Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers contain a sequence of letters that are circled in the grid. These letters are W-O-R-L-D, but rearranged, in a NEW ORDER:
- 38A…Post-Cold War hierarchy … and what is literally contained in the circled squares..NEW WORLD ORDER
- 18A…Churchgoer’s “If it’s meant to be”..LORD WILLING
- 26A…Another name for the gladiolus..SWORD LILY
- 51A…Out-of-the-office assignment..FIELDWORK
- 60A…They’re often passed on the road..SLOW DRIVERS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
4…Tropical fish with large peepers..BIGEYE
Bigeyes are tropical fish with rough, spined scales and unusually large eyes, hence the name.
15…Rapper whose professional name sounds like a candy..EMINEM
Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …
Forrest Mars, Sr. was the founder of the Mars Company. Forrest invented the Mars Bar while living over in England and then developed M&M’s when he returned to the US. Mars came up with the idea for M&M’s when he saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets. Those pellets had a hard shell of tempered chocolate on the outside to prevent them from melting. Mars got some of the funding to develop the M&M from William Murrie, the son of the president of Hershey’s Chocolate. It is the “M” and “M” from “Mars” and “Murrie” that give the name to the candy.
16…Sport, for ports: Abbr…ANAG
The word “sport” is an anagram of “ports”.
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer and was the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.
“Kitchy-kitchy-koo” is a taunt uttered while tickling someone.
A “scapegoat” is a person chosen to take the blame in place of others. The term comes from the Bible’s Book of Leviticus, which describes a goat that was cast into the desert along with the sins of the community.
“Scrim” is the name given to that transparent fabric that hangs down onto a theater’s stage, often used with special lighting for various effects.
26…Another name for the gladiolus..SWORD LILY
The gladiolus is a perennial flower in the iris family, and is sometimes called the Sword Lily.
30…Cable box display..TEEVEE
I guess a display in the front of a cable box might read “TEEVEE”.
Television (TV, teevee, the tube, the boob tube)
PEZ is an Austrian brand name for a particular candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.
34…Geological epoch in which mammals arose..EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago, and is noted for the emergence of the first mammals on the planet.
A hod is a 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.
Aesop is remembered today for his famous fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.
44…Nonprofit URL ending..ORG
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified.
Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.
56…Peau de __: satin-weave cloth..SOIE
“Paduasoy” is a satin-weave silk fabric with a dull finish. The material is sometimes known by its French name “peau de soie”, which translates as “skin of silk”.
Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables”, has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.
68…Chris of “The Good Wife”..NOTH
The actor Chris Noth is best known for his television roles. Noth played Detective Mike Logan on “Law & Order” and Big on “Sex and the City”. More recently, he played the “bad husband” on the excellent show “The Good Wife”.
69…First female Shuttle pilot __ Collins..EILEEN
Eileen Collins was the first female pilot of a Space Shuttle, and the first female commander of a Space Shuttle mission. She was also the first astronaut to fly the shuttle through the 360-degree, rendezvous pitch maneuver. This maneuver became routine for Shuttles in docking with the International Space Station. The idea is for the spacecraft to perform a backflip so that the crew of the Space Station can photograph the Shuttle’s heat-shield to verify integrity prior to reentry.
1…NYSE locale..WALL ST
New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”.
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
4…Brussels’ land: Abbr…BEL
Belgium is one of the six founding members of the European Economic Community (EEC) that evolved into today’s European Union (EU). Belgium also acts as host of several international organizations, including NATO. There are two large regions in the country. Flanders in the north is predominantly Dutch-speaking, and Wallonia in the south is predominantly French-speaking. The capital city of Brussels is officially bilingual, although from personal experience I can attest that it is mainly French-speaking even though it is located in the Flemish part of the country.
“Giro” is a reference to the autogyro, an aircraft that uses an unpowered rotor to create lift, and a powered propeller to provide thrust. The first autogyro was flown in 1923 in Spain, where it was invented.
8…Evergreen that’s a homophone of a vowel..YEW
“Yew” sounds like the letter U.
The family of trees known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxine and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.
10…Judaism : kosher :: Islam : __..HALAL
“Halal” is a term for an action or object that is permissible under Islamic Law. In particular “halal” is used to describe food that can be consumed. Anything that is not allowed is called “haraam”.
According to Jewish dietary law, “kosher” food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as “treif” (or tref).
12…Took part in a marathon..RAN
The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards,. The actual distance run today was decided in 1921, and matches the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway.
19…City southwest of Warsaw..LODZ
The Polish city of Lodz is located about 85 southwest of Warsaw and is the third-largest city in the country. “Lodz” is a Polish word meaning “boat”, and both the city’s flag and coat of arms feature wooden boat and an oar. Lodz’s motto is “Ex navicula navis”, which translates from Latin as “From a boat, a ship”.
21…Reporter’s quintet of questions..FIVE WS
The Five Ws (or “Five Ws and one H”) is a journalistic concept used for gathering information. For a story to be complete, six questions need to be answered:
- Who is it about?
- What happened?
- Where did it take place?
- When did it take place?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
25…Ask for Whiskas, perhaps..MEOW
The brand name “Whiskas” has been used for the cat food since 1988, but the product itself has been made in McLean, Virginia since 1936. Whiskas was originally sold under the name “Kal Kan”.
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.
35…Muse of poetry..ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry and is often depicted playing a lyre.
36…Marlins’ MLB div…NLE
National League East (NLE)
The Miami Marlins baseball team started out life in 1993 as the Florida Marlins. The franchise changed its name to the Miami Marlins in 2011 when it relocated to the newly constructed Marlins Park.
40…Valentine card hugs..OOO
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. OOO is a string of hugs, and XXX a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …
Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …
Revolutions per minute (RPM)
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33 1/3 rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first Long Play (LP) 33 1/3 rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.
42…Baseball inst. in Cooperstown..HOF
The first Hall of Fame (HOF) established in the US was the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, an outdoor sculptor gallery located in the grounds of Bronx Community College in New York City. Completed in 1900, it is an open-air colonnade featuring the bronze busts of renowned Americans such as President George Washington, author Henry David Thoreau, musician John Philip Sousa and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. The Hall of Fame of Great Americans was inspired by the Ruhmeshalle (“Hall of Fame” in German) located in Munich, Germany that exhibits busts of important people from Bavaria.
Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, Cooperstown’s founder, and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.
52…Acid test outcome, possibly..LOW PH
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.
54…Nancy Drew creator Carolyn..KEENE
The “Nancy Drew” mystery stories were produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The founder of the Syndicate hired a team of writers to produce the “Nancy Drew” novels, but listed the author of each book as the fictional Carolyn Keene.
58…White-tailed coastal bird..ERNE
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, and the sea-eagle.
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly.
61…Lav, in Bath..LOO
It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!
Our word lavatory (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.
Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.
The city of San Antonio was named by Spanish explorers who came up a Native American settlement in the area on 13 June 1631, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.