Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is a common, two-word phrase with the name of a MAGAZINE INSERTED in the middle:
- 119A. Subscription deal promos … and a hint to this puzzle’s seven other longest answers : MAGAZINE INSERTS
- 23A. Some pool English? : SIDESPIN EFFECTS (“Spin” inside “side effects”)
- 27A. Ballet phenom? : BREAKOUT DANCER (“Out” inside “break-dancer”)
- 40A. Regular stockings, as opposed to fishnets? : GARDEN-VARIETY HOSE (“Variety” inside “garden hose”)
- 63A. 8 or 9, e.g.? : PRIME-TIME NUMBER (“Time” inside “prime number”)
- 70A. Snowfall during the Olympics? : WINTER GAMES COAT (“Games” inside “winter coat”)
- 94A. Doghouses and scratching posts? : PET PEOPLE PROJECTS (“People” inside “pet projects”)
- 112A. Goal for a teacher’s pet? : GOLD STAR RECORD (“Star” inside “gold record”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Mouth Healthy org. : ADA
MouthHealthy.org is the consumer website published by the American Dental Association (ADA).
4. Lineal beginner : MATRI-
“Matrilineal” means relating to ancestral descent through the maternal line.
9. Gibbons, e.g. : APES
Gibbons are referred to as lesser apes as they differ in size and behavior from the great apes e.g. chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans.
13. __ palm : BETEL
The areca palm is sometimes referred to as the betel palm, although I find this a bit confusing. The fruit of the areca palm is the areca nut. The nut is often chewed along with a “betel”, a leaf from a vine in the pepper family. The combined leaf plus nut is referred to as a “betel nut”, which gives rise to the somewhat misleading “betel palm” name.
20. Meredith Grey’s half sister on “Grey’s Anatomy” : LEXIE
“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.
22. 14th-century Russian ruler : IVAN I
Ivan I was Prince of Moscow from 1325, succeeding his older brother Yuri III, who in turn succeeded their father Daniil Aleksandrovich. Daniil was the first Prince of Moscow, the first in a long line that culminated in Ivan the Terrible, who became the first Tsar of Russia.
23. Some pool English? : SIDESPIN EFFECTS (“Spin” inside “side effects”)
“Spin” is a music magazine founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione, Jr. Bob is the eldest son of “Penthouse” founder Bob Guccione. “Spin” abandoned its print edition in 2012 and now only exists as a webzine.
In my misspent youth, I’d play a little snooker. When deliberately placing sidespin on the cue ball, we Irish (and British) players would simply say “I put some ‘side’ on that shot”. The term used over here in the US for the same shot is putting “english” on the ball. Ironically, the term “english” comes from the French “anglé” meaning “angled”. “Anglé” sounds exactly like the word “Anglais”, which is French for “English”. There you have it …
25. “Save Me the Waltz” writer Fitzgerald : ZELDA
Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, was a novelist in her own right. Zelda’s one and only novel is “Save Me the Waltz”, a semi-autobiographical account of her life and marriage.
27. Ballet phenom? : BREAKOUT DANCER (“Out” inside “break-dancer”)
“Out” is a monthly magazine focused on LGBT culture and lifestyle. “Out” first hit the newsstands in 1992.
29. “The Fountainhead” author Rand : AYN
“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand was first published in 1943, her first novel to achieve public success. The story focuses on an idealistic architect, Howard Roark. Roark is uncompromising in his designs, refusing the give the public what it wants, staying doggedly loyal to his own vision.
52. Military wear, for short : CAMO
Our word “camouflage” evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.
54. Logan of “60 Minutes” : LARA
Lara Logan is a South African newswoman, and is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story.
61. “Fuller House” actor : SAGET
Bob Saget is a real enigma to me. He made a name for himself playing very sugary roles in TV shows like “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, and yet in the world of stand-up comedy he is known for very blue and raunchy routines.
“Fuller House” is a Netflix original series that first aired in 2016. It is a sequel to the hit sitcom “Full House” that aired on network television in the eighties and nineties. Both shows were created by Jeff Franklin. Many of the original cast appear in the sequel, with the notable exception of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The now-famous Olsen twins played young Michelle Tanner on “Full House”.
63. 8 or 9, e.g.? : PRIME-TIME NUMBER (“Time” inside “prime number”)
In the world of television, “prime time” is that part of the day when networks and advertisers bring maximize revenues due to the high number of viewers. Prime time is often defined as 7-10 p.m. Mountain and Central Time, and 8-11 p.m. Pacific and Eastern Time.
“Time” magazine has a readership of about 25 million, making it the largest-circulation weekly news magazine in the world.
A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.
