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: 22m 29s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Fearsome Foursome teammate of Jones, Olsen and Lundy : GRIER
The Fearsome Foursome was the nickname given in the early sixties to the defensive linemen of the Los Angeles Rams (but also the New York Giants, and the San Diego Chargers). In the case of the Rams, the four were Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olson, Deacon Jones, and Rosey Grier.
11. Jean ___, 1969 Oscar-winning title role for Maggie Smith : BRODIE
“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” is a novel by Muriel Spark, and a fabulous film of the same name released in 1969 starring Maggie Smith in the title role. It also stars Gordon Jackson (who played Hudson the butler on “Upstairs Downstairs”). The story is set in a girls school in Edinburgh in the thirties, with Jean Brodie a somewhat eccentric teacher who describes herself as being “in her prime”.
14. Gilded Age tycoon with a legendary appetite : DIAMOND JIM BRADY
The Gilded Age was a term coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in a book they wrote together. It describes the period of growth in the economy and the population following the Civil War. One of the men to profit during this time of expansion was Diamond Jim Brady. Brady started out as a bellboy and messenger, but at a young age made his fortune. He was known for having a big appetite for jewels (hence the moniker “Diamond Jim”), as well as a huge appetite for food. One restaurateur described him as “the best 25 customers I ever had”.
17. Actor Auberjonois : RENE
Rene Auberjonois is an American actor. His most famous role on the big screen was that of Father Mulcahy in “M*A*S*H”.
18. Chaney Sr. or Jr. : LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earned him the nickname of “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous of all was portrayal of “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1925.
Lon Chaney, Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps, and most famously played the werewolf in the “The Wolf Man” series of films starting in 1941. He started his acting career using his real name, Creighton Chaney, but later adopted the name “Lon Chaney, Jr.” getting a boost from his father’s reputation, I’d guess.
20. Fort named for a Civil War major general : ORD
Edward Ord rose to the rank of General in the US Army, and was instrumental in forcing the surrender of Robert E. Lee to end the Civil War. He was present at the signing of the surrender document, and even purchased the marble-topped table used in the ceremony. After President Lincoln was assassinated, Ulysses S. Grant called on Ord to determine if there was any involvement by the confederate states in the assassination plot, and Ord found now, helping calm the situation in the aftermath of the shooting.
Fort Ord was an army post on Monterey Bay in California named after General Ord, established in 1917 and closed in 1994. The fort was in a spectacular location with miles of beachfront, and that lovely California weather.
21. Dulcify : SWEETEN
Dulcify is a term derived from the Latin word for “sweeten”.
25. ___ Motors : KIA
Kia Motors are the second largest manufacturers of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (although Hyundai is part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.
27. Shop-at-home method? : TAG SALE
A tag sale is a sale of household belongings, so called because the prices are usually marked on tags attached to the items for sale.
28. Wasn’t off one’s rocker? : SAT
Nice clue …
31. Whom the Romans defeated at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, 102 B.C. : TEUTONS
The Battle of Aquae Sextiae took place in 102 BC in the south of modern-day France, the end result of which was a crushing defeat for the Teutons of Northern Europe by the Romans. The aftermath of the battle was perhaps as bloody as the fighting itself. One condition of surrender was that the Teutons should hand over 300 married women to the Romans. When the group of women was identified, on learning of their fate, the women killed their own children and strangled themselves during the night.
33. Sporcle.com feature : QUIZ
Sporcle.com is a trivia quiz website. The name is derived from the word “oracle” apparently. I like the web site’s mission statement: “We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever.”
35. Hint : SOUPCON
Soupçon translates literally from French into English as “suspicion”, and can be used in the sense that a “suspicion” of something is a just a hint, a crumb.
41. Scuba tank meas. : PSI
The pressure of the air in the SCUBA tank is measured in Pounds per Square Inch.
42. 2002 Emmy winner for lead actress in a comedy : ANISTON
Jennifer Aniston won her 2002 Emmy for playing Rachel on the great sitcom “Friends”. Jennifer’s parents are both actors, and her godfather is the actor, Telly Savalas.
44. First to come? : CEE
The first letter in the word “come” is “cee”.
45. Exchanges that may come with emoticons, briefly : IMS
Emoticons are those funny symbols used in text messages to convey emotion, e.g 🙂 … smiley face, and 🙁 … sad face. One type of text message which might feature an emoticon is an Instant Message (IM).
47. Barack Obama’s mother : ANN
President Obama’s mother’s full name was actually Stanley Ann Durham. She worked as an anthropologist, having earned a Ph. D. at the University of Hawaii. Ann met her first husband, Barack Obama, Sr. in a Russian Language class, and the two were married in 1961.
48. 58-Across leaders : ROIS
58. See 48-Across : NORMAN
The Normans were the people from the north of France, from the region that bears the name Normandy. The Normans are descended from Viking stock, so the name “Norman” derives from a translation of “North Men”.
“Roi” is the French word for “king”.
50. Interregnum : GAP
The original meaning of the word “interregnum” is the gap between the reign of a sovereign and his or her successor. The word has also come to mean a gap in continuity in general. Interregnum is from the Latin “inter” (between) and “regnum” (reign).
51. Pother : SNIT
Pother is such a lovely word, and it means a disturbance, a bother, a snit.
57. Mulligan, e.g. : DO-OVER
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive account for the origin of the term “Mulligan”, most often used for a shot do-over in golf. There are lots of stories about golfers named Mulligan though, and I suspect one of them may be true.
