Edited by: Rich Norris
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The letters at either SIDE of today’s themed answers are circled in the grid. Those letters spell out types of ORDERS:
- 62A…Fries, slaw, etc. … and what this puzzle’s circles represent..SIDE ORDERS
- 18A…Paper or plastic choice..GROCERY BAG (giving “gag order”)
- 24A…Waitstaff boss..MAITRE D’HOTEL (giving “mail order”)
- 40A…Misfortune..BAD LUCK (giving “back order”)
- 51A…Popular climb from Lone Pine, California..MOUNT WHITNEY (giving “money order”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.
The marathon is run over 26 miles and 385 yards, and of course commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens. The actual distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.
Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.
Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.
17…Moscow : nyet :: Berlin : __..NEIN
The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet” and into German as “nein”.
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was founded in 1850 by Scottish American detective and spy Allan Pinkerton. Apparently, in the late 19th century, Pinkerton had more agents than the US Army had soldiers.
22…Protest singer Phil..OCHS
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.
24…Waitstaff boss..MAITRE D’HOTEL
The full title of a “maître d’” is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.
Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.
31…Online company with many drivers..UBER
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Personally, I love the service and only have had good experiences …
Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.
Taxonomic classification of the giant panda has been a subject of great debate for years, the main question being whether it belongs to the bear or raccoon family. The accepted opinion these days, based on molecular studies, seems to be that the panda is in fact a true bear.
45…Watson of “Harry Potter” films..EMMA
Emma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
47…Carrier that added “ways” to its name in 1997..USAIR
From 1953, what today is US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir. In 1997 the name was changed again, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.
49…Butter toffee bar..SKOR
Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. Skor is sold in Canada as Rutnam. What “shoes” have to do with candy, I don’t know …
51…Popular climb from Lone Pine, California..MOUNT WHITNEY
Mount Whitney in California has an elevation of 14,505 feet making its peak the highest spot in the contiguous United States. Mt. Whitney was given its name in 1864 by members of the California Geographical Society who named it after Josiah Whitney, the State Geologist at the time.
57…Car rental giant..AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.
60…Most of the Jolly Green Giant’s laugh..HO, HO …
The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company’s peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the “Green Giant”. The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air. In 1972, the Jolly Green Giant was given an apprentice called the Little Green Sprout.
The Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan IV became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.
An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.
67…West Point initials..USMA
West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.
69…Oater law group..POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!
70…Gas company with toy trucks..HESS
The Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.
1…Old TWA rival..PAN AM
Pan Am started out as a mail and passenger service between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba in 1927. From very early in the company’s life it was the de facto representative air carrier of the United States. For many years Pan Am’s fleet was built around the Boeing 314 Clipper, a long-range flying boat that was one of the largest aircraft around at the time. Pan Am adopted the Clipper as part of its image, even using “clipper” as the call sign for its flights.
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.
2…High-speed Amtrak service..ACELA
The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. The brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.
3…Legumes used in cook-offs..CHILI BEANS
The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.
4…McCain or McConnell..SENATOR
John McCain went into the US Naval Academy in 1958, following a family tradition as his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. The younger McCain did not achieve the same rank, retiring from the Navy as a captain in 1981, but his career development was interrupted by almost six years spent as a prisoner of war (POW) in North Vietnam. John McCain has been a US Senator from Arizona since 1987.
Senator Mitch McConnell is a Republican Senator who took over as Majority Leader in the US Senate in 2015. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who served as Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush.
Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.
6…King of Judea..HEROD
Herod Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the Great, and like his grandfather was a Roman client king of Judea. It is thought that Herod Agrippa is the “Herod” mentioned in the Bible’s “Acts of the Apostles”, the king who imprisoned Peter and who had killed James son of Zebedee. Agrippa’s grandfather was the King Herod who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents described in the Gospel of Matthew. This was Herod’s attempt to kill the young Jesus by ordering the murder of all boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and vicinity.
Judea was the southern part of the historic Land of Israel.
7…Firstborn son of Cain..ENOCH
According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Enoch was the son of Cain, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. Enoch’s mother was Awan, who was also his aunt (Cain’s sister).
A man described as “macho” shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.
21…Gun lobby org…NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)
25…Kett of old comics..ETTA
“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).
26…Christine’s lover in “The Phantom of the Opera”..ERIK
In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House.
That would be in baseball.
32…Older brother of Jeff Bridges..BEAU
The actor Beau Bridges is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges, and brother of actor Jeff Bridges. Beau’s best-known role is perhaps one of “The Fabulous Bakker Boys” alongside brother Jeff.
34…”__ to Billie Joe”..ODE
“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”
40…Scott of “Happy Days”..BAIO
Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not-so-great spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.
44…Ones “in distress” in old films..DAMSELS
A “damsel” is a young woman, often referring to a lady of noble birth. The term came into English from the Old French “dameisele”, which had the same meaning. The modern French term is “demoiselle”, which in turn is related to the term of address “mademoiselle”.
46…Tax-sheltered nest egg..ROTH IRA
Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.
48…German coal valley..RUHR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.
53…”__ are the times that try men’s souls”: Paine..THESE
Thomas Paine’s series of pamphlets called “The American Crisis” starts with the famous words:
These are the times that try men’s souls.
Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.
Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody.
57…Without delay, in memos..ASAP
As soon as possible (ASAP)
58…Don Corleone’s first name..VITO
Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel “The Godfather”. The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island.
59…Nuptial vows..I DOS
Our word “nuptial” is an adjective meaning “of marriage, of the wedding ceremony”. The term derives from “nuptiae”, the Latin for “wedding, marriage”.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.
64…Carrier to Copenhagen..SAS
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.
Copenhagen is the largest city and the capital of Denmark. I have never visited Copenhagen, but I hear it is a wonderful metropolis with a marvelous quality of life. The city is also very environmentally friendly, with over a third of its population commuting to work by bicycle.