0403-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 13, Wednesday

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: Gary Cee
THEME: Action in the Ballpark … today’s themed answers end with words giving some good advice for a baseball player:

17A. Sign of bipolar disorder : MOOD SWING
26A. Tune in a D.J.’s rotation : TOP TEN HIT
37A. 1981 Burt Reynolds movie, with “The” : CANNONBALL RUN
53A. Electoral college blowout : LANDSLIDE
62A. Start of a Lincoln address : FOUR SCORE

COMPLETION TIME: 13m 18s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … MIKA (Mila), SKEW (slew!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Call from the flock : AMEN
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

5. Jack of “Dragnet” : WEBB
Jack Webb played Sergeant Joe Friday on “Dragnet” on both TV and radio … and what a voice he had! Off the screen Webb was a lover of jazz, and he played the cornet. It was within the world of jazz that he met and fell in love with Julie London, the famous singer with “the smoky voice”. The couple married and had two kids together.

“Dragnet” was a very successful police drama that developed into quite a franchise. The show started out on radio in 1949, and then also ran on television from 1952. There were even a couple of movies. Star of the show, and the producer, was Jack Webb who played Sgt. Joe Friday.

14. Tamboura player’s music : RAGA
Raga isn’t really a type of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners).

A tamboura is a stringed instrument with a long neck that is commonly played in Southern and Central Asia.

15. Asia’s Trans ___ Range : ALAI
The Trans-Alay (also “Trans Alai”) range is in the Pamir Mountains lying between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The highest point in the range is called Lenin peak.

17. Sign of bipolar disorder : MOOD SWING
The mood disorder that we know today as bipolar disorder used to to known as manic depression.

19. Minotaur’s island : CRETE
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

20. Brzezinski of MSNBC : MIKA
Mika Brzezinski is a journalist and television host from New York City. Mika is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. Ms. Brzezinski made a marvelous on-air protest against trivial journalism in 2007 on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe”. Producers placed a gossip piece about Paris Hilton as the top story for her to read during her news segment, over a story about Republican Senator Richard Lugar speaking out against President Bush on the Iraq War. Believing the Hilton piece to be trivial journalism, Brzezinski tore up story on air, tried to set it afire and eventually placed it in a shredder. Well done, I say …

23. ___ kwon do : TAE
Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. “Tae” means “to strike or break with foot”; “kwon” means “to strike or break with fist”; “do” means “way” or “art”. Along with judo, taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.

24. Place for a rim shot : SNARE
Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (called snares) stretched across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

A rimshot is a sound made when a drummer hits the head of a drum and the rim at the same time.

26. Tune in a D.J.’s rotation : TOP TEN HIT
The world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

28. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” : HAN
Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

29. Cabinet department until 1947 : WAR
The US Department of War was established by Congress in 1789, soon after George Washington was made President of the United States. The War Department continued as part of the cabinet until after WWII, then in 1947 was broken up into the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. These two new departments were combined with the already-existing Department of the Navy in 1949 to form the Department of Defense.

31. Radio’s “The Lone Ranger” and others : SERIALS
“The Lone Ranger” was both a radio and television show, dating back to its first radio performance in 1933 on a Detroit station. The line “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” was a device used in the storyline to signal that a riding sequence was starting, so cue the music!

32. Put-in-Bay’s lake : ERIE
Put-in-Bay, Ohio is a village on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The village’s name comes from the old name for the harbor around which a settlement developed, namely “Pudding Bay”. The Pudding Bay name was likely chosen as the bay is shaped like a pudding sack. Put-in-Bay is home to Crystal Cave, the world’s largest geode.

34. Listing in a table alphabétique : NOM
In French, a name (nom) might be listed in an alphabetical table (table alphabétique).

36. Badminton call : LET
The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, giving it the name that we now use.

37. 1981 Burt Reynolds movie, with “The” : CANNONBALL RUN
“The Cannonball Run” and “The Gumball Rally” are a pair of movies inspired the by the real-life Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. The “Dash” was a less-than-legal race run four times in the seventies using public highways to get from the east to the west coast. “Cannonball Run” was an action film, whereas “The Gumball Rally” is more of a comedy.

42. One of the DiMaggios : DOM
Dom DiMaggio was the younger of three brothers who played professional baseball, the others being Joe and Vince. All three brothers were major league center fielders. Dom was a small and wiry man for a baseball player, and wore eyeglass. As a result, his nickname was “The Little Professor”.

44. Key opening? : O SAY
“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” us the opening line of “The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

46. Place for weapons : ARSENAL
Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

53. Electoral college blowout : LANDSLIDE
The United States is unique in that it elects the head of state using an electoral college, as opposed to a direct popular election. It has been argued that the original intent by the Framers of the Constitution was for the Electoral College to nominate candidates for the positions of President and Vice President based on popular vote, and then Congress would decide on which candidates would take office. This intent would have been more in line with elections for head of state in other countries. But it doesn’t work that way, as we well know …

55. El Misti’s range : ANDES
The Andes is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the range is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

El Misti is a volcano also known as Guaga-Putina that lies in Southern Peru near the city of Arequipa.

