Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers sound like well-known phrases, but are clued with reference to types of beer:
- 20A…Beer made in Johannesburg?..STOUT OF AFRICA (from “Out of Africa”)
- 33A…One who aspires to be the king of beers?..PORTER PRINCE (from “Port-au-Prince”)
- 41A…Sounds from a brewery?..LAGER RHYTHMS (from “logarithms”)
- 57A…Toast said while hoisting presidential beer?..ALE TO THE CHIEF (from “Hail to the Chief”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Crudités are a French appetizer made up of sliced and whole raw vegetables that are dipped into a sauce. The French word “crudité” simply means a raw vegetable, and derives from the Latin word “crudus” meaning “raw”.
9…Hot dogs and hams..MEATS
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.
14…With, on la carte..AVEC
In French, “avec” (with) is the opposite of “sans” (without).
“Carte” is a word sometimes used in French for a menu. Menu items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately, as opposed to “table d’hôte” which is a fixed price menu with limited choice.
Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.
16…Lowest deck on a ship..ORLOP
The orlop is the lowest deck on the ship, the place where cables and ropes used to be stored. The name “orlop” comes from the Dutch word “overlopen” meaning “to run over”. The idea is that all these ropes “ran over” each other while in storage.
17…Gadget that exercises the wrist..YO-YO
The first yo-yos date back to at least 500 BC. There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.
Mata Hari was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertruida Zella, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1, in 1917.
Something cold might be described as “nippy”, having a “biting” chill.
20…Beer made in Johannesburg?..STOUT OF AFRICA (from “Out of Africa”)
The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.
“Out of Africa” is a Sydney Pollack film released in 1985, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The storyline is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Karen Blixen (written under the pen name Isak Dinesen).
Johannesburg is the most populous city in South Africa. The city developed from a prospecting settlement, and was named after two surveyors: Johannes Meyer and Johannes Rissik.
The Republic of South Africa (RSA).
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.
On the other side of the Atlantic, a truck is called a “lorry”.
Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family, commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.
Central Daylight Time (CDT)
29…Letter before upsilon..TAU
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.
33…One who aspires to be the king of beers?..PORTER PRINCE (from “Port-au-Prince”)
Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s and is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.
Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti. The city was hit by a devastating earthquake in January of 2010. The official government estimate of the death toll stands at 230,000 people, with many bodies never recovered.
39…Larter of TV’s “Heroes”..ALI
Ali Larter is an American actress who plays two roles (identical twins) on the NBC series “Heroes”. Larter was originally a model, before moving into acting. One of her more famous roles on the big screen was supporting Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 film “Legally Blonde”.
40…Tip for a dealer..TOKE
“Toke” is an informal term for a tip given to a dealer or other employee at a casino.
41…Sounds from a brewery?..LAGER RHYTHMS (from “logarithms”)
Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.
As an example of a logarithm, the number 10,000 is equal to 10 to the power of 4, so the base-10 logarithm of 10,000 is said to be 4. Inversely, the antilogarithm of 4 (in the base-10) is 10,000. But, we all remember that from school, don’t we?
46…”Life of Pi” Oscar winner..ANG LEE
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.
The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
47…Justice dept. heads..AGS
Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.
48…Form 1040 fig…AGI
Adjusted gross income (AGI)
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” …?
51…Welker of the NFL..WES
Wes Welker is a wide receiver who made his NFL debut with the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Welker has built a successful career in football for himself, despite joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Notably, he owns a reasonably successful racehorse called “Undrafted”.
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.
55…Oil once touted by Florence Henderson..WESSON
Wesson cooking oil was named for David Wesson, a food chemist who came up with a process to deodorize cottonseed oil in 1899. Wesson used to be pure cottonseed oil, but is now a mixture of cheaper vegetable oils. Actress Florence was the longtime spokesperson for the product, appearing in Wesson TV commercials from 1976 until 1996.
57…Toast said while hoisting presidential beer?..ALE TO THE CHIEF (from “Hail to the Chief”)
“Hail to the Chief” was first published in 1812 as “March and Chorus in the Dramatic Romance of the Lady of the Lake”. The lyrics are from Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lady of the Lake”, and the music was written by a songwriter called James Sanderson. Today, “Hail to the Chief” is the official Presidential Anthem of the US.
