Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers has the same clue: “Giving __ :
- 1A. Giving __ : ADVICE
- 17A. Giving __ : PERMISSION
- 40A. Giving __ : CONSENT
- 63A. Giving __ : DIRECTIONS
- 71A. Giving __ : THANKS
- 11D. Giving __ : ASSISTANCE
- 25D. Giving __ : LESSONS
- 27D. Giving __ : BLOOD
- 29D. Giving __ : ABSOLUTION
- 33D. Giving __ : BIRTH
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. “Misery” co-star : CAAN
James Caan is an actor from The Bronx, New York City. He is noted for his appearances in some very big movies such as “The Godfather”, “Misery”, “A Bridge Too Far”, “Rollerball” and more recently “Elf”. Caan is quite the sportsman. He plays golf with an 8 handicap, and is a 6-Dan Black Belt Master of Gosoku Karate.
The 1990 film “Misery” is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. I think it’s the only movie of a King book that I’ve watched and enjoyed. I can’t stomach his books, not because of the writing, but because of the gruesome scenes that are part of the plots. The screen version of “Misery” is toned down a little from the original storyline. In the novel, the Kathy Bates character amputates the James Caan character’s foot to incapacitate him. In the movie she just smashes his ankles. Big difference …
14. Title teen in a ’90s-’00s sitcom : MOESHA
“Moesha” is a sitcom that originally aired in the late nineties starring singer Brandy Norwood in the title role, a high school student in LA. “Moesha” may be a sitcom, but it had a reputation for dealing with very real social issues such as teen pregnancy, race relations, and infidelity.
15. Key letter : PHI
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.
19. General __ chicken : TSO’S
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.
20. Actor who gave up wearing his trademark gold jewelry after Hurricane Katrina : MR T
Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. Mr. T gave wearing all that gold in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His explanation was:
As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property…I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold. I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold.
21. Kingston Trio hit with the line “He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston” : MTA
“M.T.A.” was a 1958 hit for the Kingston Trio. The song tells of a man called Charlie who is stuck on board an MTA subway car in Boston. His problem is that “exit fares” had been introduced on the system to supplement “entrance fares” (true story!), and the man didn’t have the extra nickel needed to get off the train. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA) started issuing smart cards for use as tickets in 2006, called them “Charlie Cards” in honor of “Charlie on the MTA”.
31. Can opener : POP TAB
The oldest method of opening a can with a device included in the can’s design is the pull-tab or ring pull, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to less injuries and eliminated all those used pull-tabs that littered the streets.
34. Chad neighbor : LIBYA
The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. These provinces became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya. The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.
The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.
36. Coveted award : OSCAR
Legend has it that actor Emilio Fernández was the model for the Oscar statuette. Cedric Gibbons, art director at MGM, created the design and supposedly convinced a reluctant Fernández to pose nude for “Oscar”.
39. Brief game deciders? : OTS
42. “Morning Edition” airer : NPR
NPR’s flagship news program is “Morning Edition”, a 2-hour show broadcast from Monday through Friday. The sister show “Weekend Edition” is broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.
44. Williams of “Happy Days” : ANSON
Anson Williams plays the lovable Warren “Potsie” Weber character on “Happy Days”. After “Happy Days” finished its run, Williams moved into directing and has directed episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Xena: Warrior Princess”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, “Melrose Place”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and other shows. But Williams’ true claim to fame has to be that he is the second cousin of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the Heimlich Maneuver!
45. Ref. to a prior ref. : OP CIT
Op. cit. is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to “ibid”, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.
49. ’60s-’70s protest subject : NAM
By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973 with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.
52. “Battle Cry” author : URIS
“Battle Cry” is a novel by Leon Uris, first published in 1953. The story follows men in the US Marines during WWII. “Battle Cry” is somewhat biographical as Uris served with the 6th Marine Regiment during the war. The book was adapted into a 1955 movie of the same name for which Uris wrote the screenplay.
53. A lot : SCADS
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.
58. Sch. with a Shreveport campus : LSU
Louisiana State University in Shreveport is an OSU campus that opened as a two-year community college in 1967, becoming a four-year college in 1972.
59. Longtime Richard Petty sponsor : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.
Richard Petty earned the nickname “The King” on the NASCAR circuit. He is retired now and won the NASCAR Championship seven times, a record that has only been equaled by Dale Earnhardt. Richard Petty is part of a famous family of racers. Richard’s father was Lee Petty, winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959. Richard’s son is Kyle Petty, a well-known driver, and Richard’s grandson was Adam Petty, a driver killed racing in 2000.
62. Samoan port : APIA
Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely.
66. Sign gas : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.
67. Outback bird : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …
68. They have many arms : OCTOPI
The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …
69. Trait transmitter : GENE
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.
1. Clock radio toggle : AM/PM
The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in Ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.
3. Dial on old TVs : VERT
Remember the “horizontal hold” (HOR) and “vertical hold” (VER) on old TV sets? Our kids have no idea what we had to go through …
5. Congo River area denizen : CHIMP
The common chimpanzee is a species of ape, a member of the Hominidae family (along with gorillas, humans and orangutans). The human and chimpanzee branches of the Hominidae family tree diverged 4-6 million years ago, making the chimp our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.
7. Center opening : EPI-
The “epicenter” is that point on the surface of the earth which is directly above the focus of an earthquake.
18. Oater settings : SALOONS
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!
23. Iberian coastal city : OPORTO
The city of Oporto in Portugal gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s, as it was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.
The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.
32. Cold mold : ASPIC
Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word for “jelly”.
35. New England’s only National Park : ACADIA
Acadia National Park in Maine was created in 1919, although back then it was called Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette who famously supported the American Revolution. The park was renamed to Acadia in 1929.
37. Traditional Jerusalem site of the Last Supper : CENACLE
The Cenacle is a room in a building on Mount Zion in Jerusalem that traditionally held to be the site of the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus shared with his Apostles. The building is located just outside the walls of the Old City, and is also known as the “Upper Room”.
46. Bookie’s spread units: Abbr. : PTS
48. Suave : URBANE
We use “urbane” today to mean something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the countryfolk, and so the usage evolved.
50. Michigan State’s Sparty, e.g. : MASCOT
Michigan State University’s sports teams used be called the Aggies, as the school was founded as the State Agricultural College of Michigan. The team name was changed to the Spartans in 1925, reflecting the school’s shift in focus beyond agriculture-centered education. The school mascot Sparty hit the scene in 1989.
54. How a couple might go for dinner? : DUTCH
A Dutch door has a top and a bottom equally divided in area. There is a suggestion that the term “go Dutch” originated with the Dutch door. The bill is “split”, and so are Dutch doors. That said, when people “go Dutch” they each pay for themselves, as opposed to even splitting the tab.
56. Olympian’s blade : EPEE
There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:
57. Prom rental : LIMO
The word “limousine” derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …
60. East-west Mass. artery : TNPK
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.
The Massachusetts Turnpike (aka “Mass Pike”) is the name given to a 138-mile stretch of Interstate 90.
61. Penultimate Greek letters : PSIS
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork. It is the penultimate letter in Greek alphabet, the 23rd, coming just before omega.