0318-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 13, Monday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Daniel Landman
THEME: SI Units … each of today’s themed answers is made up of two words, one beginning with S and the other with I:

17A. Native Floridians : SEMINOLE INDIANS
27A. Denizen of the least populous New York City borough : STATEN ISLANDER
48A. Clark Kent vis-à-vis Superman : SECRET IDENTITY
63A. Stickler’s grammatical no-no : SPLIT INFINITIVE

38A. Basic physical measures … or a hint to 17-, 27-, 48- and 63-Across : SI UNITS

COMPLETION TIME: 05m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Book after Jonah : MICAH
The Book of Micah is one of twelve books in the Bible written by the so called minor prophets. The name “Micah” translates into English from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”

10. Floating arctic mass : FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

14. Spitting ___ : IMAGE
“Spitting image” is used to describe someone who looks very much like another. The phrase used to be written as “spit and image”, and makes use of the concept that a person is made up the the stuff of one’s parents (i.e. the spit) and has the look of one’s parents (i.e. the image). The expression “you are the very spit of your mother/father” used the same ideas.

17. Native Floridians : SEMINOLE INDIANS
The Seminole Native Americans originally lived in Florida, and are today are also found in Oklahoma (due to the process of “Indian removal”). The Seminole people formed as a group starting in the seventeenth century, and were made up of migrants from the Lower Creeks tribe who intermingled with other tribes such as Choctaw, Yuchi and Yamasee. The Seminole also included many escaped African American slaves, and even some Caucasian Americans. “Seminole” comes from a Creek word “simano-li” that means “wild” or “runaway”.

20. Leave in, to a proofreader : STET
“Stet” is the Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

27. Denizen of the least populous New York City borough : STATEN ISLANDER
Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

34. Relatives of egos : IDS
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

38. Basic physical measures … or a hint to 17-, 27-, 48- and 63-Across : SI UNITS
The International System of Units is abbreviated to “SI”, from the French “Le Système international d’unités”. The SI system was established in 1960 and is based on the meter-kilogram-second units. The SI system has been adopted as the official system for weights and measures right across the world, with the exception of three countries: Burma, Liberia and the United States.

42. “Cat ___ Hot Tin Roof” : ON A
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is the play that won Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play was adapted into a famous film version in 1958, with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman playing the leads.

45. An A student has a high one, for short : GPA
Grade Point Average (GPA).

46. The Great Lion in “The Chronicles of Narnia” : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis books, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.

48. Clark Kent vis-à-vis Superman : SECRET IDENTITY
Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

52. Shade akin to beige : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

53. “Casablanca” heroine : 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 …

57. Latvia’s capital : RIGA
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. People from Latvia are called Letts.

59. Winnebago driver, informally : RVER
One using a “recreational vehicle” (RVer).

Winnebago Industries is a company that has been manufacturing travel trailers in Forest City, Iowa since 1958. The company made its first motor home in 1966. Winnebago motor homes were very successful because they were priced so reasonably. The line was so successful that “Winnebago” entered the language as a generic term for a motor home.

63. Stickler’s grammatical no-no : SPLIT INFINITIVE
Whether English infinitives should be “split” or not is the subject of much debate. In the English language the infinitive of a verb is made up of the “to” marker and the “bare infinitive”, e.g. “to be”, “to do” and “to go”. A split infinitive occurs when an adverb is placed not after the infinitive but in between the “to” marker and the bare infinitive. The most famous example in modern English I think has to be in the opening lines of the “Star Trek” television series: “to boldly go … where no man has gone before …)”, which one might argue should be “to go boldly … where no man has gone before …”

66. Sean of “Milk” : PENN
Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.

“Milk” is a 2008 biopic based on the life of activist and politician Harvey Milk, with Sean Penn playing the title role. In 1977, Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tragically, Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in 1978 by former city supervisor Dan White.

69. Love letter abbr. : SWAK
Sealed With A Kiss (SWAK).

70. Häagen-Dazs competitor : EDY’S
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dryer and Joseph Edy.

Häagen-Dazs ice cream originated in the Bronx, New York in 1961. The name “Häagen-Dazs” is a “nonsense” term, words chosen for its Scandinavian feel that the producers thought would appeal to potential customers.

Down
2. “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET
“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

6. Deli meat : SALAMI
Salame (note the “e” at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

8. Ruling house of Monaco : GRIMALDI
The House of Grimaldi started in Genoa, Italy at the time of the early Crusades. The current head of the House of the Grimaldi is Albert II, the reigning monarch of the Principality of Monaco.

The Principality of Monaco is on the Mediterranean coast, and is otherwise surrounded by France, even though it is just under 10 miles from the Italian border. Monaco is the world’s most densely populated country, and the world’s second smallest country (the smallest being Vatican City).

9. Taxpayer’s ID : SSN
The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an “identity number” to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the ago of 5. Sure enough, in 1987 seven million dependents “disappeared”.

10. Sitcom with the theme song “I’ll Be There for You” : FRIENDS
The remarkably successful sitcom “Friends” was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. For the first season, the six lead characters were each paid $22,500 per episode. That salary had increased to $1 million per episode by the show’s last season.

