Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each end with something found in an ICE RINK:
- 37A…Where to find the ends of 17-, 23-, 50- and 62-Across..ICE RINK
- 17A…Do some browsing..SURF THE NET
- 23A…Public education leadership groups..SCHOOL BOARDS
- 50A…Spago restaurateur..WOLFGANG PUCK
- 62A…Breaded seafood option on kids’ menus..FISH STICKS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6…Add a line to the wall chart..GROW
That would be the chart on the wall marking the height of the children as they grow (and cost you more and more money!)
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.
16…Inedible pineapple part..CORE
The original “pineapple” was what we call today a pine cone, the reproductive organ of a conifer tree. The term was then used by Europeans to describe the tropical fruit that they found, which looked like a large pine cone.
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.
21…When Caesar is warned to “Beware the Ides of March”..ACT I
In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the Ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.
26…”The Merchant of Venice” heroine..PORTIA
In William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Portia is the formidable heroine who takes on the guise of a male lawyer and calls herself “Balthasar”. Portia does this to save the life of Antonio, the play’s title character. Portia makes a famous speech that gives us the oft-quoted phrase, “the quality of mercy”:
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…
The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “Horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.
Bavaria in southeast Germany is the largest state in the country. The capital and largest city in Bavaria is Munich.
30…White figure in Snapchat’s logo..GHOST
Snapchat is a messaging system that allows users to send photos and video clips to a limited list of recipients. The photos and clips, called “snaps”, can be viewed for only a few seconds before they are deleted from the recipient’s device, and from the Snapchat servers.
36…Santa __ winds..ANA
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.
42…Like almost all prime numbers..ODD
A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.
45…Hal who produced Laurel and Hardy films..ROACH
Hal Roach was a film and television producer who is best remembered for producing the “Laurel Hardy” films, and well as the “Our Gang” and “ The Little Rascals” series of movies.
Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.
Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.
49…Leave base illegally..GO AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).
50…Spago restaurateur..WOLFGANG PUCK
Wolfgang Puck is a celebrity chef from Austria. Puck is the man behind the famous pair of restaurants in Southern California called Spago.
62…Breaded seafood option on kids’ menus..FISH STICKS
Fish sticks are known as fish fingers in the UK and Ireland.
65…This, to Picasso..ESTA
The artist Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?
Allen Ginsberg was a poet from from Newark, New Jersey whose name became inextricably linked with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s. His most famous work is the 1955 poem “Howl”, in which Ginsberg denounces capitalism and conformity in the US.
1…Shock into submission..TASE
“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.
4…Takes over, like bedbugs..INFESTS
Bedbugs are parasites that feed on human blood, and their preferred habitat is the mattresses on which people sleep. Bedbugs have been around for thousands of years and were almost eradicated in the 1940s. However, infestations have been increasing since then. Dogs have been trained to detect bedbugs and are used by some pest control specialists.
5…Banned bug killer..DDT
DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.
Greco-Roman wrestling was contested at the first modern Olympic Games, back in 1896. Back then there was relatively little regulation of the sport and Greco-Roman contests were noted for their brutality. Bouts also took a long time to finish, often lasting hours. In fact, two competitors in the final round of the event at the 1912 Olympic Games fought a match that lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes. The victor was so exhausted after the contest that he was unable to compete in the final bout.
Roger O’Neil is a news reporter who has worked for NBC for over 30 years.
10…Song before some face-offs..O CANADA
Canada’s national anthem “O Canada” was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.
A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.
24…__ Field: home of Mr. Met..CITI
Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.
Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head, and has been elected to the Mascot Hall of Fame.
26…Vardon Trophy org…PGA
The Vardon Trophy is awarded annually to the player who has the highest scoring average on the PGA Tour. The trophy is named for professional golfer Harry Vardon, winner of six Open Championships (from 1896 to 1914), a record that stands to this day.
Galena is the most commonly used mineral to produce lead. It is a form of lead sulfide. Galena is the state mineral of Missouri and of Wisconsin.
35…Artistic style of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart..DECO
The Merchandise Mart in Chicago is an art deco landmark located on the Chicago River. With over 4 million square feet of floor space, it was the largest building in the world at the time of its opening in 1930. The Merchandise Mart was built as a huge wholesale center by former department store chain Marshall Field’s.
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?
39…McDonald’s founder Ray..KROC
The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success.
Back in the sixties, Larry Hillblom was making pocket money as a Berkeley law student by doing courier runs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After law school, Hillblom decided to parlay his experience into his own business and set up a courier service flying bills of lading ahead of freight from San Francisco to Honolulu. He brought in two buddies, Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn, as partners and the three were soon hopping on and off commercial flights and gradually making more and more money. And DHL was born … D (for Dalsey) H (for Hillblom) L (for Lynn).
43…Golfers rarely making pars..DUFFERS
A “duffer” is a golfer, and not a very good one.
46…New York golf course that is a frequent host of major tournaments..OAK HILL
Oak Hill Country Club is located in Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, New York. The club is home to 18-hole golf courses, one of which hosts many big tournaments, including the 1989 Ryder Cup.
An NCO or “noncom” is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant major (sgt. maj.).
“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, one used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).
“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto”, with great enjoyment.
58…Sch. with the mascot Joe Bruin..UCLA
The UCLA Bruins mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.
60…Figs. with two hyphens..SSNS
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.
62…Tina who is the youngest Mark Twain Prize winner..FEY
Comic actress Tina Fey has a scar on her face a few inches long on her left cheek, which I was shocked to learn was caused by a childhood “slashing” incident. When she was just five years old and playing in the front yard of her house, someone just came up to her and slashed her with a knife. How despicable!
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor has been awarded annually since 1998 by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The first recipient of the award was Richard Pryor. George Carlin won in 2008, and was the only person to be awarded posthumously.