0730-12: New York Times Crossword Answers 30 Jul 12, 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: Rosemarie Dolan & Christopher Geach
THEME: BATMAN … each of the theme answers is an alternative name for Batman (and a mention for his home town):

17A. Alternative name for 42-Down : DARK KNIGHT
33A. Alternative name for 42-Down : CAPED CRUSADER
58A. Alternative name for 42-Down : BRUCE WAYNE
13D. Hometown of 42-Down : GOTHAM
42D. Comics debut of 1939 : BATMAN

COMPLETION TIME: 5m 34s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0


Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Translucent mineral in sheets : MICA
Mica is a mineral, a sheet silicate. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronic industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

14. Santa ___ (hot desert winds) : ANAS
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up, so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

15. Hodgepodges : OLIOS
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 clay pot in which it is cooked.

16. Prefix with plane : AERO-
Yep, on the other side of the pond we call them aeroplanes, and not airplanes, although I think the Americans are winning this battle!

19. Buzzing annoyance : GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

20. Greek god of the ocean : POSEIDON
Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earth-Shaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

23. “___ the twain shall meet” : NE’ER
The phrase “never the twain shall meet” originated in a Rudyard Kipling poem from 1892. The full quotation is:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.

Kipling’s reference here is to the British and the people of India, and the lack of understanding that existed between the two in the days of the Raj.

24. Capital of the Philippines : MANILA
Many moons ago I spent a couple of very happy years living in Manila in the Philippines. I had an apartment there, and residing in the apartment building next door was Imelda Marcos, along with all of her shoes I assume …

27. Treat, as leather : TAN
Leather is of course made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is called “rawhide”. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is called “tanning”, and the resulting product is “leather”.

28. Moon landing vehicle, for short : LEM
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy”, and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was of course called “Eagle”, and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface.

31. Mustachioed plumber of Nintendo games : MARIO
“Mario Bros.” started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game called “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

42. Twice, in music : BIS
“Bis” is Latin for “twice”.

46. Insult, slangily : DIS
“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties, a shortened form of disrespect or dismiss.

50. Middle part of a Shakespearean play : ACT III
Shakespeare adopted the five-act structure for all of his plays, using the same format that was used by Seneca for his Roman tragedies. Given five acts, the plays tend to unfold as follows:

– Act I is used as an introduction
– Act II is used to complicate things
– Act III contains the climax of the tale
– Act IV is used to add some suspense
– Act V is the conclusion

52. What an aphrodisiac may produce : LUST
The word “aphrodisiac” is used for something that imbues sexual excitement. The word is derived from the “Aphrodite”, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

53. Schlep : LUG
Our word “lug”, meaning to move something heavily or slowly, comes from a Scandinavian term meaning “to pull by the hair”.

Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. As one might expect, “schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

58. Alternative name for 42-Down : BRUCE WAYNE
Bruce Wayne is the secret identity of Batman in the comic series created by DC Comics. The first name of Bruce was chosen as a homage to the Scottish king and heroic figure, Robert the Bruce. The family name was a nod to “Mad Anthony” Wayne, the US Army general and statesman who rose to prominence in the Revolutionary War.

61. Green military cap : BERET
The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear … green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform and had to wait until 1961 when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.

62. Geese flying formations : VEES
Apparently geese fly in that V-formation for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

Down
1. “What, me worry?” magazine : MAD
“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine.

3. Area between Georgia and Virginia : CAROLINA
The states of North and South Carolina are referred to collectively as “the Carolinas”. Before statehood, the Carolinas were known as the Province of the Carolinas. The province was given the name in honor of King Charles II of England (“Carolinus” is Latin for Charles). The father of Charles II, Charles I, had given a land grant for the area in the name of “Corolana”. Earlier still, French settlers called the region “Caroline”, in honor of King Charles IX of France.

8. Lawyer Roy of the McCarthy hearings : COHN
Roy Cohn was a prominent assistant and associate to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the days when McCarthy was famously investigating Communist activities in the US. Prior to his work with Senator McCarthy, Cohn was a central figure on the prosecuting team in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

9. F.D.R.’s successor : HST
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn’t have the money to pay for college anywhere else. He did manage to study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but he never finished his schooling. So, Harry S. Truman was the last US President (out of a list of ten) who did not have a college degree.

FDR was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Phillippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”.

10. Carl who hosted “Cosmos” : SAGAN
Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist and a great communicator. Sagan was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. He also wrote the novel “Contact” which was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

12. Future revealer : ORACLE
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.

13. Hometown of 42-Down : GOTHAM
Gotham has been a nickname for New York City long before it was picked up by comic books as a setting for Batman tales. The term was coined by Washington Irving in a periodical that he published in 1807. Irving was lampooning New York politics and culture, and lifted the name from the village of Gotham in Nottinghamshire, England. The original Gotham was, according to folklore, inhabited by fools.

