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: 9m 21s
THEME: Fishing tackle … the theme answers end in the words ROD, HOOK, LINE and REEL.
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Japanese beef center : KOBE
Kobe beef is highly prized in Japanese restaurants. It comes from around the city of Kobe on Honshu in Japan. When Mr. and Mrs Bryant were in a Japanese restaurant, so the story goes, they noted the name “Kobe” for the beef, and liked it, so used that name for their son, Kobe Bryant, now a famous basketball player.
10. Visitor to Mecca : HAJI
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.
16. Holder in the Obama cabinet : ERIC
Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States, and is the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. He was the campaign’s legal advisor, and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee, which of course opted for Vice-President Joe Biden.
17. Bye lines? : OBIT
One might say “bye” in the lines of an obituary. Clever wording for the clue.
18. Prickly plant : BRIER
I always spelled BRIER as BRIAR, but maybe that’s just me …
19. Looney Tunes manufacturer : ACME
The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it was used mainly in the Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote was always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme, which would hopefully finally capture the Road Runner, but always led to his downfall instead.
24. Speck in the ocean : KEY
A key is a low island offshore, also known as a cay (as in the Florida Keys).
25. Tribesman of Kenya or Tanzania : MASAI
The Masai (also known as the Massai) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that they they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.
29. Broccoli ___ : RABE
Broccoli Rabe is perhaps better known as rapini, and is a vegetable often used in Mediterranean cuisines. It is quite delicious sauted with garlic …
31. It makes jelly gel : PECTIN
Pectin is a starch-like material found in the cell walls of plants. It can be extracted from plants (usually citrus fruit) and then is used in cooking as a gelling agent.
35. Captor of Wendy Darling : CAPTAIN HOOK
Peter Pan first turned up in J. M Barrie’s play “Peter Pan: or, the Boy Who wouldn’t Grow Up” which was published in 1904. A few years later, Barrie adapted the play into a novel “Peter and Wendy”, published in 1911. Wendy’s family name is lovely: “Darling”. Once Wendy arrives in Neverland, she is captured by Captain Hook.
38. Bears, in Baja : OSOS
Oso, the Spanish for “bear”. Baja California is both the most northern, and the most western of the Mexican states.
40. Boxer Ali : LAILA
Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali, and a very capable boxer in her own right. She’s not a bad dancer either, coming in third in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.
41. ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
I must have read all of the Perry Mason books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when the pressure was on. Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. He went to law school, but was suspended after a month. so, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. He gave up the law though, once his novels became successful.
42. Game show originally titled “Occupation Unknown” : WHAT’S MY LINE
“What’s My Line” ran from 1950-67. The show was very successful and syndicated all over the world. I remember watching the British version myself for many years, and since seeing the American version in re-runs, I’ve been delighted to see that some of the British cast made guest appearances over here. The show was originally called “Occupation Unknown”. My favorite panellist was, without a doubt, the beautiful Arlene Francis,
45. The Cisco ___ : KID
The Cisco Kid is a character who was first introduced in an O. Henry short story called “The Caballero’s Way”. The original O. Henry character was a cruel outlaw, but the character depicted in subsequent movies and television shows is more heroic.
46. ___ Beach, Fla. : DELRAY
Delray Beach was first settled in 1884, by African Americans who moved from the Florida panhandle. The settlement grew, and took the name Linton after one of the early settlers. In 1898 the crops failed due to a hard freeze, and in 1901, in an attempt to improve the community’s luck, the name Linton was changed to Delray.
47. Bit of dust : MOTE
Mote, a word for a speck of dust, is one that I come across quite often in my Irish Times crossword.
49. Oslo Accords partner of Yitzhak and Bill : YASIR
The Oslo Accords grew out of secret negotiations between high level PLO and Israeli delegates in a residence in Oslo. The teams shared the same house while they conducted 14 meetings, and while eating all their meals together at the same table, the negotiators came to respect one another, and apparently friendships developed.
