Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is a proper noun, a word starting with a capital letter. Those capital letters are circled in the grid, and spell out the word SHOUTING. And, someone who writes in ALL CAPS is usually deemed to be SHOUTING. Clever …
- 57A. Blog comment format usually interpreted as the word spelled by eight aptly circled puzzle letters : ALL CAPS
- 1A. Oldest U.S. capital : SANTA FE
- 8A. Spade creator : HAMMETT
- 22A. Letter between November and Papa : OSCAR
- 26A. Indy-winning family name : UNSER
- 37A. Kind of bath : TURKISH
- 43A. Corny state? : IOWA
- 47A. Jazzy Jones : NORAH
- 50A. Miracle Mets manager Hodges : GIL
- 1D. __ Adams : SAM
- 8D. __ Her Way : HANES
- 22D. Former #1 golfer Lorena who hosts an annual Guadalajara LPGA event : OCHOA
- 26D. Four Corners state : UTAH
- 37D. John who composed the “NBA on NBC” theme song : TESH
- 43D. Former Chrysler head : IACOCCA
- 47D. 116-year-old prize : NOBEL
- 50D. Belgian treaty city : GHENT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Oldest U.S. capital : SANTA FE
Santa Fe is New Mexico’s capital, and the fourth most-populous city in the state (after Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Rio Rancho). Sitting at 7,199 feet above sea level, Santa Fe is the highest state capital in the US. The city’s name translates from Spanish as “Holy Faith”. The full name of the city when it was founded in 1607 was “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís”, meaning “the Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi”. It became the capital of the province Santa Fe de Nuevo México in 1610, making Santa Fe the oldest state capital in the US.
8. Spade creator : HAMMETT
Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Famously, Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.
15. Melodic movements : ARIOSOS
An arioso (plural “ariosi”) is a solo vocal piece in a classical work such as an opera or an oratorio. An arioso’s structure lies somewhere between that of a full-blown aria and speech-like recitative.
16. Ancient region now part of France : ALSATIA
Alsace is a region in the east of France that we sometimes refer to as Alsatia, its Latin name. Alsace is home to Strasbourg, a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights.
18. Impulse conductors : NEURONS
A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.
21. “Picnic” dramatist : INGE
Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time was the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.
22. Letter between November and Papa : OSCAR
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
25. Singer’s warm-up syllables : DOS
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.
26. Indy-winning family name : UNSER
The Unser family seems to have racing cars in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.
29. 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.
30. Metaphor for jobs : HATS
Some people wear many hats, do many jobs.
31. Lav, in London : LOO
It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo” in which the pot was called the loo!
Our word lavatory (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.
32. Singer Kitt : EARTHA
Eartha Kitt really did have a unique voice and singing style. Her rendition of “Santa Baby” has to be one of the most distinctive and memorable recordings in the popular repertoire. Some of you will no doubt remember Eartha playing Catwoman on the final series of the 1960s TV show “Batman”.
37. Kind of bath : TURKISH
In the Western version of a “Turkish bath”, the bather traditionally experiences a series of steps. Firstly, one relaxes in the “warm room”, which is fed with hot, dry air. One then moves to a warmer version of the same room known as a “hot room”, before washing the whole body in cold water, often in a plunge pool. This is followed by a massage, and finally relaxation in the “cooling room”. Turkish baths were introduced into Britain from the Ottoman Empire in the mid 1800s.
42. Director Lupino : IDA
Actress Ida Lupino was also a successful director, in the days when women weren’t very welcome behind the camera. She had already directed four “women’s” shorts when she stepped in to direct the 1953 drama “The Hitch-Hiker”, taking over when the original director became ill. “The Hitch-Hiker” was the first film noir movie to be directed by a woman, and somewhat of a breakthrough for women in the industry.
43. Corny state? : IOWA
The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.
44. MSN, for one : ISP
The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.
47. Jazzy Jones : NORAH
The beguiling Norah Jones is the daughter of famous sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and is one of my favorite singers. If you haven’t heard Jones sing her song “Come Away with Me”, you just haven’t lived …
50. Miracle Mets manager Hodges : GIL
Gil Hodges was a professional baseball player and manager. Perhaps Hodges’ most celebrated achievement was managing the New York Mets team (the “Miracle Mets”) that won the 1969 World Series. Hodges died from a heart attack just a few years later in 1972, when he was only 48 years old.
52. Slanted piece : OP-ED
“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.
54. 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.
61. Norse explorer : ERICSON
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer and was the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.
62. Daughter of Agamemnon : ELECTRA
Electra was a princess in Greek mythology, the daughter of Agamemnon. Electra had to mourn the death of her father who was murdered, and then the death of her mother Clytemnestra, who was also murdered.
Agamemnon was a figure in Greek mythology, the husband of Helen. When Helen ran off with Paris to Troy, Agamemnon led the united Greek forces in the resulting Trojan War.
1. __ Adams : SAM
Samuel Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, from Boston Massachusetts. Adams followed his father into the family’s malthouse business a few years after young Samuel graduated from Harvard. There were generations of Adams family members who were “maltsters” i.e. those producing malt needed for making beer. Samuel Adams is often described as a brewer, but he was actually a malster. The Samuel Adams brand of beer (often referred to as “Sam Adams”) isn’t directly associated with the Adams family, but it is named in honor of the patriot.