A gourd is a plant in the same family as the cucumber. The hollow, dried out shell of the fruit is large and rounded, and used for a number of purposes. Gourds make fine bottles and bowls, and resonating chambers as part of musical instruments … and drums.
The McDonald’s Happy Meal was introduced in 1977. The Happy Meal was inspired by a selection of food designed in a Guatemalan McDonald’s to suit children that was called “Menu Ronald”. The toys in Happy Meals often tie-in with some movie and so are part of an advertising campaign.
64…Mesmerizing designs..OP ART
Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.
A pall is a cloth used to cover a casket at a funeral. Pallbearers actually carry the coffin, covered by the pall. The phrase “casting a pall over”, meaning to create a dark mood, is metaphorical use of the pall over the casket.
68…Gps. with copays..HMOS
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
69…Paris’ __ Neuf..PONT
Paradoxically, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge standing today that crosses the River Seine in Paris. The paradox is that the name translates to “new bridge”. The bridge is in two parts, as it crosses from the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité (on which stands Notre Dame) and then from the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank.
The peyote is a small spineless cactus that is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. When ingested, the peyote is known to have a psychoactive effect. One of the psychoactive alkaloids in peyote is mescaline, a drug of choice for the likes Aldous Huxley and Pablo Picasso.
4…Use a Brillo pad..SCOUR
Brillo Pad is a soapy, steel wool pad, patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.
6…Evil count of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”..OLAF
Lemony Snicket is a pen name used by Daniel Handler, a novelist from San Francisco, California. Snicket also appears as the narrator of his books, including the best known of the works: “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. Count Olaf is the antagonist in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.
The carat is a unit of mass used in measuring gemstones that is equal to 200 mg.
A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. “Sobriquet” is French for “nickname”.
10…Los Angeles mayor Garcetti..ERIC
Democrat Eric Garcetti was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, making him the first Jewish person to hold that office. Garcetti had played fictional Mayor of Los Angeles Ramon Quintero from 2010 until 2012 on the TV show “The Closer” and “Major Crimes”.
11…Actor with eight Oscar nominations (and one win)..AL PACINO
Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.
13…Many a character in “The Americans”..SPY
“The Americans” is a very engaging drama series set during the Cold War that features two KGB spies living as a married couple just outside Washington, D.C. The show was created by Joe Weisberg, who is a novelist and former CIA officer. The lead roles in “The Americans” are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.
Towards the end of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy’s little dog Toto pulls back a green curtain to reveal the true identity of the Wizard.
That would be in a boat.
30…State with five national parks..UTAH
The highest number of National Parks (NPs) in any one state is nine, in California. Alaska comes in second with eight, and Utah with five. The five NPs in Utah are:
- Arches NP
- Bryce Canyon NP
- Canyonlands NP
- Capitol Reef NP
- Zion NP
34…Nevada copper town..ELY
Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station, and then experienced a mining boom after copper was discovered locally in 1906. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.
35…Beatles girl with a “little white book”..RITA
“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.
37…Hatcher’s “Lois & Clark” role..LANE
Teri Hatcher’s most famous role these days is the Susan Mayer character in “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.
“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” is a television show that aired originally from 1993 to 1997. The storyline focuses as much on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane as it does on Kent’s life as Superman. Clark and Lois are played by Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher.
43…Monopoly deed word..RENT
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.
44…Sinclair Lewis nominated him for the 1932 Nobel Prize in Literature..HG WELLS
The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.
Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist and playwright. Lewis was the first US writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he won in 1930.
45…Tiny time meas…MSEC
A millisecond is one thousandth of a second, and is often abbreviated to “msec”. However, the more correct abbreviation for millisecond is “ms”.
Asiago is a crumbly cheese, named after the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.
54…Players riding the pine..B-TEAM
When a sportsperson is “riding the pine”, they are sitting on the bench, not participating in the game.
The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”, used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.
The air quality index (AQI) is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).