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 email@example.com, 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: 12m 51s
THEME: SOS … all the theme answers are phrase beginning with the letters SOS i.e. SAWED-OFF SHOTGUN, SLIP ON SHOES, SAME OLD SONG & SOUNDS OF SILENCE
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Some Strauss compositions : GALOPS
A galop is a type of dance, very popular in Parisian society in the 1800s. It is a fast-paced dance, named after the fastest running gait of a horse (a gallop), and the most famous exponent of the form was Johann Strauss II.
11. Thanksgiving side dish : YAM
Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plant. True yams are more common in other parts of the the world, especially Africa, than they are in this country.
16. It’s a cinch, in Sapporo : OBI
An obi is a sash worn in from dress in Japan, both by men and women, although there tend to be many different ornate versions for women.
17. Weapon for Clyde Barrow : SAWED-OFF SHOTGUN
Here’s another term that divides America from the English speakers on the other side of the Atlantic. Back in Ireland and Britain we would call a sawed-off shotgun … a sawn-off shotgun.
Clyde Barrow was one half of the famous due Bonnie and Clyde. Barrow was born a desperately poor young boy just south of Dallas, Texas. He was always in trouble with the law, first getting arrested at the age of 16. He met Bonnie Parker in 1930 at a friend’s house, and the smitten Parker followed Clyde into a life of crime. The pair were killed by a posse of Texas police officers just four years later, in Louisiana.
21. Specter : WRAITH
Wraith is originally a Scottish word, meaning “ghost” or “specter”.
22. 1959 top 10 hit for Ricky Nelson : IT’S LATE
As most people are well aware here in the US (but not us immigrants!), Ricky Nelson started his career playing himself on the radio in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett”, starting in 1949. Soon after he starred in a feature film “Here Come the Nelsons”, and then started recording albums. Ricky Nelson was one of the long list (it seems) of singing stars that died in plane crashes. He owned his own plane, which crashed on the day after Christmas in 1985, just northeast of Dallas. Seven people were killed, including Nelson and his fiancée.
25. Funeral stand : BIER
Biers are the special stands on which one rests a coffin for a service, or perhaps if the corpse is to lie in state. A bier may have wheels on it, so that it can be used to transport the coffin to the graveside. The original biers were just flat pieces of wood on which the body was placed, covered with a shroud. Nowadays, we place the body in a casket, and then onto the bier.
27. Loafers, e.g. : SLIP-ON SHOES
32. Landed property : REALTY
The terms “realty” and “real estate” date back to the later 1600s, and are derived from the earlier meaning “real possession”, something one owns that is tangible and real.
34. Politico Paul : RON
Ron Paul is a celebrated Republican Congressman from Texas. He is a libertarian, and actually ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian Party candidate. He ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2008 as a member of the Liberty Caucus of the party, meaning that he values a federal government that is limited in size and scope.
35. “In principio ___ Verbum” (words from John 1:1) : ERAT
“In principio erat Verbum” are the opening lines of what is called the Last Gospel, a passage from the gospel according to St. John. The words (and those that follow) are used in the Roman Catholic Mass, and translate as “In the beginning was the Word”.
36. Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in ___” : ARLES
I had the privilege to live a short car ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although it has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a tremendous influence over the cities design. It has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place that Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous “Cafe Terrace at Night”, as well as “Bedroom in Arles“.
37. “Help!”… and a hint to 17-, 27-, 42- and 53-Across : SOS
The combination of three dots, three dashes, three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress signal in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS, although there is no pause between the letters, so this is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also only mnemonics, introduced after the Morse signal was adopted.
39. Small cave, poetically : GROT
“Grot” is short for “grotto”, and is sometimes used in poetry. The word “grotto” comes to us from the Italian “grotta” meaning “vault” or “cavern”.
40. Beanie Babies, once : FAD
There were originally just nine Beanie Babies when Ty Warner Inc introduced the stuffed animal in 1993. In the late nineties the toy became a real fad, largely due to innovative marketing techniques. For example, there was no mass marketing with constant TV ads, and the production volume was limited pushing the line into the real of collectibles. Beanie Baby models were also “retired” on a regular basis, fueling a “must have” behavior in the market.
