0302-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 16, Wednesday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
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Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Fred Piscop
THEME: Start with Pasta … each of today’s themed answers starts with a type of pasta, and sounds like a common phrase:

20A. Politician in charge of pasta? : ZITI COUNCILMAN (sounds like “city councilman”)
40A. Pasta, apparently? : ORZO IT WOULD SEEM (sounds like “or so it would seem”)
58A. Card game with pasta for stakes? : PENNE ANTE POKER (sounds like “penny ante poker”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 42s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

15. King noted for saying “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child!” : LEAR
Shakespeare was inspired to write his famous drama “King Lear” by the legend of “Leir of Britain”, the story of a mythological Celtic king.

18. Setting for the highest-grossing movie of 1939 : TARA
Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation, in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

19. George whose name is a lead-in to “film” : LUCAS
Lucasfilm is a San Francisco production company founded in 1971 by George Lucas. The enterprise’s most famous movies are the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in 2012.

20. Politician in charge of pasta? : ZITI COUNCILMAN (sounds like “city councilman”)
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

23. Early anesthetic : ETHER
Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

24. ___-Drive, popular light-powered watch : ECO
Eco-Drive watches are made by Citizen. They are all powered by light. Notably, the solar cells are mounted beneath the dial, a configuration made possible by the use of translucent dial materials.

34. Comfy shoe : MOC
“Moc” is short for “moccasin” shoe.

37. Means of transportation in “Cinderella” : COACH
The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

39. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” brother : ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

40. Pasta, apparently? : ORZO IT WOULD SEEM (sounds like “or so it would seem”)
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”.

45. Cotton candy, mostly : SUGAR
What we call “cotton candy” here in the US has some interesting names in the rest of the world. Back in Ireland it’s candyfloss, and in France it “barbe à papa” (Dad’s beard). In Australia it is called fairy floss, which is actually the original name for cotton candy, first used when it was introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

46. Original “King Kong” studio : RKO
When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

47. Corrida combatant : TORERO
“Toreador” is an old Spanish word for a bullfighter, but it’s a term not used any more in Spain nor in Latin America. In English we use the term “toreador”, but in Spanish a bullfighter is a “torero”. A female bullfighter in a “torera”.

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

50. Some used cars, informally : REPOS
Repossession (repo)

54. Orchard Field, today : O’HARE
Chicago’s O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

58. Card game with pasta for stakes? : PENNE ANTE POKER (sounds like “penny ante poker”)
Penny Ante poker is a game in which bets are limited to a penny, or some other small, friendly sum. The expression “penny-ante” has come to describe any business transaction that is on a small scale.

64. Philip Morris brand : MERIT
Philip Morris changed its name to Altria in 2003 as part of a reorganization. The reasons for the name change are the subject of speculation but industry commentators agree that the company wanted to distance itself from the historical negativity associated with the Philip Morris name due to the many legal and social issues created by its tobacco products.

66. Latvia’s capital : RIGA
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

68. 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow title role : EMMA
One of the more famous screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s “Emma” is an excellent 1996 Miramax production starring the Gwyneth Paltrow in the title role. Also worth mentioning is the outstanding performance by Toni Collette as Emma’s protégé Harriet Smith.

69. H H H : ETAS
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

71. “Angels We Have Heard on High,” e.g. : NOEL
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.

“Angels We Have Heard on High” is a Christmas carol with lyrics that originated in France. The French carol is called “Les Anges dans nos campagnes” (“Angels in our countryside”).

Down
3. British poet/critic Sitwell : EDITH
Dame Edith Sitwell was a British poet, elder sister to Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell who were also noted writers.

4. Job at which one excels : METIER
One’s métier is one’s area of expertise, one’s profession. “Métier” is the French for “trade, profession”.

5. Certain sax : ALTO
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

6. Lover boy : BEAU
A “beau” is the boyfriend of a “belle”, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

10. Reunion attendee, briefly : ALUM
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

11. 12-point type : PICA
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 “points”.

12. Hunter who wrote “The Blackboard Jungle” : EVAN
Evan Hunter was the adopted name of Salvatore Albert Lombino, an author and screenwriter from New York City. Hunter had a pen name that was perhaps more famous, namely Ed McBain. As McBain he wrote a successful string of crime novels starting in 1956. As Evan Hunter, he is perhaps most famous for his 1954 novel “The Blackboard Jungle”, which was made into a successful film the following year.

13. ___ Moines : DES
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others do contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

22. Cap material? : ICE
The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the land mass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

26. Sotheby’s collection : LOT
Sotheby’s is one of the world’s oldest auction houses, having opened its doors for business in 1744 in London. However, the company is now headquartered in New York City. The ticker symbol for Sotheby’s on the New York Stock Exchange is quite apt: BID.

27. There are three for motion : LAWS
Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion are the basis of classical mechanics. The three laws define the relationship between a body and the forces acting on that body, and its resulting motion.

30. Court figures, briefly : DAS
District Attorney (DA)

31. Foe of the taxi industry : UBER
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Personally, I love the service and only have had good experiences …

33. Muppet who speaks in a falsetto : ELMO
The man behind/under the character Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

35. Dessert item that was clued as “Mountain: Comb. form” in old crosswords : OREO
The prefix “oro-” (sometimes “oreo-”) comes from Greek, and is a combining form meaning “mountain”. “Oros” is the Greek word for “mountain”.

