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 39s
THEME: MIXED RESULTS … the central 7 letters of each of the theme answers is an anagram of the word RESULT i.e. HOR(SE RUSTL)ERS, STE(EL TRUS)SES, ROB(ERTS RU)LES
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
6. Abbr. after a lawyer’s name : ESQ
The title “esquire” is of British origin, and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America, the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK is a term of gentle respect, reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So, a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.
9. Blog additions : POSTS
Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more correctly it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) which then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. Blog is a contraction of the term “web log”.
14. Dance partner for Fred : ADELE
Adele Astaire was Fred Astaire’s elder sister. Before Fred made it big in movies, the two were a successful music hall act, particularly in England. Adele married into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.
15. Little, in Lille : PEU
Un peu is the French word for “a little”, the noun. The adjective “little” is “petit”.
Lille is a large city in very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’Isle” meaning “the island”.
16. “99 and 44/100% pure” soap : IVORY
Ivory soap is one of Proctor & Gambles oldest products, introduced way back in 1879. It is noted for its “purity” but also because of its property of floating in water. Despite urban myths to the contrary, the property of floating in water was developed deliberately by a chemist at the time Ivory was being formulated. The soap floats because the ingredients are mixed longer than necessary for homogenization, so as to introduce more air into the product.
19. Link : NEXUS
The word nexus comes from the past participle of the Latin verb “nectere” meaning to bind. As such, a nexus is a connection, a link.
23. Rm. coolers : ACS
Room coolers are air conditioning units.
24. ___-de-sac : CUL
Even though “cul de sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin. It was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted without words and just a symbol, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”. The term “cul de sac” in France is actually quite rude.
25. Suffix with Orwell : IAN
The word Orwellian has its roots in the name of George Orwell of course. Something can be described as Orwellian if it is contrary to the concept of a free society, and reflects some of the ideas described by Orwell in his novels, particularly “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.
32. “Dancing Queen” group : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group that topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.
35. Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STA
That would be Penn Station in New York City (and not Pennsylvania the state, as I first thought!).
36. They’re red or blue, on some maps : STATES
On political maps, red states are Republican, and blue states Democrat. The designations of red and blue states is a very recent concept, introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world, red is usually used to describe left-leaning, socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative, right-wing parties.
39. N.L. cap letters : STL
The National League’s St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as they changed it one year later to the Cardinals.
41. “All About ___,” 2009 Sandra Bullock bomb : STEVE
I didn’t see “All About Steve” as I heard it wasn’t great. I might rent it though one day, as I usually enjoy Sandra Bullock vehicles. One thing we crossword fans might note though, Sandra Bullock plays a crossword puzzle writer. So, it can’t be all bad! The title “All About Steve” is a pun on the classic 1950 film “All About Eve” starring Bette Davis.
44. Canon camera line : EOS
I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about the cameras and lenses in the line. The line is consists of 35mm film, and now digital, cameras and lenses. The EOS stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.
46. “___ Tu” (1974 hit) : ERES
We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA go their big break, as they were Sweden’s entry with a new song called “Waterloo”. In 1972, Spain’s entry was “Eres tu” sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tu” is the Spanish for “you are”. It is a great song, that came in second but should have won, in my humble opinion.
47. Parliamentary procedure guide, familiarly : ROBERTS RULES
The full name of the book is “Roberts Rules of Order“, and was written by Brigadier General Henry Robert of the US Army and published in 1876. Roberts idea was to create a manual of parliamentary rules that would be useful for assemblies and clubs in ordinary society. To guide him, he used the parliamentary procedures in place for the US House of Representatives.
50. Outcomes of some QB sneaks : TDS
Quarterback sneaks are plays where the QB takes the ball himself and dives through the offensive line in order to gain just a few yards.
56. Unclear outcome … or what can be found literally in 20-, 29- and 47-Across : MIXED RESULTS
59. Hip-hopper’s headgear : DO-RAG
Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty transparent, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.
62. Battery for many penlights : AAA
Because batteries have been around for so long now, there were many different standards set for sizes and configurations by different countries. There is now an international standard which tries to bring as many of the old disparate standards together as possible. An A cell battery is a cylindrical single cell type, with a length of 45.5mm and a diameter of 10.5mm.
