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, 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: 11m 20s
THEME: SPREAD THE WEALTH … the themed answers all have slang words for money hidden in them, and revealed by the circled letter i.e. BREAD, DINERO, MOOLAH, LUCRE
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Billionaire Bill : GATES
Whatever one has to say about Microsoft, it’s products and it’s approach to business, one has to acknowledge the philanthropic work done by Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has a lot of money, but he has given away billions to charity, and now works full time with the Foundation.
10. Bolshevik’s foe : CZAR
At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin, and as they were in the majority, they became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”.
14. Lake of the Ozarks feeder : OSAGE
The Osage River was dammed in 1931 as part of a hydro-electric power project for the area. The large reservoir created by the dam is called “The Lake of the Ozarks”.
15. Eins und zwei : DREI
In German, one and two = three … eins und zwei = drei.
20. Louisville sports icon : ALI
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He changed his name to Muhammed Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 games, which he threw into the Ohio River after being refused service at a “whites only” restaurant. He was presented with a replacement medal during the 1996 Games.
21. Like steak tartare : RAW
When what we call steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s, it was called steak a l’Americaine, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A variant developed, a version of l’Americaine but without the egg yolk, and with tartar sauce served on the side, which was called steak tartare. Over time, the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat.
23. Tale of a hellish trip : DANTE’S INFERNO
Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno“, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. Dante is led on a journey by the poet, Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell, on which are written the words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.
28. Biochem strand : RNA
RNA and DNA are very similar in molecular structure. One big difference is that RNA is a single strand structure, whereas DNA is famously a double-helix. Another difference is that RNA contains ribose as a structural unit, and DNA contains deoxyribose, ribose without one oxygen atom. And that ribose/deoxyribose difference is reflected in the name of the two molecules: ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
32. “City Without Walls” poet : AUDEN
“City Without Walls” is a poem written by W. H. Auden in 1967. Auden was born in the midlands of England, but lived much of his life in the United States.
43. Actor Jonathan ___ Meyers : RHYS
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is an Irish actor. I remember as a young man in the lovely film “Bend it Like Beckham“. He won a Golden Globe for playing the title role in the mini-series “Elvis”, and played King Henry VIII in the TV drama “The Tudors“.
48. Ruling party in Johannesburg: Abbr. : ANC
The ANC started out as the South African Native National Congress in 1912, with the goal of improving the lot of Black South Africans. After years of turmoil, the ANC came to power in the first open election in 1964.
49. Upscale shoe brand : MANOLO BLAHNIK
Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish fashion designer, born in the Canary Islands. He took some expert device in the early seventies and decided to stick to shoe design. Apparently, his shoes are all the rage (women’s only, I think).
58. Valéry’s vacation time : ETE
Valery lives in France, and goes on vacation in summer (ete).
64. Puzzling jumble: Abbr. : ANAG
A word jumble is an anagram.
65. Izmir native : TURK
Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey. I didn’t recognize it’s contemporary name, but it used to be called Smyrna up to 1930. It is also Turkey’s second largest port, after Istanbul.
68. “Buy It Now” site : EBAY
eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!
6. Dwight’s two-time opponent : ADLAI
Adlai Stevenson ran unsuccessfully against Eisenhower in 1952. Some years later he served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. He was always noted for his eloquence, and had an infamous exchange in a Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”
10. Spanish road : CAMINO
El Camino Real is the Spanish for “The Royal Road”. It was the name given to many roads in the Americas that connected different Spanish settlements. The name El Camino Real persists to this day in many parts of the United States. There’s one just down the road from me in the Bay area.
12. Obama education secretary ___ Duncan : ARNE
Long before Arne Duncan became education secretary, he was a professional basketball player, but not in the NBA. He played for the National Basketball League of Australia, for the Eastside Spectres in Melbourne.
24. Dendrologist’s subject : TREE
Dendrology is broader than just the study of trees. More completely it is the study of wooded plants, whereas botany is the study of plants in general.
25. Central Sicilian city : ENNA
Enna sits very high up in the hills of Sicily, overlooking the the whole island below. Enna is the capital of the province that bears its name, and is the highest province in the whole country of Italy.
27. Adequate, in verse : ENOW
Enow is an archaic form of the word “enough”.
30. Part of N.B. : NOTA
Nota bene is the Latin for “note well”.
32. Moscato d’___ (Italian wine) : ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco) but is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content. It is usually served as a dessert wine.
39. Fleming supervillain : DR. NO
“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of novels by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu stories by Sax Rohmer, and if you’ve read the book or seen the film, you’ll recognize the similarity in characters.
40. Cross-dressing “Dame” of humor : EDNA
Dame Edna is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I’ve seen him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was.
48. Former orchard spray : ALAR
The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator, is daminozide. Initially it was primarily used on apples, but was banned when it was linked to a high risk of cancer.
50. Teatro La Fenice offering : OPERA
Teatro La Fenice is a famous opera house in Venice, Italy. The current building was opened in 2003, replacing a prior structure destroyed by arson in 1996. The older building was itself a replacement of another theater building destroyed by fire in 1836. Perhaps quite fittingly, “fenice” is the Italian for “phoenix”.
51. Tom Sawyer’s crush : BECKY
In “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer“, young Tom is infatuated with Becky Thatcher.
54. Merry Prankster Ken : KESEY
Ken Kesey is wrote the novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“. He was part of a group of friends that called themselves the “Merry Pranksters”, a bunch of guys that were associated with the likes of Jack Karouac, Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary, icons of the beat generation.
55. Queensland gem : OPAL
Australia is a major source for opals, including parts of Queensland.
60. RAV4 or TrailBlazer, briefly : UTE
The Toyota RAV4 is Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV or “ute” for short). The RAV4 name stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive. Inventive, huh? The Chevy TrailBlazer was also an SUV, but production was stopped in 2008, caught up in the financial woes of GM a couple of years ago.