0328-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 28 Mar 11, Monday

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: Robyn Weintraub
THEME: CHIPS … all the theme answers are items that may have CHIPS:

18A. Much-used dinnerware : OLD DISHES
27A. Centers of casino action : POKER TABLES
46A. Places to drink and play darts : BRITISH PUBS
60A. They’re shrugged : SHOULDERS

COMPLETION TIME: 7m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
Graphique de France Pisa Glitz, Leaning Tower of Pisa Purse Notes, 3 x 4 Inches, Multi-Colored Cover Design (PN203)1. Pisa has a leaning one : TOWER
Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

6. Landlocked African country : MALI
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. The country’s most famous city is … Timbuktu …

Original Photograph Alan Ladd In Black And White15. With 8-Down, “Shane” star : ALAN
(8. See 15-Across : LADD)
The classic 1953 western movie called “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949.

Alan Ladd had a rough end to his life. In 1962 he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest after an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

16. Zenith : ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.

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.

17. Expert : MAVEN
I’ve always loved the word “maven”, another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn”, someone who understands (at least I think it is).

JIMMY CARTER 8x10 COLOR PHOTO23. Disaster preparedness org. : FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

Apple iMac MC508LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop33. Apple computer : IMAC
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple, introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is that it is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.

43. Scottish caps : TAMS
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. They were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as dyes became more available, they became more colorful. The name tam o’shanter comes from the title character of Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

48. Spanish discoverer of the Pacific, 1513 : BALBOA
Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, the man who led the 1513 expedition across the Isthmus of Panama to become the first European to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean. On reaching the ocean, Balboa walked into the water up to his knees, raised his sword and an image of the Virgin Mary, and claimed possession of the ocean (that he named the South Sea) and all adjoining lands in the name of the king and queen of Spain.

Nothing But The Best55. 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven” or 2010’s “The Karate Kid” : REMAKE
“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead.

Ralph Macchio Signed Photo GAI CertifiedThe 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher.

64. Diplomat Annan : KOFI
Kofi Annan is the diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree.

Down
4. Genesis garden : EDEN
According to the Book Of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Biography - Mao Tse Tung: China's Peasant Emperor6. China’s ___ Zedong : MAO
Mao Zedong was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As he was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsa, the provincial capital. In the years following he continued his education in Beijing, and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

11. Yellowish shade : OCHRE
Ochre is often spelled “ocher” in the US (it’s ochre where I come from). Ocher is a light, yellowy brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible, such as red ocher and purple ocher.

12. Alpha’s opposite : OMEGA
Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron meaning “little O” (O-micron).

Die Hard with a Vengeance19. St. ___, place in a children’s rhyme : IVES
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.

24. Tiki bar order : MAI TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but it was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice, and then a float of 6 parts dark rum.

25. Defensive weapon, for short : ABM
An ABM is an anti-ballistic missile, a rocket designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile (as one might expect from the name). A ballistic missile, as opposed to a cruise missile, is guided during the initial launch phase but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity (hence “ballistic”) to arrive at its target. As an aside, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 3,500 miles.

Francisco Pizarro Portrait in Full Armor Giclee Poster Print, 18x2427. Land conquered by Conquistadors : PERU
Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire, and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

28. Yoked pair : OXEN
A yoke is that wooden beam used between a pair of oxen so that they are forced to work together.

29. English pirate captain : KIDD
The Scottish privateer, Captain William Kidd, came to a pretty awful end. After being found guilty of capital crimes by the English Parliament he was sentenced to death by hanging. He was bought to Execution Dock in London where he was hung, twice. The first attempt to hang him failed when the rope broke. The second attempt was “successful”, and then his body was suspended over the River Thames in an iron cage as a warning to would-be pirates. His body was left on display for twenty years.

The Original Tickle Me Elmo30. Tickle Me ___ : ELMO
Tickle Me Elmo was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.

Lassie - 50th Anniversary TV Collection31. TV collie : LASSIE
We owe the character Lassie to one Eric Knight who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home”, published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal, a male dog. In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

35. Ballerina’s skirt : TUTU
The word “tutu”, a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word for “cul” meaning the “bottom, backside”.

36. Bedouin, e.g. : ARAB
Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominately live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

Dippity Do Sport Gel Ultimate 9 Alcohol Free 16 oz37. Dippity-do and others : GELS
Dippity-do is a hair gel, popular in the fifties and sixties. It was usually applied before hair was put in curlers. If you want a retro experience, it’s still available today. My days of curlers are long gone …

Theodore Rex (Modern Library Paperbacks)41. Part of N.C.A.A. : ATHLETIC
The National Collegiate Athletic Association dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When President Roosevelt’s son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions, leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States in 1906 with the remit of regulating college sports. The IAUSS evolved into the NCAA in 1910.

44. “Yo! ___ Raps” : MTV
“Yo! MTV Raps” is a 2-hour music video program that ran from 1988 to 1999 (although in its latter years it was known simply as “Yo!”

46. Heat to 212° : BOIL
When Gabriel Fahrenheit first defined his temperature scale he set 0 degrees as the temperature of a mixture ice, water and salt. He defined 100 degrees as the temperature under his wife’s armpit! Using this scale he determined that water boiled at 210 degrees. Later refinements moved the boiling point of water up to 212 degrees, and as a result “body temperature” was shifted downwards to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Famous Authors: Sir Walter Scott47. Title for Walter Scott : SIR
Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist and playwright, the first English-language author to gain popularity around the world during his own lifetime. The more famous of his works are “Ivanhoe”, “Rob Roy” and “The Lady of the Lake”.

