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: 8m 33s
THEME: The Apple of my EYE … the last word of each of the theme answers can be preceded by the letter “i” to create an Apple product i.e. iMAC, iTUNES, iPOD, iPHONE, iPAD
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
14. Cries from Homer Simpson : D’OHS
I suppose you might call “d’oh” a catchphrase. It’s used by Homer Simpson on the animated TV show “The Simpsons”. I can’t stand “The Simpsons” …
16. Going brand? : EX-LAX
Ex-Lax is a brand of laxative. That should get you going …
17. Number between eins and drei : ZWEI
The German for one, two, three is “eins, zwei, drei”.
18. Neeson of “Clash of the Titans” : LIAM
Irish actor Liam Neeson got his really big break came when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. He was in the news more recently when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009.
The 2010 film “Clash of the Titans” is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. It’s one of those fantasy movies, based on a Greek myth. It’s not my cup of tea …
20. “Ocean’s Eleven” actor : BERNIE MAC (iMac)
Bernie Mac’s full name was Bernard McCullough. Bernie played a great part in the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven”, and the two sequels. He suffered from an auto-immune disease called sarcoidosis that affects the lungs. He died aged 50 in 2008, having been admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia.
The iMac is desktop computer platform from Apple, introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is that it is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated.
25. Tweaks : FINE TUNES (iTunes)
iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Of course it connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money.
28. Enters Facebook, maybe : LOGS ON
Facebook is the most successful of the “social networking” sites. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg while he was still a Harvard student (when it was called Facemash). Membership was limited to Harvard students at first, and half of the undergraduate population signed up in the first month alone! Membership was opened up to other Ivy League schools, and then Boston area schools, and eventually to most universities in North America. It just kept on expanding, and I am beginning to think I am the only person left who isn’t a member!
32. N.B.A. nickname : SHAQ
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy, at 7 foot 1 inch. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, at 38 years old.
37. Small sci-fi vehicle : ESCAPE POD (iPod)
The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. It first hit the market in 2001, with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor.
43. Director Apatow : JUDD
Judd Apatow is best known for producing the TV series “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”.
47. Culmination of a Casey Kasem countdown : TOP TEN
Not only is Casey Kasem so closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40“, but he is also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series.
49. Book size : QUARTO
Some common book formats/sizes are folio, octavo and QUARTO. The earliest known printed books predate the Gutenberg Bible, and they were printed in the quarto format. For a quarto book eight pages of text are printed, four pages on each of sides of a “full-size” piece of paper. The pages are formed by folding the sheet of paper twice in half, giving a group of eight pages printed on four leaves (after separation). The size of the resulting pages of course depends on the size of the original sheet, but each page is one quarter the size of that original (hence the name QUARTO, ablative form of the Latin quartus, fourth). Nowadays the quarto size refers to books that are approximately twelve inches tall.
52. “Get Smart” device : SHOE PHONE (iPhone)
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. It was on the air from 1965 to 1970. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …
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. They’ve been lining up ever since …
56. Toothpaste with “green sparkles” : GLEEM
Gleem is a Proctor & Gamble brand of toothpaste. The original formulation was introduced back in 1952. Gleem II was introduced in 1969 in attempt to revitalize sales. It seemed to work. Must have been the green sparkles …
58. Blastoff spot : LAUNCH PAD (iPad)
The iPad is Apple’s tablet computer, released to stores in April 2010. The iPad is not Apple’s first venture into the tablet computer market. The Newton MessagePad launched in 1993 had a relatively short life. But it looks like the iPod is here to stay …
62. Head of Québec : TETE
“Tete” is the French word for “head”.
63. French girlfriend : AMIE
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.
67. “Boy Meets World” boy : CORY
“Boy Meets World” was a comedy-drama series that aired from 1993 to 2000. The main character was Cory Matthews, played by child star Ben Savage. Ben is the younger brother of another child star, Fred Savage of “Wonder Years” fame.
3. U2 guitarist : THE EDGE
The Edge is the stage name of U2 band member David Evans.
4. Brother and husband of Isis : OSIRIS
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. He was the son of Geb, the Earth god, and Nut, the sky goddess. His wife, Isis, was also his sister …
5. Arias, usually : SOLI
“Soli”, the plural of “solo”.
8. Director Polanski : ROMAN
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, and an Oscar winner for directing the 2002 movie “The Pianist”. Polanski has had an eventful life. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family in 1969. In 1977, Polanksi was arrested in Los Angeles for sexual assault of 13-year-old girl, and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor. He fled the country to avoid sentencing, and is now awaiting extradition to the US from Switzerland after the US requested his transfer in 2009.
13. Prescriptions, for short : RXS
There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx”, used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help the patient recover.
21. Keanu Reeves’s role in “The Matrix” : NEO
Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor, whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the main antagonist in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coldness”.
26. Poi source : TARO
I am a big fan of starch, and being an Irishman I love potatoes however they are prepared. That said, poi is horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant, by cooking the corm in water and mashing it with water until the desired consistency is achieved.
29. Foreign policy grp. : NSC
The National Security Council was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president, and meets in the White House Situation Room.
33. Pilgrimage to Mecca : HAJ
A Haji is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”.
34. Kwik-E-Mart clerk : APU
The fictional store, Kwik-E-Mart, is operated by Apu on the “The Simpsons” TV show.
35. Proof ending : Q.E.D.
Q.E.D. is used at the end of a mathematical proof (or a philosophical argument). The acronym stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.
39. A.S.A.P. : PDQ
PDQ: a slang term … Pretty Damned Quick … As Soon As Possible.
40. A TD is worth six: Abbr. : PTS
A touchdown is worth six points.
46. Blondie, to Alexander and Cookie : MOM
“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The series spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of Blondie films (1938-1950). Blondie is married to Dagwood Bumstead. Blondie and Dagwood have two kids: a daughter named Cookie, and a son named Alexander.
48. Rangers’ org. : NHL
The New York Rangers is an NHL team, one of the oldest in the league, having joined in 1926. When the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1928, they became the first American team to do so.
51. Fleecy fiber : ALPACA
Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.
53. Hall’s musical partner : OATES
Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo, most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.
54. ___ Laredo, Mexico : NUEVO
Nuevo Laredo lies on the banks of the Rio Grande, directly across the US-Mexico border from American city of Laredo, Texas. Nuevo Laredo is a younger city than Laredo, but is larger than its US counterpart.
59. 50 ___ (“Candy Shop” rapper) : CENT
Rap star 50 Cent’s real name is Curtis James Jackson III, and is from South Jamaica in Queens, New York. 50 Cent had a rough life starting out, first dealing drugs at the age of 12. He dropped his illegal activities to pursue a rap career, but still fell victim to an assailant who pumped nine bullets into him. The alleged shooter was himself shot three weeks later, and died. 50 Cent’s alleged attacker was a bodyguard and close friend of Mike Tyson.
64. Storm center … or, phonetically, letter that can precede the ends of the answers to the five italicized clues to spell popular devices : EYE