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, or leave a comment below.
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: 43m 17s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … BEAME (HEAME), BAST (HAST)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Nightclub in the Trump Taj : CASBAH
Casbah is the Arabic word for a citadel, and usually refers to the citadel in the city of Algiers, and the area surrounding it. Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino Resort opened up for business in 1990 in Atlantic City. And the nightclub in the hotel is called the Casbah.
14. Part of the iris bordering the pupil : AREOLA
The word areola comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.
16. Famous bodybuilder : SCHWARZENEGGER
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. His family name translates into a more manual calling: “black plough man”.
18. “On Golden Pond” wife : ETHEL
“On Golden Pond” was originally a play, written by Ernest Thompson. It was adapted into the famous movie in 1981, with Henry Fonda playing Norman Thayer, and Katherine Hepburn as his wife, Ethel. There was also a television adaptation of the play released in 2001, with another distinguished cast that included Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer as the leads.
19. “Closer Than Ever,” e.g. : REVUE
“Closer Than Ever” is indeed a musical revue, first performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 1989, before moving to an off-Broadway location. There is no dialogue in the revue, and is a series of song routines, dealing with different aspects of life.
20. Fed. management org. : GSA
The Government’s General Services Administration, as the name suggests, provides general services to other federal agencies. So for example, it manages office space for the other agencies, and transportation.
21. Zoologist Fossey : DIAN
Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda (NB: it was Jane Goodall that worked with chimpanzees). Sadly, she was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.
23. Resort town on I-70 : VAIL
I-70, that runs from Interstate 15 in Utah right across to Maryland, was the first Interstate project in the country. In the Rocky Mountains, I-70 passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel, one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world, and the longest interstate tunnel in the country. The Eisenhower tunnel gives the people of Denver easy access to ski resorts such as Vail.
24. TV lawyer Stone : ELI
“Eli Stone” was a comedy drama on ABC, that ran for a year and a half on ABC, finishing up in 2009. Eli Stone was played by Jonny Lee Miller. Miller is English actor, ex-husband of Anglina Jolie. I saw him recently play Mr. Knightly in the latest BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, the best version of “Emma” that I have seen (and I think I’ve seen them all!).
25. Splotchy apparel, familiarly : CAMOS
Camos are camouflage garments, hence the splotches.
29. Apollonian : SERENE
The term Apollonian of course means relating to the Greek god Apollo. As such, someone described as Apollonian would be serene, noble, high-minded.
30. In days of knights? : ARTHURIAN
King Arthur may or may not have existed, but the legends surrounding him are just that, legends. But what great stories they make!
35. Oldest of a literary quartet : MEG MARCH
“Little Women” is of course a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is, eldest first, is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Alcott wrote two sequels to her wonderful novel, “Little Men” (1871) and “Jo’s Boys” (1886).
40. Song from Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” : AGONY
The Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” was inspired by a book called “The Uses of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim. The musical is a montage of several fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm collection, further developing the characters and situations in the original stories. So, for example, the song “Agony” is sung by two princes, one from the Cinderella story, and the other from Rapunzel. The two princes sing about the “agony” they feel in pursuing the women of their dreams. Interesting, huh?
41. ___ Claire : EAU
Eau Claire translates from French to English as “clear water”. There are locations all over Canada and the United State with the name Eau Claire.
42. 11-time N.C.A.A. basketball champs : UCLA
My wife’s a Syracuse University alumna, and she has been glued to the box for this year’s tournament. She is not happy this evening …
43. Racehorse whose 1955 Kentucky Derby win kept Nashua from taking the Triple Crown : SWAPS
Swaps retired in 1956, with career earnings of $846,900. That’s a lot of oats …
45. “Laus ___” (words atop the Washington Monument) : DEO
Laus Deo is Latin for “praise be to god” and is written on the east side of the peak of the Washington Monument. The monument has a prominent role to play in Dan Brown’s latest book “The Lost Symbol“, which I read not too long ago (not as good as “Angels & Demons”). Before the Washington Monument was finished in 1885, Cologne Cathedral was the world’s tallest structure. The Washington Monument then held that honor until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed.
46. New York City’s first Jewish mayor : BEAME
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.
47. “In Search of Identity” autobiographer : SADAT
Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt (succeeding President Nasser), right up the time of his assassination in 1981. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979 that followed the Camp David Peace Accords. It was this move that largely led to his assassination two years later. “In Search of Identity” was published in 1977.
