0304-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 4 Mar 12, Sunday

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: David J. Kahn
THEME: Love Story … today’s theme answers provide us with a funny story, albeit an old one:

23. An elderly woman was having dinner with her husband and was … : SIPPING ON A GLASS OF WINE
38A. She said “After all these years …” : I’M STILL CRAZY ABOUT YOU
51A. Then she remarked “…” : I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU
78A. Her husband asked “…?” : DO YOU REALLY MEAN THAT?
95A. Then he asked “Or …?” : IS THAT THE WINE TALKING?
109A. The woman replied “…” : IT’S ME TALKING TO THE WINE

COMPLETION TIME: 30m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. “___ Mucho” (#1 oldie) : BESAME
“Besame Mucho” was written in 1940, by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. “Besame mucho” translates into “kiss me a lot”, and the remarkable thing is that according to Velázquez, at the time she wrote the song she had never even been kissed herself! “Besame Mucho” was just one of Jimmy Dorsey’s eleven number one hits, all from the thirties and forties.

7. Sublime, in hip-hop slang : ILL
“Ill” is hip-hop slang, meaning sublime, singularly creative. Not how I use the word …

10. Former Mercury model : CAPRI
There were three, very different generations of the Capri model made under the Mercury brand name. The Capri name was chosen as a throwback to the Lincoln Capri that was made in the 1950s. The first Mercury Capri was an import, built in Germany and sold through Mercury dealers from 1970 to 1977. The second Mercury Capri was a version of the Ford Mustang, and was sold from 1979 to 1986. The third Mercury Capri was built by Ford Australia as a rival to the successful Mazda Miata, and was imported and sold in the US from 1991 to 1994.

15. ___ Grand : MGM
MGM Grand is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, most famously the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993, and is now second largest (behind the Venetian, also in Las Vegas).

18. Dragon slayer of myth : APOLLO
The Greek deity Apollo, just four days after he was born, killed a dragon named Python that lived in Delphi.

21. Big Apple baseball name : A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding.

31. ___ polloi : HOI
“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term, literally meaning “the majority, the many”. In English it has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

32. Africa’s bygone ___ Empire : MALI
The Mali Empire reigned supreme in West Africa from about 1230 AD to about 1600 AD. Today’s Mandinka people are descended from the people of the Mali Empire.

35. Big shots they’re not : BBS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.080″ in diameter) to size FF (.23″). 0.180″ diameter birdshot is size BB, which gives its name to the air gun.

44. Squeeze (out) : EKE
To “eke out” means to “make something go further or last longer”. So, you can eke out your income by cutting back on expenses. I always have a problem with the definition that “eke out” means to “barely get by”. Close but no cigar, I say …

45. Big name in makeup : LANCOME
Lancôme Paris is a brand of makeup. Founded in 1935, the name Lancôme comes from the name of an old French castle, the Château de Lancosme.

48. Destination NW of LAX : SFO
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the maintenance hub for United Airlines, and is the principal base for Virgin America.

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field, and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA” but, when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

50. Colorful moths : IOS
The Io Moth is a colorful moth native to North America.

62. Barack Obama’s mama : ANN
Barack Obama, Sr. was first married at the age of 18 in his home country of Kenya, and had two children during that marriage. He left his wife and children back in Kenya when he enrolled in the University of Hawaii in 1959, as the school’s first African foreign student. There Obama met Ann Dunham in a Russian language course. The two entered into a romantic relationship and Dunham became pregnant. Obama told Dunham that he was divorced from his first wife (not true), and the pair were married on Maui in 1961. Six months later Barack Obama II was born, destined to be come the 44th President of the United States. Soon after the birth of their child, Ann Duham moved with their son to Seattle, Washington. The couple were divorced in 1964.

63. Jug part : EAR
I think the idea is that someone who has ears that stick out might be described unkindly as having “jug ears”.

64. Card game similar to écarté : WHIST
Whist an English card game that involves the taking of tricks. Whist is a derivative of the earlier game of Trump or Ruff that was played in the 16th century. Back in Ireland, where I come from, whist tournaments are extremely popular and are known as “whist drives”.

Écarté is a card game that comes to us from France, with a name that translates into ‘discarded”. It is a game like whist but is played with a stripped-down deck.

72. Med. plan : HMO
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).

75. St. Pete stadium, with “the” : TROP
Tropicana Field is home to the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball.

77. She, in Siena : ESSA
Siena is a beautiful city in the Tuscany region of Italy. In the center of the city is the magnificent medieval square called Piazza del Campo, a paved sloping open area made up of nine triangular sections. It has to be seen to be believed. Twice a year, the famous bareback horse-race called the Palio di Siena is held in the Piazza.

