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: 13m 35s
THEME: X MARKS THE SPOT … in the theme answers, the words “the spot” are replaced with an X i.e. JOHNNY ON X (Johnny-on-the-spot), PUT ON X (put on the spot), THAT HITS X (that hits the spot)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Like saddle shoes and bell-bottom pants : DATED
Saddle shoes are those two-tones shoes (usually black and white) that were worn particularly by young women with poodle skirts and bobby socks in the fifties. The name comes from the dark (black) “saddle” of leather that goes over the top of the shoe, in which the eyelets for the laces are inserted. Saddle shoes didn’t make it to Ireland, but bell-bottoms certainly did …
16. Syngman ___, first president of South Korea : RHEE
Syngman Rhee was born in Korea, but received much of his education in the US, including a Ph.D. from Princeton. He returned, very much westernized as this point, to Korea in 1910, a Korea that by then had been annexed by Japan. He found himself President of a Provisional Government of Korea based in Shanghai, but was eventually ousted for misuse of power. After WWII, the westernized Rhee was installed as President heavily backed by the United States. However, Rhee’s rule proved to be more like tyranny, and during the Korean War, his relationship with the US Government became very strained. He stayed in power until 1960, when student revolts became popular enough to force him out of office. The CIA flew him out of the country, and he went into exile in Hawaii, where a few years later he died of a stroke.
17. Israeli political party : LABOR
The Israeli Labor Party is known locally as Avoda.
18. One who’s available when needed : JOHNNY-ON-X
20. Need for a link : URL
Internet addresses are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
23. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Roush : EDD
Edd Roush was a big hitter that played Major League Baseball, starting in 1913 for the Chicago White Sox. He jumped ship to the Federal League in 1914, a league set up to compete with the already well established National and American Leagues. The upstart league only lasted a couple of seasons. When Edd Roush passed away in 1988 at the age of 94, he was the last surviving player from the short-lived Federal League.
24. With 40-Across, key to the “map” of this puzzle : X MARKS
X MARKS THE SPOT … a clever theme, I thought.
28. “___ quam videri” (North Carolina’s motto) : ESSE
“Esse quam viden” is Latin for, “To be, rather than to seem”. Unofficially of course, the North Carolina motto is “First in Flight”.
33. Eastern royal : RANI
A Ranee (also spelled Rani) is the female equivalent of a Raja in India.
34. Gordon of “Oklahoma!” : MACRAE
Gordon Macrae was best known for appearances in “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel“, both Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and in both he appeared opposite leading lady Shirley Jones. Jones and Macrae were lifelong friends, and he was the godfather of one of her sons.
36. “One Life to Live” airer : ABC TV
“One Life to Live” has been on the go since 1968. I am ashamed to say that I have never seen one episode (well, not really ashamed, to be honest …)
37. ___ Wayne with the platinum album “Tha Block Is Hot” : LIL
Here’s yet another rapper, Lil Wayne. His real name is Dwayne Carter, Jr.
43. 2009 Peace Nobelist : OBAMA
The Peace Prize is one of five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. There is also Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded along with the original five, but is funded separately, and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”.
47. Hefty refs. : OEDS
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”.
48. Be Ciceronian : ORATE
Cicero was a very influential figure in Ancient Rome, in not a small part due to his renowned ability to deliver a persuasive speech. Ciceronian …. such a nice word …
49. Novel subtitled “A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas” : OMOO
“Omoo: A Narrative of the South Seas” is Herman Melville’s auto-biographical sequel to “Typee”.
55. Asked a hard question in public, say : PUT ON X
(Put on the spot)
57. Director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre, not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense and Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon“, “Hulk“, and “Brokeback Mountain“.
62. End of a series : ZEE
What’s wrong with zed? 🙂
63. “Mmm! So satisfying!” : THAT HITS X
(That hits the spot)
67. Star followers : MAGI
Magi is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus just after he was born.
69. Elegiac music : DIRGE
Elegiac is the adjective coming from elegy, a mournful poem or funeral song, also known as a dirge.
70. Dutch export : EDAM
Edam cheese takes the name after the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. It is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps it travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. This means that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.
3. Raga accompaniers : TABLAS
Raga isn’t really a type of music as such, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar is perhaps the most famous rage virtuoso (to us Westerners). The tabla is an Indian percussion instrument, a pair of hand drums in essence.
4. W.W. II inits. : ETO
Dwight D. Eisenhower was in command of the European Theater of Operations during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, you might want to keep an eye out for a great made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.
5. Zoolander of “Zoolander” : DEREK
Derek Zoolander is the title character from the 2001 film “Zoolander“. Ben Stiller has the starring role, with his father, Jerry Stiller, playing his manager. Derek Zoolander is a male model, with the name coming from a melding of two real-life make models, Mark Vanderloo and Johnny Zander.
6. Certain trekker : HAJI
A Haji is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person.
8. Chat room opener : IMHO
If you’re in an online chat room, watch out for “In My Humble Opinion” …
9. Parts of sonatas : RONDOS
A rondo was often chosen by composers for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme or themes, with the main theme anchoring the whole piece in between episodes or digressions off to explore the secondary themes.
11. It may be on the tip of the tongue : SHOE LACE
My kind of clue … very clever ..
13. Libido : SEX DRIVE
Libido is a term first popularized by Sigmund Freud. His usage was more general than is understood today, as he used libido to describe all instinctive energy that arose on the subconscious.
19. Battle Born State: Abbr. : NEV
The official nickname of Nevada is the “Silver State”. The unofficial nickname of the “Battle Born State”. The phrase “Battle Born” is a reference to Nevada being awarded statehood during the American Civil War.
25. Band with the 2008 album “Accelerate” : REM
The band’s name, R.E.M., apparently has nothing to do with Rapid Eye Movement (the stage of sleep when one dreams) as is widely assumed. Apparently is means absolutely nothing.
31. Bob Marley, e.g. : RASTA
I must admit that I don’t really understand Rastafarianism. I do know that a Rasta, like Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say it is a religion, some not. It does involve the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
38. Dupe’s shout : I BEEN HAD
I always thought the phrase was “I’ve been had”, but I guess anything is possible. I still use zeds instead of zees, so I don’t get a vote on this one …
39. Singer born Stefani Germanotta : LADY GAGA
I’ve seen Lady Gaga interviewed on television a few times, and she sure is “unique”. Her music is of course out of my league, but she does know how to put on a show.
44. In-box stock: Abbr. : MSS
If you are an editor say, you might have your in-box stocked with unread manuscripts (MSS).
46. Alky : SOT
Alky is a slang word for alcoholic, a sot.
50. “La Clemenza di Tito” composer : MOZART
“La Clemenza di Tito” (The Clemency of Titus) is an opera seria (serious opera, as opposed to comic opera) that Mozart completed not long before he died.
52. Sunflower-like daisies : OXEYES
Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants.
54. Suffix with hawk : ISH
Something or someone who is hawkish, might resemble a hawk. Nowadays we most associate the term with someone who is an advocate of war, relatively speaking, and less patient when it comes to diplomacy.
56. Std. on food labels : US RDA
The Recommended Daily Allowances were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by the Recommended Daily Intakes in 1997.
64. Enchanter in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” : TIM
Tim the Enchanter was played in the 1975 film by John Cleese. Tim the Enchanter also appears in the derivative play “Spamalot“, a role originated by Hank Azaria.