I am test driving a new feature at the bottom of each post. There you will find a selection of clips/trailers from movies and TV shows mentioned in today’s crossword. If folks find the feature useful/entertaining, I will continue to include it … Bill.
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: 8m 00s
THEME: Mixed up phrases … each of the three theme answers is a well-known phrase with the last word “swapped” around i.e. THE SPEED OF MUSIC (light), THE SOUND OF MONEY (music), THE COLOR OF LIGHT (money)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
14. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
Ravi Shankar is perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and is most famous for his sitar playing.
15. Squiggle over an “n” : TILDE
As in say, piñata.
16. ___ podrida (spicy stew) : OLLA
Olla podrida is a Spanish stew based on pork and beans. The word “olla” is taken from the name of the clay pot in which the stew is traditionally made.
“The Sound of Music” is a Rogers and Hammerstein musical, made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war. One family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives here in the same town in which I reside in California.
20. Gait faster than a trot : CANTER
The word “canter” has only been around since the mid-1700s, and it has an interesting etymology. Canterbury Cathedral in England was a famous pilgrim destination ever since Thomas Becket was martyred there in 1170. The “easy pace” at with pilgrims would make their way to his shrine became known as the “Canterbury Gallop”, which later gave it’s name to the easy gait we now know as a “canter”.
22. Fannie ___ : MAE
The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called Fannie Mae, a play on the acronym FNMA.
25. Marc who sang “Walking in Memphis” : COHN
Marc Cohn is an American country singer, best known for his 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis“, a lovely song. A few years ago, someone tried to carjack Cohn in Denver, Colorado, and left him shot in the head. Fortunately, the bullet did not penetrate the skull, and his injury was relatively minor.
30. “60 Minutes” network : CBS
The excellent investigative journalism show on CBS called “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. It is the longest running, prime time show on American television, and deservedly so, in my humble opinion …
33. “The Kiss” sculptor : RODIN
“The Kiss” is a most beautiful sculpture created in 1889 by Auguste Rodin. I’ve had the privilege of standing beside the original, life-size marble work on a few occasions, as it is housed in the Rodin Museum, my favorite of all museums in Paris. The Musee Rodin is very special in that the building and garden that hold all of the works make up Rodin’s actual home and studio. Well worth a visit if you make it to Paris …
34. Bush adviser Rove : KARL
Whatever your politics, you have to give Karl Rove credit for engineering both election victories for President George W. Bush. Rove is a Christmas baby: born on December 25, 1950.
36. Simba’s love in “The Lion King” : NALA
The highly successful stage musical “The Lion King” started out life as a 1994 animated feature film of the same name from the Disney studio. The film is the highest earning traditionally animated feature of all time. The animated film “Finding Nemo” has made more money, but it was created using computer animation.
37. Ka-ching? : THE SOUND OF MONEY
“The Sound of Music” melded with “The Color of Money”.
The “Color of Money” is a 1986 movie, a sequel to the classic 1961 film “The Hustler”. Both films star Paul Newman as pool hustler Edward Felson, or “Fast Eddie” as he is better known. Both films are screen adaptations of novels of the same name by Walter Tevis.
42. Sheeplike : OVINE
The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”.
47. ___ Alamos, N.M. : LOS
The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars”. Famously it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, development of an atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.
48. “Sesame Street” character with a unibrow : BERT
I’ve always believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert, and his taxi driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence.
49. Inexact fig. : EST
Estimate: inexact figure.
55. Spectrum? : THE COLOR OF LIGHT
“The Color of Money” melded with “the speed of light”.
63. What top seeds often get at the starts of tournaments : BYES
The word “bye”, as used in sport, originated in cricket. A bye is a run scored due to an error by the wicket-keeper (sort of catcher) when he fails to stop a ball bowled by the bowler (sort of pitcher). Later the word “bye” in sport came to mean the position of a player in a tournament who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs. In these commercial times, those byes tend to be awarded to the best (seeded) players, so that the most popular players advance past the first round of competition.
1. Linkletter who hosted TV’s “House Party” : ART
Art Linkletter hosted “House Party” for 25 years, starting out on radio before it became established on television. Linkletter also had a strong connection with the world of Disney. He provided commentary for the opening day celebrations of Disneyland in 1955, and then in 2005 opened the celebrations for the park’s fiftieth anniversary, when he was 93 years old. Linkletter was also a personal friend of Walt Disney.
2. “___! Humbug!” : BAH
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And everyone knows that Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.
4. Kind of brake : DISC
The drum brake was invented in 1902 by Louis Renault (founder of Renault, the automobile company). In a drum brake, there is a set of brake shoes that usually presses on the inner surface of the drum to slow down rotation. Nowadays, the disc brake system is more popular, a design which uses brake pads instead of brake shoes.
5. Shorthand takers : STENOS
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).
9. Dict. offering : DEF
There are lots of definitions in dictionaries.
11. Something ___ (a lulu) : ELSE
A “lulu” or “something else” is something that is remarkable.
18. “Scarface” star Al : PACINO
The 1983 movie “Scarface” starring Al Pacino is a remake of a 1932 Howard Hawk’s movie of the same name, which in turn is an adaption of a 1929 novel by Armitage Trail. I’ve never seen the whole movie right through, as I get turned off by the violence. But, the movie has a huge fan base.
19. Bearing : MIEN
One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. Mien shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.
22. Mrs. George Washington : MARTHA
Rather then being called the “first lady”, a term coined after she had passed away, Martha Washington was known in her lifetime as “Lady Washington”. Lady Washington was born Martha Dandridge, the oldest daughter of a Virginia planter. When she was 18 years old, Martha married Daniel Curtis, a wealthy planter, 20 years her senior. Daniel died in 1757, leaving Martha a very wealthy widow. Two years later when she was 27 years old, she married George Washington, also 27. Martha had been living with Daniel on an estate known as White House, and indeed that was where George and Martha married.
23. Hawaiian greetings : ALOHAS
Aloha has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently it has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.
32. “Thou ___” (Jesus’ response to Pilate) : SAYEST
When Pilate asked Jesus, “Art thou the King of the Jews?”, Jesus answered. “Thou sayest” (according the Gospel of Luke).
36. Bright star : NOVA
A nova is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness is due to increased nuclear activity caused the star picking up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different. It is a very bright burst of light and energy, created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst is very short-lived compared to a nova.
38. Leon who wrote “Exodus” : URIS
Leon Uris as an American writer. His most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion.
53. Author Jaffe : RONA
Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts the women in the working world. “Mazes and Mosters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on the players.
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
Just select a clip, and press the “play” button …