0410-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Apr 12, Tuesday

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: Gregory Philip Butler
THEME: ROLE REVERSAL … the word ROLE appears in each of the theme answers, but reversed i.e. ELOR:

20. Longtime Nicaraguan president : DANI(EL OR)TEGA
26. Instrument that’s played by turning a crank : BARR(EL OR)GAN
42. Citrus fruit originally grown in Brazil : NAV(EL OR)ANGE
51. Plot device used in “Freaky Friday” … or a hint to the interior of 20-, 26- or 42-Across : ROLE REVERSAL

COMPLETION TIME: 7m 9s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
15. Central Florida city : OCALA
The city of Ocala was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”.

16. Singer with a reputation for being self-centered : DIVA
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean goddess or fine lady, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

17. Site for a diet of worms? : NEST
A nice pun on the “Diet of Worms”, from Martin Luther’s day …

A Diet was a general assembly of the estates of the former Holy Roman Empire. The most famous of these assemblies was the Diet of Worms, a 16th-century meeting that took place in the small town of Worms on the Rhine River in Germany. The main item on the agenda was discussion of the 95 theses of Martin Luther. Luther was summoned to the meeting and was found to be guilty of heresy.

18. Wheeling, Cincinnati and Louisville are in it : OHIO VALLEY
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.

20. Longtime Nicaraguan president : DANIEL ORTEGA
Daniel Ortega is the current President of Nicaragua. Prior to his political career, Ortega was a leader in the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

22. Smoked herring : BLOATER
Bloaters are similar to kippers in that they are both smoked herrings. Kippers are split herrings that are salted and smoked overnight, whereas bloaters are less salted, smoked for a shorter time, and the fish is left whole. Bloaters are particularly associated with the town of Great Yarmouth on the east coast of England.

23. Hollywood’s Henry, Jane or Peter : FONDA
Henry Fonda had already started his Hollywood career when along came WWII. Fonda enlisted in the Navy, and served for three years on the destroyer USS Satterlee. Then he served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence in the Pacific, earning the Bronze Star.

Jane Fonda is of course the daughter of Henry Fonda, sister of Peter Fonda, and aunt of Bridget Fonda, making the Fondas quite the acting family. Jane Fonda had many memorable screen performances, but is equally memorable for her anti-war activism. Most famously she was outspoken against the Vietnam War, going so far as to visit North Vietnam during the height of the conflict in 1972, posing for photographs and making radio broadcasts denouncing American leaders as “war criminals”. For her stance, Fonda earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane”.

Peter Fonda is the son of actor Henry, brother of actress Jane, and father of actress Bridget. Peter nearly didn’t make it to the stage. He was one of the many children who have been victims of shooting accidents. Peter shot himself in the stomach when he was just 11-years-old, and very nearly died.

26. Instrument that’s played by turning a crank : BARREL ORGAN
The workings of a barrel organ are based on the same principle as a traditional organ, with music played by air passed through pipes.

29. Shaq’s game : BBALL
Basketball truly is an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When you got the ball into the “net”, you had to clamber up and get it back out again in order to continue the game!

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy … 7 foot 1 inch. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, pushing 40 years old.

32. Old Italian coin : LIRA
The name “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. It comes from the Latin word for a pound and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. The lira (plural “lire”) was the currency of choice in Italy before the change was made to the euro.

35. Shoreline flier : ERNE
The ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.

38. It’s not butter : OLEO
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. In 1869, a French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

40. 1970s Chevy : VEGA
The Chevrolet Vega is a small car that was produced by GM in the seventies. The Vega was much lauded at its launch but was plagued by problems with its engineering, reliability and safety.

42. Citrus fruit originally grown in Brazil : NAVEL ORANGE
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it has been propagated using grafts.

46. Director Eastwood : CLINT
The actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As many of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years Eastwood has branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. And of course in the late eighties he also served as mayor of his home town, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

51. Plot device used in “Freaky Friday” … or a hint to the interior of 20-, 26- or 42-Across : ROLE REVERSAL
“Freaky Friday” is a well-known children’s novel, written by Mary Rodgers and published in 1972. The basic story is that one Friday, a mother and her teenage daughter have their bodies switched due to the effects of an enchanted fortune cookie. Hilarity ensues! In the 2003 screen adaptation, Jamie Lee Curtis plays the mother, Dr. Tess Colman, and Lindsay Lohan the daughter, Anna.

