Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
We have three hidden words in today’s grid, depicted with circled letters. These hidden words are all “Diff’rent Strokes” one uses on a golf course. We also have a couple of other golf references in the puzzle:
- 59A…”Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” sitcom … or, literally, occupants of this puzzle’s circles..DIFF’RENT STROKES
- 17A…”It’s now or never!”..I CAN’T PUT THIS OFF! (hiding “putt”)
- 27A…Play the Lute or Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail, in martial arts..TAI CHI POSITION (hiding “chip”)
- 47A…Folk ballad also known as “Cowboy Love Song”..RED RIVER VALLEY (hiding “drive”)
- 50A…Course elevators..TEES
- 36D…Line on a scorecard..PAR
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that POSH stands for “Port Out, Starboard Home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.
The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself …
15…Comics pooch with a big red tongue..ODIE
Odie is Garfield’s best friend and is a slobbery beagle, a character in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.
16…Islamic analogue of kosher..HALAL
“Halal” is a term for an action or object that is permissible under Islamic Law. In particular “halal” is used to describe food that can be consumed. Anything that is not allowed is called “haraam”.
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).
20…Where to buy EBAY..NASDAQ
The NASDAQ trading system created in 1971 is the successor to the over-the-counter (OTC) trading system that was common at the time. OTC trading is done directly between two parties without being facilitated by an exchange.
22…Org. for Serena Williams..WTA
The former World No. 1 tennis player Billie Jean King founded the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and won the first ever WTA Tour Championship. King also won the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match played in 1973 against Bobby Riggs.
The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The name “eye” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
27…Play the Lute or Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail, in martial arts..TAI CHI POSITION (hiding “chip”)
More correctly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.
The slang term “zit”, meaning “a pimple”, came into the language in 1966, but no one seems to know its exact derivation.
34…Addams family nickname..TISH
Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of the cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.
35…Journalist Stewart or Joseph..ALSOP
The two brothers Stewart and Joseph Alsop wrote the “Matter of Fact” column three times a week for the “New York Herald Tribune” from 1945 to 1958. Stewart covered domestic politics from Washington, and Joseph covered foreign affairs while travelling the world.
Bram Stoker was an Irish writer, best known for the 1897 novel “Dracula”. Stoker’s fame as an author came after his death, and during his lifetime he was better known as the personal assistant of renowned English actor Henry Irving. It is believed that Stoker used Irving as his inspiration for the title character in “Dracula”.
Galleys were large medieval ships mainly found in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.
47…Folk ballad also known as “Cowboy Love Song”..RED RIVER VALLEY (hiding “drive”)
“Red River Valley” is a cowboy music standard that also goes by the names “Cowboy Love Song”, “Bright Sherman Valley” and “Bright Little Valley” among others. One version of the song’s chorus is:
From this valley they say you are going.
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while.
So come sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
Just remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy that has loved you so true.
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.
Marriott Hotels developed their early properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.
59…”Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” sitcom … or, literally, occupants of this puzzle’s circles..DIFF’RENT STROKES
The sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” originally aired in the late seventies and eighties. The show is noted for addressing serious issues such as racism, the use of illegal drugs, kidnapping and child sexual abuse. A sad legacy of the show is that the main child actors all ended up in legal trouble themselves, with two of them also struggling with drug addiction. Dana Plato (who played Kimberly) died of a drug overdose in 1999. Todd Bridges (who played Willis) became addicted to cocaine and was charged with the attempted murder of a drug dealer in a crack house in 1988. Gary Coleman ended up suing his parents over misuse of trust funds, but eventually went bankrupt. He was also charged with assault while working as a security guard. Coleman died in 2010 after battling health problems for many years.
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
65…Dump at the altar..JILT
To “jilt” someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot” or “loose woman”.
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.
67…First name in advice..ABBY
The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president.
1…What acupuncture relieves, for some..PAIN
Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints’ in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.
3…Bering and Ross..SEAS
The Bering Sea in the very north of the Pacific Ocean is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.
The Ross Sea is a bay in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. It was discovered by one James Ross in 1841. A more recent discovery, in the waters of the Ross Sea, was a 33 feet long giant squid that was captured in 2007.
6…Part of a collegiate address..EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)
8…Game whose original packaging boasted “From Russia with Fun!”..TETRIS
Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.
9…Like Laurel, but not Hardy..THIN
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.
Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.
10…Western treaty gp…OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group except Honduras, which had its membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.
12…Kind of robe..CAFTAN
A kaftan (also “caftan”) is long robe associated for thousands of years with Islamic cultures.
13…Italian racers, familiarly..ALFAS
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).
Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …
A potage is a thick soup or stew, and is named after the Old French word “pottage” meaning “potted dish”.
26…Oklahoma State mascot __ Pete..PISTOL
Pistol Pete is a sports team mascot, for at least three schools: Oklahoma State University, New Mexico State University and the University of Wyoming.
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.
The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “tra-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century. “‘Tis the season to be jolly …”
43…Moose’s girlfriend, in Archie comics..MIDGE
Moose Mason, also called Big Moose, is a recurring character in the “Archie” series of comics. Mason was shown to be poor academically, but great on the sports field. In later comics it was revealed that Moose suffered from dyslexia making it difficult for him to understand what he was being taught. He used to get “straight Fs” in tests, and thought the F stood for “fantastic”. Moose’s girlfriend in the early days was a blonde named Lottie Little. However, for decades Moose stepped out with a tall girl with short dark hair named Midge Klump.
48…Capital on the Danube..VIENNA
Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga). The Danube flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).
49…Banned fruit spray..ALAR
The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.
50…Inscription on a June greeting card..TO DAD
Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the Bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.
53…Saroyan’s “My Name Is __”..ARAM
“My Name is Aram” is a collection of tales by William Saroyan. All of the short stories are about a boy of Armenian descent growing up in Fresno, California.
The word “mojo”, meaning magical charm or magnetism, is probably of Creole origin.
57…Bench press beneficiary..DELT
The deltoid muscle is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.
60…”Criminal Minds” agcy…FBI
“Criminal Minds” is a police drama that has aired on CBS since 2005. The stories revolve around the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia.
61…It’s next to Q on most keyboards..TAB
Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the space bar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.
62…Unc, to Dad..SIB