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 23s
THEME: Pairs of initials… each theme answer contains two “initials” as prefixes i.e. V-EIGHT T-BIRD, R-RATED B-MOVIE, V-NECK T-SHIRTS, I-PHONE E-MAIL
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. ___ Cohn, 1991 Grammy winner for Best New Artist : MARC
Marc Cohn is an American country singer, best known for his 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis“, a lovely song. A few years ago, someone tried to carjack Cohn in Denver, Colorado, and left him shot in the head. Fortunately, the bullet did not penetrate the skull, and his injury was relatively minor.
14. Elizabeth Taylor role, in brief : CLEO
The 1963 movie “Cleopatra” really was an epic work. It was the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $26 million dollars at the box office, yet it still lost money. The original budget for the film was just $2 million, but so many things went wrong the final cost swelled to a staggering $44 million dollars, making it the second most expensive movie ever made (taking into account inflation). Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to earn a record amount of $1 million for the film, and ended up earned seven times that amount due to delays. But she paid dearly, as she became seriously ill during shooting and had to have an emergency tracheotomy to save her life. The scar in her throat can actually be seen in some of the shots in the film.
15. Khrushchev’s impromptu gavel : SHOE
Nikita Kruschev only ever made two visits to the United States. He turned up here in September 1960 without an invitation, by appointing himself head of the USSR delegation to the United Nations. The US responded to his unannounced visit by limiting his travel to the island of Manhattan and visits to a Soviet-owned estate on Long Island. During one of the debates at the UN, Krushchev became outraged at a statement made by the Filipino delegate who charged the Soviets with being two-faced by decrying colonialism while forcibly dominating and occupying Eastern Europe. Kruschev demanded the right to reply immediately, and when the Filipino delegate refused to yield, the Soviet leader famously took off his shoe and began to pound it on is desk.
17. Followed the Hippocratic oath, in a way : DID NO HARM
The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of about 70 medical works that were at one time believed to have written by the Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, although authorship has been called into question. Within the collection is a document known as the Hippocratic Oath (but again, the authorship has been questioned). The oath is still used today as the basis for oaths taken by medical graduates before they enter into medical practice.
19. Either of two peaks in Greek myth : MT. IDA
There are two peaks called Mount Ida that are sacred according to Greek mythology. Mount Ida in Crete is the island’s highest point, and is where one can find the cave in which Zeus was reared. Mount Ida in Asia Minor (located in modern-day Turkey) is where Ganymede was swept up by Zeus in the form of an eagle, who took him to Olympus where he served as cupbearer to the gods.
20. Sporty, powerful auto : V-EIGHT T-BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird from 1955 to 2005, originally a two-seater, sporty convertible. A V8 engine is an engine with eight cylinders in which the cylinders are arranged in two banks at either side of the crankshaft, but in a V-formation when looked at head on. The crankshaft is at the bottom of the V and the first two cylinders form the rest of the V when viewed from the front.
23. Not idling : IN GEAR
The engine isn’t idling if it’s in gear.
26. Racy, low-budget film : R-RATED B-MOVIE
In the US, movies are rated in terms of suitability for a viewing audience by an industry committee. There is no government control. An R-rating is a “Restricted” rating. Persons under the age of 17 have to accompanied during the whole movie by a parent or legal guardian.
In the good old days we would go to the movies and see double features. The term B movie was used to describe movies that were made with low budgets and were intended to be the bottom half of a double feature. Some genres became regular choices for making as a B movie, such as westerns, science-fiction and horror movies.
31. “Cool” amount : MIL
A “cool mil”: one million dollars in cold, hard cash.
36. Plebe’s place: Abbr. : ACAD
Plebe is a slang term for a freshman in one of the US military academies. Plebe is probably short for “plebeian”, the name given to someone of the common class in ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). Pleb is also a shortened version of plebeian, used outside of the military schools.
44. “___ bien!” : TRES
Tres bien! Very (tres) good (bien) in French.
46. Slot-car track section : ESS
Slot cars are those motorized toy cars that run around on tracks picking up power from the slot in the racing surface. The first slot cars were made by the Lionel company, the manufacturer of toy trains sets. They first appeared in 1912.
47. Undergarments that show a little of the chest : V-NECK T-SHIRTS
A t-shirt has a round neck with no collar. The sleeve must extend over the shoulder, but must not fall below the elbow.