84. “Home away from home” grp. : USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

90. Hit sign : SRO
Standing Room Only (SRO).

99. Dr. Jekyll creator’s monogram : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish author, famous for his novels “Treasure Island”, “Kidnapped” and “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

101. Botanical balm : ALOE
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. These include the First Aid plant, Wand of Heaven, Silent Healer and Miracle Plant.

104. Architect Saarinen : ELIEL
Eliel Saarinen was a Finnish architect who designed entire city districts in Helsinki. He immigrated to the United States where he became famous for his art nouveau designs. He was the father of Eero Saarinen, who was to become even more renowned in America for his designs, including the Dulles International Airport terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.

108. ___ dixit : IPSE
“Ipse dixit” is Latin, meaning “he himself said it”.

116. Sci-fi film with an android named Ash : ALIEN
The 1979 sci-fi horror movie “Alien” was the big break for Sigourney Weaver as it was her first lead role, and her character ended up as central to a whole set of sequels. The movie’s producers made a very conscious decision to cast a female in the lead role so as to have the film stand out in the male-dominated genre of science fiction.

119. L.A. hours : PST
Local solar time was replaced with standard time zones due to the increasing use of rail travel and telecommunications as the variations in local solar times became somewhat inconvenient. Time zones in the US vary in hourly increments, but in some parts of the world a 30-minute or even 15-minute difference can apply.

Down
2. Perfect example : EPITOME
The more common meaning of “epitome” is a perfect example of a group, quality, type etc. “Epitome” is also another word for an abstract or summary of a book or article.

3. Skillful reasoner : SOPHIST
A sophist is someone who engages in devious argument. Originally “sophist” described a wise or learned person, but over time it has become a term of contempt. Our word “sophisticate” comes from the same Greek root.

4. Bernese ___ : ALPS
The Bernese Alps are found in Switzerland in the canton of Bern. The list of famous peaks found in the Bernese Alps includes the Jungfrau and the Eiger.

7. Like Steve Jobs, e.g. : ICONIC
Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don’t think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn’t even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that’s how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

10. Maryland, once : COLONY
The Province of Maryland was one of the original colonies that joined together in rebellion against Great Britain. The colony was named after Henrietta Maria of France, Queen Consort of King Charles I of England who was ruling at the time the colony was granted its charter.

11. Skagway locale : ALASKA
The port of Skagway is a popular stop in Alaska for cruise ships. Skagway also features in Jack London’s novella “The Call of the Wild”.

15. Gaping mouths : MAWS
“Maw” is a term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. “Maw” is also used as slang for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.

16. Gil ___, original lead role on “CSI” : GRISSOM
I’m told that the TV show “CSI” gets a lot of razzing by law enforcement professionals for its unrealistic portrayal of the procedures and science of criminal investigation. I don’t care though, as I just think it’s fun television. The original “CSI” set in Las Vegas seems to have “gone off the boil”, but the addition of Sela Ward to the cast of “CSI: NY” has really, really raised the level of the sister show centered around New York City.

17. Winner of 2009’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious” : MO’NIQUE
A king blog reader pointed out that this clue is actually wrong. Mo’Nique won her Oscar for the 2009 movie, but the Oscar was awarded in 2010.

Mo’Nique is the stage name of the comedienne and actress Monique Angela Hicks. Mo’Nique is best known these days for her Oscar-winning performance in the 2009 movie “Precious”.

32. Mazda roadster : MIATA
I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.

33. Pilgrims John and Priscilla : ALDENS
John Alden is said to have been the first person to disembark from the Mayflower and to have set foot on Plymouth Rock, in 1620. Alden himself was not a Pilgrim as such, and was a carpenter working on the Mayflower before it sailed. He apparently decided to travel with the ship at the last minute, perhaps in pursuit of the woman who would become his wife, Priscilla Mullens. Alden ended up in a love triangle with Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish, a relationship which is recounted in the Longfellow poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish”. John and Priscilla were the parents of a son, John Alden, who was later to be accused during the Salem witch trials.

34. Comedian Smirnoff : YAKOV
The Ukrainian-born comedian Yakov Pokhis is better known by his stage name, Yakov Smirnoff. Smirnoff was popular on television in the eighties, playing comedic roles with a thick Russian accent. He is a smart cookie. He earned a master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.

42. Baseball manager Ned : YOST
Ned Yost is the manager of the Kansas City Royals, and a former Major League Baseball catcher.

47. Grab bag : OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the name of the clay pot used when cooking the stew.

52. Deep border lake : TAHOE
Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

53. Board that’s disposable : EMERY
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

57. ___ Minor : URSA
Ursa Minor sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

58. Lacking depth, in brief : TWO-D
The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. A line, therefore, is one-dimensional as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. 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.

