Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers end with a synonym of “assault”.
- 20A…”SportsCenter” co-anchor..HANNAH STORM
- 56A…Extreme onset of anxiety..PANIC ATTACK
- 11D…Overdraft fee, e.g…BANK CHARGE
- 29D…Caffeine jitters..COFFEE RUSH
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Willy Loman’s favorite son..BIFF
Willy, Biff and Happy Loman are all characters in Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman”. Biff and Happy are Willy’s two sons.
“Death of a Salesman” is a celebrated play by Arthur Miller, first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “salesman” in the play is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. The lead role was played by the veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.
9…Site with a “Find a Doctor” section..WEBMD
WebMD is a website containing health information that has been online since 1996. WebMD is read by over 80 million readers each month.
15…Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida __”..LOCA
“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is a 1999 single recorded by Ricky Martin, the title of which translates as “living the crazy life”.
Red Adair was a famous fighter of fires in oil fields, and was a native of Houston, Texas. Adair’s exploits were the inspiration for a 1968 movie called “Hellfighters” starring John Wayne.
The essential equipment in the game of jai alai is the pelota (ball) and the cesta (wicker scoop).
19…Like the yolk in Eggs Benedict..RUNNY
Eggs Benedict is a dish traditionally served at an American breakfast or brunch. It usually consists of a halved English muffin topped with ham and poached eggs, all smothered in Hollandaise sauce. The exact origin of the dish is apparently debated, but one story is that it is named for a Wall Street stockbroker called Lemuel Benedict. In 1894 in the Waldorf Hotel, Benedict ordered toast, poached eggs, crispy bacon and Hollandaise sauce as a cure for his hangover. The hotel’s maître d’ Oscar Tschirky was impressed by the dish and added the variant that we use today to the hotel’s menu, naming it for the gentleman who had first ordered it.
20…”SportsCenter” co-anchor..HANNAH STORM
Hannah Storm is a sports journalist who co-hosts the Sunday version of “SportsCenter” on ESPN. Storm is the daughter of sports executive Mike Storen, who was president of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
23…Kenan’s comedy partner..KEL
“Kenan & Kel” is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It starred Kenan Thompson (now of “Saturday Night Live”), and Kel Mitchell.
A microfiche is a micro-reproduction of some document(s) on a flat sheet of film. Usually a fiche can fit 98 document-size pages, reducing the storage space required by up to 95%.
The tuba is the lowest pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”.
32…To whom Lennon’s “Woman” is dedicated..ONO
“Woman” is a lovely song written by John Lennon that was recorded in 1980. The song was released in 1981, just a month or so after Lennon was murdered outside his New York apartment building. Lennon wrote the song as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono, and to women in general. He also stated that “Woman” was a grown-up version of “Girl”, a song that he wrote for the Beatles in 1965.
39…Sharable PC files..PDFS
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.
41…Maker of candy “pieces”..REESE
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “pieces” …
42…Yorick’s skull in “Hamlet,” e.g…PROP
In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, there is a scene when Prince Hamlet holds in his hand the skull of the deceased court jester Yorick. Hamlet starts into a famous monologue at this point:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is …
The opening line is often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”
43…Waiting room seat..SOFA
“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.
44…”Location, location, location,” to a real estate agent..MANTRA
A “mantra” is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.
46…Test for M.A. seekers..GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.
Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:
- 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
- 1975: “Seascape”
- 1994: “Three Tall Women”
Albee also won three Tony Awards:
- 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
- 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
- 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement
55…”Morning Edition” broadcaster..NPR
NPR’s flagship news program is “Morning Edition”, a 2-hour show broadcast from Monday through Friday. The sister show “Weekend Edition” is broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.
The term “laser” is an acronym, coming from “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 …
67…”Sommersby” actor Richard..GERE
The 1993 romantic drama “Sommersby” stars Richard Gere and Jodie Foster. The film is about an imposter who returns after the Civil War and moves in with a woman while claiming to be her husband. The real husband returns, and things get very rancorous. I know it sounds implausible, but the storyline is based on true events that took place in France in the 1500s.
68…Prefix with dextrous..AMBI-
Someone who is ambidextrous can write with both hands or use both hands with equal ease. A fairly literal translation of “ambidextrous” is “right-handed on both sides” as “dexter” is Latin for “right-handed”.
2…City in southeast Kansas..IOLA
Iola is a city in Southeast Kansas. The city is named for Iola, wife of J. F. Colburn, one of the owners of the land that was chosen as a site for the town in the late 1850s.
5…Hi and bye on Lanai..ALOHA
The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.
Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.
6…Sister of Peter Rabbit..MOPSY
Beatrix Potter was an English author, famous for the children’s books she wrote and illustrated. The most famous character in her stories was Peter Rabbit, whose sisters were Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Potter put her talent as an artist to good use in the scientific world as well. She recorded many images of lichens and fungi as seen through her microscope. As a result of her work, she was respected as an expert mycologist.
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.
8…Five-O detective’s nickname..DANO
Danny Williams is a character on the TV show “Hawaii Five-O”, both in the original version that first aired in 1968 and in the remake that was first broadcast in 2010. The original, “Danno” is played by James McArthur. In the remake, Danno is played by Scott Caan, son of Hollywood actor James Caan. Book him, Danno!
10…Dean’s URL ender..EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified.
13…How deadpan humor is delivered..DRYLY
The term “deadpan”, slang for an impassive expression, comes from dead (expressionless) and pan (slang for “face”).
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I say) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.
22…”__ Room”: longtime kids’ show..ROMPER
“Romper Room” is a television show for children that targets pre-schoolers. The show’s original run in the US lasted from 1953 to 1994.
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”.
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly and neatly.
The Indo-European languages are a large group that includes most of the major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau and South Asia. The Indo-European is the largest grouping of languages in the world.
29…Caffeine jitters..COFFEE RUSH
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most-widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.
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”. The term can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.
34…Doomed Spanish fleet..ARMADA
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.
The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.
40…__ City: Baghdad suburb..SADR
Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad, oft in the news these days. Sadr City is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.
You may have seen the 2008 movie “Flash of Genius”, which outlined the troubles Robert Kearns (played by Greg Kinnear) had in making money from his invention of the intermittent windshield wiper. Well, Mary Anderson developed the original wiper and received a patent in 1903. She didn’t make any money either …
Rattan is the name of a large number of species of palms, all of which look less like trees and more like vines. The woody stems are used for making cane furniture.
Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:
Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.
Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.
54…Demolished, in Devon..RASED
To “raze” (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. How odd is it that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means to build up?
Devon is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.
57…Reminds ad nauseam..NAGS
To do something “ad nauseum” is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. “Ad nauseum” is the Latin for “to sickness”.
61…Make mittens, say..KNIT
When I was a toddler my mother used to sew a string to connect each of my mittens so that I wouldn’t lose them. The string went up one sleeve, across the back, and down the other sleeve. I probably should do that with my gloves today, and save some money …
63…”Gloria in Excelsis __”..DEO
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is a Latin hymn, the title of which translates as “Glory to God in the highest”.