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: 21m 28s
THEME: HEAD FIRST … all the theme answers are comprised of two words, each of which is commonly seen following the word “HEAD” e.g. GAME HUNTER (head game & head hunter), SET PIECE (headset & headpiece)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
TODAY’S WIKI-EST, AMAZONIAN GOOGLIES
1. Dish that might come with mole sauce : TACO
Mole sauce comes in various guises, with mole negro including everyone’s favorite ingredient … chocolate.
10. “L’Amour avec ___” (French love song) : TOI
“L’Amour avec toi” … “Love with you”
14. Lover of Orsino in “Twelfth Night” : VIOLA
William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season).
Viola is the main character in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. Viola is shipwrecked at the beginning of the play, in a land ruled by the Duke Orsino. Viola disguises herself as a boy, and works for Orsino as a page, and complications ensue …
15. Actor La Salle : ERIQ
Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on “ER”, and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the1998 comedy “Coming to America”.
16. *One on safari : GAME HUNTER
Head game & head hunter.
18. Alternative to a B.L.T. : MELT
An alternative to a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, is a melt (with melted cheese).
19. Rat in “Ratatouille” : REMY
“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat that wants to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt.
20. *Part of stage scenery : SET PIECE
Headset & headpiece.
26. *What a cell doesn’t need : PHONE LINE
Headphone & headline.
30. Objectivist Rand : AYN
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” in 1957. Back in 1951, Ayn Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the “founding members” was future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.
32. Some R.P.I. grads : ENGS
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer, who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, an apt name for the sports teams is the Engineers.
33. Impetuously … or what can go on each part of the answer to each starred clue? : HEAD FIRST
36. Popular cleanser : AJAX
Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the infamous slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.
42. Surgical tube : STENT
In the world of medicine and surgery, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a conduit in the body, say a blood vessel, so that it reduces the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.
43. *Absolutely : STONE COLD
Headstone & head cold.
46. 2003 Christopher Paolini fantasy best seller : ERAGON
Christopher Paolini began writing his best-selling fantasy story “Eragon” at the age of 15. Christopher’s parents, when they read the final version two years later, they decided to self-publish it, and supported Christopher as he toured the US promoting the novel. It was eventually republished by Alfred A. Knopf in 2003, and became the second-best-selling children’s paperback of 2005. The book was adapted for the big screen in 2006. I’d call that a success story …
49. *Cut off from water : LANDLOCK
Headland & headlock.
52. Chief justice before Hughes : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents, Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929).
53. Rat Pack nickname : DINO
The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.
54. *Person with a baton : BAND MASTER
Headband & headmaster.
58. Force felt on earth, for short : ONE G
The force of gravity that we all feel is referred to as one G. As gravity is a actually an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to the force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we will experience a force that is three times that which we experience from the gravitational pull of the earth.
61. Things read by 41-Down : MSS
Editors read manuscripts.
62. Host Gibbons of “Hollywood Confidential” :
Leeza Gibbons is a talk show host, and host of her radio show called “Hollywood Confidential”. In 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger of California appointed Gibbons to the board that oversees the states stem cell research agency.
63. Recess : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half dome as a roof, and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for important relics.
1. Dress (up) : TOG
The verb “tog” meaning to dress up, comes from the Latin “toga”. A tog is an informal word for a coat or a cloak, and back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.
2. “___ is the only slight glimmer of hope”: Mick Jagger : ANARCHY
Sir Mick Jagger met up with Keith Richards at school when Jagger was only 7-years-old. They were to become one of the most successful songwriting duos of all time, rivaling Lennon and McCartney (some say!).
3. Best Director of 1997, and Best Director nominee of 2009 : CAMERON
Canadian film director James Cameron won Best Director in 1997 for “Titanic”. He was nominated for Best Director in 2009 for the breakthrough movie “Avatar” (but he lost to Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”). Still, “Titanic” and “Avatar” are the two biggest grossing movies of all time, not accounting for inflation.
5. “Law & Order: ___” : SVU
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin off the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly, since 2007, there has been a very successful Russian adaptation made that is set in Moscow.
6. Part of bronze : TIN
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and bronze are often mistaken for each other.
8. How the helm might be put : ALEE
The direction “alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he is pointing “aweather”.