36. White House policy chief : CZAR
The term czar (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

38. Donald Trump catchword : HUGE
Donald Trump got into real estate development under the influence of his father, Fred Trump, who was a wealthy New York City developer, and who was also the actual founder of the Trump Organization.

48. Went on a tirade : RANTED
A “tirade” is a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley of words”.

49. Be in hock : OWE
The phrase “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century “in hock” meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The word “hock” comes from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

53. Filled with cargo : LADEN
The verb “lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. Lade also used to mean “to draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

55. Muscular Japanese dog : AKITA
The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

56. Daughter of 15-Across : REGAN
(15A. King noted for saying “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child!” : LEAR)
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

– Goneril
– Regan
– Cordelia

59. The Gem City, so-called because of its sparkling lake : ERIE
Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” Lake Erie.

60. Greek figure on many a trophy : 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, which is based on the goddess’s wing.

61. Jules Verne captain : NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

62. Broken, as a bronco : TAME
A “bronco” (also “bronc”) is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish “bronco” is a word for “horse”, and in the original Spanish “bronco” means “rough, rude”.

63. President Chaim Weizmann was on its first flight : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

Chaim Weizmann served as the first President of Israel, from 1949 until 1952. Weizmann was born in present-day Belarus, and worked as a very capable and successful biochemist before moving into politics.

64. Some postgrad degrees : MAS
Master of Arts (MA)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Beg pardon …” : AHEM …
5. Help in a heist : ABET
9. Looked slack-jawed : GAPED
14. Like a neat bed : MADE
15. King noted for saying “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child!” : LEAR
16. Still in the running : ALIVE
17. “This won’t hurt ___!” : A BIT
18. Setting for the highest-grossing movie of 1939 : TARA
19. George whose name is a lead-in to “film” : LUCAS
20. Politician in charge of pasta? : ZITI COUNCILMAN (sounds like “city councilman”)
23. Early anesthetic : ETHER
24. ___-Drive, popular light-powered watch : ECO
25. Dice tosses : ROLLS
29. Hang in there : ENDURE
34. Comfy shoe : MOC
37. Means of transportation in “Cinderella” : COACH
39. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” brother : ABEL
40. Pasta, apparently? : ORZO IT WOULD SEEM (sounds like “or so it would seem”)
44. Circus horn honker : SEAL
45. Cotton candy, mostly : SUGAR
46. Original “King Kong” studio : RKO
47. Corrida combatant : TORERO
50. Some used cars, informally : REPOS
52. Hole maker : AWL
54. Orchard Field, today : O’HARE
58. Card game with pasta for stakes? : PENNE ANTE POKER (sounds like “penny ante poker”)
64. Philip Morris brand : MERIT
65. Word said with a handshake : DEAL
66. Latvia’s capital : RIGA
67. In the same way : ALIKE
68. 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow title role : EMMA
69. H H H : ETAS
70. Knight’s mount : STEED
71. “Angels We Have Heard on High,” e.g. : NOEL
72. Mentally together : SANE

Down
1. Wow : AMAZE
2. Something to kick or break : HABIT
3. British poet/critic Sitwell : EDITH
4. Job at which one excels : METIER
5. Certain sax : ALTO
6. Lover boy : BEAU
7. Yield, as interest : EARN
8. Tiny amount : TRACE
9. Tank unit : GALLON
10. Reunion attendee, briefly : ALUM
11. 12-point type : PICA
12. Hunter who wrote “The Blackboard Jungle” : EVAN
13. ___ Moines : DES
21. Spring blooms : CROCI
22. Cap material? : ICE
26. Sotheby’s collection : LOT
27. There are three for motion : LAWS
28. Search all over : SCOUR
30. Court figures, briefly : DAS
31. Foe of the taxi industry : UBER
32. Stink to high heaven : REEK
33. Muppet who speaks in a falsetto : ELMO
34. Ending with second or upper : -MOST
35. Dessert item that was clued as “Mountain: Comb. form” in old crosswords : OREO
36. White House policy chief : CZAR
38. Donald Trump catchword : HUGE
41. Bullring cheer : OLE!
42. Cat’s seat, maybe : LAP
43. Show exhaustion : DROOP
48. Went on a tirade : RANTED
49. Be in hock : OWE
51. Beach resort locales : SHORES
53. Filled with cargo : LADEN
55. Muscular Japanese dog : AKITA
56. Daughter of 15-Across : REGAN
57. Expunge : ERASE
58. Clobber with snowballs, say : PELT
59. The Gem City, so-called because of its sparkling lake : ERIE
60. Greek figure on many a trophy : NIKE
61. Jules Verne captain : NEMO
62. Broken, as a bronco : TAME
63. President Chaim Weizmann was on its first flight : EL AL
64. Some postgrad degrees : MAS

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6 thoughts on “0302-16 New York Times Crossword Answers 2 Mar 16, Wednesday”

  1. 11:27, no errors. I proceeded cautiously, thinking there must be something more difficult going on, that I was missing. Seemed more like a Monday puzzle. Nice puzzle, humorous theme.

  2. No errors. No erasures. Only new word for me was METIER which I got only by getting the crossfill. Otherwise, nice puzzle today.

  3. Ending with second or upper – a better (but obviously not fitting) answer would be HAND. I was just happy to come up with that. It took me like 45 minutes to complete thus thing, lol. No pro here, obviously, but fun nonetheless!

  4. DNF for the cutesy theme and the six letters I couldn't get on the direct west and the error I couldn't figure out for 34-Down.

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