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: 16m 30s
THEME: ODE TO JOY … the letters JOY appear together in some squares throughout the grid
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Poe poem, with “The” : BELLS
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. He is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American writer to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t go too well for him, He was always financially strapped. In 1849, he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. He died a few days later in hospital, at 39 years of age.
Poe’s poem “The Bells” was not published until soon after his death. It is famous for the repetition of the word bells throughout the poem, tolling away in the very words of the work itself.
11. Cutesy-___ : POO
I’d heard of “cutesy-pie” but never “cutesy-poo” …
14. Chris with the 1991 hit “Wicked Game” : ISAAK
Chris Isaak’s 1991 hit “Wicked Game” is taken from his 1989 album “Heart Shaped World”.
Chris Isaak is not only an American rock musician, but has also had a lot of acting parts. He had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.
15. With 25-Across, an Irving Berlin song : I LOVE
25. See 15-Across : A PIANO
Irving Berlin’s real name was Israel Baline, a Russian immigrant that came to New York with his family in 1893. In the words of composer Jerome Kern, “Irving Berlin has no place in American Music – he is American music”. That would seem to ring true looking at a selection of his hits: “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, “White Christmas”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and of course, “God Bless America”. Berlin was married twice. His first marriage was in 1912, to Dorothy Goetz. Sadly, Dorothy dies just a few months later from typhoid fever that she contracted on their honeymoon in Havana. His second marriage was to a young heiress, Ellin Mackay. That marriage lasted a lot longer, until 1988 when Ellin passed away at the age of 85.
Irving Berlin had a hit with “I Love a Piano” in 1915, a somewhat comical, ragtime love song.
18. Hit 2006 film banned in every Arab country except Lebanon : BORAT
The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazhakstan“. Borat is played by a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …
19. “___ Bangs” (Ricky Martin hit) : SHE
Ricky Martin’s real name is Enrique Martin Morales, a native of Puerto Rico. He first achieved fame with the boy band Menudo before going solo in 1991. “She Bangs” was a hit from the year 2000 from Ricky Martins’s album “Sound Loaded”.
20. Newborn : BUNDLE OF JOY
22. Concern for an Allied ship : U-BOAT
U-boat stands for “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to the Britain from British colonies and the US. The fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.
26. Gratifying : ENJOYABLE
30. Hershey’s brand : ALMOND JOY
I think my favorite candy growing up was an Almond Joy (although in my part of the world it was a little different formulation and was called a Bounty Bar, more like Mounds). The Almond Joy bar has been around since 1946.
31. Part of the home computer market : MACS
Mac is short for Macintosh, the line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one soon after at work. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My friend told me that the lump of plastic was called “a mouse”.
33. 1824 Vienna premiere : BEETHOVEN’S NINTH
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is of course his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played, there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto has to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.
41. Hydrocarbon suffixes : ENES
An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane by having at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas, ethylene, a major raw material in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).
42. Home of London’s Palace Theatre : SOHO
The Palace Theatre in London opened as the Royal English Opera House in 1891. The name was changed to the Palace Theatre in 1911, and has been home to many of the great productions in the West End. Some of the most successful were “The Sound of Music” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and the longest running musical in the world, “Les Miserables“.
43. Pastime for a car thief, perhaps : JOYRIDING
47. Euphoric : OVERJOYED
50. Region known as the Valley of the Moon : SONOMA
It was author Jack London who reported that the Native American word “Sonoma” translated into “Valley of the Moon“, although the derivation is disputed. The Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California wine industry.
51. Évian and Vichy : SPAS
Two of the most famous spa towns in France are Evians-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva in eastern France, and Vichy in the center of the country.
53. Best-selling novel of 1989, with “The” : JOY LUCK CLUB
Amy Tan lives not too far from here in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco. She is an American writer of Chinese descent, and her most successful work was “The Joy Luck Club”, made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tells of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.
58. Like Schubert’s Symphony No. 7 : IN E
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer, particularly noted for his large portfolio of lieder (songs). Schubert’s Symphony No. 7 was was left as a draft after he passed away, and as such was “unfinished”. However, it was more complete than his Symphony No. 8 which is known famously as the “Unfinished”.
59. Top of a Roman candle? : IGNIS
Ignis is the Latin for “fire, burn”.
61. Sophocles skill : IRONY
Sophocles was one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. The first of these was Aeschylus, the second Sophocles, and the third Euripides. Sophocles is believed to have written 123 plays, including the most famous, “Antigone” and “Oedipus the King”.
63. Ding Dong filler : CREME
A Ding Dong is a chocolate cake made by Hostess Brands. The Ding Dong was introduced in 1967. Creme is just the French word for “cream”.
64. Cézanne contemporary : MANET
Edouard Manet, the French painter, is responsible for many great works including “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe”, a work much praised by novelist Emile Zola.
65. Elizabethan dramatist Thomas : KYD
Thomas Kyd’s most famous work is “The Spanish Tragedy”, written in the mid to late 1580s. Even though Kyd was a recognized dramatist within his own lifetime, he fell foul of the standards of the Privy Council of the day and was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly being an atheist. He died soon after, impoverished.
