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: 15m 34s
THEME: LANDFORMS … the circled letters spell out landforms, and the arrangement of the letters illustrate each of the landforms e.g. PLATEAU, CLIFF, VALLEY etc.
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
16 CLIME: just another word for climate, as in “in search of warmer climes”.
18 ALFIE: There have two versions of the movie “Alfie” now. The original, and for my money the best, was made in 1966 with Michael Caine. The remake came out in 2004, and starred Jude Law in the title role. The first line of the title song (also called “Alfie”) is, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”. The theme song was performed by Cher in the movie.
25 YIN: The T’ai Chi symbol is the famous Yin-yang emblem.
26 ET ALIAE: The Latin for “and others” is of course always in the plural. The masculine form is at et alii, the feminine et alliae, and the neuter is et alia.
38 MPAA: The Motion Picture Association of America.
41 ERIN: The Latin word for Ireland is Hibernia. Erin is an anglicized version of Eire, the Irish word for Ireland (actually it corresponds to Eirinn, the dative case of Eire).
42 YENTA: Yenta is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater it came to mean a busybody. The name (and busybody characteristics) is used for the matchmaker character in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof“.
50 GNU: Wildebeest is another word for gnu, the antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.
52 ALOUETTE: The French-Canadian children’s song starts, “Alouette, gentille alouette …” Alouette is the French word for a bird, the lark. The song is actually pretty gruesome, even though it used to teach children the names of body parts. The origin of the song lies in the French colonists penchant for eating larks, which they considered to be game birds. So in the song, the singer tells the lark he/she will pluck of the lark’s head, nose, eyes, wings and tail.
56 MUIR: John Muir was the famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, describing one of his favorite places in the country. He was co-founder of the Sierra Club.
67 SASES: Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelopes.
2 PALP: A palp is an appendage found near the mouth of many invertebrates, including mollusks, crustaceans and insects. It is used to help in feeding, but can also assist in locomotion.
3 ELLA: Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and subsequently she became less interested in school. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, finding herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow she managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off, and as the say, the rest is history.
11 ALLAN: Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American writer to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t go too well for him, He was always financially strapped. In 1849, he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital, at 39 years of age.
12 BIFF: Biff Tannen (and variants) was the bully character in the “Back to Future” trilogy. He was played by Thomas F. Wilson.
22 VIC: The “Vic” in “Trader Vic’s” is Victor Jules Bergeron Jr, the founder of the chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants. “Vic” started off with $500 of borrowed money in Oakland, California in 1934, taking over his first establishment. He changed the name to Trader Vic’s, and introduced the Polynesian theme. By the time the sixties rolled round, he had 25 Trader Vic’s up and running all round the world.
28 ASANA: Asana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose, or padmasana.
30 ESTATE: “Brideshead Revisited” is a novel written by Evelyn Waugh, famously made into British televison serial starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews. Brideshead was the name of the magnificent estate in the storyline. For the television production, Castle Howard in North Yorkshire was used as Brideshead. if you ever get the chance, Castle Howard is for my money, the must-see stately home in England.
31 MARIA: Arnie’s wife is Maria Shriver, the daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy. I have to say, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Democrat First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, do seem to know how to compromise in their politics and get along. lesson to be leaned there maybe?
45 LEE: Richard Henry Lee was a statesman from Virginia, and member of the Second Continental Congress. It was Lee who tabled the June 1776 motion calling for independence from Great Britain, leading to the Declaration of Independence the following month. Richard Henry Lee was one of the men who signed that celebrated document.
51 CELIA: Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world she was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.
53 LEMA: Tony Lema was a golfer, a native of Oakland, California. In 1962-1966 he had an impressive run of PGA victories, including a famous 1962 win at the Orange County Open. As a joke, he promised that should he win he would serve champagne to the press corps, who quickly gave him the nickname “Champagne Tony”, a name that stuck. In 1966, Lema and his wife were flying in a small, chartered plane to an exhibition tournament in Illinois, when the aircraft ran out of fuel. Ironically, it crashed into a water hazard near the seventh green of a country club in Lansing, Illinois, killing all four people on board. Lema was 32-years-old.
59 ROSS (SEA): The Ross Sea is a bay in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. It was discovered by one James Ross in 1841. A more recent discovery, in the water of the Ross Sea, was a 33 feet long giant squid, captured in 2007.
62 LON: Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. he eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.
63 UND: “Tristan und Isolde” is an epic opera by Richard Wagner (and hence not one of my favorites!). Many see it as the first serious move away from the traditional harmony and tonality of the classical and romantic eras. They shouldn’t have bothered …