Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with the letters OP inserted:
- 27A. Like soup cans to Andy Warhol? : PERFECT FOR THE POP ART (from “perfect for the part”)
- 45A. The musical “1776” reworked with arias? : COLONIAL OPERA (from “Colonial Era”)
- 55A. Astaire/Rogers 1935 boast? : I MADE “TOP HAT” (from “I made that”)
- 67A. Pace of a runaway horse? : UNMITIGATED GALLOP (from “unmitigated gall”)
- 83A. Why the kennel closed? : NO PET PROFIT (from “net profit”)
- 92A. Vespa newbies? : MOPED STUDENTS (from “med students”)
- 112A. #1 rodeo competitor? : THE LORD OF THE ROPINGS (from “The Lord of the Rings”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Whole alternative : SKIM
The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometime “milkfat”). To be labeled whole milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Lowfat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.
9. Religion that may involve a moon goddess : WICCA
Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.
19. Sticks figure : RUBE
A rube is person lacking sophistication, someone often described as a country bumpkin. The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.
21. Many a South Pacific isle : ATOLL
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.
22. Kosher : LEGIT
According to Jewish dietary law, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.
23. __ in the Pod: maternity brand : A PEA
A Pea in the Pod is high-end brand of maternity cloths. The brands Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod are sold in Destination Maternity superstores all over North America.
24. It won’t fly on the Sabbath : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.
26. Freetown currency : LEONE
Leones are the currency of Sierra Leone. The Leone was introduced in 1964 to replace the British West African pound. The move was a practical one, as the Leone is a decimal currency and replaces the old British system of pounds, shillings and pence.
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.
27. Like soup cans to Andy Warhol? : PERFECT FOR THE POP ART (from “perfect for the part”)
Andy Warhol went through a period of painting iconic American products, including Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s tomato soup cans. In 1964 he participated in a gallery show called “The American Supermarket”. Along with other pop artists he contributed works including a painting of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. He priced the painting at $1,500, and sold autographed cans of soup for $6 a piece.
31. New York natives : ERIES
The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.
32. Traditional meal : SEDER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:
- Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
- Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?
40. Mid sixth-century date : DLI
The year 551 CE is written as DLI in Roman numerals.
42. For two, in music : A DUE
“A due” is a musical term meaning “together”, and literally translates from Italian as “by two”.
45. The musical “1776” reworked with arias? : COLONIAL OPERA (from “Colonial Era”)
“1776” is a musical by Sherman Edwards that premiered in 1969 on Broadway. It tells the story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and in particular the efforts of John Adams to persuade the participants of the Second Continental Congress to do so.
54. Carrier renamed in 1997 : USAIR
From 1953, what we recently referred to as US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir, but commuters then just used the nickname “Unfortunately Still Allegheny”. The name was changed again, in 1997, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.
55. Astaire/Rogers 1935 boast? : I MADE “TOP HAT” (from “I made that”)
“Top Hat” is a fun comedy musical starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that was released in 1935. It was to become the most successful movie that the Astaire-Rogers team made.
59. Their areas are arias : DIVAS
The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.
63. Ballerinas’ supply : ROSIN
Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.
65. Saltpeter : NITER
The chemical name for saltpeter (also called “niter, nitre”) is potassium nitrate. The exact origin of the name “saltpeter” isn’t clear, but it may have come from the Latin “sal petrae” meaning “stone salt”. The main use for potassium nitrate is as a fertilizer, a source of potassium and nitrogen. As it is a powerful oxidizing agent, it is also used in amateur rocket propellants. Anyone who has ignited one of those “engines” would have noticed the lilac-colored flame, indicating the presence of potassium.
75. Sculptors’ degs. : BFAS
The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is primarily designed for students intent on pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts.
78. “Lou Grant” production co. : MTM
MTM Enterprises was a television production company founded in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore, originally to produce the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The company subsequently produced the likes of “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”. That’s a lot of great television …
“Lou Grant” is a spinoff from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The title character, played so ably by Ed Asner, had headed up a television newsroom in Minneapolis in the original series. In the spinoff, Grant was the city editor of the fictional “Los Angeles Tribune”. The original show was a sitcom, the spinoff was a drama series.
