0325-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Mar 13, Monday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Adam Prince
THEME: The Captain Starts … each of today’s themed answers starts with the name of a famous CAPTAIN:

37A. Title that can precede the starts of 17-, 23-, 49- and 59-Across : CAPTAIN
17A. Recipe holders : COOKBOOKS (Captain Cook)
23A. Irregular trial venue : KANGAROO COURT (“Captain Kangaroo”)
49A. “The Shawshank Redemption” actor : MORGAN FREEMAN (Captain Morgan)
59A. Basketball scoring attempts that are difficult to block : HOOK SHOTS (Captain Hook)

COMPLETION TIME: 05m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Saturday Night Live” segment : SKIT
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

9. Skirts for Scots : KILTS
I think I am right in saying that traditionally women wouldn’t wear kilts. Kilts were only worn by men and boys.

15. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
Saint Valentine’s Day was chosen by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saints’ day was dropped by the Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

16. Pricey car from Honda : ACURA
Acura is a division of the Honda Motor Company, and is Honda’s luxury brand. Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

17. Recipe holders : COOKBOOKS (Captain Cook)
The famed British explorer Captain James Cook made three voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean. Cook was in command of HMS Resolution on his third voyage, and he and his crew he became the first Europeans to visit the Hawaiian Islands, in 1778. He landed on Kauai and named the whole archipelago the Sandwich Islands, in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich who was in charge of the British Admiralty at the time. Cook continued his voyage, leaving Hawaii to explore the coast of what is now called Canada and Alaska, and returning to Hawaii the following year. After one month of contact with the native Hawaiians, Cook departed from the islands but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. Relations between the Europeans and the islanders had been good but despite this a dispute developed and got out of control that resulted in Cook being struck on the head and stabbed to death. His body was dragged away by the islanders, and as an apparent sign of respect for the Captain, the natives processed his body according to funeral traditions associated with Hawaiian kings and elders. Eventually, after a petition from the remaining crew, some of Cook’s remains were also returned for a formal burial at sea, adhering to British naval tradition.

20. Govt.-issued 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”.

21. “___ a man with seven wives” : I MET
You might remember the nursery rhyme “As I was going to St. Ives” from the third “Die Hard” movie, “Die Hard With a Vengeance”, in which it is treated as a riddle. The rhyme goes like this:

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives
Each wife had seven sacks
Each sack had seven cats
Each cat had seven kits
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St Ives?

There is more than one place called St. Ives in England, but most think the reference is to the seaside town of St. Ives in Cornwall. By the way, the answer to the riddle is “one”, because just the narrator was going to St. Ives, and the rest were characters he met along the way.

22. Epoch when mammals arose : EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago, and is noted for the emergence of the first mammals on the planet.

23. Irregular trial venue : KANGAROO COURT (“Captain Kangaroo”)
“Kangaroo court” is an American term that dates back to the mid-1800s. A kangaroo court (also a “mustang court”) is court which is dishonest, one in which the the course of justice is perverted. The terms “kangaroo” and “mustang” apply as the trumped up process moves along in leaps and bounds.

26. Liquors for pirates : RUMS
Rum was first distilled by slaves on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 1800s, with the tradition being that the very first production came from Barbados.

28. Required amount : QUOTA
A quota is an allotment, originally used with reference to the number of soldiers of quantity of supplies required from a particular town or district.

30. Autobahn auto : OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

32. “My word!” : EGAD
“Egad” developed as a polite way of saying “oh God” in the late 1600s and is an expression of fear or surprise somewhat like “good grief!”

36. Kilmer of “Top Gun” : VAL
Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Morrison was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as governor? Would never happen …

“Top Gun” is an entertaining action movie released in 1986 starring Tom Cruise and the lovely Kelly McGillis. The movie is all about pilots training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. A lot of footage was shot on board the Navy’s carrier the USS Enterprise during flight operations. At one point in a day’s shooting, the commander of the Enterprise changed course as needed, but this altered the light for the cameras which were filming. Director Tony Scott asked for the course to be changed back, but was informed that a course change cost the Navy $25,000. Scott wrote out a check there and then, and he got another five minutes of filming with the light he needed.

