Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each contain a hidden word, a STONE that is spelled backwards. We are left with NO STONE (“enots”) UNTURNED:
- 57A. What’s left by an ace investigator … and in each of the four longest puzzle answers : NO “ENOTS” UNTURNED (from “no stone unturned”)
- 17A. Last line of Dale Evans Rogers’ “Happy Trails” : TILL WE MEET AGAIN (hiding a turned “agate”)
- 27A. Got laughs, hopefully : CRACKED A JOKE (hiding a turned “jade”)
- 43A. Alternative for beef avoiders : TURKEY BURGER (hiding a turned “ruby”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Device used with a planchette : OUIJA
The Ouija board was introduced to America as a harmless parlor game at the end of the 19th century, although variations of the board date back to 1100 BC in China, where it was apparently used to “contact” the spirit world. The name “Ouija” is relatively recent, and is probably just a combination of the French and German words for “yes” … “oui” and “ja”.
A “planchette” is a small piece of wood on three castors, with a fixture that holds a pen or pencil. The planchette is used in seances for “automatic writing”. Seance attendees hold the planchette and move it over a sheet of paper to write messages from the beyond …
6. Hail in old Rome : AVE
“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.
9. 2000s Israeli prime minister Sharon : ARIEL
Ariel Sharon was a former Prime Minister of Israel. While still in office in 2005, Sharon suffered two debilitating strokes that left him in a permanent vegetative state from early 2006, until he finally passed away in early 2014.
15. “The Louisville __”: nickname for Ali : LIP
The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?
16. “Five Weeks in a Balloon” novelist : VERNE
“Five Weeks in a Balloon” was one of the first novels written and published by Jules Verne. It was a successful venture, making him financially independent and free to work on his writing career unfettered. The story tells of a journey across Africa in balloon filled with hydrogen … shades of “Around the World in Eighty Days”.
17. Last line of Dale Evans Rogers’ “Happy Trails” : TILL WE MEET AGAIN (hiding a turned “agate”)
“Happy Trails” was the theme song of “The Roy Rogers Show”, aired on radio in the 1940s and on television in the 1950s. The song was written by Dale Evans, wife of Roy Rogers.
Dale Evans was the stage name of actress and singer Lucille Wood Smith, famous as the third wife of Roy Rogers. Evans was from Uvalde, Texas, and had a rough start in life. She eloped with her first husband when she was just 14 years old, and had her first child at 15. That first marriage ended in divorce when she was 17 in 1929, the same year she started on her second marriage. Roy Rogers was Evans’ fourth husband and they married in 1947, a marriage that lasted for 51 years, until Rogers passed away in 1998.
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.
20. Puget Sound swimmer : SEAL
George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name Puget Sound describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.
25. Cat of many colors : CALICO
Domestic cats with a white coat and patches of brown and black are called calico cats in this country. Back in Ireland, and the rest of the world I think, such cats are called tortoiseshell-and-white. “Calico” is not a breed of cat, simply a coloring.
27. Got laughs, hopefully : CRACKED A JOKE (hiding a turned “jade”)
Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.
32. Tomato type : ROMA
The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety, but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.
33. Bird __ : FLU
Avian flu (also “bird flu”) is caused by influenza viruses that are particularly adapted to birds. While birds are the animals primarily affected, human deaths have been recorded, as have deaths of seals and cats, would you believe?
36. Scottish countryside sight : BRAE
“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.
37. Northern Kentucky county : BOONE
Boone County, Kentucky was founded in 1798, and is named for frontiersman Daniel Boone. Located on the border with Ohio, Boone County is home to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
40. Dancer Charisse : CYD
Actress Cyd Charisse was famous for her dancing ability and the many roles she played opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Charisse carved out a career based on dance despite the fact that she suffered from polio as a child. In fact, she took up ballet at the age of twelve to help build up her strength as she recovered from the disease.
43. Alternative for beef avoiders : TURKEY BURGER (hiding a turned “ruby”)
Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminium oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.
46. Prepare for cooking, as sole : DEBONE
The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they kind of have that shape.
57. What’s left by an ace investigator … and in each of the four longest puzzle answers : NO “ENOTS” UNTURNED (from “no stone unturned”)
The phrase “to leave no stone unturned” has been used at least since the mid-16th century to mean “to make every possible effort”, although the literal use of the phrase apparently dates back to Ancient Greek playwright Euripides. The older reference is to the legend of a Theban seeking a long lost treasure supposedly buried in the ground, and advice from the Oracle of Delphi to “leave no stone unturned” in his quest.
60. Mischievous : ELFIN
Something “elfin” or “fay” is like an elf or a fairy.
61. Gloucester’s cape : ANN
Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.
Gloucester, Massachusetts is a city on Cape Ann. Gloucester is a fishing port and a popular spot for tourists.
62. “The Heart of Georgia” : MACON
The “Heart of Georgia” is an alternative name for Central Georgia, and is that part of the state surrounding the city of Macon. Famously, Macon was home to the Allman Brothers, and also Little Richard, Otis Redding and Randy Crawford.
63. MS. enclosures : SASES
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.
64. Strings for Israel Kamakawiwo’ole : UKE
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was a musician from Honolulu who had a hit in 1993 with a medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”. Kamakawiwo’ole passed away in 1997 at only 38 years of age, due to complications from morbid obesity. At one point, Kamakawiwo’ole weighed 757 pounds.
65. Legislative assemblies : PLENA
Plenum (plural “plena”) is the name given to a complete legislative assembly under the parliamentary system, with the associated term of “quorum” being the minimum number of members required to be present to conduct business.
2. Combined, in Cannes : UNIE
Cannes is a city on the French Riviera that is noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The decision to host an annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.
