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: 8m 13s
THEME: Capital Cities … All the theme answers are people with a capital city as a family name e.g. Irving BERLIN, Jack LONDON
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
6. “___ the night before …” : TWAS
The poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” was first published in 1823, and although it is believed to have been written by Clement Clarke Moore, there poem was attributed to “anonymous” when first put into print …
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their bed(s),
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads …”
14. Ninth planet no more : PLUTO
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. It is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more, large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of dwarf planet, along with Eris.
15. Days of King Arthur’s Round Table, e.g. : YORE
The word “yore” means “time long past”, and is serived from our word “year”, as one might have guessed!
16. Any brother in “Animal Crackers” : MARX
“Animal Crackers” was a successful 1928 Broadway play, adapted into the very popular 1930 movie of the same name starring the Marx Brothers. It is definitely my favorite of their films. The five Mark Brothers were born to “Minnie” and “Frenchy” Marx in New York City. The more famous, three older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. The youngest brother, Zeppo, appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies, but the fifth son Gummo, he went off to pursue his own career off the stage.
19. Amo, amas, ___ : AMAT
In Latin, I love, you love, he/she loves …
22. California wine county : SONOMA
Did you know that there are far more wine grapes produced in Sonoma County than Napa Valley? Within Sonoma County some of the more well-known appellations are Chalk Hill, Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley (my own personal place for winery tours in the area, way less crowded and more fun than Napa Valley).
28. Buddhist sect : ZEN
Zen is one of the Buddhist schools, that became it’s own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD.
33. Virginia-born Pulitzer Prize novelist of 1942 : ELLEN GLASGOW
Ellen Glasgow won her Pulitzer for “In This Our Life” published the previous year. John Huston directed a film adaptation that was released under the same name, also in 1942, starring Bette Davis and George Brent, and Olivia de Havilland and Dennis Morgan.
36. Actress Cannon : DYAN
In the 1969 film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”, Dyan Cannon played Alice, a role which earned her an Oscar nomination. She is also famous for having been one of Cary Grant’s long list of wives, from 1965 to 1968 (and he was 33 years her senior).
37. Three ___ match : ON A
“Three on a match” is a superstition, apparently dating back to the Crimean War. If three people light their cigarette from the same match, then supposedly one of the soldiers would be killed. A further superstition, called “third on a match” was that the third soldier who gets the light would be killed. The rationale was that if an enemy sniper saw the light of a match, he would take aim as the first person takes the light, determine whether he was seeing friend or foe with the second lighting, and then shoot at the third lighting.
42. “God Bless America” composer : IRVING BERLIN
Irving Berlin’s real name was Israel Baline, a Russian immigrant that came to New York with his family in 1893. Berlin wrote “God Bless America” while serving with the US Army in 1918. He didn’t find a spot for it until just before the WWII. He felt it was the right time to introduce a patriotic song, and famously gave it to singer Kate Smith, for a broadcast on Armistice Day in 1938. The song was such a hit that there were even moves made to adopt it as a new national anthem.
50. Japanese site of the 1972 Winter Olympics : SAPPORO
The 1972 Sapporo Games were the first Olympics ever held in Asia. For the beer drinkers out there, Sapporo is also home to Sapporo Brewery, with the Sapporo brand being one of the more recognizable brands of beer internationally.
51. Lon ___ of Cambodia : NOL
Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. he eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.
52. Greek portico : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greek architecture. They usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.
60. Indy 500, e.g. : RACE
The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. He had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposed that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.
61. “The Call of the Wild” author : JACK LONDON
“The Call of the Wild” is the most published novel of writer Jack London. When I was at school in Ireland, we had to read his follow up novel, “White Fang“. In the former novel, the hero is a dog, and in the latter, a wolf.
66. Chief Norse god : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin is the chief of the gods. His wife, Frigg, is the queen of Asgard, and the deity that gave us our English term Friday (via Anglo-Saxon).
5. One who changes form during a full moon : WOLF MAN
A wolf man is better known perhaps as a werewolf. A werewolf morphs from human form into that of a wolf man when there is a full man. There seems to an obsession about werewolves and vampires these days …
6. Beginner : TYRO
A tyro is a beginner or a novice. It comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.
8. French military force : ARMEE
It’s simply the French word for “army”.
10. Auto financing inits. : GMAC
GMAC is short for General Motors Acceptance Corporation. GM has a very small stake in GMAC now, and indeed the name has been officially changed to Ally Bank. You and me, we are the biggest shareholders in GMAC/Ally now, after the US government gave the bank $12.5m to bail it out in 2008-2009.
11. Childbirth training method : LAMAZE
The Lamaze technique for childbirth was developed by a French obstetrician called Fernand Lamaze. He introduced the technique in the west after observing similar practices in the Soviet Union in a visit there in 1951.
18. Sturm und ___ : DRANG
Sturm und Drang translates from the German into “Storm and Stress” or perhaps “Storm and Impulse”. It was the name given to a movement in German literature and music in the latter half of the 18th century.
23. Paris suburb : ORLY
Orly is on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home of course to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city, after more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. Orly is still the most busy airport though, in terms of domestic traffic.
24. Theme song of bandleader Vincent Lopez : NOLA
Vincent Lopez was an American band-leader, son of Portuguese immigrants from New York City. He was very popular on the days of radio, before television, and would start his broadcasts with “Lopez speaking!”. He theme song “Nola” was a novelty ragtime piece that dated back to 1915, composed by Felix Arndt.
30. “The Time Machine” people : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells “The Time Machine“, there were two races that he encountered in his travels into the future. The Eloi were the beautiful people, that lived on the planet’s surface, while the Morlocks were basically a slave race living underground
34. The Beach Boys’ “Barbara ___” : ANN
The Beach Boys “Barbara Ann” was actually a cover version released in 1965, of a song first recorded by the Regents in 1961 (with a different spelling “Barbara Anne“).
45. Pesto seasoning : BASIL
Pesto gets its name from the Latin word for “crush”. The word “pestle”, as in mortar and pestle, is derived from the same Latin root.
48. Piña ___ : COLADA
Pina colada is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …
53. First president born in Hawaii : OBAMA
Despite rumors to the contrary, I am pretty sure that Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.
64. Shelley’s “___ to the West Wind” : ODE
Percy Bysse Shelley wrote “Ode to the West Wind” in 1819 when he was living in Florence, Italy. One interpretation of the work is that expresses his dismay at not being home in England, while another is that it is a lament for the loss of his son, who died earlier in the same year.