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: 34m 11s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … ADA (IDA), MACMAC (MICMAC)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Park ranger? : JOGGER
I guess that someone “ranging” the park might be a jogger.
7. Several “Beowulf” scenes : FEASTS
“Beowulf” is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. There’s a lot of drinking of mead in the poem, in mead-halls, sitting on mead-benches. All part of that feasting tradition …
13. Princess who was a sister of Napoleon Bonaparte : PAULINE
Pauline Bonaparte was the sixth child to be born to her parents (Napoleon was the second). Once her brother came to power as the first Emperor of France, he made Pauline sovereign Princess and the Duchess of Guastella. After Napoleon fell, she sold everything she could and moved to the island of Elba, where Napoleon was in exile. There, she did what she could to help her brother, and was the only one of her siblings to visit him.
17. “Peanuts” surname : VAN PELT
In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family that we know of. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, particularly Charlie. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, Linus is the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is always hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.
18. Sports champion with a palindromic name : SELES
Monica Seles has a Hungarian name, as she was born to Hungarian parent in former Yugoslavia. She was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a German spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.
22. Literary title character with a palindromic name : ADA
I think the reference here is to the 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. “Ada“. The story is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.
23. French twists, e.g. : UPDOS
Apparently a French twist is the name of that updo hairstyle where a ponytail is twisted and lifted up to the top of the head and secured with pins or a clip. Not my forte …
25. Feta maker’s need : BRINE
Feta is a Greek cheese made form sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted in cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.
26. Genre of “The Set-Up,” 1949 : NOIR
The 1949 movie “The Set Up” stars Robert Ryan as a has-been boxer. It is a film noir, and deals with the underworld of boxing, mobsters and the taking of “dives” (deliberately throwing a fight).
30. Long seen on TV : NIA
Nia Long is an American actress, probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee, Lisa Wilkes, on “The Fresh Prince of Belair”.
34. “Few can be induced to labor exclusively for ___”: Abraham Lincoln : POSTERITY
“Few can be induced to labor exclusively for posterity” is a line from Abraham Lincoln’s 1842 address to the Springfield Washington Temperance Society. In the speech, Lincoln advocated temperance, but called for a gentler approach. Rather then berating those who abused alcohol, he suggested “kind, unassuming persuasion”.
41. Where I-15 meets I-86: Abbr. : IDA
Interstate 86 is a little unusual, in that it is actually and “intrastate” highway. It is located entirely within the state of Idaho. Now to be fair, there are also two sections of road called Interstate 86 back east, running through parts of Pennsylvania and New York.
42. Flawlessly : TO A TEE
The phrase “to a T” can also be written as “to a tee”, and has been around at least since 1693.
43. Dickens heroine ___ Trent : NELL
“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of little 14-year-old Nell Trent and her grandfather, who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. The novel was first released in serial form, in 1840-1841, and then as a complete book. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is a shop selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.
44. Banned aids? : CRIBS
A crib is a plagiarism, most commonly the copying of an answer in an examination.
46. 1974 Best Picture nominee directed by Bob Fosse : LENNY
The 1974 movie called “Lenny” is a biopic, about the life of comedian Lenny Bruce (played by Dustin Hoffman). It’s a pretty sad tale, with Lenny Bruce finally dying of a morphine overdose in 1966.
48. Big name in Modernism : PEI
I. M. Pei is an exceptional American architect, born in China. Of his many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard, albeit controversial with Parisians.
50. ___ Emperor (Taoism figure) : JADE
The Jade Emperor is the Taoist ruler of heaven, earth and hell.
51. Roger’s “77 Sunset Strip” co-star : EFREM
I used to watch “77 Sunset Strip” as a lid growing up in Ireland. It is an American show that ran from 1958 to 1964. Two of the central characters are former government secret agents, now working as private detectives. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Stu Bailey, and Roger Smith played Jeff Spencer. And who can forget Kookie, played by Edd Byrnes.
53. “___ Country” (James Baldwin novel) : ANOTHER
James Baldwin’s novel “Another Country” was published in 1962, and tells of the bohemian lifestyle lived by the musicians and artists living in Greenwich Village in the late fifties. The story deals with gritty subjects for the time, including interracial marriages and bisexuality.
55. Rope-ladder rung on a ship : RATLINE
Shrouds are rope or wire cables that run from high up a mast down to the deck, and are used to support the mast. Sets of ropes are tied between pair of vertical shrouds creating a rope ladder system that can be used to climb up to the top of the mast. The rungs of the ladder are called ratlines.
57. It’s also called a “way car” : CABOOSE
The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch, the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove, for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”.
59. Latin tongue : LINGUA
Lingua: the Latin word for “tongue”, which gives us the word “linguistics” for example.
60. Yarn with a rubber core : LASTEX
Lastex is a trade-name for yarn with an elastic rubber core, wound with rayon, nylon or a natural fiber thread.
1. She’s tried often : JANE DOE
Although the English court system does not use the term today, John Doe first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with another unknown, Richard Roe. The female equivalent of John Doe is Jane Doe, with the equivalent to Richard Roe being Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade).