1. Kind of lettuce : BIBB
Bibb is a variety of lettuce in the cultivar known as butterhead. All butterhead varieties have loose-leafed heads and a buttery texture.
2. Grandson of Abraham : ESAU
Esau, was the grandson of Abraham, and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. He is portrayed as being very different from his brother, a hunter, someone who loves the outdoor life.
4. Diane of “Wild at Heart” : LADD
Diane Ladd is an American actress, nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1990 film “Wild at Heart”. The lead roles in the movie were played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Laura Dern is Diane Ladd’s daughter in real life, as she was once married to actor Bruce Dern.
5. 1973 NASA launch : SKYLAB
Skylab was sent into orbit by NASA in 1973, and stayed up there until 1979. Although it was in orbit for many years, it was only occupied by astronauts for 171 days, in three missions in 1973-1974. Skylab burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere a lot earlier than expected, showering some mighty chunks of debris on our friends in Australia.
6. Nucleic acid sugar : RIBOSE
Ribose is a so called “simple sugar”, a monosaccharide. Ribose is the key component in RNA that differentiates it from DNA.
8. One way to jump : FOR JOY
9. Norris Dam agcy. : TVA
The Tennessee Valley Authority has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally funded construction of flood control and electricity generation facilities.
The first major project for the TVA was the Norris Dam, located on the Clinch River in Anderson County. The dam was named after Nebraska (yes, Nebraska) Senator George Norris, a TVA supporter.
13. Work incorporated in 33-Across … or a description of this puzzle? : ODE TO JOY
“Ode to Joy” is a poem written in 1785 by German poet Friedrich Schiller. Ludwig van Beethoven gave the poem great notoriety when he used it in his Ninth “Choral” Symphony first performed in 1824.
21. Night sch. course : ESL
English as Second Language (ESL) can also be called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
26. Attaché’s place: Abbr. : EMB
Attache is a French term which literally means “attached”, and is used for a person who is assigned to the administrative staff of some agency or other service. The term is most recognized as it applies to someone assigned to an Ambassador’s staff at an embassy.
28. “Dubliners” author : JOYCE
“Dubliners” is a collection of 15 short stories by Irish author James Joyce, published in 1914. The stories illustrate middle class life around the city of Dublin in the early 1900s.
29. Hrs. in Puerto Rico : AST
Atlantic Standard Time is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Puerto Rico is the Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call the island Puerto Rico Borinquen, the Spanish form of the original name used by the natives, Boriken.
30. Writer Rand : AYN
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” in 1957. Back in 1951, Ayn Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the “founding members” was future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.
32. Jack and billy : HES
Jack would be a man’s name, and “billy” is a male goat (with “nanny” being the female).
34. Eponymous doctor with a maneuver : HEIMLICH
Henry Heimlich is an American physician, supposedly the developer of the abdominal thrusts used to help choking victims known as the Heimlich Maneuver. If that’s not enough, Heimlich is the first cousin of Anson Williams, the actor who played “Potsie” on TV’s “Happy Days”!
35. Tony-nominated choreographer White : ONNA
Onna White was a Canadian choreographer nominated for eight Tony Awards, and choreographed both the film and stage versions of “The Music Man” and “Mame”. She won an Oscar for her choreography for the 1968 movie “Oliver!”, an unusual award from “The Academy”.
36. Part of a food pyramid, briefly : VEG
The first food pyramid was issued in Denmark in 1978, and was introduced in the US in 1992. And the vegetable group is my favorite of all the groups …
38. What there was in Mudville : NO JOY
“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”
40. Container on a pole : HOD
A hod is 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.
43. Gamer’s device : JOYSTICK
The name “joystick” is aviator’s slang, a descriptive name for the main control lever of plane.
44. TV’s Andy : ROONEY
Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers during WWII working for “Stars and Stripes” in London. He had some memorable experiences during the war, including flying on the first American bombing raid over Germany. He was also one of the first American journalists to visit the German concentration camps as they were liberated. He started his “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on CBS’s “60 Minutes” way back in 1978, and so has been on our screens for 42 years. He’s a cool, cool guy …
48. Dust collector, for short : VAC
The vacuum cleaner has been around since 1860, an invention by Daniel Hess of Iowa.
53. Al ___, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump : JOYNER
Al Joyner is a former athlete, triple jump gold medalist at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He also won the Jim Thorpe award as the top American male in the field events. Al’s sister is the athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, also an Olympic gold medalist.
54. Zodiac creature : CRAB
The Zodiac sign of the crab is called “Cancer”, as “cancer” is the Latin word for crab. By the way, Greek physician Galen noted that some tumors with swollen veins looked like crabs, given the disease its name.
56. Quelques-___ (some: Fr.) : UNES
Quelques-unes is the feminine form of “some” in French. The masculine version would be “quelque-uns”.
57. Part of a gig : BYTE
In the world of computers, a “bit” is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes.