Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers all start with a type of SAW:
- 119D…A kind of one appears in this puzzle’s seven longest answers..SAW
- 27A…Something to deal with?..COPING STRATEGY (giving “coping saw”)
- 42A…Olympic sport since 1988..TABLE TENNIS (giving “table saw”)
- 67A…Music in a shell..BAND CONCERT (giving “band saw”)
- 96A…Mouse feature..SCROLL WHEEL (giving “scroll saw”)
- 115A…More than an idea..CONCRETE OBJECT (giving “concrete saw”)
- 14D…Domino effect..CHAIN REACTION (giving “chain saw”)
- 56D…Begging the question..CIRCULAR LOGIC (giving “circular saw”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“Voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.
9…”Monday Night Football” airer..ESPN
“Monday Night Football” aired on ABC from 1970 until 2005, before moving to ESPN in 2006.
21…West Point mascot..MULE
The US Military Academy (USMA) houses two Army Mules that serve as mascots. The tradition of using mules as mascots started in 1899 when it was decided that the USMA needed something to counter the Navy’s mascot, a goat.
West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.
22…ORD, on luggage tags..O’HARE
Chicago’s O’Hare International is the busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.
The verb “to clobber” means “to batter severely”. The term originated in 1941 in the RAF, and at that time was probably echoic of the sound of bombs exploding.
“Craw” is another name for the “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. The crop allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.
27…Something to deal with?..COPING STRATEGY (giving “coping saw”)
A coping saw is one that is used to cut small curves in wood. It has a thin blade that is held in a U-shaped frame. In woodworking, a coped joint is one in which one element is shaped to fit neatly into the other member. On the other hand, a mitered joint is one in which the two elements are bevelled at 45 degrees to fit together.
A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house”.
A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.
35…Like granola bars..OATY
The name “Granola” (and “Granula”) were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.
37…Rene of “Nightcrawler”..RUSSO
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …
“Nightcrawler” is a thought-provoking crime film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a videographer who shoots live footage of accidents and crimes. I recommend this one …
42…Olympic sport since 1988..TABLE TENNIS (giving “table saw”)
Ping pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name.
49…View from Catania..ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.
Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily (after Palermo). Catania has a long and rich cultural history, and today is best known as a center for technology industries earning it the nickname of the “European Silicon Valley”.
50…It beat out Madrid as host city for the 2016 Olympics..RIO
Even though the 2016 Olympic Games is a “summer” competition, it will be held in Rio de Janeiro in the winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the planned date of the opening of 5th August 2016 falls in the local season of winter. The 2016 games will also be first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.
Sarong is the Malay word for “sheath”, and a sarong was originally the garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards “long”. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!
Sonora is the state in Mexico that lies just south of the borders with Arizona and New Mexico. Sonora is the second-largest state in the country, after Chihuahua.
55…Brand that evolved from Standard Oil of Indiana..AMOCO
“Amoco” is an abbreviation for “American Oil Company”, which was acquired by BP in 1998. Amoco was the first oil company to introduce gasoline tanker trucks and drive-through filling stations. I wonder did they know what they were starting …?
65…Tracy Marrow’s stage name..ICE-T
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.
67…Music in a shell..BAND CONCERT (giving “band saw”)
A “shell” is a curved, surface at the back of a theater stage that is designed to reflect sound towards the audience.
The Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972, and now has over 20 vessels in operation. Three of those Carnival ships were chartered by the US government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina so that they could provided temporary housing for families displaced by the storm.
75…Red options, briefly..CABS
The Cabernet Sauvignon (“cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, and is unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, and so it’s artificially sweetened.
86…Gale’s 40, on the Beaufort scale..KNOTS
The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.
87…Sam of “Jurassic Park” films..NEILL
Sam Neill is a very talented actor from New Zealand. I really enjoyed Neill in a 1983 television miniseries called “Reilly, Ace of Spies”, about a British spy operation during WWI. He is perhaps better-known for his roles in the movies “Omen III”, “Dead Calm”, “Jurassic Park” and “The Hunt for Red October”.
“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. A clever idea, but apparently not very practical from what I’ve read …
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.
Breyers ice cream was introduced by William A. Breyer in 1866, in Philadelphia. Always known for using all-natural ingredients, Breyers products made in recent years contain more and more food additives in an attempt to cut costs in a competitive market. In fact, most Breyers products can’t even be labeled “ice cream” anymore as they don’t contain enough milk and cream and so are labeled “frozen dairy dessert” instead.
