Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers end with synonyms of “TIGHT”, terms meaning “drunk”.
- 61A. Some football linemen … and what the answers to starred clues have? : TIGHT ENDS
- 17A. *Judy Blume genre : KIDDIE LIT
- 25A. *Got from the cloud? : DOWNLOADED
- 36A. *Like much Chinese cooking : STIR-FRIED
- 51A. *Three-year school, commonly : JUNIOR HIGH
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Highlands hat : TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.
14. Botanist Gray : ASA
Asa Gray was an important American botanist in the nineteenth century. He was a lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, albeit mainly through correspondence. Darwin’s book “Forms of Flowers”, was dedicated to Gray.
15. Naproxen brand : ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.
16. “__ Mio” : ‘O SOLE
“‘O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …
17. *Judy Blume genre : KIDDIE LIT
Judy Blume writes novels for children and young adults. Blume’s novels for teens were groundbreaking when first published, tackling such difficult subjects as racism, divorce and bullying.
20. Calendario start : ENERO
In Spanish, we start the “año” (year) in “enero” (January) as noted on a “calendario” (calendar).
21. Sierra __ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.
23. Former Radiohead label : EMI
EMI was a British music company, with the abbreviation standing for Electric and Musical Industries.
Radiohead is an alternative rock band from England that formed in 1985. When the band self-released their 2007 studio album “In Rainbows”, it was a big deal for the music industry. Radiohead offered a digital version of the album using a pay-what-you-want pricing model. Reportedly, most fans paid what would be a normal retail price for the download version of the album. That’s not bad, considering the relatively low cost to produce a download compared to the cost of producing a CD.
24. __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI
Nowadays Simi Valley, California is perhaps best known as home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The library is a great place to visit, and there you can tour one of the retired Air Force One planes.
25. *Got from the cloud? : DOWNLOADED
In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …
31. Single-celled creature : AMEBA
An ameba (or “amoeba”, as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.
35. Sinusitis docs : ENTS
Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)
The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).
39. Reebok rival : PUMA
Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.
The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.
42. Dapper : NATTY
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.
43. Cal. pages : MOS
The pages in a calendar (cal.) usually show whole months (mos.)
55. Julie’s “Doctor Zhivago” co-star : OMAR
Omar Sharif was a great Hollywood actor from Egypt, someone who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me, he was my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday, Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.
Julie Christie is a very talented British actress, actually born in British India. One of Christie’s most famous roles was Lara in the the epic 1965 film “Doctor Zhivago”.
“Doctor Zhivago” is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. I haven’t tried to read it the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.
56. Subj. with unknowns : ALG
Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.
63. 1999-2004 Olds : ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.
66. Printing flourish : SERIF
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …
67. Freelancer’s supply: Abbr. : SASES
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.
The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, using it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a freelancer was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.
1. Occupies oneself with, as a hobby : TAKES UP
Back in the 16th century, a hobbyhorse was a mock horse that was used as a prop in morris dancing. The figure was wrapped around the waist of a dancer, creating the impression that the horse was being ridden. By the 1580s, the term “hobbyhorse” began to describe toy riding horse used by a child. A century later, the word “hobby” was being used for a favorite pastime, an activity that doesn’t real go anywhere, just like a hobbyhorse.
2. Just plain silly : ASININE
The adjective “asinine” means “stupid, obstinate”, and comes from the Latin for “like an ass”.
3. Mob inductee : MADE MAN
In the Mafia, a “made man” is a fully initiated member. A made man might also be called a goodfella or a wiseguy.
4. Scott of “Arrested Development” : BAIO
Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not-so-great spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.
“Arrested Development” is a sitcom that originally aired on Fox from 2003 to 2006. Ron Howard was heavily involved in the show behind the camera, serving as executive producer and also as the show’s narrator. Fifteen new episodes of “Arrested Development” were filmed specifically for release on Netflix in 2013, and there may even be a movie on the way.
6. Mello __ : YELLO
Like so many beverages introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, Mello Yello was launched to compete against a successful drink already on the market. Mello Yello first hit the shelves in 1979, and was designed to take market share from Pepsico’s “Mountain Dew”.
