0319-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Mar 13, Tuesday

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

CROSSWORD SETTER: Mike Buckley
THEME: Party On … each of the themed answers is made up of two words, each of which often precedes PARTY:

17A. Kind of mint : AFTER-DINNER (“after-party” & “dinner party”)
26A. Chicken coop : HEN HOUSE (“hen party” & “house party”)
51A. Traditional Chinese beverage : GREEN TEA (“Green Party” & “tea party”)
63A. Multiple-company building, to Brits : OFFICE BLOCK (“office party” & “block party”)

40A. Repeated “Wayne’s World” cry … or a hint to each half of 17-, 26-, 51- and 63-Across : PARTY ON!

COMPLETION TIME: 07m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Wing it : AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor may substitute his or her own words for forgotten lines using an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a sense of spontaneity.

11. San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB
Nob Hill is a very elevated and central location in the city of San Francisco. Because of its views of the surrounding city and environs, Nob Hill became a desirable place to live for the wealthy in the 1800s. The area is still one of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods and is home to upscale hotels as well as the magnificent Grace Cathedral. The name “Nob Hill” comes from the slang term for someone who is well-to-do, a “nob”.

14. Pioneer in 35mm cameras : LEICA
Leica is a German optics company, famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

16. It flows in the Seine : EAU
“Eau” is the French word for “water”.

There are two famous islands in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most renowned of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre Dame.

19. Electee of ’48 : HST
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. Young Truman didn’t have the money to pay for college anywhere else. He did manage to study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but he never finished his schooling. So, Harry S. Truman was the last US President (out of a list of ten) who did not have a college degree.

21. Eric who played the villain in 2009’s “Star Trek” : BANA
Eric Bana is an Australian actor who enjoyed a successful career in his home country before breaking into Hollywood playing an American Delta Force sergeant in “Black Hawk Down”. A couple of years later he played the lead in Ang Lee’s 2003 movie “The Hulk”, the role of Dr Bruce Banner. More recently he played the Romulan villain Nero, in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie.

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.

24. “Just you wait, ___ ‘iggins …” : ‘ENRY
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. Of course “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

28. It’s known as the Ship With the Mighty Stinger : USS WASP
The USS Wasp (CV-7) was an aircraft carrier launched in 1939, famous in the UK for services rendered to the British base and island of Malta in the Mediterranean. In 1942 the Wasp took on the critical and dangerous task of resupplying the beleaguered Malta with aircraft. This involved exposing the carrier to Axis aircraft and coastal defenses as she sailed at night through the narrow straits of Gibraltar. The mission was successful, but many of the planes were destroyed soon after in attacks by German and Italian planes. So, the Wasp made another supply run to the island, a vital move that helped the island survive under Allied command. Winston Churchill was so grateful to the Wasp and its crew that he sent a personal message to the captain and the ship’s company, “Many thanks to you all for the timely help. Who said a Wasp couldn’t sting twice?”

35. How mosquitoes can leave you : ITCHY
Skeeter is a slang term for mosquito, with “mosquito” being the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.

39. Game with matchsticks : NIM
Nim is an ancient entertainment, a simple mathematical game of strategy. Nim involves removing items from distinct piles (say matchsticks). Each player must remove at least one item per turn, and the last person to remove an item is the loser.

40. Repeated “Wayne’s World” cry … or a hint to each half of 17-, 26-, 51- and 63-Across : PARTY ON!
“Wayne’s World” was originally a Saturday Night Live sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne) and Dana Carvey. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

42. Letters on a motel sign : AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

43. First Hebrew letter : ALEPH
Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth the second.

45. Oxy 10 target : ACNE
Oxy-10 is a brand name for a medication with the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is used as an acne treatment, as well as for dyeing hair, for whitening teeth and in the preparation of flour.

59. Unyielding Dr. Seuss character : ZAX
“The Zax” is a character who appears in “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss. “The Zax” is actually the title of one of the four stories in the collection.

62. “Honest” prez : ABE
There is a story that just before Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he received a letter from a 12-year-old girl who criticized Lincoln’s appearance and his pock-marked, gaunt face. The little girl, Grace Bedell from New York, promised to get her brothers to vote for Lincoln if he would just grow a beard. However, Lincoln waited until after the election to grow his famous whiskers, a distinctive look that would forever be associated with his presidency.

67. One of the Simpsons : MARGE
Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the family in “The Simpsons” animated sitcom. Marge is voiced by actress Julie Kavner, who is also well known for playing Brenda Morgenstern in the TV show “Rhoda” in the seventies.

68. “___ Meenie” (2010 hit) : EENIE
“Eenie Meenie” is a 2010 hit song recorded by Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber. Nope, never heard it …

70. Hair net : SNOOD
A “snood” is a net or a bag worn over the hair. “Snood” comes from the Old English word “snod” meaning a ribbon for the hair.

