0323-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 23 Mar 12, Friday

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: Steven Riley
THEME: None
COMPLETION TIME: 15m 47s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
17. Evers of civil rights : MEDGAR
Medgar Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was assassinated by the Klu Klux Klan in 1963. A year after the murder, one Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the crime. Two trials failed to return a decision on Beckwith’s guilt as the juries, composed completely of white males, deadlocked both times. New evidence was unearthed some thirty years later so Beckwith could be retried and he was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. Back in 1963 Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Evers had served in the US Army in France during WWII and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

21. A.L. East team, on scoreboards : BOS
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.

23. Old Norse work : EDDA
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology.

25. United entities before 1991: Abbr. : SSRS
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics.

26. “Get Smart” enemy agency : KAOS
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. It was on the air from 1965 to 1970. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

27. 2008 Israeli political biography : GOLDA
Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before the term came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921 when she was in her twenties. She had been active in politics in the US and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the State of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country she had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

28. Beater of a full boat in poker : QUADS
In poker a full house is also called a “full boat”, and four of a kind is also called “quads”.

34. C6H6 : BENZENE
Benzene is a remarkable chemical compound, from a molecular standpoint anyway. It is made up of six carbon atoms arranged in a ring, with one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon. Benzene is a significant component of gasoline, and is also very carcinogenic.

36. “The Godfather” enforcer who “sleeps with the fishes” : BRASI
Luca Brasi is one of Don Corleone’s most loyal “enforcers” in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. In the big screen adaptation, Luca Brasi is played by ex-wrestler and professional bodyguard, Lenny Montana. The role launched a very successful television character-acting career for Montana.

38. Providers of inside looks? : MRIS
A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful causing damage that is cumulative over time. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

39. “Minnie the Moocher” feature : SCAT
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

“Minnnie the Moocher” is a jazz number, first recorded by Cab Calloway in 1931. The song is famous from having “scat” lyrics, nonsense syllables such as “Hi de hi de hi de hi”. In live performances of the song, Calloway would make up nonsense lines and have the audience repeat them. The result was usually pretty funny as each line became more and more complex.

43. Archer of film : ANNE
Anne Archer is an American actress, a native of Los Angeles and the daughter of actors Marjorie Lord (co-star in “The Danny Thomas Show”) and John Archer. Anne’s most famous role was in 1987’s “Fatal Attraction” in which she played the wronged wife. She also played the wife of Jack Ryan in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”.

46. End of a line in England : ZED
The letter named “zed” has been around since about 1400, and it derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of “zee”, used in America today, first popped up in the 1670s.

47. Hit MTV series starting in 2009 : JERSEY SHORE
“Jersey Shore” is yet another reality TV series, on MTV. The first season featured a group of eight friends sharing a house on the Jersey shore, and the second season had the same cadre warming themselves in a house down in Miami.

53. Vronsky’s love : KARENINA
I have to admit to not having read Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett.

54. Stoolies, often : NAMERS
Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer.

56. 1993 rap hit in which Snoop Doggy Dogg popularized the term “bootylicious” : DRE DAY
“Dre Day” is the cleaned-up name for a 1993 single released by rap artist Dr. Dre, with a guest appearance by Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. He is perhaps as well known for his own singing career as he is for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent.

The rap star Snoop Dogg’s real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus. He is the most famous protege of the notorious rapper Dr. Dre. Sadly, Snoop Dogg has had numerous run-ins with police all round the world, even after he started to live the good life that came with his fame.

Down
1. Relatives of merengues : MAMBOS
The form of music and dance known as mambo developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

Merengue is a style of music and dance from the Dominican Republic. Merengue originated among the slaves working in the sugar beet fields.

4. Ancient talisman with mathematical properties : MAGIC SQUARE
A magic square is a series of numbers arranged in a square so that all lines of numbers, including diagonals, add up to the same total. Such squares have been used for centuries to create talismans designed to bring good luck.

6. One bound to do work : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

7. Ball wear : TUXEDOS
The style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

8. Popping Prozacs, perhaps : ON MEDS
The top three antidepressants prescribed in the US (in 2007 anyway) are:

– Zoloft (sertraline)
– Lexapro (escitalopram)
– Prozac (fluoxetine)

9. Common statue setting : PLAZA
“Plaza” is the Spanish word for “square, place”.

11. Legendary raptor : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants.

12. Figure skater Brasseur : ISABELLE
Isabelle Brasseur is a retired pairs figure skater from Quebec who was partnered with Lloyd Eisler. Brasseur and Eisler won the 1993 World Championship and two Olympic medals.

24. Source of false returns : PONZI SCHEME
Charles Ponzi was born in Luigi, Italy in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1903, flat broke having gambled away all his money on the voyage to Boston. He devised a scheme to buy what were known as “international reply coupons” through friends in Italy, which he had sent to him in the US so that he could redeem them on this side of the Atlantic. As the value in the US was greater than that in Italy, he could make a handsome profit. This was in itself an “illegal” transaction, buying an asset in one market at a low price, then immediately selling it in another market at a higher price. But it’s what he did next that became known as a Ponzi Scheme. He couldn’t redeem his coupons quickly enough due to red tape so he approached other investors, initially friends, and had them give him cash so that he could buy more coupons in Italy. He promised the investors he would double their money, which they did initially. Many people wanted to get in on the scheme seeing that Ponzi was able to make the new investor’s a profit and double the money of the original investors. Eventually, somebody did the math and word started to get out that the investment was risky, so the number of new investors started to fall. Without sufficient new investors Ponzi couldn’t double the money of his latest investors, and the whole scheme unraveled.