37. Title that can precede the starts of 17-, 23-, 49- and 59-Across : CAPTAIN
OUr word “captain” ultimately derives from the Latin “caput” meaning “head”.

41. Cartoon collectibles : CELS
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

43. “South Park” boy : STAN
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

44. Nebraska’s largest city : OMAHA
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

46. Colombian cartel city : CALI
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia. Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks looking for a “cheap” nose job head there

48. Like-minded group of voters : BLOC
“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

49. “The Shawshank Redemption” actor : MORGAN FREEMAN (Captain Morgan)
The wonderful actor Morgan Freeman is from Memphis, Tennessee. When I think of all of Freeman’s great performances, two stand out for me: the chauffeur Hoke Colburn in 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy”, and Nelson Mandela in 2009’s “Invictus”.

Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted into a 2009 stage play and a 1994 film, both called “The Shawshank Redemption”. The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots of the fictional Shawshank Prison. That same facility was used for the prison scenes in the 1997 film “Air Force One”.

The Captain Morgan brand of rum comes from Jamaica in the West Indies. It is named after the privateer from Wales, Sir Henry Morgan, who plied his trade in the Caribbean in the 17th century.

55. Mythical birds : ROCS
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.

58. Frederick who composed “My Fair Lady” : LOEWE
Frederick Loewe was a composer best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot”.

59. Basketball scoring attempts that are difficult to block : HOOK SHOTS (Captain Hook)
Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto.

61. Bert’s “Sesame Street” pal : ERNIE
I’ve always believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence.

Down
2. Stand around the mall? : KIOSK
Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

3. Craps player’s boast : I’M ON A ROLL
If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. Craps may be derived from an old English game called “hazard”, also played with two dice and which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

10. Rapper in the film “21 Jump Street” : ICE CUBE
Rapper Ice Cube has a real name of O’Shea Jackson. Since the year 2000, Ice Cube has gradually moved away from rap music and focuses more on acting.

“21 Jump Street” is a crime drama series that aired in the late eighties and early nineties. Star of the show was Johnny Depp. Depp’s career took off while he was still under contract to the show’s producers, so he worked at a relatively low rate of pay until he was able to exit at the end of the fourth season.

11. Olympian sledder : LUGER
A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head first.

12. Former senator Lott : TRENT
Trent Lott was raised Democrat in Mississippi, but served in Congress as a Republican. Lott ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

13. Fill totally : SATE
“Sate” is a variant of the earlier word “satiate”. Both can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

18. Rival of the Whopper : BIG MAC
The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar Big Boy sandwich offered by the competing restaurant chain.

22. Food-spoiling 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.

25. Atlantic or Pacific : OCEAN
The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic” for the world’s second-largest ocean was in Ancient Greece. The Greeks called the ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

28. Home shopper’s channel : QVC
The QVC shopping channel was founded in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company now has operations not only in the US but also in the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. That means QVC is reaching 200 million households. The QVC acronym stands for Quality, Value and Convenience.

29. Dubai’s land: Abbr. : UAE
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

31. After-hours school org. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

33. Super Bowl bowlful : GUACAMOLE
Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes, and is made by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

35. Trafficker tracking org. : DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

38. Lion in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” : 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.

45. May honoree : MOM
Note the official punctuation in “Mother’s Day”, even though one might think it should be “Mothers’ Day”. President Wilson, and Anna Jarvis who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother’s Day to honor the mothers within each family and not just “mothers” in general, so they went with the “Mother’s Day” punctuation.

49. Demi or Roger : MOORE
Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes and took the name Demi Moore when she married her first husband, Freddy Moore. She changed her name to Demi Guynes Kutcher a few years after marrying her present husband (soon to be ex), Aston Kutcher. She still uses Demi Moore as her professional name.

Roger Moore is best known in the US for taking on the role of 007 in seven James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985. In my part of the world we remember him playing a very debonair hero called Simon Templar in a TV series called “The Saint” from 1962 to 1969. Moore’s Templar character could very easily have morphed into a great James Bond, but by the time he was offered the part I personally think that he was just a tad too long in the tooth to pull off a credible 007.

