Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers comprise two words, each of which are often seen BEFORE “HAND”.
- 60A. In advance, and where you might find both parts of the answers to starred clues : BEFOREHAND
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9. Connery and McCartney : SIRS
Sean Connery is most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime. Whether that happens or not, is the subject of much speculation …
The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997.
19. Award for “Game of Thrones” : EMMY
The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars in the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland.
20. Dangerous Amazon fish : PIRANHA
Piranhas are reputed to be able to strip an animal to its bones in seconds, but this is somewhat of a myth. Piranhas are not in fact strict carnivores, and usually are more of a nuisance to fishermen rather than a danger, as they tend to eat bait that has been set to catch other fish. Much of the reputation of the piranha is owed to the description written by President Theodore Roosevelt in his book “Through the Brazilian Wilderness”. President Roosevelt was somewhat hoodwinked though, as local fishermen put on a special “show” for him. They dumped hordes of hungry piranhas into a dammed section of a river and then tossed in a sliced up cow. President Roosevelt was pretty impressed by the orchestrated feeding frenzy.
21. “Scotch” sealers : TAPES
Scotch Tape is a brand of adhesive tape made by 3M. “Scotch Tape” is one of those brand names that has become so used widely that it has become a generic term for the product. The equivalent brand name of product that we use over in Ireland is Sellotape. This British brand also has become a generic term, and is our equivalent to “Scotch tape”.
29. NFLer whose team has applied to move to Vegas : RAIDER
The Oakland Raiders football team was founded in 1960, and was originally intended to play in Minnesota. Instead, the team played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 and then spent 12 years in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland in 1995.
34. Start of a choosing rhyme : EENY
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!
36. Form 1099 ID : SSN
IRS Form 1099 is a series of forms used to report various types of income, other than wages, salaries and tips that are reported on Form W-2. Examples are Form 1099-INT used to report interest income, and 1099-DIV used to report dividend income.
37. President pro __ : TEM
“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.
43. *Sports bet based on total points scored : OVER-UNDER
An over-under bet is a wager that a number will be over or under a particular value. A common over-under bet is made on the combined points scored by two teams in a game.
55. Texas shrine : ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.
58. Luke Skywalker, for one : JEDI
The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …
When the character “Luke Skywalker” was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikin Starkiller”. Conceptually, he was also a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point. Luke is played by actor Mark Hamill in the “Star Wars” films.
63. Schussing spot : SLOPE
A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, not taking any turns to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.
64. Novelist Ferber : EDNA
Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successful for the stage and/or big screen.
67. Paper quantity : REAM
A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.
1. Speak like Sylvester : LISP
Sylvester J. Pussycat is also known as Puddy Tat, and is a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester is the cat who is often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.
2. Storage space accessed via the ceiling : ATTIC
An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.
3. Pageant accessory : TIARA
The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.
4. “Prepare to duel!” : EN GARDE!
“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning “on guard!”, it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.
5. “Sour to the People” extreme candy brand : WARHEADS
Warheads candy is so called because the sour taste is said to resemble a “warhead” going off in one’s mouth. Warheads are a Taiwanese creation, invented there in 1975 and first imported into the US in 1993.
6. “Carmen” highlight : ARIA
Georg Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet’s most famous work has to be his opera “Carmen”. “Carmen” initially received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly, Bizet died very young at only 36, before he could see “Carmen’s” tremendous success.
8. Christine of “The Blacklist” : LAHTI
Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.
“The Blacklist” is an entertaining, albeit a little formulaic, crime drama TV show starring James Spader and Megan Boone. Spader plays a successful criminal who surrenders to the FBI in order to help catch a “blacklist” of high-profile criminals.
15. Drummer Ringo : STARR
Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.
22. Free TV spot : PSA
Public service announcement (PSA)
24. Fraud watchdog org. : FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.
25. Stolen jewelry seller : FENCE
To fence something is to deal in stolen goods, a slang term. The use of “fence” in this sense dates back to about 1700, the idea being that such transactions take place under “defense of secrecy”.
28. Jay with jokes : LENO
Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.
31. Steinway, for one : PIANO
Steinway & Sons is supplier of handmade pianos based in New York City and in Hamburg, Germany. The company was founded in Manhattan in 1853 by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway. One element of Steinway’s business model is to offer a “piano bank” service. Performing artists can “borrow” a particular piano from the bank for a particular concert or tour. About 400 pianos are in the bank, and are located over the world. The value of the bank’s collection of pianos is estimated at over $25 million.
33. “Hooked on Classics” co. : K-TEL
K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.
I know that a lot of people detested the “Hooked on Classics” albums, but to be honest, I found them to be a lot of fun. But then again, I liked disco! The original “Hooked on Classics” album was recorded in 1981 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London. The music was a selection of recognizable extracts from the world of classical music played over a continuous, disco beat.
39. Change genetically : MUTATE
Genetic variation is a fundamental behind the process of natural selection. Genetic variation is the result of mutations occurring in genes. If a mutation results in an individual that is more fit for survival, then the principle of “survival of the fittest” makes is more likely that the individual will mate. The mutation can then be passed onto offspring.
42. Small falcons : MERLINS
The merlin is a small falcon that used to known as a pigeon hawk here in North America. Merlins were commonly used for falconry in medieval Europe. A “perlin” is a hybrid of a merlin and a peregrine falcon.
47. With 23-Across, priced separately, on menus : A LA …
(23A. See 47-Down : … CARTE)
On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.
51. December songs : NOELS
“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). Noel has come to be used as an alternative name for a Christmas carol.
54. Reddish-orange dye : HENNA
Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, not just for leather and wool, but also for the hair and skin. In modern days, henna is also used for temporary tattoos.
57. Red-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.
61. Nemesis : FOE
Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.