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: 46m 46s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Pound of flesh? : FIST BUMP
The fist bump is that tapping of fists together as a form of greeting. It is a more “hip” version of a handshake, a might be called a “pounding of flesh”.
9. Difference between winners and losers? : SPREAD
The point spread is the number of points offered to equalize the chances in a wager concerning a sports event. The team that is perceived as more likely to lose is given “free” points before the game starts, and the person backing the winning team wins only when the his/her team scores more than the losing team, including the point spread.
15. 1967 Simon & Garfunkel hit : AT THE ZOO
“At the Zoo” is a Simon and Garfunkel song from 1967, written as always (almost) by Paul Simon. It tells the tale of a trip to the Central Park Zoo in Simon’s hometown of New York City. Some of the lyrics are quite “trippy”, so the suggestion is that the “trip” to the zoo was made while high on drugs.
16. Armor plate protecting the hip and thigh : TUILLE
Tuille is a medieval piece of armor made up of metal bands hanging from the breastplate. These bands were designed to protect the upper legs.
19. Rock-___ : OLA
Rock-Ola was a brand name of jukebox. Rock-Ola basically shared the market with Wurlitzer. Rock-Ola is still making jukeboxes to this day, catering to the “nostalgia” market, producing authentic looking players but using CDs and touch-screens for better sound and ease of use.
20. Furtive observations : ESPIALS
An espial is just that, a furtive observation, the act of espying.
22. Only word spoken in Mel Brooks’s “Silent Movie” : NON
Marcel Marceau was the most famous mime of all time, a native of Strasbourg in France. Marceau made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’s “Silent Movie“, playing himself. In the scene, Mel Brooks asks Marceau to appear in his movie (a question asked in subtitles), and Marceau turns to the camera and speaks the only word in the whole film, “Non!” (French for “No!”). Brilliant …
23. Hirsute sitcom relative : ITT
In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor, Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man, with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.
25. O.K. : HUNKY-DORY
Surprisingly, the term “hunky-dory” has been around along time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. No one is really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, a street of ill repute that was in Yokohama, Japan, back in the day.
28. ___ Martin : REMY
Remy Martin: my favorite cognac (remember that when it’s my birthday!). In China, the name Remy Martin is not used, but rather the more colorful moniker, “man-headed horse”, describing the centaur logo on the bottle.
32. Shake or rattle, but not roll : JAR
“Shake, Rattle and Roll” is an early rock and roll song written in 1954 by Jesse Stone. It was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner, but we all remember the version by Bill Haley & His Comets. The term “shake, rattle and roll” had been used in an earlier song though. Back in 1919, Al Bernard recorded a song about gambling in which the dice came out of the cup with a “shake, rattle and roll”.
33. Some concert pieces : SONATAS
The name “sonata” comes from the Latin and Italian words “sonare” meaning “to sound”. In music, a sonata is a piece of music that is played, as opposed to a cantata (from Latin and Italian “cantare” meaning “to sing”), a piece of music that is sung.
38. “Be More Chill” novelist Vizzini : NED
Ned Vizzini is an American author of books aimed at young adults. His most famous novel is “Be More Chill“, a science fiction tale about a nerdy kid who takes a “magic” pill that makes him cool.
40. “World News Now” airer : ABC TV
If you’re a night owl you might watch ABC’s “World News Now”. It airs from 2 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Eastern time.
43. Conversation piece? : WORD
44. Kind of accent used by Ado Annie : OKIE
Ado Annie is a character in the Rogers and Hammerstein smash hit musical “Oklahoma!” Ado Annie was played by Gloria Grahame in the 1955 film. If you don’t remember the character, you might remember one of her songs … “I Can’t Say No”.
47. Like a mirror image: Abbr. : SYM
If sym. is meant to mean “symmetrical”, then technically I would say that an object and its mirror image viewed together is symmetrical, not just the mirror image. There is, however, a type of “symmetry” called “mirror image symmetry”, so maybe that’s the meaning here.
48. Lao-___ : TSE
Lao Tse is a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism.
52. Some temple utterances : OMS
Om is a sacred, mystic word from the Hindu tradition. It is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.
56. Hypersonic plane engine : SCRAMJET
A “ramjet” is a type of jet engine that uses the speed of the incoming air (due to the aircraft’s forward motion) to compress that air prior to combustion. In a regular jet engine the air is compressed by a fan that sucks air into the combustion chamber. In a ramjet, air enters the chamber usually at supersonic speed (the speed of the jet) and is slowed prior to combustion. In a scramjet, a variant of a ramjet, the air is maintained at supersonic speeds, allowing the scramjet to operate at very high speeds.
58. One who splits the bill? : COHOST
If two of you are hosting the dinner, maybe you should split the bill …
60. Tootsie : SWEETS
Tootsie and sweets, two very sugary terms of affection.
