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: 22m 49s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
14. Marching ___ (Midwest college band) : ILLINI
The Illini (or the Fighting Illini) is the name given to the athletic teams and marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The name Illinois is a French name that was given to the people that lived in the area (called Ilinwek).
15. Mix : OLIO
Olio is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew, in turn, takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the name of the clay pot used to make the stew.
16. Post-Manhattan Project agcy. : AEC
The Atomic Energy Commission was set up right after WWII in 1946, with the aim of promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. It was a significant move by President Truman, as it passed control of atomic energy from the military to the civilian sector. The AEC continued to operate until 1974, then it’s functions were divided up into two new agencies, the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
19. Guilty, in a legal phrase : REA
The Latin phrase “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” means “the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty”. In other words, a man should not be deemed guilty of an act, unless he had a “guilty mind”, that he intended to do wrong.
23. Narnian guardian : 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.
30. Noted 21-Across dealer : ASTOR
John Jacob Astor was the father of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death, he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).
32. OPEC member: Abbr. : UAE
The United Arab Emirates is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The OPEC cartel was formerly established in 1960, and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965.
36. Climactic musical finales : STRETTI
Stretti is the plural of stretto, an Italian term used to describe a closing passage in an aria or perhaps a movement in a musical work. Stretto comes from the verb “stringere”, and means narrow, tight or close.
38. Like some pulled calves? : LASSOED
Pulled calves … clever clue …
43. Work containing about 2.5 million quotations: Abbr. : OED
The “Oxford English Dictionary” contains over 300,000 “main” entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for a single word is that for “put”.
50. Tibiae neighbors : TARSI
In humans (and most animals with four feet) the tarsi are the collection of bones that make up the rear of the foot, connecting to the tibia and fibula of the lower leg. Connected at the other side of the tarsi are the metatarsals.
53. Member of the Hindu trinity : SIVA
The Hindu Trinity is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer. Shiva is a Sanskrit word meaning “auspicious, kind, gracious”.
58. Women who may make people break up? : COMEDIENNES
60. Place for many belts : BAR
Also funny …
64. Rialto attention-getter : NEON
There are many Rialto Theaters around the United States, and they might use neon signs to attract one’s attention.
2. Offerer of the Matmid frequent flier club : ELAL
El Al’s Matmid frequent flyer program was introduced in 2004, after it’s previous programs were retired. Frequent flyers may sometimes avail of the El Al airport lounges located around the world, which go under the name of King David Lounges.
5. Clandestine maritime org. : ONI
The Office of Naval Intelligence has along history, going back to 1882, making it the oldest of all US intelligence agencies. The distinguished list of ex-ONI officers, includes John F. Kennedy and journalist Bob Woodward.
7. Company with the stock symbol DPZ : DOMINO’S
Domino’s Pizza started out as DomiNick’s, a pzza store on Ypsilanti, Michigan. The store was purchased by Dominic’s founder Tom Monaghan in 1960, along with his brother (Tom bought out his brother a few months later for the price of a used VW). The store was renamed Domino’s Pizza in 1965, and two years later the first franchise store was opened. There are now over 8,000 stores worldwide, including one in Tallaght, in Dublin, Ireland, where I lived for many years in my youth. That Tallaght store became the first Domino’s outlet in the world to hit a a turnover of $3 million a year. We Irish obviously have terrible taste when it comes to pizza …
8. I, for one : ELEM
Iodine is an element that is found in relatively large quantities in seawater, which probably explains why most lifeforms require iodine in trace amounts.
9. Six-Day War setting : SINAI
The Six-Day War took place from June 5-10, 1967, and was fought between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. By the time the ceasefire was signed, Israel had seized huge swaths of land formerly controlled by Arab states, namely the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Penisula, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. The overall territory of Israel grew by a factor of three in just six days.
10. “___ Been the One” (2006 Rihanna song) : COULDA
“Coulda Been the One” was included as a bonus track on Rihanna’s 2006 album “A Girl Like Me“. Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados, moving the US when she was 16-years-old to pursure a singing career.
13. One ___ (kid’s game) : O’CAT
One o’cat, or more properly “one old cat”, is an abbreviated from of baseball with a home pate and just one base.
26. Longtime human “Sesame Street” role : SUSAN
The Robinson family lives on “Sesame Street“. Susan Robinson is a nurse, married to Gordon, a schoolteacher. Loretta Long was chosen to play Susan for the very first episode back in 1969, and she is still hanging in there.
27. Crookes tube emission : CATHODE RAY
William Crookes was a British physicist who created an electrical discharge tube in 1869 that output a stream of electrons that were called “cathode rays”. It wasn’t until 1897 that J. J. Thompson determined that cathode rays were in fact a stream of particles, that were later to be named “electrons”.
28. Measurers of gas properties : AEROMETERS
The first aerometer was invented way back, in the 11th century by a Persian scholar called al-Biruni. It is used to measure the weight and density of a gas (or a liquid).
34. Gloomy : SATURNINE
Saturnine can mean gloomy or sullen, or can describe someone with the temperament of one born under the astrological influence of Saturn. Astrologically, Saturn is associated with many characteristics, including the governing of the “melancholic humor”.
37. Nations Unies members : ETATS
Translating from French, states (or countries) are members of the United Nations.
39. They’re often loaded : SOTS
You’ve gotta love these clever clues …
42. End of discussion? : LETTER N
The end of discussio-n is the letter “n”.
45. Military alert status : DEFCON
The US military uses the DEFCON scale to move to different stages of readiness (DEFCON: the defense readiness condition). DEFCON 5 denotes normal peacetime readiness. DEFCON 1 is maximum readiness. The scale was created in 1959 by the Joint Chiefs. The highest DEFCON level ever reached (as far as we public folk know) was DEFCON 2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 (although this only applied to Strategic Air Command). The military reached DEFCON 3 during the Yom Kippur War, and also during the attacks of September 11, 2001.
47. Michael with the memoir “Work in Progress” : EISNER
Michael Eisner took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 1984. He has been attributed with turning Disney around, as the company was floundering really since 1966 when Walt Disney died in 1966. He had a good run, but ran foul of Walt Disney’s nephew Roy Disney, who led a revolt that led to Eisner’s resignation in 2005.
49. TV executive Arledge : ROONE
Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. He made a name for himself in sports broadcasting, and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.
52. Novel with the chapter “Farming in Polynesia” : OMOO
“Omoo: A Narrative of the South Seas” is Herman Melville’s auto-biographical sequel to “Typee“. The book’s narrator explores Tahiti and describes the customs of the natives and their way of life.
54. Old victim of the Spanish : INCA
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro discovered the Incas in 1526, the beginning of the end for the ancient civilization, ravaged by force and by imported smallpox.
55. Resident of D.C.’s Observatory Circle : VEEP
The official residence of the VP of the United States is at Number One Observatory Circle, in the grounds of the Naval Observatory. The house was built in 1893 for the use of the superintendent of the observatory. In 1974 it was taken over by Act of Congress for use as the VP’s official residence. The move was partly a matter of economics as the cost of providing security for the Vice President at his own residence was becoming prohibitive. Reportedly, there was an underground bunker build below the house after the 9/11 attacks.
59. “___ weites Feld” (Günter Grass novel) : EIN
Gunter Grass is best known for his first novel “The Tin Drum” published in 1959. “Ein weites Feld” was published more recently, in 1995.