Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases with a letter E added at the end:
- 17A. Miss America runner-up? : SILVER BELL(E)
- 36A. Passage for the birds? : AVIAN FLU(E)
- 42A. Little Jack Horner’s dream? : LIFE OF PI(E)
- 62A. Emulating the writing style of “The Quiet American” writing style? : GOING GREEN(E)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Buccaneers’ home : TAMPA
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks as expansion teams. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.
16. Pen user : CON
A convict (con) might be incarcerated in the penitentiary (pen).
17. Miss America runner-up? : SILVER BELL(E)
The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.
19. Part of a royal flush : ACE
The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, with all in the same suit.
20. Anastasia __, “Fifty Shades of Grey” character : STEELE
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. And there are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.
21. Emergency signal : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.
25. “Unsafe at Any Speed” author : NADER
“Unsafe at Any Speed” is a 1965 book by consumer advocate Ralph Nader in which the author accuses car manufacturers of resisting the introduction of safety features in order to maximize profit.
30. Fab alternative : ERA
Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.
Fab is a laundry detergent that was introduced by Colgate-Palmolive, but sold off to Phoenix Brands in 2005.
32. Special Forces trademarks : BERETS
The US Army Special Forces are known as the Green Berets because they wear … green berets. The Green Beret is also worn by the Royal Marines of the British Army. When US Army Rangers and OSS operatives were trained by the Royal Marines in Scotland during WWII, graduates of the gruelling training program were awarded green berets by their British instructors. The US soldiers, although proud of their new headgear, were not allowed to wear it as part of their uniform. They had to wait until 1961, when President Kennedy authorized the green beret for exclusive use by US Special Forces.
35. Legendary horse tale setting : TROY
The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …
36. Passage for the birds? : AVIAN FLU(E)
The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.
Avian flu (also “bird flu”) is caused by influenza viruses that are particularly adapted to birds. While birds are the animals primarily affected, human deaths have been recorded, as have deaths of seals and cats, would you believe?
38. Gold, in Granada : ORO
Granada is a city and province in Andalusia in the south of Spain. Granada should not to be confused with Grenada (note the different spelling), the island nation in the Caribbean that was invaded by the US in 1983.
41. Wartime prez : ABE
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only 2 out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.
42. Little Jack Horner’s dream? : LIFE OF PI(E)
The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said ‘What a good boy am I!
44. Proofreading mark : STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.
46. Biological building block : DNA
DNA was first isolated in 1869 by Swiss physician and biologist. The molecular structure of DNA was identified in 1953, by the American and British team of James Watson and Francis Crick.
51. Carrier that doesn’t fly on the Sabbath : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.
53. Order with tzatziki sauce : GYRO
A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).
55. Some Samsung TVs : HDS
62. Emulating the writing style of “The Quiet American” writing style? : GOING GREEN(E)
“The Quiet American” is a 1955 Graham Greene novel depicting the transition of French and British colonialism with American influence in Southeast Asia. The book was adapted for the big screen twice, once in 1958 with Audie Murphy leading the cast, and again in 2002 with Michael Caine taking top billing.
65. Jack’s links rival : ARNIE
Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
Jack Nicklaus is a professional golfer from Columbus, Ohio. Nicknamed “the Golden Bear”, Nicklaus holds the record for winning the most major championships (18). Tiger Woods is in second place, having won 14 to date.
67. Secret competitor : BAN
Ban was the first roll-on deodorant, introduced in 1952. The formulation for Ban is the same as the brand called Mum, the first commercial deodorant, which dates back to the late 1800s.
Secret is an antiperspirant/deodorant made by Procter & Gamble, first introduced in 1956 as a cream that was applied with the fingers (ick!). There followed a roll-on version in 1958, a spray in 1964 and the solid stick in 1978.
1. Hardy heroine : TESS
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.
