Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Today’s themed answers are common phrases in which a noun has been CROSSED with another noun that CROSSES the answer. The themed answer uses the resulting hybrid:
- 22A…Without 3-Down, artful deception..SMOG AND MIRRORS (from “smoke and mirrors”)
- 3D…Driving hazard..FOG
- (smoke + fog = smog)
- 37A…Without 32-Down, stinging insects..ORANGE JACKETS (from “yellow jacket”)
- 32D…__ alert..RED
- (yellow + red = orange)
- 52A…Without 30-Down, separate matter altogether..MULE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR (from “horse of a different color”)
- 30D…Critter orchestrally imitated in Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite”..DONKEY
- (horse + donkey = mule)
- 73A…Without 76-Down, arrive where one must decide between options..COME TO A SPORK IN THE ROAD (from “come to a fork in the road”)
- 76D…Aid in a stirring experience..SPOON
- (fork + spoon = spork)
- 90A…Without 90-Down, be evasive..SKORT THE ISSUE (from “skirt the issue”)
- 90D…Golfer’s garb..SHORTS
- (skirt + shorts = skort)
- 110A…Without 100-Down, classic children’s novel..CHARLOTTE’S BLOG (from “Charlotte’s Web”)
- 100D…Shipboard account..LOG
- (web + log = blog)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Personal ad abbr…SWF
Single white female (SWF)
4…Dry and crack..CHAP
The verb “to chap” means “to crack”, and has been used to mean a crack in the skin since way back in the 14th century.
8…Film rating org…MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.
12…Muse of comedy..THALIA
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy and idyllic poetry)
- Urania (astronomy)
18…1986 Gene Hackman film..HOOSIERS
“Hoosiers” is an excellent sports movie about a small-town high school team in Indiana that wins the state basketball championship. The team coach is Norman Dale, played by Gene Hackman. The film is inspired by the true story of Milan High School which won the 1954 championship.
The exact origin of the word “Hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosier” was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.
20…Paths for three-pointers..ARCS
That would be in basketball.
21…”The Truth About Cats & Dogs” genre..ROMCOM
“The Truth About Cats & Dogs” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Janeane Garofalo one of my favorite actresses. You just have to see this one, a romantic comedy involving mistaken identity. The stereotypical “sexy” role is played by Uma Thurman, but the real bombshell in this movie is Ms. Garofalo.
“The Fall of the House of Usher” is perhaps the most famous short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839. The story is a Gothic tale, an interview with Robert Usher in his house which literally “falls”, breaks into two and is swallowed up by a lake. Some believe that the story was inspired by events at a real Usher House that once stood on Boston’s Lewis Wharf. When the Usher House was torn down, the bodies of a man and woman were found embracing in a cavity in the cellar, a fact reflected in the story as Robert Usher’s sister is supposedly buried alive in the crypt.
Teri Hatcher’s most famous role these days is the Susan Mayer character in “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”.
The concept of left-right politics started in France during the French Revolution. When members of France’s National Assembly convened in 1789, supporters of the King sat to the President’s right, and supporters of the revolution to the President’s left. The political terms “left” and “right” were then coined in the local media and have been used ever since.
28…”The X-Files” extras..G-MEN
The nickname “G-men” is short for “Government Men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.
34…Prefix meaning “bee”..API-
Something described as “apian” is related to bees. “Apis” is the Latin for “bee”.
45…Others, on the Orinoco..OTRAS
The Orinoco is a major river in South America, flowing through Venezuela and Colombia.
57…Maker of ProX skin products..OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.
Cams are wheels found on the cam shaft of a car’s engine that are eccentric in shape rather than circular. The rotation of the cams causes the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders to open and close.
61…”The Waste Land” monogram..TSE
Eliot wrote his poem called “The Waste Land” in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month …”.
Elvis Presley is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply “the King”. However, Presley is quoted as saying that Fats Domino was “the real king of rock and roll”.
65…”Errare humanum __”..EST
According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.
