1013-11: New York Times Crossword Answers 13 Oct 11, Thursday

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: John Farmer
THEME: B-Movies … all the theme answers are well-known movies, with a “B” added to suit the wording in the clue:

18A. Film about how to win a MacArthur Fellowship? : DO THE (B)RIGHT THING
25A. Film about a biblical serpent? : (B)EAST OF EDEN
38A. Film about Ali/Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle? : (B)OUT OF AFRICA
55A. Film in which Moe, Shemp and Curly show their flexibility? : HOWARDS (B)END
62A. Film about earworms? : SINGIN’ IN THE (B)RAIN
45D. Appropriate title for this puzzle? : B MOVIES

COMPLETION TIME: 17m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across
12. Natl. economic stat : GDP
A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

18. Film about how to win a MacArthur Fellowship? : DO THE (B)RIGHT THING
“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie, released in 1989. Much of the action is centered on a local pizzeria (“Sal’s”) owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

The MacArthur Fellowship is a $500,000 award given to about 30 people every year who are deemed to show promise in any area of creative work. It is nicknamed “the Genius Award”.

21. Aoki of the P.G.A. : ISAO
Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers, now playing on the senior circuit. His best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

22. One of the 30 Dow Jones industrials : IBM
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today its most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day, including the renowned Dow Jones Industrials.

23. Ancient Anatolian land : IONIA
The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of Ancient Greece although it wasn’t a unified state, but rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia, and is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe. It is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

24. Like some drugs, briefly : OTC
Over-the-counter.

25. Film about a biblical serpent? : (B)EAST OF EDEN
According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the Land of Nod located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

“East of Eden” is a 1955 film based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Among other things, the movie is noted for being the first major role for James Dean.

33. Barq’s rival : DAD’S
Dad’s root beer was developed by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns in 1937, and was given the name “Dad’s” in honor of Klapman’s father who used to make root beer for his family at home.

When the Barq Brothers decided to go into the root beer business around 1900, they were faced with a dilemma as the Hires Root Beer Company was attempting to trademark the term “root beer”. So, the Barqs produced their beverage, calling it simply Barq’s. They did indeed keep things simple, with an early advertising slogan of “Drink Barq’s. It’s good.” As the trademark issue dissipated, the company then used introduced a slogan “Is it root beer?” before finally “coming out” and calling their drink “Barq’s root beer”.

38. Film about Ali/Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle? : (B)OUT OF AFRICA
“Out of Africa” is a Sydney Pollack film released in 1985, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The storyline is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Karen Blixen (written under the pen name Isak Dinesen).

44. Goes off script : AD LIBS
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar. For example, an actor who substitutes his own words for forgotten lines uses an ad lib, or a director may instruct an actor to use his or her own words at a particular point in a performance to promote a feeling of spontaneity.

47. Word in the names of four state capitals : CITY
There are four state capitols with “City” in their name:

– Jefferson City, Missouri
– Carson City, Nevada
– Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
– Salt Lake City, Utah

51. Viking king, 995-1000 : OLAF I
It is believed that the Norwegian King Olaf I led the conversion of the Vikings to Christianity and built the first church in the country (in 995 CE). Olaf was actually married to an Irishwoman, albeit a woman from a Viking family. Queen Gyda was the sister of the King of Dublin, Olaf Cuaran.

55. Film in which Moe, Shemp and Curly show their flexibility? : HOWARDS (B)END
“Howards End” was written by E. M. Forster. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her part in the excellent 1992 film adaptation.

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you’ll have noticed that the line up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946, and Shemp stayed with the troupe until he died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry had a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

59. Title town in a 1945 Pulitzer winner : ADANO
“A Bell for Adano” is a novel written by John Hersey, about an Italian-American US Army officer, Major Joppolo, who found a replacement for the town’s bell stolen by the fascists. It was made into a film in 1945, the same year the novel won a Pulitzer.

60. “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” subj. : SCI
“The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” is an educational, cartoon television series on PBS Kids. One of the characters in the show is The Cat in the The Hat, who is voiced by the marvelous Martin Short.

