Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are all STICKERS:
- 17A. Workshop sticker : EPOXY RESIN
- 27A. Kitchen sticker : FRIDGE MAGNET
- 43A. Mailroom sticker : POSTAGE STAMP
- 58A. Desk-bottom sticker : CHEWING GUM
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Acht minus sechs : ZWEI
In German, “acht” (eight) minus “sechs” (six) is “zwei” (two).
13. Rock guitarist Eddy : DUANE
Duane Eddy is a rock and roll guitarist from Corning, New York.
16. Dracula costume item : CAPE
“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …
19. Major in astronomy? : URSA
The constellation named Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.
23. CBS maritime drama : NCIS
NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spinoff shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.
34. __ Mahal : TAJ
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.
38. City north of Memphis : CAIRO
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.
Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria, located further down the river and right on the Mediterranean coast.
39. Pacific island where much of “Lost” was filmed : OAHU
In the TV show “Lost”, the plane that crashed was operated by Oceanic Airlines. The fictional airline Oceanic Airlines or Oceanic Airways turns up a lot on the big and small screen. Try to spot Oceanic in the movies “Executive Decision” and “For Love of the Game”, and in episodes of the TV shows “Castle”, “Chuck”, “Flipper”, “The Goldbergs” and “The X-Files”.
41. “Wheel of Fortune” name : VANNA
Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.
50. I-15 city between Los Angeles and Las Vegas : BARSTOW
Barstow is a California railroad town that grew with the success of mining operations in the Mojave desert. The city is named for William Barstow Strong, who served as president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway from 1881 to 1889.
Interstate 15 runs north-south from the US -Canada border at Sweet Grass, Montana to San Diego, California.
58. Desk-bottom sticker : CHEWING GUM
61. Icy coating : RIME
Rime is that beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.
62. Numbers game : KENO
The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.
63. Knife hawked on infomercials : GINSU
Ginsu knives are more famous for their hard-sell television ads than they are for their efficacy in the kitchen. The Ginsu phenomenon took off in the seventies when two brothers found a set of knives called “Eversharp” that were being manufactured in Ohio. The brothers changed the brand name to something more exotic, and Japanese in particular (Ginsu), and then produced ads that made references to Japanese martial arts. I think they made a fortune …
64. Old despot : TSAR
A “despot” is a ruler with absolute power, often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century, ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.
1. River through Frankfurt : ODER
The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.
Frankfurt an der Oder is a town in Brandenburg, Germany that is right on the border with Poland. The suffix “an der Oder” shows that it lies on the Oder River and also serves to differentiate the town from the larger and more famous city of Frankfurt am Main.
2. __ platter : PUPU
n Hawaiian, “pu-pu” is a word originally meaning “snail”. Nowadays “pu-pu” denotes many different types of food that are usually served as an hors d’oeuvres. A “pupu platter” then is a selection of such foods served in a Hawaiian restaurant.
3. City near Ghost Ranch, a favorite Georgia O’Keeffe retreat : TAOS
Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre property in north central New Mexico that served as Georgia O’Keefe’s home and studio from 1945 until 1984. The ranch now serves as a retreat and education center.
4. “Devil Inside” band : INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.
5. Crazy consonant? : ZEE
The consonant Z (zee) is the fourth letter in the word “crazy”.
7. La Salle of “Under the Dome” : ERIQ
Eriq La Salle played Dr. Peter Benton on “ER”, and is best known in film for his portrayal of Darryl in the 1998 comedy “Coming to America”.
“Under the Dome” is a sci-fi show that is based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. The storyline involves a small town in Maine that is inexplicably covered with a transparent indestructible dome that cuts the inhabitants off from the rest of the world. It’s an intriguing concept for a novel/show, but I’m not a big fan of Stephen King …
10. Producer Ponti : CARLO
The renowned Italian film producer Carlo Ponti was not quite as famous as his celebrity wife Sophia Loren. Ponti met Loren as a contestant in a beauty contest he was judging in 1950. Back then she was a budding young actress still using her real name, Sofia Lazzaro. The two married in 1957 even though divorce was illegal at the time in Italy, so Ponti was still married to his first wife.
11. Spots for religious statues : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.
12. Civil War general : MEADE
George Meade was a career army officer with a depth of experience in civil and military operations even before the onset of the Civil War. During the war he rose to the level of commander of the Army of the Potomac, and is best remembered for leading the Union forces that defeated General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in 1863.
25. City “it took me four days to hitchhike from,” in Paul Simon’s “America” : SAGINAW
Saginaw is a city in central Michigan. The city blossomed as a lumber town in the 19th century. Logs were floated down the Saginaw river where they were processed in the town’s many sawmills before being loaded onto ships, and eventually onto railroad cars. Growth in the 20th century was driven by the automotive industry, with GM alone locating 12 manufacturing plants in and around Saginaw. Employment declined sharply in the latter 1900s along with the decline in the number of automotive jobs in the US.
Simon & Garfunkel’s 1968 song “America” tells of a young couple hitchhiking across the US. Paul Simon was inspired to write the song after he took an extended road trip in 1964 with his girlfriend at the time, Englishwoman Kathleen Chitty. Chitty also inspired Simon & Garfunkel hit “Kathy’s Song”.
28. Zamboni domain : RINK
The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.
29. __ fixe : IDEE
An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession
39. East of Essen : OST
Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany.
41. Electric Chevy : VOLT
Despite being late entering the eco-friendly car market, Chevrolet today produces the most fuel-efficient compact car with a gasoline engine that is sold in the US. The Chevrolet Volt went on sale at the end of 2010, and is a plug-in hybrid car that runs on batteries. The Volt has a gasoline engine that can be used run an electric generator if needed. The Volt also uses a regenerative braking system.
44. Childlike race in “The Time Machine” : ELOI
In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.
46. Critic Roger : EBERT
Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.
48. Ballerina descriptor : PRIMA
The title of “prima ballerina” is the second-highest awarded to a female dancer in a company. The more prestigious “prima ballerina assoluta” is only awarded to the most notable dancers.
53. “What a brutal week!” : TGIF!
“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.
56. Big birds : EMUS
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.
59. Hydrocarbon suffix : -ENE
An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).
60. Asian pan : WOK
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.