Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases with the letter sequence ART inserted:
- 23A…Prefer not to serve the drinks?..MIND BARTENDING (ART + “mind-bending”)
- 39A…Apt wear when drinking gin cocktails?..MARTINI SKIRT (ART + “miniskirt”)
- 58A…Special area for booting up again?..RESTART ROOM (ART + “rest room”)
- 82A…Garb for the Scottish seaside?..BEACH TARTAN (ART + “beach tan”)
- 99A…iPad owners’ gatherings?..APPLE PARTIES (ART + “apple pies”)
- 119A…Lewd weasel relative?..DIRTY OLD MARTEN (ART + “dirty old men”)
- 16D…Group that controls film cartoons?..ANIMATION CARTEL (ART + “animation cel”)
- 47D…Patterns for moving supplies?..CARTON TEMPLATES (ART + “contemplates”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Pandora was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.
13…Contemporary electronic music genre..NU JAZZ
The musical genre of Nu Jazz is also known as electronic jazz, and combines elements of traditional jazz with contemporary electronic music.
Plants called legumes are notable in that they work symbiotically with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, microorganisms found in the root nodules that convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium ions. As nitrogen is an essential component of proteins, legumes are exceptionally rich sources of plant protein.
21…Hematite or magnetite..IRON ORE
Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).
The official name of Brunei is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Brunei is situated in the island of Borneo, almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. Brunei’s government is dictated by the constitution adopted in 1959, and is ruled by a sultan with full executive authority. The main language spoken in the country is “Melayu Brunei” (Brunei Malay), with the official language being Malay. Apparently Malay and Brunei Malay are quite different from each other, with native speakers finding it difficult to understand each other.
An “albino” is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.
Melanin is a natural pigment found in most organisms. In humans, melanin is the pigment in the skin, the production of which accelerates in response to UV radiation causing a “tan”. Melanin is also what is released as cephalopod ink, a defensive cloud squirted into the water by squids and octopodes.
27…Prefix with ware..MAL-
“Malware” is a collective term for software and program code that is created to intentionally disrupt and exploit computer systems. Viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware are all covered by the term. “Malware” is short for “malicious software”.
31…Aleppo’s land: Abbr…SYR
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located not far from Damascus, the nation’s capital. Aleppo owes it size and history of prosperity to its location at the end of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked Asia to Europe (and other locations). The Suez Canal was opened up in 1869 bringing a new route for transport of goods, and so Aleppo’s prosperity has declined over the past one hundred years or so.
32…Diane who played Flo in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”..LADD
Diane Ladd is an American actress who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1990 film “Wild at Heart”. The lead roles in the movie were played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Laura Dern is Diane Ladd’s daughter in real life, as she was once married to actor Bruce Dern.
“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is a 1974 film directed by Martin Scorsese about a widow and her son travelling across the American Southwest in search of a better life. Ellen Burstyn plays the mother, and the supporting cast includes a very young Jodie Foster in one of her first big screen roles.
34…Big name in game shows..MERV
Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.
The uvula is that conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.
39…Apt wear when drinking gin cocktails?..MARTINI SKIRT (ART + “miniskirt”)
The name “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.
45…Highway through Whitehorse..ALCAN
The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn’t believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be born by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.
Whitehorse is the capital city of Canada’s Yukon Territory. It sits at the head of the Yukon River and its location made it an important supply center during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Leica is a German optics company, famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.
The Japan-based Olympus Corporation is probably most famous as a manufacturer of cameras and lenses. Olympus was founded in 1919 as a supplier of microscopes and thermometers. Today, the company supplies about 70% of the world’s gastrointestinal endoscopes, which is equivalent to about $2 billion in sales.
51…Lover of Beauty..BEAST
“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale was that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756.
52…One on the run..PERP
54…’50s foe of Dwight..ADLAI
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”
57…Pres. on a dime..FDR
President Roosevelt was a major driver in the founding of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Foundation’s most successful fund raising campaign was to encourage the public to just send a dime to support the charity, so that even before the Foundation officially changed its name, the public were already calling it March of Dimes. After President Roosevelt passed away in office, Congress passed legislation calling for a new design for the dime, one featuring the image of FDR. The Roosevelt dime was introduced in 1946, on the day that would have been the President’s 64th birthday.