62. Film about earworms? : SINGIN’ IN THE (B)RAIN
In the movie “Singin’ in the Rain”, the wonderful, wonderful dance sequence to the title song was filmed over 2-3 days. Gene Kelly was splashing through puddles and getting rained on while all the time he was sick, with a fever of 103F.

67. Official lang. of Ghana and Grenada : ENG
The name “Ghana” means “warrior king” in the local language. The British established the colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. Right next door to the former British colony called Gold Coast, was the French “protectorate”, the Ivory Coast. One of Ghana’s most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat that served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

Grenada is an island nation in the British Commonwealth (or Commonwealth Realm, as it now called). When President Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in 1983, after a pro-communist coup, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and her government were not amused …

69. Jaipur royal : RANEE
A ranee (also spelled rani) is the female equivalent of a raja in India.

Jaipur is the capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Apparently Jaipur is a very beautiful and well-planned metropolis, known as the “Pink City”.

70. Madrid royal : REY
“Rey” is the Spanish word for “king”.

Madrid is the capital and largest city in Spain, located very close to the geographical center of the country.

72. Mushroom maker, briefly : A-TEST
There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

Down
2. Figure in a Leonardo mural : APOSTLE
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural “The Last Supper” can be seen on an end wall of the dining hall in the monastery of Santa Maris delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. If you want to see it in person, you have to make a reservation ahead of time, and once you get there, you’re only allowed 15 minutes viewing time. It’s a very, very popular tourist destination …

3. Passage of grave importance? : CATACOMB
There is a basilica in Rome called San Sebastiano fuori le mura (Saint Sebastian outside the walls), which is also known as San Sebastiano ad Catacumbas (Saint Sebastian at the Catacombs). It’s not known whether catacombs in general derive their name from this location, or whether the church took the name from an earlier term “catacombs”. However, it is known that these Roman underground passageways were the first subterranean cemeteries to be referred to as “catacombs”.

5. Heavy-metal singer Snider : DEE
Dee Snider is the frontman from the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Not my kind of music …

6. 400 list-maker : FORBES
The Forbes 400 is a list published annually by “Forbes Magazine”, a list of the 400 Americans with the largest net worth. Top of the list for the last 17 years (up to 2010) is Bill Gates. In the year 2000, the 400 wealthiest people controlled 12.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. That’s 12.2% … I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have thought of that …

8. Graffiti signature : TAG
“Graffiti” is the plural of “graffito”, the Italian for “a scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

A tag is a particular type of graffiti, usually not a picture but rather words that include the author’s name.

10. First N.L.’er to hit 500 home runs : OTT
At 5′ 9″, Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.

11. Unifying theme : MOTIF
A motif is a recurring element in an artistic work or design.

12. Good witch : GLINDA
In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Glinda is the Good Witch of the North, played by actress Billie Burke. As an aside, Burke was the wife of Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. who produced the “Ziegfeld Follies” on Broadway. As an other aside, Glinda wasn’t the Good Witch of North in the original L. Frank Baum book, but was the Good Witch of the South.

14. Heathens : PAGANS
A pagan is someone who holds religious beliefs that are different from the main religions of the world. In classical Latin “paganus” was a villager, a rustic.

26. Toni Morrison novel : SULA
Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for first coining the phrase, “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

27. Not kosher : TREF
According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is “fit” to eat, and food that is not kosher is called treif (or tref).

28. “Anna Bolena” or “Anna Nicole” : OPERA
“Anna Bolena” is an opera by Gaetano Donizetti, which tells the story of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII.

“Anna Nicole” is a relatively contemporary opera, by Mark-Anthony Turnage, first performed in 2011. It is inspired by the life of former “Playboy” model Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007 from an overdose of prescription drugs.

30. Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO
Foo Fighters is described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The original “Foo fighters” were the unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

31. Flanged fastener : T-NUT
A T-nut is so called because it has a t-shape when viewed from the side.

37. Jason of the N.B.A. : KIDD
Jason Kidd is a point guard playing for the Dallas Mavericks NBA team.

41. Progressive Field team, on scoreboards : CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest city, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

42. Stew container? : AIRPLANE
A “stew” is an airline steward (or what used to be called a “stewardess”).

45. Appropriate title for this puzzle? : B MOVIES
The term “B movie” was used to describe movies that were made with low budgets and were intended to be the bottom half of a double feature (remember the days of double features?).