50. George Harrison’s “All Those Years ___” : AGO
George Harrison wrote the song “All Those Years Ago” as a tribute to his childhood friend and fellow Beatle, John Lennon. If you listen to the lyrics, you will hear references to the Beatles song “All You Need Is Love” and Lennon’s song “Imagine”.
56. Dance with fiddlers and a caller : VIRGINIA REEL
The Virgina Reel was actually an English country dance, but very popular in America for much of the 1800s.
59. New Mexico native : ZUNI
The Zuni are one of the Pueblo peoples. They live on the Zuni River in western New Mexico, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.
62. One of 101 in a googol : DIGIT
A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros. The search engine “Google” was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to Google, a misspelling of the word “googol”.
63. Cuisine that includes pad see ew : THAI
Pad see ew is also known as Phat Si Io, and is a stir-fried noodle dish. “Phat Si Io” means “fried with soy sauce”. I love Thai food.
67. Unwanted engine sound : PING
Pinging is also known as “engine knocking”. It is a metallic sound, created when not all of the fuel-air mixture is detonated by the spark plug, with some of it detonated late in the cycle. The late detonation causes the knocking/pinging sound.
69. Sawbuck halves : ABES
A sawbuck is slang for a ten dollar bill. Two Abes (five dollar bills) make up a ten.
1. Mentholated smokes : KOOLS
Kools were introduced in 1933, and are still around to this day. The brand is marketed as being “smooth” as the menthol numbs the mouth and dulls the taste of the tobacco.
4. “Sanford and Son” aunt : ESTHER
“Sanford and Son” was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called “Steptoe and Son”. The character of Esther was introduced in the second season, and played a major role in most of the story lines.
5. Amazon.com ID : ISBN
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon foster, who now is a professor at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a bar code) for each publication.
7. “Rawhide” singer Frankie : LAINE
“Rawhide” was on the air from 1959-65. Of course he most famous cast member was Clint Eastwood who played Rowdy Yates. But the list of guest stars was also impressive. It included, Mary Astor, Frankie Avalon, Charles Bronson, and even Frankie Laine. Laine sang the theme song, which was composed by a Russian, Dimitri Tiomkin.
9. La., e.g., from 1805 to 1812 : TERR
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV of France, the Sun King. The Louisiana Purchase, for just under 3 cents and acre, doubled the size of the United States overnight.
10. Ibuprofen target : HEADACHE
Ibuprofen is a shortened version of the drug’s name Iso-BUtyl-PROpanoic-PHENolic acid. It’s actually an anti-inflammatory, but is good for headaches too apparently.
12. Olympian Thorpe : JIM
Jim Thorpe was quite the all-rounder, played professional football, basketball, and basketball, and also won Olympic golds in two other all-rounder events, the pentathlon and decathlon (in 1912). However, he lost his medals when it was revealed that he had been paid for playing baseball before the Games, and back then, amateur status was important to the Olympic governing body.
21. ___ II (razor brand) : TRAC
Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971, the world’s first twin-blade razor.
27. Garlicky sauce : AIOLI
To the purist (especially in Provence in the South of France), aioli is prepared by grinding just garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often used, particularly egg yolks.
33. Milo of “The Playboys” : O’SHEA
Milo O’Shea is a great Irish character actor, who has appeared in everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The West Wing”. “The Playboys” is an Irish film released in 1992, starring Albert Finney as well as Milo O’Shea.
43. “Slumdog Millionaire” garb : SARI
The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. This low-budget movie won eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …
48. Kitt in a cabaret : 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”.
51. Movie bomb of 2003 : GIGLI
Everyone wanted to see “Gigli” because it starred the couple of the day, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Everyone wanted to see it, but nobody went it seems. Lots of folks have called it the worst film ever made. Apparently it made only $6m after costing $54m to produce.
57. Vitamin label amts. : RDAS
The Recommended Daily Allowances were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by the Recommended Daily Intakes in 1997.
60. Altdorf’s canton : URI
Uri is a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Supposedly William Tell came from Uri. Altdorf is the capital, and is where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head, according to legend.