0329-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 11, Tuesday

Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications

THEME: ELIZABETH TAYLOR … all of the theme answers are linked to the late Hollywood legend:

55A. With 17-Across, late Hollywood star : ELIZABETH
17A. See 55-Across : TAYLOR
21A. 1963 title role for 55-/17-Across : CLEOPATRA
45A. 1960 film for which 55-/17-Across won a Best Actress Oscar : BUTTERFIELD 8
61A. “Suddenly, Last ___” (1959 film starring 55-/17-Across) : SUMMER
4D. 1944 title role for 55-/17-Across : VELVET
49D. How often 55-/17-Across was married : 8 TIMES


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Barrel supports : STAVES
A barrel is constructed using vertical staves made of wood that are bound together by wooden hoops.

The word “staves” was originally the plural of “staff”, a wooden rod.

Harrison Ford Blade Runner Signed Autographed Reprint Photo7. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” : HAN
Han Solo was the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas to read lines for actors being cast in “Star Wars”, and over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

15. General on a Chinese menu : TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American invention on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir's Best Writings (California Legacy Book)19. Naturalist John : MUIR
John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, describing one of his favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California. He was co-founder of the Sierra Club.

20. One of five Norwegian kings : OLAV
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most remembered as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf was king from 1015 to 1028, and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”.

Cleopatra (Special Edition) [VHS]21. 1963 title role for 55-/17-Across : CLEOPATRA
The 1963 movie “Cleopatra” really was an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong that the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earning seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.

23. “No, No” girl of Broadway : NANETTE
The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs, “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

26. TV’s “20/20” creator Arledge : ROONE
Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. He made a name for himself in sports broadcasting, and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

The Sandpiper [VHS]27. 1965 film starring 55-/17-Across : THE SANDPIPER
“The Sandpiper” is a 1965 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. My favorite “crooner” song, “The Shadow of Your Smile”, features on the soundtrack and won the Best Original Song Oscar that year. Also, there’s a young Charles Bronson playing a supporting role.

110cc Four Wheelers 6" Tires Atvs, Pink Camo31. It can go over hill and dale, briefly : ATV
An all terrain vehicle.

34. List shortener : ET AL
Et alii is the equivalent of et cetera, with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names.

35. Western author Grey : ZANE
Zane Grey sure did hit on the right niche. He wrote romanticized western novels and stories that really lent themselves to the big screen in the days when westerns were very popular. Incredibly, 110 films were made based on his work.

38. Slowing, in mus. : RIT
Rit. (or sometimes ritard.) is the abbreviation for ritardando, the musical direction to slow down the tempo.

Spring at the Pont Neuf Art Poster PRINT Michael Longo 24x1840. Pont Neuf’s river : SEINE
Paradoxically, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge standing today that crosses the River Seine in Paris. The paradox is that the name translates to “new bridge”. The bridge is in two parts, as it crosses from the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité (on which stands Notre Dame) and then from the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank.

41. “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE
“Rule Britannia!” was a poem by James Thomson, for which Thomas Arne composed the famous music.

Ned Kelly: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced CD]44. Australian outlaw Kelly : NED
Ned Kelly was an Irish-Australian outlaw, regard by many as a symbol of resistance against the British ruling class in Australia in the 19th century. There have been two famous films made of his life story. “The Story of the Kelly Gang” was released in 1906, and is recognized today as the first feature film ever made. We might be more familiar with the film called “Ned Kelly” released in 1970, as it starred Mick Jagger in the title role.

Butterfield 845. 1960 film for which 55-/17-Across won a Best Actress Oscar : BUTTERFIELD 8
“BUtterfield 8” (note the capitalization of both the “B” and the “U”) is a film released in 1960 starring Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Harvey. The title of the movie, and of the John O’Hara novel on which the film is based, is actually a telephone number. Up to the mid-sixties, telephone exchanges were given names rather than numbers. BUtterfield 8 was an exchange in the wealthy Upper East Side of Manhattan, and dialling of BU-8 was equivalent to 28-8, the first three digits of a 7-digit phone number.

LIZ: The Pictorial Biography of Elizabeth Taylor55. With 17-Across, late Hollywood star : ELIZABETH
(17. See 55-Across : TAYLOR)
Liz Taylor led what can only be described as a “fabulous” life, especially while married to Richard Burton. Ms. Taylor was very fond of jewelry and she had a few spectacular pieces that were purchased for her by Burton, including the Krupp Diamond, the Taylor-Burton Diamond, and the La Peregrina Pearl. The latter was once owned by Mary I, Queen of England. Burton sought out and found a portrait of the Queen wearing the pearl. He purchased it for his wife, but on discovering that the British National Gallery did not have an original portrait of Queen Mary I, the couple donated the painting. Good for them …

INGRID BERGMAN 11X14 B&W PHOTO58. “Casablanca” role : ILSA
Ilsa Lund was of course played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “she paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

61. “Suddenly, Last ___” (1959 film starring 55-/17-Across) : SUMMER
“Suddenly, Last Summer” was a play by Tennessee Williams first produced on Broadway in 1958. It was very loosely adapted for the silver screen in 1959, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift. One of the big changes from the original play was removal of all references to homosexuality, necessitated by the Hollywood Production Code.

