Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers starts with a synonym of ENTIRE:
- 20A…Theoretical temperature at which molecular activity ceases..ABSOLUTE ZERO
- 31A…Astronomical phenomenon..TOTAL ECLIPSE
- 40A…0, 1, 2, 3, etc…WHOLE NUMBERS
- 52A…Rarity for a pitcher, nowadays..COMPLETE GAME
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Trek to Mecca..HAJJ
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
5…Astringent in taste..ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, meaning sour or bitter-tasting, acidic.
A substance that is astringent is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues.
10…Something made on a shooting star..WISH
A shooting star is what we call the visible path of a meteoroid as is it enters the earth’s atmosphere. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground, we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.
17…1999 satire about a reality show..EDTV
“EDtv” is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard starring Matthew McConaughey, released in 1999. The plot has a “Big Brother” feel to it, as it is about a TV show broadcasting someone’s life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
18…Erie or Cree..TRIBE
The Erie people were a Native American tribe that lived along the south shore of what is now called Lake Erie. The Erie were destroyed in the mid-1600s by the neighboring Iroquois confederacy in a war sparked off by control of the fur trade.
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.
One using a “recreational vehicle” (RV) might be called an “RVer”.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.
20…Theoretical temperature at which molecular activity ceases..ABSOLUTE ZERO
Absolute zero is a temperature that can theoretically be reached by removing all the “energy” of the test vehicle that is being “frozen”. This temperature is designated as 0 degrees on the Kelvin scale, equivalent to -273.15 degrees centigrade. Scientists try to get as close to absolute zero as possible because matter has weird and wonderful properties at such cold temperatures, such as superconductivity and superfluidity.
Wimbledon is a suburb of London located in the southwest of the metropolis. Wimbledon translates from Old English as “Wynnman’s Hill”, with “dun” being an archaic word for “hill”. And, the district is home to the All England Club where the Wimbledon tennis championships are played each year.
28…Wes in the Basketball Hall of Fame..UNSELD
Wes Unseld is a former professional basketball player who spent his entire career playing with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets.
Santo Domingo de Guzmán (often just “Santo Domingo”) is the capital city of the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit what is now the Dominican Republic, in 1492. Four years later Christopher’s younger brother, Bartholomew Columbus arrived, and founded Santo Domingo, making the city the oldest, continuously-inhabited European settlement in the Americas.
31…Astronomical phenomenon..TOTAL ECLIPSE
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.
Ena is Bambi’s aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” written by Austrian author Felix Salten and first published in 1923. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.
36…”Mr.” with Jim Backus’ voice..MAGOO
Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do the voice without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties. There was a movie adaptation of “Mr Magoo” released in 1997, with Leslie Nielsen playing the title role.
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 …
55…Some dadaist pieces..ARPS
Hans Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.
Many of his contemporaries regarded Jimi Hendrix as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. Hendrix was from Seattle and didn’t really have a really stellar start to his working life. He failed to finish high school and fell foul of the law by getting caught in stolen cars, twice. The courts gave him the option of the army or two years in prison. Hendrix chose the former and soon found himself in the famous 101st Airborne. In the army, his less-than-disciplined ways helped him (as he would have seen it) because his superiors successfully petitioned to get him discharged after serving only one year of his two-year requirement, just to get him out of their hair.
61…”The Lion King” lion..NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.
According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.
66…Toy on a string..YO-YO
Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.
1…Shake a leg, quaintly..HIE
“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.
3…Air Force One, for one..JET
We usually use the term “Air Force One” for the purpose-built military aircraft that transports the president, although any plane can use the call sign, provided the president is aboard. There was an incident in 1953 which a flight carrying President Eisenhower (flight no. Air Force 8610) flew close to commercial airliner (flight no. Eastern 8610). In order to avoid confusion of flight numbers in the future, the special callsign “Air Force One” was created.
4…Indonesian site of a WWII naval battle..JAVA SEA
The Java Sea is a relatively shallow body of water bounded by the Indonesian island of Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.
The Battle of the Java Sea took place February 1942, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Japanese over an Allied strike force comprising American, British, Dutch and Australian vessels. Ten Allied ships were sunk, and over 2,000 sailors lost their lives.
5…Some “Night Court” characters: Abbr…ATTS
“Night Court” is an entertaining sitcom that first ran from 1984 until 1992. It is set in a Manhattan municipal court during the night shift, with comedian/magician Harry Anderson playing presiding judge Harry Stone.
6…”Silent Night,” e.g…CAROL
The beautiful Christmas Carol “Silent Night” was first performed in Austria in 1818, with words by a priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and melody by an Austrian headmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber. The carol was in German and called “Stille Nacht”. The English translation that we use today was provided to us by an American bishop in 1859, John Freeman Young from Florida.
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. It was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down, choosing to let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
Bret Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York. One work attributed to him is “Ah Sin”, a disastrously unsuccessful play written by Bret Harte and Mark Twain. The two writers didn’t get on at all well during the writing process, and when the play was produced for the stage it was very poorly received. Nevertheless, Twain suggested a further collaboration with Harte, and Harte downright refused!
13…”The Great” Judean king..HEROD
Herod the Great was made king of the Roman province of Judea (now the southern part of Israel) in 37 BCE. Herod the Great’s son was Herod Antipas. The son was the Herod who appears in the New Testament in the stories of the execution of Jesus of Nazareth and John the Baptist.
Expected time of arrival (ETA)
24…Any minute, to Shakespeare..ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.
25…Court sports org…USTA
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national organization governing the sport of tennis in the US. The USTA was founded way back in 1881 as the United States National Lawn Tennis Association.
There is a letter D (dee) at either end of the word “dead”.
39…__ perpetua: Idaho’s motto..ESTO
“Esto perpetua” is the Latin phrase meaning, “Let it be perpetual”. It is used as the motto of a number of groups, as well as the state of Idaho. The words are attributed to the theologian Paolo Sarpi (Fra Paolo), his last words, a wish for his native Venice, “let it be perpetual”.
40…Two-person log-cutting tool..WHIPSAW
A whipsaw is a two-man saw that was originally designed for use in a “sawpit”. A large log would be placed on top of the pit. The “pit-man” would work under the log, and the “top-man” above it. The sawing action was in the vertical, with the blade cutting on the down-stroke.
We use the French word “milieu” to mean an environment, surroundings. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.
43…Toronto baseballer..BLUE JAY
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.
44…Hooded ski jacket..ANORAK
Anoraks aren’t very popular over here in America. Everyone has one in Ireland! An anorak is a heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur (or fake fur), and is an invention of the Inuit people.
48…Big name in arcades..ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.
Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.
Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.
To “say uncle” is an American expression meaning to submit or yield. Its usage dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”
Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.
59…Memorial Day month..MAY
The US’s Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who fell serving their country in the armed forces. The holiday is held on the last Monday in May. It was originally known as Decorations Day and was established after the Civil War to commemorate both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. Memorial Day is also the traditional start of the summer season, with the end of the season being Labor Day.
60…”I think,” in texts..IMO
In my opinion (IMO)