Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers common phrases that have been reinterpreted as acts of THEFT:
- 23A…The liquor store thief __..BOOSTED SPIRITS
- 35A…The restaurant thief __..GRABBED DINNER
- 95A…The gym thief __..LIFTED WEIGHTS
- 113A…The art thief __..KNOCKED OFF WORK
- 16D…The condiment thief __..PINCHED SALT
- 29D…The chocolate thief __..STOLE KISSES
- 50D…The poultry thief __..POACHED EGGS
- 67D…The casino thief __..SWIPED CARDS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Carrier with only kosher meals..EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.
“To vamoose” is to “to leave”, coming from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.
9…Classic name in shoes..MCAN
Thom McAn footwear was introduced in 1922 by the Melville Corporation (now CVS Caremark). The brand was named after a Scottish golfer called Thomas McCann. The Thom McAn line is epitomized by the comfortable leather casual and dress shoe, so sales have really been hurt in recent decades by the growing popularity of sneakers.
13…Place of worship..CHAPEL
Our word “chapel”, meaning “place of worship”, comes from the Latin word “capella” meaning “small cape”. The reference is to a relic of Saint Martin of Tours, part of his cloak. Tradition has it that when Martin was a soldier, he cut his military cloak in two so as to give half to a beggar in need. The remainder he retained as his “capella”. He did not know that the beggar was Christ in disguise. Martin then left the military to become a monk, then abbot and finally bishop. The cape came into the possession of the Frankish kings who brought the relic as they waged war, housing it in a tent called “the capella”. The priests who said mass in the capella each day were known as the “capellani” (the source of our word “chaplain”).
The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.
22…Oscar nominee in four different decades..DE NIRO
Robert De Niro is noted for his longtime and highly successful collaboration with the director Martin Scorsese, in such films as “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980), “Goodfellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995). De Niro is also noted for his commitment as a method actor. Famously he gained a full 60 pounds in order to play Jake Lamotta in “Raging Bull”.
23…The liquor store thief __..BOOSTED SPIRITS
“To boost” is a slang term meaning “to steal” and especially “to shoplift”.
26…Present for Garfield?..CATNIP
About 50% of all cats are affected in some way by the plant catnip. There is a terpenoid in the oil of the plant called nepetalactone that the cat inhales and that can cause anything from drowsiness to anxiety.
“Garfield” is a comic strip drawn by Jim Davis since 1978. Garfield is an orange tabby cat. Davis named his cartoon hero Garfield after his own grandfather.
Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).
46…Horror film sounds..WAILS
Those would the sounds I’d make if I was forced to watch a horror film. Not my cup of tea …
49…Mt. Hood’s state..OREG
Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift operating year-round for skiing.
50…Creator of one who pondered “Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”..POE
The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …
57…”The Ballad of John and __”..YOKO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.
60…”SNL” parody Baba __..WAWA
Barbara Walters was originally quite upset at the caricature of her performed by Saturday Night Live star, Gilda Radner. She took offense at Radner exaggerating her speech impediment, which of course led to the name “Baba Wawa” being used for “Barbara Walters”. However, when she saw that her own daughter found the skit to be hilarious, Barbara decided that she needed to lighten up.
63…Fire sign?..PINK SLIP
The term “pink-slip” can be used as a verb meaning “to terminate an employee”. No one really seems to know for sure where the term originated, but there are lots of stories.
Arsenic is element #33 in the periodic table, and has the chemical symbol “As”. Because of arsenic’s toxicity, it was very commonly used in pesticides. These compounds are getting banned over time, but it seems there is a long way to go. Arsenic in aquifers continues to be a problem around the world, including here in the US. China has introduced limits to the amounts of arsenic permitted in food as well as water, mainly as the Chinese staple rice is particularly good at accumulating arsenic from groundwater.
68…Some selective socializers..SNOBS
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.
71…Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium city..NEW DELHI
New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.
Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter, Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi, though she was no relation to Mahatma).
76…Rivulets seen after swirling, to a wine taster..LEGS
While tasting wine, one might note rivulets slowly descending along the inside of the glass after swirling. These rivulets are referred to as “legs”, and often indicate that a wine is “full-bodied”.
78…Exam in which letters are read..EYE TEST
The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.
Mountain Standard Time (MST)
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine (sin), cosine (cos) and tangent (tan). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The reciprocal of these three functions are cosecant, secant, and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine (cosec = 1/sin), cosine (sec = 1/cos) and tangent (cot = 1/tan).
Something described with the slang term “jake” is satisfactory, fine.
Something described as “copacetic” is very fine, very acceptable.
89…Maker of 28-Across..XEROX
(28A…They may be run off..COPIES)
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “please, answer”.
93…Goal for a H.S. dropout..GED
The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of five tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.
The Pinot gris grape is used to make white wine called Pinot gris, which is also known as Pinot grigio. DNA analysis has shown that the Pinot gris grape mutated from the Pinot noir variety.
103…Debussy’s “__ de Lune”..CLAIR
“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, one who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.
111…Stereotypical long beard grower..HERMIT
The Greek word for “uninhabited” is eremos, which is the root for “eremia” meaning both “desert” and “solitude”. The Greek word eremites then means “a person of the desert”. This was absorbed into Latin as “ermita”, meaning someone who lived in solitude or in an uninhabited area. We use “eremite” to mean the same thing, although the derivative term “hermit” is more common.
Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as escarole.
116…Quito’s land: Abbr…ECUA
The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.
118…Mother of Charlie Woods..ELIN
Elin Nordegren is the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. Nordegren is a native of Sweden, and it was back in Sweden that she was hired as a nanny by the wife of golfer Jesper Parnevik. The job brought her to the US where she became a popular attraction on the professional golfing circuit. Apparently there was a long line of single golfers who wanted to be introduced to her, with Tiger Woods asking for an introduction for a year before he finally got to go out with her. The pair were married in 2004. Tiger and Elin have two children together: Sam Alexis born in 2007, and Charlie Axel born in 2009.
120…Court period: Abbr…SESS
1…Kathryn of HBO’s “Oz”..ERBE
The actress Kathryn Erbe is best known for playing Det. Alexandra Eames on the TV show “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. Paradoxically perhaps, Erbe’s other noted role is as Shirley Bellinger in the HBO series “Oz”, a death row inmate.
2…16th-century pope..LEO X
Pope Leo X is remembered as the last pope who was not a priest before taking office. Leo X was also known for granting indulgences to those willing to donate funds for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica, a practice that contributed to the revolt against the church by Martin Luther. As a result of the revolt, Leo X excommunicated Luther.
6…Served, as soup..LADLED
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.
7…Online handicraft market..ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.
8…Bank acct. starter..DEP
9…Color from the French for “chestnut”..MAROON
“Marron” is the French word for “chestnut”, which gives us our word “maroon” meaning chestnut-colored, dark brownish-red.
The Ojibwe (also “Ojibwa”) are the second-largest of the First Nations, surpassed only by the Cree. The name “Ojibwa” is more common in Canada, whereas the alternative anglicization “Chippewa” is more common in the US.
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
13…Atlanta-based health agcy…CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …
14…Game with tricks..HEARTS
Hearts is a fun card game that is in the Whist family of trick-taking games, as are Bridge (my favorite) and Spades.
Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.
24…Five Nations unit..TRIBE
The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.
29…The chocolate thief __..STOLE KISSES
The Hershey Company produces over 80 million Kisses each day, and has been making them since 1907.
34…Org. with complex forms..IRS
Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?
The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.
A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare, and is Latin for “rare bird”.
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped reestablish Paris as the fashion center of the world.
42…Pee-wee Herman accessory..BOW TIE
Pee-wee Herman is a comic character portrayed by Paul Reubens. Reubens introduced the character into his stage act, and from there to an HBO special that led to a 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”. There followed a children’s TV series called “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” that ran from 1986 to 1991, and a 1988 movie “Big Top Pee-wee”.
47…Restaurant with a smile in its logo..IHOP
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests …
48…Start of a Seuss classic..I AM SAM
Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:
I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am
and ends with:
I do so like
green eggs and ham!
51…Toronto skyline landmark..CN TOWER
When I last took the elevator to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto back in the eighties, it was the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It lost that title in 2007 during the construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the building which still has that honor. The CN Tower was built by the railway company Canadian National, which gave it the name. Since Canadian National sold the tower in 1995, it has been known as Canada’s National Tower, although I don’t think many people worry about what the CN stands for!
The verb “to twill” means to weave a cloth (called a twill) that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.
58…First-year law students..ONE LS
“One L” is a name used in general for first year law students.
PayPal is an e-commerce business that has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors. The company was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion.
To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a word commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege (sometimes “revoke”) is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.
Taxonomy is the classification of organisms or maybe even just items into groups or categories. We are most familiar with the classification of organisms in the major taxonomic ranks of:
72…Eisner’s Disney successor..IGER
Robert Iger took over from Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself; he earned more than $29 million in 2009.
77…Small-runway mil. craft..STOL
STOL is an abbreviation standing for “short take-off and landing”.
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)
82…Hardy’s “Pure Woman”..TESS
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.
87…Cut in tricky patterns..JIGSAWED
Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are then die-cut, and there’s no jigsaw involved at all.
89…Millennial’s parent, briefly..XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.
“Generation Y” (Gen-Y) is alternative name for the Millennial Generation. Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.
92…__ Olay..OIL OF
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.
“Fracas” is a French word that we absorbed into English. In turn, the French usage evolved from the Italian “fracasso” meaning “uproar, crash”.
97…”Little Women” co-star of Kirsten, Claire and Trini..WINONA
In the 1994 big-screen adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel “Little Women”, the title characters are played by:
- Winona Ryder (Jo March)
- Trini Alvarado (Meg March)
- Kirsten Dunst (Amy March)
- Claire Danes (Beth March)
The Hollywood actress Winona Ryder’s real name is Winona Horowitz. Ryder was born near the town of Winona in Minnesota, from which she got her name. Her success on the screen has garnered as much media attention as her life off the screen. The papers had a field day when she was arrested in 2001 on a shoplifting charge followed by a very public court appearance. Her engagement with Johnny Depp in the early nineties was another media frenzy. Depp had “Winona Forever” tattooed on his arm, which he had changed after the breakup to “Wino Forever”. A man with a sense of humor …
The lovely Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.
110…Big Apple fashion initials..DKNY
Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the Donna Karan New York (DKNY) clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.
Apparently the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:
Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.
Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.