Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers has the same clue, namely “Bug”.
- 17A…Bug..LISTENING DEVICE
- 26A…Bug..PROGRAM FAULT
- 44A…Bug..VIRAL ILLNESS
- 57A…Bug..VOLKSWAGEN MODEL
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Alpine racing obstacle..GATE
Alpine skiing is also known as downhill skiing.
14…Arkin of “Argo”..ALAN
The actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …
15…Prenatal test, for short..AMNIO
Amniocentesis is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.
16…Former “Fashion Emergency” host..EMME
Emme is the highest paid plus-size model in the world. Emme’s real name is Melissa Aronson, and she was born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia.
“Fashion Emergency” is a reality TV show that originally aired on E!
21…Kilt wearer’s refusal..NAE
The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.
23…Bering Sea port..NOME
In 1899, the Alaska city of Nome was briefly known as Anvil City by locals to avoid confusion with the nearby city of Cape Nome. However, the US Post Office refused to approve the change, and so the name was immediately changed back to Nome.
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.
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so she has been given credit for popularizing the term.
31…Cocoon and Posturepedic..SEALYS
The Sealy Corporation makes mattresses. The company name comes from the city where it started out in 1881, namely Sealy, Texas. Sealy Corporation is now headquartered in Trinity, North Carolina.
32…Parks in American history..ROSA
Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.
33…Cuba libre ingredient..RUM
39. Cuba libre ingredient COKE
62. Cuba libre ingredient LIME
The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke although the traditional recipe calls for some lime juice as well.
40…Decorates with Angel Soft, briefly..TPS
TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.
42…Places for French lessons..ECOLES
In French, one might learn “une leçon” (a lesson) in an “école” (school).
There is a difference between a wooden pallet and a wooden skid, both of which are used for shipping. A pallet has boards on top and bottom, whereas a skid only has boards on top.
VW stands for Volkswagen, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. He awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). 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), 4-D (Minister of religion) and 4-F (registrant not acceptable for military service).
6…”8 Mile” rapper..EMINEM
Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …
The movie “8 Mile” stars Eminem as a young rap artist in Detroit, and feature the song “Lose Yourself” that was performed and written by Eminem. The song won Eminem the 2002 Oscar for Best Original Song, making him the first rap artist to be so honored.
7…”Breaking Bad” Emmy winner Gunn..ANNA
Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.
8…Buster Brown’s dog..TIGE
“Buster Brown” is a comic strip created in 1902 by Felton Outcault. Outcault took his name Buster from the very popular film star at the time, Buster Keaton. Buster’s dog Tige, was an American Pit Bull Terrier. Apparently when Tige started to “talk” in the strip, he became the first talking pet in American comics.
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy.
12…Link between speakers..EMCEE
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.
Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.
19…Scary name in 2014 news..EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.
25…Five-time NBA MVP Bill..RUSSELL
Bill Russell is a retired basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. Russell also captained the gold medal-winning US national team at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
28…Couple in a dinghy..OARS
Our word “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, the word for a small boat.
30…Moviefone parent co…AOL
Moviefone is a movie listing service that is available by telephone in many parts of the country. Moviefone was launched in 1989, and purchased by AOL ten years later for $388 million.
33…Othello or Iago..ROLE
Shakespeare’s “Othello” was first performed in 1604. The main characters in the play are:
- Othello, a general in the army of Venice
- Desdemona, Othello’s wife
- Cassio, Othello’s trusted ensign
- Iago, the villain of the piece
The ukulele (“uke”) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.
Hula is the name of the Polynesian dance. The chant or song that the dance illustrates, that’s known as the mele.
38…__ carte..A LA
On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.
44…Beverages sometimes made from potatoes..VODKAS
The distilled beverage we call “vodka” takes its name from the Slavic word “voda” meaning “water”, with “vodka” translating as “little water”.
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.
52…Reason for cold compresses and extra blankets..AGUE
An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.
54…Chief god of Asgard..ODIN
Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse religions. It is where the Norse gods live and is also home to Valhalla, the enormous hall ruled over by the god Odin.
55…Literary sea captain..NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.
Ahh … here’s an Irish word! Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew”. The noun “slew” come into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.
59…Bridal bio word..NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.