Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with “HA” inserted, a syllable often used to indicate a “laugh”.
- 57A…Request for relief, and a hint to the formation of this puzzle’s four other longest answers..I COULD USE A LAUGH
- 17A…Convent seamstress’ workshop items?..HABITS AND PIECES (“bits and pieces” + HA)
- 24A…Enlightened kid?..BILLY BUDDHA (“Billy Budd” + HA)
- 36A…Bichon Frise pack leaders?..THE FRENCH ALPHAS (“the French Alps” + HA)
- 48A…Sandwich in the desert?..SAHARAN WRAP (“Saran Wrap” + HA)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…It reportedly had an impact on beachgoers in 1975..JAWS
Peter Benchley’s book “Jaws” is a great read. It was published in 1974, and the Steven Spielberg movie “Jaws” was released just one year later.
Jim Nabors was discovered by Andy Griffith and brought onto “The Andy Griffith Show” as Gomer Pyle, the gas station attendant. Famously, Nabors then got his own show called “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
11…Seventh of 24..ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.
17…Convent seamstress’ workshop items?..HABITS AND PIECES (“bits and pieces” + HA)
Convents have been religious houses since the 1200s, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that convents became purely female institutions.
20…Viet Cong org…NLF
During the Vietnam War, the political organization opposing the US and South Vietnamese governments was called the National Liberation Front (NLF). The NLF was referred to as the Viet Cong by the Western media, which is a contraction of “Viet Nam Cong-san” meaning “Vietnamese communist”.
21…Zagros Mountains locale..ASIA
With a length of almost 1,000 miles, the Zagros Mountains form the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq.
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. São Paulo is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.
24…Enlightened kid?..BILLY BUDDHA (“Billy Budd” + HA)
“Billy Budd” is a novella by American author Herman Melville. However, Melville didn’t actually finish “Billy Budd” before he died in 1891.
Gautama Buddha was the sage on whose teachings the Buddhist tradition was founded. It is generally believed that the Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, in about 563 BCE.
28…Rodeo loops, essentially..NOOSES
“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated as “round up”.
The human skull is made up of two parts: the cranium (which encloses the brain) and the mandible (or “jawbone”).
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.
33…Not yet on the sched…TBA
Something not yet on the schedule (“sched.” or “sked”) is to be advised (TBA).
36…Bichon Frise pack leaders?..THE FRENCH ALPHAS (“the French Alps” + HA)
The tpy breed of dog known as Bichon Frisé is characteristically small and fluffy.
43…1968 self-titled folk album..ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
A ranee (also spelled “rani”) is a queen or a princess, the female equivalent of a raja in India.
48…Sandwich in the desert?..SAHARAN WRAP (“Saran Wrap” + HA)
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.
What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name Saran wrap is often used generically in the US, while Glad wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.
52…Thom McAn spec..EEE
Thom McAn footwear was introduced in 1922 by the Melville Corporation (now CVS Caremark). The brand was named after a Scottish golfer called Thomas McCann. The Thom McAn line is epitomized by the comfortable leather casual and dress shoe, so sales have really been hurt in recent decades by the growing popularity of sneakers.
56…To the point..PAT
Something described as “pat” is perfectly apt, exactly to the point.
An “alley-oop” is a play in basketball in which one player throw the ball close to the basket for a teammate who usually scores with a slam dunk.
64…WWII Normandy battle site..ST LO
Saint-Lô is a town in Normandy that was occupied by Germany in 1940. Saint-Lo stood at a strategic crossroads and so there was intense fighting there during the Normandy invasion of 1944. After a prolonged bombardment, very little of the town was left standing.
65…”Life Is Good” 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 …
67…Historical Cheyenne rivals..UTES
The Ute is a group of Native American tribes that now resides in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.
1…St. __ University..JOHN’S
St. John’s University in New York City was founded in 1870 and is named for Saint John the Baptist. The school has several campuses, including one in Rome, Italy and one in Paris, France.
“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.
5…Mysterious monster, familiarly..NESSIE
The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.
10…Deterrent announced in 1983: Abbr…SDI
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 …
11…Legendary Castilian hero..EL CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.
The Kingdom of Castile was one seven medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. The name comes from the large number of castles that were built across the kingdom.
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.
26…Gulf of California peninsula..BAJA
Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.
27…River through Orsk..URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.
The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered as lying in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.
31…Nev. option for pony players..OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.
“Podium” is the Latin word for “raised platform”.
34…Image on cabbage?..BALD EAGLE
The bald eagle is sometimes referred to as the American eagle. It is both the national bird and the national animal of the USA, and appears on the US Seal.
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dinero, dough and moola (also moolah) are all slang terms for money.
35…Japan’s largest active volcano..ASO
Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is found on the island of Kyushu.
38…__ Valley: San Luis Obispo County wine region..EDNA
Edna Valley is an American Viticultural Area located just south of San Luis Obispo in California. Grapes were first planted in the area in the early 1800s by Spanish missionaries. Today, the Edna Valley is known mainly for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
“Nein” is German for “no”.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist, and founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry. One of Freud’s tenets was that our dreams are a necessary part of sleep as they prevent the dreamer from awakening due to desire for unfulfilled wishes. The dream’s content represents those unfulfilled wishes and satisfies the desire.
In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god who was part man and part goat. He fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.
44…Old World Style sauce brand..RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …
45…Vivaldi was ordained as one..PRIEST
Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved fame and success within in his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. His music has reemerged in recent decades and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. Vivaldi was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.
47…Berliner’s wheels, perhaps..OPEL
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.
Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany, and is the second-most populous city in the European Union (after London).
“Scion” comes from the old French word “sion” or “cion”, meaning “a shoot or a twig”. In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the “scion”). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter and therefore a branching point in the family tree.
49…Heavy hitter in the light metals industry..ALCOA
The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.
Basketball is truly an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!
The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s.
CXXX (130) x 5 = DCL (650) in Roman numerals.
The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, reflecting the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …
61…Sun Devils’ sch…ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.