Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is consists of two overlapping words that are pointed to in the clue:
- 17A. Know-nothing swine? : PIGNORAMUS (“pig” overlapping “ignoramus”)
- 22A. Puppet’s desire to manipulate Shari Lewis for a change? : LAMBITION (“lamb” overlapping “ambition”)
- 35A. Sass from a young lion? : CATTITUDE (“cat” overlapping “attitude”)
- 51A. Lazy lady’s man? : SLOTHARIO (“sloth” overlapping “lothario”)
- 58A. Cephalopod wizard’s game? : SQUIDDITCH (“squid” overlapping “quidditch”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Actress Kaczmarek or Krakowski : JANE
The actress Jane Kaczmarek is best known for playing Lois, the mother on the TV show “Malcolm in the Middle”. Kaczmarek was married to actor Bradley Whitford (who played Josh Lyman on “The West Wing”) from 1992 to 2009.
Jane Krakowski is an actress best known for playing the clueless and attention-seeking Jenna Maroney on the sitcom “30 Rock”. Krakowski also has a leading role on the Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.
13. Chihuahua cheers : OLES
Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.
17. Know-nothing swine? : PIGNORAMUS (“pig” overlapping “ignoramus”)
“Ignoramus” comes to us directly from Latin. The term translates from Latin as “we ignore”, the first person, plural tense of “ignorare”.
19. “Conan” channel : TBS
Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”.
20. Baja vacation spot : CABO
Cabo San Lucas is a major tourist destination at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. “Cabo” is sometimes referred to as the “Fort Lauderdale of Mexico”.
21. Co-owner of the Pequod : PELEG
The Pequod is the ship that figures in Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby Dick”. The ship is owned by a consortium of the citizens of Nantucket Island, including Captains Ahab, Bildad and Peleg.
22. Puppet’s desire to manipulate Shari Lewis for a change? : LAMBITION (“lamb” overlapping “ambition”)
Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.
25. Yale founder Yale : ELIHU
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.
30. GoPro product, briefly : CAM
GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Recently, two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …
31. Before thou know’st : ANON
“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.
42. Marine predator : ORCA
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.
46. Moll’s leg : GAM
The American slang term “gams” is used for a woman’s legs. The term goes back to the 18th century “gamb” meaning the leg of an animal on a coat of arms.
The slang term “moll” is a used for the female companion of a gangster. “Moll” is short for “Molly”, which is a nickname for “Mary”. In 17th-century England a moll was a prostitute.
49. Mink relative : OTTER
The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is in fact the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.
There are two species of mink extant: the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.
51. Lazy lady’s man? : SLOTHARIO (“sloth” overlapping “lothario”)
“Sloth”, meaning “indolence, sluggishness”, comes from the Middle English word “slowe”, the same root for our contemporary word “slow”. The animal, the sloth, is so named as it exhibits slow-moving behavior.
There is a character named Lothario in Don Quixote, and in the “Fair Penitent”, a 1703 play by Nicholas Rowe. In both cases the Lothario in question exhibits less than wholesome behavior towards a woman, giving rise to the term “lothario” meaning “roue”.
54. Long Island airport town : ISLIP
The town of Islip on the south shore of Long Island is home to Islip Airport. Now known as Long Island MacArthur Airport, it is used by many as a viable alternative to JFK and LaGuardia.
56. __ Domani: Italian wine brand : ECCO
Ecco Domani is an Italian wine that is distributed in North America and Northern Europe by E & J Gallo.
57. Issuer of nine-digit ID nos. : SSA
A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot, as since 2011 SSN’s are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.
58. Cephalopod wizard’s game? : SQUIDDITCH (“squid” overlapping “quidditch”)
Cephalopod form a class of molluscs with arms or tentacles, a prominent head and a body with bilateral symmetry. Most cephalopods have the ability to squirt ink as a defensive mechanism. Examples of the class are the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. The name “cephalopod” comes from the Greek for “head-feet”.