64. PayPal money, e.g. : ECASH
PayPal has been around since the year 2000, and was born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal was so successful that is was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then, in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay, for a whopping $1.5 billion.
66. Little Munster : EDDIE
Eddie Munster was played by Butch Patrick on the TV show, “The Musters”. Reportedly, Butch received $600 per episode in salary, and that was back in 1964-66.
67. SALT subject : NTEST
There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, and resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II), between the US and the Soviet Union. The first round of SALT I talks were in Helsinki as far back as 1970.
1. The younger Obama girl : SASHA
Sasha (full name Natasha) is the younger of the two Obama children, born in 2001. She is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant.
2. Specially formed, as a committee : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.
6. Adornments on officers’ shoulders : EPAULETS
Epaulet (or epaulette) comes from the French, and literally means “little shoulder”.
7. Coll. terms : SEMS
College terms might be semesters.
9. Pesto ingredients : PINE NUTS
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.
12. Play about Capote : TRU
“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen, which premiered in 1989. There is an interesting anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment in Christmas 1975, and at one point the Capote character talks about suicide saying he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.
13. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYS
CBS used to be called the Columbia Broadcasting System.
21. They intersect in Montréal : RUES
Roads (rues in French) intersect in Montreal.
22. TV husband of Phyllis : LARS
Phyllis Lindstrom was played by Cloris Leachman in the TV show “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Phyllis is married to a dermatologist, Dr. Lars Lindstrom. Leachman rated a a spin-off show in 1975, called “Phyllis” which was set not in Minneapolis, but San Francisco. Phyllis relocated to San Francisco with her daughter after the death of husband, Lars.
26. Perfumery compound : ESTER
Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are often pleasant smelling and are found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and very explosive, and polyesters are huge molecules and a type of plastic.
27. Christopher of “Somewhere in Time” : REEVE
“Somewhere in Time” is a fascinating 1980 film directed by Jeannot Szwarc, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The movie is a screen adaptation of a 1975 novel “Bid Time Return” by Richard Matheson. The movie has a real cult following, with a fan club called INSITE (International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts). Many members of INSITE meet every year, in period costume, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the setting of the movie (and where it was largely filmed).
28. Slalom paths : ESSES
Slalom is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam”, meaning “skiing race”.
29. “À votre ___!” : SANTE
A votre sante, French for “to your health”. Cheers!
33. Red Cross supply : BLOOD
Back in 1859, a Swiss businessman called Henry Dunant went to meet French emperor Napoleon III, to discuss making it easier to conduct commerce in French-occupied Algeria. The Emperor was billeted at Solferino, where France and Austria were engaged in a major battle. In one day, Dunant witnessed 40,000 soldiers die in battle, and countless wounded suffering on the battlefield without any organized medical care. Dunant abandoned his business agenda, and spent a week caring for the sick and wounded. Within a few years he had founded the precursor to the Red Cross, and in 1901 was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.
40. TV boss of Mary Richards : LOU GRANT
Mary Richards was the central character in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Her boss was Lou Grant, played by the great Ed Asner. And did you know that Gavin Newsom, the up and coming Mayor of San Francisco, is Asner’s nephew (through his wife)?
43. Record label for Booker T. & the M.G.’s : STAX
Booker T. & the M.G.’s were in effect the house band at Stax Records, and so appeared on loads of famous recordings, including some by Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. As such, they became synonymous with what became known as the Stax Sound. One of the unique things about the band was that it was racially integrated, with two white guys making a name for themselves in the soul music, which at the time was the domain of black culture.
45. Gin flavoring : SLOE
The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush.
48. Like a Turkish bath : STEAMY
A Turkish bath is basically a “wetter” version of the Finnish sauna.
53. Go like a flying squirrel : GLIDE
A flying squirrel has a thin membrane that stretches from wrists to ankles. This membrane creates a parachute-like structure that allows the squirrel to glide quite a distance (measured up to almost 300 feet!). It uses its tail to stabilize the “flight”.
54. Super Bowl XXV M.V.P. ___ Anderson : OTTIS
Ottis “O.J.” Anderson won his Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 1991 against the Buffalo Bills.
60. World Food Day mo. : OCT
World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16, recognizing the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The purpose of the annual recognition is to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger.
61. “Norma ___” : RAE
“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally field, a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.