4. Pitched blade? : GINSU
Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than for their efficacy in the kitchen, I think. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies, when two brothers found a set of knives called “Eversharp” manufactured in Ohio. They changed the name to something more exotic and Japanese in particular (Ginsu) and then produced ads that make references to Japanese martial arts in a TV ad campaign.
5. “The ___,” next-to-last song on “Abbey Road,” ironically : END
“The End” was indeed meant to be the last track on the 1969 Beatles album “Abbey Road”. A track called “Her Majesty” was remixed and added later.
7. Army post unused since the 1950s : FIVE-STAR GENERAL
In the US Army, a five-star general officer is known as a General of the Army, the rank immediately above that of a general”. The rank of General of the Army is reserved for use in time of war. The last person to hold the rank of General of the Army was Omar Bradley.
8. Minced oath : EGAD
Egad was developed as a polite way of saying “oh God” in the late 1600s, and is an expression of fear or surprise.
9. “Roman Holiday” princess : ANN
“Roman Holiday” is a must-see romantic comedy released in 1953, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn plays a royal princess named Ann, who enjoys a day of anonymous freedom while in Rome. “Roman Holiday” was Hepburn’s big break in movies, and she is just lovely in this film …
10. Lethargy : SOPOR
Sopor is an abnormally deep sleep.
11. Golfer nicknamed “Supermex” : TREVINO
Lee Trevino is an American golfer, of Mexican descent, and so has the nicknames “The Merry Mex” and “Supermex”. He is well known for his great sense of humor and for playing pranks on the golf course. For many years when he played he wore a Band-Aid on his arm, covering the tattoo with the name of his ex-wife.
12. Containing element #34 : SELENIC
Selene was the Greek goddess of the moon, the equivalent of the Roman deity, Luna. Selene gave her name to the chemical element “selenium”.
13. Losers of the Battle of Meloria, 1284 : PISANS
The Battle of Meloria was fought at sea, near the islet of Meloria off the Tuscan coast. The opposing fleets were from the Republics of Genoa and Pisa, with the Genoese emerging victorious. The 1284 battle marked the beginning of the decline of the Republic of Pisa.
15. Run out of clothes? : STREAK
Streaking, running naked in public places, has been around for quite a while. There is an arrest recorded in London in 1799, of a man who ran naked through the streets of London on a bet. The term “streaking” dates back to a mass nude run at the University of Maryland in 1973, where a radio broadcaster used the verb “streaking” to imply that the student were racing by him. The next day, the act of nude-running was reported nationwide as “streaking”.
20. Like Arcadia’s inhabitants : CONTENTED
Arcadia was a mountainous region of Ancient Greece, well known for the innocence and contentment of its people who lived a simple, pastoral life. Arcadia has been used ever since as the name of a place offering peace and simplicity.
25. English city that’s home to the Spartans football club : BLYTH
The Blyth Spartans aren’t a big name soccer team in England. They play semi-professional football in the town of Blyth in Northumberland in the North of England.
32. Tokyo Imperial Palace features : MOATS
The Tokyo Imperial Palace is a beautiful estate in the center of Tokyo and is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and many of his family members. It is a relatively large park-like area, featuring a number of moats and bridges. That place covers about seven and a half square kilometers of prime real estate in the city. During the Japanese property bubble of the eighties, the place grounds were believed to have been worth more money than all of the real estate in the state of California!
33. Hero of many Clancy novels : RYAN
Jack Ryan is a great character in many of Tom Clancy’s novels. He first appeared as a CIA analyst in “The Hunt for Red October“, and by the time “Executive Orders” was published, he was President of the United States. He is a great character …
35. Nova Scotia’s Lake ___, named for an Indian tribe : MICMAC
Lake Micmac is a small freshwater lake in Nova Scotia. It takes its name from the Mi’Kmaq nation of Native Americans that are indigenous to much of the northeastern seaboard of North America.
36. Near the kidneys : ADRENAL
The adrenal glands, as you might expect from the name, sit on top of the kidneys. There main function is to secrete hormones that have a role to play in times of stress, the most well known of which is epinephrine (aka adrenaline).
37. Uhuru Park locale : NAIROBI
Uhuru Park is a city park located near the business district in Nairobi, Kenya. It has been used as a protest site for many years, with the protests sometimes leading to violent suppression.
39. It may be offered with a blessing : KLEENEX
What a clever clue! Even though Kleenex is sometimes used today as a generic term for a tissue, Kleenex is a brand name owned by Kimberley-Clark. Kleenex facial tissues came about after WW1. The material used in the tissue had been developed as a replacement for cotton that was in high demand as surgical tissue during the war. The material developed was called “Cellucotton” and was used in gas mask filters. It was first sold as a facial tissue under the name Kleenex in 1924.
47. Cryptozoological creatures : YETIS
A yeti is a beast of legend, also called an abominable snowman. Yeti is a Tibetan term for the beast, which is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot. The study of beasts whose existence has not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.
50. “___, meine Freude” (Bach motet) : JESU
“Jesu, meine Freude” is a funeral motet composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.