The name’s William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m retired now, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world. I answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are working on the New York Times crossword in any other publication, you are working on the syndicated puzzle. Here is a link to my answers to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword. To find any solution other than today’s, enter the crossword number (e.g. 1225, 0107) in the “Search the Blog” box above.
This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today …
Completion Time: 11m 50s
Theme: LOVE LETTERS … the theme answers spell out the word L-O-V-E i.e
L = First in L-ine
O = Heart of st-O-ne
V = Center of gra-V-ity
E = End of tim-E
Happy Valentine’s Day (almost!)
Answers I missed: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1 FEZ: A fez is that red, cylindrical hat that is worn mainly in North Africa. It used to be very popular right across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, it seems, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez. Back in my part of the world, the fez is famous, as it was warn by the the celebrity comedian/magician Tommy Cooper.
10 DOJO: The Japanese word dojo literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in, or beside, temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts. However, in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for the judo, karate or the like.
15 PODUNK: Podunk is an Algonquian word, meaning a boggy place (literally “where you sink in mire”). European settlers used the name Podunk for the indigenous people that lived in what is now southern New England. These “Podunks” had no name for themselves as a tribe, and they were christened “podunks” as they lived on relatively marshy lands. Podunk has come to mean “the middle of nowhere”.
16 UNUM: From 1776, e pluribus unum was the unofficial motto of the United States. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress settled on “In God We Trust” as the official motto.
27 GYNT: Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music every written, in my humble opinion.
35 UNE: The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardie region. It is famous for the devastating battles of WWI.
43 ONO: The Plastic Ono Band was a so-called super-group, brought together by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969. Members of the group included John and Yoko, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Keith Moon.
55 OCELOT: The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far norht as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he brought with him everywhere.
60 LOVE LETTERS: Billet-doux is a French term for a love letter. A billet is a short note, and doux is “sweet”.
66 UZI: The first Uzi sub-machine gun was designed in the late 1940s, by Major Uziel Gal, who gave his name to the gun.
67 YALE: The Yale brand name comes from the name of the founder of the original company, Linus Yale Jr. Linus Yale was the inventor of the pin tumbler lock.
1 FATAH: Fatah is actually an acronym, formed from the initials (in reverse) of “Palestinian National Liberation Movement”. It is the largest political party in the Palestine Liberation Organization.
2 EXILE: Napoleon was sent into exile twice. A coalition of European powers sent him to the island of Elba in Tuscany in 1814, only for him to escape after a year and return to power. Soon after Wellington defeated him at Waterloo, he was dispatched to the British-owned island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.
8 ENT: Ear, Nose and Throat.
12 JUNE: “June is Busting Out All Over” is a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel“.
25 TYNE: Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey“. More recently she played the mother of the title character in “Judging Amy”.
31 EDY’S: Dreyer’s ice cream sells it’s products under the name Dreyers in Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states.
38 ROAD TEST: “Motor Trend” is an automotive magazine first published in 1949. From early on it started carrying out road tests, and was the first magazine in the US to give a “Car of the Year” award.
41 VALSE: Valse … the French for “waltz”.
46 HELENE: Helene Curtis, based in Chicago, was taken over my Unilever in 1996. Helene Curtis was the first company to introduce the term “hairspray”, when it introduced aerosol products in 1950.
47 ENOL: An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part alkene, part alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of alkene and alcohol.
48 AMPERE: Andre-Marie Ampere was one of the pioneers in the field of electromagnetism. His work was honored my naming the SI unit for electric current, the “ampere” or amp.
51 F-STOP: Varying the f-stop in a lens varies how big the lens opening is (the aperture) when the photograph is taken. Smaller apertures (higher f-stop values) let in less light, but result in sharper photographs.
53 GINZA: Ginza is the high-end shopping district of Tokyo. The old Ginza was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1872, and the new Ginza was rebuilt in a European Georgian brick design, by Irish architect Thomas Waters.
55 OLAY: Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When it was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.
57 EVEL: Evel Knievel was quite the daredevil, something that he passed on to his son Robbie Knievel. Robbie performed with his Dad for the first time when he was just 8-years-old.
62 SDS: Students for a Democratic Society was a student activist group in the sixties. The group organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States, on April 26, 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day.