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0314-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Mar 17, Tuesday





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CROSSWORD SETTER: Damon J. Gulczynski
THEME: Salad Days
Each of TODAY’S themed answers is a male actor whose family name is a type of SALAD:
58A. Youthful time in one's life ... which this puzzle might harken solvers back to? : SALAD DAYS

20A. *"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" actor, 1963 : SID CAESAR (giving “Caesar salad”)
24A. *"12 Angry Men" actor, 1957 : LEE J COBB (giving “Cobb salad”)
36A. *"Anatomy of a Murder" actor, 1959 : ORSON BEAN (giving “bean salad”)
53A. *"Road Trip" actor, 2000 : TOM GREEN (giving “green salad”)
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

4. Numbers to crunch : DATA
Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

8. Asian gambling mecca : MACAU
Macau (also “Macao”) was a Portuguese colony, the first European colony in China, which was established in the 16th century. Macau was handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. That made Macau the last European colony in China. Today Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling.

13. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a "feminist icon", and in 2006 won the "Woman of Courage Award" from National Organization of Women.

17. Asian electronics giant : NEC
NEC is the name that the Nippon Electric Company chose for itself outside of Japan after a rebranding exercise in 1983.

18. Mystery writer Marsh : NGAIO
Dame Ngaio Marsh was a crime writer from New Zealand. Marsh is known as one of the four original "Queens of Crime", namely: Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Marsh. All her novels feature her hero, a British CID detective named Roderick Alleyn.

19. Sporty car in a Beach Boys song : T-BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

When the Beach Boys formed in 1961, they were very much a family concern. Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson were three brothers, Mike Love was their cousin, and the fifth member of the band was family friend Al Jardine. Back then, the manager of the group was Murry Wilson, the father of the three Wilson brothers.

20. *"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" actor, 1963 : SID CAESAR (giving “Caesar salad”)
Sid Caesar achieved fame in the fifties on TV’s “Your Show of Shows”. To be honest, I know Sid Caesar mainly from the very entertaining film version of the musical “Grease”, in which he played Coach Calhoun.

“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” is a 1963 comedy film with quite the cast. The list of great comedic actors appearing seems to be endless and includes: Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Spencer Tracy, Terry-Thomas, Phil Silvers, Jim Backus, Jimmy Durante and Peter Falk. In addition, there were cameo appearances by Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, the Shirelles and the Three Stooges. I can’t remember any other movie with such a cast …

The Caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

24. *"12 Angry Men" actor, 1957 : LEE J COBB (giving “Cobb salad”)
Lee J. Cobb’s most famous film roles were in “12 Angry Men” released in 1957, and “On the Waterfront” released in 1954. Cobb found himself caught up in the net cast by the dreadful House Un-American Activities Committee and was blacklisted for two years as he refused to testify. Finding himself penniless and with five children to support, he eventually did appear in front of the committee and named twenty former members of the Communist Party USA, just to survive.

Ty Cobb’s first cousin, Robert H. Cobb, owned the Brown Derby chain of restaurants. One of his regular customers was the famous Sid Grauman, who ran Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Late one night, Grauman asked for a snack, and Cobb came up with a chopped salad simply made from ingredients he happened to have in the refrigerator. Grauman liked it so much that continued to request it, and the Cobb salad was born.

30. Online money transfer facilitator : PAYPAL
PayPal is an e-commerce business that has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors. The company was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion.

36. *"Anatomy of a Murder" actor, 1959 : ORSON BEAN (giving “bean salad”)
Orson Bean is an actor who is perhaps best known for his appearances on television game shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. His most famous game show role was that of a panelist on “To Tell the Truth”. Interestingly, Bean (real name Dallas Burrows) is a first cousin, twice removed, of President Calvin Coolidge.

40. "Breaking Bad" network : AMC
The AMC drama “Breaking Bad” is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money. It turns out that the teacher has a talent for making high-quality crystal meth. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as producer and writer of “The X-Files”. There is a “Breaking Bad” spin-off show running on AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. I hear that it’s pretty good …

43. It's a size larger than grande at Starbucks : VENTI
Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:
  • Demi ... 3 fl oz
  • Short ... 8 fl oz
  • Tall ... 12 fl oz
  • Grande ... 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti ... 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta ... 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

50. Shirt with straps instead of sleeves : TANK TOP
“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waist coat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

53. *"Road Trip" actor, 2000 : TOM GREEN (giving “green salad”)
Canadian comedian and actor Tom Green came to prominence as host of his own talk show that first aired on MTV in 1999. Green was briefly married to Drew Barrymore, from 2011 to 2002.

