0310-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Allan E. Parrish
THEME: Transportation … each of today’s themed answers ends with a type of transportation, one that is usually horse-drawn:

20A. “Ed Wood” actor : MARTIN LANDAU
35A. Typewriter part : PAPER CARRIAGE
53A. Expert on swings : BATTING COACH

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 12s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mauna ___ (Hawaii landmark) : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

8. Shade of blue : COBALT
The element cobalt, usually in the form of cobalt silicate, is added to glass to give a deep blue tint.

16. Thorny tree : ACACIA
Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible by competing species.

20. “Ed Wood” actor : MARTIN LANDAU
Martin Landau is a film and television actor from Brooklyn, New York. Landau is probably most famous for playing Rollin Hand, the master of disguise in TV’s “Mission Impossible”. On the big screen, Landau famously won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood”.

Ed Wood was a screenwriter, director, producer and actor who made a lot of low-budget films during the 1950s. Wood worked a lot with the actor Bela Lugosi and when Lugosi passed away, the popularity of Wood’s films 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”.

A landau is a 4-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage. It was quite sophisticated in its heyday, with metal springs for a comfortable ride, and the smaller version (a “landaulet”) had a top that could fold down. Landaus were so called as they were first produced in the German city of Landau. More recently, the term “landau” was used for an automobile designed to look like a convertible, but with a fixed roof. The fixed roof is covered in vinyl to make it appear “convertible”.

22. “Cómo ___?” : ESTA
“Cómo estas?” is Spanish for “how are you?”

23. Primary supporter : MAINSTAY
Figuratively, a “mainstay” is a person or object that is the main support or main part. Literally, the mainstay is the main line supporting a nautical vessel’s main mast, the main line holding the mast erect.

27. Tex-Mex dish : TOSTADA
In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla. “Tostada” translates literally from Spanish as “toasted”.

31. Electronics giant : TOSHIBA
The Japanese company that we know today as Toshiba was formed in 1939 with the merger of Tokyo Electric and Shibaura Engineering Works. The “To-shiba” name comes from a melding of TO-kyo and SHIBA-ura.

32. Big name in knives : GINSU
Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than they are for their efficacy in the kitchen. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies when two brothers found a set of knives called “Eversharp” that were being manufactured in Ohio. The brothers changed the brand name to something more exotic, and Japanese in particular (Ginsu), and then produced ads that made references to Japanese martial arts. I think they made a fortune …

35. Typewriter part : PAPER CARRIAGE
On a typewriter, the assembly holding the paper is known as the carriage. The carriage moves from left to write as letters are typed, and the carriage’s roller rotates when a line of typing is completed.

40. Who “said knock you out,” in an LL Cool J hit : MAMA
Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. Smith’s stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”.

41. Some tablets : IPADS
Apple’s iPad has really pervaded our lives since it was introduced in 2010. We probably won’t see many pilots walking around airports burdened with briefcases chock full of paperwork anymore. Alaska Airlines replaced all that paperwork in 2011 so that now each pilot carries an iPad weighing 1½ pounds instead of a briefcase weighing perhaps 25 pounds.

42. Karen of “Little House on the Prairie” : GRASSLE
Karen Grassle is a an actress best known for playing Caroline Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie”. Caroline is the wife of the character played by Michael Landon.

52. Swamp menace, for short : CROC
Crocodiles and alligators bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

60. Part of PG : PARENTAL
Parental guidance (PG)

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

62. New Jersey’s ___ Center : IZOD
The Izod Center is an arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. When the facility opened in 1981, it was known officially as the Brendan Byrne Arena, after the Governor of New Jersey at that time. Most people referred to the arena as “the Meadowlands”.

63. Before, to Byron : ERE
George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.

64. Super ___ (summer toy) : SOAKER
The Super Soaker brand of water gun first went on sale in toy shops in 1989. Since then, over a billion dollars worth of Super Soakers have been sold.

