0314-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Mar 13, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Buckley
THEME: A Clever Man Once Said … today’s themed answers provide the name of a very clever man, and something he said:

18A. Beginning of a quote by 3-/31-Down on which Stephen Colbert commented “I hope teenagers aren’t watching this right now” : CREATIVITY
33A. Middle of the quote : IS THE RESIDUE OF
50A. End of the quote : WASTED TIME

3D. See 18-Across : ALBERT
31D. See 18-Across : EINSTEIN

COMPLETION TIME: 14m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … NERO (Nera), DHOTI (dhati)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bass technique : SLAP
“Slapping” is a technique used in playing the double bass. It involves plucking a string so hard that when released it bounces off the fingerboard to make a distinctive sound. Slapping is also a technique used by bass guitar players, but to be honest, I didn’t understand the explanation I just read for a bass guitar “slap”.

8. ___ folder : SPAM
Apparently the term “SPAM”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word SPAM, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “SPAM” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

12. Hard-to-tolerate sort : PILL
A bitter pill to swallow …

13. Allegheny plum, e.g. : SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush.

15. French cleric : ABBE
“Abbé” is the French word for an abbot.

16. Superior of a bos’n : CAP’N
A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. A boatswain is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel. He or she has charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. Boatswain is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bos’n” is also very popular.

17. Actress Sorvino : MIRA
Mira Sorvino is an American actress, winner of an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1995 Woody Allen movie “Mighty Aphrodite”. Sorvino also played a title role opposite Lisa Kudrow in the very forgettable “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.

18. Beginning of a quote by 3-/31-Down on which Stephen Colbert commented “I hope teenagers aren’t watching this right now” : CREATIVITY
33. Middle of the quote : IS THE RESIDUE OF
50. End of the quote : WASTED TIME
The Albert Einstein quote “Creativity is the residue of wasted time” is often cited to support the concept of assigning spare (wasted) time to people so that they can dream (create).

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosts his own show on Comedy Central called “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 called “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”.

22. Cerium and samarium are rare ones : EARTHS
Rare earth elements are so called because they are rarely found in mineral form in a sufficient concentration for exploitation.

Cerium is one of the rare earths, an element with the symbol Ce. Cerium is the most abundant of the rare earth elements found in nature. It was discovered in 1803 and was named after Ceres the dwarf planet that was discovered just two years earlier.

Samarium is a rare earth element. Samarium has the symbol Sm. Samarium was discovered in 1879 in the mineral samarskite, from which the element’s name was taken. The mineral was named for Russian mine official called Colonel Vasali Samarsky-Bykhovets. When Samarium was named, it became the first element ever to be named after a person, albeit indirectly.

23. Classic prize : LAUREL
In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

25. It starts in March: Abbr. : DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall so that afternoons have more daylight.

29. Showy bloom, to flower enthusiasts : RHODO
Rhododendron is a genus of woody plants, usually with showy flowers. The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal, where the bloom is also considered edible.

32. Terrier on the silver screen : ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb movie “The Thin Man” starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

37. 2009 “Star Trek” villain : NERO
The 2009 movie “Star Trek” is in effect a prequel to the original “Star Trek” series. The film features a young James T. Kirk (played by Chris Pine) and a young Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) battling Romulan named Nero (played by Eric Bana) who comes back in time. As always, there’s an appearance by the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy, of course) who does a bit of time travel himself.

42. Old French coin : ECU
The ecu was an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

47. Some electric cars : TESLAS
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The current base price of a roadster is about $100,000, should you be interested …

55. Indian attire : SARI
The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

56. Open a tad : AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

57. Roof with removable panels : T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

58. “… ___ the frumious Bandersnatch!”: Carroll : SHUN
Here are the first two verses of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, probably the one poem that we all just loved learning to recite at school:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

59. Italian port : BARI
Bari is a major port city on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Bari has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city in Europe to experience chemical warfare during WWII. Allied stores of mustard gas were released during a German bombing raid on Bari in 1943. Fatalities caused by the chemical agent were reported as 69, although other reports list the number as maybe a thousand military personnel and a thousand civilians.

60. “___ Smile” (1976 top 5 hit) : SARA
“Sara Smile” was the first US Top 10 hit for the duo Hall & Oates.

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo, most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

61. ___ Miss : OLE
Ole Miss is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook, and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself.

Down
1. L i k e t h i s : SPACED
The letters in “L i k e    t h i s” are spaced apart.

2. Patient, cheerful sorts, it’s said : LIBRAS
The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

3. See 18-Across : ALBERT
31. See 18-Across : EINSTEIN
After Albert Einstein moved to the US in 1933, he became quite a celebrity and his face was readily recognizable. Einstein was frequently stopped in the street by people who would naively ask him if he could explain what “that theory” (i.e. the theory of relativity) was all about. Growing tired of this, he finally learned to tell people that he was sorry, but folks were constantly mistaking him for Albert Einstein!

4. Kilt feature : PLEAT
The lovely Scottish garment called a kilt is pleated, but only at the rear.

5. John Paul II, for one : SLAV
The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

– the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
– the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
– the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

Pope John Paul II led the Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005, a period of over 26 years. That made him the second longest serving Pope in history, after Pius IX who reigned for over 31 years in the mid 1800s. Paradoxically, John Paul II’s predecessor was John Paul I who only ruled for 33 days. John Paul II was a native of Poland, and was the first non-Italian Pope to lead the church since 1523.

6. Pueblo people : HOPI
The Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

A pueblo is a Native American village, a term used in the American Southwest. The buildings in a pueblo are usually made of stone and adobe mud, and hence are ochre in color.

7. 1983 title role for Barbra Streisand : YENTL
“Yentl” is a play that opened in New York City in 1975. The move to adapt the play for the big screen was led by Barbara Streisand, and indeed she wrote the first outline of a musical version herself as far back as 1968. The film was eventually made and released in 1983, with Streisand performing the lead role.

Barbra Streisand has recorded 31 top-ten albums since 1963, more than any other female recording artist. In fact, she has had an album in the top ten for the last five decades, a rare achievement in itself.

9. Flower from which an oil is derived : PRIMROSE
In Europe, the primrose is one of the first plants to flower in spring. As such, the “primrose” name comes from an older term meaning “first rose”. That said, the primrose is not very closely related to true roses.

11. Player of Eddie in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : MEAT LOAF
Meat Loaf is the stage name of rock musician Marvin Lee Aday from Dallas, Texas. Meat Loaf’s second album is “Bat Out of Hell”, one of the best selling albums of all time. “Bat Out of Hell” still sells hundreds of thousands copies every year, and has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has to have the most devout cult-following of any movie ever made. Famously, fans attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in the outrageous costumes used in the film, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure …

13. One of three choices in a kids’ game : SCISSORS
Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people, at least here in North America. Back in Ireland we called the game “scissors-paper-stone”. The game is often used as a way to choose between two options or two people.

19. Consoling word that bears repeating? : THERE
There there …

20. Quick to the helm : YAR
I spent a lot of time in my youth on and around boats, and never came across the term “yar”. I do recall the term being used by the Katharine Hepburn character in the marvelous film “The Philadelphia Story”, but that’s about it. Hepburn used “yar” in the sense of a boat being very responsive and balanced.

24. Truck renter : U-HAUL
The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Hail dealers across the country.

28. Actor Davis : OSSIE
Ossie Davis was a very successful African-American actor, but also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. In the CBS sitcom “Evening Shade”, Davis played the narrator.

30. Indian attire : DHOTI
A dhoti is a traditional garment worn by men in India, It is a rectangular piece of cloth, really quite large, perhaps around 7 yards long. It is wrapped around the waist and legs, and knotted at the waist.

33. 1940s quartet with the #1 hit “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall,” with “the” : INK SPOTS
The Ink Spots were a singing group from the 1930s and 1940s. The Ink Spots had hits with two of my all time favorite ballads: “If I Didn’t Care” (1939) and “Whispering Grass (Don’t Tell the Trees)” (1940).

34. Eligible one in El Salvador : SENORITA
El Salvador is a country in Central America, the smallest country in the region. The capital of El Salvador is the city of San Salvador. “El Salvodor” is derived from the name given to the land by the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century: “Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo”, which translates as “Province of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”.

35. French flag : TRICOLOR
The French national flag is a tricolor of blue, white and red. The blue and red colors in the flag date back to the French Revolution, when the Paris militia that participated in the storming of the Bastille wore a cockade of blue and red. Subsequently, this blue and red was added to white to create a three-color national cockade that was sported by the national militia. The design of the national cockade was absorbed into the national flag that was adopted in 1794.

