Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each start with a synonym of “goofy”.
- 20A…Toon with the catchphrase “You’re despicable!”..DAFFY DUCK
- 27A…With “The,” Julius Kelp, in a 1963 movie..NUTTY PROFESSOR
- 34A…Alfred E. Neuman trademark..SILLY GRIN
- 46A…Dr. Seuss book about an odd time of the week..WACKY WEDNESDAY
- 56A…Riding crop relative..BUGGY WHIP
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.
14…Introductory French infinitive..ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.
15…Girl in a Manilow song with “a dress cut down to there”..LOLA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?
16…Left Bank lunch choice..CREPE
“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.
The famous “Left Bank” (“La Rive Gauche”) of the River Seine in Paris is the river’s southern bank. The area south of the river was traditionally quite bohemian and was home to artists, students and intellectuals.
The gorilla is the largest primate still in existence, and is one of the nearest living species to humans. Molecular biology studies have shown that our nearest relatives are in fact the species in the genus Pan (the chimpanzee and the bonobo), which split from the human branch of the family 4-6 million years ago. Gorillas and humans diverged at a point about 7 million years ago. The term “gorilla” derives from the Greek “gorillai” meaning “tribe of hairy women”. Wow!
Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda (NB: it was Jane Goodall that worked with chimpanzees). Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.
20…Toon with the catchphrase “You’re despicable!”..DAFFY DUCK
Daffy Duck first appeared on the screen in “Porky’s Duck Hunt” in 1937. In the original cartoon, Daffy was just meant to have a small role, but he was a big hit as he had so much sass. Even back then, Daffy was voiced by the ubiquitous Mel Blanc.
25…Offer as proof..ADDUCE
“To adduce” is to cite as an example or as a means of proof.
27…With “The,” Julius Kelp, in a 1963 movie..NUTTY PROFESSOR
The 1963 comedy film “The Nutty Professor” is a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Star of the film is Jerry Lewis, and filming was mainly on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona. “The Nutty Professor” as remade in 1996 starring Eddie Murphy.
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …
The Cadillac model known as the ATS is so called because it is an “A-Series Touring Sedan”.
34…Alfred E. Neuman trademark..SILLY GRIN
Alfred E. Neuman is the mascot of “Mad” magazine, although the image of the smiling, jug-eared youth had been around for decades before the magazine. “Mad” first used the likeness in 1955, and young Mr. Neuman has appeared on the cover of almost every issue of the magazine since then. Neuman’s name was inspired by American composer Alfred Newman, a prolific writer of film scores.
39…”Shameless” network, in TV listings..SHO
“Shameless” is a comedy drama TV series about a dysfunctional Chicago family consisting of a six children and single father who spends his days drunk. The US show is a remake of the original British “Shameless” that is based on a similar family who live in Manchester in the North of England.
42…Old Venetian judge..DOGE
Doges were the elected chief magistrates of the former republics of Venice and Genoa.
46…Dr. Seuss book about an odd time of the week..WACKY WEDNESDAY
Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. He first used the pen name while studying at Dartmouth College and at the University of Oxford. Back then, Geisel pronounced “Seuss” as it would be in German, i.e. rhyming with “voice”. After his books found success in the US, he went with the pronunciation being used widely by the public, quite happy to have a name that rhymed with “Mother Goose”.
Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …
61…Algerian coastal city..ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport is located a few miles from downtown Reno, Nevada. The airport’s IATA code is RNO.
64…Gp. joined by Croatia in 2009..NATO
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.
65…2012 Best Picture..ARGO
“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I saw “Argo” recently and recommend it highly, although I found the scenes of religious fervor pretty frightening …
67…Cassini of fashion..OLEG
Oleg Cassini, the French-born American fashion designer, had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.
“Self” is a women’s magazine that has been published since 1979. It is a publication that focuses on health, beauty, wellness and style.
6…Tropicana option..NO PULP
The Tropicana company is most famous for its orange juice. The company is headquartered in Chicago, where not many oranges are grown …
7…Guinness on screen..ALEC
Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.
9…”__ du lieber!”..ACH
The German exclamation “Ach du lieber” translates as “Oh dear”.
A creed is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. The word “creed” comes from the Latin “credo” meaning “I believe”.
Cruciverbalist is a term developed in the 1990s to describe crossword enthusiasts. The word comes from the Latin for cross (crux) and word (verbum). “Cruciverbalist” is sometimes limited to those who actually construct the puzzles. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, we call such people “setters”.
21…”__ Brutus says he was ambitious”: Antony..YET
The famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen …” speech by Antony in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” includes the lines:
… The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest—
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men—
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
But Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
26…Section with a slicer..DELI
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.
28…Positions for Ph.D. students..TAS
Teaching Assistants (TAs)
30…Cousin of edu..ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
.com (commercial enterprise)
.net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
.mil (US military)
.org (not-for-profit organization)
.gov (US federal government entity)
.edu (college-level educational institution)
An “idyll” (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short, poem with a rustic theme.
40…Hors d’oeuvres server’s suggestion..HAVE ONE
An hors d’oeuvre is the first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.
41…Ancient instrument with finger holes..OCARINA
An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.
What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.
Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner, born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …
57…Russia’s __ Mountains..URAL
The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.
60…Oil giant, on the NYSE..OXY
Occidental Petroleum is an oil and gas company based in Houston that was founded in 1920 in California.