56. Rice-based Spanish dish : PAELLA
Paella is sometime referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia.

57. PC "brain" : CPU
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

58. Youthful time in one's life ... which this puzzle might harken solvers back to? : SALAD DAYS
One’s “salad days” are the days of our youth, days of carefree exuberance and idealism. The expression originated in William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” as Cleopatra refers to her youthful indiscretions saying:
…My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…

60. Did a smith's job on : SHOED
A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

62. Prized violin : AMATI
The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons, Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, they were succeeded by Girolamo's son, Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

63. D.C. ballplayer : NAT
The Washington Nationals (“The Nats”) baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

64. In and of itself : PER SE
"Per se" is a Latin phrase that translates as "by itself". We use "per se" pretty literally, meaning "in itself, intrinsically".

67. Bohemian : ARTSY
Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.

69. Dog breeder's org. : AKC
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the organization that handles registration of purebred dogs The AKC also promotes dog shows around the country including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Down
2. The tiniest bit : ONE IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word "iota" to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

3. Gesture to punctuate a great performance : MIC DROP
A “mic drop” takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …

4. Highest mountain in North America : DENALI
Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

6. Oolong and Earl Grey : TEAS
The name for the Chinese tea called "oolong" translates into English as "black dragon".

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

8. Bon ___ (witticism) : MOT
“Bon mot” translates from French as "good word". We use "bon mot" (and sometimes just "mot") to mean a quip, a witticism.

12. Amer. money : USD
The “$” sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the “$” sign.

21. Hitchcock role in almost every Hitchcock film : CAMEO
Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance in 39 of his 52 movies. My favorite, and perhaps the most innovative, is in the movie "Lifeboat". In the film, there is a limited cast, just the people in a lifeboat and no extras. Hitchcock managed to make his appearance in a print ad in a newspaper read by one of the survivors in the boat.

26. Actress ___ Pinkett Smith : JADA
Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

27. Journalist Nellie : BLY
Nellie Bly was a pen name of an American journalist whose real name was Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in "Around the World in Eighty Days". She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the "eighty days". The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman ...

29. "Micro" and "macro" subject, for short : ECON
Macroeconomics is the study of economies as a whole, rather than individual markets. Microeconomics is focused on the actions of individual entities like companies or individuals, and how these actions impact specific markets.

33. Province west of Que. : ONT
The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

34. Passing mention? : OBIT
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

37. Winnebago owner, briefly : RVER
Winnebago Industries is a company that has been manufacturing travel trailers in Forest City, Iowa since 1958. The company made its first motor home in 1966. Winnebago motor homes were very successful because they were priced so reasonably. The line was so successful that “Winnebago” entered the language as a generic term for a motor home.

39. In the buff : NAKED
Buffe leather was commonly used in the 1500s, leather taken from the original buffalo, a type of ox. This concept of “buffe” as a hide or skin led to the phrase “in the buff”, meaning “in the nude”.

40. F.B.I. employee: Abbr. : AGT
What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

46. It stores a synagogue's Torah scrolls : HOLY ARK
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word "Torah" best translates as "teaching", I am told.

51. "Superbad" producer Judd : APATOW
Judd Apatow is known for producing the TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared". Those shows aren’t my cup of tea, but he also collaborated with Lena Dunham to create the show “Girls”. I could drink that tea all day long. “Girls” is a very entertaining series …

“Superbad” is a comedy movie released in 2007. The script for the film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg started work on the script when they were just thirteen years old, with the first draft being completed by the time they were fifteen.

52. Low points : NADIRS
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. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

61. Susan of "L.A. Law" : DEY
The actress Susan Dey first appeared on “The Partridge Family” when she was 17-years-old when she had no acting experience. Years later, Dey won a Golden Globe for playing the leading role of Grace Van Owen in “L. A. Law”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pop fan? : MOM
4. Numbers to crunch : DATA
8. Asian gambling mecca : MACAU
13. Singer DiFranco : ANI
14. Water pitchers : EWERS
16. Slender woodwinds : OBOES
17. Asian electronics giant : NEC
18. Mystery writer Marsh : NGAIO
19. Sporty car in a Beach Boys song : T-BIRD
20. *"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" actor, 1963 : SID CAESAR (giving “Caesar salad”)
22. Year, south of the border : ANO
23. A pep talk might boost it : MORALE
24. *"12 Angry Men" actor, 1957 : LEE J COBB (giving “Cobb salad”)
28. Reduce to particles : ATOMIZE
30. Online money transfer facilitator : PAYPAL
31. Scruff of the neck : NAPE
32. Made bird noises : COOED
35. Pig's digs : STY
36. *"Anatomy of a Murder" actor, 1959 : ORSON BEAN (giving “bean salad”)
40. "Breaking Bad" network : AMC
43. It's a size larger than grande at Starbucks : VENTI
44. Sounds of satisfaction : AAHS
48. Like a toasted marshmallow vis-à-vis a non-toasted one : GOOIER
50. Shirt with straps instead of sleeves : TANK TOP
53. *"Road Trip" actor, 2000 : TOM GREEN (giving “green salad”)
56. Rice-based Spanish dish : PAELLA
57. PC "brain" : CPU
58. Youthful time in one's life ... which this puzzle might harken solvers back to? : SALAD DAYS
60. Did a smith's job on : SHOED
62. Prized violin : AMATI
63. D.C. ballplayer : NAT
64. In and of itself : PER SE
65. Mister, south of the border : SENOR
66. Prefix with borough : TRI-
67. Bohemian : ARTSY
68. Puts in stitches : SEWS
69. Dog breeder's org. : AKC

