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: 36m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … DRAYAGE (DRAWAGE), AYESHA (AWESHA)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Counter act : SCAN
The person behind the counter at the store might scan the Universal Price Code. The first UPC marked item to get scanned at the front of store was on June 26, 1974, at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum …
5. One reported to the Better Business Bureau : SCAM
The Better Business Bureau is a private concern (nope, it is not a government agency), founded in 1912. It operates like a franchise, with local BBB’s managed independently but operating to a “corporate” set of guidelines.
17. One side in the Battle of Cold Harbor : REBS
The Battle of Cold Harbor was one of the bloodiest in the Civil War, fought in 1864 in Central Virginia. The battle actually took on the same site as the Battle of Gaines Mill, fought just two years earlier. When the Union soldiers were digging trenches in preparation for the battle in 1864, they found it unsettling to be digging up some skeletal remains from the 1862 action.
22. Go caving : SPELUNK
Spelunking is an American term for caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.
23. Cry from a stuck-up person? : STOP HIM
Someone who is the victim of a “stick up” my should “Stop him!” as the robber makes his escape.
27. Chicken George player in “Roots” : VEREEN
Ben Vereen is an American actor and dancer, probably best known for playing Chicken George in the magnificent television miniseries “Roots“. When Vereen was applying for a passport in the sixties, he discovered that he was adopted. When he went looking for his birth parents he learned that his mother (who had passed away by this time) had gone away on a trip when he was very young. When she returned, the child and the person minding him had disappeared. She never saw her son again.
30. “Donnie Brasco” grp. : FBI
The 1997 movie “Donnie Brasco” is about an FBI agent who infiltrates a New York City crime family. It is loosely based on the true story of agent Joseph Pistone who worked his was into the Bonnano family. Johnny Depp plays Pistone on screen, and uses the name Donni Brasco when undercover.
34. “Brokeback Mountain” role : ENNIS
The very successful 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” is an adaptation of a short story written by Annie Proulx. The two romantic lead characters were Ennis del Mar (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal).
37. Bad lover? : DEVIL
Cleverly worded clue …
40. Branch of zool. : ENTOM
Entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. The etymology of entomology (!) is the Greek “entomon” (meaning “insect”) and “logia” (meaning “study of”). In turn, the Greek word “entomos” for insect is literal translation into Greek of “having a notch or cut”, in deference to the observation by Aristotle that insects have segmented bodies.
44. “Lo! in ___ brilliant window-niche …”: Poe : YON
Edgar Allen Poe wrote two versions of his poem “To Helen”. The lines “Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche” comes from the revised 1845 version. The original line read “Lo! in that little window-niche”.
45. Female adviser : EGERIA
In Roman mythology, Egeria was a water nymph, and counselor to the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius. Her name has come to be used as a general term for a female advisor.
51. Carting fee : DRAYAGE
“Drayage” originally meant the transportation by dray, a sideless cart used for hauling goods. It has come to describe general services in the shipping industry.
54. Online reference for all things “Star Wars” : WOOKIEEPEDIA
Wookieepedia is also known as “The Star Wars Wiki”, and is a mini-Wikipedia for everything you’d ever want to know about the movies. The name is of course a play on the word “Wikipedia”, and is a portmanteau of “Wookiee” and “encyclopedia”. Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”, the most notable being Chewbacca, the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo.
60. Subject for un poeta : AMORE
In Italian, a poet (un poeta) might write about love (amore).
62. Myoglobin component : HEME
Myoglobin is a protein found in muscle tissue of mammals. It is similar to hemoglobin, the oxygen and iron binding protein found in red blood cells. Both myoglobin and hemoglobin contain heme, a complex molecule containing iron at its center. In muscle, it is the presence of myoglobin that gives meat its red color.
63. Game with half-elves, informally : D AND D
Dungeons & Dragons is complex role-playing game first published in 1974. It was probably the first of the role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my nerdy son …
65. 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, familiarly : A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames that just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them, and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding.
3. Short-term? : ABBREVIATED
Another clever clue …
4. Oh Henry! maker : NESTLE
Oh Henry! is a candy bar, now produced by Nestle but introduced in 1920 by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive explanation for the name, although it does seem to be a play on the name of the American writer O. Henry. There is a also a story that it was named after a young man called Henry who used to flirt with the female candy makers in the Williamson Candy Company. But, what is true is that the bar was invented by a candy maker named Tom Henry, who sold the recipe to Williamson.