59. Cairo’s river : OHIO
The Ohio is the largest tributary of the Mississippi by volume. In fact where the two rivers meet, in Cairo, Illinois, the Ohio is actually the larger of the pair.

67. Titan’s place : SILO
Titan was a family of rockets first introduced in 1959. Titan rockets were used to launch man into space in the Gemini Program in the mid-sixties, and were also part of the American ICBM missile deterrent until the eighties.

70. Beach debris also known as rockweed : SEA OAK
What’s commonly known as sea oak in North America, we usually refer to as bladder wrack back in Ireland. It is a seaweed, one that was the original source of iodine was used to treat goitre.

73. Comic British character who rarely speaks : MR BEAN
Mr. Bean is a famous comedic character created and performed by the marvelous English comedian Rowan Atkinson.

76. J.F.K. transport : PT BOAT
PT Boats were motor torpedo boats: small speedy vessels that used torpedoes as their primary weapon against large surface ships. The “PT” stands for “Patrol Torpedo”. The most famous PT Boats that served during WWII were probably PT-41 that carried General Douglas MacArthur and his family from Corregidor to Mindanao in his escape from the Philippines, and PT-109 that was commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

79. Hops dryer : OAST
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. It might also be called an “oast house”.

80. Petunia Dursley, to Harry Potter : AUNT
Harry Potter lived with the Dursley family as a child, in the famous JK Rowling series of books. Rowling took the name of “Dursley” from a town in Gloucestershire, England that she used to visit as a child, a town that she hated.

81. Raymond’s mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” : MARIE
In the hit television show “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Raymond’s mother is Marie Barone, played by Doris Roberts.

87. Toboggan ride’s starting point : HILLTOP
“Toboggan” came into English from the French Canadian “tabagane”, the name for a long sled with a flat bottom. The French Canadian word is probably from the Algonquian word for a sled, “tobakun”,

88. Stat for Steve Nash : ASSISTS
Steve Nash is professional basketball player who plays for the Phoenix Suns. Nash is from Canada, although he was actually born in South Africa. He became the first NBA player to carry the Olympic torch and light the Olympic cauldron, which he did at the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada.

89. When to tour Tours? : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) in the city of Tours in France.

Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. It is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country, and when spoken by a local it is also said to be free of any accent.

91. Knievel feat : STUNT
Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted Hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. He eventually passed away in 2007.

97. Musical star Paige who played the original Evita : ELAINE
The English singer and actress Elaine Paige got her big break in musical theater when she was cast at the original Eva Perón in the first production of “Evita”. She was also the first to play Grizabella in “Cats”, giving her a top ten hit with the song “Memory”. She paired up with Barbara Dickson in the musical “Chess” and together released the single “I Know Him So Well”, which is the biggest-selling record in history by a female duo.

98. 1994 biopic : ED WOOD
Ed Wood was a screen writer, director, producer and actor who made a lot of low-budget films during the 1950s. He worked a lot with the actor Bela Lugosi and, when Lugosi passed away, the popularity of Wood’s film died off with his star. Tim Burton made a biopic about the life and career of Ed Wood that was released in 1994, a movie that was simply called, “Ed Wood”.

107. ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
Germany first became a country of its own in 1871 when the Princes of the various independent German states met at Versailles outside Paris to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as the Emperor of the German Empire. The man behind this historic development was Wilhelm’s Ministerpräsident, Otto von Bismarck. Von Bismarck was a powerful figure in Prussia and indeed on the world stage, earning him the nickname of the “Iron Chancellor”.

112. Game cry : GIN
Gin rummy is a variant of the slower game of standard rummy and was introduced in 1909 by Elwood Baker and his son.

