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time. I am not one of that billion …

123. P.M. after Churchill : EDEN
Sir Anthony Eden served as Britain’s Foreign Secretary during WWII, and then as Prime Minister from 1955-57. I think it’s fair to say that Eden doesn’t have a great reputation as a statesman. He was proud of his stance in favor of peace over war, so his critics characterized him as an appeaser. His major stumble on the world stage occurred with the Suez Crisis in 1956. Egypt’s President Nasser unilaterally nationalized the Suez Canal causing war to be declared on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Within a few months political pressure from the US and the USSR caused the allies to withdraw, bolstering Egypt’s national reputation. Eden never recovered from the loss of face at home, and it is felt that the stress even affected his health. Eden resigned in January 1957.

Down
1. Weapon usually fired between a 45° and 90° angle : MORTAR
I’ve always loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that’s used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

4. With 41-Down, first tennis player to win two Olympic singles gold medals : ANDY …
(41D. See 4-Down : … MURRAY)
Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who became British number in 2006, rising to world number one in 2016. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British male player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and again in the Rio Games in 2016.

7. Against the jet stream : WEST
Jet streams are narrow air currents high in the atmosphere that move very quickly around the earth. The major jet streams surrounding our planet move in a westerly direction.

8. French region around Strasbourg : ALSACE
Of the 27 regions of metropolitan France (i.e. the territory of France within Europe), the smallest is Alsace. Alsace sits at the very east of the country, right on the border with Germany.

Strasbourg is a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament.

9. Tray of brownies, e.g. : BATCH
Apparently the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

10. Philosopher who said “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion” : BURKE
Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman. Burke became famous for supporting the American revolutionaries, but later opposing the French Revolution.

11. Christian school in Okla. : ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

12. Skin art, informally : TAT
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

13. Character resembling a hat : CARET
The character known as a caret was originally a proofreading mark, used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

15. Flower named for a Swedish botanist : DAHLIA
The dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. It was named the national flower of Mexico relatively recently, in 1963. The plant was given the name dahlia in 1791, in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.

20. Like original Buddy Holly and the Crickets recordings : MONO
Famously, Buddy Holly had a tragically short career as a professional musician. Holly was killed in a plane crash in 1959, along with fellow-performers Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson (aka “the Big Bopper”). Buddy’s family name was actually spelled “Holley”, with the “Holly” spelling arising due to an error on the contract that he signed with Decca Records in 1956. He decided to adopt “Buddy Holly” as a stage name from then on, although the “Holley” spelling appears on his gravestone in Lubbock, Texas.

26. Gets back on base : TAGS UP
That would be baseball.

33. Abbr. on a pay stub : FICA
The Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) was introduced in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. FICA payments are made by both employees and employers in order to fund Social Security and Medicare.

39. So-ugly-it’s-cute pooch : PUG
The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, a good-looking mutt!

42. One-named singer once married to Xavier Cugat : CHARO
Charo is an actress, comedian and flamenco guitarist from Spain. She is quite famous for her comedic catchphrase “cuchi cuchi”. Charo’s real name is … wait for it … María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Gutiérrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romaguera y de la Hinojosa Rasten.

Xavier Cugat was an American bandleader born in Spain, who arrived in the United States via Cuba. He worked in Hollywood on movies, although he was also in charge of the Hotel Orchestra in the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for 16 years. Famously he conducted using just one arm, as he would hold his pet Chihuahua in the other. His fourth marriage was to comic actress Charo, in the first marriage ceremony ever to take place in Caesar’s Palace.

53. One side in a pool game : SOLIDS
One side (player) in a game of pool uses the “solid” balls, the other the “stripes”.

58. Subject of a tinfoil hat theory : UFO
Before thin sheets of aluminum metal was available, thin sheets of tin were used in various application. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

67. Former tribe in western New York : ERIE
The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

69. Singer Simone : NINA
Nina Simone was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. Simone was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career, inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

72. @@@ : ATS
The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of all email addresses.