63. Caffeine nut : KOLA
The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Of course in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

ViewSonic VA2431WM 24-Inch Widescreen LCD monitor with Speakers64. PC screen type : LCD
Liquid Crystal Displays are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and flat panel computer screens. They basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube screens, the old television technology.

66. Ajar : OPEN
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

67. Message on the beach of a remote island, maybe : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are simply mnemonics, introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

3. Early Indian invader : ARYAN
The term Aryan can be used to describe the Indo-European languages or the peoples who speak them. The underlying assumption in this grouping is that Indian languages (based on Sanskrit) and the major European languages have the same root.

National Velvet4. 1944 title role for 55-/17-Across : VELVET
“National Velvet” is a novel by Enid Bagnold, first published in 1935. The story is one of a 14-year-old girl, Velvet Brown, who rides her own horse to victory in the most celebrated of English horse races, the Grand National steeplechase. A famous film adaptation of the story was released in 1944, starring a young Mickey Rooney and 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. After the filming was completed, Taylor was given the horse that she rode as a gift for her birthday.

6. Bering, for one: Abbr. : STR
The Bering Strait lies between Russian and Alaska, and is just below the Arctic Circle. The strait is just 53 miles wide, and only an average of 100-150 feet in depth. It has long been speculated that when sea levels were lower there was a land bridge where the strait is today. This would have allowed humans to walk between Asia and North America, with the assumption being that the original population of the Americas migrated here from Asia.

7. WWW code : HTML
HTML is HyperTest Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

11. Migraine, e.g. : ACUTE PAIN
The name of the searing headache called a “migraine” comes from the Greek words “hemi” meaning “half”, and “kranion” meaning “skull”.

Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa21. Chávez of the U.F.W. : CESAR
César Chávez was a Mexican American farm worker, and co-founder of the union today known as the United Farm Workers. Chávez was born in Yuma, Arizona, but moved to California as a child with his family. He never attended high school, dropping out to become a full-time migrant farm worker. In 1944, at 17 years of age, he joined the US Navy and served for two years. 5-6 years after returning from the military, back working as a farm laborer, Chávez became politically active and rose to national attention as an articulate union leader during some high profile strikes. He is remembered annually here in California on his birthday, March 31, a state holiday.

Titanic24. “Nearer, My God, to ___” : THEE
“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a Christian hymn dating back to the 19th century. Supposedly, it was last song played by the band just before the RMS Titanic sank.

25. Asian holiday : TET
The full name for the new year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning “Feast of the First Morning”. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

28. Cover, so to speak : ALIBI
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere”, as in I claim that I was “elsewhere” when the crime was committed … I have an “alibi”.

33. Piece of one’s heart : VENTRICLE
The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. They squeeze the blood into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

37. Multicellular animal : METAZOAN
In the most general sense, the term metazoan can be used to describe what we know as the Animal Kingdom. The kingdom Animalia is also known as the kingdom Metazoa.

Baseball pitcher Greg Maddux won the Cy Young Award for the four consecutive years of 1992-1995, a record that wasn’t matched until Randy Johnson did the same thing in 1999-2002.

George Lucas (A & E Biography)47. Protagonists in “Star Wars” : REBELS
The “Star Wars” series of films is of course the creation of George Lucas. When Lucas wrote the screenplay for the first movie, he structured it as a standalone adventure film. As he had previously thought of the story as the first in a sequence, by the time he finished the screenplay he was more viewing as just that, the first in a sequence. But the way the saga developed in his mind, it became clear that his “Star Wars” movie was actually the first of second trilogy, and so “Star Wars” was released somewhat bizarrely as “Episode IV”.

48. “The Last Supper,” for one : FRESCO
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural “The Last Supper” can be seen on an end wall of the dining hall in the monastery of Santa Maris delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. If you want to see it in person, you have to make a reservation ahead of time, and once you get there, you’re only allowed 15 minutes viewing time. It’s very, very popular …

Elizabeth Taylor: The Queen and I49. How often 55-/17-Across was married : 8 TIMES
Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times, and here’s the list of hubbies:

1. Conrad Hilton (1950-51): one of the sons of Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel chain.
2. Michael Wilding (1952-57): the British actor.
3. Michael Todd (1957-58): the film producer, most famously of “Around the World in Eighty Days”.
4. Eddie Fischer (1959-64): the singer, and Michael Todd’s best friend.
5. Richard Burton (1964-74): the famous Welsh actor.
6. Richard Burton (1975-76): the couple remarried for a few months.
7. John Warner (1976-82): the US Senator from Virginia.
8. Larry Fortensky (1991-96): a construction worker, someone Taylor met while being treated at the Betty Ford Clinic.