Quidditch is a game that is famously played in the “Harry Potter” series of books and films. The game is contended by two teams of seven wizards or witches flying on broomsticks. The are four animated balls and six ring-shaped goals floating in mid-air. One of the balls is the Golden Snitch, and one of the players is the Seeker. It is the Seeker’s sole purpose to capture the Golden Snitch and thereby end the game.
61. Sport whose champions are called “yokozuna” : SUMO
Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.
62. CoverGirl competitor : ALMAY
The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.
CoverGirl is an American cosmetics company that was founded in 1961. CoverGirl’s primary marketing technique is to provide cosmetics to “cover girls”, celebrities who regularly appear on the front cover of magazines.
63. Car rental giant : AVIS
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.
2. “To Kill A Mockingbird” setting : ALABAMA
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world and is a great ambassador for American literature.
4. Small opening? : ESS
The opening letter in the word “small” is a letter S (ess).
5. “I was home alone,” perhaps : ALIBI
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.
6. Myopic Mr. : MAGOO
Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do the voice without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties. There was a movie adaptation of “Mr Magoo” released in 1997, with Leslie Nielsen playing the title role.
A myope is someone suffering from myopia, short-sightedness. Far-sightedness or long-sightedness is known as hypermetropia or hyperopia .
11. “The Razor’s Edge” novelist : MAUGHAM
W. Somerset Maugham was a playwright and novelist from the UK. Maugham was actually born in France, but on British soil in the British embassy in Paris. He became very successful as an author and was the highest paid writer of the 1930s.
“The Razor’s Edge” is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham that was first published in 1944. The book tells the story of a pilot who returns traumatized from his experiences in WWI. The most famous movie adaptation was released in 1946 starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney.
12. Mad men? : EDS
“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.
20. Aetna rival : CIGNA
The health care management company known as CIGNA was formed in 1982 by a merger of two insurance companies. One was Connecticut General (CG) and the other Insurance Company of North America (INA).
23. Lou who stole 938 bases : BROCK
Lou Brock is a retired professional baseball player who played most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock broke Ty Cobb’s all-time stolen base record in 1977, and held that record until 1982.
29. Kin of gov : EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)
34. __ firma : TERRA
“Terra firma” is Latin for “solid ground”.
36. Org. with body scanners : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.
37. “Tiny Bubbles” singer : DON HO
The singer and entertainer Don Ho apparently had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife. When Ho was touring with his two backing singers, Patti Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of his roommates, giving a total of ten kids including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly. To each his own …
40. Asian citrus fruit : SATSUMA
The lovely citrus fruit known in the west as a satsuma is so called because it was first imported from the former Japanese province called Satsuma. The fruit is also known as a “Christmas orange” in the UK, as tradition dictates that satsumas are served as a treat around the holidays in Britain.
43. Gettysburg Address feature : CURSIVE
The original text of the Gettysburg Address was written using cursive handwriting.
Cursive handwriting is often referred to as “longhand” or “script”, although when I was learning it at school we knew it as “joined-up writing”. The term “cursive” ultimately comes from the Latin verb “currere” meaning “to run”. The idea is that the letters of words are written with a “running” hand.
I admit to having profound respect and admiration for great speeches delivered by great men and great women. Forgive me as I reproduce here the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s memorable Gettysburg Address:
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
47. Like a mosquito bite : ITCHY
“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs.
50. “Adam Bede” novelist : ELIOT
“Adam Bede” was the first novel written by the English writer George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). It was published in 1859 and has been in print since then, for over 150 years.
53. Non-shaving razor name? : OCCAM
Ockham’s Razor (also “Occam’s Razor”) is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something.
55. BlackBerries, e.g. : PDAS
Personal digital assistant (PDA)
The PDA known as a BlackBerry was given its name because the keyboard on the original device resembled the surface on the fruit of a blackberry.
58. Former JFK lander : SST
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.
The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at La Guardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.
59. French landmass : ILE
In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “la mer” (the sea).
60. Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC
“Fond du lac” is French and translates as “bottom of the lake”, an apt name for the city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called “Miracle Mile”. Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now …