0321-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 13, Thursday

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: Jeff Chen
THEME: An Anagram at Last … the last part of each of today’s themed answers is an anagram of FRIES, as in “stir FRIES” perhaps:

17A. Undecorated type? : SANS-SERIF
24A. Subjects of some park sign warnings : FOREST FIRES
34A. Some homeowner transactions when interest rates fall, informally : MORTGAGE REFIS
51A. Certain lap dog : BICHON FRISE
59A. Wok dishes : STIR-FRIES

COMPLETION TIME: 22m 43s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ISAAK (Isaac), KELSO (Celso)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Side effect of steroid use : ACNE
Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism.

15. Rocker Chris : ISAAK
Chris Isaak is not only an American rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

17. Undecorated type? : SANS-SERIF
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (using the French word “sans” meaning “without”). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …

19. Butler player of note : GABLE
As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the shortlist, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his choice despite a lot of protests.

20. Case studier: Abbr. : ATT
Attorney (att.).

21. One acting on impulse? : AXON
A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron, and the long nerve fiber that is part of a neuron is called the axon.

26. First name in horror : LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous of all was his portrayal of “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1925.

28. Yellowfin tuna, on menus : AHI
Yellowfin tuna is usually marketed as “ahi”, its Hawaiian name. Yellowfin tuna is one big fish, often weighing over 300 pounds.

29. Packed letters? : SRO
Standing Room Only (SRO).

32. Commercial name for naproxen : ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

40. Elliptical, in a way : TERSE
Something described as “elliptical” can be something so “terse, condensed, concise” that it can be considered “deliberately obscure”.

43. Y or N, maybe : ANS
An answer (ans.) might be yes (Y) or no (N).

46. Rapa ___ (Easter Island) : NUI
Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call Easter Island. The European name was coined by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Easter Island is inhabited, and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, almost 1300 miles away.

51. Certain lap dog : BICHON FRISE
The breed known as Bichon Frisé is characteristically small and fluffy.

54. Like 32-Across, for short : OTC
Over the counter (OTC).

56. Rose’s guy, on Broadway : ABIE
“Abie’s Irish Rose” was originally a Broadway play by Anne Nichols that opened in 1922 and ran for over five years, which back then was the longest run for any show in New York. The show then went on tour, and stayed on tour for an amazing 40 years.

57. Exec’s degree : MBA
The world’s first MBA degree was offered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

59. Wok dishes : STIR-FRIES
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name of the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

61. Western ___ : SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific country formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. “Samoa” is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

64. Richard with the 1989 #1 hit “Right Here Waiting” : MARX
Richard Marx is a singer and songwriter who had a string of hits in the eighties and nineties. Marx was the first singer in history to have his first seven singles all break into the Billboard Top 5.

Down
3. Company whose name roughly means “leave luck to heaven” : NINTENDO
Nintendo is a Japanese company, the largest manufacturer of video games in the world. Nintendo was founded way back in 1889 and originally made hanafuda cards, Japanese playing cards. The name “Nintendo” translates as “leave luck to heaven”.

4. “Star Trek” extra: Abbr. : ENS
An extra in “Star Trek” is often an ensign (ens.).

Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western set in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

6. Night light : AURORA
The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

7. Oscar winner for “A Fish Called Wanda” : KLINE
The actor Kevin Kline stars in many of my favorite films, like “French Kiss” (in which he had a very impressive French accent) and “A Fish Called Wanda.” Kline also appeared in the romantic comedy “In & Out”, another favorite. “In & Out” is perhaps best remembered for it’s dramatic “interaction” between Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck … if you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you by saying any more!

I think that the 1988 comedy “A Fish Called Wanda” is very under-appreciated. The film was co-written by and stars John Cleese, and has an exceptional cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Cleese’s friend from “Monty Python”, Michael Palin. The “fish” in the film is the con artist Wanda, played by Curtis.

10. Japanese beer brand : ASAHI
Asahi is a beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

12. Like LeBron James vis-à-vis Kobe Bryant : TALLER
LeBron James plays basketball for the Miami Heat. James seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. He became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

Kobe Bryant plays basketball for the LA Lakers. Kobe Bryant got his name from a menu would you believe? His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of “Kobe” beef, the beef that comes from the area around the city of Kobe on the island of Honshu in Japan.

16. Kutcher’s character on “That ’70s Show” : KELSO
Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role.

25. Point of ___ : SALE
A “point of sale” is an alternative term for a checkout, the place where a transaction is completed in a store.

35. John Coltrane played it : TENOR SAX
John Coltrane was a jazz saxophonist who also went by the nickname “Trane”. John’s son Ravi Coltrane is also a noted jazz saxophonist.

