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: 40m 01s
Theme: Q. WHAT IS LOVE? A. LOVE IS …
Answers I missed: 0
TODAY’S GOOGLIES (all links go to Amazon.com) …
10 BLIND: Shakespeare used the phrase “love is blind” more than once in his work, including “Two Gentlemen from Verona“, “The Merchant of Venice” and “Henry V“.
15 HAJI: A Haji is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person.
22 OLIN: Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, first discovered by Ingmar Bergman. As well as appearing in “Chocolat” in 2000, she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show “Alias”.
23 WHAT IS LOVE: “What is Love” was released by Haddaway (and I’ve never heard of it, or him!).
30 KOAN: A koan is a term that comes from Zen Buddhism. It describes a puzzling story or statement designed to act as an aid to meditation.
32 FRIENDSHIP SET TO MUSIC: Joseph Campbell, the American philosopher and writer, actually said that “love is a friendship set to music”. I think the meaning is that love is much more than friendship, like words are so much more when put to music.
36 MEAT PIE: “Sweeney Todd” was originally a 1936 film, and later in 1973 a play, a 1979 musical and a movie adaptation of the musical in 2007. After Sweeney Todd has killed his victims, his partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, helped him dispose of the bodies by taking the flash and baking into meat pies that she sold in her pie shop. Ugh!
37 O’CAT: One o’cat, or more properly “one old cat”, is an abbreviated from of baseball with a home pate and just one base.
41 ROWAN: Dan Rowan was the straight man to funny guy Dick Martin on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. “Laugh-In” was originally a one-off special for NBC in 1967, but it was so successful that it was brought back as a series, replacing the waning “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Personally, back then I loved both shows.
46 TDS: In football (I just learned) a bomb is a long pass down the field, the same as “going long”.
52 THE BEAUTY OF THE SOUL: St. Augustine was a Berber from North Africa. He led a very secular life, including living with a concubine, before converting to Catholicism. The complete quotation is, “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”
65 ORZO: Orzo is pasta that has been formed in to granular shapes, much like barley. and indeed, orzo is the Italian word for “barley”.
68 LUNTS: Lynn Fontanne was a British actress who married actor Alfred Lunt in 1922. The couple moved to America after appearing on the New York stage in a Noel Coward play that was regarded as too risque for London’s West End. The Lunts were very successful in the American theater, almost always acting together, and often playing husband and wife.
72 BORE: Irishman C. S. Lewis moved to Britain after serving in the British Army in WWI. A man of many achievements, he is perhaps today best remembered for his set of novels for children “The Chronicles of Narnia” (a good read for adults too, I think).
73 RUHR: In 1921, French and Belgian troops occupied part of the Ruhr as specified in the Treaty of Versailles signed at the end of WWI. This occupation spread to the whole of the Ruhr in 1923, when Germany failed to make sufficient reparation payments that were also called out in the treaty.
78 SHARING YOUR POPCORN: The quote of course comes from the “Peanuts” comic strip. The characters in the cartoon were largely drawn from Charles Schultz’s own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.
83 OPAH: Opah is the more correct name for the fish also called more familiarly a sunfish or moonfish. I’ve seen one in the Monterey Aquarium. It is huge …
87 VEGA: Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, and is also seen in a group of three stars (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) that from what is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.
90 REMUS: According to tradition, Rome was founded by the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. They had a heated argument about who should be allowed to name the city, and Romulus hit Remus with a shovel, killing him. And so, “Rome” was born!
96 PAMELA: Samuel Richardson gave his 1740 novel a subtitle, “Virtue Rewarded”, as the term well describes the plot. Pamela is a maid who continually resists the improper advances of her employer. Eventually, the unwelcome suitor makes a proper offer of marriage, which Pamela accepts. The remainder of the story is about Pamela developing a relationship with her new husband, and trying to get comfortable with her new station in life. Sounds like one to put on my reading list …
102: A MANY-SPLENDORED THING: “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” was written in 1955 for the movie of the same name. There was a soap opera spin off of the movie, which used the original as its theme song. The most successsful recording was by the Four Aces, but Frank Sinatra belted it out as well.
109 EMIL: Emil Jannings won that first Best Actor Oscar for his role in “The Last Command“.
110 DRED: Slave Dred Scott was unsuccessful in suing for his freedom in St. Louis, Missouri in 1857.
114 ALL YOU NEED: John Lennon wrote “All You Need is Love” for the first ever global television broadcast, a collaboration between broadcasters from many countries including Britain’s BBC.
121 TREO: The Treo line of smartphones was introduced by Handspring, but the brand is now associated with Palm who bought Handspring.
123 A ROSE: Neil Young wrote and recored “Love is a Rose“, but Linda Rondstat’s 1975 version is the most famous.
124 MEESE: There’s President Reagan’s AG, Ed Meese again!
2 EPH: It seems that the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians is now regarded by scholars as written “in the style of Paul” by someone who was influenced by Paul’s thought.
3 HEAT RAYS: The Martian’s had the heat rays in H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds“. A great book, but I loved the docudrama made about the 1938 radio drama version directed and narrated by Orson Welles. I’ve never found it after seeing it that one time, but it did a great job showing how panic spread as the radio show was broadcast listeners really believed we were under attack.
5 ARSENIO: Arsenio Hall got his big break with his role in “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy in 1988. The following year he started hosting “The Arsenio Hall Show”, which ran until 1994.
8 NAVAHO: North American Aviation was a major aerospace player, especially after WWII and during the Cold War. The worked on the experimental Navaho intercontinental cruise missile from 1946 to 1958, a development based on Germany’s V-2 rocket from WWII. All North American project names started with the letters “NA”, hence the name “Navaho”.
11 LOCKE: John Locke was the English philosopher who postulated that the mind was a blank slate (or tabula rasa) and that we filled that slate with our experiences and observations.
14 D MINOR: Personally, I love the minor keys, and who couldn’t like D Minor, the key of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony?
16 ALIASES: Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Anne Rice is the American author of erotic and gothic novels, and was born Howard Allen O’Brien.
17 JILLIAN: Ann Jillian played waitress Cassie Cranston on the TV sitcom “It’s a Life” in the eighties.
33 DENEB: We saw above that Deneb hangs out with Vega in the Summer Triangle.
35 MEADE: Nowadays, Fort Meade is best known as the headquarters of the NSA.
40 ELEM: Boron and Carbon (B and C) are elements, but not A nor D.
49 SULU: Mr Sulu was of course played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. He has had lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he played the helmsman who steers the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 in the 1963 film?
56 SOREN: Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian, and I never really understood anything I ever read about him!
57 OREL: Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. He now lies in Las Vegas, and when he isn’t working for ESPN, he is apparently at the poker tables at least five times a week.
60 PCBS: Polychlorinated biphenyls were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors.
62 TARA: Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind“.
69 TOPO: A hiker might use a topographical map.
85 YANG: The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin, and the bright side is the yang.
86 MSG: Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of a naturally occurring (and non-essential) amino acid, glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. My vote is yes … it’s not good for you. something that comes out of test tube shouldn’t be in food.
88 EMANUEL: Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer of White House Chief of Staff.
94 NEHRU: A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in teh 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlai Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.
99 NO MA’AM: Sgt. Joe Friday may have said “No, ma’am” a lot on “Dragnet“, but he never actually said the oft-quoted, “Just the facts, ma’am”.
106 ELLIE: The 2009 Pixar film “Up” is actually quite cute (I didn’t think I’d like it). Carl is voiced by Ed Asner, and the love of his life Ellie, she doesn’t get much of a say in the movie.
113 TSE: Lao Tse is a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.