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: 25m 40s (after a good night out!)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 … 37A: YER (HER), 34D: OYL (OHL)
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
5. Biology class topic : AMEBA
An ameba is single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats or reproduces.
10. One trying to eliminate bad notes : T-MAN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury, and he/she tries to eliminate bad (counterfeit) notes.
14. French possessive : A MOI
“A moi” (literally “to me”) is the French for “mine”.
16. ___-American relations : SINO
The prefix “Sino-” is used to refer to things Chinese. It comes from the Latin word Sinae, meaning … Chinese …
17. Cook’s final setting : HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
The famed British explorer, Captain James Cook, made three major voyages of discovery into the Pacific Ocean. Cook was in command of HMS Resolution on his third voyage, and along with his crew, he became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands, in 1778. He landed on Kauai, and named the whole archipelago the Sandwich Islands, in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich who was in charge of the British Admiralty at the time. Cook continued his voyage, leaving Hawaii for exploration of the coast of what is now Canada and Alaska, returning to Hawaii the following year. After one month of contact with the native Hawaiians, Cook attempted to leave the islands but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. Relations between the Europeans and the islanders had been good, but despite this a dispute developed and got out of control that resulted in Cook being stuck on the head and stabbed to death. His body was dragged away by the islanders, and as an apparent sign of respect for the Captain, the body was processed according to funeral traditions associated with Hawaiian kings and elders. Eventually, after a petition from the remaining crew, some of Cook’s remains were also returned for a formal burial at sea, according to British naval tradition.
23. Graffitist’s trademark : TAG
A tag is a particular type of graffiti, usually not a picture, but rather words that include the author’s name.
25. Like much home improvement, for short : DIY
Back in Ireland we don’t hardware stores as such, but rather DIY Centres (and that’s the spelling). DIY: Do It Yourself.
30. One who brought together many couples : NOAH
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3, Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.
33. Accompaniment for oysters : MIGNONETTE SAUCE
Mignonette sauce is traditionally served with raw oysters. It is a condiment made from minced shallots and cracked pepper suspended in vinegar.
36. Actress Graynor : ARI
Ari Graynor is an American actress who first came to national attention playing the character of Caitlin Rucker in a few episodes of the HBO series “The Sopranos”.
37. “Tell ___ Mama” (2009 Norah Jones song) : YER
The beguiling Norah Jones is one of my favorite singers. She is the daughter of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. If you haven’t heard her “Come Away with Me”, you haven’t lived …
“Tell Yer Mama” is a track on Norah Jones’s fourth studio album, “The Fall”.
38. With 52-Down, a “grand” place : OLE
52. See 38-Across : OPRY
“The Grand Ole Opry” started out as a radio show, originally called the WSM Barn Dance, in 1925. In 1927, the Barn Dance radio show was following an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December broadcast the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on. The radio show was broadcast from various venues over the years, usually having to move as the show increased in popularity and size. It moved to the a purpose-built Grand Ole Opry House in 1974, located in the Opryland USA theme park.
39. Biology class topic : RNA
RNA and DNA are very similar in molecular structure. One big difference is that RNA is a single strand structure, whereas DNA is famously a double-helix. Another difference is that RNA contains ribose as a structural unit, and DNA contains deoxyribose, ribose without one oxygen atom. And that ribose/deoxyribose difference is reflected in the name of the two molecules: ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
45. Steel worker? : ROBOT
Clever wording for a clue …
46. St. Louis landmark designer : EADS
James Eads was an American Civil Engineer and inventor. He designed and built the first road and rail bridge to cross the Mississippi River in St. Louis, a bridge which went in to service in 1874 and is still used to this day. Aptly enough, it is known as the Eads Bridge.
49. Sound that might indicate hunger : MEW
Cats might be mewing if they are hungry.
51. Dovetail part : MORTISE
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.
60. County west of Wyoming : ERIE
Erie County lies just west of Wyoming County in New York State. Erie County is home to the city of Buffalo, and of course sits right on the shores of lake Erie.
61. “Northward Over the Great Ice” writer : PEARY
The famous American explorer Robert Peary, was supposedly the first man to reach the geographic North Pole, although that claim has been disputed, even back in 1909 right after Peary returned from his trek across the polar ice. At issue is the accuracy of his navigation.
Robert Peary wrote a number of books, and “Northward Over the Great Ice” predates his trek towards the North Pole, being published in 1898.
