Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each open with an adjective meaning “wee, diminutive”.
- 17A. Mom-and-pop stores : SMALL BUSINESSES
- 29A. Alfalfa, Darla and friends, with “the” : LITTLE RASCALS
- 39A. “God bless us, every one!” Dickens character : TINY TIM
- 47A. Game with windmills, ramps and such : MINIATURE GOLF
- 62A. Waterspout climber of song : ITSY BITSY SPIDER
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
4. Hamilton and Burr, notably : FOES
Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who founded the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.
Aaron Burr was the third vice-president of the US, serving under Thomas Jefferson. In the final year of his term in office, Burr fought an illegal duel and killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton. Burr wasn’t brought to justice, but he did pay the price politically. Thomas Jefferson dropped him from his ticket in the election held the following year.
14. Word for a Latin lover : AMO
Amo, amas, amat … I love, you love, he/she/it loves, in Latin.
15. Cookbook author Rombauer : IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook “The Joy Of Cooking”. Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, and then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. “The Joy of Cooking” has been in print continuously ever since.
20. Vietnam’s capital : HANOI
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.
21. Part of MST: Abbr. : STD
Mountain Standard Time (MST)
22. FDR’s successor : HST
The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.
29. Alfalfa, Darla and friends, with “the” : LITTLE RASCALS
Alfalfa was one Hollywood’s “Little Rascals”, also known as “Our Gang”. Alfalfa’s real name was Carl Switzer. He and his brother were quite the young performers around his hometown in Illinois, singing and playing instruments. On a trip to California, the Switzer family were touring the Hal Roach movie studio and were fooling around in the studio cafeteria, basically giving an impromptu performance. Hal Roach happened to be there at the time, and signed both brothers up for roles in “Our Gang”. Carl was to play “Alfalfa”, and brother Harold played “Slim” (aka “Deadpan”).
Alfalfa’s love interest in “Our Gang” was Darla, whose real name was Darla Hood. Hood became quite a successful singer after she grew out of her “Our Gang” role.
38. Blackjack half : ACE
The game of “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.
39. “God bless us, every one!” Dickens character : TINY TIM
Bob Cratchit is the underpaid clerk who works for Ebeneezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol”. Tiny Tim is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, the little disabled boy in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”.
42. Wedding notice word : NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.
46. La Brea __ Pits : TAR
The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …
52. Coiffures : HAIRDOS
“Coiffure” is a French word that we’ve imported into English meaning “hairstyle”. The term comes from the Old French word “coife”, which was used for the inner part of a helmet.
54. Move, in real estate lingo : RELO
Relocate (relo) is a real estate term.
55. Part of MST : ESS
There’s a letter S (ess) in the middle of the initialism MST, which stands for Mountain Standard Time.
56. Tango maneuver : DIP
The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.
62. Waterspout climber of song : ITSY BITSY SPIDER
The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.
67. California’s San __: Hearst Castle locale : SIMEON
William Randolph Hearst got into publishing when he took over “The San Francisco Examiner” from his father George Hearst. Beyond his work in the newspaper business, William Randolph Hearst was also a politician and represented a district of New York in the US House. His life was the inspiration for the lead role in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles playing the Hearst-like character. If you’re ever driving along the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I’d recommend a stop at Hearst Castle, William Randolph’s magnificent estate located near San Simeon.
69. 401(k) kin : IRA
A 401(k) account is similar to an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.
70. Six times cinq : TRENTE
In French, “six” (six) times “cinq” (five) is “trente” (thirty).
72. Gov. Cuomo’s domain : NYS
Andrew Cuomo won the gubernatorial election for the State of New York in 2010. Andrew is the son of former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo. Andrew was also married for 13 years to Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
2. 2016 Best Actress Stone of “La La Land” : EMMA
The actress Emma Stone is from Scottsdale, Arizona. Stone really came to prominence with her performance in the 2010 high school movie called “Easy A”. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 2016 movie “La La Land”. Now one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, Stone values her privacy and works hard to maintain a low profile. Good for her, I say …
“La La Land” is a 2016 romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actress who fall in love in “La La Land” (Los Angeles, i.e. LA). The film was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who had found success two years earlier with the musical drama “Whiplash”. “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and tied for the record number of Oscar nominations at fourteen, winning six.
4. Like a child’s love for a parent : FILIAL
Something “filial” is related to a son or daughter. The term comes from Latin, in which language “filius” means “son” and “filia” means “daughter”.
6. Grounded bird : EMU
Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs.
8. Pioneering hip-hop trio from Queens : RUN-DMC
Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
19. “How sweet __!” : IT IS
“How sweet it is!” was perhaps Jackie Gleason’s most famous catchphrase. Gleason grew up in Brooklyn, and drivers entering the borough today via the Brooklyn Bridge are greeted by a road sign announcing “How Sweet It Is!”
24. Classic grape soda : NEHI
Nehi Corporation was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became the “Royal Crown Company”. In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.
27. Eggplant __: Italian entrée, briefly : PARM
Parmigiana is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an aubergine (eggplant) filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the aubergine with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.
28. L’eau land? : ILE
In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “l’eau” (the water).
29. Shakespearean king with three daughters : LEAR
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:
36. Patricia of “Hud” : NEAL
Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing the middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years’ later she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child, but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.
The modern-day, western movie called “Hud” was released in 1963 and has become a classic. “Hud” stars Paul Newman (in the title role) and Patricia Neal and is an adaptation of a novel by Larry McMurtry called “Horseman, Pass By”. Patricia Neal’s role in the film was relatively small, yet her performance was enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.
37. Medieval laborer : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.
44. Defunct Soviet space station : MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001.
48. First-aid fluid : IODINE
Tincture of iodine is a disinfectant. A “tincture” is a substance used in dyeing. Since the 1600s, “tincture” has also been used for a solution of medicine in an alcohol mixture.
51. Mongolian desert : GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.
59. Chief Norse god : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.
63. Kyoto cash : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.
The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.
64. Droid : BOT
A bot is computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.
66. Gas additive brand : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.