Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are written in the down-direction, and each contains the hidden letter sequence SDA. And, SDA reads ADS when written “UP”. So, we have some hidden POP-UP ADS:
- 39D. Web irritants … and what appears in each set of puzzle circles? : POP-UP ADS
- 3D. “Pillow Talk” actress : DORIS DAY
- 9D. Museum pieces : OBJETS D’ART
- 26D. Brand of blended seasonings : MRS DASH
- 31D. Population information : CENSUS DATA
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Kind of basin : TIDAL
A tidal basin is an area that fills with water at high tide, and then that water level is maintained by artificial means. I used to live in a village on the East Coast of Ireland where there was a saltwater swimming pool that would be filled by the high tide twice a day. The same principle I guess.
9. Intense dislike : ODIUM
“Odium” is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.
15. Run a tab, say : OWE
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.
19. Floorboard support : JOIST
In a building, a joist is a supporting member running horizontally to support a ceiling or floor.
20. Many a Sundance film : INDIE
The Sundance film festival is the largest independent film event in the country, and takes place every year around the Sundance Resort near Provo, Utah. The festival has its roots in the Utah/US Film Festival which started in Salt Lake City in 1978. Management of the festival was taken over by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in 1985. The festival has became a bit of a media feeding frenzy in recent years, as a lot of A-list celebrities attend. The Festival organizers introduced a “Focus on Film” campaign in 2007 to try to offset some of the madness.
23. Registered names: Abbr. : TMS
28. H.S. hurdle : SAT
Today the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation SAT.
32. Comical punctuation marks from the drummer : RIMSHOTS
A rimshot is a sound made when a drummer hits the head of a drum and the rim at the same time. It’s a sound often used by comics to help punctuate a gag.
34. Marshy lowland : SWALE
A swale is a narrow tract of low-lying land that is usually wet or marshy. A swale can be naturally occurring or man-made. One might create a swale to help manage drainage of adjacent land.
35. Chihuahua, por ejemplo : ESTADO
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.
36. “__ Eyes”: Eagles hit : LYIN’
The Eagles song “Lyin’ Eyes” was recorded in 1975. Written by band members Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the lyrics were inspired by a meeting between a man and a woman the composers witnessed in Dan Tana’s Bar & Restaurant in Los Angeles. Henley and Frey imagined a scenario of secret love, and “Lyin’ Eyes” was born.
37. ’60s campus gp. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.
38. Hieroglyphics reptiles : ASPS
The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics”, meaning “sacred carving”, the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.
48. Swingline insert : STAPLE
Swingline is a manufacturer of office staplers that was founded in New York City in 1925.
49. 2,170-mi. trail terminus : ORE
The Oregon Trail was established by fur trappers and traders as early as 1811. The first migrant wagon train traveled the route in 1836, starting off in Independence, Missouri and going as far as Fort Hall, Idaho. In the coming years, the trail was extended for wagons as far as the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
50. Walk with style : SASHAY
To “sashay” is to strut along in a showy manner. “Sashay” is an Anglicized form of the French word “chassé”, a sliding step used in square dancing.
52. Luau music provider : UKE
The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.
Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.
58. Cookie named for its flavor : NILLA
As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened from of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?
59. Aromatic necklace : 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.
66. Down source : EIDER
Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.
67. Singer Bruni married to Nicolas Sarkozy : CARLA
The very glamorous Carla Bruni is the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She is Sarkozy’s third wife, and this is the first marriage for Bruni. The couple met at a dinner party in November 2007 and were married just three months later. Bruni was born in Italy and was granted French nationality not long after the marriage.
68. Morning cuppa : JOE
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.
3. “Pillow Talk” actress : DORIS DAY
The actress and singer Doris Day was born Doris Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. Day made more than 650 recordings as a singer with Columbia Records, and also appeared in 39 movies. Outside the world of entertainment, she has been an ardent supporter of animal rights. She now lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California, along with her many pets and stray animals that she has adopted over the years.
