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: N/A (Watching “Young Victoria” on DVD … recommended!)
THEME: “Sounds like” … all the theme answers sound like common phrases, and contain words that sound the same or similar e.g. WEE WHEE MONSIEUR Oui, oui, Monsieur) , DEEP DEW DUE (deep doo-doo), SEW AND SOW (so-and-so)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Archaeologists usually find things in this : SITU
In situ is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”.
9. 1992 Jack Nicholson title role : HOFFA
“Hoffa” is the biographical film about the life of Jimmy Hoffa, the colorful leader of the Teamsters Union. The movie was directed by Danny DeVito, who also played the supporting role of Bobby Ciaro, Hoffa’s close friend and confidante.
14. Asta in the book “The Thin Man,” e.g. : SCHNAUZER
Asta was the wonderful little dog in the superb movie “The Thin Man” starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” series of films.
17. Instruction to an overexcited Frenchman? : WEE WHEE MONSIEUR
Oui, oui, Monsieur …
22. Oriole or Tiger, informally : ALER
i.e. playing in the American League …
23. Really wet grass expected tomorrow morning? : DEEP DEW DUE
Deep doo-doo …
30. Wirers, say: Abbr. : EES
Some wirers are Electrical Engineers.
34. What quilting farmers do? : SEW AND SOW
36. Restrictive wear : IRONS
Irons are fetters, shackles, and very restrictive wear.
38. Auvers-sur-___, last home of Vincent van Gogh : OISE
Auvers-sur-oise is in effect a suburb of Paris now, lying just 17 miles from the center of the city. By the time Van Gogh moved there, he was quite ill and in poor mental health. The reason he moved to Auvers was to be treated by one Dr. Paul Gachet who became a good friend, as well as the subject in two of Van Gogh’s portraits. Van Gogh shot himself in the chest in a field in Auvers in 1890, and managed to walk back to the Ravoux Inn where he was staying. Sadly, he died from his wounds two days later.
42. Commodity for John Jacob Astor : PELT
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).
43. Camera innovator George : EASTMAN
One of George Eastman‘s great innovations was the introduction of roll film, and the production of cameras that could use such rolls. He founded the Eastman Kodak Company in 1892, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. Kodak fit the bill for Eastman.
45. Whitecaps next to an underpriced beachfront property? : WAVES BY BUY
Waves bye-bye …
49. Some jellied dishes : EELS
Jellied eels is a traditional English dish. It is prepared by boiling up chopped eels in a spiced stock, and then allowing the stock to cool. As the eel is very gelatinous, proteins from the fish permeate the stock during cooking so that on cooling it solidifies into a jelly. I tried it years ago … disgusting …
50. Oscars prop: Abbr. : ENV
Opening the envelope, “And the winner is …”
51. Put in one’s ___ : OAR
To put in one’s oar is to meddle, to interfere.
52. Date maker : PALM
One might make a date and record it in one’s PalmPilot (if one still has such a thing!).
UPDATE: Oops!! Someone has quite rightly pointed out that I missed the point here. The fruit “dates” are made on “palm” trees!
53. Simplify things at a ricotta factory? : WEIGH WHEY EASIER
Way, way easier …
59. Old Dodge hatchbacks : OMNIS
The Doge Omni was basically the same car as the Plymouth Horizon, and was produced by Chrysler from 1978-90. The Omni is a front-wheel drive hatchback, the first of a long line of front-wheel drive cars that was very successful for Chrysler. The Omni was actually developed in France, by Chrysler’s Simca division. When production was stopped in the US in 1990, the tooling was sold to an Indian company that continued production for the Asian market for several years.
62. Hockey’s Steve and baseball’s Mel : OTTS
Steve Ott is a Canadian hockey player, in the Dallas Stars line-up. Before becoming a hockey pro, Steve Ott raced outboard hydroplanes in the American Power Boat Association, following in the footsteps of his Dad, a National Champion.
I don’t think Mel Ott took steroids! At 5′ 9″ he weighed just 170 lb.. Yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958, at age 49 years.
63. Retired fleet : SSTS
SuperSonic Transports, like the Concorde, broke Mach 1, the speed of sound.
1. Missoula-to-Boise dir. : SSW
Missoula Montana is home to the University of Montana, and the birthplace of Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to Congress. Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. Boise is home to many famous residents, including the actor, George Kennedy.
3. Great American Ball Park team : THE REDS
Great American Ball Park is named after Great American Insurance Group. Pity really, as it is such a grand name for a baseball field. Oh, and it is of course home to the Cincinnati Reds.
9. Dearborn ___, MI : HTS
Dearborn Heights falls within the Detroit metropolitan area.
11. Bronze statue on top of the U.S. Capitol : FREEDOM
The bronze statue that sits atop the US Capitol is today called the Statue of Freedom. When it was designed by Thomas Crawford, and installed in 1863, it was named Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace. Crawford created the plaster model in workshop, but passed away in 1857, some years before his work was set in place on its magnificent platform.
22. “The Simpsons” grampa : ABE
Grampa Abe Simpson is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who provides the voice for Homer.
24. Jazzy James : ETTA
Etta James is best known for her rendition of “At Last”. Sadly, she discloses in her autobiography, Etta James has lived a life that has been ravaged by drug addiction, leading to numerous legal and health problems.
32. Musician Brian : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, his most oft played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you’d hear when the Windows 95 system starts up.
34. Lemon ___ : SOLE
Lemon sole is also called English sole, and is native to Northern Europe. It is a flatfish, and a very popular dish in the British Isles.
35. Object of a French prayer : DIEU
Dieu, the French for God.
36. Beach locale of song : IPANEMA
Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning “bad water”, signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the song “The Girl from Ipanema” written in 1965.
41. Not the longest dashes : ENS
In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years.
46. Salaam : BOW
The word “salaam” is an Anglicized spelling of the Arabic word for “peace”. It can mean an act of deference, in particular a very low bow.
47. Unsophisticated boob : YAHOO
Yahoos were brutish creatures introduced by Irish author Jonathan Swift in “Gulliver’s Travels”. Their savage, slovenly ways gave rise of the use of “yahoo” in English to describe a lout or Neanderthal.
48. London borough containing Wembley Stadium : BRENT
Wembley is a town that falls within the London Borough of Brent, and is home to Wembley Stadium and the Wembley Arena. Brent takes its name from the River Brent which runs through the area.
54. Fashion model Carangi : GIA
Gia Carangi was an American fashion model, considered by many to be the first of the so-called supermodels. Gia became addicted to heroin, which really affected her career. Through her addiction, she became infected with HIV, and died in 1986, at only 26-years-old. She was one of the first “famous” women to die of AIDS. HBO brought out a biopic called “Gia” in 1998 starring Angelina Jolie in the title role.
55. Only 20th-century prez without a coll. degree : HST
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point, having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn’t have the money to get into college anywhere else. He did, however, study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties.
57. Mini-albums, briefly : EPS
An extended play record (or CD) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.
58. Hi-___ : RES
High Resolution, as in an image or video.