Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are the venues of all the US-based Olympic Games:
- 65A…Event whose only six U.S. hosts are answers in this puzzle..THE OLYMPICS
- 17A…California ski resort (1960)..SQUAW VALLEY
- 25A…Peach State capital (1996)..ATLANTA
- 27A…With 39-Across and 61-Down, metropolis near the Wasatch Range (2002)..SALT
- 39A…See 27-Across..LAKE
- 61D…See 27-Across..CITY
- 52A…Home of the Blues (1904)..ST LOUIS
- 11D…Home to the NFL’s Rams (1932, 1984)..LOS ANGELES
- 29D…New York resort in the Adirondacks (1932, 1980)..LAKE PLACID
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…TV workers’ union..AFTRA
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) was founded in 1937 as AFRA. AFTRA merged with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2012, forming SAG-AFTRA.
6…”We Create Music” org…ASCAP
ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) collects licence fees for musicians and distributes royalties to composers whose works have been performed. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) provides the same service.
11…”__ It Go”: hit song from “Frozen”..LET
“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.
The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …
16…Daily Defense skin care brand..OXY
The OXY Skin Care products were developed by GlaxoSmithKline, but the brand name has been owned by Mentholatum since 2005.
17…California ski resort (1960)..SQUAW VALLEY
The Squaw Valley ski resort is in the Lake Tahoe area of California. Squaw Valley was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. These were the first Winter Games to be televised live, which gave Squaw Valley a huge commercial boost.
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.
25…Peach State capital (1996)..ATLANTA
The US state of Georgia has two nicknames: the Peach State, and the Empire State of the South.
27…With 39-Across and 61-Down, metropolis near the Wasatch Range (2002)..SALT
Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.
The Wasatch Range is at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and runs through Utah. “Wasatch” is a Ute word meaning “mountain pass”.
32…Participate in karaoke..SING
“Karate”, means “open hand”, and the related word “karaoke” means “open orchestra”.
In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “ora” (hour).
A jetty is a pier that juts out into a body of water. “Jetty” derives from the French verb “jeter” meaning “to throw”, the idea being that a jetty is a structure that is “thrown” out past the edge of the land surrounding the body of water.
The actress Chloë Sevigny’s big breakthrough role was playing one of the three Mormon wives in the excellent HBO drama series “Big Love”. More recently, I saw Sevigny in “Love & Friendship”, a 2016 big screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s epistolary novel “Lady Susan”. I must say that Sevigny’s performance really paled when compared to that of the lead, Kate Beckinsale.
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed.
47…Revealing rock genre..EMO
The musical genre of “emo” originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.
51…Exam for many sophs..PSAT
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.
52…Home of the Blues (1904)..ST LOUIS
The 1904 Olympic Games were held on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. That made 1904 the first year that the Olympics were held outside of Europe, and the first time they were held in a mainly English-speaking country. The whole event actually lasted four and half months, with events spread over that period in order to accompany the schedule of the World’s Fair that was held in St. Louis the same year.
The Tilt-A-Whirl is the fairground ride that has seven cars on a spinning platform, with the cars rotating freely and randomly. Each of the cars hold 3-4 riders, pretty nauseated riders sometimes.
Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.
60…Subsidiary of Fiat..LANCIA
Vincenzo Lancia formed his car company in Turin, Italy in 1906. Lancia Automobiles is now part of Fiat, and has been so since 1969.
Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.
65…Event whose only six U.S. hosts are answers in this puzzle..THE OLYMPICS
The list of US-hosted Olympic Games is:
- Los Angeles, California (Summer 1932 & 1984)
- Squaw Valley, California (Winter 1960)
- Atlanta, Georgia (Summer 1996)
- Saint Louis, Missouri (Summer 1904)
- Lake Placid, New York (Winter 1932 & 1980)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (Winter 2002)
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon).
The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.
The nickname “G-men” is short for “Government Men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The polymer known as “nylon” was developed by Dupont in the 1930s. The first application was as bristles in toothbrushes, in 1938. The second application became more famous, for women’s stockings starting in 1940, stockings that came to be known as “nylons”. The polymer was developed as a replacement for silk, which was to become in short supply during WWII.
72…”Family Ties” mom..ELYSE
“Family Ties” was one of the first TV shows that I enjoyed when I arrived in the US back in 1983. I found the situation very appealing, with two ex-hippie parents facing off against an ultra-conservative son. The main characters in the show were Michael J. Fox as Alex, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Alex’s mom, Elyse, and Michael Gross as Alex’s Dad, Steven. But some future stars had recurring roles as well, including Courteney Cox as one of Alex’s girlfriends and Tom Hanks as Elyse’s young brother.