Down
1. One admired for his masculinity : MAN’S MAN
2. The tiniest bit : ONE IOTA
3. Gesture to punctuate a great performance : MIC DROP
4. Highest mountain in North America : DENALI
5. "What a bummer!" : AW GEEZ!
6. Oolong and Earl Grey : TEAS
7. Popular typeface : ARIAL
8. Bon ___ (witticism) : MOT
9. Monastic realm : ABBACY
10. Many washers and dryers in apartment buildings : COIN-OPS
11. Stunt pilot : AEROBAT
12. Amer. money : USD
15. Peeved : SORE
21. Hitchcock role in almost every Hitchcock film : CAMEO
25. Sporting sword : EPEE
26. Actress ___ Pinkett Smith : JADA
27. Journalist Nellie : BLY
29. "Micro" and "macro" subject, for short : ECON
33. Province west of Que. : ONT
34. Passing mention? : OBIT
37. Winnebago owner, briefly : RVER
38. Bone-dry : SERE
39. In the buff : NAKED
40. F.B.I. employee: Abbr. : AGT
41. Sponge : MOOCHER
42. Behave : COMPORT
45. 1996 Olympics site : ATLANTA
46. It stores a synagogue's Torah scrolls : HOLY ARK
47. Moving jerkily : SPASTIC
49. "Um ... O.K." : I GUESS …
51. "Superbad" producer Judd : APATOW
52. Low points : NADIRS
54. Those, to José : ESAS
55. April, May and June, for example : NAMES
59. Swimmer's assignment : LANE
60. Where you might hear 44-Across : SPA
61. Susan of "L.A. Law" : DEY


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10 comments :

Dave Kennison said...

8:48, no errors.

Tom M. said...

This was a mixed SALAD of odds and ends. Odds: TOM GREEN (unknown) and ORSON BEAN (known, but no memory of him in movie). Crosses revealed them. ANI DiFranco (known, but reluctantly misspelled as eNI because of MeNS MAN).

BruceB said...

10:05, no errors. Slowed a bit today by erasures. Entered 8A MACAO; and two write-o-graphical errors 25D EPEL and 57A PCU. Guessed at the Natick of 5D AWGEEZ (AWJEEZ)/ 18A NGAIO (NJAIO).

I remember watching Sid Caesar, and his wife, Imogene Coca, when I was a child. They were one of the cutting edge comedy teams of early black and white TV.

BruceB said...

Correction: Imogene Coca often played Sid Caesar's wife, but they were never married.

Dale Stewart said...

Two errors at the NGAIO and ARIAL cross. I put an N there. Do these MIC DROPS harm the microphone?

Anonymous said...

14:05 and three errors. This one was TOUGH for a Tuesday. LEEJCOBB doesn't just spring to mind, and causes a bit of consternation while you're trying to cross fill.

Never heard of anybody named APATOW...

This was no slam dunk!

JRH said...

I often see references to a "Natick", particularly in intersecting entries; I've looked up a definition, but don't see how the definition applies. Help?

BruceB said...

@JRH: here is the explanation from the Urban Dictionary:

A word used in crosswordese, coined by blogger Rex Parker, meaning two crossing words/clues that very, very few people would know. As an example, one clue would be "A town in the eighth mile of the Boston marathon" Answer-Natick.

Glenn said...

1 error, 26 minutes. Lot of guessing and use of crosses on the list of strange names. Ended up confusing CAESAR with CHARRISE on a guess. Oddly enough, APATOW is the only one I had any knowledge of, and ANI Difranco only because she shows up in enough other crosswords. Much much more worthy of a Thursday grid than a Tuesday one.

Glenn said...

@JRH
BruceB gets it, but basically it's (more or less) any intersection where reasonably a majority of the solving public would have to be reduced to guessing at what the letter might be. Usually if I say "guessing", I'm running into that, but "Natick" if I see the answer and still think it strange.

Such arguments lead into the whole "is using Google cheating?" discussion, wherein many constructors lay on the "No" side to answer this - unlike a lot of others (including myself) who believe that using Google or other search services doesn't prove anything and ultimately limits any utility of doing the grid at all.

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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the New York Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, as soon as I am done, usually well before the newsprint version becomes available.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at bill@paxient.com.

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Irish Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

Bill
January 29, 2009

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