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: N/A (watching “Doc Martin” in television)
THEME: Guinness! … All the theme answers are world records recorded by Guinness
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
11. Jazz style : BOP
Bop is a shortened form of bebop, a jazz style that dates back to early 1940s.
14. Mary of “The Maltese Falcon,” 1941 : ASTOR
Mary Astor was an American actress who is best remembered perhaps for playing Brigid O’Shaughnessy in 1941’s “The Maltese Falcon” opposite Humphrey Bogart. As well as being an Oscar-winning actress, Mary Astor was also the author of five novels, and a best-selling autobiography.
15. Rose ___, group with the 1977 #1 hit “Car Wash” : ROYCE
Rose Royce chose the band’s name to sound like the Rolls Royce car. Their big break came when they were asked provide the musical score to the 1976 movie “Car Wash”. The theme song “Car Wash” made it to number one, a huge disco era hit.
16. Bibliophile’s suffix : ANA
An ana (or plural anas) is a collection, including literature, that represent the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun, or as a suffix.
17. 2010 Guinness world record at 1,689 lbs. : HEAVIEST PUMPKIN
23. Yoga posture : ASANA
Asana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose, or padmasana.
25. 1975 Pulitzer-winning critic : EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years with his Gene Siskel, until Siskel passed away in 1999. Ebert was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and since then has undergone a number of surgical procedures. Sadly, he has lost his voice, but continues work as a film critic, focusing these days on the print medium.
28. Successor to Frist as Senate majority leader : REID
Democrat Harry Reid became the Senate Majority leader in 2007. He had a big day not too long ago, I guess, with the successful health-care vote in the House. Sadly, Harry Reid’s wife was in hospital at the time, having broken her back in a car accident. Reid took over from Bill Frist, who retired from politics in 2007.
29. 2010 Guinness world record at 11 ft. 6 in. : LONGEST MUSTACHE
36. 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”.
37. Time on end : AEONS
Aeons is a spelling variation of eons.
38. Shake a leg : HIE
To hie is to move quickly, to bolt.
39. 2010 Guinness world record at 72 lbs. 9 oz. : LARGEST MEATBALL
44. Court legend : ASHE
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth he found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents, due to the segregation that still existed in Richmond. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first black player to be so honored. He still ran into trouble because of his ethnicity though, as in 1968 he was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery. he had to have corrective surgery in 1983, and contracted HIV from blood transfusions during the surgery. He eventually passed away in 1993, due to complications from AIDS.
46. Mario Puzo best seller : 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.
49. Actor Lloyd : NOLAN
Lloyd Nolan was an American TV and film actor, who played mainly in B-movies, but I must say I’ve always enjoyed his performances (I saw him recently in “The House on 92nd Street” from 1945).
52. Restaurant reading : CARTE
Carte is a word sometimes used in French for a menu.
54. Staff’s partner : ROD
In the 23rd Psalm, David says the line “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.
57. 2010 Guinness world record at 115 ft. : HIGHEST HIGHDIVE
60. Roxy Music co-founder : 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.
61. Mr. who squints : MAGOO
Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character (I think) voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as the role of Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties.
63. Part of A.A.R.P.: Abbr. : RET
The AARP has dropped its original name of the American Association of Retired Persons. If like me you are a member, when travelling you should check out the AARP travel website run by Expedia. It is great for getting the best deals on hotel stays, and only shows you hotels that give an AARP discount.
65. “Navy Blue” singer Renay : DIANE
Diane Renay is an American pop singer best known for her 1964 hit “Navy Blue“.
1. Willy Wonka’s creator : DAHL
Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian, as his parents were from Norway. Dahl himself was Welsh, and became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Some of his famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.
3. Home of the city Bountiful : UTAH
The city of Bountiful is in the northern part of Utah, and serves as a bedroom community for Salt Lake City. Bountiful was settled back in 1847, the second settlement in Utah right after Salt Lake City. It was originally called Sessions Settlement after the first settler, Perrigrine Sessions, and later North Canyon Ward. The name Bountiful was adopted in 1855, taking the name of a city in the Book of Mormon.
4. Topaz mo. : NOV
Topaz is the November birthstone, and the symbol of friendship, as well as the state gemstone of Utah. It is a silicate mineral containing aluminum and fluorine.
5. Adriatic port : TRIESTE
Trieste is a city-port on the northeastern coast of Italy, and is almost completely surrounded by the country of Slovenia. Trieste was home for many years to Irish author James Joyce.
6. Director Welles : ORSON
Orson Welles achieved his first national and international recognition after his famous radio adaptation of the classic novel “The War of the Worlds” created panic across America as people heard what they thought were news reports describing real landings of creatures from Mars.
7. Terra ___ : COTTA
The name “terra cotta” comes to use from Latin via Italian, and mean “baked earth”. It is a ceramic made from clay, that is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that were buried with the Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and just the few pieces on display were so very impressive.
13. What suspenders suspend : PANTS
Suspenders is another one of those words that has morphed in crossing the Atlantic. Back in Ireland we hold up our pants (trousers) with “braces”. Suspenders hold up ladies stockings (i.e. our word for a garter belt). It can be confusing …
18. Disney deer : ENA
Ena was Bambi’s aunt in the 1942 Disney film of the same name. The movie is based on the Austrian novel “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” written by an author, Felix Salten, and published in 1923.
23. 1978 World Cup winner: Abbr. : ARG
Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in 1971 in front of their home crowd, beating the Netherlands 3-1 in extra time in the final. It was the first time Argentina won the competition.
24. “The Gondoliers” girl : TESSA
“The Gondoliers” is a delightful operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan, first performed in 1889 at the Savoy Theatre in London. Tessa is a maiden selected as a bride in a “line up” by one of the gondoliers. I last saw “The Gondoliers” decades ago, an amateur production in the small town where I was living at the time in Ireland. Good fun!
25. Mideast carrier : EL AL
El Al (Hebrew for “to the skies” or “skyward”) does not fly on the Sabbath, although this has been subject of controversy at times since the airline was founded in 1948.
26. ___ fides : BONA
Bona fide(s), translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions.
28. Mysterious character : RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet, believed to have mysterious powers.
30. “I Am … ___ Fierce,” #1 Beyoncé album : SASHA
Sasha Fierce is an alter-ego that Beyoncé Knowles has developed for her stage and recording work. She describes Sasha as very sensual and aggressive.
31. Place for un béret : TETE
A Frenchman would place his beret on his head (tete).
32. May honoree : MOM
Note the punctuation. President Wilson, and Anna Jarvis who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother’s Day to honor the mothers within each family, and not just “mothers” in general.
33. Indian spiced tea : CHAI
Chai is the Hindi word for tea. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up, with “char” being the slang word for tea derived from “char”.
43. “___ appétit!” : BON
Bon appetit, enjoy your meal in French. The Germans say the exact same thing, only in German … Guten Appetit. Just thought you’d like to know …
47. Northern terminus of U.S. 1 : MAINE
US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine, right down to Key West in Florida.
48. Grain disease : ERGOT
Ergot is a fungus, or actually a group of fungi, that cause disease in rye and related plants.
50. Mishmashes : OLIOS
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.
54. Costa ___ : RICA
Costa Rica is in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua in the north, and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, leading on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army, permanently.
58. Erie Canal mule : SAL
The song “Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal” was written in 1905. The lyrics are nostalgic, and look back to the days when traffic on the canal was pulled by mules, and bemoans the introduction of the fast-moving engine powered barges. The first line is “I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal”.