46. Imitation fabric : SATINET
Satinet is a fabric that resembles satin, but it usually cheaper to produce and more durable as it is made partly from cotton or a synthetic fiber. Satinet has been around a very long time, first developed in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC.

50. Jerry who co-founded Yahoo! : YANG
Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude, unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

56. Sports no-nos, informally : ROIDS
Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known infromally as “roids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism.

65. Heat org.? : NRA
The NRA is the National Rifle Association, an organization that has been around since 1871. The group has had some celebrity presidents, including US President Ulysses S. Grant. It’s often said that the NRA is the most powerful lobbying group in Washington.

66. One piece of a two-piece : BRA
The word “brassière” is of course French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breast plate” and from there was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Darted : RACED
6. Grasp : FATHOM
12. Natl. economic stat : GDP
15. Full tilt : APACE
16. Proceeding without thinking : ON AUTO
17. Place for clover : LEA
18. Film about how to win a MacArthur Fellowship? : DO THE (B)RIGHT THING
21. Aoki of the P.G.A. : ISAO
22. One of the 30 Dow Jones industrials : IBM
23. Ancient Anatolian land : IONIA
24. Like some drugs, briefly : OTC
25. Film about a biblical serpent? : (B)EAST OF EDEN
29. Winging it? : ALOFT
32. Conspicuously consume : SLURP
33. Barq’s rival : DAD’S
34. Trouble makers : DEMONS
36. Soup vegetable : LEEK
38. Film about Ali/Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle? : (B)OUT OF AFRICA
43. Slave : TOIL
44. Goes off script : AD LIBS
47. Word in the names of four state capitals : CITY
51. Viking king, 995-1000 : OLAF I
54. Skin: Suffix : -DERMA
55. Film in which Moe, Shemp and Curly show their flexibility? : HOWARDS (B)END
58. Lobster trap : POT
59. Title town in a 1945 Pulitzer winner : ADANO
60. “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” subj. : SCI
61. Mid sixth-century year : DLVI
62. Film about earworms? : SINGIN’ IN THE BRAIN
67. Official lang. of Ghana and Grenada : ENG
68. Judicial decision : DECREE
69. Jaipur royal : RANEE
70. Madrid royal : REY
71. Vows : SWEARS
72. Mushroom maker, briefly : A-TEST

Down
1. Spot that’s never seen : RADIO AD
2. Figure in a Leonardo mural : APOSTLE
3. Passage of grave importance? : CATACOMB
4. Sound effect : ECHO
5. Heavy-metal singer Snider : DEE
6. 400 list-maker : FORBES
7. ___ magnetism : ANIMAL
8. Graffiti signature : TAG
9. “Say what?” : HUH
10. First N.L.’er to hit 500 home runs : OTT
11. Unifying theme : MOTIF
12. Good witch : GLINDA
13. Didn’t approve : DENIED
14. Heathens : PAGANS
19. One that might catch a double dribble? : BIB
20. Did some garden work : HOED
26. Toni Morrison novel : SULA
27. Not kosher : TREF
28. “Anna Bolena” or “Anna Nicole” : OPERA
30. Rock’s ___ Fighters : FOO
31. Flanged fastener : T-NUT
35. Waited in line, say : STOOD
37. Jason of the N.B.A. : KIDD
39. Art collector’s collection : OILS
40. Undesirable roll : FLAB
41. Progressive Field team, on scoreboards : CLE
42. Stew container? : AIRPLANE
45. Appropriate title for this puzzle? : B MOVIES
46. Imitation fabric : SATINET
47. Second drink at a bar : CHASER
48. Element in disinfectants : IODINE
49. Like some country music : TWANGY
50. Jerry who co-founded Yahoo! : YANG
52. Become an increasing source of irritation : FESTER
53. ” : INCHES
56. Sports no-nos, informally : ROIDS
57. Quit running : DIE
61. “Darn it!” : DRAT
63. Like ___ : NEW
64. It’s very cool : ICE
65. Heat org.? : NRA
66. One piece of a two-piece : BRA

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