Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s THREE themed answers each end with a type of CHAIN:
62A. Part of an Aretha Franklin refrain about fools … and a hint to the ends of 17-, 28- and 47-Across : CHAIN, CHAIN, CHAIN
- 17A. It’s “down at the end of Lonely Street,” in an Elvis hit : HEARTBREAK HOTEL (giving “hotel chain”)
- 28A. Oil well output, in slang : BLACK GOLD (giving “gold chain”)
- 47A. Miracle-Gro, e.g. : PLANT FOOD (giving “food chain”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
14. Farewell that’s bid : ADIEU
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.
16. Weapon in Clue : ROPE
Clue is another board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …
17. It’s “down at the end of Lonely Street,” in an Elvis hit : HEARTBREAK HOTEL (giving “hotel chain”)
“Heartbreak Hotel” is a 1956 song by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton that was a huge hit for Elvis Presley. The song supposedly was inspired by a sad story seen in “The Miami Herald”, about someone who committed suicide by jumping out of a hotel window. The unfortunate man left a suicide note that read, “I walk a lonely street”. The opening lines of the song are:
Well, since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell
Down at the end of Lonely Street at Heartbreak Hotel
21. Online marketplace : EBAY
eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb as part of a computer programmer’s personal website. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer collected broken laser pointers …
22. City in upstate New York : UTICA
Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.
23. Business baron : TITAN
The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.
25. Liver secretion : BILE
The human liver has many functions, one of which is to store vital substances. The list of substances stored in the liver includes glucose (as glycogen), vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin K, iron and copper. Another function of the liver is to produce bile, a substance stored in the gallbladder that aids in the digestion of fats.
33. Hindu teacher : SWAMI
A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.
34. Fútbol fan’s cry : OLE!
“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for football, soccer.
35. Fencing weapon : EPEE
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:
36. Malleable metal : TIN
The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.
37. Historic events at Gettysburg and Vicksburg : BATTLES
The Gettysburg Campaign was a series of battles fought in June and July of 1863 during the American Civil War. The campaign started with Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia invading Maryland and Pennsylvania, and ended with Lee’s escape back to Virginia after being defeated by Union troops led by the Major General George G. Meade at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg, fought between July 1st and July 3rd, is recognized by many historians as the turning point in the war.
41. Sister of Zsa Zsa : EVA
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1996. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.
Zsa Zsa Gabor is a Hungarian American actress, born in Budapest as Sári Gábor (the older sister of the actress Eva). Zsa Zsa Gabor has been married a whopping nine times, including a 5-year stint with Conrad Hilton and another 5 years with the actor George Sanders. One of Gabor’s famous quips was that she was always a good housekeeper, as after every divorce she kept the house!
42. Ye __ Shoppe : OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.
47. Miracle-Gro, e.g. : PLANT FOOD (giving “food chain”)
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.
A food chain is a series of organisms, the smallest of which gets eaten by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc. Food chains are considered part of a food web.
51. Ivory source : TUSK
The hard, white material called ivory has mainly been sourced from the tusks of elephants, although it can also be collected from the walrus, hippopotamus, killer whale, wart hog and others. The word “ivory” comes into English via Latin from the Ancient Egyptian word for “elephant”.
54. NFL Hall of Famer Bart : STARR
Bart Starr is a retired football player and coach who spent his whole career with the Green Bay Packers. Starr was quarterback for the Packers from 1956 to 1971. Starr was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the first two Super Bowls.
59. Baker’s amts. : TSPS
62. Part of an Aretha Franklin refrain about fools … and a hint to the ends of 17-, 28- and 47-Across : CHAIN, CHAIN, CHAIN
“Chain of Fools” is a song written by Don Covay, and is most associated with Aretha Franklin after she released a version in 1967. “Chain of Fools” is actually a rewriting of a gospel song called “Pains of Life”, which has the exactly same melody.
65. Swiss river : AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland.
67. Florida city on the Gulf Coast : TAMPA
The Florida city of Tampa has been known as the Big Guava since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s moniker “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area.
69. Post-combat affliction, briefly : PTSD
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
1. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.
3. Big bamboo muncher : GIANT PANDA
Taxonomic classification of the giant panda has been a subject of great debate for years, the main question being whether it belongs to the bear or raccoon family. The accepted opinion these days, based on molecular studies, seems to be that the panda is in fact a true bear.
5. Boy king : TUT
King Tut is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamen’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.
6. Online service for booking rooms with local hosts : AIRBNB
Airbnb is a website-based service that matches people wanting to rent out short-term living quarters to people seeking accommodation.
10. Mentored person : PROTEGE
We use the term “protégé” for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.
11. Roast, in Dijon : ROTI
In French, a “rôti” (roast) is a joint of meat.
Dijon is a city in eastern France, in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!
12. Oil cartel acronym : OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.
13. Actor Lugosi : BELA
Bela Lugosi was a Hungarian stage and screen actor, best known for playing the title role in the 1931 film “Dracula” and for playing the same role on Broadway. Lugosi found himself typecast for the rest of his career and almost always played the role of the villain, often in horror movies. When he passed away in 1956, his wife had him buried in the costume he wore playing Count Dracula on Broadway.
18. Arthur of “Maude” : BEA
Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.
19. “Incredible” superhero : HULK
In the seventies and eighties TV show “The Incredible Hulk”, Lou Ferrigno played Hulk. Hulk’s alter ego in the comics was Bruce Banner, but in the show he was called David Banner, and played by Bill Bixby.
24. Chicago daily, familiarly : TRIB
“The Chicago Tribune” was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of “The Trib” was probably in 1948 when the headline was “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”, on the occasion of that year’s presidential election. When it turned out Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it … a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.
26. Frozen drink brand : ICEE
Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …
29. Keno kin : LOTTO
Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.
The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.
30. Ali Baba’s magic words : OPEN SESAME
In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “Open Sesame” that open the thieves’ den.
31. “Drove my Chevy to the __”: “American Pie” lyric : LEVEE
A levee is an artificial bank usually made of earth, running along the length of a river. A levee is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.
Don McLean released his greatest hit, “American Pie”, back in 1971. Despite the song’s iconic position in the pop repertoire, McLean has been remarkably reticent about its origins and the meaning of the lyrics. We do know that it was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash (“the day the music died”). McLean has also told us that he first read about the death of his idol when delivering newspapers the day after the crash (“February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver”). Although the lyrics have been analyzed and interpreted in depth by many, McLean’s stance remains that it is just a poem set to music.
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
38. Kennel cacophony : ARFS
“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, one used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).
40. iPhone’s voice-activated app : SIRI
Siri is software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.
43. Postings in ledgers : ENTRIES
A “ledger” is an account book. The name comes from the Middle English “leggen” meaning “to lay”. The original ledger was a large book “laid” in one particular place, permanently, an example being a breviary in a church.
53. Sportscaster Berman : LEN
Len Berman is a former sports journalist on WNBC, NBC’s flagship station located in New York City.
54. Ella’s expertise : SCAT
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.
And, that would be Ella Fitzgerald.
56. Boomers’ lobbying group : AARP
AARP is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.
A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is defined as the “baby boom”.
58. Scoundrels : CADS
Our word “cad”, meaning “a person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.
64. Dol.’s 100 : CTS
The US one-cent coin has borne the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. Fifty years later, a representation of the Lincoln Memorial was added to the reverse side.