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 email@example.com
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: 38m 38s
Theme: There’s a little bit of a “crossword solver/setter” theme …
Answers I missed: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1 ZORBA: “Zorba” the musical (and “Zorba the Greek” the film) were adaptations of the 1952 novel “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis. The song “Life is” opens and closes the show.
6 ICC: The Interstate Commerce Commision was set up in 1887 to regulate the railroads, and later the trucking insustry. It was abolished in 1995, and its functions absorbed by the Surface Transportation Board.
14 A WILL: With these lines from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar“, Brutus is telling the ghost of Caesar that he wants to kill himself much more than he wanted to kill Caesar.
21 ASA: Asa Gray was an important American botanist in the nineteenth century. He was a lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, albeit mainly through correspondence. Darwin dedicated his book “Forms of Flowers” to Gray.
23 OAS: Punta del Este is an upscale resort of the coast of Uruguay. It was the site of a 1961 charter meeting of the heads of the Organization of American States (OAS).
25 OVO: The man most usually associated with the phrase “all life is from eggs” is seventeenth English physician William Harvey. He was really the first to postulate openly that all life forms, including humans, originate from eggs. William Harvey is better known, however, for discovering that blood circulates through the human body.
41 CAN: Both “can” and “pen” are slang terms for prison.
55 OPENING SENTENCE: The sentence quoted is of course is the opening to the Charles Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities“, the two cities being London and Paris. “A Tale of Two Cities” is the most printed book originally written in English.
57 OTT: John Ott used his technique of time-lapse photography to study plants, and first treated it as a hobby. He eventually teamed up with Disney making classic documentaries that used time-lapse techniques (such as “Secrets of Life” from 1956. He wrote about his life working on time-lapse in his book “My Ivory Cellar“.
1 ZARF: A zarf is an ornamental, metallic cup that resembles a chalice. It is used in the Middle East to hold a hot coffee cup.
2 O’-WAR: The man-o’-war was the most powerful design of warship from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, developed in England at the height of the British Empire.
7 CRUCIVERBALISTS: Cruciverbalist is a term developed in the 1990s to describe crossword enthusiasts. The word comes from the Latin for cross (crux) and word (verbum).
8 CYRANO: Edmond Rosatand wrote the famous play “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1897. There have been a couple of interesting film adaptations, namely “Roxanne” starring Steve Martin, and an Oscar-winning “Cyrano de Bergerac” (in French) starring Gerard Depardieu.
11 ASIA: The Sea of Okhotsk lies off the eastern coast of Russia, and stretches down as far south as Japan. It marks part of the eastern boundary of the continent of Asia.
13 DOTY: I am not sure about this one. We used to say back in Ireland that someone feeble-minded was “dotty”. Maybe that’s connected somehow. I’d be interested to hear if someone has a better explanation. I can’t seem to find much in my limited scouring of Google.
24 AEREO: Aereo di linea is Italian for “airline”.
26: OLLA: Here’s our old friend, the earthenware pot …
27 FIVE GUINEA: I am not sure about this one either. One guinea was worth 21 shillings when I was growing up, not five. There used to be a one guinea coin, as well as one worth five guineas. I think this is a mistake. I remember working in a bar back in Ireland the day that decimal currency was introduced. The older people couldn’t cope with the new money at all. I made a fortune in tips that night!
28 MEESE: Ed Meese rose as high as Attorney-General under President Reagan.
29 EDRED: Edred was king of England from 946 until 955. Northumbria is in the north of England, close to the Scottish border.
41 CALGON: The Calgon brand was originally associated with a product that used up calcium ions in the water that inhibit the efficacy of soap. The name Calgon is derived from this effect i.e. CAL-cium GON-e!!
43 CLINE: “Sweet Dreams” is a country song written and recorded in 1956 by Don Gibson. Patsy Cline had a much bigger success with her cover version released in 1963. The song title was then used as the name for a movie about Patsy Cline’s life, released in 1985 with Jessica Lange in the starring role.
46 RATEL: The honey badger is found in most of Africa, as well as other parts of the world. It is also called a ratel, because that is the Afrikaans word for the little beast.
47 DREW U: Drew University is a private school, with a theological history. It is named after railroad tycoon Daniel Drew, who donated his estate in Madison for the original seminary, which grew into the school it is today.