Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers ends with a word that is often ADDED to WELCOME:
- 119A…Breath of fresh air … or, literally, what the last word of eight long Across answers can be..WELCOME ADDITION
- 23A…Town gathering place..COMMUNITY CENTER (giving “welcome center”)
- 29A…Bathroom safety feature..SHOWER MAT (giving “welcome mat”)
- 45A…Gardener’s purchase..SEED PACKET (giving “welcome packet”)
- 55A…Fixture on many a cattle drive..CHUCK WAGON (giving “Welcome Wagon”)
- 70A…Purpose of some government credits..TAX RELIEF (giving “welcome relief”)
- 84A…Astrological sector..ZODIAC SIGN (giving “welcome sign”)
- 93A…Hidden..OUT OF SIGHT (giving “welcome sight”)
- 109A…Source of many breaking stories..YAHOO! NEWS (giving “welcome news”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“Thunderstruck” is a single by Australian hard rock band AC/DC released in 1990. The title of the song was used for a 2004 Australian film about five AC/DC fans.
5…Alberta resort town..BANFF
Banff is a town located within the bounds of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Banff is located high in the Canadian Rockies and is a popular tourist destination. The town and park were given their name in 1884 by the then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He named Banff for his birthplace of Banffshire in Scotland.
19…Manhattan or Queens, briefly..BORO
The five boroughs of New York City were created in 1898. The five boroughs are:
- The Bronx
- Staten Island
20…City NW of Orlando..OCALA
The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …
21…Bryan’s “Breaking Bad” role..WALT
Walter White is the protagonist on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad”. Played by Bryan Cranston, White is a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to manufacturing high-grade crystal meth in order to ensure his family’s security after his death.
22…Formed for a specific purpose..AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola are all slang terms for money.
27…Bombards with bogus offers..SPAMS
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …
28…One of a toon septet..DOPEY
In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:
- Doc (the leader of the group)
- Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.
33…Arabian Peninsula port..ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.
35…Acidity levels: Abbr…PHS
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.
There is a trio of letters N (ens) in the word “pennant”.
37…Sherpa’s domain: Abbr…MTN
In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.
38…Ivory or Coast..SOAP
Ivory soap is one of Procter & Gamble’s oldest products, introduced way back in 1879. Ivory soap is noted for its “purity” and also because of its property of floating in water. Despite urban myths to the contrary, the property of floating in water was developed deliberately by a chemist at the time Ivory was being formulated. The soap floats because the ingredients are mixed longer than necessary for homogenization, which introduces more air into the product.
Coast is a deodorant soap that was launched by Procter & Gamble in 1976. The target market for Coast is men.
“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.
48…Witch’s familiar, maybe..CAT
A “familiar spirit” (also simply “familiar”) were supernatural entities that often took the form of animals and that would act as a witch’s assistant.
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 ern (also erne) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.
Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey, after Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). After WWI, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and the Allies occupied the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The victors planned to break up most of Turkey, leaving native Turks just part of their country for their own. In the inevitable War of Independence that followed, the Turkish Nationalists used Ankara as their base. When the Nationalists emerged victorious, they declared Ankara the new capital of Turkey.
55…Fixture on many a cattle drive..CHUCKWAGON (giving “Welcome Wagon”)
Welcome Wagon is a company that was founded in 1928 in Memphis. The company contacts new homeowners with coupons and advertisements from local businesses. Up until 1998, new homeowners would be contacted by Welcome Wagon “hostesses” who provided the coupons and advertisements in gift baskets, along with free product samples.
A “chuckwagon” is a covered wagon that is in effect used as a field kitchen on the trail. They were particularly prevalent as part of the wagon trains crossing the country with people intending to settle in the West. They are also used as support vehicles for cowboys and loggers as they do their work.
57…Jet with suits?..CESSNA
The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.
61…Remains in the cooler..DOES TIME
The cooler, the pen, the slammer … prison.
Cardinal red is a vivid shade that takes its name from the cassocks worn by Roman Catholic cardinals. The bird known as a cardinal takes its name from the color.
