Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s grid includes three occurrences of the letters GO sitting UNDER a type of COVER:
- 62A. What narcs may do … or what can literally be found in three pairs of puzzle answers : GO UNDERCOVER or GO UNDER COVER
- 17A. Highlighted publication part : CENTER SPREAD
- 22A. Howe of hockey : GORDIE
- 30A. Stick-in-the-mud : WET BLANKET
- 35A. Insect stage : IMAGO
- 46A. Score keeper? : SHEET MUSIC
- 52A. Boss of fashion : HUGO
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Wines that can be white or red : PINOTS
The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the DVD…
The white wine grape Pinot blanc is a genetic mutation of Pinot gris, which in turn is a mutation of Pinot noir.
14. Sleep on it : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:
- #1 The Leader of the Flock
- #½ The Tweener
- #13 Mr. Bad Luck
- #53 The Pessimist
- #86 Benedict Arnold
16. Immediate caregiver, briefly : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
19. “All Things Considered” airer : NPR
“All Things Considered” is the flagship news broadcast by NPR that airs for two hours every evening.
21. Brest bestie : AMIE
A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.
Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.
22. Howe of hockey : GORDIE
Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player. Regarded as one of the game’s greatest players, Howe is sometimes referred to as “Mr Hockey”. He is the only hockey player to have competed in the NHL for five decades (from the forties through the eighties), and holds the NHL record for most games and most seasons played.
24. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.
25. Halves of some master-servant relationships : GENII
“Genii” is an accepted plural of two related words: “genius” and “genie”.
27. Little pitchers have big ones, per an old maxim : EARS
The phrase “little pitchers have big ears” might be used by adults who want to be careful about little children overhearing their conversation. The idea behind the idiom is that little pitchers, water vessels, might have big handles, just like little children might have “big ears”, might hear more than is wanted.
28. Pioneering computer : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.
33. Cabbage : MOOLAH
Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.
35. Insect stage : IMAGO
The imago is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.
36. Quarterback Roethlisberger : BEN
Ben Roethlisberger plays quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
40. Degree for Dr. Oz : MBA
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and a TV personality known simply as “Dr. Oz”. Oz appeared as a health expert for several seasons on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Now he has his own “The Dr. Oz Show” on radio and television that is backed by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.
43. Southwestern lizards : GILAS
A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.
52. Boss of fashion : HUGO
Hugo Boss started a clothing company in a small town just south of Stuttgart in Germany in 1924. He joined the Nazi party before the war, and made a lot of money as an official supplier of uniforms to the likes of the SS and Hitler Youth. He paid the price of collaboration after the war (a fine), but his business survived. Boss the boss died in 1948, but the Hugo Boss company is still going strong today.
53. Procedures involving suction, familiarly : LIPOS
Liposuction (lipo) dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result it wasn’t until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.
55. FDR agency : NRA
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.
59. Bridge, e.g. : GAME
The version of the card game bridge that is mostly played today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.
60. Dandy : FOP
A dandy is a man who is overly fastidious with regard to his personal appearance. There’s a suggestion that the term originated in Scotland, where “Dandy” is a diminutive of the name “Andrew”. Back in the early 1800s, when the use of “dandy” was at its height, the female equivalent was a dandizette.
62. What narcs may do … or what can literally be found in three pairs of puzzle answers : GO UNDERCOVER or GO UNDER COVER
“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).
66. “Microsoft sound” composer : ENO
Brian Eno started out his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:
I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.
70. Vicious of the Sex Pistols : SID
Sid Vicious was a famous English musician, the best-known member of the seventies punk rock group called the Sex Pistols. In 1978, Vicious woke up out of a drugged stupor in his hotel room in New York, to find his girlfriend stabbed to death in the bathroom. Vicious was charged with the murder, and ten days later sliced his wrist in a suicide attempt. Vicious made bail a few months later and at a celebratory party his own mother supplied him with heroin on which Vicious overdosed and died, at the age of 21.
2. Quebec Winter Carnival race vehicle : ICE CANOE
An ice canoe is a relatively large, sturdy canoe that can be used in frigid waters, and that can also be slid along frozen parts of a waterway.