42. Tired routine, colloquially : SAME OLD SONG
45. Weapon for Iraqi insurgents: Abbr. : IED
Sadly, having spent much of my life in the border areas between southern and Northern Ireland, I am all too familiar with Improvised Explosive Devices, and their effect. No matter what one’s politics, one had to admire the guts of those soldiers who spent their careers defusing (or attempting to defuse) such devices. Of course these days IEDs are very much in the news in Iraq and Afghanistan.
46. Conservationist on the California commemorative quarter : MUIR
John Muir was the famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, describing one of his favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California. He was co-founder of the Sierra Club.
53. 1966 album that concludes with “I Am a Rock” : SOUNDS OF SILENCE
The single “The Sounds of Silence” was the first major hit for Simon and Garfunkel, and they used its success by naming a follow up album “The Sounds of Silence”, released 1966.
58. Stores for 1-Down : PXS
A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent on an Air Force Base is a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it’s a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it’s a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it’s a CGX.
59. Footnote abbr. : IBID
Ibid. is short for the Latin word “ibidem” and is typically found in footnotes and bibliographies. Ibid. is used to refer the reader to the prior citation, instead of giving the same information (title, author etc.) all over again.
60. South American camelids : LLAMAS
A camelid is a species of animal belong to the camel family, as one might expect. A llama is a good example of a camelid.
1. Dogfaces : GIS
Dogface is a slang term used for a GI, common back in WWII.
The initials G.I. stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. G.I. was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron. During WWII, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.
2. Org. on a toothpaste box : ADA
The American Dental Association.
4. 7’1″ 1993 N.B.A. Rookie of the Year : O’NEAL
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy, at 7 foot 1 inch. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, at 38 years old.
5. Some iTunes downloads : PODCASTS
A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.
7. Cushioned seat : SOFA
“Sofa” is a Turkish word, meaning “bench”.
8. Neighbor of Ger. : AUS
Austria is a neighbor of Germany.
9. Bicycle maker since 1895 : SCHWINN
Schwinn is an American bicycle company, founded in Chicago in 1895. The founder was Ignaz Schwinn, a German-born mechanical engineer. Schwinn dominated the market for domestic bicycles in the fifties, helped along by hefty tariffs imposed on imported cycles by the Eisenhower administration.
11. ___ Bear : YOGI
Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on the Huckleberry Hound Show. Pretty soon Yogi got his own show. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore? That was a little trick from the animators. With the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time.
13. Ho Chi ___ City : MINH
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state, and Saigon, the larger city, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City.
18. Independent, in Ingolstadt : FREI
The German word for “free”, as in the tragic phrase “Arbeit macht frei” placed at the entrances to many Nazi concentration camps. Literally the phrase means “work makes free”, but more colloquially “work liberates”. Pretty cynical …
19. North Carolina athlete : TAR HEEL
Tar Heel is a nickname for anyone living in, or from, the state of North Carolina. As such, it is the nickname also of the athletic teams of the University of North Carolina. No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Hell” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.
23. ___ del Fuego : TIERRA
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southern tip of South America, which includes Cape Horn. Tierro del Fuego was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He saw native fires on land as he passed by, and originally called the location “Land of Smoke”, but this was later changed to “Land of Fire”, “Tierra del Fuego” in Spanish.
24. Zig and zag, in skiing : SLALOM
Slalom is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam”, meaning “skiing race”.
30. Hatchling in an aerie : EAGLET
An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and a young eagle is an eaglet.
31. Places : STEADS
In place off … instead of … in one’s stead.
33. 1976 hit that begins “Someone’s knockin’ at the door” : LET ‘EM IN
“Let ‘Em In” is a 1976 release by Wings, written and sung by Paul McCartney.
37. Iraq’s ___ City : SADR
Sadr City is a suburb of Iraq, oft in the news these days. It is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.
48. Vertically, to a sailor : APEAK
“Apeak” is a nautical term meaning “vertical”, as in “the oarsmen held their oars apeak”.
49. “Baseball Tonight” airer : ESPN
ESPN is the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day. It was launched back in 1979.
50. Letters in love letters : XOXO
In the sequence XOXO, I think the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. Hugs and kisses …
52. Country mail rtes. : RFDS
Rural Free Delivery was started in the US in 1891. Prior to RFD, rural Americans had to travel to the nearest post office to pick up their mail.
54. Confit d’___ (potted goose) : OIE
Confit is the French word meaning “preserved”, and of “oie” is “goose”.
55. It indicates a void in some govt. records : NMI
I think NMI in this case means “No Middle Initial”, but I could be wrong …
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
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