Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers contains a hidden period of TIME, but it has been TURNED AROUND, written in the reverse direction:
- 52A. Period needed to fulfill a request … and a hint to words hidden in three long puzzle answers : TURNAROUND TIME
- 20A. Goal for some college-bound students : EARLY ADMISSION (hiding “DAY” turned around)
- 34A. Record-setting slugger in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame : SADAHARU OH (hiding “HOUR” turned around)
- 41A. Ocular organs of cephalopods, say : CAMERA EYES (hiding “YEAR” turned around)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Antlered beast : STAG
A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …
14. Popular depilatory : RAZOR
A depilatory agent is something capable of removing hair. The root of the term is “pilus”, the Latin for “hair”, and the same word that gives us “pile” (as in a carpet).
16. Rochester’s bride : EYRE
Jane Eyre is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. Over the years, I’ve shared here on my blogs that the “Jane Eyre” story line is a little too dark and Gothic for my taste, but a very persuasive blog reader convinced me to look more at the romantic side of the story and give it a second chance. I watched a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation of the novel made by the BBC a while back and I have to say that because I was focused on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, I was able to push past the Gothic influences (that depress me) so I really enjoyed the story. I thoroughly recommend the 2006 BBC adaptation to fans of the novel.
17. Part of the soft palate : UVULA
The uvula is that conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.
19. Concussions generally aren’t visible on them : MRIS
A concussion is a Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI).
24. Tie __ : ONE ON
“To tie one on” is a slang expression meaning “to get drunk”.
25. Rat Pack member : LAWFORD
The actor Peter Lawford was well known as a core member of the “Rat Pack”, along with Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop. Apart from his successful acting career, another of Lawford’s claim to fame was his relationship to John F. Kennedy. Lawford’s first marriage was to the future president’s sister, Patricia Helen Kennedy.
33. Like a used hibachi : ASHY
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This native type of hibachi isn’t used for cooking, but rather as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a “shichirin”. “Hibachi” is Japanese for “firepot” coming from “hi” meaning “fire”, and “bachi” meaning “bowl, pot”.
34. Record-setting slugger in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame : SADAHARU OH
Sadaharu Oh is a retired Japanese baseball player who turned out for the Yomiuri Giants for his whole career. Oh holds the world career record for home runs, having hit 868.
38. General on a menu : TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.
40. One of 34-Across’ 2,170 : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)
41. Ocular organs of cephalopods, say : CAMERA EYES
Cephalopod form a class of molluscs with arms or tentacles, a prominent head and a body with bilateral symmetry. Most cephalopods have the ability to squirt ink as a defensive mechanism. Examples of the class are the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. The name “cephalopod” comes from the Greek for “head-feet”.
43. Aspirin target : PAIN
Aspirin was a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.
44. Nocturnal carnivore : HYENA
The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.
45. Perambulates : STROLLS
“To perambulate” is to travel by foot. The original Latin term applied more specifically to “walking through”.
47. Piece of cake : CINCH
The term “cinch” was absorbed into American English from Spanish in the mid-1800s, when it was used to mean a “saddle-girth”. “Cincha” is the Spanish for “girdle”. In the late 1800s, “cinch” came to mean a ‘sure thing”, in the sense that a saddle-girth can provide a “sure hold”.
59. Pack firmly : TAMP
“Tamp” means to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used to specifically describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.
61. Spigot issue : DRIP
Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.
62. Site with tech reviews : CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.
63. Trilateral trade agreement, briefly : NAFTA
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994 it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.
65. Grinder : HERO
“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.
The etymology of “grinder” as a sandwich is unknown, although the term does date back to 1954. It is speculated that eating the large sandwich requires a lot of chewing, and hence the name “grinder”.
66. Speed units : KNOTS
A knot (kt.) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. Traditionally a vessel’s speed was determined by using a “chip log”. A chip log is made up of a wooden board attached to a line wrapped around a reel. The line (called a “log-line”) had knots tied in it at uniform spacings. To determine the vessels speed the board was thrown overboard and the line allowed to unroll. The speed was then the “number of knots” paid out in a fixed time interval.
1. Mötley __ : CRUE
Mötley Crüe is an American rock band, from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!
3. Bleu hue : AZUR
In French, “azur” is a shade of “bleu” (blue).
