Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers contain the names of cheeses, and each answer sounds like a well-known phrase:
- 23A. Cheese tray displays? : BRIE ARRANGEMENTS (sounds like “pre-arrangements”)
- 45A. Real cheese? : TILSIT LIKE IT IS (sounds like “tells it like it is”)
- 69A. Cheesehead’s accessory? : FETA IN ONE’S CAP (sounds like “feather in one’s cap”)
- 97A. Cheese graters? : ROQUEFORT FILES (sounds like “Rockford Files”)
- 123A. Highland cheese? : LOCH NESS MUENSTER (sounds like “Loch Ness Monster”)
- 16D. Cheese-growing plot? : GARDEN OF EDAM (sounds like ‘Garden of Eden”)
- 63D. Cheese factory supplies? : CHEDDAR BOXES (sounds like “chatterboxes”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
4. Stagecoach shout : WHOA!
Although the stagecoach is very much associated with the Wild West, the vehicle originated in England in the 16th century. Stagecoaches provided transportation for travellers and goods over long distances. The rest points for the travellers were known as “stages”, and later “stations”, hence the name “stagecoach”.
21. Heated dispute : RHUBARB
“Rhubarb” is a slang term meaning “squabble, spat”.
23. Cheese tray displays? : BRIE ARRANGEMENTS (sounds like “pre-arrangements”)
Brie is a soft cheese, named after the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.
25. Scientologist Hubbard : L RON
L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. A few years later, he use the concepts in the book as he founded his Church of Scientology.
26. X-Men co-creator Lee : STAN
Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he has a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.
28. GPS info : RTE
A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).
29. Screwdriver component : VODKA
The cocktail called a Screwdriver is a mix of fresh orange juice with vodka. Apparently the drink originated with a group of engineers in the late forties who used to spike small cans of orange juice with vodka, and then stir it in with their screwdrivers.
30. Jet black : ONYX
Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.
The color “jet black” takes its name from the minor gemstone known as jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name: “jaiet”.
34. Pastina relative : ORZO
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”.
Pastina is the smallest type of pasta that is produced, with “pastina” translating as “little pasta”. Pastina comes in a variety of shapes, and is mainly used as an ingredient in soups.
36. Moray or conger : EEL
Morays are a large group of about 200 species of eels found across the world’s oceans. They are carnivorous and look pretty scary but they’re quite shy when confronted and present no threat to humans. One interesting thing about morays is that they will sometimes work in cooperation with the grouper fish found in reefs, the two helping each other hunt for food.
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.
38. Exams for future J.D.’s : LSATS
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.
45. Real cheese? : TILSIT LIKE IT IS (sounds like “tells it like it is”)
Tilsit cheese was created in the mid-1800s by Prussian-Swiss settlers around the town of Tilsit in former East Prussia. Tilsit is now the city of Sovetsk in Russia.
49. Bologna bone : OSSO
“Osso” is the Italian word for bone, as in the name of the dish Osso Buco: braised veal shanks.
Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.
50. Dirt cake ingredient : OREO
Dirt cake is a dessert usually made by breaking up Oreo cookies and scattering the pieces over chocolate pudding, and then adding gummy worms on top. Sounds delicious …
51. Queen Victoria’s toy, for short : POM
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …
60. Coke by-product : TAR
Coal tar is one of the by-products of the production of coke and/or coal gas from coal. It is a dark liquid comprising several organic compounds. Industrially, coal tar can be used as a sealcoat for pavements, and as a fuel for fire boilers. Medicinally, coal tar is used in shampoos to treat dandruff and kill lice.
Coke is coal that has been baked at very high temperatures to drive off volatile constituents such as water, coal-gas and coal tar. The resulting coke looks like coal, but is grey, porous and much lighter.
61. One-named “Skyfall” singer : ADELE
I have not been a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond (preferring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role). However, I saw “Skyfall” when it first came out and have been won over. “Skyfall” is one of the best Bond films so far, in my humble opinion. And, Adele’s rendition of the title song is an added plus …
64. Strip stake? : BET
The stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard on which most of the big casinos are concentrated is referred to as the “Las Vegas Strip”. The Strip was named for LA’s Sunset Strip by former Los Angeles law enforcement officer Guy McAfee. McAfee was a notoriously corrupt head of the LAPD vice squad in 1920s and 1930s who ran several brothels and gambling saloons. McAfee moved to Las Vegas in 1939 where he opened several casinos, including the Golden Nugget.
