0214-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today’s grid art shows us a heart, a gift for Saint Valentine’s Day. There are also several Valentin-ish themed answers:

  • 9A. Loving, maybe : GERUND
  • 42A. Game of “love” : TENNIS
  • 1D. Deepest feelings : HEARTSTRINGS
  • 8D. They lead to love at first sight : CUPID’S ARROWS
  • 14D. Attracted : DREW
  • 19D. February honoree : SAINT VALENTINE

Bill’s time: 9m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Trio in “Macbeth” : HAGS

The witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have some lovely lines as they boil up and evil brew and cast a spell:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

5. Baldwin of “To Rome With Love” : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

9. Loving, maybe : GERUND

A gerund is a form of a verb that can be used as a noun. For example, the gerund of the verb “to act” is “acting”, as in the phrase “we really enjoyed the acting”.

11. 435 members, for the House : PLENUM

Plenum (plural “plena”) is the name given to a complete legislative assembly under the parliamentary system, with the associated term of “quorum” being the minimum number of members required to be present to conduct business.

17. Actress Petty of “Tank Girl” : LORI

Lori Petty is the actress who played the character Kit Keller in the fabulous movie “A League of Their Own”. Petty also played the title role in a 1995 science fiction film called “Tank Girl”.

20. Beginner: Var. : TIRO

A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.

21. Anxious : ANTSY

The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.

24. Gymnastics legend Comaneci : NADIA

Nadia Comaneci won three golds in the 1976 Summer Olympics and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of a ten in the gymnastics competition. Comaneci published a book called “Letters to a Young Gymnast” in 2003, and now lives in the United States.

27. “There’s many a man hath more hair than ___”: Shak. : WIT

“Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit” is a line from William Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors”.

William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is the shortest of all his plays, and one of his earliest. It’s all about two sets of identical twins who are separated at birth. Hilarity ensues …

31. Home for Peter Pan : NEVERLAND

Neverland is the fictional location where Peter Pan lives in the works of J. M. Barrie. The name actually evolved in Barrie’s works, starting out as “Peter’s Never Never Never Land”. Also, Barrie used the names “the Never Never Land”, “the Neverland” and “the Neverlands”. Famously, entertainer Michael Jackson renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch as Neverland Valley Ranch when he took ownership in 1988, in a nod to “Peter Pan”.

33. “Grand Ole” thing : OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

37. Swiss canton where William Tell lived : URI

Supposedly, William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head using a crossbow, at least according to legend. There is a bronze statue of Tell that was erected in the city’s marketplace in 1895 to memorialize the event.

38. Vodka with a Russian name : POPOV

Popov vodka is is produced in America by the British company Diageo. Popov fills a niche in the low end of the vodka market. This American alcoholic drink is sometimes given the tongue-in-cheek nickname “Russia’s Finest”.

39. Citi Field team, on scoreboards : NYM

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

41. Aussie animal : ROO

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

42. Game of “love” : TENNIS

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

44. Some univ. instructors : TAS

Teaching Assistants (TAs)

48. Expressionist Schiele : EGON

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter who was noted for his explicit and sexual drawings. Indeed, his style got him locked up in 1912 and he was eventually found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible by children. The judge even burned one of Schiele’s drawings over a candle flame in the court.

59. Fair-hiring inits. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

Down

3. Bloke : GUY

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

5. “We need a government, ___, because of the nature of humans”: P. J. O’Rourke : ALAS

P. J. O’Rourke is a political satirist and journalist. I enjoy listening to O’Rourke as a regular panelist on the NPR game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” O’Rourke is also well-known on the other side of the Atlantic for his appearance in a series of satirical TV spots for British Airways.

6. Actor Cariou : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize him from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

8. They lead to love at first sight : CUPID’S ARROWS

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

12. Actress who played Mrs. Cunningham on “Happy Days” : MARION ROSS

In the great sitcom “Happy Days”, the Fonz liked to address Richie Cunningham’s mother as “Mrs. C”. In turn, Mrs. Marion Cunningham addressed the Fonz as “Arthur”.

19. February honoree : SAINT VALENTINE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

22. Start of a rodeo cry : YEE

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated as “round up”.

24. Fish-fowl link : NOR

Something that is “neither fish nor fowl” is not recognizable, is not familiar at all.

28. 2003 #1 hit for OutKast : HEY YA!

OutKast is a hip hop duo consisting of rappers André 3000 and Big Boi.

38. One getting smashed at a party? : PINATA

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

40. Unfulfilling work assignments : MCJOBS

“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

45. World capital founded by a conquistador : SANTIAGO

Santiago is the capital of Chile. The city was founded in 1541 by the Spanish as Santiago de Nueva Extremadura. The name was chosen in honor of Saint James and the community of Extremadura in western Spain.

