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. 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: 65m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Good-for-nothing : EMPTY SUIT
He or she might wear a suit, but there’s no substance under it.
10. Transmission repair chain : AAMCO
AAMCO is named after one of the two founders, Anthony A. Martino (AAM). The company was founded in 1963 in Philadelphia, and opened its first franchise in Newark that same year. There are now about 800 franchises, and AAMCO is the largest transmission chain in the world.
16. Eponym of an annual award for best left-handed pitcher : SPAHN
The Warren Spahn Award has been presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Museum since 1999. Warren Spahn was a left-handed pitcher, who won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history.
18. Ancient neighbor of Lydia : IONIA
Lydia and Ionia were ancient territories in land now covered by modern-day Turkey. Apparently they were settled by colonists from the other side of the Aegean, and eventually fell under Greek then Roman rule.
19. Legis. period : SESS
A session is a legislative period.
20. Like many Miami Beach buildings : DECO
Miami Beach has an Art Deco Historic District that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The buildings in the district make up the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world.
21. Vice president Barkley : ALBEN
Alben Barkley served as Vice President of the US under President Truman. Truman and Barkley fought the famously close presidential race against Governor Dewey of New York in 1948. As President Truman finished his second term, Vice President Barkley announced his candidacy for the highest office, but was pressured to pull out of the race as he was considered too old at 74 years.
22. Populist power couple of the 1940s-’50s : PERONS
Nowadays, President Juan Peron of Argentina is less well known that his wife, Eva Peron, of “Evita” fame.
24. Ornamental pond fish : ORFE
The orfe is also known as the ide or id. It’s a freshwater fish, with a bright coloring, making it popular for ornamental ponds.
31. Airport alternative to JFK or LGA : EWR
The accepted three big airports serving New York City are John F. Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).
32. Code broken by Joe Valachi : OMERTA
Omerta is a code of honor in existing Southern Italy society. It has been adapted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence, designed to prevent a Mafioso from informing to the authorities. Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. His story was told in the movie “The Valachi Papers“, with Charles Bronson playing Valachi.
34. Picasso’s “private muse” : DORA MAAR
Dora Maar was a famous French photographer. She became Pablo Picasso’s lover, and muse, when she was 29, and Picasso 54. The pair had a complicated relationship that lasted nine years. Picasso painted a portrait of her (“Dora Maar with Cat“) that was sold at auction in 2006 for almost $100 million, the second highest price ever paid for a painting.
36. Some Musée d’Orsay hangings : RENOIRS
The Musee d’Orsay is one of the premier museums in Paris, and holds the world’s largest collection of impressionist art. Renoir was a pioneer in the Impressionist art movement.
38. Adversary of Rocky : NATASHA
Natasha Fatale is was a cartoon character that hung out with Rocky and Bullwinkle in the sixties. Natasha was a spy, hence the “Fatale” name.
41. Wimbledon’s borough : MERTON
The London Borough of Merton is in the southwest of London. It is the home of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the oldest and perhaps the most celebrated tennis competition in the world. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and are still played on grass.
42. Pou ___ (vantage point) : STO
Pou sto is Greek, meaning “where I may stand”. The phrase has it roots in words spoken by Archimedes, who said that he could move the earth if given a place to stand. In contemporary use it describes a place on which to stand, or a basis of operation.
43. He said “Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers” : ELIOT
T. S. Eliot was born in New England but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Much of his college education was at Oxford, and clearly he became comfortable with life in England. In 1927 he became a British citizen, and lived the rest of life in the UK.
52. Beggar in Sir Walter Scott’s “The Antiquary” : EDIE
“The Antiquary” is a Gothic novel by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1816. Edie Ochiltree is the beggar character in the story. Scott describes him as a “gaberlunzie”, a Scots word for a licensed beggar.
53. K.P. unit : SPUD
KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.
57. Cologne is found on it : RHINE
Cologne (Koln in German) is the fourth largest city in Germany, and the Rhine is one of the longest rivers in Europe.
58. It can’t travel in a vacuum : SOUND WAVE
Sound is a wave from that propagates through matter: solid, liquid or gas. If there is no matter to carry the sound, then there’s no sound!
60. Great, to Gaius : MAGNA
Gaius was a common Roman name for males. Magna is the Latin for “great”.
62. Antiknock fluid : ETHYL
The Ethyl Corporation produced the controversial anti-knock fuel additive known as Ethyl, actually tetra-ethyl lead, and we are still living with the consequences …
2. Sourpuss’s look : MOUE
Moue comes from French, and it means a small grimace, or a pout.
4. Hold hands? : TARS
The tars (sailors) might be the hands working in the hold of the ship.
5. Sumac with a wide range : YMA
Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano, with a notable vocal range of five octaves.
6. Earl ___, 1930 Triple Crown-winning jockey : SANDE
Earl Sande retired from his very successful career as a jockey in 1932. He turned to training racehorses, and within a few years he was the most successful trainer in the country.
9. Its news network won a 2008 Peabody Award : THE ONION
“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …
10. Polo setting : ASIA
Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice, and famous traveler throughout Asia. He journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco is the one we remember today because he documented their travels in the book “Il Milione“.
11. Olympic speed skater Ohno : APOLO
Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. He also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.
12. Unmacho features : MAN BREASTS
No comment …
13. Cleveland Indians mascot : CHIEF WAHOO
Chief Wahoo is a somewhat controversial cartoon image, thought by many to reinforce stereotypes.
33. Botanical casings : ARILS
The casing called the aril, which surrounds may seeds, may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.
44. Like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva : TRIUNE
The Hindu Trinity is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also Siva) the destroyer or transformer. A triune is another word for a trinity, three beings in one.
47. “South Park” parka wearer : KENNY
Kenny McCormick is a character on “South Park” (which I have never watched). Apparently it’s hard to understand his dialog as the hood of his parka covers his mouth.
49. Dovetail, e.g. : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.
53. Quid pro quo : SWAP
Quid pro quo is Latin for “something for something”, a swap.
55. Ciliary body locale : UVEA
The ciliary body is a layer of spherical tissue on the inside of the eyeball. It produces the fluid that fills the eyeball, and it also has muscles attached to the eye’s lens. These muscles adjust the shape of the lens causing it to change focus. The uvea is a larger layer of tissue, also spherical, of which the ciliary body is part.
59. Lush development? : DTS
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.