52. Software instruction file heading : READ ME
A read me (or readme) file is usually a simple text file that is issued with software when it is distributed. It often contains the latest information about the application, including bugs that were found at the last minute just before release.
56. Easter lead-in : NOR
A nor’easter is a storm that blows from the northeast.
58. Messages on an Apple device : IPHONE EMAIL
Apple started selling the iPhone at 6 pm local time on June 29, 2007, with hundreds of customers lined up outside stores all over the world.
Electronic mail has been around since before even the days of the Internet, with the first emails being sent in 1965.
61. Youngest-ever French Open winner Michael ___ : CHANG
Michael Chang is a former American professional tennis player, best remembered for his win at the 1989 French Open at the age of 17 years.
63. Some Election Day surveys : EXIT POLLS
An exit poll is considered the most accurate poll taken in an election cycle, as the questions relate to the the actual vote that has been registered, and not to an intended vote.
64. It may bring a tear to your eye : ONION
When an onion is sliced, cells are broken. Enzymatic reactions take place that result in the generation of a volatile gas, synpropanethial-S-oxide. The gas irritates the eyes and tears are produced in order to clear the eyes.
65. Word on a biblical wall : MENE
In the Book of Daniel, there is the story of the words “Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharson” being written mysteriously on the walls of the royal place. This story is the origin of the phrase “the writing’s on the wall”.
66. Sheryl Crow’s “___ Wanna Do” : ALL I
“All I Wanna Do” is Sheryl Crow’s biggest hit, released in 1994. Sheryl Crow famously dated cyclist Lance Armstrong from 2003-2006.
67. Fake-book contents : SONGS
A fake book is a collection of the musical basics that is used to help a performer learn new songs. The book contains the melody line, basic chords and lyrics, just enough to allow the musician to “fake it” if necessary.
69. Closing bell org. : NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange has its roots back in 1792, when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement.
1. Early 15th-century year : MCDVI
MCDVI: the year 1406.
5. Common car door fixtures, once : ASHTRAYS
I had forgotten that, ashtrays in the doors!
9. Hollow-point bullets : DUMDUMS
An expanding bullet is one that is designed to expand on impact, creating a a larger diameter wound. The bullet expands outward in a mushroom shape when it hits the target. A captain developed such a bullet in British Army arsenal near Calcutta, near the town of Dum Dum, Since then, hollow-point bullets have also been called dumdums.
12. Prefix with skeleton : ENDO
An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton, and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.
18. Midwest air hub : O’HARE
O’Hare International is the fourth busiest airport in the world. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 an 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard (OR) Place Airport/Douglas (D) Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD.
28. One of TV’s Bunkers : EDITH
Archie Bunker’s wife, Edith, was played by Jean Stapleton on the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family”. By 1980, Stapleton was growing tired of playing the role, and appeared in fewer and fewer episodes. When the show’s spin-off series “Archie Bunker’s Place” premiered, the storyline revealed that Archie Bunker had just lost his wife, setting the tone for the new show.
29. Notes in pots : IOUS
When you play poker or some other gambling game, you might put an IOU into the pot.
31. Sportscaster Albert : MARV
Marv Albert is television and radio sportscaster, often referred to as “the voice of basketball”. Marv has two younger brothers that are also sports announcers, and his son, Kenny, calls baseball and football for Fox, New York Rangers games on the radio. In addition, his daughter is a reporter for NBA TV. He certainly set the tone for his family.
49. Conceptual framework : SCHEMA
A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of schema is schemata and the adjective form is schematic.
50. Margaret Mead interviewee : SAMOAN
“Coming of Age in Samoa” sounds like a fascinating book. It was written by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and published in 1928. In it she examines the behavior of youths in Samoa, making some comparisons with youths in America. One major observation was the smooth transition made from childhood to adulthood of Samoan girls, compared to the more troublesome histories observed in the US.
55. Bovine in ads : ELSIE
Elsie the cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. Elsie was given a husband, Elmer the Bull. Later in Elmer’s life he moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he was used as the mascot for Elmer’s Glue.
56. Some PX patrons : NCOS
A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent on an Air Force Base is a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it’s a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it’s a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it’s a CGX.
59. Beasts in a span : OXEN
A span is a pair of oxen matched by size and strength and riven as a team.
62. Seasonal quaff : NOG
It’s not really clear where the term nog comes from, although it might come from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup long associated with alcoholic drinks.