Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed clues are all emoticons, with the answers expressing the meanings intended by each emoticon:
- 17A. >:-( : I’M REALLY FURIOUS!
- 25A. 🙁 : WHAT A DOWNER!
- 47A. 😉 : JUST KIDDING!
- 60A. :-O : THAT’S SURPRISING!
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.
9. Certain highlands musician : PIPER
The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.
16. Eco-friendly spa brand : AVEDA
Horst Rechelbacher was travelling in India in 1970 when he was introduced to the Hindu science of longevity called Ayurveda, which inspired him to set up his own company of skin and hair care products that he called Aveda. The company opened its doors in 1978 and is based in Blaine, Minnesota.
17. >:-( : I’M REALLY FURIOUS!
25. 🙁 : WHAT A DOWNER!
47. 😉 : JUST KIDDING!
60. :-O : THAT’S SURPRISING!
An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂
20. Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO
Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.
24. Scholar’s deg. : PHD
PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.
30. Carpooling calc. : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)
33. Frigid end? : -AIRE
Frigidaire made the first self-contained refrigerator in 1916. Just three years later, the company was taken over by General Motors, who owned it right up to 1979. Frigidaire also made the first home freezer and room air conditioner.
34. Straight man : STOOGE
We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.
36. Vegetation : FLORA
The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.
38. Tarzan creator’s monogram : ERB
Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) was an author from Chicago who is best known as the creator of the “Tarzan” series of novels. Burroughs’ daughter Joan ended up marrying James Pierce, the actor who was the fourth to portray Tarzan on film. James and Joan Pierce also worked together, playing Tarzan and Jane on the radio show “Tarzan” from 1932 to 1934.
39. Virus named for a Congolese river : EBOLA
The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.
41. Trains above the road : ELS
Elevated railroad (El)
45. “Smack That” rapper : AKON
Akon is a Senegalese American R&B and hip hop singer, who was born in St. Louis but lived much of his early life in Senegal. Akon is a stage name, and his real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam. Got that?
46. Manhattan part : RYE
The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I make my own version of a Brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.
50. Cabinet dept. with an Office of Science : ENER
The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.
63. Veiny cheese : BLEU
Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly a very poor one), the term “bleu” cheese has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.
65. Med. specialty : OB/GYN
Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)
66. Couture line : SEAM
“Haute couture”, literally “high dressmaking” in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.
2. Long drive? : 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 …
3. Brown digs? : DORM
Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.
“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”, but where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.
4. Many an Albee play : ONE-ACTER
Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:
- 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
- 1975: “Seascape”
- 1994: “Three Tall Women”
Albee also won three Tony Awards:
- 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
- 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
- 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement
6. Poivre companion : SEL
In French, one might season one’s food with “sel” (salt) and “poivre” (pepper).
7. Slow Churned ice cream : EDY’S
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.
9. Where many aces can be seen : PAR THREE
One well-documented hole-in-one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes-in-one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes-in-one in his one and only round of golf.
11. Menial worker : PEON
A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.
12. Part of NEA: Abbr. : EDUC
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.
13. Demolish, in Devon : RASE
To “raze” (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it odd that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means to build up.
Devon is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.
18. Gillette brand : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.
23. Sacred songs : 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”.
25. Mass consumption? : WAFER
The Communion rite is the part of the Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition. The rite involves distribution of the Communion bread (the host, a wafer) to the faithful.
The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.
26. Like links-style golf courses : HILLY
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.
28. Razzie Award adjective : WORST
“Razzie” is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.
30. Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI
Enokitake (also known as enoki) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.
31. Raptor’s weapon : TALON
“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.
37. “The Jazz Singer” singer : AL JOLSON
The classic musical “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1927, and became the biggest box office success for the Warner Bros. to date. Famously, it was a “talkie”, and is now regarded as one of the films that signaled the impending end of the “silent era”. Star of the movie is Al Jolson, who performs six songs including “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo’ Bye)” and “My Mammy”.
43. Dutch banknotes : EUROS
The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
44. Günter Grass novel, with “The” : TIN DRUM
“The Tin Drum” is a novel by German author Günter Grass that was first published in 1959. The book was a adapted into very successful 1979 film of the same name, which won that season’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
48. __-plié: ballet movement with knees half-bent : DEMI
The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.
51. Houston pro, locally : ‘STRO
The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.
52. Captain who says, “For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee” : 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.
54. Well-used crayons : NUBS
A much-used pencil or crayon might be worn down to a “nub”.
55. Creator of Perry and Della : ERLE
I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.
Della Street was Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played in the TV show by the lovely Barbara Hale.
57. Diamond complement : NINE
That would be baseball.
59. Some NCOs : SGTS
An NCO or “noncom” is a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Usually such an officer is one who has earned his or her rank by promotion through the enlisted ranks. A good example would be a sergeant major (sgt. maj.).