1…Ancient jug handle..ANSA
Ansa is the Latin word for handle. The term is also used to describe anatomical structures that are shaped like a handle, forming a loop or an arc.
2…Online help pgs…FAQS
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). There is a link to this blog’s FAQ page at the top-right of every page.
The Aswan Dam on the River Nile is actually two dams. The Low Dam was first built in 1902 (and modified later). The High Dam was completed in 1970.
Also known as (aka)
A police blotter is (or used to be) a daily record of arrests made.
7…Mars days, in “The Martian”..SOLS
A solar day on Mars is referred to as a “sol” by astronomers. One sol is equivalent to just under 24 hours 40 minutes here on Earth.
“The Martian” is a very intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.
The Calla Lily is a common name for a lily of the genus Zantedeschia. There is a lily genus called Calla, but the Calla Lily isn’t in it. Now that, that is confusing …
9…”Fore!” et al…ALERTS
No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!
11…Home to the NFL’s Rams (1932, 1984)..LOS ANGELES
The 1932 Summer Olympics were held during the worldwide Great Depression. The event was held in Los Angeles, which was the only city in the world to have made a bid to host. Because of economic pressures, many nations and athletes skipped the event, and even President Herbert Hoover chose not to attend.
The 1984 Summer Olympics was held in Los Angeles. The event was boycotted by 14 Eastern Bloc countries in retaliation of the the US’s boycott of the prior 1980 Summer Olympics hosted by Moscow. The boycotting countries held a competing event around the same time that they dubbed the Friendship Games.
13…Far from laid-back..TYPE A
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.
18…Big name in pickles..VLASIC
Apparently Vlasic invented the glass-packed, shelf-stable pickle. The company adopted the stork mascot in the late sixties, with the stork originally carrying a baby. The mascot was a play on the perception that pregnant women have a higher than average appetite for pickles.
Traditionally, a “tithe” is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.
29…New York resort in the Adirondacks (1932, 1980)..LAKE PLACID
The first Winter Olympic Games held in the US were hosted by Lake Placid, New York in 1932. The event was opened by the Governor of New York at that time, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). FDR was elected as US president nine months later. Notably, the 1932 games did not include any alpine skiing events. Alpine skiing was included in the Olympics for the first time in the following 1936 games.
Here in the US, the most memorable event of the 1980 Winter Games hosted by Lake Placid, New York was the “Miracle on Ice”, in which an amateur US hockey team beat the very professional USSR team in a semi-final matchup, and went on to win gold. A lesser known fact from the 1980 Games is that the Lake Placid Middle/High School served as a private bar for the Olympics. It is the only high school in the US to have been issued a license to serve alcohol.
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.
37…Capital SSE of Firenze..ROMA
In Italian, the city of “Roma” (Rome) lies SSE of the city of “Firenze” (Florence).
The glass cleaner called Windex was introduced in 1933. The formulation sold up to the end of WWII had to be packed in metal cans because it was so flammable.
49…Interstate through Cheyenne..EIGHTY
Interstate 80 is the second-longest highway in the US (after I-90). It runs east-west from San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey. I-80 largely follows the route of the first road across America, namely the historic Lincoln Highway.
Cheyenne is the most populous city in Wyoming, and is the state capital. The city was settled in the 1860s when it was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad would cross the Crow Creek river. The name of course was taken from the Native American Cheyenne nation that is indigenous to the Great Plains.
Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.
54…Rickey Henderson specialty..STEAL
Rickey Henderson is a former professional baseball player believed by many to have been the sport’s greatest baserunner. Henderson holds the major league record for career stolen bases, at 1,406. This compares with the second highest number of career stolen bases of “only” 938, by Lou Brock.
56…Actor Jean-Claude Van __..DAMME
Jean-Claude Van Damme is a Belgian actor and expert in martial arts. Given his background, he is referred to by the nickname “The Muscles from Brussels”.
“Diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.
63…”__ sow, so shall … “..AS YE
The commonly quoted line “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” is not actually a direct quote from the Bible, although the sentiment is expressed there at least twice. In the Book of Job is the line “They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same”. In the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians is the line “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.
66…Former White House adviser Nofziger..LYN
Lyn Nofziger was a press secretary for Ronald Reagan when he was Governor of California. Nofziger was also a political advisor to the White House during the Nixon and Reagan administrations. One of Nofziger’s legacies is that he managed to convince President Reagan to drop the program to bring metrification to the US.