Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with a letter G added at the front:
- 17A. Domestic shamelessness? : GALL IN THE FAMILY (G + “All in the Family”)
- 26A. Near giveaway at the liquor store? : GIN FOR A PENNY (G + “in for a penny”)
- 41A. Fort Knox? : GOLD DOMINION (G + “Old Dominion”)
- 53A. Result of way too many leaves in the eaves? : GUTTER CONFUSION (G + “utter confusion”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Test in which contrasts are helpful, briefly : MRI
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.
14. Huffington Post owner : AOL
“The Huffington Post” is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.
15. Wedding offering : CANAPE
A canapé is a finger food, usually small enough to eat in just one bite. In French, “canapé” is actually the word for a couch or a sofa. The name was given to the snack as the original “canapés” were savories served on toasted or stale bread that supposedly resembled a tiny “couch”.
16. Defunct food coating : ALAR
The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is daminozide. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.
17. Domestic shamelessness? : GALL IN THE FAMILY (G + “All in the Family”)
“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:
- Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
- Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
- Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
- Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic
21. Legal tender with a torch : DIME
The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.
23. __ voce : SOTTO
“Sotto voce” literally means “under the voice” in Italian, and describes the deliberate lowering of one’s voice for emphasis.
25. Body shop supply : SOLDER
Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of a work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.
26. Near giveaway at the liquor store? : GIN FOR A PENNY (G + “in for a penny”)
The spirit known as gin gets its unique flavor mainly from juniper berries. The name “gin” comes into English from the translation of “juniper” from either French (genièvre), Dutch (jenever) or Italian (ginepro).
30. 2016 Billboard Top Artist : ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.
31. Besides Linus, the only Nobel laureate in two fields : MARIE
Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.
Being a chemist myself by training, I have nothing but admiration for Linus Pauling, perhaps America’s greatest chemist of all time. Pauling is the only person to have individually been awarded two Nobel Prizes (for Chemistry in 1954, and the Peace Prize in 1962). During WWI he worked on military research & development, but after the war he adopted the pacifist views of his wife and led a campaign to ban above-ground nuclear testing, for which he was awarded his Peace Prize.
37. Candy __ : CANE
Apparently candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.
38. Feb. setting in Spokane : PST
Pacific Standard Time (PST)
Spokane, Washington is named for the Spokan people who lived in the eastern portion of Washington and northern Idaho. Back in 1974, Spokane was the smallest city ever to host a World’s Fair. The theme of the fare was “the environment”, which I suppose was ahead of its time. Notably, Expo ’74 was the first American-hosted World’s Fair attended by the Soviet Union after WWII.
39. Artist at Giverny : MONET
Giverny is a commune in northern France, most famous as the location of artist Claude Monet’s home. It was in Giverny that Monet produced his famous “Water Lilies” series of paintings.
40. Opposite of 56-Across : NADIR
The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.
41. Fort Knox? : GOLD DOMINION (G + “Old Dominion”)
Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public school in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU was established in 1930 as a two year branch division of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. The school was granted independence in 1962 as Old Dominion College, and became Old Dominion University in 1969. “The Old Dominion” was a nickname given to Virginia by King Charles II in recognition of the loyalty shown by the colony during the English Civil War.
Fort Knox is actually a US Army base, but it lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.
46. “Cutthroat Kitchen” host Brown : ALTON
Alton Brown is a celebrity chef who is behind the Food Network show “Good Eats”, and the host of “Iron Chef America”.
“Cutthroat Kitchen” is a reality television show that airs on Food Network. It’s all about four chefs competing to cook the best gourmet dishes for a celebrity judge.
56. Opposite of 40-Across : ACME
The “acme” is the highest point, coming from the Greek word “akme” which has the same meaning.
58. ENT’s group : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)
Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)
59. Arcade trademark word : SKEE
Skee Ball is that arcade game where you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.
1. Ancient spell caster : MAGE
Mage is an archaic word for a magician.
4. Part of NSF: Abbr. : SCI
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research and education in all scientific fields outside of medicine. The NSF was founded in 1950 during the Truman administration. Today it has a budget of almost 7 billion dollars.
7. First name in Chicago politics : RAHM
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff.
8. It’s thrust in competition : EPEE
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.
11. Zeus remains largely neutral during its narrative : ILIAD
“The Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, which tells the story of the ten-year siege of Ilium (also known as Troy) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “The Iliad”.
12. “A dagger of the mind, a __ creation … “: Macbeth : FALSE
In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, one of the more famous soliloquies starts with, “Is this a dagger which I see before me …?” There isn’t an actual dagger in front of Macbeth, but instead he sees the vision of a dagger pointing at King Duncan’s bedchamber, perhaps suggesting that he should go ahead with his plan to murder the King.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
27. Enhance through change : AMEND
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
29. Poetry Muse : ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry, and is often depicted playing a lyre.
33. Russian Orthodox church feature : ONION DOME
The onion dome is a common form for church domes in Russia and Orthodox churches across the globe.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second-largest of Christian religious tradition in the world, after Roman Catholicism. Many Orthodox churches identify themselves along national lines, such as Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox, etc.
34. City on the Aare : BERN
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.
36. Kaiser, for one : ROLL
The crusty roll known as a Kaiser roll was invented in Vienna, Austria. It is thought that the “Kaiser” name was applied in honor of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
37. Songs of Seville : CANTOS
“El canto” is Spanish for “the song”.
The city of Seville is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.
41. Buffalo Bill feature : GOATEE
A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.
Buffalo Bill Cody was a great showman after he retired from the US Army. While serving in the Army, Buffalo Bill was awarded the Medal of Honor. William Frederick Cody earned his “Buffalo Bill” nickname while supplying buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Cody “hunted” and slaughtered over 4,000 American bison in an 18-month period to fulfill his contract with the railroad.
45. Request to a dealer : HIT ME
“Stand” and “hit me” are instructions to the dealer in the card game Blackjack. The instruction “stand” means, I don’t want any more cards, I’ll use these. The instruction “hit me” means “please deal me another card”.
54. Tach stat : RPM
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).
55. SEAL’s org. : USN
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.