The word “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.
4. Placate : MOLLIFY
“To mollify” is to appease, and comes from the Latin “mollis” meaning “soft”, as in “to soften”.
6. Anti-DWI gp. : SADD
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was founded in Massachusetts in 1981. SADD’s aim is to prevent road traffic accidents by urging students to avoid potentially destructive decisions (such as driving under the influence of alcohol).
In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.
7. Venetian valentine message : TI AMO
In Italian, one usually says “ti amo” (I love you) with “grande affetto” (much affection).
9. Sixth-day Christmas gift : GEESE
The fabulous Christmas Carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.
10. Workshop : SEMINAR
A “seminar” is a meeting called for the exchange of information, especially in a university. The term comes from the Latin “seminarium” meaning “breeding ground, plant nursery”, which is also the root of our word “seminary”.
11. One who likes to light up? : PYRO
“Pyro” is the combining form of the Greek word for “fire”. “Pyrotechnics” is the art of making and using fireworks. “Pyromania” is a strong desire to light fires.
12. “__ go bragh!” : ERIN
“Erin go bragh!” is an anglicization of an Irish phrase “Éirinn go Brách!”, which translates as “Ireland Forever!”
21. Two-front, as a Coast Guard rescue : AIR-SEA
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.
22. Divans : SOFAS
“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.
Divans are essentially couches without backs or arms. The design originated in the Middle East, where the couches were commonly found lining the walls of an office that was known as a “divan” or “diwan”, meaning “government office”.
25. Trunk piece : LATCH
In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.
28. Brubeck of jazz : DAVE
Dave Brubeck is a jazz pianist from Concord, California. Brubeck is very much associated with the Dave Brubeck Quartet which he founded in 1951.
31. Company with a longtime travel guide : MOBIL
Mobil was founded as part of the the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. The company was originally called Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York). Socony merged with Magnolia Petroleum Company in the thirties and adopted Magnolia’s Pegasus emblem, and it has been used ever since. Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999 but the Mobil brand and Pegasus are alive and well.
35. Self-help letters : DIY
Back in Ireland we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather DIY Centres (and that’s the spelling). DIY is an initialism standing for “Do It Yourself”.
37. 1959 Ben-Hur portrayer : HESTON
As well as having a fine career as an actor, Charlton Heston was a noted political activist. In the fifties he was very much a progressive and left-leaning in his political views. He was one of few in Hollywood to speak out against racism and support the Civil Rights Movement. Later in his life Heston became more associated with the conservative right, and was president of the National Rifle Association.
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”.
42. Use an Enigma machine, say : ENCRYPT
An Enigma machine was cipher device developed at the end of WWI by German engineer Arthur Scherbius. The machine was used by Nazi Germany in the run-up to and during WWII. The Enigma codes used by the Germans were first broken by three Polish mathematicians who subsequently designed mechanical devices for automated deciphering of Enigma-coded messages. Polish Military Intelligence handed over the decryption technology to the French and British just before the outbreak of war.
43. “Black Swan” Best Actress Oscar winner : PORTMAN
The actress Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She moved to the US with her family when she was just three years old.
The 2010 movie “Black Swan” is a psychological thriller (described by some as a horror film) set against the background of a ballet company staging Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. Natalie Portman plays an obsessive ballerina who seems perfect for the role of the White Swan in “Swan Lake”, but doesn’t seem to have the passion to also play the Black Swan. Then things start to go wonky …
48. “No prob!” : NATCH!
“Natch” is a slang term meaning “naturally, of course”. “Natch” is simply a shortening of the word “‘naturally”, and was first recorded at the end of WWII.
49. Origami staple : CRANE
Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).
50. Reason to trot : HOMER
That would be in baseball.
52. Corrida beast : TORO
Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.
53. Israeli weapons : UZIS
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.
56. Suffragist Lucretia : MOTT
Lucretia Coffin Mott (what a name!) was an American Quaker, and an advocate for women’s rights. Mott has been called the first American “feminist”. Her first job was teaching in the Quaker school in which she was educated. There she learned that her salary was to be one third of that paid to the males with the same job (she married one of the male teachers!). That injustice initiated her interest in women’s rights.
57. RR station predictions : ETAS
Expected time of arrival (ETA)
58. Govt. health org. : CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …