Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, the first starting with the letter P, and the second with the letter L:
- 73A. CFO’s monetary report, and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : P AND L
- 17A. Corporate world meal : POWER LUNCH
- 31A. Instruction on a Steinway : PIANO LESSON
- 48A. Political head : PARTY LEADER
- 65A. “The Maltese Falcon” actor : PETER LORRE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Dog in “The Thin Man” mysteries : ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.
16. What the little hand shows : HOUR
The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.
20. Guys-only gathering : STAG
Back where I come from, bachelor parties are called stag parties, and bachelorette parties are hen parties.
21. Lawyer: Abbr. : ATT
Attorney (“atty.” or “att.”)
22. Artificial : ERSATZ
Something described as “ersatz” is a copy, and usually not a good one. “Ersatz” comes from the German verb “ersetzen” meaning “to replace”.
26. Helps with the holdup : ABETS
The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.
28. Manning of the NFL’s Giants : ELI
Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titles “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.
31. Instruction on a Steinway : PIANO LESSON
Steinway & Sons is supplier of handmade pianos based in New York City and in Hamburg, Germany. The company was founded in Manhattan in 1853 by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway. One element of Steinway’s business model is to offer a “piano bank” service. Performing artists can “borrow” a particular piano from the bank for a particular concert or tour. About 400 pianos are in the bank, and are located over the world. The value of the bank’s collection of pianos is estimated at over $25 million.
Abbreviations on a medical prescription (Rx) are shortened forms of Latin phrases. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.
37. Early Peruvians : INCAS
The Inca people emerged as a tribe around the 12th century, in what today is southern Peru. The Incas developed a vast empire over the next 300 years, extending along most of the western side of South America. The Empire fell to the Spanish, finally dissolving in 1572 with the execution of Tupac Amaru, the last Incan Emperor.
38. Continental cash : EURO
The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of states not using the Euro includes the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
47. CD-__ : ROM
CD-ROM stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.
53. Sky safety org. : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.
55. Historic Spanish fleet : ARMADA
The Spanish Armada sailed from Spain with an invasion force intent on overthrowing Queen Elizabeth I of England. The fleet was repulsed by the English, who launched an effective fireship attack on the Spanish. After smaller engagements with the English, the Spanish Armada suffered its greatest losses in severe storms in the North Atlantic that left many vessels wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Of the 130 vessels in the original invading force, only two thirds returned to Spain. The storms that help save Queen Elizabeth I’s throne are often referred to collectively as “the Protestant Wind”.
58. Eden dweller : EVE
According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.
60. Rope source : HEMP
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. Famously, there is a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.
64. Aretha’s genre : SOUL
I think Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.
65. “The Maltese Falcon” actor : PETER LORRE
The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.
The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, famously played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, released in 1941.
69. Defib specialists : EMTS
A defibrillator (defib) might be operated by an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
70. Disney mermaid : ARIEL
“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton.
71. Burns or Byron : POET
Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.
George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.
73. CFO’s monetary report, and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers : P AND L
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is particularly concerned about his or her company’s profit and loss (P&L).
2. Small water bird : COOT
Someone might be described as “bald as a coot”, meaning that the person has no hair at all. A coot is a water bird, one that looks as though it is bald because of its markings. The head is actually covered with feathers.
3. Nebraska neighbor : IOWA
Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.
4. Bottom-of-the-barrel stuff : DREGS
The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), is also called “lees”.
5. Ukr. or Lith., once : SSR
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.
7. “Oye Como Va” group : SANTANA
Santana is a Latin rock band from by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, when the band was completely unknown.
“Oye Como Va” is a song written by Tito Puente in 1963. The best-known recording is the cover version by Santana released in 1970.
8. “__-Tac-Dough”: TV game show : TIC
“Tic-Tac-Dough” is a television game show that was first broadcast in 1956. New episodes were recorded as recently as 1991.
10. 32 pieces and a game board : CHESS SET
It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India, evolving from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:
- Infantry (now “pawns”)
- Cavalry (now “knights”)
- Elephants (now “bishops”)
- Chariots (now “rooks”)
11. Havana “Hi!” : HOLA!
Havana is the capital city of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.
18. Ancient Romans : LATINS
The Latins were a race who migrated into the Italian peninsula during the Bronze Age, settling in a triangular region on the west coast that became known as Latium. It was the Latins who founded the city of Rome in Latium. The language that developed among the people of Latium is what we now know as “Latin”.
23. FedEx assignment: Abbr. : RTE
25. Capital of Samoa : APIA
Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.
29. Singer Ronstadt : LINDA
Linda Ronstadt is a singer-songwriter from Tucson, Arizona. Ronstadt really does have a lovely voice, and is someone who can make any song her own. In the late seventies, she was the highest paid woman in the world of rock music.
30. Thumb twiddler : IDLER
“To twiddle one’s thumbs” is to do nothing, to spend time aimlessly. The phrase originated in the mid-1800s. In the early part of the 19th century, the equivalent phrase was “to twirl one’s thumbs”.
33. Kama __: Hindu love guide : SUTRA
The “Kama Sutra” is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a “chief wife”, the conduct of “other wives”, how to make money as a courtesan, and much more, as if that isn’t enough …
43. Big name in razors : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.
46. “No, No” Broadway gal : NANETTE
The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs: “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.
49. Since Jan. 1, on pay stubs : YTD
54. Now, in Nogales : AHORA
“Ahora” is the Spanish for “now”, as is “hoy día”.
Nogales (properly called “Heroica Nogales”) is a city in the Mexican State of Sonora. Nogales lies right on the Mexico-US border, opposite the city of Nogales, Arizona.
56. Caramel candy brand : ROLO
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.
59. Flak jacket, e.g. : VEST
“Flak” was originally an acronym from the German term for an aircraft defense cannon (FLiegerAbwehrKanone). Flak then became used in English as a general term for antiaircraft fire, and ultimately a term for verbal criticism as in “to take flak”.
61. Whistle-blowing Brockovich : ERIN
Erin Brockovich is an environmental activist who is famous for the role she played in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric for contaminating drinking water. Her story was told in a 2000 film title “Erin Brockovich” that starred Julia Roberts. Brockovich herself actually appeared in the film as she was given a cameo as a waitress in a restaurant scene.
62. Talking TV palomino : MR ED
The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.
A palomino is a horse with a gold coat and a white mane and tail. The color was prized by TV and film producers in the golden age of the Western. Two of the most famous palominos were Trigger ridden by Roy Rogers, and Mr. Ed who had his own TV show.
63. __-mell: disorderly : PELL
The adjective “pell-mell” means “in confusion, disorder” or “without discrimination, distinction”. The term comes into English from the Middle French “pêle-mêle”, which meant the same thing.
66. Outback avian : EMU
In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.