65. Greek goddess seen on many trophies : NIKE
Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, often referred to as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The athletic shoe company Nike uses the “Nike swoosh” as its logo, the design of which is based on the goddess’s wing.

66. Longtime Nascar sponsor : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

Down
1. Fate : KISMET
“Kismet” is a Turkish word, meaning fate or fortune, one’s lot.

2. City in a 1960 Marty Robbins chart-topper : EL PASO
“El Paso” is a 1959 country ballad written and recorded by Marty Robbins. Robbins wrote two “sequels” to the song: “Faleena (from El Paso)” in 1966, and “El Paso City” in 1976.

4. Sci-fi knight : JEDI
The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

5. Neat as ___ : A PIN
Apparently the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.

6. Jessica of “The Illusionist” : BIEL
Jessica Biel is an actress who is known by television audiences as Mary Camden on “7th Heaven”. Biel’s first film role was playing Peter Fonda’s granddaughter in “Ulee’s Gold”. Biel is married to singer and actor Justin Timberlake.

8. What spin classes provide, informally : CARDIO
Spinning is another name for indoor cycling on stationary bikes.

10. Russian grandmother : BABUSHKA
As well as being the name of a type of headscarf, in Russia a babushka is a grandmother or nana. Babushka is a diminutive of “baba” meaning “old woman”.

12. Rap’s ___ Wayne : LIL
Rapper Lil Wayne’s real name is … Dwayne Carter, Jr.

13. Classroom aides, for short : TAS
Teaching assistant (TA)

18. Division politique : ETAT
In French, a state (état) is a political division (division politique).

28. 10, for 1973 Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal : AGE
Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

29. Hollywood honcho: Abbr. : DIR
Director (dir.)

“Honcho” is a slang term for a leader or manager. The term comes to us from Japanese, in which language a “hancho” is a squad (han) leader (cho).

30. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls : ANCIENT
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered over a period of years, between 1947 and 1956, in eleven caves on the shores of the Dead Sea. The scrolls are believed to have been written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although this has been called into question recently. Many of the texts are copies of writings from the Hebrew Bible.

35. ___-mutuel betting : PARI
Parimutuel betting is a system in which the bookmaker is guaranteed a pre-determined profit. In the system, all bets are pooled, taxes and house profit are removed, and the payoff is made with the resulting pool. In some parts of the world the parimutuel system is referred to as the Tote (as indeed it is in Ireland).

36. You love, to Livy : AMAS
Titus Livius (aka Livy) was a Roman historian who lived from 59 BC to AD 17. Livy wrote the definitive history of Rome at that time.

37. Obsolescent bank item : PASSBOOK
A passbook is a paper book used to record banking transactions, usually for a small savings account. The passbook is held by the owner of the account, and not by the bank. The first passbooks appeared in the 1700s, and the name “passbook” was given as the book was regularly passed between the bank and the account holder for updating.

38. Cereal box info : RDA
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII and are a set of recommendations for the standard daily allowances of specific nutrients. RDAs were effectively absorbed into a broader set of dietary guidelines in 1997 called Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs). RDIs are used to determine the Daily Values (DV) of foods that are printed on nutrition fact labels on most food that we purchase.

39. MSN, for one : ISP
Internet Service Provider (ISP)

MSN was originally called The Microsoft Network, and was introduced in 1995 as an integral part of Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system. MSN is a whole bundle of services including email, instant messaging, and the MSN.com portal (which is the 9th most visited site on the Internet).

40. Las Vegas’s ___ 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).

43. Like people in Yukon Territory : SPARSE
Canada’s federal territory known as Yukon takes its name from the Yukon River. “Yukon” means “Big Stream” in the local Gwich’in language.

46. Brand of mouse poison : D-CON
“d-Con” is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.

49. Lug (around) : SCHLEP
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. As one might expect, “schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

54. “Inglourious Basterds” figure : NAZI
The term “Nazi” comes from “Nationalsozialismus”, the German for “National Socialism”. The full name of Adolf Hitler’s political party was “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” meaning “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”.