5. “Golf Begins at Forty” writer : SAM SNEAD
San Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title. Snead’s book “Golf Begins at Forty” was published in 1978.
7. Husband of Gudrun : ATLI
Gudrun appears in early Germanic literature, and is derived from a figure in Norse mythology. Gudrun married King Atli, a character loosely based on Attila the Hun.
8. Lee ___ (transmission repair chain) : MYLES
Lee Myles has been around since 1947, founded by Lee Myles in Queens, New York.
9. Icy treat : SNO-CONE
A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Italian ice is made with ice that is flavored before the water is frozen, whereas the flavoring is added to the ice in a sno-cone.
13. Some “Space Patrol” characters, for short : ETS
“Space Patrol” was a science fiction series, broadcast on both television and radio in the early fifties. One television episode in 1953 was broadcast in 3D, the first use of 3D ever in television.
24. Guinness’s “most fearless animal” : HONEY BADGER
The honey badger is found in most of Africa, as well as other parts of the world. It is also called a ratel, because that is the Afrikaans word for the little beast.
25. Society of Jesus founder ___ López de Loyola : INIGO
Saint Ignatius of Loyola (also known as Inigo Lopez de Loyola) was a Spanish knight from a noble family in the Basque region of Spain. He left behind his easy life, became a hermit, a priest, and eventually founded the Society of Jesus (The Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic church).
26. Last words of Kipling’s “If” : MY SON
“If—” is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1895. The poem is very popular in Britain, and is often chosen as the favorite poem of the British people. The poem epitomizes the famous “stiff upper lip”, a trait often associated with British culture. There is a line from the poem inscribed at the player’s entrance to the center court of the All England Club at Wimbledon. It reads “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”.
30. Old Dubble Bubble maker : FLEER
The Fleer Corporation was founded in 1885, and was the first company to successfully manufacture bubblegum (how I wish they hadn’t!).
31. It’s not played with sticks : BONGO
Bongo drums are Cuban percussion instruments consisting of a pair of drums, one larger than the other, The smaller drum is called the “hembra” (female) and the larger the “macho” (male). A welcome change …
33. Alexandria is in it : NILE DELTA
Alexandria is the largest seaport in Egypt. As one might tell from its name, the city was founded by Alexander the Great, about 331 BC. Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt for almost a thousand years, and was one of the most famous cities in the ancient world. It was also famous for its lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
36. Its page numbers are often Roman numerals : FOREWORD
Note the spelling of “foreword”, as opposed to the relative direction of “forward”. A foreword is a short piece written at the beginning of a book, often by someone other than the book’s author. A book may also have an “afterword”, which also may or may not be written by the author.
48. H. Rider Haggard heroine : AYESHA
H. Rider Haggard wrote the famous novel “She”, first published in serial form in 1886-87 (I remember seeing the movie version as a kid, starring Ursula Andress … scared the daylights out of me!). Haggard published the sequel to “She” in 1905, “Ayesha, the return of She“.
52. U.S. facility in Cuba, for short : GITMO
The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is often known by the abbreviation “GTMO” or simply “Gitmo”. The base is the oldest overseas base operated by the navy, and dates back to the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903, at which time the US leased the facility as a fueling station. The perpetual lease was offered by Tomas Estrada Palma, the first President of Cuba, after the US took over control of Cuba from Spain following the Spanish-American War of 1898.
55. First name in 1970s tennis : ILIE
I thought that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 70s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, he always had time to give the crowd a laugh.
56. Gnarly : RAD
In “modern lingo”, the terms “rad” and “gnarly” both mean “super awesome”, “super cool”. Not words that I would use, or words that would be applied to me …
57. Janeane’s co-star in “The Truth About Cats & Dogs” : UMA
“The Truth About Cats & Dogs” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Janeane Garofalo one of my favorite actresses. You just have to see this one, a romantic comedy involving mistaken identity. The “sexy” role is played by Uma Thurman, but the real gal to get in this movie is Janeane.
58. Back-to-sch. time : MON
The kids have go to go back to school on Monday.