Down
1. Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles commission : ALAN
Alan Simpson was appointed by President Obama as the Republican co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, which was tasked with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the US. The other co-chair was Erskine Bowles, a Democrat. The Simpson-Bowles Commission proposed five steps to economic stability and recovery:

1. $200 billion reduction in spending, largely a reduction in defense spending
2. $100 billion increase in tax revenue, including a gasoline tax and elimination of some tax deductions
3. Control of health care costs, including implementation of “Obamacare”
4. Reduction in entitlements like farm susbsidies and federal pensions
5. Changes to Social Security including raising of the payroll tax and raising of the retirement age

2. Adroit : DEFT
The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful.

5. Singer Streisand : BARBRA
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.

6. “Love ___ the air” : IS IN
“Love Is in the Air” is a disco number recorded in 1977 by John Paul Young.

7. Someone who’s “in the kitchen” in “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” : DINAH
“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” is a folk song that first appeared in print in 1894. The first verse is:

I’ve been working on the railroad
All the live-long day.
I’ve been working on the railroad
Just to pass the time away.

9. Skin-care brand : AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skin care and hair care products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.

10. “They All Laughed” composer : GERSHWIN
“They All Laughed” is a song by George and Ira Gershwin that was written for the 1937 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie “Shall We Dance”.

11. ___ jacket : NEHRU
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

13. Montana mining city : BUTTE
The city of Butte, Montana has a history that is rooted in mining. Butte was founded as a mining town in the late 1800s. Although mining brought great growth to the area, it also brought environmental problems. Today Bette is home to the country’s largest Superfund cleanup site.

23. France’s ___ d’Avignon : PONT
The medieval bridge known as Pont d’Avignon is more correctly called the Pont Saint-Bénezet. I’ve been lucky enough to see this bridge a few times, and the most surprising thing to me is that it is now a “bridge to nowhere”. Only four of the original 22 arches in the structure survive.

25. It’s above Alta. and Sask. : NWT
Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories. The three territories lie to the north of the country, and are Yukon, Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut. Territories differ from provinces in that they only have governmental powers that are delegated to them by the federal government, whereas the provinces have constitutional powers in their own right.

27. Comic who sang “I Love to Laugh” in “Mary Poppins” : ED WYNN
Ed Wynn was a comedian and actor, especially popular on his own radio show. Wynn migrated from radio to the small and big screens, moving from comedic to dramatic roles. His most noted film performance was in 1959’s “The Diary of Anne Frank” in which he played Albert Dussel, the dentist who hid from the Nazis with the Frank family. For this role Wynn was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

The “Mary Poppins” series of children’s novels was written by Australian-born English writer and actress P. L. Travers. Mary Poppins is a magical children’s nanny with a best friend called Bert. In the famous musical film adaptation of the Mary Poppins stories, Poppins is played by Julie Andrews and Bert is played Dick Van Dyke.

30. “Wheel of Fortune” category : PHRASE
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since it first aired in 1975.

36. Former U.S. territory : CANAL ZONE
The Panama Canal was predated by the Panama Railway. The railway’s route actually determined the eventual route of the canal. The impetus to build a canal was spurred on by the success of the Suez Canal which opened in 1869. Work on the Panama Canal started in 1881, but things did not go smoothly at all. Companies involved in the project went bankrupt, one after the other. Eventually the US government bought its way into the project with President Roosevelt handing over millions of dollars to the country of Panama. The canal was finally completed in 1914. All in all, about 27,500 workers died during construction. A kind blog reader highly recommends the book “The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough, should anyone want to read more about the fascinating tale of Panama Canal’s construction.

38. New Haven school : YALE
Yale is the private Ivy League school located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest, higher education establishment in the country (after Harvard, and William and Mary).

41. Hors d’___ : OEUVRE
An hors d’oeuvre is the first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.

46. Earth Day prefix : ECO-
Earth Day was founded in the US, an event introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

48. Tennis’s Edberg : STEFAN
Stefan Edberg is a Swedish tennis player, and former world number one. Sadly, one part of Edberg’s legacy is his involvement in a freak accident at the 1983 US Open. A ball struck by Edberg hit one of the linesmen causing him to topple off his chair, fracturing his skull as he hit the ground. That injury was fatal.

52. Maverick : REBEL
The concept of being one’s own person, going it alone, is popularly known as being a “maverick”. In the days of open range ranching, a maverick was a steer that didn’t carry a brand. An unbranded animal was usually the result of a branded animal giving birth on the open range, with the young growing up without having being captured and claimed by an owner. The use of the name “maverick” comes from Texas rancher Samuel Maverick, who refused to brand his cattle. He stated that he did not want to inflict pain on his cattle, and so laid claim to any cattle on the range that weren’t branded. His stubborn refusal to cooperate with the neighboring ranchers gave rise to our modern description of a single-minded individual as a “maverick”.