93…MLB line score letters..RHE
On baseball scoreboards we see the letters RHE, standing for Runs, Hits and Errors.
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”.
The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it’s name from the Latin word “forum” meaning “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome, is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting play in the world.
95…Air pressure meas…PSI
Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.
96…Mouse feature..SCROLL WHEEL (giving “scroll saw”)
A “scroll saw” is a power saw used to create curves by pivoting its table. The tool’s name comes from the traditional art of ornamental and graphic design.
“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.
103…Operate with a beam..LASE
The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER …
104…Rapper __ Wayne..LIL
Rapper Lil Wayne’s real name is … Dwayne Carter, Jr.
105…Falco of “The Sopranos”..EDIE
The actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”.
106…Certain language unit..SIGN
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.
108…Montand of cinema..YVES
Yves Montand was a French singer and actor who had been born in Italy. He was working as a music-hall singer when he was discovered by famed singer Édith Piaf, who then made him part of her act. Montand’s first wife was actress Simone Signoret, but he was well-known for having some high-profile affairs. One of those affairs was with Marilyn Monroe, who co-starred with Montand in the film “Let’s Make Love”.
119…Houston player, to fans..’STRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “‘Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program.
“Flat” is a word more commonly used in the British Isles than here. A flat is basically an apartment or condominium. The word “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it meant a “floor in a house”.
Penzance is a port at the southwestern tip of England, in the county of Cornwall. Among other things, Penzance is famous as the birthplace of the famed chemist Sir Humphry Davy, and as a setting in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “The Pirates of Penzance”.
121…Site of Theban ruins..LUXOR
The modern city of Luxor grew up around the ruins of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Thebes was the city of the god Amon-Ra and was the religious capital of the country until the Greeks took control. Luxor is often called “the world’s greatest open-air museum”. Tourists flock there to see the Luxor and Karnak Temple ruins, as well as the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens immediately opposite Luxor on the other side of the River Nile.
122…Paraplegic “Glee” teen..ARTIE
Artie Abrams is a character in the Fox television show “Glee”. Abrams is played by the young actor Kevin McHale. Abrams is the character who gets around in a wheelchair.
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.
125…Artist with the album “25”..ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.
127…”The Swiss Family Robinson” author..WYSS
“The Swiss Family Robinson” is an adventure novel by Johann David Wyss that was first published in 1812. Wyss was a pastor and wrote the novel as a series of episodes or lessons designed to teach his four sons good family values and the virtue of having a good relationship with the natural world. “Robinson” is of course not a Swiss name, and Wyss chose it in honor of Robinson Crusoe.
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.
129…”… your laments, / Wherewith you now __ King Henry’s hearse”: Shak…BEDEW
Here are some lines from William Shakespeare’s play “Henry VI, Part 1”.
My gracious lords, to add to your laments,
Wherewith you now bedew King Henry’s hearse,
I must inform you of a dismal fight
Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
The consensus seems to be that William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays in all. Seven of the plays are about kings called “Henry”:
- Henry IV, Part 1
- Henry IV, Part 2
- Henry V
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- Henry VIII
Unlike so many operas, “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America, although I’ve only seen it once myself. By the way, the most-performed opera is “La bohème”, also by Puccini.
4…Vitamin A form..RETINOL
Retinol is a form of vitamin A. Retinol helps keep skin healthy.
5…Steinbeck title place..EDEN
John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnus opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live here in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.
8…Rush drummer Neil..PEART
Rush is a Canadian rock band that has been around since 1968. The band has three members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.
9…Handles the intros..EMCEES
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.
12…Dvorák’s “__ World Symphony”..NEW
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”. His career was very much helped along by fellow composer Johannes Brahms, who very much appreciated Dvořák’s work.
That would be a rail guiding a train.
16…”Rule Britannia” composer..ARNE
Thomas Arne was an English composer from London. Arne wrote some iconic compositions including “Rule, Britannia!” He also wrote a version of “God Save the King” that became the British national anthem.
28…”Ya __ believe!”: 1973 Mets catchphrase..GOTTA
The NY Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds in 1973 to win the National League Championship Series, only to lose the World Series to the Oakland A’s. Perhaps the most memorable event in the championship series was a fight that broke out between the teams in the third game after a tussle between Cincinnati’s Pete Rose and New York’s Bud Harrelson.