18. ___ State (Ohio university) : KENT
Kent State University’s main campus is located in Kent, Ohio. Kent State will forever be associated with the student activism and opposition to the Vietnam War in the late sixties and early seventies. The fateful day was May 4, 1970, when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students, killing four protesters and wounding nine.

24. Fourth rock from the sun : MARS
The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

27. Letter after sigma : TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

30. Eco-friendly org. : EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

31. Actor with the catchphrase “I pity the fool!” : MR T
Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a night club so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catchphrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed the line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

34. ___ the Cow (mascot) : ELSIE
Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was also given a husband, Elmer the Bull, who eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

35. Store where you might take a number : DELI
The word “delicatessen” came into English from the German “Delikatessen” meaning “delicious (delikat-) to eat (essen)”.

41. Eggy Christmas drink : NOG
It’s not really clear where the term nog comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

42. Comics debut of 1939 : BATMAN
Batman is unique among his superhero compatriots in that he has no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets.

46. Melodious : DULCET
“Dulcet” means “pleasing to the ear” and is such a lovely word, I think. It comes from the Old French word “doucet”, a diminutive of “doux”, the French for “sweet”.

47. Keys : ISLETS
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

52. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir “Spoken from the Heart” published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master’s degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it’s not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and is sister to Craig Robinson, the coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

56. “___-voom!” : VA VA
I think that the expression “va va voom” has been around for a while, but it was popularized in Europe in an advertisement for the Renault Cleo featuring the French soccer star Thierry Henry.

58. Air gun ammo : 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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Translucent mineral in sheets : MICA
5. Telephone wire, for a bird : PERCH
10. Trudge : SLOG
14. Santa ___ (hot desert winds) : ANAS
15. Hodgepodges : OLIOS
16. Prefix with plane : AERO-
17. Alternative name for 42-Down : DARK KNIGHT
19. Buzzing annoyance : GNAT
20. Greek god of the ocean : POSEIDON
21. Go together perfectly : MATCH
22. Buddy : PAL
23. “___ the twain shall meet” : NE’ER
24. Capital of the Philippines : MANILA
25. Prefix with lateral : UNI-
26. QBs pass for them : TDS
27. Treat, as leather : TAN
28. Moon landing vehicle, for short : LEM
29. Upside-down six : NINE
31. Mustachioed plumber of Nintendo games : MARIO
33. Alternative name for 42-Down : CAPED CRUSADER
39. Having pricked ears : ALERT
40. Like 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. : EVEN
42. Twice, in music : BIS
45. Foxlike : SLY
46. Insult, slangily : DIS
49. “Am ___ blame?” : I TO
50. Middle part of a Shakespearean play : ACT III
52. What an aphrodisiac may produce : LUST
53. Schlep : LUG
54. Call playful names, say : TEASE
55. Topple : FALL OVER
57. Central : MAIN
58. Alternative name for 42-Down : BRUCE WAYNE
60. Farming prefix : AGRO-
61. Green military cap : BERET
62. Geese flying formations : VEES
63. Robin’s haven : NEST
64. Numerical data : STATS
65. Opposite of subtracts : ADDS

Down
1. “What, me worry?” magazine : MAD
2. Hysterical : IN A PANIC
3. Area between Georgia and Virginia : CAROLINA
4. Questions : ASKS
5. Paid (up) : PONIED
6. Says “o’er” for “over,” e.g. : ELIDES
7. Severity : RIGOR
8. Lawyer Roy of the McCarthy hearings : COHN
9. F.D.R.’s successor : HST
10. Carl who hosted “Cosmos” : SAGAN
11. Protein-rich vegetarian soup : LENTIL
12. Future revealer : ORACLE
13. Hometown of 42-Down : GOTHAM
18. ___ State (Ohio university) : KENT
21. Craze : MANIA
22. So-called “lowest form of humor” : PUN
24. Fourth rock from the sun : MARS
27. Letter after sigma : TAU
30. Eco-friendly org. : EPA
31. Actor with the catchphrase “I pity the fool!” : MR T
32. Poem of praise : ODE
34. ___ the Cow (mascot) : ELSIE
35. Store where you might take a number : DELI
36. Weep : CRY
37. Glaring malevolently : EVIL-EYED
38. Didn’t keep, as a gift : RETURNED
41. Eggy Christmas drink : NOG
42. Comics debut of 1939 : BATMAN
43. Big freeze : ICE AGE
44. Flight between floors : STAIRS
46. Melodious : DULCET
47. Keys : ISLETS
48. Stash : STOW
51. “War ___ the answer” : IS NOT
52. First lady before Michelle : LAURA
55. Worry : FRET
56. “___-voom!” : VA VA
58. Air gun ammo : BBS
59. Road curve : ESS

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