Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each comprise two words, starting with the letters KG (which sounds like “CAGEY”).
- 38A. Shrewd … and a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : CAGEY (sounds like “KG”)
- 16A. Shade lighter than jade : KELLY GREEN
- 59A. London co-creator of the International Plant Names Index : KEW GARDENS
- 10D. Super-strong adhesive brand : KRAZY GLUE
- 33D. Extreme care : KID GLOVES
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9. German trick-taking card game : SKAT
When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular card game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to play it again …
13. St. Teresa’s town : AVILA
Avila is famous for the walled defenses around the old city, which date back to 1090. They were constructed out of brown granite, and are still in excellent repair. There are nine gateways and eighty-towers in all. Even the cathedral built between the 12th and 14th centuries is part of the city’s defenses, so it looks like an imposing fortress.
St. Teresa of Avila (also known as St. Teresa of Jesus) was a Carmelite nun living in Spain in the 1500s. She is particularly noted for her writings on Christian meditation and mental prayer.
16. Shade lighter than jade : KELLY GREEN
Kelly green is a strong yellowish green, and was given its name back in the early 1900s. The name was apparently chosen because green is popular in Ireland, and Kelly is a common Irish family name.
19. Witty Bombeck : ERMA
Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.
20. Euros replaced them : LIRE
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.
22. Target Field, e.g. : STADIUM
Target Field is a baseball park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to the Minnesota Twins since the stadium opening in 2010. Target Corporation paid an undisclosed sum to get the naming rights of the park. The Target Corporation is headquartered in Minneapolis.
24. Nowhere near cool : DORKY
I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.
26. N.L. mascot whose head is a large baseball : MR MET
Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head, and has been elected to the Mascot Hall of Fame.
31. Finnish telecommunications company : NOKIA
I do enjoy classical guitar music, but there isn’t a huge choice on CD. There is one very special piece called “Gran Vals” by Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. This piece has a unique reputation as it contains a phrase that was once the most listened-to piece of music in the whole world. Just a few bars into the work one can hear the omnipresent Nokia ring tone!
34. Lindsay of “Freaky Friday” (2003) : LOHAN
I think that actress Lindsay Lohan’s big break was in the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998. I’ve really only enjoyed one of Lohan’s films though, “Freaky Friday” from 2003 in which she stars alongside the fabulous Jamie Lee Curtis.
“Freaky Friday” is a well-known children’s novel, written by Mary Rodgers and published in 1972. The basic story is that one Friday, a mother and her teenage daughter have their bodies switched due to the effects of an enchanted fortune cookie. Hilarity ensues! In the 2003 screen adaptation, Jamie Lee Curtis plays the mother, and Lindsay Lohan the daughter.
36. Bud’s partner : LOU
Lou Costello was half of the Abbott & Costello double act. One tragic and terrible event in Lou Costello’s life was the death of his baby son, Lou Costello, Jr. Lou was at NBC studios one night for his regular broadcast when he received word that the 11-month-old baby had somehow drowned in the family swimming pool. With the words, “Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me”, he made the scheduled broadcast in front of a live and unsuspecting audience.
40. Like Mars, visually : RED
The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!
41. Storybook elephant : BABAR
“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.
45. Sleeping giant : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:
- #1 The Leader of the Flock
- #½ The Tweener
- #13 Mr. Bad Luck
- #53 The Pessimist
- #86 Benedict Arnold
57. One-named supermodel : IMAN
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.
58. __ Scotia : NOVA
The Canadian province of Nova Scotia (NS) lies on the east coast of the country and is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The area was settled by Scots starting in 1621, and Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland”.
59. London co-creator of the International Plant Names Index : KEW GARDENS
Kew Gardens is a beautiful location in southwest London that was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens has the world’s largest collection of living plants.
61. Meryl’s “it’s Complicated” co-star : ALEC
“it’s Complicated” is a fun 2009 Nancy Meyers romcom starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, despite being disappointed with the casting of the two male leads. If you see the film in the future, take note of the house and garden that Meryl Streep’s character lives in. My kind of pad …
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.
62. Chevy subcompact : AVEO
The Chevrolet Aveo is a subcompact automobile that has been around since 2002. The Aveo is manufactured by GM Daewoo, the GM subsidiary in South Korea. Although the Aveo name is still used in some markets, here in North America the Aveo has been sold as the Chevrolet Sonic since 2012. By the way, GM Daewoo is the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in South Korea, after Hyundai and Kia.
63. Pasta tubes : PENNE
Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.
1. Sushi bar brews : SAKES
We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.
3. Bedrock wife : WILMA
Wilma is the wife of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. On the TV show, Wilma was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl. Vander Pyl was also provided the voice for Rosie the Robot on “The Jetsons”.
8. He’s a doll : KEN
Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.
9. Numbers game : SUDOKU
Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …
10. Super-strong adhesive brand : KRAZY GLUE
Super Glue and Krazy Glue are trademarks for the fast-acting cyanoacrylate adhesive, which are also known generically as “super glues”.
14. Forensics facility : CRIME LAB
Something described as “forensic” is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The the term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.
23. Nest egg letters : IRA
Individual retirement account (IRA)
25. Big name in facial scrubs : OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.
27. Forum robes : TOGAS
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.
The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it’s name from the Latin word “forum” meaning “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome, is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting play in the world.
30. Puzzle (out) : SUSS
The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, a shortening of “to suspect”.
31. Screenwriter Ephron : NORA
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
33. Extreme care : KID GLOVES
Back in the late 1600s, “kid gloves” were gloves made from the skin of a young goat, a kid. Kid gloves were expensive and became associated with the nouveau riche, and so the wearing of kid gloves was viewed as ostentatious. When the phrase “kid gloves” crossed the Atlantic to America, the notion of using kid gloves morphed into the current meaning of “treating with delicacy and care”.
41. Calisthenics movement : BEND
Calisthenics are gymnastic exercises designed promote physical health. The term “calisthenics” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “sthenos” meaning strength.
42. After-school org. : PTA
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
44. Shrubs with lavender blooms : LILACS
The ornamental flowering plant known as lilac is native to the Balkans, and is a member of the olive family.
46. Perlman of “Cheers” : RHEA
Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be “Carla Tortelli”, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She is married to Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, and has been so since 1982.
48. Colander cousin : SIEVE
A colander is a bowl-shaped utensil with holes in it that is used for draining liquid from food. The term “colander” comes from the Latin word “colum” meaning “sieve”.
50. Change, as a motion : AMEND
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
51. Old Testament food : MANNA
According to the Book of Exodus, manna was a food eaten by the Israelites as they traveled out of Egypt. The manna “fell” to Earth during the night, six days a week, and was gathered in the morning before it had time to melt.
56. Neighbor of Nor. : SWED
The country of Sweden emerged during the Middle Ages, and became one of the great powers of Europe in the days of the Swedish Empire in 17th and early 18th century. Since then Sweden’s influence has waned. What was the eastern part of Sweden was lost to Russia in the early 1800s, and is now modern-day Finland. In the 20th century Sweden has adopted a very non-aggressive stance and was neutral in both World Wars. Sweden is not a member of NATO, but is a member of the European Union, although the country does not use the euro as its currency.
60. Tach reading : RPM
Revolutions per minute (rpm)
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).