Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are two-word MOVIE titles, with both words starting with the letter B:
- 38A. Low-budget cinema … and, literally, the four longest puzzle answers : B MOVIES
- 17A. 1980 Clint Eastwood film about a Wild West show : BRONCO BILLY
- 23A. 1965 Jerry Lewis/Tony Curtis farce involving flight attendants : BOEING BOEING
- 51A. 2005 Christian Bale superhero thriller : BATMAN BEGINS
- 62A. 2003 Disney animated feature with talking grizzlies : BROTHER BEAR
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Franklin’s faith : DEISM
Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to it own devices.
Benjamin Franklin came from a large family. He was his father’s fifteenth child (Josiah Franklin had seventeen children in all, with two wives). Benjamin was born in Boston in 1706. He had very little schooling, heading out to work for his father when he was ten years old. He became an apprentice printer to his older brother at the age of twelve. Benjamin did quite well with that limited education …
6. Civil rights org. : NAACP
The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moscowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. The date chosen for the founding of the NAACP was February 12th, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the man most visibly associated with the emancipation of African-American slaves.
17. 1980 Clint Eastwood film about a Wild West show : BRONCO BILLY
“Bronco Billy” is a 1980 film about a Wild West show, starring Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke. For her performance, Locke was nominated for the first ever Golden Raspberry Worst Actress Award.
19. Elton’s title : SIR
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music per se, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.
23. 1965 Jerry Lewis/Tony Curtis farce involving flight attendants : BOEING BOEING
“Boeing Boeing” is a 1965 comedy movie starring Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis. The film is based on a really fun French bedroom farce titled “Boeing-Boeing” by Marc Camelotti. It’s all about a playboy type juggling three girlfriends, three airline attendants who come and go on different flight schedules. I haven’t seen the movie, but have seen the play a couple of times. I do love a good farce …
26. Prey for cheetahs : IMPALAS
“Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”. When running at a sustained speed, gazelles can move along at 30 miles per hour. If needed, they can accelerate for bursts up to 60 miles per hour.
The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.
29. Little League airer : ESPN
Little League Baseball was founded in 1939 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania by Carl Stotz. Back then, Little League was limited to boys. Participation was opened up to girls in 1974, although it took a lawsuit by the National Organization for Women for that to happen.
31. GPS suggestion : RTE
A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).
44. College URL ending : EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)
45. Lyra’s brightest star : VEGA
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.
46. Et __ : ALIA
Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).
49. Really dull : INSIPID
Something that is “sapid” is “tasty, savory”. The opposite to “sapid” is “insipid”, meaning “without taste, bland”.
51. 2005 Christian Bale superhero thriller : BATMAN BEGINS
“Batman Begins” is a 2005 movie in the “Batman” franchise, in which Christian Bale plays the title character. This film tells the story of how Batman came to be, and deals with Bruce Wayne’s original fear of bats, the death of his parents, and the events leading to his adoption of the Batman persona.
Christian Bale is an actor from Wales in the UK, although he is better known for his work on this side of the Atlantic. Bale’s big break in movies came in 1987 with the starring role in Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun” at only 13 years of age. He has also played Batman three times, in “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).
55. Jackson 5 hairdo : AFRO
The Jackson 5 singing group was originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.
56. Item under many a top : BRA
The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.
57. Requiring quarters, briefly : COIN-OP
The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. State quarters were introduced in 1999, but prior to that the quarter had an eagle on its reverse.
61. __ Mini: Nintendo console : WII
The Wii mini is smaller version of the incredibly successful Wii gaming console that was released in 2012.
62. 2003 Disney animated feature with talking grizzlies : BROTHER BEAR
“Brother Bear” is a Disney animated feature film released in 2003. It’s about an Inuit boy named Kenai who kills a bear, and then is turned into a bear himself by spirits who are angered his action. Kenai is voiced by Joaquin Phoenix. There’s a sequel called “Brother Bear 2”, in which Kenai is voiced by Patrick Dempsey.
64. Hip-hop Dr. : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.
65. New York mayor before Koch : BEAME
Abraham Beame was mayor of New York City from 1974-1977. Beame was actually born in London, England but grew up in New York. His term as mayor was a rough one, as the main focus back then was staving off bankruptcy for the city.
Ed Koch was a Democratic Representative in the US Congress from 1969-73, and then Mayor of New York City from 1978-89. From 1997 to 1999 Koch was a “judge” on the TV show “The People’s Court”. And in 2004, he collaborated with his sister Pat Koch, and wrote a children’s book called “Eddie, Harold’s Little Brother”, a tale about Ed’s own childhood experiences.
69. Robert’s “Out of Africa” role : DENYS
“Out of Africa” is a Sydney Pollack film released in 1985, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The storyline is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Karen Blixen (written under the pen name Isak Dinesen). Streep plays the author in the movie, and Redford plays big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton, Blixen’s lover.
2. Basic French verb : ETRE
The French for “to be” is “être”.
6. Tip of a Bic : NIB
“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.
Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.
9. Tabloid subjects : CELEBS
Tabloid is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.
11. Rolls with rice : SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
13. Bandanna cousin : DO-RAG
Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. If you recall the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, she was wearing a do-rag. The etymology is pretty evident, a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.
A bandanna is a large kerchief that is usually worn on the head or around the neck. The term “bandanna” comes from the Hindi word meaning “to tie”.
27. Flaky mineral : MICA
Mica is a mineral, a sheet silicate. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.
28. Hammer end : PEEN
The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).
32. Genesis matriarch : EVE
According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.
The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Moses, Abraham and Jacob/Israel. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.
35. Army vet : EX-GI
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.
38. Banjo legend Fleck : BELA
Béla Fleck is a banjo player who performed with the band’s New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Fleck was born in New York City and was given the name Béla Anton Leoš Fleck. He was named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Austrian composer Anton Webern, and Czech composer Leoš Janáček. That’s quite a name to live up to, but by all accounts Fleck is one of the most technically proficient banjo players the world has ever known.
40. Special Olympics founder Shriver : EUNICE
Eunice Kennedy was the sister President John F. Kennedy. Eunice married Sargent Shriver, the running mate of George McGovern in the 1972 presidential race (which was won by the incumbent President Nixon). Shriver founded Camp Shriver in 1962, a day camp for children with intellectual disabilities. Camp Shriver became an annual event and was extended to communities across the country with funding from the Kennedy Foundation. A 1968 Chicago derivative of Camp Shriver developed the first “Olympics-style” competition, and at this competition Shriver announce the formation of the Special Olympics Games that we know so well today.
43. Hunter’s garb, 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.
48. Using one’s passport, say : ABROAD
As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.
54. Cake words Alice abided by : EAT ME
In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”. When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words “EAT ME” written using currants, and when she eats the cake she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she utters the famous words, “Curiouser and curiouser”.
58. Düsseldorf denial : NEIN
Düsseldorf lies in the west of Germany, fairly close to the border with France. The city is located on the River Rhine.
59. Like granola bars : OATY
The name “Granola” (and “Granula”) were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.
60. W. or LBJ : PRES
President George W. Bush (GWB) is of course named for his father, George H. W. Bush. The “W” in the name of both father and son stands for “Walker”. Walker was the family name of President George H. W. Bush’s mother, Dorothy Walker.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.
62. Management major’s deg. : BBA
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)