70…Rural skyline features..SILOS
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.
72…Falls for many lovers?..NIAGARA
For well over a century now, the twin cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario have been popular spots for honeymoons. Niagara Falls got a boost as a honeymoon destination in 1953 with the release of “Niagara”, a film noir starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton.
The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
80…Dillon of “Wayward Pines”..MATT
Matt Dillon is a Hollywood actor who came to prominence as a teen idol in the eighties. Dillon’s most lauded performance might be the supporting role he played in the 2004 film “Crash”, as LAPD officer John Ryan. Matt’s brother is Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny “Drama” Chase on HBO’s “Entourage”.
“Wayward Pines” is Fox TV series that is based on a series of novels by Blake Crouch. Star of the show (for the first season) is actor Matt Dillon, who plays US Secret Service agent Ethan Burke.
85…Old young king..TUT
King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.
86…It’s sold in yards..ALE
A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass splashing you in the face.
The first commercial uses of a third rail to power trains were actually in Ireland, with the Giant’s Causeway Tramway in 1883, and the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway in 1885.
89…Many of its pieces are lost during play..CHESS
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:
- Infantry (now “pawns”)
- Cavalry (now “knights”)
- Elephants (now “bishops”)
- Chariots (now “rooks”)
91…Not likely to give up the hammock..COMFY
Our word “hammock” comes via Spanish from Haiti, evolving from a word used there to describe a fishing net.
The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv translates into “Spring Mound”, a name chosen in 1910.
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”.
The Supra is a sporty car made by Toyota from 1979 to 2002. The Supra is in effect a longer and wider Celica.
102…Puts away cargo..LADES
The verb “lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. Lade also used to mean “to draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.
Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word soba tends to be used to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodles that are called udon.
“Deo volente” is Latin for “God willing”. If you read letters or emails from Ireland, you might come across “D.V.” in the text, as it is a common abbreviation that we Irish use to mean “God willing” or “Please God”.
113…Bars on a deli package..UPC
Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)
119…Lewd weasel relative?..DIRTY OLD MARTEN (ART + “dirty old men”)
The pine marten is an animal about the size of a domestic cat. It is native to Northern Europe and is related to the mink, otter, badger and weasel.
A “shoo-in” is a surefire winner, especially in politics. Back in the 1920s, a shoo-in was a horse who was pre-arranged to win a race, a race that was fixed.
128…Vito Corleone’s eldest..SONNY
Sonny Corleone was eldest son of Don Vito Corleone in Mario Puzo’s great novel “The Godfather”. In the movie, Sonny was played by James Caan. Sonny appears as a boy in the movie “The Godfather: Part II”, and is played by director Francis Ford Coppola’s own son, Roman Coppola.
1…St. __ fire..ELMO’S
St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.
There has been a lot of speculation about what the abbreviation LTD stands for in the car model known as “Ford LTD”. Many say it is an initialism standing for Luxury Trim Decor, and others say that it is short for “limited”. Although the car was produced in Australia with the initialism meaning Lincoln Type Design, it seems LTD was originally chosen as just three meaningless letters that sound well together.
“Sibilant” is a lovely word, describing a sound of speech, the sound of an “s” or “z”, a hissing sound. The word “sissies”, for example, has three sibilant sounds.
7…Where Utah’s minor league Owlz play..OREM
Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.
The Orem Owlz minor league baseball team is affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels. The Owlz mascot is a red owl named Hootz. Hoots married the love of his life Holly in an on-field ceremony in 2009.
8…French friend’s address..MON AMI
“Mon ami” is French for “my friend”, when referring to a male.
In French, a “roi et reine” (king and queen) are members of the “noblesse” (nobility).
Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.
14…Blue text, often..URL
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). They are often written in blue and underlined on a webpage.
16…Group that controls film cartoons?..ANIMATION CARTEL (ART + “animation cel”)
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.
17…Greek known for paradoxes..ZENO
Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his “paradoxes”, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?
18…Utah national park..ZION
To me, the most spectacular feature of Zion National Park, in southwestern Utah, is the magnificent Zion Canyon. The canyon cuts through red Navajo sandstone and is a truly beautiful sight.
