Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each contain a hidden word shown by circled letters in the grid. That word is a synonym of the verb KID, and is written BACKWARDS:
- 63A…Young player on the rebound … or, in another way, what each set of circles in this puzzle represents..COMEBACK KID
- 17A…Spread some gossip..DISH THE DIRT (hiding RIDE backwards)
- 24A…Hybrid toaster oven snacks..PIZZA ROLLS (hiding RAZZ backwards)
- 38A…He has a nest at 123 1/2 Sesame Street..BIG BIRD (hiding RIB backwards)
- 52A…Stayed on..HUNG AROUND (hiding RAG backwards)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6…Japanese cartoon art..ANIME
Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.
14…Send to cloud nine..ELATE
I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and puffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …
15…Sir Arthur __ Doyle..CONAN
The Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is most closely associated with his wonderful character Sherlock Holmes. Doyle also wrote a series of science fiction stories featuring the character Professor Challenger. The first book in which Challenger appears is the famous “The Lost World”, a story about prehistoric creatures that are found living in the modern age on an isolated plateau in South America.
16…Traffic court letters..DWI
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.
The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that originated in China. The Chinese name for the breed is “Songshi Quan”, which translates as “puffy-lion dog”, a rather apt name given its appearance …
23…Original “Veronica Mars” airer..UPN
The United Paramount Network (UPN) was a TV channel that launched in 1995, and shut down in 2006. Some of UPN’s programming was moved to the CW channel at the time of UPN’s demise.
“Veronica Mars” is a TV show starring Kristen Bell in the title role. Mars is a student who also works as a private investigator.
27…Surrealism pioneer Max..ERNST
Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.
30…”… Mr. Tambourine Man, __ song for me”..PLAY A
Bob Dylan first released his now-classic song “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. That same year, the Byrds released a cover version of the song that also became a big hit. Dylan’s rendition includes all four verses, whereas record released by the Byrds only uses the second verse. Great stuff …
33…Birch or beech..TREE
Birch is a hardwood tree. The bark of the birch has eye-like features, leading to the trees nickname of “the Watchful Tree”.
Beech bark is very thin and delicate, and is often scarred by people carving their initials or other forms of graffiti. These markings are permanent because the tree cannot heal itself. There is also a fungal infection that damages the American beech that is called beech bark disease, which can be fatal to the tree.
37…Buns and flips..DOS
The flip hairstyle was popular with women in the sixties, and was characterized by an upward curl in the ends of the hair (a “flip”).
38…He has a nest at 123 1/2 Sesame Street..BIG BIRD
The man “inside” Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is Caroll Spinney, who has been playing the character since 1969. That’s a long time, so Matt Vogel has been Spinney’s understudy since 1998.
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long-term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.
43…Racing legend A.J…FOYT
A. J. Foyt is a retired racing driver. He is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500 (four times, in fact), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
48…Sharif of “Doctor Zhivago”..OMAR
Omar Sharif was the great Hollywood actor from Egypt, an actor who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me he was my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.
“Doctor Zhivago” is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. I haven’t tried to read it the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.
56…Dutch banking giant..ING
ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.
“The Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the ten-year siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “The Iliad”.
59…Philips electric toothbrush brand..SONICARE
Sonicare is a brand of electric toothbrush made Dutch electronics giant Philips. I’ve been using my Sonicare for years now, which gets me a pat on the back from dentist every time I visit him …
62…”Teen Wolf” network..MTV
“Teen Wolf” is a 1985 comedy film starring Michael J. Fox in the title role, a high school student who transforms into a werewolf. There’s a TV series that’s loosely based on the movie. The show features Tyler Posey as the “teen wolf”. Neither movie nor TV show would be my cup of tea …
67…Go off-script..AD LIB
Ad libitum is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar.
“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.
4…1862 Tenn. battle site..FT HENRY
The American Civil War’s Battle of Fort Henry was an attack by Union troops on the Confederate-held Fort Henry, which sat on the eastern bank of the Tennessee River in the northeast of the state. Union forces were led by Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant, and the engagement marked the first important victory for the North in the conflict.
A tennis match, for example, is divided into sets.
7…Brand for serious last-minute preparation..NODOZ
NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.
11…Pain reliever sold in Liqui-Gels..ADVIL
Advil is Wyeth’s brand of ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
“Ibuprofen” is a shortened version of the drug’s name Iso-BUtyl-PROpanoic-PHENolic acid. It’s actually an anti-inflammatory, but apparently it is good for headaches too.
Akimbo is such a lovely word, I think (as in “arms akimbo”). I failed to dig up anything too exciting about the term’s etymology. It seems to stem from Middle English, “in kekbowe” or “on kenbow” meaning “bend in a curve”. When the arms are held akimbo, the hands are on the hops and the elbows are pointed outward.
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.
30…Adobe file format..PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.
31…Head of a pub?..LOO
In old sailing ships the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship, hence the term “head” that has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.
32…Prez on a fiver..ABE
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.
The king ratsnake is native to Southeast and East Asia. It is also known as the “stink snake” and the “stinking goddess”, referring to the foul odor released from post-anal glands when threatened.
“To shuck” is to remove the husk from (say an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say an oyster).
A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).
44…Frat party wear..TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.
Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.
Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …
52…Handmade bleachers sign..HI MOM!
At a sports event one might sit in the “bleachers”. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be “bleached” by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.
54…Skin “Creme” in blue tins..NIVEA
Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.
55…Workout buff’s motto opener..USE IT …
Use it or lose it.
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …
There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972.
The meter of a poem is its rhythmic structure.
65…Portland Timbers’ org…MLS
Portland’s professional soccer team are known as the Timbers. The current Major League Soccer (MLS) club was founded in 2009, and took the name of the original Portland Timbers team that played in the North American Soccer League from 1975 to 1982.