The link below to today’s syndicated puzzle was broken earlier. It’s fixed now. Apologies for any inconvenience.
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: 8m 02s
THEME: AR-TO-O … the theme answers are common phrases with “AR” changed TO “O” e.g. DISCOVER COD (from DISCOVER CARD) and POT COMPANY (from PART COMPANY)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … HAMEL (HATEL), OMB (OTB)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
11. Alternative to La Guardia or Newark, in brief : JFK
The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943, and construction started on a new airport to serve the city, to relieve the congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name has stuck with the airport to this day, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed in 1963 to John F. Kennedy International Airport, one month after the President was assassinated.
14. Travis who sang “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” : TRITT
Travis Tritt is a country singer from Marietta, Georgia. T-R-O-U-B-L-E was the third album he released, in 1992.
15. Picasso or Casals : PABLO
Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Pablo Casals, the famous cellist, had a simpler name, Pau Casals i Defilló.
19. Jamaican term of address : MON
Mon, a version of “man” is not only a term of address used in Jamaica, but also in Scotland, albeit with a very different accent!
21. Rhino relatives with long snouts : TAPIRS
All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.
23. “I’ll alert ___”: Hobson, in “Arthur” (with 25-Across) : THE
25. See 23-Across : MEDIA
“Arthur” is a fabulous film (although I can’t stand the giggly character played by Liza Minnelli). Dudley Moore (Arthur) and Sir John Gielgud (his butler, Hobson) are the one’s with the chemistry in this movie, not the romantic leads. The lines referenced in the clue provide a great example:
Arthur: I’m going to take a bath.
Hobson: I’ll alert the media.
Arthur: Do you want to run my bath for me?
Hobson: That’s what I live for.
Hobson: Perhaps you would like me to come in there and wash your **** for you, you little ****.
29. Bind with a belt : GIRD
The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. It describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” mean “prepare yourself for the worst”.
31. Ekco or Farberware? : POT COMPANY
The EKCO name dates back to 1888 when Edward Katzinger founded his company in Chicago, to make baking pans (Edward Katzinger CO.). The Farberware brand was created a little later, 1900, when S. W. Farber founded his company. The Farberware company is famous for more than just pots. It was the first producer of the coffee percolator.
34. Notions, in Nantes : IDEES
Idees is French for ideas. Nantes is a beautiful city located on the delta of the Loire, Erdre and Sevre rivers. It has the well deserved nickname of “The Venice of the West”. I had the privilege of visiting Nantes a couple of times on business, and I can attest, it really is a charming city.
36. Old photo color : SEPIA
Sepia is that lovely rich brown-grey color so common in old photographs. The name sepia comes from the pigment derived from the ink sac of the cuttle fish, with “sepia” being the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish. The sepia tone of old photographs is not a result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result a deliberate preservation process with converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Sepia toned prints can last in excess of 150 years.
44. Like a visit from Benedict XVI, e.g. : PAPAL
How about Pope Bendict’s latest CD? His Holiness is featured singing on an album just released by the Vatican. “Alma Mater: Featuring the Voice of Pope Bendict XVI” is a collection of sacred music. All proceeds go to help underprivileged children around the world.
47. Registers for a meditation class? : TAKES UP OMS
Om is a sacred, mystic word from the Hindu tradition. It is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.
53. Its capital is Muscat : OMAN
Oman is lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The city of Muscat, with its strategic location, has a history of invasion and occupation. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody invasion. The Portuguese held the city for much of the next century until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648.
60. Houston baseballer : ASTRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name from the Colt .45s in 1965, when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the cities long history with the US space program.
69. “Hill Street Blues” actress Veronica : HAMEL
Veronica Hamel played public defender Joyce Davenport on “Hill Street Blues“. Davenport was also the girlfriend of Captain Frank Furillo, and each episode would end with the two of them in bed, acting out a kind of epilogue.
70. Augusta’s home : MAINE
OK, who knows the link between Augusta, Maine and Dearborn, Michigan? Dearborn, Michigan is named after US patriot Henry Dearborn, and the state capital of Maine, Augusta, is named after his wife, Augusta Dearborn.
73. ___-Detoo … or, when read in three parts, a hint to 17-, 31-, 47- and 63-Across : ARTOO
Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2, the smaller of the two famous droids from “Star Wars“. British actor, Kenny Baker,who stands just 3 ft 8 ins tall, has been the man inside the R2-D2 droid for all six of the “Star Wars” movies.
1. Co. with a blooming business? : FTD
Back in 1910, fifteen florists from around America agreed to fulfill each others orders using the telegraph system, and so set up what they called the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery. The concept grew so large that in 1965 the group started offering international service, and changed its name to Florists’ Transworld Delivery.
3. 1960s sitcom with a talking palomino : MISTER ED
Mister Ed was played by a horse called Bamboo Harvester. Bamboo Harvester was euthanized at the age of 19, suffering from kidney problems and arthritis. Mister Ed’s voice was provided by veteran western actor, Rocky Lane. Rocky started in many, many cowboy B-movies including a string of movies where he played the character Red Ryder.
6. Big name in small swimwear : SPEEDO
Speedo brand swim-wear first came out of Australia in 1928, from a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among the employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago …
7. Hell, to General Sherman : WAR
William Tecumsah Sherman spoke the famous phrase “war is hell” when addressing a large rally in Columbus, Ohio in 1880. He said, “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.” President Harry S. Truman took a different view decades later, in 1945, when he said “Sherman was wrong. I’m telling you I find peace is hell.”
8. “Dancing With the Stars” network : ABC
When I was growing up in the British Isles, there was a surprising popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called “Come Dancing”. It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998. In 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, “Strictly Come Dancing” is a huge success, and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American spin-off, “Dancing with the Stars”. It really is great television …
11. Aunt known for her pancakes : JEMIMA
The Aunt Jemima brand name was taken from an old vaudeville song called “Old Aunt Jemima”. The whole Aunt Jemima image has been surrounded by controversy for many years, understandably.
12. Old European gold coin : FLORIN
The original European gold florin was minted in Florence, Italy (hence the name) in 1252. It spread right across Europe, minted in a many different countries, becoming the favored coin of trade for large commercial transactions. The name persisted until quite recently. When I was growing up, we had a florin coin in Ireland and England, a two-shilling piece, although it was a silver coin.
23. Letters said with a shout : TGIF
Thank God It’s Friday is a relatively recent expression, first used in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR, in the early seventies.
38. Storekeeper on “The Simpsons” : APU
The fictional store, Kwik-E-Mart, is operated by Apu on the “The Simpsons” TV show.
42. Nautilus captain : NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the assumption is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’s Locker.
45. I.M. snicker : LOL
In an Instant Message on AOL Messenger, one might Laugh Out Loud, but only by typing …
55. Leaf opening : STOMA
Stomata (plural of stoma) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The pores take in air through the stomata, rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released into the air though the same stomata.
58. Workers’ protection agcy. : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector only, the one exception being the US Postal Service.
64. Govt. book balancer : OMB
The Office of Management and Budget is the successor to the Bureau of the Budget, also formed in 1970 during the Nixon administration.
66. British musician Brian : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, his most oft played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you’d hear when the Windows 95 system starts up.
67. ___ Speedwagon : REO
The REO Speed Wagon (note the space) is the vehicle. REO Speedwagon is the American rock band.