0329-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 13, Friday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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CROSSWORD SETTER: Josh Knapp
THEME: Really Bad Guys … we have a mini-theme today, with two answers referring to a third:

26A. Cackling loon with a white coat : MAD SCIENTIST
36A. Goal for many a 26- or 43-Across : WORLD DOMINATION
43A. Mighty heavy : SUPERVILLAIN

COMPLETION TIME: 23m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Verbal shrug : MEH
“Meh!” is one of those terms unfamiliar to me outside of crosswords. It is a modern colloquialism meaning “I’m not great, but not bad”.

14. Pointy-headed sort? : AXE
I guess the idea is that an axe has a pointy head.

15. Whom Turkey’s Weeping Rock is said to represent : NIOBE
In Greek mythology, when her children were killed, Niobe fled to Mt. Sipylus where she was turned into stone and wept for eternity. There is in fact a Niobe’s Rock on Mt. Sipylus that resembles a female face, and so is known as “The Weeping Rock”.

16. Cliff hanger? : AERIE
An aerie is the nest of an eagle.

17. One of two in a plane : DIMENSION
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A plane is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the plane. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

19. Autodom’s ZR1, for one : VETTE
The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

20. Writer Moore or Moorehead : ALAN
Alan Moore is an English writer of graphic novels, a term that Moore himself introduced in order to differentiate his work from “comic books”.

25. Brother : FRIAR
Friars and nuns differ from each other in that monks lived cloistered, self-sufficient lives that are very simple. Friars live simple lives in the service of a community, and depend on that community’s financial support.

34. Dungeons & Dragons weapon : MACE
Dungeons & Dragons is a complex role-playing game first published in 1974, by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son …

41. Its products often have Allen wrenches included : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

47. “My Name Is Earl” co-star Suplee : ETHAN
The actor Ethan Suplee is best-known for playing the title characters bumbling brother on the sitcom “My Name Is Earl”. Suplee recently slimmed down, achieving a total weight loss of over 200 pounds. Good for you, Ethan …

56. Victimizer of Cassio : IAGO
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. He hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife. By the end of the play it’s Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago’s lies. Heavy stuff …

57. “I Know Who Killed Me” star, 2007 : LOHAN
I think that actress Lindsay Lohan’s big break was in the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998. I’ve really only enjoyed one of Lohan’s films though, “Freaky Friday” from 2003 in which she stars alongside the fabulous Jamie Lee Curtis.

“I Know Who Killed Me” is a horror film released in 2007 that stars Lindsay Lohan playing identical twins. Lohan also played identical twins in 1998’s remake of “The Parent Trap”.

64. The out crowd? : NERDS
Dweeb, squarepants, nerd, they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing: someone excessively studious and socially inept.

65. “Annie” characters : ENS
There are a couple of letters N in the word “Annie”.

Down
4. “Larry’s Country Diner” channel : TNN
“Larry’s Country Diner” is a country music variety show that airs on TNN.

7. Strauss wrote a concerto in D for it : OBOE
Richard Strauss wrote his Oboe Concerto near the end of his life, in 1945. The idea for the concerto came from American oboist John de Lancie, who was with an Army unit that took control of the Bavarian town in which Strauss lived at the end of WWII.

11. One preparing an oil pan? : ART CRITIC
The idea here is that an art critic might “pan” (severely criticize) a particular oil painting.

12. ___ bread : PITA
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita bread is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools. The pockets were a big hit in the seventies when someone came up with the idea of using them for fillings hence creating pita sandwiches or “pita pockets”.

22. Act the coxcomb : PREEN
A coxcomb is a bit of fop or a dandy. The term comes from “cockscomb”, the comb or crest sported by a cockerel.

28. R. J. Reynolds brand : CAMEL
The advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes was officially known as “Old Joe”, but was popularly known as “Joe Camel”. Joe originated in the seventies, in an advertising campaign that ran only in Europe where sometimes he was depicted wearing a French Foreign Legion cap. He was imported to the US in 1988 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Camel brand. The big controversy surrounding the use of the camel character was that a 1991 study found that 5-6 year old children could recognize Joe Camel more readily than either Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone. Also, soon after Old Joe was introduced in the US, the Camel brand’s share of the illegal market to underage smokers went up from 1% to just under 33%.

30. Fox ratings : TENS
A “fox” is a good-looking woman, someone who might be rated a “ten”. Not terms I would use, so don’t shoot the messenger …

31. Stiff bristles : AWNS
Awns are hair or bristle-like structures found in numerous species of plants. In some species, like barley, the awns can contain photosynthetic tissue.

32. ___ Matsuhisa, celebrity chef and restaurateur : NOBU
Nobu Matsuhisa is celebrity chef from Japan. Nobu was invited to open a Japanese restaurant in Lima, Peru in 1973, and while in South America developed his own Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. He moved to the US a few years later, and now there “Nobu” and “Matsuhisa” restaurants all over the world.

33. Small cannon balls : GRAPESHOT
Grapeshot is a type of ammunition used for cannonfire. Grapeshot is made up of small metal balls or slugs wrapped in a canvas bag. When fired, the grapeshot spreads out like the pellets coming out of a shotgun.

