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: 5m 56s
THEME: A-PART … all the theme answers include body parts preceded by the letter “A” i.e. full speed A-HEAD, the game is A-FOOT, two A-BREAST, taken A-BACK
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Doctrine : CREDO
Credo: the Latin for “I believe”.
6. “___ of the D’Urbervilles” : TESS
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaption is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.
15. Fe, on the periodic table : IRON
Iron has the chemical symbol Fe, from the Latin word for iron … “ferrum”.
16. Burn soother : ALOE
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically active compounds that have been extensively studied. Regardless of the studies, aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.
19. Fort ___ (gold repository) : KNOX
Fort Knox is actually a US Army base, but it gives its name to the adjacent facility, the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in Fort Knox, although it isn’t the biggest repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in that vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.
20. “Go!” : FULL SPEED A-HEAD
25. Big name in copiers : IKON
IKON is a “document management” company. IKON aims to provide everything an individual or company needs to manage documents, including copiers and copier supplies. The company has been based in Malvern, Pennsylvania since the mid-fifties, and is now owned by the Japanese copier manufacturer, Ricoh.
34. Web address, for short : URL
Internet addresses are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
37. V.I.P.’s transport : LIMO
The word “limousine” actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather, while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving raise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …
38. Separate … or a hint to this puzzle’s theme : A-PART
41. Razor brand : ATRA
The Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, and sold as the Contour in some markets, and its derivative products are still around today.
42. Billy the Kid, for Henry McCarty : ALIAS
I’m guessing that Billy the Kid was of Irish stock, with a real name like McCarty. Another indication of an Irish connection is that he also used the aliases, William ANTRIM, Henry ANTRIM, and Kid ANTRIM, as Antrim is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland.
44. Bygone Russian space station : MIR
9 MIR: Mir was a very successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of its life, however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so the station was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere in 2001.
45. “Fargo” director : COEN
“Fargo” is one of my favorite films of all time, and stars perhaps my favorite actress, Frances McDormand. Fargo was directed by the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Frances McDormand is Joel’s wife.
51. Anglo-Saxon writing symbol : RUNE
A rune is a character in an alphabet, believed to have mysterious powers.
56. Sherlock Holmes phrase, when on a case : THE GAME IS A-FOOT
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in writing the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, had his here use the phrase “the game is afoot” on more than one occasion, first in “The Adventures of the Abbey Grange”. However, the phrase was used long before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. In William Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV Part I” is the line “Before the game is afoot, thou let’st slip”.
60. Horse’s halter? : WHOA
Clever! To halt a horse, one says “whoa!”
62. ___ ball soup : MATZO
Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal, which is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.
64. Salinger heroine : ESME
J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esme – with Love and Squalor”, originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about Esme, a young English girl, and American soldier, and WWII.
2. Scalawag : ROGUE
Scallywag is actually a term we use in Ireland to describe a rogue, usually one that is harmless, and it comes from the Irish word “sgaileog” meaning a farm servant. The American use of scalawag as a rogue was borrowed as a nickname for southern white people that supported reconstruction after the Civil War.
3. Author Zola : EMILE
The most famous work of French writer Emile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Feliz Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
4. Farmer’s place, in a children’s ditty : DELL
A dell is a small, secluded valley.
5. Black Sea port : ODESSA
The city of Odessa in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city that was believed to have been nearby. Catherine like the way the locals pronounced the name “Odessa”, so went with the less Greek sounding name.
6. Dance in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : TIME WARP
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has to have the most devout cult following of any movie ever made. Famously, fan attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in the outrageous costumes used in the film, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure …
10. Surprised and flustered : TAKEN A-BACK
11. Bone that parallels the radius : ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm.
13. Moniker for a Lone Star cowboy : TEX
The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolized Texas as an independent republic, and served as a reminder of the struggle for independence from Mexico.
21. Italian city where “The Taming of the Shrew” is set : PADUA
Padua is a city in northern Italy, and was chosen by William Shakespeare as the setting for “The Taming of the Shrew”. The play is one of his earliest romantic comedies.
26. Going in side-by-side pairs : TWO A-BREAST
28. Mr. ___, John P. Marquand detective : MOTO
The mysterious Mr. Moto is a Japanese secret agent who appears in six novels by American author, John P. Marquand. In the movies, Mr. Moto was famously played by Peter Lorre in a series of eight films from the 1930s.
31. Old Glory, for one : FLAG
The first person to coin the phrase “Old Glory” with reference to the American flag, was Captain William Driver, a ship master from Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on a voyage aboard the brig Charles Doggett, he unfurled the American flag that he had just been given by a group of friends. As the flag caught the breeze, he proclaimed, “Old Glory!”. That’s the story anyway …
By the way, on that same voyage, the Charles Doggett rescued the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty, on Pitcairn Island.
32. Reader’s Digest co-founder Wallace : LILA
Lila Wallace founded the “Reader’s Digest” along with her husband in 1922, operating out of a basement office in New York City. The initial print runs were limited to about 5,000 copies. Today, “Reader’s Digest” has about 100 million readers in 163 countries worldwide.
33. Arab ruler : EMIR
In English, emir can also be written as amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).
39. Dangerous ocean currents : RIPTIDES
Riptides are stretches of turbulent water caused by the meeting of different currents in the ocean.
53. Terra ___ (tile material) : COTTA
The name “terra cotta” comes to use from Latin via Italian, and mean “baked earth”. It is a ceramic made from clay, that is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that were buried with the Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and just the few pieces on display were so very impressive.