0306-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 6 Mar 13, Wednesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Richard Chisholm
THEME: Ooo! … each of today’s themed answers contains a string of three Os:

18A. Lacks pizazz : HAS NO OOMPH
26A. Overly partisan : TOO ONE-SIDED
47A. Animal on display : ZOO OCCUPANT
61A. Inuit, maybe : IGLOO OWNER

COMPLETION TIME: 12m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … HERO (Hera), DOZE (daze!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

14. She sang with Duke and Dizzy : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

Duke Ellington was a bandleader and composer believed by many to have elevated jazz to the same level as other respected genres of music. Ellington tended not to use the word “jazz” to describe his compositions, preferring the term “American Music”.

Dizzy Gillespie was a musician from Cheraw, South Carolina, best known as a jazz trumpeter. Gillespie was also known for playing a “bent” trumpet, one with the bell projecting upwards at a 45-degree angle. The unusual configuration of the instrument came about accidentally, when a pair of dancers fell on it during a birthday party. The damage to the instrument caused a change in the tone which Gillespie liked, so he left it as is.

15. Instrument called “an ill wind that nobody blows good” : OBOE
We’ve all probably heard the phrase “‘tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. The poet Ogden Nash made a “punny” statement about the oboe, calling the instrument “an ill wind nobody blows good”. I must say though, I disagree …

16. Ionian Sea vacation isle : CORFU
Corfu is an island in the very northwest of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. Corfu is a very, very popular vacation destination for European tourists, particularly those from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.

The Ionian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the “boot”). The Ionian Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on the planet.

20. Former Haitian leader Duvalier : PAPA DOC
The dictatorial President of Haiti known as “Papa Doc” was in fact a medical doctor. Francois Duvalier graduated with a medical degree from the University of Haiti in 1934, and even spent a year studying public health at the University of Michigan. It was his grateful patients who used to call him Papa Doc. When he came to power as President, he was less caring, and ruled with an iron fist until he died in office in 1971.

23. Radio host who often wears cowboy hats : IMUS
Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” broadcasts from New York City.

31. “Uncle” on a food package : BEN
Uncle Ben’s is a famous brand of rice introduced in 1943. It was the biggest selling brand of rice in the US from the fifties through the nineties. As one might imagine, the name “Uncle Ben” is pretty offensive and Mars, who owns the brand now, have tried to distance themselves from the African-American slave/domestic servant image. In 2007 there was a TV campaign showing “Uncle Ben” as Chairman of the Board of the company. But, he is still called Uncle Ben …

34. ___ Mountains : OZARK
The Ozark Mountains aren’t really mountains geographically speaking, and the Ozarks are better described by the alternate name, the Ozark Plateau. It’s not really certain how the Ozarks got their name, but my favorite theory is that “Ozarks” is the phonetic spelling of “aux Arks”, short for “of Arkansas” in French.

35. Sen. Biden represented it: Abbr. : DEL
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

36. Jam session feature : SOLO
The use of “jam”, to mean an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

43. “Major ___” of 1990s TV : DAD
“Major Dad” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1989 to 1993. The title character in the show is a Marine Corps Major played by Gerald McRaney.

45. Shire of “Rocky” : TALIA
You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original Rocky movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife played by the lovely Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

46. Roseanne’s husband on “Roseanne” : DAN
Actor John Goodman will forever be remembered as Dan Conner, the on-screen husband of Roseanne Barr in the sitcom “Roseanne”. Goodman went to Missouri State University where he studied drama and was a compatriot of Kathleen Turner. The role that I most enjoyed played by Goodman was Speaker of the House Glen Allen Walken on the great show “The West Wing”.

51. Roe source : SHAD
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

52. Casual eateries : BISTROS
“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

61. Inuit, maybe : IGLOO OWNER
The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar: “igdlo”.

The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

63. Leander’s love : HERO
The Greek myth of Hero and Leander gave rise to a couple of operas (one by Giovanni Bottesini and another by Arrigo Boito) and a more famous cantata from George Frideric Handel, all called “Ero e Leandro”.

64. Téa of “Spanglish” : LEONI
Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of her early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played Sam Malone’s fiancée on “Cheers” and opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent roles was as Jane, in “Fun with Dick and Jane”.

69. High roller’s pair : DICE
As we all know, the numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. Now, there are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

Down
2. Sporty auto, for short : ALFA
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

4. Setting in a Mitchell novel : TARA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

6. Ancestor of a calculator : ABACUS
The abacus was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

7. Fenway nine, on scoreboards : BOS
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.

11. Rombauer of cookery : IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook “The Joy Of Cooking”. Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, amd then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. “The Joy of Cooking” has been in print continuously ever since.

12. “Bullitt” law enforcement org. : SFPD
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the 11th largest police department in the country. The SFPD dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849 as a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in movies and on television. The most famous films are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and now “Monk”.

The famous 1968 film “Bullitt” starred Steve McQueen and the lovely Jacqueline Bisset. If you want to read the novel on which the film’s screenplay was based, you can check out “Mute Witness” by Robert L. Fish, published in 1963. It may seem dated now, but the movie’s car chase scene created quite a buzz in its day. The chase through the streets of San Francisco goes on for 9 minutes and 42 seconds, and took three weeks to film. McQueen did the vast majority of the stunt driving himself, but he was doubled in the more risky moves by stuntman Bud Ekins. Ekins also doubled for McQueen in “The Great Escape” in that famous scene where McQueen’s character rode a motorcycle over a barbed wire fence.

24. Caesar of old TV : SID
Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the fun film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

27. 2000s Vienna State Opera conductor : OZAWA
Seiji Ozawa is most famous for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, although he is also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. Ozawa is renowned for wearing a white turtleneck under his dress suit when he conducts, rather than the traditional starched shirt and white tie.

30. Cotillion V.I.P. : DEB
“Cotillion” is an American term that we’ve been using since about 1900 for a formal ball. In France a cotillion was a type of dance, with the term deriving from an Old French word for a petticoat. I guess the cotillion dance was one in which the lady would flash her petticoats as she did a twirl!

31. Yalie’s cheer word : BOOLA
“Boola Boola” is a fight song of Yale University that was composed in 1900, although it was based on a song called “La Hoola Boola” that had been around in the 1800s. The tune of “Boola Boola” is used by the University of Oklahoma for its fight song, “Boomer Sooner”.

32. Like Keebler workers : ELFIN
The famous Keebler Elves have been appearing in ads for Keebler since 1968. The original head of the elves was J. J. Keebler, but he was toppled from power by Ernest J. Keebler in 1970.

39. Confucian principle : TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

“The Analects” or “Linyu” is a collection of the sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

41. Chopin piece : ETUDE
An étude is a small instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

Frederic Chopin was a Polish composer who spent most of his life in France. He was most famous for his piano works in the Romantic style. Chopin was a sickly man and died quite young, at 39. For many of his final years he had a celebrated and tempestuous relationship with the French author George Sand (the nom de plume of the Baroness Dudevant). Those years with Sand may have been turbulent, but they were very productive in terms of musical composition.

44. Built-in feature of the Apple II : DOS
Apple DOS is the operating system that was used by the Apple II series of computers in the 1980s.

50. Soup ingredient in an old folk story : STONE
In the old folk story of the stone soup, some hungry travelers ask for food from a town’s locals. The travelers are rebuffed, and so go to a stream to fill a pot with water. They add a large stone and place it over a fire. They tell the locals they are making delicious “stone soup”, but it needs a garnish. One person provides some carrots, another some seasoning, another some potatoes. The process continues until there is a lovely vegetable soup that is enjoyed by everyone.

53. The Beach Boys’ “___ Around” : I GET
When the Beach Boys formed in 1961, they were very much a family concern. Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson were three brothers, Mike Love was their cousin, and the fifth member of the band was family friend Al Jardine. Back then, the manager of the group was Murry Wilson, the father of the three Wilson brothers.

