Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers sounds like a common phrase, but has been adapted to a Halloween-ish clue:
- 23A…Ghosts’ car safety devices?..SHEET BELTS (sounds like “seat belts”)
- 25A…Witches living together?..BROOM MATES (sounds like “roommates”)
- 51A…Dracula’s least favorite lunch?..STAKE SANDWICH (sounds like “steak sandwich”)
- 70A…Monster’s favorite cereal?..SCREAM OF WHEAT (sounds like “cream of wheat”)
- 98A…Dracula’s favorite fruit?..NECKTARINE (sounds like “nectarine”)
- 102A…Where werewolves seek stardom?..HOWLLYWOOD (sounds like “Hollywood”)
- 32D…Monster’s daily newspaper reading?..HORRORSCOPE (sounds like “horoscope”)
- 43D…Monsters’ cookie-selling group?..GHOUL SCOUTS (sounds like “girl scout”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.
19…Southern cuisine staple..PONE
“Pone” is another word for corn bread, from the Powhatan word “apan” meaning “something baked”.
The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is often, mistakenly, referred to as the Ivory Coast, the direct translation from the French. The official language of the country is French, as for many years it was a French colony.
22…Before, to Byron..ERE
George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.
The “warts” on the skin of a toad have no relation to the viral infection that can occur on human skin. A toad’s warts a colored bumps that are believed to help the animal blend more effectively into its environment.
30…Pacific relative of the Canada goose..NENE
The bird called a nene is a native of Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful.
The Thomas’ brand, famous for its English muffins, was founded in New York City by English immigrant Samuel Bath Thomas in the late 19th century.
“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.
34…”Just to See You Smile” country singer..MCGRAW
The country singer Tim McGraw is the son of the late Tug McGraw, the baseball pitcher. McGraw’s wife is fellow country singer Faith Hill.
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.
In Spain, a “hidalgo” is a relatively minor member of the noble classes. In Spanish America, the term applies to a man who owns a considerable amount of property.
45…One of five inhabited U.S. entities..TERR
There are sixteen US territories in all, but only five of them are inhabited:
- Puerto Rico
- Northern Mariana Islands
- US Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
Examples of US territories with no permanent or native inhabitants are Wake Island and Midway Islands.
The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and aids in the dispersion of the seeds.
50…Iconic WWII island, familiarly..IWO
Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since.
51…Dracula’s least favorite lunch?..STAKE SANDWICH (sounds like “steak sandwich”)
Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.
What we tend to call “duct” tape today was originally known as “duck” tape. In its first form, duck tape was rubber-based adhesive applied to a duck cloth backing, hence the name. Cotton duck cloth is a canvas-like material, a plain woven cotton fabric. The name “duck” comes from the Dutch “doek” meaning “linen canvas”. Duck tape started to known as “duct tape” in the fifties, as it was commonly used to wrap air ducts in the construction industry.
66…Donald, to Dewey..UNCA
Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in awhile due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.
69…U.N. workers’ gp…ILO
The ILO (International Labour Organization) is an agency now administered by the UN which was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
70…Monster’s favorite cereal?..SCREAM OF WHEAT (sounds like “Cream of Wheat”)
Cream of Wheat is a breakfast food that was introduced at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Looking similar to grits, it is a porridge mix known as “farina”, made from wheat semolina. Nowadays, we can also by the similar product, called Cream of Rice.
“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.
“Mosey” is American slang for “amble”, of unknown origin.
88…Emulated Paul Bunyan..HEWED
Paul Bunyan is a character of American myth, a skilled lumberjack. Bunyan had a sidekick called Babe the Blue Ox. Both Bunyan and Babe are gigantic in size.
“Hog” is a nickname for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was started up in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The celebrated Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but has never been beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Rings”.
In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.
98…Dracula’s favorite fruit?..NECKTARINE (sounds like “nectarine”)
A nectarine is a cultivar of a peach, notable for its smooth skin (as opposed to the fuzzy skin of the traditional peach).
108…Futuristic 2009 James Cameron film..AVATAR
2009’s epic “Avatar” is a science fiction film from James Cameron, who was director, writer and producer. It was an expensive movie to make and to promote, but was destined to become the highest-grossing film in the history of cinema. 20th Century Fox made a deal with Cameron to produce three “Avatar” sequels.