57. General on Chinese menus : TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

60. Nut with a cupule : ACORN
A cupule is that “cup” on the base of the acorn, in which the nut sits.

62. Start of a Lincoln address : FOUR SCORE
I visited Gettysburg for the first time in 2010, and goodness me what a moving place that is. As I discovered on my visit, there are five known copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and all of them differ in some way or another, so I suppose the exact words spoken will never be known. Martin Luther King Jr. evoked Abraham Lincoln’s words in another of America’s iconic addresses, his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lincoln’s speech began with “Four score and seven years ago …”, and King’s speech began with “Five score years ago …” as a nod to the Gettysburg Address.

68. Double-decker checker : KING
In the game of checkers, when a “man” reaches the other side of the board, it is promoted to “king”.

“Checkers” is yet another word that I had to learn moving across the Atlantic. In Ireland the game is called draughts.

Down
1. Mechanical “bandit” feature : ARM
Slot machines earned the nickname “one-armed bandits” simply because they had “one arm”, the handle pulled to operate the machine, and they robbed you of all your money like bandits!

2. Little Red Book author : MAO
During China’s Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party published a book of statements and writings from Chairman Mao Zedong. Here in the West the publication is usually referred to as “The Little Red Book”.

3. Prima donna’s problem : EGOMANIA
The Italian operatic term “prima donna” is used for the lead female singer in an opera company. “Prima donna” translates from Italian as “first lady”. The lead male singer is known as the “primo uomo”. The term “prima donna assoluta” is reserved for a prima donna who is generally accepted as being an outstanding performer. We tend to use “prima donna” for a female performer who has an inflated ego.

4. Rock bottom : NADIR
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith.

5. Tot’s glassful : WAWA
A thirsty young child might ask for “wawa”, meaning “water”.

6. “The Book of ___” (2010 film) : ELI
2010’s “The Book of Eli” is one of those “end of the world” type movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

7. Monopoly railroad : B AND O
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) was one of the oldest in the country. Construction started on the railroad in 1828 in order to offer a method of transportation inland from Baltimore. This was deemed necessary as the port city was losing business to New York City after the completion of the Erie Canal (which cheaply and efficiently moved goods inland).

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

8. Kudos, in street slang : BIG UPS
Our word “kudos” is used to acclaim an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is not a plural, despite a common misapprehension. “Kudos” is a singular noun derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

Someone using slang might say “I want to give ‘big ups’ to my friends” meaning I want to give full credit and respect. “Big ups” is slang that originated in Jamaica in the 1980s.

9. Holy fish? : MACKEREL
Holy mackerel!

11. Queen of Soul, familiarly : ARETHA
I think Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

12. Manx cat trait : NO TAIL
I’ve seen Manx cats by the dozen on their native island. They’re found all over the Isle of Man (hence the name “Manx”) located in the middle of the Irish Sea. Manx cats have no tails, they really don’t …

13. 140-characters-or-fewer messages : TWEETS
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that limits any post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send out much of interest using just 140 characters. I believe that many people who do tweet tend to send out messages like “I’m at dinner now. I am having sushi” and “There’s nothing on TV. I’m bored”. Nope, I don’t think so!

25. Undercover cop, perhaps : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated illegal drugs.

26. Suffix with Jumbo or beta : -TRON
A JumboTron is a big-screen television system from Sony, often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

A betatron is machine that’s used to produce electrons. The name betatron comes from “beta particles”, electrons emitted by some radioactive nuclei.

27. Dynamite component, briefly : NITRO
Nitroglycerin (also known as “nitro”) is a very unstable, oily, colorless liquid. It is usually used as the explosive ingredient in a stabilized product like dynamite or cordite. Nitroglycerin is also used medically, as a vasodilator. Right after it hits the bloodstream is causes the blood vessels to dilate to that the heart has less work to do. I had occasion to take it a couple of times, and boy, what a speedy and fundamental effect it has.

33. Put the kibosh on : ENDED
“Kibosh” is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

35. Deg. earned by just one U.S. president : MBA
President George W. Bush graduated from Yale with an A.B. in history in 1968. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. President Bush is the only person with an MBA to have held the nation’s highest office.

41. Cathedral area : NAVE
In large, Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, where most of the faithful are seated.

47. Alfalfa or Buckwheat : RASCAL
Alfalfa was one Hollywood’s “Little Rascals”, also known as “Our Gang”. Alfalfa’s real name was Carl Switzer. He and his brother were quite the young performers around his hometown in Illinois, singing and playing instruments. On a trip to California, the Switzer family were touring the Hal Roach movie studio and were fooling around in the studio cafeteria, basically giving an impromptu performance. Hal Roach happened to be there at the time, and signed both brothers up for roles in “Our Gang”. Carl was to play “Alfalfa”, and brother Harold played “Slim” (aka “Deadpan”).