7. “__ From the Bridge”: Miller : A VIEW
“A View From the Bridge” is a play by Arthur Miller. It has an unusual structure for a play first performed in 1955 in that it is a verse-drama, meaning that all of the dialog is spoken in the form of verse, somewhat like the works of Shakespeare.
Arthur Miller was a remarkable playwright, best known for his plays “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”. Famously, Arthur Miller left his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The two divorced five years later, just over a year before Monroe died of an apparent drug overdose.
8. Wyoming county : TETON
Teton County, Wyoming is home to the Grand Teton National Park and the town of Jackson Hole. Teton has the distinction of having the second highest personal per capita income of any county in the US ($94,672 in 2010), second only to New York County ($111,386 in 2010).
10. Metric lead-in : ISO-
The word “isometric” comes from Greek, and means “having equal measurement”. Isometric exercise is a resistance exercise in which the muscle does not change in length (and the joint angle stays the same). The alternative would be dynamic exercises, ones using the joint’s full range of motion.
18. Trifle : DRIB
A “drib” is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”.
22. N.Y. Mets division : NLE
National League East (NLE)
The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962, a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.
25. __-glace: rich sauce : DEMI
Demi-glace is a sauce that’s rich and brown, and is used in French cuisine. The name translates as “half glaze” and comprises veal stock mixed with espagnole sauce. It’s a little more work to make demi-glace, as one has to also make an espagnole sauce as one of the main ingredients. As a result, some chefs just use a veal stock instead, which Julia Child used to call a “semi-demi-glace”.
28. Long. counterpart : LAT
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:
- Arctic Circle
- Tropic of Cancer
- Tropic of Capricorn
- Antarctic Circle
32. Coastal eagle : ERN
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.
33. Museum curator’s deg. : BFA
The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is primarily designed for students intent on pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts.
The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.
36. __-Flush: household cleaner : SANI
Sani-Flush was a toilet bowl cleaner that was introduced in 1911. The product’s active ingredient was sodium bisulfate, which dissolved accumulated minerals on the bowl’s surface. Sodium bisulfate forms highly corrosive sulfuric acid when it mixes with water, and it is the acid which dissolves the undesirable and staining minerals. Sani-Flush was quietly withdrawn from the US market around 2009 due to environmental concerns.
38. Network logo : EYE
CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. It is the second-largest broadcaster in the world, second only to the BBC in the UK. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951.
39. Overnight bag item, maybe : PAJAMAS
Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.
40. Elvis played one in “Blue Hawaii” : UKULELE
“Blue Hawaii” is one a series of Elvis Presley movies, this one released in 1961. 36-year-old Angela Lansbury was cast as the mother of the character played by 26-year-old Presley. Apparently, Lansbury “wasn’t amused”, but took the role anyway.
43. Souvenir : MEMENTO
A “souvenir” is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.
45. Berlin boulevard : STRASSE
“Strasse” is the German word for “street”.
Berlin is the capital and largest city in Germany, and is the second most populous city in the European Union (after London).
47. Myriad : TONS OF
The term “myriad”, meaning “innumerable”, comes from the Greek “muraid”, meaning “ten thousand”. “Myriad” is one of those words that sporks heated debate about the correct usage in English. “Myriad” can be used both as an adjective and a noun. One can have “a myriad of” engagements around the holidays, for example, or “myriad” engagements around those same holidays.
50. “Encore!” : MORE!
“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”
53. Turner autobiography : I, TINA
“I, Tina” is the 1986 autobiography of Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.
54. “We Got the Beat” band : GOGOS
The Go-Go’s were an all-female rock band that was formed in Los Angeles back in 1978. The band’s biggest hit is “We Got the Beat”, which was released in 1982. The best-known member of the Go-Go’s is probably Belinda Carlisle.
58. Casino fixtures : ATMS
The “casino” originated in the 1700s, first describing a public room for music or dancing. The name “casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.
60. Part of TNT : TRI-
“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.
62. Charlemagne’s domain: Abbr. : HRE
Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe until 1806.