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 (trying to fix my son’s computer!)
THEME: FULL CIRCLE … the themed answers are in linked pairs. Each themed clue works for its own answer, and for the themed clue below it. For example, 22A: Two things that are stuffed (22A: ROAST TURKEY & 24A: SCARECROW), then 24A: Two things on a farm (24A: SCARECROW & 36A: HAYSTACK). When we get to the “last” themed answer, we come full circle, linking back to the first i.e. 117A: Two things associated with Thanksgiving (117A: CRANBERRIES & 22A: ROAST TURKEY). Hope that makes sense!
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. City SE of New Delhi : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth, delivering the couple’s 14th child!
5. “To your health!” : SKOAL
Skoal is a Swedish toast, with its roots in the old Norse word “skaal”, meaning “cup”.
10. Cumberland Gap explorer : BOONE
The Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachian Mountains, lying at the point where the three states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet. The pass was long used by Native Americans, before being discovered by explorer Thomas Walker in 1750. The path through the gap was widened by a team of loggers in 1775, and leading the work party was the American pioneer, Daniel Boone.
15. iPod control: Abbr. : VOL
Be careful not to have the volume too high on your iPod!
18. Supermax resident : FELON
Supermax stands for “super-maximum security”. The term is used to describe maximum-security prisons, or a unit within a prison in which security is ramped up to hold the most dangerous felons. The original supermax is considered to be Alcatraz Island, opened in the 1930s.
19. Chekhov’s “Uncle ___” : VANYA
Anton Chekhov’s play “Uncle Vanya” was published in 1897. It is not really an “original” work, in that it is a reworking of a play he wrote and published a decade earlier, “The Wood Demon”.
21. W.W. II command : ETO
Dwight D. Eisenhower was in command of the European Theater of Operations during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, there’s a great made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.
22. With 24-Across, two things that are stuffed : ROAST TURKEY
ROAST TURKEY & SCARECROW
24. With 36-Across, two things on a farm : SCARECROW
SCARECROW & HAYSTACK
27. Tests for college credit, briefly : APS
The Advanced Placement (AP) program, as many of us parents know, offers college level courses to kids that are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree. My bank manager is all for anything that gets college students through in 4 years!
29. Laugh ___ : RIOT
“Laugh riot” is a slang term, basically meaning “a riot”, the act of laughing hilariously at something, usually with others.
36. With 38-Across, two things associated with needles : HAYSTACK
HAYSTACK & RECORD PLAYER
38. With 55-Across, two things that spin : RECORD PLAYER
RECORD PLAYER & FERRIS WHEEL
44. Balloonists’ baskets : GONDOLAS
Gondola was originally used just to describe the famous boats that travel around the canals of Venice. When man started to fly though the air, carried in baskets under a balloon, the same term was used for the basket. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars that carry passengers up in the air suspended from a cable at a ski resort.
49. Scientist Pavlov : IVAN
Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s, when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps a waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” is that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.
51. Some poetic feet : ANAPESTS
Anapest is the name given to a metrical foot in poetry, which has two short syllables followed by one long syllable. Indeed, the name “anapest” is a good example, when pronounced an-a-pest. Here is a better example, so let’s all say it out loud together! “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house”.
55. With 82-Across, two things at an amusement park : FERRIS WHEEL
FERRIS WHEEL & COTTON CANDY
59. “Hair” song with the lyric “Hello, carbon monoxide” : AIR
The full name of the musical is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”. This controversy work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. The song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who has just come onto the stage wearing a gas max. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed in fifty years, said he, satirically …
60. Many a Miley Cyrus fan : TWEEN
The term “tween” is now used to describe preadolescence, the years between 10 and 12 years of age. Miley Cyrus is 17 years old now, and became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. She is of course the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named Miley “Destiny Hope”, but then she became known as “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …
63. Sicilian tourist attraction : MT ETNA
Mt Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt Vesuvius.
68. Accusatory words : ET TU
Shakespeare uses the words “Et tu, Brute” (And you, Brutus?) in “Julius Caesar”, but the phrase was around long before he used it. However, it’s not known what Julius Caesar’s actual last words were.
71. ___ Kalugin, former K.G.B. general with the 1994 book “Spymaster” : OLEG
Oleg Kalugin headed up KBG operation in the United State for many years, posing as the deputy press officer in the Soviet Embassy. It was Kalugin who was in charge of the operation to assassinate Bulgarian writer Gerogi Markov in London in 1978. This James Bond-style attack involved a Soviet agent jabbing his victim in the leg with the point of an umbrella, injecting a ricin pellet below the skin. Kalugin wrote the expose book “Spymaster“, which was published in 2008.
