Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers contains a hidden string of letters, letters that have been circled in the grid. These strings of letters are all examples of the word “EYES” SHIFTED, rearranged:
- 58A. Sign of deceit, and a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : SHIFTY EYES
- 17A. “Gotta go!” : SEE YA LATER!
- 24A. Peter Parker’s alarm system : SPIDEY SENSE
- 34A. Kaiser roll topping : POPPY SEED
- 50A. Henry VIII’s third wife : JANE SEYMOUR
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Big name in big projections : IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.
10. Skips, as TiVoed ads : ZAPS
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful DVR (Digital Video Recorder).
14. Like Andean pyramids : INCAN
Inca pyramids were typically located at the center of a community. They were symbolic of power and often had an altar that was used for rituals.
15. Bumpkin : RUBE
A “rube” is person lacking sophistication, often described as “a country bumpkin”. The term derives from the masculine name “Reuben”, which was considered back in the early 1800s to be a typical name used in rural areas.
“Bumpkin” is really a not-so-nice term for someone from a rural area. The term has an even less nice derivation. It comes from from the Middle Dutch “bommekijn” meaning “little barrel”. “Bumpkin” was used as a derogatory term for Dutch people, who were regarded as short and plump.
22. Garson of Hollywood : GREER
Greer Garson was a British actress who made a name for herself in Hollywood films in the forties. One of Garson’s most famous roles was playing the title character in the 1942 film “Mrs. Miniver”, starring alongside Walter Pidgeon. Garson married a much younger man in 1943, the actor Richard Ney who played her son in “Mrs. Miniver”.
24. Peter Parker’s alarm system : SPIDEY SENSE
“Spidey sense” is a phrase used to describe one’s intuition or instinct, especially when sensing something that might be dangerous. The term arises from the comic book hero Spider-Man’s ability to sense danger before others.
Spider-Man was a creation of Stan Lee, along with Steve Ditko, and first appeared in comics in 1962. Spider-Man was a somewhat groundbreaking character in that his alter ego was a teenage high school student (named Peter Parker), marking the first time that a young person featured front and center as the superhero.
27. Bed blossoms : PANSIES
The garden flower called the pansy takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance.
29. Hyundai rival : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.
31. Stainless __ : STEEL
In order to resist the tendency to rust, stainless steel (as opposed to carbon steel) has about 11% chromium. Stainless steel does in fact tend to rust, but just not as easily as regular carbon steel.
32. Agent : REP
33. “Looney Tunes” stinker, familiarly : PEPE
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of “l’amour” and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe painted down her back accidently.
34. Kaiser roll topping : POPPY SEED
The crusty roll known as a Kaiser roll was invented in Vienna, Austria. It is thought that the “Kaiser” name was applied in honor of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
38. Hide from a hunter? : PELT
The “pelt” is the skin of a furry animal.
41. “Yet cease your __, you angry stars of heaven!”: “Pericles” : IRE
“Pericles, Prince of Tyre” is a play that was written in the Jacobean era. Many experts believe that at least half of the play was written by William Shakespeare, and half by some collaborator.
42. E-cigarette output : VAPOR
An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …
47. Lanai music maker : UKE
The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.
Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.
48. Has a conniption : GOES APE
A conniption, or more commonly a conniption fit, is a bout of violent anger or panic.
50. Henry VIII’s third wife : JANE SEYMOUR
Jane Seymour was the third wife of Henry VIII, and queen of England from 1536 until her death the following year. She attracted the interest of the king while he was still married to Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife. The pair were married just one day after Anne’s execution, having been found guilty of adultery, incest and treason. Seymour became pregnant, and gave birth to the future King Edward VI. However, she never recovered from the strain of a long birth that lasted three days and two nights. She was dead within two weeks. Seymour was the only one of Henry’s six wives to receive a queen’s funeral, and was the only wife who was buried alongside him in Windsor Castle.
53. “Noah kept bees in the ark hive,” e.g. : PUN
Here are some of my favorite puns:
- A man died today when a pile of books fell on him. He only had his shelf to blame.