36. McJob holder : GRUNT
“McJob” is a slang term for a low-paying position that offers little chance for advancement. The term of course comes from front-line jobs at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.

42. Jewel boxes : CD CASES
A CD case is also known as a jewel box, and I am not sure why …

45. Conceptual framework : SCHEMA
A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of “schema” is “schemata” and the adjectival form is “schematic”.

47. A wolf has a strong one : LIBIDO
“Libido” is a term first popularized by Sigmund Freud. Freud’s usage was more general than is understood today, as he used “libido” to describe all instinctive energy that arose in the subconscious. He believed that we humans are driven by two desires, the desire for life (the libido, or Eros) and the desire for death (Thanatos). Personally, I don’t agree …

48. Underworld boss? : OSIRIS
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister …

49. Kobe ___ : BEEF
Kobe is a city on the island of Honshu in Japan, and yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant is named after the Japanese city. The city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Side effect of steroid use : ACNE
5. Handoff that isn’t : FAKE
9. Biblical verb : HAST
13. Climb using all four limbs : SHIN
14. Break : LULL
15. Rocker Chris : ISAAK
17. Undecorated type? : SANS-SERIF
19. Butler player of note : GABLE
20. Case studier: Abbr. : ATT
21. One acting on impulse? : AXON
22. “Crud!” : OH HELL!
23. Furor : IRE
24. Subjects of some park sign warnings : FOREST FIRES
26. First name in horror : LON
27. Classical ___ : ERA
28. Yellowfin tuna, on menus : AHI
29. Packed letters? : SRO
30. Part of a fast-food combo : SODA
32. Commercial name for naproxen : ALEVE
34. Some homeowner transactions when interest rates fall, informally : MORTGAGE REFIS
40. Elliptical, in a way : TERSE
41. An article may be written on it : SPEC
43. Y or N, maybe : ANS
46. Rapa ___ (Easter Island) : NUI
47. Highball? : LOB
50. “Wicked!” : RAD
51. Certain lap dog : BICHON FRISE
54. Like 32-Across, for short : OTC
55. Sound : UNHURT
56. Rose’s guy, on Broadway : ABIE
57. Exec’s degree : MBA
58. Abounds : TEEMS
59. Wok dishes : STIR-FRIES
61. Western ___ : SAMOA
62. 59-Down treatment, informally : PEDI
63. Castaway’s locale : ISLE
64. Richard with the 1989 #1 hit “Right Here Waiting” : MARX
65. Big rushes : ADOS
66. Lays it on the line? : BETS

Down
1. Sets upon : ASSAILS
2. Cyberspace space : CHAT ROOM
3. Company whose name roughly means “leave luck to heaven” : NINTENDO
4. “Star Trek” extra: Abbr. : ENS
5. Bending muscle : FLEXOR
6. Night light : AURORA
7. Oscar winner for “A Fish Called Wanda” : KLINE
8. Seasonal mall figure : ELF
9. Slap up? : HIGH FIVE
10. Japanese beer brand : ASAHI
11. Cavalry sidearms : SABERS
12. Like LeBron James vis-à-vis Kobe Bryant : TALLER
16. Kutcher’s character on “That ’70s Show” : KELSO
18. Jewel box? : SAFE
22. Census form option : OTHER
25. Point of ___ : SALE
31. It may be fine : ART
32. Census datum : AGE
33. Bad marks : EFS
35. John Coltrane played it : TENOR SAX
36. McJob holder : GRUNT
37. “… ___ to say …” : AS IF
38. “You have my word!” : I PROMISE!
39. Airplane light icon : SEAT BELT
42. Jewel boxes : CD CASES
43. Borders : ABUTS
44. When many clocks are punched : NINE AM
45. Conceptual framework : SCHEMA
47. A wolf has a strong one : LIBIDO
48. Underworld boss? : OSIRIS
49. Kobe ___ : BEEF
52. Bookstore section : HUMOR
53. Deserved : RATED
59. See 62-Across : SPA
60. Barbecue offering : RIB


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6 thoughts on “0321-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 21 Mar 13, Thursday”

  1. 40. Elliptical, in a way : TERSE
    The term “elliptic” (or “elliptical”) can apply to something that is *deliberately obscure*.

    …like a few clues in this puzzle…

  2. Re Elliptical/terse

    Thanks for expanding on this one. As a result, I found out that "elliptical" can be something so "terse, condensed, concise" that it can be considered "deliberately obscure".

    Thanks again.

  3. I think pedi and spa are terrible answers, just dumb. Also, plastic cd cases have always been called jewel boxes although I have no idea why, some marketing whiz no doubt…

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