69. Cheesehead’s accessory? : FETA IN ONE’S CAP (sounds like “feather in one’s cap”)
Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.
80. Catkin producer : ALDER
Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.
81. Half a dance : CHA
The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.
83. “My 60 Memorable Games” author : FISCHER
American Bobby Fischer was one of the greatest chess players of all time, enjoying remarkable success from a very early age. Perhaps his most famous victory was against Boris Spassky in 1992, a match held in Yugoslavia. At that time, there was a strict embargo against the country, bringing Fischer into conflict with his own government in the US, after which he roamed the world, never to return home. He lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines and Japan, and finally in Iceland where he died in 2008 at 54 years of age.
87. Diamond nickname : THE BABE
Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.
91. Creamy color : ECRU
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.
95. Puffin relatives : AUKS
Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.
97. Cheese graters? : ROQUEFORT FILES (sounds like “Rockford Files”)
Roquefort cheese comes from the commune of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the South of France.
The TV drama “The Rockford Files” starred James Garner as private investigator in Los Angeles. The show was co-created by Roy Huggins, who had also created Garner’s other hit show “Maverick”. Huggins basically designed “The Rockford Files” as a modern-day “Maverick”, complete with the same actor playing the title roles.
105. “__ been a puppet, a pauper … “: Sinatra lyric : I’VE
“That’s Life” is a song recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1966, and the title of the album on which it was included. Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, the song was first recorded by Marion Montgomery in 1966.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race
106. “Foolery … does walk about the __ like the sun”: Shakespeare : ORB
The lines “Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere.” is from William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. The lines might be paraphrased as “foolishness is everywhere”.
William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season). The play’s protagonist is a young woman named Viola. The plot calls for Viola to dress as eunuch named Cesario who goes into the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino has Cesario go to Duchess Olivia to express his love for her. But Olivia falls for Cesario, Cesario (Viola) falls for Orsino, and hilarity ensues …
109. Syrian president : ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of the former President Hafez al-Assad whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, who is an Englishwoman.
111. Title for Helen Mirren : DAME
Helen Mirren, one of my favorite English actresses, has played three different queens on film and television. She played Queen Elizabeth II on the 2006 film “The Queen”, the title role in the TV drama “Elizabeth I”, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of the title character in the 1994 film “The Madness of King George”. Mirren won the “Triple Crown of Acting” for playing:
- Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (winning Best Actress Oscar)
- Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience” (winning Best Actress in a Play Tony)
- Detective Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” (winning Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy)
117. Like the talus : TARSAL
The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.
120. First name in desserts : SARA
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.
122. Idée __ : FIXE
An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession
123. Highland cheese? : LOCH NESS MUENSTER (sounds like “Loch Ness Monster”)
Muenster is an American cheese, not to be confused with Munster cheese which is from the department called Vosges in the northeast of France. The American cheese is named for the German city of Münster (also Muenster) in the northwest of the country, a city that doesn’t actually have a local cheese named for it.
130. Prepare, as dough for zeppole : DEEP FRY
A zeppola (plural “zeppole”) is an Italian pastry comprising a deep-fried ball of dough filled with something sweet like custard or pastry cream. Over in Italy, zeppole are traditionally served on Saint Joseph’s Day (“Festa di San Giuseppe”).
131. Early depictor of today’s Santa Claus : NAST
The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.
4. Ring org. : WBA
World Boxing Association (WBA)
5. Instrument featured in “Waltz of the Flowers” : HARP
“The Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” features one of the most famous harp solos in the classical repertoire.
6. Other, to Quixote : OTRO
The full name of Cervantes’s novel is “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha”. In the story, Don Quixote is a retired country gentleman who heads out as a knight-errant and who renames himself Don Quixote of la Mancha. In his mind he designates a neighboring farm girl called Aldonza Lorenzo as his lady love, and renames her Dulcinea del Toboso.
9. Classic Southern dessert : CHESS PIE
Chess pie is a classic dessert from the US South that has a filling made from eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and some cornmeal. The original chess pie likely came from England (without the cornmeal, I’d guess). The pie’s name may be from “pie chest”, a piece of furniture used to store pies.