I tried hard to enjoy the 2009 movie “Inglourious Basterds”, but I find the violence in a Quentin Tarantino film so very hard to take. However, it got good reviews, so don’t listen to me …

55. Understand, slangily : GROK
“To grok” is to understand, a slang word that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined the term in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mauna ___ (Hawaii landmark) : KEA
4. Barbed comments : JABS
8. Shade of blue : COBALT
14. Bedridden, maybe : ILL
15. Grander than grand : EPIC
16. Thorny tree : ACACIA
17. Like express mail vis-à-vis regular mail : SPEEDIER
19. Freedom fighters, e.g. : REBELS
20. “Ed Wood” actor : MARTIN LANDAU
22. “Cómo ___?” : ESTA
23. Primary supporter : MAINSTAY
27. Tex-Mex dish : TOSTADA
31. Electronics giant : TOSHIBA
32. Big name in knives : GINSU
34. Was in on : KNEW
35. Typewriter part : PAPER CARRIAGE
40. Who “said knock you out,” in an LL Cool J hit : MAMA
41. Some tablets : IPADS
42. Karen of “Little House on the Prairie” : GRASSLE
45. Toadies : LAP DOGS
50. Squandered, as youth : MISSPENT
52. Swamp menace, for short : CROC
53. Expert on swings : BATTING COACH
57. 59-Down, e.g. : RESORT
60. Part of PG : PARENTAL
61. Big story from a journalist : EXPOSE
62. New Jersey’s ___ Center : IZOD
63. Before, to Byron : ERE
64. Super ___ (summer toy) : SOAKER
65. Greek goddess seen on many trophies : NIKE
66. Longtime Nascar sponsor : STP

Down
1. Fate : KISMET
2. City in a 1960 Marty Robbins chart-topper : EL PASO
3. “Someone may have accessed your account” and others : ALERTS
4. Sci-fi knight : JEDI
5. Neat as ___ : A PIN
6. Jessica of “The Illusionist” : BIEL
7. “Butt out!” : SCRAM!
8. What spin classes provide, informally : CARDIO
9. Large quantities : OCEANS
10. Russian grandmother : BABUSHKA
11. Team’s best pitcher : ACE
12. Rap’s ___ Wayne : LIL
13. Classroom aides, for short : TAS
18. Division politique : ETAT
21. Quick learner : NATURAL
24. Sound of a fork on a wineglass : TING
25. Busy as ___ : A BEE
26. Veer off course : YAW
28. 10, for 1973 Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal : AGE
29. Hollywood honcho: Abbr. : DIR
30. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls : ANCIENT
33. Deplete : SAP
35. ___-mutuel betting : PARI
36. You love, to Livy : AMAS
37. Obsolescent bank item : PASSBOOK
38. Cereal box info : RDA
39. MSN, for one : ISP
40. Las Vegas’s ___ Grand : MGM
43. Like people in Yukon Territory : SPARSE
44. Athletic recognition : LETTER
46. Brand of mouse poison : D-CON
47. Speechifies : ORATES
48. Racing vehicle : GO-CART
49. Lug (around) : SCHLEP
51. Easy two-pointer : TIP-IN
54. “Inglourious Basterds” figure : NAZI
55. Understand, slangily : GROK
56. Turn over (to) : CEDE
57. Follower of hi or lo : -RES
58. Prefix with skeleton : EXO-
59. Vacation destination : SPA

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One thought on “0310-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 10 Mar 15, Tuesday”

  1. Hard for me for a Tues. Had to Gooogle IZOD, EL PASO, MARTIN LANDAU, MAMA, GRASSLE. Never heard of GROK surprised to find how old it is – means the same as another one I found on crosswords – suss (which means "sweet" to me).

    Thanx for all your explanations.

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