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
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This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today …
Completion Time: 51m 43s
Answers I missed: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
15 HART CRANE: American poet Hart Crane published the poem “The Broken Tower” just a few months before committing suicide. He was travelling by steamship from Mexico to New York, and threw himself overboard into the Gulf of Mexico, exclaiming, “Goodbye, everybody!”.
16 ELIEL: Eliel Saarinen was a Finnish architect who designed entire city districts in Helsinki. He immigrated to the United States, where he became famous for his art nouveau designs. He was the father of Eero Saarinen, more renowned in America for his designs, such as Dulles International Airport, and the TWA building at JFK.
17 BROWN EYES: The song “Beautiful Brown Eyes” was a hit in 1951 for Jimmy Wakely in the country charts, and for Rosemary Clooney in the pop charts.
19 AMWAY: The Amway Arena in Orlando is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, among others.
20 SAN’A: Here is San’a again, the capital city of Yemen. The old city, surrounded by thick clay walls, is a World Heritage City, as declared by the UN in 1986.
22 CRIS: Cris Collinsworth played football for the Cincinnati Bengals until retiring in 1988 and taking up a career in sports broadcasting. Collinsworth is slated to replace John Madden who lives just down the road from me, by the way) on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”, when he retires.
33 AGATES: Cat’s eye and agate are both mineral gemstones. Cat’s eye is more properly known as cymophane.
34 JOE THE PLUMBER: Joe Wurzelbacher was famously made famous by the 2008 McCain campaign as Joe the Plumber. Joe has carved out quite a career from himself since the election, and now works as a motivational speaker and commentator.
37 RUPAUL: RuPaul is an American drag queen. He/she had a short-lived talk show on VH1.
39 EDESSA: Ancient Macedonia was in the northeast part of the Greek peninsula. For a while, the capital city was named Edessa.
41 HMS: There have been seven different ships in the Royal Navy named HMS Prince of Wales, and there is a new aircraft carrier slated to take the name when it is launched in 2016.
51 HILDA: In “Hogan’s Heroes“, Colonel Klnk had two secretaries in the course of the show, The first was Helga, and the second Hilda. Hilda was played by Sigrid Valdis, and in the show had a romantic relationship with Colonel Hogan played by Bob Crane. They also had an off-screen relationship, and were married in 1970.
52 TIARA: Wonder Woman used her tiara as both a dagger and a throwing weapon which would return to her like a boomerang. It had magical powers.
58 SLEDS: Some simple sleds are made out of saucer-shaped plastic.
5 CCNY: The City College of New York is a college of the City University of New York.
21 ASSAULT: Blitzkrieg is German for “lightning war”. It describes a tactic used in WWII whereby the Germans threw everything, all mechanized forces, into breaking through enemy lines and moving quickly to the objective. The strategy worked well for the German Forces, especially in France and Poland, largely because the infantry were able to follow the mechanized forces in a matter of hours. The strategy failed miserably on the Russian Front, where the infantry fell days behind the tank and artillery units.
25 HAGMAN: Larry Hagman played J. R. Ewing on “Dallas“.
27 WATUSI: The Watusi was almost as popular as the twist in the early sixties. The dance took its name from the Batutsi tribe in Rwanda.
28 ASHLAND: Ashland, Oregon is renowned as the center of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). OSF is set up as a company that produces plays in three theaters in a season that last from February to October each year. The OSF sell more theater tickets than any other theater organization in the whole country.
29 GTE: GTE was indeed a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000, forming a company that we now know as Verizon.
36 LST: LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels with doors at either ends, from which tanks and other vehicles could roll off onto beaches. The concept persists to this day, in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off ferries, all inspired by the LST.
42 MADAME: The play “Madame Sans-Gene” was written by Victorien Sardou and Emile Moreau in 1893. It was made into a film in 1962, starring Sophia Loren.
50 EDIE: Lou Grant’s wife, Edie, was a significant character in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show“. Lou and Edie separated and divorced, providing a persistent storyline in the show. Edie was played Priscilla Morrill.