- I hate negative numbers and will stop at nothing to avoid them.
- I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
- I should have been sad when my flashlight batteries died, but I was delighted.
54. __ acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.
55. Capp and Capone : ALS
Al Capp was a cartoonist from New Haven, Connecticut who is best remembered for cartoon strip “Li’l Abner”. Capp created “Li’l Abner” in 1934 and drew it himself until 1977. Capp passed away two years after “Li’l Abner” was retired.
The Chicago gangster Al Capone was eventually jailed for tax evasion. He was given a record 11-year sentence in federal prison, of which he served 8 years. He left prison suffering dementia caused by late-stage syphilis. Capone suffered through 7-8 sickly years before passing away in 1947.
56. Poet Whitman : WALT
Walt Whitman is considered to be one of the greatest American poets. He was born in 1819 on Long Island, and lived through the American Civil War. Whitman was a controversial character, even during his own lifetime. One view held by him was that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were not actually written by Shakespeare, but rather by someone else, or perhaps a group of people.
57. Manner : MIEN
One’s “mien” is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.
61. Years, to Livy : ANNI
Titus Livius (aka Livy) was a Roman historian who lived from 59 BC to AD 17. Livy wrote the definitive history of Rome at that time.
63. __-garde : AVANT
People described as avant-garde are especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.
66. Nutty green sauce : PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …
1. Vatican personnel : BISHOPS
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.
3. Dessert drink made from frozen grapes : ICE WINE
Ice wine is a sweet, dessert wine that is produced using grapes that have frozen on the vine. The grapes must be harvested very quickly and pressed in a cold environment while still frozen. Because it is only the water in the grapes that freezes, the juice from the pressing is more highly concentrated, containing more sugar and other dissolved solids. Most of the world supply of ice wine comes from Canada and Germany.
4. Weekly septet : DAYS
We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for the planets during the Roman era:
- Sun (Sunday)
- Moon (Monday)
- Mars (Tuesday)
- Mercury (Wednesday)
- Jupiter (Thursday)
- Venus (Friday)
- Saturn (Saturday)
5. Disney doe : ENA
Ena is Bambi’s aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” written by Austrian author Felix Salten and first published in 1923. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.
6. Modern Persians : IRANIS
Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.
8. Civil War nickname : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.
9. Boomer’s kid : XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.
10. ’70s-’90s African state : ZAIRE
The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.
11. Pasta preference : AL DENTE
The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.
13. Compound in many disposable coffee cups : STYRENE
Styrene is a sweet-smelling, colorless liquid that is used to make the plastic called polystyrene.
22. Govt. property overseer : GSA
The US Government’s General Services Administration (GSA), as the name suggests, provides general services to other federal agencies. So for example, the GSA manages office space for the other agencies, and transportation.
24. Corn Belt sight : SILO
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.
32. Canadian whisky : RYE
For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.
33. BlackBerries, e.g. : PDAS
The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.
35. Seattle’s __ Place Market : PIKE
The famous Pike Place Market on the Seattle waterfront opened back in 1907. By and large, vendors in the market are all small businesses or people who sell their own wares. The Market’s mission is to allow shippers to “Meet the Producer”.
38. Sleepover need : PAJAMAS
Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.
43. Tropical fruits : PAPAYAS
The papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya, a large tree-like plant that is native to southern Mexico and Central America. One traditional use of papaya is as a meat tenderizer. The fruit and sap contain the enzyme papain that breaks down meat fibers. Papain is used today as a component of powdered meat tenderizers.
47. GI hangout : USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.
51. County seat of County Clare : ENNIS
Ennis is the county town (sort of “capital”) of County Clare in the West of Ireland. Ennis is located about 15 miles from Shannon Airport.
56. “__ Only Just Begun”: Carpenters hit : WE’VE
The Carpenters hit “We’ve Only Just Begun” started out life as music for a wedding-themed TV commercial for a bank. Richard Carpenter saw the commercial in 1970, and made arrangements for the Carpenters to record a complete version of “We’ve Only Just Begun” later that year.