69. “Wish Tree” artist : ONO
“Wish Tree” is a series of living art installations by Yoko Ono. The series consists of native trees planted under her direction, Ono invites viewers to tie written wishes to the trees. Ono has been installing “Wish Tree” exhibits in locations around the world since the 1990s. She does not read the wishes, but collects them for burial under the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial to John Lennon located on an island near Reykjavik, Iceland. There are over a million such wishes under the memorial today.
70. Snowfall during the Olympics? : WINTER GAMES COAT (“Games” inside “winter coat”)
“Games” is a magazine featuring games and puzzles that was first published in 1977. The original publisher was “Playboy”.
79. “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” soloist : ANNIE
“It’s the Hard-Knock Life” is a song written for the 1977 Broadway musical “Annie”. The musical was based on Harold Gray’s comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There were two subsequent film adaptations, both really quite successful, including one released in 1982 directed by John Huston of all people. “Annie” was Huston’s only ever musical.
83. Vulcans, for one : ALIEN RACE
Vulcans are an alien race in the “Star Trek” franchise. The most famous (half) Vulcan is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Spock’s father is a Vulcan, and his mother is human.
91. Writer __ Neale Hurston : ZORA
Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Like the author, the main character in the novel is an African American woman, a part played by Halle Berry in a television movie adaptation that first aired in 2005.
92. Samarra’s land : IRAQ
Samarra is a city north of Baghdad in Iraq. We are perhaps familiar with the city name from John O’Hara’s 1934 novel “Appointment in Samarra”.
94. Doghouses and scratching posts? : PET PEOPLE PROJECTS (“People” inside “pet projects”)
There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.
98. White choice, familiarly : CHARD
The Chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of France. Now it’s grown “everywhere”. Drinkers of California “Chards” seem to be particularly fond of “oak” flavor, so most Chardonnay wines are aged in oak barrels.
101. Texting qualifier : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)
102. Nickname in satirical music : WEIRD AL
“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).
109. __ tai : MAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.
112. Goal for a teacher’s pet? : GOLD STAR RECORD (“Star” inside “gold record”)
“Star” magazine is a celebrity tabloid that was introduced by Rupert Murdoch in 1974 as a potential competitor to “National Enquirer”. A regular feature in “Star” gossips about suspected plastic surgeries under the title “Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. I wouldn’t be a fan of celebrity magazines, but that “Knifestyles …” name, that’s funny …
118. Paragon : IDEAL
A paragon is an model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.
123. Bologna bride : SPOSA
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.
124. Cry from Poirot : SACRE BLEU!
French speakers don’t really use the profanity “sacrebleu”, at least not anymore, but we see it a lot in English literature featuring native French speakers. Most famously it is uttered by Agatha Christie’s delightful Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. There is some dispute about the origins of “sacrebleu” (sacred blue), but French dictionaries explain that it is a “softening” of the alternative “Sacré Dieu” (Holy God).
125. Jane Austen specialty : IRONY
Perhaps Jane Austen’s most famous ironic statement comes at the start of her 1813 masterpiece “Pride and Prejudice”:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
126. Cabinet dept. with an atom on its seal : ENER
The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.
127. Cabinet dept. first led by Hamilton : TREAS
Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who founded the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.
128. Op-__ : EDS
“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.
2. Tatted covering : DOILY
There was a draper in London in the seventeenth century called Doiley, and he gave his name to the lace fabric that he sold, which in turn gave its name to the ornamental mat that we call a “doily”. I can’t stand doilies …
3. Eve who played the principal in “Grease” films : ARDEN
The actress Eve Arden’s most famous role early in her career was playing the high school teacher in the 1950’s radio and television show “Our Miss Brooks”. Years later she played the Principal of Rydell High School in the movies “Grease” (a great film!) and “Grease 2” (a terrible film!).
5. Dadaist Jean : ARP
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …
6. Paris pronoun : TOI
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”.
8. Val d’__: French ski resort : ISERE
Val d’Isère is a noted ski resort in south-eastern France, lying just 3 miles from the Italian border. If you’ve ever watched the British sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous”, Edina and Patsy used to holiday in Val d’Isère whenever they got they chance.
9. Two before Charlie : ALFA
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
16. Köln closing : ENDE
Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Koln” in German.
19. Gumshoe : TEC
“Gumshoe” is a slang term for a private detective or private investigator (P.I.). Apparently the term “gumshoe” dates back to the early 1900s, and refers to the rubber-soled shoes popular with private detectives at that time.
21. “¿Cómo __?” : ESTA
“Cómo está?” is Spanish for “how are you, how’s it going?”
24. Eponymous physicist : FERMI
Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. Fermi moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.
31. What “p” may stand for : PENCE
The official name of our smallest denomination coin is a “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. However, in the UK the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.
44. “The Kite Runner” boy : AMIR
“The Kite Runner” was the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. The very successful book became an equally successful film released in 2007. “The Kite Runner” tells the story of a young boy called Amir growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is a medical doctor, but after the success of “The Kite Runner” he gave up his practice and is now a fulltime write. His second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is also a great success.
