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: 9m 13s
THEME: TRANSMUTATION of LEAD (via LOAD and GOAD) to GOLD … the theme answers are associated with ALCHEMY, and the corner answers form a word ladder from LEAD to GOLD
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
15. ___ Granada (old Spanish colony in the Americas) : NUEVA
The old South American colony known as the Vice-royalty of New Granada (Virreinato de la Nueva Granada) covered the territories that today are (roughly) covered by Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. The territory won independence from Spain in 1819-22, forming a Republic then known as Gran Colombia. Then, Ecuador and Venezuela seceded from Gran Colombia leaving what today is called Colombia, but was for many years called the Republic of New Granada.
16. Org. for Annika Sorenstam : LPGA
Annika Sorenstam is a Swedish golfer, perhaps the most successful female golfer ever. She made history in 2003 when she participated in a men’s PGA tour event, the first time that has happened since 1945.
18. Cooler, to a hip-hopper : ILLER
It’s a language that I just don’t get …
19. Broccoli centers? : CEES
There are two letter Cs in the middle of the word “broccoli”.
20. Goal of 39-Across : TRANSMUTATION
One of the main goals of the ancient practice of alchemy was to change base metals in the precious metal, gold, a process known as transmutation.
23. Whitman or Whittier : POET
Walt Whitman is considered to be one of the greatest American poets, born in 1819 on Long Island, and living through the American Civil War. He was a controversial character, even during his own lifetime. One view that he held was the works attributed to William Shakespeare were not actually written by him, but rather by someone else, or perhaps a group of people.
John Greenleaf Whittier was an American Quaker poet, renowned for speaking out against slavery.
27. Swipe at the store : SCAN
The person behind the counter at the store might scan the Universal Price Code. The first UPC marked item to get scanned at the front of store was on June 26, 1974, at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum …
33. ___ & the Blowfish : HOOTIE
Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band, first formed in 1966 at the University of South Carolina. The leading figure in the band was Darius Rucker, and it was he that came up with the band’s very original name. Hootie and Blowfish were the nicknames of two friends of Rucker from the college choir. Hootie had a round face and glasses, and was so-named due to his owl-like appearance. Blowfish had chubby cheeks, which earned him his moniker.
35. Part of a jug band : TUB
The jug is a simple musical instrument. It is just that, an empty jug, played by “blowing” air into the jug’s mouth, with the lips positioned an inch or so away from the “instrument”.
A jug band features a jug player, as well as others playing ordinary objects perhaps modified to make sound. One such instrument was the washtub bass. The “tub” is a stringed instrument that uses a metal washtub as a resonator.
39. Activity associated with the word ladder formed by 1-, 10-, 70- and 72-Across : ALCHEMY
Although alchemy was focused on the impossible task of transmuting base metals into gold, the pseudo science did in fact produce practical results that were the basics of modern inorganic chemistry.
42. What a swish shot swishes : NET
A swish shot is a basketball shot that goes through the hoop without touching the rim or the backboard, and you can hear that “swish” as it just passes through the net, so they tell me …
45. Mary ___ of cosmetics : KAY
Mary Kay Ash founded her skin care and cosmetics company, somewhat ominously on Friday 13th, 1963. In 1968, Mary Kay Ash bought herself a pink Cadillac, specially painted to match the color of one of her compacts. The car became so famous that she gave away five of them to her top sales women, a tradition that lasts to this day.
48. Grand ___ National Park : TETON
Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although my favorite story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French means “breasts”!
50. ___-ray Discs : BLU
A Blu-ray disc looks just like a standard DVD or CD, but it contains so much more information, making it an ideal medium for high-definition movies. The name “Blu-ray” comes from the fact that a Blu-ray player uses a “blue laser” to read the disc, unlike a standard DVD which uses a “red laser”.
52. Glasgow negations : NAES
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and sits on the River Clyde.
57. 39-Across, for one : PSEUDO-SCIENCE
63. Latin lover’s word? : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat … in Latin, I love, you love, he/she loves.
66. Ski-___ (snowmobiles) : DOOS
Ski-Doo is a brand name of snowmobile produced by the Canadian company, Bombardier Recreational Products. The first Ski-Doo went on sale in 1959, and was intended to be named a Ski-Dog. The marketing concept was that the personal snowmobile would replace the dogsleds used by hunters and trappers. A painter misread instruction and pointed the name Ski-Doo on the side of the vehicle instead of Ski-Dog, and the name stuck.
68. Ryan of “The Beverly Hillbillies” : IRENE
Irene Ryan was the wonderful American actress who played “Granny” on “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ryan was a remarkable in that she had a successful career in vaudeville, on radio and television, on film and on Broadway.
69. Subdivision map : PLAT
A plat is a map showing actual and planned features, so a town might have a plat showing existing and intended buildings.
71. Sniggled : EELED
Sniggling is the name of a fishing technique used to catch eels.
2. ___’acte : ENTR
The term entr’acte comes to us from French, and is the interval between two acts of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.
The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures”, and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books, and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, mystery, business, horror, and mystery.
6. Lake Superior port : DULUTH
Duluth, Minnesota lies at the westernmost end of Lake Superior, and as such is the westernmost port of the Great Lakes. One has to travel 2,300 miles of inland waterway to get to the Atlantic Ocean from Duluth. The city of Duluth takes its name from the first European explore of the region, the Frenchman Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut.
7. Shoulder muscle, briefly : DELT
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoid muscle is triangular in shape, resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.
8. Sclera neighbor : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.
The sclera is the white part of the eye. Usually the sclera is white, but in horses for example, it is black. Really, go check!
10. Rapper born James Todd Smith : LL COOL J
Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. His stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”.
12. AARP membership concern : AGE
AARP is the official name now for the interest group called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired. The AARP was founded by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus in 1958, and is a successor to the National Retired Teachers Association, also founded by Andrus over ten years earlier.
13. “___ Kapital” : DAS
“Das Kapital” (titled “Capital” in English versions) is a book about political economy written by Karl Marx, first published in 1867. It is in effect an analysis of capitalism, and proffers the opinion that capitalism relies on the exploitation of workers. Marx concludes that the profits from capitalist concerns come from the underpaying of labor.
21. Braga of Hollywood : SONIA
Sonia Braga achieved fame in here native Brazil playing the title role in the movie “Gabriela”. There followed roles in American films such as “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Milagro Beanfield War”. She has also played in the Portuguese version of “Desperate Housewives”.
22. Letters from a short person? : IOU
If a person is “short” and can’t pay up, he or she might write out an I.O.U. (I Owe You).
26. Dirty : SALTY
A salty joke is a dirty joke.
30. ___ alcohol : ETHYL
Ethyl alcohol is more usually known as ethanol. It is the alcohol found in intoxicating beverages, and nowadays is used as a fuel for cars.
33. “___ luego” : HASTA
Hasta luego: Spanish for “See you later!”
34. Lodge member : ELK
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members these days. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to avoid the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.
44. Wool variety : WORSTED
I’ve seen many a garment made with worsted wool, but I had no idea what worsted meant. Worsted yarn is characterized by fibers that are very long and that lay parallel to each other. The resulting fabric has quite a hard textured surface, one suitably for making suits, for example. The name worsted comes from the Norfolk village of Worstead which became a center for the manufacture of yarn and cloth after weavers from Flanders settled there in the 12th century.
54. “The World of ___ Wong” : SUZIE
“The World of Suzie Wong” is a novel first published in 1957, written by Richard Mason. The story was adapted for the stage and was produced in 1958, when it starred William Shatner who was later to gain fame on the original “Star Trek” series. The male lead was played William Holden in a 1960 adaptation for the silver screen.
59. Audi alternative : OPEL
Adam Opel actually founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed, would you believe. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel dies in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings, and sewing machines, than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith, and started to make cars (as the clue states), but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licencing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car”) called an Opel Kadett.
60. Part of a plea : NOLO
“Nolo contendere” is a legal term that translates from the Latin as “I do not wish to contend”. That is, it’s the plea of “no contest”, an alternative to “guilty” or “not guilty”, meaning that one doesn’t admit guilt, but does not dispute the charge.
62. Abbr. on a city limit sign : ESTD
Many city signs note when the community was established.
63. Oscar-winning director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre, not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense and Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, and “Brokeback Mountain”.
64. Jersey greeting? : MOO
Jersey cattle were originally bred on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, off the coast of France. If you’ve seen Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden in the US, then you’ve seen a Jersey cow.
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
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