Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases with OY inserted:
- 35A. Apt cry in reaction to four puzzle answers? : OY VEY!
- 17A. Young Pharaoh’s mischievous playmate? : TOMBOY OF KING TUT (from “tomb of King Tut”)
- 25A. Overly sweet fruit? : CLOYING PEACHES (from “cling peaches”)
- 43A. Useless metallurgical product? : ALLOY FOR NAUGHT (from “all for naught”)
- 56A. Small shellfish of high quality? : PRIME MINI-OYSTER (from “prime minister”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Chanel product : SCENT
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.
6. Father of Hector : PRIAM
Priam was king of Troy during the Trojan War. Reputedly, Priam was father to fifty sons and many daughters with his many wives. His eldest son and heir to the throne was Hector. Paris was another of Priam’s sons, the man who caused the Trojan War by eloping with Helen, Queen of Sparta.
As described in Homer’s “Iliad”, Hector was a Trojan prince and a great fighter. Hector was slain during the Trojan War, as the Greeks lay siege to Troy. If we are to believe the 2004 film “Troy”, Hector actually died at the hands of Achilles, while fighting a duel. Homer’s “Iliad” is less specific about the circumstances of Hector’s death.
15. “The Flintstones” co-creator : HANNA
I once had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the room (Bill Hanna’s den) where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera came up with the idea of “The Flintstones” …
16. Martial arts accessory : OBI
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.
17. Young Pharaoh’s mischievous playmate? : TOMBOY OF KING TUT (from “tomb of King Tut”)
“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.
22. Stephen Colbert forte : IRONY
Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spinoff, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.
23. Papuan food staple : SAGO
When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or the steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …
Papua New Guinea is a country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western side of the island is part of Indonesia).
24. Solar prod. : ELEC
Solar panels make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.
25. Overly sweet fruit? : CLOYING PEACHES (from “cling peaches”)
There are two broad categories of peaches: freestones and clingstones. Clingstones (also “cling peaches”) have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. Freestones are easier to consume as the flesh separates easily from the pit.
33. Chekov colleague : SULU
Mr. Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …
Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character, but Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.
35. Apt cry in reaction to four puzzle answers? : OY VEY!
“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that literally translates as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.
38. Carson predecessor : PAAR
“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:
- Steve Allen (1954-57)
- Jack Paar (1957-62)
- Johnny Carson (1962–92)
- Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
- Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
- Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)
40. “Norma __” : RAE
“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.
41. Salad garnish brand : BACOS
Betty Crocker Bac-Os aren’t real “bacon bits”. Rather, they are “bacon-flavor” morsels made out of, well, probably nothing too healthy. But still, vegans should be happy to hear that there are no animal products included.
43. Useless metallurgical product? : ALLOY FOR NAUGHT (from “all for naught”)
An alloy is a mixture of metals, or a mixture of metal with some other element, that behaves like a metal. Alloys are produced as perhaps cheaper alternatives to pure metals, or as alternatives that have enhanced metallurgical properties. Common examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, pewter and bronze.
51. Hold for another time : TABLE
These “tabling” and “shelving” idioms drive me crazy, because they are often misused. If a topic is shelved, it is set aside. If a topic is tabled, it is brought “off the shelf” and put “on the table” for discussion. I know that language evolves, but I think it should at least make sense …
53. “Law & Order: SVU” rank : SGT
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly, since 2007 there has been a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.
61. Keats’ Muse : ERATO
In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry, and is often depicted playing a lyre.
The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.
62. Montpelier-to-Providence dir. : SSE
Providence is the capital of the state of Rhode Island. The city was founded way back in 1636 by a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony called Roger Williams. Williams believed that it was “God’s merciful providence” that revealed the location of today’s city as a haven for him and his followers, and so gave the new settlement the name “Providence”.
Montpelier is the capital of the state of Vermont, the smallest state in the Union in terms of population. The city was named for the French city of Montpelier in the days when there was great enthusiasm for things French after the aid received during the American Revolution.
63. Ski resort near Montpelier : STOWE
Stowe ski resort is located on the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, near the town of Stowe, Vermont. Alpine skiing was brought first to Mount Mansfield, after the Civilian Conservation Corps cut trails back in 1933. The following year, Mount Mansfield was home to the first ski patrol in the nation, which became the model for the National Ski Patrol.
64. In la-la land : DITZY
“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness.
1. Opposite of starve : SATE
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.
3. Saint Erasmus of Formia, familiarly : ELMO
Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.
4. San Francisco’s __ Hill : NOB
Nob Hill is a very elevated and central location in the city of San Francisco. Because of its views of the surrounding city and environs, Nob Hill became a desirable place to live for the wealthy in the 1800s. The area is still one of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods and is home to upscale hotels as well as the magnificent Grace Cathedral. The name “Nob Hill” comes from the slang term for someone who is well-to-do, a “nob”.
6. Laser particle : PHOTON
In the field of electromagnetic radiation, a photon is the basic unit of light, an elementary particle. The photon is believed to have no mass, but this fact does seem to create some theoretical inconsistencies … which I just don’t understand!
7. Large quantity : RAFT
A raft is a large amount, coming from the Middle English “raf” meaning the same thing.
10. Capital south of Taipei : MANILA
Many moons ago I spent a couple of very happy years living in Manila in the Philippines. I had an apartment there, and residing in the apartment building next door was Imelda Marcos, along with all of her shoes I assume …
“Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.
12. Have __ in the oven : A BUN
There might be a bun in the oven, a baby in the womb.
18. Hindu ascetic : YOGI
In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.
19. Athenians, to Parisians : GRECS
“Grec” is the French word for “Greek”.
23. Four after do : SOL
The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.
24. Selection word : EENY
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!
25. Foundation of many islets : CORAL
Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.
28. “Hop-Frog” author : POE
“Hop-Frog” is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1849. Hop-Frog is a jester in a king’s court, intent on revenge against his master and his retinue. The jester convinces the king and his inner circle to dress up as orangutans for a masquerade ball, and then sets fire to their costumes killing them all.
29. Literature Nobelist of 1948 : ELIOT
T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece.
31. Literary sobriquet : PAPA
Apparently, the author Ernest Hemingway picked up the moniker “Papa” on the birth of his first child (as one might expect!). Hemingway seemed to the like the nickname, and welcomed its use outside of the family, and his admirers obliged.
A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. “Sobriquet” is French for “nickname”.
35. “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF
“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.
36. Former Rocket Ming : YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.
39. “Air Music” composer : ROREM
American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexual orientation of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.
“Air Music” is a classical piece by American composer Ned Rorem that was first performed in 1975. It is a set of ten variations, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1976.
45. Like Victoria’s Secret models : NUBILE
The word “nubile” can mean of a marrying age, or sexually attractive. The word generally applies to young women, and comes from the Latin “nubere” meaning “to take a husband”.
Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.
46. Woody offshoot? : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
51. Blessing for a couch potato : TIVO
TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful Digital Video Recorder (DVR).
53. ER shout : STAT!
The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.
54. Stan with a sax : GETZ
Stan Getz was a jazz saxophonist. Getz’s playing style earned him the nickname “The Sound”.
55. Paris’ realm : TROY
The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …
58. Indian honorific : SRI
“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.