Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Parent of 66-Across..BABY BOOMER
(66A…Child of 1-Across..MILLENNIAL)
A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the “baby boom”.
The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.
Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don’t think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn’t even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that’s how Jobs found himself back with his original company.
16…It can tide you over..NOSH
Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means snack, or as a verb meaning to eat between meals.
Something is said “to tide one over” if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the expression is that a swelling tide can carry you over an obstacle without effort on your part, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from your door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare:
There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune
17…Exercise regimen..DAILY DOZEN
The Daily Dozen was an exercise regime developed by celebrated football coach Walter Camp for the US military during WWI. The “Dozen” were twelve relatively simple exercises to be completed in about eight minutes, a routine that was intended as a “jump start” for the day. Camp then offered the Daily Dozen to the general public starting in 1921, marketing the system in “Musical Health Builder” gramophone record sets.
Stelae (singular “stele” or “stela”) were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.
An “entente cordiale” (sometimes just “entente”) is a friendly understanding, usually between two nations. The term, which translates from French as “cordial agreement”, was first used to describe a set of agreements between the UK and France that were put in place 1904.
22…Piccadilly Circus statue..EROS
London’s Piccadilly Circus is a major road junction in the West End of London. The junction is at one end of the thoroughfare called Piccadilly, hence the first part of the name. The junction’s shape is roughly circular, hence the use of “circus”, a Latin word meaning “circle”. Famously, there is a statue of Eros at the center of the junction.
Our adjective “ramshackle”, meaning “loosely held together, rickety”, seems to be an alteration of the verb “to ransack”, meaning “to search through vigorously, pillage”.
When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.
Internet addresses (like NYTCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) are more correctly called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
34…Pop music sleepyhead..SUSIE
“Wake Up, Little Susie” is a song most famously associated with the Everly Brothers, as it was a hit for the duo in 1957. “Wake Up, Little Susie” is, or at least used to be, the favorite song of President George W. Bush.
36…Youngest player to join the 600-HR club..A-ROD
Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, has broken a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million.
The yeti is a beast of legend, also called the abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.
43…Teeth in Torino..DENTI
Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.
Registered nurses (RNs) are considered very important people (VIPs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).
48…Iconic Ansel Adams photograph shot in Hernandez, New Mexico..MOONRISE
“Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” is an extremely famous photograph taken by Ansel Adams in 1941. The photo is so popular that Adams himself created over 1300 handmade prints of the image during his lifetime. Just one of these prints fetched over $600,000 at auction in 2006.
As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.
52…Part of a Simon & Garfunkel quartet?..SAGE
Scarborough Fair is a delightful ballad that originated in Yorkshire in the North of England. Simon & Garfunkel recorded a famous version of the song in 1966, setting it in counterpoint with one of Simon’s own creations called “Canticle”.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
She was once a true love of mine.
A “trackman”, known as a “platelayer” on the other side of the Atlantic, is someone whose job it is to inspect and maintain railway tracks and essential component parts.
The adjective “wont” means “accustomed”, as in “I am wont to solving the crossword of an evening”.
60…Olympics event since 2000..TRAMPOLINE
The first modern trampoline was developed in 1936. The apparatus was given its name from the Spanish “trampolín” meaning “diving board”. Trampolines were used during WWII in the training of pilots, to give them exposure to some spatial orientations that would be encountered during flight. Trampolines were also used by astronauts training in the space flight program. The sport of trampolining became in Olympic event starting in the 2000 Games.
63…Seraph, to Sylvie..ANGE
A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word “seraph” (plural “seraphim”) literally translates as “burning one”. Seraphs are the highest-ranking angels in the Christian tradition, and the fifth-ranking of ten in the Jewish tradition.
64…”The Decay of Lying” author..OSCAR WILDE
Oscar Wilde’s 1891 essay “The Decay of Lying – An Observation” takes the form of a Socratic dialogue. The author uses a conversation between two characters, Vivian and Cyril, to expound on Wilde’s view of Romanticism over Realism.
66…Child of 1-Across..MILLENNIAL
(1A…Parent of 66-Across..BABY BOOMER)
The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region from which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.
5…Region including Napa..BAY AREA
The San Francisco Bay Area includes three major cities: San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.
6…With 4-Down, Fred Gipson book that won a 1957 Newbery Honor..OLD (4D…See 6-Down..YELLER)
“Old Yeller” is a children’s novel by Fred Gipson that was first published in 1956. “Old Yeller” was to be the first in a series of three books, followed by “Savage Sam” in 1962 and “Little Arliss” in 1978. The original was made into a very famous Walt Disney film released in 1957. Disney also produced the “Savage Sam” sequel, in 1963. The title character in “Old Yeller” is a yellow-colored dog that is adopted by a teenage boy. Spoiler alert: in the end, the dog dies …
7…Tribe that met with Lewis and Clark in 1804..OTO
The Native American people known as the Otoe and the Missouri were the first tribes encountered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The meeting took place in 1804 at a point on the Missouri River that is now known as Council Bluffs.
8…1987 Masters champ Larry..MIZE
Larry Mize only won a single major, the 1987 Masters Tournament. Mize famously won a playoff against Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman at the 11th hole by sinking an “impossible” chip shot after a poor approach shot to the green.
9…Polish, in a way..EMEND
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
The Montessori approach to education was developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Montessori system arrived in the US in 1911, but most classes were shut down by 1914 due to unfavorable criticism from the established education system. There was a revival in interest in the US starting in 1960 and now there are thousands of schools using the Montessori approach all over the country.
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.
23…Country music venue..OPRY
The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.
26…Part of DINK..DUAL
The acronym “DINK” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids”, and describes a couple who are both working for a wage, and have no children. The extended term “DINKER” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids, Early Retirement”. The opposite situation is sometimes referred to as SITCOM, meaning “Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage”!
Totem is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.
33…Skid row figures..WINOS
The term “skid row” is used to describe a run-down urban neighborhood. “Skid row” appears to have originated in the Pacific Northwest where a “skid road” was a wooden pathway used for “skidding” logs through forests and over bogs. The terms “skid road” and “skid row” came to be used for logging camps and mills, and then somehow was applied to run-down areas in cities up and down the west coast of North America.
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.
“Portico” is an Italian word that describes a porch or roofed walkway leading to the entrance of a building.
47…Drum kit component..TOM-TOM
A tom-tom is a drum with no snares. The name “tom-tom” came from the Hindi name “tam-tam”, which in turn was likely imitative of the sound made by the instrument.
The tarsals (also “tarsi”) are the ankle bones, equivalent to the carpals in the wrist.
54…Substance in the sea’s H2O..NACL
Chemically speaking, the water (H2O) in the sea contains lots of salt, sodium chloride (NaCl).
56…Taylor of “Say Anything…”..LILI
The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”, and she had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.
“Say Anything…” is a much-respected 1989 film high-school romantic comedy/drama film starring John Cusack and Ione Skye.
61…__ du pays: homesickness..MAL
Here are some French terms for some unpleasant conditions:
- Mal de tête (headache)
- Mal de mer (seasickness)
- Mal de pays (homesickness)