0228-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme (according to Bill): “Triggy” in the Middle

Themed answers include the six trigonometric functions as hidden words, and the abbreviation “TRIG”:

  • 35A. When repeated, marching orders? : LEFT-RIGHT (hiding “trig”, short for “trigonometry”)
  • 17A. Is a recluse : STAYS INSIDE (hiding “sin”, short for “sine”)
  • 21A. Shell station? : TACO STAND (hiding “cos”, short for “cosine”)
  • 27A. Land close to home : HIT A NERVE (hiding “tan”, short for “tangent”)
  • 46A. City on the Brazos River : WACO, TEXAS (hiding “cot”, short for “cotangent”)
  • 52A. Where S is … : MORSE CODE (hiding “sec”, short for “secant”)
  • 58A. Place where students are graded on a scale? : MUSIC SCHOOL (hiding “csc”, short for “cosecant”)

Bill’s time: 8m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Like recollections of people trying to avoid perjury? : HAZY

An act of perjury is the wilful giving of false testimony under oath. The term “perjury” ultimately comes from the Latin “per” meaning “away” and “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

5. Bertolt who wrote “The Threepenny Opera” : BRECHT

Bertolt Brecht was a poet and playwright from Augsburg in Germany. Brecht’s most famous work here in North America is probably “The Threepenny Opera”, which was a collaboration with Kurt Weill.

“The Threepenny Opera” (“Die Dreigroschenoper”) is a musical written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill that was first performed in Berlin in 1928. It is an adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera” written by Englishman John Gay in the 18th century. The most famous song from the show is “Mack the Knife”, which was introduced into the popular music repertoire by Louis Armstrong. Armstrong had a hit with the song in 1956, but it was the Bobby Darin recording of 1959 that came to be known as the definitive, English-language version. I love that song …

14. Cookie since 1912 : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

15. Teacher of Islamic law : MULLAH

In the Islamic tradition, a mullah is a man or woman educated in theology and sacred law.

16. Position in crew, informally : COX

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The name is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

19. Sch. in the Ocean State : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

23. Marshall’s successor on the Supreme Court : THOMAS

Clarence Thomas is the second African American to serve on the US Supreme Court. Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall who was the first American with African heritage to serve. Thomas is generally regarded as the most conservative member of the court. He doesn’t have a lot say, verbally anyway. Thomas made a joking remark in January 2013 during oral argument, the first time he had spoken at all during oral argument for almost seven years.

31. W.W. II menace : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

35. When repeated, marching orders? : LEFT-RIGHT (hiding “trig”, short for “trigonometry”)

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.

38. Throat affliction : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

42. The Falcons, on a scoreboard : ATL

The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965. The team name was suggest by a schoolteacher called Miss Julia Elliott. Elliot suggested that “the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.”

46. City on the Brazos River : WACO, TEXAS (hiding “cot”, short for “cotangent”)

The Texas city of Waco is named for the Wichita people known as the “Waco”, who occupied the area for thousands of years.

The Brazos River is the longest river in the state of Texas. It was originally called “Rio de los Brazos de Dios” by the Spanish, which translates as “the River of the Arms of God”. So, the Brazos is literally “the arms” in English.

49. Naval fleet : ARMADA

The most famous armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.

51. Took out the junk? : SAILED

A junk is a sailing boat often seen in Chinese waters today, and as far back as 200 BC. The English word “junk” is just a phonetic spelling of a Chinese word for “ship”, although it would more correctly be pronounced “joong”.

52. Where S is … : MORSE CODE (hiding “sec”, short for “secant”)

The Morse code symbol for the letter S is “dot-dot-dot”.

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

56. Paper size option: Abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

57. ___ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

63. Ivy League city : ITHACA

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

64. Canadian filling station : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

65. A, B, C or D, in multiple choice: Abbr. : ANS

Answer (ans.)

Down

1. Sounds from a sleigh : HOS

“Ho Ho Ho”, says Santa.