Buckwheat was one of moviedom’s “Little Rascals”, also known as “Our Gang”. Buckwheat was played by Billie Thomas, a child actor from Los Angeles.

48. “Jersey Shore” nickname : SNOOKI
Nicole Polizzi is quite the celebrity, known by her nickname of Snooki on the MTV reality television show “Jersey Shore”. Polizzi gets her nickname from the character Snooki in the film “Save the Last Dance”, a nickname she was given in middle school because she was the first in her group of friends to kiss a boy.

54. Predator ___ : DRONE
The Predator is a model of unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the military that’s usually referred to as a drone. The Predator is built by defense contractor General Atomics in San Diego, California.

59. Totally get, in slang : GROK
“To grok” is to understand, a slang word really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined the term in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

61. Michael Stipe’s band : REM
Michael Stipe was the lead vocalist for the band R.E.M. that was active from 1980 through 2011.

R.E.M. was a rock band from Athens, Georgia formed in 1980. The name “R.E.M.” was chosen randomly from a dictionary, apparently.

63. Beehive State tribesman : UTE
The Ute is a group of Native American tribes that now resides in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag.

64. Genetic inits. : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Call from the flock : AMEN
5. Jack of “Dragnet” : WEBB
9. Not accidental : MEANT
14. Tamboura player’s music : RAGA
15. Asia’s Trans ___ Range : ALAI
16. One of a keyboard quartet : ARROW
17. Sign of bipolar disorder : MOOD SWING
19. Minotaur’s island : CRETE
20. Brzezinski of MSNBC : MIKA
21. When car headlights get turned on : DUSK
23. ___ kwon do : TAE
24. Place for a rim shot : SNARE
26. Tune in a D.J.’s rotation : TOP TEN HIT
28. ___ Solo of “Star Wars” : HAN
29. Cabinet department until 1947 : WAR
31. Radio’s “The Lone Ranger” and others : SERIALS
32. Put-in-Bay’s lake : ERIE
34. Listing in a table alphabétique : NOM
36. Badminton call : LET
37. 1981 Burt Reynolds movie, with “The” : CANNONBALL RUN
42. One of the DiMaggios : DOM
43. Part of many a dish’s name : A LA
44. Key opening? : O SAY
46. Place for weapons : ARSENAL
50. Poet’s planet : ORB
52. Time to revel : EVE
53. Electoral college blowout : LANDSLIDE
55. El Misti’s range : ANDES
57. General on Chinese menus : TSO
58. Leering sort : EYER
59. Stick-to-it-iveness : GRIT
60. Nut with a cupule : ACORN
62. Start of a Lincoln address : FOUR SCORE
66. Ground crew gear : RAKES
67. Not fooled by : ONTO
68. Double-decker checker : KING
69. Lowlife : SLIME
70. Need a bath badly : REEK
71. Like bachelor parties : STAG

Down
1. Mechanical “bandit” feature : ARM
2. Little Red Book author : MAO
3. Prima donna’s problem : EGOMANIA
4. Rock bottom : NADIR
5. Tot’s glassful : WAWA
6. “The Book of ___” (2010 film) : ELI
7. Monopoly railroad : B AND O
8. Kudos, in street slang : BIG UPS
9. Holy fish? : MACKEREL
10. Mess up : ERR
11. Queen of Soul, familiarly : ARETHA
12. Manx cat trait : NO TAIL
13. 140-characters-or-fewer messages : TWEETS
18. Slant : SKEW
22. First-rate : STELLAR
24. ___-wolf : SHE
25. Undercover cop, perhaps : NARC
26. Suffix with Jumbo or beta : -TRON
27. Dynamite component, briefly : NITRO
30. Deviation from the norm : ANOMALY
33. Put the kibosh on : ENDED
35. Deg. earned by just one U.S. president : MBA
38. Gobbledygook : NONSENSE
39. Bath gel ingredient : ALOE
40. No longer bothered by something : USED TO IT
41. Cathedral area : NAVE
45. “Right you are!” : YES!
46. Places for priests : ALTARS
47. Alfalfa or Buckwheat : RASCAL
48. “Jersey Shore” nickname : SNOOKI
49. Help by confirming an alibi, say : LIE FOR
51. Places for shots : BARS
54. Predator ___ : DRONE
56. Shaving mishaps : NICKS
59. Totally get, in slang : GROK
61. Michael Stipe’s band : REM
63. Beehive State tribesman : UTE
64. Genetic inits. : RNA
65. Deviled ___ : EGG


Return to top of page

The Best of the New York Times Crossword Collections
Amazon.com Widgets

4 thoughts on “0403-13 New York Times Crossword Answers 3 Apr 13, Wednesday”

  1. Mika Brzezinski — I had no idea about this incident. That's awesome. I went to Youtube to find the clip. Again.. AWESOME.

    You know a little too much about Snooki….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.