53. County divisions: Abbr. : TWPS

Township (twp.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Trio in “Macbeth” : HAGS
5. Baldwin of “To Rome With Love” : ALEC
9. Loving, maybe : GERUND
11. 435 members, for the House : PLENUM
13. Marina facility : BOATYARD
15. Sometime babysitters : GRANDPAS
17. Actress Petty of “Tank Girl” : LORI
18. Goes after : PURSUES
20. Beginner: Var. : TIRO
21. Anxious : ANTSY
23. Suitable for sinking one’s teeth into : MEATY
24. Gymnastics legend Comaneci : NADIA
25. Furniture mover? : CASTER
27. “There’s many a man hath more hair than ___”: Shak. : WIT
28. Thomas who lent his name to a “choice” : HOBSON
29. Part of Washington, D.C., known for lobbying firms : K STREET
31. Home for Peter Pan : NEVERLAND
33. “Grand Ole” thing : OPRY
34. Act as : PORTRAY
36. Messes up : ERRS
37. Swiss canton where William Tell lived : URI
38. Vodka with a Russian name : POPOV
39. Citi Field team, on scoreboards : NYM
41. Aussie animal : ROO
42. Game of “love” : TENNIS
44. Some univ. instructors : TAS
46. How the answer to this clue goes in the grid : ACROSS
48. Expressionist Schiele : EGON
49. Purple shade : LILAC
51. Vise parts : JAWS
52. Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, at the starts of their political careers : STATE SENATORS
55. “Fate would prove otherwise” : IT WASN’T TO BE
56. Hungers : APPETITES
57. Stories to be continued : SERIALS
58. Dark, dirty shade : DINGE
59. Fair-hiring inits. : EEO

Down

1. Deepest feelings : HEARTSTRINGS
2. Brilliant craftsmanship : ARTISTRY
3. Bloke : GUY
4. Pic : SNAP
5. “We need a government, ___, because of the nature of humans”: P. J. O’Rourke : ALAS
6. Actor Cariou : LEN
7. Living room accent piece : END TABLE
8. They lead to love at first sight : CUPID’S ARROWS
9. Binge : GO ON A SPREE
10. Beat it! : DRUM
11. Game : PREY
12. Actress who played Mrs. Cunningham on “Happy Days” : MARION ROSS
13. Power failure : BLACKOUT
14. Attracted : DREW
15. Bad place for a bowling ball or the mind : GUTTER
16. Bastards : SO-AND-SOS
19. February honoree : SAINT VALENTINE
22. Start of a rodeo cry : YEE
24. Fish-fowl link : NOR
26. Auto takebacks : REPOS
28. 2003 #1 hit for OutKast : HEY YA!
30. Best : TOP
32. Furniture mover, maybe : VAN
35. Game’s turning point? : ROTISSERIE
38. One getting smashed at a party? : PINATA
40. Unfulfilling work assignments : MCJOBS
43. Self-denial? : NOT I
45. World capital founded by a conquistador : SANTIAGO
47. Steak order : RARE
49. Bounded : LEAPED
50. Range rovers : CATTLE
53. County divisions: Abbr. : TWPS
54. Parts of the body that may be wiggled : TOES

11 thoughts on “0214-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 14 Feb 2018, Wednesday”

  1. 19:00 This was the third puzzle in the tournament I went to in CT a few weeks ago. I struggled in a few spots. It took me awhile to get GERUND and PLENUM. DINGE was also tough. I thought some of the longer downs were fairly easy so if I had looked at some of those earlier, especially 19D, I think I would have had an easier time.

  2. 13:14, no errors. Favorite clue: “Loving, maybe”, for … GERUND! And I initially wanted HOBBES, instead of HOBSON, for 28A … too many years of enjoying “Calvin and Hobbes”, I guess. Good puzzle, good theme … ?

  3. 23:37. Felt difficult because of the shape of the grid. You couldn’t get any momentum going. It’s unanimous about GERUND – great clue. They went all out for Valentine’s Day this year…

    Best –

  4. Clever, had to Google 6: URI, POPOV, MARION ROSS, KSTREET, NYM, HEYYAH. Not bad for a sports avoiding teetotaling oldster.

    Was also like @Kennison, stuck on Hobbes for a while, and GERUND was a good one.

  5. 16:04, no errors. Slowed by avoiding filling in 16D SO AND SOS and 45D SANTIAGO until last. Could not recognize SO AND SOS, as I was thinking along the lines of coarse files. Tempted to enter San Diego in place of SANTIAGO.

  6. Seemed about the right level of difficulty for a Wednesday. Timely puzzles such as these make me wish my local paper was able to carry them on the actual day they come out. But I prefer paper and pencil so I better not complain!
    eurekajoe

  7. 13:29, and no errors. The shape made it hard to get a toehold, but once I did, the crosses started happening and it came together nicely. No complaints, except about the damned “imperative” clue in 10D. *Everybody* knows there’s a better way to clue all of those….

  8. Two errors at the NYM/MCJOBS. I entered a “C” where it should have been an “M”. I was thinking of NYC standing for New York City. And I thought of CCJOBS as “carbon copy jobs” which, I was supposing, would be an unfulfilling work assignment. While I admit to my two errors, I think the use of the clue word “assignment” is not really accurate. A job at McDonalds is not an assignment. It is an actual job. I strongly dislike the term MCJOB anyway. This is nothing more than a disparaging word as a slur against the thousands of people who hold gainful, meaningful employment in service to the society at large. So, take pride in your work all of you McDonalds workers. Don’t let these elitist snobs put you down with their cutesy words!

    1. Good nit to pick at “assignment”. You are correct; a McJob is exactly that: a job, not an “assignment”. More evidence of editing to create difficulty that’s not there.

  9. Enjoyable Valentines puzzle, even if five weeks late. Didn’t know MCJOBS and confused Master of Ceremonies with McDonalds.

    I’m with @Dale.

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