Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers contains the letter sequence G-A-M-E, CHANGED around:
- 62A…Last-minute interception, say, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles..GAME-CHANGER
- 17A…Get-even competition..GRUDGE MATCH
- 24A…Kunta Kinte’s country..THE GAMBIA
- 38A…They’re often seen under hoods..GARAGE MECHANICS
- 50A…”I didn’t get that”..COME AGAIN
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies worth”.
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).
The NASDAQ trading system created in 1971 is the successor to the over-the-counter (OTC) trading system that was common at the time. OTC trading is done directly between two parties without being facilitated by an exchange.
15…Awabi sushi mollusk..ABALONE
The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in the British Isles, and is served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.
The actress Amy Brenneman played the title role in the TV show “Judging Amy”. I best know her from the part she played in the 2007 film “The Jane Austen Book Club”.
19…”Tell Me More” broadcaster..NPR
“Tell Me More” is a daytime talk show on NPR hosted by journalist Michel Martin.
20…__ de Cervantes..MIGUEL
The full name of the author of “Don Quixote” was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. As a young man in 1570, Cervantes was a soldier fighting for the Spanish Navy, stationed in Naples, at that time a possession of Spain. He was injured in battle, receiving three gunshot wounds including two to the chest. His injuries left him without the use of his left arm. After recuperating, he returned to active service, and in 1575 he was captured by Algerian corsairs, and spent the next five years in slavery in North Africa. His parents found him and bought his freedom, and brought him home to his native Madrid.
21…El stop: Abbr…STA
Elevated railroad (El)
22…City SSE of Sana’a..ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.
Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.
24…Kunta Kinte’s country..THE GAMBIA
he Islamic Republic of the Gambia is a country in West Africa. It is the smallest country on the African mainland, almost completely surrounded by Senegal. The Gambia lies on the Gambia River, for which the nation is named.
Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, but he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the The Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.
43…The other side of midnight?..NOON
Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in Ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.
NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.
54…One of a Social Security card pair..DASH
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly.
57…Problem for Lady Macbeth..SPOT
Lady Macbeth is an evil and treacherous woman in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The most famous line uttered by Lady Macbeth has to be “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” In this line, Lady Macbeth is frantically rubbing at her hand trying to get rid of an imaginary bloodstain left there after she committed four murders.
59…Scarlet letter, e.g…STIGMA
The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. When Prynne is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title, “The Scarlet Letter”.
The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.
“Cauliflower ear” is a condition in which the outer ear becomes permanently swollen and deformed after a physical injury. The condition if particularly common in individuals competing in contact sports such as boxing and rugby.
67…”Street Dreams” rapper..NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …
69…Like about half the counties in Arkansas..DRY
The Twenty-First Amendment of the US Constitution repealed prohibition in 1933. There is a provision in the amendment allowing prohibition under state or local laws. As a result, there are hundreds of counties across the country, mainly in the South, that prohibit the sale of alcohol. Most of those counties do allow the consumption of alcoholic drinks.
1…18th Greek letter..SIGMA
Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is the one used for an “ess” sound, equivalent to our letter S. Sigma is used in mathematics to represent a summation, the adding together of a sequence of numbers.
2…4, at times..APRIL
The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.
4…Herb in a ballad..SAGE
Scarborough Fair is a delightful ballad that originated in Yorkshire in the North of England.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
She was once a true love of mine.
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
6…”We Were Soldiers” setting..NAM
“We Were Soldiers” is an excellent 2002 movie starring Mel Gibson that tells the story of the Battle of la Drang during the Vietnam War. The film is based on the book “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young” that was written by Hal Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, both of whom were present at the battle and who feature in the film. Mel Gibson plays Colonel Hal Moore, and Barry Pepper plays journalist Joseph L. Galloway.
7…What stripes and polka dots do..CLASH
A polka dot pattern is one featuring an array of filled circles, usually of the same size and color. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the name of the pattern and the polka dance, other than both the dance and the pattern gaining popularity around the same time, in the late nineteenth century.
11…Anita Baker genre..R AND B
Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer who was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Baker’s most successful song is the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” released in 1986.
12…1983 Pritzker prize recipient..IM PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is an annual award that has been presented since 1979. The award is funded by the estate of Jay Pritzker, the founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain.
13…Loy of “Thin Man” films..MYRNA
The beautiful Myrna Loy was one of my favorite actresses. Her career took off when she was paired up with William Powell in the fabulous “The Thin Man” series of films. Loy also appeared opposite Cary Grant in a couple of films that I like to watch every so often, namely “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947) and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948).
Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it Philadelphia, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.
Armand Hammer was a business tycoon from New York City who is credited as the man behind the success of Occidental Petroleum. Hammer was also known for his close ties to the Soviet Union. His parents were Russian-born Jewish immigrants and Armand himself lived in the USSR for almost a decade in his twenties and early thirties. Supposedly, Armand Hammer was named after the “arm and hammer” symbol used by the Socialist Labor Party of America, an organization in which his father was a leader.
27…Its capital is Luanda..ANGOLA
Luanda is the capital city of Angola. Luanda is a large seaport that was founded by the Portuguese in 1576. For centuries, Luanda served as the main center of the slave trade from Africa to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
30…Sports org. founded in 1916..PGA
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.
31…Co-star of James and Natalie in “Rebel Without a Cause”..SAL
The actor Sal Mineo’s most famous role was John “Plato” Crawford, the kid who was in awe of the James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Sadly, Mineo was murdered in 1976 when he was just 37 years old. He was attacked in the alley behind his Los Angeles apartment and stabbed through the heart. When an arrest was made it was discovered that the murderer had no idea that his victim was a celebrity, and that his plan was just to rob anyone who came along.
“Rebel Without a Cause” is a 1955 drama movie, famously starring actor James Dean who died just before the film’s release. The title comes from a 1944 book by psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner “Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath”, although the content of the book has no bearing on the movie’s storyline. The three lead actors in the movie all died tragically, and while relatively young:
- James Dean (24), in a car crash in 1955
- Sal Mineo (37), in a stabbing in 1976
- Natalie Wood (43), in a drowning in 1981
36…Former French coin..ECU
The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.
37…2003 retiree, briefly..SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.
40…Fifth state: Abbr…CONN
Connecticut’s official nickname is the Constitution State, but can also be referred to as the Nutmeg State, the Provisions State, and the Land of Steady Habits.
41…Half a beverage..-HOO
The chocolate beverage known as “Yoo-Hoo” famously used Yogi Berra in its advertising in the fifties and sixties. One of Berra’s lines was “It’s Me-He for Yoo-Hoo!”
46…Reptile with a “third eye”..IGUANA
Iguanas have what is known as a “third eye” on their heads. Known as the parietal eye, it can sense levels of light, although it cannot make out details.
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.
49…God in both Eddas..ODIN
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.
50…Where to see the House..C-SPAN
C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.
51…Dvorák’s “Rusalka,” for one..OPERA
“Rusalka” is an opera by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. In Slavic mythology, a “Rusalka” is a water sprite.
Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as “The New World Symphony”.
The Isère river gives its name to the French Department of Isère, located partly in the French Alps. In turn, Isère gave its name to a somewhat famous ship called the Isère, which in 1885 delivered the Statue of Liberty from France to America in 214 shipping crates.
The Rhône river rises in Switzerland and flows through the southeast of France.
60…Works on roads..TARS
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.
A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX). At a Navy installation it’s a Navy Exchange (NEX), at a Marine Corps installation it’s a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and at a Coast Guard Installation it’s a CGX.