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: 10m 55s
THEME: ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI … the circled letters spell out GATEWAY ARCH, reading from bottom left to bottom right, and define the shape of an arch. Clever …
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 ALAI (ALOI), AYER (OYER)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
7. Asia’s Trans ___ Range : ALAI
The Trans-Alai Range is in the Pamir Mountains, and lies between Kyrgystan and Tajikstan. The highest point in the range is called Lenin peak.
14. Peter Pan lost his : SHADOW
Peter Pan lost his shadow when Nana (the children’s nurse/dog) pulled it off him in Wendy’s house.
18. Ancient concert halls : ODEA
In Ancient Greece, an odeon was like a small theater, literally meaning a building for musical competition. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome, for the likes of musical shows and poetry readings.
19. Don Ho adornment : LEI
Don Ho had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife, apparently. When he was touring, with his two backing singers Pattie Swallie and Elizabeth Gevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of the backing singers, giving a total of ten kids including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly. To each his own …
26. Nintendo’s Super ___ : NES
The acronym stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The kids probably have one. I wouldn’t know …
27. Collagist Max : ERNST
Max Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891. He had to fight in WWI, as did most young men. In his autobiography he writes, “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. Actually, he lived to the ripe old age in 85, dying in 1976.
28. Some tides : NEAPS
Neap tides are when the difference between the height of the water at high tide and low tide is relatively small. Spring tide is the opposite, with a big swing in the height of the water. Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the lesser gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon’s gravities act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
30. 1936 foe of Franklin D. : ALF
Alf Landon was the Governor of Kansas from 1933-37, and was the Republican Party’s nominee against FDR in the 1936 Presidential election. He is remembered as the candidate who “disappeared” after winning the nomination. He rarely traveled during the campaign, and made no appearances at all in the first two months. FDR famously won by a landslide, with Landon only winning the states of Maine and Vermont, and could not even carry his home state of Kansas.
31. Beaufort ___, area above Alaska : SEA
The Beaufort Sea is named after Irishman, Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man, and created the Beaufort scale for measuring the force of winds.
36. “Voice of Israel” author : EBAN
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town. While working at the United Nations after WWII, he changed his name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”, apparently as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.
40. City with a landmark spelled out by the circled letters, reading left to right : ST. LOUIS MISSOURI
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinenen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch alright, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …
43. Former Wall St. letters : NASD
The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc (NASD) no longer exists per se. Since 2007, it’s functions are carried out by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) since 2007. These functions include regulation of trading in equities, bonds, futures and options. In 1971, the NASD set up a new computerized trading system, the NASD Automated Quotations stock market, or NASDAQ.
50. Org. headquartered on N.Y.C.’s First Avenue : THE UN
The land on which the UN sits may be in Manhattan, but it is considered to be international territory. That territory is bounded on one side by First Avenue, and the East River on the other.
53. Part of B.Y.O.B. : OWN
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle.
55. Letter before beth : ALEPH
Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth the second.
58. 1904 event at 40-Across : WORLD’S FAIR
The 1904 World’s Fair was actually called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as it celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. There are many claims of “firsts” at the 1904 Fair, and among the list of real “firsts” are the introduction of Dr. Pepper and Puffed Wheat! The Fair, which ran for much of 1904, was the host for the 1904 Summer Olympic Games, the first to be held in the US.
63. Needle holder : ETUI
An etui is a small, ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported the word from French.
66. Actor Cage, familiarly : NIC
Nic Cage was born Nicholas Coppola. he is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.
71. Soviet agcy. in Bond novels : SMERSH
James Bond went up against a fictional organization called SMERSH, but Ian Fleming lifted that name from a real Soviet agency called SMERSH. The name is an acronym from the melding of two Russian words meaning “Death to Spies” (and that’s the real agency!). The real SMERSH was founded in 1943, and was in charge of counter intelligence for the Soviet Army.
3. Pro team in 40-Across : CARDINALS
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as they changed it one year later to the Cardinals.
5. Creator of Roderick Usher : POE
Roderick Usher is the main character, other than the narrator, in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher“.
10. Juan Perón’s third wife : ISABEL
Juan Peron most famous wife, and most popular in Argentina, was of course Eva, his second wife. Peron’s third wife was Isabel Martinez, a woman 35 years his younger, and a nightclub entertainer. Juan Peron was elected into his third term as President in 1974, but died only one year later. Isabel, despite her lack of experience and education, took over as President in his stead, an office she held for 21 months, before unrest in the country led to her arrest and eventual exile to Spain in 1981, where she still lives today.
11. Narnia lion : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis books, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe“). Aslan is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity to the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.
23. Monteverdi opera partly set in the underworld : ORFEO
Monterdi was a true pioneer. “L’Orfeo” is one of the first operas ever composed, first performed in 1607. It is still performed regularly to this day.
25. “Elephant Boy” boy : SABU
The 1937 film “Elephant Boy” starred a young, Indian elephant driver called Sabu Dastagir. Sabu made more films over the next few years, and moved to the US. He had starring roles in “The Thief of Bagdad” in 1940 and played Mowgli in the 1942 version of “The Jungle book”. Sadly, Sabu died very young, at 39 from a heart attack.
34. “Rehab” singer Winehouse : AMY
Amy Winehouse is a much ridiculed singer from the UK, whose life has been fraught with very public bouts of drug and alcohol abuse. “Rehab” is a very apt track from her second studio album, with lyrics that tell of her drinking habits and her refusal to go into to rehab.
35. Adriatic Riviera city : RIMINI
Rimini is the most famous resort city on the Adriatic Riviera.
37. Brand associated with 40-Across : BUDWEISER
Adolphus Busch was born in Mainz in Germany. He emigrated with three of his brothers from Germany, to St. Louis in 1857. Still a young man, he met a married Lilly Anheuser, whose father owned a local brewery. When Busch’s own father died, he received a sizable inheritance, which he used to buy a substantial share in his father-in-law’s brewery. When Lilly’s father died, the brewery was renamed to Anheuser Busch.
38. ___ cosine : ARC
The arc cosime is simply the opposite of the cosine. So, the cosine is ratio of the length of the adjacent side to the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. Flip that ration to get the arc cosine.
39. Shoot down : NIX
The use of nix as a verb, meaning “to shoot down” dates back to the early 1900s. Before that it was just the noun, meaning “nothing”. This comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.
41. Two-time N.L. batting champ Lefty : O’DOUL
Lefty O’Doul was from San Francisco. He owned a restaurant in the city that bears his name, and it still operates today (near Union Square). There’s a bridge near AT&T Park, the Giant’s relatively new ball park, that’s called Lefty O’Doul Bridge.
42. Emmy winner Ward : SELA
Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. She played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show. I do know her from “House” though. She played the hospital’s lawyer, and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought.
51. TV host Mandel : HOWIE
Howie Mandel is a Canadian “funny guy”. He’s making a lot of money these days as host of “Deal or No Deal“. But I remember him on “St. Elsewhere” in the eighties, the first American TV show that I started to watch regularly when I moved to the US.
54. Ralph of “The Waltons” : WAITE
Ralph Waite played the Dad, John Walton Sr. on “The Waltons“. I was never much of a John-Boy fan, but I did like “Roots“. Waite played a very different character on that show, first mate on the slave ship “Slater”.
59. Ollie’s partner : STAN
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood, of course. He ended up at the Hal Roach studio, directing films, intent on pursuing a career writing and directing. However, Laurel, a sometime actor, was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time, and when it was clear they worked so well together, the partnership was born.
60. X-ray dosage units : RADS
A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels, but is largely obsolete now. It has been superseded by the rem.