Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each comprise two words, the first ending with T and the second starting with V. As such, we have THE TUBE (TV) hidden inside all of the themed answers:
- 40A…Set in a den, slangily … or, initially, what can be found in each answer to a starred clue..THE TUBE
- 20A…*Artsy Lower Manhattan neighborhood..EAST VILLAGE
- 58A…*Drug bust calculation..STREET VALUE
- 11D…*Panel decision that’s not unanimous..SPLIT VOTE
- 35D…*Became a YouTube sensation..WENT VIRAL
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua in the north, and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!
To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term!
15…Inflatable mattress prefix with Bed..AERO-
AeroBed is an air mattress made by the Coleman Company.
16…Colorado ski mecca..ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.
The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.
20…*Artsy Lower Manhattan neighborhood..EAST VILLAGE
The East Village is a neighborhood of Manhattan lying between Broadway and the East River, extending from 14th Street in the northeast to Houston Street in the southwest. The area was known simply as the northern part of the Lower East Side until the 1960s, when the moniker “East Village” was applied in an effort to distinguish it from the Lower East Side and its less desirable reputation. The name chosen leveraged the established image of the neighboring Greenwich Village as Manhattan’s Bohemian capital.
24…American of Japanese descent..NISEI
There are some very specific terms used to describe the children born to Japanese immigrants in their new country. The immigrants themselves are known as “Issei”. “Nisei” are second generation Japanese, “Sansei” the third generation (grandchildren of the immigrant), and “Yonsei” are fourth generation.
36…Title for Doubtfire or Dash..MRS
The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams, who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.
38…Site of Arizona’s Red Rock State Park..SEDONA
I’ve been to Red Rock State Park near Sedona several times, and it is a lovely place to visit. I read somewhere that there is a guided moonlight hike available, a 2½-hour guided trek that takes in sunset and moonrise. It’s on my list of things to do …
40…Set in a den, slangily … or, initially, what can be found in each answer to a starred clue..THE TUBE
Television (TV, teevee, the tube, the boob tube)
43…Dessert with a cherry..SUNDAE
There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.
47…__ seat: advantageous spot..CATBIRD
The idiomatic phrase “the catbird seat” is used to describe an enviable position in which one has the upper hand. The first documented use of the expression is in a 1942 story by James Thurber called “The Catbird Seat”.
In French, a triple-meter dance might be a “valse” (waltz).
56…Architect I.M. __..PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.
Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.
Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.
66…Video game pioneer..ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.
71…Bay Area cop gp…SFPD
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the 11th largest police department in the country. The SFPD dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849 as a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in movies and on television. The most famous films are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Monk”.
1…”Barnaby Jones” actor Buddy..EBSEN
The actor Buddy Ebsen was best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longers that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!
Barnaby Jones is a character on the seventies detective show called “Canon”. The Jones character was played by Buddy Ebsen. Ebsen then starred in the title role of the spinoff show called “Barnaby Jones”.
The Baha’i Faith is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith.
The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the foot are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.
8…Name on a Trump card?..DONALD
When Donald Trump won the nomination as presidential candidate in 2016, he wasn’t the first candidate to become the Republican nominee without any political experience. The most famous such candidate in recent decades was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was put on the top of the ticket in 1952.
10…Suffix with fruct-..-OSE
Fructose is also known as “fruit sugar”. It is commonly found in plants, and is the most water-soluble of all sugars. Many of us consume a lot of “high-fructose corn syrup”. This is a sweetener made from corn starch that is a mixture of glucose and fructose. The natural ratio of fructose to glucose is altered to produce a sweeter syrup by chemically converting much of the naturally occurring glucose into fructose.
12…”The Hunger Games” extra..TEEN
“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.
Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable pot-luck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.
21…”C’est la __!”..VIE
“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.
31…Oklahoma’s “Wheat Capital”..ENID
Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.
“Phonograph” was an early name for what became known as a gramophone and later a record player. Famously, the phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison.
34…Quito’s country: Abbr…ECUA
The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.
41…Wire service letters..UPI
Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.
44…Corporate alias abbr…DBA
Doing business as (DBA)
50…Where a Brit may powder her nose..LAV
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.
53…Unlikely to get excited..ALOOF
I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that is has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?
56…”This is your brain on drugs” ads, briefly..PSAS
Public service announcement (PSA)
“This Is Your Brain on Drugs” was a memorable anti-narcotics campaign launched in 1987 that used the effective imagery of two eggs frying in a pan.
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.
59…Irish name for Ireland..EIRE
“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.
Shangdu (also “Xanadu”) was located in Inner Mongolia in China, just over 200 miles north of China. Shangdu was the capital of the Yuan dynasty that was established in 1271 by Kublai Khan. The Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited Shangdu in about 1272, and the city was destroyed by the Ming army in 1369. Centuries later in 1797, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge immortalized the city (as “Xanadu”) in his celebrated poem “Kubla Khan”.
In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “padre” (father) is your “tia” (aunt).
63…Suffix with ranch..-ERO
A ranchero is someone employed on a ranch, and is a word with Spanish roots.