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: 29m 43s
THEME: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY (is spelled out by the circled letters. Also, the theme ansers are all things invented by women (not all mothers), except for 104A … the rock group MOTHERS OF INVENTION.
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … PALTZ (PALIZ), IMARI (IMANI), TROUTS (INOUTS)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. New ___, N.Y. : PALTZ
New Paltz is both a town and a village (therein) in New York State, lying between Albany and New York City. It is home to the State University of New York New Paltz. Also, Boxing champion Floyd Patterson lived in New Paltz, and is buried there.
6. W.W. II beachhead south of Rome : ANZIO
The WWII Battle of Anzio is famous for one of the most famous blunders in military history. The Operation Shingle was a surprise amphibious landing at Anzio, 35 miles south of Rome, designed to outflank the Germans and press home an attack on Rome. The surprise element allowed a safe landing at Anzio, and the allies were able to drive jeeps right into the outskirts of Rome unchallenged. But that element of surprise was lost when Allied commander General John Lucas decided to delay the march on Rome until he had consolidated his position on the beaches, a position that was surrounded by high ground. The Germans used the delay to throw everything they had into the high ground, and the allies were pinned down in a bloody battle, and it took four months for the allies to fight their way inland.
15. Battle of Normandy site : ST-LO
Saint-Lo is a town in Normandy that was occupied by Germany in 1940. Saint-Lo stood at a strategic crossroads, and so there was intense fighting there during the Normandy invasion of 1944. After the bombardment, very little of the town was left standing.
19. Japanese porcelain : IMARI
Imari is a port city located on the island of Kyushi in Japan. What Europeans know as Imari porcelain actually isn’t made in Imari, but rather in the nearby town of Arita. The name Imari was given to the porcelain because it was the port through which the ceramic ware was shipped. In Japan, the porcelains are called Arita-yaki.
20. Washington zoo attraction : GIANT PANDA
The US National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is home to a pair of Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang (female) and Tian Tian (male). The pair had a cub in 2005, called Tai Shan. Tai Shan was shipped off to China earlier this year, as per a long standing agreement with the Chinese government. Tai Shan’s parents are in effect “leased” from the Chinese government, so their offspring is China’s property.
23. Programming tool created by Grace Hopper (1906-92) : COBOL COMPUTER LANGUAGE
Grace Hopper wasn’t only a computer programmer, she was a rear admiral in the US Navy. She was quite a lady apparently, and earned herself the nickname of “Amazing Grace”. She even has a Navy destroyer named after her, the USS Hopper. Back in 1947 she noticed some colleagues who fixed a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay, so she remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so she has been given credit for popularizing the term.
27. Stimpy’s pal : REN
The Ren and Stimpy Show ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. Not my cup of tea …
29. Item of apparel created by Mary Phelps Jacob (1891-1970) : THE MODERN BRASSIERE
Mary Phelps Jacob was just 19 years old when she was granted a patent on her modern design for a brassiere. She ended up living quite a wild life by conventionally standards. She left her first husband after having a long standing affair with Harry Crosby. Crosby and Jacob married, and headed to Europe and pursued a decadent lifestyle. They had an open marriage, so both had numerous affairs. Harry Crosby eventually killed himself in a suicide pact with one of his lovers.
39. River of St. Petersburg : NEVA
The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea. The delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands, giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel.
40. Mexican wrap : SERAPE
Serape is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape, is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a whole in the middle for the head. Most have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.
41. Active Japanese volcano : ASO
Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan, and is found on the island of Kyushu.
42. Pet food brand : IAMS
Iams dog food was produced by an animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company in 1946, and it has been part of Proctor & Gamble.
50. Medical discovery of Gertrude Elion (1918-99) : DRUG FOR LEUKEMIA
Gertrude Elion was an American biochemist and pharmacologist, whose work earned her a Nobel Prize in 1988. She graduated with a masters degree in 1941, and had to go into high school teaching because she couldn’t get a research post because she was a woman. After things opened up, she got an assistant’s post at Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, and began to make a name for herself. She invented Purinethol, the first treatment for leukemia, as well as a string of other drugs.
57. Rocky’s love : ADRIAN
You’ll remember Rocky Balboa calling for Adrian in the original Rocky movie. Adrian was played by the lovely Talia Shire, the sister of director Frances Ford Coppola.
64. Woodworking tool created by Tabitha Babbitt (1784-1853) : CIRCULAR SAW
Tabitha Babbitt was a Shaker, and so did not patent her circular saw invention. Some others made some money out of it though …
70. 2008 Wimbledon champ : NADAL
Rafael Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.
71. Office item created by Bette Nesmith Graham (1924-80) : LIQUID PAPER
Bette Nesmith worked her way up to the position of executive secretary in a bank in Texas, really as high a position as she could get being a woman with her education. She used make extra money painting holiday windows at the bank, and made the observation that she could just fix her painting mistakes by painting over them, whereas her typing mistakes required a “do over”. For five years, she secretly painted over her typing mistakes, and in that time worked with a local chemistry teacher to perfect a quick-drying, durable formula. In 1956 she brought “Mistake Out” to the market, and then founded the Liquid Paper company. In 1979, she sold Liquid Paper to Gillette, for $47.5 million. Her son, Mike, got half of her estate when she passed away in 1980. Of course he was doing okay by then … Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.
