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 the UK election results come in)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
15. Alternative to Holiday Inn : LA QUINTA
La Quinta is Spanish for “the villa”.
16. First name that’s feminine in English and masculine in Italian : ANDREA
Andrea derives from the Greek word “andros” which means, “strong, manly and courageous”. The English equivalent of Andrea is Andrew. The English girl name is a feminine from of Andrew, a feminine form of “manly” …
20. Nickname since 1959 : ALOHA STATE
The Hawaii Admission Act was signed into law by President Eisenhower in March 1959. Aloha has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently it has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.
23. Fern feature : SPORE
Ferns are unlike mosses, in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.
24. Voiceless, in phonetics : SURD
A surd is a sound made when speaking, that doesn’t actually require the use of the voice-box. This seems absurd (pun!) but when one thinks about it, sounds like “p”, “t” and “f” really only use the mouth, and not the larynx.
25. National capital on a river of the same name : OTTAWA
The Ottawa River takes its name from the Odawa people, an Algonquin nation. The city Of Ottawa changed its name to that of the river, from Bytown in 1855. The original townsite was called Bytown after Captain John By who completed the Rideau Canal that runs from Kingston on Lake Ontario to present-day Ottawa.
31. Big company located in Times Square : NASDAQ
The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc (NASD) no longer exists per se. Since 2007, it’s functions are carried out by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) since 2007. These functions include regulation of trading in equities, bonds, futures and options. In 1971, the NASD set up a new computerized trading system, the NASD Automated Quotations stock market, or NASDAQ.
32. Salesperson who may give you a ring : AVON LADY
In 1886, a young man called David McConnell, was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers, he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City, and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the infamous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign started in 1954.
36. Film character who lives to be 877 : YODA
Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice was provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of Muppets fame.
37. Swiss cheese ingredient : COW’S MILK
Swiss cheese is a relatively generic term, a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.
45. Old Spanish queen : ENA
Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg was the queen consort of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Princess Beatrice was actually born in Scotland, and given the Gaelic name for Eva: “Eua”. Eua, was written on the official documents, but the clergyman presiding at the christening misread the name as “Ena”. Her family stuck with “Ena”, and it was adopted by the public.
52. Big inits. in camping : KOA
Kampgrounds of America was founded in 1962, by a Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store. The original campground was an immediate hit, and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.
53. Musician nicknamed El Rey : TITO PUENTE
After serving in the navy in WWII for three years, Tito Puente studied at Julliard, gaining a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. He parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. As well being called El Rey, he was known as “The King of Latin Music”.
58. Staple of classic rock, informally : ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band that got together in 1968. Their most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. The band broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.
62. Welcome cry for the seasick : LAND HO
“Land ho!” yelled the sailor when he caught sight of land …
63. Slurs : ASPERSES
To asperse is to spread false charges or make insinuations. The more common term is “to cast aspersions”. It comes from the Latin “aspergere” meaning “to sprinkle”. So, to asperse is also the term used when sprinkling holy water.
2. C.I.A. director under Obama : PANETTA
Leon Panetta was Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and took over as CIA Director in 2009.
4. Providers of tips for improving one’s English? : CUES
Basically English is another name for side-spin that is applied to a cue ball in billiards.
5. Five bones : FIN
Bones and fin are slang terms for one-dollar bills and a five-dollar bill.
6. “True Blood” actress : ANNA PAQUIN
Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand, who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.
7. ___-Ethiopian War, 1935-36 : ITALO
The second Italo-Ethiopian War wsa largely decided by the “superiority” in weaponry of the Italian Empire. Most significant was the use of poison gas dropped onto the Ethiopian forces by bomber of the Royal Italian Air Force.
8. His #2 was retired in 1997 : LASORDA
Tommy Lasorda has been with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for over sixty years (although he did spend one season playing with the Kansas City Athletics).
9. Org. with the motto “For the benefit of all” : NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was set up in 1958.
10. Docs with penlights : ENTS
The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” is more correctly called otolaryngology.
28. Treat on a stick : TOOTSIE POP
Tootsie Pops were developed as a derivative product from the popular Tootsie Roll candy. how popular, I hear you say? About 60 million Tootsie Rolls, and 20 million Tootsie Pops, are produced every day!
40. Annual celebration with candles : KWANZAA
Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage that lasts from December 26 to January first annually. The holiday was introduced in 1966 as an alternative to the existing holidays at the end of the year. The name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza”, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. Part of the tradition is to light candles in a kinara.
44. Symbol of chastity : ST AGNES
St. Agnes is the patron saint of chastity, but also the patron of gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. Her name, Agnes, is from the Greek “hagne” meaning chaste, pure, sacred. St. Agnes suffered a terrible death according to tradition. She was just twelve or thirteen when she refused to submit to marriage to a Roman prefect around the year 300 AD, for which she was tortured and eventually beheaded.
55. “Come ___ these yellow sands”: “The Tempest” : UNTO
“Come unto these yellow sands” is a song sung by Ariel in Act I, scene ii of “the Tempest”. The song is the inspiration for a painting of the same name by Richard Dadd, painted in 1842, depicting a fairy ring.
56. Czech-born N.H.L.’er Sykora or Prucha : PETR
Petr Sykora played for the Czech Republic’s national hockey team in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (the team placed fourth). Petr Prucha plays for the Phoenix Coyotes.