48. Jon Arbuckle’s dog : ODIE
Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.
50. __ City: Baghdad suburb : SADR
Sadr City is a suburb of Baghdad, oft in the news in recent years. Sadr City is named after the deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.
57. Pirate shipmate of Starkey : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.
Gentleman Starkey is one of the pirates who sails with Captain Hook in J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan. Starkey is known as “Gentleman” as he one worked as an usher in a public school.
59. __-Cat : SNO
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.
64. “All My __ Live in Texas”: George Strait hit : EX’S
George Strait is a country music singer, known as the “King of Country”. The moniker seems to be well deserved as Strait has had more number one hits on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs than any other artist.
71. Hipbone-related : ILIAC
The ilium is the upper portion of the hipbone.
72. Closers often open it : NINTH
That would be baseball.
73. Post-WWII commerce agreement : GATT
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was laid down in 1949, a compromise solution reached by participating governments after they failed in their goal to establish the International Trade Organization. Finally in 1995, a similar organization was formed and the World Trade Organization (WTO) effectively succeeded GATT.
74. “… __ o’ kindness … “: Burns : A CUP
The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
80. DEA agent : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
82. Law office abbreviations : ESQS
The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.
85. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI
Naomi Campbell is a supermodel from England. There’s a lot of interest in Campbell’s life off the runway, as she is known to have an explosive temper and has been charged with assault more than once. Her dating life is much-covered in the tabloids as well, and she has been romantically linked in the past with Mike Tyson and Robert De Niro.
94. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” singer : PRESLEY
“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” is a song that was written back in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Hardman. The most famous version of the song was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960, a month after he finished his two-year stint in the US Army.
95. Blue-pencil : EDIT
The tradition is that an editor writes corrections to written copy using a blue pencil. The practise arose with the introduction of the “non-photo blue” pencil, which had a color that did not show up in some photographic reproduction processes.
96. “Vive __!” : LE ROI
“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!” “À bas le roi!” is French for, “Down with the king!”, a phrase often heard during the French Revolution.
97. Generic trendsetters : JONESES
The phrase “keep up with the Joneses”, meaning “want the best and the most expensive things”, was popularized by the comic strip called “Keep up with the Joneses” that first appeared in American newspapers in 1913. The eponymous “Jones” family never appeared in person in the strip, but were referred to constantly,
103. Super Bowl XXXIV champions : RAMS
The St. Louis Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936-45, Los Angeles from 1946-94 and St. Louis from 1995 to the present day. The Rams have only won the Super Bowl once, Super Bowl XXXIV at the end of the 1999 season. The Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16.
105. Incandescent bulb gas : ARGON
The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.
Incandescent bulbs are still quite common in many homes, despite the fact that they convert less than 5% of the energy used into light. Incandescents have an electric filament that glows as current passes through it. The life of the filament is preserved as the bulb is filled an inert gas such as argon, which displaces harmful oxygen in air.
107. Young partner : ERNST
Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.
109. Haggard of country : MERLE
Merle Haggard is a country singer and songwriter whose most famous recording has to be “Okie from Muskogee” released in 1969. Haggard will tell you that the song was actually meant as a spoof, but it has become a country “anthem”.
112. 1958 winner of nine Oscars : GIGI
In the lovely musical film “Gigi”, released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in the long line of great MGM musicals. It won a record 9 Academy Awards, a record that only lasted one year. Twelve months later “Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars. In the 1958 film, Gigi was played by the lovely Leslie Caron. A few years earlier, “Gigi” was a successful stage play on Broadway. Chosen for the title role on stage was the then-unknown Audrey Hepburn.
113. Polish-German border river : ODER
The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.
114. Fallon’s predecessor : LENO
“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:
- Steve Allen (1954-57)
- Jack Paar (1957-62)
- Johnny Carson (1962–92)
- Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
- Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
- Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)
115. Kingpin : CZAR
The term “czar” (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.
The word “kingpin” is mainly used figuratively these days, to describe the most prominent member of a group. Back at the start of the 19th century, a “kingpin” was the largest pin in a bowling game called “kayles”. As such, the term is also used sometimes in ten-pin bowling to describe the 5-pin, the pin in the center of the triangular array.
117. Bush in Florida : JEB
Jeb Bush is the son of President George H. W. Bush, and the brother of President George W. Bush. I always thought that Jeb was an American nickname for James or Joseph but I must be wrong, because George and Barbara’s son John Ellis Bush is called “Jeb”. A kind blog reader has suggested the the name “Jeb” may have been chosen as JEB are the initials of John Ellis Bush.
120. Curling surface : ICE
I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.
121. Second Amendment org. : NRA
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. The actual text of the amendment is:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The wording and punctuation in the original text has led to some controversy over the years, some debate over the original intent. That might be an understatement …