0216-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sci-fi character who graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2359 : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

9. “Purgatorio” poet : DANTE

In Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy”, the poet journeys through the three realms of the dead. The Roman poet Virgil guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory. Dante is guided through Heaven by Beatrice, the poet’s ideal of womanhood Beatrice

14. Brownie, for one : BOX CAMERA

Kodak introduced the Brownie box camera in 1900, and hence ushered in the era of low-cost photography and snapshots. Brownies went on sale for the princely sum of one dollar. And yes, I had one …

17. Dangerous cocktail : SPEEDBALL

A speedball is a intravenous mix of cocaine and heroin or morphine. The list of celebrities that have died from speedball use includes John Belushi, Chris Farley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and River Phoenix.

19. Luxury hotel option : PENTHOUSE SUITE

Originally, the term “penthouse” described a modest building attached to a main structure. In fact, in centuries past, the manger in which Jesus was born was often referred to as a penthouse. The modern, more luxurious connotation dates back to the early twenties.

21. Name related to Rex : ROY

The name “Roy” is of Norman origin, and comes from the Spanish “rey” or French “roi” meaning “king”.

The name “Rex” translates from Latin as “king”.

22. Wednesday, e.g. : ADDAMS

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

24. Insurance company whose logo contains a bill : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

27. Tudor house feature : GABLE

The gable is a the triangular portion of the wall on a building that is defined by the intersection of the two slopes of the roof.

30. Vegan protein source : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

32. Like a mythical lion : NEMEAN

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles. The first of these labors was to slay the Nemean Lion, a monster that lived in a cave near Nemea. Hercules had a tough job as the lion’s golden fur was impenetrable to normal weapons. One version of the story is that Hercules killed the lion by shooting an arrow into its mouth. Another version says that Hercules stunned the monster with a club and then strangled him with his bare hands.

35. Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner host of 2006 : COLBERT

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.

37. “Eww, stop!” : TMI

Too much information! (TMI)

40. Hebrew : ben :: Arabic : ___ : IBN

In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”. Similarly, in Hebrew “ben” is used to mean “son of”, and “bat” is used to mean “daughter of”.

43. Strained, at the bar : COLADA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

45. Dash device : GPS

Global positioning system (GPS)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

54. Fiancée, say : INAMORATA

“Inamorata” is an Italian term that we’ve imported into English. It describes a female lover. An “innamorato” is a male lover.

55. Brief bridge opening : ONE NO

“One no” is short for “one no-trump”, a common bid in the card game of bridge.

56. Like privates, often : PIXELATED

I’m not sure that this clue/answer is correct …

One way of censoring an image is to pixelate the area to be hidden, in a process known as “pixelization” (which is different than “pixelation”). For example, we often see license plates and faces blurred out, on television news shows. That’s pixelization. On the other hand, pixelation is an effect noticed when digital photographs are enlarged to an extent that individual pixels can be discerned.

58. Recipe directive : STIR

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. take (the following). This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

59. Cameos and others : GEMS

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

Down

1. 1/256 of a gal. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

2. Plastic Clue weapon : ROPE

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

6. Boy with a bouquet : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for a “bunch” in the sense of bunch of flowers. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood, or a small grove of trees.

7. Surfing destinations : URLS

Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

10. One with a plant-based diet : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

12. London museum whose oldest piece is from 1900 : TATE MODERN

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

13. Some TV drama settings : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

15. Provisional : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

20. Sensitive figure, for many : SALARY

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

23. Most populous city in Oceania : SYDNEY

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

The part of the Pacific Ocean known as Oceania is roughly equivalent to the tropical islands of the South Pacific. Oceania can be divided into the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

24. ___ acid (dressing ingredient) : ACETIC

Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

27. Fixes : GELDS

“To geld” is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

28. Bounds : AMBIT

An ambit is an outer boundary or limit, a circumference. The term can also be used to mean the sphere or scope of influence. “Ambit” comes from the Latin “ambire” meaning “to go around”.