3. Capital NW of New Delhi : ISLAMABAD
Islamabad is a city that was built in the sixties, designed to replace Karachi as the capital of Pakistan. The port city of Karachi had been the nation’s capital from 1947, when Pakistan gained independence from Britain. The nearby city of Rawalpindi was used as the temporary capital from 1958 until the necessary infrastructure was completed for Islamabad in 1967.
4. Type of cat in “Cats” : JELLICLE
“Jellicle cats” are the creation of T. S. Eliot in his unpublished poem “Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats”, with the title being a corruption of “poor little dogs and dear little cats”. Eliot later wrote another poem “The Song of the Jellicles”, which is included in his collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Famously, this collection was the inspiration for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats”.
6. Marzipan staple : ALMOND
Marzipan is a scrumptious confection made from almond meal sweetened with sugar or honey. The former English name was “marchpane” meaning “March bread”. We now use the term “marzipan”, which is the German name.
8. Parrier’s tool : EPEE
The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, both of which are also thrusting weapons. However, the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.
In competitive fencing, a parry is a maneuver that blocks an attack by an opponent. There are actually nine defined ways to execute a parry.
9. Clark’s “Mogambo” co-star : AVA
“Mogambo” is a 1953 film noted for its spectacular scenes set in the African jungle. “Mogambo” is actually a remake of a 1932 movie called “Red Dust”. Gable plays the romantic lead in both the original and the remake, even though they are filmed 21 years apart. Gable gets involved with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor in the original, and with Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly in the remake.
11. Tabriz native : IRANI
Tabriz is a large city in the very northwest of Iran that once served as the country’s capital. The city is famous for its hand-woven rugs and jewelry.
12. “Giant Brain” unveiled in 1946 : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.
13. Slowly, to Salieri : LENTO
A “lento” passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo.
If you’ve seen the brilliant 1984 movie “Amadeus”, you’ll have seen the composer Salieri portrayed as being very envious and resentful of the gifted Mozart. It is no doubt true that two composers fought against each other, at least on occasion, but the extent of the acrimony between the two has perhaps been exaggerated in the interest of theater. Mozart and his wife had six children, but only two survived infancy. The youngest boy was called Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born just five months before his father died. Franz was to become a gifted composer, teacher, pianist and conductor, helped along the way by lessons from his father’s supposed rival … Antonio Salieri.
18. Point Pelee’s lake : ERIE
Point Pelee is a peninsula that juts out in Lake Erie, and is located in Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada.
24. Jag model : XKE
Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).
26. Dossier shorthand : AKA
Also known as (aka)
A “dossier” is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”.
27. “Squawk Box” airer : CNBC
“Squawk Box” is a business news show that airs on CNBC on weekday mornings. The name comes from a device used in brokerage houses, a permanently open intercom that is used to communicate stock transactions.
28. 2016 FedExCup winner McIlroy : RORY
Rory McIlroy is a very successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and a former world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He is first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of the only three people to win three majors before the age of 25.
30. “The Daily Show” host before Trevor : JON
Comedian Jon Stewart is best known for hosting “The Daily Show” from 1999 until 2015. Stewart is a fan of crosswords. He proposed to his girlfriend and future wife in a personalized crossword that was created with the help of crossword editor Will Shortz.
Trevor Noah is a comedian from Johannesburg, South Africa. Noah took over as host of the Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” after Jon Stewart retired. Noah can speak several languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and German.
33. Chanel offering : FRAGRANCE
Chanel No. 5 is a perfume that was released by Coco Chanel back in 1921. Chanel had an affinity for the number “5”, and always presented her dress collection on May 5th (the fifth day of the fifth month). When she was presented a selection of experimental scents as potential choices for the first perfume to bear the Chanel name, she chose the sample in the fifth vial. Chanel instructed that the “sample number 5” should keep its name, asserting that it would bring the scent good luck.
34. Whack a mole? : LASE
A mole is a dark spot on the skin that is sometimes called a beauty spot if it is located on the face. The term “mole” comes from the Old English word “mal”, which described a mark or blemish on a piece of cloth.
35. Lyft competitor : UBER
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft. Personally, I love the service and have only had good experiences …
37. Deprived (of) : BEREFT
“Bereft” is the adjectival form of the verb “to bereave”.
41. “The lowest form of humor—when you don’t think of it first”: Oscar Levant : PUN
Oscar Levant was a multi-talented Hollywood personality. He was a classical pianist, and a friend of George Gershwin. Levant wrote music for over twenty films, and also appeared as a supporting actor in several hit movies, often playing a pianist or composer. He was also a regular panelist on the radio quiz show “Information Please” in the 1930s and 1940s, and on the game show “Who Said That” in the 1950s.
42. Prom rental : TUX
The style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was apparently first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.
44. ’60s Batgirl portrayer Craig : YVONNE
Yvonne Craig played Batgirl in the television series “Batman” from the sixties. Batgirl’s alter ego was Barbara Gordon, the librarian daughter of Commissioner Gordon.
46. Some North Sea fishermen : DANES
The constitutional monarchy of Denmark consists of not only the country of Denmark, but also the autonomous constituent countries of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.
47. Name on a historic B-29 : ENOLA
The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
48. Squawks : BEEFS
A “beef” is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.
52. Genesis brother : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).
55. “Coming Home” singer Bridges : LEON
Leon Bridges is an R&B singer from Fort Worth, Texas who is best known for his 2015 hit “Coming Home”.
56. Krabappel of “The Simpsons” : EDNA
In “the Simpsons” television show, Bart Simpson’s teacher is one Edna Krabappel. Edna marries Ned Flanders, who is the next-door neighbor to the Simpson family.