37. Ottoman relative : DIVAN
Ottomans and divans are essentially couches without backs or arms.

38. Capital ENE of Fiji : APIA
Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely.

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

39. Wine colorer : TANNIN
A substance that is astringent is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues. Some red wines can have an astringent taste, a dry and puckering feeling, because of the presence of tannins. Tannins occur naturally in plants, probably as a defensive measure against predators who shy away from the astringent. The word “tannin” comes from an Old German word for oak or fir tree, as in “Tannenbaum”.

44. Second-simplest hydrocarbon : ETHANE
The main component in natural gas is methane, with the second most voluminous constituent being ethane. Both methane and ethane are combustible, and so traditionally the methane and ethane from natural gas were burned together to generate heat. However, since the sixties, ethane has been used as a valuable starter material for the production of ethylene, itself a raw material for polyethylene and other plastics. So, these days the ethane is extracted at a refinery before the natural gas is bottled as a fuel.

45. They may be found in preserves, informally : RHINOS
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, and the smaller Javan Rhino is the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

46. Part of the total : ADDEND
“Addend” is short for addendum, and is the name given to any set of numbers that is to be added.

53. Isle near Mull : IONA
Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland names Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

The Isle of Mull (sometimes called just “Mull”) is part of the Inner Hebrides, which lie off the west coast of Scotland.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Verbal shrug : MEH
4. Beat : THROB
9. Greets the good guy, maybe : CLAPS
14. Pointy-headed sort? : AXE
15. Whom Turkey’s Weeping Rock is said to represent : NIOBE
16. Cliff hanger? : AERIE
17. One of two in a plane : DIMENSION
19. Autodom’s ZR1, for one : VETTE
20. Writer Moore or Moorehead : ALAN
21. Where people drop off on the line? : SLEEPER CAR
23. Killer bees, e.g. : MENACE
25. Brother : FRIAR
26. Cackling loon with a white coat : MAD SCIENTIST
31. Steam up : ANGER
34. Dungeons & Dragons weapon : MACE
35. With 40-Across, “Inside ___” (postgame show) : THE
36. Goal for many a 26- or 43-Across : WORLD DOMINATION
40. See 35-Across : NBA
41. Its products often have Allen wrenches included : IKEA
42. Dueling count : PACES
43. Mighty heavy : SUPERVILLAIN
47. “My Name Is Earl” co-star Suplee : ETHAN
48. One working on steps : DANCER
52. Means of dropping a line : FISHING ROD
56. Victimizer of Cassio : IAGO
57. “I Know Who Killed Me” star, 2007 : LOHAN
58. Offensive play in 35-/40-Across : GIVE-AND-GO
60. “That’s ___!” (“Don’t!”) : A NO-NO
61. Flip : UPEND
62. Secured : GOT
63. Track lineup : GATES
64. The out crowd? : NERDS
65. “Annie” characters : ENS

Down
1. ___ President : MADAM
2. Many a booted ruler : EXILE
3. One who might do the heavy lifting : HE-MAN
4. “Larry’s Country Diner” channel : TNN
5. Greeted the bad guy, maybe : HISSED
6. Churn : ROIL
7. Strauss wrote a concerto in D for it : OBOE
8. Doing good : BENEFICIAL
9. Spineless response to pressure : CAVE IN
10. Examine as a wolf would : LEER AT
11. One preparing an oil pan? : ART CRITIC
12. ___ bread : PITA
13. Forward-thinking type : SEER
18. Protective cover : ENAMEL
22. Act the coxcomb : PREEN
24. Real character : CARD
27. Strong proof : SMOKING GUN
28. R. J. Reynolds brand : CAMEL
29. What’s under an arch : SHOE
30. Fox ratings : TENS
31. Stiff bristles : AWNS
32. ___ Matsuhisa, celebrity chef and restaurateur : NOBU
33. Small cannon balls : GRAPESHOT
37. Ottoman relative : DIVAN
38. Capital ENE of Fiji : APIA
39. Wine colorer : TANNIN
44. Second-simplest hydrocarbon : ETHANE
45. They may be found in preserves, informally : RHINOS
46. Part of the total : ADDEND
49. Mooch : CADGE
50. Impel : EGG ON
51. Natural life support system : ROOTS
52. Tire : FLAG
53. Isle near Mull : IONA
54. Strong-smelling, say : RIPE
55. Supervising : OVER
59. Pop-ups, e.g. : ADS


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7 thoughts on “0329-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 29 Mar 13, Friday”

  1. I believe the answer to 4 down should be RFDTV. I record each week on Direct TV on this channel

    Al
    Diamond Springs, CA.

  2. Hi there, Al.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. As a result, I checked online and found out that although "Larry's Country Diner" does indeed air on RFD-TV, it also airs on TNN.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Mr Butler, "Larry's Country Diner" appears only on RFD and never on TNN, which morphed into Spike, a non-Country music network a decade ago.

  4. I'm not an expert on the Nashville Network by any means, so I had to do a little research for this clue/answer. Indeed, TNN did morph into Spike in 2003 (changing from The Nashville Network to The National Network along the way). The Nashville Network was relaunched as a digital only channel at the end of 2012, and today carries "Larry's Country Diner".

    At least I think that's the case. I've never seen the show or watched the relaunched Nashville Network.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Mr. Butler, TNN has indeed relaunched, and with "Larry's Country Diner."
    I stand corrected and apologize if your ears were burning when I had trouble with this puzzle.

    Jeff
    Bonners Ferry, ID

  6. Hi there, Jeff.

    Please, no apologies. It's this kind of discussion that helps little trivial facts stick in my aging brain!

    Stop by again soon!

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