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: 21m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Secret target : UNDERARM
Secret is an antiperspirant/deodorant made by Proctor & Gamble, first introduced in 1956 as a cream that was applied with the fingers (ick!). There followed a roll-on version in 1958, a spray in 1964 and the solid stick in 1978.
18. Mark who won the 1998 Masters and British Open : O’MEARA
Mark O’Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.
19. 1980-83 Stanley Cup champs, in brief : ISLES
The New York Islanders are one of three NHL teams in the New York City area, along with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. The team’s heyday was the early eighties, when they won the Stanley Cup for four seasons in succession, 1980-83. More recently they have been struggling, not having won a playoff series since the 1992-93 season.
20. They have torches on their backs : DIMES
President Roosevelt was a major factor in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Foundation’s most successful fund raising campaign was to encourage the public to just send a dime to support the charity, so that even before the Foundation officially changed its name, the public were already calling it March of Dimes. After President Roosevelt passed away in office, Congress passed legislation calling for a new design to for the dime, one featuring the image of FDR. The Roosevelt dime was introduced in 1946, on the day that would have been the President’s 64th birthday.
22. Antonio or Joaquin : SAN
San Antonio, Texas was named after the Portuguese Saint Anthony by a Spanish expedition that stopped in the area in 1691. The San Joaquin River is the second-longest river in California (after the Sacramento River).
26. Trip vehicle? : LSD
LSD is short for Lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. But it wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that the psychedelic properties of the drug were discovered. Trippy, man …
29. It’s never right : ACUTE
An acute angle is less then 90 degrees, less than a right angle. On obtuse angle is greater than the right angle.
31. Explorer born 6/11/1910 : JACQUES COUSTEAU
Jacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, heading for a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, he had to abandon that objective, and instead went to sea. Famously, he invented the aqualung, and is known as the father of SCUBA diving.
38. Cards and Reds : NLERS
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as they changed it one year later to the Cardinals.
The Red Scare following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, fearful of losing money due the public distrust of anyone associated with “Reds”.
39. Real-estate ad abbr. : RMS
There’s usually a count of rooms in real-estate ads.
42. Andalusian aunts : TIAS
Tia is the Spanish word for aunt (with “tio” meaning “uncle”). Andalusia (Andalucia in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.
44. Conquest of Caesar’s : GAUL
Julius Caesar led the Roman military against the tribes of Gaul in the Gallic Wars from 58 BC to 51 BC. In the end, victory was decisive and the Roman Republic extended to cover the whole of Gaul. This made Caesar so popular in Rome that he was able to take power as the sole ruler of Rome, despite stiff opposition.
45. Rep. : AGT
A representative is an agent.
47. Cambridge measure : METRE
The accepted spelling of the word around most of the world is “metre”, as it is in French. English speaking countries also use the spelling “metre”, except here in the US.
48. Serf, e.g. : TOILER
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord.
53. Classic Bob Marley song that was a 1973 hit for Johnny Nash : STIR IT UP
“Stir It Up” was composed by Bob Marley in 1967, but was a hit for Johnny Nash in 1972. It was Bob Marley’s first successful song outside Jamaica.
4. Esau vis-à-vis Jacob : ELDER
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother, Rebekah gave birth to the twins, “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”.
5. Dosimeters measure them : RADS
Dosimeters measure exposure to something in the environment, with radiation exposure the most recognized. Exposure to ionizing radiation is cumulative, so people who risk exposure wear dosimeters and records are kept for each individual to track exposure over a lifetime. The rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels, but is largely obsolete now. It has been superseded by the rem.
6. Be transformed? : ARE
The verb “to be” is transformed into “are” in the plural.
9. Brake equipment : SHOES
The drum brake was invented in 1902 by Louis Renault (founder of Renault, the automobile company). In a drum brake, there is a set of brake shoes that usually presses on the inner surface of the drum to slow down rotation. Nowadays, the disc brake system is more popular in designs, a design which uses brake pads instead of brake shoes.
13. Site of Florida’s first golf course : SARASOTA
Sarasota was an ideal location for introduction of golf in Florida due to the warm climate. Bobby Jones was one of the famous golfing names associated with Sarasota’s community course.
21. Classic sports cars : MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979.
25. Some poker payments : CHITS
A chit is a note or a short letter, and tends to be used in the sense of an amount owed these days (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, a term now obsolete, but closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself, because when we are at school we would be excused class is we had a “chitty”.
27. Shell you may sit in : SCULL
A scull is a rowing boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell.
28. Place to get a date? : OASIS
Nicely disguised meaning …
29. Pharmaceutical liquids : AQUAS
An aqua in pharmaceutical terms is simply an aqueous solution.
32. Sophocles tragedy : ANTIGONE
“Antigone” is a tragedy written by Sophocles and first performed in 442 BC. Antigone is the daughter of King Oedipus of Thebes, born out of the incestuous relationship with his mother, Jocasta.
34. Part given by the pious? : ONE TENTH
A tithe is traditional payment of one tenth of one’s annual income often given to one’s church.
39. Kiwi, e.g. : RATITE
Ratites are species of birds that cannot fly. Ratites are different physiologically than other birds in that they have nowhere on their sternum to attach the muscles needed for flight.
41. Succumbs to narcolepsy : SLEEPS
The term narcolepsy comes from the Greek words “narke” (numbness, stupor) and “lepsis” (seizure, attack).
44. “Savvy?” : GET IT
The word savvy comes from the French “savez-vous?” meaning “do you know?”
47. Third baseman and two-time All-Star Melvin ___ : MORA
Melvin Mora is nicknamed Melmo or Melvy, and plays for the Colorado Rockies. Mora had a tragic childhood in his native Venezuela. When he was only seven years of age, his father was murdered right in front of him as he was buying candy for young Melvin.
49. Sch. in Brooklyn : LIU
Long Island University is a private school, that was chartered in 1926. Its focus has always been on providing moderately priced, effective education to people from all walks in life. To that end, it opened a second campus in 1951 in Brookville, in the suburbs of New York City, recognizing the need to serve families that were living outside of the metropolis.
51. Never, to Haydn : NIE
Nie is the German word for never. German was the native language for Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn. Haydn was the “father” of the big three composers of the Classical period, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.