1. Baccarat alternative : FARO
Faro is a card game, somewhat akin to Baccarat, that was popular in England and France in the 18th century. It made it to the Old West, where it became a favorite of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The origin of the name “Faro” is unclear. One popular theory is that Faro is a contraction of ‘pharaoh’ given that Egyptian motifs used to be common on playing cards of the period. There’s another theory involving the usual suspects: Irish immigrants, famines …
2. What “Arrivederci!” is spoken in : ITALIANO
“Arrivederci” is the Italian for “goodbye”.
3. “The ___ Story,” Jimmy Stewart baseball movie : STRATTON
“The Stratton Story” is a film released in 1949 telling the true story of Monty Stratton, a Major League Baseball pitcher. Monty is played by Jimmy Stewart, and his wife, Ethyl, by the lovely June Allyson. Stratton accidentally shot himself in the right leg while hunting, and had to have his leg amputated. Even though this should have finished his baseball career, he fights back and makes it into the minors.
4. Dijon drink : THE
“The” is the French word for “tea”.
Dijon is a city in Eastern France. Perhaps its most famous product is its mustard. However, 90% of the mustard seed used in mustard produced locally in the city of Dijon and environs, is actually imported from Canada.
5. Madre’s treasure : BEBE
In Spanish, a madre’s (mother’s) treasure is her bebe (baby).
6. “Munich” arms : UZIS
“Munich” is a 2005 film that tells the fictional tale of retaliations carried out by the Israeli government following the killing of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. I saw this movie, and found it to be disappointing, to be honest …
7. Man of one’s dreams? : MORPHEUS
Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams and sleep, and is my favorite of the Greek gods. Morpheus of course gave his name to morphine, the sedative.
8. Stands above the crowd? : PODIUMS
Clever wording …
11. Ray Bradbury’s “___ for Rocket” : R IS
“R Is for Rocket” is a short story, and the name of a collection of short stories, written by Ray Bradbury and published in 1962.
12. One of Austen’s Dashwood sisters : ELINOR
Elinor Dashwood is the delightful main character in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”. She is played by Emma Thompson in my favorite adaptation of the story, the 1995 movie.
13. “Take it from me, elections matter” speaker : AL GORE
When Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama for president, he used the phrase “Take it from me, elections matter”, harking back to his own election loss to George W. Bush.
14. Chain offering Moons Over My Hammy : DENNY’S
Denny’s was the first restaurant I ate at on my first visit to the US over 30 years ago. I thought I was in heaven. I’ve changed my opinion a little since then! Denny’s is famous for being “always open” (almost), something that blew my mind as a visitor from Ireland back in 1980. Denny’s was founded in 1953 in Lakewood, California, and originally went by the name “Denny’s Donuts”.
24. Port on Italy’s “heel” : TARANTO
Taranto is a port in Southern Italy (in the “heel” of the “boot”). During WWI Taranto was home port for the Italian Navy, and in WWII it was subject to air attacks by the RAF in what is called the Battle of Taranto.
26. Bowl filler for a bowl game, maybe : DORITOS
Doritos are a brand of flavored tortilla chips launched in 1964. The name “Doritos” means “little bits of gold” in Spanish.
27. North Dakota’s ___ Lacs National Wildlife Refuge : DES
The Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota takes its name from the French “Riviere des Lacs” meaning “River of the Lakes”. The refuge is an important bird sanctuary.
32. Filmmaker Apatow : JUDD
Judd Apatow is best known for producing the TV series “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”.
34. Fermion or boson : PARTICLE
Particle physics is beyond me, but apparently bosons can occupy the same quantum space, whereas fermions cannot.
35. 1949 Humphrey Bogart/Sessue Hayakawa movie : TOKYO JOE
The 1949 film “Tokyo Joe” has the hero of the piece, Humphrey Bogart, returning to Tokyo to his pre-war bar and gambling joint, “Tokyo Joe’s”. Shades of “Casablanca” and Rick’s American Cafe, wouldn’t you say?
37. Gloria Estefan hit whose title is Spanish for “Listen!” : OYE
Gloria Estafan is a Cuban American singer, born in Havana. She fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam, and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Gloria herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …
39. Cousin of a custard apple : SOURSOP
The custard-apple is the fruit of a small deciduous tree native to the New World. It is also called a “sweetsop” in some parts of the world. The soursop, on the other hand, the fruit of an evergreen tree related to the paw-paw, has a more sour taste.
40. Some pyramid builders : AZTECS
The Aztecs along with the Egyptians are famous for constructing pyramids. Human sacrifice was part of the Aztec culture, and for the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.
42. Christmas scene : CRECHE
Creche is a French word, meaning “crib”.
50. Municipal regs. : ORDS
53. Leave without changing : STET
Stet is the Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” beside the change, and then underscoring the change with a line of dots (or dashes).
57. Verizon acquisition of 2006 : MCI
MCI was a giant telecom company that suffered a similar fate to Enron, around about the same time. The stock price fell in 2000, and in maneuvers designed to protect the price, the company committed illegal acts. The larger than life CEO at the time, Bernie Ebbers, is now serving a 25 year sentence in Louisiana.
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
Just select a title, and press the “play” button …