Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Today’s themed answers start with synonyms of “grimy”.
- 20A…Chicago bluesman nicknamed for the creek he played in as a child..MUDDY WATERS
- 56A…Ill-gotten gains..FILTHY LUCRE
- 11A…Greeting from an affectionate dog..SLOPPY KISS
- 29A…Fast one..DIRTY TRICK
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9…Zodiac transition points..CUSPS
The word “cusp” comes from the Latin “cuspis” meaning “spear, point”. In the world of astrology, a cusp is an imaginary line separating two signs of the zodiac. For example, some whose birthday is between April 16 and April 26 is said to have been born “on the cusp” between the signs Aries and Taurus.
14…”The Time Machine” people..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.
16…Guitarist Eddie Van __..HALEN
Van Halen is a heavy metal band formed in Pasadena, California back in 1972. Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally called the band Mammoth, changing the name to Van Halen in 1974 when they found out there was another Mammoth playing the circuit. Early on, the brothers were renting a sound system from David Lee Roth, and they decided to save some money by bringing him into the band and saving on the rental fee!
18…Birthstone for many Libras..OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.
20…Chicago bluesman nicknamed for the creek he played in as a child..MUDDY WATERS
Muddy Waters was the stage name used by McKinley Morganfield, a musician from Mississippi who was nicknamed the “father of modern Chicago blues”. His grandmother gave him the nickname “Muddy” as he used to play in a nearby muddy creek as a child. Muddy Waters’ signature tune is 1950’s “Rollin’ Stone”, an interpretation of an older Delta blues song called “Catfish Blues”. Both “Rolling Stone” magazine and the English rock group the Rolling Stones are named for the Muddy Waters song.
23…”The Raven” poet..POE
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …
27…Filled with cargo..LADEN
The verb “lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. Lade also used to mean “to draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.
“Cargo” is freight carried by some vehicle. The term comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.
30…Wise guy sometimes “wearing” pants?..SMARTY
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.
43…Enjoys a buffet..EATS
Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.
46…Mo. city on the Miss…STL
The city of Saint Louis, Missouri was founded by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River it grew into a very busy port. By the 1850s was the second busiest port in the country, with only New York moving more freight.
47…New Haven alumni..YALIES
The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.
49…”The Boy Who Cried Wolf” storyteller..AESOP
“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of Aesop’s fable, and the tale that gives rise to our phrase “to cry wolf”, which means to give a false alarm. In the fable, a shepherd boy is in the habit of tricking nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock by crying “wolf!”. When an actual attack is made, the villages assume it’s another false alarm and the sheep are are eaten by the wolf.
The elastic cord known as “bungee” cord is also known as “shock cord”. The term “bungee” probably comes from Britain where it was schoolboy slang for “rubber eraser”, likely coming from the words “bouncy” and “spongy”.
55…Bus station abbr…ARR
56…Ill-gotten gains..FILTHY LUCRE
Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.
64…Fifth of 13 popes..LEO V
Pope Leo V was head of the Roman Catholic Church for just one year, from 903 to 904. Leo V was imprisoned by the Antipope Christopher just two months after taking office. It is likely that both Antipope Christopher and Pope Leo V were executed on the orders of Sergius III who took over the papacy in 904.
65…Use gentle persuasion on..COAX
To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.
66…Game show host..EMCEE
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.
67…Soft French cheese..BRIE
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region from which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) camembert.
68…Work the copy desk..EDIT
A newspaper’s “copy desk” is where the “copy” (the text intended for publication) is edited and prepared for printing.
2…Matty of baseball..ALOU
Matty Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Jesus and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son, Moises.
4…Reader with Paperwhite and Fire models..KINDLE
Amazon chose the name “Kindle” for their e-reader as they wanted to convey the feeling of lighting a fire, creating intellectual excitement through reading.
6…Political exile, for short..EXPAT
10…Detroit labor gp…UAW
The United Auto Workers (UAW) was founded to represent workers in auto plants in the Detroit area in 1935. Nowadays the UAW’s membership extends into the aerospace, agriculture and other industries.
12…Black tea variety..PEKOE
A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.
The yin and the yang can be explained using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.
22…Not family-friendly, moviewise..R-RATED
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.
31…”You’ve Made __ Very Happy”: 1969 Blood, Sweat & Tears hit..ME SO
“You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” was a 1969 hit for contemporary jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears. It was first released by Motown singer Brenda Holloway, who also co-wrote the song.
34…Family name of three popes..ORSINI
The Orisinis were a very influential Italian noble family in medieval and renaissance times. Included in the Orsini line were three popes: Celestine III (1191-1198), Nicholas III (1277-1280) and Benedict XIII (1724-1730).
“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast” and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.
37…Range above tenor..ALTO
In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.
The actor Esai Morales is best known for his role in the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai).
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.
51…Japanese noodle dish..RAMEN
Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed.
52…Dunkin’ Donuts emanation..AROMA
Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts. Now the chain has over 15,000 restaurants in almost 40 different countries. The company’s biggest competitor is actually Starbucks, as over half of Dunkin’ Donuts’ revenue comes from coffee, and not donuts.
53…”You’re preaching to the __!”..CHOIR
The idiomatic phrase “preaching to the choir” means trying to convince someone to accept an opinion that is already held by that person, which is just a waste of time. Surprisingly (to me), the phrase only dates back to the early 1970s.
54…Yiddish “Egad!”..OY VEY!
“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that literally translates as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is a an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (“LL”, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).
58…Maryland athlete, for short..TERP
The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.
Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash.
61…Nos. requested by receptionists..EXTS