67…Some NASA missions..EVAS
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is the name given to any work done by an astronaut outside of his or her spacecraft. The term would encompass walking on the moon, as well as making a space walk i.e. floating around in space tethered to spacecraft.
It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.
77…”Priest” in a Nash poem..ONE-L LAMA
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:
The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
79…Runway retiree of ’03..SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Famously, the Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.
A casaba is type of honeydew melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.
The cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon consumed in the US. Apparently the cantaloupe was first cultivated in Cantalupo in Sabina, a town near Rome in Italy.
84…Astrological sector..ZODIAC SIGN (giving “welcome sign”)
Most of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are animals. This fact relates to the etymology of the term “zodiac”, which comes from the Greek “zodiakos kyklos”, literally “circle of animals”.
86…Disc golf starting point..TEE PAD
Disc golf is also known as frisbee golf.
The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.
90…Friend of Harry..RON
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are the principal characters in the “Harry Potter” series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling.
Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …
99…__ Spiegel: German magazine..DER
“Der Spiegel” is a very successful German magazine found on newsstands all over Europe. The name “Der Spiegel” translates from German into “the Mirror”.
100…Attention that can help healing, briefly..TLC
Tender loving care (TLC)
105…Titicaca, por ejemplo..LAGO
In Spanish, Titicaca “por ejemplo” (for example) is a “lago” (lake).
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable lake in the world (navigable by “large” commercial vessels). Lake Titicaca is located in the Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
107…Bacon with six degrees?..KEVIN
Kevin Bacon is an actor from Philadelphia who appeared first on the big screen in the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. That wasn’t to be the big break that Bacon needed though, which came with “Footloose” in 1984. A fun fact about him is that he is the subject of a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.
113…Italian-born three-time Oscar winner..CAPRA
I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.
122…Rice/Lloyd Webber musical..EVITA
“Evita” was the followup musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out).
“Sheikh” is an Arabic title used by the head of a family or by the head of a Muslim religious order. The term arose in the 16th century and came from the Arabic word “shaykh”, meaning “chief, old man”.
124…”__ Fire”: Denzel Washington movie..MAN ON
“Man on Fire” is a 2004 film starring Denzel Washington as a bodyguard who goes on a rampage after his 9-year-old charge is kidnapped. The movie is based on A. J. Quinnell’s 1980 novel of the same name. The book had been adapted for the big screen once before, in 1987, with Scott Glenn in the title role.
125…Visiting the Getty Mus., say..IN LA
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is one of the most visited museums in the country. Like many museums in developed countries these days, the Getty has been embroiled in disputes about ownership of artifacts. The curators of the Getty have gone so far as to repatriate some items in recent years, especially to Greece and Italy. The J. Paul Getty Museum has to locations. The Getty Center is the primary location, and houses art from the Middle Ages to the present. The associated (and beautiful) Getty Villa displays art from ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria.
128…Santa __ racetrack..ANITA
Santa Anita Park is a racetrack for horses located in Arcadia, California. The most famous races on the track’s calendar are the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap.
3…Boots brand with Bouncing Soles..DR MARTENS
“Doc Martens” is the more familiar term for the British shoe brand “Dr. Martens”. The first Doc Martens were made in Germany just after WWII, by a doctor named Klaus Martens. He found his army-issue boots too uncomfortable for an injured foot, so he developed a boot with soft leather and an air-cushioned sole, the trademarks of today’s Doc Martens.
“Bon voyage” translates literally from French into English as “good journey”.
6…Heavy metal relative..ACID ROCK
Acid rock is a musical genre, a subset of psychedelic rock. The term comes from the influence of the drug LSD (acid) on some compositions in the early days.
7…Brussels-based defense gp…NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
A strop is a strip of leather used to sharpen a razor.
15…Gas additive, perhaps..ODOR
Natural gas that is piped into our homes is naturally odorless. A tiny amount of odorant is added to assist in the detection of leaks. A common additive is tert-Butylthiol, which is said to impart the smell of rotten eggs.
17…Pitching legend Ryan..NOLAN
Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts that any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.
18…Improvises with nonsense syllables..SCATS
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.
The “$” sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the “$” sign.
“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.
