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 BBC period drama “The Grand” on DVD)
THEME: Triumphant shout! … It’s not really a theme, but the words of an awful lot of clues
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Triumphant shout : JACKPOT
The term “jackpot” dates back to the 1800s and is from the game of poker. In some variants there are progressive antes, meaning that players have to “ante up” when no player has a pair of “jacks” or better … building a jackpot.
15. Galina __, old Russian ballerina whose Moscow apartment is now a museum : ULANOVA
Galina Ulanova was a celebrated ballet dancer from St. Petersburg. She learned her craft in Petrograd, eventually attracting the attention of Josef Stalin. He arranged for her to move to Moscow and dance with the Bolshoi company, where she was prima ballerina for 16 years.
17. Very tough thing to lick : NEMESIS
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were in particular haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character, but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.
18. Impetuous sort : HOTSPUR
A hotspur is a fiery or impetuous person. It has come into English via the nickname of an English rebel called Sir Henry Percy. “Hotspur” led a rebellion against King Henry IV in 1403, although he didn’t get very far. In the Battle of Shrewsbury he raised his visor to get some air, and was hit in the mouth with an arrow, dying instantly. Henry Percy lent his name to so many things, including Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in London, my favorite soccer team growing up, and the “Hotspur” comic book, my favorite read as a youngster.
19. Thing with a bell guard : EPEE
The hilt of a sword consists of a grip and a guard (also called a bell guard). One grasps the sword with the grip, and the bell guard is a metal shell that is designed to protect the fingers. Epee is the French word for sword.
22. Boston skyscraper nickname, with “the” : PRU
The Pru is the familiar name given to the Prudential Tower in Boston. It is currently the second highest building in the city, after the John Hancock Tower. However, if one includes the height of the radio tower on its roof, then it is the highest building in Boston. When it was completed in 1964, it was the tallest building in the country outside of New York City.
24. “The Gypsy ___” (“Anything Goes” song) : IN ME
“Anything Goes” is a musical by Cole Porter, and tells of the goings on aboard an ocean liner sailing from New York to London. Some of the famous songs from the show are “Anything Goes”, “You’re the Top”, “I Get a Kick Out of You” as well as “The Gypsy in Me”.
25. Reveal, to Shakespeare : SHEW
Shew: an archaic form of “show”.
26. Org. concerned with court proceedings? : USTA
The United States Tennis Association is the national organization governing the sport of tennis in the US.
28. Dix follower : ONZE
Counting in French: 10 (dix) 11 (onze) etc.
29. Virgo’s brightest star : SPICA
Spica is the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Spica is actually a “binary star”, meaning that it is composed of two individual stars so close together that they cannot be resolved through a telescope. The two stars orbit each other every four days.
36. Of modern humans : SAPIENS
Something that is relating to the human species is known by the adjective “sapiens”, from the name of our species: Homo sapiens.
37. Triumphant shout : EUREKA
Eureka translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes as he stepped into his bath. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed to determine if it was made of pure gold, or was a forgery.
39. Some small clubs : TREYS
A trey of clubs is a name for the three of clubs in a deck of cards. The name trey can also be used for a domino with three pips.
45. Biographers’ collections : ANAS
An ana (or plural anas) is a collection, including literature, that represent the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun, or as a suffix.
46. Faulkner’s “Requiem for ___” : A NUN
“Requiem for a Nun” was written by William Faulkner, and published in 1951. It is an unusual work in that the book is partly a novel, and partly a play.
48. Type on the left side?: Abbr. : DEM
Democrats, the type on the left side of politics.
51. Shield border : ORLE
In heraldry, an orle is a decorative band that lies close to the edge of the front surface of a shield. With such a design, the orle is also the shape of a shield by necessity.
52. Players don’t rush through them : ADAGIOS
An adagio is a piece of music with a slow tempo. The marking on the score “adagio” is an instruction to play the piece slowly and in a stately manner. The word adagio is Latin for “at ease”.
59. Triumphant shout : YAHTZEE
The dice game of Yahtzee was introduced in 1956, a variant of earlier dice games, especially the game “Yacht” (which even has a similar name). Yahtzee is required playing in our house at holidays.
1. Capital near Excursion Inlet : JUNEAU
Being Alaska, it is not surprising to learn that the municipality of Juneau is almost as big as the area of the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, and only a population of about 31,000 people! Excursion Inlet on the other hand, had a population of 10 at the time of the 2000 census. Excursion Inlet was a base during the WWII Aleutian Campaign, and the site of a prisoner-of-war camp.
2. Hebrew leaders? : ALEPHS
Aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, a “Hebrew Leader”.
4. Human equivalent of a horse’s stifle : KNEE
The stifle is a horse’s “knee”, and as such the joint on the hind leg of the animal, not the foreleg.
5. Getters of letters: Abbr. : POS
Post Offices get lots of letters.
7. Occasions to compare noses : TASTINGS
A wine’s nose is it’s bouquet, the aroma of the wine.
8. Part of the République tchèque : BOHEME
In French, Bohème (Bohemia) is in République tchèque (the Czech Republic).
9. Thermionic tube part : ANODE
Thermionic tube is another name for a vacuum tube, something we used to come across in old radios and televisions. The tube consists of two electrodes (an anode and cathode) encased in a vacuum in a sealed glass tube. The anode can be heated, just like a light-bulb, and will give off electrons, and so is said to be thermionic.
12. Blue shade : SAPPHIRE
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum. Trace elements in the mineral determine the color, and type of gemstone that can be produced from the mineral. In the presence of chromium, the stone is red, and is called a ruby. Other trace elements result in blue, green or yellow sapphires. The blue color comes from the presence of titanium and iron.
27. St. Mary’s and others : ABBEYS
There are a few Abbey’s with the name St. Mary’s, although I know just the one, a famous ruin in Dublin, Ireland.
28. 29-Down’s number, maybe : ONE A
Maybe the “supe”, the building superintendent lives in apartment 1A, just off the lobby.
29. Apartment V.I.P. : SUPE
A building superintendent is a Very Important Person in an apartment building.
32. Feminine “this,” to Brutus : HAEC
The Latin word for this is either hic (masculine). haec (feminine) or hoc (neuter).
40. Maroon : ENISLE
To maroon: to enisle, to leave on an island.
42. “Lost” character Ana Lucia ___ : CORTEZ
On the series “Lost”, the character Ana Lucia Cortez is played by Michelle Rodriguez. Recently Michelle Rodriguez played one of the main characters in the 2009 blockbuster “Avatar”, the heroic combat pilot who helps save the day.
44. Myers who wrote “Why Women Should Rule the World” : DEEDEE
Deedee Myers was the very capable White House Press Secretary for the first two years of the Clinton administration, the first woman to hold that post. After leaving the White House, Myers acted as a consultant on the TV show “The West Wing”, and I am sure helped at that touch of authenticity to a great television program.
49. Medicare funder, briefly : FICA
That FICA tax: the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax. FICA was introduced in the 1930s as part of the New Deal.
50. Magna Graecia colony : ELEA
Magna Graecia is Latin for “Greater Greece” and was the name of the coastal areas in Southern Italy colonized by the Greeks. One of the Hellenic towns that resulted from the colonization was Elea, also known as Velia.
53. Triumphant shout : GIN
Gin rummy is a variant of the slower game of standard rummy, introduced in 1909 by Elwood Baker and his son.
55. It buried Herculaneum : ASH
When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, not only the Pompeii was buried by the lava flows and ash. The eruption also destroyed the towns of Stabiae, Oplontis and Herculaneum. Herculaneum was a smaller town than Pompeii, but had a wealthier population. It continues to be an important archaeological site.