52. Longtime ABC exec Arledge : ROONE
Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. Arledge made a name for himself in sports broadcasting and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

53. Post-its, e.g. : NOTES
The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was the discovery of a super-strong adhesive.

59. Bowler or sombrero : HAT
I think a bowler hat is called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

60. Once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage : HAJ
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Saturday Night Live” segment : SKIT
5. On vacation : AWAY
9. Skirts for Scots : KILTS
14. Goals : AIMS
15. Valentine’s Day flower : ROSE
16. Pricey car from Honda : ACURA
17. Recipe holders : COOKBOOKS
19. Father, biblically : BEGET
20. Govt.-issued ID : SSN
21. “___ a man with seven wives” : I MET
22. Epoch when mammals arose : EOCENE
23. Irregular trial venue : KANGAROO COURT
26. Liquors for pirates : RUMS
27. Barber’s implement : COMB
28. Required amount : QUOTA
30. Autobahn auto : OPEL
32. “My word!” : EGAD
36. Kilmer of “Top Gun” : VAL
37. Title that can precede the starts of 17-, 23-, 49- and 59-Across : CAPTAIN
40. Take advantage of : USE
41. Cartoon collectibles : CELS
43. “South Park” boy : STAN
44. Nebraska’s largest city : OMAHA
46. Colombian cartel city : CALI
48. Like-minded group of voters : BLOC
49. “The Shawshank Redemption” actor : MORGAN FREEMAN
54. Rule : GOVERN
55. Mythical birds : ROCS
56. Swab the decks, say : MOP
58. Frederick who composed “My Fair Lady” : LOEWE
59. Basketball scoring attempts that are difficult to block : HOOK SHOTS
61. Bert’s “Sesame Street” pal : ERNIE
62. ___ time (never) : AT NO
63. Bar brews : ALES
64. Egg containers : NESTS
65. Not now : THEN
66. Many a true word is spoken in this : JEST

Down
1. Egg containers : SACS
2. Stand around the mall? : KIOSK
3. Craps player’s boast : I’M ON A ROLL
4. “Shame on you!” : TSK!
5. Good smells : AROMAS
6. Romantic hopeful : WOOER
7. Invite for : ASK TO
8. “Of course!” : YES!
9. Big bang : KABOOM!
10. Rapper in the film “21 Jump Street” : ICE CUBE
11. Olympian sledder : LUGER
12. Former senator Lott : TRENT
13. Fill totally : SATE
18. Rival of the Whopper : BIG MAC
22. Food-spoiling bacteria : E COLI
24. Fanatic : NUT
25. Atlantic or Pacific : OCEAN
28. Home shopper’s channel : QVC
29. Dubai’s land: Abbr. : UAE
30. Decide to take part : OPT IN
31. After-hours school org. : PTA
33. Super Bowl bowlful : GUACAMOLE
34. Volcanic output : ASH
35. Trafficker tracking org. : DEA
38. Lion in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” : ASLAN
39. At a minimum : NO LESS
42. “Ugh, who cares?!” : SCREW IT!
45. May honoree : MOM
47. Doesn’t dissent : AGREES
48. Signal “Come here,” say : BECKON
49. Demi or Roger : MOORE
50. Bakery fixtures : OVENS
51. Foam : FROTH
52. Longtime ABC exec Arledge : ROONE
53. Post-its, e.g. : NOTES
54. Secluded valley : GLEN
57. “Hey! Over here!” : PSST!
59. Bowler or sombrero : HAT
60. Once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage : HAJ


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4 thoughts on “0325-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 25 Mar 13, Monday”

  1. "I don’t do “South Park” …"
    LOL!

    It's very generation X or Gen Y humour. Only funny when you've lived the pop culture life in the states for the last 15 years.

  2. Hi there, anonymous visitor.

    My eyebrows raised at the 42D answer too. I tried to find out the etymology of the term as it is used in the clue, but came up with nothing helpful. Sometimes the cruder use of the term evolved from something less offensive, and I was hoping to uncover something like that.

    As I say, I am not sure if there is non-offensive derivation of this term in particular, but regretfully I have seen terms that I think are offensive used in the puzzle before.

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