20…__ Wolf, “Fiddler on the Roof” butcher..LAZAR
In the stage musical “Fiddler on the Roof”, the village matchmaker Yente tries to bring together 19-year-old Tzeitel with the local butcher named Lazar Wolf.
24…Bureaucratic tangle..RED TAPE
Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.
29…Civic duty, perhaps?..AUTO LOAN
Introduced in 1972, the Honda Civic is the second-oldest brand of Japanese car made for the US today (only the Toyota Corolla has been around longer). Today’s Civic is a compact car, but the original was smaller, and classed as a sub-compact. The first design had a transverse-mounted engine and front-wheel drive to save on space, copying the configuration introduced with the British Mini.
35…One of early Hollywood’s “Big Five”..RKO
During the Golden Age of Cinema (roughly, the thirties and forties), the “Big Five” Hollywood studios were:
- Fox (later “20th Century Fox”)
- Warner Bros.
38…Aptly named fruit..UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.
39…Live __: Taco Bell slogan..MAS
Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell sold then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny. Taco Bell has been using the “Live Más” slogan since 2012, with “más” being the Spanish word for “more”.
The four people playing a game of bridge are positioned around a table at seats called north, east, south and west.
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.
44…Rain delay rollout..TARP
Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.
45…BBC sitcom..AB FAB
“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “Ab Fab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone).
Ambien is a brand name for the prescription drug Zolpidem. I have a friend who used to swear by it for helping cope with jet lag. I once had to deal with jet lag almost monthly and swear by the diet supplement melatonin, which you can buy over the counter here in the US. But, I am no doctor so don’t listen to anything I say …
“Rhomb” is an alternative name for a rhombus (plural “rhombi”), a 4-sided figure with sides of equal length, but angles at the corners that aren’t right angles. So, that would make a rhombus a “diamond” shape.
67…Conviction, to a cop..RAP
A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.
The word “antsy” embodies the concept of “having ants in one’s pants”, meaning being nervous and fidgety. However, “antsy” has been used in English since the 1830s, whereas “ants in the pants” originated a century later.
78…”M*A*S*H” actor David Ogden __..STIERS
David Ogden Stiers is an actor best known for playing Major Charles Winchester III on the TV show “M*A*S*H”.
80…Coats for brolly carriers..MACS
When I was growing up in Ireland, we had to take our “macs” to school in case it rained (and it usually did!). “Mac” is short for “Macintosh”, a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. The coat was named after its inventor, Scotsman Charles Macintosh.
81…Baseball family name..ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe’s son Moises.
The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.
The Serengeti is a region in Africa, located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.
94…”Ticket to the Moon” gp…ELO
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of Europe. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick, paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.
106…”Flow gently, sweet __!”: Burns..AFTON
The Afton is a small river in Ayrshire, Scotland. Despite the river’s size, it is quite famous as it is the subject of a 1791 poem by Robert Bruns called “Sweet Afton”. That poem opens and closes with the lines:
Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.
118…Govt. subject of James Bamford’s “The Puzzle Palace”..NSA
“The Puzzle Palace” is a 1982 book by James Bamford book that deals with the history of the National Security Agency (NSA). As perhaps might be expected, release of the book was fraught with controversy. The Reagan administration threatened legal action if Bamford did not return classified documents that the government claimed were released in error. Those documents dealt with the illegal monitoring of domestic communication and surveillance of Americans without a warrant.
120…”When Will __ Loved?”: 1975 hit..I BE
The song “When Will I Be Loved” was written by Phil Everly, and was a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1960. In 1975, Linda Ronstadt released a cover version that was a huge hit.
121…Botswana neighbor: Abbr…RSA
The Republic of South Africa (RSA)
Botswana is a country in southern Africa, located just north of South Africa. Someone from Botswana is called a “Motswana” (yes, with an M), with the plural being “Batswana” (yes, with a B).
The definite article in French can be “le” (with masculine nouns), “la” (with feminine nouns), and “les” (with plurals of either gender).
Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and where he painted his famous “Cafe Terrace at Night”, as well as “Bedroom in Arles”.