81. Like some strays : MANGY
Mange is a skin disorder in animals caused by parasitic mites that embed themselves in the skin, perhaps living in hair follicles. The same disorder in humans is called scabies.
89. Mexican dirección : ESTE
“Este” (east) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.
92. Vespa newbies? : MOPED STUDENTS (from “med students”)
Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.
98. Two-balled weapon : BOLA
Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, the South American cowboys, although there is evidence that the Inca army used them in battle.
107. Brief outline : APERCU
An apercu is a first view, a glance. By extension, the term “apercu” can also be used for a detached view, an overview or a short synopsis. “Aperçu” is French for “perceived”.
111. Development areas : UTERI
“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” also meaning womb, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.
118. 1995 Cecil B. DeMille Award-winning actress : LOREN
Sophia Loren certainly has earned her exalted position in the world of movies. In 1962 Loren won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Italian film “Two Women”, the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English speaking performance. She received a second nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Italian-Style”, another Italian-language movie, released in 1964.
The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held in 1944 to honor the best in filmmaking. The award was created by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which had been formed the year before by a group of writers in Los Angeles. One of the most famous of the Golden Globes is the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is presented for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”.
Cecil B. Demille was a movie director and producer who started his professional career in the silent era. DeMille’s movies were often epic works, such “Cleopatra” (1936), “Samson and Delilah” (1949), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952) and “The Ten Commandments” (1956). The Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award is named in his honor, and indeed he was its first recipient.
120. Marilyn’s birth name : NORMA
Marilyn Monroe was born in 1926 in LA County Hospital, the child of Gladys Pearl Baker. The young girl was given the name of Norma Jeane Mortenson on her birth certificate, but her mother changed this to Norma Jeane Baker almost immediately. She and her estranged husband, Martin Edward Mortensen, had separated before Baker became pregnant so it is suggested that the Mortensen name was used just to give Norma Jeane “legitimacy”. Norma Jeane married a Jim Dougherty when she 16 years old, and took his name to become Norma Jeane Dougherty in 1932. During WWII she was discovered by a photographer and became quite a successful model. The modelling earned her a screen test, at which time it was suggested that Norma Jeane change her name yet again. The first name chosen for her by studio executives was Carole Lind (after Carole Lombard and Jenny Lind), but then Norma Jeane chose “Jeane Monroe” for herself, using her mother’s maiden name. It didn’t take long before the studio intervened again, suggesting that they had too many “Jeans” already. The name Marilyn Monroe was floated as it had a nice ring to it. Along with the new name, Marilyn changed from a brunette to a blonde, and a star was born …
122. Gp. that includes Venezuela : OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.
130. Laryngitis docs : ENTS
Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)
The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).
2. Grint who plays Ron in Harry Potter films : RUPERT
Former child actor Rupert Grint is famous for playing Ron Weasley, one of the three lead characters in the “Harry Potter” series of films. Grint is the oldest of the trio of “Harry Potter” leads, and was 11 years old when he was cast in the role.
3. Portugal’s region : IBERIA
Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe, located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula alongside Spain. The name “Portugal” comes from the Latin name for Porto, the country’s second largest city: “Portus Cale”. Portugal was a far-reaching power in the 15th and 16th centuries, at the center of the world’s first truly global empire. A legacy of the Portuguese Empire is that today there are more than 240 million Portuguese speakers across the world.
6. Caber toss garb : KILTS
The caber toss must be the most recognizable event in the Scottish Highland Games. The tall pole is 19’ 6” long and weighs a whopping 175 pounds. The event may have originated with the practice of tossing large logs across chasms in order to cross them.
9. Scrooge’s opposite : WASTREL
A wastrel is a spendthrift, someone who spends wastefully.
13. Boxer’s brand? : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?
17. Ruckus : DIN
The word “ruckus” is used to mean a commotion, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.
30. Swabby’s need : PAIL
“Swabbie” (also “swabby, swab, swabber”) is a slang term for a sailor that we’ve been using since the late 1700s. A “swab” was originally a member of the crew assigned to the swabbing (mopping) of the ship’s decks.
37. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
The initialism QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.
41. Estonia neighbor : LATVIA
Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
44. Paul Anka’s “__ Beso” : ESO
“Eso Beso” is Spanish for “That Kiss”, and is the name of a hit song recorded by Canadian-born singer Paul Anka.
47. Montana’s __ Falls : OUSEL
Ousel Falls is a waterfall in south central Montana located on the Gallatin River.
48. Band performance : GIG
Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz.
50. “Forbidden” perfume : TABU
Tabu is a whole line of cosmetics and perfumes produced by the House of Dana. The company’s brand names were purchased by a Florida company called Dana Classic Fragrances in 1999.
56. Harley, e.g. : HOG
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.
60. Bermuda’s ocean: Abbr. : ATL
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory that is located off the east coast of the US. It is named for the Spaniard Juan de Bermúdez who in 1503 become the first European to discover the archipelago. Bermuda is the oldest remaining British Overseas Territory (since Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949). It is also the most populous British Overseas Territory (since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997).
64. Successor to Claudius : NERO
Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.
I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.
66. High-tech worker : ROBOT
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.
69. Investment acronym : IRA
Individual retirement account (IRA)
70. Guiding principles : TENETS
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.
77. Sault __ Marie : STE
Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.
78. Dangerous African biter : MAMBA
Mambas, and most famously black mambas, are highly venomous snakes that used to be responsible for a great number of fatalities before anti-venoms became available. Mamba venom is a deadly mix of neurotoxins that attack the nervous system and cardiotoxins that attack the heart. A bite, if left untreated, causes the lungs and the heart to shut down.
80. It might be tapped : MAPLE TREE
The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It is also the primary source of maple syrup.
82. Since Jan. 1, in P&L reports : YTD
On a income statement, a profit & loss figure (P&L) might be year to date (YTD).
84. Article in rap titles : THA
I guess “tha” is slang for “the” in the world of rap …
86. Prepare to store, as a blueprint : ROLL UP
Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.
93. Novelist Bellow : SAUL
Saul Bellow was the only writer to have won the National Book Award three times. He also won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. Bellow was a Canadian-born American writer, and among his most famous works were “Herzog” and “Humboldt’s Gift”.
95. Like small star fruit : TART
The delicious starfruit comes from the carambola tree that is native to parts of Asia. The fruit gets its name from its shape. When it is sliced, the cross-section is like a star, which can have 3-6 points.
101. Wonder on stage : STEVIE
The great musician Stevie Wonder signed up with Motown Records when he was just 11-years-old. He has been remarkably loyal to the label and is still recording with Motown some 50 years later. The level of Stevie Wonder’s success is illustrated by his 22 Grammy Awards, the most Grammys awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder was born 6 weeks prematurely, and incomplete development of blood vessels in his eyes caused the retinas to detach leaving him blind soon after birth. His mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, co-wrote many of Stevie’s songs when he was a teenager, including “I Was Made to Love Her”, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”.
103. Lazy : OTIOSE
“Otiose” means “lazy, indolent”, and comes from the Latin word “otium” meaning “leisure”. Use of the term has extended to mean “without profit, futile”.
104. Half of bowling’s worst split : TEN PIN
In ten pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is a knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.
106. Compassionate, creative, submissive sort, it’s said : PISCES
The astrological sign of the zodiac called Pisces is named for the Pisces constellation. “Pisces” is the Latin word for “fish”, in the plural (singular “piscis”).
115. Bond adventure with Honey Ryder : DR NO
The actress Ursula Andress was quite the sex symbol in the sixties, and famously plays Honey Ryder in the first James Bond movie “Dr. No”. Andress was born in Switzerland and is fluent in English, French, Italian, German as well as her native Swiss-German.
118. Clock readout abbr. : LCD
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
119. “Good one, matador!” : OLE!
“Matador” is a Spanish word used in English for a bullfighter, although the term isn’t used in the same way in Spanish. The equivalent in Spanish is “torero”. “Matador” translates aptly enough as “killer”.