84. ___ king : A LA
A dish prepared “a la king” (usually chicken or turkey), is food prepared in a cream sauce, with mushrooms, pimentos, green peppers and sherry.
86. Singer Kitt : EARTHA
Eartha Kitt sure did have a unique voice and singing style. Her rendition of “Santa Baby” has to be one of the most distinctive and memorable recordings in the popular repertoire. Some of you will no doubt remember her playing Cat Woman on the final series of the TV show “Batman”.
87. Actress Téa : LEONI
Tea Leoni is an American actress. One of her early roles was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played Sam Malone’s fiance on “Cheers”. My favorite of her more prominent roles was as Jane, in “Fun with Dick and Jane”.
88. Driving convenience created by Mary Anderson (1866-1953) : WINDSHIELD WIPER
You may have seen the 2008 movie “Flash of Genius“, which outlined the troubles Robert Kearns (played by Greg Kinnear) had in making money from his invention of the intermittent windshield wiper. Well, Mary Anderson developed the original wiper, and received a patent in 1903. She didn’t make any money either …
96. Ramblers and Hornets : AMCS
The Rambler automobile was produced from 1950-69, and was known as the “Kenosha Cadillac” after the location of its manufacture in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Hornet was a compact produced by AMC in the seventies. The Hornet platform was used in the design of the Gremlin, a smaller sub-compact, that was developed to compete with smaller cars being shipped in from Japan.
97. Cape ___ : ANN
Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston, and is the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay.
104. Rock group whose name is an appropriate alternative title for this puzzle : MOTHERS OF INVENTION
The guitarist of the Mothers of Invention probably achieved more fame than did the rock band who were active from 1964 to 1975. That guitarist was Frank Zappa, the man who wrote most of the music for the band.
112. Money machine co. : NCR
NCR has been in business since 1884, and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.
117. Food formula created by Ruth Wakefield (1903-77) : TOLL HOUSE COOKIE RECIPE
The Toll House Cookie was first commercially produced chocolate chip cookie. The name of the cookie comes from where Ruth and her husband lived. They bought a tourist lodge outside Boston which they called the Toll House Inn, recognizing the history of the establishment where tolls were paid, horses were changed and guests were fed. Ruth sold her recipe to Nestle, in return for a year’s supply of chocolate chips.
124. Lunar effect : TIDE
Neap tides are when the difference between the height of the water at high tide and low tide is relatively small. Spring tide is the opposite, with a big swing in the height of the water. Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the lesser gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon’s gravities act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
126. Proctor ___ (small appliance brand) : SILEX
Proctor Electric merged with the Silex corporation in 1960 creating Proctor Silex Co.
1. Common type : PICA
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. It is equivalent to 1/72 of a foot, or 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 “points”.
3. Bell ___ : LABS
Bell Labs dates back to the days of Alexander Graham Bell. The first Bell Labs building was in the carriage house of Bell’s father’s house in Washington, D.C.
4. Whitlings, e.g. : TROUTS
Whitling is the name given to a young trout, in its second season.
7. Pilfer, old-style : NIM
Nim is just that, an archaic term meaning to pilfer or to steal.
11. Yevtushenko’s “Babi ___” : YAR
Yevgeny Yevtushenko is a Russian poet, among other things. His most famous work is probably his poem “Babi Yar” which tells of the Nazi massacre of Jews in Kiev in 1941. Dmitri Shostakovitch used “Babi Yar” as inspiration for his Thirteenth Symphony, and indeed subtitled it “Babi Yar”. Babi Yar is a ravine outside of Kiev, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, a massacre carried out over just two days.
12. Copy ctr. blowup : ENL
At a copy center a blow-up is an enlargement.
13. Lead role in “The Piano” : ADA
Holly Hunter plays the mute Ada McGrath in the highly acclaimed 1993 movie “The Piano“. It is worth mentioning that Holly Hunter played all her piano pieces in the film herself.
15. “Pardon me, Arturo …” : SCUSI
Scusi: the Italian for “pardon me”.
16. Banquo, e.g. : THANE
Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. He is the Thane of the Scottish province of Lochaber. Thane was a hereditary title for a tenant of the crown in Scotland.
17. “La Grande Parade” artist Fernand : LEGER
Fernand Leger was a French painter, and among his works was a series of paintings called “La Grande Parade“. I quite like his “Still Life with Beer Mug”, painted in 1921. Anything with beer …
18. Yellow-and-white flower : OXEYE
Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants.
21. Tubular pasta : PENNE
The name “penne” comes from the Latin word for feather or quill, recognizing that penne does indeed resemble the writing end of a quill.
24. Julie of “The Early Show” : CHEN
As well as co-anchoring “The Early Show”, Julie Chen has been host of the American version of “Big Brother” since it graced our screens in 2000.
