0219-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Feb 16, Friday

QuickLinks:
Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Jacob Stulberg
THEME: Twinned Composers … each of today’s themed answers is the name of a classical composer. Each name coincidentally ends with the name of another themed composer of the same nationality:

17. & 18. Italian-born composer : MONTEVERDI & VERDI
34. & 35. German-born composer : OFFENBACH & BACH
59. & 60. Austrian-born composer : SCHOENBERG & BERG

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 18m 39s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Order : FIAT
A “fiat” is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

5. ___ palm : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

9. It’s made with syrup : COLA
The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

13. Town near Ireland’s Shannon Airport : ENNIS
Ennis is the county town (sort of “capital”) of County Clare in the West of Ireland. Ennis is located about 15 miles from Shannon Airport.

Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland was the first place in the world to offer duty-free shopping. Shannon was also where the Irish Coffee originated, despite many claims to the contrary …

17. & 18. Italian-born composer : MONTEVERDI & VERDI
The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi was a true pioneer. His opera “L’Orfeo” was one of the first operas ever composed, and is the earliest surviving opera that is still regularly perfromed. The debut performance of “L’Orfeo” was in 1607.

Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer, mainly of operas, who was active during the Romantic era. Equally as famous as Verdi’s operas, are arias from those operas such as “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto”, “The Drinking Song” from “La Traviata” and “The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco”.

19. Something a scow lacks : KEEL
A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

20. It’s often hooked : BRA
The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

21. Carlos the Jackal, for one : NOM DE GUERRE
“Nom de guerre” is a French term meaning “name of war”. It describes the practice of adopting a pseudonym when in a conflict, perhaps to protect family or to symbolize a separation between one’s life in the military and as a civilian. The term originates with the French Foreign Legion, where recruits routinely adopted noms de guerre as they broke with their past lives and started afresh.

Carlos the Jackal (real name “Ilich Sánchez”) is a terrorist from Venezuela who is serving a life sentence in a French jail. One of the most famous operations executed by Sánchez was a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in which three people were killed. Sánchez was given the codename “Carlos” by one of the terrorist organizations that he he joined, because of his South American roots. Carlos was then nicknamed “the Jackal” by a British newspaper when it was reported that the terrorist was at some point carrying a copy of the novel “The Day of the Jackal”.

23. Start of a Beatles refrain : OB-LA-DI
“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was one of many songs credited to Lennon/McCartney that was actually written by just one of the pair. Paul McCartney wrote this one, a song that John Lennon really did not like at all. Apparently Lennon was quite obstructionist during the recording of the song and even walked out at one point.

25. Eastern titles : SRIS
“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

27. Bars in cars : TIE RODS
Tie rods are part of a rack-and-pinion steering mechanism in a car. On the other side of the Atlantic they are referred to as “track rods”.

29. “A ___ champion never handled sword”: “Henry VI, Part I” : STOUTER
The consensus seems to be that William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays in all. Seven of the plays are about kings called “Henry”:

– Henry IV, Part 1
– Henry IV, Part 2
– Henry V
– Henry VI, Part 1
– Henry VI, Part 2
– Henry VI, Part 3
– Henry VIII

31. “Understood” : TEN-FOUR
There is a set of “ten-codes” that were developed in 1937 for the use of law enforcement departments. As of 2006, the US federal government is recommending that they be replaced by plain language due to a lack of standardization in ten-codes. Examples of ten-codes are:

– 10-1 meaning “bad reception”
– 10-4 meaning “acknowledge”
– 10-9 meaning “say again”
– 10-33 meaning “emergency, all units stand by”

33. Danny’s love in “Ocean’s Eleven” : TESS
“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (Called “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

34. & 35. German-born composer : OFFENBACH & BACH
Jacques Offenbach was a French composer, born in Germany. Even though Offenbach wrote over 100 operettas, he is perhaps best known for his unfinished opera “The Tales of Hoffman”.

Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very large family. He had seven children with his first wife, who died suddenly. He had a further thirteen children with his second wife. Of his twenty youngsters, there were four sons who became famous musicians in their own right:

– Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka “the Halle Bach”)
– Carl Philipp Bach (aka “the Hamburg Bach”)
– Johann Christoph Bach (aka “the Buckeberg Bach”)
– Johann Christian Bach (aka “the London Bach”)

38. Man’s name that spells a fruit backward : EMIL
“Emil” is “lime” spelled backwards.

41. Class lists? : SYLLABI
“Syllabus” (plural “syllabi”) is the Latin word for “list”.

50. 2014 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film : IDA
The 2013 Polish film “Ida” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2014. The film tells the story of a young woman and her aunt on a road trip investigating the death of the younger’s parents during the Holocaust.

51. Space cadet’s need? : CLUE
The expression “space cadet” is used to describe someone who is eccentric and disconnected with reality. It may even imply that the person is a user of hallucinogens. The phrase has been around since the sixties, and may be derived from the science fiction TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” which aired in the fifties.

