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: 23m 55s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
10. Sedan chair accessories : POLES
A sedan chair is an litter that was used in England. Being a litter means that it had no wheels and was powered by humans. Most sedan chairs were built for one passenger, with two men providing the “lift”. Henry VIII had a sedan chair, but towards the end of his life he needed four strong men to carry it.
18. Product once advertised as having Solium : RINSO
Rinso was a laundry soap first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson’s Soap. It was introduced into the US in 1918. In America Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of “soap operas”. Their most famous program association was with “The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” in the forties. One of their slogans was “Solium, the sunlight ingredient”. I have no idea what Solium was, but it sure did sell a lot of soap!
19. Magazine founded by abolitionists in 1865 : THE NATION
“The Nation” is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the country, first appearing in 1865. In all its years of operation, it rarely makes a profit. The magazine has a large cadre of donors that voluntarily donate funds above and beyond their annual subscription.
24. “A very high price to pay for maturity,” per Tom Stoppard : AGE
Sir Tom Stoppard is a British playwright, his most famous work probably being “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” (which I saw years ago, and slept through!). He also writes screenplays, and was co-writer for the 1998 movie “Shakespeare in Love”.
25. Colorful ring : IRIS
The iris is the colored part of the eye, which has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.
29. Bass part : FIN
Nicely worded …
31. Robert L. Fish Memorial Award and others : EDGARS
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. One of the Edgars if the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award, presented since 1984. Fish was a mystery writer, who won an Edgar himself for “The Fugitive” in 1962. Fish also wrote “Mute Witness” which was adapted for the big screen and released under the title “Bullitt”.
39. Speak on the record? : RAP
Another cleverly worded clue …
40. Nice touch : PAT
And again …
41. Belmont and Preakness, for two : STAKE RACES
A stake race is one in which the owners of the horses running put up part of the prize money. Hence, the full names for the races in question is the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes.
45. Animal on Mauritius’s coat of arms : DODO
The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago, in the mid-1600s, and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius, and when man arrived, he cut back the forest that was its home, and introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests.
46. Simple card game : WAR
The card game “War” is a simple children’s game. But, adults can often find a very similar game to bet money on, called “Casino War”.
47. Hair hider : 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.
48. Marshal Tito’s first name : JOSIP
Josip Tito led the Yugoslav resistance during WWII, and after the war led the country as Prime Minister and then President.
51. Band name that has an umlaut over the “n” : SPINAL TAP
The umlaut over the letter-n in Spın̈al Tap is totally unnecessary, and you might notice that there is no dot over the “i”. But seeing as the band is fictional …
53. Descendants of Japheth : MAGOG
Magog was the second of the seven sons of Japheth as called out in the book of Genesis.
58. Garment with no waistline : TENT DRESS
A tent dress hangs by straps from the shoulders, and does not have a waistline. They’re often worn with pants apparently, as they are usually very short.
4. Old English aristocrats : THANES
This has to be an error. Thanes were Scottish aristocrats, not English. The most famous has to be Macduff, the Thane of Fife, the fictional character that is killed off by Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play.
5. So-called “Land of the Gods” : NEPAL
Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today it is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic. Nepal is called “Land of the Gods”, and is home to Mt. Everest, known as the Mother Goddess of the World.
7. Mermaid’s name in “Splash” : MADISON
In the 1984 movie “Splash“, Madison the mermaid is played by Daryl Hannah, opposite Tom Hanks. Before the movie was released, Madison was not very popular as a name for girls, but then it just took off apparently.
11. Poet exiled by Augustus : OVID
It’s not really clear why Ovid was exiled, but it happened at a time when Augustus was actively promoting monogamy, while Ovid was writing poetry that openly discussed adultery.
12. Victorian vehicle : LANDAU
A landau was a 4-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage. It was quite sophisticated, with metal springs for a comfortable ride, and the smaller version (a lanaulet) had a top that could fold down. Landaus were so called as they were first produced in the German city of Landau.
23. Las ___ (capital of Gran Canaria) : PALMAS
Gran Canaria, or Grand Canary Island, may be grand, but it isn’t quite as big, or populous as Tenerife, the largest island of the group, and the most populated. The capital of the island is Las Palmas, a port of call for Christopher Columbus in 1492 on his way to the Americas.
27. Hundred Acre Wood resident : OWL
Hundred Acre Wood is where Winnie the Pooh lives with his friends. According to a map illustrating the books by A. A. Milne, Hundred Acre Wood is part of a larger forest, with Owl’s house sitting right at the center.
34. One who loses faith : APOSTATE
Someone maybe described as apostate not only by abandoning one’s faith, but also perhaps a political party, one’s principles, or any particular cause.
41. Camp ___ (“Beetle Bailey” setting) : SWAMPY
The comic strip “Beetle Baily” was created by Mort Walker and was first published in 1950. Walker still creates the strip, making it one of the oldest strips still produced by the same creator. Camp Swampy was apparently inspired by Camp Crowder in Missouri, where Walker had been posted while in the army.
42. Soap opera actress Braun : TAMARA
Tamara Braun is an actress working mainly in daytime soaps, such as “General Hospital”, “Days of Our Lives” and “All My Children”. Not something I would be watching …
43. Kingdom that once included Sicily and Sardinia : ARAGON
I think there is a mistake here. Today, Aragon is an autonomous community in the northern part of Spain, with a border with France in the Pyrenees. Today’s Aragon has roughly the same geographic reach as the old Kingdom of Aragon. The Kingdom was part of the larger Crown of Aragon, a collection of states under the control of the King of Aragon. It was the Crown of Aragon that included the Kingdoms of Sicily and Sardinia.
44. Chicago Outfit bigwig : CAPONE
The Chicago Outfit is a Chicago crime syndicate that exists to this day. It is also known as the Chicago Mob, and for decades was also called the Capone Gang.
48. Poked fun : JAPED
To jape is to joke or quip.
52. Sticks in a bowl? : NEST
Very clever. Sticks in the shape of a bowl would be a nest.