35. Its ribs stick out : CORDUROY

There’s a myth that the name of textile known as “corduroy” comes from the French “corde du roi” (the cord of the king). It’s more likely that “corduroy” comes from a melding of “cord” and “duroy” (a coarse fabric that used to be made in England).

44. It was boosted by Atlas : AGENA

The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, and first used in 1959. After 365 launches, it was retired in 1987.

Atlas boosters launched the first four US astronauts into space. The Atlas rocket design was originally developed in the late fifties and was deployed for several years as it was intended, as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

48. Huff : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

50. “I ___ quotation”: Emerson : HATE

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print. He is often referred to as “The Sage of Concord”, as Emerson spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts.

51. Amazon unit : ITEM

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the most largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

53. Secant’s reciprocal: Abbr. : COS

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sci-fi character who graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2359 : TROI
5. What Iran and Iraq do : ABUT
9. “Purgatorio” poet : DANTE
14. Brownie, for one : BOX CAMERA
16. Primitive kind of poker? : SPEAR
17. Dangerous cocktail : SPEEDBALL
18. “___ fine” : THAT’S
19. Luxury hotel option : PENTHOUSE SUITE
21. Name related to Rex : ROY
22. Wednesday, e.g. : ADDAMS
24. Insurance company whose logo contains a bill : AFLAC
27. Tudor house feature : GABLE
30. Vegan protein source : SOY
31. Pot-making supply : CLAY
32. Like a mythical lion : NEMEAN
33. Recipe directive : ADD
34. Put away the dishes? : EAT
35. Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner host of 2006 : COLBERT
36. You might click it open : PEN
37. “Eww, stop!” : TMI
38. Singular thing : ODDITY
39. Requiring immediate attention : DIRE
40. Hebrew : ben :: Arabic : ___ : IBN
41. “Stop playing” symbols : RESTS
42. Optimistic : SUNNY
43. Strained, at the bar : COLADA
45. Dash device : GPS
46. Creamy, fruity drink : YOGURT SMOOTHIE
53. One who’s frequently in the dark : CAVER
54. Fiancée, say : INAMORATA
55. Brief bridge opening : ONE NO
56. Like privates, often : PIXELATED
57. Part of a pound? : STRAY
58. Recipe directive : STIR
59. Cameos and others : GEMS

Down

1. 1/256 of a gal. : TBSP
2. Plastic Clue weapon : ROPE
3. Strong team : OXEN
4. Cube holder : ICE TRAY
5. South ___, N.J. : AMBOY
6. Boy with a bouquet : BEAU
7. Surfing destinations : URLS
8. Something to spin : TALE
9. One who’s 60-something? : D STUDENT
10. One with a plant-based diet : APHID
11. Spotless : NEAT AS A PIN
12. London museum whose oldest piece is from 1900 : TATE MODERN
13. Some TV drama settings : ERS
15. Provisional : AD HOC
20. Sensitive figure, for many : SALARY
23. Most populous city in Oceania : SYDNEY
24. ___ acid (dressing ingredient) : ACETIC
25. Attention-grabbing : FLAMBOYANT
26. Epitome of romantic passion : LATIN LOVER
27. Fixes : GELDS
28. Bounds : AMBIT
29. Natural food coloring sources : BEETS
32. Rejection of a honey-do list : NO, DEAR
35. Its ribs stick out : CORDUROY
39. Cleaning cloth : DUSTRAG
42. Wind or unwind : SPOOL
44. It was boosted by Atlas : AGENA
45. Cloddish sort, in slang : GOMER
47. Things waiters wait for : TIPS
48. Huff : SNIT
49. Long dress : MAXI
50. “I ___ quotation”: Emerson : HATE
51. Amazon unit : ITEM
52. James B. ___, diving bell inventor : EADS
53. Secant’s reciprocal: Abbr. : COS