3. Actress Vardalos : NIA
Not only is the delightful Nia Vardalos the star of the 2002 hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, she also wrote the screenplay. The film never made it to number one at the box office, but it still pulled in more money than any other movie in history that didn’t make it to number one. That record I think reflects the fact that the film wasn’t a blockbuster but rather a so-called “sleeper hit”, a movie that people went to see based on referrals from friends. The big fat mistake came when a spin-off TV show was launched, “My Big Fat Greek Life”. It ran for only 7 episodes. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” will hit movie theaters in 2016. Vardalos can now be seen as co-host on the “The Great American Baking Show” along with her husband, actor Ian Gomez.
4. Polynesian archipelago natives : TONGANS
The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors.
The term “Polynesia” was first coined in 1756 by the author Charles de Brosses, when he used it to describe all the islands in the Pacific. This was later restricted to what we now refer to as a subregion of Oceania.
7. Guinness suffix : -EST
“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.
8. __ Her Way : HANES
The Hanes brand of apparel was founded in 1901. A related brand was introduced in 1986 called Hanes Her Way.
9. “A Clockwork Orange” narrator : ALEX
“A Clockwork Orange” is a novella by Anthony Burgess, first published in 1962. The story is about a young teenager named Alex, who leads a small gang on violent rampages each night. The story has been adapted for the big and small screens, most famously in a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. It’s way too violent for me …
10. 2015 Big Ten champs: Abbr. : MSU
Michigan State University (MSU) is located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU has the largest study-abroad program of any single-campus university in the US. Programs are offered on all continents of the world, including Antarctica. The MSU athletic teams are known as the Spartans.
11. Siren’s victim : MARINER
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed closed to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.
12. Waist-length jackets : ETONS
An Eton jacket is usually black in color, cut square at the hips and has wide lapels. It is named for the design of jacket that is worn by the younger students at Eton College just outside London.
14. Trademarked weapon : TASER
Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.
20. One-piece beachwear : MONOKINIS
The monokini is a topless swimsuit that was introduced in 1964 by fashion designer Rudi Gernreich. Gernreich made a mistake when naming his new design. He thought that the term “bikini” used the prefix “bi-” as a reference to the two pieces of the swimsuit, and so used the prefix “mono-” for his one-piece design. The bikini was actually named for the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
22. Former #1 golfer Lorena who hosts an annual Guadalajara LPGA event : OCHOA
Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.
26. Four Corners state : UTAH
The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.
34. Ethan of “Boyhood” : HAWKE
Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke was married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.
“Boyhood” sounds like an interesting 2014 film about the coming-of-age of a young boy and his older sister. The film was actually shot over an 11-year period, so that the actors were seen to be growing up at the same time as the characters that they were playing. The critics loved this movie.
37. John who composed the “NBA on NBC” theme song : TESH
John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior. If you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.
41. Gorge crosser : VIADUCT
A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans that is used as a thoroughfare for traffic. It is similar to an aqueduct, a bridge used to convey water. The term “viaduct” was coined relatively recently, around 1800, by analogy with the ancient Roman term “aqueduct”.
43. Former Chrysler head : IACOCCA
Lee Iacocca was a lot more successful at Chrysler than he was earlier in his career at Ford. Iacocca is credited with the turnaround of Chrysler in the eighties, but he is also credited with the failure of the Ford Pinto. He didn’t get on well with Henry Ford II so he was fired from the Ford Motor Company.
46. Early Jewish scholar : HILLEL
Hillel the Elder was an important Jewish religious leader and scholar who lived in the first century BCE. Two popular sayings are attributed to Hillel:
- If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?
- That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
47. 116-year-old prize : NOBEL
The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and that award is presented in Oslo.
48. Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach,” e.g. : OPERA
“Einstein on the Beach” is a four-act opera by Philip Glass that premiered in 1975 in Avignon, France. I’m a big fan of Philip Glass’ work, but I’m not sure I’ll be seeing a performance of “Einstein on the Beach”. It takes five hours to perform, and there’s no intermission …
49. Kelly’s ex-partner : REGIS
Regis Philbin is an incredibly popular television personality. Philbin is in such high demand and has had such a long career, that he holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera (in excess of 16,000 hours).
When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting gig. Ripa has acted as spokeswoman for several brands over the years, most recently for Electrolux and Rykä.
50. Belgian treaty city : GHENT
Ghent is a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. The War of 1812 (between Britain and the US) was formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent In 1814. The American negotiating team in Ghent included Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams.
53. Jesus of baseball : ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe’s son Moises.
54. She, in Cherbourg : ELLE
Cherbourg lies on the northern coast of France, a port on the English Channel. Interestingly (I think!), the wreck of the Confederate States of America warship CSS Alabama was discovered just outside the port not that long ago. The Alabama was sunk by the Union cruiser Kearsarge in 1864, after she left the port of Cherbourg to engage the Kearsarge who was lying in wait offshore.
A “chum” is a friend. The term originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.
56. Bar opening? : ISO-
An isobar is a line on a weather map connecting points of equal barometric pressure.
57. __ Lingus : AER
Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.
58. DIRECTV parent : ATT
The original AT&T Corporation was known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, hence the contemporary abbreviation.
DirecTV is a company providing television and audio programming via satellite. The company was founded in 1985 as Hughes Electronics Corporation, and became DirecTV in 1990.