48. Famous body builder? : DR FRANKENSTEIN
Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus“. The subtitle underscores one of the theme’s of the book, a warning about man’s expansion into the Industrial Revolution.
54. Lettuce : DINERO
“Lettuce” and “dinero” are two American slang words for “money”, and very colorful they are too …
1. Vegetable-oil soap : CASTILE
When we were growing up, we used to occasionally use a brand of soap called “Knight’s Castile”, and apparently it’s still available. Castile soap originated from the Castile region in Spain, and is made with olive oil.
4. Cricketer’s action : BOWL
I made the classic mistake of referring to the “bowler” when I brought my son to his first baseball game …
5. Mobile home: Abbr. : ALA
That would be Mobile, Alabama. Clever clue …
6. Disapproving comment : HARRUMPH
What a lovely word. It means to make a show out of clearing one’s throat. The word itself is meant to imitate the sound made.
7. “Speed” star : REEVES
Keanu Reeves starred alongside Sandra Bullock in “Speed“, a great action pic. Jason Patric starred alongside Sandra Bullock in “Speed 2“, the worst action pic of all time.
8. CD, e.g.? : ANNUS
CD is the Roman numeral for 400 and might represent the year AD 40O. Annus is the Latin for year. Now, isn’t that a clever clue? Best I’ve seen in a long time …
11. Carousel riders? : LUGGAGE
I do like cryptic clues!
12. Summer wind in the Mediterranean : ETESIAN
The etesian winds are an annular occurrence on the Mediterranean. As such, it’s no surprise that “etesian” is Greek for “annual”.
13. Nickname of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer : DER ALTE
Der Alte is German for “the old man”. The nickname is very apt. Adenauer was the first Chancellor of West Germany after WWII, taking office in 1949 at the age of 73. He was 87 years old when he left office. He spent much of WWII in prison, courtesy of Herr Hitler.
17. Balancing act? : ZERO-SUM GAME
A zero-sum game is one in which the gains of the winner are exactly offset by the losses of the loser. There is no net gain. So, a “win-win” situation by definition cannot be arrived at in a zero-sum game.
18. Broadway star Linda who won $100,000 on “Star Search” : EDER
Linda Eder is a singer and actress. She came to public attention when she won the television talent show “Star Search” for a record 13 weeks in a row. I’ve never heard of her. I know, I lead a sheltered life …
23. Actress Felton of 1950s TV’s “December Bride” : VERNA
Verna Felton was the voice of Fred Flintstone’s mother-in-law, Pearl Slaghoople. She also provided many voices for the Disney studio, for example “Cinderella” (the Fairy Godmother) and “Alice in Wonderland” (the Queen of Hearts). “December Bride” was a CBS sitcom that’s new to me, but she played Hilda Crocker on that show.
32. Some people do it to think : SHUDDER
Another clever clue … “I shudder to think”.
33. Swiss canton or its capital : LUCERNE
The city of Lucerne is home to the famous “Chapel Bridge”, the oldest, covered wooden bridge in Europe. It’s no small structure, being 670 feet (204 meters) long stretching across the Reuss River. It was built in 1333. Can you imagine?
34. 1932 song or 1984 movie : ALL OF ME
Here’s a really entertaining film from 1984, “All of Me” starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. Steve Martin married supporting actress, Englishwoman Victoria Tennant, right after the movie was released. The song “All of Me” was written by Gerald marks and Seymour Simons. It is their most famous composition.
37. Gradually quieting, in music : CALANDO
Calando is Italian for “becoming smaller”, and is the opposite of “crescendo”.
38. Jabba the ___ of “Star Wars” : HUTT
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi“. His claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.
44. Michelangelo’s country : PAESE
Paese is the Italian word for “country”.
46. Cordage fiber : BAST
Bast fiber is collected from many different plants, most commonly flax, hemp and ramie. The bast fibers run the left of the stem, supporting the conducting cells of the plant’s phloem. It’s the phloem that moves water and nutrients through the plant’s stem.
47. Coveleski of Cooperstown : STAN
Stan Coveleski was a Major League pitcher playing in the early 1900s. He was famous for his (legal) spitball. Following the 1920 season, the spitball was outlawed. However, seventeen named pitchers who used the spitball routinely (including Coveleski) were allowed to continue to use the pitch until they retired.
50. With 28-Down, its flag has a lion holding a sword : SRI
28. See 50-Down : LANKA
The name Sri Lanka translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule. The lion on the flag symbolizes the fight against British colonialism.