Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Today’s themed answers are formed by adding a -ICLE suffix to well-known two-word phrase:
- 20A. Bond portrayer Daniel’s BuzzFeed piece? CRAIG’S LISTICLE (from “Craig’s List”)
- 26A. Leftover bit of a physics experiment? SPARE PARTICLE (from “spare part”)
- 46A. Ezine feature? MODERN ARTICLE (from “modern art”)
- 55A. Beantown treat? BOSTON POPSICLE (from “Boston Pops”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Observe Ramadan, in a way..FAST
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is traditionally a period of fasting. The faithful that observe Ramadan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk everyday, a lesson in patience, humility and spirituality.
5…__ and terminer: criminal court..OYER
“Oyer and terminer” is a term that originates in English law and that applies in some US states. Here in the US, oyer and terminer is the name given to some courts of criminal jurisdiction. Even though it has its origins in English law, the words “oyer” and “terminer” come from French (via Anglo-Norman) and mean “to hear” and “to determine”.
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.
A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.
The TV show called “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.
17…”Sharknado” actress Reid..TARA
Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.
“Sharknado” is a 2013 tongue-in-cheek disaster movie that was made for the Syfy television channel. The basis of the plot is a freak hurricane that hits Los Angeles, resulting in a flood that leaves man-eating sharks roaming the city. I don’t think so …
18…Banish to Hades, say..DOOM
Hades was the god of the underworld to the ancient Greeks. Over time, Hades gave his name to the underworld itself, the place where the dead reside. The term “Hades” was also adopted into the Christian tradition, as an alternative name for hell. But, the concept of hell in Christianity is more akin to the Greek “Tartarus”, which is a dark and gloomy dungeon located in Hades, a place of suffering and torment.
19…Like most tarantulas..HAIRY
Tarantulas are spider-like arachnids that are usually quite hairy. The original tarantula was a type of wolf spider found in Europe, found near the southern Italian town called Taranto.
20…Bond portrayer Daniel’s BuzzFeed piece?..CRAIG’S LISTICLE (from “Craig’s List”)
I have not been a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond (preferring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role). However, I saw “Skyfall” when it first came out and have been won over. “Skyfall” is one of the best Bond films so far, in my humble opinion. And, Adele’s rendition of the title song is an added plus …
A “listicle” is a form of writing used by some journalist and bloggers that is basically a list, but which is fleshed out with extra information for each list item. Typically, listicles have title such as “10 Ways to …”, “The 100 best …” or “The 10 Most …” The term “listicle” is a portmanteau of “list” and “article”.
BuzzFeed is an Internet media company that was founded in 2006 in New York City.
33…Yes, on Talk Like a Pirate Day..AYE
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th every year, a “holiday” that was created in 1995. The event started out as an inside joke between John Baur and Mark Summers of Albany, Oregon, but when they shared the notion with the columnist Dave Barry, he promoted the idea and it took off.
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.
35…Seagoing mil. group..USN
United States Navy (USN)
In Australia (Down Under) and in the British Isles the term “Uni” is routinely used for “university”.
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.
A charlatan is someone who makes false claims of skill or knowledge. It is a word we imported from French, although the original derivation is the Italian “ciarlatano”, the term for “a quack”.
“Collages” is the last novel that French author Anaïs Nin had published, in 1964.
52…Marked, as a ballot..XED
Today a “ballot” is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.
55…Beantown treat?..BOSTON POPSICLE (from “Boston Pops”)
The marvelous Boston Pops orchestra specializes in playing light classical and popular music. The Boston Pops Orchestra grew out of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson. Higginson instituted a series of performances by the BSO of lighter classics for the summer months, starting in 1885. These performances were originally known as the “Promenade Concerts”, and soon became year-round events. The name evolved into “Popular Concerts”, which was shortened to “Pops” and officially adopted in 1900.
In the days of sail, the natural trade routes across the Atlantic involved a lot of ships arriving in Boston directly from West Indies. One of the main cargoes carried by these vessels coming from the West Indies was molasses. An abundance of cheap molasses led to an abundance of baked beans in the port city, and all those baked beans gave rise to Boston’s nickname “Beantown”.
Trompe-l’oeil is a technique in art that creates the optical illusion that a drawn object exists in three dimensions. “Trompe-l’oeil” is French for “deceive the eye”.
62…Online urban music magazine..VIBE
“Vibe” is a magazine that focuses on R&B and rap artists. “Vibe” was founded by the great record producer Quincy Jones, in 1993.
Alfre Woodard is an actress from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Woodard was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1983 film “Cross Creek”. Off the stage and screen she is very active in the Democratic Party.
2…Game company formerly named Syzygy..ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983. Atari was founded in 1971 as Syzygy Engineering in 1971, at which time it produced “Computer Space”, the world’s first arcade video game.
6…Shoppe descriptor..YE OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.
7…Weena’s race, in “The Time Machine”..ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.
8…What swish shots don’t touch..RIMS
That would be in basketball.
Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not-so-great spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.
“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.
“Seinfeld” aired for nine seasons on NBC, and in 2002 was declared by TV Guide as the “greatest television program of all time”. After the show completed its run in 1998, each of the main supporting actors made failed attempts to launch new sitcoms. This phenomenon became known as “the Seinfeld curse”, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus finally managed to break free of it with a successful five-season run in “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, and is also currently starring in “Veep”.
21…Wagga Wagga welcome..G’DAY
Wagga Wagga is an Australian city in New South Wales located midway between Sydney and Melbourne.
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.
28…Saint at a gate..PETER
In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
31…”Geaux Tigers” SEC school..LSU
The LSU Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.
37…Sean Lennon’s middle name..ONO
Sean Taro Ono Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Sean’s godfather is Elton John. Sean is a musician and composer, and has a band called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.
A Jack-in-the-box is child’s toy. It’s a box with a crank handle at the side. Turning the crank causes a tune to play (usually “Pop Goes the Weasel”), and at the right moment the lid pops open and a spring loaded clown character jumps up out of the box.
39…Police blotter letters..AKA
Also known as (aka)
A police blotter is (or used to be) a daily record of arrests made.
An NCO is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.
Bela Bartók was a composer and a pianist, and perhaps after Liszt is considered by many to be Hungary’s greatest composer.
A “klutz” is an awkward individual, and the term comes from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.
A nova is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.
A “peal”, meaning “a ringing of a bell”, is thought to be a shortened form of “appeal”. The idea is that a bell-ringing can be an appeal or summons to church.
Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.