78. Sea creatures with remarkably high I.Q.s : OCTOPI
The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

83. San ___, Argentina : LUIS
The Argentine province of San Luis is located near the center of the country.

84. Volt/ampere : OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.

85. High-waisted, shamelessly unfashionable garment : MOM JEANS
“Mom jeans” and “dad jeans” are not-so-nice names for high-waisted jeans, usually worn by older women and men.

94. V.I.P. : BIGWIG
A “bigwig” is someone important. The use of the term harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore big wigs.

96. Instrument for Louis Armstrong : CORNET
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.

101. Macho : MANLY
A man described as “macho” shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

102. NASA’s ___ Research Center : AMES
The Ames Research Center is just down the road here, located at Moffett Field, at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. Joseph Ames was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics when it was formed in 1915, and chaired the committee from 1919-1939.

104. Crown insets : OPALS
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.

106. Letters on some lotion : SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

113. Net letters : WWW
In essence, the World Wide Web 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 the collection of documents, and the Internet is 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 …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Word before “Ooh, didn’t mean to make you cry” in Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” : MAMA
5. Maxim : SAW
8. Brother with a cross : ABBOT
13. Unfaithful sorts : CADS
17. Roasting place : OVEN
18. Land between hills, poetically : VALE
19. ___ Palmer (“Twin Peaks” victim) : LAURA
20. Jacobin revolutionary who was stabbed in a bathtub : MARAT
21. They’re pumped to compete in a race : ROAD BIKES
23. Fashionable enough for a runway model? : STRUT WORTHY (from “trustworthy”)
25. Assault involving a hatchet? : TINY AXE ATTACK (from “anxiety attack”)
27. Broadway’s Eugene ___ Theater : O’NEILL
28. Throw in : ADD
29. ___ relief : DEBT
30. Post-run feeling : ACHE
31. 1982 Dustin Hoffman film : TOOTSIE
32. Place for a sponge : REEF
34. Annoying sort : NOODGE
36. Bro : PAL
37. Little bit : TAD
38. Coffee brewing style : DRIP
40. Some scans, for short : MRIS
41. Lifesaving team : MEDICS
44. “Stop insisting Ra doesn’t exist!”? : CURB YOUR SUN ATHEISM (from “curb your enthusiasm”)
51. Pill bottle info : DOSAGE
54. Really comes down : POURS
55. A bit crude : EARTHY
56. Andean gold : ORO
57. Places : PUTS
61. Fast-food sandwich not available in Muslim countries : MCRIB
63. Goes up : RISES
64. Stories from bankruptcy court? : TALES OF OWE (from “tales of woe”)
68. Be too broke to take the bus? : HAVE NO FARE (from “have no fear”)
70. Country singer Black : CLINT
71. Grammy category : OPERA
73. Beast in rare “sightings” : YETI
74. Poet/musician ___ Scott-Heron : GIL
75. One who can’t learn new tricks, they say : OLD DOG
77. ___-Lay : FRITO
79. Doze : NOD OFF
82. “The king really wants to be around people right now”? : MY SIRE LOVES COMPANY (from “misery loves company”)
87. Professor’s goal, one day : TENURE
88. Marvel role for Chris Hemsworth : THOR
89. Yazidis, e.g. : SECT
92. Go in (for) : SUB
95. Actor Curry : TIM
96. Go all in : COMMIT
98. What many 100-Across do in the spring : SHED
100. See 98-Across : ANIMALS
103. Certain earring : HOOP
105. Trader ___ : JOE’S
107. Baseball league for the Salt Lake Bees : AAA
108. “Yeah, let’s do it!” : I’M GAME!
109. Celebration after a coup? : UPRISERS’ PARTY (from “surprise party”)
112. Negative Nancy? : DOWNER WOMAN (from “Wonder Woman”)
115. Words before a punch line : WAIT FOR IT …
116. Muddies : SOILS
117. 2% alternative : WHOLE
118. Moving line on a tree trunk : ANTS
119. Orange-and-white Pixar title character : NEMO
120. Wild revelry : ORGY
121. So, so awful, with “the” : WORST
122. Rapper with the most-viewed YouTube video of all time : PSY
123. P.M. after Churchill : EDEN

