Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers starts with, is HEADED by, a kind of LIGHT. And the HEADS are towards the top of the grid, as the themed answers are in the down-direction:
- 27D. Dizzy … and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : LIGHT-HEADED
- 3D. *Screenwriter’s work for the first episode : PILOT SCRIPT (giving “pilot light”)
- 19D. *Orangy Crayola color : NEON CARROT (giving “neon light”)
- 21D. *Simple-to-use : IDIOTPROOF (giving “idiot light”)
- 25D. *Symbol of bureaucracy : RED TAPE (giving “red light”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Onetime TWA rival : PAN AM
Pan American World Airways (usually just “Pan Am”) started out as a mail and passenger service between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba in 1927. From very early in the company’s life it was the de facto representative air carrier of the United States. For many years Pan Am’s fleet was built around the Boeing 314 Clipper, a long-range flying boat that was one of the largest aircraft around at the time. Pan Am adopted the Clipper as part of its image, even using “clipper” as the call sign for its flights.
10. Lucy’s co-star : DESI
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.
14. “Star Wars” princess : LEIA
Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …
16. “That’s so true!” : AMEN!
The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.
18. Las Vegas loser’s complaint : ROTTEN LUCK
Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).
23. Bank acct. posting : INT
24. Critter “in the headlights” : DEER
There may be some truth to the idea that a deer can freeze when “caught in the headlights” of a car. This is because the anatomy of a deer’s eye, like many animals, is such that its night vision is very effective. That extra night sensitivity can be a disadvantage when a deer is suddenly illuminated by a strong light like that from a headlamp. Such illumination can be blinding and perhaps bewildering, causing the deer to freeze.
35. Eight, en español : OCHO
“Español” is Spanish for “Spanish”.
36. Like some committees : AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.
37. Martini ingredient : GIN
The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.
38. Jack of nursery rhymes : SPRAT
Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.
Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.
42. Chinese-born architect I.M. __ : PEI
I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, especially the Glass Pyramid in the courtyard.
46. Dada pioneer Jean : ARP
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.
48. Landmark on Missouri’s state quarter : ARCH
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch alright, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …
49. Georgia, but not Florida : NATION
The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.
51. Vatican City currency : EURO
Vatican City is not a member of the European Union (EU), but does the euro as its official currency by virtue of a special agreement with the EU. Vatican City is allowed to issue a limited number of its own euro coins, but no banknotes. The cap on the number of coins issued is raised in the year that a new pope is named. As a result of the limitations, Vatican euro coins are highly prized by collectors.
53. Uncanny claim : ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
57. What a judge may do during an arraignment : SET BAIL
In the law, to arraign someone is to call a person before a court to answer charges that have been brought.
59. Grecian Formula competitor : JUST FOR MEN
Just for Men is a hair-coloring product. It is usually applied to remove gray in the hair, and is effective for one to six weeks. So they tell me …
Grecian Formula is a hair dye that is targeted at men. Here in the US, Grecian Formula uses lead(II) acetate as a key ingredient. The Grecian Formula that is sold in Canada and Europe has no lead(II) acetate, because the chemical is prohibited from cosmetics sold in those markets.
65. Roughly 30% of Earth’s land area : ASIA
Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.
66. Fall zodiac sign : LIBRA
The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.
67. Denim pioneer Strauss : LEVI
Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.
70. Perfect spot : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.
1. “I was home alone” isn’t a very strong one : ALIBI
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.
3. *Screenwriter’s work for the first episode : PILOT SCRIPT (giving “pilot light”)
A pilot light is a small gas flame, one using a relatively small amount of fuel, that remains lit as an ignition source for larger gas burners.
5. Analyzed, as a sentence : PARSED
The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.
8. Invoice no. : AMT
9. Leader with a baton : MAESTRO
“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.
10. __ Lama : DALAI
The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.
11. Big bird from Down Under : EMU
Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.
13. Pentel filler : INK
Pentel is Japanese company that is known for manufacture of pens and markers.
19. *Orangy Crayola color : NEON CARROT (giving “neon light”)
In the year 2000 the Crayola company, very cleverly I think, held the “Crayola Color Census 2000” in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.
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.
21. *Simple-to-use : IDIOTPROOF (giving “idiot light”)
The warning and status lights that we see on the dashboard of a car are commonly referred to as “idiot lights”. In general, these lights have replaced gauges that measured things like engine temperature and oil pressure. The first idiot lights were introduced in the 1930s by the Hudson automobile company.
25. *Symbol of bureaucracy : RED TAPE (giving “red light”)
Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.
28. Great Lakes natives : ERIES
The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.
33. Ill-fated whale chaser : AHAB
Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.
35. Rossini creation : OPERA
Gioachino Rossini was a prolific and very successful composer from Pesaro, Italy. During his lifetime, Rossini was lauded as the most successful composer of operas in history. His best known opera today is probably “The Barber of Seville”. His best known piece of music is probably the finale of the overture from his opera “William Tell”.
41. Cul-de-__ : SAC
Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.
44. Tubular Italian pastries : CANNOLI
Cannoli (singular “connolo”) are Italian sweet pastries that originated in Sicily. Cannoli are made by filling tubes of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese. “Cannolo” is Italian for “little tube”.
48. Concert milieus : ARENAS
We use the French term “milieu” to mean an environment, surroundings. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.
55. Opposite of everything, in bageldom : PLAIN
The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.
58. Rancor : BILE
In days past, health was said to depend on the balance between the body’s four “humors”, four vital fluids. These humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (aka “choler”) and black bile. Excesses of yellow and black bile were thought to produce aggression and depression. As a result, we use the term “bile” today to mean “ill temper”.
60. Land “across the pond” from the U.K. : USA
The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.
61. Gluttony, e.g. : SIN
The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
63. Exec’s degree : MBA
Master of Business Administration (MBA)