25. Joe and Jane : GIS
G.I. Joe was the original “action figure”, the first toy to carry that description. G.I. Joe first hit the shelves in 1964. There have been a few movies based on the G.I. Joe figure. But, more famous than all of them I would say is the 1997 movie “G.I. Jane” starring Demi Moore in the title role. I think this movie had some potential, to be honest, but it really did not deliver at all.
30. “Golda’s Balcony” subject : MEIR
“Golda’s Balcony” is a play by William Gibson. It is a one-woman show, and ran on Broadway for 493 performances starting in 2003, making it the longest running one-woman show in Broadway’s history. Valerie Harper took the title role in a film adaptation released in 2006. The term “Golda’s Balcony” refers to a VIP viewing gallery in the Dimona nuclear weapons facility in Israel.
34. Eastern princess : RANI
A Ranee (also spelled Rani) is the female equivalent of a Raja in India.
35. Where Polynesian Airlines is based : APIA
Polynesian Airlines is the national airline of Samoa, and as such is based in the capital of Samoa, Apia.
37. F.D.A. guideline : USRDA
The Recommended Daily Allowances were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by the Recommended Daily Intakes in 1997.
38. Primitive percussion instrument : GOURD
A gourd is a plant in the same family as the cucumber. The hollow, dried out shell of the fruit is large and rounded, and used for a number of purposes. Gourds make fine bottles and bowls, and resonating chambers as part of musical instruments … and drums.
43. “Don Giovanni” aria “Dalla ___ pace” : SUA
“Dalla sua pace” translates to “On her peace”, and is sung by don Ottavio, the tenor lead in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni“.
45. Start of a spell : ABRA
Abracadabra has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome, when it was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet, to help his emperor recover from disease. The word is Aramaic, and has the approximate translation of “I will create as I speak”.
51. Donate, to Burns : GIE
Gie is a variant of “give” used sometimes by Scots, and maybe even by Robert Burns.
52. LAX watchdog : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration …
66. Public health agcy. : CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. They worry about more than malaria these days …
67. Former Mideast inits. : UAR
The UAR, United Arab Republic, was a union between Egypt and Syria, made in 1958 and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.
72. Esquire in “Henry VI, Part 2” : IDEN
Alexander Iden is a “Kentish Gentleman” in Shakespeare’s “Henry VI, Part 2“.
73. “Eris ___ sum” (“You will be what I am”) : QUOD
“Eram quod es, eris quod sum” is a Latin phrase that you might come across in a graveyard. It translates into “I was what you are, you will be what I am”.
76. Literary inits. : RLS
Robert Louis Stevenson’s most celebrated work I’d say is “Treasure Island”, originally written as a series for a children’s magazine in 1881. I remember it as the first “real” novel I read as a youngster.
78. Gaping mouth : MAW
A maw is the term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. It has become a slang term for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.
79. Brief look inside? : MRI
A CT Scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT Scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses on radiation can be harmful, and is cumulative. An MRI on the other hand (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images, so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (like X-rays). We used MRI technology in our chemistry labs at school, back in the days when the technology was called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with ionizing radiation and bombs, so it’s now called just MRI.
80. Stock phrase : AT PAR
In trading stocks and bonds, “at par” means at face value, with no premium or discount.
89. Preceder of many words? : IN SO
Clever clue … in so many words …
90. “There Is ___ …” (song by the Cure) : NO IF
The Cure are an English rock band, founded in 1976 and still going today, although not with the original line up. I don’t think “There Is No If” was a big hit for them.
91. Hungarian patriot Nagy : IMRE
Imre Nagy was twice Prime Minister of Hungary. He was ahead of his time, I think. His second term as Prime Minister came during the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviet Union in October 1956. The Soviet’s invaded of course, and arrested Nagy. He was tried in secret, sentenced to death and hanged.
93. Future atty.’s challenge : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test has been around since 1948.
99. Add a hint of color to : TINCT
To tinct is to do just that, add a little color to something.
102. Midnight Poison maker : DIOR
I think I used to wear Poison cologne at one stage. Midnight Poison is another Christian Dior fragrance, introduced in 2007.
103. Relief pitcher? : ANACIN
Clever wording …
106. What appears above a piñata? : TILDE
Clue of the Day!
107. Rock’s Van ___ : HALEN
Van Halen is a heavy metal band formed in Pasadena, California back in 1972. Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally called the band Mammoth, changing the name to Van Halen in 1974 when they found out there was another Mammoth playing the circuit. Early on they were renting a sound system from David Lee Roth, and they decided to save some money by bringing him into the band and saving on the rental fee!
108. Land in East 58-Across: Abbr. : ETH
Ethiopia is in the eastern part of Africa.
114. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson : MILT
A vibraphone is a similar to a xylophone, but it has aluminum instead of wooden bars. Vibraphones are most commonly seen as part of jazz ensembles. Milt Jackson started his career as part of the band playing with Dizzy Gillespie.
118. Swiss canton : URI
Uri is a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Supposedly William Tell came from Uri.
121. “Koochie-___!” : KOO
Koochie-Koo is slang term, apparently used by girls when talking to boys.
122. Subway line to Columbia U. : IRT
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company was the original, private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, and the original lines operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.
123. Needle point? : ESE
A compass needle point … ESE … very clever.