Edited by: Rich Norris
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Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone! Today’s themed answers are formed by taking the front letters of a well-known word, and placing them at the end of the answer:
- 16A. Laboratory scam? : SCIENCE CON (from “conscience”)
- 28A. Snubbing a testimonial? : TRIBUTE DIS (from “distribute”)
- 45A. John Deere rep? : TRACTOR PRO (from “protractor”)
- 61A. Ordinary law office employee? : NORMAL PARA (from “paranormal”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Grand Prix component : ESS
That would be an s-bend in the course.
Even though the term is used in many competitions, I think that we most associate “Grand Prix” with the series of Formula One motor races. These Formula One Grand Prix races trace their roots back to organized automobile road races from one French town to the next that date back to 1894. “Grand Prix” translates from French as “grand, big prize.”
13. Adult insect : IMAGO
The imago is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.
14. Prefix with data : META-
“Metadata” is usually defined as “data about data”. The classic example is the card catalog of a library. The catalog is a set of data about a collection of books. Each entry in the catalog is data about a specific publication.
15. Subject preceder : IN RE
The term “in re” is Latin, derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to”, or “in the matter of”.
18. Saves, say : STAT
That would be baseball.
20. Like some flushes : ACE-HIGH
In the game of poker, a “flush” is a hand with all cards in the same suit.
24. Spike TV, once : TNN
Spike TV was a 2003 relaunch of The Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of “Spike”. The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.
25. Nile threats : ASPS
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.
28. Snubbing a testimonial? : TRIBUTE DIS (from “distribute”)
“Dis” is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.
35. B to C, e.g. : SEMITONE
In western music, an octave is composed of twelve notes, twelve semitones.
40. Pres. when Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided : DDE
Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE)
Brown v. Board of Education was the US Supreme Court Case that established the unconstitutionality of separate public schools for black and white students. Oliver L. Brown was one of thirteen parents who filed a class action suit against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education on behalf of their twenty children. The suit called for the city to reverse its racial segregation policy. The final decision by the US Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, was unanimous in rejecting segregation.
41. “The Social Contract” author : ROUSSEAU
“The Social Contract” is a 1762 book by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau that contains the famous phrase “man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains”. Rousseau expanded on this idea, asserting that the modern commercial society represses the freedom of individuals. His solution was to organize a political community divided into the sovereign and the government. The sovereign was the whole population and it had complete legislative authority. The government dealt with the application of law. A government that exceeded its boundaries could be abolished by the people, and a new government appointed.
45. John Deere rep? : TRACTOR PRO (from “protractor”)
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.
48. Old Nair rival : NEET
The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today it is sold under the name “Veet”.
Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slake lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.
50. Mozart opera ending : TUTTE
Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.
52. Spendthrift : WASTREL
A “wastrel” is a spendthrift, someone who doesn’t “waste” much.
56. Hospital test : MRI SCAN
MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.
60. Large deep-water fish : OPAH
Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …
61. Ordinary law office employee? : NORMAL PARA (from “paranormal”)
A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is someone who is trained in legal matters sufficiently to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.
63. Actor Auberjonois : RENE
René Auberjonois is an American actor. Auberjonois’ most famous role on the big screen was Father Mulcahy in the movie “M*A*S*H”.
67. Case breaker, perhaps : DNA
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.
2. 1979 disco classic : YMCA
“YMCA” was released in 1978 by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the “YMCA” as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that …
5. Philanthropist, e.g. : DONOR
Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.
6. Common Market letters : EEC
The European Economic Community (EEC) was also called “the Common Market”. The EEC was a NAFTA-like structure that was eventually absorbed into today’s European Union (EU).
7. Ancient colonnade : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.
8. Sacred sites : SANCTUMS
A “sanctum” (plural “sancta”) is a private place where one can hide away without fear of intrusion. I love my sanctum …
12. First family member : SETH
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.
26. Monterrey title : SENOR
Monterrey is a Mexican city, the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. Monterrey is the second largest city in Mexico in terms of area, but third largest in terms of population (the largest area city in the country is Mexico City, and the most populous are Mexico City and Guadalajara).
27. “The Taming of the Shrew” setting : PADUA
The city of Padua is in northern Italy, not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, for example. And, William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.
William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.
29. Obsessive idea metaphor : BEE
As in “a bee in one’s bonnet”.
30. Caravan assembler : DODGE
The Caravan is a minivan that has been manufactured by Dodge since the model year 1984. It is basically the same vehicle as the Chrysler Town and Country.
31. Common Sundance entry : INDIE
The Sundance film festival is the largest independent film event in the country, and takes place every year around the Sundance Resort near Provo, Utah. The festival has its roots in the Utah/US Film Festival which started in Salt Lake City in 1978. Management of the festival was taken over by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in 1985. The festival has became a bit of a media feeding frenzy in recent years, as a lot of A-list celebrities attend. The Festival organizers introduced a “Focus on Film” campaign in 2007 to try to offset some of the madness.
39. Fold, spindle or mutilate : MAR
The phrase “do not fold, spindle or mutilate” first appeared on IBM punched cards. It was a warning to users to treat the cards unlike other items of paper, not folding them, stapling them, not impaling them on a spindle.
44. Buck : ONE-SPOT
“Buck” and “clam” are both slang terms for “a dollar”. The term “buck” has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days. It has been suggested that “clam” has a similar derivation, a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.
46. Gin __ : RUMMY
Gin rummy is a variant of the slower game of standard rummy and was introduced in 1909 by one Elwood Baker and his son.
47. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA
Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.
58. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM
Jack-in-the-pulpit is a perennial plant native to eastern North America. It’s a nasty plant though and contains oxalic acid, a compound that can be very painful if ingested and that can even cause death if taken in sufficient quantities.
62. The ANC’s country : RSA
The Republic of South Africa (RSA)
The African National Congress (ANC) started out as the South African Native National Congress in 1912 with the goal of improving the lot of black South Africans. After years of turmoil, the ANC came to power in the first open election in 1964.