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 email@example.com, 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: 22m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Its workers aren’t behind closed doors : CUBE FARM
Cube Farm is the name given to the open plan type of office, full of cubicles. No doors, very little privacy, but low cost!
16. Title boy in an old sitcom : BEAVER
We used to see a lot of American television growing up in Ireland, but “Leave It to Beaver” was one show that didn’t make it. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, and I am not sure it would travel well. The show went on the air for the first time the day that Sputnik was launched by the Russians, and aired its last show just a few months before President Kennedy was assassinated. An iconic series, by all accounts.
20. Overly optimistic : ROSEATE
Something roseate is “rose colored”, like rose colored glass, and hence also refers to something that is optimistic, perhaps overly so.
21. Feldshuh of “Yentl” : TOVAH
Tovah Feldshuh is an American actress, who first experienced real celebrity after playing Helena Slomova in the mini-series “Holocaust” in 1978. she had the leading role in “Yentl” on Broadway, a role later to be played by Barbra Streisand on the big screen.
26. Acid head? : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.
27. Singing group : STOOLIES
Stoolies, also called canaries, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. Clever clue.
29. It was worth three livres : ECU
The ecu was an Old French coin, and when introduced in 1640, was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning shield. The original ecu used to have a coat of arms on it, a shield.
34. It occupies 25 pages in the Oxford English Dictionary : SET
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”. Back in 2007, the longest entry was for the word “set”, and before that in 2000, the longest was for the word “make”. How times change.
35. “Knock on ___ Door” (Bogart film) : ANY
“Knock on Any Door” was a novel by Willard Motley before being adapted for the solver screen in 1949. The move was produced by a new company called Santana Productions, partly owned by Humphrey Bogart himself. Santana was the name of Bogart’s private yacht.
39. Mountainside debris : SCREE
When a rock face erodes, lumps of rock and dust fall to the ground. The pile of rocks gathered around the rock face is called scree, a word derived from the old Norwegian term for a landslide.
49. Hippodrome competitor : TROTTER
A trotter (a horse trained for harness racing) could compete in a hippodrome (a racetrack). The word “hippodrome” comes from the Greek “hippos” (horse) and “dromos” (racetrack).
51. Play an ace? : AVIATE
Another clever clue … A flying ace would be aviating …
52. It’s not the road less traveled : MAINLINE
Robert Frost had a poem published in 1916 in which he describes the road he took in the last lines:
“I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Because of these last lines, the poem is often assumed to be entitled “The Road less Traveled”. In fact, the poem’s correct name is “The Road not Taken“. Interesting, huh?
53. Currency that replaced pounds in 1964 : LEONES
Leones are the curency of Sierra Leone. The Leone was introduced in 1964 to replace the British West African pound. The move was a practical one, as the Leone is a decimal currency and replaces the old British system of pounds, shillings and pence.
55. ___ Evans, a k a Chubby Checker : ERNEST
Ernest Evans was given the nickname “Chubby” by his boss at a produce market where he worked after school. When he went to make a recording for “American Bandstand” as Ernest Evans, Dick Clark’s wife asked what his friends called him. When she heard “Chubby”, she compared his name to that of “Fats” Domino. She then joked that “Checker” might be a better choice than Evans, given that Fats used “Domino”. And so, Chubby Checker was born.
56. Places to store barrels? : HOLSTERS
Another clever clue.
1. Washing-up place : COAST
Things do wash up onto the shore. I do love deceptively worded clues.
6. Clarifying agent in brewing : AGAR
Agar is a jelly extracted from seaweed, with many uses. It is found in Japanese desserts, can be used as a laxative, and is the most common growth medium used for growing bacteria in petri dishes. It’s also used as a clarifying agent for beer.
7. “Wide Sargasso Sea” novelist, 1966 : RHYS
“Wide Sargasso Sea” was written by Jean Rhys and first published in 1966. It’s a clever work, written as a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s famous “Jane Eyre” which dates back to 1847.
9. One giving prior consent? : ABBOT
Very clever stuff from Mr. Silk … the Abbot/prior gives consent at the priory/abbey.
11. Olajuwon of the N.B.A. : HAKEEM
Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian American basketball player. Hakeem was born in Lagos in Nigeria, and came the US to play for the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1984, ahead of the likes of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.
13. Follower of one’s convictions : SENTENCE
Clever, clever, clever …
24. Indian bread : ROTI
In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is the unleavened cousin to naan.
28. “Feather Gown” sculptor : ERTE
Erte was the pseudonym of French artist (Russian born) Romain de Tirtoff. Erte is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.”
37. Family often seen on “The Andy Williams Show” : OSMONDS
The Osmond Brothers were performing at Disneyland in the early sixties when they were spotted by Andy Williams’ father. He was so impressed by their performance that he told Andy to book them on his TV show, after which they became regulars from 1962-69.
38. Underground branch : ROOTLET
A rootlet is a small or divided root.
40. Crude component : ETHANE
Ethane is produced industrially as a byproduct of petroleum refining. Ethane is primarily used to produce ethylene, the most produced organic compound in the world. Ethylene is a raw material in making polymers (plastics).
42. Hours of operation? : UPTIME
Uptime is a measure of the amount of time a machine has been operating (as opposed to “downtime”).
43. Bubblegummer : TEENER
I think the term bubblegummer was used more for teen girls than boys, but it’s new to me.
50. Yemeni capital : RIAL
The Rial is name of the currency of Yemen (as well as Iran, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia!).
52. Start of a Chinese game : MAH
Mahjong is the Chinese word for sparrow.