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: 6m 38s
THEME: DEEJAYS … all the themed clues have two-word answers beginning with D (dee) and J (jay) e.g. Dirty Jokes, Desk Jobs
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
10. Protective wear for lobster eaters : BIBS
The word “bib” comes form the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, it’s less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …
14. Region of ancient Asia Minor : IONIA
Ionia, now in present day Turkey, in the days of Ancient Greece was more a collection of tribes, and was never a unified state.
16. Amo, amas, ___ … : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat … in Latin, I love, you love, he/she loves.
17. Blue things that make some people turn red? : DIRTY JOKES
19. “Dear ___” : ABBY
The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Abby was Pauline Phillips back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Philips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” from the former US president.
21. Actor/rapper ___ Def : MOS
Mos Def is the stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars that is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003’s “The Italian Job” , 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and a featured role in an episode “House”.
25. Nine-to-five gigs, often : DESK JOBS
27. Frequently, to Donne : OFT
John Donne is one of England’s most celebrated poets, working at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty, and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. His wife might have regretted that he was released, as she then bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born. But, Donne did manage to achieve some measure of success winning the post of Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a post that he held for the last ten years of his life.
32. “Othello” villain : IAGO
Iago is indeed the schemer, in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Iago is a soldier who fought alongside Othella, and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. His rival in this case is Cassio, and Iago hatches a plot to discredit him, which creates mayhem, jealousy and violence, before Iago is finally exposed for his true character.
33. Title for a prince or princess: Abbr. : HRH
His or Her Royal Highness …
34. Tennis’s Nastase : ILIE
I thought that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 70s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, he always had time to give the crowd a laugh.
37. “___ the ramparts we watched …” : OER
The words “o’er the rampart we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key. The lyrics were written first as a poem by Key, inspired by his witnessing of the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song written by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.
38. Womanizer : DON JUAN
Don Juan is a flighty character who has been used in stories by a number of authors, including Moliere, Byron, and Mozart. In the underlying legend, Don Juan ends up talking to the statue of the dead father of one of his conquests. Don Juan dines with the ghost of the dead man, and when shaking the hand of the ghost he is dragged away to hell.
40. “___ Loser” (Beatles song) : I’M A
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 …
44. 20-vol. reference work : OED
The “Oxford English Dictionary” contains over 300,000 “main” entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for a single word is that for “put”.
45. Jacob’s first wife : LEAH
Leah, the older sister of Rachel, is the first wife of Jacob and mother of six of the twelve tribes of Israel.
48. Company with an industrial average : DOW JONES
Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today its most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day.
53. “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”.
54. “My gal” of song : SAL
“My Gal Sal” is a song written by composer Paul Dresser, and is the name of the movie recounting Dresser’s life made in 1942. It stars Victor Mature as Dresser, and Rita Hayworth as Sally Elliott.
59. Yemeni seaport : ADEN
Yemen sits in a very strategic location in the Middle East, with the Red Sea to its west, and the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the south. As such, Yemen has been colonized by many of the great powers in history, with most of the attention focused on the coastal town of Aden in the south.
61. Wrangler product : DENIM JEANS
The name “denim” comes from the sturdy, cotton fabric known as serge, which was manufactured in the city of Nimes in the south of France. The fabric was universally known as “serge de Nimes”, and over time was shortened to “denim”. The first denim pants were made in Genoa in Italy. The French name for Genoa is Genes, which morphed into our word “jeans”.
63. Toy dog, briefly : PEKE
The pekingese breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier dogs.
64. Coup d’___ : ETAT
A coup d’etat (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French “stroke of state”.
65. “___ to the Moon” (first science fiction film, 1902) : A TRIP
“A Trip to the Moon” is a very famous French silent movie from 1902. I saw a wonderful documentary about the making of the movie recently, and there is remarkable use of animation and special effects. It is hard to believe all this was going on in 1902. You can watch it freely online, as being over a hundred years old, the copyright has expired and the film is in the public domain.
66. Formerly, in old usage : ERST
Erstwhile means “in the past”, “once upon a time”.
67. Singer McEntire : REBA
Reba McEntire is country music singer, and television actress. I am not one for country music, so I don’t know a lot about her …
4. Explosive compound, in brief : NITRO
Nitroglycerin is very, very explosive, oil, colorless liquid. It is usually used as the explosive ingredient in a stabilized product like dynamite or cordite. Nitroglycerin is also used medically, as a vasodilator. Right after it hits the bloodstream is causes the blood vessels to dilate to that the heart has less work to do. I had occasion to take it a couple of times, and boy, what a speedy and fundamental effect it has.
11. Confused situations : IMBROGLIOS
An imbroglio is difficult or tangled situation. As one might expect, it comes to us from Italian. The Old Italian word “imbrogliare” means to tangle or confuse.
12. Bill Clinton was the first one elected president : BABY BOOMER
A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births has been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then, the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the “baby boom”.
18. Ordinary fellow : JOE BLOW
Although the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. Joe Blow is just a variant of John Doe.
25. Record spinners … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 38-, 48- and 61-Across : DEEJAYS
Supposedly, the world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California, in 1909 would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, he started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.
29. How long the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament lasts : THREE WEEKS
Seems longer to me …
31. Architect Maya : LIN
Maya Lin is a Chinese American, born in Athens Ohio, and is an artist and architect. Her most famous work is the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Lin was only 21-years-old when she won a public design competition in 1981 to create the memorial. Although her design, I think, is very fitting, sadly, Lin was not a popular choice for the work, given her Asian heritage. As she said herself, she probably would not have been picked had not the competition been judged without the knowledge of who the submissions were from.
39. Colorado tribe : UTE
The Ute are a group of American Indian tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified group as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups.
42. Journey to Mecca : HAJ
A Haji is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”.
49. Perennial presidential candidate Ralph : NADER
Ralph Nader has run as a third party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election since 1996. Nader’s name was first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.
55. Falafel bread : PITA
Falafel is a fried ball of ground chickpeas served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, love them, but falafel just seems too dry to me.
56. ___ of Sandwich : EARL
Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.