57. Landlocked African land : CHAD
The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent: Lake Chad.

58. Hatcher who played Lois Lane : TERI
Teri Hatcher’s most famous role these days is the Susan Mayer character in “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” is a television show that aired originally from 1993 to 1997. The storyline focuses as much on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane as it does on Kent’s life as Superman. Clark and Lois are played by Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher.

59. Spy novelist Ambler : ERIC
Eric Ambler was a British author of spy novels, an author that I read voraciously for relaxation as I worked my way through college. One of his books was “The Light of Day”, which provided inspiration for the comic movie adaption called “The Pink Panther”. Ambler also wrote the screenplay for the excellent film “A Night to Remember” which told the story of the fateful maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Whitewater craft : RAFT
5. Chews the fat : GABS
9. “Nothing but net” sound : SWISH
14. She sang with Duke and Dizzy : ELLA
15. Instrument called “an ill wind that nobody blows good” : OBOE
16. Ionian Sea vacation isle : CORFU
17. Out there : AFAR
18. Lacks pizazz : HAS NO OOMPH
20. Former Haitian leader Duvalier : PAPA DOC
22. Clothing, slangily : THREADS
23. Radio host who often wears cowboy hats : IMUS
25. Got hitched : WED
26. Overly partisan : TOO ONE-SIDED
31. “Uncle” on a food package : BEN
34. ___ Mountains : OZARK
35. Sen. Biden represented it: Abbr. : DEL
36. Jam session feature : SOLO
37. Doesn’t fight back : TAKES IT
40. Failed to show up for, informally : BLEW OFF
42. A lot of a flock : EWES
43. “Major ___” of 1990s TV : DAD
45. Shire of “Rocky” : TALIA
46. Roseanne’s husband on “Roseanne” : DAN
47. Animal on display : ZOO OCCUPANT
50. Filming site : SET
51. Roe source : SHAD
52. Casual eateries : BISTROS
56. Put up : ERECTED
61. Inuit, maybe : IGLOO OWNER
63. Leander’s love : HERO
64. Téa of “Spanglish” : LEONI
65. Prefix with plane, to a Brit : AERO-
66. Calif. neighbor : ARIZ
67. Three-star rank: Abbr. : LT GEN
68. Amount between some and all : MOST
69. High roller’s pair : DICE

Down
1. Realize, as profit : REAP
2. Sporty auto, for short : ALFA
3. Try to get airborne, maybe : FLAP
4. Setting in a Mitchell novel : TARA
5. “Get lost!” : GO HOME!
6. Ancestor of a calculator : ABACUS
7. Fenway nine, on scoreboards : BOS
8. E-mail folder heading : SENT
9. Ruined a shutout : SCORED
10. Tried to win : WOOED
11. Rombauer of cookery : IRMA
12. “Bullitt” law enforcement org. : SFPD
13. Confused responses : HUHS
19. Words said with a shrug : OH WELL
21. Light tennis shots that fall just over the net : DINKS
24. Caesar of old TV : SID
26. Brought along on a hike, say : TOTED
27. 2000s Vienna State Opera conductor : OZAWA
28. Like some heavy buckets : OAKEN
29. Assaying samples : ORES
30. Cotillion V.I.P. : DEB
31. Yalie’s cheer word : BOOLA
32. Like Keebler workers : ELFIN
33. Low-cal yogurt descriptor : NO-FAT
36. One-for-one transaction : SWAP
38. “Same with me!” : I DO TOO
39. Confucian principle : TAO
41. Chopin piece : ETUDE
44. Built-in feature of the Apple II : DOS
47. Focus (on) : ZERO IN
48. “Bottoms up!” : CHEERS
49. Stick’s partner, in an idiom : CARROT
50. Soup ingredient in an old folk story : STONE
52. Legislature’s consideration : BILL
53. The Beach Boys’ “___ Around” : I GET
54. Walk wearily : SLOG
55. Did laps, say : SWAM
57. Landlocked African land : CHAD
58. Hatcher who played Lois Lane : TERI
59. Spy novelist Ambler : ERIC
60. Go out for a short time? : DOZE
62. Prefix with natal : NEO-

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