26. Film critic Pauline : KAEL
Pauline Kael was a film critic who wrote for “The New Yorker” magazine from 1968 to 1991.

27. Magazine articles : GUNS
The word “magazine” was originally used to denote a place for storing goods, particularly military arms and ammunition. This usage dates back to the late 1500s. The first use of “magazine” in the sense of a periodical or journal dates back to 1731, with the publication of “Gentleman’s Magazine”. “Magazine” had come to mean a printed list of military stores, and the idea was that the new periodical was to be a “storehouse” of information.

29. E-tailing specifications : URLS
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com) are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

“Etail” is the term used these days for online shopping. It is often compared to regular shopping in the “real world” by juxtaposing it with a “brick and mortar” store.

31. “Ponyo” writer/director Hayao ___ : MIYAZAKI
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director and animator who specializes in producing anime feature films. Anime is animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures” and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, business, horror, and mystery.

36. Pierce with lines : BROSNAN
Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor, from Drogheda, north of Dublin. Brosnan’s big break in the US came when he was given the title tole in the eighties television show “Remington Steele”. Of course he also played James Bond on the big screen. Brosnan’s first appearance as Bond was in 1995’s “Golden Eye”. He was asked to take the role much earlier, in 1987, but Brosnan couldn’t get out of his contract for “Remington Steele”.

38. “West Side Story” Oscar winner : MORENO
The Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaption of “West Side Story”.

41. Light show? : AURORA
The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

47. Tennis star Novotna : JANA
Jana Novotná is a former professional tennis player from the Czech Republic. She won Wimbledon in 1998.

51. Once known as : NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born”, when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Aunties’ sisters : MAMMAS
7. Gold medal : TOP PRIZE
15. Fly : AVIATE
16. Prepare to take off, perhaps : UNLOOSEN
17. Evers of civil rights : MEDGAR
18. Quick seasonal greeting? : XMAS CARD
19. Ice cream gobbler’s woe : BRAIN FREEZE
21. A.L. East team, on scoreboards : BOS
22. Ear-relevant : OTIC
23. Old Norse work : EDDA
24. Orange exterior : PEEL
25. United entities before 1991: Abbr. : SSRS
26. “Get Smart” enemy agency : KAOS
27. 2008 Israeli political biography : GOLDA
28. Beater of a full boat in poker : QUADS
30. Naturally bright : SUNLIT
31. Develops : MATURES
34. C6H6 : BENZENE
35. Stilted-sounding “Consider it done” : I SHALL
36. “The Godfather” enforcer who “sleeps with the fishes” : BRASI
37. “Cheers” alternative, in a letter : YOURS
38. Providers of inside looks? : MRIS
39. “Minnie the Moocher” feature : SCAT
43. Archer of film : ANNE
44. In a day, say : SOON
45. Solving aid : CLUE
46. End of a line in England : ZED
47. Hit MTV series starting in 2009 : JERSEY SHORE
50. Double grace period? : AMEN AMEN
52. Start operating, datewise : OPEN ON
53. Vronsky’s love : KARENINA
54. Stoolies, often : NAMERS
55. Like clams during winter : IN SEASON
56. 1993 rap hit in which Snoop Doggy Dogg popularized the term “bootylicious” : DRE DAY

Down
1. Relatives of merengues : MAMBOS
2. Heads off : AVERTS
3. Where trapeze artists connect : MIDAIR
4. Ancient talisman with mathematical properties : MAGIC SQUARE
5. ___ advantage : AT AN
6. One bound to do work : SERF
7. Ball wear : TUXEDOS
8. Popping Prozacs, perhaps : ON MEDS
9. Common statue setting : PLAZA
10. Ask : POSE
11. Legendary raptor : ROC
12. Figure skater Brasseur : ISABELLE
13. Directed attention (on) : ZEROED IN
14. Runs over : ENDS LATE
20. Goes over : READS
24. Source of false returns : PONZI SCHEME
26. Film critic Pauline : KAEL
27. Magazine articles : GUNS
29. E-tailing specifications : URLS
30. They can get choppy : SEAS
31. “Ponyo” writer/director Hayao ___ : MIYAZAKI
32. In unison : AS ONE MAN
33. Booms : THUNDERS
34. Pickle : BRINE
36. Pierce with lines : BROSNAN
38. “West Side Story” Oscar winner : MORENO
40. Like the I.B.M. PC, often : CLONED
41. Light show? : AURORA
42. Minute : TEENSY
44. Four enter them, but only two survive : SEMIS
47. Tennis star Novotna : JANA
48. Over there, to bards : YOND
49. Practice with gloves on : SPAR
51. Once known as : NEE

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