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: 14m 32s
THEME: TURN TO STONE … all the theme answers contain an anagram of STONE i.e. mental NOTES, SETON Hall, the ONSET, STENO pad, fall TONES
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Part of un archipiélago : ISLA
Isla is the Spanish for “island”.
17. Unwritten reminders : MENTAL NOTES
NOTES is an anagram of STONE
18. “Top Gun” target : MIG
Tom Cruise’s character came up against Soviet-built MiGs while flying his F-14 Tomcat in the movie “Top Gun“.
19. Zen enlightenment : SATORI
Satori is a Japanese term, used in the Zen Buddhist tradition. It does not refer to full enlightenment (nirvana) but is rather a step along the way, a flash of awareness.
20. Wimbledon do-over : LET
The London Borough of Merton is in the southwest of London. It is the home of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the oldest and perhaps the most celebrated tennis competition in the world. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and are still played on grass.
In tennis, when a serve hits the net cord, but still manages to land inside the service court, then a “let” is called. The receiver does not lose a point, and nor is the server penalized. A “let” is simply a “do-over”.
21. RC, e.g. : COLA
The “Nehi Corporation” was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later, the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became Royal Crown Company.
23. The Pirates of the N.C.A.A. : SETON HALL
SETON is an anagram of STONE
Seton Hall is a private, Roman Catholic college in South Orange, New Jersey. The most famous of their sports programs is of course the men’s basketball, played by the Seton Hall Pirates.
25. ID entered on every I.R.S. form : SSN
The Social Security Number system was introduced by the Social Security Administration in 1936, as part of the New Deal Social Security Program. The number is primarily used to track individuals for taxation purposes. There was a significant change made in 1986 when parents were required to apply for a social security number for their children over the age of 5 years. This change was made as the IRS believed that many parents were claiming deductions for children that did not actually exist, and the hope was that by requiring a SSN for each dependent such fraud could be curtailed. Sure enough, for tax year 1986, 7 million children “disappeared”.
26. “My ___ Private Idaho,” 1991 film : OWN
“My Own Private Idaho” is an independent film released in 1991. It is a gritty film, a tale of street hustlers (played by River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves), but set in an unlikely pair of locations: Idaho and Italy.
29. Robert Frost poem about a snowfall : THE ONSET
ONSET is an anagram of STONE
When I was a schoolkid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction. Snow figures in another of Frost’s poems, “The Onset”. In “The Onset”, Frost presents us with images of winter, but points out that winter will inevitable pass, as perhaps will “seasons” of our own melancholia.
40. “99 Luftballons” band, 1984 : NENA
Nena is a German singer (Nena became the name of her band as well), and she had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties, “99 Luftballons” (or the version she recorded in English: “99 Red Balloons”). The English translation of the title isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that it sounded correct. A “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon (as opposed to a larger, utilitarian balloon).
43. It may have wire binding : STENO PAD
STENO is an anagram of STONE
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).
48. Sch. in Columbus : OSU
The Ohio State campus in Columbus, Ohio is a vast location, and is currently the second largest campus in the United States (beaten out by Berry College near Rome, Georgia, that sits on over 26,000 acres!).
49. Halves of qts. : PTS
2 pints make up a quart.
50. Oranges, reds and golds : FALL TONES
TONES is an anagram of STONE
57. Comic Charlotte : RAE
Charlotte Rae is an American actress, best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties, “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”.
61. Petrify … or what five alternating words in 17-, 23-, 29-, 43- and 50-Across can do? : TURN TO STONE
The word “petrify” meaning “turn to stone” comes from the Latin word for “stone” … “petra”. We’ve been using “petrify” in a metaphorical sense, “to paralyze with fear”, since the late 1700s.
63. Number after many a state postal abbr. : ZIP
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.
64. Many a Twitter message : ONE SENTENCE
I have never tweeted in my life, and have no plans to do so. Twitter is a micro-blogging service, that limits the post sent to just 140 characters. In a sense, it is similar to this blog. Here I send out a post once a day containing information that I think might be useful to folks (thank you for reading!). I don’t think I could send much of interest using just 140 characters. So, people who do tweet tend to send out messages like “I’m at dinner now. I am having sushi”. Nope, I don’t think so. But, if someone knows how tweeting could help me provide a better New York Times Crossword service, just send me an email!
