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.
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This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today …
COMPLETION TIME: N/A (watching “Survivor”)
THEME: Odd signs at stores … i.e. BLOWOUT TIRE SALE, LINGERIE HALF OFF, ALL SUITS SLASHED
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Kobe Bryant’s team, on scoreboards : LAL
Kobe Bryant plays for the LA Lakers. Kobe Bryant got his name from a menu. His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of “Kobe” beef, the beef from around the city of Kobe on Honshu in Japan.
4. Boxing champ Hector : CAMACHO
Hector Camacho is a Puerto Rican boxer, with the nickname “Macho Camacho”.
14. Near East honorific : AGA
An aga, or agha, is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.
22. Photography pioneer : EASTMAN
George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling is “string, incisive”. He also wanted a word that short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. Kodak fit the bill for Eastman.
28. Part of an academic title : EMERITUS
Emeritus is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly an academic, but also perhaps a bishop. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who has served his time. The term comes from the verb “emerere” meaning to complete one service.
30. ___ cheese : BLEU
The term “bleu cheese” has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu”, but then I can annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.
31. The Black Stallion and others : ARABIANS
“The Black Stallion” is the first book in a series about a stallion and its offspring, written by author Walter Farley. The Arabian breed of horse originated, as one might expect, on the Arabian peninsula. In this book, the horse truly comes from Arabia, as the storyline starts with a young boy and a horse shipwrecked while travelling from Arabia.
35. Choreographer Lubovitch : LAR
Lar Lubovitch is an American choreographer, noted for his stage work of course, but also for choreographing figure skating routines for the likes of John Curry, Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill.
40. Carrier to Tokyo : ANA
All Nippon Airways is a Japanese airline, second in size only to JAL.
42. Computer innards, for short : CPUS
The Central Processing Unit is the main component on the “motherboard” of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer, that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.
52. Summerlike : ESTIVAL
Estival is a great adjective to apply anything related to the season of summer.
53. Kind of disorder : BIPOLAR
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive disorder.
60. Sch. in Brooklyn, N.Y. : LIU
Long Island University is a private school, that was chartered in 1926. Its focus has always been on providing moderately priced, effective education to people from all walks in life. To that end, it opened a second campus in 1951 in Brookville, in the suburbs of New York City, recognizing the need to serve families that were living outside of the metropolis.
61. ABC daytime staple since 1997 : THE VIEW
“The View” was created by Barbara Walters in 1997. It is very successful, there’s no doubt, but I’ve ever seen clips to be honest.
62. U.R.L. ending : ORG
Internet addresses are Uniform Resource Locators. The Internet addresses that end with the letters .org were originally intended for use by non-profit organizations, but as anyone can register a .org name, there are plenty of commercial concerns that use it … so be careful!
65. ___ Accord (1998 Mideast peace agreement) : WYE
The 1998 Mideast peace agreement was negotiated in a conference center near the River Wye in England, and so is known as the Wye Accord. Reportedly, the talks were very intense, led by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, prodded by President Clinton and at one point King Hussein of Jordan. The historic agreement was signed at the White House, but sadly very little has been implemented due to subsequent escalations in conflict in the region.
3. Who wrote “He who does not trust enough will not be trusted” : LAO TSE
Lao Tse is a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.
4. Comedian Margaret : CHO
Margaret Cho is a very successful stand up comedian, but she is also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. She also acts, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicholas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.
5. Jr. Olympics sponsor : AAU
The Amateur Athletic Union sponsors the AAU Junior Olympic Games, an annual competition held in different cities across the United States, starting in Washington D.C. in 1967, and most recently in Des Moines, Iowa in 2009.
6. “The A-Team” muscleman : MR. T
Mr. T’s real name Laurence Tureaud. He is famous for many things, including wearing excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left by customers at the night club, so that they could be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T.
11. Panhandle city : AMARILLO
Amarillo in the Texas panhandle is known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” because Amarillo is the Spanish for “yellow”. The city was originally called Oneida.
19. Car whose name is an acronym : SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. So yes, SAAB was, and still is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you will often find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automobile division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000.
24. ___ 2600 : ATARI
The kids today probably don’t realize that we had a video game console back in the seventies, but it wasn’t a Nintendo nor a PlayStation. The Atari 2600 game system introduced the idea of separating out computing hardware (the console) from the game code (a cartridge). The same concept persists to this day, although cartridges have been displaced by discs.
25. Nile Valley region : NUBIA
Nubia is a region on both sides of the southern part of the Nile. Most of Nubia is in Northern Sudan today, with the test in Southern Egypt.
32. “Oh, give me ___ …” : A HOME
The words quoted are the first line of the song “Home on the Range”. The words of “Home on the Range” came before the music, a poem called “My Western Home” from the 1870s written by a Dr. Brewster Higley of Kansas. The music was added by Daniel Kelley, a friend of Higley. And now, a version of the song is the state song of Kansas.
38. Spiral-shelled creature : NAUTILUS
The marine creature called a nautilus is referred to as a “living fossil”, as it looks just like the spiral shelled creatures that are commonly found in fossils.
50. Electrical pioneer Thomson : ELIHU
Elihu Thomson, although born in Manchester England, spent most of life in the United States, where he trained as worked as an engineer and inventor. The success of his inventions, mainly in the field of electricity, led him to set up the Thomson-Heuston Electric Company with a partner in 1892. When his company merged with the Edison General Electric Company, the names of all the inventors were dropped to form the General Electric Company.
51. Antique dealer, at times : DATER
Antique dealers probably date people older than themselves …
It’s a joke, a joke!
57. The “S” in 54-Down : S’IL
RSVP stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.
58. Romanian currency : LEU
The Leu is used on both Romania and Moldova. The word “leu” means “lion”, as the older coins bore the image of a lion. The Leu is scheduled to disappear now that Romania is part of the European Union.