Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers includes circled letters at the beginning and end. Those OUTER letters spell out types of BANK:
- 61A. Kitty Hawk locale … and what the circled letters graphically represent : OUTER BANKS
- 17A. Mike and Carol’s blended TV family : BRADY BUNCH (with an outer “branch bank”)
- 27A. Musical group with conga drums : SALSA BAND (with an outer “sandbank”)
- 32A. Had a religious awakening : FOUND GOD (with an outer “food bank”)
- 45A. Lost it all : WENT BUST (with an outer “West Bank”)
- 53A. Where to learn to crawl? : SWIM CLASS (with an outer “Swiss bank”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Lather on lattes : FOAM
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.
14. A6 automaker : AUDI
The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.
16. Gridiron strategy : PUNT
We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for finding out relatively recently that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!
17. Mike and Carol’s blended TV family : BRADY BUNCH (with an outer “branch bank”)
In TV show “The Brady Bunch”, the mom is Carol Brady, formerly Carol Martin, played by Florence Henderson. The dad is Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed.
19. __ Major : 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”.
20. “Mamma __!”: 5-Down musical : MIA
(5D. “Dancing Queen” pop group : ABBA)
The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.
21. Chinese currency : YUAN
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”.
24. Willem of “American Psycho” : DAFOE
Willem Dafoe is an American actor, from Wisconsin. He was born just plain William Dafoe, but didn’t like being called “Billy”. So, he changed his name to Willem, which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter. Those Scots …
“American Psycho” is a comedy horror film released in 2000 that is based on a 1991 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t do horror, comedy or not …
27. Musical group with conga drums : SALSA BAND (with an outer “sandbank”)
The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.
The type of drum called a conga is more properly known as a tumbadora. The conga is regarded as a Cuban instrument today, but it probably evolved from older African drums made from hollowed logs.
31. HBO’s “Game of __” : THRONES
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland.
34. Fish-and-chips fish : COD
In the British Isles, the most common fish that is used in traditional “fish and chips” is Atlantic cod. Cod has been overfished all over the world, and is now considered to be an endangered species by many international bodies. Confrontations over fishing rights in the North Atlantic led to conflicts called “the Cod Wars” between Iceland and the UK in the 1950s and the 1970s, with fishing fleets being protected by naval vessels and even shots being fired.
35. Start of some email subj. lines : FWD
36. Military day’s march : ETAPE
“Étape” is the French word for stage, as in a “stage” in the Tour de France. The term is used in English military circles to describe where troops halt overnight, but can also describe the section of the march itself. So, a march can be divided into stages, into étapes.
45. Lost it all : WENT BUST (with an outer “West Bank”)
The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.
53. Where to learn to crawl? : SWIM CLASS (with an outer “Swiss bank”)
Switzerland has a tradition of banking secrecy that dates back to the Middle Ages. All bank accounts are linked to individuals, just as they are in the rest of the world, but the identity of that individual is protected by laws of privacy. The protections afforded are similar to the confidentiality between a lawyer and a client. Bank secrecy can be overturned however, by a judge’s “lifting order”.
56. “For __ a jolly … ” : HE’S
“For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Top of the list is “Happy Birthday to You”, and third comes “Auld Lang Syne”.
57. Japanese noodle : SOBA
Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to be used to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodles that are called udon.
58. Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG
OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G words you might think of …
59. Folk singer Seeger : PETE
The American folk singer Pete Seeger wrote and co-wrote a lot of classic songs. The list includes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I had a Hammer”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”
61. Kitty Hawk locale … and what the circled letters graphically represent : OUTER BANKS
The Outer Banks are a 200-mile long chain of barrier islands lying just off the coast of North Carolina (and a small section of Virginia). The seas of the Outer Banks have a reputation as being very treacherous and so are nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Kitty Hawk is a town in North Carolina. The Wright brothers made the first powered airplane flight four miles south of Kitty Hawk, at the Kill Devil Hills.
68. “Star Wars” princess : LEIA
The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.
69. Tickle Me Elmo toy company : TYCO
The toy called Tickle Me Elmo was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.
71. Risqué message : SEXT
Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was first coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is “rampant” among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie …?
“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.
1. Adjective for a British Invasion foursome : FAB
The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.
The Beatles arrived in the US for their first tour in February 1964, arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport to a very, very warm reception. The group’s arrival was the first “action” in what came to be known as “the British Invasion”.
3. Oral health org. : ADA
American Dental Association (ADA)
5. “Dancing Queen” pop group : ABBA
“Dancing Queen” is a great, great song from 1976 that was released by the Swedish group ABBA. ABBA’s music has never been as popular in the US as it is in other countries, but “Dancing Queen” did make it to the number-one spot in the charts here. It was in fact, ABBA’s only #1 hit in the US.
6. Grand __: wine label words : CRU
“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below
7. Country singer Tucker : TANYA
Country singer Tanya Tucker’s first hit was “Delta Dawn” in 1972, which she recorded at only 13 years of age.
8. Paranormal : OCCULT
The adjective “occult” means “secret, beyond the realm of human comprehension”. The term derives from the Latin “occultus” meaning “hidden, concealed”.
10. “The Simpsons” shop owner : APU
The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …
22. Drug cop : NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
24. Remove respectfully, as a hat : DOFF
One doffs one’s hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with “doff” being a contraction of “do off”. The opposite of “doff” is “don” meaning “to put on”.
26. Like medieval Europe’s social structure : FEUDALISTIC
Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.
28. Heckler’s cry : BOO!
The original use of the verb “to heckle” was to mean questioning severely, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at standup comics.
33. Margery of kids’ rhyme : DAW
“See Saw Margery Daw” is a nursery rhyme that goes:
See Saw Margery Daw,
Jacky shall have a new master;
Jacky shall earn but a penny a day,
Because he can’t work any faster.
41. Combat vet’s affliction, briefly : PTSD
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
43. Dream letters : REM
“REM” is an acronym that is short for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.
44. Apple computers : MACS
Macintosh (also “Mac”) is a line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Mac was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that this lump of plastic was called “a mouse” …
47. Cincinnati NFL team : BENGALS
The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals team was founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). There was an earlier team called the Bengals in the city that played from 1937 to 1941. That team used the “Bengal” name because Cincinnati Zoo was home to a very rare Bengal tiger.
49. Like some hunting jackets : TWEEDY
Tweed is a rough woolen fabric very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …
50. Single-masted ships : SLOOPS
Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.
51. __ rasa: clean slate : TABULA
“Tabula rasa” (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception.
54. Skewered Indonesian dish : SATAY
The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.
62. UFO crew, supposedly : ETS
One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).
63. Alumna bio word : NEE
“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.
64. “Kid Tested” cereal : KIX
Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …