Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each start with a type of FLAG, in honor of FLAG DAY, which is today!
- 37A…June 14th observance … and a hint to the first word in the answers to starred clues..FLAG DAY
- 16A…*Where hockey transgressors cool their heels..PENALTY BOX (giving “penalty flag”)
- 21A…*Future attorney’s hurdle..STATE BAR (giving “state flag”)
- 47A…*Polite applause on the tee..GOLF CLAP (giving “golf flag”)
- 54A…*Vessel for Captain Jack Sparrow..PIRATE SHIP (giving “pirate flag”)
- 10D…*Colorful sushi creation..RAINBOW ROLL (giving “rainbow flag”)
- 23D…*”Drove my Chevy to the levee” Don McLean hit..AMERICAN PIE (giving “American flag”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Those would be ice cubes.
“To usurp” is to seize and hold by force, say the power or authority of a ruler. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).
Variations of mascara have been around a long time, and certainly there was a similar substance in use in Ancient Egypt. “Mascara” is a Spanish word meaning “stain, mask”.
19…Shout of discovery..EUREKA!
“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).
33…Jimmy Fallon asset..WIT
Jimmy Fallon was a cast member for a number of years on “Saturday Night Live” before getting his own talk show in 2009, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in 2014. I’m not a big fan …
37…June 14th observance … and a hint to the first word in the answers to starred clues..FLAG DAY
Flag Day in the US is June 14th each year, as the Flag of the United States was adopted officially by the Second Continental Congress on June 14th, 1777. Flag Day in Canada is on February 15th, as the current Flag of Canada was inaugurated on February 15th, 1965.
Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …
39…Camping gear brand..REI
REI is a sporting goods store, the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the American to climb Mount Everest.
In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.
44…TV’s “Kate & __”..ALLIE
“Kate & Allie” ran from 1984 to 1989, starring Susan Saint James as Kate, and Jane Curtin as Allie. Jane Curtin won two Emmy awards for her work on the series, while Susan Saint James … did not.
45…”The ability to fully experience life,” per Thoreau..WEALTH
Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine. Thoreau is best known for his book called “Walden” published in 1854. The book outlines his philosophy of life and details his experiences living in a cabin near Walden Pond just outside Concord, Massachusetts.
47…*Polite applause on the tee..GOLF CLAP (giving “golf flag”)
A “golf clap” is a deliberately quiet and soft clap, a form of applause that is considered appropriate at a golf tournament.
51…Sandy or Roberto of baseball..ALOMAR
Sandy Alomar, Jr. is a professional baseball player from a famous baseballing family. His father is former major leaguer Sandy Alomar, Sr. and his brother is former second baseman Roberto Alomar.
54…*Vessel for Captain Jack Sparrow..PIRATE SHIP (giving “pirate flag”)
The Jolly Roger is a flag that was flown by pirates to identify their vessels, basically to strike fear in the hearts of the crews they were attacking. We usually think of the Jolly Roger’s design as a white skull and crossbones on a black background. There is a theory that pirates originally flew a red flag, and this was known colloquially as the “pretty red”, or “joli rouge” in French. “Joli Rouge” then evolved into “Jolly Roger”.
Captain Jack Sparrow is the protagonist in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of movies. Sparrow is of course played by Johnny Depp. Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Sparrow partly on the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. I could believe that …
The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.
3…Hot dog holder..BUN
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.
5…Organ associated with ill temper..SPLEEN
The spleen has a couple of functions in the human body. It removes old red blood cells, and recycles the iron contained therein. The waste product of this recycling is bile. It also holds a reserve of blood that can be released when necessary (if the body goes into “circulatory shock”). Greek and Roman physicians ascribed to the theory that the body had four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:
- Black bile (melancolia)
- Yellow bile (cholera)
- Phlegm (phlegma)
- Blood (sanguis)
6…”Light” sci-fi weapon weapon..SABER
The famous lightsaber weapons in the “Star Wars” series of films were updated for the seventh episode “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The new lightsabers have energy crossguards just above the grip.
9…”Little Women” novelist..ALCOTT
“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of little women is Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy and the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.
10…*Colorful sushi creation..RAINBOW ROLL (giving “rainbow flag”)
In Japanese cuisine, the rainbow roll is an example of “uramaki” (inside-out roll). Uramaki is rolled sushi in which the rice is on the outside of the “nori” (seaweed). Rainbow rolls are then topped with different colors of sushi, and laid out on the plate in a rainbow-like array. Those topping are usually thinly sliced maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail), ebi (shrimp) and avocado.
The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …
Lyra (Latin for “lyre”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.
The lyre is a harp-like stringed instrument most closely associated with Ancient Greece, and with the gods Hermes and Apollo in particular. According to myth, Hermes slaughtered a cow from a sacred herd belonging to Apollo and offered it to the gods but kept the entrails. Hermes used the entrails to make strings that he stretched across the shell of a tortoise, creating the first lyre. Apollo liked the sound from the lyre and agreed to accept it as a trade for his herd of cattle.
“Loaded” is a slang term for “drunk”.
23…*”Drove my Chevy to the levee” Don McLean hit..AMERICAN PIE (giving “American flag”)
Don McLean released his greatest hit, “American Pie”, back in 1971. Despite the song’s iconic position in the pop repertoire, McLean has been remarkably reticent about its origins and the meaning of the lyrics. We do know that it was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash (“the day the music died”). McLean has also told us that he first read about the death of his idol when delivering newspapers the day after the crash (“February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver”). Although the lyrics have been analyzed and interpreted in depth by many, McLean’s stance remains that it is just a poem set to music …
Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first stars and stripes.
26…Online crafts shop..ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.
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.
30…Silly to the extreme..SLAPHAPPY
Someone described as “slaphappy” is exhibiting extremely silly behavior. The term was first appeared in the 1930s, when it meant “punch-drunk”.
A “Fräulein” is an unmarried woman, in German. She might live in a “Haus” (house).
34…Ancient Greek region..IONIA
The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of Ancient Greece although it wasn’t a unified state, but rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.
35…Follower on Twitter, informally..TWEEP
Followers of a particular user on Twitter can be called “tweeps”, a portmanteau from “Twitter” and “peeps”.
41…Affectionate attention, briefly..TLC
Tender loving care (TLC)
43…London insurance giant..LLOYD’S
Lloyd’s of London isn’t actually an insurance company, but rather is a market where members can get together to spread the risk associated with policies that have been underwritten.
47…Second family of the 1990s..GORES
Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.
Tipper Gore is the wife of former Vice President Al Gore, although the couple have been separated since 2010. Ms. Gore was born Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson. The “Tipper” nickname comes from one of her favorite nursery rhymes, called “Tippy, Tippy, Tin”.
Omar Khayyam was a Persian with many talents. He was a poet as well as an important mathematician, astronomer and physician. A selection of his poems were translated by one Edward Fitzgerald in a collection called “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”. Here are some lines from that collection:
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
49…Zero deg. at the equator, say..LAT
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:
- Arctic Circle
- Tropic of Cancer
- Tropic of Capricorn
- Antarctic Circle
The Ramada Inn hotel chain takes its name from the Spanish word for a shady resting place. A ramada is a shelter with a roof and no walls, mainly found in the American southwest. Nowadays a ramada can be temporary or permanent, but originally ramadas were makeshift shelters constructed by aboriginal Indians from branches or bushes.