4. Classical musician whose given name is a toy : YO-YO MA

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

5. Fat stat : BMI

The body mass index (BMI) is the ratio of a person’s height to his or her mass.

6. Small one : RUNT

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

7. Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

8. ___ Stic (ballpoint pen) : CLIC

Clic Stic is a model of pen made by Bic.

Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

10. Lee side : THE SOUTH

After leading the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, Robert E. Lee served as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. The college’s name was changed to Washington and Lee University in 1870, soon after Lee’s death.

11. Colombia neighbor : ECUADOR

“Ecuador” is the Spanish word for “equator”, which gives the country her name.

The South American country of Colombia takes its name from the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (“Cristoforo Colombo” in Italian).

12. Lens covers : CORNEAS

The cornea is the transparent part of the eye in the front, covering the iris and the pupil. Even though the cornea is not part of the lens it acts as a lens, and in fact does most of the work focusing light coming in through the eye. The cornea is in effect a fixed-focus lens passing on light to the variable-focus lens that is inside the eye.

13. Become rusty : OXIDATE

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

18. Lake or dive preceder : SWAN

“Swan Lake” is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette’s “evil twin”. Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina. Odette’s love interest is Prince Siegfried, the only character in the ballet to appear in all four acts.

A swan dive is one in which the diver holds the arms outspread until just before hitting the water. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the same dive is often called a swallow dive. Sometimes we use the verb “to swan-dive” to describe something that plummets, suddenly decreases. The stock markets swan-dives every so often …

22. Lhasa’s land : TIBET

Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, with the name “Lhasa” translating as “place of the gods”. However, Lhasa used to be called Rasa, a name that translates into the less auspicious “goat’s place”. Lhasa was also once called the “Forbidden City” due to its inaccessible location high in the Himalayas and a traditional hostility exhibited by residents to outsiders. The “forbidden” nature of the city has been reinforced since the Chinese took over Tibet in the early 1950s as it has been difficult for foreigners to get permission to visit Lhasa.

23. Lord’s Prayer possessive : THY

The Lord’s Prayer is a central prayer in Christian religions, and is found in two places in the New Testament. In the version in the Gospel of Matthew, the last line of the prayer is “deliver us from evil”. In the Gospel of Luke, the last line is “lead us not into temptation”. The last words of the prayer as it most often said today are:

For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever,
Amen

25. Lord’s subject : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

29. Actress ___ Lisi of “How to Murder Your Wife” : VIRNA

Virna Lisi is an Italian film actress who made a few movies in Hollywood in the sixties. Lisi appeared opposite Jack Lemmon in the fun movie “How to Murder Your Wife” in 1965, and with Frank Sinatra in “Assault on a Queen” in 1966.

30. Pioneering computer : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

35. Olin and Horne : LENAS

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

37. Old muscle cars : GTOS

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

By definition, a “muscle car” is a small vehicle with a large and maybe oversized engine.

38. Marathoner’s need : STAMINA

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

40. Aids for muzzleloading firearms : RAMRODS

A ramrod is a stick that is inserted into the barrel of an older firearm in order to pack the bullet or ball tightly against the charge of gunpowder. A ramrod can also be used to push a cleaning rag through the barrel of a gun.

42. Rocker who sings “Welcome to the Jungle” : AXL ROSE

Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band Guns N’ Roses.

43. ___ Bo (exercise system) : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

44. Subject of a repeated warning at Woodstock : LSD

Apparently there were a lot of illegal drugs floating around the Woodstock Festival in 1969. At one point, a warning was issued by disk jockey Wavy Gravy. He asserted that there was some brown-colored “blotter acid” (i.e. LSD) circulating among the festival crowd that was giving people some bad trips.

47. Anti-rash powder : TALC

Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

50. Less than 90° : ACUTE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

53. Dept. of Labor agcy. : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

54. Mayo parts? : DIAS

In Spanish, there are quite a few “dias” (days) in a “mes” (month), perhaps the month of “mayo” (May).

