Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed clues is on two parts, in the format “x in y”. The answer to “x” is found inside the answer to “y”, and is shown by the circled letters in the grid:
- 17A. Done in a comprehensive plan? : OVER in BLANKET COVERAGE
- 35A. Tied up in a government program? : EVEN in CRIME PREVENTION
- 55A. Out in a classic sports car? : UNDER in FORD THUNDERBIRD
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Fish feature : GILL
A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.
5. Sporty sunroof : T-TOP
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.
9. Impressionist’s métier : APERY
“Métier” is the French for “trade, profession”.
14. Mount between Pelion and Olympus : OSSA
Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.
15. Bat mitzvah dance : HORA
The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.
A Jewish girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become Bar Mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.
16. “__ Theme”: “Doctor Zhivago” song : LARA’S
The very lovely “Lara’s Theme” is a leitmotif written for the 1965 movie “Doctor Zhivago” by Maurice Jarre. Lara is the name of the character played by the wonderful Julie Christie. The theme was later incorporated into a hit song with the title “Somewhere My Love”.
21. Duffers’ dreams : ACES
A “duffer” is a golfer, and not a very good one.
22. Gamer’s game face : AVATAR
The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.
25. Darth, before he turned to the Dark Side : ANAKIN
Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …
34. Target of annual shots : FLU
Influenza (flu) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks.
39. Useful Scrabble tile : ESS
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.
41. Suez Canal ship : OILER
The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. The canal took ten years to construct, and opened in 1869. The northern terminus of the waterway is Port Said, and the southern is Port Tewfik in the city of Suez, which gives the canal its name. There are no locks on the Suez Canal, and there is only “one-lane” navigation available. There are two spots in the canal where ships travelling in opposing directions can pass each other. A second canal is now under construction that will cover half the route of the existing canal. When completed, the Suez Canal will be able to handle 97 ships a day, up from the current capacity of 49 ships per day.
42. IBM’s chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE
Deep Blue was a computer developed by IBM specifically for playing chess. In 1996 it became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. The champion in question was the great Garry Kasparov, although he came out on top in the end by winning the 6-game competition 4-2.
46. Singer India.__ : ARIE
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.
47. Word with candy or sugar : CANE
Apparently candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.
When sugarcane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.
48. Book with tablets : EXODUS
According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.
52. The White Stripes, e.g. : DUO
The White Stripes were a rock duo from Detroit that were together from 1997 to 2011. The duo was made up of Meg and Jack White, who were married from 1996 to 2000. Prior to the couple tying the knot, Jack’s family name was Gillis. Gillis took the unusual step of taking his wife’s family name when they married.
55. Out in a classic sports car? : UNDER in FORD THUNDERBIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.
58. Veil material : TULLE
Tulle is a lightweight net fabric often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.
59. Bolivia neighbor : PERU
Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.
Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of the Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.
60. “It follows that … ” : ERGO …
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
61. Lid woes : STYES
A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.
1. Scads : GOBS
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.
3. Atty.-to-be’s hurdle : LSAT
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
4. System of connected PCs : LAN
Local Area Network (LAN)
6. Carved symbol : TOTEM
“Totem” is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.
7. “Warcraft” killers : ORCS
“World of Warcraft” is an online role-playing game. My son informs me that the game is not that great. Like I would know …
8. Kung __ chicken : PAO
Kung Pao chicken is a Sichuan stir-fry dish that includes chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. The name “Kung Pao” is thought to come from a governor of the Sichuan province whose title was “Gongbao”, meaning “Palace Guardian”.
9. British school test : A LEVEL
The UK’s education system was reformed in the fifties with the introduction of the General Certificate of Education (GCE). There were two levels of certification that could be awarded in most subjects. The GCE Ordinary Level (O Level) was a much less rigorous standard of examination than the GCE Advanced Level (A Level). The O Levels have largely been replaced now, but students still sit A Level examinations.
10. Annual Macy’s tradition : PARADE
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City has been held every year since 1924, with a brief suspension from 1942-1944. The parade was halted during WWII as there was a need for rubber and helium to support the war effort.
11. Q.E.D. word : ERAT
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.
12. Indian music style : RAGA
Raga isn’t really a type of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.
13. North Sea feeder : YSER
The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.
18. Tigers Hall of Famer Al : KALINE
Al Kaline is a former Major League Baseball player. Kaline played his whole career with the Detroit Tigers, and then became a sportscaster for the team when he retired. He now works as a front office official for Detroit. Given the years that Kaline has devoted to the same team, it’s perhaps not surprising that he has the nickname “Mr. Tiger”.
23. 1% alternative : SKIM
The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometime “milkfat”). To be labeled “whole” milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Lowfat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.
24. Have a jones for : CRAVE
The slang term “Jones” is used to mean an intense addiction, a yen, and probably arose in the late sixties out of the prior use of “Jones” for the drug heroin.
26. “Scrubs” extra : NURSE
“Scrubs” is a comedy-drama TV show set in a fictional hospital. The show’s main character is Doctor J. D. Dorian, played by Zach Braff. “Scrubs” originally ran from 2001 to 2010.
27. Herbal flavor similar to licorice : ANISE
The essential oil in the anise plant is anethole. Anethole has a licorice-like flavor, and is used extensively in cooking and to flavor several distilled alcoholic drinks.
Liquorice (also licorice) and aniseed have similar flavors, but they come from unrelated plants. The liquorice plant is a legume like a bean, and the sweet flavor is an extract from the roots. The flavor mainly comes from an ether compound called anethole, the same substance that gives the distinctive flavor to anise. The seedpods of the anise plant are what we know as “aniseed”. The anise seeds themselves are usually ground to release the flavor.
28. __ citato: in the work cited : OPERE
Loc. cit. is short for “loco citato” meaning “in the place cited”. Loc. cit. is used in a footnote instead of op. cit. as it refers not only to a prior work, but also to the same page in that work.
29. Case for Scully : X-FILE
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.
31. Canadian Alice with a Nobel Prize : MUNRO
Alice Munro is a writer from southwestern Ontario in Canada. Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.
37. Lunchtime tryst : NOONER
In its most general sense, a “tryst” is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a prearranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a “nooner”.
43. Get the canoe going : PADDLE
The boat called a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.
47. Tight-knit group : CADRE
A “cadre” is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning a “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.
50. Alternative to de Gaulle : ORLY
Orly is on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.
51. Tech news site : CNET
c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.
56. Co. with brown trucks : UPS
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.