Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Today’s themed answers START with a word that is often preceded by FRESH:
- 63A…New beginning … and what the first words of 17-, 23- and 53-Across can literally have..FRESH START
- 17A…Enter like a debutante..BREEZE INTO (giving “fresh breeze”)
- 23A…Keep a lawn moist..WATER THE GRASS (giving “freshwater”)
- 53A…Deflate the overconfidence of..CUT DOWN TO SIZE (giving “fresh-cut”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Single-celled lab specimen..AMEBA
An ameba (or “amoeba”, as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.
6…Sultan of __: Babe Ruth..SWAT
Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.
10…Machine-mixed ice-cream beverage..MALT
Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, in 1922.
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson.
17…Enter like a debutante..BREEZE INTO (giving “fresh breeze”)
Deb is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “female beginner”.
19…Debussy’s “Clair de __”..LUNE
“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.
21…Toga party barrel..KEG
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.
We use the term “album” to describe a collection of musical recordings. This usage started with the advent of the LP (long-playing) vinyl record in 1948. The term “album” had been used since the 1800s for a collections of short pieces of music, and this sense was carried forward with the new technology.
27…Comedy duo Key & __..PEELE
The Comedy Central sketch show “Key & Peele” starred comics Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.
37…Where Hillary was a sen…NYS
Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was urged to run for the US Senate when Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his plans to retire in 1998 from the office of Senator for the State of New York. When she decided to run, Clinton became the first First Lady of the US to contest an elected office. She defeated Republican Rick Lazio and was sworn in as US Senator in 2001.
38…Airer of old films..TCM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises: classic movies.
Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.
“WrestleMania” is a pay-per-view professional wrestling event that was first produced in 1985. I really don’t do wrestling …
57…__ of the Union address..STATE
The US President’s State of the Union address is requirement called out in Article II of the Constitution. George Washington gave the first address before a joint session of Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of making a personal address by sending Congress a written document that was then read out by a clerk. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson re-established the custom of delivering the message personally, There have been occasions since then when a written address has had to suffice, the last occasion being in 1981 when Jimmy Carter was in office.
In physics, a “scalar” is a one-dimensional quantity, whereas a “vector” has two dimensions. For example, speed is a scalar. On the other hand, velocity is a vector as it is defined by both speed and direction.
Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However in 1961 a block of limestone was found in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.
The Georgia Institute of Technology (commonly “Georgia Tech”) is located in Atlanta. The school was founded in 1885 as part of the reconstruction effort to rebuild the infrastructure in the South after the Civil War. President Theodore Roosevelt delivered an address to the school in 1905, and then shook hands with every single student. Back then the school didn’t have over 20,000 students as it does today …
Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.
69…Roast, on le menu..ROTI
“Rôti” is the French for “roasted”, so “rôti de boeuf” is “roast beef”.
71…”Peter Pan” girl..WENDY
The author and dramatist J. M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and he is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.
1…Homes for mil. jets..AFBS
Air Force Base (AFB)
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:
- Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
- Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
- Filly: female horse under the age of four
- Colt: male horse under the age of four
- Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
- Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
- Mare: female horse four years or older
3…Flower in a “Sound of Music” song title..EDELWEISS
“Edelweiss” is a famous song from the 1959 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music”. The title is the name of a white flower that grows at high altitude in the Alps. “Edelweiss” was the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together. Hammerstein was suffering from stomach cancer at the time of writing, and succumbed to the illness shortly after “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway.
Beefalo are the offspring of cattle and American bison (“buffalo”). The cross is usually between a male bull and a female buffalo, as this is more likely to result in fertile offspring.
5…Wood shaper with a broad blade..ADZ
An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.
“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom.
7…Men’s dress shoe..WINGTIP
A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggest the tip of a bird’s wing, hence the alternative name.
9…Boxing ref’s ruling..TKO
Technical knockout (TKO)
11…Netherlands Antilles resort island..ARUBA
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.
12…Lucy’s blanket-toting brother..LINUS
In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, particularly Charlie. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.
A “ten-percenter” is an informal term for agent, particularly a showbiz agent. The reference is to the 10% fee that agents often charge for their services.
26…Lauder of cosmetics..ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …
27…Vintage video game..PONG
Do you remember the arcade video game that was like a game of tennis, with paddles moving up and down to hit what looked like a ball, over what looked like a net? Well, that was “Pong”.
28…One-named Irish singer..ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!
34…Engage in high jinks..RAISE CAIN
As Cain was the first murderer according the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.
An unofficial nickname for the state of Minnesota is “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. That nickname is quite apt as the state is home to almost twelve thousand lakes that are at least ten acres in size.
44…Asian dish topped with crushed peanuts..PAD THAI
The delicious dish called Pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “Pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.
Texarkana is the name given to the twin cities of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas that sit either side of the state line between Texas and Arkansas. The name of “Texarkana” was given when the settlement was founded at the junction of two railroads in 1873. Back then, it was believed that the new city would be not only on the borders of Texas (TEX) and Arkansas (ARK) but also on the border of Louisiana (ANA), giving the city its name. The Louisiana state line was eventually set about 30 miles away, but the -ANA suffix was retained.
53…Certain red giant..C STAR
A carbon star (C star) is a star with an atmosphere rich in carbon, more carbon than oxygen. Such an atmosphere is very “sooty” and as such might appear very red in color when viewed through a telescope.
Red giants are very large stars with a relatively low mass. The atmosphere of a red giant is also very inflated and extends a long way into space so the surface of that atmosphere that we see is relatively cool, which gives it a red color.
54…In __: not yet born..UTERO
“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” also meaning womb, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.
55…”Be silent,” in music..TACET
“Tacet” is a musical direction meaning “be silent”. It is typically written on a score to instruct a particular voice or instrument to remain silent for a whole movement. “Tacet” is Latin for “it is silent”.
60…Rep on the street..CRED
“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …
61…Website featuring handicrafts..ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.