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 48s
THEME: X … all the theme answers are common phrases with the letter “X” added e.g. X-MEN IN BLACK (X in MEN IN BLACK), PARLOR X-GAMES (X in PARLOR GAMES), X-RAY BAN (X in RAYBAN)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
7. Like Shakespeare’s sonnets : IAMBIC
An iamb is a general term for metrical foot in poetry. Iamb was originally the name of a particular meter, a short unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, as in the word itself, i-amb.
13. TV schedule abbr. : TBA
To Be Advised
14. Nonfiction films, for short : DOCS
16. Mafioso’s code of silence : OMERTA
Omerta is a code of honor in existing Southern Italy society. It has been adapted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence, designed to prevent a Mafioso from informing to the authorities. For example, Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. His story was told in the movie “The Valachi Papers“, with Charles Bronson playing Valachi.
18. Mourning comic book mutants? : X-MEN IN BLACK
“X” added to “Men in Black”.
X-Men are a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee and published in Marvel Comics. Nowadays they are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier.
“Men in Black” supposedly have appeared in the past whenever there have been reports of UFO sightings. Supposedly, these men are government agents whose job it is to suppress reports of alien landings. The conspiracy theorists got their day in the movies with the release of a pretty good sci-fi comedy in 1997 called “Men in Black“, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
20. Ed with the 1967 hit “My Cup Runneth Over” : AMES
“My Cup Runneth Over” is a song from the 1966 Broadway musical “I Do! I Do!”. A very popular recording of the song was made by Ed Ames in 1967. The title of the song is a quotation from the Bible, from the Book of Psalms.
22. Toto’s creator : BAUM
In “The Wizard of Oz” Toto is played by a terrier, but in the books by L. Frank Baum, Toto was just described as “a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose”.
24. Event that includes Snowboarding Charades and Motocross 20 Questions? : PARLOR X-GAMES
“X” added to “parlor games”.
37. “You Are My Destiny” singer, 1958 : ANKA
Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, “Diana”. He followed this up with “It’s Time to Cry” in 1958. Paul Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962, called “Lonely Boy”.
Anka wrote and performed “You Are My Destiny“, released in 1958.
38. Classic Fiat model : UNO
The Uno is a subcompact that was produced for many years by Fiat, from 1983 until 1995, and it is still being produced in other countries around the world.
39. Result of a phobia of medical pictures? : X-RAY BAN
Ray-Ban are manufacturers of sunglasses, first introduced in 1937 for US Army Air Corps. The Ray-Ban Aviator model of glasses became very popular with the pilots, and apparently with General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was wearing a pair when he was photographed “returning” to the Philippines in WWII.
43. Business major subj. : ECON
45. Tina’s “30 Rock” co-star : ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think his big break really was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. He is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.
46. North Africa’s ___ Mountains : ATLAS
The Atlas Mountains are a range that stretches across Northern Africa. The coast is on one side of the range, and the Sahara Desert on the other.
48. Travel in the bush : SAFARI
“Safari” is a Swahili word, meaning “journey” or “expedition”.
50. Cousin of a foil : EPEE
Epee is the French word for sword.
51. Curious person’s video game console? : PANDORA’S XBOX
In Greek mythology, Pandora was given a jar, and told not to open it under any circumstances. However, her curiosity was too much for her to control, and she opened it, allowing the “evils” inside to escape into the world.
Xbox was made by Microsoft (I’m sure the kids have one around here somewhere!) and introduced in 2001. The current version is known as Xbox 360 (I think).
57. Endor natives in “Return of the Jedi” : EWOKS
The Ewoks are creatures that live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly guys that look like teddy bears.
61. “The great instructor,” per Edmund Burke : TIME
Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, famous for supporting the American revolutionaries, but later opposing the French Revolution.
62. Diabolical graph line? : X-AXIS OF EVIL
“X” added to “axis of evil”.
The “axis of evil” is a term originally used by President George W. Bush, describing the regimes in Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
67. Sci-fi novel made into a 1984 cult film : DUNE
The less than successful 1984 movie “Dune” was an adaptation of the spectacularly successful 1965 novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.
4. XLI x X : CDX
41 x 10 = 410
8. Moseys : AMBLES
Mosey is American slang for “amble”, of unknown origin.
9. Etheridge who sang “Come to My Window” : MELISSA
Melissa Etheridge is rock singer and songwriter. She is a vocal supporter of gay rights, having come out as a lesbian in 1993. Her partner has two children, in 1997 and 1998, using sperm donated by singer David Crosby.
19. “___ Gigolo” : I’M A
“I’m a Gigolo” is a song released in 1929, with words and music by Cole Porter.
21. Nickelodeon opening : SLOT
A Nickelodeon is a player piano, manufactured in the early 1900s. It was coin-operated, hence the name “nickel”. The nickelodeon was in effect the predecessor of the juke box.
25. Large African antelope : ORYX
The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range, and it is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.
26. Poet Angelou : MAYA
Maya Angelou is an African-American autobiographer and poet. She recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983.
30. Acronymic store name : IKEA
Did you know that IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 …. when he was just 17-years-old??!! IKEA is an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.
31. Potato chip brand owned by PepsiCo : LAY’S
Lay’s potato chips were founded in 1938, by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days, the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!
33. Member of an empire founded by Manco Capac : INCA
Manco Capac was the head of the Incan Kingdom of Cusco. He introduced what we might call some sensible laws, including abolishing human sacrifice, and outlawing marriage to one’s sister. However, through a loophole in the law, I guess, he managed to marry his own sister and had a son who became his successor.
35. Bread for a Reuben : RYE
There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One is that it was invented by Arnold Reuben, a German-Jew who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York around 1914.
36. “Happy Days” network : ABC
“Happy Days” is a hilarious ABC show that aired originally for ten years starting in 1974. The show was so successful that it spawned a three spin-offs: “Laverne & Shirley”, “Mork & Mindy”, and “Joanie Loves Chachi”. And, there is even a stage musical version of the show that is touring the US right now.
49. Have a backwoods brawl : RASSLE
“Rassle” is a slang word for “wrestle”.
52. “Be Kind Rewind” co-star Mos ___ : DEF
Mos Def is the stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars that is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003’s “The Italian Job” , 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and a featured role in an episode “House”.
55. The end : OMEGA
Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet.
56. Gas used in flash lamps : XENON
Xenon gas is used in flash tubes. The gas is ionized into a light emitting plasma by discharging a high voltage through it, using current stored in a capacitor.
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
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