55. “___ homo” : ECCE

According to the Gospel of John, when Pilate presented a scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd he used the words “Ecce homo”, Latin for “Behold the man”.

59. Like this emoticon: 🙁 : SAD

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face. ?

60. Spy org. created by F.D.R. : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Like recollections of people trying to avoid perjury? : HAZY
5. Bertolt who wrote “The Threepenny Opera” : BRECHT
11. Modern prefix with warrior : ECO-
14. Cookie since 1912 : OREO
15. Teacher of Islamic law : MULLAH
16. Position in crew, informally : COX
17. Is a recluse : STAYS INSIDE (hiding “sin”, short for “sine”)
19. Sch. in the Ocean State : URI
20. Gear for going up hills : LOW
21. Shell station? : TACO STAND (hiding “cos”, short for “cosine”)
23. Marshall’s successor on the Supreme Court : THOMAS
26. “Haven’t the foggiest” : NO IDEA
27. Land close to home : HIT A NERVE (hiding “tan”, short for “tangent”)
31. W.W. II menace : U-BOAT
32. Y. A. Tittle passed for 33,070 of them: Abbr. : YDS
33. Restrain, with “in” : REIN
34. To the point : TERSE
35. When repeated, marching orders? : LEFT-RIGHT (hiding “trig”, short for “trigonometry”)
38. Throat affliction : STREP
41. Go ___ great length : ON AT
42. The Falcons, on a scoreboard : ATL
45. “You’re a better man ___!” : THAN I
46. City on the Brazos River : WACO, TEXAS (hiding “cot”, short for “cotangent”)
49. Naval fleet : ARMADA
51. Took out the junk? : SAILED
52. Where S is … : MORSE CODE (hiding “sec”, short for “secant”)
56. Paper size option: Abbr. : LTR
57. ___ Jima : IWO
58. Place where students are graded on a scale? : MUSIC SCHOOL (hiding “csc”, short for “cosecant”)
62. Sign of approval : NOD
63. Ivy League city : ITHACA
64. Canadian filling station : ESSO
65. A, B, C or D, in multiple choice: Abbr. : ANS
66. Came to an end : CEASED
67. Take five : REST

Down

1. Sounds from a sleigh : HOS
2. Still life, e.g. : ART
3. Fanatics : ZEALOTS
4. Classical musician whose given name is a toy : YO-YO MA
5. Fat stat : BMI
6. Small one : RUNT
7. Disney’s Queen of Arendelle : ELSA
8. ___ Stic (ballpoint pen) : CLIC
9. Wore : HAD ON
10. Lee side : THE SOUTH
11. Colombia neighbor : ECUADOR
12. Lens covers : CORNEAS
13. Become rusty : OXIDATE
18. Lake or dive preceder : SWAN
22. Lhasa’s land : TIBET
23. Lord’s Prayer possessive : THY
24. Holed up : HID
25. Lord’s subject : SERF
28. Haul back to the auto pound : RETOW
29. Actress ___ Lisi of “How to Murder Your Wife” : VIRNA
30. Pioneering computer : ENIAC
35. Olin and Horne : LENAS
36. Uncontrolled outbreak : EPIDEMIC
37. Old muscle cars : GTOS
38. Marathoner’s need : STAMINA
39. Don quickly : THROW ON
40. Aids for muzzleloading firearms : RAMRODS
42. Rocker who sings “Welcome to the Jungle” : AXL ROSE
43. ___ Bo (exercise system) : TAE
44. Subject of a repeated warning at Woodstock : LSD
47. Anti-rash powder : TALC
48. This or that : EITHER
50. Less than 90° : ACUTE
53. Dept. of Labor agcy. : OSHA
54. Mayo parts? : DIAS
55. “___ homo” : ECCE
59. Like this emoticon: 🙁 : SAD
60. Spy org. created by F.D.R. : OSS
61. Fate : LOT