Down
1. Weapon usually fired between a 45° and 90° angle : MORTAR
2. Ducked : AVOIDED
3. Go wherever : MEANDER
4. With 41-Down, first tennis player to win two Olympic singles gold medals : ANDY …
5. Potent sushi bar cocktail : SAKE BOMB
6. Dependent on chance : ALEATORY
7. Against the jet stream : WEST
8. French region around Strasbourg : ALSACE
9. Tray of brownies, e.g. : BATCH
10. Philosopher who said “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion” : BURKE
11. Christian school in Okla. : ORU
12. Skin art, informally : TAT
13. Character resembling a hat : CARET
14. Drawer, say : ARTIST
15. Flower named for a Swedish botanist : DAHLIA
16. All done up, as hair : STYLED
18. Den mother : VIXEN
20. Like original Buddy Holly and the Crickets recordings : MONO
22. Turned : BAD
24. Detergent brand with a fabric in its name : WOOLITE
26. Gets back on base : TAGS UP
31. “And that’s it!” : TADA!
33. Abbr. on a pay stub : FICA
35. God: It. : DIO
36. Thoughtful : PENSIVE
39. So-ugly-it’s-cute pooch : PUG
41. See 4-Down : … MURRAY
42. One-named singer once married to Xavier Cugat : CHARO
43. Letter feature : SERIF
45. Take back, in a way : REPO
46. CD or DVD follower : -ROM
47. “___ is life” : SUCH
48. “We’re on!” : IT’S A GO!
49. Muslim official : SHERIF
50. I, personally : MYSELF
51. E-business : DOTCOM
52. By voice : ORALLY
53. One side in a pool game : SOLIDS
58. Subject of a tinfoil hat theory : UFO
59. Peak physical condition : TOP FORM
60. Veer : SWERVE
62. Put up stakes : BET
65. Stop seeing each other : END IT
66. Box on a mall map : STORE
67. Former tribe in western New York : ERIE
69. Singer Simone : NINA
72. @@@ : ATS
76. Less stormy : GENTLER
78. Sea creatures with remarkably high I.Q.s : OCTOPI
80. Turn-___ (thrills) : ONS
81. Congo red and gentian violet : DYES
83. San ___, Argentina : LUIS
84. Volt/ampere : OHM
85. High-waisted, shamelessly unfashionable garment : MOM JEANS
86. Chief concern : PRIORITY
90. Way overcooked : CHARRED
91. 4:00 p.m., maybe : TEATIME
92. Made a declaration : SAID SO
93. Set adrift : UNMOOR
94. V.I.P. : BIGWIG
96. Instrument for Louis Armstrong : CORNET
97. Doctors’ orders : TESTS
99. National Aviation Hall of Fame city : DAYTON
101. Macho : MANLY
102. NASA’s ___ Research Center : AMES
103. Comedy : HUMOR
104. Crown insets : OPALS
106. Letters on some lotion : SPF
110. It’s a deal : SWAP
111. Unbeatable : A-ONE
113. Net letters : WWW
114. “Well, look at that!” : OHO!

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7 thoughts on “0226-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 26 Feb 17, Sunday”

  1. 38:12, including the time necessary to find and change an E to an I to get MRIS/DIO instead of MRES/DEO after filling in the last square and getting the "almost there" message (my pet peeve with online solves) – no other errors. In general, a slow and confusing solve for me, as I didn't fully understand and appreciate the theme until after I was done.

  2. 40:27 before I had to admit defeat. Pretty much the top right was unsolvable for me. The theme was hard to make out, and even harder to put to use after you knew what it was. Didn't help me with STRUTWORTHY in the least. Not a good start for the week.

  3. 43:30, no errors. Most of the historical/cultural references were out of my league. ALEATORY was a new addition to my vocabulary. Who knew it was derived from an ancient latin dice game, 'alea'. Also entered several wrong answers which fit, for a while. 20D entered RARE before MONO; 99A MATE before SHED.

    Good Sunday workout.

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