114. Australian runner : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formation and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “___ Mucho” (#1 oldie) : BESAME
7. Sublime, in hip-hop slang : ILL
10. Former Mercury model : CAPRI
15. ___ Grand : MGM
18. Dragon slayer of myth : APOLLO
19. Stick on a table : CUE
20. Prayer opener : O, LORD
21. Big Apple baseball name : A-ROD
23. An elderly woman was having dinner with her husband and was … : SIPPING ON A GLASS OF WINE
27. Biblical verb endings : -ETHS
28. Pen pal? : INK
29. At sea : LOST
30. Guilty ___ : AS SIN
31. ___ polloi : HOI
32. Africa’s bygone ___ Empire : MALI
34. Big tug : YANK
35. Big shots they’re not : BBS
37. Geom. shapes : SQS
38. She said “After all these years …” : I’M STILL CRAZY ABOUT YOU
43. Foursomes : TETRADS
44. Squeeze (out) : EKE
45. Big name in makeup : LANCOME
46. Supped : ATE
47. Spanish bear : OSO
48. Destination NW of LAX : SFO
50. Colorful moths : IOS
51. Then she remarked “…” : I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU
58. Clock sound : TOCK
60. Verbalized : SAID
61. Be sociable, say : MIX
62. Barack Obama’s mama : ANN
63. Jug part : EAR
64. Card game similar to écarté : WHIST
66. Domestic : HOUSEMAID
69. Old despots : TSARS
71. Bribe : OIL
72. Med. plan : HMO
74. ___ kiss : AIR
75. St. Pete stadium, with “the” : TROP
77. She, in Siena : ESSA
78. Her husband asked “…?” : DO YOU REALLY MEAN THAT?
83. Diplomat: Abbr. : AMB
84. “Home away from home” grp. : USO
85. Halftime staples : ADS
86. Game cry : BOO
87. One whose star is dimmed : HAS BEEN
90. Hit sign : SRO
91. Places to find people lying : SOLARIA
95. Then he asked “Or …?” : IS THAT THE WINE TALKING?
99. Dr. Jekyll creator’s monogram : RLS
100. Single : ONE
101. Botanical balm : ALOE
102. Word with free or bound : DUTY
103. Average : PAR
104. Architect Saarinen : ELIEL
106. Reminder of a sort : SCAR
107. Have : OWN
108. ___ dixit : IPSE
109. The woman replied “…” : IT’S ME TALKING TO THE WINE
115. Terse denial : NOT I
116. Sci-fi film with an android named Ash : ALIEN
117. “What am ___ do?” : I TO
118. “As good as done” : I’M ON IT
119. L.A. hours : PST
120. Man with a mission, maybe : PADRE
121. Go-ahead : NOD
122. Serenaded : SUNG TO

Down
1. Single, say : BASE HIT
2. Perfect example : EPITOME
3. Skillful reasoner : SOPHIST
4. Bernese ___ : ALPS
5. Mid 11th-century year : MLI
6. Long stretch : EON
7. Like Steve Jobs, e.g. : ICONIC
8. Blockhead : LUNK
9. Grazing ground : LEA
10. Maryland, once : COLONY
11. Skagway locale : ALASKA
12. Blogger’s bit : POST
13. They make 39-Down: Abbr. : RRS
14. Courtroom words : I DO
15. Gaping mouths : MAWS
16. Gil ___, original lead role on “CSI” : GRISSOM
17. Winner of 2009’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious” : MONIQUE
22. Places to relax : DENS
24. Underwater breathing aids : GILLS
25. Smooth finish : GLAZE
26. Quick end to a boxing match? : FAST COUNT
32. Mazda roadster : MIATA
33. Pilgrims John and Priscilla : ALDENS
34. Comedian Smirnoff : YAKOV
35. It’s a wrap : BOA
36. Toe woe : BUNION
39. They sometimes divide neighborhoods : TRACKS
40. Some royalties : RESIDUALS
41. Printing problem : BLOT
42. Baseball manager Ned : YOST
47. Grab bag : OLIO
48. Make some waves : SWIM
49. Obsessed about : FIXATED ON
51. With no warmth : ICILY
52. Deep border lake : TAHOE
53. Board that’s disposable : EMERY
54. Sported : HAD ON
55. Alcohol producer : YEAST
56. Dinghy duo : OARS
57. ___ Minor : URSA
58. Lacking depth, in brief : TWO-D
59. Cairo’s river : OHIO
65. Bowling ball feature : THUMB HOLE
67. Titan’s place : SILO
68. Portfolio options, for short : IRAS
70. Beach debris also known as rockweed : SEA OAK
73. Comic British character who rarely speaks : MR BEAN
76. J.F.K. transport : PT BOAT
79. Hops dryer : OAST
80. Petunia Dursley, to Harry Potter : AUNT
81. Raymond’s mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” : MARIE
82. Christmas decoration : HOLLY
87. Toboggan ride’s starting point : HILLTOP
88. Stat for Steve Nash : ASSISTS
89. When to tour Tours? : ETE
90. Like 14-Down : SWORN
91. Knievel feat : STUNT
92. Lacing (into) : RIPPING
93. Perturbed : IN A SNIT
94. Sign off on : AGREE TO
96. Virus carrier, maybe : HACKER
97. Musical star Paige who played the original Evita : ELAINE
98. 1994 biopic : ED WOOD
99. Pull (in) : REIN
105. Let out : EMIT
106. Declined a bit : SLID
107. ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
108. Game cry : I WON
110. Select : TAP
111. ___ française : A LA
112. Game cry : GIN
113. How-dos : HIS
114. Australian runner : EMU

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