57. ___ breve (2/2 time) : ALLA
The musical term “alla breve”, meaning “at the breve (i.e. the note)”, denotes a meter equivalent to 2/2. This implies quite a fast tempo, often found in military marches.

59. Bruce of “Sherlock Holmes” films : NIGEL
Nigel Bruce was a British actor, best known for playing Dr. Watson in the series of “Sherlock Homes” films starring Basil Rathbone in the title role. Bruce also played an excellent supporting role in the Hitchcock film “Suspicion”. Nigel Bruce lived in Los Angeles, and for years was the captain of the Hollywood Cricket Club. Other members of the club (that still exists today) were Ronald Coleman, Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, David Niven and Sherlock himself, Basil Rathbone.

61. God with a bow and arrow : EROS
As always seems to be the case with 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.

62. Utopias : EDENS
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 the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

The word Utopia was invented by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516, describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

63. Creepy-sounding lake name? : ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, something for which nearby resident must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

Down
1. Genre for Smokey Robinson : R AND B
The term “rhythm and blues” was originally used in the 1940s to describe a genre of music that was popular with African Americans at that time. The first use of “rhythm and blues” as a name for this music was in “Billboard” magazine in 1948.

Smokey Robinson is an R&B singer from Detroit, Michigan. He is best known for founding and being the front man of the Miracles who were at the height of their success in the sixties. Back in Detroit growing up, Robinson and Diana Ross were actually next-door neighbors.

6. Late NPR newsman : SCHORR
Daniel Schorr was a favorite radio newsman of mine, and I used to listen to him all the time on NPR. Schorr was recruited into the CBS news team by Edward R. Murrow in the fifites. Soon after he was given the job of opening up a CBS news bureau in Moscow, and there obtained an exclusive interview with Nikita Khrushchev, Schorr’s first televised interview. Years later he was hired by Ted Turner, and became the first on-camera employee for CNN. In the mid-eighties he was engaged as a news analyst for NPR, a post that he held right up till his death in 2010. Oh, and you might have seen Schorr in the occasional Hollywood movie. For example, he was the newscaster that talked from the television to Michael Douglas in the 1997 film “The Game”.

7. “Aquarius” musical : HAIR
The full name of the famed stage show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed in fifty years said he, satirically! I’ve never had the chance to see “Hair” in a live production, but it’s on “the bucket list” …

10. “Constant Craving” singer : KD LANG
k.d. lang is the stage name of Kathryn Dawn Lang, a Canadian singer and songwriter. Beyond her performing career, she is a noted activist focused on animal rights, gay rights, and human rights in Tibet.

19. Lead-in to phobia : AGORA-
In early Greece the agora was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that a sufferer has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

21. List ender : ET AL
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

24. Alfalfa’s girl in “The Little Rascals” : DARLA
Alfalfa’s love interest in “Our Gang” was Darla, whose real name was Darla Hood. Darla became quite a successful singer after she grew out of the “Our Gang” role.

Hal Roach made a whole series of comedy shorts with “The Little Rascals”, also known as “Our Gang”. The gang included a Pit Bull Terrier that we should remember, as he had that distinctive ring around his eye. When the dog first appeared on screen, he was called “Pansy”, but the name was soon changed to “Pete the Pup”.

Alfalfa’s real name was Carl Switzer. He and his brother were quite the young performers around his hometown in Illinois, singing and playing instruments. On a trip to California, the Switzer family were touring the Hal Roach movie studio and were fooling around in the studio cafeteria, basically giving an impromptu performance. Hal Roach happened to be there at the time, and signed both brothers up for roles in “Our Gang”. Carl was to play “Alfalfa”, and brother Harold played “Slim” (aka “Deadpan”).

25. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
As an amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. He was famous for the clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final image with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

27. “Pomp and Circumstance” composer : ELGAR
Sir Edward Elgar was the quintessential English composer, inextricably associated with his compositions the “Pomp and Circumstance” marches (which includes “Land of Hope and Glory”) and the “Enigma Variations”.

30. Rodeo bucker : BRONC
A “bronco” (also “bronc”) is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish, a “bronco” is a “horse”, and in the original Spanish “bronco” means “rough, rude”.

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word, which is usually translated as “round up”.

31. One for the record books? : ANNAL
“Annal” is a rarely used word, the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

36. Railway encircling a city : BELT LINE
There are or were Belt Line railways in Baltimore, Toronto, Chicago and Montgomery, Alabama.

