Edited by: Rich Norris
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The first word in each of today’s themed answers is a synonym of “fling”.
- 16A…”Good Guys Wear Black” star..CHUCK NORRIS
- 24A…Post-performance celebration..CAST PARTY
- 36A…Stroke with a wedge..PITCH SHOT
- 51A…Display for lecture illustrations..FLIP CHART
- 61A…Sofa decor..THROW PILLOW
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10…Work the aisles, slangily..USH
“To ush” is to usher, to show to a seat.
16…”Good Guys Wear Black” star..CHUCK NORRIS
Chuck Norris is a martial artist and an actor from Ryan, Oklahoma. Norris’s first real exposure to martial arts was in the US Air Force when he was serving in South Korea. When he left the service Norris opened up a chain of karate schools, and among his clients were Steve McQueen and his son, as well as Donny and Marie Osmond.
“Good Guys Wear Black” is a 1977 action movie starring Chuck Norris and Anne Archer. It was also the first film to feature Aaron Norris, Chuck’s younger brother.
21…Stereotypical Geek Squad employee..NERD
Best Buy is a retailer specializing in the supply of consumer electronics. Best Buy services include the famous “Geek Squad”, a band of technical experts that will help solve your computer and other consumer electronic problems.
The pupil of the eye is the “hole” located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.
In the US Navy, a yeoman is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact, the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy. You’ll also see a lot of yeomen in the background on “Star Trek”.
36…Stroke with a wedge..PITCH SHOT
That would be in golf.
Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.
The name for the pastry known as an “éclair” is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.
Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. His best known work is probably his 1927 novel “Steppenwolf”.
The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.
Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular I hear. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …
60…Young __: tykes, in dialect..’UNS
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.
61…Sofa decor..THROW PILLOW
“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.
The “Alfa” in Alfa Romeo is actually an acronym, standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.
67…Onetime rival of Delta..TWA
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.
Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name Delta Air Service was introduced in 1928.
1…Title for Prince William’s wife..DUCHESS
The tradition in the UK is to invest the heir-apparent to the throne with the title of Prince of Wales. Since Prince Charles is that heir today, he is called Prince of Wales and his first wife was known as Diana, Princess of Wales. Both of their children also use the title, Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales. That said, ever since Prince William’s marriage, he mainly uses the title Duke of Cambridge.
2…The “thee” in “Get thee to a nunnery”..OPHELIA
In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Ophelia is courted by Hamlet. In Act III, Hamlet is pretty depressed and upset, and addresses Ophelia with the famous line “Get thee to a nunn’ry, why woulds’t thou be a breeder of sinners?” In this scene, Hamlet is denying that he ever loved Ophelia, and exorts her to “become a nun”, so that she may never have to give birth to someone as pitiful and sinful as himself.
Enclosure (“encl.”, or sometimes “enc.”)
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.
The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.
8…Shar-__: wrinkly dog..PEI
The Shar-Pei breed of dog is that one with the wrinkly face and really dark tongue. The breed originated in China, with “Shar-Pei” being the British spelling of the Cantonese name.
9…Paper staff, briefly..EDS
14…NBC skit show broadcast from 30 Rock..SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.
What is now called the GE Building in New York City, was originally known as the RCA Building, with the name changing in 1988 after the 1986 takeover of RCA by GE. The building was completed in 1933 as part of the Rockefeller Center and was named for its main tenant RCA. Famously, the skyscraper’s address of 30 Rockefeller Center is routinely shortened to “30 Rock”.
17…Prince William’s wife..KATE
Kate Middleton is the wife of Prince William of the UK. Middleton is what one might call a commoner, although since her marriage she is known as the Duchess of Cambridge. She was born to parents who had worked together as flight attendants before becoming quite wealthy running their own mail-order business. As is so often the case in Britain, Kate’s ancestry can be traced back far enough to show that she and William do have common ancestors, dating back to the 1500s on her mother’s side and to the 1400s on her father’s side.
26…Prefix with technic..PYRO-
“Pyro” is the combining form of the Greek word for “fire”. “Pyrotechnics” is the art of making and using fireworks.
37…Desktop with an AppleCare option..IMAC
AppleCare is hardware warranty and support service provided by Apple for its products.
Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, written in the 14th century.
41…Bygone weight-loss pills..TRIMSPA
TrimSpa is a dietary supplement touted as an to weight loss. Its active ingredients are stimulants (like caffeine). TrimSpa became quite famous when the manufacturers hired Anna Nicole Smith as spokesperson for the product.
44…French explorer who named Louisiana..LASALLE
The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed in the Mississippi River basin for France in 1682, he named it “La Louisiane” in honor of Louis XIV, who was King of France at that time.
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).
50…Kenneth __, portrayer of Judge Lance Ito in “The People v. O.J. Simpson”..CHOI
Actor Kenneth Choi is from Chicago. He is best known for playing Kenry Lin on the TV crime drama “Sons of Anarchy”. Choi also played the pivotal role of Judge Lance Ito on the TV series “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story”.
53…Valerie Harper sitcom..RHODA
The seventies sitcom “Rhoda” was a spinoff of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” that starred Valerie Harper. The eighth episode of the show was an hour-long special in which Rhoda married her fiance Joe (played by David Groh). At the time of airing it was the second-most watched television episode in history, second only to the 1953 birth of Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy”.
Valerie Harper is best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, and on her own spin-off sitcom “Rhoda”. Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, and in 2013 was given just months to live. Despite the prognosis, and her age of 74 years, she decided to appear in the 17th season of “Dancing with the Stars”. Harper is still with us.
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.
62…”True Detective” network..HBO
“True Detective” is a crime drama made by HBO that has an interesting format. Each series has its own narrative and cast. The show seems to be attracting some great actors. The first season was led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and the second by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams.
We’ve been calling youths “striplings” since the 14th century. The name probably originates from the description of a youth as a thin strip of a thing. I was a stripling once, a long, long time ago …