34…Maker of Candy Buttons..NECCO
Candy Buttons are small round pegs of sugar candy that are sold attached to a strip of paper.
39…Preceder of an alt. name..AKA
Also known as (aka)
Tatars are an ethnic group of people, mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). One of the more famous people with a Tatar heritage was Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. Bronson’s real name was Charles Buchinsky.
The term “coma” comes from the Greek word “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.
52…Mario Paint console, initially..SNES
The acronym Super NES (or SNES) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Our kids probably have one somewhere …
56…Greek vacation isle..CORFU
Corfu is an island in the very northwest of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. Corfu is a very, very popular vacation destination for European tourists, particularly those from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.
58…Composer with a Helsinki academy named for him..SIBELIUS
Jean Sibelius is the most famous Finnish classical composer, and shall forever be linked with his wonderful symphonic poem, “Finlandia”. Sibelius composed many lovely pieces of music right up until the mid 1920s when he was in his fifties. Despite all his efforts, he wasn’t able to produce any notable works for the last thirty years of his life.
Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …
65…Palindromic file extension..EXE
In the Windows Operating System, a file with the extension .exe is an “executable” file.
69…Pro-and-con newspaper pair, perhaps..OP-EDS
Op-Ed is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-Eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.
Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.
The Powerball lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Mega Millions.
The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite of “heads”.
McAfee is a security software company now known as Intel Security Group. Purchased by Intel in 2011, the company was founded by John McAfee in 1987. John McAfee might be described as a “bit of a character”. He lived in Belize for several years, before being forced out of the country. After returning to the US, McAfee went after the Libertarian Party nomination for US president in the 2016 election.
78…”60 Minutes” correspondent..LARA LOGAN
Lara Logan is a South African newswoman, and is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story.
81…Pope Francis’ birthplace..ARGENTINA
Pope Francis was elected on 13 March 2013 as the 266th Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic church. The new pope is famously taking a much simpler and more modest approach to the office, as he did with his life back in Argentina. Francis is the first pope since 1903 not to reside in the papal residence, choosing to live instead in the less lavish Vatican guesthouse.
82…Nobelist who developed a model for 63-Down..BOHR
Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist, who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.
Grade point average (GPA)
European Theater of Operations (ETO)
89…Circle in a fabric pattern..POLKA DOT
A polka dot pattern is one featuring an array of filled circles, usually of the same size and color. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the name of the pattern and the polka dance, other than both the dance and the pattern gaining popularity around the same time, in the late nineteenth century.
100…Not exactly high-strung..TYPE B
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.
104…Big name in Scotch..DEWAR
Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch, first created in 1899, with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.
Gamma radiation was first discovered by the French chemist Paul Villard, as he studied radiation coming from the chemical element radium. This radiation was called “gamma”, the third letter in the Greek alphabet, as alpha and beta particles had already been identified.
108…ROTC school near D.C…VMI
The Virginia Military Institute is one of the six senior military colleges in the country, and is located in Lexington, Virginia. The sports teams of VMI are known as the Keydets, southern slang for “cadets”.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.
112…”__ That Bass”: Gershwin song..SLAP
“Slap That Bass” is song by George and Ira Gershwin that Fred Astaire and Dudley Dickerson sang in the 1937 movie “Shall We Dance”. “Slapping” is a technique used in playing the double bass that was popular around that time.
A ranee (also spelled “rani”) is a queen or a princess, the female equivalent of a raja in India.
116…__ oak: Mediterranean tree..HOLM
The holly oak (also “holm oak”) is an evergreen tree that is native to the Mediterranean region. There is one holly tree in Sicily that is supposedly 700 years old, and a stand of trees in Malta that have reputedly been growing there for between 500 and 1,000 years ago.
117…Start of a gridiron play..SNAP
That would be in football.
120…”48 Hours” airer..CBS
“48 Hours” is a CBS news magazine show that has aired since 1988.
121…It might be recombinant..DNA
Recombinant DNA is DNA made under laboratory conditions. The recombination technique brings together genetic material from multiple sources, perhaps from a different part of the same gene, or even from the gene of a different organism. The end result is a new, man-made genetic combination.