73…Without 76-Down, arrive where one must decide between options..COME TO A SPORK IN THE ROAD (from “come to a fork in the road”)
“Spork” is the more common name for the utensil that is a hybrid between a spoon and a fork. It is less commonly referred to as a “foon”.
Otiose means “lazy, indolent”, and comes from the Latin word “otium” meaning “leisure”.
88…Repeated phrase in Ecclesiastes..A TIME
According to the Book Ecclesiastes in the Bible:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:
- Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
- Knight Commander (KBE)
- Commander (CBE)
- Officer (OBE)
- Member (MBE)
95…Vulnerable bone for a catcher..SHIN
That would be in baseball.
Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla (“hall of the slain”) is a gigantic hall in the “world” of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.
103…”Momo” author Michael..ENDE
Michael Ende was a children’s author from Germany. His most famous novel is the fantasy work titled “The Neverending Story”, first published in 1979.
In Spanish, a “medalla” (medal) might be made from “oro” (gold).
110…Without 100-Down, classic children’s novel..CHARLOTTE’S BLOG (from “Charlotte’s Web”)
“Charlotte’s Web” is a children’s novel by author E. B. White. Charlotte is a barn spider, who manages to save the life of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is a pet pig, owned by the farmer’s daughter, Fern Arable. The story also includes a gluttonous rat named Templeton who provides some light and comical moments.
A “despot” is a ruler with absolute power, often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century, ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.
Rwanda is a sovereign nation in central Africa that is populated by three groups: the Hutu, Tutsi (aka “Watutsi”) and Twa. The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.
118…Blood type, briefly..O-NEG
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.
Willie Mays’ nickname was the “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”
1…Stubby-legged Capp critter..SHMOO
The Shmoo is a cartoon creature who first appeared in the Al Capp comic strip “Li’l Abner” in 1948. Apparently, shmoos are delicious to eat, and love to be eaten. They’ll even jump into the frying pan themselves!
3…Driving hazard..FOG (smoke + fog = smog)
“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.
5…”The Birds” actress..HEDREN
Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied.
“The Birds” is a 1963 film made by Alfred Hitchcock based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read the story and seen the film and find them both strangely disturbing (it’s probably just me though!). I can’t stand the ending of either version, as nothing resolves itself!
A “psi” is a psychic phenomenon, such as telepathy, clairvoyance or psychokinesis. The term is a shortening on “psychic” or “parapsychic”.
8…Popular chocolate treat..MARS BAR
Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I find the Mars Bar to be the most perplexing of candies! The original Mars Bar is a British confection first manufactured in 1932. The US version of the original Mars Bar is called a Milky Way. But there is candy bar called a Milky Way that is also produced in the UK, and it is completely different to its US cousin, being more like an American “3 Musketeers”. And then there is an American confection called a Mars Bar, something different again. No wonder I gave up eating candy bars …
15…Readout using polarized light, briefly..LCD
Liquid crystal display (LCD)
A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself because when we are at school we would be excused class if we had a “chitty”.
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …
23…Spanish wine region..RIOJA
Rioja wines come from the province of La Rioja in Northern Spain. In my days living back in Europe, Rioja wines were noted for their heavy oaky flavors and it wasn’t uncommon to order a “rough Rioja” when out for dinner of an evening.
30…Critter orchestrally imitated in Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite”..DONKEY (horse + donkey = mule)
A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.
33…Pfeiffer of TV’s “Cybill”..DEDEE
The actress Dedee Pfeiffer is the younger sister of the more famous actress Michelle. Dedee played Cybill Shepherd’s daughter on the sitcom “Cybill” in the nineties. Dedee eventually abandoned her acting career and went back to school as a mature student in the field of forensic psychology.
34…Patriots’ Day month..APRIL
Patriots’ Day is a public holiday observed in the states of Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first engagements of the Revolutionary War. The battles took place in 1775 in April, and so the holiday is observed in that same month.
38…Move, to a Realtor..RELO
“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as the trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.
Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth the second.
40…LPGA star Cristie..KERR
Cristie Kerr is a professional golfer on the LPGA tour from Miami, Florida. Outside of golfing, Kerr is a very successful fundraiser for breast cancer research through her foundation called Birdies for Breast Cancer.
