Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each contain a hidden word (shown using circled letters). Those hidden words are ATTENTION-GETTERS:
- 60A…Verbal nudge found in each set of puzzle circles..ATTENTION-GETTER
- 17A…Annual Time honoree..PERSON OF THE YEAR (hiding “Hey!”)
- 27A…Nickname of a Nobel-winning novelist..PAPA HEMINGWAY (hiding “Ahem!”)
- 47A…Doesn’t get confused, as facts..KEEPS STRAIGHT (hiding “Psst!”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The frozen dessert called “sherbet” is a very similar to “sorbet”, the difference being that sherbet contains a small amount of milkfat.
9…Rumor, to a rumor mill..GRIST
When grain has been separated from its chaff, to prepare it for grinding, it is called “grist”. Indeed, the word “grist” is derived from the word “grind”. Grist can be ground into a relatively coarse meal, or into a fine flour. The names can be confusing though. For example, the grist from maize when ground to a coarse consistency is called “grits”, and when ground to a fine consistency is called “corn meal”. There is an idiomatic phrase “grist for one’s mill”, meaning something used to one’s advantage. The grinding mechanism, or the building that holds the mechanism, is known as a “gristmill”.
14…With 5-Down, “Spanglish” actor..ADAM
Adam Sandler’s big break came with “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). He then went on to make several successful movies and now Sandler has his own movie and television production company. Personally, I am not a fan …
“Spanglish” is a 2004 comedy film starring Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni and Paz Vega. Vega plays a poor Mexican single mother who is hired as a housekeeper by a couple played by Sandler and Leoni. Hilarity ensues, I am told …
15…Capital of Samoa..APIA
Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely.
17…Annual Time honoree..PERSON OF THE YEAR
“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.
23…Like LAX and JFK..INTL
LAX (Los Angeles) and JFK (John F. Kennedy) are international (intl.) airports.
“Piña colada” is a Spanish term which translates into “strained pineapple”. The Piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …
27…Nickname of a Nobel-winning novelist..PAPA HEMINGWAY
Apparently, the author Ernest Hemingway picked up the moniker “Papa” on the birth of his first child (as one might expect!). Hemingway seemed to the like the nickname, and welcomed its use outside of the family, and his admirers obliged.
If you’ve read Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea” (maybe first at school, like me!) you’ll likely remember it as a quick read as it is a novella, although it might be better described as a “long short story”. It was first published in 1952, the last major work that Hemingway had published in his lifetime. That first publication was as a story in “Life Magazine”, and it was such a hit that the magazine sold 5 million copies in the first two days. “The Old Man and the Sea” won a Pulitzer in 1952 and two years later the title was cited when Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
33…Mogadishu is its cap…SOM
Mogadishu is a major port city on the east coast of Africa, and is the capital of Somalia. The city is known locally as Xamar.
36…Concern for an orthodontist..GAP
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry dealing with the straightening of teeth. The name comes from the Greek “orthos” meaning “straight” and “dontia” meaning “teeth”.
38…NFLer again in 2016..LA RAM
The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.
42…Old tape initials..VHS
The video standard known as VHS is more fully referred to as the Video Home System. VHS was one of many standards touted by various manufacturers in the seventies. The biggest rival to VHS was Betamax, but we all knew which of the two standards won the final round in that fight.
Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Famously, Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.
46…Greek letter that would be last in English..ZETA
Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the name “zed”, which became “zee”, the pronunciation that we use here in the US.
50…”The Greatest” boxer..ALI
Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.
52…__-chic: hippie-influenced fashion style..BOHO
Boho-chic is a style of fashion that grew out of the bohemian and hippie looks.
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spinoff, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.
67…Green Hornet’s sidekick..KATO
In “The Green Hornet” television series, Kato was famously played by Bruce Lee. The Kato role has been cited as a driving force behind the increase in popularity of martial arts in the US during the sixties.
“Idée” is French for “idea”.
Cannes is a city on the French Riviera, noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The idea of the annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.
3…Oft-molded almond confection..MARZIPAN
Marzipan is a scrumptious confection made from almond meal sweetened with sugar or honey. The former English name was “marchpane” meaning “March bread”. We now use “marzipan”, which is the German name.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
7…Picture file suffix..GIF
A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.
9…Misses military roll call, maybe..GOES AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).
10…Rob __: cocktails..ROYS
Rob Roy was a folk hero in Scotland from the 18th century. He was a sort of Scottish Robin Hood, an outlaw who had the support of the populace. Rob Roy’s full name was Robert Roy MacGregor, itself an anglicization of the Scottish Raibeart Ruadh. He gave his name to a famous cocktail called a Rob Roy, a relative of the Manhattan that is made with Scotch instead of bourbon.
12…Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant..SPAGO
Wolfgang Puck is a celebrity chef from Austria. Puck is the man behind the famous pair of restaurants in Southern California called Spago.
25…”Guernica” muralist Pablo..PICASSO
“Guernica” is a painting by Pablo Picasso that he completed in 1937. Picasso painted it soon after the aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The attack was carried out by German warplanes sent by Adolf Hitler at the request of the Spanish Nationalist government. The town was regarded as a bastion of Republican resistance, although it had no military significance. As the town was largely left without men who were fighting for the Republican cause, the vast majority of casualties were women and children.
27…Rank below cpl…PFC
Private First Class (PFC)
28…__ française..A LA
When a meal is served “à la russe” (in the Russian style), courses are brought to the table sequentially. This contrasts with a meal served “à la française” (in the French style), in which all the courses are brought to the table at the same time.
29…”Family Guy” daughter..MEG
Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress, who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her costar from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.
30…Like the ’69 N.Y. Mets..AMAZIN’
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.
35…Diver’s sickness..THE BENDS
“The bends” is a colloquial term used for decompression sickness, a condition that can arise when a diver comes to the surface too quickly. As a sometime SCUBA diver, it’s something I am very much aware of. When a diver is at depth he or she is breathing in air under pressure. At pressure, more nitrogen is dissolved in the blood than normal, and as one surfaces and pressure decreases, the excess nitrogen “bubbles” out of the blood. The body can cope with this bubbling if takes place sufficiently slowly. If it occurs too quickly the nitrogen can build up in pockets in the body causing the acute pain referred to as the bends. Even when you come up slowly, you can “hear” tiny bubbles of nitrogen coming out of the blood near the ear, a crackling sound like popcorn popping.
40…Olympics entrant: Abbr…ATH
41…Yoga class need..MAT
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.
45…Nearsighted cartoon character..MR MAGOO
Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do the voice without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties. There was a movie adaptation of “Mr Magoo” released in 1997, with Leslie Nielsen playing the title role.
To be “off-kilter” is to be off balance, not aligned. To be “out of kilter” is to be out of order, not in good condition.
A “shtick” is a routine, a bit, a piece of entertainment. It comes from the Yiddish “shtick”, which has the same meaning and derives from the Middle High German word “stücke”, the word for “piece”.
The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Booth Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.
61…Suffix with pay or Cray..-OLA
“Payola” is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.