Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are all clued with “Port”.
- 20A. Port : CITY WITH A HARBOR
- 25A. Port : AFTER-DINNER WINE
- 43A. Port : LEFT SIDE OF A SHIP
- 48A. Port : CONNECTION POINT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Cabo’s peninsula : BAJA
Cabo San Lucas is a major tourist destination at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. “Cabo” is sometimes referred to as the “Fort Lauderdale of Mexico”.
10. Earthy shade : 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”.
14. “Don’t have __, man!” : A COW
The phrase “don’t have a cow” originated in the fifties, a variation of the older “don’t have kittens”. The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn’t get worked up, it’s not like one is giving birth to a cow.
15. Jennifer Saunders’ “Ab Fab” role : EDINA
“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “Ab Fab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone). “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” hit the screens in 2016. I haven’t seen it yet, but my wife did and really enjoyed it. She said that there’s a veritable cavalcade of British stars that make an appearance …
17. Simba’s mate : NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.
25. Port : AFTER-DINNER WINE
The city of Oporto in Portugal gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s, as it was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.
34. “Mean Girls” actress : LOHAN
“Mean Girls” is a teen comedy movie released in 2004 starring Lindsay Lohan. Tina Fey also puts in an appearance, which isn’t really surprising as Fey wrote the screenplay.
35. Instrument heard in the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water” : VIOLA
The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, between the violin and the cello.
The Doobie Brothers are a rock band from San Jose, California, and aren’t brothers at all. Apparently the band took their name from their fondness for “doobies”, a slang term for marijuana cigarettes.
40. Scotch datum : AGE
Don’t forget that we use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.
42. Friend of Jerry and George : COSMO
Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on “Seinfeld”. “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.
43. Port : LEFT SIDE OF A SHIP
The left side of a ship used to be called the “larboard” side, but this was dropped in favor of “port” as pronunciation of “larboard” was easily confused with “starboard”, the right side of the vessel. The term “port” was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.
46. Org. with a square-rigger on its seal : USN
US Navy (USN)
58. De Valera of Ireland : EAMON
Éamon de Valera was a very influential statesman in Ireland. He served three separate terms as head of government between 1937 and 1959, and was then President of Ireland from 1959 until 1973. De Valera was actually born in New York City, but was sent back to Ireland by his mother at the age of two when his father died. Éamon participated in the 1916 Easter Rising against the British in Ireland, after which he was the only battalion commander who was not executed. Several factors saved de Valera, including the fact that he was born in the US.
59. “Dies __” : IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.
61. Urban air problem : SMAZE
“Smaze” is a weather phenomenon, a smoky haze that is like a fog but less damp. The term is a portmanteau of “smoke” and “haze”.
63. Rear deck : POOP
A poop deck is a deck located on the roof of the cabin at the stern of a ship. The term “poop” comes from the French “poupe” meaning “stern”. Not too long ago we replaced the deck in our backyard, and now actually have two of them, one higher than the other. We’ve christened the lower of the two “the poop deck”. Darned dog …
1. Judicial seat : BANC
“Banc” is the French word for bench or seat.
2. Smoothie fruit : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.
3. Cola named for its intended effect : JOLT
Jolt Cola is a sugary beverage with a whole load of caffeine in it (hence the name “Jolt”).
6. Time change? : EDIT
“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest circulation weekly news magazine in the world.
7. Turbaned Punjabi : SIKH
Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.
8. Selective Service classification : ONE-A
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).
9. Blue Devils’ rival : TAR HEELS
Tar Heel is a nickname for anyone living in, or from, the state of North Carolina. As such, it is the nickname also of the athletic teams of the University of North Carolina. No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Heel” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.
Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.
10. Homeowner’s account, perhaps : ESCROW
One type of escrow account is held by a trusted third party for two parties who have some contractual arrangement, an arrangement that is often in dispute. The third party only releases the funds when both parties have fulfilled their contractual obligations.
11. Kind of sandwich or soda : CLUB
The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling “club” in Saratoga Springs, New York.
We call carbonated water “club soda”, because Club Soda used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …
12. Tiller opening? : ROTO-
The rototiller (or rotary tiller) was invented by Arthur Clifford Howard in 1912, in Australia.
13. Taxi alternative : UBER
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft. Personally, I love the service and have only had good experiences …
22. Indian tourist mecca : AGRA
Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
- Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
- Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal archtecture.
25. Like some pond growth : ALGAL
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.
27. Copper? : THIEF
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.
28. Like Wrigley Field’s walls : IVIED
The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.
29. Many a flower girl : NIECE
That would be a flower girl at a wedding.
32. Judd matriarch : NAOMI
The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.
33. Legally prohibit : ESTOP
The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word “estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.
38. One of Disney’s official eleven : PRINCESS
As of 2016, there are 11 “official” Disney princesses:
- Princess Snow White (from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”)
- Princess Cinderella (from “Cinderella”)
- Princess Aurora (from “Sleeping Beauty)
- Princess Ariel (from “The Little Mermaid”)
- Princess Belle (from “Beauty and the Beast”)
- Princess Jasmine (from “Aladdin”)
- Princess Pocahontas (from “Pocahontas”)
- Princess Mulan (from “Mulan”)
- Princess Tiana (from “The Princess and the Frog”)
- Princess Rapunzel (from “Tangled”)
- Princess Merida (from “Brave”)
39. Perfume staples : ROSE OILS
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term often particularly refers to attar of roses.
41. Forum infinitive : ESSE
“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am” and “erat” means “he, she was”.
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 place in the world.
42. Yokum cartoonist : CAPP
“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The comic strip character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.
52. Camera that uses 70mm film : IMAX
The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.
54. Modern-day Mesopotamia : IRAQ
Mesopotamia was the land that lay between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, that flow through modern-day Iraq. The name “Mesopotamia” means “between the rivers”.
55. Newbie : NAIF
A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.