Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers contains the letter sequence TAIL (circled in the grid), but those letters are in a SPIN, have been moved around:
- 34D…Sudden downturns, and a literal hint to this puzzle’s circles..TAILSPINS
- 21A…”Let’s say we’re even”..CALL IT A WASH
- 54A…It’s all in your mind..MENTAL IMAGE
- 3D…Off-ramps..EXIT LANES
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events.
10…Hurricane response org…FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.
Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife. By the end of the play it’s Iago himself who is discredited and Othello (before committing suicide) apologizes to Cassio for having believed Iago’s lies. Heavy stuff …
17…Flower symbolizing freshness..DAISY
The flowers of the daisy plant close tightly at sunset and then open up again in the morning. It is this behavior that led to the name “daisy”, from the Old English for “day’s eye”. So, the daisy could be called a “well-rested” plant. And, someone who is well-rested attacks the day “fresh as a daisy”. Interesting, huh?
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver.
19…Barnes & Noble reader..NOOK
The Barnes & Noble electronic-book reader is called the Nook. If you are looking for a free read, Barnes & Noble allow you to read any e-book for free for up to an hour if connected to the Internet via a Barnes & Noble store’s Wi-Fi.
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.
24…Some corporate jets..LEARS
Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.
Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Marriott Hotels developed their initial properties in the fifties. The first to open was the Quality Inn near Washington DC, the first purpose-built airport hotel in the country.
A tune that is “ariose” is song-like, characterized by melody as opposed to harmony.
39…Car starter: Abbr…IGN
The first ignition key was introduced by Chrysler back in 1949. Prior to the use of ignition keys, vehicles had both an ignition on/off switch and a starter button.
Bitcoins are digital units of currency that are used on some Internet sites. Bitcoins are the most popular alternative currency used on the Web today. More and more reputable online retailers are accepting bitcoins, including Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell and Microsoft.
42…UFO crew, supposedly..ETS
One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).
The Baltimore Orioles are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.
“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.
The Proactiv range of skincare products were introduced in 1995 by two dermatologists who met up with each other while studying at Stanford. Proactiv is market to people suffering with acne. There are quite a few folks who complain about the direct marketing approach to sales used for the products. Customers are “members” of a club, and the products keep coming until a subscription is canceled.
61…Eins, zwei, __..DREI
The German for “one, two, three” is “eins, zwei, drei”.
62…Suspected perp’s story..ALIBI
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi'”.
68…Bug repellent ingredient..DEET
DEET is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.
1…Website with movie trivia..IMDB
The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering question one has about movies and actors.
4…Vienna’s land: Abbr…AUS
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.
“Sill plate” or simply “sill” is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. A “window sill” is specific sill plate that is found at the bottom of a window opening.
A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.
10…Green Monster ballpark..FENWAY
The left field wall in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, is the tallest encountered in Major League ballparks. The wall was built so high to prevent viewing of games from outside of the park for free. The height also prevents home runs that would be possible in other ballparks and so, given its color and reputation, it is called the Green Monster.
11…WWII German torpedo craft..E-BOAT
In WWII, the German Navy’s Motor Torpedo Boats were similar to American PT boats and were called S-boots, short for Schnellboot (“fast craft”). The Allied forces referred to them as E-boats, with the “E” possibly standing for “enemy” or “Eilboot” (“hurry boat”).
12…Bullwinkle, for one..MOOSE
“The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” is a live-action/animated movie released in 2000 inspired by “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” TV show from the late fifties and early sixties. Rocky and Bullwinkle are in cartoon form in the film, whereas other characters are played by actors. The lead roles are Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro), Boris Badenov (Jason Alexander) and Natasha Fatale (Rene Russo).
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).
25…Actor Dane of “Grey’s Anatomy”..ERIC
The actor Eric Dane is most known for playing Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Apparently, “to dope out” is a slang term meaning “to figure out, infer from available information”.
“Bigot” is a French word that back in the late 1500s meant “sanctimonious person, religious hypocrite”. We use the term today to describe someone who is biased towards his or her own group, and who is intolerant of those outside of that group.
38…Deadly African virus..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.
45…Reagan’s first secretary of state..HAIG
Alexander Haig was Secretary of State under President Reagan, and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Famously, Haig took over temporary control of the country immediately after President Reagan was shot in 1981. To do so was a pragmatic move, while waiting on Vice President Bush to arrive in Washington. There was much debate at the time about the legality of the steps taken, as the presidential line of succession called out in the US Constitution is President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the US Senate, and then Secretary of State.
In the game of Monopoly, one can purchase a hotel by “demolishing” four houses and by paying an extra amount equal to the price of a house.
50…City name famously used by Peyton Manning when calling signals..OMAHA
Quarterback Peyton Manning is known for repeatedly shouting out the word “Omaha” during the games. He explains that “Omaha” defines or modifies a play, but the meaning varies depending on circumstances. It’s all beyond me …
The term “slacks” was introduced in the early 1800s with the the meaning “loose trousers”. Those early slacks were part of a military uniform.
55…”Dies __”: hymn..IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.
58…Provide a fake 62-Across for, e.g…ABET
(62A…Suspected perp’s story..ALIBI)
The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet”, meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.
Mauna Loa on the “big island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.