“Pillow Talk” is a marvelous romantic comedy from 1959 that stars Rock Hudson and Doris Day, with Tony Randall in a supporting role. The same trio of actors starred in a trio of movies together: “Pillow Talk” (1959), “Lover Come Back” (1961) and “Send Me No Flowers” (1964).
6. Montague lad : ROMEO
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …
9. Museum pieces : OBJETS D’ART
An “objet d’art” is an item that has artistic merit. The term is French for “art object”. The plural is “objets d’art”.
10. Lucy and Ethel and Thelma and Louise : DUOS
In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends were also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertz’s were played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.
“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, but one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt in there as well, in his first significant movie role.
13. Church choral works : MOTETS
A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text, usually sung without an accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.
22. Tibetan title : LAMA
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.
23. “Angie Tribeca” channel : TBS
“Angie Tribeca” is a sitcom created by Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Walls Carell. The title role is an LAPD police detective played by actress Rashida Jones.
24. Weak cry : MEWL
“To mewl” is to cry weakly like a baby, with the word being somewhat imitative.
26. Brand of blended seasonings : MRS DASH
Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.
30. Inventor Howe : ELIAS
Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.
31. Population information : CENSUS DATA
The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by Federal marshals.
33. Book after Daniel : HOSEA
Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.
35. Ulysses threesome? : ESSES
There is a threesome of letters S (esses) in the word “Ulysses”.
42. Faulkner’s “As __ Dying” : I LAY
“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream of consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:
My mother is a fish.
That’s a five-word chapter …
44. Actor Marvin of “Cat Ballou” : LEE
I’ve always thought that Lee Marvin was a very talented actor. Marvin had an amazing voice, and the appearance of a man who was hard and villainous. Yet he was able to break free from the villain roles in which he was typecast and played some characters with more depth. He won an Academy Award for his dual-role performance in 1965’s “Cat Ballou”. His totally unique rendition of the song “Wand’rin Star” from the 1969 musical film “Paint Your Wagon” made it to number one in the UK charts, keeping the Beatles hit “Let it Be” in the number two spot. I’ll bet that surprised even Marvin himself!
“Cat Ballou” is a 1965 film, a comedy western starring Jane Fonda in the title role and Lee Marvin in dual roles, for which Marvin won his only Oscar. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Roy Chanslor. The novel was a serious and a quite dark work, but it was lightened up for the big screen.
45. Courvoisier, e.g. : COGNAC
Cognac is a famous variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac in the very west of France. To be called cognac, the brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in very specific French oak barrels.
Courvoisier is a brand of cognac that is produced in the commune of Jarnac in southwestern France. Legend tells us that Napoleon Bonaparte took several barrels of Courvoisier with him to the island of St. Helena, where he died in exile. The English officers on the ship who transported the former emperor regularly sampled the barrels and named it “The Cognac of Napoleon”, words which appear on every bottle that is produced today.
46. Speedy Gonzales cry : ARRIBA!
When I was a kid, Speedy Gonzales was one of my favorite cartoon characters. He was billed as “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” and tore around the place yelling “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa¡ ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!”
48. OED entry : SYN
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
54. Hebrew for “skyward” : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.
56. Oil bloc : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …
57. Hodgepodge : OLIO
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.
“Hochepot” is an Old French word for stew or soup, and this gave rise to an Anglo-French legal term for a collection of property that was gathered prior to being divided up. This became our “hodgepodge” in the early 1400s.
59. Pres. sworn in on Air Force One : LBJ
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn into office on Air Force One as is stood parked on Love Field in Dallas. US District Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a personal friend of the new president, conducted the swearing in ceremony. To this day, Justice Hughes is the only woman to have sworn in a US President.
60. Job listing ltrs. : EEO
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.
62. “Is it soup __?” : YET
There was a famous TV spot advertising Lipton instant soup in the seventies. Kids would watch as boiling water was added to powdered soup, exclaiming excitedly “Is it soup yet?” Ugh …