Edited by: Rich Norris
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We have four hidden words in today’s grid, spelled out using circled letters. Each hidden word is a type of GAP. Additionally, there is a GAP in the middle of each hidden word (a black square) that we need to CLOSE to read it correctly:
- 54A…With 57-Across, negotiate … and what needs to be done to make sense of this puzzle’s circles..CLOSE
- 57A…See 54-Across..THE GAP
- 20A…Sasquatch, for one..LEGEND
- 22A…Rub the wrong away..ERASE (giving “gender gap”)
- 29A…Home of the Oregon Ducks..EUGENE
- 32A…Limited portions of..RATIONED (giving “generation gap”)
- 41A…Sing-along syllable..TRA
- 42A…Colonial hero Silas..DEANE (giving “trade gap”)
- 47A…Extremely focused..DIALED IN
- 49A…Promising performers..COMERS (giving “income gap”)
Bill’s errors: 2
- 18A: EUBIE (Erbie)
- 6D: LAU (Lar)
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Dench of “Philomena”..JUDI
Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress, known for decades in her home country mainly as a stage and television actress. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Notes on a Scandal” and “Philomena”.
“Philomena” is a very moving 2013 film that tells the true story of Irishwoman Philomena Lee, and her search for her son who was taken from her at birth. The film is based on journalist Martin Sixsmith’s book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee”. Sixsmith is played in the movie by English actor and comedian Steve Coogan, and Philomena is played by the marvelous Judi Dench. Highly recommended …
10…”Ladies First Since 1916″ sneakers..KEDS
Keds is a brand name of athletic shoe first introduced in 1916 by US Rubber. The shoe was originally marketed as a rubber-soled, canvas-topped sneaker. Keds celebrated the company’s centennial with a “Ladies First Since 1916” campaign that focuses on female empowerment.
14…Tourney format, briefly..ELIM
“Tourney” is another word for a tournament. The term comes from the Old French word for “contest of armed men”, with “tournoier” meaning “to joust, jilt”.
15…Secretary Thomas Perez’s department..LABOR
Thomas Perez was made Secretary of Labor by President Obama in 2013. Perez’s name was floated during the 2016 presidential campaign as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton.
16…Chicken vindaloo go-with..NAAN
“Vindaloo” is a very spicy Indian curry dish, and one of my favorites. The dish’s name comes from the Portuguese dish “Carne de vinha d’alhos”, which translates as “meat with wine and garlic”. Vindaloo originated in the Indian state of Goa, which was once a Portuguese province.
17…Sister of Rachel..LEAH
According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.
18…Jazz pianist Blake..EUBIE
James Hubert “Eubie” Blake was a composer and pianist from Baltimore, Maryland. Blake was a noted composer and performer of ragtime music. The 1978 musical revue “Eubie!” features his music. Apparently Blake claimed to have started smoking cigarettes at the age of 10 years, and died 85 years later in 1983. Blake’s celebrity status and long life as a smoker was often cited by politicians who opposed anti-tobacco legislation.
Ergo is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
20…Sasquatch, for one..LEGEND
The sasquatch or bigfoot is our North American equivalent of the yeti, the ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayas. Bigfoot is supposedly hiding out mainly in the Pacific Northwest of North America.
“Rug” is a slang term for a wig.
29…Home of the Oregon Ducks..EUGENE
Eugene is the second-largest city in Oregon (after Portland). The city is named for its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Skinner arrived in the area in 1846, after which the settlement he established was called Skinner’s Mudhole. The name was changed to Eugene City in 1852, which was shortened to Eugene in 1889.
The sports teams of the University of Oregon are known as the Oregon Ducks. The big rivals to the Ducks are the Oregon State Beavers, a rivalry that has been dubbed “the Civil War”. The two schools’ football teams play a game every year for the Platypus Trophy.
34…L.A. commuter org…MTA
The MTA is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.
35…German coal region..SAAR
The Saar is a river that rises on the border between Alsace and Lorraine in France, flows through western Germany and finally enters the Moselle. Historically the Saar river valley was an important source for coal, iron and steel.
37…New York Harbor’s __ Island..ELLIS
Ellis Island is an exclave of New York City that is geographically located within Jersey City, New Jersey. The name comes from a Samuel Ellis who owned the island around the time of the American Revolution. Ellis Island was the nation’s main immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.