9. Targets of salicylic acid : WARTS
A wart is a small eruption on the skin caused by a localized viral infection. The most successful treatment is topical use of salicylic acid, with a cure rate of 75%. I think it’s best to try to avoid getting them …
17. Ballyhoo : HYPE
Balyhoo meaning hype or publicity, was originally circus slang, dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!
22. Hydrotherapy spot : SPA
The word “spa” comes to us from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a health resort there. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.
23. Town outside of Buffalo : ELMA
The small town of Elma, New York, located outside of Buffalo, is named after a famous large American Elm growing in the town.
24. Circuit components : DIODES
A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.
28. “___, the Man,” 1940 biopic starring Spencer Tracy : EDISON
“Edison, the Man” is a great piece of movie theater, released in 1949 and starring Spencer Tracy. While the film depicts the basic facts of Edison’s life, it is well known that there was a lot of artistic licence in the writing. So, just enjoy the movie, don’t treat it as a history lesson. I don’t miss many Spencer Tracy movies …
33. Abject : HANGDOG
Hangdog is an adjective that can mean shamefaced and guilty, or downcast and intimidated. The word derives from the concept of a lowlife (a dog) only fit for hanging.
35. Hall-of-Famer Sandberg : RYNE
Ryne “Ryno” Sandberg is a former second baseman who played most of his career for the Chicago Cubs. He holds the major league fielding percentage record at second base … .989.
36. Carriers from northern Manhattan to Far Rockaway : A TRAINS
The A Train, in the New York City Subway, runs from 207th Street, through Manhattan, and over to Far Rockaway in Queens. The service lends its name to a jazz standard “Take the A Train”, the signature tune of Duke Ellington, and much sung by Ella Fitzgerald.
37. Actresses Crain and Tripplehorn : JEANNES
Jeanne Crain was in the movie “State Fair”, and although she had a singing part, her voice was dubbed over. She picked up a lot of singing roles after that, but never actually sang. Her role in another movie “Pinky” was very controversial at the time. She played a light-skinned African American woman who passed herself off as a white woman.
Jeanne Tripplehorn starred opposite Michael Douglas in “Basic Instinct”, Kevin Costner in “Waterworld”, and my personal favorite, opposite Tom Cruise in “The Firm”. But, best of all is her starring role in the great HBO series about plural marriages in Utah called “Big Love“.
39. Like the last Beatles concert, 1969 : ROOFTOP
The last public appearance by the Beatles was an unannounced rooftop concert in 1969, that was filmed as part of the 1970 documentary “Let It Be”. The concert is held on the rooftop of the studio where the band is recording tracks for the album “Let It Be”, and if you ever get to see a copy of the movie/documentary (and it’s hard to find a copy), you’ll see Londoners gathering on the streets below, not realizing that this was to be the last public performance of the group.
40. Heavy overcoats : ULSTERS
An Ulster was an overcoat worn by men in Victorian times. If you are a fan of period dramas, you will have seen those coats with matching capes that come down just over the elbows. The overcoat lost its cape after the Edwardian era, however.
41. Those who read 61-Across : EDS
Editors read manuscripts.
44. “At Last” singer James : ETTA
Etta James is best known for her rendition of “At Last“. Sadly, she discloses in her autobiography, Etta James has lived a life that has been ravaged by drug addiction, leading to numerous legal and health problems.
47. Prize won by Einstein and Yeats : NOBEL
The Peace Prize is one of five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. There is also Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded along with the original five, but is funded separately, and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.
Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, for his contributions to Physics, and in particular for his discovery of the photoelectric effect. Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923, for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. He was the first Irishman so honored.
51. Banjo site? : KNEE
“Oh! Susanna” is a song that was published in 1848, written by Stephen Foster. The song is often called “Banjo on My Knee”, a mistake caused by those being some of the words of the chorus.
55. No man’s land, briefly : DMZ
56. One-named singer of the 1998 hit “It’s All About Me” : MYA
Mya is an R&B singer-songwriter. I don’t know her music, but did see her get to the runner-up position on the ninth series of “Dancing with the Stars”, beaten out of first place by Donny Osmond (don’t ask!).
Movies and TV shows from today’s crossword
Just select a title, and press the “play” button …