Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are phrases starting with the letters TAT:
- 71A…Body art, briefly … and, initially, a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers..TAT
- 20A…Painful reality that one doesn’t want to face..THE AWFUL TRUTH
- 28A…Close enough to share intimate secrets..THICK AS THIEVES
- 47A…Features of many mountain roads..TWISTS AND TURNS
- 57A…1984 #1 hit for Cyndi Lauper..TIME AFTER TIME
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Scale readings: Abbr…WTS
4…Pau or Marc of the NBA..GASOL
Pau Gasol is a Spanish basketball player who now plays for the Chicago Bulls. Pau’s younger brother is Marc, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.
15…Essential acid, familiarly..AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.
19…Lone Star State..TEXAS
The single star on the state flag of Texas is a reminder of the “lone star” on the 1836 National Standard of Texas. The single gold star on a blue background symbolized Texas as an independent republic and its struggle for independence from Mexico.
23…Bite-sized fish dish..SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
24…Bond creator Fleming..IAN
Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.
35…2015 award for Steph Curry..ESPY
Awards ceremony since 1993 : ESPYS. The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.
Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.
The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were “INRI”. INRI is an initialism for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.
In many of the Christian traditions, a crucifix is a representation of Jesus on the cross. The term comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “fixed to a cross”.
45…Slips that promise payment..IOUS
I owe you (IOU)
54…British ref. work..OED
The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).
55…March b-ball tourneys, casually..NCAAS
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.
57…1984 #1 hit for Cyndi Lauper..TIME AFTER TIME
“Time After Time” is a fabulous 1984 song recorded and co-written by Cyndi Lauper. Lauper wrote the song, starting from the title, which she lifted from the 1979 sci-fi movie “Time After Time” starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen.
If you’ve ever heard Cyndi Lauper speaking, you’d know that she was from Queens, New York. She is the daughter of divorced parents, strongly influenced by a supportive mother. She was always a free spirit, and even as young teen in the mid-sixties she dyed her hair different colors and wore outlandish fashions. She was a young woman who wanted to “find herself”, and to that end she once spent two weeks alone in the woods up in Canada. Well, just with her dog.
65…Chaney of horror films..LON
Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).
The boat called a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.
71…Body art, briefly … and, initially, a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers..TAT
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”.
1…Stimulates, as an appetite..WHETS
The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.
2…Basic training command..TEN-HUT
“Ten-hut!” is a term used in the US Military, and it means “come to attention!”.
Gatwick is London’s second-largest and second-busiest international airport, after Heathrow. Gatwick has just one runway, and it is the world’s busiest, handling up to 55 aircraft movements per hour.
6…In __: unmoved..SITU
“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.
7…New law student..ONE L
“One L” is a name used in general for first year law students, especially those attending Harvard.
8…Went berserk..LOST IT
Our word “berserk” meaning “deranged” comes from the “Berserkers”, Norse warriors described in Old Norse literature. Berserkers were renowned for going into battle in a fury, and some believe that they consumed drugged food to get themselves worked up for the fighting ahead.
9…Porky Pig’s girlfriend..PETUNIA
Petunia Pig is a cartoon character in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” universes. Petunia is the girlfriend of Porky Pig and has been around since 1937.
12…Windy City “L” operator: Abbr…CTA
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname as the “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. The “L” is also the second oldest, again with the New York City Subway system having the honor of being around the longest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L” (originally short for “elevated railroad”), although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
(23A…Bite-sized fish dish..SUSHI)
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau), and they live together in a house (Haus).
Münster is a city in the northwestern part of Germany, in the Westphalia region. Münster is noted for being the most bicycle-friendly city in the country with almost 40% of all traffic in the city being cyclists.
27…Italian wine region..ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
29…__ lime pie..KEY
The species of citrus fruit called a key lime is so named due to its association with the Florida Keys.
Primates are mammals, many of whom are omnivorous and make good use of their hands. They also have larger brains relative to their body size, compared to other animals. The order Primates includes apes, lemurs, baboons and humans.
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback.
Something described as “pristine” has its original purity, is uncorrupted.
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.
41…Cashew or almond..NUT
Our everyday usage of “nut” is often at odds with the botanical definition of the term. Examples of “true nuts” are acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts. On the other hand, even though we usually refer to almonds, pecans and walnuts as “nuts”, botanically they are classified as “drupes”. True nuts and drupes are both fruits, the vehicle that flowering plants use to disseminate seeds. True nuts are examples of a “dry fruit”, a fruit that has no fleshy outer layer. Drupes are examples of “fleshy fruits”, a fruit with a fleshy outer layer that often makes it desirable for an animal to eat. Familiar examples of drupes are cherries, peaches and plums. We eat the fleshy part of these drupes, and discard the pit inside that contains the seed. Other examples of drupes are walnuts, almonds and pecans. The relatively inedible flashy part of these drupes is usually removed for us before they hit our grocery stores shelves. We crack open the pit inside and eat the seed of these drupes. And while we do that, we forget that we’re eating something akin to a cherry or a peach, and we call it a nut!
A solarium (plural “solaria”) is a sunroom or sun lounge, a structure usually built onto the side of a house that contains a lot of glass to let in the sun.
50…Sales slip: Abbr…RCT
52…Stuffed Indian pastry..SAMOSA
A samosa is quite a tasty appetizer, usually a triangular-shaped savory that often has a vegetarian filling. The word “samosa” is primarily used on Indian menus, and the name comes from “sanbosag”, the name for the dish in Persia.
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.
62…Emails a dupe to..CCS
I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?
63…WWII General __ Arnold..HAP
Henry “Hap” Arnold was the Commanding General of the US Army Air Corps during the Second World War. Before the war, Arnold was taught to fly by the Wright Brothers. After the war, Arnold was one of the co-founders of Pan American Airways, but opted not to become president of the company and instead remained in the military.