54. His first tweet ended “I bless all of you from my heart” : BENEDICT XVI
Did you know that the former Pope, Benedict XVI, released a music CD while in office? His Holiness is featured singing on an album released not too long ago by the Vatican. “Alma Mater: Featuring The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI Deluxe Edition” is a collection of sacred music. All proceeds go to help underprivileged children around the world. Benedict XVI was also the first pope to have a Twitter account. His first tweet went out on 12 December 1012:
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.

57. What the lowing herd wind slowly o’er, in verse : LEA
“The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea” is the second line in Thomas Gray’s famous poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”.

Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

– Celestial fire
– Far from the Madding Crowd
– Kindred spirit

59. & 60. Austrian-born composer : SCHOENBERG & BERG
Arnold Schoenberg was a champion of the use of atonality in music. I admit to having a somewhat closed mind when it comes to atonality, so I have very little of his music in my collection …

Alban Berg was a composer from Austria. He was one of the members of what is called the Second Viennese School, along with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Weber. This group embraced the concept of atonality, something which frankly is beyond me …

61. N.B.A. coach Spoelstra : ERIK
Erik Spoelstra is the coach for the Miami Heat. Spoelstra is the first Asian American to serve as head coach in any of the four major North American sports leagues.

63. Spiny shrub : GORSE
Gorse can be a lovely plant to view, largely because of its showy yellow flower. However, gorse took over my front yard so I was glad to see the back of it when I relandscaped recently, going instead with a drought-tolerant design.

64. Without : SANS
“Sans” is the French word for “without”, and is a word that we’ve absorbed into English.

65. Ligurian Sea feeder : ARNO
The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

The Ligurian Sea is part of the Mediterranean, located off the Italian coast and north of the French island of Corsica.

66. North Sea feeder : YSER
The Yser originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

Down
1. “Austin Powers” villain : FEMBOT
The Fembots in the “Austin Powers” series of films are seductive female robots. There’s even a Britney Spears Fembot in the the movie “Goldmember”.

3. Longtime grandmotherly “General Hospital” actress : ANNA LEE
The English actress Anna Lee was best known in her latter years for playing the matriarch Lila Quartermaine in the soap opera “General Hospital”. Lee’s godfather was novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes.

7. Hazel relatives : ALDERS
Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

11. Shakespeare character who says “I dare damnation” : LAERTES
In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Laertes is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. It is Laertes who kills Halet using a poisoned sword.

22. Tour grp. : USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

24. “Happy Days” malt shop owner : ARNOLD
Much of the show “Happy Days” was set in Arnold’s Drive-In. Arnold Takahashi was played by Pat Morita, who also played Mr Miyagi in the movie “The Karate Kid”.

30. “View From the U.N.” memoirist : U THANT
U Thant was a diplomat from Burma who served as the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, taking over from Dag Hammarskjöld. In Burmese, he was known as Pantanaw U Thant. The “U” is an honorific in Burmese, simply the equivalent of “Mr.” in English.

32. Hosp. staffers : RNS
Registered nurses (RNs) are licensed medical (med.) personnel.

39. Port alternative : MADEIRA
Madeira is a Portuguese-owned archipelago that lies to the southwest of mainland Portugal. Madeira is famous for its wine, which is a fortified beverage (as is port, sherry and Marsala wine).

The city of Oporto in Portugal gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s, as it was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

45. TV option, for short : LCD
Liquid crystal display (LCD)

46. Engineer Gray who co-founded Western Electric : ELISHA
Western Electric was a manufacturer of telecommunications products that was founded in 1869 by Enos Barton and Elisha Gray. Western Electric was the main supplier of equipment to AT&T for over a century, from 1881 to 1996.

49. Shepard’s role in “The Right Stuff” : YEAGER
The 1983 movie “The Right Stuff” was adapted from a 1979 book of the same name by Tom Wolfe. It tells the story of the group of test pilots who were selected as the first astronauts, those who flew in space in the Project Mercury program.

Chuck Yeager enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Forces in 1941, starting out as an aircraft mechanic. With the onset of the war at the end of the year, Yeager was able to enroll in flight school. In 1943 he was posted overseas, and flew P-51 Mustangs out of the south of England. He was shot down over France in 1944 and escaped to Spain with the aid of the French Resistance. His 11.5 accredited victories includes five downed aircraft in one mission (making him an “ace in a day”), and one of the first air-to-air kills of a jet fighter. Yeager doesn’t live too far from here, and a friend of mine had the honor to breakfast with him not so long ago …

As well as being an accomplished actor, Sam Shepard is the author of over forty plays and several books. Shepard’s 1978 play “Buried Child” won a Pulitzer in 1979. As an actor, Shepard was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff”.