3. Lawn disruption : MOLE
One of the more commonly known facts about my native Ireland is that there are no snakes in the country (outside of politics, that is). A less known fact is that there are no moles either. There are plenty of snakes and moles in Britain, just a few miles away. Over a pint we tend to give the credit to Saint Patrick, but the last ice age is more likely the responsible party …
4. “The parent of revolution and crime”: Aristotle : POVERTY
Aristotle was actually a student of Plato in Ancient Greece (and in turn, Plato was a student of Socrates). Aristotle’s most famous student was Alexander the Great.
5. Cub Scout leader : AKELA
Akela is the wolf in the “Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. He gave his name to the cubmaster in the scouting movement, now known as “Akela”.
8. DuPont acrylic : ORLON
Orlon is the brand name used by the DuPont Corporation for the acrylic fibers the company developed in 1941.
9. Mexican buffet feature : SALSA BAR
“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.
10. Contact’s spot : EYE
The concepts that underpin the technology of contact lenses date back to Leonardo Da Vinci. Although Da Vinci didn’t propose the development of the contact lens, he did write about correcting vision by submerging the eye in a bowl of water. Over a hundred years later, René Descartes made a somewhat impractical suggestion, but along the right lines, of using a glass tube filled with liquid that could be placed in contact with the eye to correct vision. The first real contact lenses were developed by Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick, a German ophthalmologist, in 1887.
12. Nickname for late-night host O’Brien : COCO
Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”.
18. Russo of “The Intern” : RENE
“The Intern” is an entertaining comedy released in 2015 starring Robert De Niro in the title role, a 70-year-old retired executive who joins a senior citizen intern program. De Niro’s young boss is played by Anne Hathaway. The initial plan had been to cast Michael Caine and Tina Fey as leads, but things worked out just fine with the “replacements”, I’d say …
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …
22. Feudal grunt : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.
The slang term “grunts”, meaning “low-level personnel” was first applied to US infantrymen during the Vietnam War. The equivalent term for British infantrymen is “squaddies”.
28. Longtime Utah senator Hatch : ORRIN
Orrin Hatch is a Republican Senator from Utah. Hatch is also quite the musician, and plays the piano, violin and organ. He has composed various compositions, including a song called “Heal Our Land” that was played at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.
37. Goddess of peace : IRENE
Eirene (also “Irene”) was the Greek goddess of peace, with “eirene” being the Greek word for “peace”. The Roman equivalent to Eirene was the goddess Pax.
39. Red cup brand : SOLO
The Solo Cup was introduced in 1930, created by a former employee of the Dixie Company. The first Solo Cup was a paper cone that founder Leo Hulseman made at home and sold to companies that distributed bottled water. Apparently, Solo’s red plastic cup sell very well, used by college students playing beer pong.
43. Mark’s successor : EURO
One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as the “Deutschmark” in English).
44. “Amadeus” narrator : SALIERI
If you’ve seen the brilliant 1984 movie “Amadeus”, you’ll have seen the composer Salieri portrayed as being very envious and resentful of the gifted Mozart. It is no doubt true that two composers fought against each other, at least on occasion, but the extent of the acrimony between the two has perhaps been exaggerated in the interest of theater. Mozart and his wife had six children, but only two survived infancy. The youngest boy was called Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born just five months before his father died. Franz was to become a gifted composer, teacher, pianist and conductor, helped along the way by lessons from his father’s supposed rival … Antonio Salieri.
47. Eccentric Sacha Baron Cohen persona : ALI G
“Da Ali G Show” is a satirical TV series featuring English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. I wouldn’t be a big fan …
50. Twin Cities suburb that hosted the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open : EDINA
Edina, Minnesota lies just southwest of Minneapolis. The town takes its name from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The name was suggested by a Scottish mill owner at the time the new village was founded in 1888.
52. Madison Ave. agent : AD REP
Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.
54. Discipline with poses : YOGA
“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.
59. Caltech, e.g.: Abbr. : INST
Caltech is more properly known as the California Institute of Technology, and is a private research-oriented school in Pasadena. One of Caltech’s responsibilities is the management and operation of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you watch “The Big Bang Theory” on television like me, you might know that the four lead characters all work at Caltech.