Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed clues might be things that we see on the dinner table, but they aren’t ….
- 17A. Spoon : HUG TENDERLY
- 24A. Dish : SPREAD GOSSIP
- 38A. Fork : BRANCH IN THE ROAD
- 49A. Plate : COAT WITH GOLD
- 60A. Bowl : PLAY TENPINS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
7. “Bloom County” penguin : OPUS
“Bloom County” is a comic strip that originally ran from 1980 to 1989, and which was drawn by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. Breathed resurrected the strip in 2015, distributing it via Facebook. The main protagonist in the storyline is Milo Bloom, a 10-year-old newspaper reporter.
11. Jams : PJS
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”.
14. After-dinner gathering : SOIREE
“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.
16. Service to redo : LET
That would be in tennis.
17. Spoon : HUG TENDERLY
When two people are “spooning”, cuddling in bed perhaps, the person in the back is referred to as the “big spoon”, and the person in front is the “little spoon”.
19. Flight status info : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)
21. “The Fault in __ Stars”: John Green novel : OUR
“The Fault in Our Stars” is a 2012 novel by John Green that was adapted into an extremely successful film of the same name in 2014. Both film and novel are about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love with each other. The title is a rewording of lilnes spoken by Cassius in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
24. Dish : SPREAD GOSSIP
“To dish the dirt” is talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information).
31. Light weight : OUNCE
Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.
33. Beavers, e.g. : HATS
A beaver hat is one made from beaver fur that has been “felted”, made into felt cloth. Top hats were often made using felted beaver fur, until silk versions started to become popular in the mid-1800s.
35. “Girls” channel : HBO
“Girls” is an HBO comedy-drama series that was created by and stars Lena Dunham. The show follows a group of female friends living their lives in New York City. Good show …
42. Icarus, to Daedalus : SON
Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.
43. Bar employee: Abbr. : ATTY
44. String quartet member : CELLO
A standard string quartet is made up of two violins, a viola and a cello. A string quintet consists of a standard string quartet with the addition of a fifth instrument, usually a second viola or cello.
53. Marx with a horn : HARPO
Harpo Marx was the second oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously, Harpe didn’t speak on screen, a routine that he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak! He would usually whistle or toot a hand-held horn instead of speaking.
54. Vienna’s land: Abbr. : AUS
Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
59. Hairy TV cousin : ITT
In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.
60. Bowl : PLAY TENPINS
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.
64. Flowery welcome : LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.
1. New York stadium named for a sports great : ASHE
The Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.
3. Tree fruit : FIGS
The third plant named in the Bible, after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, was the fig tree. Adam and Eve used leaves from the fig tree to sew garments when they realized that they were naked.
4. Like some wells : ARTESIAN
An artesian well is one that is drilled into an artesian aquifer. As the groundwater in the aquifer is under positive pressure then the water in the well rises without having to be pumped.
5. One of a Chicago duo : CEE
There are two letters C (cee) in the word “Chicago”.
7. Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” e.g. : OPERA
The opera “Dido and Aeneas” was written by English Baroque composer Henry Purcell. The story was taken from Virgil’s epic poem “Aeneid” and tells of the love affair between Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, the Trojan hero.
8. Four score, often? : PAR
That would be in golf.
9. Address bar address : URL
10. “Lie Down in Darkness” author : STYRON
“Lie Down in Darkness” was the first novel by American writer William Styron, published in 1951. He completed it when he was just 26 years old. Styron went on to write “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (1967) and the harrowing “Sophie’s Choice” (1979).
11. Request before the music starts : PLEASE HOLD
That would be holding on a telephone.
12. Beijing-born action hero : JET LI
The actor Jet Li’s real name is Li Jian Jie. Jet Li is a martial artist and international film star from Beijing, China. Li played a villain in “Lethal Weapon 4”, and had a leading role in the 2000 movie “Romeo Must Die”.
23. “I didn’t mean that” key : ESC
The escape key (esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.
25. Bordeaux butcher’s offering : PORC
“Porc” is French for “pork”.
Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the German’s took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.
29. Coiffure style : AFRO
“Coiffure” is a French word that we’ve imported into English meaning “hairstyle”. The term comes from the Old French word “coife”, which was used for the inner part of a helmet.
30. ’60s-’70s variety show host : DEAN MARTIN
Dean Martin was the stage name of singer and actor Dino Crocetti. Martin was famous for his numerous hit songs such as “That’s Amore”, “Volare” and Everybody Loves Somebody”, as well as his film career with Jerry Lewis. Off screen, Martin was a member of the famous “Rat Pack” as he was a great friend of Frank Sinatra. Martin was always associated with Las Vegas and when he passed away in 1995 the lights on the strip were dimmed in his honor.
39. Big name in WWI espionage : HARI
Mata Hari was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertruida Zella, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1, in 1917.
40. Green sci. : ECOL
46. Org. for netmen : ATP
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is an organization that looks out for the interests of male tennis professionals. The equivalent organization for women is the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
49. Some like it hot : CHILI
The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.
50. Like Cheerios : OATEN
Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, “Cheerios” were known as CheeriOats.
51. “Frida” star Salma : HAYEK
Salma Hayek is a Mexican actress. Hayek was the first Mexican national to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, for her portrayal of artist Frida Kahlo in the 2002 movie “Frida”.
56. Poet Dove : RITA
Poet Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and was the second African American to be so honored (the first being Gwendolyn Brooks).
58. Where el sol rises : ESTE
In Spanish, “el sol” (the sun) rises in the “este” (east).
61. Murderers’ Row teammate of Babe : LOU
The New Yankee’s baseball team of the late twenties had a particularly successful core group of batters. That line-up was nicknamed “Murderers’ Row”. The most famous “Murderers’ Row” played with the 1927 Yankees, and was made up of:
- Earle Combs
- Mark Koenig
- Babe Ruth
- Lou Gehrig
- Bob Meusel
- Tony Lazzeri
63. Fish-fowl link : NOR
Something that is “neither fish nor fowl” is not recognizable, is not familiar at all.