42. Wood in Tolkien films : ELIJAH
Elijah Wood is an American actor who is most associated with his role as Frodo Baggins in the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

43. Sporty Chevy : CAMARO
The Chevrolet Camaro is a car produced by General Motors from 1966 to 2002, and reintroduced in 2009. The Camaro shared much of its design with the Pontiac Firebird, and was introduced as a potential competitor to the Ford Mustang.

51. Comic who said “A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now” : SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bass technique : SLAP
5. Short : SHY
8. ___ folder : SPAM
12. Hard-to-tolerate sort : PILL
13. Allegheny plum, e.g. : SLOE
14. Prevail upon : URGE
15. French cleric : ABBE
16. Superior of a bos’n : CAP’N
17. Actress Sorvino : MIRA
18. Beginning of a quote by 3-/31-Down on which Stephen Colbert commented “I hope teenagers aren’t watching this right now” : CREATIVITY
21. Fulfilled : MET
22. Cerium and samarium are rare ones : EARTHS
23. Classic prize : LAUREL
25. It starts in March: Abbr. : DST
26. It, in Italy : ESSO
29. Showy bloom, to flower enthusiasts : RHODO
30. Be half-asleep : DROWSE
32. Terrier on the silver screen : ASTA
33. Middle of the quote : IS THE RESIDUE OF
37. 2009 “Star Trek” villain : NERO
38. Vertebral : SPINAL
39. Unites after a break : KNITS
41. Assay, say : TEST
42. Old French coin : ECU
45. Like some media : SOCIAL
47. Some electric cars : TESLAS
49. Golf club V.I.P. : PRO
50. End of the quote : WASTED TIME
53. Works at the National Gallery : OILS
55. Indian attire : SARI
56. Open a tad : AJAR
57. Roof with removable panels : T-TOP
58. “… ___ the frumious Bandersnatch!”: Carroll : SHUN
59. Italian port : BARI
60. “___ Smile” (1976 top 5 hit) : SARA
61. ___ Miss : OLE
62. Like plow horses : SHOD

Down
1. L i k e t h i s : SPACED
2. Patient, cheerful sorts, it’s said : LIBRAS
3. See 18-Across : ALBERT
4. Kilt feature : PLEAT
5. John Paul II, for one : SLAV
6. Pueblo people : HOPI
7. 1983 title role for Barbra Streisand : YENTL
8. Tally : SUM
9. Flower from which an oil is derived : PRIMROSE
10. Accepted : AGREED TO
11. Player of Eddie in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : MEAT LOAF
13. One of three choices in a kids’ game : SCISSORS
19. Consoling word that bears repeating? : THERE
20. Quick to the helm : YAR
24. Truck renter : U-HAUL
27. Went 4-0, say : SWEPT
28. Actor Davis : OSSIE
30. Indian attire : DHOTI
31. See 18-Across : EINSTEIN
33. 1940s quartet with the #1 hit “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall,” with “the” : INK SPOTS
34. Eligible one in El Salvador : SENORITA
35. French flag : TRICOLOR
36. Went out with : DATED
40. Went out with : SAW
42. Wood in Tolkien films : ELIJAH
43. Sporty Chevy : CAMARO
44. Log-in need : USER ID
46. Stockholder on a ranch? : LASSO
48. Wild guesses : STABS
51. Comic who said “A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now” : SAHL
52. Exact : TRUE
54. Day ___ : SPA


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4 thoughts on “0314-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Mar 13, Thursday”

  1. Bill, I realize I'm late solving this puzzle (I solve Thursday thru Sunday in syndication as my schedule lets me get to them), still maybe you can benefit from my input 🙂 I noticed an error for 13A (SLOE). Actually, It's the *juniper* berry that gives gin its distinctive flavor, and from which its name derives. Gin is essentially a strong, clear, grain spirit, "sloe gin", however, is a sweet, bright red liqueur (cordial) containing 15-30% alcohol which uses gin (properly, though not always) as its base liquor and is indeed made with the fruit of The blackthorn bush (the wonderful sloe berry!) Hope this helps 🙂 -Kevin Quinn

  2. P.S. I had the same one-square two-word error as you had on this puzzle. (although you are a much faster solver than I am!) Given the relative obscurity of 30D (DHOTI), 37A (NERO) should have been clued more accessibly than with Star Trek trivia IMHO. A certain first century emperor comes to mind! Keep up the good work, -Kevin Quinn

  3. Hi there, Kevin.

    Thanks for watching my back and correcting my mistake. I am not sure how I made that slip as I should be well aware of what flavors gin.

    And yes, your comment does help … a lot 🙂

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