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: N/A (watching the BBC mini-series “North and South” … recommended!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: missed 5/6 in the northwest!!!.
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1 BIG MAC: The Big Mac‘s secret sauce is just Thousand Island dressing, from what I hear.
16 NEARER: Gloucester says to King Edward IV, “Nearer in bloody thoughts, but not in blood”, in Shakespeare’s “Richard III“.
17 ONE-ARMED: Def Leppard is a hard rock band from Sheffield in England (and were I did my post-grad). Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash, severed by an incorrectly-worn seat belt. With the encouragement of the band, he returned to the line-up by using a specially designed electronic drum set. Amazing indeed …
18 KAZ MATSUI: Kaz Matsui is from Osaka, and plays second base for the Houston Astros. He is no relation to Hideki Matsui of the Anaheim Angels.
20 NAJA NAJA: Naja naja is the taxonomic name for the cobra.
24 DAIL: OK, this was a “gimme” for me, and on a Saturday! In Ireland we have our own Senate (Seanad) and Dail (House of Representatives) which make up the Oireachtas (Congress).
25 RIOT: A ran-tan is very funny person, someone who makes outrageous remarks.
37 FRO: An afro is a type of hairstyle, or bush.
38 PEI: I. M. Pei is an exceptional American architect, born in China. Of his many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard, albeit controversial with Parisians.
46 NEIN: “Nein, doch!” is not as simple as it appears to translate. In effect it means, “No, on the contrary!” and is a reply to a question that suggests the opposite.
47 GELDS: Ouch!
48 STARA: Stara Zagora is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria, once known as Beroe.
50 USAIN BOLT: Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter, who in the 2008 Olympics won three sprint gold medals. Back in Jamaica, before throwing himself headlong into sprinting, was big into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler.
54 BORGIA: It is Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince“, and the philosophical opinions expressed therein, that give rise to the the “Machiavellian” meaning cunning and devious, especially at the level of state politics. Machiavelli expresses a lot of admiration for Cesare Borgia in his treatise.
57 SEA GODS: Both Nereus and Proteus were sea gods in Greek Mythology.
58 RENEGE: Fortunately, we bridge players rarely come across reneges. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though they may have a card of the led suit in his/her hand.
3 GRAZIOSO: Grazioso is a musical direction, meaning elegantly and gracefully.
4 MARMOT: Marmots are large, ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the infamous groundhog, but not the prairie dog.
6 CERT: Cert is an abbreviation for certiorari. Today, a writ of certiorari is an order by a superior court instructing a lower court to send the record in any particular case for review by the higher court.
7 MANILA: The puzzle today seems to be suiting me, as I also used to live in Manila. Manila’s nickname, “Pearl of the Orient“, can be seen on the city’s shield.
9 STAC: Stac is an abbreviation for staccato.
11 TIMBAL: Timbal is another word for a kettledrum, derived from the Old French and Old Spanish word for a small drum.
12 EMERIL: Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, born in Massachusetts. he first achieved notoriety as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences.
15 POUILLY FUISSE: So many French wines are blended to develop the wonderful flavors and complexity that they have. However, Pouilly Fuisse is made from just Chardonnay grapes, and maybe that’s why it generally sells for less!
19 SKOAL: Both Skoal and Copenhagen are brands of dipping tobacco (ugh!) made by the US Smokeless Tobacco company.
23 ORISON: Orison is another word for prayer, that comes to us ultimately from Latin, via Middle English and Old French.
29 FRET: A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument like a guitar. The fingers press on the frets, shortening the strings, and changing the note played by the strings. The note increases by one semitone as the the fingers shorten each string by one fret.
32 UNDERDOG: “Underdog” was a television cartoon series broadcast in the sixties and seventies. Underdog used to take a “super energy pill” and in syndication, the act of taking the pill was censored. Presumably this was to discourage kids from sampling real medication looking for super powers.
33 IRINA: Irina Spalko is a KGB agent in was played by Cate Blanchett in “India Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“.
42 AMANDA: The 2008 comedy “Finding Amanda” stars Matthew Broderick, and Brittany Snow as Amanda.
43 REUNES: Reunes: gets together again, at a reunion …
44 LEBRON: LeBron James plays basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
47 GNOME: In English folklore, the lovable fairy’s anti-hero is the diminuitive gnome, an evil, ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable, with garden gnomes and these days, even the Travelocity Gnome.