10. Summa __ laude : CUM
When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:
- cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
- magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
- summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”
12. __ Domingo : SANTO
Santo Domingo de Guzmán (often just “Santo Domingo”) is the capital city of the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit what is now the Dominican Republic, in 1492. Four years later Christopher’s younger brother, Bartholomew Columbus arrived, and founded Santo Domingo, making the city the oldest, continuously-inhabited European settlement in the Americas.
15. “Alice’s Restaurant” arrestee : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
16. Cheese-growing plot? : GARDEN OF EDAM (sounds like ‘Garden of Eden”)
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.
18. North America’s highest peak : DENALI
Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language. The peak was known as Mount McKinley for many years, named in 1896 for future president William McKinley. The state of Alaska changed the name back to Denali in 1975, and the federal government followed suit in 2015.
24. Language of Oslo, in Oslo : NORSK
“Norsk” is the Norwegian word for “Norwegian”.
Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.
29. Paris pronoun : VOUS
In French, the pronouns “toi” and “vous” both mean “you”, with the former being used with family and friends, and children. “Vous” is more formal, and is also the plural form of “toi”.
31. First year of Claudius’ reign : XLI
I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.
33. Meyers of late-night TV : SETH
Seth Meyers is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best-known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), for which program he served as head writer. Meyers now hosts his own late night talk show on NBC.
37. Old Pontiac with a V8 engine : GTO
The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.
39. Key holder in much religious artwork : ST PETER
In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
47. Clampett portrayer : EBSEN
The actor Buddy Ebsen was best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longers that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!
48. Forms into metallic waste : SLAGS
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The “waste” from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a “slag furnace” to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.
53. Stoker creation, briefly : DRAC
“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …
56. Shepherd’s cry : YELP
The lovely German shepherd breed of dog isn’t one of the older breeds, only dating back to 1899. German shepherds are the second-most popular breed in the US, after the Labrador retriever.
59. Batting stat : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)
62. Distinctive manner : STYLE
“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, meaning confidence and assurance. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.
63. Cheese factory supplies? : CHEDDAR BOXES (sounds like “chatterboxes”)
Cheddar cheese takes its name from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Over 50% of the cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. Here in the US cheddar is the second most popular cheese sold, behind Mozzarella.
67. Potpourri holders : SACHETS
The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.
70. Debugging pro : TECH
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term.
71. “My Name Is __ Lev”: Potok novel : ASHER
“My Name Is Asher Lev” is a novel by Rabbi Chaim Potok, first published in 1972. The story follows the experiences of Asher Lev, a Hasidic Jewish boy in New York City. His story continues in the sequel “The Gift of Asher Lev”.
73. Cotton gin inventor Whitney : ELI
The inventor Eli Whitney is a best known for inventing the cotton gin. Whitney also came up with the important concept of “interchangeable parts”. Parts that are interchangeable can be swapped out of equipment or perhaps used in related designs.
The term “cotton gin” is a contraction of “cotton eng-ine”. The gin is a machine that mechanically separates cotton fibers from the cotton seed. The modern version of the cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793.
76. East Asian capital : SEOUL
Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.
79. “Whose woods these __ think … “: Frost : ARE I
When I was a school-kid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
84. Athos, for one : SWORDSMAN
Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and their young protégé is D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.
85. “The Last of the Mohicans” sister : CORA
“The Last of the Mohicans” is an 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second in a series of five novels that comprise the “Leatherstocking Tales”. All five titles are:
- “The Deerslayer” (1841)
- “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826)
- “The Pathfinder” (1840)
- “The Pioneers” (1823)
- “The Prairie” (1827)
96. NYC mayor after Beame : KOCH
Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” on the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister Pat Koch, and wrote a children’s book called “Eddie, Harold’s Little Brother”, a tale about Ed’s own childhood experiences.
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.
102. Brooklyn crooner Vic : DAMONE
Vic Damone is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. As a young man Damone started taking voice lessons, inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra. Decades later, Sinatra said that Damone had “the best pipes in the business”.
108. Italian bowling game : BOCCE
The Italian bowling game of “bocce” (often anglicized as “bocci”) is based on a game played in Ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.
112. Kind of D.A. : ASST
Assistant District Attorney (ADA)
119. NASA lunar transports : LEMS
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.
124. Bad check letters : NSF
Not sufficient funds (NSF)
125. Ochs Sulzberger pub. : NYT
Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. Soon after taking charge, Ochs coined the paper’s slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It was also Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the city later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. Och’s son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger took over control of “The New York Times” after Adolph died. The Ochs Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.