Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Today’s themed answers are GLUTEN-free fare, names of dishes that do not include the letters G, L, U, T, E nor N:
- 17A…GLUTEN-free fare..SWORDFISH
- 26A…GLUTEN-free fare..BABY BACK RIBS
- 47A…GLUTEN-free fare..SHRIMP SCAMPI
- 61A…GLUTEN-free fare..ROCKY ROAD
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Not very exciting..DRAB
We now use the word “drab” to mean “dull, cheerless”. Back in the late 17th century, “drab” was the color of natural, undyed cloth.
5…”__ the east, and Juliet … “..IT IS
There’s a famous couplet in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” spoken by Romeo as he spots Juliet above him at a window or on a balcony:
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Romeo continues with:
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
I reckon Romeo is smitten …
9…King whose gift became a curse..MIDAS
King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. Of course the power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.
15…One pulling in pushers..NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.
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”.
19…1983 Woody Allen film..ZELIG
Zelig is a 1983 film by Woody Allen. “Zelig” tells the fictitious story, in documentary style, of Leonard Zelig (played by Allen) who has the gift of being able to change his appearance in order to better fit in with the company he keeps. He becomes famous as a “human chameleon”. By using archive footage, the film includes clever “cameos” by real figures from history (like Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Susan Sontag).
“Erudite” is a lovely-sounding word meaning “learned, well-educated”. The term comes from the Latin verb “erudire” meaning “to educate”, or more literally “to bring out of the rough”.
The Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” is a 1990 adaptation of a nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi called “Wiseguy”. The film tells the story of a mob family that succumbs to the FBI after one of their own becomes an informant.
36…Duffel bag filler, in a thriller..RANSOM
A duffel bag is cylindrical tote bag with a drawstring top, often used by military personnel. The bag is made of this cloth, a cloth that originally came from the town of Duffel in Belgium, hence the name.
Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.
Singer Stevie Nicks came to fame as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Nicks has a very distinctive voice, heard at its best (I think) on the famous 1977 album “Rumours”.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.
The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. “Alma mater” was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.
55…Supposed bringer of bad luck..EVIL EYE
The “evil eye” is a curse that is cast by giving a malicious glare.
59…Mimosa family tree..ACACIA
Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle.
Some members of the Mimosa genus of plant are capable of rapid movement. For example, if you touch the leaves of the Mimosa pudica, they curl up in less than a second.
60…Gas used in flashtubes..XENON
One use of xenon gas is in flash tubes. The gas is ionized into a light emitting plasma by discharging a high voltage through it, using current stored in a capacitor.
The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.
65…K thru 12..ELHI
“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.
68…Father of Thor..ODIN
“Wotan” is an alternative (High German) spelling of the name Woden, the Anglo-Saxon version of the Norse god Odin. Wotan is the head god in the pagan tradition, but as paganism was gradually replaced by Christianity in the 7th and 8th centuries, Wotan moved from his place in religion and into the realm of folklore. Indeed, he is a precursor of our modern day Father Christmas. Wotan (Woden) also gave his name to Wednesday, Woden’s Day …
In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.
In Spanish, a “tio” (uncle) is the “hermano del padre o de la madre” (brother of the father or the mother).
Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with great hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u” to give her the stage name of “Donna Summer”.
2…Atkinson of British comedy..ROWAN
Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian and actor who is most famous for playing the title role in the comedy shows “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder”. In the world of movies, Atkinson had memorable supporting performances (in my opinion) in the Bond film “Never Say Never Again”, and in the romcoms “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually”. A very talented man …
4…Bill for shots..BAR TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.
5…Scoop or poop..INFO
“Poop” is a slang term meaning “relevant and up-to-date information”. Back in the 1940s, a “poop sheet” was a bulletin with the latest information.
6…With 63-Down, meditative discipline..TAI
More correctly called tai chi chuan, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.
7…Org. that takes many 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” …?
A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of “schema” is “schemata” and the adjectival form is “schematic”.
Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.
9…Lively Polish dance..MAZURKA
A mazurka is a Polish folk dance. The great French-Polish composer Frédéric Chopin was known for writing many mazurkas for solo piano.
In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.
“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.
Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty evident, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.
A bandanna is a large kerchief that is usually worn on the head or around the neck. The term “bandanna” comes from the Hindi word meaning “to tie”.
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.
29…Any one of the Arans..ISLE
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay in the west of Ireland. They are beautiful and desolate places, and one of the few places in Ireland where the main language spoken is Irish, as opposed to English. If you’ve seen the television comedy “Father Ted”, you’ll be familiar with the landscape, as many of the external shots are from Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands.
30…Big name in audio products..BOSE
Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.
“Smog” is a portmanteau word formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.
The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”.
Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are characters in the Uncle Remus stories, written by Joel Chandler Harris. The Uncle Remus stories are adaptations of African American folktales that Harris collected across the Southern States. “Br’er” is an abbreviated form of “brother”.
38…Year in Nero’s reign..LVI
Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.
45…High on the Scoville scale..SPICY
The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili pepper. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly the mucous membranes.
52…Bacteria in a produce recall..E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.
Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.
57…May race, familiarly..INDY
The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.
58…”Stay (I Missed You)” songwriter Lisa..LOEB
The singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!