49. Kind of committee : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.

Upper Canada Large Earth Tone Loofah Bath Sponge, Tone-6 (Pack of 6)50. Natural scrubber : LOOFA
I knew that real sponges came from the sea (I’m a SCUBA diver, for my sins) and I kind of knew that real loofahs were natural too, but not the specifics. The loofah (also loofa, lufah and luffa, all Arabic words) is a vine, with fruit that’s very popular in Asia and Africa. If the fruit is allowed to mature, it can be processed to remove everything but the more rigid xylem structure (remember your high school botany class?) leaving a soft, sponge-like mass that is used as a skin polisher.

51. Boston N.H.L.’er : BRUIN
The Boston Bruins professional ice hockey team goes way back, and has been in existence since 1924. The National Hockey League back then was a Canadian-only league, but was expanded to include the US in 1923. The Bruins were the first US-team in the expanded league.

54. Chromosome part : GENE
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color. We have two copies of each gene, one copy from each of our parents, with each called an allele. An allele may be dominant or recessive, and it requires a pair of recessive alleles for the recessive characteristic to be expressed (like blue eye color for example). If one parent donates a dominant allele, and one a recessive allele, then the recessive characteristic is repressed, dominated. No blue eyes then …

57. Prefix with disestablishmentarianism : ANTI-
Disestablishment is the process by which a church is removed from a privileged position, creating a secular state. Opponents to such a move, supporters of retaining an established church, are known as antidisestablishmentarians. “Antidisestablishmentarianism” is one of the longest words in the English language.

Koop: The memoirs of America's family doctor58. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP
C. Everett Koop was the Surgeon General from 1982-89, appointed by President Reagan. Koop was a somewhat controversial character and one who brought the position of Surgeon General into the spotlight more than was historically the case. Partly this was due to his pro-life position, he is anti-tobacco stance and the fact that AIDS became a prominent issue while he was in office.

59. Cupid, to the Greeks : EROS
As always seems to be the case, the Greek gods Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, but Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Pisa has a leaning one : TOWER
6. Landlocked African country : MALI
10. Numbskull : BOOB
14. Wear away : ERODE
15. With 8-Down, “Shane” star : ALAN
16. Zenith : ACME
17. Expert : MAVEN
18. Much-used dinnerware : OLD DISHES
20. More than sufficient : PLENTY
22. Branch off : DIVERGE
23. Disaster preparedness org. : FEMA
26. Move to another location, as in a restaurant : RESEAT
27. Centers of casino action : POKER TABLES
32. Force out of the country : EXILE
33. Apple computer : IMAC
34. Fawn’s father : STAG
38. Food thrown to lions : RED MEAT
40. Height : STATURE
42. Control+Z on a PC : UNDO
43. Scottish caps : TAMS
45. Add up : TOTAL
46. Places to drink and play darts : BRITISH PUBS
48. Spanish discoverer of the Pacific, 1513 : BALBOA
52. It may be lifted at a wedding : VEIL
53. Loving : ADORING
55. 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven” or 2010’s “The Karate Kid” : REMAKE
60. They’re shrugged : SHOULDERS
63. Voice below alto : TENOR
64. Diplomat Annan : KOFI
65. Fairy tale starter : ONCE
66. Playground retort : IS TOO
67. Copiers do it : SCAN
68. Black-hearted : MEAN
69. Things that 18-, 27-, 46- and 60-Across may have : CHIPS

Down
1. It may be measured in F. or C. : TEMP
2. Spoken : ORAL
3. Used a loom : WOVE
4. Genesis garden : EDEN
5. Like living with Mom and Dad, perhaps : RENT-FREE
6. China’s ___ Zedong : MAO
7. Completely : ALL
8. See 15-Across : LADD
9. Not as the crow flies : INDIRECT
10. First, second, third and home : BASES
11. Yellowish shade : OCHRE
12. Alpha’s opposite : OMEGA
13. Assail : BESET
19. St. ___, place in a children’s rhyme : IVES
21. “You ain’t seen nothin’ ___!” : YET
24. Tiki bar order : MAI TAI
25. Defensive weapon, for short : ABM
27. Land conquered by Conquistadors : PERU
28. Yoked pair : OXEN
29. English pirate captain : KIDD
30. Tickle Me ___ : ELMO
31. TV collie : LASSIE
34. “Freeze!” : STOP
35. Ballerina’s skirt : TUTU
36. Bedouin, e.g. : ARAB
37. Dippity-do and others : GELS
39. Haphazardly : AT RANDOM
41. Part of N.C.A.A. : ATHLETIC
44. “Yo! ___ Raps” : MTV
46. Heat to 212° : BOIL
47. Title for Walter Scott : SIR
48. Lies in the sun : BASKS
49. Kind of committee : AD HOC
50. Natural scrubber : LOOFA
51. Boston N.H.L.’er : BRUIN
54. Chromosome part : GENE
56. Fit together : MESH
57. Prefix with disestablishmentarianism : ANTI-
58. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP
59. Cupid, to the Greeks : EROS
61. Zenith competitor : RCA
62. U.S. legislator with a six-yr. term : SEN

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