42…Zahn of TV news..PAULA
Paula Zahn has worked as a journalist and news anchor with ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN. She is currently the host of a true crime show on the Discovery Channel called “On the Case with Paula Zahn”. Outside of her work on television, Zahn is an accomplished cellist and has even played at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra.
43…”That shut her up like __”: Tennessee Williams..A CLAM
“That shut her up like a clam.” is a line spoken by Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
Desire is the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans, a destination for a streetcar line. The name “Desire” appears on the front of streetcars bound for that neighborhood, hence the title, “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
45…Footnote abbr…OP CIT
Op. cit. is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to “ibid”, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.
46…Bowl game star, briefly..BMOC
Big Man On Campus (BMOC)
47…Like some service..SAME-DAY
One of the positive outcomes of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, also “Star Wars”) was a change in US defense strategy. The new approach was to use missiles to destroy incoming hostile weapons, rather than using missiles to destroy the nation attacking the country. The former doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction went by the apt acronym of MAD …
The actress Annette Bening is from Topeka, Kansas. Bening has been married to actor Warren Beatty since 1992. The pair married about a year after starring together in the 1991 film “Bugsy”.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
In chemistry, when a metal combines with a nonmetal, the nonmetal is often given the suffix -ide. One example would be iron sulfide, made from iron (a metal) and sulfur (a nonmetal).
54…Three-time Masters winner..FALDO
Nick Faldo is an English golfer, a winner of six major tournaments and a former World No. 1. For some years now Faldo has been the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports. In 2009 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, so if you’re chatting with him, don’t forget to address him as Sir Nick …
55…Half a sawbuck..FIVER
“Sawbuck” is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (which used to appear on the bill) resembles the end of sawhorse.
56…Former NBA center Dampier..ERICK
Erick Dampier is a professional basketball player from Monticello, Mississippi. Dampier was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1996, and then played for several NBA teams including the GOlden State Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks.
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.
64…Tre e tre..SEI
In Italian, “tre + tre” (three plus three) makes “sei” (six).
A “proem” is a brief introduction, a prelude. The term comes into English via Old French and is ultimately derived from the Greek “prooimion” meaning “prelude”, especially a prelude to music or poetry.
72…__ Army: links group..ARNIE’S
Arnold Palmer is one of the greats of the world of golf. Palmer is very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers are usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, but is now retired from flying. He resides in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
73…Tree with pods..CACAO
The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters directly on the trunk, and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
GUM is a brand of oral care products produced by the Japanese company Sunstar. GUM is an acronym standing for “Gentle Uletic Massage”. “Uletic” is an adjective meaning “relating to the gums”.
75…Hal of the 1985 World Champion Kansas City Royals..MCRAE
Hal McRae is former left fielder who played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Kansas City Royals. McRae also managed the Royals after he retired, from 1991 to 1994. Hal’s son Brian McRae also played for the Royals.
77…Czech hockey player Nedved..PETR
Petr Nedvěd is a former NHL player from Czechoslovakia who defected to Canada at the age of 17.
78…Lukas of “Witness”..HAAS
Lukas Haas is an American actor best known for the role he played as an 8-year-old child in the excellent 1985 film “Witness”. In “Witness”, Haas played a young Amish boy, alongside Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. Although Haas still acts today, he is also a musician and plays drums and piano for a band called The Rogues.
79…Disbelieving accusation..ET TU?
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.
84…Words said while stretching, maybe..IT’S LATE
It’s late, and time for bed …
85…Non-Rx med..OTC DRUG
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).
There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.
91…White wine aperitif..KIR
Kir is a French cocktail, made by adding a teaspoon or so of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife (expensive tastes!) is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.
100…Shipboard account..LOG (web + log = blog)
The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.
101…Drink too much..TOPE
“To tope” is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.
There are a couple of letters D (dees) in the word “odd”.
109…Internet access letters..DSL
The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.
Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, but she is also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho also acts, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.
111…Follower of Attila..HUN
In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.
112…Omega, to a physicist..OHM
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.