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS 8x10 COLOR PHOTO52. Actor Edward James ___ : OLMOS
Edward James Olmos is a Mexican American actor. I most remember him as the Lieutenant who was the boss of Crockett and Tubbs on television’s “Miami Vice”.

54. Container weights : TARES
“Tare” is the weight of a container, deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

55. Nevada city : ELKO
The city of Elko came into being in 1868 as a settlement built around the eastern end of a railway line constructed from California, heading for Utah. When the line was extended, the construction crews moved on, and Elko remained.

56. Heart of Chicago, with “the” : LOOP
The historic commercial center of Chicago is known as The Loop. One theory is that the “loop” got its name from the cable loops in the city’s old cable car system.

Ted Kennedy, A Portrait (Biography) [VHS]57. Senators Kennedy and Stevens : TEDS
Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in the family that included his older brothers Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted Kennedy went into the US Senate in 1962, in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making him the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history.

Ted Stevens was a US Senator from Alaska. He first became a senator on Christmas Eve in 1968, and served continuously in that office until he was killed in a plane crash in 2009. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican US Senator in history.

61. The sun, personified : SOL
Sol was the god of the Sun in Ancient Rome.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
1. Barrel supports : STAVES
7. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” : HAN
10. Attic nester : WASP
14. Stop : ARREST
15. General on a Chinese menu : TSO
16. Two times tetra- : OCTA-
17. See 55-Across : TAYLOR
18. Appt., often : MTG
19. Naturalist John : MUIR
20. One of five Norwegian kings : OLAV
21. 1963 title role for 55-/17-Across : CLEOPATRA
23. “No, No” girl of Broadway : NANETTE
26. TV’s “20/20” creator Arledge : ROONE
27. 1965 film starring 55-/17-Across : THE SANDPIPER
31. It can go over hill and dale, briefly : ATV
34. List shortener : ET AL
35. Western author Grey : ZANE
36. English class assignment : THEME
38. Slowing, in mus. : RIT
40. Pont Neuf’s river : SEINE
41. “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE
42. Pooped : BEAT
44. Australian outlaw Kelly : NED
45. 1960 film for which 55-/17-Across won a Best Actress Oscar : BUTTERFIELD 8
50. Harder to locate : RARER
51. Put through the paces : TEST OUT
55. With 17-Across, late Hollywood star : ELIZABETH
58. “Casablanca” role : ILSA
59. Mad : LOCO
60. Colo.-to-Ga. direction : ESE
61. “Suddenly, Last ___” (1959 film starring 55-/17-Across) : SUMMER
63. Caffeine nut : KOLA
64. PC screen type : LCD
65. Tied in a best-of-three series : ONE-ONE
66. Ajar : OPEN
67. Message on the beach of a remote island, maybe : SOS
68. Gets ready to hogtie : LASSOS

1. Squelched : SAT ON
2. Merry refrain : TRA-LA
3. Early Indian invader : ARYAN
4. 1944 title role for 55-/17-Across : VELVET
5. That, to Tomás : ESO
6. Bering, for one: Abbr. : STR
7. WWW code : HTML
8. Toward the rudder : ASTERN
9. Bum : NO GOOD
10. Philander : WOMANIZE
11. Migraine, e.g. : ACUTE PAIN
12. Paint can instruction : STIR
13. Law office worker, for short : PARA
21. Chávez of the U.F.W. : CESAR
22. Sound of breaking a vacuum seal : POP
24. “Nearer, My God, to ___” : THEE
25. Asian holiday : TET
28. Cover, so to speak : ALIBI
29. Feminizing suffix : -ENNE
30. Saxophonist’s need : REED
31. Run ___ (not pay as you go) : A TAB
32. Word shortening on a traffic sign : THRU
33. Piece of one’s heart : VENTRICLE
37. Multicellular animal : METAZOAN
39. They may be brushed or bared : TEETH
40. Fed. agencies may issue them : STDS
43. Tavern offering : ALE
46. Good fig. for Maddux or Martinez : ERA
47. Protagonists in “Star Wars” : REBELS
48. “The Last Supper,” for one : FRESCO
49. How often 55-/17-Across was married : 8 TIMES
52. Actor Edward James ___ : OLMOS
53. “___ hooks” : USE NO
54. Container weights : TARES
55. Nevada city : ELKO
56. Heart of Chicago, with “the” : LOOP
57. Senators Kennedy and Stevens : TEDS
61. The sun, personified : SOL
62. Italian article : UNA

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