9. Deer fellow : STAG
A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …
10. “Where the Wild Things Are” author : SENDAK
Maurice Sendak is an American writer and illustrator of children’s books. Sendak’s best known work is “Where the Wild Things Are”, published in 1963. The “Wild Things” of the tale are beasts conjured up in the imagination of a young boy named Max, after he is sent to bed without supper.
11. Rome, once : EMPIRE
Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom, founded by the legendary Romulus. The Roman Republic lasted from 509 to 27 BC. The Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and replacement by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”, and effectively became Rome’s first Emperor and took the name Caesar Augustus. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire that was centered on Constantinople.
14. Chiropractor’s concern : SPINE
Chiropractic is a type of alternative medicine that largely involves the adjustment of the spinal column. The term “chiropractic” was coined in the US in the late 1800s and comes the Latinized Greek “chiro-” meaning “hand” and “praktikos” meaning “practical”.
18. Fish-eating duck : SMEW
The smew is a beautiful-looking species of duck found right across northern Europe and Asia. The smew requires trees to complete its breeding cycle as it nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests.
23. Truckee Meadows city : RENO
The Truckee Meadows area is a plain in western Nevada that is named for the Truckee River flowing through it. The area is relatively populous, as it includes the city of Reno.
26. Pioneering PCs : IBMS
The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.
31. Composer Schifrin : LALO
Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine pianist and composer best-known for writing film and television scores. Famously, Schifrin wrote the theme for “Mission: Impossible”, but also for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Mannix” and “Starsky and Hutch”.
32. Secret Service title : AGENT
The Secret Service was created by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, with the mission of fighting currency counterfeiters. The additional task of protecting the US President was added by Congress in 1902 following the assassination of President William McKinley in the prior year. Only one Secret Service agent has given his life in the course of an assassination attempt. That was Private Leslie Coffelt, who was killed when two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to assassinate President Harry S. Truman in 1950 while he was residing in Blair House.
34. Fighter Holly who ended Ronda Rousey’s undefeated streak : HOLM
Holly Holm is a competitive mixed martial artist from Albuquerque. I am sure she’s a very nice person, but that wouldn’t be a sport I’d have an interest in …
Ronda Rousey is a mixed martial artist, and the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo. Rousey is a popular person online, with hers being the third most searched name on Google in 2015 (after Lamar Odom and Caitlyn Jenner).
38. Schlep : HAUL
Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.
40. African capital named for an American president : MONROVIA
Monrovia is a the capital of Liberia in West Africa. The city was named for US President James Munroe. Monroe was a supporter of the American Colonization Society, which helped found the colony of Liberia.
41. Capital on the Danube : BUDAPEST
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Today’s city was formed with the merging of three cities on the banks of the Danube river in 1873: Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, and Pest on the east bank.
The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (after the Volga). The Danube flows through four European capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).
42. Horace’s “__ Poetica” : ARS
The full name of Horace’s work is “Ars Poetica, Epistula ad Pisones” (The Art of Poetry, Letters to Piso). The work describes the technical aspects of poetry in Ancient Rome, and the term “ars poetica” has come to mean the poetry of that period.
43. Natural sci. : GEOL
Geology (geol.) is a science (sci.).
45. “Copy that” : TEN-FOUR
There is a set of “ten-codes” that were developed in 1937 for the use of law enforcement departments. As of 2006, the US federal government is recommending that they be replaced by plain language due to a lack of standardization in ten-codes. Examples of ten-codes are:
- 10-1 meaning “bad reception”
- 10-4 meaning “acknowledge”
- 10-9 meaning “say again”
- 10-33 meaning “emergency, all units stand by”
46. British counties : SHIRES
The word “shire” comes from the Old English “scir” meaning “administrative district”. The term was replaced with county as far back as the 14th century, but the usage persists to this day, largely because some counties retain the use of -shire as a suffix (Yorkshire, Lancashire etc.).
48. Creamy quaff : EGGNOG
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.
“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).
49. Popular tablets : IPADS
The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.
54. Some Croatians : SERBS
Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.
63. The Rams of the Atlantic 10 Conf. : URI
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was first chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.
64. Old PC component : CRT
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
65. Blues-rocker Chris : REA
Chris Rea is a singer-songwriter and respected blues guitar player from England. Rea’s biggest hit is a song that he wrote himself called “Fool (If You Think It’s Over”), released in 1978.