65. Taxonomy suffix : ZOA
The suffix -zoa is used to indicate groups of animal organisms. The Greek “zoia” is the plural of “zoion”, the word for an “animal”.
66. Undemanding courses : EASY AS
For example, I hear it’s easy to get an A in bowling!
67. Nothing, in Nantes : RIEN
“Rien” is the French word for “nothing”.
Nantes is a beautiful city located on the delta of the Loire, Erdre and Sevre rivers. It has the well deserved nickname of “The Venice of the West”. I had the privilege of visiting Nantes a couple of times on business, and I can attest, it really is a charming city.
1. Big name in pet food : IAMS
Iams dog food was produced by an animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company in 1946, and it has been part of Proctor & Gamble.
5. Neighbor of Java : BALI
Bali is the most important tourist destination in Indonesia, and is an island lying east of Java. In recent years that tourist industry has been badly hit, due to two terrorist bombings. The first one, in 2002, killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists in a nightclub.
6. Dept. of Defense branch : USN
The United States Navy is a branch of the Department of Defense.
The original hymn “Ave Verum Corpus” dates back to the 14th century. The title translates from Latin to “Hail, true body”, and so was used during the Middle Ages during the ritual elevation of the host during consecration. Mozart wrote his setting of “Ave verum corpus” for his friend, Anton Stoll, to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) in 1791.
10. Residents of 10 Downing St. : PMS
In the UK, the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London is most usually referred to as “Number 10”. The building is really quite large, with three floors (and a basement kitchen) and has about one hundred rooms. The top floor is the private residence of the Prime Minister and his or her family. Number 10 is so large, as it was originally three houses, remodeled into a residence for Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole in 1732, a gift from King George II.
11. Part of the U.S. south of the Equator : SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific country is the Independent State of Samoa. “Samoa” is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, and name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.
15. Dolly who sang “9 to 5” : PARTON
“Nine to Five” is a really fun movie released in 1980 that tells the story of three female office workers getting their revenge on their sexist boss. It has a great cast: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman. There is now a stage version of the movie called “9 to 5: The Musical”, that premiered in LA in 2009. I hear it is heading out on tour, and I that’s one I definitely have to see …
23. Dagger in “The Mikado” : SNEE
“Snick or snee” is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words. The phrase gave its name to a “snee”, a light sword-like knife.
“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”.
25. Norms: Abbr. : STDS
Standards are norms.
27. Egypt-to-Niger dir. : WSW
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa, that takes its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country is taken up by part of the Sahara Desert.
31. N.F.L. stats : TDS
The National Football Football League records touchdown (TD) statistics.
33. Alternative to mushroom or sausage : PEPPERONI
Pepperoni originated in the US, and is reminiscent of spicy salami sausage from southern Italy. The name “pepperoni” is a corruption of the Italian “peperone”, the name for the red or green pepper plant.
35. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am types : CADS
I would regard ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am as a very rude term, not really appropriate for the New York Times, but maybe that’s just me. The term describes the selfish use of a woman by a man (the cad!) for sexual satisfaction.
38. 1960s band with a car-related name, with “the” : GTOS
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.
46. Czech currency : KORUNA
“Koruna” is a word in some Slavic languages meaning “crown” and is used as the name of several obsolete European currencies. The Czech koruna is the only one that survives.
47. Some drums : SNARES
Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (called snares) stretched across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.
50. Humid day hair problem : FRIZZ
Our word “frizz” probably comes from the French word “friser” meaning “to curl”.
52. Rx for Parkinson’s : L-DOPA
L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAniline, thankfully can be shortened to L-DOPA. Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson won a Nobel Prize for showing that L-DOPA could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Syndrome.
55. Western, in slang : OATER
The term “oater” for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, and horses love oats!
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
Just select a clip, and press the “play” button …