Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers ends with “something said”.
- 17A. High-tech bookmark : INTERNET ADDRESS
- 28A. Office gossip : WATER COOLER TALK
- 48A. Right granted in the First Amendment : PROTECTED SPEECH
- 62A. “Et tu, Brute?,” e.g. : FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9. Vatican-related : PAPAL
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 109 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.
15. Patron saint of Norway : OLAF
Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated as he was canonized and made patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or Olaf the Fat) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.
20. African language group : BANTU
There are hundreds of Bantu languages, mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.
21. Winter bug : FLU
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.
22. Cupid’s counterpart : EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic”, meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Also known as Amor, the Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.
23. Safari beast : RHINO
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.
26. Mystery writer whose Baltimore home is preserved as a museum : POE
The Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia is housed in an old stone house built around 1740 that is the oldest original building in the city. The museum opened in 1922 and commemorates the years that Edgar Allan Poe spent living in the city.
36. Meat inspector’s org. : USDA
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies meat into eight different grades:
40. “O Sole __” : MIO
“‘O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …
42. 1965 march state: Abbr. : ALA
The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.
45. Rainbow flag initialism : LGBT
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing LGBT pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the LGBT community.
47. Gillette’s __ II razor : TRAC
Gillette introduced the Trac II in 1971. The Trac II was the world’s first twin-blade razor.
48. Right granted in the First Amendment : PROTECTED SPEECH
The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. There have been 27 amendments to the constitution, the first ten of which are collectively called the Bill of Rights. In essence the Bill of Rights limits the power of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
52. Clapton classic : LAYLA
Layla is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos in December of 1970. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.
53. Gem from Australia : OPAL
97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, about 80%.
56. Private eye : TEC
“Tec” is a slang term for a private detective, a private investigator (PI).
62. “Et tu, Brute?,” e.g. : FAMOUS LAST WORDS
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.
68. Pamplona parlor : SALA
Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …
70. Wine city near Turin : ASTI
Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.
71. River of central Germany : EDER
The Eder is a river in Germany, a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.
2. Author Jaffe : RONA
Rona Jaffe was an American novelist perhaps most famous for two of her books, “The Best of Everything” and “Mazes and Monsters”. “The Best of Everything” was published in 1958 and has been compared with the HBO television series “Sex and the City” as it depicts women in the working world. “Mazes and Monsters” was published in 1981 and explores a role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons and the impact it has on players.
7. Science Diet product : CAT FOOD
The Science Diet brand of cat and dog food was developed in the sixties by father and son veterinarians Mark Morris, Sr. and Mark Morris, Jr. The Science Diet formulation was based on a recipe that Mark Morris, Sr. came up with for Buddy, a German shepherd that was the world’s original seeing-eye dog. Buddy needed special food as she had a kidney disease.
8. Nonstick kitchen brand : T-FAL
Tefal (also T-Fal) is a French manufacturer of cookware, famous for its nonstick line. The name “Tefal” is a portmanteau, of TEFlon and ALuminum, the key materials used in producing their pots and pans.
18. Industrial area of western Germany : RUHR
The Ruhr is a large urban area in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.
24. Post-op areas, briefly : ICUS
Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).
25. Margarita option : NO SALT
No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.
27. Ricelike pasta : ORZO
Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”.
31. Kappa follower : LAMBDA
The letter L in our modern Latin alphabet is equivalent to the Greek letter lambda. The uppercase lambda resembles the caret character on a keyboard (over the number 6 key).
33. Pale purple : LILAC
The ornamental flowering plant known as lilac is native to the Balkans, and is a member of the olive family.
34. Stacy who played Mike Hammer : KEACH
Mike Hammer is the protagonist in a series of private detective novels by Mickey Spillane. The novels have been adapted for radio, television and the big screen. The actor most associated with Mike Hammer is Stacy Keach, who played the role in the TV series “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” from 1984 to 1987.
39. Out of the wind : ALEE
“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.
41. “The __-bitsy spider … ” : ITSY
The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.
46. Easy-to-swallow meds : GELCAPS
Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.
47. Flowering hybrid with thorns : TEA ROSE
The first tea roses were so called because they had a fragrance reminiscent of Chinese black tea.
49. Phased-out PC screens : CRTS
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
55. Idi of Uganda : AMIN
Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country’s military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country’s president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.
57. Big cat of film : ELSA
The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.
59. Actor Pitt : BRAD
Brad Pitt’s first major role was the cowboy hitchhiker in the 1991’s “Thelma and Louise”. Pitt’s life offscreen garners as much attention as his work onscreen, it seems. The tabloids revel in the series of high-profile relationships in which he has been involved. He was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow for a while, married to Jennifer Aniston and then to Angelina Jolie.
61. Many an Ivan, in old Russia : TSAR
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.
63. Lute kin : UKE
The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.
65. “No more deets!” : TMI
Too Much Information (TMI)!
“Deets” is a slang term for “details”.