Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers includes the HIDDEN letter grouping CAMERA. But, those letters are doubly hidden, because they’ve also been jumbled up, changed in order:
- 54A. Device found in this puzzle’s three other longest answers : HIDDEN CAMERA
- 20A. Protective charm often adorned with feathers : DREAM CATCHER
- 33A. Stamina-testing ballroom event : DANCE MARATHON
- 40A. Forensic analyst’s discovery : TRACE MATERIAL
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Naproxen brand : ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.
6. Yap : TRAP
“Yap” and “trap” are slang terms meaning “mouth”.
14. Ricoh competitor : XEROX
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).
Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.
15. Green-skinned “Return of the Jedi” girl : OOLA
Oola was a slave-girl dancer who was eaten by a scary creature in the movie “Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the the Jedi”. Oola was played by British actor Femi Taylor.
19. Site of Shah Jahan’s tomb : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.
20. Protective charm often adorned with feathers : DREAM CATCHER
Legend has it that Native American dream catchers, usually hung over the bed of a child, protect the infant by filtering out all bad dreams.
26. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY
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.
28. Start of a hands-off declaration? : LOOK MA …
… no hands!
30. Fivers : ABES
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.
32. Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS
33. Stamina-testing ballroom event : DANCE MARATHON
Dance marathons became popular in the US during the Great Depression. They are endurance events, at which spectators often pay to watch the competitors on the dance floor. By all accounts, dance marathons were pretty abusive affairs, effectively “reality TV” for the 1920s. Famously, a dance marathon provides the setting for the 1969 film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”
“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” is a powerful 1969 film adaptation of a novel of the same name by Horace McCoy. It’s all about couples engaged in a dance marathon during the Great Depression. The marathon lasts weeks, and we get to see some very disturbing behavior as the exhausted contestants reach their physical and mental limits. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert!), the male leading character (played by Michael Sarrazin) shoots the female lead (played by Jane Fonda) in an assisted suicide. When the please ask the man why he shot the woman, he responds, “They shoot horses, don’t they?”
36. Longtime Labor Day telethon org. : MDA
The world’s first telethon was took place in 1949. It was a 16-hour fundraiser hosted by Milton Berle that raised over a million dollars for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. The term “telethon”, a portmanteau of “television” and “marathon”, was coined in the news media the day after the event. One of the most famous annual telethons was the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, which raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for over twenty years, from 1966 until 2010.
38. Gold units: Abbr. : KTS
A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.
40. Forensic analyst’s discovery : TRACE MATERIAL
Something described as “forensic” is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The the term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.
46. Swiss river : AAR
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine, and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.
48. “Peter Pan” pooch : NANA
In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Peter takes Wendy Darling and her two brothers on adventures on the island of Neverland. Back in the real world, the Darling children are taken care of by a nanny, a Newfoundland dog called Nana. It is Nana who takes Peter Pan’s shadow away from him as he tries to escape from the Darling house one night.
49. Travel org. freebie : AAA MAP
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.
59. Come & Get It! pet food maker : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?
69. “Business @ the Speed of Thought” co-author : GATES
Bill Gates is the former CEO of Microsoft, a company that he co-founded with Paul Allen. Gates has been listed as the wealthiest man in the world on several occasion over the past two decades. He now works full-time as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside his wife Melinda. The Gates’ foundation is the largest transparently-operated charitable foundation in the world.
1. Guns N’ Roses’ Rose : AXL
Guns N’ Roses is a hard rock band founded in 1985 that is still going strong. The group was pulled together by Axl Rose, the lead vocalist. The lead-guitar player back then was Tracii Guns, and it was the combination of Axl and Tracii’s “family” names that led to the band being called Guns N’ Roses.
3. Bit of work : ERG
An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.
6. Morning fare since 1952 : TODAY
NBC’s “Today” was launched in 1952, and was the first of the morning news/talk show on the US television. The show’s first host was Dave Garroway, who was at the helm until 1961. Back in those days, “Today” had a mascot who often appeared on air with Garroway: a chimpanzee named J. Fred Muggs.
8. Actor Baldwin : ALEC
Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.
9. Rampart topper : PARAPET
A parapet originally was a defensive wall, or a fortifying elevation above a main wall. We use the term now to describe several different structures, often a guard rail on a staircase or a roof. “Parapet” comes from the Italian “parapetto”, which in turn comes from “parare” (to cover, defend) and “petto” (breast).
A “rampart” is a raised embankment, mound of earth, or length of wall that is used as a fortification. Ramparts often surround castles and forts.
21. Wax-coated cheese : EDAM
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.
22. Rear : TUSH
“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.
24. Gad about : ROAM
“To gad about” is to move around with little purpose. The word “gad” comes from the Middle English “gadden” meaning “to hurry”.
29. 1980 Chrysler debut : K-CAR
Chrysler’s K-cars were designed to carry 6 passengers, on two bench seats. Remember taking a corner a little too fast on those seats, in the days when no one wore seat belts?
31. Cake with a kick : BABA
Rum baba (also “baba au rhum” in French) is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. Rum baba is derived from the recipe for the tall “babka” yeast cake that was introduced to the world by the Polish communities. The Polish words “baba” and “babka” mean “old woman” or “grandmother” in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!
39. German industrial region : SAAR
Saarland, often referred to in English as “the Saar”, is one of Germany’s sixteen federal states and is located in the west of the country, on the borders with France and Luxembourg. Saarland is named for the Saar River that runs through the state. There is a lot of industry in the Saar region, historically “fueled” by the region’s plentiful supply of coal.
41. Youngest Brontë : ANNE
Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.
43. Weight allowance : TARE
“Tare” is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.
45. ICU worker : LPN
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) might work in an operating room (OR) or an intensive care unit (ICU).
46. Rose garden pests : APHIDS
Aphids are called “greenfly” back in the British Isles where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids in my experience is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called ladybirds in Ireland!).
47. “The Good Wife” wife : ALICIA
“The Good Wife” is a legal drama showing on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing the law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …
51. Nice thoughts? : IDEES
“Idée” is French for “idea”.
The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.
52. Bishop John for whom a Georgia university was named : EMORY
Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.
55. Movie trailer unit : CLIP
The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practise quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.
61. Dennings of “2 Broke Girls” : KAT
Kat Dennings is the stage name of actress Katherine Litwack, noted today for her co-starring role on CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls”. Dennings is an avid blogger, and you can check out her video blog on YouTube.
“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, and their attempts to launch a cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.
62. Juillet’s season : ETE
In French, “juillet” (July) is a month in the “été” (summer).