76. Opponent of Pericles : CLEON
Cleon and Pericles were both statesmen in Ancient Greece, specifically in the city-state of Athens. Pericles and Cleon were political opponents, with Pericles falling foul to the maneuvers of Cleon, and eventually dying of the plague.
78. Santa ___ : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California, taking its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city. The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. because they are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, the air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the falls, it becomes drier and heats up, so that the relative humidity can even be below 10% as it hits the coast.
79. ___ de malaise : ETAT
Etat de malaise is a French term meaning “state of sickness”.
82. With 95-Across, two things that are sticky : COTTON CANDY
COTTON CANDY & RUBBER CEMENT
87. Egg cream component : SODA
Egg cream is a beverage, and new to me. It is remarkable I think, in that it contains neither egg nor cream! The drink supposedly dates back to the late 1800s and was invented in Brooklyn. It is a fountain drink, made up from chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer (soda).
90. Second track on “Beatles ’65” : I’M A LOSER
John Lennon wrote “I’m a Loser”. He once said in an interview, with reference to the song, “Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.” Typical John Lennon humor, I’d say …
92. “No Escape” star, 1994 : LIOTTA
“No Escape” is an action/sci-fi film released in 1994. The movie is based on a story by Richard Herley published in 1987 called “The Penal Colony”. It sounds like a wild ride, with Ray Liotta playing an ex-Marine sering life on an island prison along with other savage, man-eating prisoners. Yuck!
95. With 99-Across, two things with brushes : RUBBER CEMENT
RUBBER CEMENT & MURALIST
99. With 115-Across, two things with ladders : MURALIST
MURALIST & FIRE TRUCK
104. Church recess : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half dome as a roof, and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for important relics.
106. 1922 Physics Nobelist : BOHR
Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist, who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, he was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project, developing the first atomic bomb.
107. Physics units : ERGS
An erg is a unit of energy, or mechanical work. It comes from the Greek word “ergon”, meaning “work”.
113. Adjective for a bikini, in a 1960 song : TEENIE
“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” was first released in 1960, and was a number on hit that year for Brian Hyland. At the time, bikini bathing suits were considered very risque in society, but their popularity grew dramatically, with the song getting a lot of the credit for the new-found acceptance.
117. With 22-Across, two things associated with Thanksgiving : CRANBERRIES
CRANBERRIES & ROAST TURKEY
119. Wire service inits. : UPI
United Press International was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. It ran foul of the change in media formats at the end of the last century, and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands of people, still exists but with only a handful of employees.
120. Drug company behind Valium : ROCHE
The generic name for Valium is diazepam. It was developed by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffman-La Roche, and approved for use in 1963. This was the second of Dr. Sternbach’s major developments, as he was responsible for the diazepam’s sister drug, Librium, that went to market in 1960.
121. “Pearls Before Swine,” e.g. : COMIC
The comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” is written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis. Pastis use to be a lawyer in San Francisco. Quite a career change, huh?
122. What some titles are written in, briefly : ITALS
Some titles are written in italics …
123. Standing need : LEG
You’ve gotta have a leg to stand on!
125. “Zorba the Greek” setting : CRETE
“Zorba” the musical (and “Zorba the Greek” the film) were adaptations of the 1952 novel “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis. The 1964 film version stars Anthony Quinn in the title role, and Alan Bates. It was filmed on location on the island of Crete.
1. Region in ancient Asia Minor : AEOLIA
Aeolia is another name for Aeolis, the old name for west and northwest region of Asia Minor. The most famous city in the area was Smyrna, now the modern Turkish city of Izmir.
5. “Law & Order” spinoff, for short : SVU
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin off the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly, since 2007, there has been a very successful Russian adaptation made that is set in Moscow.
6. Draw of some bars : KARAOKE
Kara-te, means “open hand”, and Kara-oke, means “open orchestra”.
7. Being punished, military-style : ON KP
KP is a US military slang term, and stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.
11. Deep-sea predator : ORCA
Shamu was the name of the third orca, or killer whale, ever to be featured in a public exhibition. She starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the name “Shamu” was still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. It is notable given a recent tragedy, that the original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of a female employee at SeaWorld.
16. Peter with four Golden Globes : O’TOOLE
Irish actor Peter O’Toole came to fame when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Laurence of Arabia”. But my favorite of his movies is much lighter fare, “How to Steal a Million” in which he starred opposite Audrey Hepburn.