37. It may be inflated : EGO
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

41. Purple people eater, e.g. : OGRE
“Purple People Eater” is a novelty song that was a big hit in 1958 for Sheb Wooley, a number one in the charts.

43. Red-eyed birds : VIREOS
Vireos are small birds found mostly in the New World.

44. Winning blackjack combo : ACE-TEN
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

45. Dickens’s output : NOVELS
Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great notoriety in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself, and did so with great success. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coning with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

48. Physician Sir William : OSLER
Sir William Osler was a Canadian physician, one of the principal founders of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

49. ___ Lama : DALAI
Starting with the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century, the Buddhist leader used to spend the winter months in the magnificent Potola Palace in the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) had to flee Tibet when the Tibetan people rebelled against Chinese occupation in 1959. Since then, he has resided in Dharamsala in Northern India, as a guest of the Indian people.

52. Oklahoma city : ENID
Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton!

54. Barely make, with “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 …

56. “Alice” waitress : FLO
Florence Jean “Flo” Castleberry was a waitress in the sitcom “Alice” which aired on CBS in the 70s and 80s. Flo got her own sitcom (called “Flo”) which had a brief run in the early 80s. I saw a few episodes of “Alice”, but that’s about it. Oh, and Flo was played by Polly Holiday.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Beams : RAYS
5. “Nuts!” : PSHAW
10. Had more than a feeling : KNEW
14. Region : AREA
15. Central Florida city : OCALA
16. Singer with a reputation for being self-centered : DIVA
17. Site for a diet of worms? : NEST
18. Wheeling, Cincinnati and Louisville are in it : OHIO VALLEY
20. Longtime Nicaraguan president : DANI(EL OR)TEGA
22. Smoked herring : BLOATER
23. Hollywood’s Henry, Jane or Peter : FONDA
26. Instrument that’s played by turning a crank : BARR(EL OR)GAN
29. Shaq’s game : BBALL
32. Old Italian coin : LIRA
33. Trio after Q : RST
35. Shoreline flier : ERNE
36. Adorn with jewels : BEGEM
38. It’s not butter : OLEO
39. Truck scale unit : TON
40. 1970s Chevy : VEGA
41. Track shapes : OVALS
42. Citrus fruit originally grown in Brazil : NAV(EL OR)ANGE
46. Director Eastwood : CLINT
47. Eat away at : CORRODE
51. Plot device used in “Freaky Friday” … or a hint to the interior of 20-, 26- or 42-Across : ROLE REVERSAL
54. Womanish : EFFEMINATE
57. ___ breve (2/2 time) : ALLA
58. Drug unit : KILO
59. Bruce of “Sherlock Holmes” films : NIGEL
60. What a milkmaid holds : TEAT
61. God with a bow and arrow : EROS
62. Utopias : EDENS
63. Creepy-sounding lake name? : ERIE

Down
1. Genre for Smokey Robinson : R AND B
2. “That’s ___ shame” : A REAL
3. Kind of question : YES/NO
4. Like an appetite that can be fulfilled : SATIABLE
5. Car ___ : POOLER
6. Late NPR newsman : SCHORR
7. “Aquarius” musical : HAIR
8. Very much : A LOT
9. Repeating shape on an oscilloscope : WAVEFORM
10. “Constant Craving” singer : KD LANG
11. Zilch : NIL
12. New Year’s ___ : EVE
13. Route : WAY
19. Lead-in to phobia : AGORA-
21. List ender : ET AL
24. Alfalfa’s girl in “The Little Rascals” : DARLA
25. Photographer Adams : ANSEL
27. “Pomp and Circumstance” composer : ELGAR
28. Golfer’s concern : LIE
29. “Wanna ___?” : BET
30. Rodeo bucker : BRONC
31. One for the record books? : ANNAL
34. How-___ : TOS
36. Railway encircling a city : BELT LINE
37. It may be inflated : EGO
38. Think too highly of : OVERRATE
40. Poison : VENOM
41. Purple people eater, e.g. : OGRE
43. Red-eyed birds : VIREOS
44. Winning blackjack combo : ACE-TEN
45. Dickens’s output : NOVELS
48. Physician Sir William : OSLER
49. ___ Lama : DALAI
50. Thrill : ELATE
52. Oklahoma city : ENID
53. Fury : RAGE
54. Barely make, with “out” : EKE
55. It’s green year-round : FIR
56. “Alice” waitress : FLO

Return to top of page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.