62. Kite’s kin : ERNE
An ern (also erne) is also called the while-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.
63. Suffix with adipo- : CYTE
Adipocytes are fat storage cells. The prefix adipo- refers to “fat”, and the suffix -cyte indicates a “cell”. There are two types of fat cells. White fat cells contain just one large droplet of fat per cell. White fat cells are created when a body is carrying excess weight. Brown fat cells have many fat droplets within the cell’s cytoplasm. Brown fat is also called “baby fat”, and is not normally associated with excess weight as it is readily metabolized to generate heat.
65. U.K. decorations : DSOS
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award, usually awarded to officers of the rank Major or higher.
2. Part of a loving threesome? : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat … in Latin, I love, you love, he/she loves.
5. Honeybee genus : APIS
“Apis” is the Latin word for “bee”.
7. Suffix with Mozart : EAN
A Mozartean (also Mozartian) is a fan of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozartean might also describe some music that is written in the style of Mozart.
8. Symbol of pork : BRIDGE TO NOWHERE
The Gravina Island Bridge project was a $400m replacement of a ferry service to an island with about 50 residents.
10. Sovereign of yore : TSARINA
A Tsarina: the wife of a Tsar, or a Russian empress.
12. “You ___” (2004 Celine Dion hit) : AND I
French-Canadienne singer Celine Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland.
The Celine Dion hit “You and I” was used in a very successful advertising campaign for Air Canada. The song was apparently written by some advertising executives at Air Canada, and the music video was partially shot at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
19. City in the Plain of Sharon : LOD
The city of Lod lies just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv, and is the home of Ben Gurion International, Israel’s main airport.
24. Land in a stream : AIT
Aits are little islands found usually in a river. Aits aren’t typically formed by erosion, but by the deposition of silt over time. As a result, aits often have a long and narrow shape, running the length of the river, as the sediment builds up with the flow of the water. The word “ait” comes from the Middle English “eyt”, which in turn comes from Old English “ieg”, the word for an “island”. Many of the islands in the River Thames have been given the name Ait, like Raven’s Ait in Kingston-upon-Thames, and Lot’s Ait in Brentford.
29. Vermeer’s home : DELFT
Johannes Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art. Wonderful stuff …
34. “Thimble Theatre” surname : OYL
Popeye, first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called “Thimble Theatre”. The strip, created by E. C. Segar, had been around for ten years before Popeye made his appearance. Popeye received such a great welcome from readers, that he soon “took over” the strip, and eventually even the strip’s title. Paradoxically, before Popeye turned up, Olive Oyl was the main character of “Thimble Theatre”, dating back to its inception.
41. Source of an essential oil with medicinal properties : TEA TREE
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of “tea trees” that are native to New South Wales in Australia. It is used as a topical medicine, acting as am antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent. It is however, toxic if taken internally.
42. Phiz on a five : ABE
“Phiz” is mainly British slang, a word for the “face”. President Abraham Lincoln’s “phiz” is on a five dollar bill.
48. Setting for Hitchcock’s “Notorious” : RIO
“Notorious” is an interesting Hitchcock film made in 1946, and starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I find it interesting as it is such a different, dramatic role for Cary Grant, and a more gritty role for the lovely Ingrid Bergman. And the great Claude Rains is in there for good measure. It’s a story of espionage, love and intrigue set in Rio de Janeiro where there is a group of Nazi Germans hiding out after WWII. Definitely worth a rental if you’ve never seen it …
50. Pianist Pogorelich : IVO
Ivo Pogorelich is a classical pianist from Croatia. After his wife died in 1996, Pogorelich stopped performing for many years, instead devoting himself to the design of jewelry!
53. Org. in “Monk” : SFPD
The San Francisco Police Department is the 11th largest police department in the country. It dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849, with a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in the movies and on television. The most famous movies are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and now “Monk”.
55. Actress Poehler and others : AMYS
Amy Poehler was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008, notable from many great sketches, including those where she played Hillary Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. Poehler also starred with Fey in the 2008 movie “Baby Mama”, and now has her own show on NBC called “Parks and Recreation“.
57. Women with auréoles: Abbr. : STES
Auréoles are “halos” in French, so would be seen around the heads of saints (STES … the abbreviation for “sainte”, a female saint).
59. Asian affirmative : HAI
Hai is the Japanese word for “yes”.