53. Words of passing interest? : ELEGY
An elegy is a mournful poem or funeral song, also known as a dirge. Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

– Celestial fire
– Far from the Madding Crowd
– Kindred spirit

61. Vintage Jags : XKES
Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” at that time.

65. Peggy of “Lady and the Tramp” : LEE
Peggy Lee was a jazz and popular music singer from Jamestown, North Dakota. “Peggy Lee” was a stage name, and she was born Norma Egstrom. She was a successful songwriter as well as singer, and supplied several numbers for the Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp”. Lee also sang in the film and voiced four of the characters.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Wing it : AD LIB
6. It may dangle from a dog collar : ID TAG
11. San Francisco’s ___ Hill : NOB
14. Pioneer in 35mm cameras : LEICA
15. Food strainer : SIEVE
16. It flows in the Seine : EAU
17. Kind of mint : AFTER-DINNER
19. Electee of ’48 : HST
20. Indeterminate ordinal : NTH
21. Eric who played the villain in 2009’s “Star Trek” : BANA
22. Lively wit : ESPRIT
24. “Just you wait, ___ ‘iggins …” : ‘ENRY
26. Chicken coop : HEN HOUSE
28. It’s known as the Ship With the Mighty Stinger : USS WASP
31. Heading for half of crossword clues : DOWN
32. Plunder : LOOT
33. “So that’s done!” : PHEW!
35. How mosquitoes can leave you : ITCHY
39. Game with matchsticks : NIM
40. Repeated “Wayne’s World” cry … or a hint to each half of 17-, 26-, 51- and 63-Across : PARTY ON!
42. Letters on a motel sign : AAA
43. First Hebrew letter : ALEPH
45. Oxy 10 target : ACNE
46. Env. within an env., perhaps : ENCL
47. Highland girl : LASS
49. Baked dessert with a little crunch : NUTCAKE
51. Traditional Chinese beverage : GREEN TEA
55. Instrument played with a bow : VIOL
56. “I can ___” : RELATE
57. Old schoolmistress : MARM
59. Unyielding Dr. Seuss character : ZAX
62. “Honest” prez : ABE
63. Multiple-company building, to Brits : OFFICE BLOCK
66. Implore : BEG
67. One of the Simpsons : MARGE
68. “___ Meenie” (2010 hit) : EENIE
69. Done with a wink : SLY
70. Hair net : SNOOD
71. Oboes and saxes : REEDS

Down
1. Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles commission : ALAN
2. Adroit : DEFT
3. Like ballerinas : LITHESOME
4. Motel machine sign : ICE
5. Singer Streisand : BARBRA
6. “Love ___ the air” : IS IN
7. Someone who’s “in the kitchen” in “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” : DINAH
8. Easy-to-multiply number : TEN
9. Skin-care brand : AVEENO
10. “They All Laughed” composer : GERSHWIN
11. ___ jacket : NEHRU
12. Camel’s rest stop : OASIS
13. Montana mining city : BUTTE
18. Locale for some brief R&R : DAY SPA
23. France’s ___ d’Avignon : PONT
25. It’s above Alta. and Sask. : NWT
27. Comic who sang “I Love to Laugh” in “Mary Poppins” : ED WYNN
28. Radius neighbor : ULNA
29. Earth : SOIL
30. “Wheel of Fortune” category : PHRASE
34. List shortener: Abbr. : ETC
36. Former U.S. territory : CANAL ZONE
37. Break into, as a computer : HACK
38. New Haven school : YALE
40. Ghostly figures : PHANTOMS
41. Hors d’___ : OEUVRE
44. “Have mercy!,” e.g. : PLEA
46. Earth Day prefix : ECO-
48. Tennis’s Edberg : STEFAN
50. Cry in a forest : TIMBER
51. Snaps up : GRABS
52. Maverick : REBEL
53. Words of passing interest? : ELEGY
54. Compañero : AMIGO
58. Served a ball past : ACED
60. Nitric ___ : ACID
61. Vintage Jags : XKES
64. Frizzy do, informally : ‘FRO
65. Peggy of “Lady and the Tramp” : LEE


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2 thoughts on “0319-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Mar 13, Tuesday”

  1. Hi
    First… love that you do this.
    Today's party pairs apply to both halves.
    After Party (after theatre)
    Hen Party (all women)
    Green Party (political ecologists)
    Office Party

    Nary

  2. Hi there, Nary.

    More haste less speed! Thank you so much for pointing out that error. I am off to fix it right now!

    Thanks for watching my back, Nary.

    Bill

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