23. Juilliard’s focus : THE ARTS
The Juilliard School is located in the Lincoln Center in New York City. The immense popularity of the school is perhaps illustrated by its acceptance rate. In 2007 the school had 2,138 applications, and only 162 students were admitted. That’s an acceptance rate of well under 10%.
25. Hockey goalie’s area : CREASE
The marked off area in front of the goal in (ice) hockey is called the crease. Within the crease the goaltender is allowed to do his or her duties without interference from other players, some breathing space as it were.
28. Scout’s job, briefly : RECON
A scout engages in reconnaissance …
39. Nutritional stds. : RDAS
The Recommended Daily Allowances were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by the Recommended Daily Intakes in 1997.
41. Ending with proto- : PLASM
The word “protoplasm” comes from the Greek, meaning first (protos) thing formed (plasma). It is the name given to the cell contents, everything that is surrounded by the plasma membrane. The protoplasm in most cells is divided into two parts, the cytoplasm which surrounds the nucleus, and the nucleoplasm found within the nucleus.
43. Like some metal toys : DIE CAST
A metal toy is often die cast, meaning that it is manufactured by forcing molten metal into the cavity of a mold. The mold is then cooled, the metal solidifies and takes on the shape defined by the mold.
46. Studio that produced the Austin Powers movies : NEW LINE
New Line Cinema is an American film studio, founded in 1967. It started off as an independent studio, and became incredibly successful making enormous sums of money on some movies, the most lucrative being “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It is now part of Warner Bros. Another successful franchise for New Line was the “Austin Powers” series starring Mike Myers. The second film in the series, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” ran into a few problems over in the UK and other parts of the world. Over there the word “shag” is pretty rude.
52. Shiny fabrics : SATEENS
Sateen and satin are two different things (like I’d known the difference!). Sateen is a cotton fabric, with a weave that is “four over, one under” meaning that most of the threads come to the surface giving it a softer feel.
53. Small-time tyrants : TIN GODS
Tin gods are usually very dictatorial people, who demand more attention than they really deserve.
64. Improvisatory piece of classical music : TOCCATA
The name “toccata” comes from the Italian word “toccare” meaning “to touch”. I am not sure one can really describe a toccata as “improvisatory”, as it is very precisely composed. Rather it is a piece of music with an “improvisatory feel”, a piece that seems very spontaneous in form.
65. “Enchanted” girl of children’s lit : ELLA
“Ella Enchanted” is the title of a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004, starring Anne Hathaway in the title role.
69. “Southland” airer : TNT
The “Southland” TV series first aired on NBC in 2009, but later in the year cancelled the program after one season’s run. TNT picked it up, and is now planning on taping a third season. The show is about various characters with the Los Angeles Police Department.
70. Shows near the front? : USO TOUR
The United Service Organization was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR, “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is a tour by a troupe of entertainers, many celebrities, to troop locations, often including combat zones.
73. Actor Burton : LEVAR
LeVar Burton’s has two major television roles on his resume. He played Kunta Kinte in the fabulous miniseries “Roots” shown in 1977. He then had a long run portraying Geordi La Forge on the best of the Star Trek TV shows, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
77. Scientist with multiple Emmys : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on Disney for 4 years from 1993-97. I was surprised to learn that Bill Nye was married briefly to Blair Tindall, the author of “Mozart in the Jungle”. That’s a great book, if anyone is interested …
85. Biochemical sugar : RIBOSE
Ribose is a so called “simple sugar”, a monosaccharide. Ribose is the key component in RNA that differentiates it from DNA.
94. Neighbor of Montana : ALBERTA
Alberta is a big province, about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, in Banff National Park.
100. Sea between Italy and Greece : IONIAN
The Ionian Sea is the part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the “boot”).
108. Monopoly token : IRON
There are 12 metal tokens used in Monopoly these days, including the iron. Two tokens, the battleship and the cannon (aka howitzer) were added to the Monopoly as part of a recycling exercise. The pieces were intended for the game “Conflict” released in 1940, but when Parker Bros. pulled the game off the market due to poor sales, they added their excess battleships and cannons to Monopoly.
114. She threw the apple of discord : ERIS
In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of strife and discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and indeed translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart is Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.
117. XXX x X : CCC
30 x 10 = 300
118. Letters in an old date : BCE
BCE can stand for:
– Before the Common Era
– Before the Christian Era
– Before the Current Era