Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are all written in the down-direction, with each containing a hidden word. That word is “PETS”, which is actually the word “STEP” written “UP”.
- 66A…Rise to the challenge … and a hint to a hidden word in 5-, 10-, 25- and 28-Down..STEP UP
- 5D…Armstrong improvisation..TRUMPET SOLO
- 10D…Stop on a redecorating spree..CARPET STORE
- 25D…King novel set in a graveyard..PET SEMATARY
- 28D…Nominally sovereign country..PUPPET STATE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6…Fave texting pals..BFFS
Best friend forever (BFF)
10…”2 Broke Girls” network..CBS
“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two penniless young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, with one of the pair born poor, and one born rich but now poor. The “two broke girls” wait tables in a restaurant, while dreaming about opening their own cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.
13…Chain known for fresh-baked bread..PANERA
Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. It’s a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.
16…”Blessed __ the meek … “..ARE
In the Christian tradition, the Beatitudes are a collection of moral teachings laid out by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, according to the Gospel of Matthew. The eight Beatitudes are:
- … Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- … Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted
- … Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth
- … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled
- … Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy
- … Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God
- … Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God
- … Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
22…Page with views..OP-ED
“Op-Ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.
23…Cough syrup meas…TSP
“Cowpoke” is a term used nowadays for any cowboy, but it was originally limited to the cowboys who prodded cattle onto railroad cars using long poles.
27…Like the Flash..SPEEDY
The Flash is a DC Comics superhero who is nicknamed “the Scarlet Speedster” or “the Crimson Comet”. The Flash’s superpower is his ability to move extremely quickly, with speed that defies the laws of physics.
29…Tennis period since 1968..OPEN ERA
In the sport of tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments were opened up to professional players, and not just amateurs, in 1968. So, the period since 1968 has been called “The Open Era”.
31…Legendary soul seller..FAUST
Faust is a character from a classic German legend who makes a pact with the devil. He agrees to exchange his soul for worldly gratification and unlimited knowledge.
A fryolator is a deep fat fryer, a kitchen appliance.
40…Piece of a pansy..PETAL
The garden flower called the pansy takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance.
MapMyWalk is smartphone app that does what it says on the box: maps your walk. Hit the start button when you start your walk, and the stop button at the end of the walk. You then have the option of saving a map of your walk, which you can share with others. One of the benefits of MapMyWalk is that if you are in an unfamiliar location, you can check maps showing walks that others have taken and shared, along with notes they might have made about elevation, distance, degree of difficulty, etc.
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.
Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.
The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, between the violin and the cello.
55…Italian relative of grits..POLENTA
Polenta is a porridge made from finely ground corn. The term “polenta” is Italian.
60…Catwoman portrayer Kitt..EARTHA
Eartha Kitt really did have a unique voice and singing style. Her rendition of “Santa Baby” has to be one of the most distinctive and memorable recordings in the popular repertoire. Some of you will no doubt remember Eartha playing Catwoman on the final series of the TV show “Batman”.
A Jack Tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.
68…Some Fr. martyrs..STES
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a female.
Annual percentage rate (APR)
5…Armstrong improvisation..TRUMPET SOLO
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.
Flotsam and jetsam are both terms used to describe “garbage” in the ocean. Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is similar to flotsam, except that it is part of a ship or cargo that is deliberately cast overboard, perhaps to lighten a vessel.
9…Country W of Iraq..SYR
The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.
11…Make more toys?..BREED
The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest toy breeds are sometimes also called “teacup” breeds.
12…Far from posh..SEEDY
We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.
19…Ones on either side of a “v.”..FOES
Versus (“vs.” or “v.”) is the Latin for “turned toward or against”.
21…Conduits for gods’ wisdom..ORACLES
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.
23…South Pacific monarchy..TONGA
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors.
25…King novel set in a graveyard..PET SEMATARY
“Pet Sematary” is a horror novel by Stephen King, first published in 1983. King was inspired to write the story after his experiences in a rented house on a busy road. Lots of animals were killed on the road so local children created a pet cemetery in a nearby field.
31…With 52-Across, jeweled creations made for Russian czars..FABERGE …
(52A…See 31-Down.. …EGGS)
Fabergé eggs are beautiful jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The tradition of fabricating the eggs started when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for his wife in 1885. After this, the House of Fabergé produced more and more elaborate designs, year after year.
34…Rock’s __ Lobos..LOS
Los Lobos are an American Chicano rock band, who released their first LP in 1978 and are still going strong today. The band’s name “Los Lobos” translates from Spanish as “The Wolves”.
36…Buyer of 31-Across’ soul..SATAN
(31A…Legendary soul seller..FAUST)
Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
47…Apple MP3 player..IPOD
The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.
MP3 is an audio coding format, the most common format used for music stored on digital audio players. MP3 files are compressed and “lossy”, meaning that some audio information is lost when the file is generated. For this reason, MP3 files are about 1/11 of the size of the equivalent music files found CD.
49…Anne Brontë’s “__ Grey”..AGNES
Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”, is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.
50…Medicare card specification..PART A
Medicare is divided into four parts:
- A: Hospital Insurance
- B: Medical Insurance
- C: Medicare Advantage Plans
- D: Prescription Drug Plans
51…Big name in online financial services..E-LOAN
E-Loan used to be based just down the road from me in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after takeover by a Rosemont, Illinois company it was moved to the parent’s headquarters. E-Loan was founded in 1997 to provide customers access to mortgages over the Internet.
“HIS” towel usually hangs beside the towel marked “HERS”.
61…Pulls a yard prank on, 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.
63…College-level H.S. classes..APS
Advanced placement courses (APs).