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: 9m 28s (tough for a Monday, I thought)
THEME: IN THE CROSS HAIRS … 4 pairs of clues “cross” each other (across & down) and each pair is related to “hair” i.e. POMPADOUR/BEARD, MANES/BANGS, BRAID/PLAIT, SPIT CURLS/LOCKS
ANSWERS I MISSED:
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
6. “The racer’s edge” : STP
STP motor oil takes its name from Scientifically Treated Petroleum.
16. Former Mrs. Trump : IVANA
Ivana Winklmayr was born in Czechoslovakia. She was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976, and met Fred Trump’s son, Donald. Their marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly so much as their very litigious divorce in 1990.
17. Elvis Presley feature : POMPADOUR
Madame de Pompadour was the very official and well catered to mistress of Louis XV of France. At one time she wore her hair swept back from her forehead, but with a wave that made the front of her hair bulge forward. Her name became associated with the style, and so it remains today. The style became fashionable with so-called rockabilly artists in the later fifties, including one Elvis Presley.
19. Mamie Eisenhower feature : BANGS
Mamie Eisenhower’s hairstyle created such a buzz around Washington that sales of “fake bangs” sky-rocketed, These were hair pieces that could be pinned to the head, creating bangs whenever the occasion called for it.
20. Tooth specialist’s deg. : DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery.
23. Shoulder muscle, informally : DELT
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoid muscle is triangular in shape, resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.
24. Author Ferber : EDNA
Edna Ferber won the Pulitzer for her novel “So Big“, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman.
25. Formidable opponents : NEMESES
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were in particular haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character, but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.
34. Tach readings : RPMS
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”.
35. Drinker’s road offense, for short : DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.
44. Its capital is Sana : YEMEN
Sana is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.
45. Sugary drink : SODA POP
Here is a quoted etymology of the word “pop” when used as a beverage: “A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because ‘pop goes the cork’ when it is drawn.” [Southey, letter, 1812]
60. Willie Nelson feature : BRAID
According to Willie himself, he just started braiding his hair when it got too long, back in the seventies, and he kept it up ever since.
62. Betty Boop and Superman features : SPIT CURLS
A spit curl is as icky as it sounds. It describes a tight curl that is pressed flat against the forehead, cheek or temple, originally held in place by saliva.
64. France’s longest river : LOIRE
The Loire River is so long that it drains a full one-fifth of France’s land mass. It rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then it heads north and then due east, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes.
65. Asian New Year : TET
The full name for the new year holiday in Vietnam is Tet Nguyen Dan, meaning “Feast of the First Morning”. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.
68. Grp. that opposed the Vietnam War : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society was a student activist group in the sixties. The group organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States, on April 26, 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day.
5. Abraham Lincoln feature : BEARD
The story is that just before Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he received a letter from a 12-year-old girl, criticizing his appearance and his pock-marked, gaunt face. The little girl, Grace Bedell from New York, promised to get her brothers to vote for Lincoln if he would just grow a beard. Lincoln waited until after the election to grow his famous whiskers, a look that would forever be associated with his presidency.
8. Cousins of carrots : PARSNIPS
A traditional dish in Ireland, and in our house in California, is to serve mashed carrots and parsnips. A real favorite.
11. Jon Bon Jovi and Tina Turner features : MANES
Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock.
18. Actress Merrill : DINA
Dina Merrill was in 22 movies, including two of my favorites, “Desk Set” with Tracy & Hepburn, and “Operation Petticoat” with Cary Grant. Nowadays she carries some sway in the business world. Until 2007 she was on the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers, the band that approved all those big bonuses. She probably doesn’t talk about that too much these days!
27. Part of Istanbul is in it : ASIA
Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side of the Bosphorus, and on the Asian side.
31. Give a shellacking : TROMP
Tromp is a variant of “tramp”, so to tramp all over someone is to give them a shellacking.
35. Coin with F.D.R.’s profile : DIME
President Roosevelt was a major factor in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Foundation’s most successful fund raising campaign was to encourage the public to just send a dime to support the charity, so that even before the Foundation officially changed its name, the public were already calling it March of Dimes. After President Roosevelt passed away in office, Congress passed legislation calling for a new design to for the dime, one featuring the image of FDR. The Roosevelt dime was introduced in 1946, on the day that would have been the President’s 64th birthday.
37. George Harrison’s “___ It a Pity” : ISN’T
George Harrison wrote “Isn’t It a Pity” in 1970, for the Beatles White Album, but the song was rejected. Instead, Harrison used it in his solo album “All Things Must Pass“, and released it as the B-side of the immensely popular “My Sweet Lord“.
50. Juan of Argentina : PERON
Nowadays, President Juan Peron of Argentina is less well known that his wife, Eva Peron, of “Evita” fame.
51. Pippi Longstocking feature : PLAIT
Pippi Longstocking appears as the heroine in a series of books written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Lindgren is quite the activist, very well known in the circles working for children’s and animal rights, and specifically she has campaigned heavily against corporal punishment.
53. Rapunzel feature : LOCKS
Rapunzel is the fairy tale in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel was locked in a tower by an enchantress. The inevitable prince turns up, and he climbs up to Rapunzel using her long, fair hair as a climbing rope.
57. Chi-town paper, with “the” : TRIB
The Tribune was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of the Trib was probably in 1948 when the headline was “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN“, on the occasion of the presidential election. When it turned out Truman won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it. A famous, famous photo, that must have stick in the craw of the editor at the time.
58. ___ Romeo : ALFA
The Alfa in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, a company founded in 1909. The company was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915, and in 1920 the name was changed to Alfa Romeo.
61. Architect Mies van ___ Rohe : DER
Mies van der Rohe, is actually the family name of the German architect, whose given name was Ludwig, but everyone just called him Mies regardless. I am a philistine, I know, but his buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two really great sayings: “less is more” and “God is in the details”. Now we all know where they came from!
63. Game with Skip and Draw 2 cards : UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine called Mau Mau. Years later I discover that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose printed deck, instead of the regular deck used for Mau Mau.