36…”Zeus and the Tortoise” storyteller..AESOP
In Aesop’s fable “Zeus and the Tortoise”, Zeus invited all the animals on the Earth to his wedding. The tortoise didn’t turn up , using her excuse that she would rather not leave her home. As a result, Zeus condemned the tortoise to carry her house around with her forever. It was this fable that led to our idiomatic phrase “There’s no place like home”.
Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.
The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.
44…Wilderness Road pioneer..BOONE
Daniel Boone was a pioneer and folk hero. For frontiersman Boone, the frontier was what we now call the state of Kentucky. He led the building of the Wilderness Road through the famous Cumberland Gap in the Appalachians, a route subsequently taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants into Kentucky. Boone fought in the Revolutionary War with distinction, and after the war returned to Kentucky and got himself into land speculation. He became mired in debt, forcing him to emigrate to Missouri to settle down on land that was at that time owned by the French. It was there that he spent the last decades of his life.
53…Dream Team org…USOC
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOC was founded in 1894, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs.
In 1989, the International Basketball Federation changed its rule requiring amateur status for participants in the Olympic Games (although prior to the ruling, European and South American professionals could play). So the US was able to field the “Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Since the rules changed, the US won gold in four out of the five Olympic tournaments.
54…Cedar Rapids college..COE
Coe College is a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that was founded in 1851. Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
56…Begging the question..CIRCULAR LOGIC (giving “circular saw”)
Someone “begging the question” presents a supporting argument that is based on the conclusion itself. For example:
Of course smoking causes cancer. The smoke from cigarettes is a carcinogen.
Well this is a circular argument. Cigarette smoke is a carcinogen, therefore smoking causes cancer. And, we know that cigarette smoke is a carcinogen, because smoking causes cancer. Stop begging the question …
70…Rhyme writer’s Muse..ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry and is often depicted playing a lyre.
73…River in Hades..LETHE
The Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. All the souls who drank from the river Lethe experienced complete forgetfulness. The Greek word “lethe” means “oblivion, forgetfulness”.
74…Ranger of the ’50s..EDSEL
The Edsel Ranger is a car made by Ford from 1958 to 1960.
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced.
81…Its atomic number is 10..NEON
Neon is one of the noble gases, those elements over on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their “full” complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The noble gases are helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon.
Sergeant First Class (SFC)
92…West Texas grassy plain..LLANO
“Llano” is the Spanish word for “plain”.
95…Pulitzer-winning WWII journalist..PYLE
Ernie Pyle was a journalist, truly a roving reporter, never happy unless he was filing stories from some remote part of the country or some far-flung corner of the globe. Pyle was noted for his intimate style of reporting, emphasizing the human element of the story. His reports written during WWII in Europe, stressing the experiences of soldiers in the front lines, won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1944. After Germany surrendered he decided to follow the war in the Pacific. One day towards the end of the war, Pyle was traveling in a jeep on the island of le Shima in the Okinawa Islands when he was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed. Pyle was one of very few civilians killed during WWII who was awarded the Purple Heart.
97…1968 #1 hit with a four-minute coda..HEY JUDE
“Hey Jude” was originally a song called “Hey Jules”, written by Paul McCartney. He wrote the original song for John Lennon’s son Julian, in an attempt to comfort the boy during his parents’ divorce. There’s a phenomenal coda in “Hey Jude” after the fourth verse that lasts for over four minutes.
The Hershey Company produces over 80 million Kisses each day, and has been making them since 1907.
The minimum age of voters was called out in the US Constitution when it was passed in 1787. This was set at 21 years, and of course applied to only white male property owners. The minimum age of voters was lowered in the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the Constitution in 1971 as a response to student activism. Young people at that time were frustrated that they were mature enough to be drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, yet were not considered mature enough to vote in elections.
106…Nine-time Grand Slam singles champ..SELES
Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.
As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.
French for school is “école”, and French for pupil is “élève”.
Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it.
114…Not bamboozled by..ONTO
It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.
116…Outlying mail rte…RFD
“Mayberry R.F.D.” is a spin-off of “The Andy Griffith Show”, and is in effect a continuation of the original story. “RFD” stands for “Rural Free Delivery”, a reference to the postal route around Mayberry.