Bosc is a cultivar of the European Pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I …?
42…Colonial hero Silas..DEANE
Silas Deane was a member of the Continental Congress. When Deane was dispatched to Paris by the Congress, he became America’s first foreign diplomat. His amazing story is told in Joel Richard Paul’s book called “Unlikely Allies”.
43…Home of the Imagination! pavilion..EPCOT
Imagination! Is a pavilion in “Future World” at Florida’s Epcot Center. The pavilion comprises glass pyramids, and opened in 1982 as home to the 3-D film “Magic Journeys”. The name “Imagination!” was adopted in 1999, after a major renovation.
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.
Maya Angelou is an African-American autobiographer and poet. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983.
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.
68…Bored with it all..BLASE
“Blasé”, meaning “nonchalant, bored from overindulgence” comes from French, in which language it can mean “satiated”.
Fingerprint patterns are classified into three different patterns: loops, whorls and arches.
The yeti is a beast of legend, also called the abominable snowman. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology.
There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …
“To jell” means to congeal, to set. The word has been used since the early 1800s, and comes from the earlier word “jelly”. Nowadays, we tend to use the alternate spelling “gel”.
“Ulee’s Gold” is a highly respected film from 1997 in which Peter Fonda plays the title role of Ulee. Ulee’s “gold” is the honey that Ulee produces. It is a favorite role for Peter Fonda and he has shared that playing Ulee brought to mind his father Henry Fonda, who himself kept a couple of hives. So if you see Peter Fonda in “Ulee’s Gold” you’re witnessing some characteristics that Peter saw in his father.
3…Laptop screen meas…DIAG
5…Certain campus newbies..PLEDGES
A pledge is a first-year student who pledges to join a fraternity or sorority.
6…Renowned ’70s-’80s batting coach Charlie..LAU
Charlie Lau played in the major leagues as a catcher, and later made a name for himself as a hitting coach. The Ted Williams book called “The Science of Hitting” was considered the “Bible of Batting” until Lau came out with “The Art of Hitting .300” in 1992.
“Abbé” is the French word for an abbot.
In the game of roulette, players can bet on red (rouge) and black (noir).
12…Hammarskjöld of the UN..DAG
Dag Hammarskjold was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, right up until his death in a plane crash in Rhodesia in 1961. The crash was considered suspicious at the time as the bodyguards were found to have bullet wounds when they died, but this was put down to bullets exploding in the fire after the crash.
Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?
27…”This Is Spinal Tap” director..REINER
The great director and actor Rob Reiner first came to prominence playing “Meathead”, Archie and Edith Bunker’s son-in-law in “All in the Family”. Since then, Reiner has directed a long string of hit movies including, “The Princess Bride”, “Stand by Me”, “This Is Spinal Tap”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Misery” and “A Few Good Men”.
“This Is Spın̈al Tap” is a rock musical mockumentary about the fictional band Spinal Tap, directed by the great Rob Reiner. I love Rob Reiner’s work, but this movie … not so much …
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.
The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames of “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.
29…War zone journalists..EMBEDS
Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing the journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.
The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.
The Arab (or Arabian) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.
36…Abruzzi bell town..ATRI
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
40…1943 penny metal..STEEL
The original one-cent coin was introduced in the US in 1793 and was made of 100% copper. The composition varied over time, and was 100% bronze up to the 1940s. During WWII there was a shortage of copper to make bronze, so the US Mint switched to zinc-coated steel for production of one-cent coins in 1943. The steelie is the only coin ever issued by the US mint that can be picked up by a magnet. Today’s one-cent coin is comprised mainly of zinc.
“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.
The marvelous Boston Pops orchestra specializes in playing light classical and popular music. The Boston Pops Orchestra grew out of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson. Higginson instituted a series of performances by the BSO of lighter classics for the summer months, starting in 1885. These performances were originally known as the “Promenade Concerts”, and soon became year-round events. The name evolved into “Popular Concerts”, which was shortened to “Pops” and officially adopted in 1900.
The American Bar Association (ABA)
The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.
65…CBS series with a N.Y. spin-off..CSI
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to be winding down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series is “CSI: Cyber”, and it’s still on the air.