58. See 48-Across : NORMAN
59. Ranch in the 1956 film “Giant” : REATA
The 1956 drama “Giant” was a screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. In the story, Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) marries Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) and takes his new wife home to the family ranch in Texas called Reata. The ranch’s handyman is Jett Rink (James Dean) and he is willed a small plot of land within the bounds of the ranch by Bick’s sister when she dies. Jett develops this property, calling it Little Reata.
60. Growing area of commerce : ETAIL
Etail is the term used these days for online shopping. It is often compared to regular shopping in the “real world”, by juxtaposing it with a “brick and mortar” store.
1. Christ’s visitor in a tale from “The Brothers Karamazov” : GRAND INQUISITOR
“The Brothers Karamazov” is the last novel completed by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, as the author died just four months after it was published. The most famous chapter in the book is called “The Grand Inquisitor”.
2. Home of the Arch of Constantine : ROME
The Arch of Constantine in Rome was the inspiration for subsequent structures built around the world, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Marble Arch in London, and the main facade of Union Station in Washington, D.C.
4. Brahms’s “___ Deutsches Requiem” : EIN
Brahms “Ein Duetsches Requiem” (A German Requiem) is a huge work. It is performed by an ensemble of ful orchestra, with chorus and soloists, and seven movements lasting up to 80 minutes.
5. Ted Kluszewski’s team when he won the 1954 N.L. home run title : REDLEGS
Ted Kluszewski’s nickname was “Big Klu”, standing at 6′ 2″ tall, and 240 pounds. His biceps were so huge, he often had to cut off the sleeves of his baseball uniform. He won the 1954 home run title in 1954, when playing for Cincinnati.
The Red Scare following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, fearful of losing money due the public distrust of anyone associated with “Reds”.
7. Actor Herbert of the “Pink Panther” films : LOM
Herbert Lom is a Czech film actor, best known for playing Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the series of “Pink Panther” movies. He was born in Prague in 1917, and had his first film role in a Czech film. he moved to England in 1939, and made many appearances in British movies. He also worked for many years in Hollywood, and played the King of Siam in the original London production of “The King and I”.
8. Mass apparel : ALB
The alb is the white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually worn with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.
9. First capital of Japan : NARA
Nara, located not far from Kyoto, was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784.
10. Subject of “Eight Men Out” : BLACK SOX SCANDAL
“Eight Men Out” is a movie released in 1988 based on the book “8 Men Out” written by Eliot Asinof and published in 1963. It tell of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, when eight Chicago White Sox players conspired to throw the World Series for financial gain.
11. Writer of “Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another” : BIERCE
Ambrose Bierce was among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called “The Devil’s Dictionary” published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes “new” definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work.
13. N.F.L. rushing star Peterson : ADRIAN
Adrian Peterson is a running back who plays for the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian was a hyperactive kid, so his father nicknamed him “All Day”, which led to one of his current nicknames “A.D.”
14. What’s discarded : DROSS
When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term dross then came to mean any waste or impure matter.
15. Frank Zappa rock opera “___ Garage” : JOE’S
Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist, a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuuka Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.
“Joe’s Garage” is a rock opera released by Frank Zappa in 1979. The story was inspired by the 1979 Iranian Revolution when public expression of music was banned in that country, so “Joe’s Garage” describes what might happen if music was made illegal in America.
16. “Easter, 1916” poet : YEATS
William Butler Yeats wrote “Easter, 1916” just a few months after the unsuccessful Easter Rising that took place in Ireland against British Rule on Easter Monday in 1916. Yeats knew many of the men and women who took part in the Rising, and had a strained relationship with most of them. He did not approve of the use of violence to achieve Irish freedom from Britain, so the poem explores the mixed emotions he had about the rebellion and its aftermath.
23. 12th Amendment concern : ELECTOR
The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1804, and addressed issues that had arisen in the election of the President and Vice President by the Electoral College.
24. Cell transmitters : NEURONS
A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron, and the long nerve fiber that forms part of the neuron is called the axon.
30. “___, bro?” : ‘SUP
What’s up, brother?
32. Male sheep : TUP
A tup is another word for a ram, used mainly in the British Isles, although I’d never heard of it …
35. Two-time running mate of Richard : SPIRO
Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in history to have to resign because of criminal charges (a bribery scandal).
36. Onetime teen idol who later hosted “Pyramid” : OSMOND
Donny Osmond hosted the game show “Pyramid” from 2002-2004. This was the most recent revival of the show which first aired in 1973. The host most commonly associated with “Pyramid” is Dick Clark, who anchored he show from 1973 to 1988.
40. Matchmaker for Tevye’s daughters : YENTE
Tevye is the central character in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof“, a wonderful piece of theater. Yente is the local matchmaker, who plays a key role matching up Tevye’s daughter’s with prospective husbands. Yenta (Yente) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater it came to mean a busybody. The name (and busybody characteristics) is used for the matchmaker character in the musical.
43. “I’m such a ___!” (klutz’s comment) : SPAZ
I don’t like the term “spaz”. It is describes someone who is clumsy or inept, and comes from the word “spastic”.
49. Brogue, e.g. : SHOE
A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name.
53. ___ Air (carrier to Taiwan) : EVA
Eva is the second largest airline based in Taiwan, after China Airlines.
54. Not working: Abbr. : RET
56. Dama’s title: Abbr. : SRA
A lady (dama) in Spain would be addressed as Senora (Sra.).