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: Didn’t finish!
ANSWERS I MISSED: Too many (all in the southwest)!
Books in Today’s Crossword (from Amazon.com)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
12. Letters for a duke : HRH
One might call the Duke of Edinburgh (wife to Queen Elizabeth II) “His Royal Highness”.
16. Winning lineup : OOO
When playing tic-tac-toe, one can win with OOO or XXX. When I was growing up in Ireland, we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the tic-tac-toe.
17. One whose shots reveal lots : BIKINI MODEL
Clever wording …
18. The Tigers, for short : LSU
The LSU Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University, officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, with the school mascot of “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”.
21. Passes over : ELIDES
To elide is to pass over, or omit or slur, a syllable when speaking.
25. Concordia University locale : ST PAUL
Concordia University is a liberal arts school in St. Paul, Minnesota, founded in 1893. It was originally founded as a college for prospective Lutheran ministers.
29. Preceder of his name? : WHAT’S
What’s his name?
30. End of a tile game’s name : JONGG
Mahjong (also mahjongg) is the Chinese word for sparrow.
31. It may be boiled in Bordeaux : EAU
One might boil water (eau) in Bordeaux in France.
32. Hydroelectricity providers? : EELS
One might say that electric eels provide “hydroelectricity”. Despite its name, the electric eel isn’t actually an “eel”, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body related to the catfish. An electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (that’s 500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.
33. Pulls a switcheroo on, perhaps : BILKS
The word “bilk”, meaning “to defraud”, comes from the card game of cribbage.
35. Is for more than one? : ARE
The plural from of “is” is “are”. I love these cleverly worded clues …
36. Behaves like a loon : DIVES
The slang term “loon” for a deranged person probably comes from the loud cry of the bird, the loon (which dives), but is also probably influenced by the word “lunatic”.
41. Father of the Blues : W. C. HANDY
William Christopher Handy was a cornet player, often known as the “Father of the Blues”. He earned this moniker although he wasn’t the first musician to play the blues, but rather as the person who took the blues into the mainstream repertoire. The 1958 movie “St. Louis Blues” is broadly based on his life.
42. Vint ___, Father of the Internet : CERF
Although there are a few people who are given the title “father of the Internet”, Vint Cerf is most associated with the title.
43. Former chocolaty Post cereal : OREO O’S
Oreo O’s were made by Post from 1998 to 2007. Oreo O’s were basically O-shaped (like Cheerios) but chocolate-flavored, dark brown in color and with white sprinkles on them. Oh, and lots of sugar.
44. “Fanny’s First Play” playwright : SHAW
“Fanny’s First Play” was written in 1911 by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, although he did not put his name to the work. When it was revealed that it was Shaw’s writing, the play was produced on Broadway, and had the longest run of any of Shaw’s plays.
45. ___ Poke (candy on a stick) : SLO
If you are interested, you can still buy Slo Pokes!
48. Visionary 1921 drama : R.U.R.
R.U.R. is a play written in Czech by Karel Capek and first produced in 1921. It is a science fiction work, and is remarkable in that it introduced the world to word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek introduced the term “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”.
52. One making a scene?: Abbr. : DIR
The director of the play/film is in charge of making the scene …
55. Very early morning, in slang : O’DARK THIRTY
The term “o’dark thirty” is slang for the very early hours just before dawn, and has a military “ring” to it.
Movies in Today’s Crossword (from Amazon.com)
1. Sunblock ingredient : PABA
PABA: Para-AminoBenzoic Acid. PABA (or now its derivatives) is the “active” ingredient in sunscreens in that it absorbs UV radiation. PABA derivatives are used today as PABA fell out of favor due to its tendency to stain clothes and cause an allergic reaction in some users.
4. French sweet : AMI
If you are sweet on a guy in France, he may be your “ami” (boyfriend).
7. Shell collection? : PUMPS
There is usually a collection of pumps outside a Shell filling station. Clever …
8. Biblical shepherd : AMOS
Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.
11. One side of traffic : SELLING
The traffic might even be illegal (like selling and buying of drugs).
22. I.B.M. event of 1915 : IPO
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. It changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines was given first to the Canadian subsidiary, and then the South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …
26. 2003 spy thriller starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell : THE RECRUIT
“The Recruit” is a pretty enjoyable spy thriller released in 2003 starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. I am always impressed by Irish actor Farrell’s American accent, because in real life he has a very thick, Dublin-Irish accent.
27. Amontillado, e.g. : PALE SHERRY
Amontillado is a variety of sherry produced in the Montilla region of Spain. The name Amontillado is sometimes used today as a generic name for any sherry that has a color between a fino (the palest and driest sherry) and an oloroso (darker and sweeter).
28. Like some rafts : POLED
Some rafts might be poled, rather than using paddles.
30. Swinging : JIVEY
The word “jive” meaning a style of fast, dance music, probably is of African origin coming into American English through the African-American population.
37. British home of Cow Tower and Dragon Hall : NORWICH
Norwich is a city in Norfolk, once the second largest city in the country after London. The Cow Tower is a military tower in the city that dates back to the 14th century. Nearby is Dragon Hall, a medieval building that is not quite as old as Cow Tower, with the oldest sections being constructed in the 15th century.
39. Way of the world? : TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.
44. Line of combat? : SCAR
Nice one …
51. Runner given the boot? : SKI
Lots of cleverly worded clues in today’s puzzle …
Music in Today’s Crossword (from Amazon.com)