52. ___ Allen Express (Amtrak train in the Northeast) : ETHAN
The Ethan Allen Express is an Amtrak passenger train service running between New York City and Rutland, Vermont and passing through Albany, New York. The service is named for the Revolutionary War hero from Vermont, Ethan Allen.

Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

56. Letter ender : XOXO
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss and the O a hug. Hugs and kisses …

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Order : FIAT
5. ___ palm : ACAI
9. It’s made with syrup : COLA
13. Town near Ireland’s Shannon Airport : ENNIS
15. A caller may be on this : HOLD
16. Track type : OVAL
17. & 18. Italian-born composer : MONTEVERDI & VERDI
19. Something a scow lacks : KEEL
20. It’s often hooked : BRA
21. Carlos the Jackal, for one : NOM DE GUERRE
23. Start of a Beatles refrain : OB-LA-DI
25. Eastern titles : SRIS
26. ___ loss : AT A
27. Bars in cars : TIE RODS
29. “A ___ champion never handled sword”: “Henry VI, Part I” : STOUTER
31. “Understood” : TEN-FOUR
33. Danny’s love in “Ocean’s Eleven” : TESS
34. & 35. German-born composer : OFFENBACH & BACH
38. Man’s name that spells a fruit backward : EMIL
41. Class lists? : SYLLABI
44. Takes one’s sweet time : DAWDLES
48. Kind of car or class : ECONOMY
50. 2014 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film : IDA
51. Space cadet’s need? : CLUE
53. Prompt : ON TIME
54. His first tweet ended “I bless all of you from my heart” : BENEDICT XVI
57. What the lowing herd wind slowly o’er, in verse : LEA
58. For the calorie-conscious : LITE
59. & 60. Austrian-born composer : SCHOENBERG & BERG
61. N.B.A. coach Spoelstra : ERIK
62. Put on : HOAX
63. Spiny shrub : GORSE
64. Without : SANS
65. Ligurian Sea feeder : ARNO
66. North Sea feeder : YSER

Down
1. “Austin Powers” villain : FEMBOT
2. Out of this world? : IN ORBIT
3. Longtime grandmotherly “General Hospital” actress : ANNA LEE
4. Short-beaked bird : TIT
5. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” : AHEM
6. Jumble behind a computer desk : CORDS
7. Hazel relatives : ALDERS
8. “Cool, man!” : I DIG IT!
9. Popular 9-Across : COKE
10. Gorged : OVERATE
11. Shakespeare character who says “I dare damnation” : LAERTES
12. Paying close attention : ALL EARS
14. Retirement party, e.g. : SEND-OFF
18. Without : VOID OF
22. Tour grp. : USO
24. “Happy Days” malt shop owner : ARNOLD
28. File certain papers : SUE
30. “View From the U.N.” memoirist : U THANT
32. Hosp. staffers : RNS
35. Cry that’s often doubled : BYE
36. Place for a bust : ALCOVE
37. Doubling up? : CLONING
38. Food : EDIBLES
39. Port alternative : MADEIRA
40. “Sign me up!” : I WANT IN!
42. Heating equipment : BOILERS
43. Put completely (in) : IMMERSE
45. TV option, for short : LCD
46. Engineer Gray who co-founded Western Electric : ELISHA
47. Aid : SUCCOR
49. Shepard’s role in “The Right Stuff” : YEAGER
52. ___ Allen Express (Amtrak train in the Northeast) : ETHAN
55. Horror movie sounds : EEKS
56. Letter ender : XOXO
60. “Whew!” : BOY!

Return to top of page

6 thoughts on “0219-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Feb 16, Friday”

  1. 19:50, no errors. The upper left corner was problematic for me: for me, ENNIS, MONTE, FEMBOT, and ANNA LEE were all, to some degree, "guesses" based on little or no actual knowledge (though I should have remembered MONTEVERDI). Elsewhere, I think IDA came to mind only because of its appearance in another recent NYT puzzle (indicating that perhaps I do still have *some* ability to form new memories … :-), and I was amused to see ERIK (with a K), bringing up an issue about which another poster asked a day or so ago.

  2. 27:29, errors. 56D 'X OR O' (XOXO); 62A HOAR (HOAX). Definitely a good Friday challenge, took all my concentration. Thought of the connection 'Put on' > coat > coating > hoar frost. And the letter ending could be X's or O's. Oh well, enjoyable 1/2 hour.

  3. I liked the trick once I saw that the names were overlapping, but it was too late. I needed some crosses to make that clear, and I didn't get them. I wanted to include Benedict XVI and NOMDEGUERRE among them, but of course they weren't going to work.

    More proper nouns overall than I was able to deal with successfully.

  4. Hopelessly too difficult for us, though we've been away from crosswords for almost two weeks. We finally completed it, looking up far too many words in Wikipedia and Google. This seems to be the hardest puzzle we've ever encountered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.