An equinox is a phenomenon dictated by the tilt of the earth’s axis. Twice every year, that tilt “evens out” and the sun is equidistant from points at the same latitude both north and south of the equator. It is as if the earth has no tilt relative to the sun. The term “equinox” comes from the Latin for “equal night”, inferring that night and day are equally long, as the effect of the earth’s “tilt” is nullified. Equinoxes occur around March 21st and September 23rd each year.
1…Officejet Pro printers..HPS
Inkjet is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.
The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. The tibia is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.
In the heart, systole describes the rhythmic contraction of the ventricles to pump the blood around the body.
10…Minnelli movie musical..CABARET
The actress and singer Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. Liza won her only Oscar for her lead performance in 1972’s “Cabaret”. She has also won an Emmy, Grammy and Tony, and is one of the very few entertainers to have made that “sweep”.
The musical “Cabaret” is based on “I Am a Camera”, a 1951 play written by John Van Druten. In turn, the play was adapted from a novel “Goodbye to Berlin” written by Christopher Isherwood. The action in the musical takes place in the 1930s, in a seedy Berlin cabaret called the Kit Kat Club. “Cabaret” is a great stage musical, although the 1972 film of the musical isn’t one of my favorites.
Yep, a group of whales can be called a “gam” as well as a “pod”.
The Slippery Elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.
16…Pan in the air..PETER
In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.
17…Quicken Loans, for one..ARENA
The Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland is generally referred to as “The Q”. Most famously, the facility is home to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, is the majority owner of the Cavaliers team.
26…”Heaven Can Wait” character..ANGEL
The 1978 comedy “Heaven Can Wait” starring Warren Beatty was the second film adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Harry Segall. The first big screen adaptation was 1941’s “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” with Robert Montgomery heading the cast. There was a third movie adaption called “Down to Earth”, released in 2001 with Chris Rock playing the lead.
Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.
SETI is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.
Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”.
Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.
“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.
The third largest car rental company right now is Alamo, a relative newcomer founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.
59…One usually has six sides..DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …
60…The Sierra Nevada’s Mount __..MUIR
Mount Muir in California’s Sierra Nevada range is located close to Mount Whitney. It is named for John Muir, the conservationist who founded the Sierra Club.
Back in the 1700s, a “catcall” was a noise-making device, one that emitted a squeak resembling that of an angry cat, hence the name. The device was used by unhappy audiences in play-houses to express dissatisfaction at the performers.
64…River through Orsk..URAL
The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered as lying in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.
“Perm” is the name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. I don’t worry about such things, as it’s a number-one all over for me …
A chaise is a light carriage with a folding hood that transports one or two people. “Chaise” is the French for “chair”, and takes its name from the “sedan chair” means of transportation. In the US, the name “chaise” evolved into “shay”.
73…Overrun with crabgrass..WEEDY
Crab grass may be considered a weed and a scourge of the lawn-loving population, but it has its uses. In Africa, the seeds of some species of crabgrass are toasted and ground into a flour that is used to make porridge, or better still, to make beer!
An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.
84…Symbols of wisdom..OWLS
The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.
“Cony” (or “coney”) is an old English word for rabbit or rabbit fur, and Coney Island in New York takes its name from the same root. The Dutch used the name “Conyne Eylandt” (Rabbit Island) after the large population of rabbits that was hunted there.
88…Animator Bill and others..HANNAS
I once had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the room (Bill Hanna’s den) where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera came up with the idea of “The Flintstones” …
89…Eponymous comet tracker..HALLEY
Edmond Halley was an English astronomer who lived at the turn of 17th and 18th centuries. In 1705 he declared that comet sightings recorded in 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682 were in fact observations of the same comet returning to fly by Earth at regular intervals. He predicted that this comet would return in 1758, and he was right, and so the comet was named after him: Halley’s Comet. Sadly, Halley didn’t live long enough to see that his prediction came true.
90…Casual jacket fabric..DENIM
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.
93…Part of Hispaniola..HAITI
The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.
94…Outfit at the track..SILKS
The colorful silk clothing made from silk that is worn by a jockey is known as “racing silks”. The specific colors and pattern of racing silks are registered to particular owner or trainer.
Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.
103…In vitro cells..OVA
In vitro fertilization is the process in which egg cells are fertilized by sperm cells outside of the body “in vitro”, meaning “in glass”, usually in a culture dish.
104…Andean stew veggie..OCA
The plant called an oca is also known as the New Zealand Yam. The tubers of the oca are used as a root vegetable.
105…’60s-’70s teammate of Esposito..ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …
Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show “live” and wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”