11. Word repeated before “pants on fire” : LIAR
The full rhyme used by children to deride someone not telling the truth is:

“Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Hang them up on the telephone wire.”

The rhyme is the source of the title for the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy “Liar Liar”. “Liar Liar” is an amusing film about a lawyer who finds himself only able to tell the truth and cannot tell a lie, all because his son made a birthday wish.

13. To be, to Brutus : ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in Ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

27. Booming jets of old, in brief : SSTS
Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

28. Michelins or Goodyears : TIRES
Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company.

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company.

30. The Bible’s Mount ___ : SINAI
According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 “steps of penitence”.

31. Troublesome food bacteria : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

39. Disney chief Bob : IGER
Robert Iger is currently the president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and is the successor to Michael Eisner. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself. He earned more than $29 million in 2009.

40. Like a snob’s nose : UPTURNED
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

44. Place to see a Zamboni : ICE RINK
The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.

51. Pizazz : ELAN
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours i.e “style” or “flair”.

54. Org. with stamps : USPS
The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

56. Arm bone : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

64. ___ de France : ILE
Île-de-France (literally “Island of France”) isn’t an island at all. It is the name given to the most populous of France’s 26 administrative regions. Île-de-France is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

65. Agcy. that gets a flood of mail in April : IRS
April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Book after Jonah : MICAH
6. Droops : SAGS
10. Floating arctic mass : FLOE
14. Spitting ___ : IMAGE
15. Opposites of departures: Abbr. : ARRS
16. Lens holders : RIMS
17. Native Floridians : SEMINOLE INDIANS
20. Leave in, to a proofreader : STET
21. Sir’s counterpart : MA’AM
22. Creepy : EERIE
23. “Uh, excuse me” : AHEM
25. Open ___ of worms : A CAN
27. Denizen of the least populous New York City borough : STATEN ISLANDER
33. Tendon : SINEW
34. Relatives of egos : IDS
35. Fleecing : SCAM
37. ___-la-la : TRA
38. Basic physical measures … or a hint to 17-, 27-, 48- and 63-Across : SI UNITS
42. “Cat ___ Hot Tin Roof” : ON A
43. 18-wheeler : SEMI
45. An A student has a high one, for short : GPA
46. The Great Lion in “The Chronicles of Narnia” : ASLAN
48. Clark Kent vis-à-vis Superman : SECRET IDENTITY
52. Shade akin to beige : ECRU
53. “Casablanca” heroine : ILSA
54. Take unrightfully : USURP
57. Latvia’s capital : RIGA
59. Winnebago driver, informally : RVER
63. Stickler’s grammatical no-no : SPLIT INFINITIVE
66. Sean of “Milk” : PENN
67. Southpaw’s side : LEFT
68. Board game insert : RULES
69. Love letter abbr. : SWAK
70. Häagen-Dazs competitor : EDY’S
71. Laid out, as cash : SPENT

Down
1. Start of a pageant winner’s title : MISS
2. “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET
3. Showed up : CAME
4. Rile up : AGITATE
5. Rooster’s partner : HEN
6. Deli meat : SALAMI
7. Zone : AREA
8. Ruling house of Monaco : GRIMALDI
9. Taxpayer’s ID : SSN
10. Sitcom with the theme song “I’ll Be There for You” : FRIENDS
11. Word repeated before “pants on fire” : LIAR
12. Prefix with present : OMNI-
13. To be, to Brutus : ESSE
18. Portent : OMEN
19. Academic overseer : DEAN
24. Chops : HEWS
26. Players in a play : CAST
27. Booming jets of old, in brief : SSTS
28. Michelins or Goodyears : TIRES
29. “What’s in ___?” : A NAME
30. The Bible’s Mount ___ : SINAI
31. Troublesome food bacteria : E COLI
32. Charged : RAN AT
36. Word repeated before “moons ago” : MANY
39. Disney chief Bob : IGER
40. Like a snob’s nose : UPTURNED
41. Without: Fr. : SANS
44. Place to see a Zamboni : ICE RINK
47. Fledgling business : STARTUP
49. Proof of purchase: Abbr. : RCPT
50. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. : DIGITS
51. Pizazz : ELAN
54. Org. with stamps : USPS
55. Emit, as lava : SPEW
56. Arm bone : ULNA
58. Not definite : IFFY
60. Revolting : VILE
61. Like 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. : EVEN
62. Lie down for a while : REST
64. ___ de France : ILE
65. Agcy. that gets a flood of mail in April : IRS


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2 thoughts on “0318-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 18 Mar 13, Monday”

  1. I assume your remark about SI units is a joking one, as we certainly shy away from them in the US, at least in our routine lives around town. If the question is serious, however, here is what I wrote above:

    38. Basic physical measures … or a hint to 17-, 27-, 48- and 63-Across : SI UNITS
    The International System of Units is abbreviated to “SI”, from the French “Le Système international d'unités”. The SI system was established in 1960 and is based on the meter-kilogram-second units. The SI system has been adopted as the official system for weights and measures right across the world, with the exception of three countries: Burma, Liberia and the United States.

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